Sunday, August 31, 2008



CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 24, 2008 (

Pope Benedict XVI says that his mission as the successor of St. Peter is ensuring that the Church never identifies itself with just one nation or culture.

The Pope affirmed this today after he prayed the midday Angelus with crowds gathered at the summer papal residence at Castel Gandolfo.

Referring to the Gospel reading for today's Mass, the Holy Father reflected on the mission of Peter, who received from Christ "the keys of the kingdom of heaven."

Like Peter, he said, "we too today desire to proclaim with deep conviction: Yes, Jesus, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God! We do this knowing that Christ is the true 'treasure' for which it is worth sacrificing everything; He is the friend who never abandons us, because He knows the most intimate longings of our heart."

"Jesus is the 'Son of the living God,' the promised Messiah, who has come to earth to offer salvation and to satisfy the thirst for life and love that inhabits every human being," the Pontiff added. "How much humanity would gain by welcoming this proclamation that brings joy and peace with it."

Pope Benedict XVI noted that in this dialogue with Peter, Christ mentions the Church for the first time," whose mission is the actuation of the great design of God to gather the whole of humanity into one family in Christ."

He added: "The mission of Peter, and of his successors, is precisely to serve this unity of the one Church of God made up of pagans and Jews; his indispensable ministry is to make sure that the Church never identifies herself with any particular nation or culture, but that she be the Church of all peoples, to make present among men -- who are marked by countless divisions and contrasts -- the peace of God, the unity of those who have become brothers and sisters in Christ: This is the unique mission of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter."

The Holy Father concluded by asking the faithful to pray for him as he shoulders such an "enormous responsibility," so that, "faithful to Christ, together we can announce and bear witness to His presence in our time."

Thursday, August 28, 2008



Simon Peter did nothing special to attract Jesus’ attention and deserve “preferential treatment.” He only put his fishing boat at the disposal of the Master, and accepted to carry out Jesus’ questionable instruction to cast the nets again when the sun was already high on the horizon – a most unlikely hour for a good catch. (See Lk 5:4f.) Yet Jesus loved him with a special love. There were reasons for that . . .

Simon was a simple, unschooled fisherman. He was well aware of all his limitations and moral failures. (See Lk 5:8.) But when the crucial moment came to express his opinion on Jesus, he showed a unique perceptiveness which outshone all others. He had no doubt: Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16).

The learned and the clever had formed their opinion about the Christ from what they had studied or heard or seen with their material eyes. Their answers could only be conjectural. They were all inadequate. But Simon’s deep conviction – his faith – was deeply rooted in another kind of knowledge: Divine Revelation. It was God Himself who had implanted that certitude in him. Hence, Jesus’ reaction: “Blest are you, Simon! . . . No mere man has revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father” (Mt 16:17).

This fisherman from Bethsaida was the object of the Father’s special love. God knew him through and through: his weakness as well as his generosity and sincerity. God had plans for him. He who put the right answer on his lips, would still enlighten him, time and time again, whenever needed for the good of His Church.

Peter would outlive his Master only by thirty years, but the mission of being “rock” and steersman would outlive the fisherman from Galilee and would last till the end of time. It would live on in his successors, regardless of their personal worth, century after century. Peter’s role would be fulfilled by others, called by different given names, but always bearing the same root name of “Peter/Rock.”

On each of them, as on the fisherman from Bethsaida Jesus has been conferring His authority to bind and loose, and the strength and wisdom needed to steer the fragile but unsinkable boat of the Church. Ever assailed by hell’s fury, this Church is ever victorious over storms and reefs, as it is steered by the God-steadied hand of Peter’s successors.

As members of the Catholic Church – the Church established by Jesus Christ, and by Him entrusted to the visible stewardship of Peter and his successors – we should, first of all, feel grateful to the Lord for having given us a visible leader who guides us with the authority and power received from Christ. This is no small advantage, in the cacophony of so many discordant voices which create uncertainty and confusion, all that we have to do is to listen to the voice of Peter’s successor and act on it, knowing that the Lord constantly guides the Pope and preserves him from committing errors in matters of faith and morals.

In the light of this premise, it is sadly surprising to meet self-styled Catholics who dare to take positions in the doctrinal or moral fields that are not in agreement with the teaching of the Holy Father. A real Catholic has to be a loyal follower of the Supreme Shepherd assigned by Jesus Christ. This may not be so easy, sometimes. But when all is said and done, we have to remember that it was to Peter (and not to individual believers) that Jesus said, “To you (thee!) I will give the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:19)

Nor should we reduce our duties toward the Pope to loyalty and obedience. He is our spiritual Father, our “Gentle Christ on earth,” as St. Catherine of Sienna called him. As such, we must love him affectionately and sincerely. And we must, likewise, pray for him, as we pray for the people most dear to us. So heavy a burden has been placed on his shoulders. He needs all the help he can get, and prayer is the most effective help when offered with living faith and a loving heart.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008



SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 13, 2008 ( Here is the text of the message Benedict XVI wrote ahead of his trip to Australia to the people of the nation and the young pilgrims who will take part in World Youth Day, to be held in Sydney from July 15 to 20. The note was released today in Australia.

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you will be my witnesses." (Act 1:8)

The grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you! In a few days from now, I shall begin my Apostolic Visit to your country, in order to celebrate the Twenty-Third World Youth Day in Sydney. I very much look forward to the days that I shall spend with you, and especially to the opportunities for prayer and reflection with young people from all over the world.

First of all, I want to express my appreciation to all those who have offered so much of their time, their resources and their prayers in support of this celebration. The Australian Government and the Provincial Government of New South Wales, the organizers of all the events, and members of the business community who have provided sponsorship – all of you have willingly supported this event, and on behalf of the young people taking part in the World Youth Day, I thank you most sincerely. Many of the young people have made great sacrifices in order to undertake the journey to Australia, and I pray that they will be rewarded abundantly. The parishes, schools and host families have been most generous in welcoming these young visitors, and they too deserve our thanks and our appreciation.

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you will be my witnesses" (Act 1:8). This is the theme of the Twenty-Third World Youth Day. How much our world needs a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit! There are still many who have not heard the Good News of Jesus Christ, while many others, for whatever reason, have not recognized in this Good News the saving truth that alone can satisfy the deepest longings of their hearts. The Psalmist prays: "when you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth" (Ps 104:30). It is my firm belief that young people are called to be instruments of that renewal, communicating to their peers the joy they have experienced through knowing and following Christ, and sharing with others the love that the Spirit pours into their hearts, so that they too will be filled with hope and with thanksgiving for all the good things they have received from our heavenly Father.

Many young people today lack hope. They are perplexed by the questions that present themselves ever more urgently in a confusing world, and they are often uncertain which way to turn for answers. They see poverty and injustice and they long to find solutions. They are challenged by the arguments of those who deny the existence of God and they wonder how to respond. They see great damage done to the natural environment through human greed and they struggle to find ways to live in greater harmony with nature and with one another.

Where can we look for answers? The Spirit points us towards the way that leads to life, to love and to truth. The Spirit points us towards Jesus Christ. There is a saying attributed to Saint Augustine: "If you wish to remain young, seek Christ". In him we find the answers that we are seeking, we find the goals that are truly worth living for, we find the strength to pursue the path that will bring about a better world. Our hearts find no rest until they rest in the Lord, as Saint Augustine says at the beginning of the Confessions, the famous account of his own youth. My prayer is that the hearts of the young people who gather in Sydney for the celebration of World Youth Day will truly find rest in the Lord, and that they will be filled with joy and fervour for spreading the Good News among their friends, their families, and all whom they meet.

Dear Australian friends, although I will only be able to spend a few days in your country, and I will not be able to travel outside Sydney, my heart reaches out to all of you, including those who are sick or in difficulties of any kind. On behalf of all the young people, I thank you again for your support of my mission and I ask you to continue praying for them especially. It remains only for me to renew my invitation to the young people from all over the world to join me in Australia, the great "southern land of the Holy Spirit". I look forward to seeing you there! May God bless you all.

From the Vatican, 4 July 2008


© Copyright 2008 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Wednesday, July 2, 2008



When I'm lost in the rain,
In your eyes I know I'll find the light
To light my way.

When I'm scared,
And losing ground,
When my world is going crazy,
You can turn it all around.

And when I'm down,
You're there pushing me to the top.
You're always there,
Giving me all you've got.

For a shield from the storm,
For a friend, for a love
To keep me safe and warm
I turn to you.

For the strength to be strong,
For the will to carry on
For everything you do,
For everything that's true
I turn to you.

When I lose the will to win,
I just reach for you and
I can reach the sky again.

I can do anything
'Cause your love is so amazing,
'Cause your love inspires me.

And when I need a friend,
You're always on my side
Giving me faith
Taking me through the night

For a shield from the storm,
For a friend, for a love
To keep me safe and warm
I turn to you.

For the strength to be strong,
For the will to carry on
For everything you do,
For everything that's true
I turn to you.

For the arms to be my shelter
Through all the rain,
For truth that will never change,
For someone to lean on,

For a heart I can rely on through anything,
For the one who I can run to...

For a shield from the storm,
For a friend, for a love
To keep me safe and warm
I turn to you

For the strength to be strong,
For the will to carry on
For everything you do,
For everything that's true

For everything you do,
For everything that's true
I turn to You.

Lord, I turn to You.

Lyrics by Dianne Warren
Performed by Christina Aguilera

Tuesday, May 27, 2008




I don't know how to love Him
What to do, how to move Him
I've been changed, yes really changed
In these past few days
When I've seen myself

I seem like someone else

I don't know how to take this
I don't see why He moves me
He's a man
He's just a man

And I've had so many
Men before

In very many ways
He's just one more

Should I bring Him down
Should I scream and shout

Should I speak of love
Let my feelings out?

I never thought I'd come to this
What's it all about

Don't you think it's rather funny
I should be in this position
I'm the one who's always been
So calm so cool, no lover's fool
Running every show
He scares me so

I never thought I'd come to this
What's it all about?

If He said He loved me

I'd be lost
I'd be frightened

I couldn't cope
Just couldn't cope

I'd turn my head
I'd back away

I wouldn't want to know
He scares me so
I want Him so
I love Him so

Sinners though we are,
Return to God and repent of our sins
For the Divine Love of Jesus
With God our Loving Father
Is merciful and full of compassion
Who loves you without any condition
Just the way you are!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Since 1940 (she was then aged 25), a privileged soul, named Maria Simma, has had regular visits from the souls in Purgatory to explain their sufferings and to ask for prayers and Masses to be released from Purgatory. Her local Bishop and parish priest told her she could make known these visitations as long as there were no theological errors.

One day, Sister Emmanuel Maillard, a French nun known for her Apostolate in favor of the Apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje, came across Maria Simma's book, called The Souls in Purgatory told Me... and read it with great interest: “This book struck me so much because it related very recent testimonies, and also explained very well the Church's doctrine on the subject... Straight away, I wrote to the editor who told me that Maria Simma is still alive. Quickly, I contacted her, and she agreed to meet me to answer my questions, which were many!”

This interview took place in 1997 at Maria's house in Sonntag, a very lovely village in the Vorarlberg Mountains in Austria. The following are excerpts from this interview of Sister Emmanuel of Medjugorje with Maria Simma, taken from a booklet entitled: The Amazing Secret of the Souls in Purgatory, published by Queenship Publishing Co., P.O. Box 220, Goleta, CA 93116, USA (Phone 800-647-9882, Fax: 805-967-5843):

(Note: Maria Simma died on March 16, 2004, in Sonntag, at the age of 89.)

Maria, can you tell us how you were visited for the first time by a soul in Purgatory?

Yes, it was in 1940. One night, around 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, I heard someone coming into my bedroom... I saw a complete stranger. He walked back and forth slowly. I said to him severely: "How did you get in here? Go away!" But he continued to walk impatiently around the bedroom as if he hadn't heard. So I asked him again: "What are you doing?" But as he still didn't answer, I jumped out of bed and tried to grab him, but I grasped only air. There was nothing there. So I went back to bed, but again I heard him pacing back and forth.

I wondered how I could see this man, but I couldn't grab him. I rose again to hold onto him and to stop him from walking around; again, I grasped only emptiness. Puzzled, I went back to bed. He didn't come back, but I couldn't get back to sleep. The next day, after Mass, I went to see my spiritual director and told him everything. He told me that if this should happen again, I shouldn't ask, "Who are you?" but "What do you want from me?"

The following night, the man returned. I asked him: "What do you want from me?" He replied: "Have three Masses celebrated for me, and I will be delivered."

So I understood that it was a soul in Purgatory. My spiritual director confirmed this. He also advised me never to turn away the poor souls, but to accept with generosity whatever they asked of me.

And afterwards, the visits continued?

Yes. For several years, there were only three or four souls, above all in November. Afterwards, there were more.

What do these souls ask of y

In most cases, they ask to have Masses celebrated and that one be present at these Masses. They ask to have the Rosary said and also that one make the Stations of the Cross.

aria, do the souls in Purgatory have, nevertheless, joy and hope in the midst of their suffering?

Yes. No soul would want to come back from Purgatory to the earth. They have knowledge which is infinitely beyond ours. They just could not decide to return to the darkness of the earth.

Here we see the difference from the suffering that we know on earth. In Purgatory, even if the pain of the soul is just terrible, there is the certitude of living forever with God. It's an unshakable certitude. The joy is greater than the pain. There is nothing on earth which could make them want to live here again, where one is never sure of anything.

Maria, can you tell us now if it is God who sends a soul into Purgatory, or if the soul itself decides to go there?

It is the soul itself which wants to go to Purgatory, in order to be pure before going to Heaven.

Maria, at the moment of death, does one see God in full light or in an obscure manner?

In a manner still obscure, but, all the same, in such brightness that this is enough to cause great longing.

Maria, can you tell us what the role of Our Lady is with the souls in Purgatory?

She comes often to console them and to tell them they have done many good things. She encourages them.

Are there any days in particular on which She delivers them?

Above all, Christmas Day, All Saints Day, Good Friday, the Feast of the Assumption, and the Ascension of Jesus.


Maria, why does one go to Purgatory? What are the sins which most lead to Purgatory?

Sins against charity, against the love of one's neighbor, hardness of heart, hostility, slandering, calumny — all these things.

Here, Maria gives us an example which really struck her which I would like to share with you. She had been asked to find out if a woman and a man were in Purgatory. To the great astonishment of those who had asked, the woman was already in Heaven and the man was in Purgatory. In fact, this woman had died while undergoing an abortion, whereas the man often went to church and apparently led a worthy, devout life.

So Maria searched for more information, thinking she'd been mistaken — but no, it was true. They had died at practically the same moment, but the woman had experienced deep repentance, and was very humble, whereas the man criticized everyone; he was always complaining and saying bad things about others. This is why his Purgatory lasted so long. And Maria concluded: "We mustn't judge on appearances."

Other sins against charity are all our rejections of certain people we do not like, our refusals to make peace, our refusals to forgive, and all the bitterness we store inside.

Maria also illustrated this point with another example which gave us food for thought. It's the story of a woman she knew very well. This lady died and was in Purgatory, in the most terrible Purgatory, with the most atrocious sufferings. And when she came to see Maria, she explained why.

She had had a female friend. Between them rose a great enmity, caused by herself. She had maintained this enmity for years and years, even though her friend had many times asked for peace, for reconciliation. But each time, she refused. When she fell gravely ill, she continued to close her heart, to refuse the reconciliation offered by her friend, right up to her deathbed.

Maria, please tell us: who are those who have the greatest chance of going straight to Heaven?

Those who have a good heart towards everyone. Love covers a multitude of sins.

What are the means which we can take on earth to avoid Purgatory and go straight to Heaven?

We must do a great deal for the souls in Purgatory, for they help us in their turn. We must have much humility. This is the greatest weapon against evil, against the Evil One. Humility drives evil away.


aria, can you now tell us what are the most effective means to help deliver the souls in Purgatory?

The most efficient means is the Mass.

hy the Mass?

Because it is Christ who offers Himself out of love for us. It is the offering of Christ Himself to God, the most beautiful offering. The priest is God's representative, but it is God Himself who offers Himself and sacrifices Himself for us. The efficacy of the Mass for the deceased is even greater for those who attached great value to the Mass during their lives. If they attended Mass and prayed with all their hearts, if they went to Mass on weekdays — according to their time available — they drew great profit from Masses celebrated for them. Here, too, one harvests what one has sown.

A soul in Purgatory sees very clearly on the day of his funeral if we really pray for him, or if we have simply made an act of presence to show we were there. The poor souls say that tears are no good for them: only prayer! Often they complain that people go to a funeral without addressing a single prayer to God, while shedding many tears; this is useless!


There is another means, very powerful, to help the poor souls: the offering of our sufferings, our penances, such as fasting, renunciations, etc., — and of course, involuntary suffering, like illness or mourning.

Maria, you have been invited many times to suffer for the poor souls, in order to deliver them. Can you tell us what you have experienced and undergone during these times?

The first time, a soul asked me if I wouldn't mind suffering for three hours in my body for her, and that afterwards I could resume working. I said to myself: "If it will all
be over after three hours, I could accept it." During those three hours, I had the impression that it lasted three days, it was so painful. But at the end, I looked at my watch, and I saw that it had only lasted three hours. The soul told me that by accepting that suffering with love for three hours, I had saved her twenty years of Purgatory!

Yes, but why did you suffer for only three hours to avoid twenty years of Purgatory? What did your sufferings have that was worth more?

It is because suffering on earth does not have the same value. On earth, when we suffer, we can grow in love, we can gain merits, which is not the case with the sufferings in Purgatory. In Purgatory, the sufferings serve only to purify us from sin. On earth, we have all the graces. We have the freedom to choose.

All of this is so encouraging because it gives an extraordinary meaning to our sufferings. The suffering which is offered, voluntary or involuntary, even the smallest sacrifices we can make, suffering or sickness, mourning, disappointments... if we live them with patience, if we welcome them in humility, these sufferings can have an unheard-of power to help souls.

The best thing to do, Maria tells us, is to unite our sufferings to those of Jesus, by placing them in the hands of Mary. She is the one who knows best how to use them, since often we ourselves do not know the most urgent needs around us. All this, of course, Mary will give back to us at the hour of our death. You see, these sufferings offered will be our most precious treasures in the other world. We must remind each other of this and encourage each other when we suffer.

Let me add something important: the souls in Purgatory can no longer do anything for themselves; they are totally helpless. If the living do not pray for them; they are totally abandoned. Therefore, it is very important to realize the immense power, the incredible power that each one of us has in our hands to relieve these souls who suffer.

We wouldn't think twice about helping a child who has fallen in front of us from a tree, and who had broken his bones. Of course, we would do everything for him! So, in the same way, we should take great care of these souls who expect everything from us, attentive to the slightest offering, hopeful for the least of our prayers, to relieve them from their pain. And it might be the finest way to practice charity.

Maria, why can one no longer gain merits in Purgatory, when one can on earth?

Because at the moment of death, the time to earn merits is over. For as long as we are living on earth, we can repair the evil we have done. The souls in Purgatory envy us of this opportunity. Even the angels are jealous of us, for we have the possibility of growing for as long as we are on earth.

But often, the suffering in our lives leads us to rebellion, and we have great difficulty in accepting and living it. How can we live suffering so that it bears fruit?

Sufferings are the greatest proof of the love of God, and if we offer them well, they can win many souls.

But how can we welcome suffering as a gift, and not as a punishment (as we often do), as a chastisement?

We must give everything to Our Lady. She is the one who knows best who needs such and such an offering in order to be saved.

We should not always consider sufferings as a punishment. It can be accepted as expiation not only for ourselves, but above all for others. Christ was innocence itself, and He suffered the most for the expiation of our sins. Only in Heaven will we know all that we have obtained by suffering with patience in union with the sufferings of Christ.

Maria, do the souls in Purgatory rebel when faced with their suffering?

No! They want to purify themselves; they understand that it is necessary.

What is the role of contrition or repentance at the moment of death?

Contrition is very important. The sins are forgiven, in any case, but there remains the consequences of sins. If one wishes to receive a full indulgence at the moment of death — that means going straight to Heaven — the soul has to be free from all attachment.

Maria, I would like to ask you: at the moment of death, is there a time in which the soul still has the chance to turn towards God, even after a sinful life, before entering into eternity — a time, if you like, between apparent death and real death?

Yes, yes! The Lord gives several minutes to each one in order to regret his sins and to decide: I accept, or I do not accept to go and see God. Then we see a film of our lives.

I knew a man who believed in the Church's teachings, but not in eternal life. One day, he fell gravely ill and slid into a coma. He saw himself in a room with a board on which all his deeds were written, the good and the bad. Then the board disappeared as well as the walls of the room, and it was infinitely beautiful. Then he woke up from his coma, and decided to change his life.

Maria, does the devil have permission to attack us at the moment of death?

Yes, but man also has the grace to resist him, to push him away. So, if man does not want anything to do with him, the devil can do nothing.

Maria, what advice would you give to anyone who wants to become a saint here on earth?

Be very humble. We must not be occupied with ourselves. Pride is evil's greatest trap.

Maria, please tell us: can one ask the Lord to do one's Purgatory on earth, in order not to have to do it after death?

Yes. I knew a priest and a young woman who were both ill with tuberculosis in the hospital. The young woman said to the priest: "Let's ask the Lord to be able to suffer on earth as much as necessary in order to go straight to Heaven." The priest replied that he himself didn't dare to ask for this. Nearby was a religious sister who had overheard the whole conversation. The young woman died first, the priest died later, and he appeared to the sister, saying: "If only I had had the same trust as the young woman, I too would have gone straight to Heaven."

Maria, are there different degrees in Purgatory?

Yes, there is a great difference of degree of moral suffering. Each soul has a unique suffering, particular to it; there are many degrees.

Maria, are the sufferings in Purgatory more painful than the most painful sufferings on earth?

Yes, but in a symbolic way. It hurts more in the soul.

Maria, you know, many people today believe in reincarnation. What do the souls tell you concerning this subject?

The souls say that God gives only one life.

But some would say that just one life is not enough to know God and to have the time to be really converted, that it isn't fair. What would you reply to them?

All people have an interior Faith (Conscience); even if they do not practice, they recognize God implicitly. Someone who does
not believe — that doesn't exist! Each soul has a conscience to recognize good and evil, a conscience given by God, an inner knowledge — in different degrees, of course, but each one knows how to discern good from evil. With this conscience, each soul can become blessed.

What happens to people who have committed suicide? Have you ever been visited by these people?

Up to now, I have never encountered the case of a suicide who was lost — this doesn't mean, of course, that that doesn't exist — but often, the souls tell me that the most guilty were those around them, when they were negligent or spread calumny.

At this moment, I asked Maria if the souls regretted having committed suicide. She answered yes. Often, suicide is due to illness. These souls do regret their act because, as they see things in the light of God, they understand instantly all the graces that were in store for them during the time remaining for them to live — and they do see this time which remained for them, sometimes months or years —– and they also see all the souls they could have helped by offering the rest of their lives to God. In the end, what hurts them most is to see the good that they could have done but didn't, because they shortened their lives. But when the cause is illness, the Lord takes this into account, of course.

re there priests in Purgatory?

Yes, there are many. They didn't promote respect for the Eucharist. So Faith overall suffers. They are often in Purgatory for having neglected prayer — which has diminished their Faith. But there are also many who have gone straight to Heaven.

What would you say, then, to a priest who really wants to live according to the Heart of God?

I would advise him to pray much to the Holy Spirit — and to say his Rosary every day.

Have you been visited by souls who, on earth, practiced perversions? I am thinking, for example, about the sexual domain.

Yes, they are not lost, but they have much to suffer to be purified. For example: homosexuality. This truly comes from the Evil One.

What advice would you give, then, to all those people afflicted by homosexuality, with this tendency in them?

Pray a lot for the strength to turn away from it. They should above all pray to the Archangel Michael; he is the great fighter par excellence against the Evil One.

What are the attitudes of heart which can lead us to losing our soul for good, I mean going to Hell?

It is when the soul does not want to go towards God, when it actually says: "I do not want."

Jesus said that it was difficult for a rich person to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Have you seen such cases?

Yes! But if they do good works, works of charity, if they practice love, they can get there, just like the poor.

What do you think of the practices of spiritism? For example: calling up the spirits of the departed, Ouija-boards, etc.?

It is not good. It is always evil. It is the devil who makes the table move.

What is the difference between what you are living with the souls of the departed, and the practices of spiritism?

We are not supposed to summon up the souls — I don't try to get them to come. In spiritism, people try to call them forth.

This distinction is quite clear, and we must take it very seriously. If people were only to believe one thing I have said, I would like it to be this: those who engage in spiritism (moving tables and other practices of that kind) think that they are summoning up the souls of the dead. In reality, if there is
some response to their call, it is always and without exception Satan and his angels who are answering. People who practice spiritism (diviners, witches, etc.) are doing something very dangerous for themselves and for those who come to them for advice. They are up to their necks in lies. It is forbidden, strictly forbidden, to call up the dead. As for me, I have never done so, l do not do so, and I never will do so. When something appears to me, God alone permits it. (End of interview.)

Related reference article on Maria Simma's Proposition on how not to go to Purgatory discusses the various options available to obtain a straight path to Heaven at the hour of one's death.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The recurring political dilemma besetting our country has brought forth the existence of a harsh reality confronting every Filipino, the lack of or loss of a moral guidance from our conscience.

While it is true that we reap what we sow, history has shown that the seemingly unending misfortunes and quagmires we continue to suffer are a direct consequence of our apathy and indifference to the evil that pervades in our society.

The usual reaction from the common man on the street is one of individualistic indifference and total sarcasm to the point of helpless resignation. “Why should I care, even if I were to get involved, what good can it do anyway; they are all the same!”

This is a flawed misconception and a fatalistic attitude on the part of the beholder. It is in this kind of permissible environment where evil pervades and continues to thrive unabated. For evil to triumph, it is enough that good men do nothing.

Surely, we are not lacking in good men. Even if we did have a few good men to jumpstart the much needed moral righteous governance, we shouldn’t forget that Jesus Christ Himself even to the point of death, willingly fought with His own life to win the moral war waged for mankind against sin.

And as an effective weapon against evil, He left us with a very inspirational and equally powerful commandment; to love our neighbors as ourselves. How then do we relate this commandment to our earthly lives?

Logically, the harsh realities of our materialistic world necessitate the kind of survival-instinct, everyman for himself mentality promoting the philosophy of self-prioritization before others. “Ako or kami muna” (Me and my family first) or “Bahala ka na sa buhay mo” (You’re on your own) is the silent code by which we go about on our daily affairs.

This everyday principle of individualism, self-preservation as practiced daily becomes some sort of regular manthra that becomes deeply rooted in our consciousness and is engrained in the moral fiber of our character.

So what is wrong with this prevailing common attitude, one may ask? It is simply the loss or lack of an active conscience. Surely, we need not be reminded of the parameters of what actions consist of right or wrongs. The Ten Commandments are there to morally guide us on the Laws of God and His desire for each and everyone to live according to His standards.

The crisis of conscience that our nations suffers stem from the fact that we have become so jadedly indifferent to the rights of others in the selfish pursuit of our own material comforts at the expense of our neighbors.

To my mind, the selfish love of oneself to the exclusion of others is the greatest transgression one can commit against God. This blind love of oneself at the expense of others is the highest form of idolatry that is not only acceptable but also unforgivable to the Almighty God. For He has declared as the First Commandment, that He is the only true God and that He alone you shall worship.

This exclusive love of oneself over and above God will translate to a self-serving attitude that justifies the manipulation and exploitation of others to the selfish exclusion of the common good. But what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but in the process loses his very own soul?

Where is our conscience? Is it numb or is it just indifferent? Is it totally lost? The spiritual battle for our own soul’s salvation is not over yet till we say it’s over. Resignation or inaction before our earthly time is up is tantamount to defeat for which we shall be surely held accountable for on judgment day.

While in some sins, there can be no absolution without restitution; there is definitely no absolution without acknowledgment. How can one be pardoned for a sin where there is no prior admission of the fault? Acceptance of absolution first necessitates admission of guilt and a repentant remorse to restore the wrong that had been inflicted with the fervent resolution not to commit these faults again.

We Filipino Catholics can be likened to a lost flock suffering from a crisis of conscience. But it isn’t a hopeless situation. For if we sincerely repent of our greatest sin, the idolatrous love of ourselves to the exclusion of God and our neighbors and call upon the Lord, He will hear our cries of mercy and heal our land to restore the Philippines according to His design.

Though initially difficult to understand, we must re-orient our way of thinking that it is only by loving others first that we can truly love ourselves in the process. True Christian love is the transcending love of others before oneself. The cosmic karmic consequence of action and reaction simply translates this powerful commandment to be: "To do unto others as you wish others to do unto you."

The negative karma; manifests in the form of widespread corruption, poverty, undue suffering and continued exploitation we are now reaping are but just a consequential reaction of our conscious decision of inaction, our continued apathy and indifference to the injustices committed against us.

It is high time, we realize that we can be as good men, who can do something to stop the evil inflicted upon us. But we must first come to the difficult realization that indeed there is evil within and that we must not tolerate it any longer.

Manila, Philippines