Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to Make Your Best Ever New Year Resolution

1. Be honest. Know yourself. What is your strongest virtue? What is your worst vice? Therefore, tailor your resolution so it strengthens your good side and fights your bad one. A one-size fits all resolution is useless.

2. Be specific. Don't use generalities. They don't work. For example, if you need to be more humble, just saying "I am going to be more humble," is useless. You need to zero in on one situation where you need to practice humility and resolve to improve in that one situation.

3. Be simple. Don't make it complicated. Focus on something you can see and measure easily and that does not overwhelm you each time you try to obtain it. Otherwise, you will become distracted and your energy will be dispersed and misdirected.

4. Be reasonable. Don't try to do too much at once. You won't become a saint in one day. Remember: you have one MAJOR point upon which is hinged your entire fidelity to God and His Holy Laws. This is a called your primordial light. Find out and work on improving it. Everything else will improve if you improve on that one major point.

How to discover your primordial light

5. Be consistent. It's far better to do something small everyday to improve on that one key point in your soul than to make a big resolution that you cannot keep for more than a week or two. Slow and steady wins the race!

6. Be humble. Recognize that you cannot do any good action which has value in the supernatural order without God's grace and the intercessory help of the Blessed Mother. Beg God's grace through Our Lady's intercession constantly in all your thoughts, desires and actions

7. Be disinterested. Remember that God wants us to defend His rights and interests, and to share His thoughts and ways. And therefore, to focus on things, happening and events that are very close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that are not necessarily linked to our own personal interests.

8. Write it down. It's important to write down your resolution so you can refer back to it often during the year. Also, by writing it down, you will be able to review it when the year is over, and to evaluate your progress since the time the resolution was made.

9. Public expressions of faith. Don't hide your faith. That's just what the devil wants. He knows when you express your faith publicly, others see you and are encouraged to follow your good example. Say grace openly and proudly before meals in a restaurant so people can see. You'll be surprised with the good reactions you will get.

10. Devotion to Our Lady. Have more devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Devotion to the Mother of God is a panacea. Saint Louis de Montfort said that devotion to Holy Mary is the easiest, safest, fastest, most secure, and surest path to Jesus and to our own salvation. If you can do nothing else, resolve to say the Rosary everyday. Saint Louis de Montfort wrote:

"If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins 'you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.' Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if-- and mark well what I say-- if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins."

- See more at: http://www.americaneedsfatima.org/Articles/10-tips-for-better-new-year-resolutions.html#sthash.78BvjhGB.dpuf

Voice Of Jesus: Give Me Thy Whole Heart

Give, then, thy heart to Me, Child: I will fill it with peace,
and with gladness, and with bliss. I wish to possess
thy whole heart, Child: I am its Lord; I, a jealous
God, am its only end, its sole beatitude.

Photo of Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

Alas! my God, here is the labor, here is the difficulty:
there exist in my heart so many things ill regulated,
and these I have followed so long, that to live
according to them, has become to me,
as it were, a second nature.

(A 6.5 minute read…enjoy.)

1.) The Voice of Jesus

My Child, give Me thy heart.

To release thy heart from sin, and from the world, is not enough: thou must, moreover, disengage it from thyself.

As the complete renouncing of sin renders the friendship of God steadfast, and as the putting away of the world, and its vanities, prepares the soul for the interior life; so, the forsaking of one’s self, leads to union with Me.

It is, therefore, necessary to give Me thy whole heart, without reserving aught for thyself, if thou desirest to enjoy that blessedness, than which there is none greater in this life, and by which alone thou canst be truly happy.

2.) Thy heart, Child, is Mine. For, when it had no being, I created it; when it was lost, I sought and ransomed it; when it lay an easy prey to the enemies, that were going to carry it off, I protected and preserved it. Thus, by giving Me thy heart, thou dost only give Me what is Mine.

But, on how many accounts do I deserve its every affection! What good dost thou possess, in thy body, or in thy soul, whether in the natural or the supernatural order, which thou didst not receive from My Heart?

How many years ago shouldst thou have been burning in hell, if I had either dealt with thee according to thy deserts; or had not preserved thee from sins which deserve hell and its just punishments!

But it was my love, Child, that dealt with thee in so sweet and wonderful a manner; the love of My Heart, with which I loved thee from eternity, and with which, even till now, I have never ceased to favor thee.

Thy whole life has been a succession of blessings, on My part, uninterrupted and manifold: nor has there been any point of time, which was not marked with some new favor

3.) And what, Child of My love, do I ask of thee in return for all these thousands of favors?  Surely, whatever I might ask of thee, and whatever thou mightst be able to give, would be far below the greatness and the number of My gifts. Yet, one thing only I demand, thy whole heart; it is enough, if thou give Me that.

Thy heart excepted, I care naught for whatever thou mayst give; because, beyond all else, I long for thy heart.

4.) Upon whom canst thou bestow thy heart with more advantage? Thou canst not live, without loving, and without giving the affections of thy heart to some object.

Wouldst thou give thy heart to the demon, thy sworn and relentless enemy? Or to the world, the demon’s corrupt and corrupting ally? Woe, My Child, a thousand times woe to thee, if thou givest it to either of these!

Art thou desirous of reserving the affections of thy heart for thyself? But, My Child, if thou lovest thyself only, thou shalt find requital in thyself alone. Now, what is the reward of self-love? Behold, self-love digs out a hell, and leads to the same.

Give, then, thy heart to Me, Child: I will fill it with peace, and with gladness, and with bliss.

5.) Do not desire to reserve for thyself aught of thy affections: for if thou do this, thou shalt neither be admitted into the secrets of My Heart, nor shalt thou ever be able to taste the sweetness of My love: nay more, thou shalt not be able to keep thyself from the danger of being perverted.

Yet it is not unusual for many, even those who wish to be considered good and pious, to keep, through self-love, under a specious pretext, an affection for some one or other created object. What is there more frequent? What can be more dangerous? What more baneful?

I wish to possess thy whole heart, Child: I am its Lord; I, a jealous God, am its only end, its sole beatitude.

6.) Love, then, My Child: it is given thee to love; to love is necessary: for this thy heart was made: but love thou what deserves to be loved; love Me; and, if thou cherish aught else besides, love it for love of Me alone.

When beside Me thou wilt love nothing, except for love of Me, when thou givest entrance into thy heart to nothing except to Me, or for love of Me, then, at last, shalt thou possess a heart wholly pure.

Wherefore, My Child, give Me thy whole heart, as a burnt-offering, for an odor of sweetness; nor do thou take it back, not even the least portion of the same: for I hate robbery in a holocaust.
Be ever mindful that, whether in prosperity or in adversity, there can be nowhere a better place for thy heart than with Me.

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7.) The Voice of the Disciple
It follows, then, Lord, that I must also disengage my heart from all self-love, from inordinate affection towards myself; so that I may wholly be filled with Thy love, and may live by Thy Spirit alone.

Alas! my God, here is the labor, here is the difficulty: there exist in my heart so many things ill regulated, and these I have followed so long, that to live according to them, has become to me, as it were, a second nature.

Hitherto, the natural disposition of my heart, either inclination or aversion, has been almost the sole rule of my life: this I have followed, in my dealings with others, in the undertaking and the execution of my actions; yea, in the very performance of my practices of religion and piety.

Hitherto, with grief I must own it, whatever pleased my natural inclination, I was wont to pursue: whatever displeased it, I abhorred.

Hence, I find my labors, for the most part, void: I see that well-nigh all my actions were those of self-love; and that they have given me, in return, the fruits only of self-love.

And, unless Thou, by the light of Thy grace, hadst showed me these things, I might have continued with them, without ever suspecting them. So much was I blinded by self-love.

But, since, by Thy gracious kindness, Thou hast laid open before my eyes these baleful evils lurking in my heart, grant me, I beseech Thee, a special help to remove them altogether.

I entreat Thee, Lord, suffer naught, which is not Thine, in my heart: if ever anything foreign appear therein, oblige me forthwith to cast it out; or do Thou, even against my will, take it thence.

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“Voice of Jesus” is taken from Arnoudt’s “Imitation of the Sacred Heart”, translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866

- See more at: http://www.americaneedsfatima.org/Voice-of-Jesus/voice-of-jesus-20-give-me-thy-whole-heart.html?email=reritchie@gmail.com&fname=Robert&lname=Ritchie&treat=Mr.&utm_campaign=E.QAL07081&utm_content=E.QAL07081&utm_medium=email&utm_source=E.QAL07081#sthash.fxhQJvG9.dpuf

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Holy Eucharist Is Trashed…

The Seattle Theatre Group Is Showing The Blasphemous Jerry Springer: The Opera

Send Your Instant E-protest Message

Very disturbing: please read with caution.

Send your E-protest message to the Seattle Theatre Group – they’re showing Je rry Springer: The Opera.

It is full of profanity, impurity, and blasphemous content:

• The Holy Eucharist is trashed.

• Jesus is introduced as “the hypocrite son of the fascist tyrant on high.” 

• The Annunciation and Incarnation is described as immorality. 

• Jesus wears a diaper, is fat and effeminate.

• Jesus later ‘admits’: “Actually, I am a bit gay.”

• Eve immorally touches Jesus in a manner too indecent to describe.

• A lady sings “Jerry Eleison” (mocking the Mass’ Kyrie Eleison)

• The crucifixion is mocked.

• God is a fat man in a white suit who complains about being blamed for everyone’s problems. He invites Jerry Springer to join Him to “sit in Heaven beside me, hold my hand and guide me.” At the end, Jerry emerges as the true savior of mankind.

You and I cannot accept such insults to Our Lord and our Holy Catholic Faith!

So please send a protest message via email to the Seattle Theatre Group today.

Send your instant e-protest message.

It only takes a few seconds, so please do it now. The honor of the Faith is precious and cannot be brushed aside. 

For the love of Our Lord and the Catholic Church, please send your message today, and consider forwarding this to your friends. 

May God bless you!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Did Jesus wish to be born noble?

The Holy Family in Nazareth. Painting by Diego Quispe Tito, 1675

The Holy Family in Nazareth. Painting by Diego Quispe Tito, 1675

And Jesus Christ, although He chose to spend His private life in the obscurity of a lowly dwelling, passing for the son of a laborer, and although in public life He so loved to associate with the common people, helping them in every manner possible, still He chose to be born of royal stock, choosing Mary as a mother and Joseph as putative father, both of them scions of the Davidic line. And yesterday, the feast of their marriage, we were able to repeat with the Church the beautiful words, “Regali ex progenie Maria exorta refulget” [Mary shows herself to us all refulgent, born of royal stock].


Leonis XIII Pontificis Maximii Acta (Rome: Ex Tipografia Vaticana, 1898), Vol. 22, p. 368 in Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Documents IV, p. 470.

From the Allocution of Leo XIII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility on January 24, 1903:

Monday, December 23, 2013

"Return to Family: Getting Your Family Fired Up About Honor, Role Models, and the Faith."

Author’s John Horvat, Norman Fulkerson Share Solutions for a Better America

Special Presentation to be held on Saturday, Jan. 4 at St. John Cantius Catholic Church

So Come Enjoy An Excellent Saturday Afternoon: A Talk, A Book Signing, Refreshments, Good Company, And Good Conversation.

Family, honor, faith, and positive role models are the most powerful tools we Americans have to reclaim our great country from the throes of economic chaos.

That is the theme of our two distinguished presenters of "Return to Family: Getting Your Family Fired Up About Honor, Role Models, and the Faith." 

The program is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite your friends or forward this email to them (just ask them to please RSVP - - - see below).

It will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in the Café San Giovanni at St. John Cantius Catholic Church, 825 N. Carpenter St., Chicago.

During the event, John Horvat II, vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and author of Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society, and Norman Fulkerson, public relations liaison for the American TFP and award-winning author of An American Knight: The Life of Colonel John W. Ripley, USMC will share their solutions for a better America and launch their recently published books.

The program opens with registration at 12:30 p.m.

At 1 p.m., Horvat will present "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother: The Key to Bringing America Back to Order," which focuses on what it means to honor parents, why your whole family needs to be fired up with the idea of honor, and how the sense of honor will revitalize society. 

A scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and contributor to The Wall Street Journal, FOX News, The Christian Post, The Washington Times, ABC News, C-SPAN and other publications and websites, Horvat will address our nation's challenges from a Catholic viewpoint. 

Drawing on 20 years of research, Return to Order analyzes where America went wrong and what we can do to return the country to a state of well-being.

Following Horvat at 2:15 p.m., Fulkerson, who is a contributing editor of Crusade Magazine, presents "How Role Models Can Inspire the Family: The case of Col. John Ripley USMC," which demonstrates how role models can change family dynamics, invigorate parents, and inspire the hearts of teenagers.

An American Knight, a Military Writers of America 2010 Gold Medal Winner (Biography), draws on Col. Ripley's achievements to inspire a hero-starved society to become true Christian Americans.

Signed copies of Return to Order, which normally retail for $21.95, will be available for $20 and autographed copies of An American Knight, which retail for $14.95, will be sold for $12 at the event. However, attendees can purchase both for only $25. For more information on either book, visit www.ReturnToOrder.org.

Remember, the event is free, but reservations are appreciated since space is limited. 

Those who RSVP will be entered in a drawing for a free copy of each book (must be present to win).

To RSVP, email our Fatima Custodian Rex Teodosio at rexteodosio@tfp.org or call 717-903-5874.


UPDATE: Friday, December 20, 2013; 8:19 AM: For two days running in December, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society —Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go by John Horvat II has ranked #1 in the Amazon Kindle Store's Social Sciences and Americas categories in the United States.

In Canada and Germany, it ranked #1 in the Social Sciences category, and in the United Kingdom, it ranked #1 in the Americas category and #3 in Social Sciences. The hardcover version of the book also ranked in the top 100 in Social Philosophy in the United States.

"What this tells me is that the world is hungry for the book's message," says Horvat, who is vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. "The economy is on course for self-destruction as a result of ignoring our moral compass, which ultimately keeps everything in balance. Our blind embrace of an economy driven by the pursuit of instant gratification, regardless of the consequences, is unsustainable and has thrown us into a state of socioeconomic chaos. Return to Order tells readers how we can get back on track."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Return to Order Ranks #1 in Four Countries on Amazon


CHANDLER, AZ (December 2013) – For two days running in December, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society —Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go by John Horvat II has ranked #1 in the Amazon Kindle Store's Social Sciences and Americas categories in the United States.

In Canada and Germany, it ranked #1 in the Social Sciences category, and in the United Kingdom, it ranked #1 in the Americas category and #3 in Social Sciences. The hardcover version of the book also ranked in the top 100 in Social Philosophy in the United States.

"What this tells me is that the world is hungry for the book's message," says Horvat, who is vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. "The economy is on course for self-destruction as a result of ignoring our moral compass, which ultimately keeps everything in balance. Our blind embrace of an economy driven by the pursuit of instant gratification, regardless of the consequences, is unsustainable and has thrown us into a state of socioeconomic chaos. Return to Order tells readers how we can get back on track."

Without relying solely on statistics, formulas and economic indicators, Return to Order shows how society's obsession for a secular, materialistic culture is causing social and psychological emptiness and economic ruin. But most importantly, it addresses solutions that correspond to the longings many men and women now have for timeless traditions, family and authenticity.

To ensure the book's intellectual standing, Horvat submitted it to a review board of 20 scholars in various fields. For readability and clarity assurance, he submitted the manuscript to a focus group representing a broad cross section of mainstream America.

In addition to Return to Order, Horvat is the author of hundreds of articles, some of which have appeared worldwide in The Wall Street Journal, FOX News, The Christian Post, The Washington Times, ABC News and C-SPAN, as well as other publications and websites. Horvat's writing has been compared to that of Richard Weaver and Russell Kirk, both major conservative intellectuals.

At 400 pages, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society —Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go in hardcover (ISBN: 978-0988214804)retails for $21.95 U.S., while the e-book version (ASIN: B00B5HED8W) is $4.95.

Upcoming special events include: "Return to Family: Getting Your Family Fired Up About Honor, Role Models and the Faith" to be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2014 in the Café San Giovanni at St. John Cantius Catholic Church, 825 N. Carpenter St., Chicago; and again from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 5 at the Columbian Meeting and Conference Center, 3245 Lighthouse Lane, West Bend, WI. Both are open to the public.

For information on the events, or to purchase copies of the book, call 855-861-8420 or visit www.ReturnToOrder.org.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Your Christmas Package

Some Christmas Gifts For You:

The Story Of Silent Night, Holy Night Children, Free Return to Order book, Santa, And God Christmas Wallpapers

I am thrilled to offer you a sort of Christmas Package filled with Christmas “goodies”.

Starting with your free copy of Return to Order on Kindle, which you can download right now.

FREE Copy of "Return to Order: From A Frenzied Economy to An Organic Christian Society"

And my heart is welling up with incredible appreciation for you and all the sacrifices you have made this past year for America Needs Fatima and Our Lady’s cause.

I think this movement of my heart is a consequence of that very special grace that God sends to the world through His Most Faithful Spouse for Christmas time. I’m just thinking that it’s a grace in proportion to the swelling of His own Heart upon reflection of His Son as a Babe in the frozen cave of His birth.

So please, with great joy and appreciation, let me present to you America Needs Fatima’s modest Christmas Package for you and your loved ones…

First, a profound  Christmas Story

+ “The Story of a Song” (Silent Night, Holy Night): the true story of how  and where this most representative song of Advent came from. Great to  read on Christmas Eve!

Next: a commentary on children, Santa, and God: “Yes, Virginia, there is a God.”

+ It is has become a custom for practically every newspaper in America to reprint, during the Christmas season, the marvelous editorial, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” Since it first appeared in 1897, it has become an indelible part of Christmas tradition in our country. It is no secret why.

The central figure in the story is an innocent girl named Virginia O’Hanlon who is told by her “little friends” that Santa does not exist. She writes a letter to The Sun – a prominent New York paper at the time -- with her sorrowful question as to the existence of Santa. The difficult task of responding to the eight-year-old fell on the shoulders of Francis Church, who responded in the form of an editorial… full story.

Finally, we have your computer wallpapers for December:

+ (4th down on the page) The Immaculate Conception

+ (5th down on the page) A Nativity Scene

+ (6th down on the page) A Christmas Tree

May Our Lady grant you and your loved ones a very blessed and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

FREE Kindle Copy of Return to Order – The Book About Catholic Organic Society

In times of crisis, we are forced to reexamine our ways and ponder our future. It is in this framework that we need to consider our present economic plight and the charting of our path forward.


In his penetrating analysis of contemporary society, author John Horvat focuses on the present crisis with great insight and clarity. He claims modern economy has become cold, impersonal, and out of balance.

Gone are the human elements of honor and trust so essential to our daily lives. Society has discarded the natural restraining influence of the human institutions and values that should temper our economic activities.

Return to Order is a clarion call that invites us to reconnect with those institutions and values by applying the timeless principles of an organic Christian order. 


Horvat presents a refreshing picture of this order, so wonderfully adapted to our human nature. He describes the calming influence of those natural regulating institutions—such as custom, family, community, the Christian State, and the Church.

A return to order is not only possible but crucial.  Horvat shows us how to make it happen.

Based on nearly twenty years of ground-breaking research, this book is being recognized as one of the most important and influential on the subject to be published in the past ten years. Its original insight into both the present crisis and remedies for the future thrust Return to Order into the center of the raging debate over how to restore America to prominence as a proud and great nation.

Read this dramatic approach to restore America and join the debate about America’s RETURN TO ORDER.

FREE Kindle Copy of Return to Order


Meese_ attribution

Return to Order provides an interesting analysis of how the United States has departed from the spiritual, cultural, and economic precepts that supported the founding and the early history of our republic. It also sets forth valuable recommendations for restoring our society to its foundation of ordered liberty and traditional values.”

—  The Honorable Edwin Meese III
Former Attorney General of the United States

Lt_Gen_Benjamin_R_Mixon_as_USAPACCOM_CO copy

“This is a timely and important book as our nation faces one of the most critical challenges in its history. Overcoming the economic disaster America is facing cannot be solved simply through economic policy. Americans and their leaders must put in place policy that will restore values, work ethics, and, as the author points out so well, honor. As a career military officer, honor was the most important attribute to me and my fellow soldiers. Restoring honor to our economic landscape will put the nation on the path to recovery.”

—  Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon USA (Ret.)
Former Commanding General, United States Army Pacific

CREDIT Mary E. Gibson (2) copy

“By calling the reader to embrace the cardinal virtues of temperance, justice, prudence and fortitude, Return to Order suggests a practical pathway to avoid the economic and spiritual crises that are looming before us and, by means of religious conversion, reestablish a right order for human flourishing. I hope that this work will receive the attention it so deserves.”

—  The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis


“John Horvat succinctly describes the condition, history, diagnosis and prognosis of our current economic crisis. The economic chaos or peril is only symptomatic of the bigger and more crucial issue of a CULTURAL CRISIS. His terminology of FRENETIC INTEMPERANCE is brilliant. This is not an apologia to retreat from the world nor is it an attempt to turn back the clock, so to speak. It is a coherent explanation of the sitz-im-leben we find ourselves. Only an ORGANIC CHRISTIAN SOCIETY can save Europe and America from the same oblivion that doomed the Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations. Western Civilization is rooted in the JUDAEO-CHRISTIAN ethos. No philosophical or economic theory can provide what an organic Christian society alone creates and supports. Not Socialism, not Communism, not Fascism and not unbridled, unrestricted and unlimited Consumeristic Capitalism. Horvat, like Fr. Sirico, shows that a Free Market makes sense and conforms to the Natural Moral Law but must also be constrained and governed by it as well. I highly recommend this book.”

—  Rev. Dr. John Trigilio
Author and President, Confraternity of Catholic Clergy


“Return to Order is a refreshing breath of air in a time of economic and political distress. It reminds us of those basic and foundational institutions and practices that helped shape the generations of our fathers and mothers. And, it reminds us that we can be successful and solve the issues America is currently facing without terse political discourse, but with a strong Church, strong family and strong community. Horvat’s Return to Order is much like his book jacket illustration, a beacon on a hill enlightening the way for readers in a time of American uncertainty.”

Congressman Lou Barletta,
U.S. House of Representatives, serving Pennsylvania’s 11th District.


“I am so impressed at how deeply Return to Order plumbs the American soul, and with 36 years of experience in the financial industry, I do appreciate how much our collective journey as a nation interfaces with our economic cycles. Horvat’s fabulous analysis of our present crisis can and should be a most important instrument in reshaping the educational foundations of our youth, preparing them for leadership in the foremost country of the Western Hemisphere.”

—  David S. Miller
Senior Vice President, Operations Manager, US Bank


“In his penetrating analysis of contemporary society, author John Horvat focuses on our cultural and economic crises with insight and clarity.”

— Legatus Magazine

joe_shciedler“The depth of knowledge and originality of Horvat’s analysis, plus the scope and inspiration of his vision for a true solution to our current economic crisis, make Return to Order worthy of becoming the bedside book for those who believe America is worth fighting for.”

— Joseph M. Scheidler
National Director, Pro-Life Action League


“In an intellectually compelling and practical way, Return to Order reminds us that economy and religion are deeply connected, and that, with the family at the center, we can hope to be freed from the frenzy in which our society finds itself. I highly recommend this book.”

—  Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
President, National Pro-life Religious Council


“The central theme of frenetic intemperance is original, interesting, and compelling. The diagnosis of contemporary social maladies must focus on moral failings, and Return to Order rightly does so. Its insightful thesis deserves wide circulation and consideration.”

—  Kevin E. Schmiesing, Ph.D.
Research Fellow at Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
Book Review Editor for the Journal of Markets & Morality

Return to Order is a clear, engaging read that, by delineating some fundamentals of the natural order, will empower you to spot many of today’s disorders—even some you may have unconsciously bought into. Such was my experience… I was enlightened…. We are moving forward in time to a society more like times long past. Just as the sexual revolution gradually is making clearer the truth and wisdom of the Church on matters socio-sexual so too the greed and envy revolution of the marketplace will drive mankind back to the truth and wisdom of the Church on the political economy. The needs of the global village economy (freedom, flexibility within a just order) provide many opportunities for resurrecting many good norms of order that flourished in the Middle Ages. It is an intriguing prospect. The book is interesting, clear and enlightening.”

—  Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow and Director, Marriage & Religion Research Institute

“Like the true cultural conservative he is, John Horvat takes on the idols of technological, economic, and political power. These powers exacerbate the human tendency toward frenetic intemperance. Return to Order demonstrates that we must be ever vigilant about the institutions we create lest they lose their moral compass.”

—  Richard Stivers
Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Illinois State University

Castle_combe_river copy

“John Horvat has put together a compendium of good thinking about a lot of diverse subjects and integrated them into a coherent outline of a worldview. His integrated understanding of diverse human phenomena would be eagerly and widely accepted in the Europe of the Middle Ages. More recently he would likely fall into the company of such traditional conservative scholars as Russell Kirk or Richard Weaver. This is a perceptive and exciting book explaining how these traditional understandings and principles can form the bedrock of our personal and corporate philosophy today.”

—  G. Daniel Harden, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Education, Washburn University
Chairman, Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission


“An ambitious book that calls for a major shift in the attitudes of those of us who live in a fast-paced world. Horvat calls for an order that combines the virtues of tested traditions with the creative potential of the free economy: a combination of a structured order based on traditional values and the spontaneous order of economic systems based on private property. He uses the term “frenetic intemperance” to describe the type of life which does not leave room for family, creative leisure, and prayer. A call for more balance in our economies and our lives.”

—  Dr. Alejandro Chafuen
President of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation


“Poetically written, John Horvat II’s Return to Order elevates the argument about what is truly important. It’s rare that a book of this depth is also such a pleasure to read. Mr. Horvat’s critique of contemporary America’s “frenetic intemperance” rings true, laying bare modern man’s confusion and anomie amid plenty. An erudite cultural sculptor, Mr. Horvat chisels away materialism’s false promises and points toward God as the source of the higher revelation that makes beauty, heroism, nobility, sacrifice and true vocation discoverable and meaningful.”

—  Robert Knight
columnist and author of several books, including
The Age of Consent: The Rise of Relativism and the Corruption of Popular Culture
and The Truth About Marriage


“John Horvat sounds a clarion call for a return to fiscal and moral sanity. A must read!”

—  Col. Bud Day

Medal of Honor and POW


“If our nation ever needed to return to traditional values, it is now. We are committing suicide; but each of our problems has at its roots a moral solution found in the tenets of the Christian tradition that is at the foundation of our being. Return to Order does a great job of highlighting the source and solution to our impending demise.”

—  Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady
Medal of Honor recipient


“Saint Benedict’s definition of peace, “Peace is the tranquility of order,” in his Rule is as valid today as it was in the Fifth Century when he wrote it. The restoration of economic and social peace in our disordered society is something for which all men of good will yearn. John Horvat has given us in his excellent book, Return to Order, a catechism of principles to guide all our efforts to restore economic and social peace to America.”

—  Most Rev. Rene H. Gracida
Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi


“The economy is finally getting the attention it deserves, and Return to Order is doing its part to help put us back on the right track. This excellent work is an in-depth study of the history and cause of our present-day economic and spiritual crisis, and it gives us a well-reasoned solution to our plight as well. I am pleased to recommend it.”

—  Most Rev. James. C. Timlin
Bishop Emeritus of Scranton


“I am convinced…that answers for the most vexing challenges are found in human solutions.  In other words, character, sound decision-making, and selfless service to great causes cure many ailments. Horvat’s thesis that frenetic intemperance has driven many, if not all, of today’s economic problems bears close consideration….This book should be read and its recommendations followed by those who know a Return to Order in the 21st Century is sorely needed.”

—  Lt. Col. Joseph J. Thomas (USMC-ret.), Ph.D.
USNA Class of ’61 Chair
Distinguished Professor of Leadership Education, United States Naval Academy


Return to Order is beautiful in its simplicity yet profound in its intellectual depth.”

Jamie Johnson,
State Central Committeeman of Republican Party of Iowa


“In this very well-documented and argued work, John Horvat, ingeniously demonstrates how the four cardinal virtues are the basis of a free and prosperous society. This is a work that should be on every economics and social science bookshelf. It touches on the very basis of the problems in our modern economy and society. I highly recommend this enjoyable book.”

—  Prof. Harry C. Veryser
Author and Former Director of Graduate Studies in Economics, University of Detroit Mercy


“This book proposes a revitalization of long standing Christian practices as an antidote to current economic discontinuities. Using practical minded recommendations to resolve massively complex societal issues, Return to Order is a proposal that should be welcomed by those looking for a path to economic recovery and a tempering of future disruptions.”

—  John B. Powers
President, Chicago Daily Observer

“A fabulous study! God granted us freedom and property to earn our sustenance. Socialism replaces individual initiative with rigid regulation and no one’s happy.”

—  Malcolm Morris
Chairman, Stewart Title Guaranty Company

Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza_new

Return to Order is original and penetrating in its understanding of the current economic crisis, and sublime and refreshing in its grasp of the solution: organic Christian society. John Horvat has given us a much needed analysis of what went wrong with modern society and an inspired vision for where America needs to go. Inside the chaos of our days, the book is a welcome beacon that helps us get our bearings and set us on the path to true order. It defines real leadership and calls all to virtue and trust in Providence. It is my fervent hope that this book will get the attention it deserves and that it will help bring about God’s highest designs for the American people at this crossroads in history.”

—  H.I.R.H. Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza
Prince Imperial of Brazil

Duke Paul

Return to Order touches on matters that apply not only to America but everywhere. Modern economy is in trouble and this book zeroes in on the problem of frenetic intemperance in an original and convincing manner. Best of all, author John Horvat offers organic Catholic solutions that are both so needed and so refreshing. I hope this book gets wide circulation and recommend it to all those who want real answers to vital questions.”

—  H.H. Duke Paul of Oldenburg
Director, Brussels Office of Federation Pro Europa Christiana

“Horvat’s book is a thorough analysis…and points to the way out. This is very valuable in times when people are provided with false analyses and false solutions.”

—  Tadeusz Radlinski
Founder of MRM (vessel design and construction), Gdansk, Poland

“We have abandoned morality in the economic life, together with beauty and the Christian spirit. In Return to Order, John Horvat argues that the return to Christian values and their observance, both by entrepreneurs and government leaders, is the best protection against the present, constantly recurring crises.”

—  Paweł Toboła-Pertkiewicz
President, Polish-American Foundation for Economic Research & Education


Return to Order is a very timely and valuable publication. The author Mr. Horvat does an excellent job in excavating the underlying root of the recurrent economic crises. It is the loss of the golden mean of virtuousness, the consequence of replacing prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance as the guiding principles of economic activity with the principle of income maximization. As a result of having abandoned the ethical anchor modern man fluctuates restless between the extremes, the business cycle being but the most prominent example of ‘frenetic intemperance.’ Anyone who considers the ongoing public debate as superficial — most reform proposals indeed merely want to cure the symptoms, yet do not address the underlying causes — should study Mr. Horvat’s Return to Order. It is to be hoped that this book reaches a large reading public and will have an impact on public policy, theoretical debates and personal decisions alike.”

—  Gregor Hochreiter
Director, Institute of Applied Economics and Western Christian Philosophy
Vienna, Austria

“No one can doubt that our country cannot continue on its present course and that the causes for our demise need to be seriously examined. Mr. Horvat has tackled this challenge by analyzing the cultural, moral and structural issues inherent in our 21st century economy. All too often people react by going to extremes within the current system: one calling for more government intervention and the other for exaggerated individualism.  Both ignore the underlying moral problem.  Mr. Horvat has produced a balanced and scholarly work—Return to Order—in which he not only dissects brilliantly the wide spectrum of causes of our crisis but provides concrete recommendations to return us to both a prosperous society as well as one that respects the dignity of all the participants.”

—  R. Scott Turicchi
President, j2 Global, Inc.

“This book offers a plan for how to begin to restructure America as the Christian society it once was. By understanding where America has been and how it got to this point in history, Christians everywhere will begin to understand what they must do to rise up against the culture that is leading our country to ruin.”

—  Barbara Brabec
Book Editor and Author

“This is a remarkable and much needed book that focuses on the phenomenon of “frenetic intemperance” displayed in the souls of modern Americans. Lack of the cardinal virtue of temperance constitutes a disorder in the soul that is reflected in the various disorders and imbalances seen in the Republic itself. Enslavement to the disordered passion of “frenetic intemperance” that seeks to throw off all moral restraints has resulted, in effect, in “Two Americas” (one adhering to the remnants of the Judæo-Christian and classical political philosophy of the Nation’s Founders; the other in profound Crisis subject to the pathologies of extreme individualism, materialism, moral relativism, Socialism, and even to a Nihilism declaring human life without meaning). The worlds of politics, government, the economy, finance, technology, culture, law, and the academy have all been adversely affect by the rejection of a transcendent spiritual order and its Natural Law positing restraints on human behavior. The Brave New Secular World being erected in the name of ‘freedom” has been corrupting our institutions and human relationships.

The author has written a work unabashedly calling for an organic Catholic state and society or, at least, the permeation of our present troubled society with Christian principles that will address the disruptions in the body politic which threaten human dignity. An interesting feature of this volume is the author’s taking the best in contemporary scholarship to buttress his evaluation of our contemporary scene as well as noting those aspects and components of Medieval Society from which “post-moderns” can well learn and re-establish.

Our author has been clearly influenced by the writings of the Brazilian thinker Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira and the Pope most quoted in the documents of Vatican II (Pope Pius XII). The wisdom of the Aristotelian-Thomistic “philosophia perennis” is evident in his pages.”

—  James Likoudis
president emeritus, Catholics United for the Faith (CUF)

Titles and affiliation of the above individuals with businesses. institutions or organizations
are for identification purposes only.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Sweet Yoke Of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The glory of the world, wherewith one man deludes the
other, is false and short lived: but the glory of My
service is true, and shall endure forever.

Photo of Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

O most sweet Jesus! What is there for me outside of
Thee, or what do I desire upon earth beside Thee?

God of my heart, Thou art my life, Thou my
blessedness, Thou my portion forever.

(A 4 minute read…enjoy.)

1.) The Voice of Jesus
Come, My Child, take up My yoke upon thee; for My yoke is sweet, and My burden light.

My service, Child, is not that of a tyrant, nor of a harsh master; but of a most loving Father, who is near His children, who are submissive to Him, that He may help and entertain them.

Love is the spirit of My service: and love finds all things easy.

My commands are not heavy; and to those that love, they are exceedingly light and sweet.

Try and taste, My Child, how pleasant it is to serve Me; how delightful, to enjoy My sweetness; how good, to gain possession of the very fountain of all good things.

2.) If thou seekest delights, thou shalt find the true ones, in My service alone.

All the pleasures of the world, are either empty or pernicious. But My consolations surpass, beyond comparison, all the delights of earth: they ravish hearts by their purity, they satiate them by their truth.

Yea, betimes, they so overwhelm man, that they give him a certain foretaste of those heavenly delights, wherewith the Blessed in Paradise are inebriated.

3.) He that serves Me, is not as the slave of the world, who toils to gather for himself treasures on earth, and in the end, finds his hands empty.

But he lays up for himself treasures in heaven, where neither the rust, nor the moth, can destroy; where thieves cannot dig them up, nor carry away.

All the wealth of earth, compared with the treasures of heaven, is only dust and nothingness.
4.) If thou aimest to be honored, behold! What greater honor can be desired, than to be with Me, to be approved and distinguished by Me?

The glory of the world, wherewith one man deludes the other, is false and short lived: but the glory of My service is true, and shall endure forever.

Greater is the least of My servants, than the lord of a kingdom in the world.

5.) Was there ever found a man, who, at the hour of death, repented that he had served Me? Yet, at that last moment, how exceedingly do worldlings regret to have been in the service of the world! Or, if they bewail it not, how much more wretched are they!

Truthful is the saying, My Child, that he, who serves Me faithfully during life, possesses two heavens, the one in time, the other in eternity: and that he, who spends his life in the service of the wicked world, endures two hells, one now, another hereafter.

6.) Courage! then, My Child; bend thyself beneath the yoke, which is borne by the Angels in heaven, and the Elect on earth; and beneath which they enjoy true bliss.

Take it up joyously, and bear it cheerfully. Thou servest the same Lord, that is served by the Blessed in heaven. Whilst thou imitatest them in their service, imitate them also in their cheerfulness.

Let the slaves of sin, and of the world, be sad: joy and exultation are the portion of My servants.

Serve Me, then, but serve Me with gladness: let thy heart, for joy, cheer up thy countenance; and, by thy holy gayety, teach the world, what blessedness there is in serving Me.

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7.) The Voice of the Disciple
To serve Thee, O most benign Jesus, is truly sweet for me: what then must it be for those that love Thee! What for those that have centered their heart’s affection in Thee!

If I, who only begin to love, find so great a sweetness in Thee; in what sweetness do they delight, who, fondly devoted to Thee, with a generous heart, have long lived for Thee alone; are admitted into the innermost of Thy Heart, and partake of all Thy bliss most plentifully!

O Jesus, unutterable sweetness! What is man that Thou exaltest him thus? Or the son of man, that Thou settest Thy Heart upon him?

8.) Behold! To live for Thee, to comply with Thy Will, is not to serve, but to reign. In Thy service, no one is a servant, every one is a King, is a Lord: for Thou art the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.

In Thy service, no one is a menial, no one is miserable: each one is noble, each one is fortunate; for Thou art the King of glory; honors and riches abound in Thy house.

In Thy service, no one is wicked; and, therefore, no one is unhappy: but all are good, happy all: for Thou art the King of virtues, the peace and joy of hearts.

Blessed, therefore, are the undefiled, who walk in Thy law! Their blessedness is ever enduring: for Thy kingdom is the kingdom of all ages.

O most sweet Jesus! What is there for me outside of Thee, or what do I desire upon earth beside Thee? God of my heart, Thou art my life, Thou my blessedness, Thou my portion forever.

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“Voice of Jesus” is taken from Arnoudt’s “Imitation of the Sacred Heart”, translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866

- See more at: http://www.americaneedsfatima.org/Voice-of-Jesus/voj-19-glory-of-the-world-or-sweet-yoke-of-jesus.html?email=reritchie@gmail.com&fname=Robert&lname=Ritchie&treat=Mr.&utm_campaign=E.QAK07031&utm_content=E.QAK07031&utm_medium=email&utm_source=E.QAK07031#sthash.8ti9g7IV.dpuf

Pro-life leaders shocked by removal of Cardinal Burke from important Vatican post

by John-Henry Westen

VATICAN CITY, December 16, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This morning the Vatican announced confirmations and new appointments to the important Congregation for Bishops leaving Cardinal Burke off the list.  The news has shocked pro-life leaders for whom Burke has been the top ally in the Vatican curia in the work to restore a culture of life.

Burke has been known for his outspoken championing of the high priority that Popes Benedict and John Paul II gave to the Church’s pro-life and pro-family teachings. He has especially been both praised and criticized for his frequent insistence that persistently pro-abortion Catholic politicians must be denied Holy Communion according to Canon law requirements which Cardinal Ratzinger, before he became pope, directed the US bishops to follow.

The Vatican release confirmed Cardinal Marc Ouellet as the head of the Congregation of Bishops and also appointed Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, and Westminster UK Cardinal Vincent Nichols among others as new members to the Congregation.  Another American Cardinal who was retained on the Congregation is Cardinal William Levada.

Virginia Nunziante, the head of Italy’s March for Life has a special place in her heart for Cardinal Burke since he is the only Bishop in Italy to march in the March for Life, even though he’s at the Vatican rather than in Italy.  The news of Burke’s being removed from the Congregation of Bishops, she described as “a tragedy.”

“Cardinal Burke has been for us an inspiration,” Nunziate told LifeSiteNews. While other Vatican and Italian bishops send statements, only Cardinal Burke has thus far joined the march.  Nunziate hoped that the surprise appearance of Pope Francis at the march in May this year would encourage other bishops to participate publicly.

“We hope that Pope Francis will appoint some other very good pro-life bishops or cardinals in key positions in the Vatican because what we really need today is men who are courageous like Cardinal Burke has been in going into the public square,” she said. “We hope there will be others who will follow in his path.”

John Smeaton, President of the UK Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, told LifeSiteNews, "Cardinal Raymond Burke is a giant man of the Catholic Church and a fearless defender of unborn children, whom Mother Teresa rightly called the poorest of the poor.”

“While other leading churchmen downplay or dismiss the priority to be given to the right to life of babies before birth, billions of whom have been killed in recent years, Cardinal Burke stands strong and says such an attitude is wrong,” Smeaton added. “We need churchmen like Cardinal Burke to become bishops and so it's puzzling and disappointing to see him lost to the Congregation for Bishops which has the responsibility for appointing good bishops and to see other men appointed who don't have Cardinal Burke's clear commitment to the greatest human rights issue of the day and the gravest crisis facing the Catholic Church today.”

Cardinal Burke at the Rome March for Life

Jim Hughes, President of Campaign Life Coalition Canada told LifeSiteNews Cardinal Burke, “is a fine guy, and we think the world of him.”  “We’re sorry he won’t be (on the Congregation for Bishops) and hope Pope Francis has a good reason for the move. I hope it’s not because of (Burke’s) strong conservative views.”

US Catholic pro-life leader Deal Hudson called the removal of Cardinal Burke from the Congregation “a very disappointing decision.” Cardinal Burke, said Hudson, “is looked upon by Catholics in America as one of our most important spiritual leaders. He is the top ranking American member of the curia. To be removed from this congregation can send only one message. And that being that Cardinal Burke should have less influence and that is not good news to us here in the United States.”

Austin Ruse, President of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute which does pro-life and pro-family lobbying at the United Nations, told LifeSiteNews, I am heartbroken that Cardinal Burke is being shunted aside.”  Ruse added, “This is the worst Church news I have heard in many a long while. He is such a good and kind man and he has made a strong impression on the American episcopacy. He will be sorely missed in that role.”

Ave Maria School of Law’s pro-life activist priest Fr. Michael Orsi was awed by Cardinal Burke who visited the Law School to make a presentation.  Fr. Orsi called Burke a preeminent scholar and one of the few who step up to support canon 915 which is the basis in Church law for denying pro-abortion politicians Holy Communion.

Fr. Orsi told LifeSiteNews he was actually hoping Cardinal Burke would have been elected Pope. He sees in the move to remove Cardinal Burke a “tone from the top filtering down.”  He said, “I think the tone from the top is to downplay the abortion debate. The present Pope seems to be someone who wants to turn down the volume.

Burke was moved out, said Fr. Orsi, because of his pro-life stance that pro-abortion politicians should be excommunicated.

That opinion is similar to the appraisal of Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Wash., who, speaking on the selection of bishops under Pope Francis, told the New York Times last month: “Pope Francis doesn’t want cultural warriors, he doesn’t want ideologues.”

Pro-life leaders in Latin America were incredulous at the news of Burke’s ouster.  Christine Vollmer, President of the Latin American Alliance for the Family told LifeSiteNews that there must be some mistake.  “We all know that there is a struggle going on within the Curia and certainly a lot of disinformation,” she said. “The Holy Father is new to this amazing situation and evidently was given the wrong brief.”

Vollmer concluded, “We must all pray that Cardinal Burke will be reestablished where he can be a real help to our Pope.”

Cardinal Burke, a world renowned expert in canon law, remains the head of the Apostolic Signitura, a type of final appeals court in the Vatican.

Saint John Chrysostom challenges the Roman Empress

Eudoxia, Empress of Constantinople, hated St. John Chrysostom, because he always spoke to her of her faults, which she did not try to correct.

One day, being very angry, she said to him: “I am going to banish you from this city, and send you into the most distant parts of my empire. In this way I will put an end to these reproaches.”

Painting of St. John Chrysostom comfronting Aelia Eudoxia, Empress of Constantinople by Jean-Paul Laurens.

Painting of St. John Chrysostom confronting Aelia Eudoxia, Empress of Constantinople by Jean-Paul Laurens.

St. John answered: “Do you imagine that by these words you will make me afraid? Oh no! The God Whom I serve is everywhere; His immensity fills Heaven and earth. Send me into any part of the world you please: I will find God there, as much as in this city; and I care not where I am, since God is always with me.”Subscription18

Rev. D. Chisholm, The Catechism in Examples (London: R & T Washbourne, Ltd., 1919), 90.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 343

Moral mayhem multiplied​-now, it's Polygamy's turn

From: (Albert Mohler) - As most Americans were thinking thoughts of Christmas cheer, a federal judge in Utah dropped a bomb on the institution of marriage, striking down the most crucial sections of the Utah statute outlawing polygamy. Last Friday, Judge Clark Waddoups of the United States District Court in Utah ruled that Utah’s anti-polygamy law is unconstitutional, violating the free exercise clause of the First Amendment as well as the guarantee of due process.


Monday, December 16, 2013

12 Quotes Against Sodomy That Every Catholic Should Know

For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has consistently opposed unnatural vice. To prove it, here is a brief sampling of quotes from Saints, Doctors of the Church, Church Fathers and Ecclesiastical Writers who condemn homosexual vice in their writings.

Please share this post with all your Catholic friends.

1. Athenagoras of Athens (2nd Century)
Athenagoras of Athens was a philosopher who converted to Christianity in the second century. He shows that the pagans, who were totally immoral, did not even refrain from sins against nature:

"But though such is our character (Oh! why should I speak of things unfit to be uttered?), the things said of us are an example of the proverb, 'The harlot reproves the chaste.' For those who have set up a market for fornication and established infamous resorts for the young for every kind of vile pleasure – who do not abstain even from males, males with males committing shocking abominations, outraging all the noblest and comeliest bodies in all sorts of ways, so dishonoring the fair workmanship of God."1

2. Tertullian (160-225)
Tertullian was a great genius and apologist of the early Church. Unfortunately, after an initial period of fervor, he succumbed to resentment and pride, left the Church and adhered to the Montanist heresy. Because of works written while still in the Church, he is considered an Ecclesiastical Writer and, as such, is commonly quoted by Popes and theologians.  His treatise On Modesty is an apology of Christian chastity. He clearly shows the horror the Church has for sins against nature. After condemning adultery, he exclaims:

"But all the other frenzies of passions–impious both toward the bodies and toward the sexes–beyond the laws of nature, we banish not only from the threshold, but from all shelter of the Church, because they are not sins, but monstrosities."2

3. Eusebius of Caesarea (260-341)
Eusebius Pamphili, Bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine and the “Father of Church History,” writes in his book, Demonstratio Evangelica:
“[God in the Law given to Moses] having forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men.”3

4. Saint Jerome (340-420)
Saint Jerome is both Father and Doctor of the Church. He was also a notable exegete and great polemicist. In his book Against Jovinianus, he explains how a sodomite needs repentance and penance to be saved:
“And Sodom and Gomorrah might have appeased it [God’s wrath], had they been willing to repent, and through the aid of fasting gain for themselves tears of repentance.”4

5. Saint John Chrysostom (347-407)
Saint John Chrysostom is considered the greatest of the Greek Fathers and was proclaimed Doctor of the Church. He was Archbishop and Patriarch of Constantinople, and his revision of the Greek liturgy is used until today. In his sermons about Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he dwells on the gravity of the sin of homosexuality:

"But if thou scoffest at hearing of hell and believest not that fire, remember Sodom. For we have seen, surely we have seen, even in this present life, a semblance of hell. For since many would utterly disbelieve the things to come after the resurrection, hearing now of an unquenchable fire, God brings them to a right mind by things present. For such is the burning of Sodom, and that conflagration!…

"Consider how great is that sin, to have forced hell to appear even before its time!… For that rain was unwonted, for the intercourse was contrary to nature, and it deluged the land, since lust had done so with their souls. Wherefore also the rain was the opposite of the customary rain. Now not only did it fail to stir up the womb of the earth to the production of fruits, but made it even useless for the reception of seed. For such was also the intercourse of the men, making a body of this sort more worthless than the very land of Sodom. And what is there more detestable than a man who hath pandered himself, or what more execrable?5

6. Saint Augustine (354-430)
The greatest of the Fathers of the West and one of the great Doctors of the Church, Saint Augustine laid the foundations of Catholic theology. In his celebrated Confessions, he thus condemns homosexuality:

"Those offences which be contrary to nature are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and punished; such were those of the Sodomites, which should all nations commit, they should all be held guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which hath not so made men that they should in that way abuse one another. For even that fellowship which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature of which He is author is polluted by the perversity of lust."6

7. Saint Gregory the Great (540-604)
Pope Saint Gregory I is called “the Great.” He is both Father and Doctor of the Church. He introduced Gregorian chant into the Church. He organized England’s conversion, sending Saint Augustine of Canterbury and many Benedictine monks there.

"Sacred Scripture itself confirms that sulfur evokes the stench of the flesh, as it speaks of the rain of fire and sulfur poured upon Sodom by the Lord. He had decided to punish Sodom for the crimes of the flesh, and the very type of punishment he chose emphasized the shame of that crime. For sulfur stinks, and fire burns. So it was just that Sodomites, burning with perverse desires arising from the flesh like stench, should perish by fire and sulfur so that through this just punishment they would realize the evil they had committed, led by a perverse desire."7

8. Saint Peter Damian (1007-1072)
Doctor of the Church, cardinal and a great reformer of the clergy, Saint Peter Damian wrote his famous Book of Gomorrah against the inroads made by homosexuality among the clergy. He describes not only the iniquity of homosexuality, but also its psychological and moral consequences:
"Truly, this vice is never to be compared with any other vice because it surpasses the enormity of all vices.… It defiles everything, stains everything, pollutes everything. And as for itself, it permits nothing pure, nothing clean, nothing other than filth.…

"The miserable flesh burns with the heat of lust; the cold mind trembles with the rancor of suspicion; and in the heart of the miserable man chaos boils like Tartarus [Hell]…. In fact, after this most poisonous serpent once sinks its fangs into the unhappy soul, sense is snatched away, memory is borne off, the sharpness of the mind is obscured. It becomes unmindful of God and even forgetful of itself. This plague undermines the foundation of faith, weakens the strength of hope, destroys the bond of charity; it takes away justice, subverts fortitude, banishes temperance, blunts the keenness of prudence.

"And what more should I say since it expels the whole host of the virtues from the chamber of the human heart and introduces every barbarous vice as if the bolts of the doors were pulled out."8

9.  Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Commenting upon Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (1:26-27), Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, explains why the sin of homosexuality is so grave:

"Given the sin of impiety through which they [the Romans] sinned against the divine nature [by idolatry], the punishment that led them to sin against their own nature followed.... I say, therefore, that since they changed into lies [by idolatry] the truth about God, He brought them to ignominious passions, that is, to sins against nature; not that God led them to evil, but only that he abandoned them to evil....

"If all the sins of the flesh are worthy of condemnation because by them man allows himself to be dominated by that which he has of the animal nature, much more deserving of condemnation are the sins against nature by which man degrades his own animal nature....

"Man can sin against nature in two ways. First, when he sins against his specific rational nature, acting contrary to reason. In this sense, we can say that every sin is a sin against man’s nature, because it is against man’s right reason....

"Secondly, man sins against nature when he goes against his generic nature, that is to say, his animal nature. Now, it is evident that, in accord with natural order, the union of the sexes among animals is ordered towards conception. From this it follows that every sexual intercourse that cannot lead to conception is opposed to man’s animal nature."9

10.  Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Saint Catherine, a great mystic and Doctor of the Church, lived in troubled times. The Papacy was in exile at Avignon, France. She was instrumental in bringing the Popes back to Rome. Her famous Dialogues are written as if dictated by God Himself:

"But they act in a contrary way, for they come full of impurity to this mystery, and not only of that impurity to which, through the fragility of your weak nature, you are all naturally inclined (although reason, when free will permits, can quiet the rebellion of nature), but these wretches not only do not bridle this fragility, but do worse, committing that accursed sin against nature, and as blind and fools, with the light of their intellect darkened, they do not know the stench and misery in which they are. It is not only that this sin stinks before me, who am the Supreme and Eternal Truth, it does indeed displease me so much and I hold it in such abomination that for it alone I buried five cities by a divine judgment, my divine justice being no longer able to endure it. This sin not only displeases me as I have said, but also the devils whom these wretches have made their masters. Not that the evil displeases them because they like anything good, but because their nature was originally angelic, and their angelic nature causes them to loathe the sight of the actual commission of this enormous sin.10

11.  Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)
Saint Bernardine of Siena was a famous preacher, celebrated for his doctrine and holiness. Regarding homosexuality, he stated:
"No sin in the world grips the soul as the accursed sodomy; this sin has always been detested by all those who live according to God.… Deviant passion is close to madness; this vice disturbs the intellect, destroys elevation and generosity of soul, brings the mind down from great thoughts to the lowliest, makes the person slothful, irascible, obstinate and obdurate, servile and soft and incapable of anything; furthermore, agitated by an insatiable craving for pleasure, the person follows not reason but frenzy.… They become blind and, when their thoughts should soar to high and great things, they are broken down and reduced to vile and useless and putrid things, which could never make them happy.... Just as people participate in the glory of God in different degrees, so also in hell some suffer more than others. He who lived with this vice of sodomy suffers more than another, for this is the greatest sin."11

12.  Saint Peter Canisius (1521-1597)
Saint Peter Canisius, Jesuit and Doctor of the Church, is responsible for helping one third of Germany abandon Lutheranism and return to the Church. To Scripture’s condemnation of homosexuality, he added his own:
"As the Sacred Scripture says, the Sodomites were wicked and exceedingly sinful. Saint Peter and Saint Paul condemn this nefarious and depraved sin.

In fact, the Scripture denounces this enormous indecency thus: 'The scandal of Sodomites and Gomorrhans has multiplied and their sins have become grave beyond measure.' So the angels said to just Lot, who totally abhorred the depravity of the Sodomites: 'Let us leave this city....' Holy Scripture does not fail to mention the causes that led the Sodomites, and can also lead others, to this most grievous sin. In fact, in Ezechiel we read: 'Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and abundance, and the idleness of her, and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and the poor. And they were lifted up, and committed abominations before me; and I took them away as thou hast seen' (Ezech. 16: 49-50). Those unashamed of violating divine and natural law are slaves of this never sufficiently execrated depravity."12

Note: These quotes are taken from Defending A Higher Law: Why We Must Resist Same-Sex "Marriage" and the Homosexual Movement.

1. Fr.. B. P. Pratten, trans., A Plea For The Christians, Chap. 34, www.newadvent.org/fathers/0205.htm [back]

2. Fr. S. Thelwall, trans., On Modesty, Chap. 4,  www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-04/anf04-19.htm [back]

3. W. J. Ferrar, trans., Demonstratio Evangelica, Book 4,  Chap. 10,  www.earlychristianwritings.com/fathers/eusebius_de_06_book4.htm [back]

4. Book 2, no. 15,  www.newadvent.org/fathers/30092.htm [back]

5. Homily IV Romans 1:26-27,  www.ccel.org/fathers/NPNF1-11/Chrysostom/Romans/Rom-Hom04.html [back]

6. Book III, Chap. 8, no. 15, www.newadvent.org/fathers/110103.htm [back]

7. Morales sur Job, Part III, Vol. I, book 14, no. 23, p. 353. (Our translation.) [back]

8. St. Peter Damian, Book of Gomorrah, Pierre J. Payer, trans., (Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1982), pp. 63-64 [back]

9. St. Thomas Aquinas, Super Epistolam B. Pauli ad Romanos, Cap. 1, Lec. 8,   www.una1v.es/filosofia/alarcon/amicis/cro016.html. (Our translation.) [back]

10. St. Catherine of Sienna, The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin (London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne, Ltd., 1925), p. 255 [back]

11. St. Bernardine of Siena, Sermon XXXIX in Prediche volgari, pp. 896-897, 915. [back]

12. St. Peter Canisius, Summa Doctrina Christianae, III a/b, p. 455 [back]

Yes, Virginia, there is a God

It is has become a custom for practically every newspaper in America to reprint, during the Christmas season, the marvelous editorial, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” Since it first appeared in 1897, it has become an indelible part of Christmas tradition in our country. It is no secret why.

Virginia’s Letter: A Priceless Relic

The central figure in the story is an innocent girl named Virginia O’Hanlon who is told by her “little friends” that Santa does not exist. She writes a letter to The Sun – a prominent New York paper at the time -- with her sorrowful question as to the existence of Santa. The difficult task of responding to the eight-year-old fell on the shoulders of Francis Church, who responded in the form of an editorial.

Although his piece was placed seventh on the page, below the commentary on a newly invented “chainless bicycle,"[1] it became a hit both in America and abroad. So much so that when Virginia O’Hanlon died in 1971, a book titled Yes, Virginia was published that illustrated the editorial and the main characters.

This tome, still available for purchase on Amazon,[2]was eventually made into an Emmy award-winning television show by Warner Brothers. In 2001 the History Channel aired a special on the story, after the original letter, now treated as a relic, was feared to have been lost in a house fire. It was later found intact, and is now in the possession of Virginia’s grandson and was last appraised at twenty to thirty thousand dollars.[3]

Why all the fuss about Virginia’s letter and the response of Mr. Church?

The Most Real Things in Life Men Don’t See

The story’s ability to enchant readers has to do with the attraction we have for childhood innocence. More than being a tactful reply to a delicate question, Mr. Church was somehow able to explain the fundamental nature of innocence and how it helps the person see a higher reality.

This was the opinion of the great Catholic thinker Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira, who actually gave a series of meetings on the subject. He defined innocence as “the desire… to know God from the reflection in His creatures.” This is the essence of Mr. Church’s reply to Virginia.

“The most real things in the world”, Mr. Church says, “are those that neither children nor men can see.” Santa might not exist, he explained, but the “love, generosity and devotion” he represents certainly does.

Formerly a war correspondent during the Civil War, Mr. Church had seen the worst side of human nature which makes his charming reply all the more curious. We sense however that he was not only able to preserve the symbolic value of Santa for a little girl, he captivated the innocence of adults in the process. This is perhaps the secret of the stories continued success.

The online reviews for the book Yes, Virginia illustrate this well.

“The language Mr. Church used,” said Chicagoan Anna M. Ligtenberg, “indicates that eight-year-olds in 1897 were way more grammatically advanced than those in our day… which is part of why this book will appeal to adults. It’s a nice thing to have on hand, to snatch that one last year of believing from the jaws of doubt. More than Santa,” she continues, “Church assures the reader that love, good, and all manner of unseen wonders, including God, exist and will continue to exist.”

Another reader echoed these sentiments with childlike enthusiasm.

“I love Christmas and Santa Claus. I don't believe I will EVER outgrow it,” she says. “This book just reaffirms exactly what I've known and felt for years.”

Finally there is Debora Bandrowsky from Lilly, Pennsylvania. “I believe there is a little Santa Claus in everyone.” This is another way of saying there is a “little Virginia” in us all.

In the arms of God”

There are those however who are understandably uncomfortable with the fictitious character that is seen to obscure our Lord’s birth as the Easter Bunny obliterates His glorious Resurrection. This secularized and de-sanctified version of St. Nicholas is more commonly associated with busy shopping malls full of frenetically intemperate masses “shopping till they drop.” As a reaction to the “Happy-Holiday-crowd” that deliberately excludes Christ from Christmas, some parents have a natural aversion to the man from the North Pole.

What we must take into consideration is the fact that innocent children -- and their adult counterparts—are capable of seeing the symbolic value of things. Symbols are for the child like an invisible ladder that links the material with the immaterial, the physical with the spiritual. They can be a useful tool to show us how God is and how we should be.

This is the reason, Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira explained, why children like to hear fairy tales. They are like an “imaginary envelope that contains a magnificent, hidden truth,” he said, “that tell us something about the kingdom of beyond.” As much as children appreciate such stories, they have a much greater capacity to separate fact from fiction than we think. They are therefore more concerned about what things symbolize than the thing itself. In other words innocence does not focus on the finger, but rather the beauty of the moon to which it points.

It is for this reason that I appreciated an email from a friend as this article was coming to completion. She had just returned from shopping with her 4-year-old son Paul and described his “look of complete fascination” as he walked through a “winter wonderland” to sit on Santa’s lap.

Later that evening, after they had said their night prayers, she asked her son what he thought about his experience with Santa.

“I felt like I was in the arms of God and was going to die,” Paul said.

“Were you afraid?” she asked.

“No, I was courage (sic) because I knew I was going to heaven.”

Gladdening the Heart of Childhood

Children therefore are able to see God when He is aptly symbolized in things that surround them, even Santa Claus. It is very likely that Virginia felt something similar to Paul when she sat on Santa’s lap. We can therefore understand how crushed she was to hear rumors he did not exist. Saying there is no Santa was the equivalent of telling her there was no “love, generosity and devotion.”

It was to strip away the “imaginary envelope” and the “magnificent hidden truth” it contained.

More than wanting to know if there is a Santa, Virginia wanted to know if there is a God. With this in mind we can categorically affirm, as we commemorate His birth, “Yes, Virginia there is a God.”

The universe literally screams of His existence but only for those who have eyes to see. Paraphrasing Mr. Church we can more accurately say about God, “He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."

By Norman Fulkerson