Communion of saints A wonderful priest I knew used to have a very intimate relationship with his Guardian Angel. One would think, from the way this priest spoke, that his angel was a person in his home, a constant companion. Although I don't think Father saw his Guardian Angel, he did have a very close and playful relationship with his angel. It wasn't as if his angel was a nebulous idea or something far away and intangible. Father's angel was as close as you or I.
During All Souls Day, I think about how close we are to those in Purgatory and Heaven, but because of our fallen nature, we have a clouded "connection" or awareness. Many of the saints, blessed by God, seemed to have been able to "see past the veil" a bit. Some were visited by Poor Souls, others demons, others had glimpses of Jesus or Heaven. Reading about their experiences makes one realize the reality of these things and that they aren't as far removed from us as we might think.
A cold night and stormy sea I was ten when my grandfather died. I have never known anyone as saintly in my life. He was very beloved by his family, friends and community. I think everyone saw in him something special. He lived the gospels, but also lived a very normal life right in our midst.
I remember the night he passed away. It was in the middle of winter. My dad, brother and I were in our den (how 70s is that!) playing a board game while my mother was napping on the couch in the livingroom. Suddenly, our cat started acting very strange. He sat staring very intently at a spot on the wall. Suddenly, he began to jump up at the wall, quite high up for a cat. We all just sat there watching him and wondering what he was doing. If we tried to move the cat, he came immediately back to the spot and kept jumping up at the wall. It was very odd and completely out of character for the cat.
Then, the phone rang and we heard that my grandfather had died. My father wondered if my grandfather had been allowed to "visit" his children before heading off to where he was going and the cat could tell this.
Coincidence? Maybe. I don't know how to explain it.
Another story from my family is when my father's ship was sunk in WWII. Communication was not what it is today and it could be days, even weeks to hear if a loved one was injured or killed. As the story goes, my grandparents were asleep when my grandmother woke up in a panic and rousted my grandfather to tell him that something had happened to my father. She didn't know what, but knew something terrible had happened. Days later, they got word that my father's ship had been sunk, but that my father, although slightly injured, was OK.
How did she know? Was it her Guardian Angel? My father's Guardian Angel?
When I lived in Seattle and my father was an elderly widower in MN, I was concerned about him living alone, even though he was in good health. I remember a conversation I had with him where I told him that I didn't worry too much about him because I somehow knew that if something ever happened to him, that I would know something was wrong...somehow I would just know. And, my father said he didn't doubt it for a minute. I think he had the sense that if something ever happened to me, he would know it too.
Hmph. Makes one wonder what is really going on that we can't see. But, I am also of the opinion that God has things set up this way (that we don't know all that goes on behind the scenes) for a reason. I guess we'll have to wait for God's "big reveal" at Judgment Day.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see, that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken. - Isaiah 40:5
To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.
~Cardinal John Henry Newman
2010 Cannonball Award
Father Solanus Casey
"Even suffering is part of the truth of our life. Thus, trying to shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of suffering, we risk creating, despite our good intentions, fragile persons of little generosity: The capacity to love, in fact, corresponds to the capacity to suffer, and to suffer together." ~Benedict XVI
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Fides et Ratio Encyclical
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.
Thank you everyone that voted for the Kneeler at the Cannonball awards!!
Words of Father Corapi, for all my politician friends and relatives and those who vote for them
"Catholic office holders, whether presidents, senators, congress men or women, or judges at any level must adhere to Catholic teaching or run the risk of separating themselves from the Body of Christ. In such egregious and chronic cases of gross moral evil such as instituting and perpetuating abortion and the structures of sin that surround it, it is quite probable that such Catholic officials are excommunicated in virtue of the acts themselves. A latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication is likely triggered when they vote for laws, funding, and structures that enable and perpetuate such obvious and egregious evil (Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canons 1364,1398; Canon 1329, par. #2). They are in turn forbidden from approaching the sacraments as the result (Cf. Catechism of Catholic Church #1463)."
"It is not morally possible for any Catholic to support abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, or same-sex marriage. There are no ways around this, no justifications whatever. Why? For the simple reason that the Church holds these things to be intrinsically evil. They are evil in themselves, and no circumstances or subjective conditions can ever change that."