Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Week of the Third Sunday of  Lent, 2013


Dear Children of Mary,

What joy this title brings to all our hearts! It is a wonderful program that Father Chad Partain is championing throughout the world for our Youth! Through Him, Our Blessed Mother is calling Her children to a greater love and participation in the Holy Eucharist.

Jesus Christ founded His Church to teach the truth and to sanctify the world. It continues Christ’s work to make disciples of all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all that Christ has commanded, even unto the consummation of the world. Christ founded that Church and placed Peter as Its head, to whom He gave the promise of unshakable Faith. The Church would be built solidly upon Peter as upon a rock; no storms would ever tear it down. It was to teach all men, and Christ Himself would be with It, always, so that It could make no error in teaching His Divine Truth. It had the power to rule. It was a Kingdom; It had a head, Peter, and various classes of Apostles and disciples, bearers of the Word, all under Peter, all subject to his authority. Christ founded that Church as an infallible teaching authority. Salvation comes from Christ through His Church! The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. In this great Body of Christ, there is a constant and mutual sharing of help among all the members. If one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with It or, if one member glories, all the members rejoice with It. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ; Its Head is Christ Himself Who gives life and direction to all Its members. The members are all united to the Head and to one another.

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, What things God has prepared for those who love Him!  In Heaven, we shall see God, face to face.

Let us ask the Queen of Heaven to grant us every grace necessary to obtain our final perseverance and a holy death!

Dear members, we place your daily needs, spiritual, physical and material, before the Altar of God. In doing this, may our mission in the bosom of Holy Mother the Church be strengthened and completed.

I impart to all of you, my priestly blessing:

+ In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Byzantine Rite, Greek-Catholic Church, UKRAINE

Dear Apostle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

We have received your generous gift which is truly a great help for our work of reaching all souls with devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and uniting them through the Holy Rosary. We realize that each one of you carry heavy crosses and struggle each day to do God’s Holy Will at home, at work and in your community. It would be very easy to get discouraged but, with great vigor, drive that thought out! Keep your eyes on your eternal goal, Heaven! Rest assured of our prayers for you each and every day.

Man is the most perfect, the most capable and the most beautiful of all God’s visible creatures. He is formed of matter and spirit, body and soul. Man stands upright and proclaims dominion over all other creatures. The spirit of man, his soul, has powers that do not belong to matter. The soul is immortal, intelligent and master of itself. Adam and Eve were partakers of the divine nature and adopted sons of God. Their souls were alive with Sanctifying Grace, a supernatural gift infused in the soul, which makes it pleasing to God. No one can merit grace; it is a supernatural gift from God. Grace is a real physical-spiritual thing which exists in the soul. There is a difference between the way we love and the way God loves. We love someone because we see and appreciate something good in that person. God cannot love in this way because it would imply that something distinct from Himself motivates His Love. No! God loves in a totally different way. He places in our souls the supernatural Gift of Sanctifying Grace, which makes us worthy of His Love and Eternal Life. Grace is not God Himself, but it is a gift which implies the presence of the Giver. Grace makes us holy, it deifies and sanctifies us.

There are two factors at work in the operation of Grace: God’s action and man’s action. Unlike other graces, Sanctifying Grace is conferred on us for the benefit of others. Grace is multiplied as man uses it. When works increase, so does Grace. Generally, there are two principal ways to obtain grace: through the Sacraments and through prayer. The one thing that impedes Grace is SIN. The source of all supernatural energy is God, but the flow of that energy to us awaits the action of prayer. Prayer is the key that unlocks the treasures of our all-benevolent God! Be faithful to your Daily Decade, and the flood-gates of Grace will be opened to you!

Patti Melvin
Please pray for me.

Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son and obtain for me the Grace to please Him always and in all things. (300 days Ind.)

(Taken from Fr. Winfrid Herbst, SDS 1953)

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned!

The Sacrament of Penance is an abundant source of consolation and peace to every Christian soul. Confession means always an act of self-denial, as it is essentially an act of penance. Our Heavenly Father forgives the heaviest possible crimes, immediately and unrestrictedly, when asked for mercy in the spirit of humility and contrition. God’s infinite sanctity bars even the slightest compromise with sin. God hates sin infinitely. Hence, reconciliation with God and man is unthinkable so long as man stubbornly adheres to sin.

A good preparation is necessary for Confession. Daily spiritual reading and a careful daily examination of conscience are very important to forming a clear conscience. Pray to the Holy Ghost for light to know your sins, the strength to confess them and the Grace to be truly sorry for them. Strive to go to Confession weekly or at least once a month. If you go every two weeks, you are eligible to gain all the indulgences and graces that are offered through Holy Communion on special Feasts and the offering of particular prayers and Novenas throughout the year, which require Confession within the octave of the completed devotion. Under pain of mortal sin, you must make your Confession at least once in the year and receive Holy Communion during the Easter Season. You should confess your sin, the number of times it was committed and the circumstances under which it was committed, whether alone or with others.

For a good Confession, you must have sorrow for your sins. Contrition is a hearty sorrow for your sins and a firm determination never to commit them again. Sorrow must be interior; it must come from the heart and be felt in the soul. Tears, sighs and exterior signs are not necessary. See your sins to be the greatest of evils, detest them as you would a poisonous snake. You need not weep, sorrow is in the will. Your contrition must be universal: You must be sorry for every mortal sin; if you confess only venial sins, you must be sorry for at least one of them. Contrition must be supernatural, not out of shame, but because you have offended Almighty God and lost Grace and Heaven, and deserve Hell. If you are sorry because you have offended God, the best of Fathers, our loving Redeemer Who is all good, glorious and amiable, your contrition is perfect. Imperfect contrition suffices to make a good confession.

Look upon Christ dying in agony on the Cross;
Sin nailed Him to It!

We must have a purpose of amendment to make a good Confession. This is a firm determination to change your life, avoid sin and have a definite resolve to suffer anything rather than commit a mortal sin. If you are resolved to avoid sin, you will be resolved to avoid the proximate occasion of sin – for instance, persons, places or times in which you are faced with temptation to sin. Resolve, always resolve to avoid every deliberate venial sin, for venial sins are the rungs on the ladder that lead to mortal sin! Always perform your Penance in a timely way. Be resolved to make good the wrong you have done. Perhaps, this will be restitution in goods, or in good name, or in soul, or by praying for those you have scandalized.

Confess your sins. Confession must be entire; you must tell all your mortal sins and, if no mortal sin is present, at least one venial sin for which you are truly sorry. Your Confession must be clear, not vague. Give the sin, the circumstances and the number of times it was committed. Consider the Ten Commandments and confess your sins in that order. Be sure not to conceal, diminish or disguise your sins through false shame. Remember the silence of the Confessional is as the silence of the grave. No priest may ever reveal what he has heard in Confession. He may have to undergo torture or death, but he may not utter a single word he has heard in the Sacrament of Penance.

Accept the penance the priest gives you. In Confession, the eternal punishment due to sin is remitted, but the temporal punishment remains in whole or in part. The penance given is for the expiation, in part at least, for the temporal punishment due for your sins, and for the amendment of your life. Never sit, kneel or stand too close to the Confessional as you may inadvertently hear the confession of another.

The priest really does forgive sins in the Confessional. The dominant purpose of Christ is to seek and save sinners. Yes, only God can forgive a man who has sinned against God. But Jesus Christ is God; and the power of forgiving sins which is His, He gave to Peter and to the other Apostles to be used in His Name. “Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed in Heaven.” (Matt 16:19) “Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23)

Christ gave this power to His Apostles and it was a power given to them in their official capacity as ambassadors of Christ, to be passed down through the Ages by apostolic succession, until the end of time. Can a priest forgive his own sin? No, he cannot! He, too, must go to Confession to another priest. The Pope and the bishops go to Confession regularly that their sins may be forgiven. From the beginning of time, there has been absolutely no sin, the remission of which has been refused to penitents by a universal law in the Catholic Church. The Church cannot by any means grant the right of refusing absolution to those who are guilty of sin no matter how great their crimes, provided they are rightly disposed. But, anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Ghost will not be forgiven, for it is morally impossible that he should meet the conditions for absolution. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is final impenitence and it frustrates, and is absolutely opposed to the remission of sins. Even God cannot pardon where there is no sorrow for sin. Man has a free will and God will never interfere with or force man’s free will.

Through the Sacrament of Confession, the Holy Ghost will increase our self-knowledge, Christian humility will grow, bad habits will be corrected, spiritual neglect and tepidity will be corrected, the conscience will be purified, the will strengthened, a salutary self-control attained and grace will be increased.

Mortal sin strips our soul of the merits and graces of a life time. Everything is lost by mortal sin. But, how consoling this truth of our holy religion! Meritorious words revive when, through the forgiveness of mortal sin, grace is restored to the soul! All the merits of the pious works performed before the sinner fell while he was in the state of grace, are restored to the soul. God is so Good!!! But, while the soul is dead through mortal sin, it cannot gain one single favor from Heaven. How miserable and unhappy is the state of the sinner in mortal sin!

The amendment of our lives is the surest sign that our Confessions are good. If, since your last Confession you have been guilty of only venial sins, then include a grievous sin of your former life for which you are heartily sorry. In this way, even if your sorrow concerning the faults committed since your last confession should be somewhat wanting, you need not be disquieted about your confession or have doubts about whether you had sufficient sorrow for them. Form the firm resolution of never willingly offending God again.

The Sacrament of Confession was principally instituted for the forgiveness of mortal sin: and every mortal sin committed after Baptism must be confessed. Still, confession of venial sins is highly recommended by the Church as a great means of Christian perfection. By making frequent your confessions, you are exercising watchfulness over yourself and striving after perfection day by day. Through it, you will grow in His Love and His Grace. He that does not go forward in perfection will slip backwards. Here is a sort of model for devotional confession:

“Father, my last confession was a week ago. Since then, I have been slightly angry and have given expression to my feelings in unkind words. I have told three lies in unimportant matters, just to elevate myself in the estimation of others. And I wish to include in this Confession all the sins of my past life, especially the mortal sins I deliberately committed against the Sixth Commandment. I am sorry for these sins I have mentioned and I firmly resolve to avoid them in the future.”

By the Grace of God through frequent and sincere Confessions, may you continually advance in holiness before God and man!

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all because I have offended Thee, my God Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of Thy Grace to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

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