Saturday, July 14, 2018


BASTILLE DAY


Acts, Chapter 19, verse 17
When this became known to all the Jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus, fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in great esteem.

In Paul’s time there were traveling Jewish’s exorcists that were not of the faith but attempted to remove demons in Jesus’ name and the demons said to the Jewish exorcist, “Jesus I recognize, Paul I know, but who are you?” and then attacked them.

Holy fear teaches us the necessity of being faithful to the end.

Three Signs of the end[1]

Of the time of tribulation­, the Catechism states, “Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. 

This time of trial will be marked by religious deception, apostasy from the true Faith, and the rise of the antichrist. This time the end of history will reveal the fullness of antichrist, “a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. . ..” (CCC, 675). History has witnessed much speculation about the antichrist, including writings by the Church Fathers about his background and methods of destruction. What is clearer is that when history draws to a close Satan and his followers—both demonic and human—will seek to destroy as many souls as possible, unleashing diabolic destruction and causing widespread apostasy. We also know the spirit of antichrist is already within the world, just as it has been for two thousand years: “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18). There is deception and apostasy; there are many who mock Christ and even many self-described Christians who deny him.

In the Olivet Discourse, also known as “the little apocalypse,” Jesus told the disciples: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come” (Mt 24:14). Has this occurred? Arguments can be made either way. As Ralph Martin, author of  “Is Jesus Coming Soon?” (Ignatius Press, 1997), has noted, “It is difficult to know whether this universal proclamation has taken place. Certain nations have had the gospel preached to them in the past but not in the present.” The one certainty is the Gospel must be preached to as many people as possible; evangelization and missions are never optional, but always imperative. 

Of the third event, the Church states Israel’s recognition of Jesus as the Messiah will take place prior to the parousia. This is based on Romans 9-11 and Paul’s teaching that “hardening has come upon Israel in part, until the full number of Gentiles comes in” (Rom 11:25). Yet is far from evident how this “full inclusion” of ethnic Israel into the Church will come about. It would seem it has not yet taken place; perhaps it has already begun in ways not fully understood or recognized. What is certain is that Catholics, while always respecting the free will of every man, have an obligation to be spiritually prepared, to evangelize, and to advance the Kingdom. “…and after this comes judgment” 

Bastille Day[2]


Today, July 14, is Bastille Day, the commemoration of the revolution that brought down France’s Ancien RĂ©gime and led to the establishment of a new order that promised to totally refashion society. Unlike the American Revolution, which was fought to conserve rights and maintain political order, the French Revolution destroyed the fabric of French society. No aspect of human life was untouched. The Committee of Public Safety – influenced by Rousseau – claimed that to convert the oppressed French nation to democracy, “you must entirely refashion a people whom you wish to make free, destroy its’ prejudices, alter its habits, limit its necessities, root up its vices, purify its desires.” To achieve this end, the new rational state, whose primary ideological plank was that the sovereignty of “the people” is unlimited, attempted to eliminate French traditions, norms, and religious beliefs. The revolutionary governing bodies were particularly determined to destroy every vestige of the Roman Catholic Church because France was hailed by Rome as the Church’s “eldest daughter” and the monarch had dedicated “our person, our state, our crown and our subjects” to the Blessed Virgin. The Constituent Assembly began the campaign against the Church by stating in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, “no body or individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.” In other words, the Church could no longer have any say in public matters. The secular state would now have the final word over every aspect of human and social life. Next, the government abrogated the 1516 Concordat that defined France’s relationship with the Vicar of Christ. Financial and diplomatic relations with the papacy ceased. In the name of freedom, all monastic vows were suspended and in February 1790, legislation was approved to suppress the monasteries and confiscate their properties. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, passed on July 12, 1790, decreed that the priesthood was a civil body and all bishops and priests were to be selected by the people and paid by the state.


·         The pope was to have no say in the matter.
·         In addition, clerics had to swear an oath of loyalty to the French Constitution. Dissidents had to resign their ministries, and many were prosecuted as criminals.
·         Lay Catholics loyal to the pope were treated as rebels and traitors. With only four out of 135 bishops taking the oath in 1791, the more radical Legislative Assembly ordered additional sanctions against the Church.
·         All religious congregations were suppressed and wearing clerical garb was forbidden.
·         Priests loyal to the papacy were automatically guilty of “fanaticism” and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
·         Processions were forbidden; crucifixes and religious artifacts were stripped out of churches.
·         Government priests were granted freedom to marry, divorce was permissible, and marriage became a civil procedure.
·         Also, education, managed for centuries by the Church, was nationalized. To further de-Christianize France, a new civil religion was introduced – patriotism.
·         The Gregorian calendar was eliminated and replaced with names related to nature. To abolish Sunday worship, months were rearranged to contain three “weeks” of ten days apiece, thus designating every tenth day for rest.
·         Catholic holy days were replaced with national holidays and civic days of worship. The “Cult of Great Men” (i.e., Rousseau) replaced the veneration of saints. The use of the word “saint” was forbidden. “There should be no more public and national worship but that of Liberty and Holy Equality,” declared the revolutionary government.
·         Every city and village was ordered to erect an “altar to the fatherland” and to conduct July “Federation Month” patriotic rites.
·         The Feast of Nature was observed in August and the Cult of Reason was celebrated at Paris’ Civic Temple, formerly the Cathedral of Notre Dame. A female dancer was crowned as the Goddess of Reason and performed for the assembly. In 1794, the deistic cult of the Supreme Being replaced the atheistic adoration of reason. At the first public worship, the self-declared high priest, Robespierre, pronounced in his homily, “the idea of the Supreme Being and the soul’s immortality is a continuous summons to justice and consequently social and republican.”
·         Despite all the efforts of the missionaries of terror, the Church was not stamped out of existence. The heroism of the thousands of martyred bishops, priests, and religious inspired millions of the faithful and caused a spiritual renascence in France during the nineteenth century. The notorious political rogue and excommunicated bishop of Autun, the Prince de Talleyrand, reviewing that terrible period of persecution, conceded, “Regardless of my own part in this affair, I readily admit that the Civil Constitution of the Clergy . . . was perhaps the greatest political mistake of the Assembly, quite apart from the dreadful crimes which flowed there from.”  General of the Republic, Henri Clarke, agreed. In a report to the government in 1796, he wrote, “Our revolution, so far as religion is concerned, has proved a complete failure.
·         France has become once more Roman Catholic, and we may be on the point of needing the pope himself in order to enlist clerical support for the Revolution.” The French ideologues learned, as did their barbaric heirs in the twentieth century, that every effort to destroy the Church and eliminate the faithful fails. As Christ Himself promised: “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.

Bastille Day-the other story[3]

Bastille Day marks the anniversary of the attacks on the French prison of Bastille, a symbol of King Louis XVI's power. On, July 14, 1789, a group of Parisian revolutionaries attacked the Bastille looking for gun powder to go with the rifles they had recently stolen from the Invalides. The revolutionaries stormed the prison, defeating the soldiers and bringing victory to the common people of France. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution, the defeat of a monarchy and the birth of a republic as King Louis XVI was beheaded by use of a guillotine on July 21, 1793 in front of a crowd of Parisians. The anniversary of this attack is now the French National holiday and is observed on July 14th each year.


Bastille Day Facts & Quotes

·         The French Revolution was brought about partially due to the unequal class system found in France during the late 1700s.  The Catholic clergy held the highest position, next came Louis XVI and his court, and lastly were the general population.  Without the benefit of being born into a higher class, the general population had almost no hope of ever bettering their station in life.
·         Louis XVI's spending at Versailles and his financial support of the American Revolutionary War against the British, placed France in severe economic crisis.  The general population was starving while King Louis XVI was building a great navy and continuing his lavish lifestyle in Versailles.
·         The French flag consists of blue, white and red. White was the color of the Monarchy and red and blue represented Paris. During the Revolution, the white was surrounded by blue and then red.
·         A revolution can be neither made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Bastille Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Watch the Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. They usually start around 11pm and can be viewed from the Champs de Mars and Trocadero.
·         Attend a French military parade.
·         Visit a French national museum as most are free to visit on Bastille Day or visit a local firehouse in France - they are open to the public on this holiday.
·         Watch a movie or a documentary about the French Revolution. Our picks: The French Revolution (2005), Jefferson in Paris (1995), Marie Antoinette (2006), Danton (1983) and That Night in Varennes (1982)
·         Go out to a French Restaurant.  Many have specials for this day.

The Way[4]
"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

15.  It is inevitable that you should feel the rub of other people's characters against your own. After all, you are not a gold coin that everyone likes. Besides, without that friction produced by contact with others, how would you ever lose those corners, those edges and projections — the imperfections and defects — of your character, and acquire the smooth and regular finish, the firm flexibility of charity, of perfection? If your character and the characters of those who live with you were soft and sweet like sponge-cake you would never become a saint.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.

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