Sermon: St. Therese Homilies

Ascension 2022: Christ’s Kingdom v. the Kingdom of Satan

Ascension 2022: Christ’s Kingdom v. the Kingdom of Satan

By Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

 

Today we celebrate Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord, in His glorified body, into Heaven 40 days after He rose from the dead.

In our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke tells us that Jesus “was lifted up in a cloud him from their sight.”

Then two Angels appeared as men dressed in white garments, and spoke to the Apostles: “This Jesus who has been taken up into Heaven will return Ithe same way” – that is, in glory.

So, what does Jesus now do in Heaven until He returns at His Second Coming, at the end of the world?He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Our Psalm today(Ps. 47) reveals this truth: Jesus is the “great king over all the earth” who “reigns over the nations.”

Jesus came to earth to establish His kingdom. What is the nature of His Kingdom?

The Jews at that time were expecting a Messiah who would be a king in the line of King Davidand who would institute a purely earthly kingdom; he would restore the Davidic kingdom in all its former glory as it was 1000 years before Christ.

Even Jesus’own Apostles thought in these earthly terms. Before Jesus ascended, they asked Him: “Lord, are you going to store the kingdom of Israel?”

The truth is, Jesus did not come to restore the kingdom of Israel. What kingdom did he come to establish?

Our second reading today from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians tells us:

God the Father “raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavens. He put all things beneath his feet and placed him as head over the church, which is his body.”

Here we see revealed that Christ’s Kingdom is the Catholic Church, which is His Mystical Body. Christ reigns over the Church as Head, and we – all the baptized – are members of His Body.

Jesus commands us who are members of the Church,His Body, to proclaim the Kingdom.

At his Ascension, as we read in our first reading from Acts, Jesus tells His Apostles: “After the Holy Spirit comes upon you [at Pentecost, which was ten days away] you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.”

At the end of St. Matthew’s Gospel, before Jesus ascends into Heaven, Jesus gives His Apostles what is known as the “Great Commission”: “Go and preach to all nations, teaching them all that I have taught you; and baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus came to earth to redeem us and to establish His Kingdom, the Church. Baptism is the way we become members of HisChurch, His Body.

The first words of Jesus after His baptism in the Jordan River by his cousin John are these: “The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk. 1:14-15).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church(CCC) no. 541 says: “The Church on earth the seed and the beginning of the kingdom.”

The Church, Christ’s Mystical Body, will be fully perfected only on the Last Day, when Christ comes again to separate the sheep from the goats.

This leads to another important truth. Who are these goats? And to whose kingdom do they belong?

Well, just as Jesus has His kingdom, so does Lucifer have his. Just as Jesus has His Mystical Body made up of His members, his followers, so does Lucifer have his members, his followers. This includes all those who cooperate, knowingly or unknowingly, with the Devil in opposing and trying to overthrow Christ’s Kingdom; all those who are deceived by the evil one, and are his servants.

Here I’ll offer a few examples.

Karl Marx in his writings outlined the atheistic communist system and state. Marx was a Satanist. You can read about all about this in a book, The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism’s Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration, by Paul Kengor, Ph.D., published in 2020.

Marx’s follower – like Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong – established atheistic communism in Russia and China: godless, totalitarian states.

The present leader of communist China, Xi Jinping, recently ordered that no one under the age of 18 could attend any religious service in that country. He wants to stamp out all religious belief and make his nation a totally secular, atheistic state.

Over a number of decades in the last century, communists murdered hundreds of millions of their own people to bring about their demonic, totalitarian system of government.

Today there are those who promote a new version of a godless, totalitarian state – essentially communist or radically socialist, but with a different face. They call it the “New World Order.” The promoters of this New World Order meet yearly at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland.

One of their leaders is Klaus Schwab, who outlines his diabolical plans in his book, Covid 19 and the Great Reset. Schwab is on record saying that in the New World Order, “you’ll own nothing, but be happy.”

We have those today in government – lawmakers and judges, and those in the media who promote the killing of unborn children under the banner of “choice.” These are servants of Satan who, Jesus tells us, “was a murderer from the beginning” (Jn. 8:44).

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently released a report stating that pro-abortion advocates plan to burn down the U.S. Supreme Court building and murder justices and their law clerks once Roe v. Wade is overturned (which is expected to happen in June – the Supreme Court will likely rule that there is no constitutional right to abortion, and that the decision to permit or ban abortion should be left to the individual states). In other words, “You take away our (claimed) constitutional right to kill innocent babies in the womb, and we will kill you!”

The Friday before last, May 22, 2022, the Kenosha News carried a front-page story of how hundreds of students at our public high schools – Tremper, Bradford, Indian Trail, and others – all connected on social media and walked out of school to stage a protest of the upcoming Supreme Court decision, demanding that the Court not take away the so-called “right” to kill children in the womb.

We must pray for these poor young people.

Then there are those in the television, movie and music industries who promote sexual immorality. They are servants of Satan as well.

The purveyors of pornography – which destroys the minds and hearts of so many, especially men – claim a First Amendment right to peddle their smut.

Last month UNICEF, the United Nations children’s fund, issued a statement saying the “there is no evidence that pornography does harm to children” and that efforts to block children from pornography “may infringe on their human rights.”

I could go on with a list of other evils. The point is that we as followers of Jesus have to acknowledge Christ as King, and work to establish His reign, and spread His Kingdom on earth.

CCC 543 teaches: “Everyone is called to enter the kingdom” of Christ; that is, all peoples from all nations.

So what must we do as baptized members of Christ’s Body the Church, to spread His Kingdom? We must be willing to explain and to defend the truths of our Catholic Faith before others.

But especially, we must be saints; we must lead good, holy lives and thereby be examples of Christ and His love, and thus draw others to Jesus so that they too may become members of HisChurch, of His Kingdom.

And we must turn to Our Lady as well. She, we know, will crush the head of the serpent, the devil (cf. Gen. 3:15).

We already know how the battle will turn out:We will be victorious, if we remain faithful to Jesus, Our Savior and Our King. Just read the book of Revelation.

Let us pray, asking that Our Lady assist us in being authentic witnesses to Jesus Christ in order to spread His Kingdom on earth, andto build up His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Bearing Spiritual Fruit

Homily 3rd Sunday Lent Yr C: Bearing Spiritual Fruit

By Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

Our first reading is from the book of Exodus. God called Moses to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt, into the promised land – a land “flowing with milk and honey.”
God revealed His name to Moses: I AM WHO AM – YAHWEH in Hebrew – which is the most perfect name for God, meaning that God depends upon no one for his existence; He is eternal, with no beginning and no end.
God spoke to Moses in a bush – that was burning, but the fire in the bush did not consume the bush.
In the centuries that followed, Christian writers have tried to interpret the meaning of this bush that was burning but was not consumed.
Some have thought that the burning bush is a symbol for the Catholic Church, which in spite of trials and persecutions will continue to endure until the end of time.
Others have seen in the burning bush an image of the blessed Virgin Mary, in whom the fire of the Holy Spirit always burned in a magnificent way.
Mary is commonly referred to as the “spouse of the Holy Spirit”: she was filled with grace to a degree that only God can comprehend it;
and, because she was preserved from Original Sin and our fallen human nature, she was always totally responsive to the movements and inspirations of the Holy Spirit at work in her soul.
Therefore, Mary is a model for all of us in perfectly responding to God’s will in our lives.
Unlike the Virgin Mary, we are burdened with a fallen human nature, and we sin – sometimes we do our own will rather than God’s will.
God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our sins, to give us a share of God’s own life – which we receive at baptism, and to teach us how to live life in the Spirit, bearing spiritual fruit.
Knowing that we are sinners, Jesus began His public preaching with these words: “The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
Notice the order of the words: in order to believe in the Gospel, the teaching of Our Lord, we first need to repent of our sins.
This repeats this message in the Gospel today from St. Luke.
He uses two examples – of people that were killed under Pontius Pilate, and upon whom a tower fell and killed, and says: “Do you think that these people were greater sinners and more guilty than you? By no means.”
Then He says: “I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did.”
Then Jesus tells the parable about a man who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and for three years he found no fruit on the fig tree. It was worthless, so he ordered his servant to cut it down.
The servant persuades him to spare it for another year, saying he will cultivate the ground and fertilize it so that it may bear fruit; but then if it does not, he will cut it down.
How do we apply this parable to our lives? At baptism we were given gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit; and in the Sacrament of Confirmation we were strengthened in these gifts and graces – and for what purpose? That we might bear spiritual fruit.
If we want to know whether we are living good, holy lives – living out the gifts and graces that we received at Baptism and Confirmation, we must examine our lives to see whether or not our lives are producing spiritual fruits.
In fact, St. Paul reveals to us a list of fruits of the Holy Spirit. Here are some of those “Fruits of the Spirit”: peace, joy, patience, kindness, and charity.
Am I at peace – interiorly, with myself, and with others – those with whom I live, and work? Or am I often unsettled, in a state of agitation – with myself, and others?
Do I exude joy in my life? Do I make an effort to be joyful, and bring the joy of Christ to others? Or am I grumpy, always complaining about this or that when things don’t go my way?
Do I practice patience? Do I accept the crosses that God, in is loving Providence, arranges for me on a daily basis. Or do I get easily upset and fly off the handle at the least inconvenience or obstacle that confronts me?
Do I strive to be kind towards others, willing to look for their good points rather than focus on their faults and shortcomings? Am I willing, in kindness, to look past the sins and failings of others, to forgive them, and to pray for them?
Am I always charitable, willing to spend myself for others and their needs, rather than focusing always on myself?
If we examine our conscience and are honest, we know that we all fail in these areas. We need to repent of our sins and failings. The Sacrament of Penance gives us the opportunity to do just this.
Lent is a good time to take an accounting of our lives, examine our conscience, and make a good confession. Here are some of the many benefits the Sacrament of Penance offers (by Bishop Austin Vaughn):
“Every time I go to Confession, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I am not just part of sinful humanity, but I have sins of my own that were my own fault.”
“Every time I go to Confession, I affirm implicitly that God’s mercy is always available to me and that no sin is unforgivable.”
“Every time I go to Confession, I reaffirm that a priest is God’s minister in a unique way.”
“Every time I go, I implicitly reaffirm that God expects me to do better, with and through His grace.”
Let us take advantage of this great Sacrament of God’s mercy and forgiveness in this holy season of Lent.

Life in the Spirit

Homily 3rd Sunday Year C: Life in the Spirit

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

In today’s Gospel from St. Luke, we read about how Jesus, not long after He began His public ministry, “returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. . . . He came to Nazareth, where He had grown up,” entered the synagogue on the sabbath day, and read the famous passage from the Prophet Isaiah about the Messiah:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind.”
Then Jesus tells people, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Recall a couple of weeks ago we celebrated the feast of the Baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan River, at which time the Holy Spirit visibly appeared in the form of a dove, to reveal that Jesus, as the Son of God who became man, had the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
By his suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus redeemed us from our sins and enabled us to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We receive the Holy Spirit into our souls at baptism, when we become members of the Church, which is Christ’s mystical Body.
This is what St. Paul speaks about today in our second reading, from first Corinthians: “In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, . . . And we were all given to drink of the one Spirit.”
At baptism the Holy Spirit dwells in us; we truly become temples of the Holy Spirit – the same Holy Spirit that dwelled in the Person of Jesus.
What does this mean for us? It means precisely this: that we must ponder, reflect on this marvelous truth every single day of our lives, AND that we must strive to live lives in the Spirit!
How do we live lives in the Spirit? Here we can turn to great spiritual writers for advice and direction.
One of those writers is Ven. Luis María Martínez, former Archbishop of Mexico City.
He was born 1881. In 1937 Pope Pius XI appointed him Archbishop of Mexico City.
Archbishop Martinez was a scholar and poet, and wrote of a number of books on the spiritual life.
His spiritual writings bear the influence of a woman to whom he gave spiritual direction, Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, known as “Conchita” – a mystic and spiritual writer herself who received interior communications from Jesus which she wrote down – in 66 volumes.
At the direction of Jesus, Conchita also wrote a magnificent work called To My Priests, in which Jesus speaks to His priests using Conchita as His mouthpiece, as it were. I’m reading it right now.
Conchita was proclaimed a Blessed on May 4, 2019.
Archbishop Martinez died on 9 February 1956 in Mexico City. Over 100,000 mourners filed past his casket prior to the funeral Mass.
His cause for canonization continues.
Probably his best known book is True Devotion to the Holy Spirit – a book I’ve read a couple of times. If you want to learn devotion to the Holy Spirit, there is no better book than this.
In this masterpiece the Archbishop tells us how to live our lives in the Spirit. What does he say?
The Holy Spirit will lead to you Jesus, to imitate Him more perfectly, in order that, like Jesus, we may always do the will of the Father:
In the Our Father prayer we say, “Thy will be done”;
And Jesus, in the Garden, said: “Father, not my will, but yours be done”
Living in the Spirit also means that, like Jesus, everything we do should be done to give glory to the God the Father. This was Jesus’ motive for carrying out the Father’s will: all that He did was to glorify His Father, and this was done out of His love for the Father.
Here is what Archbishop Martinez says:
“The Holy Spirit, being the [Person of] love of the Father and of the Son, pours into the soul love for the Father similar to that of the Son, and a love for the Son similar to that of the Father. . . . For the soul [filled with the Holy Spirit] loves the Father as it loves the Son, and it loves the Son as it loves the Father.”
Jesus, the Eternal Word, is the perfect image of God the Father, who eternally begets the Word; therefore Jesus as the Word made flesh is our perfect model, our ideal.
And the Holy Spirit dwells in us in order to conform us more and more into Jesus, to transform us more and more into the likeness of Christ; and He does this through the BV Mary: The Holy Spirit used her to form the humanity of Jesus, and He still uses her to form Christ in us.
As Archbishop Martinez says, “all the sanctifying action of the Spirit is centered upon reproducing Jesus, the ideal of the Father, into the soul, transforming it into Jesus.”
Living life in the Spirit, says the Archbishop, means allowing Holy Spirit to work in us, to permit ourselves to be chiseled and polished by the Holy Spirit, and by stripping from ourselves of everything that is an obstacle to this divine transformation –
i.e., stripping ourselves of self love, a disordered love of self, in order that we might be willing to follow Jesus more perfectly, which means taking up our daily crosses in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Archbishop Martinez explained this in a retreat he gave to Bl. Conchita:
“…the transformed soul… fused with the Heart of Jesus, sings with Him the song of suffering and death to the glory of God on earth.”  [p. 79]

The soul transformed by the Holy Spirit undergoes a mystical incarnation:
“Becoming Jesus, the soul loves the Father, reflecting Jesus’ love [for the Father] and seeking [God the Father’s] glory as Jesus sought it so that the love, suffering, actions and life of the soul aim at one point, just as all the activities of Jesus’ soul converged and focused on the glory of the Father, the center and crowning of Jesus’ life.”  (p. 74)
My friends, this is the way of the Saints. They conformed their lives to Christ by living lives in the Spirit. We must do likewise.
We must strive every day, and throughout the day, to be conscious of the fact that we, by reason of our baptism, are living temples of the Holy Spirit.
We must cultivate a deep devotion and enter into a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. This requires that we pray daily to the Holy Spirit.
There are a number of good prayers to the Holy Spirit. Here is one that I pray daily:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Christmas 2021

Christmas 2021

Christmas 2021

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

In answer to the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement of the Incarnation and Birth of our Savior, the Virgin Mary spoke the word “Fiat” – “Let it be done to me according to your word,” and she conceived the Eternal Word, who was made flesh in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As Pope St. John Paul II was wont to say, when Mary conceived Jesus in her womb, the Heart of the Son began to beat beneath the Heart of His Mother.

These two Hearts – of Mother and Son – would beat in unison for the next nine months while Jesus was living in Mary.

The human heart is the most perfect and noblest symbol of the interior life of person: of our thinking, our willing, our affections & emotions – and our love.

Never were there two Hearts more united – in grace and holiness, in mutual love and affection, than the Hearts of Jesus, the God-man, and of Mary, sinless and filled with grace from the first moment of her conception.

At His Birth, when Jesus opened His eyes for the first time, He looked into the eyes of His mother, Mary, and she gazed into His eyes.

Our interior life shines forth in our eyes, which are windows to our souls, to our hearts.

On this point, let us ask:  What was it like, O Virgin Mary, to gaze into the eyes of your Son, your Godand your Maker, for the first time?

What was it like, Mary, to gaze into those eyes which reflected not only His soul, but uncreated Light, the infinite Word of God; He who was eternally begotten in the bosom of the Father; God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God? What was it like, Mary?

When a ray of light is reflected by the purest crystal, it produces another ray that embraces it, in what may be called a single kiss of love.

In a similar manner, the look of Jesus was reflected in the pure eyes and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, uniting them both in a single embrace of love.

It was most fitting that the first act of contemplation by Jesus upon the earth should be most like that which He experienced from all eternity: that mutual gaze of love between the God the Son and God the Father.

On this Christmas, let us contemplate not only that look of Jesus toward His Mother, but also that first gaze of Mary into the eyes of the Christ Child.

It was a gaze:

– All-Pure, because she is the spotlessVirgin of virgins;

– Exceedingly tender, because she is the Mother who bore Jesus in her womb for nine months as a living tabernacle of the Word made flesh–and who now with greatest affection and devotion holds Him in her arms;

– Altogether Holy, because she is the holiest of creatures, the sin of Adam having never touched her.

And when the newly-born Christ Child opened His divine eyes for the first time and gazed into the pure, mild and tender eyes of the Virgin Mary, He was filled with complacency, joy and peace, because He saw in the eyes of His Mother a near-perfect reflection of that that gaze with which His heavenly Father had looked upon Him from that Eternal Day on which He was begotten.

Jesus wants to look at our hearts, our souls, as He looked upon Mary. Are our hearts pure, tender and holy – like that of the Virgin Mother?

AND Jesus wants us to look at Him in the same way that His Mother Mary did. Are we able to look at Jesus, to gaze into those divine eyes so full of love for us, with that same purity and selfless love of the Blessed Virgin?

Let us recall today, on this great feast of Christ’s Birth, that the Son of God became man and entered our world in order to reclaim lost souls for the heavenly kingdom.

But that is not all. As St. Augustine says, “The only Son of God, having become the son of Man, makes many sons of men the sons of God.” Yes, my dear friends, we are called to be sons in the Son; sons and daughters of our heavenly Father.

The Prophet Isaiah tells us thatJesus Christ is the great Light that has come into the world to enlighten us who had walked in darkness and dwelt in gloom.

And through St. Paul, Jesus exhorts us to reject godless ways and worldly desires, and to live temperately, justly and devoutly in this age, until He appears again in glory on the Last Day.

Let us rejoice on this Christmas Night (Day)with the all the angels who cry aloud with joy: Christ the Lord is born; today the Savior has appeared.

Today let us join the entire earth which echoes thesong ofthe angel choirs, and archangels’ joyful praise: Glory to God in the highest, Alleluia!

Evil of Abortion/Jesus Living in Mary Part II

Evil of Abortion/Jesus Living in Mary Part II

Homily 3rd Sun. Advent Yr C

(Evil of Abortion; Jesus Living in Mary)

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D., J.D.

 

Did you know that at the moment of conception a human being’s unique DNA is created, DNA which never existed before – and will never be repeated again?
At the moment of conception a human being’s unique traits are already present – e.g. the sex, hair & eye color have already been determined.
An unborn baby’s heart begins to beat only 22 days after conception, 3 weeks and a day – before most women even know they are pregnant.
By week 3 you can see the baby’s ears and eyes; by 6 weeks the baby has fingers and toes.
Between 6 and 11 weeks the child in the womb grows five times in size.
By the 11th week the baby can smile and frown, wiggle its fingers and toes, and even suck its thumb.
At 13 weeks the baby’s ears start picking up vibrations and it is comforted by the heartbeat of its mother, and later by the sound of its mother’s voice.
At 6 months the baby is fully developed and everything is functioning as it will at birth – and for the rest of its life.
At 38 to 42 weeks the baby is born.
Everything I just stated can be said about every unborn child, about every one of us before we were born, AND about Jesus Christ, who spent the first nine months of His human life in the womb of His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary – a beautiful thought to consider as we journey through this holy season of Advent, preparing to celebrate the joyful Birth of our Savior.
God has revealed to us through the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jer. 1:5).

In light of these truths, I am asking your prayers today – in the days to come – for our country, because at this time in our nation’s history we stand at an historic crossroads:
whether to continue to allow the legalized murder of preborn babies in the womb by abortion – an ongoing holocaust that has taken the lives of over 60 million human beings over the past 50 years; or whether to prohibit this evil which is like a deep, festering cancer on our country.
You’ve probably heard that this past week the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision on a Texas law that outlawed abortion after the “heartbeat” of the child could be detected. The Court’s decision allowed the law to stand, but permitted challenges to it – it’s a bit complex, I won’t elaborate on it here.
But the week before last the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning a Mississippi law that basically prohibits abortion after 16 weeks.
The decision in this case will likely determine the fate of the lives of tens of millions of human beings in the future: whether or not children in the womb will be given the right to life under our Constitution, or be denied that right.
First, a little history.
In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court said that a fetus is not a person but “potential life,” and therefore does not have any constitutional rights – especially, and most importantly, the right to life:
Roe v. Wade gave a woman the right to abort the child in her womb during the full nine months of pregnancy.
The Court’s rationale really made no sense; it was mind boggling:
What exactly is “potential life”? It’s a contradiction in terms. Either something is alive or it is not. A child in the womb is most certainly alive.
The S. Ct. created this “right” to abortion – supposedly based on a right to privacy; but it is found nowhere in the Constitution and for this reason Justice Byron White, who wrote a dissenting opinion in Roe v. Wade, called the Court’s decision creating a “right” to kill unborn babies by abortion an exercise of “RAW JUDICIAL POWER.”
As Abraham Lincoln said in debating Stephen Douglas when the latter claimed spoke of a “right” to own slaves: “He cannot logically say that any body has a right to do wrong.”
Almost 20 years after Roe, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the S. Ct. had the opportunity to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision; but refused to do so even though by this time all the medical evidence clearly showed that human life begins at conception.
The rational for allowing the murder of children in the womb to continue in our country was basically summarized in one sentence: I quote: “people had organized their intimate relationships and made choices … in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event contraception should fail.”
So, the killing of children within the womb must remain “legal” because women need a back-up when contraception fails.
Fast forward 30 years to 2021. Two weeks ago, in oral arguments before the Supreme Court over the State of Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor made statements that reveal how those who favor abortion will use any argument, no matter how ludicrous, to keep abortion legal.
In response to the argument that during the abortion procedure the preborn children feel pain while their tiny bodies are being torn apart, Justice Sotomayor said: “There’s about 40% of dead people who, if you touch their feet, the foot will recoil. There are spontaneous acts by dead brain people. So I don’t think that a response by a fetus necessarily proves that there’s a sensation of pain or that there’s consciousness.”
Really? Here Sotomayor compares the unborn child, who is alive during the abortion, with someone who is already dead. And the preborn baby is definitely not brain dead: science shows brain waves detectable at 5 weeks.
Moreover, for over a decade now doctors have been performing surgery on infants before birth, while still in utero, and when they do so they administer pain medicine to the unborn child. Why? Because they know that the preborn child can feel pain when operated on.
One doctor responded to Justice Sotomayor’s statement: “To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby’s organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath.” (Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie)
On this point, it’s important to remember: Presidents appoint Supreme Court Justices, who vote either to keep abortion legal, or to recognize that preborn babies have a right to life.
Right now it looks like there might be a majority on the Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade. Let us pray that they do.
In the Gospel today we see that John the Baptist preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ by preaching repentance from sins: He tells tax collectors not to collect more than is due, and soldiers not to practice extortion.
Let us pray that we will be humble enough as a nation to acknowledge our sins against the dignity and sanctity of human life in the womb that have been ongoing for the past 50 years.
This is a fitting topic to consider as we approach celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
At this time a little more than 2000 years ago, the BV Mary was carrying Jesus in her womb, making her way with St. Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about 90 miles away.
Just think: the All-Powerful Son of God, who had shared in the glory of the God the Father and the Holy Spirit from all eternity, became man at the Incarnation, and allowed Himself to be enclosed in the immaculate womb of His Mother, Mary for nine months before she gave birth to Him.
Why was it part of God’s plan that Jesus should come to us through Mary in this way? What purpose did God have?
No doubt, God wanted to teach us to imitate Jesus: As any other child living in its mother’s womb, Jesus was totally dependent on His Mother, for His human life and nourishment. What a wonder: that the Creator should be totally dependent upon a creature of His own making!
By living in Mary as a Babe in her womb, Jesus teaches us to have that same dependence on Mary for everything and to entrust ourselves – our wants, our needs, our lives – totally to her: she is truly our spiritual Mother in the order of grace, who not only foresees our needs, but protects us from harm as well.
The oldest known prayer to Mary in the Church, the Sub tuum praesidium, dating from the late 200’s if not earlier, reflects this notion: “We fly to thy patronage or holy Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O glorious & Blessed Virgin!”
Contemplating this great mystery of “Jesus living in Mary” also allows us to imitate the Virgin Mother. What immense joy must have overflowed in Mary’s Heart, knowing that the Eternal Word took flesh in her womb and was living within her. Her Heart was literally bursting with joy as she awaited her Son’s birth – a beautiful thought during this holy season of Advent.
During this holy season of Advent we can imitate Mary, and share in her joy by meditating on the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary, especially the first three Joyful mysteries: the Annunciation, Visitation and Birth of Our Lord.
We can also imitate the Virgin Mary when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion: for those few minutes after we receive Him, Jesus lives in us as He lived in Mary for nine months; we become, like Mary, living tabernacles of the Most High. Let us, during this holy season of Advent, strive to imitate Jesus in His total dependence on Mary in all that we do; let us also strive to exude that same joy which Mary held in her Heart as she was making her way to the little town of Bethlehem, to give birth to the Savior of the world.

Evil of Abortion/Jesus Living in Mary

Evil of Abortion/Jesus Living in Mary

Homily 2nd Sun. Advent Yr C

(Evil of Abortion; Jesus Living in Mary)

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I am asking your prayers today for our country. At this time in our nation’s history we stand at an historic crossroads:
whether to continue to allow the legalized murder of preborn babies in the womb by abortion – an ongoing holocaust that has taken the lives of more than 60 million human beings over the past 50 years; or whether to prohibit this evil which is like a deep, festering cancer on our country.
If you have not heard, this past week the Supreme Court heard arguments and will now be deciding a case that will determine the fate of the lives of tens, maybe hundreds of millions of human beings in the future: whether or not children in the womb will be given the right to life under the laws of our nation, or be denied that right.
First, a little history.
In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court said that a fetus is not a person but “potential life,” and therefore does not have any constitutional rights of its own – especially, and most importantly, the right to life:
it gave a woman the right to abort the child in her womb during the full nine months of pregnancy.
The Court’s rationale really made no sense; it was mind boggling:
What exactly is “potential life”? Either something is alive or it is not. A child in the womb is most certainly alive.
The S. Ct. created this “right” to abortion, supposedly based on the right to privacy; but it is found nowhere in the Constitution and for this reason Justice Byron White, who wrote a dissenting opinion in Roe v. Wade, called the Court’s decision an exercise of “RAW JUDICIAL POWER.”
Almost 20 years later, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the S. Ct. reaffirmed the Roe v. Wade decision.
The Court refused to overturn Roe v. Wade even though by this time all the medical evidence clearly showed that human life begins at conception.
The rational for allowing the murder of preborn children in the womb to continue in our country was basically summarized in one sentence: I quote: “people had organized their intimate relationships and made choices … in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event contraception should fail.”
There you have it, my friends. The killing of children within the womb must remain “legal” because women need a back-up when contraception fails.
Fast forward 30 years to 2021. Just this past Wednesday arguments were made before the Supreme Court in a case that may at least partially overturn Roe v. Wade. The State of Mississippi has passed a law that basically bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
In oral arguments before the Court this past Wed., pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is clearly in favor of striking down the Mississippi law as “unconstitutional,” made a statement that reveals how those who favor abortion adamantly refuse to acknowledge the truth about the humanity of the unborn child and will use any argument, no matter how ludicrous, to keep abortion legal.
In response to the argument that during the abortion procedure the preborn children feel pain while their tiny bodies are being torn apart, Justice Sotomayor said: “There’s about 40% of dead people who, if you touch their feet, the foot will recoil. There are spontaneous acts by dead brain people. So I don’t think that a response by a fetus necessarily proves that there’s a sensation of pain or that there’s consciousness.”
Really? Here Sotomayor compares the unborn child, who is alive during the abortion, with someone who is already dead. And the preborn baby is definitely not brain dead: science shows brain waves detectable at 5 weeks. Moreover, for over a decade now doctors have been performing surgery on infants before birth, while still in utero, and when they do so they administer pain medicine to the unborn child. Why? Because they know that the preborn child can feel pain when operated on.
One doctor responded to Justice Sotomayor’s statement: “To compare an unborn child to a brain-dead person or a corpse flouts science which tells us that at 15 weeks gestation, a baby’s organs are fully formed, her heart pumps 26 quarts of blood a day, and her lungs are already practicing drawing breath.” (Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie)
It’s important to remember: Presidents appoint Supreme Court Justices, who either vote to keep abortion legal, or vote to recognize that preborn children have a right to life.
Right now it looks like there might be a majority on the Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade. Let us pray that they do.
The sins of our nation will come back to haunt us, if they have not yet done so already.
In the Gospel today we see that John the Baptist prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ by preaching repentance from sins. Let us pray that we will be humble enough as a nation to acknowledge our sins against the dignity and sanctity of human life in the womb that have been ongoing for the past 50 years.
This is a fitting topic to consider as we approach celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior. At this time a little more than 2000 years ago, the BV Mary was carrying Jesus in her womb, preparing to make her way with St. Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about 90 miles away.
Just think about this: the All-Powerful Son of God, who had shared in the glory of the God the Father and the Holy Spirit from all eternity, became man at the Incarnation, and allowed Himself to be enclosed in the immaculate womb of His Mother, Mary for nine months before she gave birth to Him.
Why was it part of God’s plan that Jesus should come to us through Mary, by living within her for the first nine months of His human life? What purpose did God have in doing things this way?
No doubt, Jesus wanted to teach us to imitate Him by His example. As any other child living in its mother’s womb, Jesus was totally dependent on His Mother, for His human life and nourishment. What a wonder this is: that the Creator should be totally dependent upon a creature of His own making!
By living in Mary as a Babe in her womb, Jesus teaches us to have that same dependence on Mary for everything, and to entrust ourselves – our lives, our desires, our needs – totally to her. For she is truly our spiritual Mother in the order of grace, who not only foresees our needs, but protects us from harm as well.
The oldest known prayer to Mary in the Church, the Sub tuum praesidium, dating from the late 200’s if not earlier, reflects this notion: “We fly to thy patronage or holy Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O glorious & Blessed Virgin!”
Contemplating this great mystery of “Jesus living in Mary” also allows us to imitate the Virgin Mother. What immense joy must have overflowed in Mary’s Heart, knowing that the Eternal Word took flesh in her womb and was living within her. Her Heart was literally bursting with joy as she awaited her Son’s birth – a beautiful thought during this holy season of Advent.
During this holy season of Advent we can imitate Mary, and share in her joy by meditating on the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary, especially the first three Joyful mysteries: the Annunciation, Visitation and Birth of Our Lord.
We can also imitate the Virgin Mary when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion: for those few minutes after we receive Him, Jesus lives in us as He lived in Mary for nine months; we become, like Mary, living tabernacles of the Most High.
Let us, during this holy season of Advent, strive to imitate Jesus in His total dependence on the Blessed Virgin in all our endeavors, in everything we do.
Let us also strive to exude that same joy which Mary held in her Heart as she was preparing to make her way to the little town of Bethlehem, to give birth to the Savior of the world.

Love in Service

Love in Service

Homily 25th Sunday Yr B: Love in Service

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

Jesus foretold His passion and death three times to His Apostles.
In last week’s Gospel, St. Mark relates the first time, when Peter protested at hearing this and Jesus responded “Get behind me Satan. Your are not thinking as God does but as men do.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes his second prediction of His upcoming passion and death. This took place after Jesus’ Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. Jesus says: “The Son of Man will be handed over to men are and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
St. Mark tells us that Jesus’ disciples “failed to understand his words” and that “they were afraid to question him.” Why was this? Because as Jews, based upon Old T prophecies, the disciples knew that the Messiah would be a king; and as most of the Jews they were expecting a king who would establish an earthly kingdom, restoring Israel to its former glory under King David 1,000 years earlier.
The disciples had no idea that Jesus came to establish the kingdom of Heaven on earth through the Church that He would found on Peter and the Apostles, and that this Kingdom would be fulfilled and perfected only in heaven.
They and other Jews overlooked the Old T prophecies which foretold that the Messiah would suffer – like that from the Book of Wisdom, our first reading: “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he . . . reproaches us for transgressions of the law . . . Let us condemn him to a shameful death.”
Not only that, the disciples thought that they themselves would be given positions of power and authority in this earthly kingdom.
This misunderstanding by the Apostles explains why they were arguing who was going to be the most important, the greatest, in this earthly kingdom. (Just think – the Apostles had been with Jesus for a couple of years by now and they are still so petty, arguing about who among them is the greatest!)
Jesus takes this opportunity to teach them a lesson that is essential to the whole Gospel message: that those who will rank first in the Kingdom of Heaven will not be those who seek to be the first and greatest, but rather those who seek to be the least, and the servants of all.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes clear that true greatness is measured by service to others, being a servant to all.
What precisely constitutes being a servant of all, service to others?
First of all, it must be done in love. Mother Teresa of Calcutta (St. Teresa) I uttered one of my favorite lines: “Faith in action is love, and love in action is service.”
There’s an old saying, that you spell love with four letters: T-I-M-E. If you love someone you spend time with them.
Loving service to others requires that we sacrifice our time – for their benefit or their need.
Moreover, sacrificing our time, talents and energy for others necessarily entails a renunciation of self – of a selfish, self-seeking attitude; of dying to self for others; detaching ourselves from self and committing ourselves to the service of God and neighbor, in love and for love.
This is why in last week’s Gospel Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, to be His true disciples, we must deny our very selves: “Whoever loses his life for my sake and the sake of the Gospel will save his life.”
St. Francis de Sales said: “To love our neighbor in charity is to love God in man.”
Dying to oneself and one’s self interest practically means to always seek the good of others; to put other peoples’ good and well-being before our own; to seek the happiness and welfare of others before our own happiness.
Now, to a worldly person, this Gospel message of Jesus sounds as if it would make for a dreary and depressing life; a life of no fun and enjoyment.
But herein lies one of the great paradoxes or apparent contradictions of Christianity: The more we sacrifice our time, talents and energies for others and put their interests before our own, the greater joy we experience in this life.
How can this be? It is a mystery, solved in Christ, who spent Himself for others. And the lives the saints who followed Jesus give witness to this beautiful truth.
Those who live lives centered on themselves, lives of selfish self-interest and self-indulgence, who pursue only of comfort and pleasure, are often the most unhappy and sad people. Their lives lack true joy.
The more we give of ourselves God and others, the more we receive.
The more we die to self in imitation of Christ, the more He will pour His life into us.
The more we strive to be the last of all and the servant of all, the more we experience those great Fruits of the Holy Spirit: authentic peace and joy – in this life, and in the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

 

 

Jesus VS Islam

Jesus VS Islam

Homily 24th Sunday Yr B: “Who Do People Say that I Am?” (Christ v. Islam)

By Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

“Who do people say that I am?” This was the question posed by Jesus to the apostles at Caesarea Philippi.
They respond: some say your John the Baptist, others Elijah the prophet, or one of the prophets.
But Jesus then asks: “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter responds: “You are the Christ.” Actually, in St. Matthew’s gospel, we read that St. Peter responds: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Who precisely is Jesus? Since His coming into the world more than 2000 years ago, this has been what you could call the perennial question.
It is accurate to say that most of the people in the world today do not really know who Jesus Christ is: Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims.
We believe, as we profess in the Creed, that Jesus is the Eternal Son of God the Father – “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made (He’s not a creature) consubstantial with the Father.”
Simply put, Jesus is God who became man while remaining God.
But right from the beginning of the Church there were heretics who denied this truth.
In the late first century there were the Docetist gnostics, who believed and taught that the material world is evil, therefore God would never really become man; therefore Jesus is the son of God who only appeared to be man. St. John the evangelist, at the beginning of his Gospel, refutes these heretics: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:1, 14).
A few centuries later, the heretic priest Arius said just the opposite: that Jesus was not God, but only a very holy man; that He was just a creature. The Council of Nicaea condemned this heresy and gave us the creedal formulae that I just recited, which we profess every Sunday at Mass.
The heresy of Arianism was condemned at Nicaea in 325 AD but it did not die out; it kept circulating around the Middle East for hundreds of years, and was resurrected in a big way, so to speak, in the 7th century by a fellow named Mohammed, the founder of Islam, who claimed that Jesus was just a holy prophet, but that he, Mohammed, was God’s great and final prophet.
By denying that Jesus is God, both Mohammed, and Arius before him, deny the Most Holy Trinity: three divine Person in one God. We are left only with God – in Arabic, Allah.
In the first epistle of St. John the Apostle, near the end of the NT, we read these words: “He who denieth that Jesus is the Christ is the antichrist. He who denieth the Father and the Son, he is the antichrist” (1 Jn. 2:22).
So, both Arius, and Mohammed after him, are truly antichrists; i.e., precursors of the final Antichrist who will come at the end of the world, and who will demand worship of himself rather than Jesus Christ.
Islam is a powerful force in the world, with more than 1 billion people adhering to this heretical religion.
In light of the fact that today [yesterday], September 11, marks the 20th anniversary of an Islamist terrorist attack on our country, it is good to explore the beliefs of those who adhere to this religion.
We read Isaiah’s prophecy about how Jesus, the Messiah, would suffer and die for our sins; we believe that because of Original Sin and all of our sins, we need a redeemer, and that Jesus redeemed us by dying on the cross, thus atoning for our sins.
Muslims have no such concept; in fact, believe Jesus, b/c he was a prophet, did not die on the cross; Judas died – God/Allah put the face of Jesus on Judas.

In the Islamic mind, there are really two worlds: the world of Islam (Dar-al-Islam) and the world outside of Islam (Dar-al-Harb, the sphere of war).
In the world of Islam there is peace (Islam means “peace” and “submission”), because Allah is worshipped and Muslims are in power. Muslims do not distinguish between government and religion; there is no secular state in Muslim ruled countries; the religion of Islam is in effect the state and everyone falls under the rule of Islam (sharia law).
The world outside of Islam is in a permanent state of war (Jihad/holy war) because Muslims do not rule there; the world will be in permanent war until Allah is the only God worshipped. Therefore, the world outside of Islam is in a permanent state of jihad.
Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, a Jesuit priest and professor of Islamic studies at the pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, speaking of ISIS and other Islamist terrorist groups, like those that attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, says:
“It is false when people say such attacks have nothing to do with Islam. ISIS is not doing anything which is neither in the Koran nor in the Mohammedan tradition. ISIS is the application of what is taught. It’s not outside Islam. Or something invented. No, they are applying Islam. When we hear it has nothing to do with Islam – that [Islam] means ‘salaam’, that is, ‘peace’ – this is all false. It’s not true.” (National Catholic Register, 4/1/17).
Jihad (holy war) is a religious duty incumbent upon every individual Muslim.
Now, that’s not to say that all Muslims want to do violence to non-Muslims like us. But, I cannot recall one Muslim leader who has condemned 9-11 or any other Muslims terrorist attack, can you? Why is this? Because all that they do can be justified by what is written in the Koran.
Muslims regard us as heretics, because we believe that Jesus is God. It regards the Incarnation as blasphemous. They claim we are polytheists. The truth is, that we leave only one God, but three persons in one God.
“Christians are blasphemers and infidels.” Koran 5:17
That Islamic terrorists are not doing anything which is not approved of in the Koran, here are some teachings from the Koran: “Slay them wherever you find them. Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed [i.e., it’s better to kill non-believers than to let them live as “idolators”]. . . . Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme.”
“Fight in the ways of Allah. Kill the unbelievers when you meet them. Fight against them.” Koran 2:190-193
What is our response to the threat of Islam? We must love Muslims – and convert them to Christ. But as I noted, this is difficult, because they consider us who believe that Jesus is the Son of God who became man, as heretics.
I believe (with Archbishop Fulton Sheen) that Our Lady of Fatima will convert Muslims to her Son. She will crush the head of the serpent, Islam.
Fatima is the name of Mohammed’s daughter; and the town of Fatima, Portugal was named after a Muslim woman in the 12th century who lived there and who converted to Catholicism when the Catholics conquered the Muslims in that land.
It is, I believe, most significant that Our Lady chose to appear in the town of Fatima in 1917 with a message of peace, and that is honored under the title Our Lady of Fatima.
Let us pray that we can be Our Lady’s troops who go out into the world and convert all peoples in all nations, especially the Muslims, to Christ, so that they may honor Him as their Lord, their King, their God and their Savior!

The Assumption 2021

The Assumption 2021

Homily: Assumption of BVM (2021)

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

This Sunday we celebrate the glorious feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, body and soul, into heaven.
Mary’s Assumption was defined as a divinely revealed dogma of the Church – which means all the faithful must believe it – by Pope Pius XII on Nov. 1, 1950.
Pius XII was not proclaiming a new teaching; he was merely confirming in a most solemn manner a truth about Mary that had been believed and taught in the Church from the very beginning. Here are the words of the definition:
“We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.”
Nowhere in the Bible do we read about Mary being assumed body and soul into heaven. Yet, Pius XII said that Mary’s Assumption is divinely revealed. So, how did God reveal this to us, so that we must believe it with divine faith?
As Catholics, we do not look to “Scripture alone” as the source for our belief in truth revealed by God: that’s a Protestant approach to the faith which began with Martin Luther, called Sola Scriptura.
As Catholics, we believe that in addition to sacred Scripture, God reveals truths to us through something called Sacred Tradition; i.e., the teaching of the Church handed down from the time of the Apostles through preaching.
One of the forms of this teaching, perhaps the most important form, is the sacred liturgy, and here we can look to the prayers in the Mass.
There’s a saying in Latin, lex orandi, lex credendi, which basically means how we pray reflects what we believe.
The earliest Masses in the Church in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrated her bodily assumption. These Masses date to the fourth century in the East and the fifth century in the West.
The prayers composed in these Masses reflect the belief of the Christian people, and these prayers were based upon the preaching and teaching that had been handed on to them from the Apostles. As pope Pius XII said in his Bull defining the Assumption, “the liturgy of the Church does not engender the Catholic faith, but rather springs from it, . . . as the fruit comes from the tree.”
In explaining the foundation for our belief in Mary’s bodily Assumption, great saints over the ages have used an argument from “fittingness.”
The separation of our souls from our bodies at death is a direct consequence of Original Sin. In faith, we believe that if we die in a state of grace, i.e., with a share of God’s divine life in our souls, that we will rise on the Last Day, at Christ’s Second Coming, in a glorified body – a body that will be like that of Jesus, who rose from the dead in a body glorified; a body that will have no hunger or thirst, no sickness or pain, a body that will never die.
All those in Heaven and in Purgatory (which ends at Christ’s 2nd Coming), whose souls have been separated from their bodies at death, will receive their bodies back in a glorified state.
It is then, at the resurrection of the dead, that all who have died in a state of grace will be fully redeemed, with bodies glorified.
The Virgin Mary did not undergo this separation of her soul from her body at the end of her life here on earth. (Actually, Pius XII never defined whether Mary died, but weight of Tradition, including modern Popes, say that although she did not have to die since she was free from Original Sin she did in die to be more fully conformed to Jesus who died; although they call her death the “Dormition” or “falling asleep”.)
At her death, Mary was taken up to heaven with a glorified body.
Why? It was most fitting that the Mother of the Son of God would share fully in the fruits of Christ’s Redemption, and be the first to be fully redeemed;
it was most fitting that Jesus should not permit the body of her from whom He took flesh to undergo corruption, but should rather glorify it!
Mary was always totally united with her Son – in conceiving, giving birth to Him, and at His death on the Cross.
As an example I will quote words from homilies of some ancient saints, who linked Mary’s other privileges – her being Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception and sinlessness, her virginity – with her bodily assumption.
Perhaps the greatest preacher on Mary’s Assumption was St. John Damascene from the 7th century. In a sermon he said:
“It was fitting that God’s Mother should possess what belongs to her Son [a glorified body], . . . It was fitting that she who had seen her Son upon cross and thereby received into her heart sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him [Mary is Co-redemptrix], should look upon him [with bodily eyes] as He sits with the Father.”
Another saint from the 8th century, Germanus of Constantinople, said “your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust.”
A more recent saint, Pope John Paul II, in his homily at World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado on August 15, 1993 (at which I was present and celebrated the Mass with him along with hundreds of other priests), said:
“The Son [of God] took His human life from her; in return He gave her the fullness of communion in Divine Life. . . . In Mary the final victory of life over death is already a reality.”
The Church also looks to the Scriptures as a basis for Mary’s bodily assumption. Although her assumption is not explicitly revealed in Scripture, it is there implicitly.
For example, our first reading for today’s Mass: Rev. 11:19-12:1:
“God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.”
In the Old T., the ark of the covenant was the wooden chests, covered with gold, that carried the 10 commandments, the word of God written on two stone tablets.
In the New T., Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant: In her womb she carried the very Word of God in Person: the Son of God who became man.
The ark of the old covenant was a type – a future foreshadowing – of Mary, the ark of the New Covenant.
And the Blessed Virgin Mary herself is a type of the Church: The “woman clothed with the sun, moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars” symbolizes the Church in its final perfection, its final glory, when we, the members of Christ’s Body, have been purified are united with Him in bodies glorified at the resurrection. This is our second reading today from 1 Cor., where St. Paul speaks of the resurrection from the dead, when at Our Lord’s 2nd Coming, “those who belong to Christ” will rise with glorified bodies and be united to Jesus Christ.
It is then that the Church, which is Christ’s Mystical Body, will be fully perfected – a perfection which the BV Mary has already attained in her glorified state. As the Second Vatican Council teaches: “In the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached the perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle.”
Another basis for the Church’s belief in Mary’s bodily assumption is from silence: there is no mention or record of her bones. As the tombs of SS. Peter and Paul and the bones of the faithful in the catacombs give witness, the Church from the beginning venerated the bones of its saints. The fact we have no mention or record of Mary’s relics speaks loudly in favor of her bodily Assumption.
Pope Pius XII defined Mary’s Assumption on Nov. 1, 1950. On Oct. 30 & 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 of that year, Pope Pius XII, while walking in the Vatican gardens, saw a miracle of the sun somewhat like that seen by the pilgrims at Fatima on Oct. 13, 1917: The sun appeared as opaque globe surrounded by a luminous sphere, and it circled about inside this sphere, shaking and palpitating. Many think this was a reward from Heaven for having defined the Assumption as a dogma.
While on this earth, we are in battle with the forces of evil, especially the Devil – as was Mary, as depicted in our first reading from Revelation, which speaks of the “huge red dragon” who tries to devour the Son to whom the woman, who is Mary, gives birth.
As revealed in Genesis, Mary is the “woman” who crushes the head of the serpent; and as revealed in Rev. 12:1, that same woman, Mary, is the heavenly Queen who reigns – clothed with the sun (the grace of Christ), crowned with twelve stars (Queen of Aposltes), with the moon (an image of the Devil) under her feet.
As Pope St. John Paul II said in his World Youth Day homily:
“As Mother of the Church, you [Mary] guide us still from your place in Heaven and intercede for us. You lead us to Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, and help us to increase in holiness by conquering sin.”
Let us always turn to Mary, our heavenly Mother and Queen, pleading for her intercession that we may conquer sin in this life in order that we may be raised up on the last day to reign with her and her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

16 Carmelites Martyrs

16 Carmelites Martyrs

Homily 16th Sunday Year B: The French Revolution & 16 Carmelites Martyrs

Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, S.T.D.

 

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; as king he shall reign and govern wisely.” (Jer. 23:5)
These are the words of the O.T. Prophet Jeremiah, foretelling the coming of Christ as King. Jesus has already come and founded His Church, His Kingdom on earth. Our duty is to help extend His Kingdom, the social reign of Christ the King, until He comes again in glory.
This past Wednesday, July 14, the French celebrated Bastille Day: the storming of the Bastille, a military fortress and prison in Paris, which marked the beginning of the French Revolution.
The French Revolution was co-opted and controlled by radical, anti-Catholic, God-hating atheists.
French Revolution at its core was a demonic attempt to crush Catholicism and faith in Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
These radicals, after lopping off the heads of their King, Louis XVI, and his wife, Marie Antoinette, changed the days of the week. They eliminated Sunday as God’s day; and changed the calendar – no feast days of saints.
In the Notre Dame Cathedral, the government took out the Blessed Sacrament, the Real, Substantial Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and erected in its place a statue of a woman representing the goddess of reason.
I wonder if she looked like Pachamama – the Mother Earth goddess that modern day pagans in Peru and Bolivia worship, and who, by the way, is very much like the goddess Astarte, who back in O.T. times was the mother goddess of the Canaanite people; on Mount Carmel the great Prophet Elijah – founder of the Carmelite order – challenged the pagan prophets of Baal and Astarte and destroyed them. (See “EWTN’s Fr. Mitch Pacwa condemns Pachamama ‘worship’ at Amazon Synod,” LifeSiteNews, Nov. 7, 2019).

On Feb. 13, 1790, the government forbade the taking of religious vows, and it wickedly went on a search and destroy mission for any violators.
A little over two years later, in September, 1792, government authorities seized the Carmelite convent in Compiegne, a town 50 miles north of Paris, and forced the nuns there to live separately and abandon their habits, which were considered “offensive to republican eyes.”
Although they lived separately, they continued to meet and pray in secret for two years until someone reported them. On June 22, 1794 they were arrested
This was during the worst period of the French Revolution, known as the Reign of Terror, which lasted from Sept. 5, 1793 to July 27, 1794: the faithful were persecuted; many priests and nuns from religious orders fled or went into hiding; but many were arrested; many were guillotined.
Many historians agree that the French Revolution gave birth to atheistic communism. One of the pillars of the atheistic communist State is control of the media: You hear and read only what the government permits you to hear and read.
Pravda – which was the official news organ of the communists is Russia, means “Truth” – i.e., the only “truth” that the government permits you to hear or to read in print or social media.
Government control of social media, and censorship of what the government does not want you to hear or read, effectively takes away the right to freedom of speech, which is guaranteed under the First Amendment to our Constitution.
That’s the first step. Then comes restrictions on, and eventually elimination of, freedom of religion:
This happened in France during French Revolution under its atheistic government; in Russia under atheistic communism; and its happening now in communist China, where Xi Jinping has ordered that no child under 18 years of age may attend a religious service, and no expression of opposition to the government is permitted.
In fact, the Chinese people – with the help of big tech companies like Google – monitor their people, who get “social credit” points added or taken away.
An example: just recently a Chinese student was interviewed walking to class on the campus of a college here in the U.S. She said should could not stop and talk because her government is able to track her with her cell phone (which she must carry), and if she takes too much time going from her room to class, she will lose social credit points and jeopardize her status as a student.
Here is some interesting news you may not have not heard; or if you did, it’s likely you did not hear any criticism of it from the big media outlets like CNN and MSNBC:
At a press conference this past Thursday, President Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, admitted (incredibly) that the federal government is collaborating with big social media platforms like Facebook to censor the free exchange of ideas and free speech – specifically regarding the Wuhan Covid-19 virus.
Here’s what Jen Psaki said [per The New York Post, July 15, 2001]:
“We are in regular touch with the social media platforms and . . . through members of our senior staff and also members of our COVID-19 team — given . . . this is a big issue, of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic.”
She added: “We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking . . . We are flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.” “Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove harmful violative posts.”
So, the federal government is collaborating with Facebook and other social media platforms to “track” us – anyone who spreads what it considers “dis-information” or views and opinions it considers “harmful”; and to “remove” opinions posted by people that the government considers “violative.”
Gee, could that be you and me? (My aunt is popular on social media, and she has been censored many times for expressing her opinion on various issues.)
So, Biden’s press secretary has just proclaimed censorship by the federal government of the free exchange of ideas – which for the time being, concerns only the Wuhan Covid-19 virus.
This follows on a series of statements from health officials who contradicted themselves throughout the pandemic on issues such as:
the effectiveness of wearing masks (the previous Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, originally said no, then yes to masks),
and that COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese lab in the Wuhan Province – which Facebook at first censored, but now is pretty much an accepted fact.
There are a lot of differing views by accredited medical doctors and scientists regarding how to treat those who contract the Wuhan virus, the effectiveness of treatments, etc.
One of the pillars of our nation at its founding was freedom of speech: that’s why it’s listed in the First Amendment to the Constitution – right after freedom of religion.
Is our federal government going to censor me – or arrest me – for saying things which some bureaucrat considers “disinformation” or “violative” of some official policy? – Like, for example, that I think it’s better for young people to just contract the virus and develop a natural immunity, rather than getting a shot – the long-term effects of which to their health, their immune system, and their fertility, are unknown?
I may disagree with your views on this; you may disagree with mine. But we both have a constitutionally protected right – actually, a God-given right that is recognized by our First Amendment – to express our views and opinions.
One of the pillars of our nation is the free exchange of ideas, opinions, theories, especially in areas of science and medical treatment, where theories are discarded and replaced by new, better ones all the time.
At the same press conference, current U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, said “we’re asking [social media companies] to consistently take action against misinformation superspreaders on their platforms. Misinformation takes away our freedom to make informed decisions about our health.”
Really? How does “misinformation” take away our freedom to make informed decisions? To the contrary, the spread of information (even if it may be debatable), allows the free exchange of ideas, and gives people the freedom to choose what to believe, and what not to believe!
In a totalitarian regime, censorship of ideas and speech is always followed by censorship – and persecution – of religion, the truths taught by Jesus Christ.
This is what happened in France during the French Revolution. It happened in Communist Russia. It’s happening right now in Communist China. And I truly believe, it going to happen here in this country; maybe very soon:
You say that marriage is only between a man and woman? Well, that’s “misinformation”! Don’t you know that the Supreme Court has ruled that people of the same sex can marry?
You say that God intends every marital act be open to conceiving new human life, and that contraception and abortion are immoral? Don’t you know that the Supreme Court has ruled that both contraception and abortion are “rights” under our Constitution? What you’re saying violates social norms, is “offensive to republican [sensibilities],” and takes away “freedom” for people to choose whatever they want to do.
We live in dangerous times, my friends.
Now, let’s continue with the story of the 16 Carmelites. After their arrest they were transferred to a prison in Paris on July 12. On July 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, they learned that they would face trial the next day.
They sang in prison: “Let our hearts be giv’n to joyfulness / The day of glory is now here! / Let us banish all our weakness. / We can see that the cross is now near! / Let us prepare ourselves for the victory! . . .”
The trial took place on the morning of July 17. They were found guilty and sentenced to death by guillotine that afternoon. By God’s providence, that was the day their prison garb was washed. They wore their Carmelite habits as they were wheeled by cart about two miles to the guillotine. They sang the whole time. The crowds the lined the streets usually shouted and jeered at those going to the guillotine. But before this scene, they were silent: Their Catholic consciences were being pricked at seeing Carmelite nuns going to the guillotine.
At the foot of the scaffold, each sister renewed her vows and asked the Mother Superior, “Permission to die, Mother?” To which they were told, “Go, my child!”
They all chanted the Veni, Creator Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit) as one by one, they ascended the scaffold, and the guillotine fell on each one’s neck.
The Reign of Terror ended ten days later with the beheading the infamous Robesierre, of one of the leaders of the Revolution.
Let us invoke these 16 heroic Carmelite martyrs – who were beatified in 1904 by Pope St. Pius X and whose feast day is July 17 – to intercede for our nation, that it may return to God; and that the social reign of Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, may restore peace and order to our land, and every nation throughout the world, through the Blood which He shed on the Cross for our salvation.