Thursday, April 28, 2005

Musings and Anniversaries

(Still have not fixed my network card at the home-office. The good news is that because I live in such a rural area, the warranty company is not making me take the computer into a local repair shop, instead they are giving me onsite service. The bad news is that after 4 days they haven't found any repairmen willing to come all the way to Bethune, SC. Good news - I am getting to know the local librarians.)

13 months ago I was laid off from my job 0f 9+ years as a patent agent. Last week (without fanfare) Requiem Press became a one year-old enterprise. Next week we will have lived in our country 'small holding' of two acres for 9 months. We are taking stock.

We have just sent a very important book to the printer - (as I mentioned somewhere below). We are negotiating for a new book by a well-known writer. Our chickens are starting to lay eggs again. Our daughter is returning from her 2nd year at Christendom College in a few weeks for her last summer with us. God has blessed us: Our daily bread arrives on time; Daily Mass with a holy priest; beauty on the landscape; the blessings go on and on.

Yet not all is rosy. Clouds may be on the horizon.

I work harder than I ever have in my life - yet get paid less than I ever have in my (working) life. But we have never had such a good life. It is so good I am afraid I will blink and it will be gone. Excuse my ramblings - but we are taking stock...

From the small holding in Bethune....

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, April 25, 2005

A few things ....

It has been almost a week since my last post ... and the trend may continue. My network card or my modem or both have bit the dust, so I am checking Requiem Press email at the library. In our small town, the library is only open a couple hours each day - and different hours every day.

After reading some of the news at I wish Requiem Press had some of Cardinal Ratzinger's books for sale. It appears Ignatius Press has almost sold out all their stock.

We did send a very important book to the printer today. I plan to blog about it some in the coming weeks. The subject of the book is very close to my heart. The book is due for release in late May. More on this later...

Jeff over at Hallowed Ground ponders getting a milk cow - how this would tie them down - and how this would make their life more monastic. These are thoughts Mrs. Curley and I have pondered also.

However, we are having trouble with simple chickens. We suddenly went from 6-7 eggs a day to 1-3 eggs a day. We can't figure out what is the problem. They look healthy, but they don't seem to be eating much.

We are also afraid the cold weather may ruin our first real vegetable garden. Last night it was in the high 30's - low 40's. This is unheard of in late April in SC.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Interesting thoughts on Benedict XVI here over at Caelum et Terra.

I do think that many will be surprised by the beliefs and leadership provided by Benedict XVI. I don't think he can be put in many of the boxes those on both the right and left are putting him.

Unbelievable! Pope Benedict!

A tip to Suburban Priest for finding this:

Here's a portion:

Pope Benedict XVI made his first public appearance on the streets of Rome on Wednesday afternoon, April 20, as he visited his old apartment near Vatican City to transfer some belongings to his new home in the apostolic palace.

The newly elected Pope, clothed completely in the distinctive white vestments of the papacy, caught onlookers by surprise when he chose to travel on foot, walking the few hundred yards to the apartment in the Citta Leonina where he had lived for years. When the news spread that the Pontiff was walking through the city, hundreds of people quickly gathered, and he spent some time in front of the apartment building, greeting the people and blessing young children. Italian police and Vatican security officials did their best to control the crowd, preserving some breathing room for the Pontiff.


Just read this over at Fructus Ventris/. Our pastor mentioned the Benny Hinn story yesterday at Mass. It looks like John Paul the Great is continuing to work on Christian unity from Heaven!

In the comment box to the post below, Nicole writes "In celebration of today's international event, several college students (including myself) roamed creation-- paricularly Front Royal, VA-- exuberently proclaiming the good news: "Viva el Papa!" May he reign many years. God keep and bless you and yours! Te Deum laudamus . . ."

I understand that the Front Royal, VA is historically a Protestant stronghold, but because it now sports a Catholic college, HLI, Seton Homeschool, etc. Front Royal does have a very strong Catholic community.

In contrast, we are probably the only Catholic family in Bethune, SC and the surrounding areas. The nearest Catholic Churches (of which there are several, but some of which are missions) are all 25-30 miles away. Yesterday, in watching the broadcasts of the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI, there was no larger community to share the joy with.

However, we were able to watch and pray together as a family in these moments - which is memorable in itself. We did feel solidarity with the crowd in St. Peter's square and with the whole Church.

From the small holding in Bethune ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI!!!!!

Deo Gratias!

Te Deum laudamus:te Dominum confitemur.
Te æternum Patremomnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli, tibi coeliet universæ Potestates,
tibi Cherubim et Seraphimincessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus,Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt coeli et terramajestatis gloriæ tuæ.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarumsancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensæ majestatis;
venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriæ, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu, ad liberandumsuscepturus hominem,non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo,aperuisti credentibusregna coelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes,in gloria Patris.
Judex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quæsumus,tuis famulis subveni,quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Æterna fac cum Sanctis tuisin gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum,
Domine,et benedic hæreditati tuæ.
Et rege eos, et extolle illosusque in æternum.
Per singulos dies benedicimus te,
et laudamus nomen tuumin sæculum, et in sæculumsæculi.
Dignare, Domine, die istosine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri, Domine,miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua, Domine,super nos, quemadmodumsperavimus in te.
In te speravi:non confundar in æternum.

We praise Thee, O God:
acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship Thee and the Father everlasting.
To Thee all Angels: to Thee the heavens and all the Powers therein.
To Thee the Cherubim and Seraphim: cry with unceasing voice:
Holy, Holy, Holy: Lord God of Hosts.
The heavens and the earth are full: of the majesty of Thy glory.
Thee the glorious choir: of the Apostles.
Thee the admirable company: of the Prophets.
Thee the white-robed army of Martyrs: praise.
Thee the Holy Church throughout all the world: doth acknowledge.
The Father of infinite Majesty.
Thine adorable, true: and only SonAlso the Holy Ghost: the Paraclete.
Thou art the King of Glory: O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son: of the Father.
Thou having taken upon Thee to deliver man: didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
Thou having overcome the sting of death: didst open to believers the kingdom of heaven.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God: in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou shalt come: to be our Judge.
We beseech Thee, therefore, help Thy servants:
whom Thou has redeemed with Thy precious Blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints: in glory everlasting.
Lord, save Thy people: and bless Thine inheritance.
Govern them: and lift them up forever.
Day by day: we bless Thee.
And we praise Thy name forever: and world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day: to keep us without sin.
Have mercy on us, O Lord: have mercy on us.
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us: as we have hoped in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee have I hoped: let me never be confounded.

God Bless Pope Benedict XVI.

From the small holding in Bethune ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, April 18, 2005


My neighbors have cornfields on two sides of our property. They also grow turnips, collards, watermelon, etc. They haven't planted the cornfields yet this year, but there is still plenty of corn laying around which was missed in last year's harvest.

Yesterday our neighbor came by with some empty sacks and told us the boys could pick up all the old corn they could carry for our chickens.

All afternoon the boys labored, first getting the corn off the ground and then removing the kernals from the cob (the chickens wouldn't touch the corn on the cob). We didn't finish, but did a good afternoon's work. There are some tired boys downstairs.

Now for the Rosary, bed, sleep (a little more work for me) and fishing in the morning before Mass! This is the life.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

A New Schedule

Since we now have flexibility of schedule, we are thinking of turning our day upside down to fit our livestyle better. Presently we have a fairly conventional schedule, main meal at dinner, school in the morning and early afternoon, etc.

We are thinking of changing the main meal to lunch time and schooling after lunch. This allows the outside chores to be done in the cool of the day.

This type of schedule also allows that we should be able to eat together more leisurely than in the evening. In evening sometimes I have meeting, or the children have a class, etc. this always disrupts dinner.

Further the saying for a more healthy lifestyle goes, "Breakfast like a king; lunch like a prince; dinner like a pauper".

We shall see how it progesses.

Mrs. Curley, with some the help from the children, has put in potatoes, carrotts, cucumbers, zuccinni, beans, tomatoes, cantalop, onions, scallions, spinach, many sunflowers, and possibly some other varieties I am unaware of. Potatoes are already up. The plum tree has flowered already, and the peach trees, as well as our dogwood is in flower now. A few weeks ago the whole countryside smelled of manure. Now the whole countryside is lush green and in bloom. (The green won't last around here - the hot sun will scorch most of the countryside to brown in a few months.)

We have been blessed greatly by our Lord.

As the Cardinals go into conclave - we pray: VENI, Sancte Spiritus

From the small holding in Bethune....

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, April 15, 2005


This month the cover of Crisis Magazine is "If Abortion Were Outlawed Tomorrow... Would We Be Ready". The story (not available online), "The Law of Unintended Consequences - A Cautionary Look at Overturning Roe v. Wade", is by Elizabeth Thecla Mauro.

Surprisingly, the author claims if Roe v. Wade were overturned, there would be a schism in the Catholic Church!!!! I find this scenario extremely hard to believe.

A Communist nation may not be able to transition to free-market and free democratic processes in an instant without a transitional phase - but I don't think outlawing abortion in this country would have such major economic represcussions - or spritual reprecussions in the Catholic Church as the author fears. I was so flabberghasted to read the article and the reasoning (or lack thereof) I can barely comment intelligently.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sudden Death

We live on a country road - the house is set far back from the road. But there are a number of commercial farms on our route, and major grainery trucks travel the road at high speeds. Our mailbox is right next to the 55 MPH sign.

Today we lost a pup (he was about 9 months old). He ran out into the road (usually he's on leash outside of his pen - but not today) and was hit by one of these eighteen wheelers. One son was within several yards and witnessed it up close. The rest of the kids who were all in yard only saw the aftermath - but it was not pretty.

We gathered the children inside. While Mrs. Curley comforted them, I had the unenviable job of collecting poor Randy's remains. After boxing him and rinsing the road. I put the box in our wagon and the children came out for the burial. We dug hole deep enough so the coyotes won't come around and then gathered round the wagon. As we pulled the wagon towards the burial spot, we sang a few hymns. After lowering the box into the grave, I said something like the following:

"We thank the good Lord for all the blessings He has given us. But we realize and say with Job, 'The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord." And then we said Our Lord's Prayer and covered the grave.

Before and after we discussed again with the children how dogs do not have immortal souls (thus we are not praying for Randy's soul to be released from purgatory). We have affection for our pets, and will miss Randy, but we just need to thank God for the blessings He has given us. We need to take care of these gifts and enjoy them while we have them, but not so much mourn their loss. With the older children we reminded them (in calmer moments) that it is a lesson that life is fragile; we or those we love can be gone tomorrow. This should have a bearing on the way we live our life everyday. (And hopefully all got a reminder of the danger of our road.)

I usually go to the 9:00 AM Mass in the morning. Usually one or two of the boys accompany me. I have a feeling that all will be traveling with me tomorrow.

From the small holding in Bethune ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Are we better off than we were 26 years ago?

I have been in controversy over at Hallowed Ground. Jeff posted a portion of an article by Christopher Ferrara from The Remnant. The portion excerpted has some truth to it, but the final paragraph of the excerpt (and much of the tone of the overall article if read in entirety) I find to be untrue.

Here is the key to Mr. Feerara's belief regarding John Paul II's pontificate:
"Whoever wishes to love the Pope as he ought to be loved must be willing to say now, in charity and in truth, that John Paul II was a ruler whose words often said one thing while his actions said another, and that the contradictions which marked his reign have produced enormous confusion in the Church that must be undone by his successor."

I am not in this camp.

I don't believe John Paul was a bad pope. I believe he was a great pope. Unfortunately, great is measured over many, many years. I believe that both the 2nd Vatican Council and John Paul's pontificate are intimately linked and both are for the GOOD of the Church. Traditionalists correctly understand this - but some may not understand how Vatican II was needed and is still needed by the Church.

The 2nd Vatican Council's pastoral reforms (of which JPII as bishop has much to do with) have been hijacked and rejected over the years. Things are getting better in this regard - but slowly, too slowly. There is still time to implement Vatican II or finally reject it. Rejecting it will be rejecting the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. Similarly the we can reject the proposals of John Paul II - but at our own peril.

A student of history will realize that personal holiness has always been the key to reform of the Church - from even worse times than these. We can grouse and complain - but our time is better spent on our knees. This does not mean we close our eyes to sacrilege, lies, etc. But we must realize that God can fix problems we can't - and thus we need to bombard Heaven with our pleas.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Communion on the Tongue & Government

The Return Curve has an interesting commentary on receiving Communion on the tongue today - here. It has been my recent experience that the seminaries have not been teaching young priests how to distribute Holy Communion on the tongue. When I receive from a young priest, it always seems to be an adventure. One young priest I know simply tries to toss the Blessed Sacrament into the communicant's mouth.

Another good post from The Return Curve just below the first on government, today and in the middle ages. It is of particular interest to me right now because I just finished editing our newest release which touches on this subject by Rev. Bede Jarrett ("Relation of Church and State in the Middle Ages" - see Requiem Press). In it, St. Augustine is quoted saying: "The desire to be master of your fellow man is intolerable pride, for men are by nature equal." and "Hence, good men are known rather as shepards of the flock than as kings of men". (City of God).

The conclusion of early Christian thought seems to be (according to Bede Jarrett) that "Had he (man) not sinned, he might still have needed government to develop is bene esse (well being); he needs it now however to secure even his esse (being)."

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

A Wonderful Lady

This past weekend in Harrisburg, PA - I had the brief opportunity to meet Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand. She was speaking at the conference and was selling some books. I bought her book "The Privilege of Being a Woman" for my daughter and had it signed.

Coincidentally I picked up April issue of Crisis Magazine. The first letter to the editor is about an aritcle they ran on "Eight Habits of Highly Effective Bishops". (My bishop - Bishop Robert Baker, was cited twice in the article). In this first letter to the editor, Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand writes, "... would it not be desirable ... that a bishiop reintroduce asceticism in seminaries: fasting, abstinence, hair shirts, and discipline?"

I second the suggestion heartily.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Mrs. Curley asked me tonight, "Isn't there anyone big enough to stop the starvation and dehydration of Mae Magouirk ?" (courtesty of Fr. Rob Johansen).

Apparently not. While there are people that had the power to stop the starvation of Terri Schiavo and now Mae Magouirk - none of these people, presidents and governors, are big enough to do it.

This weekend

I was in Harrisburg, PA this weekend for a homeschool conference/curriculum fair - trying to sell some books. Gave away lots of catalogs and sold a few books. The highlights of the trip however were getting to visit with my daughter; (She is a sophomore at Christendom College and she accompanied me on my bookselling trip, as did my oldest son.) and staying overnight with my sister's family. The have 3 girls and boy. [My sister is the author of "Your Labor of Love" - Tan Books; her husband teaches Theology at a Catholic High School. Both are Christendom College graduates.]

It is heartening to see a chapel with some 20%+ of the student body attending a daily Mass (Friday) - especially considering there was a 2nd Mass that day AND that classes had been cancelled for the day because of Pope John Paul's funeral. Although the college has been told they are not allowed to use the Communion Rail in the chapel, almost all of the students kneel for Holy Communion. They are doing something right at this school.

Have been away from the 'office' for several days, so I may be scarce for a few days.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


We have a few new books (for sale) up on the website. Please buy some, my family is hungry!

Two true stories today to lighten the mood:

1. Went to Mass on the Feast of the Annunication. Our priest had a book with him during the homily. (I don't know the name.) Here is how he started: "This book about saints and feasts has some very interesting information in it. Of course we are celebrating the Annunciation today, but usually it is on March 25th. This book says that besides the Annuciation taking place on March 25th, Christ died on March 25th; John the Baptist was beheaded on March 25th; and Adam and Eve were created on March 25th." He pauses, and then looks up: "Now how the hell do they know that?"

2. A few years ago during my Saturday morning errands, I used to always stop at a thrift shop to see if they had any records (you know, phonographs?). One son in particular used to always come with me. Well one year he was determined to buy a purple dress he had seen in this thrift shop for Mrs. Curley's birthday. (It was only $1.50). Well he got it. Turns out Mrs. Curley wore it once, but in reality it was a size or two too small. My son, occasionally asks if it "fits yet". Well this year for Mrs. Curley's birthday, this son made her a couple of scarves/bandannas for her to wear in the garden. He told her, "I was going to make you a purple one to match your purple dress; but I figured I would wait until you lost some weight and could fit into it again." I couldn't stay in the room.....................

From the small holding in Bethune ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

This man is a saint in Heaven! John Paul II

Last moments of John Paul II described
Rome, Apr. 03 ( - The Vatican press office released the following official statement by papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro Valls regarding the sequence of events preceding and following Pope John Paul's death on Saturday:
"At 8 p.m. the celebration of Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday began in the Holy Father's room, presided by Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz with the participation of Cardinal Marian Jaworski, of Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko and of Msgr. Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki.
"During the course of the Mass, the Viaticum was administered to the Holy Father and, once again, the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.
"The Holy Father's final hours were marked by the uninterrupted prayer of all those who were assisting him in his pious death, and by the choral participation in prayer of the thousands of faithful who, for many hours, had been gathered in St. Peter's Square.
"Present at the moment of the death of John Paul II were: his two personal secretaries Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz and Msgr. Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, Cardinal Marian Jaworski, Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, Fr. Tadeusz Styczen, the three nuns, Handmaidens of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who assist in the Holy Father's apartment, guided by the Superior Sr. Tobiana Sobodka, and the Pope's personal physician Dr. Renato Buzzonetti, with the two doctors on call, Dr. Alessandro Barelli and Dr. Ciro D'Allo, and the two nurses on call.
"Immediately afterwards Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano arrived, as did the camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariat of State, and Archbishop Paolo Sardi, vice-camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.
"Thereafter, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger,
dean of the College of Cardinals, and Cardinal Jozef Tomko also arrived."
The first announcement of the Pope's death came from Navarro-Valls who, minutes after the Holy Father expired, sent an email to journalists informing them of the event. A formal announcement from Archbishop Sandri to the tens of thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square. "Our Holy Father, John Paul, has returned to the house of the Father," he said. "We all feel like orphans this evening."
As the end of his life approached, the Holy Father reportedly dictated a message for the Catholic faithful to his secretary: "I am happy and you should be happy too. Do not weep. Let us pray together with joy."
Father Jarek Cielecki, director of a Vatican TV station, gave more of the details of the Holy Father's last moments: "The Holy Father died looking towards the window as he prayed, and that shows that in some way he was conscious," Cielecki said. "A short while before dying, the Pope raised his right hand in a clear, although simply hinted at, gesture of blessing, as if he became aware of the crowd of faithful present in St Peter's Square, who in those moments were following the reciting of the Rosary," he added. "Just after the prayer ended, the Pope made a huge effort and pronounced the word 'Amen'. A moment later, he died."

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Papa! Papa! Papa! - Rest in Peace

"This evening or this night, Christ opens the door to the pope," Angelo Comastri, the pope's vicar general for Vatican City, told a crowd at St. Peter's Square.

From Fox News earlier:

"Navarro-Valls said the pope followed the Way of the Cross prayer re-enacting Christ's final hours as he has done every Friday since he was a priest. He asked that the 14 stages be read to him — biblical texts which describe Christ's path to the cross, his crucifixion and when his body is taken down, wrapped in a linen shroud and buried in his tomb, the spokesman said. Thpope made the sign of the cross as the passages were read, he said." (Emphasis added)

We prayed at Mass yesterday and this morning for John Paul the Great - that is, Pope Saint John Paul the Great. Now, just as he has done these past years with his suffering, he will pray for us at the foot of the throne of God. He may not be formally canonized for some years, but just as in the early days of Christianity when holiness was celebrated by popular acclamation, so it will be with John Paul, (as is with Mother Teresa).

This is a day of great joy! While we mourn the loss of a great Pope, we thank God for his years and rejoice for another advocate in Heaven!

John Paul made many initiatives. He traveled the world to bring the Gospel in person. (Perhaps because he knew the bishops were not?). It will be years before his pontificate will be fully digested. He writings were prolific. He has written for those at every intellectual level. His writings touch on every subject which is important to mankind and salvation.

Woe to us who are not grateful and responsive to the words of this vicar of Christ.

INCLINA, Domine, aurem tuam ad preces nostras, quibus misericordiam tuam supplices deprecamur, ut animam famuli tui Joannes Paulus, quam de hoc saeculo migrare iussisti, in pacis ac lucis regione constituas et Sanctorum tuorum iubeas esse consortem. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

INCLINE Thine ear, O Lord, unto our prayers, wherein we humbly pray Thee to show Thy mercy upon the soul of Thy servant John Paul, whom Thou hast commanded to pass out of this world, that Thou wouldst place him in the region of peace and light, and bid him be a partaker with Thy Saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!
From the latest bulletin from the Vatican:

The spokesman said that the Holy Father was mindful of the young people who had gathered beneath the windows of the papal apartments in St. Peter's Square throughout the night as well as all the youth he had met throughout the world during his pontificate. Navarro-Valls said, "In fact, he seemed to be referring to them when, in his words, and repeated several times, he seemed to have said the following sentence: 'I have looked for you. Now you have come to me. And I thank you.'

Saturday Morning

While our Holy Father still clings to life - I offer these thoughts of his from a document, Familiaris Consortio, which has had a great impact on our family and our family life:

“The family has vital and organic links with society, since it is its foundation and nourishes it continually through its role of service to life: it is from the family that citizens come to birth and it is within the family that they find the first school of the social virtues that are the animating principle of the existence and development of society itself. ….… Thus, far from being closed in on itself, the family is by nature and vocation open to other families and to society, and undertakes its social role.”

Sometimes, in this society we live in, we are tempted to shut all doors and live in our own world. John Paul counsels us to spread the Gospel as a family among families

Papa we love you!

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, April 01, 2005

John Paul II in Boston, October 1979

Here is what I heard when John Paul came to Boston Common in 1979.

"Tonight, I want to repeat what I keep telling youth: you are the future of the world, and "the day of tomorrow belongs to you". I want to remind you of the encounters that Jesus himself had with the youth of his day. The Gospels preserve for us a striking account of a conversation Jesus had with a young man. We read there that the young man put to Christ one of the fundamental questions that youth everywhere ask: "What must I do. . .?" (Mk 10:17), and he received a precise and penetrating answer. "Then, Jesus looked at him with love and told him. . . Come and follow me" (Mk 10:21). But see what happens: the young man, who had shown such interest in the fundamental question "went away sad, for he had many possessions" (Mk 10:22). Yes, he went away, and - as can be deduced from the context - he refused to accept the call of Christ.

This deeply penetrating event, in its concise eloquence, expresses a great lesson in a few words: it touches upon substantial problems and basic questions that have in no way lost their relevance. Everywhere young people are asking important questions - questions on the meaning of life, on the right way to live, on the true scale of values: "What must I do. . .?" "What must I do to share in everlasting life?" This questioning bears witness to your thoughts, your consciences, your hearts and wills. This questioning tells the world that you, young people, carry within yourselves a special openness with regard to what is good and what is true. This openness is, in a sense, a "revelation" of the human spirit. And in this openness to truth, to goodness and to beauty, each one of you can find yourself; indeed, in this openness you can all experience in some measure what the young man in the Gospel experienced: "Jesus looked at him with love" (Mk 10:21).

To each one of you I say therefore: heed the call of Christ when you hear him saying to you: "Follow me!" Walk in my path! Stand by my side! Remain in my love! There is a choice to be made: a choice for Christ and his way of life, and his commandment of love.

The message of love that Christ brought is always important, always relevant. It is not difficult to see how today's world, despite its beauty and grandeur, despite the conquests of science and technology, despite the. refined and abundant material goods that it offers, is yearning for more truth, for more love, for more joy. And all of this is found in Christ and in his way of life.

Do I then make a mistake when I tell you, Catholic youth. that it is part of your task in the world and the Church to reveal the true meaning of life where hatred, neglect or selfishness threaten to take over the world? Faced with problems and disappointments, many people will try to escape from their responsibility: escape in selfishness, escape in sexual pleasure, escape in drugs, escape in violence, escape in indifference and cynical attitudes. But today, I propose to you the option of love, which is the opposite of escape. If you really accept that love from Christ, it will lead you to God. Perhaps in the priesthood or religious life; perhaps in some special service to your brothers and sisters: especially to the needy, the poor, the lonely, the abandoned, those whose rights have been trampled upon, or those whose basic needs have not been provided for. Whatever you make of your life, let it be something that reflects the love of Christ. The whole People of God will be all the richer because of the diversity of your commitments. In whatever you do, remember that Christ is calling you, in one way or another, to the service of love: the love of God and of your neighbor.

And now coming back to the story of the young man in the Gospels, we see that he heard the call - "Follow me" - but that he "went away sad. for he had many possessions ".

The sadness of the young man makes us reflect. We could be tempted to think that many possessions, many of the goods of this world, can bring happiness. We see instead in the case of the young man in the Gospel that his many possessions had become an obstacle to accepting the call of Jesus to follow him. He was not ready to say yes to Jesus, and no to self, to say yes to love and no to escape.

Real love is demanding. I would fail in my mission if I did not clearly tell you so. For it was Jesus - our Jesus himself - who said: "You are my friends if you do what I command you" (Jn 15:14). Love demands effort and a personal commitment to the will of God. It means discipline and sacrifice, but it also means joy and human fulfillment.

Dear young people: do not be afraid of honest effort and honest work; do not be afraid of the truth. With Christ's help, and through prayer, you can answer his call, resisting temptations and fads, and every form of mass manipulation. Open your hearts to the Christ of the Gospels - to his love and his truth and his joy. Do not go away sad!

And, as a last word to all of you who listen to me tonight, I would say this: the reason for my mission, for my journey, through the United States is to tell you, to tell everyone - young and old alike - to say to everyone in the name of Christ: "Come and follow me! "

Follow Christ! You who are married: share your love and your burdens with each other; respect the human dignity of your spouse; accept joyfully the life that God gives through you; make your marriage stable and secure for your children's sake.
Follow Christ! You who are single or who are preparing for marriage. Follow Christ! You who are young or old. Follow Christ! You who are sick or aging; who are suffering or in pain. You who feel the need for healing, the need for love, the need for a friend - follow Christ!

To all of you I extend - in the name of Christ - the call, the invitation, the plea: "Come and follow Me". This is why I have come to America, and why I have come to Boston tonight: to call you to Christ - to call all of you arid each of you to live in his love, today and forever. Amen! "


From Fox News: "Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls tearily said that the pope had requested to remain in his apartment after being "informed of the gravity of his situation," and that the request was being honored."

Dear Lord, we pray and beseech Thee to grant the grace to Pope John Paul to prepare well for his meeting with You in these last hours. He has truly been Your servant; and in Your example at the Last Supper when You washed the feet of Your apostles, John Paul has served Your Church with his suffering, with his prayers, with everything he has. We thank Thee for giving this Holy Father to Your Church. Have mercy on us - for we are sinners!

Oremus pro invicem!