Kreeft: How to successfully discern God’s will for your life … and act accordingly.

Does God have one right choice for me in each decision I make?

When we pray for wisdom to discern God’s will when it comes to choosing a mate, a career, a job change, a move, a home, a school, a friend, a vacation, how to spend money, or any other choice, big or little, whenever there are two or more different paths opening up before us and we have to choose, does God always will one of those paths for us? If so, how do we discern it?

Many Christians who struggle with this question today are unaware that Christians of the past can help them from their own experience. Christian wisdom embodied in the lives and teachings of the saints tells us two things that are relevant to this question.

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You might be possessed if you…

…vomit shards of glass and pieces of iron, scream, dribble and slobber, utter blasphemies and have to be physically restrained.

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Editor’s note: Saturday nights … in many Chicago area pubs and clubs … excepted.

What signs would indicate possible demonic activity in a friend or a family member?

ZENIT: What signs would indicate possible demonic activity in a friend or a family member?

Father Thomas: If, for example, if somebody was able to speak in a language that he had no prior competency in, or if someone would foam at the mouth or have a lot of rolling of the eyes.

If the person were not able to walk into a church or be close to any Catholic sacramental: holy water, a crucifix, the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacramental anointing of the sick, or someone wearing some kind of a Christian symbol. If these caused a reaction, it certainly would be a sign.

Another sign of a diabolical attachment is when people have unnatural amounts of strength that they normally do not possess. Sometimes people will take on a serpentine appearance, again in reaction to sacraments and sacramentals.

But there would be things leading up to that; for example, these people could have an obsessive amount of thoughts or ideas of the Satanic, or feel a tremendous amount of depression in their lives, usually due to tapping into the spirit world. Those would be signs.

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Leo XIII was the Pope who declared that Anglican ordinations, orders, priesthood, were invalid.


Leo XIII was the Pope who declared that Anglican ordinations, orders, priesthood, were invalid.

So,… the Pope of Rome goes into Westminster Abbey, a church dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles, and – while wearing Leo XIII’s stole – reminds them that he is the Successor of Peter.

And they applauded!

The title of this entry is a bit lighthearted, but the issues at hand are very serious.

Benedict XVI teaches through signs. Signs point to deeper issues. Vestments are signs.

In the person of Pope Benedict, Peter’s Successor came to Westminster. In Benedict, in a symbolic sense, Leo XIII came to Westminster as well.

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The practical value of signs and sacraments


It was a bit “stuffy” in church, last Sunday. Actually, it was down right hot!

People were fanning themselves with church bulletins, loosening collars, and squirming around in their seats.

The air vents had those short, little, colored ribbons tied to them … the ones that let you “see” when air is actually flowing … and they were all clearly just laying there. Quite limp. At last, one of the ushers got around to turning on the air conditioning.

Almost immediately, those limp little colored ribbons began to stand out and wiggle … and instantly … everybody in the congregation began to feel cooler … even though it would be many long minutes before the temperature would actually begin to drop.

Such is the practical value of  “signs”.


Catholics understand that a sacrament is an outward sign of a divine reality, originally instituted by Jesus Christ, for the primary purpose of  dispensing grace to all the many and varied, People of God.

The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is particularly important to Catholics, since it’s through the power of that sacrament that Jesus becomes present for us on the altar at Mass, where he serves (among many other things) as High Priest, Perfect Mediator, Savior, God and King.

When we Catholics see Jesus Christ raised up … truly present … in the most holy sacrament of the altar … we instinctively know that God still loves us, that he’s still willing to hold up his “end” of the New Covenant, and that he’ still willing to forgive our sins … saving us from eternal death and hell.

And while it may be a while before all of that truly comes to pass … all the signs are there to indicate that it will indeed, really happen.

With all this in mind, it’s not surprising that the very next thing we do at Mass is claim God the Father as our own, rejoicing and and luxuriating in the Peace obtained through the perfect, atoning sacrifice of our divine brother … Jesus Christ.

The fact that God is then willing to share with us the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus … his only begotten son … further confirms what we already know and believe.

God loves us … and he uses practical signs (sacraments) to help confirm for us (and in us) his work of grace, and his timeless message of salvation.

All the more reason to stay cool!

“Content with the idea of being old and ugly and poor and in pain”

“When I was in my 50’s I was an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and used to take Our Lord to a housebound, devout Catholic  lady in her 90’s. Despite being incredibly bent and wizened, she was  ‘all there’ — though she slept most of the time. I used to sit with her one evening a week for over two years, while her sole caretaker, her daughter, went out to dinner with her friends — caretakers badly need a break to keep from becoming depressed and ill  themselves. I used to love being in the same room as this woman: her personal holiness was such that it felt the same as being in front of  the Blessed Sacrament, full of peace and goodness.

“One night, just before dawn, I had a dream of a radiant young  woman, tall, slim, and elegant in a dress of shimmering starlight coming toward me, smiling.

“She came and embraced me, and even in the dream I felt a surge of joy and physical warmth radiate from her. She turned and walked away into a beautiful landscape, and I awoke filled with wonderful happiness; the clock said five a.m. At eight o’clock  the elderly lady’s daughter called to say her mother had died peacefully  at five a.m.; and I realized she was that the radiant beauty, come to say ‘thanks’ for my bringing Our Lord in the Eucharist to  her, and sitting with her all those evenings.  Until that time, I had looked at feeble, sick old age as a miserable fate; but now I realize that old age is but a temporary phase, in which many of us will come to interior perfection, as this woman did.

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Biblical Citations for the Institution of All Seven of the Sacraments by Jesus Christ

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Seven Sacraments Instituted by Christ Our Lord

Published Friday, February 17, 2006 by Taylor Marshall. <!—->


1. Baptism
Matthew 28:19 “Go…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirt.”

2. Confirmation
John 16:7 “If I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you, but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

3. Eucharist
Luke 22:19-20 “This is my Body…This is my Blood…Do this in remembrance of Me.”

4. Matrimony
Mark 19:6 “They are no longer two but one flesh…what God has joined together let no man put asunder.”

5. Holy Orders
Luke 22:19-20 “This is my Body…This is my Blood…Do this in remembrance of Me.”
John 20:22-23 “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any their sins are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

6. Confession
John 20:22-23 “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any their sins are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

7. Unction of the Sick
Mark 6:13 “And they anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.”

The four words that are saving babies from abortion

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Not long ago a woman approached an abortion clinic in California. She was pregnant but didn’t think she could properly care for the child growing inside her womb. Like so many other women, she felt trapped … with no way out. Reluctantly, she sought the “solution” of abortion. But before she could follow through with her decision, something wonderful happened.

As she pulled in to the abortion clinic parking lot, she noticed two women standing on the sidewalk across the street. They were holding up identical signs and praying. The words on those signs were so powerful that it made the woman pause.

By the time she got to the abortion clinic’s front door, instead of going inside, she walked around the building, crossed the street and approached the two women. After talking with them for a few minutes, the woman agreed to go to a pro-life pregnancy center …

… and ultimately decided to let her baby live!

That child is alive today because of the courage of the two women standing outside that California abortion clinic … and the four words on their signs.

What were those four words? Simply these:

I Regret My Abortion

You see, when the woman who was about to keep that deadly appointment with the abortionists saw those signs and the women holding them, she began to have second thoughts. She later told the two ladies who’d been praying outside that abortion clinic:

“I looked over and saw you two and thought to myself, ‘Oh, no. That could be me in a couple years.’ So I came over to hear your stories. And I’m so happy that I did.”

I am writing to you today because I need you to click here right now and make a contribution to Priests for Life so that we can print up thousands of “I Regret My Abortion” signs! Each one will allow a woman ravaged by abortion to proclaim:

Abortion does untold damage to those it victimizes. I know. I had one. Talk to me before you do something you’ll regret the rest of your life!

This project is a key component of Priests for Life’s rapidly growing Silent No More Awareness Campaign … a campaign comprised of those who have felt the deadly sting of abortion in their own lives and are willing to go public with their deeply personal stories in the hope that their testimony will help bring to an end America’s abortion holocaust.

For far too long the emotional and physical pain of abortion was shrouded in secrecy and its victims too emotionally scarred to speak out.

But thanks to the grace of God and the work of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, women are now being freed from the bondage of abortion and going public with their stories. And like those two women in California …

… they are having a tremendous impact on abortion-vulnerable women and saving the lives of countless numbers of babies.

That’s because no one has more credibility when speaking out against the horror of abortion than a woman who has suffered through one herself.

In fact, you may recall that in The Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II wrote directly to those who have had abortions, invited them to healing, and then said,

“With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life” (EV, 99).

That’s at the basis of this campaign!

These real-life testimonies are both compelling and convincing … as the incident of that woman in California who was about to kill her baby proves. One short conversation with the two women holding their “I Regret My Abortion” signs changed her mind … and saved her baby.

That’s the power of personal testimony.

To understand this I invite to click here and read the heart-wrenching testimony of Ann Marie Cosgrove. I know Ann. She is a pro-life dynamo and directs the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in Minnesota.

After you read her story, I want you to answer this question:

Do you think that a woman who is open to life but feels herself trapped and sees abortion as her only way out would be influenced by Ann Marie’s testimony?

I know she would.

Like all the women involved with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Ann’s personal story is so compelling that it not only saves women and babies, but it brings passionate recruits into our pro-life family.

And thanks be to God, more and more women like Ann are coming forward to speak out!

That’s why I am counting on you to click here and be as generous as you possibly can so that Priests for Life can print up thousands more “I Regret My Abortion” signs.

For just as the Gospel spreads as people bear witness to its saving power in their own lives, so, too, the truth about abortion’s terrible horror – to mothers, fathers, babies and families – spreads as people bear witness in their own lives of just how much damage abortion has done to them.

And as I just said …

… no one is able to give a more believable testimony on the horror of abortion than a woman who has undergone its devastation herself.

Today I’m counting on you and the rest of our Priests for Life family to help them. Here’s how:

We need money – around $60,000 to be precise – so we can print up thousands of signs for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to distribute around the country. These signs will be either:

1. The “I Regret My Abortion” signs that I already told you about (and a version for fathers of aborted children, that reads “I Regret Lost Fatherhood.”) Or …

2. Large signs with a simple two-sided message:

On one side it reads: Women Do Regret Abortion

On the other side it reads: Men Regret Lost Fatherhood

The “I Regret My Abortion” and “I Regret Lost Fatherhood” signs will be given out ONLY to women and men who have lost children to abortion … and only after we meet with them and make sure they are ready, willing, and able to talk with people about their abortion.

The key thing about these signs, as I told you at the very beginning of this letter, is that …

… they have the power to save lives and end abortion! And I mean that literally.

Knowing that (and based on the growing number of women logging on to the Silent No More website – http://www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org – and writing out their personal testimony in the “Do You Regret Your Abortion” register), we want to print and distribute 5,000 “I Regret My Abortion” signs.

At a cost of $1.75 per sign … we need $8,750 to print all 5,000 “I Regret My Abortion” signs!

As for the “Women Do Regret Abortion” and “Men Regret Lost Fatherhood” signs, members of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will hand these out at the two largest pro-life gatherings: the “March For Life” in Washington, D.C. and the “Walk for Life” in San Francisco.

Anyone can carry these signs as they march. And after the march, they can take them home and use them as they pray outside abortion clinics.

Our goal is to hand out 20,000 of these double-sided signs: 10,000 for the DC March for Life and another 10,000 for San Francisco.

At a cost of $2.50 per sign we will need $50,000 to print those signs!

For all 25,000 signs – 5,000 “I Regret My Abortion” signs and 20,000 of the larger double-sided signs – Priests for Life will need to spend a total of $58,750 … a lot of money to be sure. But certainly not a huge expenditure when you consider the great good the signs will produce.

So please click here and be as generous as you possibly can today to help Priests for Life print up these life-saving, mind-changing, eye-opening signs!

The sooner we can print them up – especially the “I Regret My Abortion” signs – the sooner we can get them into the hands of those women whom God has called to share their testimony publicly.

We already have the distribution network in place to do that.

As of my writing to you today there are 81 Silent No More Regional Coordinators working in all fifty states! Having met many of them, I can tell you that these people are tireless workers for life. They know the horror of abortion first-hand … and they are on fire to share their personal testimonies with as many of our fellow Americans as they can.

What’s more, we know the impact these signs make. They challenge a primary message of the pro-abortion movement, namely, that abortion helps women.

In fact, these signs helped former U.S. Senator Zel Miller. He once supported abortion. But because of the four words on these signs, he came to change his mind and is now ardently pro-life!

Even the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged the women who come to regret their abortion. It did so in its 2007 abortion decision.

This should come as no surprise to any of us. After all, Christianity itself has advanced through the power of personal testimony! Think of St. Paul, for instance … and St. Augustine (the “Confessions”) … and so many others who witness to God’s power changing their lives.

That’s what the women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign are doing!

For the sake of the youngest members of our human family, let’s help them!

So please click here and be as generous as you possibly can.

Send Priests for Life the largest gift you can so that we can print and distribute thousands of signs … signs that have the power to save the lives of innocent boys and girls.

In this way we will advance our goal of ending abortion because we will make abortion so unthinkable that no woman will be deceived into thinking it is a “solution” to a “crisis” pregnancy!

As Janet Morana – the Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Executive Director of Priests for Life – constantly reminds everyone, there is no such thing as an unplanned or “crisis” pregnancy. But there are many, many unexpected blessings!

Life is always a blessing. So even though the circumstances which brought about the pregnancy may not be the best or the most ideal, still, the new life created is a blessing. Once we get our fellow Americans to embrace that reality, we will end abortion.

And with your help today, we will empower those who are the most qualified to preach that truth – namely, those who have been victimized by abortion – to bring about that change of thinking.

Please click here and be as generous as you possibly can.

Just a few dollars from you today will help Priests for Life get four words printed onto thousands of pieces of black cardboard. But those four words – “I Regret My Abortion” – have the power to save lives and end abortion!

Thank you for your much-needed help today. And know that in appreciation for the sacrifices you make to support Priests for Life, I will continue to remember you at each Mass I offer; and so will all our priests.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Frank Pavone

National Director, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries

NOTE: If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to Priests for Life and send it to us at PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314. If you have any questions, call us toll-free at 888-735-3448.

Be Not Afraid – A Message from Father Burke Masters

frburkemasters2Luke 21:5-11 While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here-the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”

He answered,
“See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come. ‘Do not follow them!

When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.”

Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”

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Thanks for your prayers for my trip to Minnesota this past weekend. It was a great weekend with 65 young men from around the Midwest thinking seriously about priesthood. It was quite inspiring!

Isn’t this reading appropriate for the times that we are experiencing? In the last few years, we have seen wars, powerful earthquakes, tsunamis, plagues, famines and terrible human suffering. There have been people saying, “It is the end times.” Or…”The time has come.”

However, Jesus says that we don’t know the day or the hour. “Don’t be terrified.” Jesus’ message so often in the Scriptures is “Do not be afraid.” In fact, this appears in the Scriptures more than 150 times! Jesus must want us to hear the message, “Do not be afraid”.

Jesus is not saying, “Ah, don’t worry about it. Just keep living in sin.” NO! Jesus’ message was always, “Repent! Change your ways. Turn to the Lord.” We are not to be afraid of death or the end times if we are living with Jesus as the center of our lives.

My friends, if we repent from our sins and make the Lord the center of our lives, there is no reason to be afraid. At the same time, we should do all in our power to put an end to the violence and terrible human suffering due to AIDS, famine and other plagues.

If the Lord were to come for you today, would you be ready? If not, today is the time to repent and change. If you are ready, then do not be afraid. Live life abundantly and share God’s love with all you meet.

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke


“There is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.” (John 15:13)

 

Fr. Burke Masters
Vocation Director
Diocese of Joliet
402 S. Independence Blvd.
Romeoville, IL 60432

www.vocations.com