Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Thought -- Why is gratitude such a difficult virtue?


I am sure you remember the story in the Gospel about the 10 lepers that Our Lord cured.  Only 1 came back to thank Him.  Surprising?

Imagine.... that you are suffering from a terminal illness with 6 months left to live.

I know it sounds dreadful but just picture it for a moment.

You have prepared your family and friends and arranged your final will…

…you look around your surroundings and you realize that soon you will not see any of it any more.

The thought of dying and leaving all your friends and loved ones behind is constantly on your mind and it overwhelms you.

Day after day you sit on your porch and find yourself listing all the things you wish you had done for people and for God… but your life will soon be over, time is running out.

You weep over and over on your own…   Death stares you in the face and every day it comes a little closer.  You are frightened and scared. Really scared!

And then, one blessed day you run into a holy man. He looks at you and feels pity on you. He approaches and touches you and soon you feel different. You go to the doctor and, after a series of tests, you are given a clean bill of health, your illness is gone. And in fact, the doctor tells you that you are healthier than ever before.

Imagine your reaction:  shock, followed by disbelief.  Then joy and amazement! 

A few days later, you receive the official medical report in the mail confirming what the doctor told you at the hospital.

You again sit on your porch and it slowly begins to sink in.  You begin smiling to yourself and tears of joy run down your face.

Then you rush to the phone and begin calling all your family and friends to share the wonderful news with them.

But then, what would be the next thing you would do?

The answer is obvious. “I need to go thank the man who cured me.  I will be indebted to this man forever.  Where is He?”

This would be the right and the just thing to do! 

But this was not what the 9 lepers did.  Unfortunately, such ingratitude is quite common for human nature.

My dear friend, this Thanksgiving I would like to be bold enough to suggest something to you. It is only a suggestion from a brother in the Faith.

Find a quiet moment by yourself and make a list of all the things you should thank God for.  Write them all down and keep the list near your bed. You may find days in the future when it will profit you spiritually to read the list to yourself again and maybe even add a thing or two to it.

Also, I want to share with you a couple of articles about Gratitude that may help you.

And last but not least, I have my own list of gratitude and it includes all my friends like you at America Needs Fatima. It also includes 14,108 Public Rosary Rallies this year and so many other opportunities to fight for the honor of Jesus and Mary which I am only able to do with your help and support.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

And please remember to take a moment to thank those around you who deserve your gratitude.  Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stop the Madness of Un-Thanksgiving

by John Horvat II

As we gear up for the Thanksgiving holidays, many are preparing to engage in a strange new ritual that is crowding out the traditional turkey and pumpkin pie. The ritual, of course, is the extension of Black Friday shopping into Thanksgiving Day.

It is a practice so shocking that we might as well create a new holiday—un-Thanksgiving—since nothing could be more contrary to the intention of the real holiday than its present evolution.

This year, media will again report on frenzied shoppers mobbing retail stores in search of super bargains. People will camp out in front of giant box stores for hours on end to get the jump on their fellow bargain hunters. Indeed, there is the extreme case of some fanatical California shoppers camping out at Best Buy a full twenty-two days ahead of the un-Thanksgiving stampede.

Undoubtedly, such shoppers will find bargains. And retailers will also be making lots of money. But the new un-holiday is not about bargains. It’s about joining in the frenzy. It’s about the thrill of entering into a culture of unrestraint. ”Joining in the frenzy” has been with us for a long time. It is a manifestation of a deeper problem that has long plagued our culture. There is what might be called a restless spirit of frenetic intemperance inside modern economy that helps destroy limits, break down traditional institutions (like Thanksgiving) and encourage instant gratification.

Un-Thanksgiving just takes this experience to new depths. In this new buying binge, we see more clearly the terrifying consequences of our extreme individualism that leads people to enter, to paraphrase Hobbes, into a veritable “war of every shopper against every shopper.” We sense the frustrating burden of materialism that compels shoppers to buy the latest and greatest gadgets that will eventually clutter their basements and garages. There is the paradox of celebrating a bland and sterile secularism on a day set aside to thank God for His blessings.

The result of this “joining in the frenzy” is that we are losing that human element so essential to life together in society. Things are becoming cold and impersonal, fast and frantic, bland and superficial. Un-Thanksgiving is not just a shopping spree; it’s a brutal celebration of this cold, frenetic spirit.

There are three reasons that might be cited to explain why this un-holiday has only appeared now.  

The first is because of the ever-accelerating pace of life. In our culture of unrestraint, everyone must have everything, now, instantly, effortlessly. Marketers have ramped up the calendar to sell things earlier. Technology has responded with newer and faster ways to spend the money we often don’t have. Ironically, un-Thanksgiving is made possible by i-Phones, i-pads and so many uberdevices that facilitate our mad rush to experience life ever faster…and that are sold at giant discounts on a now Black Thursday.

The second reason is more profound. Un-Thanksgiving involves “joining in the frenzy,” which speeds us up. Real Thanksgiving is about connecting with family, community and church that slows us down.

Indeed, the sad state of our social institutions is what makes this frantic un-holiday possible. When family ties wither, mature adults can spend twenty-two days camped out in front of Best Buy to get gadgets “to die for,” rather than stay home and cultivate values to live for.

On the contrary, Thanksgiving happens when the norm of life is for each individual to belong to a family, community and parish church. Then, traditions, customs, habits, and ways of being can be passed down from generation to generation. These three social anchors provide a solid mooring for a “Thanksgiving” society.

Today, these institutions are no longer anchors, but options. The present culture encourages so many to opt-out of all three. At the same time, we are all pressured to accept the option of “joining in the frenzy.” We have now reached that tragic tipping point where frenzy can compete with tradition…and tradition often loses.

The final and most important reason why this un-holiday has appeared is because our secular society has effectively dethroned God to whom we should render our thanksgiving. A politically correct tyranny has exiled God from the public square, the school and workplace. Even in the home, God is often ignored amid the rush of everyday life. When God is no longer the object of our longings, the spiritual vacuum will be filled by material idols found in our shopping-mall temples on major un-feast days.

Fortunately, the notion of Thanksgiving still resonates in the hearts of many Americans. They deplore the exploitation of the holiday and seek a return to order. However, it is not enough to simply return to the turkey and fixings. Rather, we must stop “joining in the frenzy” that destroys economies and cultures.

We must reconnect, give thanks and have recourse to God and call upon His blessings
As pubished on Spero News.

"NO Smartphones at my Thanksgiving"

When you’re talking to someone, how do you feel when they ignore you to check their smartphone?

I personally can’t stand it. And I hope that at your Thanksgiving dinner there are no guests who interrupt the conversation by checking their smartphones.

On the issue of smartphones, you may find interesting facts to fill your Thanksgiving conversation here:

The Smartphone: A Double-Edged Sword

Actually, for a very hot topic of conversation for Thanksgiving, take a look at this:

What Saint Thomas Says About Immigration

It’s the most popular article right now on the Return to Order website.

Another tragic topic is the spread of Satanism in America.

In this line, we’re promoting a protest and petition drive against the new show Lucifer planned by Fox. Please sign and spread this urgent petition:

Tell Fox TV to Cancel Lucifer

Finally, and most importantly, we turn to Almighty God on this Thanksgiving in prayer and gratitude for all of His blessings.

I wish that you and your family have a Thanksgiving Day that is abundantly blessed.

Fox’s upcoming January TV series will portray Satan as a “nice guy”

Fox TV Series Plants A Seed For Lucifer
As A Charming Friend Of Mankind
And Victim Of A Tyrant God

Tell Fox: Be Gone LUCIFER!

The malice of Lucifer is such that he wants people to worship him as God.  He even tempted Our Lord to worship him!

Our words and efforts should echo the response of Christ Himself:  “Be gone, Satan: the Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him alone shalt thou serve!” (Matt.4:10)

Now, see how Fox TV seems to plan to help Lucifer appeal to our weak sides in their scheduled series “Lucifer” for January, 2016.

  • Fox’s online “About The Show” presents the devil as “charming, charismatic and devilishly handsome.”
  • In the show – Lucifer refers to God like this: “Hey, he’s my father, not yours. I can say whatever I want about the guy. I quit Hell because I was sick and tired of playing a part in Dad’s plan. I believe in free will, not the tyranny of all his predestination hoo-ha.”
  • Lucifer continues: “Thank you! But I’ve been doing a fair amount of thinking. Do you think I’m the devil because I’m inherently evil or simply because dear ol’ Dad decided I was? Is this a classic case of labeling? What do you think?”
  • The film is quite demonic in its subtlety. In a nightclub, clips show plenty of gyrating, scantily clad dancers, sexual innuendos, glorify a party lifestyle, and portray Lucifer as a fun loving young man while God and his angel Amenadiel are no fun at all and don’t relate to modern man.

Like St. Michael the Archangel, we make no compromises with evil. PROTEST To FOX NOW

We will not allow Fox TV to get our children used to Lucifer


Our Divine Redeemer Himself spoke of the devil like this: "He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8, 44).

The devil is a murderer and the father of lies, the liar par excellence, who hates truth, because truth leads to God.

Do NOT Let Fox TV Bring Lucifer To America


There’s more: Fox’s upcoming January TV series will portray Satan:

  • Lucifer gets bored running Hell and comes to the City of Angels in human form.
  • Lucifer is a successful, handsome, dashing, witty, likeable, and intelligent young man innocently “indulging in a few of his favorite things – wine, women and songs.”
  • Lucifer’s “conscience” is increasingly touched by a successful, beautiful, serious, likeable, and intelligent young woman detective.
  • Lucifer starts helping this woman to solve crimes by bringing out the innermost thoughts and desires of suspects.
  • Lucifer, enjoying himself and carefree, is pestered to return to Hell by an angel from heaven dressed all in black and with black wings.

Do NOT Let Fox TV Try To Make Lucifer Charming & Harmless

HERE’s More TRUTH About The Fallen Angel Lucifer
"Satan is distinguished by his guile,” writes Monsignor Cristiani. “Guile is a deceitful scheme. The being that acts with guile has bad intentions. If he speaks, it is not to say the truth, but to deceive, to lead to falsehood. Satan is treacherous, false. One cannot trust him. He lacks equity, loyalty, frankness. He is erroneous, voluntarily obscure and dissimulative."
A Perverted Will

In his book Angels and Demons, author Luis Solimeo states:   The devils are pure spirits, since they are Angels. They do not have the weaknesses of men. From this, we understand why their revolt against God is permanent, immutable, and eternal.

  • Their will became perverted and fixed in evil after they abandoned the Highest Good as their objective.
  • As a consequence, the devils do not wish anything but evil in all their voluntary acts and, even when they appear to do good (as, for example, when they restore someone's health, give riches, or teach something), it is only as a means to cause more evil, leading the person to final perdition, which is their ultimate wish for all men.


May God protect us from the snares of the Devil.

PS: This Is Just The Beginning – Tell Fox TVSend Lucifer Back To Hell!

Catholic martyrs in Vietnam

Joseph Marchand

Joseph Marchand (August 17, 1803 – November 30, 1835) was a French missionary in Vietnam, and a member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society.

Born August 17, 1803, in Passavant, in the Doubs department of France, in 1833 he joined the Lê Văn Khôi revolt by Lê Văn Khôi, son of the late governor of southern Vietnam Lê Văn Duyệt. Khoi and Marchand vowed to overthrow Emperor Minh Mạng and replace him with My Duong, the son of Minh Mạng’s late elder brother Nguyễn Phúc Cảnh, who were both Catholics.

Marchand and Khoi appealed to the Catholics to join in overthrowing Minh Mạng and installing a Catholic emperor. They quickly seized the Citadel of Saigon and the uprising lasted two years.

Martyrdom of Joseph MarchandHe was arrested in 1835 in Saigon and martyred, by having his flesh pulled by tongs (the torture of the hundred wounds).

He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.  His feast day is November 30, and his joint feast day with the Vietnamese Martyrs is November 24.


Pierre-Rose-Ursule-Dumoulin Borie

Pierre_BorieBishop-elect of Acanthus, Vicar Apostolic of Western Tongking and Martyr; born 20 February, 1808, at Beynat, Diocese of Tulle, France; beheaded 24 November, 1838. He studied successively at the colleges of Beaulieu and Servieres, and in 1826 entered the seminary of Tulle. Meanwhile the desire to devote his life to the evangelization of distant lands matured, and in 1829 he proceeded to Paris and spent thirteen months at the Seminary of the Foreign Missions.

Too young for the priesthood, he was to have been ordained at Pondicherry, on his way to his missionary post. However, a dispensation from Rome permitted his immediate ordination, which took place at Bayeux (1830). He sailed from Havre, 1 December, 1830, and, after spending some time at Macao, in China, arrived in Tongking in the year 1832. His progress in the language of the country was rapid, but eight months after his installation an edict of persecution was issued (January, 1833). Borie had to remain almost continually concealed and to endure great privations.

In 1834, failing health increased the acuteness of the sufferings of persecution. He regained his strength the following year and was enabled to visit even the least accessible Christian communities of the vast district of which he was in charge. He fell into the hands of the persecutors in 1838. During his captivity he received the news of his nomination to the Vicariate Apostolic of Western Tongking, with Acanthus as titular see. Shortly after this, on the 24th of November, 1838, the death sentence was pronounced on him and two native priests; the execution took place that same day. His remains were brought to France in 1843, and are religiously kept at the Seminary of the Foreign Missions, in Paris.

Matyrdom of Saint Pierre Borie

P.D.H. BORIE (brother of Monseigneur Borie, writing anonymously), Vie de Mgr. Borie, par un prêtre du diocèse de Tulle (Paris, 1844; 2d ed., 1846); LAUNAY, Les cinquante-deux serviteurs de Dieu (Paris, 1895), 133-162.

N.A. WEBER (Catholic Encyclopedia)

As the Climate Debate Heats Up, the Polar Caps Ice Over

by Gary J. Isbell

As the Climate Debate Heats Up, the Polar Caps Ice Over

In a surprising new study, NASA satellite telemetry indicates that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the losses from its thinning glaciers. No doubt this data will not set well with climate alarmists who claim that anthropogenic global warming is destroying the polar ice caps. However, we live in an age where agenda and propaganda trump logic, facts and science.

This new study challenges the 2013 report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that claims that Antarctica is losing ice. This mantra has the full support of some in the media who propagandize the IPCC’s unfounded claims. According to climate expert Professor John Turner at the British Antarctic Survey, the increase of ice was not expected because “the world’s best 50 [computer] models were run and 95% of them have Antarctic sea ice decreasing over the past 30 years.”[1] Actually, the polar caps have been losing ice in recent years, and then they gain it back in the normal growth and loss–for which there are only 35 years of data to compare.

Using projections based on computer models, an article from Catholic Online titled “2020: Antarctic ice shelf could collapse,” claims “the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and those polar ice caps keep right on melting. Things have deteriorated so badly - especially the Larsen B ice shelf, that scientist now fear the entire Antarctica ice shelf will collapse by the end of this decade, in the year 2020.”[2] It’s not entirely clear how this article links wealth and poverty to melting ice caps, but this is what is reported regularly and will be discussed at the next climate summit in Paris, Conference of Parties, COP-21.

The goal is clear for COP-21, they want all nations to adopt a legally binding agreement that will reduce global carbon emissions aimed at keeping alleged warming below the agreed threshold of 2°C, and to acquire the authority to punish offenders. A 2°C limit is quite a safe figure because alarmists know there is little to no measurable warming, so if an agreement is made at COP-21, they can claim the temperatures did not rise because of environmental restrictions.

Negotiations in Paris in December will not only focus on participant’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, but will attempt to establish a $100 billion per year commitment fund starting in 2020. In spite of the fact that is undefined which First World countries would supply the money, it is intended to help developing countries combat climate change and progress through sustainable development.

To put these goals of climate alarmists in perspective, it should be understood as a socialist’s dream come true; something like a modern version of Robin Hood. If made, this agreement will constitute the largest re-distribution of wealth the world has ever seen and will be accomplished through emotional scare tactics and bogus data.

To date, there are no proofs that CO2 does anything other than make vegetation grow faster and greener; it simply does not cause an increase in temperature. The greatest greenhouse gas is water vapor and that is not primarily anthropogenic.

Arctic ice levels are well within the average measured by satellites since first recordings a mere 35 years ago and are currently growing.

Polar bear populations are up.

Alarmists predicted global warming super-storms that simply have not materialized.

Even the godfather of the greenhouse gas theory Roger Revelle, professor of Science and Public Policy published a statement opposed to the radical views of the IPCC, Al Gore and other alarmists in which he says “drastic, precipitous and, especially, unilateral steps to delay the putative greenhouse impacts can cost jobs and prosperity and increase the human costs of global poverty, without being effective. Stringent controls enacted now would be economically devastating, particularly for developing countries for whom reduced energy consumption would mean slower rates of economic growth without being able to delay greatly the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”[3]

Yale economist William Nordhaus, deals quantitatively with the economics of the greenhouse effect and has indicated that “... those who argue for strong measures to slow greenhouse warming have reached their conclusion without any discernible analysis of the costs and benefits ... It would be prudent to complete the ongoing and recently expanded research so that we will know what we are doing before we act. ‘Look before you leap’ may still be good advice.”[4]

As the climate debate heats up and the polar caps ice over, Mother Nature has not supported the alarmists by providing the prophesized cataclysmic events. It seems painfully clear that the climate agenda has little to do with climate change and everything to do with the destruction of Western civilization.





Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 25 – The day a 16 year old Catholic leper defeated a huge Muslim army

Battle of Montgisard painting by Charles-Philippe Larivière

Battle of Montgisard painting by Charles-Philippe Larivière

The Battle of Montgisard was fought between the Ayyubids and the Kingdom of Jerusalem on November 25, 1177. The 16 year old King Baldwin IV, seriously afflicted by leprosy, led an out-numbered Christian force against the army of Saladin. The Islamic force was routed and their casualties were massive, only a fraction managed to flee to safety.

More than wisdom and courage, what made Baldwin IV a great king was his indomitable faith – a virtue he demonstrated at the famous battle of Montgisard. After the attack on Egypt was cancelled, Philip of Flanders took his army to campaign in the northern territories of the kingdom, where Raymond of Tripoli joined him. The move left Jerusalem in a precarious situation. Very few troops had stayed behind to defend the capital and the king’s condition had worsened.

Battle of Montgisard Painting by Charles-Philippe Larivière

Battle of Montgisard Painting by Charles-Philippe Larivière

Saladin was quick to seize the opportunity and directed his main army of 26,000 elite troops toward Jerusalem. From his sick bed, Baldwin summoned what little strength he had and rode out to meet his adversary with less than 600 knights and a few thousand infantrymen. By this point Baldwin’s strength was so deteriorated many thought he would die. Bernard Hamilton quotes a contemporary Christian writer who described the king’s condition as “already half dead.”(1)

Realizing the impotence of the king’s force, Saladin ignored him and continued his march to Jerusalem until Baldwin intercepted him near the hill of Montgisard, only 45 miles from Jerusalem.

True Cross

Seeing the overwhelming Muslim army, the Christians became petrified. However, such desperate situations afford great men an opportunity to show their mettle, and Baldwin rose to the challenge. Dismounting his horse, he called for the Bishop of Bethlehem, to raise up the relic of the True Cross he carried. The king then prostrated before the sacred relic, beseeching God for success. Rising from prayer, he exhorted his men to press the attack and charged. Historian Stephen Howarth describes the battle that ensued:

“There were twenty-six thousand Saracen horsemen, only a few hundred Christians; but the Saracen were routed. Most were killed; Saladin himself only escaped because he rode a racing camel. The young king with his hands bandaged, rode in the forefront of the Christian charge – with St. George beside him, people said, and the True Cross shining as brightly as the sun. Whether or not that was so, it was an almost incredible victory, an echo of the days of the First Crusade. But it was also the last time such a great Muslem army was beaten by such a small force.”(2)


Deluged by heavy rains and suffering the loss of roughly ninety percent of his army, Saladin returned to Cairo in utter defeat. Years later, he would referred to the battle disdainfully as “so great a disaster.”(3)

Realizing that divine assistance was largely responsible for his triumph, Baldwin erected a Benedictine monastery on the site, dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, on whose feast day the victory had been won.

Painting of Saladin by Cristofano dell'Altissimo

Painting of Saladin by Cristofano dell’Altissimo

Notes: 1. Bernard Hamilton, The Leper King and His Heirs: Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (New York, Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 133.
2. Stephen Howarth, The Knights Templar (New York, Barnes and Noble Books, 1991) p. 133.
3. Bernard Hamilton, The Leper King and His Heirs, p. 136.

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