Saturday, August 11, 2007

Father Rego, Pray for us!

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved father, teacher, confessor, and friend. Father Rego died on Monday, July 30, in the year of Our Lord 2007 at St. Mary’s hospital in Tucson, AZ. Though God the Father, in His wisdom, called His faithful priest to judgment, Father Rego will live forever in the hearts of those he touched on earth. Father never wavered from preaching the truth. He taught us about Catholic faith and would have made St. Paul proud, for he did it both “in season and out of season.” He reiterated time and time again the importance of the obedience of faith, frequent confession, frequent communion, praying the rosary, and a deep devotion for Our Blessed Mother. Most especially he modeled for us, a reverence and awe for “the gift beyond compare,” Our Lord Jesus, really present, truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Father Rego had a deep devotion for the Traditional Latin Mass. Such devotion was proven on a weekly basis when he traveled 300 miles round trip from Ajo, AZ for almost 10 years to offer the Traditional Latin Mass. In the end, Father succeeded in establishing St. Gianna’s, a place for those of us who equally share in the reverence and solemnity of the Latin Mass. His message of truth reached thousands via the internet and his many appearances on Catholic radio.

Father, we love you very much and will miss you so. We ask for your intercession that we may be granted the strength, humility, and grace to continue to battle in this most irreverent world of ours. Your love for Our Lord, Our Lady, and Holy Mother Church will live in the hearts of those you touched on earth.

We commend to Thee, O Lord, the soul of Thy servant Fr. Richard Joseph Rego, and we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, that as in mercy to him, Thou becamest man, so now Thou wouldst vouchsafe to admit him to the bosom of Thy Patriarchs. Remember, O Lord, he is Thy creature, not made by strange gods, but by Thee, the only living and true God, for there is no other but Thee, and none that can equal Thy work. Let his soul rejoice in Thy presence, and remember not his former iniquities and excesses, which he has fallen into, through the violence of passion and the corruption of his nature. For although he has sinned, yet he has always firmly believed in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; he has had a zeal for Thy honor, and faithfully adored Thee as his God, and the Creator of all things.

May Mary the most merciful Virgin Mother of God, kindest comforter of them that mourn, commend to her Son the soul of this His faithful priest, that through her maternal intercession, he may overcome the dread of death and, with her as guide, joyfully reach his longed for home in the heavenly fatherland. Amen.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


It has been almost forty years since Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical letter, Humanae Vitae. As we reflect on the question of direct abortion, it would behoove us to review the teachings of the Catholic Church concerning the transmission of human life - - - teachings that are vastly rejected. Imagine! Over eighty percent of American Catholics reject the teachings of Humanae Vitae, the encyclical issued by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968, concerning the transmission of human life.

In 1964, the bishops of Vatican II, in the document, Gaudium et Spes, asked Pope Paul VI to settle the question of the contraceptive pill. It was already under study by a special papal commission. Was it really a contraceptive? Did it violate God's unchanged and unchangeable law that each act of contraception is, objectively, a mortal sin. After five years of research, the commission answered that, not only the contraceptive pill, but all forms of contraception could be morally acceptable under certain circumstances.

However, Our Lord did not entrust the Church's Teaching Authority to a commission or to the People of God in general. He entrusted the office of teaching, ruling and sanctifying to Peter and the Apostles. Peter lives today in his successors, the pope, who is the Vicar of Christ on Earth. The Successors of the Apostles, the bishops, must exercise their teaching authority as Vatican II mandates, "with Peter and under Peter."

On July 25, 1968, Pope Paul VI responded to the request of the bishops in the encyclical, Humanae Vitae. He said that the commission’s findings were not binding. Moreover, they departed from constant Church Teachings. "Therefore, by virtue of the mandate entrusted to us by Jesus Christ, We now render judgment to these grave questions" (HV n.6).

”Based on fundamental principles of human and Christian doctrine concerning marriage. We must again declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun, and above all, directly willed and procured abortion, even if it is for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely rejected as licit means of regulating births" (HV n. 14). Direct abortion never can be justified for any reason whatsoever. At conception, God infuses the person with an immortal soul. Thus, the life of the "fetus" is inviolable. This principle also applies in difficult and trying situations - - - when, for example, a pregnancy results from rape or incest.
”Equally condemned, as the Magisterium of the Church has always taught, is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or temporary, whether of the man or of the woman" (HV n 14). Direct sterilization, under any circumstances is objectively a mortal sin against God and the individual's bodily integrity. Persons who have had a direct sterilization must confess this sin in the Sacrament of Confession.

"Similarly to be totally rejected is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as a means or as an end, to render procreation impossible" (HV n. 14). Thus, the use of all forms of contraception, e.g., the pill, the I.U.D., condoms, premature withdrawal, gels, sponges, various forms of contraceptive injections, are objectively mortally sinful acts

It becomes increasingly difficult to explain these teachings to a society that is becoming more and more pagan. But, Pope Paul VI was clear - - - these teachings of the Church are derived from God's laws over which the Church has no authority to change. Thus, the Holy Father has no power whatsoever to dispense man from God's laws or change them. Man, on the other hand, has no power to dispense himself from divine law by a claim to conscience. For example, God said: "Thou shalt not steal!" Is man free to say, "I have decided to steal because it is good for me? My conscience tells me so." This is an absurdity. Man is bound to obey God's laws, as presented by the Teaching Church. Yet millions of Catholics deceive themselves by false excuses of this nature. Sadly in many cases, they have been encouraged to do so by priests and theologians. Let us not be deceived by these false teachings. Rather, let us live by God’s laws as made known to us by the Teaching Authority of the Church.

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


From the earliest centuries, the Church has shown special devotion to the Sacred Heart. Our Lord confirmed to Saint Margaret Mary the need for this devotion. In so doing, He made twelve extraordinary promises, which she has conveyed to us.
Think of all of the needs and hardships that come up in life, sicknesses, injuries, spiritual and economic problems, and all kinds of anxieties. Bring them to the Sacred Heart every First Friday. Without doubt, He will hear you.
The human heart is the symbol of love. When Our Blessed Lord appeared to Saint Margaret Mary He showed her His Sacred Heart. He told her that it is filled with love for every human person. Never doubt the Lord's love for you. But never forget that the Lord Jesus longs for you to love Him. It is almost as though He barters for our love with the divine bribe of His promises.

1) I will give them the graces needed for their state in life. 2) I will give them peace in their families.
3) I will console them in their troubles
4) They will find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5) I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6) Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and Infinite Ocean of mercy.
7) Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8) Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9) I will bless the homes in which the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
l0) I will give priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
ll) Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in my Heart and it shall never be effaced.
l2) The all powerful love of my Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
If you have not made your nine First Fridays, begin now. Just think! Our Divine Savior promised that you will not die under His displeasure. How wonderful to know that His Sacred Heart will be your assured refuge at the last hour. Place yourself in the loving hands of the Sacred Heart. Whatever crosses, which He asks you to carry, bear them with the sure knowledge that He is your refuge and strength. At the end of your life, He will embrace you with the reward of eternal life. Indeed, this is the bottom line. There is no other. Most Sacred Heat of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


Today is the Feast of the Blessed Trinity. The Introit sets the tone of the Mass: ”Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity. We will give Him glory because He has shown mercy to us.” Every day we offer all of our prayers, Masses and Sacraments: “In the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Constantly we Catholics invoke and praise the Most Blessed Trinity.

In today’s Collect, we confess the true Faith as we acknowledge the glory of the Trinity. We adore the Triune God beseeching Him to defend us “against all adversity.” Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, expresses his wonder and praise: “O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” Filled with amazement, Saint Paul searches for words to describe the unfathomable Trinitarian mystery: “Of Him (the Father), and by Him (the Son) and in Him (the Holy Spirit) are all things.”

In the Gospel we read the principal Scripture passage which asserts the Three Divine Persons of the Trinity: “Go...baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them whatsoever I have commanded you.”

For centuries, the Fathers, Doctors and Theologians of the Church have pondered this incomprehensible mystery. In the final analysis, man’s attempt at understanding humbly must yield to faith. We must believe that which Jesus has revealed for He is the Son of God. He can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Trinity Sunday reminds us of God’s splendor and majesty. What are we in comparison to God? Today, when sins of pride abound, we must reflect upon the Blessed Trinity as an antidote to our pride. The pagan culture has many false gods and their accompanying vices. It worships the false god of pop psychology, which has fed man's pride with inordinate notions of "self-esteem." In days of faith, Catholic schools taught students to know, love and serve God. Now we are immersed in our own ego. "Look at how great I am. I can be anyone or do anything I want. I am number one!" We become our own little gods.

Scripture remind us in the Books of Proverbs and Psalms that God hates pride and hears the humble. "Learn of me," Jesus said, "for I am gentle and humble of heart" (Matthew 11: 29). If we are to be like the Lord, true self-esteem must be grounded in humility and not in pride.

Saint Thomas Aquinas say that a well-ordered self-esteem humbly recalls what God has done for us. The Father, the First Person of the Blessed Trinity, has created us. He destined us for eternal life as His adopted sons. When man strayed from God by sin, the Father sent the Son to be our Redeemer. Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. After dying on the Cross and rising from the dead, the Son sent the Holy Spirit. He is the Third person of the Blessed Trinity, the Spirit of Truth, who sanctifies us and maintains the Catholic Church in truth and love.

Saint John says: "See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God! Yes! That is what we are" (1John 3: 1)! Of ourselves, we are nothing. But in God's love, we have the infinite worth of having become sons of God. See how God loves us!

In the Communion Prayer of today’s Mass we humbly pray: “Bless the God of Heaven and before all the living we will praise Him because He has shown His mercy to us.”

On this Trinity Sunday, let us fall on our knees in adoration along with Our Blessed Mother, the Angels, Archangels, and the whole heavenly host. Let us worship the One True God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. SANCTUS! SANCTUS! SANCTUS! Lord God of power and might. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory! Amen!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Far too often we hear folks claiming to be “devout Catholics” and nonetheless, dissent from the Church’s teachings. Can a person be pro-abortion or pro-choice and still be a Catholic in good standing? Under such circumstances, is one really practicing Catholic at all? The answer is obvious.

What about politicians who claim to be Catholic, yet, are pro-abortion or pro-choice and vote in that way? Often justification from this dissenting attitude is sought in situations such as the Church's condemnation of Galileo in 1633. In other words, if the Church was wrong then, it could be wrong now. My friends, this is pure nonsense. A study of the Galileo case, which we cannot detail here, reveals that the Church did not err doctrinally. Yes, Galileo was condemned. Yes, a few churchmen acted imprudently, as did Galileo himself. Yes, the Congregation of the Index, which made a judgment in this matter, entered the scientific field where it had no competence. But, there was no doctrinal error involved here at all. The Church’s Magisterium did not teach doctrinal error. Neither did Popes Paul V nor Urban VIII enter the discussion in any way.

Can the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church teach falsehoods in doctrine or morals? Absolutely not! Such a claim is utterly blasphemous. Why? The Teaching Church consists of the Holy Father, teaching the Universal Church in faith or morals. The bishops, teaching in union with the Holy Father, are also part of the Church’s Magisterium. As Vatican II put it, they teach with infallibility when they teach, “with Peter and under Peter.”

When the Church proclaims and defends the Sacred Deposit of Faith, which includes the Natural Law, she teaches in the Name of Jesus Christ and under the guide of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Catholic Church cannot teach error.

This is precisely the point of today's Solemnity of Pentecost. At the Last Supper Our Savior promised that He would send the Holy Spirit. "I tell you the sober truth. It is much better for you that I go. If I fail to go, the Paraclete will not come to you, whereas if I go, I will send him to you - - - When he comes, being the Spirit of Truth, he will maintain you in all truth" (John 16: 7, 13).

Our Blessed Lord founded the Catholic Church to carry on His work of Redemption until He comes again in glory. The Church's mission is the salvation and the sanctification of souls. Saint Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, insists that disciples of Jesus must have the "obedience of faith"(Romans 1:5). The recently published Compendium of the Catechism, question 25, affirms this very idea: “Sustained by divine grace, we (Christ’s Faithful) respond to God (His Divine Revelation) with the obedience of faith, which means the full surrender of ourselves to God and the acceptance of His truth, as it is guaranteed by the One who is Truth itself.”

If we render this "obedience of faith" to the faith and moral teachings of the Catholic Church we have the "sure hope" of eternal life. How can God demand that we obey false teachings? Thus we know we follow the truth when we render the “obedience of faith,” to the Teaching Church.

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Life and the Truth. He is the Son of God and therefore He cannot teach error. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity and cannot teach error. As the First Vatican Council taught, God can neither deceive nor be deceived. To claim that the Holy Spirit would allow the Church to fall into error as it unfolds the Deposit of Faith is nothing short of blasphemy. One is not free to make God a liar!

Do not be deceived by those that would lead us astray from the teachings of the Catholic Church. Saint Paul denounced these deceivers to Saint Timothy: “They oppose the truth (and) with perverted minds (they) falsify the faith - - - Stay away from them" (2 Timothy 3: 5, 8).

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L .


“Men of Galilee,” we read in the Introit, “why do you stand looking in the sky? The Lord will return, just as you have seen Him ascend, alleluia.” The liturgy for the Solemnity of the Ascension reverberates with the exultation expressed in the 42nd Psalm: “Oh! Clap your hands all you nations: shout unto God with the voice of exultation.”

Nothing saddens the human heart more than the death of a loved one. Our pain becomes especially intense at the end of the cemetery prayers. We leave our love ones never to see them again with human eyes. These sentiments, however, are not the ones expressed by the liturgy on the Feast of Our Lord’s Ascension. Rather, the Church rejoices! Why do we rejoice? The Epistle reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us clearly in the words of the “two men dressed in white.” They were undoubtedly angels and said: “This Jesus, Who is taken up from you into heaven, shall return just as you have seen Him going into heaven.”

Christ lives with us in His Mystical Body, the Holy, Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Church, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, is the Sacrament of our Salvation. Through the saving mystery of the Church, everyone has all of the means necessary to attain eternal life - - - the Priesthood, the Mass, the Sacraments, and the truths of Catholic faith and morality.

At the last Supper, Our Blessed Lord said: “Do not be troubled. Have faith in God and have faith in me. In my Father’s house there are many mansions; otherwise, how could I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” Yes! There is a “Mansion” prepared for each of us in heaven!

Saint Augustine expresses the Church’s joy at Our Lord’s Ascension along with an admonition: “Our Savior has ascended into heaven, beloved brethren, but let us not on that account be troubled here on earth. If our minds are there, we still have peace here. So let us ascend spiritually with Christ that when His promised day will come, we will follow Him also with our bodies. We must not forget, brethren, that neither pride, nor avarice, nor impurity ascends with Christ; none of our vices will ascend with our Healer. Therefore, if we desire to follow Him, we must necessarily part with our sins and vices. For all such things hold us bound to earth as with fetters.”

We must always maintain a healthy longing for heaven. This is not a morbid death wish! Rather, it is a lively desire to be with Our Lord in heaven. Heaven is our final destination and, as Vatican II teaches, we are on our pilgrim journey to be with Christ, Our Lord, for all eternity. Again we recall the words of Saint Augustine in his Confessions: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord. Thus, our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”

Jesus said: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you and your hearts will rejoice.” No! We are not orphans. Think of what God has done for us! Jesus, the Son of God, is our divine Brother. Our Lord has given us His own dear mother to be our own. Every Catholic can point to Mary and say: “There is my Mother! My Blessed Mother in heaven! Our good mother, with Saint Joseph at her side, waits to greet us in the kingdom of Heaven. It is in heaven that Jesus, her divine Son, has prepared a “Mansion” for us!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


The most honored word in any vocabulary is that wonderful word, Mother. How fitting it is that we honor mothers during May, the month of the most wonderful of mothers, Mary, the Mother of God. MOTHER OF GOD! What an awesome thought! Mary is the Mother of God!
God has a tremendous esteem for motherhood. Mothers are so special that even God wanted one! In the Gospels we see the tender love that the Lord had for His, holy mother. Yet, the Lord loved us to the extent that He wanted her to be our own mother in an individual way. In His love, the Lord would not keep her only for Himself. "There stood at the foot of the cross, Mary, the mother of Jesus! Son, behold your mother! Woman, behold your son. And John took her into his home.” From that moment, followers of the Lord have taken her into the home of their hearts. Every Christian can now say: "Behold my mother!"
We live in an era when family and motherhood are under attack. This wicked attack stems from, Satan, the Father of Lies. He hates Our Lady and motherhood because they stand for life. The Lord taught us that Satan is a "liar and a murderer from the beginning." The pagan world tells us that women can find true fulfillment only when they are liberated from motherhood. MOTHERHOOD IS OUT! CAREERS ARE IN! Thus, the family is being destroyed as the evils of abortion and contraception abound in our society. My dear friends, let us not be deceived by the false values of the pagan world. Let us remember always that mothers are a great gift from God. There is nothing on earth as wonderful as a mother.
Several years ago, I attended a seminar in Willow Grove, Pa. and one of the speakers was Dr. Wanda Poltawaska, a renowned philosopher. The Master of Ceremonies told of her life in a concentration camp during World War II. He then spoke of how she went on to become a doctor and of her many titles. Yet, when Dr. Poltawaska began her talk she insisted to the audience that "most important and wonderful title is the title of MOTHER. Seated in the front row are my children and my grandchildren. Above all else, I am a mother."
Our Blessed Mother has many titles. She is Gate of Heaven, Refuge of Sinner, Seat Of Wisdom, Mary Most chaste, Mary Most Pure, etc. But the title that she likes the best is, Mother. She told us this clearly at Guadalupe.
On this glorious day when we honor all mothers, may I dedicate the poem, The Child On Her Knees, written of Our Blessed Mother by MARY DIXON THAYER:

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Mary Magdalene was at the tomb of Jesus, weeping. The tomb was empty; Jesus’ Body was gone. When Mary informed the Apostles, Peter and John immediately ran to the tomb. It was empty. Totally perplexed, they left. Mary remained, weeping. Suddenly, she saw someone she did not recognize. "Woman, why are you weeping? Who is it that you are looking for?" Mary responded: "Sir, if you are the one who carried him off, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away." Our Savior simply said: "Mary!" Immediately, she recognized Him. It was the most electrifying moment in all of human history. Mary's desolation was turned into supreme joy.

Isn't it interesting that Our Lord's first recorded appearance after His Resurrection was to Mary Magdalene? She was the great sinner from whom He had driven seven devils. Yet, it was for the Mary’s of the world that He became Man. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, came for the lost sheep. No one was more lost than Mary Magdalene.

Most Fathers of the Church agree that Mary Magdalene was Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha. Faithful Israelites, they had become dear friends of the Lord. Yet, somehow their younger sister went astray. In her youth, Mary left home for the seaport resort of Magdala where the idle rich went to play and sin. With shameless abandon, she plunged into all the pleasures of this world. Mary broke the hearts of her brother and sister.

Then, one day, Mary saw the Lord. How they met matters not! When Mary's eyes met the eyes of Jesus, her search for this world's fleeting pleasures ended. She had found Infinite Love in Jesus, the Son of God. Deep remorse came over her. She repented of her many sins, never to sin again. From that moment, she never left the Lord. The great sinner became a great saint.

Throughout Holy Week we find her with Jesus. What a comfort it is to know that, in Mary, we repentant sinners are also with Our Lord. She washes His feet with her tears of repentance. Her tears represent our tears. On Calvary she is at the foot of the Cross. Again at the Lord’s feet, she is being washed clean by His Precious Blood. There, frozen in time, Mary represents us. We too are being washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb.

Just as Jesus suffered and died for Mary, He suffered and died for each of us, individually. Our Blessed Lord loved us to the last drop of His Precious Blood. On Calvary, He who was without sin became sin, your sins and mine. In His passion and death, we too find divine forgiveness, as did Mary. Our Divine Savior loved us, "even to death on the Cross."

On Easter Morning, when our Lord said, "Mary," He was also saying, "Richard, William, Frank, Peter, James, John, Sandra, Deborah, Elizabeth, Ann, Mary Jane!" Think of it! Just as the Risen Lord saw Mary, He sees you! He loves you! He redeemed you! Never doubt that for a moment! Like Mary, may we never again offend Our Lord by sin. Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us!

May the joy of the Risen Christ be with you this Easter Sunday. May we all meet in heaven, gathered around the Lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus Christ takes away your sins and my sins! Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


On Palm Sunday, the Priest, vested in a red cope, blesses the palms at the start of Mass. It is the red of royal triumph. Triumph, indeed! We claim triumph because Holy Week is not a week of mourning for the Cross of Calvary and the Resurrection are inseparable. We must not separate the Passion of Our Savior from His glorious Resurrection. By His Cross, Jesus has overcome death! In medieval times, this week was viewed in a strict sense of sorrow and tearful sympathy with the Suffering Jesus. Now, through the whole week, there runs a note of victory and joy, a realization that Our Lord’s sacred passion was a prerequisite to the glory of Easter.
The Palm Sunday liturgy begins with: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. O King of Israel: Hosanna in the highest!” After the Procession of the Palms, we pray in the Introit: “O Lord, keep not thy face far from me; look to my defense, deliver me from the lion’s mouth - - - O God, my God, look upon me - - - Far from my salvation are the words of my sins!”
It is a humble prayer for without the, “King of Israel,” we are helpless. The weight of our sins overwhelms us! Only in the triumph of Our Redeemer can we find victory. Like Daniel in the lion’s den, the lions of the pagan world seek to devour us in sin. Just as the One, True God delivered Daniel, so too will Our Divine Savior rescue us
The Key to the Palm Sunday liturgy is the reading from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Philippians. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is the Suffering Messiah. True to His mission, the Redemption, He was obedient to the Heavenly Father. He was obedient, “even unto death, death on the Cross.” Obedience! The “obedience of faith!” As the second Vatican Council teaches, it is the hallmark of the true follower of Jesus Christ!
Thus, in Christ’s Victory Procession, we too cry out: “HOSANNA, FILIO DAVID!”
Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


“My eyes are ever turned toward the Lord. It is He who will pluck me from the snare (of the devil). Look upon me Lord and have mercy.” Again the Introit sets the tone of today’s liturgy. We are in mortal and constant combat with the devil. He never rests; he always is, ”Seeking whom he may devour.” During Lent, his ferocity is even greater. He seeks to counter our penance and fasting with greater temptations.

In the Collect we pray: “We beseech Thee, O Almighty God, look upon the desires of the humble and stretch forth the right hand of your Majesty and come to our defense.”

Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, exhorts us to: “Walk as children of Light!” Take the offensive. Do not sit by idly waiting for the next temptation. Do not let the devil have his way. Practice the virtues that Our Lord taught us. He delivered Himself up for us and will not let us be ravished by the evil one.

Saint Paul was never one to mince words. “Fornication and all impurities or covetousness should not even be mentioned among you as is becoming of the saints.” Don’t even talk about these things. These vices are not worthy of our Christian calling.

Then Paul throws down the gauntlet: “For know you this and understand it well, that no fornicator or unclean or covetous person, which is the serving of idols, has any inheritance of the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain and empty words. Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the children of unbelief.” The Apostle leaves little room, if any, for the pendants and the analysts. We are responsible for our actions! “Walk then as children of the light; for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and truth.”

The Gospel portrays Our Lord’s open conflict with Satan. He disarms him and wins complete victory over him. Jesus then gives us the final challenge: “He who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me, scatters.”

My friends, there is no room in between. We are either with Christ by turning away from sin and putting on the virtues or we are not. Let us walk with Christ and not with the Satan. Let us truly walk as children of the light and not as sons of darkness. Have mercy on us Lord, have mercy!

Father Richard J. Rego