Greetings from Down Under

I have passed your website on to my teachers just recently. There is some stuff that could be very useful. There are useful pieces in your mag, plus opinions to follow the thread of - these are questions which students and even staff have raised from time to time.
- Paul Hamer

Editor's note: I have received two emails from a friend in Australia. He is a principal of a large pariochial school in Australia. We spent one month in the Ecumenical Institute called Tantur in Jerusalem during the Easter Season of 2007. When I returned to the U.S. I subscribed my Australian friends to ParishWorld.net. This is one man's comment about our "mag". I dream of the day when ParishWorld.net will be as common "Down Under" as it is here "Up Over."
- Paul Dion, STL, Theology editor


Definitely erudite and timely

Dear Wally:

Definitely erudite & timely. I refer to the article written by Edward T. Oakes, S.J. with reference to Mother Theresa. I didn't expect such a high level quality presentation. What a pleasant surprise. Keep up the good work. Know that there is someone cheering for you.

Take care & God bless.

Fr. Jose R. Nacu, M.S.


For the end of workplace persecution

Pray for the end of workplace pesecution for Janice Russo, a supervisor. Her employer is a Recordkeeping Division from ORISKANY, NY with superior staff in AURORA, ILLINOIS and ORISKANY, NY. ALSO pray for Samuel L. Russo, Jr. his employer is a Community College in UTICA-ROME, NY.

God Bless and have a great day!



Letter to Fr. Manning

Dear Father Manning:

I have recently come across your blog with parishworld.net, and wrote up a critique of one of your articles on works and salvation, submitted to my friends at Parishworld.net and my friends in this diocese, as well as my parish priest. We have had a lively discussion about it, and have come to the conclusion that you and I simply have two very different audiences. So, I did a bit of poking around and found your parishworld site that has your video archive. I very much enjoyed your recent interview with Father Justin Rose, since I have attended the Divine Liturgy at his church three times so far. Today, I was very much interested in the topic:

Down with Domination
Rosemary Radford Ruether, Theologian, Writer How are patriarchal exploitation of women and ecomonic [sic] exploitation of the Earth related?

I was not interested because I agree with the thesis, quite the contrary, but I wanted to hear what she had to say. Since I like to multi-task, I did a Google search of this “theologian”, and found some very discomforting information about her. Attached to this letter is a copy of the document which I read, which outlines Reuther’s career, which seems to have a consistent theme of undermining the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church, most especially in Her teachings on abortion and contraception. Even "liberal Catholics" are against abortion, and so it has frustrated me to learn of what she stands for. I am leading a small group of young adult Catholics who will be praying for an end of abortion on October 13 at the Inland Center Mall, and these same friends are going through a period of fasting for the same cause. I understand that the topic of the television broadcast was not on this issue, but it nevertheless featured such a poor example of a "Catholic theologian", or any theologian for that matter for any allegedly Christian denomination.

I believe your ministry is an incredible witness to the world of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is why I would encourage your staff to be more scrutinizing of the personalities Wordnet productions chooses to feature on your program. If for no other reason than avoiding being the victim of “guilt by association”, please consider my request.

God Bless your ministry.

Instaurare Omnia In Christo,

Laurence A. Gonzaga
Catechist / Catholic Apologist


Interesting and inspiring weekly ParishWorld e-newsletter

I just wanted to thank you and commend you for your weekly letter introducing many of your articles. Your letter, itself, is interesting and inspiring. I found myself looking up almost every highlighted phrase and reading the article. Thank you also for the weekly Scriptures. I print them out and use them for Lectio Divina at our weekly Sunday night Prayer meeting. Keep up the good work and God Bless You.
~ Lenora Grimaud

Very informative and educational

Hi Wally, CONGRATULATIONs! Another issue of ParishWorld that is very informative and educational. It's really worth reading. Thanks again and regards.

~ Ely

Please pray for Daddy Clem who was recently diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas

Please take a moment of silence to pray for Daddy Clem:

Dear Lord,

You know Daddy Clem so much better than we do. You know his sickness and his need. You also know his heart. Lord, we ask you to be with Daddy Clem now, working in his life. Let Your will be done in his life. Lord, we pray for Daddy Clem because Your Word says we should pray for His healing. We believe You hear this earnest prayer from our hearts and that it is powerful because of Your promise. We have faith in You to heal Daddy Clem, but we also trust in the plan you have for his life. Lord, we don't always understand Your ways, and why Daddy Clem has to suffer, but we trust You now. May You be glorified in Daddy Clem's life and also in ours.

Thank you for your prayers,
Friends of the Cruzado and Manila Families

Glad and proud to be a part of ParishWorld.net

Dear Publisher:

I have just spent an hour reading selected articles from ParishWorld.net. I have to be totally frank with you. I rarely, if ever do this. I invest a lot of time in the creation and upkeep of the material in the publication, but I rarely read more than what I have to in order to accomplish my mission to the end product. Today, though, I am taking it easy becaue I am trying to get a vicious attack of the gout to subside.

I am impressed. Like a friend of mine yesterday, I am practically left speechless. Decidedly a rarity for me. You can tell that I have since recovered from my initial lingual stricture.
I am all the more in awe of the publication because I know that I was playing around in one third of the "sandbox". I didn't open any if the specific sites maintained by individual parishes. [30 some odd]. I also am not a fan of the audio and video features offered, but I know that this is a highly prized section of ParishWorld.net.

As I sit here I am reminded of the article that I read on the Internet a few weeks ago that reminded us consumers that the vast majority of us use about 2% of the computing power that we own and control. I can't help but think of myself. 1 PC, 2 laptops, 1 Treo and one state of the art 10.1 megapixel, watch pocket sized digital camera with a 2 gigabyte chip, that takes very good video as well.

I split my living arrangements in two, between Moreno Valley and San Diego, but that doesn't stop me from communicating and producing. I have access to the Internet no matter where I go. I spend over one month in Asia Minor and Europe in March and April and never missed a beat. I even contributed a daily blog about my stay in the Holy Land, pictures and all. You saw it all, and can still access it in ParishWorld.net.

It makes me think of what I have been going through for the past 35 or 40 years about the fact that I live in San Diego. The reaction of people who come to find out where I live is invariably, "How lucky! San Diego is sooo beautiful." I know that I made a conscious decision to live in San Diego because of my appreciation for the region.

I admit that I did not make a conscious decision to come to ParishWorld.net because of a deep appreciation for something with which I had become intimately familiar. Nope! It was simply because I am an adventurous and curious person who loves the feel of change and the challenge of conquering the new.

I am one of those people who is married to a woman who never throws a magazine away. Fortunately we only have two hard-copy magazines that come to our home. We have two bathrooms that contain every copy of each one of those magazines that has arrived at our home over the last three years. I don't have that problem with ParishWorld.net. I always know where to find it. If I have an idea about something that I want to look-up, I go to the search engine and "poof!", there I am with more information that I could have anticipated would be there.

It is with totally unabashed pride that I say that I am glad to be here. I can say that Wally's brain child is indeed a beauty of world class quality. I can assure you that once you have tried it and stay with it a while, you'll look forward to having it in your E-mail week after week.

~ Paul Dion, STL , ParishWorld.net Theology Editor


Love the website

Love the website. I hadn't heard of it before Vanessa referred us to it. Keep up the good work.
~ Brian O'Neel, Catholic Word


One of our best issues yet

Hi Wally,
Thanks for the ParishWorld email. This is one of the best issues (6/22/07). God bless your apostolic task!
~ Ka Ely


Hoping to have the courage and faith

Dear Wally,

hi!I have watched preacherinbluejeans.com and I heard about the trials you encountered before you started the parishworld.I hope I can also have the courage and faith that you have.I made a terrible mess in my life.It's maybe because back in the Philippines where I originally came from there are a lot of hopelessness and poverty around.So, I decided to work abroad. I have a missionary visa but I do another job and go to a Methodist church!At first I thought it was just same as our Mass. I took for granted the importance of the Holy Mass.I will go home on July and I promise myself to give importance to it.It's like my soul is dead because I haven't received the Eucharist.Inspite of this, I thank God because he is also going high tech!I have found a Mass on the net.It's in Pennsylvania and I also found the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on line.I don't know why I tell you about this.It's just I think I need to unload my burden.I'm sorry. Thanks a lot!(especially for reading this novel of mine) :-) More power to your ministry and God bless!

~ Cindy L.


Dressing Modestly in Church

This past Sunday at the Holy Trinity Mass at St. Christopher's in MV, a scantily clad teen participated in the Mass as an usher. It was beyond shocking at her lack of regard for her dress. I approached her during Mass because I felt she was being highly disrespectful. This teen was upset that I encouraged her to dress appropriately, especially as a Mass participant. She said, she didn't have time to change her clothes... and Jesus says, COME AS YOU ARE. Hmm... I think she needs a bit of deeper understanding about the need for modesty and a healthy sense of shame. I know some Parishes require all Mass participants to wear choir robes as they serve our Lord. It's a good idea.

With that said, I think it is the time once again to address the issue of modesty in our parishes for both men and women. It seems like people need to be reminded to DRESS THEIR SUNDAY BEST. What does Sunday Best mean? It does not mean sleeveless and cleavage showing tops, halter tops, ragged and baggy jeans, tank tops and skirts above the knee. Modesty means to be decent and respectful towards others as we are worshiping God and we are in the company of heavenly Saints and angels! Modesty calls forth the good in each other through edifying behavior and dress.

Unfortunately, many men and women are quite naive about the impact on others of immodest dress. Modesty in dress and respectful behavior around others and especially at MASS, is governed by the principle of not offending others and not being an occasion of sin for others. St. Augustine said, "in all your movements, let nothing be evident that would offend the eyes of another."

Moreover, our Catechism expounds upon these principles of modesty. "Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of the person and their solidarity. Modesty protects the MYSTERY of the other and their love. It encourages patience and modesty in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one's choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet." (nos. 2521, 2522)

As followers of Christ, we might ask ourselves as we dress for Mass, "what am I stating by what I am wearing?" Should we all wear choir robes before entering Mass? A close friend of mine raised that idea. It certainly would cause each person to focus more on the Mass than on the distraction of others clothing. Since that reality is not possible or most likely probable, the question needs to be asked by the individual, why am I dressing this way? Is it to draw attention to oneself and pique and arouse the curiosity of another? If so, then modesty has been violated and the virtues of humility are not evident as the other feels the need to showcase their defined body to possibly promote others to an occasion of lust. We are obviously not serving love.

Let me know your thoughts and let's discuss this topic at Parish World News.

In His Service,

Vanessa Browne
A concerned Catholic woman

CLICK HERE to view "Modesty, Modesty, wherefore art thou" a blog by Paul Dion, STL.

An uplifting story

Thank you for :The Fern and the Bamboo." It is amost uplifiting story.
~ Anonymous


More on Yoga and the Catholic Church

June 3, 2007

Dear Editor,

I’m writing to you in regards to your article, "Catholic faith and Yoga? They’re incompatible."

I realize that this is a very long letter, but I hope you will indulge me by reading it. I have been studying the document, "Jesus Christ The Bearer of the Water of Life" for several months, so I want to make it clear that I agree with you, in that Catholic faith is incompatible with Yoga. However, I was very disturbed by the course of actions taken by the woman, “Mary” at Ft. Meyer.

It appears that the world is much more adept at evangelizing Christians than Christians are at evangelizing the world. Why is that? Could it be that we lack the one indispensable ingredient—the love of God? St. Paul warns us that knowledge of the truth is not enough—without love we are nothing; merely a “noisy going.” If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. (1Cor.13:2). It is not enough to have the truth, we must live it. We are all prone to sin and need to discern what our true motives are—whether our ego is moving us to do something, or whether it is the love of God—the Holy Spirit. If we are motivated by our ego, we are not living the truth, and not motivated by the Holy Spirit. St. Paul counsels Timothy: a servant of the Lord is not to engage in quarrels, but has to be kind to everyone, a good teacher, and patient. He has to be gentle when he corrects people who dispute what he says, never forgetting that God may give them a change of mind so that they recognize the truth and come to their senses, once out of the trap where the devil caught them and kept them enslaved. (2Tim.2:24-26).

The document on “New Age” states: It should be recognized that the attraction that New Age religiosity has for some Christians may be due in part to the lack of serious attention in their own communities to themes which are actually part of the Catholic synthesis, such as the importance of man’s spiritual dimension and its integration with the whole of life, the search for life’s meaning, the link between human beings and the rest of creation, the desire for personal and social transformation, and the rejection of a rationalistic and materialistic view of humanity. The document states its purpose: These reflections are offered primarily to those engaged in pastoral work so that they might be able to explain how the New Age movement differs from the Christian faith. . . .It is an invitation to understand New Age and to engage in a genuine dialogue with those who are influenced by New Age thought. The document uses Jesus as a model of how to minister to those involved in New Age, citing his encounter with the Samaritan Woman by the well: The gracious way in which Jesus deals with the woman is a model for pastoral effectiveness, helping others to be truthful without suffering in the challenging process of self-recognition (“he told me everything I have done,” verse 39). The Samaritans of Jesus’ day could be compared with those caught up with New Age, today. Jesus gave the woman dignity, humbling himself to ask her for a drink, acknowledging her as a person of worth (Pages 7-9, 81). St. Paul gives a similar example: Men of Athens, I have seen for myself how extremely scrupulous you are in all religious matters, because I noticed , as I strolled round admiring your monuments, that you had an altar inscribed: To An Unknown God. Well, the God whom I proclaim is in fact the one whom you already worship without knowing it (Acts 17:23). St. Paul has the humility to admire the work of their hands and to acknowledge the good intentions of their heart—acknowledging their dignity. Then, he goes on to enlighten them and lead them to repentance—to turn away from their idols.

After reading Mary’s story, I couldn’t help but wonder if she has a spiritual director. If she doesn’t, it would be wise for her to get one. If she has a spiritual director, I wonder if she checked with her director before taking the actions she did. From the article, it appears that the parish in question wasn’t even her parish; that she read about these classes being offered; and that she took it upon herself to form a pose—“including a relations manager from Relevant Radio.” She seems to have intended to make her quest very public—and even took a camera to take pictures. This whole incident was turned into a public scandal—damaging the reputation of the Church, the women, the Pastor, and the Bishop who was responsible for the parish. Certainly, it is shocking that Catholic women would practice Yoga in a Catholic Chapel, (although, not surprising in our current culture), but I doubt that these women were aware that what they were doing was idolatry.

Why didn’t Mary attempt to speak to the Pastor, or Assistant Pastor, before the event took place, (or her own Pastor) in order to convey her concerns to them. If they didn’t listen to her, then she could have gone to the Bishop. Mary should have gone to the Bishop before making this incident public, not after. It is true that Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple, but Jesus is the only Son of God; he was without sin, and embodied the fullness of the truth. The rest of us are all blind—it is just a matter of degree. The fullness of the truth resides within the Catholic Church, but not within any individual Catholic, or group of Catholics. Is there any Catholic alive today, or priest, for that matter, who has never held an erroneous belief, or said, or done something contrary to the faith? If so, then let him cast the first stone. Jesus taught his disciples: If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: “the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain any charge.” But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a pagan or a tax collector (Mat. 18:15-17).

As was stated, the Chapel is consecrated ground—a holy place (not a place to provoke confrontations and dissension. I suspect that somewhere in the Church there was a tabernacle holding the Blessed Sacrament, as well as holy water fonts. It is also true that each of these women, by virtue of Baptism, is a “temple of the Holy Spirit.” Why did Mary feel that it was necessary for her to sprinkle the altar with holy water and blessed salt? Jesus is not a prisoner within the tabernacle. Jesus was present in that place, and has more power than the holy water and blessed salt. Why didn’t Mary go to pray before the Blessed Sacrament and ask the Lord to enlighten these women and lead them back to the truth? In my opinion, Mary used these holy sacramentals in a superstitious manner. (See CCC 2111).

Mary’s courage and zeal for the faith are commendable, and I’m sure she meant well, but in my opinion her actions were not an example of a pastoral approach, or an effective means of evangelization. I would hope that others do not follow her example. This incident was damaging to the reputation of the parish and to the pastor, and an embarrassment for the Bishop—not to mention the attack on the dignity of those women. We don’t need to start another “Inquisition.” Instead, we need to pray for enlightenment, for ourselves, and for those who are led astray; and follow Jesus example to the “woman at the well.”

Thank you for all that you do for the faith.

Lenora Grimaud

CLICK HERE to view the article Lenora references to as well as all the wonderfully illuminating comments that have been pouring from our readers about it.


Catholic faith and yoga? They're incompatible

EDITOR'S NOTE: At Parishworld.net we do our best to pr0vide our readers with articles and materials that we feel are relevant to our everyday practice of our Catholic faith. This article below was originally published in ParishWorld.net May 24, 2007. As you can imagine, it generated some comments and questions from our readers who are practitioners of Yoga.

We invite you to read this article throughly - including the comments from our readers and from our Theology editors. Please share your thoughts with us. It is our hope that through this blog post we can enlighten you on the merits and pitfalls of the practice from a truly Catholic perspective. We also pray this article gives you a clearer guideline on what the Catholic Church teaches about the matter.

Blessings to you all. Enjoy the article below.

~ Wally Arida, Publisher and Editor in chief


Experts on cults and Catholic spirituality agree that yoga cannot be divided from its own spirituality.

FORT MYERS, FL., May 24, 2007 (http://www.speroforum.com/) - As a Catholic contributor, I never write for human respect. If that were my purpose, I would have already curtailed writing. Because my intent is to speak the truth, I never expect a pat on the back. But I maintain it pleases me to learn that my work does not always fall on deaf ears. Like most Christian writers I have encountered admirers and detractors. The positive feedback has been rewarding, but one specific incident is prominent amid the others.

One morning while checking my message machine, I heard a female voice announce, “I’m searching for the woman who writes for Catholic websites.” From her amiable tone, I sensed she was not a detractor and I returned her call.

When I phoned her, she introduced herself and will be referred to herein as “Mary.” She indicated she had read some of my articles and wanted to ask a question about the “New Age” dilemmas prevalent in her hometown. Though Mary and I had just met, it was soon apparent our passions were considerably alike!

Next, Mary shared a very inspirational story with me. She had discovered that a nearby Catholic parish in Fort Myers, Florida, was offering Yoga classes in the Chapel that surrounded the main altar. Mary and a few friends including a relations manager from Relevant Radio, arrived at Pope John XXIII parish on the morning of February 5, 2007.

After arriving, Mary proceeded into the church and lightly sprinkled holy water and blessed salt in the church before the Yoga classes commenced. Then she entered the parking lot to distribute leaflets about Yoga, to approximately 25 women as they arrived for the classes. Mary reasoned the women probably did not understand the dangers inherent in Yoga and she wanted to offer guidance. While distributing the literature Mary was confronted by the Yoga teacher (the Deacon’s wife). The Yoga teacher told Mary, “I wish that you would leave Church property.” Mary in turn professed the same wish to the instructor.

A few minutes after the guru re-entered the church, Mary recited the Blessed St. Michael’s prayer and re-entered the church as well. She slowly opened the door to the Chapel and was horrified by what she witnessed. The Chapel was dark with the exception of a few dimly lit recessed lights. Mary thought, “I’ve never seen an aerobics class like this before near a consecrated altar.”


Please post a comment below after you have read the full story.


Wants his parish listed in ParishWorld.net

I have just signed up and when doing so my home parish was not listed in the pull down menu. It is St. Anthony's Parish in San Bernardino (Fr Mike Manning is the Pastor). Is there any way to get our parish listed?
Peace, Al Velasquez


How do I forgive my friend for killing himself?

Hi, I don't know if I am writing to the correct person, or if I will get an answer or not. I don't know who to post a blog or anything. But I have a question that involves my faith and forgiveness. My husband and I have a close friend that commited suicide on Monday morning. How do I forgive my friend for killing himself? I feel angry, hurt, confused and very sad. I was hoping for some insight from the Catholic Churches point of view. I hope you can help. Thank you. And if I sending this to the wrong person please forgive me.

Nadina S.


Questions from a non-Catholic

Dear Parish World,

My name is Joe Hermann. I reside in the state of Virginia and I'm doing a paper on religion. I was always fascinated withthe Catholic religion, infact I was considering communicating to your religion, but I ran into a stubborn obstacle. I'll let you come to your own conclusions on that problem.

I just have a few questions, what version of the bible do you study? What is your substitute for our deacons? Why is thevirgin Mary worshipped as much as Jesus? Your holy water, is it replaced daily? When is your time of confession, what day of the week and the correct term of this procedure? There are many more questions I have but I'll stop here.

If I have asked of any information that has disrespected your faith, please acccept my apologies, this was not my intentions and my utmost respect for the Catholic faith.

Thank you all concerned for you consideration. GOD bless everyone.



Letter to Fr. Mike Manning of Wordnet TV

Hello Father,

Today was the first time I had the opportunity to view your broadcast. It was Awesome! You had the Actor Gavin and his wife as guests. Their testimony was so powerful! They are such a wonderful couple. God Bless them for sharing of his goodness and his mercy, and may God abundantly Bless your ministry. My testimony is very similiar. My husband had told me he wanted a divorce, that he never wanted to see me again and that he wanted to be free of me once and for all. I was heartbroken. I have Loved God for as long as I can remember and I Love my husband. We did not get divorced, but I believed, in my mind, that our situation was hopeless, but I continued to pray for my husband and I never gave up. I continued to believe God for a miracle and he has performed that miracle above anything that I ever would have imagined. My husband and I are reconciled. Glory to the name of Jesus! We serve an awesome God!

Thank you and God Bless you!

Mrs. Lyndoria Faye Body


Favor de orar por mi hijo Francisco

Favor de orar por mi hijo Francisco, para que abra su corazon y pueda escuchar a nuestro Señor Jesucristo para que encuentre el camino correcto y que pueda tener paz en su corazon y que sepa que su familia lo queremos mucho y que Dios nos de sabiduria a nosotros para poder guiar a nuestros hijos por el camino que el nos a trazado.



Reaction to "I didn't feel close to God" article

By David Nimrod M. Cubar

Editor's Note" Click this link to view the original ParishWorld.net article that David was referring to: "I didn't feel close to God"

I just want to share my blog which i think also struck a cord with this article. My orginial bog is posted in: www.sigawnatahimik.blogspot.com

I assisted a youth camp for Youth for Christ last 11/25 of last year. I was supposed to be prayer warrior but some things were not right with me so I ended up composing this letter and prayer during their baptism.

P.s. I joined Youth For Christ when I was 12 and back slided when I was 20.****

Here is my blog:

Why, O Lord, do I still seek you? Why do I miss the feeling of being close to you? Why does my heart ache every time I hear people speak of their love for You? Why does it matter to me when I hear stories about the saints and holy people who gave their all for You?

When I decided to leave the world that I feel I am chocked and unable to be myself, I also left with it my more than 9 years of service in YFC who witnessed to my ups and downs, my burning passion to serve you and my dedication to give my all. But at the same time, this is the place where I felt not myself. A place full of these and that's which ultimately I lost track of who I truly am.

And so I stopped studying, my service and my Faith to start all over again - to find myself once again. At first I was successful - I never been happier in my life. But every time I see my YFC friends in their service or hear songs that I am familiar with - my heart aches of longing.
Is it just because I was used to this kind of environment for a long time or just the last remnant of a painful past? But of all things that I turned my back against - it is you, Lord, that I am most attracted -longing even.

Alas Lord, the irony of my situation - I who seeks and you keep quiet. I am confused Lord, or honestly, afraid. What is it that you want from me right now? Why?

Lord, I dont know if I am still able to open myself again to you - to say "yes" again. Why Lord? Is it because I am afraid that I might lose myself one more time? I am afraid that the same pain will all be flashing back.

I am here right now, Lord, standing in front of your altar. But it is all quiet. Are you here Lord? Are you present?

I only live my life once. And I want to live it as best as I could. I hope, Lord, that you will answer me soon. I hope that you will hear my cries. I hope that you are not hiding - that you are not far away.

Lord I am standing - waiting - longing.

The prayer I composed soon after:

Father, I am scared. I am not hearing your voice anymore. I am not feeling your presence. Have you abandoned me, Father? Have you left me in the same way that I left you? Where are you, Father?

I know that I have left you, but why do I have this great longing for you - to be with you. Dont remain silent to someone desperate to have your embrace.

Is this how you felt when I left you? The feeling of utter helplessness because the one you are longing for does not answer. Oh Lord, I am sorry!

Come back to me, Father. Embrace me one more time. Let me fell your love again. Quench the thirst of my longing.

My God has abandoned me because I have abandoned Him first. Now that I long for Him - He does not answer. This is how he feels - when I abandoned Him. I know that he longed for me but I was not there. Now I call His name, but I hear emptiness. I am longing for my God - where is He?

Just Believe

I called but no one answered.
I knocked but the door remained shut.
I cried but no one dried my tears.

I am alone -
no one to comfort, no one to embrace
I am abandoned - forgotten
He has turned back while I long for His embrace.

Where is He?
Where is my comforter?

Alone in the dark, empty inside.
I know He is here.
He will not abandon me.
He will fulfill his promise.
I just have to believe.


Specially good this week

Parish World is especially good this week, Wally. I went to the rookie priest, GodTube and Christian on Idol articles. Thank you very much, SJeanne


"Is God Father or Mother?"

Do you agree with "Why God is Father and Not Mother" by Mark Brumley?
Posted by Wally Arida, Publisher

In this article, he writes:

"The Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man" is how the 19th century liberal Protestant theologian Adolph Harnack once summarized the Christian faith. Nowadays Harnack would find his brand of reductionist religion dismissed as hopelessly sexist and exclusive by many feminist theologians. The "brotherhood of man" might be reworked into "the family of humanity" or its equivalent.

But what would they do about the Fatherhood of God? Can we replace the allegedly "sexist" language of Divine Fatherhood with so-called gender-inclusive or gender-neutral terms such as Father/Mother or Heavenly Parent without further ado?

Many people–including some Catholics–say "yes." "We not only can," they contend, "we must. God is, after all, beyond gender. Calling God ‘Father’, without adding that God is also Mother, unfairly exalts one image for God above all others and ignores the culturally conditioned nature of all our images of God," they argue.

What do you think? Is God a Father or a Mother? Join this discussion and let's turn this intriguing topic inside out. I'm sure at the end of the day we will have learned something enlightening about our Catholic faith and how we can apply it to our daily lives.
Now let's go have some fun with this baby. Post your comments today.


Liked the editorial

I also liked your other editorial about whether we are better Catholics or find God/Jesus more in difficult times of our lives. It is wonderful that even when you were sick you didn't give up on serving the Lord by writing and publishing. That is a beautiful role model. Thank you and best wishes for your publication.
- CB


St. Valentine's Day and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

St. Valentine's Day is such a perfect day to think about our number one Valentine, Jesus, symbolized in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When we reflect on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are reminded of Jesus's warm love for us, never ending, always waiting for us to express our love for Him and others. Jesus, the King of all Hearts, has a special burning love for us, that no human can ever contain or share in the same way. This love of Jesus reaches us in our depths of despair, when we care for others, or when we least expect to feel the love of our Dear Savior and Friend. On this St. Valentine's Day let us think of Jesus as our Valentine and try to think of something special we can do for Him to express wonderful selfless and giving love. Thank you for all you do for Jesus and God Bless YOU!
~ Carla


"Why do you pray the Rosary? or Why don't you?"

By Wally Arida, Publisher and editor-in-chief

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and praying the Rosary is one of the cornerstone traditions of our Catholic faith. If you're a cradle Catholic like myself, you've been exposed to this prayer since you were a child. Many Catholic prayer groups are focused around the Holy Rosary. It's recited at funerals and many other special events. When Catholics get together for prayer, chances are we start reciting the rosary.

Matt Smith offers a great article explaining his devotion to this prayer. Click here to read, "For People Who Can't Stand the Rosary." We ask you to read it and then share your thoughts with us.

But do you really get it? If you're one of the passionate advocates for praying the rosary, can you help others understand why you do it and how it has made you closer to God? Do you really feel a personal connection with God when you pray the rosary? How does praying the rosary help you communicate with God better?

Share your thoughts with us. Why do you pray the Rosary? Or why don't you?


Thank you for Fr. Roberto Mena, ST

Gracias por la bella página del Padre Mena.
Quisiera mantener el contacto con él.
Thanks for the nice webpage of Father Mena.
I would like to maintain contact with him.
~ Padre Jorge Toussaint,Guatemala


"Can a Catholic be a Democrat?"

I saw this blog and I thought I should share it with you all so we can have some fun and talk about the things that really make us Catholic. I am publishing it in its entirety. Now, tell me whether you agree with the author or not. And why? This should be interesting. Post a comment at the end of the article. Fire away!
~ Wally arida, Publisher and Editor in chief

Can a Catholic be a Democrat?
January 10, 2007 01:00 PM EST

I was recently given a book called " Can a Catholic be a Democrat?" To tell you the truth, I probably won't read the book (although I hear good things about it), because it's bound to be 220 pages of "no."

Is this a question that really needs asking, "can a devout Catholic be a faithful Democrat?" I think we all know the answer. The Church has 5 non-negotiable issues. Any candidate that supports these issues cannot be supported or voted for by a Catholic, simple as that. To do so would be a sin. What are these five non-negotiable issues? To list them off sounds like one is reading the Democratic platform: embryonic stem cell research, gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, and human cloning.

Notice the absence of "war for oil," the death penalty, and tax cuts.

The Dems have continued to support embryonic stem cell research, despite the fact that it has yet to show any hint of promise for curing diseases, because it furthers their baby-killing agenda. Life is cheap to liberals, and to create any benefit from the destruction of unborn life is to further prop up their barbaric need for what is ultimately the "right" to promiscuous, risk-free sex (aka, abortion).

The Dems have shown again and again that, against the will of the US public, they will support gay marriage with every ounce of effort they posses. Many feel gay marriage cost John Kerry the 2004 election. Dems have no respect for the institution of marriage and will sell it out to any and every gay, bigamist, or animal lover that will give them a vote.

As far as abortion goes, the Dems have religiously protected this "right" (and that's about the only thing they'll do religiously) since the first woman was "forced" to kill her unborn child with a coat hanger. The Dems put this issue above all else, and will not budge on it. They flat-out support the murder of unborn children.

The Dems showed us all a while back that euthanasia wasn't just a dream of theirs when they had Terri Schiavo starved to death against her mother and father's wishes. Adding to the "can a Democrat be a Catholic" argument, they wouldn't even allow a dieing Schiavo a measly crumb of Holy Eucharist.

Can a Catholic be a Democrat? Sure. But will that Dem be a Catholic in way other than name? Certainly not. The Democratic party's platform is almost in complete contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic faith (with the exception, perhaps, of Catholic Social Teaching, which fits perfectly due to it's heavy borrowing from Socialism). All five of the Catholic church's non-negotiable issues seem to be taken directly from the Democratic party's platform. To vote Democrat is, in almost all cases, wrong and against Church teachings. "Catholic" politicians such as Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) and Jennifer Granholm (D, MI) should be excommunicated for their support of abortion.

Can a devout Catholic be a faithful Democrat? Absolutely not!

Shane Carey is a writer at the conservative news blog, UnrestInTheForest.blogspot.com.

Watched the ParishWorld.net story on TBN

Interesting! What a great story you have there. And you interview well -- you did us proud in that video.
~ Ben Nepomuceno from San Diego, CA

Editor's note: Click here to read the article and view the video


"Your testimony is indeed inspiring!"

(Editor's Note: This is in response to the article about ParishWorld "From Guns to God" that appeared in the January 2007 issue of Kerygma Family Magazine. Click here to view the article. Click here to view the video "From Guns to God - The ParishWorld.net Story" that aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network last Jan. 3, 2007.)

Hi wally,

I just read your article. Praise God!!! Your testimony is indeed inspiring. It was like looking into a mirror. It gives Hope! I also had my own journey in the dessert. And this particular verse led me out of it.

The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob. They did not thirst when he led them through the desert. He made water flow from them from the rock. He split the rock and water gushed forth. - Isaiah 48:20-22

And I tried to put my name in there instead of Jacob. The Lord has redeemed Appie. The Lord has redeemend Appie. And I smiled. :-)

There is nothing like finding that God's words come alive. And I realized that this verse was written in past tense. Meaning, this word has already happened. And if it has happened before, because God is God, it can happen again.

Then it made me think about my thirst (like you) and all those who are thirsty. And my hardened heart and all those whose hearts have been hardened. And say the words again...

They did not thirst when he led them through the desert.

God led them through the desert. They did not thirst because God led them through. I realized then that when I am in my own desert, I thirst because I do not let God lead me through. I take matters into my own hands. But what a delightful promise it is that when God is the one who leads us through the desert WE WILL NOT THIRST. And there's more! He did the impossible.

He made water flow from them from the rock. He split the rock and water gushed forth.

How many walls can God break and let something flow? How many times did he break me and let my tears flow? Sometimes, I realized, it's in the breaking that I found what quenches. It's in the breaking where I founnd what soothed me.

And it is indeed, in the desert where I found God.

Thank you God for leading me. :) Amen.

- end of sharing -


~ Appie Ramos