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All  Mailed Posts For December 2013


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Published on December 3rd, 2013

Religious Days of Note for December

DECEMBER

1st     First Sunday of Advent

6th     First Friday of the Month

7th      First Saturday of the Month

8th     Rosa Mystica Hour of Grace and Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady

10th   [Our Lady of Loretto]

12th    Our Lady of Guadalupe (Patroness of the Americas)

18th   [Mary's Expectation]

25th   Christmas Day

26th   St. Stephen - First Martyr

27th   St. John - Apostle and Evangelist

28th   Feast of the Holy Innocents

30th   Feast of Holy Family

31st   Last Day of the Year 2013 plus Silvester I, Pope (1st Pope after the deliverance of Catholic Church to Emperor Constantine)


From miguel de Portugal

It seems that there was at least one individual that misunderstood our post of October 19th where we wrote:

Remember that.... When we read in the Holy Scriptures something like: "....all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet" it does not mean that those, whose actions caused the fulfillment of the prophecy, are conscious of it at the time. They may become aware of it at a later time and/or the teller of the story may state it explaining as to why "this" or "that" took place, but man is not to act on his own to cause the fulfillment of prophecy.

This I know because God has given it to me and then confirmed it by a string of events/circumstances of my life which I only became aware, always, after the fact.

The only exception is, of course, the awareness the Jesus Christ had of His Mission among men. Not even Mary had such awareness - only God.


The least I was called was "Protestant heretic". Thanks be to God that it was from a now former long time reader and correspondent. Imagine if it had been from a sworn enemy!

 The argument used to label me as "Protestant heretic" was based on the out of context Holy Scriptures quotes and, of course, Maria Valtorta's writings - about which we have already pronounced ourselves.

Just in case anyone else may have misunderstood what we tried to convey, we will clarify what we said further.

The basis of the comment made in the October 19th mailing was, and is, that depth of awareness increases with time from the "first event" on. Of course Mary heard what Gabriel said and consciously agreed to the Divine Appointment, but that did not mean that its magnitude sank in as deeply as it would eventually.

The process of deepening of Her awareness is what is meant by: But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. [Luke 2:19]

The magnitude of the reality of Jesus truly being the Son of God, which made Mary the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, had certainly not reached very deeply when Jesus, already twelve years old, stayed behind at the Temple to the chagrin of Mary and Joseph. Let us take a look at that episode and what it really tells us.

[46] And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. [47] And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. [48] And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. [49] And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father' s business? [50] And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them. [Luke 2]

Jesus already had very clear who His Father really was and what His Mission was all about. Mary did not.

To understand better was is meant by "awareness becoming deeper" as wisdom and grace is bestowed by God review Luke 2:40 and 2:52 and read a document that we published some years back explaining how it happens.


Published on December 5th, 2013

From miguel de Portugal

The first reading for the Wednesday of the First Week of Advent was from the Book of Isaiah 25: 6-10. It is interesting to note that Isaiah was not speaking of the original chosen people, the chosen nation, the Jews who had the control of the Temple at the time of Jesus. He was clearly speaking of a time after the Second Coming of the Messiah:

[6] And the Lord of hosts shall make unto all people in this mountain, a feast of fat things, a feast of wine, of fat things full of marrow, of wine purified from the lees.

[7] And he shall destroy in this mountain the face of the bond with which all people were tied, and the web that he began over all nations.

[8] He shall cast death down headlong for ever: and the Lord God shall wipe away tears from every face, and the reproach of his people he shall take away from off the whole earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

[9] And they shall say in that day: Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord, we have patiently waited for him, we shall rejoice and be joyfull in his salvation.

He speaks of "all people", "all nations" and "every face" and not only about Jews. Being this in chapter 25, it is part of what is called Proto-Isaiah, containing the words of the original Isaiah. (1) In addition, Isaiah was one of the most popular works in the period between the foundation of the Second Temple c.515 BCE and its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE. That is, we are talking several hundred years before the birth of Christ and even more before His Second Coming.

Of course, this perfectly coherent with what appears in Isaiah 11: 1-10 which was the first reading for Tuesday of the First Week of Advent. The scenario presented there could only be possible after the Second Coming of Christ and not a second before!
_______________
(1) One Source of many


If you ever doubt.....

....that only the souls navigating through These Times under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God will have a chance, once you view About Your Bleeped Up Brain (1) (2), aired by the History Channel , you will never doubt it again.

Providentially miguel viewed a short clip, maybe 20 minutes, of it (since he had no more time available) and we must say that if we were going to prepare a promotional video to illustrate the critical importance of a strong connection with the Holy Spirit of God, we could not have done any better.

______________________
(1) >From the History Channel
(2) From Amazon



Published on December 7th, 2013 [First Saturday of the Month  and Anniversary of Pearl Harbor]

From miguel de Portugal

We have greatly enriched the document about the Last Passover Meal Jesus enjoyed to include the actual month and days, using our current calendar.

In addition, you will also be able to review the details about how such information was obtained.


From (Mr.) KF @ Ireland

I was sorry to hear about that young man (Private FYI&R of  November 30th).

In the eyes of God such a man would surely be considered a martyr on a par with John the Baptist.

I have been called mentally ill, evil etc. many times (NEVER by any atheists but ALWAYS by 'devout' catholics). The clergy were the worst. I once spoke to a priest about Garabandal and he roared with laughter at the idea that "many priests, many Bishops are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them". So he obviously didn't think it might apply to him!

The usual responses I get are either anger (because they know it to be true, yet in their pride they angrily  resist it) or laughter (usually by the clergy, the 'saved', the ones who think they have their places booked in Heaven. Their response shows that they have no 'fear of the Lord'). These are the very ones Jesus is referring to when he says:-

"I never knew you. Get away from Me you wicked people". MATTHEW 7 V 23

"As for this useless servant, throw him outside in the darkness: there he will cry and grind his teeth" MATTHEW 25 V 30

People 'grind their teeth' in anger. Many of those 'saved souls' who presume themselves worthy of entry into His Kingdom will never get in. They will be angry at God and their anger proves them to be false. If people accuse Jesus and Mary of being liars (as many do now by going along with the Bergoglio deception) they are also surely sinning against the Holy Spirit (MATTHEW 12 V 32).

The Roman Emperor Nero apparently used to 'sneak out' at night too. His final words were supposedly 'what an artist dies in me'.

The current Emperor of the Catholic Church, Mr. Bergoglio, is not that different except that his evil nature is well-disguised by a screen of good works and by a mask of public humility. And what an artist he must imagine himself to be - for satan, not for God.

When his true nature is exposed all will see what Jesus and Mary have being saying to us (from scripture to the apparitions at la Salette, Akita, Garabandal, etc.) was the truth all along.

God Bless,

KF

A. And indeed it will be too late. Just like the foolish virgins [Matt. 25:1-11] - they had their lamps ready (considering themselves already saved) but had no oil (the Holy Spirit of God in their souls and hearts).


Published on December 9th, 2013

From miguel de Portugal

A few days ago we received a letter form a long time and dear member of The M+G+R Foundation family, wherein I read:

My brother still needs much prayers and it still so lost in drugs etc. I know you think it is highly doubtful that he will find his way to Him but I believe he can with enough prayer and sacrifices and I am trying to offer as much as I can because I know that if He could and would help my mother, He can and Will help my brother too, I keep praying even though most times it may seem impossible. As you and I know all things are possible with Him and thru Him.

I was horrified when I read: "I know you think it is highly doubtful that he will find his way to Him". Such position is diametrically opposed to what I believe and live. Our immediate response to her was:

If you think that I believe such thing then you have missed the key message that we transmit to all - that All things are possible for, or with, God.

We are truly surprised - to put it mildly - at such statement!


To which she promptly responded:

I want to quickly apologize to you.  I must have misunderstood something you had said about my brother a few years ago when we were discussing my many family problems.

I tried to look up that e-mail to see why I had the impression that you thought it was 'highly doubtful' (but not impossible), but unfortunately....  I am unable to retrieve it, but it clearly must be my misinterpretation and I truly apologize especially if I offended you by that statement.

I am even more grateful to God that despite my misinterpretation of your response years ago, and your being the only other human that I know of, that I can trust when it comes matters of faith and God, that He allowed me the Grace to never give up hope for my brother despite how lost he has been and still is.

The reason we are highlighting this exchange is because we want to remind our readers that miguel de Portugal is capable of typographical errors which, unfortunately, frequently occur. When proofreading material before publishing it I have caught (and corrected) a "negarive qualifier" that should not have been where it appears, or the absence of a "negative qualifier" when it should have appeared!

Unfortunately, some errors still slip by and we do not have a proof reader who can turn around documents as fast as we need them to be. In addition, believe it or not, I type with two fingers while looking at the keyboard with eyes which, at times, slip into double vision.

With that said... if you ever read something that is incoherent with our clearly stated positions, do contact us right away and question the statement. You will be doing everyone a favor. If it is something as what happened with our long time friend, we will correct it immediately; or, if it is a misunderstanding because the text was not clear enough, we will issue a clearer text. We will never take offense at something like that; on the contrary, we would be most grateful.

The next lesson to learn from this exchange is actually our favorite. Our dear friend stated " your being the only other human that I know of, that I can trust when it comes matters of faith and God", yet, in spite of the perceived incorrect negativism of our part, she states that "He allowed me the Grace to never give up hope for my brother despite how lost he has been and still is."

When the intentions are holy and our humanity causes an error, God steps in and the outcome is still perfect. In this case, she never lost hope for her brother in spite of having perceived that we said that there was essentially no hope, even though she feels that miguel de Portugal is "the only other human that I know of, that I can trust when it comes matters of faith and God".

Brethren, that is how GREAT God is! If we strive to keep a clean heart with holy intentions all will work out to perfection - in spite of our very real human errors.

May He be Thrice Glorified!


Published on December 12th, 2013 [Our Lady of Guadalupe (Patroness of the Americas)]

The following was going to be "Private News Commentary" fare but it more appropriately is "Private FYI&R"
[our highlights]

Arizona police agencies use controversial tracking tool to locate cellphones

Study: Two billion could starve in event of "limited" nuclear war

NSA uses Google cookies to pinpoint targets for hacking

Brazil’s military killed president Juscelino Kubitschek in 1976 - and made it look like a traffic accident: investigative commission

Texas woman admits to sending ricin-laced letters to Obama, Bloomberg

Yellowstone supervolcano 'even more colossal'


miguel de Portugal comments: The above is courtesy of Homeland Security News Wire (1)

_________________
(1)   Homeland Security News Wire



From miguel de Portugal


A reader pointed out the interesting fact that there will really be a New World Order and a One World Religion.... and she is right.

It will take place after the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

One New World Order where Justice, thus Peace, will be the living format.

One World Religion where its center will be The Word of God - Jesus Christ - and not any man and/or institution passing himself as its official representative. A Religion where Love will be its "Trade Mark".

Frankly and literally: I can hardly wait!


Published on December 14th, 2013

From miguel de Portugal

In today's Mass readings we have:

Eccl. (or Sirach) 48: 1-4; 9-11

1 And now another prophet arose, Elias, a man of flame; blazed, like a fire-brand, his message. 2 This man it was brought down a famine to punish them, till few were left of the enemies that bore him a grudge, and found the Lord's commandment too hard for them. 3 At the Lord's word, he laid a ban on heaven itself, and three times brought fire down from it; 4 such was the fame of Elias' miracles.


...9 then, amidst a flaming whirlwind, in a chariot drawn by horses of fire, thou wast taken up into heaven. 10 Of thee it was written that in time of judgement to come thou wouldst appease the divine anger, by reconciling heart of father to heart of son, and restore the tribes of Israel as they were. 11 Ah, blessed souls that saw thee, and were honoured with thy friendship!

and


Matt. 17: 9; 10-13

9 And as they were coming down from the mountain,...  10 ....his disciples asked him, Tell us, why is it that the scribes say Elias must come before Christ?

11 He answered, Elias must needs come and restore all things as they were; 12 but I tell you this, that Elias has come already, and they did not recognize him, but misused him at their pleasure, just as the Son of Man is to suffer at their hands. 13 Then the disciples understood that he had been speaking to them of John the Baptist


The key verses are:

Eccl. 48

10 Of thee it was written that in time of judgment to come thou wouldst appease the divine anger, by reconciling heart of father to heart of son, and restore the tribes of Israel as they were.

Matt. 17

10 ....his disciples asked him, Tell us, why is it that the scribes say Elias must come before Christ?

11 He answered, Elias must come and restore all things as they were; 12 but I tell you this, that Elias has come already, and they did not recognize him, but misused him at their pleasure, just as the Son of Man is to suffer at their hands. 13 Then the disciples understood that he had been speaking to them of John the Baptist

As you may see, the manifestation of Elias takes place twice.

One as part of the preparation for the First Coming of Jesus:

I tell you this, that Elias has come already, and they did not recognize him

Two as part of the preparation of the Second Coming of Jesus:

Jesus Himself said: Elias must come and restore all things as they were. That did not happen on the first time.

 ... it was written that in time of judgment to come thou wouldst appease the divine anger, by reconciling heart of father to heart of son, and restore the tribes of Israel as they were. This will only happen the second time.

May those who have eyes, See; and ears, Hear!



Published on December 19th, 2013

From miguel de Portugal

The Gospel reading for December 17th should make most inquiring faithful wonder about what is its point. We are referring to Matthew 1:1-17 where the litany like of Jesus genealogy is read.

If one is paying close attention, the feeling at the end may be: So what? Joseph was not the father of Jesus so what is the importance of his genealogy?

However, it is indeed important. Said apparently endless litany places the birth of Jesus within the chronology of Jewish History starting with Abraham:

[17] So all the generations, from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations. And from David to the transmigration of Babylon, are fourteen generations: and from the transmigration of Babylon to Christ are fourteen generations.

It is interesting to note that we have three sets of fourteen generations: 3 x 14 = 42 being 42 a frequently recurring number in the Holy Scriptures. It is also interesting to note that the transmigration of Babylon is a reference point, considering that Judaism lost its direction during the Babylonian exile.

also....

In last Sunday's Gospel [Matthew 11:2-11] we have John "...sending two of his disciples to ask Him: Art thou he that art to come, or look we for another?"

Do we have here a confused John? Remember what happened when he baptized Jesus? In Matthew 3 we read:

[14] But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me? [15] And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice. Then he suffered him.

[16] And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. [17] And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

and later on John said  through Matthew 3:11:

[3] I indeed baptize you in the water unto penance, but he that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire.

What happened? Did John "get a hold of some bad locusts and/or wild honey" [Matt. 3:4] or was Matthew having a "bad day" when he composed those verses?

None of it! No "bad wild honey" for John nor "bad day" for Matthew.

Place yourself in that time, almost 2000 years ago. Jews - John included - expected then (just as they do now) a human Messiah who would set the physical world straight forever. Something like a King David or Solomon but with staying power, so to speak.

John thought Jesus was that one but, after the Baptism, seeing that Jesus was not turning himself into some sort of awesome King who was to turn the world  into a just and enduring Kingdom, he began to have his doubts.

Doubts which were hopefully dispelled when Jesus responded to his question [Matthew 11]: [4] Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. [5] The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Facts proved that Jesus was not just a "nice guy" preaching unattainable platitudes. One has to be more than just a "nice guy" to help the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, cure the lepers and raise the dead. Obviously there was a major misunderstanding about how the Messiah was going to work things out - even though the Holy Scriptures could not explain it any better. It was going to be a two-step procedure.

In His first pass, He intended to gently make sure that the Jews clearly understood, and acted upon, what God communicated to them through the Law and the Prophets. Something which they were - and are! - still ignoring.

He gave mankind enough time to understand His gentle message and then live it.

Having mankind failed in getting His message and living it we enter into....

His second pass, where He has to resort to what even wild animals respond to - Pain.... which is the Megaphone that God uses for the deaf to hear, and hear good! ... and practically never forget it!

You see - not only is amazingly simple but completely coherent if one reads the Holy Scriptures with the heart under the Light of the Holy Spirit of God.



Published on December 21st, 2013

From miguel de Portugal

For quite some time we have wanted to better express how God works through His human creatures. I have had a very clear mental picture of it for quite some time yet, I could not express/describe it properly. Now we have finally found a picture with which we may be able to transmit the information.

As you may see in this image.......

......there is an enclosed/isolating box with fitted gloves. This type of equipment is used in laboratories where the technician needs to handle the contents of the box without directly touching it nor becoming in direct contact with the enclosed environment. In the laboratory, the purpose of this type of box  is, for the technician, to avoid: (a) contaminating himself with whatever he is handling; or (b) contaminating the contents of the isolation box. 

The technician introduces his hands inside the gloves, which are fitted to the isolating box, and then  he can work with whatever is inside the box without direct contact, yet yielding the desired results..

Now, imagine that Creation is the inside of the box, we are the gloves and God is the laboratory technician. If those gloves (us) are as pliable as the ones in the laboratory equipment and allow ourselves to be used by God, He can work marvels in Creation without breaking His own rule, that is, without direct contact/intervention.

The more pliable those gloves (us) are, the more good God can accomplish in His Creation.... through man. When the gloves (we) "offer resistance to be worn", there is very little God can do through them (us).

Now, Jesus said: Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do. [John 14:12]

That is, the more we truly believe in Him and His Word, the more pliable we (symbolized by the gloves) are to His Will, thus the greater will be our abandonment to the Will of God.

Such condition will make it  easier  for Him (symbolized by the lab technician) to correct what godless man has done to His Creation as He easily works through us (symbolized by the very pliable gloves).

Why will we do "greater that these (the ones that He had performed then)"? Obviously there were greater miracles/works that He had not performed yet because the occasion had not risen, thus, no one had seem them performed yet.

Once again, the choice is ours. To what degree are we willing to allow God to work through us? The more we allow Him, the more He will be able to accomplish in His Creation. Thus, we must stay out of His way and, above all, never think that whatever wonders we may be able to work were of our own doing - it was, is and will ever be the result of God working through us.

I pray that we have been able to convey this clearly. It is so clear in my mind but it is so hard to express!

Please, forgive me if I have failed.  I just do not know how else to do it.



Published on December 24th, 2013


From miguel de Portugal

We wish to remind our readers to share with their friends and family the reality that December 25th was not a randomly chosen date to celebrate the birth of Our Savior.

It is a specific calendar date chosen by God, as it may be seen in the Holy Scriptures.

Click Here for the Holy Reason Christmas is Celebrated on December 25th




Published on December 26th, 2013 [Memorial of St. Stephen, First Christian Martyr]


From miguel de Portugal

On December 19th we quoted the First Reading for that day's Mass. The quote was from the prophet Malachi. The last two verses read:

23 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 24 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Our comments then included "...it is obvious that through Malachi God was speaking about the End of These Times - Now! - and not about the First Coming of Christ..."

Perhaps the Biblical confirmation for such statement may be found in Jesus's own words through Matthew, chapter 10:

34 Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword (sword = His Word). 35 For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36 And as a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. 40 He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.

The confirmation seems so crystal clear that we have nothing else to add.... except for the following excerpt from Matthew, chapter 7, which He, without a doubt, called to my attention as we were composing the above:

[13] Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. [14] How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! [15] Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

[16] By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? [17] Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. [18] A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. [19] Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. [20] Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.

[21] Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. [22] Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. [24] Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, [25] And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock.

[26] And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, [27] And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof. [28] And it came to pass when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine. [29] For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes and Pharisees.

I am not highlighting anything in the above quote since the Holy Spirit will do the highlighting, individually, as each one read the verses.



Published on December 28th, 2013

From (Mrs.) LC @ US

[NOTE: For the convenience of our readers miguel de Portugal  will respond to this letter in sections, with the response being in italic lettering directly under Mrs. LC's comments/questions]

A few issues have been on my mind lately:

1.) Recently, while visiting religious article shops,  my attention was caught by how many  St. Benedict items there are.  I have also noticed the same when leafing through religious article catalogues.  I am not referring to the lone medal itself, but to rosaries, bracelets, and, most especially, crucifixes.  All are labeled  “ St. Benedict Crucifixes, St. Benedict Rosaries”, etc.  I specify this particular saint because it is his medal that is used almost exclusively in this manner.

On the rosaries, the center medal is not a medal depicting Our Lady.  Instead, it is a St. Benedict medal.  There are even full rosaries, as well as rosary bracelets, whose “beads” are actual miniature St. Benedict medals.  The Crucifixes have a St. Benedict medal located on the Cross behind Our Lord's Head.  These Crucifixes come in all sizes.  They are also on rosaries and worn as pendants.
 
I have nothing against St. Benedict.  However, I admit to having difficulty with the rampant use of his name/medal being attached  to so many Crucifixes and Rosaries.  Does not this practice (in an almost subliminal manner), transfer one's focus from Jesus and His Holy Mother, to a mere person;  thus implying this person is of greater importance than They are?       

Am I overreacting?

A. No; you are not overreacting. Neither Jesus nor Mary need Benedict's assistance to provide the requested Graces or protection. We find very offensive the "enhancement" of  a crucifix with Benedict's medals.

We could write a few paragraphs regarding the "problems" with St. Benedict and his trajectory but that is not necessary in this case. Whether it is St. Benedict's medal or one of our dear St. John Bosco, our response would have been identical.

Now then.... Why promoting Benedict so heavily now?

Perhaps because it was Pope Benedict XV who ignored the urgent requests from Heaven through Fatima with the well known horrific results, and, in the following century, we have "Pope" Benedict XVI who belittled the importance of Fatima and who occupies the position he does.

Considering the above, it makes sense for the enemy to heavily promote St. Benedict's medal now as if Jesus and/or Mary had any need of Bendict's "power"!


2.) Relics (especially 1st  class ones):  I know of a web site whose primary sustenance is based on providing “rare” relics and sacramental.  They certainly seem to be “the real thing”.  All of these items come with “certificates of authenticity”.  However, I have questions:
 
How can one know if these relics  are real, or if they are sophisticated frauds?   

In the case of authentic relics, what is the appropriate way of honoring them without “going overboard”?
 
Having said that, isn't there a real danger of their use/importance taking precedence over placing one's trust completely in Jesus?

How important are relics in obtaining a particular saint's intercession?  Are they more important than actual prayers?

Does an already blessed sacramental, which has also been touched to the true relics of saints, really have a greater “power” in  providing blessings and protection?

Shouldn't the original (hopefully valid) blessing of said article be sufficient in providing this?

Again, am I overreacting?

A. No; you are not overreacting. The genetically inbred desire of humans to idolize men as well as inanimate objects leads to precisely one of the most violated Commandment:

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, ....

Why did God make that one of the key Commandments? Because He IS our Creator and knows well the genetically inbred desire (a "gift" from satan) of humans to idolize men and inanimate objects. Then, the best way to help us not to fall into that trap is to minimize our interaction with images and/or relics. That is one of the key changes that the Second Vatican Council tried to implement.

Images and relics, when used as they are supposed to be used, are not a problem. Unfortunately they are usually improperly used taking precedence over the Eucharistc Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ.... and that is a first class blasphemy.

In our working, praying and living areas one will find images - picture like and statuary like - everywhere... but they are utilized as they are supposed to: A continuous reminder of those Who love us so much and Whom we want to love and console with every breath. If someone came in and changed them all (same individuals: Jesus and Mary but different images and/or statuary) it would not affect their purpose since it is not the image, but Who it reminds me of that matters.

Of course, we have favorite images - just like one will have a favorite picture of a loved one but.... a favorite picture should be just that, a favorite one, and should not be turned into an idol.

Regarding relics - the same applies. We have relics such as: (a) an egg size piece of rock from St. Joseph's house in Nazareth; (b) a fragment of the root of the tree and some dirt upon which Mary stood in Her apparitions in Fatima; (c) bark and pine needles from the pine tree upon/against which Mary appeared many times in The Pines at Garabandal; etc.  We have considered sharing portions of it with those who have given us tremendous support over the years but have decided against it to prevent the temptation of becoming too attached to them.

3.) Lighting candles:  Is this  a valid  practice?  I'm hearing a variety of opinions on this matter, most of them negative.  

A. It is a valid practice when done properly. When one lights a candle, it is to be accompanied by the appropriate invocation/dedication which reflects its purpose.

For example - Every day after Mass we light a candle using the flame of one of the two candles used during the Mass and place it elsewhere in our working-living area before  images of Jesus and Mary accompanied by an invocation such as: My Lord, may this candle remind you of the requests and offerings made during the Sacrifice of the Mass; may they, through the intercession of our Heavenly Mother, be accepted and granted in accordance to You Most Holy and Adorable Will.

That candle usually last the entire day and early evening so, every time I walk by it it brings to mind why it was lit, thus, mystically refreshing the invocation originally made.

Another example - On the Feast Day of one of my close associates, like St. Barbara, or St. Michael, etc., a candle is lit, also with the flame of one of the two candles used during the Mass honoring them, and placed before the appropriate image with an invocation like: May this candle remind you of my deep appreciation for your continuous assistance before the Throne of God and my request to continue to assist me in serving God as He deserves.

 Should you have the time and the inclination to respond to any of these questions, I would greatly appreciate it.  An unbiased and knowledgeable response is much needed.   I do not recall if you have commented in depth  on these particular issues before.  If you have,  I do apologize for bringing them up again.

May Jesus continue to inundate you with His Choicest Blessings and Graces, and be assured of my continued prayers for you , your ministry and loved ones.
 
Prayerfully, in Jesus' Holy Name,

Mrs. LC

Final Comment: It is our sincere hope that we have answered what needed to be answered as complete in a clear enough manner and, above all, for the Glory of God.




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