Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Season of Advent is upon us. It is the Adventus Dominus of our Messiah-Savior-Redeemer. Our Divine Lord came to save us in the past by His birth at Bethlehem. He comes to save us in the present, through the saving mission of the Catholic Church. He comes to save us in the future by His Second Coming at the end of time.

During November the liturgy exhorted us to prepare for the Day of Judgment. We must be among those, "Who have survived the great period of trial, who have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb" (Apoc 7:14). The Advent liturgies prepare us for both comings of Christ: His second Coming when He will, “Come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,” and His First Coming in mercy and forgiveness as the humble Christ Child in the Crib.

Jesus Christ’s Second Coming should fill our hearts with joyful anticipation because He will complete His work of Redemption. He will raise each and every human person from the dead and reunite us with our bodies. In Christ’s glory, we will be clothed eternally with incorruptibility (see 1Cor 15:50f). The Post Communion for this Sunday exhorts us to “prepare with due honor for the approaching feast of our redemption.”

Christmas preparations must begin with three basic ingredients:

a) A Catholic liturgical life through the Mass and the frequent reception of the sacraments,
b) Living Catholic faith by humbly accepting all the teachings of our most holy religion,

c) Living Catholic morality by rendering, as Vatican II teaches, "a religious submission of mind and will" to the Magisterial teachings of the Holy Father and the Bishops united with him.

The Advent Season is a time when we meditate on the justice and the mercy of God. The Second Coming of Christ will be in justice. The time for mercy will have passed. Thus the Church exhorts us to prepare for the Day of Judgment.

The Advent Season prepares us for the First Coming of Christ. At Bethlehem, Jesus comes to us in mercy, the mercy of God that has become Man. He comes to us as the poorest of the poor, the most humble of the humble and the most obedient of the obedient. He comes to us as a Babe in the arms of His Virgin Mother. As we marvel at the Crib of Bethlehem, our hearts are filled with great joy. We see a helpless Babe in the arms of His youthful mother. He is completely dependent on her love, just as you and I were dependent on our mothers. The All Powerful God is powerless Babe in the arms of the Virgin Mother. We have nothing to fear in Jesus Christ. He is our Brother, our Divine Brother!

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

Monday, November 20, 2006


On Saturday, November 11th, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, officiated at the renewal of our country’s consecration to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many Bishops and Priests and scores of Christ’s faithful also participated. In times of peril, we Catholics have always sought the protection and the intercession of Our Blessed Mother.
Indeed, our times are perilous. Wars, violence both domestic and international, drugs, drunkenness, abortion, pornography and countless other dangers are the order of the day. All of these vices have had, in varying degrees, their venomous effect on all. Broken lives and families are far too common. To shield us from these evils, we pray in the words of Saint Bernard: “We fly to thy protection, O Virgin of virgins, Our Mother!”
The following is the prayer for the renewal of the consecration of the United States to its Patroness, the Immaculate Conception:
“Most holy Trinity: Our Father in heaven, who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters; Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your spouse; God the Son, who chose Mary as your mother; in union with Mary, we adore your majesty and acknowledge Your supreme, eternal dominion and authority.
“Most holy Trinity, we put the United States of America into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present the country to you. Through her we wish to thank you for the great resources of this land and for the freedom, which has been its heritage. Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on the Catholic Church in America. Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president and on all the officers of our government. Grant us a fruitful economy born of justice and charity. Have mercy on capital and industry and labor. Protect the family life of the nation. Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations. Through the intercession of our mother, have mercy on the sick, the poor, the tempted, sinners - - - on all who are in need.
“Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our mother, patroness of our land, we praise you and honor you and give our country and ourselves to your sorrowful and immaculate heart. O’ sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced by the sword of sorrow prophesized by Simeon save us from degeneration, disaster and war. Protect us from all harm. O’ Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, you who bore the sufferings of your Son in the depths of your heart be our advocate. Pray for us, that acting always according to your will and the will of your divine son, we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.”
What a wonderful prayer! Perhaps we should incorporate it into our daily prayers each day. “For never was it know that anyone who sought her protection, implored her help or sought her intercession was left unaided!”
Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


What better time to reflect on the Sacrament of Confession than during the Month of November as we reflect on the last things! The Sacrament of Confession was instituted by our Lord as the ordinary means for the forgiveness of mortal sins. In 1983, the Pope held a special Synod of Bishops in order to remind Catholics that the Church's ancient teaching remains unchanged. The Bishops insisted that the reception of Holy Communion in mortal sin is a sacrilege. If one is in the state of mortal sin, one must go to sacramental confession first before the reception of Holy Communion.
To hold that one can obtain forgiveness for sin by confessing one's mortal sins directly to God without sacramental confession is contrary to our Lord's teachings. Addressing this topic, Pope John Paul II taught: "The Church can forgive nothing without Christ and Christ does not wish to forgive anything without the Church." Mortal Sins are forgiven through the Priesthood of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of Confession.
How about venial sins? The Synod recalled the teachings of Pope Pius XII: "It is true that venial sins may be expiated in many ways which are to be highly recommended. But to insure more rapid daily progress in the path of virtue, We will that the pious practice of frequent confession, which was introduced into the Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, should be earnestly advocated. By it, genuine self-knowledge is increased, Christian humility grows, bad habits are corrected, spiritual neglect and mediocrity are resisted, the conscience is purified, the will strengthened, a salutary self-control is attained, and grace is increased in virtue of the sacrament itself."
How many shattered families might have been saved if they went to frequent Confession and Communion? How many young people would have been spared the degradation and destruction of their of lives by drugs and lust if they had placed themselves in the hands of the Savior in the Sacrament of Penance? How many souls would have been spared the eternal punishment of hell, if they had made confession a frequent practice during their lives?
My dear parents! Do you want to insulate your family against the present day evils? Bring your children to Jesus Christ in the holy Sacrament of Confession frequently! The grace of the sacrament will shield them from the evils that can destroy now and for all eternity.
Confession is where the misery of man meets the mercy of God. The misery of man is sin; the mercy of God is the forgiveness of sins. "We (priests) are ambassadors of Christ. God, as it were, appealing to you through us. Be reconciled to God" (2Cor 5: 20).
May the Holy Mother of God, the Refuge of Sinners and the Gate of Heaven, grant us the humility to get on our knees and say to the Priest of Jesus Christ: "Bless me Father For I Have sinned!”
Fr. Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Be watchful, pray constantly, that you may be worthy to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36). No message has more practical value. November is the month that the Church stresses these final realities.

When will the end of the world come? Often we hear people quoting Scriptural passages, which predict the end of the world. But, we simply do not have these answers. Our Lord tells: "As to the exact day or hour, no one knows it, neither the angels in heaven nor even the Son, but only the Father." Our Lord is warning us that there will be a Judgment Day when we will have to give an account of our lives. Prepare for Judgment Day! Live Catholic faith, morality and liturgy! Do not remain in the state of mortal sin! Instead, live a virtuous life.

The Catechism is quite clear: "Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching. Then the conduct of each and the secrets of hearts will be brought to light. Then the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing will be condemned. Our attitude about our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love. On the last day Jesus will say: `Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'

"Christ is the Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to Him as Redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by the cross. The Father has given `all judgment to the Son.' Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life He has in Himself. By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love" (N. 678 & 679).

On the last day, "Men will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory." All men, from Adam to the last man, will be reunited with their bodies; the sins of all will be laid bare. The time of mercy will have come to a close; then, it will be the time of Divine Justice. In the final analysis, everyone will give glory to God. The condemned will give glory to God because of His infinite justice and the saved will give glory to God because of His Infinite Mercy. Finally, the angels will separate "the sheep from the goats."

Everyone is tempted to sin. In making the choice between doing good and evil, the man of God always weights his actions in terms of eternity. Is this or that particular sin worth an eternity of separation from God? The "bottom line" is not profit or loss in a monetary sense. The "bottom line" is the joy of heaven as opposed to the utter anguish of hell for all eternity. No sin is worth it!

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