Wednesday, February 19, 2014

5 Ideas for Lent

Lent is approaching and that means another year has come and gone. I read a Venerable Fulton Sheen quote the other day that really challenged me to make this Lenten experience a time of spiritual growth:

"Each new year is actually a testing and proving ground for eternity, a kind of novitiate in which we say "aye" or "nay" to our eternal destiny, a season of plenty from which we shall later on reap either wheat or weeds."

Over the last couple days I've been pondering many opportunities that I can bring into the Lenten wilderness. I've also celebrated some positive things from last Lent in order to develop them into the fast approaching liturgical season. 

Here are the 5 events that were "game changers" for my faith journey since last Lent:

5.   Reading Fulton Sheen's autobiography 'Treasure in the Clay'

This book is delightful and gave me a fresh perspective on many things. Fulton Sheen gives wonderful insights when it comes to beating the world, the devil, and the flesh. Venerable Archbishop Sheen gives a well-balanced account of his life and specifically an interesting view of the Second Vatican Council- in which he attended all sessions. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to grow closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Lent.

4. Audio Sancto Sermons

These sermons are hard hitting and they surely make your skull-sweat. They challenge the status quo specifically on topics regarding to Church Tradition, evolution, limbo, and anything else that you might assume to be a safe topic. Listen to these pod-casts this Lent and watch your spirituality travel to new heights.

3. The Traditional Latin Mass

Although 2013 wasn't my first experience with the Extraordinary Form, this past year allowed me to study and "fully and actively participate" in the Mass of the ages. Attending the Traditional Latin Mass has made me understand liturgy in a more profound way thus deepening my relationship with Jesus Christ and my neighbor. If you've never been to a Latin Mass, Lent would be a perfect time to attend because it allows holiness and quietness to foster in your soul.

2. Attending an Opus Dei Retreat

I was lucky enough to be able to go to Feather Rock Retreat Center located in Schulenburg Texas. There I got to embrace the spirituality of St. Josemaria Escriva whose main purpose was to encourage all to sanctify the ordinary. It made me realize that my vocation, if a lived out in accordance with God's Will, will make me holy (and others too)— even if that means I'm only "just working" at a restaurant or sitting at a desk. Read any of Josemaria Escriva's works or attend a retreat and you will come away with a better knowledge of what it means to pray, fast, and do works of charity. Opus Dei also has a center in Houston!

1. Spreading Marian Consecration

Being part of the Militia of the Immaculata  has allowed me to spread Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. This has enriched my prayer life and has acted like steroids to my spirituality. I've been able to help this cause in the Diocese of Beaumont and in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. It has truly been a gift for me to help others become totally dependent upon the Immaculate Heart of the Queen Mother of God. She will never be out given in generosity. The spouse of the Holy Ghost has been very generous to me this last year— go to her this Lent and you will find solace beneath her mantle. If you haven't made a Total Consecration yet, do it soon! You will not regret it! Go to this website for more information: 

So there you have it, five ideas that you can use this Lent!

Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata who is queen even of God's heart- St. Maximilian Kolbe

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's Revolting!

Revolution, in its deepest essence, is pure evil. It's diabolical. All "true" Revolutions share one common source. That is, they can all trace their origins to the original Revolution: the Revolt of Lucifer against God the Father Almighty.

All Revolutions ruthlessly destroy truth, beauty, holiness, history, and legitimate authority.

We live in Revolutionary times.

There are four specific Revolutions that have lavishly set the stage for our current modern crisis:

  • 1517-1648 The Protestant Revolution, which shouted: We accept Christ, but we revolt against His Church!

  • 1789-1799 The French Revolution, which shouted: We accept God, (a deist idea of god)  but we revolt against Christ the King!

  • 1917-1922 The Bolshevik Revolution, which shouted: We accept morality, but we revolt against the idea of any God!

  • 1960's- The Hippie Revolution, which is still shouting: We accept moral relativism, but we revolt against any objective morality!

Do you see the natural progression? Each new movement violently rejects exactly what its revolting ancestor solemnly embraced!

This Revolutionary degeneration is the suicide of rational thought and it MUST be stopped.
¡Viva Cristo Rey!

It must be stopped firstly- in our own hearts.

You see we all, each and everyone of us, participate in the Revolution by our own habitual sins. We all personally revolt against God.  The first step to changing the world, is changing ourselves and our households.We must repent and bear supernatural fruit-we must become Saints!

We must make Christ the King of our lives if we wish Him to be King of our society.

We must pray for a restoration! We must fight back!

Truth is the new hate speech. Purity is the new taboo. Beauty is the new vulgar. Orthodoxy is the new rebellion. Tradition is the Counter- Revolution. 

We must form a Catholic Resistance:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Scandalous Retreat to be Held at Holy Family Retreat Center

We would like to express our concerns about an upcoming retreat, to be led by United Methodist minister, Tom Bain, at the Holy Family Retreat Center.  It will apparently focus on Christian meditation and "Centering Prayer".  This retreat is scheduled for September 19-22 - I've included a link  to the St. Jude's bulletin where you can find the advertisement on page 4. 

I think it is scandalous and confusing for a Catholic retreat center to provide a venue for a Protestant minister in this way.  Furthermore, it appears that this retreat is being promoted to Catholics in at least two prominent parishes of the Diocese, if not more.

Here is an add for this retreat in St. Anne's Bulletin

From what I have read about Centering Prayer, it originated after a group of Trappist monks invited Buddhists and Hindus to come and give them a Zen/ Transcendental meditation retreat. Fr. Keating, one of the Trappist monks, wanted to develop a technique for the type of contemplative prayer Saints such as Teresa of Avila experienced, and so he harnessed the type of meditation techniques found on the Zen retreat and tried applying them to the Catholic Faith.

That being said, it goes completely against what St. Teresa of Avila wrote about in her book, Interior Castle. In it, she describes how the state of prayer she spoke of was a gift from God, and not something we can nor should grasp for ourselves.

Centering Prayer focuses too much on us, and not on Our Lord. Even the ad for the retreat in the St. Jude Thaddeus bulletin speaks of focusing on ourselves to find "our center" and speaks nothing of focusing on God or Jesus' Passion. Centering Prayer puts you in the center, which necessarily, puts Christ out. 

When I first learned about Centering Prayer, it was immediately after reading Interior Castle, and I noticed the stark difference between what Fr. Keating was explaining, and what the Catholic Saint he wanted to emulate taught. I was concerned, and so I looked up what the Church taught about it. Then Pope Benendict XVI was strongly against it, saying that the practices of emptying ourself of the world and God's creation around us goes against our Catholic Faith because we are both body and soul and should therefore not block out all of God's creation. He also warned that this state of opening ourselves up to only the spiritual could open us to spiritual attack. Centering Prayer has also been denounced by the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue as a "New Age" movement and contradictory to the Catholic Faith.

"At our deepest level, we are more God than ourselves."
- Fr. Thomas Keating frounder of the Centering Prayer Movement

This retreat is scandalous to Catholics, and more confusion is happening by having a Catholic retreat center be the location for a Methodist minister to host this kind of retreat, which is being promoted to Catholics on a parish level. 

Please get the news out about this retreat to help prevent any harm that could be done and keep safe anyone who would be led astray by the dissenting practice of Centering Prayer. Please contact our wonderful, pastoral Bishop and let him know about this matter. You can reach him at: 

Bishop: Most Rev. Curtis J. Guillory, S.V.D., (409) 924-4300 Ext. 4310

Here is a good article about why a Catholic cannot participate in Centering Prayer: CLICK HERE

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Giving Field

Yesterday several members of the Militia Immaculata Beaumont met at the Giving Field on Liberty to do some charity  work.

The Giving Field on Liberty Street is a donation garden with a mission of feeding the hungry fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, as well as, provide education on living a healthier and more sustainable life through the garden. Click Here to find out more about the Giving Field

All of the harvested food goes to the area soup kitchens to feed the hungry. 

 We are called to boldly proclaim the true faith, but as Catholics we are also called to live out what we preach. 

We are all called to perform corporal works of mercy. We are called to perform acts of charity. 

Acts of charity combat the world, the flesh and the diabolical  because they are opposite  mentalities. They are mirror opposites. The worldly mentality  is about selfishly using others as objects but acts of charity are about giving yourself selflessly and treating others as yourself.

Charity is the truest form of love. In the Greek it’s known as: agape or the love of God or Christ for mankind. Charity is to do something for someone and not expect anything in return- to love other people just because they are creatures of God. 

Jesus said that we should love our neighbors as if they were ourselves. Acts of charity involve giving of our time, talent, and treasure. 

Acts of charity are not about BIG acts. It could be simple things in our lives, or as Mother Teresa said, “To show great love for God and our neighbor we need not do great things. It is how much we put in the doing, that makes our offering something and beautiful to God.”

Those who are consecrated to Jesus through Mary have agreed to be tools of grace. For them, even the smallest acts of kindness transform simple worldly kindness into supernatural merit. 

Omnes cum Petro ad Jesum per Mariam!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Maximilian Monday: Litany of St. Maximilian Kolbe

I wanted to do something a little bit different this week. Instead of providing an excerpt of St. Maximilian Kolbe's writings, I would like to present a Litany in his honor. For those who might not understand what a litany is, "litany is a well-known and much appreciated form of responsive petition, used in public liturgical services, and in private devotions, for common necessities of the Church, or in calamities — to implore God's aid or to appease His just wrath."(From, which has even more information on litanies). I found this particular litany at Marytown, the website for the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe. 

P: Lord, have mercy on us    ALL: Lord, have mercy on us
P: Christ, have mercy on us    ALL: Christ, have mercy on us
P: Lord, have mercy on us    ALL: Lord, have mercy on us
God, our Father in heaven,    Have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the World,    Have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit,    Have mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God,    Have mercy on us
Immaculate Mary, Mother of the Savior,    Pray for us
St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe,    Pray for us...
Brave Knight of the Immaculata Pray for us...
Heroic Son of Poland ...
Man of living Faith ...
Obedient Son of St. Francis...
Poor and Humble Friar...
Example of Angelic Purity...
Great Lover of our Eucharistic Lord...
Consecrant of Our Lady...
Faithful Priest...
Model of Religious Life...
Servant of the Church...
Marian Mystic...
Zealous Missionary...
Modern Evangelist...
True Ecumenist...
Brilliant Apologist...
Christian Journalist...
Educator of Youth...
Promoter of the Mass Media...
Spokesman of Christian Values...
Defender of Human Dignity...
Promoter of the Miraculous Medal...
Minister of Refugees...
Friend of the Homeless...
Hero of Auschwitz...
Victim of Violence and Hatred...
Provider for the Hungry...
Preacher to the Hopeless...
Companion of the Imprisoned...
Comforter of the Sick...
Consoler of the Dying...
Instrument of Peace and Reconciliation...
Man for Others...
Victim of Planned Extermination...
Martyr of Charity...
Intercessor of the Addicted...
Friend to those with Eating Disorders...
Protector of Family Life...
Inspiration to Volunteers...
Patron of Pro-life...
Patron of our Difficult Age...
Prophet and Sign of the Civilization of Love...
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the World, Have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the World, Have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the World, Grant us peace

LET US PRAY: Merciful God, you raised up St. Maximilian Kolbe to the glory of your saints. Grant that we, through his heroic example and the powerful intercession of this Martyr of Charity, may always serve you in charity shown to our brothers and sisters. Grant the grace we need always to seek to accomplish the greatest glory of God in all that we do.

P: We ask this through Christ our Lord.       ALL: Amen.

You may or may not know that St. Maximilian Kolbe is the Patron Saint of the pro-life movement. He is a shining example of what it means to lay down one's life for a friend, and his selfless act of charity at Auschwitz counters the selfish culture of our day which seeks to prevent or destroy life so that people can continue living in the sins of the flesh. In the coming days let us pray this litany for an end to abortion and the contraceptive mentality that festers in the heart of society, because in the end it is that mentality which paves the way for the human sacrifice of our time. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Maximilian Monday: On Suffering.

There are times in life where we feel sorrow and pain, suffering and loss. It has been a part of us ever since sin entered into the world. Though times may get bad, and trials come our way, it is always important to remember that we are called to pick up our own cross and follow the path set before us by Our Blessed Lord. We have an opportunity to take the crosses presented to us in life, and unite them to that ultimate sacrifice at Calvary, where a fountain was opened to purify us from sin and uncleanness. This is a topic many shy away from, but not St. Maximilian Kolbe. This is what he says about suffering, in union with Our Lady:

"Notwithstanding its being paved at times with crosses and sufferings, the way of the Immaculata is not so difficult, so dark, so unclear that we can always feel her motherly warmth.

A cross consists of two pieces of wood, crossed at one point. In every day life our cross consists in our will crossing the will of God. In order to remove it, it is necessary to conform ourselves to the will of God. In practice it is necessary that we put off our own will.

The saints did not understand life without suffering.

Suffering for love nourishes love.

Let us not always wish to feel the sweetness of devotion to the Immaculata, for this would be spiritual greed. Let us permit her to direct us as it pleases her. It is not always time for sweet caresses, be they ever so holy. We also need the trials of dryness, abandonment and the like. Let her fit the means to our sanctification according to her will. We must have one quality, continually deepening it: allowing ourselves to be led by her, reconciling ourselves to her will ever more perfectly, giving obedience to her will.

Whoever in life strives to avoid crosses as much as possible and does not mortify himself in anything does not know what happiness is.

Whoever is capable of suffering much for love can be happy that his love is deep.

As the harvest is a period of the farmer's greatest efforts in gathering crops into barns and storerooms, so also the soul's harvest is the time in which it can gather for itself as many priceless merits as possible; these are the moments pregnant with suffering and the cross.

If God visits us with a painful suffering and our soul walks the thorny path, it behooves us to rejoice that God destines us for high perfection.

God exhibits a special love for those whom He chastises in this life, because the punishment of purgatory is both long and severe. In this life the voluntary acceptance of crosses merits us an even greater glory in Heaven. Hence the saying, "Whom God loves He chastises."

The more powerful and courageous a soul becomes with the help of God's grace, the greater the cross God places on its shoulders, so that it might mirror as closely as possible the image of the crucified in its own life.

We will lay up so many more graces if, while in external and internal darkness, full of sadness, overworked, suffering, without consolation, persecuted at every step, amidst continual failures, abandoned by everyone, ridiculed, alone- just as Jesus was on the Cross- we shall pray for everyone and strive in all ways to draw everyone to God through the Immaculata and unite them to him as intimately as possible.

If a sailor wants to sail against a current, he must continually row, otherwise the current will push him back. When we become tired, when it is hard for us, let us go to the Mother of God with greater confidence so that she will help us. And always, always forward, so as to fulfill the will of the Immaculata better and better.

Suffering and sacrifice are the proofs of love, although suffering itself is not the essence of love.

Without sacrifice there is no love.

In case of difficulties, confide them to the Immaculata, that she do with them what she pleases: remove them, lessen them, increase them, or leave them without change.

Difficulties, no matter how great, ought never disturb us, but they should on the contrary strengthen and steel our will in the direction to overcome these same difficulties.

When the most varied temptations, trials befall the soul; when it is abandoned and plunged into spiritual darkness; when it as it were hangs upon the cross without respite and consolation, after the pattern of Jesus crucified, and in spite of this, with the help of God's grace peacefully and joyously received and bears this cross even for a long time: this is true perfection. A soul cannot imagine to what great heights it rises and what a great glory God is preparing for it in heaven.

When love encompasses and penetrates us, sacrifices become necessary for the soul.

Spiritual joy is born of sacrifice.

Let us remember that love lives and nourishes itself on sacrifices. Let us thank the Immaculata for interior peace and for the exaltation of love, but let us not forget that all this, however good and beautiful, is not as it were the essence of love. Without all of this love can exist, and even a perfect love. Love's summit is the state in which Jesus on the cross said, "My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?"

Although storms rage around us often and thunder resounds, if we are unreservedly dedicated to the Immaculata we can be sure that nothing will happen to us as long as our best and dearest mother will not allow it. We shall rest sweetly as we labor and suffer for the salvation of souls.

Crosses may overwhelm us, but the grace of God, having warmed our hearts, will inflame them with such love that we will burn with the desire of suffering, of suffering without bounds, of humiliations, mockery, abandonment. Thus we will show how we love the Father and our best friend Jesus and His dearest Immaculate Mother. For suffering is the school of love.

What peace and happiness will penetrate us on our deathbed to know that we have much, very much toiled and suffered for the Immaculata."

As St. Maximilian Kolbe once said, "For Jesus Christ I am prepared to suffer still more."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Maximilian Monday: The love of the Immaculata

On this Maximilian Monday we would like to take a look at the love of the Immaculata. In this, we examine both Our Lady's love for God and also the duty we have to love the Immaculata as Our Mother, which she most definitely is. In the words of St. Maximilian Kolbe:

"The love of the Immaculata is the most perfect love which a creature can love God. With her heart then let us strive to love the Heart of Jesus more and more. Let this be our greatest stimulus.

Let us try to win not only many, but all souls for the Immaculata, and unite them as closely as possible to the most sweet Heart of Jesus through her. But first subdue your own heart and then the hearts of others.

Every thought, action, suffering of the Immaculata were most perfect acts of love of God, love of Jesus.

It is necessary to tell all souls, both collectively and individually, those who are living now and who will live until the end of the world; it is necessary to tell them by example, by the spoken, written and printed word, by radio, painting, sculpture and so on. We must tell them what and how the Immaculata would think, speak and act in the concrete circumstances of daily living in the various states of life, so that the most perfect love, a love reaching even to that of the Immaculata towards the heart of God, would be enkindled all over the earth.

The essence of the love of God consists exclusively in fulfilling the will of God at every moment. The more difficult that fulfillment, the more horror and aversion it entails, the greater will be the manifestation of love. But even these difficulties do not belong to the essence of love. And, in fact, there can be love without them. They serve only to display that love.

Let us emulate one another when it concerns the Immaculata. May every increase of love towards her in one person result in the greater strengthening of love in others. Our hearts are so small, so weak. We will never render her the love that she deserves, the love with which she loves us.

Let us all endeavor to deepen our love more and more towards the Immaculata, and always to have recourse to her as children towards their mother.

One act of perfect love regenerates the soul. Let us make use of this means often. It really is not so difficult, because the essence of this act is sacrificial love: to try to give pleasure to the Immaculata at one's own expense without regard to reward or punishment.

The essence of the love of God does not lie in affections or in sweet words, but solely in the will. If the soul perseveres decisively with its will fixed on holiness and love of God, although it does not experience the least feeling in its heart, let it be wholly convinced that it continually tends with rapid pace forward and ever pushes upward.

Love, which is a "bond of perfection," nourishes and satisfies itself solely by suffering, sacrifice and the cross.

We will show the greatest love towards the Immaculata when we share our love for her with others.

How can we prove the Immaculata loves us? If we love her, then she loves us incomparably more.

What is unrestricted love of the Immaculata?

The Immaculata is so joined with God by love that she rises not only above all the saints, but also above the angels and archangels, the Cherubim and Seraphim. Therefore, unrestricted love of the Immaculata raises us up even to her and unites us in a love above that of all the angels and saints.

She is the nearest to God, and we the nearest to her, and hence through her the nearest to God  Himself. God has given us that white ladder and desires that we climb up upon it to reach Him. Or rather she, holding us close to her maternal breast, brings us up to God.

But these are only pictures, resemblances, analogies. Reality is incomparably more beautiful, more sublime, divine."

Truly wise words, as always. The depths of wisdom that St. Maximilian Kolbe had is inspiring. One part that resonates with me greatly is this, "We will show the greatest love towards the Immaculata when we share our love for her with others." I think it is fair to say many people do not know of Our Blessed Mother, most have misconceptions about our love for her, and some even revile or disrespect her. It is up to us to go out into the world and set the record straight, to present the Truth of the Catholic Church and bring the love of the Immaculata to all people. In doing so we show love for Our Mother, and we also give great glory to God by spreading Marian devotion. Thus, we cooperate with His plan for the salvation of souls as we climb the white ladder to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Let us pray that the Immaculata gives us the strength to continue our mission.