We recently learned that a newly discovered virus — the “Coronavirus” — was spreading in China. It didn’t take long before other countries began reporting that some of their citizens had been infected with the virus. When I first read about the virus, the thought occurred to me that it would be a good idea to order a box of face masks, just in case the virus got out of control.
Last week, for the first time in more than 10 years, I failed to publish my weekly Adoration Letter. To be precise, after publishing 568 consecutive weekly letters over a period of 10 years and 11 months, I missed one. Yes, I have a “reason,” which is another word for “excuse,” for not writing the letter, but I’m not willing to let myself off the hook.
I ordinarily attend daily Mass at Sacred Heart Church in downtown Peoria. Last Monday (March 25), I saw my parents at noon Mass and talked to them after the Mass. My mom told me that it was the 58th anniversary of her consecration to the Mother of God. I knew that she had made her consecration years ago, but I was not aware of the actual date.
One day while you are driving home from work, you notice a man on the side of the road who appears to be injured. You pull over and check to see if he is all right. You quickly realize that he is in bad shape and is dying. He appears to be in his 70s. He is able to tell you that he was walking on the side of the road and was hit by a large truck that swerved off the road and hit him. The truck then drove away without stopping.
You grab your cell phone from your car and call 911. While you are waiting for help to arrive, the man tells you that his name is Tony, and that he was raised as a Catholic. You quickly take off the Brown Scapular that you always wear around your neck and place it around his neck, fearing that he is going to die before he gets to the hospital. You tell him that you are going to pray an act of contrition with him. You then slowly recite the prayer out loud, so he can follow along with you.
After you’re finished with the prayer, Tony asks you to pass a loving message on to his elderly wife and family. He then tells you that he wants to share two very important secrets with you before he dies. He tells you that both secrets have miraculous attributes. The first secret is an earthly secret and the second is a spiritual secret.
The first secret is the location of what he calls a miraculous cave. The cave he is referring to is the underground cave that’s located in the park. He tells you that if you look in his pocket, you will find a map to the cave. He tells you that if you follow the map, you will find an unlimited supply of gold in the cave. He says that he’s known about the cave since he was a teenager. He found out about it from a man who was on his deathbed.
The miraculous part of the cave is that every time you remove gold, the next time you return to the cave, the gold that you removed has not only been replaced, but there’s an additional amount of gold that has been added to the supply that was previously there. For example, if you remove 10 pounds of gold from the cave, when you return there will be 12 pounds of gold in the place where you removed the 10 pounds.
Tony warns you that you will be tempted to share the secret with members of your family, knowing that the gold will never run out. He warns you that most people are not ready to handle the riches that they would be able to acquire from the cave. He also tells you that if too many people learn about the cave, the government will find out about it and close it down.
Tony then tells you the second secret, after which he asks you to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet with him. Before you are finished praying the chaplet, Tony passes away.
The day after Tony dies, you meet with his wife and family to pass on his message of love. You then get in your car and follow the map to the underground cave. You are shocked to find out that everything Tony told you was true. You load up your car with gold, take it home, and hide it in your basement.
The next day you go back to the cave and the gold that you took the previous day has been replaced with more gold than you loaded into your car. The only person you tell about the miraculous cave is your wife, who assures you that she will never tell anyone.
Over the course of the next five years, it’s as though you are living in paradise. You and your wife are able to provide your young children with everything that they could ever want. Each year, you take your family on a new “vacation of a lifetime.” On the five-year anniversary of the day that you learned the secret from the dying man, you are involved in the same type of accident that he was involved in. As a result of your injuries, both of your legs have to be amputated. You quickly realize that all the gold in the world cannot help you get your legs back.
You are angry, depressed, and resentful. How could this happen to you? You had everything going for you. You and your family were set for life. For the next year, you suffer under the torment of what could have been. You have nightmares of the accident that ruined your life.
Because of your despair, your wife insists that you begin attending daily Mass with her. The first day that you go to daily Mass, the priest announces that the day is October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Upon hearing the priest’s announcement, for the first time since Tony told you the two secrets, you remember the second secret. Tears start streaming down your face because when Tony told you the second secret, he emphasized that before you took advantage of the first secret, you were required to put the first secret into practice.
What was the second secret? It was what Tony called “the best-kept secret in the Catholic Church.” Tony started out by telling you about the miraculous power that the Blessed Mother was given to influence our daily lives, which is triggered by the recitation of the daily Rosary. He told you that if you remained in the state of grace and prayed the Rosary every day while doing your best to meditate on its mysteries, the Mother of God would arrange for an abundance of additional grace to flow to you every day from Almighty God.
He emphasized that the grace that you received would work the same way that the gold worked — that each time you received grace as a result of the intercession of the Blessed Mother, like the gold in the cave, the grace that was sent to you would be replaced with more grace than you received.
He said that each subsequent day, you would not only receive the same amount of grace that you received the previous day, but you would also receive the additional grace that was added when the previous day’s grace was replaced. He said that as the grace increased each day, it would begin to flow through you to your wife, your children, your parents, and your siblings. Tony emphasized the fact that the cumulative grace that you would receive each day would be far superior to the material gold that you would be able to collect from the cave.
After your experience at Mass and your recollection of the second miraculous secret, you make a promise to God that you will do your best to attend Mass every day and that you and your family will pray a Rosary every day. Over time, your anger, depression, and despair dissipate and you begin to have hope again for your future and the future of your family. You also begin to see the extraordinary effects of the great grace that flows to you and your family each day as a result of this new daily prayer ritual. You never get your legs back, but you end up with something much more valuable — a guarantee that you and your family will eventually spend eternity with God, His mother, and all the angels and saints.
Although there is no such thing as a miraculous cave, the secret of the Rosary is genuine and real. Miraculous graces really will descend upon you and through you to the members of your family when you develop a relationship with the Mother of God by praying her daily Rosary.
I was fortunate to have a mother who taught me the secret of the Rosary when I was a boy. Although I didn’t put the secret into practice until I was out of college, I can tell you from what I have observed in my own life and the lives of the members of my family who have implemented this secret, that it works exactly the way I just described it. If you are skeptical about this miraculous prayer, all I ask is that you suspend your disbelief for one year and follow the secret for the next 365 days. I can guarantee you that you will experience the great power of the Rosary as well as the Blessed Mother’s eagerness to assist you and your family.
She then told them that war is a punishment from God for the sins of mankind. She warned that if her requests for prayer and reparation were not heeded, “good people will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, [and] various nations will be annihilated.” Her appearances occurred during World War I, which began in July 1914 and ended in November 1918.
Despite our Lady’s warning, the sins of the flesh accelerated. The most egregious of those sins was the sin of contraception, which became much easier to engage in because of the invention and mass production of the latex condom, which began in 1929. The newly developed processes for manufacturing and distribution produced thousands of condoms per week, which allowed couples to have easy access to affordable birth control that was never available to them before.
Despite prohibitions against contraception that were in place within the Christian and Catholic communities, there was widespread acceptance among Christians and Catholics of this new form of birth control. Although couples knew better than to practice contraception, the latex condom provided couples with a way to experience the pleasure of sex without the sacrifices associated with pregnancy, birth, and the raising of children to adulthood.
Within a generation of the introduction of the latex condom, the majority of Christian and Catholic couples were practicing contraception.
The sin of contraception is so grievous that the Catholic Church has always taught that it is a mortal sin that cuts off the sanctifying grace that a couple needs for their marriage and their family. All methods of contraception (the condom, the pill, sterilization, etc.) have the same effect — the breaking of the link between sex and procreation.
When God created man and woman, He gave them a special gift that allowed them to “connect” in an intimate and spiritual way — a connection that we now understand includes the participation of the Holy Spirit. This special connection occurs only when the gift of sex is open to new life and is utilized within the framework of marriage.
According to the Book of Genesis, the first command that was given by God to Adam and Eve was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” In order to comply with God’s wishes, Adam and Eve were given the gift of sex. With this gift, they were given the knowledge that the primary purpose of sex was for procreation.
The Mother of God’s prophecy that the world would have much to suffer if the sins of the flesh continued was fulfilled in 1939, 10 years after the introduction of the latex condom. That’s when World War II began. The war didn’t end until six years later (1945). As a result of the war, tens of millions of civilians and soldiers were killed, and millions more were wounded.
So what has happened in the 70-plus years since the end of World War II? Have the people of the world repented, prayed for guidance, and changed their lives. The answer is no. Today, we have more sexual sins than ever, which include very reliable forms of contraception, millions of abortions each year, rampant premarital sex and adultery, pornography that is available to anyone who has access to a smartphone, homosexual and transgender behavior that is being forced upon our society, and other forms of deviant sexual perversion such as new technology that will provide sex robots to anyone who wants them.
With all the sins of the flesh that are currently taking place in our modern society, how is it that we’ve been able to avoid another world war? Why hasn’t the world been punished like it was with World War I and World War II?
In my opinion, the reason that God has not allowed another world war to occur is because while the sin of contraception was freely and voluntarily accepted and engaged in by tens of millions of couples in violation of God’s laws, the sins of abortion and homosexual marriage were legalized, endorsed, and forced upon us by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The people of our country did not freely and voluntarily choose to legalize abortion on demand and homosexual marriage on a national level. If abortion and homosexual marriage had been left to the people to decide on a national level, they would have had to vote for a constitutional amendment that legalized abortion and homosexual marriage. The legalization of abortion and homosexual marriage was forced upon our country by seven evil judges on the U.S. Supreme Court.
It is my belief that if the people of our country had voted to legalize abortion in 1973 instead of the law being unexpectedly changed by five judges on the U.S. Supreme Court, God would have allowed an extremely harsh punishment to occur, such as another world war. If that had happened, millions of American lives would have been lost.
The same holds true for the elimination of God from the public schools and public institutions, which only occurred because a handful of judges on the U.S. Supreme Court decided that God had no role to play in our lives and the lives of our children.
In His mercy, Almighty God has so far spared our country from the massive suffering that would take place in a modern-day war in which biological and nuclear weapons would be used against our population and our country.
Unlike World Wars I and II where our military engaged in battles that occurred in countries other than the United States, we wouldn’t be that fortunate if there were another world war. There is no doubt that if another world war were to take place today, there would be massive destruction of large sections of our country.
As a result of God’s infinite mercy, we now have five judges on the U.S. Supreme Court who we hope will put a stop to the imposition of new evil laws upon the more than 325 million Americans who have no vote on the Supreme Court. Those justices are John Roberts (conservative Catholic), Clarence Thomas (conservative Catholic), Samuel Alito (conservative Catholic), Neil Gorsuch (conservative Episcopalian who was raised Catholic) and Brett Kavanaugh (conservative Catholic).
There’s a good reason that the forces of evil were unleashed against Judge Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh’s enemies knew that if he was allowed to become a Supreme Court Justice, their ability to impose their diabolical laws on our country would be curtailed.
Over the next couple of years, another opportunity may arise for our president to appoint another judge to the U.S. Supreme Court. If that happens, there’s a good chance that we will have six out of nine Supreme Court Justices who will refuse to allow the forces of evil to impose their diabolical laws on our country. The court may even reverse some of the evil laws that were previously imposed on us.
We must remain vigilant in praying that we will someday be able to restore the Judeo-Christian laws, values, and beliefs that once dominated our society.
The lawsuit was filed because the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission launched an investigation after a complaint was filed by a transgender woman who was denied access to the Hope Center. The lawsuit is asking a federal judge to overturn a city ordinance as unconstitutional because it violates the religious beliefs of the individuals who run the shelter.
Here’s how the Hope Center described its dilemma in the lawsuit that was filed with the court:
It would not only be dangerous and against common sense, but it would violate the Hope Center’s sincerely held religious beliefs to admit biological men into its shelter and allow them to sleep side by side and disrobe next to women, some of whom have been assaulted by men and fear for their safety.
It was 2 a.m. Monday morning. Dr. Kenny Omlin of Napa was in the process of getting his family off their 11-acre estate as flames from the Atlas Fire rapidly approached. He opened his car door and saw his 80-year-old mother sitting in the passenger seat, clutching a rosary and praying.
Thousands of homes are still in danger of being burned to the ground. The path of the fires is completely unpredictable because no one knows how strong the winds are going to get or when the winds will shift course. One of my older brothers, Mike, lives with his wife in Santa Rosa, California, which is one of the cities that was hit by the wildfires. While several areas that surround my brother’s neighborhood were destroyed by fire, his neighborhood was spared. Unfortunately, there’s still a chance that the fire will come roaring back into his neighborhood. I would appreciate it if you would say a prayer that everything will go well for my brother, his wife, and their property.
The wildfires in California came only a month after Hurricane Irma left a devastating path of destruction in the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. In addition to the widespread destruction that was caused by Hurricane Irma, there were 134 deaths, most of which occurred in the United States. A month before Hurricane Irma arrived, hurricane Harvey barreled through Texas causing extensive property damage, flooding, and 77 confirmed deaths.
Of course, each time one of these devastating natural disasters occurs, we are lectured by Hollywood celebrities, the talking heads in the media, and various “experts” from around the world that the disasters are being caused by climate change. We are then told that we should listen to these so-called experts, so they can tell us what needs to be done to eliminate future catastrophic events.
The problem with the whole climate change argument is that we never hear what the definitive plan is for controlling the climate in such a way that the natural disasters will stop occurring. We are, however, told that we need to submit to a worldwide governing body that has no allegiance to the United States, but will have the power to impose taxes, regulations, and restrictions upon us that will supposedly help eradicate natural disasters.
During each of the recent events, I couldn’t help but think about all the calamities that occurred during the time period covered by the Old Testament.
The definition of “calamity” is “an event that causes great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.”
If you review the Old Testament, you’ll be reminded of all the calamities that occurred from the beginning of time until the birth of the Son of God. There was the great flood, followed by catastrophic plagues, deadly diseases, and wars. These calamities were frequent and massively destructive. It was as though there was nothing holding back Almighty God’s hand of justice.
But then something changed after the birth of Jesus. The hand of justice was replaced by the mercy of our Divine Savior. While calamities continued to occur, they were less frequent and less destructive. Why? Because it was a new era in which the people of the world benefited from the rise and growth of the Catholic Church and Christianity.
Great grace and protection resulted from the establishment of our Lord’s church and was fueled by the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Penance, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick. These sacraments ushered in a new era of mercy, which resulted in a significant reduction in the number and severity of calamities.
But then a momentous event occurred in 1917 — an event that put the world on notice that if sinful men and women did not repent and turn back to God, a great calamity would be unleashed upon mankind. The event that I’m referring to was the appearance of a special woman to three young children in Fatima, Portugal.
The special woman was the one person who had the most influence on the Son of God while He was on Earth, and who, at the time of her appearance, had (and still has) the most influence on Him in Heaven. She was the one who had been responsible for teaching, by word and example, the human side of the Son of God how to love and show mercy toward others. She was and still is the Mother of God.
Why did the Mother of God appear to the three children in Fatima? To warn the world that there was a trend that was occurring in society that was moving humanity away from the sacraments and back to the sinful and decadent age that existed before the establishment of the Catholic Church. She warned the world about the growing movement toward the sins of the flesh, and the immediate need for prayer and reparation.
To prove that her appearances to the children were genuine, the Mother of God engineered the “Miracle of the Sun,” which occurred on October 13, 1917. The miracle was witnessed by more than 100,000 people and was reported in all the major newspapers throughout the world. It was a supernatural phenomenon that could not be explained by anyone.
I am writing this article on October 13, 2017, the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. During her apparitions, the Mother of God warned that if the people of the world did not repent and turn to God in prayer, a war worse than World War I would break out. Because her message to the world was ignored, one of the greatest calamities of all time — World War II — began in 1939, and did not end until six years later. World War II turned out to be the deadliest military conflict in history, with more than 50 million people killed.
The sins of mankind have only gotten worse since the end of that war. During the past 60 years, the one gift from our Lord that helped usher in the age of mercy — the Catholic Church and the sacraments — has taken a beating throughout the world.
Marriage has been redefined to include acts of perversion. Millions of people have lost faith in and abandoned the sacraments of Holy Communion and Penance. The number of men dedicating their lives to our Lord through the Sacrament of Holy Orders is at an all-time low. Catholic Churches are being closed because millions of lapsed Catholics no longer bother to baptize their children or attend Mass.
When calamities such as hurricanes and fires kill people, wipe out thousands of acres of property, and disrupt the lives of millions of other people, the self-proclaimed gods that control our government, our public institutions, the mainstream media, and Hollywood shrug their shoulders and chalk it up to climate change.
In the meantime, there’s a maniac in North Korea who is threatening to incinerate the United States with nuclear weapons. There’s also the mullahs in Iran who are developing the capability to destroy the United States with nuclear weapons. And then there’s a much smarter and more subtle China, hiding in the wings preparing for the moment when it can conquer the United States and rule the world.
Each incremental loss of influence that has taken place within the Catholic Church, combined with the abandonment of the sacraments by members of the church, has increased the likelihood that God will allow more severe and catastrophic calamities to occur in the future.
Will we return to the days of the Old Testament when massive calamities wiped out entire nations, while causing immense suffering for those who survived? Or will we return to prayer and the sacraments where our Savior’s mercy holds back Almighty God’s hand of justice?
The choice is ours to make.
Last week, I wrote about the sayings that were popular while I was growing up. Each saying had its own unique meaning and most people knew exactly what the saying meant. Here are a few of the old sayings that I didn’t mention last week:
Last week, I ended my article by asking why most people from my generation (or older) recognize the sayings that I outlined, while millennials — those people who were born between 1980 and 1996 — don’t recognize them and don’t know what they mean. Why didn’t they learn these sayings while they were growing up? The answer has to do with their smartphones.
A few years ago, a report was released that disclosed that the typical smartphone user checks his or her phone 150 times a day. The report also stated that the first thing most smartphone users do immediately upon waking up is check their smartphones.
It’s as though millennials have an umbilical cord that connects their brains to their smartphones. Their lives are so dependent on their phones that they have withdrawal symptoms if they are away from their phones for more than 30 minutes.
What did people do before they had smartphones? How did they spend their time when they weren’t hooked up to a device that they felt compelled to check 150 times a day? I know the answer to those questions because I grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, before any such devices existed.
When I was growing up, we spent a good part of our time with our brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends. We visited with each other, played board games, rode bikes, played baseball and basketball, climbed trees, went swimming, shot guns, built things, played yard games, went to the movie theater, and helped each other with household chores and projects.
Because we spent time together in each other’s homes, there was a lot of interaction that took place between us and the parents of our relatives and friends. Those parents treated us like we were their own, which meant that they felt as though they could correct us and tell us what we should be doing. Because of the way they treated us, we frequently heard the same sayings and expressions from them that we heard from our own parents.
For example, when we would argue with each other, one of the parents would say, “Stop making a mountain out of a molehill” or “You need to knock that chip off your shoulder.” The sayings that we heard from other parents were universal. It seemed as though every time we turned around, one of the parents would use one of the sayings on us to get a point across.
In today’s world, with our young people constantly plugged into their electronic devices, they miss out on the interaction that would otherwise be taking place if they were engaged in activities with their relatives and friends.
I feel sorry for the young people who don’t have the benefit of regularly learning from the experience and wisdom of the types of authority figures that I learned from while I was growing up — parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and the parents of friends.
There’s one more thing that I want to cover before I finish discussing this topic. There’s another saying that I grew up with that was well known among Catholics. The saying — The Family That Prays Together Stays Together — originated with Father Patrick Peyton, who was recognized internationally as “The Rosary Priest.”
Father Peyton’s saying had its own unique meaning. When he talked about the critical need for families to pray together, he always discussed it within the context of the daily family rosary.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Father Peyton organized “Rosary Rallies” throughout the world. Millions of people attended his rallies and pledged to pray the daily rosary with their families. The picture on this page is from a Rosary Rally that Father Peyton held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1962. More than 1.5 million people attended the rally, and more than 1 million of those people pledged to pray the family rosary every day.
While I was growing up, whenever we complained about having to stop what we were doing so we could pray the family rosary, my mom would repeat Father Peyton’s saying, The Family That Prays Together Stays Together. When we had friends or cousins with us, Mom always insisted that they join us for the family rosary.
Now, more than 50 years after my mom instituted the daily family rosary (which began in the early 1960s), all of my parents’ children still get along with each other and encourage, pray for, and help each other when needed. My parents had 17 children, 16 of whom are still living.
I’m a little surprised that we all still get along. Why? Because each one of us is fiercely independent, self-reliant, and opinionated. And while some of us are more stubborn, impatient, and unforgiving than the others, all of us still get along and respect each other. Why? Because the family that prays together stays together.
My wife and I have seven grown children and 13 grandchildren (with more on the way). To my knowledge, all of our children pray a daily rosary, a ritual they learned while they were growing up in our home. I’m thankful to God that they have continued this daily ritual with their own children. All seven of our children still get along with each other, and each of them are still faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
There is a secret to family peace and unity in today’s disruptive, combative, and fractious world. That secret is the daily family rosary.