Excerpts from “2030: Looking Backwards,” by Father John McCloskey

2030: Looking Backwards by Father John McCloskey

January 1, 2030
Dear Father Joseph,

“…As you know, I will leave off my formal pastoral duties with the parish on my 77th birthday coming up in October…

“As it turns out, those few years in prison and the torture were wonderful for my spiritual life and did not leave me incapacitated
at all, not like the confessors of the twentieth century.

“…there were approximately 60 million nominal Catholics at the beginning of
the Great Jubilee at the turn of the century. You might ask how we went from
that number down to our current 40 million. I guess the answer could be, to
put it delicately, consolidation.

“…the Catholics we do have are better formed, practice their Faith in the traditional sense at a much higher level than ever…

“I should also mention the influx of hundreds of thousands of Evangelical Protestants, who have greatly enriched and strengthened
the Church with their personal love for the Lord…

“So we are half the size in quantity but gathered together, “cor unum et anima una,” to continue that new evangelization which John Paul II called for on his final trip to Mexico and the U.S. in l999.

“In retrospect, the great battles over the last 30 years over the fundamental issues of the sanctity of marriage, the rights of parents, and the sacredness of human life have been of enormous help in renewing the Church and to some extent, society.

“We finally received as a gift from God…a strong persecution that was a true purification for our “sick society.” The tens of thousands of martyrs and confessors for the Faith in North America were indeed the seed of the Church…The final short and relatively bloodless conflict produced our Regional States of North America…

Proudly and fraternally in Christ the High Priest,
Father Charles
[First appeared in Catholic World Report in the May 2000 issue.]

This information is for my post:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Evangelization of America through Politics

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Some American Opus Dei “Works”— and a few prominent American members

Some Corporate Works of Opus Dei in North America
Besides charity and social work, Opus Dei members are involved in running universities, university residences, schools, publishing houses, and technical
and agricultural training centers. Opus Dei is an increasingly strong presence on U.S. college campuses. Traditionally, their efforts to attract new members has led them to colleges and universities…

Opus Dei also runs residential centers for celibate members throughout the world, undertake recruitment, and provide doctrinal and theological education. Opus Dei is also responsible for a variety of non-profit institutions called “Corporate Works of Opus Dei.”

Opus Dei operates five high schools in the United States
The Heights School, Washington, DC, is an all-boys college preparatory school for grades 3-12, which has entrusted the spiritual aspects of its activities
to Opus Dei.

Oak Crest in McLean, VA, is a girls college prep school for grades 7-12, and is a corporate work of Opus Dei.

Montrose School in Natick, MA, is a girls’ school. The Opus Dei provides the school with chaplains to oversee the religious education curriculum, celebrate Mass, provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and occasionally teach. Montrose has two chaplains who are priests of Opus Dei available to serve both Catholic and non-Catholic students.

Northridge Preparatory School, Niles, IL, is a a boys’ school. Opus Dei provides spiritual formation for Northridge.

The Willows Academy, Des Plaines, IL, is an independent school for young women in grades six to twelve…committed to providing a college-preparatory academic program of the highest caliber, a moral atmosphere complementary to that of the home and character formation designed to instill lifelong values. The Willows Academy is inspired by the teachings of the Catholic Church and the spirituality of the Prelature of Opus Dei.”

Ernescliff College, Toronto, has entrusted the activities of doctrinal and spiritual formation to Opus Dei. The resident chaplain, a priest of Opus Dei, is available for spiritual guidance.

Arnold Hall Conference Center in Pembroke, MA, offers retreats and workshops for men and women. The activities offered at Arnold Hall are conducted by a priest of Opus Dei, a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church.

Bayridge Residence in Boston, MA, is a student residence and a cultural center for single women in Boston. The spiritual formation is entrusted to Opus Dei, a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church.

Chestnut Center, San Francisco, is an Opus Dei women’s center.

Charwick Study Center for women organizes activities for professional, college, and high school women. The spiritual and doctrinal activities are entrusted to Opus Dei.

Highway One, Pacific Coast Leadership Program (PCLP) started about 1988, entrusts the doctrinal/spiritual aspects of its activities to Opus Dei.

Lexington College, Chicago, is the only women’s hospitality management college in the United States. Opus Dei provides Lexington with a chaplain and assists in bringing Christian values into Lexington’s programs.

The Midtown Educational Foundation in Chicago, IL, runs programs for inner city youth 4th to 12th grade—the Metro program for girls and the Midtown program for boys. It is a corporate work of Opus Dei.

Murray Hill Institute, NY, NY, is an Opus Dei organization for professional women to help them transform culture through their work.

Peralta Study Center, Berkeley, CA is dedicated to providing Opus Dei “Christian” formation to women. It was begun in 2001.

Petawa Residence, Milwaukee, WI, is an Opus Dei student residence and cultural center for undergraduate and graduate women, located near Milwaukee’s major universities.

South Bronx Educational Foundation, New York, works with families, businesses and community leaders to help youth grow intellectually, culturally and morally. All programs focus on developing personal character in small group or one-on-one settings.

Youth Services International, Chicago, IL, entrusts the “Christian” orientation of all YSI Programs to Opus Dei.

Featherock Conference Center, Schulenburg, Texas, is an Opus Dei center which hosts retreats, professional conferences, seminars, summer camps, and study weekends.

Westfield Residence Los Angeles is an Opus Dei center for women. Programs of a spiritual nature are entrusted to Opus Dei.

Youth Leadership Foundation in Washington, DC, entrusts the “Christian” orientation of the programs of these study centers to Opus Dei.

Opus Dei Publishers
These publishers are not owned by Opus Dei, but they do print work for them.
Scepter Publishers
Quadrante, São Paulo, Brazil
Sinagtala Publishers, Inc., Makati City, Philippines

Some prominent Opus Dei members
Robert Hanssen—FBI agent who was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia. His treason has been described as “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in US history.” A supernumerary, he reportedly left Opus Dei after his arrest.

Scott Hahn is an Opus Dei supernumerary, an American theologian, former Presbyterian pastor and convert to Catholicism. He is best known for his conversion story Rome Sweet Home and theology books. He recounts his membership in Opus Dei in his book Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace:
My Spiritual Journey in Opus Dei
.

C. John McCloskey, III is a Catholic priest and member of Opus Dei. He is the former director of the Catholic Information Center of the Archdiocese of Washington. He worked on Wall Street—Citibank and Merrill Lynch—for some years before becoming a priest, being ordained in 1981.

Fr. McCloskey is perhaps best-known for having helped many people convert to Catholicism, including: (This does not mean they are Opus Dei)

    Sam Brownback, a Republican candidate in the 2008 Presidential election, who was involved with The Fellowship foundation.

    Robert Bork served as Solicitor General, acting Attorney General, and judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

    Lawrence Kudlow is an American conservative, supply-side economist, and television personality.

    Dr. Bernard Nathanson is a prominent pro-life activist who was converted from being a Pro-choice NARAL founder in his earlier years as a doctor, where he performed thousands of abortions.

For other members of the clergy: Opus Dei: Priestly Society of the Holy Cross
There are around 2000 priests, bishops and deacons around the world who are members of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross.

This information is for my post:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Evangelization of America through Politics

Opus Dei, Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann, Father John McCloskey, Scott Hahn

“Never forget that for Opus Dei, knowledge is power.”

“…When I was a member, Opus Dei would take teenagers as young as fourteen, and they had to make a lifelong commitment to the movement. Minors are still instructed not to tell their parents about Opus Dei because they wouldn’t understand…”

“…Opus Dei is a culture built on a foundation of fear, deceit, and paranoia. It was born under the terrible threat from communism. To survive, it had to hide, to pretend, to lie. Outsiders have no right to know anything about it. It’s Orwellian, it rewrites history: pages are torn out of old internal pamphlets and new pages are stuck in to fit the current thinking. It’s members go to confession only with priests who are also members of Opus Dei. They believe that any means more or less justifies the end. And now it is one of the strongest powers in the Vatican, thanks in no small degree to the pope himself.”

“…When we went to have a chaser after a game, I saw that Navarro-Valls had a brown mark around his thigh. It was the mark of the cilicio, the chainmail band that he wore for up to two hours a day. That’s a requirement for members. It’s got pointed metal spikes fixed to it; they scratch the skin and make you bleed. It’s supposed to be worn tight during Lent.

Members also whip themselves; it’s up to you how much. Christ on the Cross showed his love by suffering, so you should do the same thing. At least, that’s the argument. But the turth is, creating suffering for yourself is artificially pointless. It doesn’t achieve spirituality; it’s a form of arrogance.”—quote of Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann from chapter 9, City of Secrets: The Truth Behind the Murders at the Vatican, by John Follain, 2003

Priestly Holiness and Ministry: Priests that Love the Mass
by Father John McCloskey
“Not long afterwards, I joined Opus Dei and began to see how all the lay faithful, including myself, were taught to love and live the Holy Mass as the center and root of their interior life….

“Over time, I saw that the faithful of the Prelature, following his [Escriva’s] teachings…to approach Holy Communion reverently, and often to remain in silent Thanksgiving after Mass…whose own priesthood was enlivened or even revived as they rediscovered the centrality of the Eucharist in their interior and professional life.

“I never knew Bl. Josemaria in life…I did watch the movies. Particularly moving were his get-togethers with hundreds of priests in Spain and Latin America. To hear his teachings on the Eucharist and the holy Mass from his own lips, was powerful. He spoke with clarity, at times almost shouting, in demanding that they live up to their specific vocation to be “another Christ, Christ himself,” particularly in all that referred to the Eucharist.

“I presently work at an Archdiocesan agency called “The Catholic Information Center” in downtown Washington DC, two blocks away from the White House. The Center provides a first class Catholic bookstore, rooms for meetings, classes, and spiritual direction, and confessionals that are often in use.

“There come to the Center each day people from all ethnic and professional backgrounds, from U.S. Senators, Presidential candidates, well known television personalities, to postal workers and government clerical workers.

“However, at the heart of it all is the Holy Mass at noon each today, celebrated reverently, to make the Lord present in the heart of our Nation’s Capital, so that the people fed by the Eucharist, can give thanks, and gain the spiritual nutrition to be heralds of the new evangelization in the midst of their important professional work, whatever it might be.

“After Holy Mass, we expose the Blessed Sacrament for three hours of adoration. Many stop by for minutes, few or many, to adore, give thanks, ask for pardon, or express sorrow…His teachings have helped them truly to unite their everyday work with the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass.”
Given as a talk at the Blessed Josemaria Centenary Conference in Rome, January 7–12, 2002

Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace:
My Spiritual Journey in Opus Dei
by Scott Hahn
Dr Hahn states on pages 4, 5: “Opus Dei was someplace where I could feel at home…First and foremost was its members’ apparent devotion to the Bible.

Second was its warm ecumenism. Opus Dei was the first Catholic institution to welcome non-Catholics to cooperate in its apostolic labors.

Third was how upright the lives of members were.

Fourth was how ordinary their lives were. They were not theologians—they were dentists, engineers, journalists—but they were talking and living a theology I found attractive.

Fifth, they espoused a holy ambition—a devout work ethic.

Sixth, they practiced hospitality and gave their attention generously to my many questions.

And seventh, they prayed. They made time for intimate prayer every day—true conversation with God. This gave them a serenity I had rarely encountered.”

Those were the reasons that Dr. Hahn was attracted to Opus Dei in the beginning.
—S. R. McEvoy, 11/20/2006, book review

This information is for my post:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Evangelization of America through Politics

The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei

The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei
The main focus of Opus Dei (with Roman Catholic approval), is on the lives of “ordinary people”—those that are not priests or monks. These “ordinary people” according to “The Work” have a universal call to holiness; everyone should aspire to be a saint and holy—ordinary life is a path to sanctity. Only about 2% of its members are priests.

According to the Opus Dei site, all Christians are called by God to make Jesus Christ known and to seek holiness in and through their daily work, family life
and social relations. To help people out, Opus Dei offers specialized pastoral
care through classes, talks, spiritual direction, retreats, etc. This formation
fosters the exercise of human and Christian virtues…

Opus Dei also emphasizes uniting spiritual life with professional, social, and family life…According to Escriva, the vocation to Opus Dei is a calling to be a “contemplative in the middle of the world,” who converts work and daily life
into prayer.

Types of membership in the Opus Dei
Supernumeraries—about 70% of the total membership; married men and women with careers; typically contribute financially to Opus Dei…

Numeraries—about 20% of total membership, celibate members (both men and women) who usually live in special centers run by Opus Dei; devote the bulk of their income to the organization.

Numerary assistants—unmarried, celibate female members of Opus Dei; live and work in special centers run by Opus Dei.

Associates—unmarried, celibate members; do not live in Opus Dei centers.

The Priests—about 2% of Opus Dei members are priests; numeraries or associates who ultimately joined the priesthood,The Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, which is associated with Opus Dei.

The Cooperators—not members of Opus Dei, but collaborate in some way with Opus Dei—praying, charitable contributions, assistance in various educational, charitable and cultural activities. Cooperators do not need to be Catholic.

Members of Opus Dei
The Prelature of Opus Dei has about 87,000 members (both men and women) in more than 90 different countries—Africa 2,000; Asia and the Pacific 5,000; The Americas 30,000; Europe 50,000.

98% are laypersons; About 70% of Opus Dei members live in their private homes, leading traditional Catholic family lives with secular careers, while the other 30% are celibate, of whom the majority live in Opus Dei centers.

Membership and Commitments in Joining Opus Dei
Membership in Opus Dei requires a supernatural vocation and involves a contractual commitment rather than by vows to receive spiritual formation from Opus Dei and to participate in its mission.

Supposedly, it is a personal call from God to place one’s whole life at his service, spreading the message of the universal call to holiness in ordinary work and social life.

…Commitments include a plan of spiritual life, centered on daily Mass, Holy Communion and frequent use of the sacrament of Penance, as well as reading Sacred Scripture and other spiritual texts, reciting the Rosary, and spending
time in personal prayer…

Daily norms:
• Heroic minute, waking up punctually and saying “Serviam!” (Latin: I will serve)
• Morning offering, fixing one’s intentions to do everything for the glory of God
• Spiritual reading and reading the New Testament
• Mental prayer, conversation with God
• Mass, Communion and Thanksgiving after Communion
• Rosary, a traditional Catholic devotion to Christ and to Mary
• The Preces (the common prayer of Opus Dei)
• Angelus prayer said at noon
• Memorare prayer to the Mary for the Opus Dei member in most need…
• Visit to the Blessed Sacrament—greeting Jesus in the Eucharist
• Examination of conscience at the end of the day
• Three Hail Marys before bed to pray for the virtue of purity
• Short, spontaneous prayers throughout the day…

Weekly norms:
• Confession, in pursuit of the Catholic recommendation on frequent confession
• a group meeting of spiritual formation (“the Circle”)
• the praying of a Marian antiphon on Saturdays
• taking Psalm 2 as the basis of mental prayer on Tuesdays

Additionally, members should participate yearly in a spiritual retreat…Also members are expected to make a day-trip pilgrimage where they recite 3
5-decade rosaries on the month of May in honor of Mary.

Opus Dei and Spiritual Formation
Corporate apostolate

Among Opus Dei’s corporate apostolic works are secondary schools, universities, women’s centers, medical clinics in underdeveloped areas, schools for farm workers, institutes for professional education, student residences and cultural centers.

Prayer and sacrifice
The formation given by Opus Dei encourages prayer and sacrifice in order to sustain the effort to sanctify one’s ordinary occupations. Thus members strive to incorporate into their lives certain practices of Christian piety, such as prayer, daily Mass, sacramental confession, and reading and meditating on the Gospel.

Devotion to Our Lady occupies an important place in their hearts. Also, to imitate Jesus Christ, they try to acquire a spirit of penance offering sacrifices…things like renouncing small pleasures, fasting, almsgiving, etc.

Unity of life
St Josemaría explained that Christians working in the world should not live “a kind of double life. On the one hand, an interior life, a life of union with God; and on the other, a separate and distinct professional, social and family life.” On the contrary: “There is just one life, made of flesh and spirit. And it is this life which has to become, in both soul and body, holy and filled with God.”

Mortification
Opus Dei’s glorifies pain and suffering, hence the practice of mortification. For ordinary people, Opus Dei focuses on performing sacrifices pertaining to normal duties and to its emphasis on charity and cheerfulness, as well as “corporal mortifications” such as sleeping without a pillow or sleeping on the floor, fasting, or remaining silent for certain hours during the day.

They may also wear a cilice, a small metal chain with inward-pointing spikes that is worn around their upper thigh. Numeraries in Opus Dei generally wear a cilice for two hours each day. A cilice was used by Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, and slain archbishop Óscar Romero.

News articles and Books about Opus Dei
Beyond the Threshold: A Life in Opus Dei by Maria Del Carmen Tapia
Maria was one of the first women who were members of this sect and she had a rather high position and spent a lot of time of time in Rome as a kind of secretary to Mr. Escriva.

God’s Torturers: From Torquemada to Opus Dei: Torture Works
by Manuel Garcia, Jr., March 2006

The Way of the Faithful
By Paul Baumann August 10, 1997, The Washington Post

Opus Dei and Pope Benedict XVI April 20, 2005
The election of Cardinal Ratzinger as the new pope is said to be especially good news for conservative Catholic groups like Opus Dei. John Paul II took the group under his wing and Pope Benedict XVI, it is thought, will do the same.

Opus Dei claims to have more than 80,000 members worldwide, nearly $3 billion in assets, and two sitting cardinals to its name

Book lifts cowl on ‘misogynist’ Opus Dei
Susan Bell Nov. 5/2007

Is Opus Dei at work in Blair’s Government? January 22, 2005

Opus Dei

This information is for my post:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Evangelization of America through Politics

Excerpts from Escriva’s “The Way”

The Way by Jose Maria Escrivá De Balaguer
Escrivá published The Way, a collection of 999 maxims concerning spirituality, in 1939. The parts I read of Escriva’s The Way, were 180 out from what the Bible says:

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.—John 14:6

Escriva’s The Way is manipulative, controlling, arrogant, derogatory, demeaning, demanding, disrespectful to the reader, glorifies pain, and demands blind obedience to those in authority—the very opposite of what it says in the Bible about Jesus, the true way to God.

There is no real need for a Saviour in Escriva’s “work of God”. Holiness and right living all hinge on the person—something that is an impossibility, and negates the need for a person to humble themselves and ask forgiveness from Jesus Christ the Saviour who is waiting to forgive and give his righteousness to people.

    “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”—John 6:29

    “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto
    us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”—1 Corinthians 1:30

Some of Escriva’s beliefs in The Way
The Eucharist

A very important characteristic of the apostolic man is his love for the Mass. 528

The humility of Jesus: in Bethlehem, in Nazareth, on Calvary. But still more humiliation and more self-abasement in the most sacred host—more than in the stable, more than in Nazareth, more than on the cross. That is why I must love the Mass so! (Our Mass, Jesus.) 533

Communion, union, communication, intimacy; Word, bread, love. 535

When you approach the tabernacle remember that he has been waiting for you for twenty centuries. 537

What a source of grace there is in spiritual communion! Practise it frequently and you’ll have greater presence of God and closer union with him in all your actions. 540

Spiritual Childhood
Try to know the the “way of spiritual childhood” without forcing yourself to follow this path. Let the Holy Spirit work in you. 852

The way of childhood. Abandonment. spiritual childhood. All this is not utter nonsense, but a sturdy and solid christian life. 853

Spiritual childhood demands submission of the mind, which is harder than submission of the will. In order to subject our mind we need not only god’s grace, but a continual exercise of our will as well, denying the intellect over and over again, just as it says “no” to the flesh… 856

Good child, say to Jesus many times each day: I love you, I love you, I love you… 878

Corporal Mortification
Escrivá was a practitioner of corporal mortification, a traditional means of penance. Escrivá’s opponents refer to his personal mortification practices that were even more extreme than those typically performed by Opus Dei numeraries—in one incident, Escrivá flailed himself over a thousand times.

Don’t hinder the work of the Paraclete: seek union with Christ so as to be purified, and feel with him the insults, the spits, and the blows, and the thorns, and the weight of the Cross…, and the nails tearing through your flesh, and the agony of a forsaken death. 58

Unless you mortify yourself you’ll never be a prayerful soul. 172

No ideal becomes a reality without sacrifice. Deny yourself. It is so beautiful to be a victim! 175

…How far you are from Jesus if you are not humble…even if new roses blossom every day from your disciplines! 200

“Loved be pain. Sanctified be pain. Glorified be pain!” 208

Lord, if it is your will, turn my poor flesh into a Crucifix. 776

Mary
Escriva ended his homilies and his personal prayer with a conversation with the Blessed Virgin. He instructed that all rooms in the centres of Opus Dei should have an image of the Virgin. He encouraged his spiritual children to greet these images when they entered a room. He pushed for a Marian apostolate, preaching that “To Jesus we go and to Him we return through Mary.”

Patriotism
Love your own country: it is a Christian virtue to be patriotic. But if patriotism becomes nationalism, which leads you to look at other people, at other countries, with indifference, with scorn, without Christian charity and justice, then it is a sin. Furrow, #315

To be ‘Catholic’ means to love your country and to be second to no one in that love. And at the same time, to hold as your own the noble aspirations of other lands.—So many glories of France are glories of mine! And in the same way, much that makes Germans proud, and the peoples of Italy and of England…and Americans and Asians and Africans, is a source of pride to me also. Catholic: big heart, broad mind.“ The Way 525

Leadership, blind obedience, put-downs, control
Here is a safe doctrine that I want you to know: one’s own mind is a bad adviser, a poor pilot to steer the soul through the storms and tempests and among the reefs of the interior life. That is why it is the will of God that the command of the ship be entrusted to a Master who, with his light and his knowledge, can guide us to a safe harbour. The Way 59

When a layman sets himself up as an expert on morals he often goes astray: laymen can only be disciples. The Way 61

A Director. You need one. So that you can give yourself to God, and give yourself fully…, by obedience. A Director…who knows what God wants, who can effectively second the work of the holy Spirit in your soul… The Way 62

You think you are quite important: your studies, your research work, your publications, your social standing, your name, your political activities, the positions you hold, your wealth…your age: you’re no longer a child!…Just because of all that, you, more than others, need a Director for your soul. 63

Books: don’t buy them without advice from a Christian who is learned and prudent. It’s so easy to buy something useless or harmful. The Way 339

Don’t forget that you are a… dust-bin…Humble yourself: don’t you know that you are the rubbish bin? The Way 592

Importance of a Priest—another Christ
A Priest—whoever he may be—is always another Christ. The Way 66

Though you well know it, I shall remind you again that a Priest is ‘another Christ’. And that the holy Spirit has said: ‘Nolite tangere Christos meos—do not touch my Christs’. The Way 67

I repeat: to make fun of a Priest—no matter what the circumstances—is always, at best, a sign of coarseness and poor taste. The Way 70

Like the good sons of Noah, throw the mantle of charity over the defects you see in your father, the Priest. The Way 75

Some other quotes from The Way
Get rid of that ‘small-town’ outlook. Enlarge your heart till it becomes universal, ‘catholic’. The Way 7

Will-power. Energy. Example. What has to be done, is done… without hesitation, without more worrying.

Otherwise, Teresa of Avila would not have been Saint Teresa: nor Iñigo of Loyola, Saint Ignatius The Way 11

There is no room among us for the lukewarm. Humble yourself and Christ will set you aflame again with the fire of Love. The Way 16

You persist in being worldly, superficial, scatter-brained, because you are a coward. What is it but cowardice not to want to face yourself? The Way 18

Marriage is for the soldiers and not for the General Staff of Christ’s army. For, whereas food is a necessity for each individual, procreation is a necessity for the species only, not for the individual. The Way 28

Selfish. Always looking after yourself You seem incapable of feeling the fraternity of Christ. In those around you, you do not see brothers: you see stepping stones.

I can foresee your complete failure. And when you have fallen, you will want others to treat you with the charity you are not willing to show towards them. The Way 31

Be an instrument of gold or steel, or iron or platinum… big or small, rough or delicate.

All are useful…Your duty is to be an instrument. The Way 484

This information is for my post:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Evangelization of America through Politics

Josemaría Escrivá, founder of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei

“In the Founder of Opus Dei, there is an extraordinary love for the will of God…He lived only to achieve it. St Josemaría was chosen
by the Lord to announce the universal call to holiness and to point
out that daily life and ordinary activities are a path to holiness.
One could say that he was the saint of ordinary life.”
—Pope John Paul II, for the canonization of Josemaría Escrivá

Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer 1902–1975
Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1925, Josemaría Escrivá studied law at the University in Madrid in 1927, where he received a doctorate in civil law. Escrivá received a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

In October of 1928, Josemaría Escrivá said he experienced a vision in which he saw Opus Deithe Work of God. Escrivá understood Opus Dei’s mission to be a way of helping ordinary Christians to understand that their life…is a way of holiness and evangelization. Opus Dei, often shortened to the Work, was thus founded in 1928, and approved by the bishop of Madrid in 1941. Escriva moved to Rome in 1946. Pope Pius XII gave final approval for Opus Dei in 1950.

In 1982, the Catholic Church made Opus Dei into a personal prelature—official structure of the Catholic Church. The prelature is under the Congregation for Bishops. Its bishop’s jurisdiction covers Opus Dei people wherever they are in
the world. Javier Echevarria is the current Prelate—head of Opus Dei.

For those who believe they can work and become holy (that Jesus’ righteousness isn’t enough), Opus Dei (supposedly God’s Work) offers spiritual assistance and training to put a works sanctification into practice.

Furrow, The Way, Christ is Passing By, and The Forge, Holy Rosary, Friends of God, and Conversations. are some of the books that Escriva wrote

Escrivá worked throughout his life to foster Opus Dei’s work, so that when he died in 1975, Opus Dei covered five continents and had more than 60,000 members from eighty nationalities.

Commendation from Popes for Escrivá

“…With tireless charity and operative hope he guided the development of Opus Dei throughout the world, activating a vast mobilization of lay people…Above all, he devoted himself tirelessly to the task of forming the members of Opus Dei.”—John Paul II, Christifideles omnes, (condensed biography of Escrivá)

“By inviting Christians to seek union with God through their daily work—which confers dignity on human beings and is their lot as long as they exist on earth—his message is destined to endure as an inexhaustible source of spiritual light regardless of changing epochs and situations.”—John Paul II, Christifideles omnes

“The Lord simply made use of [Escrivá] who allowed God to work.”, wrote Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope, Benedict XVI, a strong supporter of Opus Dei and of Escrivá.

Criticisms of Josemaria Escriva
Father Capucci, the postulator over the nomination for Sainthood described the chief criticisms that surrounded Escrivá’s attitude. They included: “…that he had a bad temper, that he was cruel, that he was vain, that he was close to Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, that he was pro-Nazi and that he was so dismayed by the Second Vatican Council that he even traveled to Greece with the idea that he might convert to the Orthodox religion”—Sylvia Poggioli, NPR, 10/6/2002

City of Secrets: The Truth Behind the Murders at the Vatican
John Follain, 2003

Chapter 9
It was while I was still in London that I found a former member of Opus Dei willing to receive me, Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann…I asked Felzmann how he had been recruited.

“Dead Easy. I was on a Holy Week students’ walk, I was barely twenty, and a man sidled up to me and became friendly. He turned out to be a member of Opus Dei. They use friendship as a bait…

“…Escriva became a father figure for me…

“…I was considered to be his right-hand man. I’d studied civil engineering at Imperial College, so he asked me to put in microphones behind the pictures hanging on the walls so that everything could be taped.”

“…Escriva was totally focused on building a sense of family in the people around him…he saw himself as the twentieth-century reincarnation of the word ‘God.’

“The thing that most stuck in my mind was a remark he made about Adolf Hitler. We were watching a film about the war and the gas chambers once, we were checking whether it was suitable for members to see it, and during the intermission he turned to me…

“‘Vlad, Hitler couldn’t have been such a bad person. He couldn’t have killed six million. It couldn’t have been more than four million.’

“…The founder wasn’t the kind of chap you contradict. But I could feel that Hitler was one of his heroes, and he couldn’t believe that Hitler had really done that. He just couldn’t be anti-Hitler.”

This information is for my post:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Evangelization of America through Politics

Sovereign Military Order of Malta and some Knights of Malta

Sovereign Military Order of Malta
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, is a Catholic order based in Rome, Italy, and a sovereign subject of international law. Known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, the order has a large number of local priories and associations around the world.

Knights of Malta History
Its origins are said to be from the Knights Hospitaller, founded in Jerusalem in 1050, who had a hospital to provide care for poor and sick pilgrims to the Holy Land. After the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099, during the First Crusade, it became a Catholic military order under its own charter.

When the territory of the Holy Land was lost, the Order operated from Rhodes (1310-1523), and later from Malta (1530-1798), over which it was sovereign.

The Order was ejected from Malta by Napoleon, but survives and retains its claims of sovereignty under international law. The UN granted them permanent observer status. SMOM is considered to be the main successor to the medieval Knights Hospitaller.

Today SMOM has formal diplomatic relations with 100 states (many of which are non-Catholic), and has official relations with another 5 countries, non-state subjects of international law like the European Community and International Committee of the Red Cross, and a number of international organizations.

The order has 12,500 members, 80,000 permanent volunteers, 13,000 medical personnel including doctors, nurses, auxiliaries and paramedics. The goal is to assist the elderly, the handicapped, refugees, children, the homeless, those with terminal illness and leprosy in five continents of the world, without distinction of race or religion.

Through its worldwide relief corps, Malteser International, the Order is also engaged to aid victims of natural disasters, epidemics and armed conflicts.

Knights of Malta, Sovereignty and Organization
The supreme head of the Order is the Grand Master, who is elected for life by the Council Complete of State. Fra’ Matthew Festing was elected by the Council as 79th Grand Master on March 11, 2008.

Prior to the 1990s, all officers of the Order had to be of noble birth, i.e. armigerous for at least 100 years.

However, Knights of Magistral Grace (i.e. those without noble proofs), may make the Promise of Obedience and may, at the discretion of the Grand Master and Sovereign Council, enter the novitiate to become professed Knights of Justice. The latter are religious, essentially monks practising the triple vow of poverty, chastity and obedience, although seldom living in monastic community.

A small minority of the over 12,500 knights and dames are professed religious. Others choose to be a “Knight of Obedience”. Membership of the Order is by invitation only—no solicitations.

Order of Malta, Sovereignty and Military Corp
Because of SMOM’s claimed sovereignty, it issues passports, license plates, stamps, and coins. Starting in 2005, SMOM issued stamps with the euro as the unit of postage, while Scudo (pl. Scudi) remains the SMOM’s official currency.

As a sovereign body, the Order of Malta has the right to maintain a military force, and does so at its Rome headquarters. [Rome is the capital of Italy, the Vatican, and the Order of Malta.]

Commonly referred to as The Military Corps of the Order, the military force in its present form was raised by agreement with the Italian Government in 1877. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta were to assist the Italian army’s injured or sick (in peace or war). In 1908 the agreement was modified so that the Corps also became a fully integral part of the Italian army.

The Corps is known in mainland Europe for its operation of hospital trains during both World Wars. As part of the post-World War Two peace treaty, 36 military aircraft of the Italian Airforce were transferred to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and flew under the Order’s flag…

Some Knights of Malta
Alexander III of Russia was Emperor of Russia from 1881 until his death in 1894.

Andrew Bertie was the 78th and first British Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Pat Buchanan was a senior adviser to American presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan. Buchanan was baptized into the Catholic Church and attended Blessed Sacrament School, the Jesuit-run Gonzaga College High School, and the Jesuit Georgetown University.

William Joseph Donovan was wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). He is also widely known as the “father” of today’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Archduke Felix of Austria a son of the last Austrian Emperor Charles I and a member of the House of Habsburg.

J. Peter Grace was a multimillionaire American industrialist, devoutly Catholic, and the long-time CEO of W. R. Grace and Company.

Alexander Haig is a retired four-star General in the United States Army who served as the U.S. Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He also received a Masters degree in International Relations from the Jesuit Georgetown University in 1961, where his thesis focused on the role of the military officer in the making of national policy.

Richard Harris was a two-time Academy Award-nominated and Grammy Award-winning Irish actor, singer-songwriter, theatrical producer, film director and writer.

Juan Carlos I of Spain is the reigning King of Spain.

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., the father of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and Senators Robert F. and Ted Kennedy, was a leading member of the Democratic Party and of the Irish Catholic community. J P Kennedy was Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and served briefly as the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Benito Mussolini led the National Fascist Party and credited as a key figures in the creation of Fascism. He became the Prime Minister of Italy in 1922. Mussolini also created and held the supreme military rank of First Marshal of the Empire along with King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, which gave him and the King joint supreme control over the military of Italy.

John Joseph O’Connor was the eleventh bishop (eighth archbishop) of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

Juan Peron was an Argentine colonel, elected three times as President of Argentina.

Richard Riordan is a Republican politician from California, who served as the California Secretary of Education from 2003–2005, and as Mayor of Los Angeles from 1993–2001.

James L. Ryan is a Senior judge of the US Court of Appeals 6th Circuit.

Rick Santorum is a former US Senator from Pennsylvania, member of the Republican Party, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

William E. Simon was Secretary of Treasury of the U.S. for three years during the Nixon administration; reappointed by President Ford.

William E. Simon, Jr. (Bill Simon) is an American businessman and politician.

Francis Spellman was Ninth bishop and sixth archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. He served as Archbishop of New York from 1939 until his death, and was named a cardinal by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

Anthony Zinni is a retired four-star General in the United States Marine Corps and a former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). In 2002, he was selected to be a special envoy for the United States to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Some Dames of Malta
Karen Garver Santorum is the wife of former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Mary Higgins Clark is an American author of suspense novels.

Clare Booth Luce is an American editor, playwright, social activist, journalist, ambassador, and congresswoman, the first woman to represent Connecticut in the United States Congress.

This information is for my post:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Evangelization of America through Politics