Desire whatever happens
since nothing happens by chance
but by the Will of God
(Either He directly wills a thing to occur (His ordaining will), or, being all-powerful, He permits something to occur that others have willed (His permissive will).
CONVERSION OF RUSSIA AND THE USA
From the revised edition of "Padre Pio, the True Story" by C. Bernard Ruffin: p. 264. Padre Pio said "The Russian people will be converted. Their conversion will happen very fast. The conversion of the United States will be slow, but sure".
Ibid. p. 266. Padre Pio said "Yes, Russia will be converted, as the Blessed Virgin said she would. However, Russia will teach the United States a lession in conversion."
Which Bible Translation is the Most Accurate?
(Adapted from the booklet "Which Bible Should You Read?") *
Believe it or not, this is a no-brainer! The most accurate Bible translation is the Douay-Rheims English translation of the Latin bible called the Vulgate. Why? Because the Latin Vulgate was translated around 400 A.D., from the original manuscripts in Hebrew and Greek, which are no longer in existence today. Not only that, but the translator, St. Jerome, spoke and knew first hand these languages. Contemporary Bible scholars do not have access to these ancient, long-perished original manuscripts, nor is there much chance that they would understand those languages as well as St. Jerome did (he was Greek-speaking, and besides Hebrew and Latin, knew Aramaic and Chaldean).
The Douay-Rheims translation was made in 1609, and is a word-for-word literal translation of the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome. The translators did not express what they thought the Bible meant, they just translated it literally.
The Catholic Bible consists of the Old Testament canon used by the Greek-speaking Jews. This Greek canon was the one used by the Apostles (Fr. Mitch Pacwa, EWTN). The Protestant Old Testament is based on the Hebrew canon which has fewer books, and was conpiled by Rabbis after the Christian era had begun. The Old Testament books that were written in Greek are thus missing from the Protestant versions, but scholars have shown that the Gospels make allusions to those books, including some of Jesus' sayings. Books prophetic of the Virgin Mary, or that write about praying for the dead, are among those missing from the Protestant version. The Catholic Church chose the Greek version in order to keep continuity with the version used by the Apostles and the early Church.
In 1546 the Catholic Church designated the Latin Vulgate the authentic and official Bible of the Church. In 1943, Pope Pius XII affirmed that the Vulgate is free of all errors regarding faith and morals. What about the new Catholic translations? They are not based on the original manuscripts that St. Jerome used, but on later, corrupted copies of them. Also, there is some question to whether they translators are giving a literal version from these manuscripts, or are translating it into what they think it means.
* See "Which Bible Should You Read?", by Thomas A. Nelson, just published in 2001.
Review of Fr. Iannuzzi's book on the Millennium and End Times
"The Triumph of God's Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times"
A Proper Belief from the Truth in Scripture and Church Teachings
by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, OSJ
St. John the Evangelist Press, Havertown PA. 1999.
Just what is the Millennium and is it an acceptable part of Roman Catholic teaching? What follows is a brief summary of Fr. Joseph Iannuzzis landmark book. The book clears up two points that are very relevant to the current dialog among Christians regarding the end times Jesus does not come in the flesh to usher in the Millennium, nor does the Rapture begin the Millennium.
Fr. Iannuzzi asks the question: "Did the Apostolic Fathers ever mention an 'era of peace' or an intermediary reign of Christ on earth?" (p. 10). He shows unequivocally that the answer is yes. The first half of the book is a rather difficult, slow read, since Fr. has to prove that the Fathers of the Church did in fact leave a legacy of writings that gives a specifically Catholic understanding of the Millennium.
He shows that the proper concept of the Millennium is consistent with Catholic teaching, and can be traced back to the earliest Church Fathers. This view is derived solely from Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium. No visionaries or private revelations are cited (making this book unique in Catholic circles among books that discuss the end times).
To summarize very briefly, there will be two tribulations, two triumphs, two remnants and two kingdoms. One set of these events occurs at the beginning of the Millennium, and the other at its end.
Fr. Iannuzzi makes no predictions as to actual dates and times.
However, in salvation history, four thousand years preceded Christ, and two thousand years have followed upon his birth. The next thousand years would be the seventh thousand, or the seventh day, the Sabbath day rest. Hence this period may very well be the millennial period. After the end of the seventh day, comes the eighth or eternal day of God's everlasting kingdom. However, we do not know for sure if the thousand years is to be taken literally, nor for sure when it will begin.
In scripture, the Day of the Lord refers to the whole seventh day, or the whole thousand-year period. The Millennium is the period of peace which marks the peak of this Day. The defeat of Antichrist will herald the beginning of the Millennium, or thousand year spiritual reign of Christ. The binding of Satan for a thousand years is also at the beginning of the Millennium.
The reign of Jesus during the Millennium will be a Eucharistic reign.
Jesus will not come in the flesh to begin the Millennium, but will come in spirit and power. To say that Jesus will come in the flesh for the thousand years is the heresy of Millenarianism. To say that He will come in the flesh for a thousand years and establish a 'sensual' kingdom of carnal banquets is the heresy of Chiliasm.
The end of the Millennium is marked by the final defeat of Satan (Gog, Magog period). The Rapture or gathering up with Christ refers to the final judgement, and will be at the end of the millennial period, not at its beginning.
The end of the seventh day is the end of time, and the beginning of eternity, or the eighth day of eternal rest, the eternal kingdom of God.
Thus there are then two separate tribulations, one at the beginning of the day (Antichrist), and one at the end of the day (Satan), the 'great' tribulation. There are two remnants, the Christian survivors of each of the two tribulations. There are two triumphs - the first triumph heralds the Temporal Kingdom and the second triumph heralds the Eternal Kingdom.
The book goes into detail about the characteristics of these two Kingdoms, the information coming from the same sources he uses throughout: Scripture, Church Fathers and Doctors, and the Magisterium.
Disclaimer: This review is a good faith sharing from my own personal notes, and is not to be construed as a 100% accurate representation of the books contents. I am merely carrying out Fr. Iannuzzis wishes for this book as expressed in the Epilogue (p. 169): "Please share it with others for Gods glory. If you found this book to be helpful or valuable, please recommend it to your friends and family." Personally, I cannot think of a better book on this topic.
THE HUG PRAYER
Oh My Jesus,
Hold me close to Your Heart.
Let your breath, O Lord, come upon me
and fill me with Your Holy Spirit.
Illustrated prayer cards of The Hug Prayer available from
Cards With a Mission, Box 92, Strawberry Point, IA 52076
or email Mary Jane Keppler
View the prayer cards
The Story Behind the Hug Prayer and Cards With a Mission
by Mary Jane Keppler
It all began on October 21, 1996 when I was kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament in a church in Petoskey, Michigan. The presence of the Lord was all around me as I prayed. It seemed like he had his arms around me and was holding me close. At one time or another we have experienced his presence in our lives like this, haven't we? I don't recall feeling quite so close, however.
In this heavenly embrace I sensed something I'd never experienced before. It seemed like the Lord was holding me, almost physically, and at the same time his breath was coming down upon me. I felt refreshed and spiritually renewed. It reminded me of the scripture verse in John 20:22 where Jesus breathed on the apostles and said "Receive the Holy Spirit...".
After leaving the church the experience was etched in my mind. The Holy Spirit seemed to be with me in a more powerful way. I felt like one of the apostles just coming out of the Upper Room on that first Pentecost, perhaps.
As a Catholic christian I have received the Holy Spirit at Baptism and Confirmation in a special way, as the Church teaches us. On numerous occasions we receive a fresh annointing of the spirit through prayer. This was one of those times, I believe.
Within a short while the feelings of that experience went away, but in my mind a prayer began to form. It came to me gradually, but eventually I had in word form a prayer that asks for this heavenly hug.
It went like this: "Oh my Jesus, hold me close to your heart. Let your breath, O Lord, come upon me and fill me with your Holy Spirit".
I was so excited about the prayer that I called my 25 year old daughter and told her. She wrote it down as I dictated it to her over the phone. She memorized it right away and began to pray it as she went about her day. It only took a matter of seconds to pray it and it seemed to flow as gently as breath itself. She whispered it to the Lord incessantly.
After praying like this for three days the Holy Spirit was poured out anew on my daughter. Her faith, which was always a part of her life, began to come alive. He heart had been hugged by the Lord and her spirit awakened. All those graces from her Baptism and Confirmation seemed to be there at work as she prayed over and over again to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus had come into her life with his Spirit and filled her with all the good gifts he brings; a renewed prayer life and a hunger for the Word of God. How exciting it was to have my own daughter bear the first fruit as a result of the prayer I began to call "The Hug Prayer".
Shortly after that I was talking to a friend of mine at work. When I told him about the prayer and that I wanted to share it with others he suggested I have it printed on a small card. He said he knew of a printing company and would contact them for me.
He did contact the company and got estimates for printing the prayer with three colors and a sketch of Jesus. The samples were lovely, but I had a problem. I didn't have the money to pay for them.
I prayed and trusted the Lord to provide for the prayercard, if it was His Will. Soon another friend offered to loan me the money.
By Easter the cards were in my hands, all 20,000 of them. Immediately I took them to a priest to be blessed before I began to distribute them. He prayed that they be directed to those who needed them and that the Holy Spirit would truly touch the hearts of those who prayed the prayer.
Since Easter of 1997 I've given them to anyone who wants them free of charge. Donations are accepted, however, so I can keep reprinting them. By writing to the address on the bottom, one can write for additional cards.
The name of this little card ministry I've called "Cards With a Mission". It seems like they have a mission to accomplish. Jesus wants to hold all of us close to his Sacred Heart. He wants to breathe his Holy Spirit upon all of us through the sacraments of his Church and in answer to our prayers. How many times have we prayed "Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle within them the fire of thy love"?
When we ask for his Spirit, do you think he will refuse us? Jesus says in Luke 11:11 "What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asks for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asks for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
After the Hug Prayer I felt that the job was finished. I'd print that one card and that would be that. An interesting thing began to happen, however. Every morning while praying my rosary an image kept coming to me like a distraction during prayer. It was an image of the Baby Jesus holding a red heart. I didn't know what it meant.
As I continued to pray I began to understand that there would be a second card. This one would be in honor of the Virgin Mary and would have a pro-life message. Weeks went by and that's all I knew about it.
When I prayed the Joyful Mysteries, I prayed each decade with the following intentions. The first decade, The Annunciation, was to accept the will of God in my life. The second decade, The Visitation, was to be led by the Holy Spirit. The third decade, The Nativity, was in thanksgiving for Jesus' Incarnation. In the fourth decade, The Presentation, I'd pray for my personal intentions. In the fifth decade, The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, I'd pray to be able to fulfill the mission the Lord gave me in this life.
Praying the rosary this way the pro-life message began to clarify itself. One day when I was thinking about what it could be I happened to be in the middle of shampooing my hair. With my head under the faucet and with lather running down my neck these words began to come to me out of nowhere.
They were "Hold your baby close to your heart and I will hold mine close to yours".
It was a beautiful thought. It couldn't have come from me. Immediately I grabbed a towel, wrapped it around my soapy head and found some paper to write it down. Surely these were the words of the second card, I said to myself.
Still I didn't understand the image of the Baby Jesus holding a heart, which now seemed to be a valentine. What could it mean? Was it symbolic? Whose heart was it?
I did understand there would be three sketches. One of an expectant mother, one of the Virgin and Child, and one of the Baby Jesus.
While meditating on the Joyful Mysteries I sensed that the Virgin Mary was praying to her Baby Jesus to end abortion. I don't remember how it came about, but somehow I understood that her prayer was for her Baby Jesus to hold the heart of the mother contemplating abortion. So there it was! The image that I had been seeing was just this.
On the back of the card there were to be the following words; "My Infant Jesus, wrap your little arms around this mother's heart and fill it with love for the child in her womb".
Immedately I contacted my publisher and he assigned me an artist. Her name was Mary. This, too, was the Lord at work.
She was going through some personal problems and wasn't able to work them out and be creative at the same time. Finally she went before the Blessed Sacrament and just sat there just enjoying the Lord's presence. When she went home she sat down and created the lovely artwork you see on the card.
On October 22, 1997 the finished pro-life cards, all 20,000 arrived. Benefactors paid for them in full. Again I had them blessed by a priest like the first ones. Now it's in the Lord's hands to get them to the people who are supposed to have them.
We continue to reprint the prayercards and give them away free of charge. We have no money to put into this ministry ourselves so it is the Lord's work completely. We pray for benefactors to come forward to help us meet the financial needs.
Our biggest project has just been completed. We now have the Ten Commandments on a refrigerator magnets, which is 5 x 7 inches in size in white with black lettering. We have two versions available; one is taken from Exodus and the other Deuteronomy. They are very costly to produce, yet we are determined to give them away free like the prayercards.
We would like to get the Ten Commandments spread far and wide. They are not only for your refrigerator door, but can be placed on file cabinets in offices or inside school lockers. The Lord has put it on our hearts that people need to be reminded of his Laws. You hear alot about the controversy behind posting the Ten Commandments publicly these day. Let's post them publicly on our refrigerators and filing cabinets and see what happens.
Thank you for your interest in the story behind the Hug Prayer and Cards With A Mission. Please pray for us and open your hearts to help us, if you can. And may the Lord Jesus give you the biggest hug ever!
Mary Jane Keppler
Killary Meade (daughter)
Cards With a Mission, Box 92, Strawberry Point, IA 52076
The first newspaper articles on Padre Pio.
(The first newspaper reports on Padre Pio appeared eight months after his stigmatization.)
From "Un Tormentato Settennio (1981-1925) Nella Vita di Padre Pio da Pietrelcina", Doctoral dissertation of Gerardo Saldutto, 1974, pp. 223-224. (Salduttos many footnotes are not included. See my disclaimer on translations at http://www.frankrega.com)
The first news article on Padre Pio goes back to Friday, May 9, 1919, and is from the daily Roman newspaper, "Il giornale d'Italia". In a brief sketch, without a writer's name, entitled "The Miracles of a Capuchin of San Giovanni Rotondo", is presented "the humble Capuchin", a "saint", esteemed by the people for his prophetic spirit, his clairvoyance, his ubiquity, his ecstasies. If these phenomena could be doubted, one however is quite visible; the stigmata. The common people, who in crowds and on pilgrimage flow into the monastery, believe in the holiness of the monk, while "cultivated people and the clergy maintain a strict reserve, waiting for the authoritative judgement of the Church".
The Father Guardian of the Friary [Padre P. Paolino] affirmed, in his memoirs, that it was not the friars who broke the news to the papers. He surmised that the author was a priest goaded by the intention of spreading the news, "but in order to gain the attention of the Holy See and push them to make a careful inquiry over an event of such great importance. But instead the article drew the attention of other journalists who in their turn published the sensational news and spread it throughout the world". In a footnote, the same Padre Paolino adds: "It appears that it is said that the priest was D. Giovanni Miscio. I however cannot attest to it since I do not have positive proof".
The 25 of May, which was coincidentally the birthday of Padre Pio, it was the turn of "Il foglietto", the weekly paper of the area, edited at Lucera, which was the paper most appreciated and known in the province. It presented an organized and faithful portrait of San Giovanni Rotondo, a town which was becoming famous not for brigands but rather for the merit of a humble little friar, Padre Pio of "Pietra Arcina", who arrived about two years ago. He is esteemed as a saint by almost all the population, and many come from all parts of Italy. The 20th of September of last year, he received the stigmata, from which issue blood, especially from his chest, and in a particular way on Friday, on which day it is possible to perceive a rustic perfume which emanates from his person. The Father Guardian references that Padre Pio vomits all the food that he consumes, and Dr. Merla affirms that when Padre Pio is ill his temperature reaches over 120 degrees. He has come to be called "the Saint", is 32 and a half hears old, and the people believe he will die, like Christ, at age 33. He has no special education but possesses an appealing manner.
The author then narrates a miracle occurring through the intercession of Padre Pio; a young girl from Barletta was suddenly cured after the assurances received in a vision from a friar of San Giovanni Rotondo. Her doctor went to San Giovanni to verify the existence of such a friar.
The article closed emphasizing the absence of fanaticism and exaltation on the part of the public and on the part of the author, who preferred to remain anonymous signing himself "Argo", an attempt that was in vain since the an official of San Severo, Dr. D'Alena, identified him: "he is Dr. Leandro Giuva, veterinarian of the commune" of San Giovanni Rotondo.