Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Novena for Marriage and Family Day 2

In this novena, we will be praying for greater holiness in marriage and the family! The family is so very important in our lives and in our society! So, we are going to pray that the sacrament of marriage is strengthened and that families are sanctified.

Novena Prayers for the Nativity of Our Lady

Prayer for Marriage and Family
Jesus, I trust in You. Please grant through Your mother’s intercession that I may always bring Your hope into my family.
Jesus, I trust in You. Please grant through Your mother’s intercession that I may always bring Your love into my family.
Jesus, I trust in You. Please grant through Your mother’s intercession that I may always bring Your mercy into my family.
Our Lady, on this feast of your birth, please pray for stronger and holier marriages.

Day 2
Oh most holy daughter of Adam, your precious Son chose you as the vessel for his entry to the world. Where our first mother, Eve, fell short, you fulfilled God’s call for a Mother’s holiness. Pray for me today that the feast of your birth may give great joy to my soul that I may be born to new life through your Son.
Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…
(State your intentions)
Hail Mary…

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Is Prayer an Escape from the Real World?

PrayerTheThankfulPoor1894HenryOssawaTanner - for "Is Prayer an Escape from the Real World?" postThere are self-appointed jailers who would rather that we never had this freedom. They encourage us to grasp for and cleave to material bliss — even as they know that this does not answer the pain in our hearts. They know this because they suffer from it too, even if they are very good at pretending they do not. These are the culturally and politically powerful whose only joy is outweighed by the fear that it will be lost in an instant. In their despair, they are inclined to keep our hopes locked up in some bright future that never comes or else shackled down with nostalgia for a past that was never as good as they suggest.

Some think that prayer is an escape from the real world. To these, I say that there are prisons from which it is good to escape. Lots of people banally exist imprisoned in what we call “the real world.” Locked up in the fantasy land of adults and the culturally and politically powerful, they are not free to live life to the full. RobertKemmGebetVorDerStierkampfAll the same, I cannot agree that prayer is an escape from reality. It is rather the opposite. Those who do not pray are sometimes trying to escape basic truths about our existence – after all, life is short and eternity long, the way to salvation is as narrow as the path to perdition is wide, and divine justice will hold us accountable if we will not hold ourselves responsible before divine mercy. Prayer is about facing this reality, this truth about our lives and about the world.
Those who ignore the impulse deep in our nature to cry out to God, those close their ears to all the ways God cries out to us every moment of every day, those who shut their eyes to the glory that is breaking in around us — what they call “the real world” is an enchanting escape and hiding place from reality. The problem is there are lots of dehumanizing traps in “the real world.” Anxious occupation over whether we are as comfortable, safe, successful and influential in our careers as we want is not a motivator toward excellence or the fullness of life — it is to live imprisoned by fear.
Christian prayer offers an escape from such oppression for the humble. This prayer lifts up the heart and places it in the hands of the One who conquered death. An ongoing conversation with Christ, this prayer teaches us to submit every thought to Him so that He can lead us into freedom – not in the future, but right now, in this present moment. There is no earthly or celestial or under-worldly power that can come between us and the love of God.

AngelWithIncenceDetailSConcaAdoracionDeLosPastores1720GettyMuseumLosAngelesBreaking with all manner of imprisonment prayer stands, prayer battles, prayer rises and this prayer professes the creed by which weak humanity is endowed with divine freedom. Prayer stands on reality itself, the deepest truth of all that is, the Reality from which all other reality comes and to which it goes. Prayer battles for all that is noble, good, holy, true and most vulnerable about humanity — because our Savior would have us do no less. Indeed, we are only following His example. Prayer rises up like incense bringing to the suffering of earth into the glory of heaven – hoping with every reason to hope that it will be on earth as it is in heaven.
Our jailers are afraid to allow us to stand on our own in real prayer – prayer that expresses itself in all kinds of real works of mercy – because they do not understand the ground under our feet. They hate what our creed demands – so they mock while we must stand fast by the truth. They cannot bear the bold stands we take in the public square – so they deride while we must appeal to their humanity. They do not want to deal with the truth – so they interrupt while we must try to make our case.  They fear our freedom to love the most vulnerable, so they concoct laws to take it away and then deny with aggrieved indignation that they have harmed us in any way.

BabyBoyOneMonthOldBut despite their efforts, the freedom that we know by prayer cannot be denied. In the last century, ideologues tried to destroy the Christian faith – those cultural and political powers are no more. But Christian prayer remains a reality in the real world, a sign of hope for those who most need one. If anyone should want to break out of banal existence to live life to the full, including the jailers themselves, the Deliverer is just a prayer away.

Novena for Marriage and Family Day 1

In this novena, we will be praying for greater holiness in marriage and the family! The family is so very important in our lives and in our society! So, we are going to pray that the sacrament of marriage is strengthened and that families are sanctified.

Novena Prayers for the Nativity of Our Lady

Prayer for Marriage and Family
Jesus, I trust in You. Please grant through Your mother’s intercession that I may always bring Your hope into my family.
Jesus, I trust in You. Please grant through Your mother’s intercession that I may always bring Your love into my family.
Jesus, I trust in You. Please grant through Your mother’s intercession that I may always bring Your mercy into my family.
Our Lady, on this feast of your birth, please pray for stronger and holier marriages.

Day 1
Most lovable Mother Mary, our Father in Heaven created you with delight. You are His creature whom He made worthy to become the holy Mother of His Son. You were born into a family of Saints. Pray for me today that my joy in your Son will increase and that my family may become more holy.
Dearest Mother, please pray for me and for these my intentions…
(State your intentions)
Hail Mary…

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Catholic discernment in the U.S. presidential election of 2016 ~ by Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas

 This was sent to me by a woman I have great respect for. A true Catholic who cares deeply for the dignity of the human person. Please read and pass this on to as many people as you can. ~Margaret of Souls for Jesus

I would like to begin this reflection by being autobiographical.

As the grandson of immigrants, I was raised to think that to be Catholic automatically meant being a Democrat; after all, it was the Democratic Party that had been so involved in assisting the newly-arrived with possibilities for financial security and upward mobility. The first presidential election in which I could vote (as a seminarian of 21) was that of 1972. Looking at the positions of Richard Nixon and George McGovern, I determined that the Democratic platform would lead us into a serious moral downward spiral. When I informed my parents that I intended to vote for President Nixon, they responded with shock and dismay: How can you even think of voting for a Republican? In great detail and with consummate patience, I explained my rationale to my parents, who gave no response. On Election Day, as I entered the voting booth and prepared to pull the lever for Nixon, I experienced something close to spasms in my arm, knowing that I was the first member of my family in half a century to sever the bond with the Democratic Party. Later that day, my mother asked, Well, how did you vote? I told you I would vote for Nixon, and I did. So did your father and I, came her response.

With great enthusiasm, I supported Ronald Reagan in his two bids for the Oval Office because I saw in him a man of conviction and the characteristics of a great statesman – traits patently lackinng in both his opponents, Jimmy Carter (1980) and Walter Mondale (1984). Since then, I have always voted for the Republican candidate – but with a clothespin on my nose, never able to muster the same gusto for candidates who were generally good men but without verve and, with all due respect, quite milquetoast. But compared to the alternatives of Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry and Obama – and the increasingly radical leftist agenda of the Democratic Party – Bush Sr., Dole, Bush Jr., McCain aand Romney were my only moral options.

In 2016, I find myself in an even worse place. As I have tried to go through this process for myself, I have weighed many variables and thought it might be helpful to share my labors with our dear – and probably – confused and dispirited readers.

How does a Catholic vote according to an informed Christian conscience? Many resources are available. Let me cite some of the more important among them. Vatican IIs Apostolicam Actuositatem (on the laity) and Gaudium et Spes (on the Church in the modern world) offer sound guidance, as do the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. For a specifically American application of these universal principles, read Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States of 2015 (updated every four years to coincide with a presidential election). This document (n. 8) encourages Catholics to produce and consult voter guides; in that spirit, I offer the following.

Whether one is a candidate for public office or exercising ones voting franchise, the strong denunciation of a certain mentality by the Fathers of Vatican II needs to be taken into account:

One of the gravest errors of our time is the dichotomy between the faith which many profess and the practice of their daily lives. ... Let there ... be no such pernicious opposition between professional and social activity on the one hand and religious life on the other. ... It is their task [i.e., the task of the Catholic laity] to cultivate a properly informed conscience and to impress the divine law on the affairs of the earthly city. (Gaudium et Spes, n. 43)

It is precisely this pernicious opposition between ones personal, deeply held beliefs (we are told) and ones inability to impose these on the rest of society that has given cover to the Cuomos, Kennedys, Kerrys, Pelosis – and now Tim Kaine. However, following the sage admonition of the Council Fathers, we must conclude that these would-be emperors have no clothes. Can a black man dissociate himself from his race when considering the positions of a party or candidate? Can a Jewish woman put aside her Jewishness? In fact, would anyone even dare suggesting such a possibility? No, these aspects of ones person are integral to ones identity – and so is ones faith. Hence, the American bishops declare: The Churchs obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society is a requirement of our faith (n. 9). And the Church here means all the baptized.

Is such involvement inappropriate or even un-American? The bishops wisely note:

Some question whether it is appropriate for the Church to play a role in political life. However, the obligation to teach the moral truths that should shape our lives, including our public lives, is central to the mission given to the Church by Jesus Christ. Moreover, the United States Constitution protects the right of individual believers and religious bodies to participate and speak out without government interference, favoritism, or discrimination. Civil law should fully recognize and protect the right of the Church and other institutions in civil society to participate in cultural, political, and economic life without being forced to abandon or ignore their central moral convictions. Our nations tradition of pluralism is enhanced, not threatened, when religious groups and people of faith bring their convictions and concerns into public life. Indeed, our Churchs teaching is in accord with the foundational values that have shaped our nations history: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (n. 11)

The Catechism likewise teaches that citizens should take an active part in public life (n. 1915).

And what about voting according to my conscience? Once more, the bishops of our nation provide sound instruction:

The Church equips its members to address political and social questions by helping them to develop a well-formed conscience. Catholics have a serious and lifelong obligation to form their consciences in accord with human reason and the teaching of the Church. Conscience is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere feeling about what we should or should not do. Rather, conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil. Conscience always requires serious attempts to make sound moral judgments based on the truths of our faith. As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. (n. 17)

Certain issues must always be entered into the moral calculus of ones vote. The bishops are crystal clear about priorities:

There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. Such actions are so deeply flawed that they are always opposed to the authentic good of persons. These are called intrinsically evil actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia. In our nation, abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others (Living the Gospel of Life, n. 5). It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed. (n. 22)

Is this single-issue voting? No, while I do not vote for someone solely on the basis of one issue, there are certain issues that are what we can call automatic disqualifiers. Just as one would most reasonably conclude that a member of the KKK or a neo-Nazi should never hold public office because of his racism, so too any reasonable person can and should conclude that anyone who favors the killing of innocent human life in the womb is manifestly unfit to hold any position of influence in a civilized society. Or, as the bishops put it:

As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidates position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voters support. Yet if a candidate's position on a single issue promotes an intrinsically evil act, such as legal abortion, redefining marriage in a way that denies its essential meaning, or racist behavior, a voter may legitimately disqualify a candidate from receiving support. (n. 42)

And what about all the other good positions a candidate may have, even if lacking in that one area? St. John Paul II, in Christifideles Laici, could not be clearer:

Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights – for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture  is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination. (n. 38)

Following on Pope John Pauls assertion, the bishops leave no doubt about Catholic social teaching on abortion and euthanasia: The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed. (n. 28)

Faithful Citizenship also has counsel on what to do if all candidates are equally bad on critical issues:

When all candidates hold a position that promotes an intrinsically evil act, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose policies promoting intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidates commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. (nn. 36, 37)

How do the two principal parties compare on issues traditionally of great import to Catholics?

The Democratic National Committee brags about how far it has gone on abortion rights:

The platform goes further than previous Democratic platforms on womens reproductive rights. It champions Planned Parenthood health centers and commits to push back on all Republican efforts to defund it. The platform also vows to oppose, and seek to overturn, all federal and state laws that impede a womans access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.

It also strongly supports the repeal of harmful restrictions that obstruct womens access to healthcare around the world, including the Global Gag Rule and the Helms Amendment, which bars U.S. assistance to other countries that provide safe, legal, abortion.

On the other hand, the Republican platform contains seven full paragraphs condemning every aspect of the abortion culture.

The Washington Blade (the premier gay rights publication in the nation) observes approvingly that the Democratic platform has a specific LGBT plank titled Guaranteeing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights and includes LGBT references in planks throughout the document. It continues: The LGBT plank endorses LGBT comprehensive non-discrimination legislation ... condemns violence against transgender people, endorses the U. S. Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage and repudiates state laws seeking to undermine LGBT rights. Further: Democrats applaud last years decision by the Supreme Court that recognized that LGBT people – like othher Americans – have the right to marry the person they love, the platform says. Then the paper considers the Republican platform on this issue: In contrast, the platform adopted last week at the Republican National Convention seeks to reverse the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, indicates supports for widely discredited ex-gay conversion therapy and supports state anti-trans bathroom laws.

On school choice, the Republican platform is squarely in the corner of enhancing parental freedom of choice – a matter on which the Catholic Church in the United States has been engaged for nearly two centuries. The Democratic Party is squarely aligned with the public school teachers unions – even though such a position causes irreparable harm to minority communities locked in failed government schools.

Religious freedom is highlighted in the GOP platform but is reduced to concern for LGBT rights in the Democratic plan.

Of course, the fundamental problem in our political landscape is that the nation (or at least the nations opinion-makers) have moved in an aggressive fashion toward the secularization that has crippled Europe. We need to recall and reinstate attitudes that first put the United States on the right track and then kept her there for generations. James Madison, the primary author of our Constitution, asserted: We have staked the whole future of our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments. John Adams declared: The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. A century later, Calvin Coolidge reaffirmed that truth when he wrote: The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country. But isn't that exactly where we are – faith in these teachings practically gone from the public square?

So, what is one to do in this current election cycle? For my part, I could never support Hillary Clinton and the radically leftist program of her party. I am reasonably comfortable with the Republican platform (especially as that relates to the right to life, traditional marriage, parental freedom of choice in education, and religious liberty), but distinctly uncomfortable with its standard-bearer due to his brashness and very spotty record as a would-be conservative. That said, I know for sure where Clinton will lead the country because of the consistent trajectory she has pursued her entire life; I hope that Donald Trump has had a genuine conversion and/or that the people with whom he will surround himself will be able to move him into right paths, particularly in regard to the critically important task of appointing solid justices to the Supreme Court. Some serious believers have indicated that they intend simply to stay home on Election Day; that can surely be a moral decision, however, that also most assuredly gives away the store to persons and policies which are totally inimical to the Catholic view of a just society. Bottom line? I suppose I shall have to put a clothespin on my nose yet again as I cast my ballot on November 8.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pope Francis makes surprise visit to former prostitutes

Pope Francis has surprised 20 former prostitutes by popping in for a visit at their safe house in Rome.
The women had been rescued from their pimps and are being given shelter and protection at an apartment run by a Catholic charity in Italy's capital.
The pontiff chatted to the women, some trafficked from Africa and elsewhere in Europe, for more than an hour.
The 79-year-old cleric has repeatedly described human trafficking as a "crime against humanity".

The Pope sat down with the women, including seven Nigerians, six Romanians and four Albanians, and listened to their stories of forced prostitution, the Vatican said.
The other three in the group came from Italy, Tunisia and the Ukraine.

They were all aged about 30 and had "suffered serious physical abuse" and now lived under protection, the Vatican said.Promising women jobs, traffickers bring them to Italy and other western European countries but then force them into prostitution.
Pope Francis encouraged the former sex workers "to be strong" as they started their new lives with the help of the Pope John XXIII Community.
The unannounced visit to the prostitutes came under what the Vatican terms the Pope's "Fridays of Mercy", focusing on communities that have experienced suffering.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Work in Progress

"For the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and remind you of all that I taught you." ~John 14:26

It has come to pass that even at the age of 65 with my first grandchild on the way the Holy Spirit did not pass over me with this one, I should be sleeping.

I have had the unfortunate experience to have fought the good fight against sex education in our public school system, more than one system over the course of 35 years of parenting my own children. Most parents have kept a bag over their heads when it comes to signing the moral dignity of there children's lives away to a total strangers.

Well over thirty years ago the Holy Spirit inspired my neighbor and good friend Pam to go with her to find out the plan for our fifth grader sons. We were invited to, "watch the movie."
I have written previously about the outcome. But only in the town of Holliston.
[The article may be found here:]

When we moved to The Mount Washington Valley we quickly discovered they were and still are getting away with the souls of the children. Over the last 24 hours the Holy Spirit has reminded me of all that my husband and I went through and subsequently our children as it relates to this subject. I believe I wrote about some of this in a previous blog.

Here is the kicker actually 2 things. The first is that a priest from Maine was giving sermon after sermon on the destruction of abortion on both the mother and the father of any given aborted child.

During one of his homilies Jesus said, "Tell the Priest that unless the Catholic church comes up against planned parent hood and the federal government who are teaching morality to our children nothing will change." The end, but not really.

Any one who is reading this blog knows I went to World Youth Day and can only say good and wonderful things about it. Holy, Holy, Holy. I hope the readers will understand what i am about to say, in the early morning hours as most everyone was sleeping this darkness came over me, a profound darkness that I recognize now to be the prelude to a serious message from God himself. The message was, "Why are we not teaching the truth about the sex education of our youth by Planned parent hood and the federal government?" I was so taken aback by this understanding in the midst of all the good that was going on. Fortunately there was a priest who couldn't sleep so I spoke with him about the distress I was feeling. He explained it is not the job of the priest from the pulpit. They can teach the truth of course but the people then have to figure out the moral issues in there own from the teaching given by the priest.

So were does that put me and were does that put us as parents and grandparents?? We have the power to remove the teaching simply by saying no in big numbers and not allowing our children to take the courses given in school. If the government forces the issue, every American parent has the right to home school there children. Just the threat of large numbers of parents withdrawing from the school system is enough for the government to take a second look at why this is happening. I read recently that the Obama administration is withdrawing funding for abstinence only teaching.

The evil of sex education being taught in the public school setting is like a huge ball of yarn that needs to be rolled out to a straight path home to the parents who can easily be given instruction by one of the many lay groups who have cd's and dvd's on the subject.

My 4th son was unfortunately educated by the school and then by his father and "Christopher West," a well known author and speaker on the subject of morality. After Brian listened to Mr. West he said he knew that what was taught to him in school was depraved and should not ever be allowed on school grounds. He said that id parents were to insist their children be taught this it should be handled like driver education and taught off school grounds. Out of the mouth of a freshman in college.

As the Holy Spirit knows well I have been educated to the situation with ground level human sexuality. I will be writing a lot more and urging all of us to, "open the eyes of the blind."

 ~Margaret of Souls for Jesus

This is were I was when the Holy Spirit grieved my heart by reminding me about the evil of planned parenthood educating our children.

Showdown in Oklahoma: Our Lady vs. Satan

Prayerful people of faith gathered to defend Mary on the evening of the Feast of the Assumption while attacks were held against Her in Oklahoma...God have mercy on the world!
By Ben Broussard
“God Yes! Satan No!”
“Reparation! Reparation! Reparation!”
“Be Gone Satan! Be Gone Satan!” 
The battlecries rang out in the evening heat. Hundreds of Catholics from around the country came to fight. They yielded the weapons of the prayers of the Church. And the angels descended in force.
On August 15, 2016, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, a satanic group called the Church of Ahriman took sacrilegious desecration to a new low. As had been advertised for months, the satanic group would use the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall, a taxpayer-funded venue. Registered sex offender Adam Daniels led a satanic ‘black mass.’ The Blessed Sacrament and the Catholic Mass were mocked and blasphemed. This was followed by a ceremony called the Consumption of Mary. Deliberately mocking Our Lady’s Assumption, a statue of the Blessed Mother was decapitated, and a pig’s heart inside consumed after smashing the statue to pieces.,, and collected online petitions, insisting local officials cancel the event. By August 14, the total number had reached over 306,000. But the city officials refused to act, adamant in defying public opinion.

The Roman Legion Arrives
TFP Student Action director Mr. John Ritchie stated, “To defile and smear the true Mass, the Blessed Sacrament, and the Mother of God is not even remotely a form of religious expression, but rather a direct act of anti-religious bigotry and hatred against God. And when government buildings open their doors and allow a satanic Black Mass that offends God so deeply, it begs the question: Where is our beloved nation headed? Are we still one nation under God?”
Thankfully, the Americans who came to oppose the satanic offensive showed that the answer to that question is yes! The intense summer heat didn’t stop anyone from coming. Catholics from around the country converged on Oklahoma City. Local faithful stood side by side with people from dozens of states to pray the Most Holy Rosary, sing hymns accompanied by the bagpipes and drums, and console Our Lord and His Mother.
In a statement to a local news venue, satanist Adam Daniels acknowledged the low turnout for his events, stating: “When you have the whole Roman legion out there, how likely are they to come and buy tickets?”
And the legion was there in force. The hymn Immaculate Mary resounded as TFP members in ceremonial habit processed with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The litany of Saint Michael the Archangel quickly followed. Signs and banners were everywhere. “We Renounce the Devil and his Works.” “She Will Crush Thy Head.” “Down with Satan and the Sacrilegious Black Mass.” Unequivocal messages gave a militant aspect to the protest, and the faithful were very vocal in responding to the prayers.

Lucas from Louisiana remarked, “If we are truly going to be one nation under God, we have to fight. These satanists are pushing full steam ahead.”

Maria, who was at a previous protest in 2014, stated, “It’s so great to see so many show publicly their love for the Blessed Mother on her feast day. We have to console her here where she’s being attacked.”
Joseph from Missouri summed up his thoughts: “With the push for satanism in schools and in pop culture, the power of prayer is more crucial than ever.”

Children of Mary vs. Children of the Devil
As the protest finished, TFP members led a procession with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima as the faithful followed singing Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above. Meanwhile, inside the Civic Center the satanists were engaging in their heinous rituals.
In the book of Genesis, when God curses the serpent, He declares: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

The Church teaches the woman is Mary and the serpent the devil. St. Louis de Montfort comments: “God has established only one enmity - but it is an irreconcilable one - which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer.”
If we are to remain one nation under God, we must show God whose side we are on. Either we are the faithful children of His Mother, or we will be the children of his great enemy, the devil. It is time for Americans to choose a side in the spiritual combat being waged for the soul of our country.

St. Louis de Montfort further consoles us: “But the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride.”
May Mary Immaculate Gloriously Assumed into Heaven accept our acts of reparation and hasten to aid us her children in the battles against the children of Lucifer. We trust in God’s promise, and beg its fulfillment here in America: “She will crush thy head.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August 16th, 2016: Finally Coming up for Air

On the Feast of St. Clare I awoke to the words, "Justin is a miracle of World Youth Day." Very comforting as it has been a long hard up hill climb. You never really know how things are going with a 21 year old who has put so much pressure on himself by behavior that in all due respect is quote, Normal.

Justin was first shaken by Our lady of Częstochowa and then St. Charbel the saint of miracles. I never realized the power of relics until I watched him sink to his knees before the relics of St. Mary Magdalene. I am sure he has no knowledge of who any of the saints are but he was drawn in by them and Our lady of Częstochowa .

Justin is a work in progress like all of us with a wonderful future ahead of him. I am sure all the prayers of our friends in Christ have brought him to this much more life giving place. Let Gods Will be done.
~Margaret of Souls for Jesus

Friday, August 12, 2016

Novena to St. Monica begins: Thursday, August 18th

St. Monica is a very powerful intercessor for all those to go to her for help.
She is the mother of St. Augustine who is a Doctor of the Church and a highly revered Saint, philosopher and theologian. St. Monica prayed for her wayward son and pagan husband fervently throughout her life.
After 17 years of prayer, St. Augustine converted and eventually became the great Saint we know him as today.

Saint Monica Novena Prayers

Dear Saint Monica, you were once the mournful mother of a prodigal son. Your faithfulness to prayer brought you and your son so close to God that you are now with Him in eternity. By your intercession and God’s grace, your son St. Augustine became a great and venerable Saint of the Church. Please take my request to God with the same fervor and persistence with which you prayed for your own son.

(Mention your intentions here)

With your needs, worries and anxieties, you threw yourself on the mercy and providence of God. Through sorrow and pain, you constantly devoted yourself to God. Pray for me that I might join you in such a deep faith in God’s goodness and mercy.

Above all, dear Saint Monica, pray for me that I may, like your son, turn from my sin and become a great saint for the glory of God.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Feast of St. Clare

Lady Poverty

About a year ago I was being nudged and finally shoved into stopping my frivolous 30 year habit of getting my nails and toes done on a very regular basis. At first I thought it was so I could give the nails a brake but I began to realize the Mother of God was teaching me something.

When I first wrote the Morning Prayer for Women Espousing Purity for Christ I left out the virtue of poverty because it seemed that lay women couldn't really practice poverty. I thought we needed to live according to our means as provided by God. I was wrong.

I do not want to know how much frivolous money I had invested in my decorated nails. As time has gone on ( 1 year) I will say that I am still having a very difficult time not having my nails well groomed and colorful.  Only the knowledge that I can use the money for much more important help for the poor and the church have I been able to keep myself out of the Nail Salon.

I relate this to mortification and poverty because it is a huge sacrifice for me and doesn't get easier as time goes on. Poverty because i can relate better to the needs of others.

We all have things in our life we can let go of for the sake of others. I hope this helps readers understand that, "nothing has changed under the sun."   If we want Purity and to serve to the highest and best of our potential we can always do more and sacrifice more.
~Margaret of Souls for Jesus


Of the "many writings" 1 left by St. Francis to the Poor Ladies at St. Damian's, only two fragments are known to exist, and these have been preserved to us through St. Clare herself, in so far as she incorporated them in the sixth chapter of her Rule. We have it on the authority of Pope Gregory IX that St. Francis wrote for St. Clare and her first companions a formula vitae, or "little rule," at the beginning of their religious life. 2 But it was this same Pope Gregory IX, then known as Cardinal Ugolino, who about 1219 composed a Rule for the Poor Ladies, which was accepted by St. Francis and confirmed by Honorius III. 3 This Rule, as the Pontiff himself declares, was solemnly professed by Clare and her Sisters and observed by them for many years in a praiseworthy manner. 4 Pope Innocent IV bears witness to the same effect. Writing to Blessed Agnes, Princess of Bohemia (who had founded a house of the Second Order at Prague), of this Rule, written by Cardinal
 Ugolino, he says: The Sisters of the Monastery of St. Damian and all others of your Order have laudably observed it from the time of its profession until now." 1 These words were written on November 13, 1243. In view of such testimony it is obviously a mistake to assert, as Wadding and some other writers do, that St. Clare abandoned this Rule in 1224, and professed another one written by St. Francis. It is also erroneous to suppose that St. Francis ever wrote a Rule for the Poor Ladies. 2 The one written about 1219, by Cardinal Ugolino, was recast by St. Clare herself toward the close of her life, and made to conform as far as possible to the Second Rule written by St. Francis for the Friars Minor. The Rule of the Poor Ladies, thus recast by St. Clare in a new form, was confirmed by Innocent IV, August 9, 1253, just two days before the death of the holy abbess. 3
In the sixth chapter of this Rule, St. Clare describes the circumstances under which the two fragments of St. Francis’ writings here given were composed. "After the Most High Heavenly Father deigned by His grace to enlighten my heart," St. Clare tells us, "to do penance after the example and teaching of our most blessed father, St. Francis, a little while after his own conversion, I, together with  my sisters, voluntarily promised him obedience. But, seeing that we feared no poverty, toil, sorrow, abasement and contempt of the world, nay rather that we held them in great delight, the blessed father, moved by compassion, wrote us a rule of life 1 in this form . . . ." Then follows the first of the two fragments given below. Further on in the same chapter of her Rule, the holy abbess adds: "To the end that we and also those who might come after us should never fall away from the most holy poverty which we had undertaken, he again wrote to us shortly before his death 2 his last wish, saying . . . ." 3 Then follows the second of the two fragments here given.
Both these pieces, which Wadding took for letters 4 addressed to St. Clare, are here translated according to the text of the Rule contained in the original bull of Innocent IV. 5 They are as follows:


Since, by divine inspiration, you have made yourselves daughters and handmaids of the Most
 High Sovereign King, the Heavenly Father, and have espoused yourselves to the Holy Ghost, choosing to live according to the perfection of the holy Gospel, I will, and I promise to have always, by myself and my brothers, a diligent care and special solicitude for you, as for them. 1


I, little brother Francis, wish to follow the life and poverty of Jesus Christ our Most High Lord and of His Most Holy Mother and to persevere therein until the end. And I beseech you all, my ladies, and counsel you, to live always in this most holy life and poverty. And watch yourselves well that you in no wise depart from it through the teaching or advice of any one.


Basic Background 3.1. Clare of Assisi (1193-1253) can be defined as the feminine expression of the ideals of Francis of Assisi. Her name means "the enlightened one"'. Her life was often seen against the background of the radical Gospel ideals of Francis. It is only in recent times, and particularly since 1953, and during the 8th centenary of her birth in 1993-94, that Clare has emerged as a unique contribution to the ideals of Francis. Clare often called herself "the little plant of the most blessed Francis" (Rule I,3; Testament 37. 49). Her ideals matched those of Francis, but they are the expression of an authentically female approach to the Gospel, and a proof that radical evangelical living is not only the prerogative of male apostolic spirituality. We shall take a brief look at her life, and then proceed to study her Writings, which portray a faithful picture of this unique medieval woman whose role as a great mystic rivals that of other great female figures of her age. Basic Background 3.1. Clare of Assisi (1193-1253) can be defined as the feminine expression of the ideals of Francis of Assisi. Her name means "the enlightened one"'. Her life was often seen against the background of the radical Gospel ideals of Francis. It is only in recent times, and particularly since 1953, and during the 8th centenary of her birth in 1993-94, that Clare has emerged as a unique contribution to the ideals of Francis. Clare often called herself "the little plant of the most blessed Francis" (Rule I,3; Testament 37. 49). Her ideals matched those of Francis, but they are the expression of an authentically female approach to the Gospel, and a proof that radical evangelical living is not only the prerogative of male apostolic spirituality. We shall take a brief look at her life, and then proceed to study her Writings, which portray a faithful picture of this unique medieval woman whose role as a great mystic rivals that of other great female figures of her age.

3.2. Clare was born in 1193-94, in a noble family, whose house overlooked the cathedral square of Assisi. Her father was Favarone di Offreduccio di Bernardino, and her mother's name was Ortolana. This pious woman was convinced that her daughter would be "enlightened" by God, and hence called her Clare, after being assured of a safe delivery in a vision (Process of Canonization of St. Clare = Proc III,28; Legend of St. Clare = LegCl 2). Clare's childhood years were marred by some sad events, notably the ransacking of the Rocca Maggiore by the Assisi citizens in 1198 and the war between Assisi and Perugia. During these years, when Clare was still a child, the nobility had to flee from Assisi and her family had taken refuge in Perugia. On the other hand, Clare was growing up as an educated young lady, as befitted her noble status. From her mother Ortolana she learned to become a woman of prayer, with a gentle heart, generous towards the poor. These qualities were later to become the salient points of her spirituality.

St. Francis welcomes Clare on palm Sunday
at the Porziuncola
3.3. Back in Assisi in the early years of the 13th century, Clare soon became aware of the fresh ideals of Francis and his brothers, who were living down at the Porziuncola. She longed to become a member of the new movement, but she was a noble woman, and her only choice would have been that of joining one of the great monastic Orders for females, notably the Benedictines. An apostolic and itinerant life for a noble woman was not a common thing in the Middle Ages, even though we have ample witness of female movements which harmonised contemplation with apostolic witness and a penitential life, such as Beguines, Recluses, Hermits, etc. (cfr. H. Grundmann, Religiose Bewegungen im Mittelalter, Darmstadt, 1961; Movimenti religiosi femminili nel Medio Evo, (italian translation), Bologna, 1980). After a period of reflection, during which Clare met Francis on some occasions, and most probably with the consent of bishop Guido of Assisi, Clare decided to choose a life of radical evangelical poverty.

3.4. During the night of Palm Sunday (28 March 1211 or 18 March 1212, according to different chronological tables which we shall not discuss here), Clare escaped from her family's home in Assisi and hurried down to the Porziuncola, where Francis gave her the habit of penance at the feet of the altar of the Virgin Mary of the Angels. That same night Clare was escorted to the Benedictine monastery of San Paolo in Bastia Umbra, where she was protected by papal interdict against possible intrusion by her family to take her back home by force . After some weeks Francis transferred Clare to another monastery at the foot of Mount Subasio, Sant'Angelo di Panzo. There Clare was joined by her sister Caterina (Sister Agnese). All attempts by the paternal uncle Monaldo to take back the two girls by force proved futile. Francis then sent Clare and Agnese to the small church of San Damiano and gave them a Form of Life, which is the basis of the Rule of St. Clare. San Damiano was to be the place where Clare lived a cloistered contemplative life, but with great apostolic horizons, until the day of her death in 1253. The first sisters to join her would be called the Poor Ladies of San Damiano. Although compelled to accept the title of Abbess in 1215, a year later Clare asked Pope Innocent III to approve the Privilege of Poverty, by which the Poor Ladies were bound to live without property like the Friars Minor. This Privilege was confirmed by Gregory IX in 1228.

The countryside around Assisi
3.5. We have an important document relating to the early years of the history of the Poor Ladies of San Damiano, written by Jacques de Vitry (c. 1170-1240), who was Bishop of Acre in the Holy Land. This historian was the biographer of the life of Marie d'Oignies, who died in 1213, and a great enthusiast of the Beguine movement in northern Europe. While in Perugia in 1216, after the death of Innocent III, he came into contact with the movement initiated by Francis of Assisi. During the same year, in a letter written from Genova, he states:

3.6. "I found one consolation in those parts: many men and women, rich and worldly, after renouncing everything for Christ, fled the world. They are called Lesser Brothers and Lesser Sisters ("Fratres et Sorores Minores"). They are held in great esteem by the Lord Pope and the cardinals. They do not occupy themselves with temporal affairs, but work each day with great desire and enthusiastic zeal ... They live according to the form of the primitive Church ... They go into the cities and villages during the day, so that they convert others, giving themselves to active work; but they return to their hermitages or solitary places at night, employing themselves in contemplation. The women live near the cities in various hospices. They accept nothing, but live from the work of their hands" (Clare of Assisi. Early Documents. Edited and Translated by Regis J. Armstrong OFMCap, Paulist Press, New York, 1988, pp. 245-246).

Chapel of San Damiano (interior)
3.7. This picture of the first community of Poor Ladies shows certain characteristics worthy of note. Clare and her Sisters were the product of Francis' evangelical initiative. They were so close to the Friars Minor that they were also known by the name "Lesser Sisters". Their way of life was a cloistered one, but not in the style of the old monastic Orders. The cloister at San Damiano was more spiritual than material. Moreover, the Poor Ladies lived close to the cities, and seemingly in close collaboration with the apostolic work of the Friars Minor, of whom they shared the zeal in a contemplative attitude. The Poor Ladies were quite unlike other female religious movements, in the sense that they had no property. The Privilege of Poverty could be seen as the characteristic note of Clare and the Poor Ladies of San Damiano.

3.8. The reason for this insistence upon voluntary radical poverty lay in the fact that the Church was continually insisting that Clare and the Sisters accept a more stable way of life according to the canons of monastic Orders. This would have included property in common. Clare resolutely refused this condition, even when she had to accept a Rule given by Cardinal Hugolino in 1218-19, which was modeled on the Rule of St. Benedict. Again, in 1247, Innocent IV made her accept another Rule, even though it placed the Poor Ladies under the jurisdiction of the Friars Minor. Clare continued to insist, and went even as far as taking the initiative of writing a Rule modeled upon the Later Rule of the Friars Minor. This Rule was finally approved by the Cardinal Protector Rainaldus on 16 September 1252, and finally by Pope Innocent IV himself on 9 August 1253, just two days before Clare died.

The choir used by Clare and the Poor Clares at San Damiano
3.9. The years which Clare spent in San Damiano were marked by the spreading of her movement. In 1219 her sister Agnese was sent to found the monastery of Monticelli, near Florence. Clare's ideals traveled far and wide, especially with the help of the first Franciscan missionaries to northern Europe. In 1234 the Poor Ladies had a monastery in Prague (Bohemia), where the princess Agnes took the penitential habit and began to live in radical poverty according to the style of the Poor Ladies at San Damiano. Four letters which Clare wrote to Agnes of Prague have been handed down to us.

3.10. Clare was frail in physical health. Since 1224 she was always ill at San Damiano. Nevertheless her strong character and youthful spirit never left her. She welcomed Francis, who was blind, at San Damiano in the spring of 1225. There he wrote the Canticle of Creatures. To her and the Sisters Francis directed his Last Will before dying, and his funeral cortege stopped at San Damiano for a last farewell by Clare and the Poor Ladies on Sunday 4 October 1226.

3.11. Twice Clare saved San Damiano and her Sisters from plundering hordes of Saracen mercenaries, especially in September 1240, through the miracle of the Eucharist which Clare held while praying for her Sisters and the city of Assisi, and again from the troops of Vitalis d'Aversa in June 1241 (Proc III,18-19). The first event was to leave an indelible mark on later iconographical representations of Clare, even though the small ivory ciborium she held on that occasion has often been represented as a post-Tridentine Council monstrance.

The refectory of San Damiano
(encircled a bouquet of flowers at
the place where Clare used to sit)
3.12. As the day of her death approached, Clare twice received the visit of Pope Innocent IV himself and begged him to approve her Rule. This he did on 9 August 1253. Two days later, on 11 August, Clare died at San Damiano. Her last words are recorded by Sister Filippa, the third witness in the Process of Canonization: "Go calmly in peace, for you will have a good escort, because He who created you has sent you the Holy Spirit and has always guarded you as a mother does her child who loves her. O Lord, may You Who have created me, be blessed" (Proc III,20).

3.13. Just two months later, on 18 October 1253, Pope Innocent IV nominated bishop Bartolomeo of Spoleto to conduct the process of canonization, which was held in Assisi between 24-29 November. On 15 August 1255, the successor of Innocent IV, Pope Alexander IV, who had been Cardinal Protector of the Poor Ladies, solemnly canonized Clare in the cathedral of Anagni, and promulgated the Bull of canonization "Clara claris praeclara".

3.14. In 1260 the Poor Ladies moved to their new monastery in Assisi, where the church of San Giorgio once stood. They took with them the crucifix of San Damiano and the mortal remains of Clare. After her death her Sisters became known as the Order of St. Clare (OSC).

The urn containing the body of St. Clare

3.15. The tomb of St. Clare was found on 30 August 1850, and on 23 September her relics were exhumed. In 1872 they were placed in an urn in the cript of the basilica, for the veneration of pilgrims. The original Rule of St. Clare with the bull of approval "Solet annuere" was found in 1893.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Feast of St. Dominic

Today on the Feast of St. Dominic I received this witness from a good friend who knows the long struggle for Purity. 
While in Poland we spent time in the Cathedral Of St. Dominic (pictured left). This Monastery houses 90 men committed to the religious life. A surprise to me is that St. Mary Magdalene is their Patron Saint. St. Dominic fought the good fight by striving for Purity and reading the Gospel of Matthew every day. ~Margaret of Souls for Jesus

Following is my friends testimony:
I have decided to write this after listening to a homily this morning about the human need to fill our souls with something and the only thing that will ever satisfy it is to be filled with the love and grace of God.  I am hoping by sharing this with you all that it will be able to be used to help others who may be struggling in their lives trying to fill their souls with all the various vices that surround us all every day.  Please feel free to share this with your own children if you deem appropriate and also to send it along to anyone in your lives who you think may benefit from it.  One of the most powerful things in AA is the sharing of personal stories.  It brings healing to the person sharing and hope to those listening.  So, here goes….

My husband’s addiction to pornography has finally cost him the ability to work and also the end of our marriage.  I met Joe during a time in my life when I was in a lot of pain and confusion about my own childhood wounds.  I had left my first husband and 2 year daughter 9 months prior.  When I met Joe it was a physical attraction and we started sleeping together immediately.  Within 6 months we were living together.  I was 24 years old and had been sober for 5 years.  I had not yet done the 12 steps through the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and therefore was still filling my soul with vice and not with God.  We married in our 5th year of being together (1996) because I told him I was not going to continue to live with him without being married.  The following year I completed the steps of AA and as a result had a spiritual awakening.  I returned to the Catholic church and we got married in the Church (1998). 
Pornography was always in our relationship but something that Joe did on his own and I looked the other way.  He did not flaunt it in my face and neither did I ask him to stop.  Once we married in the Church, I continued on my spiritual journey and slowly stopped going to AA.  The sacraments and dogma of Catholicism are very much the same as what the steps in AA are all about.  A Catholic priest was a very close friend of one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Joe’s 2 sons and my daughter came to live with us a month after we married in the Church.  During that time in our marriage I focused on raising the kids and teaching them the Faith.  I continued my healing and conversion during this time with frequent use of the sacraments.  I believed my husband was on the same path and life was good.  I never had any idea that he was still viewing pornography until I walked in on him using the computer in July of 2014!
Our marriage was always a struggle with lots of underlining bitterness towards one another.  I always felt like I was myself when I was not around him and that life was wonderful and worth living.  I tried my hardest to be more loving, more attentive, more kind, more merciful to him but it was so hard.  I have always felt that “tired feeling” when I was with him.  Now I know it was probably the oppression of pornography in our marriage.  I felt full of energy and alive when I was not in the presence of my husband but oh so weary when I was with him.  I honestly believed and hoped with all my heart that things would get better if we both treated one another better.  I would never even consider the thought of divorce because I was married in the Church for better or for worse.  I did physically move out of the house several times during our marriage and even before we got married but always ended up going back to try again.  If only I could love him better, be kinder, gentler with my words, more merciful, etc.  Being sober over 30 years now, I realize that you will never save anyone.  The person afflicted has to come to the awareness of their addiction and admit it to themselves and God then ask God for the help to recover.  As we say in AA, a drug is a drug is a drug.  It does not matter what vice you have fallen into.  They are all the same and they are for one purpose alone.  For the devil to steal your soul and lead you straight into the pit of Hell.  Our whole life is a spiritual journey and the spiritual warfare is real!! 
In the past 2 years since I found out Joe is still using pornography, I have tried to get him the help he needs to stop.  A week after I walked in on him he got fired from his job for fighting with a coworker.  Anger is one of the symptoms of using pornography.  Joe didn’t want to be stuck in the vice and would feel so ashamed of himself.  He was always lying to me about everything and I’m sure he would feel angry about lying also.  In our 16th year of being together I had an outbreak of Herpes and was so afraid to tell him I had Herpes because we had recently reconciled from a separation a few months earlier.  Joe always accused me of being unfaithful to him which I never was and here I was with genital Herpes and no idea where it came from.  I very cautiously told him about it and he started tearing up and in a quiet voice said he has had it all along and never wanted me to know because I might leave him.  I was so incredibly hurt and a little disgusted that he would lie to me our entire relationship about something that would affect me in such a way.  But once again we went to counseling and talked about it.  For those of you who are not aware, Herpes can lie dormant in a person for a very long time so it did not mean that Joe had to be sleeping around at the time I broke out with it.
So here I was in NC far away from family and friends and my husband is not who I think he is.  It sucked!  I talked to a priest that I trusted and asked if under the circumstances I could leave my husband and move back to MA.  He said yes and one of the only things I remember from that conversation with him was he said to me “He cannot hold you hostage”.  So I told Joe that I was very unhappy in NC and that he was falling apart being fired from his job and viewing porn again.  I told him I was moving back to MA and that he could come with me if he wanted to.  He was not interested in moving back with me so I moved up on my own, got my old job back and found an apartment.  I continued to keep in touch with Joe and he often came up to MA to visit staying for weeks at a time.  After a year of living in 2 separate states I asked him to come back for the summer months and we would do some counseling together to figure out where we should live together.  We met with a couple who does the marriage prep course at a local parish and talked about our struggles dancing around pornography never having that be a big issue.  We were trying to hash out where we should live since he wanted to be in the south and I in the north.  I always felt that I was not able to talk about Joe’s porn addiction to others because it was his sin and I should not tarnish his reputation with family and friends.  So I lived in silence and darkness.  We decided to move back to NC and I would try again because I figured it was a sacrifice of love in my marriage. 
Right before we moved my 27 year old daughter told me she was 6 weeks pregnant and the baby’s father would not be involved.  I told her I would come back before the baby was born and we could live together to help take care of the baby.  I told Joe the situation and he agreed to the plan.  Joe and I moved back to NC and spent 4 months together talking about pornography and praying together for release from the bondage of pornography.  It’s the first time in the 24 year relationship that we put it up front and worked on it together.  We read things together and listened to talks about the addiction and what it does to marriage.  It was a good 4 months and then I moved back up to start working again and help my daughter move in to her new house.  My husband was supposed to follow me shortly.  He kept dragging his feet until I finally told him if he chose to stay in NC we should just get divorced because I was not willing to live in 2 different states.  After that ultimatum he came within 2 weeks.  The baby was born a month after Joe arrived and I was working full time.  Joe has never got any gainful employment after he was fired in the summer of 2014.  He would do odd jobs here and there but never worked on a regular basis.  When he came to live with us he started doing things around the house that needed fixing.  My daughter did not want him around all the time and I told him he needed to do some odd jobs for paying customers.  He would say he wanted to fix things at the house first then he would start making money again.

He would work for a few hours here and there and then spend the rest of his time outside on the patio or in his shed with his iPad and phone.  My daughter always felt uncomfortable and a little “creeped out” by his actions.  One night I woke up at 2am and realized my husband was not in bed beside me.  I texted him asking “where are you” and he replied “out taking a ride, I couldn’t sleep.”  I had no idea he was even gone, I thought he was outside on the patio.  Joe has never slept well and I have always believed if you have too much on your mind you will not be able to sleep.  I on the other hand have been blessed with rock solid sleep and go to bed early and rise early.  Joe and I never go to bed at the same time but he usually comes to bed by midnight.  I was shocked that he was driving around at 2am and thought to myself that he is at a strip club or looking for a prostitute.  We did not really talk about it; although I told him the following day that I was concerned about what he may have been doing and he brushed it off.  A week later he gave my daughter his iPad to help him decipher some instruction he was trying to understand.  He walked out to do something and while she was looking at the web page her finger hit the round button and the screen turned into small boxes of recently viewed websites.  After she saw what the websites were she gave me the iPad and said “here Momma I don’t want to see this.”  That is the first time I was aware that he was still viewing pornography since we had gone to counseling and were trying to live together again.  I talked to him that night and told him what Cierra saw that day.  She was not aware what the problems were in our marriage until then.  I told Joe that I was not going to put up with pornography in the marriage any longer and that we needed to go see a priest who he had talked to about porn a few months prior. 
We went to see the priest together and I had said that “I always saw the problem as one Joe would have to deal with on his own but now I realized we would have to do this together if we were to remain married.”  I left that meeting feeling energized to once again keep the lines of communication open and start praying together for release from the bondage of pornography.  The next week we left for vacation and arrived very early in the morning after driving 16 hours.  I went to sleep for a few hours before I would run to the airport to pick up my daughter and granddaughter.  Joe did not come to bed saying that he would not sleep that night if he slept now.  My daughter’s flight got stuck in another state and she would not arrive until that evening.  I went back to bed and after an hour of restless sleep decided to get up.  When I walked into the living room my husband was lying on the couch with his iPad and I walked over to him and sat down.  I asked what he was looking at and he said Craig’s list which he does often to find free things.  I asked him if I could see it and he quickly showed me the page which looked like a page of Craig’s list listings.  I then said can I have your iPad and look for myself and he said “no, I’m getting you a surprise”.  I told him this was an opportunity to build some trust but he was adamant that I couldn’t look at it.  So I decided to go get the grocery shopping done and clean the condo before going to the airport that evening.  When I returned from the grocery store, Joe told me that he was looking at pictures of women on Craig’s list and I thanked him for being honest with me.  I then proceeded to clean the house and take a short nap before going to the airport. 
The next morning I told Joe that I had had enough of the pornography in our marriage and he needed to go to a treatment center or retreat that dealt with porn addiction.  I told him this needed to happen within the next 10 days or else I was filing for divorce.  We then had a pretty good vacation and did not talk much about it.  All the while I am thinking to myself that there is no reason to look at selfies on Craig’s list with all the other porn websites out there that have more beautiful and provocative women on them.  I wait until the vacation is over and my daughter and granddaughter are on their way home before I decide to do a little investigating.  During my entire marriage I never snooped around looking for evidence of pornography.  I really believed after we got married in the Church that he was no longer viewing it.  Then when I did find out in NC that he was, I moved out. 
On our trip back home, I had the opportunity to look at the email account on Joe’s phone when he was inside a store.  The email account was full of dating website emails.  I immediately felt a sense of relief and realized in that moment that I would drive the 16 hours back to MA with my husband and let him sleep for a while when we returned then tell him I was filing for divorce.  We arrived at 2:30am and I slept until 7am.  When I awoke he was sleeping beside me and I took his phone into the bathroom to look at the sent emails from his email account.  There I found several emails to various women on Craig’s list looking to meet.  I went outside with my coffee for morning prayer which has sustained me all these years.  Joe woke up within an hour and came out to the patio.  When I finished my prayers I got him a cup of coffee and then told him that I saw his email account and that I was filing for divorce immediately.  He tried to say it was just talking but I quickly shut him up and told him to get his things and move out that day.  I told him that I was so very sorry for him that his porn addiction has now cost him his marriage. 
My message to you men who are struggling with porn would be that it will take everything from you and lead you straight to Hell.  I don’t hate my husband; in fact I love him very much.  However, I cannot save him from the grips of the devil.  I will not continue to be degraded and lied to nor will I have my daughter and granddaughter growing up in a home filled with the oppression of pornography.  I will pray for all who suffer from this bondage as I continue to pray for my husband daily.  To the women who may be involved in relationships with men who are in bondage to pornography….RUN!  It is so very harmful and painful.  I have spent 25 years of my life trying to love my husband out of it.  Only God can do that if Joe decides to have his soul filled with God and not vice.