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Quandary of Teaching Truth

A lie is ‘saying the false in order to deceive,’ according to St. Thomas Aquinas. It’s become a modern-day life-art. Catholics are being cajoled into accepting the notion that ‘niceness’ and tolerance mandate silence or mitigating what they know as simple Catholic Truth. It’s a great acid test, and many of us get cut off at the pass in the guillotine of guile. It’s infected our workplaces, political banter, even many Catholic schools and parish programs. A few priests in our area who still preach unblemished truth are shunned, reported, and denied certain priestly assignments. What a cross they carry, but for love of Christ and His flock. But when these ‘unpopular’ padres say Mass, the Church is packed. That says something indeed.

Christine Valentine-Owsik

When we know the truth about Catholic teaching, we have a duty to proclaim it. But often when we do – as parents, teachers, writers, speakers, neighbors, even to families – we get a walk down a thorn-thicketed garden path. The ‘feelings police,’ and many running school and parish programs, will demand we retract ‘harshness’ and serve it afresh with ‘support’ of others and nice-guy compromise. Revisionist Catholicism has become the new golden calf.

About 10 years ago, I thought my mid-life calling might be to detox from communications deadlines and corporate crisis strategy and teach high school. My own kids were teenagers, and I applied to teach religion and English at an all-boys Catholic prep school. So when they hired me for the term as a substitute teacher, I was jazzed. It had to be right.

In a junior morality class, I was to teach formation of conscience. But as I studied the instructor materials, it was really the ol’ ‘I’m okay-you’re-okay’ values-clarification game. Nah. I decided to skip the facade, and tell them the truth on the moral situations we were to discuss. It was a critical time in their lives to be aware of – and hopefully embrace – Catholic truth. The stakes were already high.

The pivotal subject on a balmy Monday? Dating and marriage. Nice appetizer before lunch.

Suddenly, I had their rapt attention. These rammy 17-year-old guys, a week before their junior prom, all stared at me in shock as I explained church teaching on courtship and purpose of marriage, and what healthy dating should resemble. And the ringer – serious sin. I rained on their spring parade, but they didn’t move – they were engrossed. Arms shot up, with question after question. The discussion got loud and boisterous. They couldn’t get enough of what they’d somehow missed, when the Church had decided all these things, what Christ had to say … all of it.

“I never heard any of this stuff,” one bulky baseball player admitted. “Wow.” He had some thinking to do. When the bell rang, they still didn’t move.

On his way out into the hallway, another guy said, “This was amazing. I hope you get to teach here for good.”

But I didn’t. It was too much for the department head to take, such veritable Catholic talk. But it made a great difference, in just a short time.

 CHRISTINE VALENTINE-OWSIK is Legatus magazine’s editor.

The Missionary of Wall Street: From Managing Money to Saving Souls on the Streets of New York

Steve Auth
Sophia Institute Press, 184 pages

 

Steve Auth, a seasoned Wall Street financial wizard, doesn’t quite fit the stereotype it conjures. He also organizes street missions in New York City whereby teams of missionaries stationed at intersections near churches ask passers-by if they are Catholic, offer them a rosary, and invite them inside where priests are waiting to hear Confessions. It’s a gritty, courageous apostolate, and it gets results. This inspiring book describes how it’s done, tells what it means to have the “heart of a missionary,” and relates moving stories of the encounters Auth and his teams have experienced in inviting strangers to accept the love and mercy of Christ.

 

Order: Amazon

Ambassadors embrace the ‘Great Commission’

As active Legates, the men and women of Legatus strive as ambassadors for Christ in the marketplace, their communities, and families. Some display an embrace of their Catholic faith that is so extraordinary; one cannot help but take notice. Legatus magazine recently spoke with a few Legates who are truly following Christ’s call to let their light shine before men.

 Eye-level empathy from experience

Joe Jordan, 67, a member of Legatus’ Manhattan Chapter, was only six months old in 1952 when his father was killed in a car accident.

Just before he died, Jordan’s father had cancelled a $100,000 life insurance policy. That decision left Jordan’s mother to struggle as a young, single widow who had to raise four young children in the Bronx with little financial cushion.

“Do you know how far $100,000 would have gone in 1952? That had the spending power of what is two million dollars today,” Jordan said. “My life would have been radically different.”

But early in his professional career in the financial services industry, Jordan never told clients about his personal story. He believed it was unprofessional and that people would see it as a ploy for sympathy.

Along the way, though, Jordan realized that stories can often do a better job communicating important truths about financial planning than a PowerPoint presentation of charts and graphs can ever do.

“All wisdom comes from specific human experiences, and regarding what was happening in our little corner of the world, no one was telling human stories. It was all facts and figures,” said Jordan, who has shared that insight over the last decade to more than 400,000 finance professionals in 28 countries.

Jordan, who is the author of Living a Life of Significance, also shares an ethical vision of the financial services industry that is informed by his Catholic faith. In his presentations, he speaks of “four pillars” of living a significant life: sense of belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence.

The audiences respond well to his presentations, which include videos of people telling their personal stories about long-term care and financial planning benefiting their families in difficult circumstances. One such story involved a Denver woman with two ailing parents living a great distance away in New York State.

“In terms of living a meaningful, significant life, the fact of the matter is that it’s others who give our life meaning and purpose, by providing community and connection,” Jordan said. “That’s something that’s out there, a human need that needs to be filled, and that’s good news, I think, for our business.”

Some financial services professionals consider him “the industry chaplain,” but Jordan said his message is really about helping them to be better professionals by helping them to see there is a deeper meaning to their job than meeting sales goals and getting bonuses.

“When you chase the money,” Jordan said, “You don’t make it.”

Purpose-driven Catholic in politics

Mary Elizabeth Coleman, a member of Legatus’ St. Louis Chapter, entered politics because she wanted the lawsuits against her municipality to stop.

“I thought we needed someone who would review our policies and hire a city administrator who would enforce them. I figured I knew how to do that so I ran,” said Coleman, 37, a tax and real estate planning attorney by trade.

After serving a single term on the City Council in Arnold, Missouri, Coleman focused on helping to raise six children, the two youngest of whom are adopted, with her husband of 15 years, Chris, who is a tax accountant.

But in February 2018, a special election put her conservative state house legislative district in Democratic hands for the first time in a decade. Friends and family encouraged her to run, so she decided to take out the nomination papers.

“I’ve certainly always been interested in politics,” Coleman said. “My dad helped run political campaigns when I was a kid, and helped write the city charter for our suburb, but this certainly wasn’t at the top of my mind.”

Last November, voters elected Coleman, a Republican, to represent Missouri’s 97th house district. As a freshman lawmaker, she has already been a voice for human dignity, sponsoring legislation to protect victims of human trafficking and to prohibit the shackling of pregnant female inmates in their third trimester.

“A lot of things I’m working on now are not things I knew a lot about when I ran but there is a strong connection between our faith and between supporting the dignity of people, even those who in many cases are in marginalized populations,” Coleman said.

Her Catholic faith informs her to see the dignity of the vulnerable and marginalized, including the unborn.

“Certainly, being pro-life was a big part of my platform,” said Coleman, who attributes her Catholic worldview to a life-changing experience she had about eight years ago at a weekend retreat that was led by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament that weekend, Coleman had a reversion to her faith that led her to realize that happiness comes from being in a close relationship with Christ and His Church.

“I think my public service is really a fruit of that retreat because it made me realize that joy comes from knowing God’s will in your life and doing it,” said Coleman, who has even developed a good working relationship with a Democratic state legislator who sometimes goes to the same daily Mass she attends.

“Our mission as Legates is to bring our faith into the marketplace,” Coleman said. “It’s no different in this regard either.

Phila. President takes Holy Orders

Matt Coyne, 51, president of Legatus’ Philadelphia Chapter, just graduated from the Archdiocese’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary with a master’s degree in theology. He will be a newly ordained Catholic deacon.

When Coyne received his diploma, he was accompanied by his wife, Lisa Coyne, who graduated from the same program with her own master’s degree in theology.

“It was an amazing program that explained a lot of what is behind what we do as Catholics. Everything began to make sense,” said Lisa, 53, who is a stay-at-home mother and has raised the couple’s seven kids, who range in ages from 10 to 27.

For the last five years, Matt, who runs his own merger and acquisition consulting company, and Lisa completed the seminary’s graduate-level coursework for diaconate candidates. The aspiring deacons’ wives were encouraged to take the same first-year undergraduate philosophy and spirituality courses that their husbands are required to complete. Lisa never stopped taking classes.

“It was a beautiful journey,” Lisa said. “The professors were amazing.”

The faith was an early part of life for Matt and Lisa, both of whom grew up in Catholic families. They met in college. A few months after dating, they were engaged. Though both said the Catholic faith was not a high priority then in their lives, they attended Mass on Sundays as they both knew that marriage was an important sacrament.

In 2009, Matt and Lisa took all seven kids to Lourdes, where they prayed for one son who was set to have major surgery that had the potential to leave him deaf in one ear. A few months later, the surgeon told the couple that their son didn’t even need surgery because he had been completely healed.

“That was a pretty profound experience for our family,” said Matt, who around the same time began discerning whether he was called to the diaconate. One particular moment where he failed to stand up for his Catholic faith when questioned by a client motivated him to “go all in.”

Matt said he sees his new diaconate role as a bridge between the faithful and the Church’s ministry. Meanwhile, Lisa said people often ask her what she will “do” with her theology degree.

“I know something will come out of it,” Lisa said. “God has plans for me.” L

BRIAN FRAGA is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

Chinese Communists intensify war on country’s Catholics

As someone who has long supported the Catholic Church in China, I am broken-hearted at the wanton destruction that is being visited upon it. Shrines and churches that have stood for decades, or even centuries, are being reduced to rubble by an increasingly hostile Communist Party. Here are just a few examples:

The beautiful shrine of Our Lady of the Mountain in Yunnan province was razed to the ground in October, 2018, on the grounds it was not an approved religious venue.

A church under construction in the Diocese of Fengxiang, Shaanxi province, was demolished on April 4. The authorities are attempting to coerce the bishop, priests, and laity of the underground diocese to join the schismatic “Catholic Patriotic Association.”

 But not even all “Patriotic” churches have been spared. The Qianwang Catholic Church in Jinan City, Shandong province, which was constructed in 1750, was demolished last August. You can see the Blessed Mother’s severed head sitting on the rubble.

The present wave of persecution began in February, 2018, when harsh new restrictions on religious activity were put in place. Priests in the long persecuted underground Church have been ordered to join the official Catholic Patriotic Association—which is not in communion with Rome–or leave active ministry. Minors have been strictly forbidden from attending Mass, and catechism classes and summer camps have been cancelled. In fact, it is now “illegal” to engage in any religious activity outside of church grounds, such as Bible studies in private homes. 

At the same time, Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has ordered the leaders of the Catholic Patriotic Association to “sinicize” their religion by promoting the existing order (led by Xi himself), and promote the official ideology (known as “Xi Jinping thought”).

Among other things, Patriotic bishops are expected to turn over all existing Bibles in exchange for a new Party-approved version of the Scriptures, and ensure that their priests carry out only approved religious activities within the walls of their churches. Most tellingly, they are expected to report any underground priests and or illegal gatherings to the authorities.

Hitler attempted something similar after taking power in Germany. His so-called “Nazification” program was an effort to compel all the churches in Nazi Germany to serve the goals of the Third Reich.

In fact, the Party’s new restrictions on religious activity within China’s borders are so onerous, and its invasion of the sanctuaries—the ones it allows to stand—is so aggressive, that I believe it has an even more ambitious goal in mind.

The Chinese Communist Party has never abandoned its aim of extinguishing all religious belief within China’s borders. Under Xi Jinping, who is the most anti-Christian leader since Mao Zedong, the pendulum has swung from grudging tolerance back to active and even vicious persecution.

The ultimate goal of Nazification was to replace the worship of the Triune God with the worship of the Third Reich and its leader, Adolf Hitler. The ultimate goal of sinicization, it is becoming clear, is the promotion of the cult of the Chinese Party State and its leader, Xi Jinping.

Some Patriotic bishops have attempted to explain the compromises they have made with the authorities as nothing more than a matter of “rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.”

Their problem—which is now also the problem of each and every one of China’s estimated 100 million Christians—is that Xi Jinping, like China’s god-emperors of old, wants to be both god and Caesar.

 STEVEN W. MOSHER is a member of the Naples Chapter of Legatus and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream Is the New Threat to World Order

Protect religious freedom by exercising it, defending for others

Roman Catholics are in the crosshairs – in the West and around the world. The reasons are deeply, and tragically, ironic.

Like much else that afflicts the Church and the world, the solution lies in fidelity to the truth.

Within the West, the Church is the target of scorn, triggered by clerical sexual abuse of male adolescents. Less remarked, but equally insidious, is the gross hypocrisy of bishops and the Vatican ignoring the scourge of priestly unchastity with adults, even as the Church teaches chastity for all within their vocations.

Here’s the irony: Catholic minorities outside the West are being tortured, forced from their homes, unjustly imprisoned, and murdered in no small measure because of their association with the Church’s teachings on the human person — including sexuality, marriage, the value of life, the evil of oppression, and the absolute right of every human being to religious freedom.

Unfortunately, religious persecution is spreading globally. According to Pew Research, over 80 percent of the world’s population live in nations where religion is highly restricted. Numerically Christians suffer the most, with Muslims not far behind. Catholics are particularly vulnerable in the Middle East and Asia.

In Iraq, the depredations of ISIS have devastated the Chaldean Catholic community, the largest of the Iraqi Christian groups. Today Catholicism in Iraq is at risk of being eliminated, as are other non-Muslim minorities. This is a tragedy for the Church, and a national security threat for the United States. Unless non-Muslim minorities can be enticed back, the opportunity for stabilizing pluralism in Iraq will have been lost – perhaps forever. The sons of ISIS and Al Qaeda will return.

In China, the government is accelerating its cruel oppression of Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Protestants, and Catholics. Unfortunately, the Vatican has signed an accord permitting Chinese Communists to control bishop appointments. Among other things, this means China’s bishops will be less likely to witness to the truth about Beijing’s assault on human dignity.

Religious freedom is also declining in the West, including in the United States. For over two centuries religious freedom was styled as “the first freedom” of America because it was understood as necessary for individual, social, and political flourishing. That understanding is now under assault. Many seek to remove religion from American public life, especially in matters of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

For example, the “Equality Act” recently introduced in Congress would make SOGI a protected class under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, exposing Catholic institutions to lawsuits and financial ruin. It would likely mean loss of tax exemptions for Catholic schools, forcing parents of children with gender dysphoria to facilitate their “transition” to another sex, and driving small business owners who won’t participate in same sex weddings out of business. The inexorable logic of this law, whose premise is that Catholics are like racists, could lead to legal requirements that the Church perform same-sex marriages.

How should Catholics respond to such threats? First, exercise your freedom (there is a reason the First Amendment guarantees “free exercise” of religion). This means more than attending Mass. It means proclaiming and witnessing to truth about justice, human dignity, marriage, and sexuality, and voting and entering into civic engagement accordingly.

Second, defend religious freedom for others – as the Church does in its 1965 Declaration on Religious Freedom. Demand the same freedoms for American Muslims, Jews, and all others that you seek. Demand that your government’s foreign policy advance religious freedom for everyone.

Pope Saint John Paul II wrote that faith and reason are “the two wings by which we fly to the truth.” We need both wings if we are to live our lives as the Catholics we are called to be. And we need both if we are to live up to his exhortation: “Be not afraid!”

THOMAS FARR , member of the Northern Virginia Chapter, is president of the Religious Freedom Institute, a D.C based non-profit that advances religious freedom for all people, as a source of human dignity, social and political flourishing, and international security. He was founding director of the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom (1999-2003), and of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center (2011-18). He was an associate professor of the Practice of Religion and International Affairs at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service from 2007-2018.

Discerning The King, Long Before His Coming

Messiah, a new eight-part documentary film series, explores how the prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled in Christ – and his Church

After millennia of preparing his people through the patriarchs, prophets, the law and his covenant, God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to proclaim the good news of salvation and to redeem us through his cross and resurrection.

The story of Jesus has been told in film numerous times, from motion picture epics that keep close to the Gospel narratives to modern reinterpretations that strive to make Jesus more accessible to contemporary believers.

Now comes Messiah, a new eight-part documentary series due for release this fall. Filmed on location in the Holy Land, in Rome, and in the United States, it is produced and marketed for use in churches, schools, and private homes.

So why make another Jesus film? What more is there to say about Christ?

“In one sense Messiah doesn’t say anything new. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” said Rick Rotondi, creator and executive producer of the series, referencing the Letter to the Hebrews. “Two thousand years ago, Jesus revealed Himself fully to His apostles. In a project like Messiah, all any artist or filmmaker can hope to accomplish is to mine the riches of this revelation once given to the saints.”

Although Christ remains the same, Rotondi added, “Every generation must discover Christ afresh. There are truths about Christ we tend to forget. We’ve forgotten the astounding ways in which Christ fulfills the Old Testament.

“I hope Messiah changes that,” he added.

What Messiah brings to the forefront

Due for release in the fall, Messiah guides viewers through the Old Testament covenants and prophecies beginning with the Exodus event and reveals how these prophecies are fulfilled in the person of Christ — and the Church he established.

Filmed on locations in the United States, the Holy Land, and Rome, Messiah uses beautiful images and music, narration, voice actors, and expert interviews to convey how the Church fulfills the messianic prophecy as a “light to the nations.” Designed for presentation in churches, schools, and private homes, the new series is a catalyst for catechesis and discussion.

Leonardo Defilippis, who serves as the series’ host, has evangelized through stage and film presentations on the Gospels and the lives of the saints for nearly four decades. He calls Messiah “a very profound work.”

All Christians are taught that Jesus is the Christ, the “anointed one” of God, Defilippis said, but Messiah shows how He is the priest who builds God’s true Temple, which is the Church.

Unfortunately, “so many Christians do not recognize Him and slip away due to their lack of faith and lukewarm spirit,” he explained. “This is the state of the world and of our very beings most of the time.”

Defilippis said it’s easy to see why people stray from the Church, and it can be summarized in one word: sin. “We leave Jesus because we constantly reject His very person and follow the way of the world,” he said.

But Messiah “reminds us that He is the true liberator, and it is all clearly proclaimed through the history of salvation,” he added. The film thus points viewers toward “the reality of the kingdom of God, heaven itself.”

Catholic novelist and co-producer Bud Macfarlane agreed with the evangelizing potential of Messiah. “No viewer will ever experience Mass the same way again, because the series places Old and New Testament readings into a world-historical and supernatural perspective,” he said.

Challenges and blessings

Filming in Rome and the Holy Land often came with tight restrictions that presented special challenges. Sometimes authorities allowed the crew just an hour to stage and film a scene; other times guards were unexpectedly tolerant of their presence at particular locations. The project, however, seemed to be blessed at every turn.

“We saw one mini-miracle after another while on this set,” said director John Strong. “We went to impossible lengths and got the footage we desired.”

Defilippis found himself deeply inspired while filming in the Holy Land. “I had the privilege to see a window into heaven many times,” he said. At the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, he was moved to drop to his knees in silent prayer. “At that moment it hit me that this is one of the most significant places in all of creation,” he explained.

Anticipating profound impact

Rotondi said he hopes viewers will be affected profoundly by Messiah. “One of the takeaways I hope people obtain from Messiah is that God is faithful to His promises,” he said. “To see how God’s promises to Abraham and Moses and David come to fruition in Christ fills us with awe and should give us confidence that God will fulfill His promises to us.”

Another hoped-for takeaway is that the Church on earth is the Kingdom of God and the Lord’s Temple, tasked with carrying out Christ’s work of salvation.

“We don’t often get to enjoy this glorious image of the Church today, but it’s a true one,” Rotondi said. “Despite the Church’s sins and wounds, despite corruption, sin, and timidity in her human members, the Church is the living and active presence of Christ in the world. The Church is the Mystical Body of the Messiah, extending His dominion through time and space, putting all things under His feet.”

For more information about the film’s September 2019 release, visit SeeMessiah.com.

GERALD KORSON is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

Christ’s marvelous intervention seen through Eucharistic miracles

A sampling of Eucharistic miracles are surveyed, in honor of the month of the Sacred Heart, and of the Corpus Christi celebration … and as a reminder of Christ’s continual, actual presence in the world, and among his people.

A priest’s confection of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ is awe-inspiring enough for the faithful Catholic, but for those whose faith has waned or who are downright incredulous, the Lord has more in store. In fact, one of the most celebrated Eucharistic miracles took place in the 700s due to a priest’s doubts regarding the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

At the words of consecration, the doubtful Basilian priest saw, not with the eyes of faith, but with his bodily eyes, the bread change into flesh and the wine into blood. The visible flesh and blood have remained intact over the centuries and are currently kept in a specially designed, elevated altar in St. Francis Church in Lanciano, Italy.

In 1970 Dr. Edward Linoli, professor of anatomy and histology (the study of microscopic animal or plant tissue), was commissioned to investigate the Lanciano phenomenon, which has been the focus of countless pilgrimages over the centuries. The following year, he released a report confirming that the remains are indeed fresh human heart tissue and blood, not tainted by any preservatives. Dr. Linoli’s findings were later confirmed by the World Health Organization.

Meeting the miracle in person

Michael O’Neill, commonly known as “The Miracle Hunter,” led a recent pilgrimage to St. Francis Church in Lanciano. He said that the blood type found there is AB, by far the least common, but the same type found on the Shroud of Turin, which is more likely in Middle Easterners. Samples of flesh and blood miracles have often been found to contain striated heart muscle indicative of torture, and show seamless integration between the visible bread and visible flesh, ruling out the possibility of a hoax.

“There have been common themes throughout the dozens of Eucharistic miracles recognized by the Church, “O’Neill said. A popular speaker at Legatus gatherings, O’Neill continued to explain: “Some of the most common of these themes are bread and wine that turn to visible flesh or blood.” This has been seen all over Europe, as well as in places like Venezuela and Mexico.

O’Neill has a chapter on Eucharistic miracles in his recent book, Exploring the Miraculous. While many of the effects of these miracles have been preserved, as in the case of Lanciano, not every miracle leaves behind tangible remains. For example, O’Neill relates the story of the 20th century stigmatic German, Therese Neumann, who lived almost 40 years on no other food but the Eucharist.

Other types of miracles include preservation from natural disasters and instantaneous conversions, as described in The Eucharistic Miracles of the World, written by Antonia Salzano Acutis, mother of Venerable Carlo Acutis, who cataloged stories of Eucharistic miracles before his death at age 15 in 2006.

The book, which is similar to Joan Carroll Cruz’s bestselling classic, Eucharistic Miracles, was translated into English with the help of The Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association and is the compact version of a poster exhibit that has been all over the United States.

One of the miracles exhibited dramatically changed the life of Andre Frossard. He was raised an atheist and his father was one of the founders of the French Communist Party. The younger Frossard even considered himself beyond atheism, to the point that he had never given God adequate consideration to dismiss Him.

Frossard entered a Paris chapel in 1935 at the age of 20 filled with a multiplicity of worldly concerns, and left the chapel filled with the love of God. He was there simply to meet a friend, but in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament, he was overwhelmed with divine love. He was subsequently baptized and went on to fight the Nazis in World War II. In 1969 he wrote a bestselling book entitled God Exists; I Have Met Him and in 1990, five years before his death, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher by Pope John Paul II.

Pope’s apparent association with a miracle

Eucharistic miracles were reported from Saint Mary’s Parish in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1992, 1994, and 1996. The specific circumstances varied for each report, but they all involved hosts turning to visible flesh and blood. The last of these reports involves Jorge Bergoglio, then an auxiliary bishop, instructing the host to be photographed, secured in a tabernacle, and, years after no decomposition, to be analyzed. 

One of Bergoglio’s representatives, Dr. Ricardo Castanon Gomez, brought a sample to a California lab without telling the scientists its origin. While this procedure very unfortunately eliminated the great reverence that should have been present, it did ensure no confirmation bias would take place. The scientists, unaffected by any preconceived notions, determined the sample contained human AB blood.

Then Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a renowned New York cardiologist and forensic pathologist, determined that when the sample was given to him, it was living human flesh and blood. This determination also came without prior knowledge of the sample’s origin. Further, he believed the sample specifically to be cardiac muscle from the left ventricle in a rich white blood cell condition indicative of severe stress—as if the person whose heart it was had been beaten on the chest.

In The Eucharistic Miracles of the World Dr. Gomez summarizes the Buenos Aires events this way: “Rightly a theologian pointed out to me how the fact that it was really the myocardium [heart muscle] was not by chance, but was symbolic. The Lord in this miracle wanted to show us His myocardium, which is the muscle that gives life to the whole heart, just as the Eucharist does with the Church.”

Miracles, wonders and saints

O’Neill said that while over 100 Eucharistic miracles have been recognized by the Church, none have come from the United States. However, he does not think that this should alter anyone’s belief in the Real Presence or the accessibility of Americans to the Almighty. He likes to remind people that, before any material manifestations of miracles, the “real” miracle is the Real Presence—the Lord substantially dwelling with us under the appearance of bread. “The Miraculous Miracle” is laden with additional miracles to augment the original and most important one.

O’Neill, who will speak at five Legatus events in 2019, is also working on two separate EWTN series that will air next year. One is about Americans whose canonization causes have been opened, called “They Might Be Saints,” while the other, “Miracle Hunter,” is about wonders of all kinds. He also has four more books in the works, including one from TAN Books/ St. Benedict Press, which is led by Legate Conor Gallagher. The company also prints, not only Joan Carroll Cruz’s Eucharistic Miracles, but other popular works of hers such as The Incorruptibles and Miraculous Images of Our Lord.

TAN Books/St. Benedict Press is a comfortable fit for “The Miracle Hunter,” who feels like he has been working for the past 20 years in the same vein as Venerable Carlo Acutis, one of his patrons: “I am inspired by Carlo’s perception of the importance of spiritual things at such a young age. He combined that awareness with his technological skills to make the wonders of God’s grace present to many people. I hope to carry on his work and ask for his intercession in this endeavor, which reaches its fulfillment in Eternal Life.”

TRENT BEATTIE is a Legatus magazine contributing writer.

Man Virtues: What the Hell Am I Doing with My Life?

Robert P. Lockwood
Our Sunday Visitor, 144 pages

When Bob Lockwood passed away in March of this year, he left behind a legacy of wisdom reflected in newspaper columns he had written over his long career as an editor and publisher. His musings on his Old Man, his Catholic upbringing, living a mature faith, and the folly of the American League’s designated-hitter rule are timeless and legendary. He was an exponent on men’s spirituality before it became trendy. This book captures that Lockwood magic as he offers real-life advice for men on living the cardinal and theological virtues — which, as he points out, is ultimately the way to true happiness.

 

Order: Amazon

St. Thomas More (1478-1535)

Feast Day: June 22
Canonization: May 19, 1935

Thomas More, patron saint of lawyers and politicians, was born in London in 1478, son of a prominent attorney and judge during the reign of Edward IV.

Those connections helped his future station. In 1504, he was elected to Parliament, representing Great Yarmouth and London. In 1514, More became a Privy Counselor.

Beginning in 1517, young King Henry VIII befriended More as close confidante, promoting him to important posts, knighting him in 1521, and appointing him undertreasurer of the Exchequer. More would later be the first layman appointed Lord Chancellor.

A devout Catholic husband and father, More was known for piety and skills as theologian and writer. But his reputation did not stop King Henry VIII from imprisoning his former chancellor for refusing recognition of Henry’s “marriage” to his mistress, Anne Boleyn. More also refused an oath recognizing Henry as the head of the Church in England.

Imprisoned over a year in the Tower of London, More was convicted of treason and beheaded in July 1535. His last words were, “I die the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”

Evangelization through the Sacred Heart

The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart is celebrated on the first Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi and commemorates the love, suffering, and compassion of Christ for all humanity. Pope St. John Paul II, himself an inspiration for Legatus, had a profound devotion to the Sacred Heart. Devotion to the Sacred Heart was also an essential component of Pope John Paul II’s hopes for the “New Evangelization” called for by the Church.

Stephen Henley

“For evangelization today,” he said, “the Heart of Christ must be recognized as the heart of the Church: It is He who calls us to conversion, to reconciliation. It is He who leads pure hearts and those hungering for justice along the way of the Beatitudes. It is He who achieves the warm communion of the members of the one Body. It is He who enables us to adhere to the Good News and to accept the promise of eternal life. It is He who sends us out on mission. The heart-to-heart with Jesus broadens the human heart on a global scale.” There are those around us who do not have the faith we are privileged to hold. The Heart of Christ leads us, faithful Catholics, but also leads those who don’t recognize that they are being led. It lies upon us, those who know, to reach out to those who do not and bring them along to Christ.

As Christians, as Catholics, as Legatus members, we are all called to a life of evangelization. Mother Teresa once said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” We are called to specific vocations at just this time. Sometimes these “small things” can be as simple as a kind greeting to someone you always see but that you never acknowledge, or perhaps an invite to those neighbors that you always say ‘hi’ to, but never anything more. Perhaps invite a friend or family member who hasn’t been to Mass in a while to attend with you. Whether it is as overt as an invitation to Mass or as simple as a nod of the head, making a real connection with others is the beginning to evangelization and anyone can do it!

As Legatus members, we are challenged: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mat 28: 19-20). Through the love of the Sacred Heart, we can and must go out into our own world and bring Christ to all we meet.

I pray you have a wonderful summer and that you seize every opportunity to bring Christ to those you meet!

STEPHEN HENLEY is Legatus’ executive director