To My Children
May 1996 revised 2014
And To My Grandchildren
Because of the length and seriousness of what I am about to write, I doubt that you will be able to read this at one sitting. I hope and pray that you will not, of handedly, reject what may seem absurd at first glance. I will attempt to give a more holistic view of the Catholic faith than what is generally taught in Catholic school. What I am writing may seem long and disconnected at times but understanding is like a balloon. Unfortunately, the only process that we have with which to communicate is lineal. Jesus, through whom all things were made and who knows all things was reduced to using parables to teach. Those persons that have more than one Nobel Prize had insights in their main field while studying in a seemingly unrelated area. So, as in most endeavors it is not always an easy and straight path to understanding. Understanding is arrived by internalized but logical interconnections and relationships of data and facts arrived at intuitively. (Ask Einstein what formula he used to arrive at general relativity. Oops, he used formulas to express the understandings that he arrived at intuitively.)
I had trouble with the Catholic faith after I left the seminary in 1968, which had become a madhouse where girls were bused in for dances [because someone thought that we would be allowed to marry in the “new Catholic Church”] and where young priests had mass in homes with store bought bread. Furthermore, many older Catholics felt left behind and abandoned by the church. I volunteered and served because no one else was found that would serve for an elderly priest’s daily Latin mass which he said in a tiny chapel the size of a closet. The Church lost the entire class ahead and all (including me) from my class except for one who went on to be ordained.
Disgruntled, I left the seminary and then I left home, and went into the service where I proceeded to go from a somewhat sheltered life to becoming a fairly raunchy sailor. After awhile, I woke up and saw that my life was empty and meaningless. But I did remember what I learned in early childhood that God made me to Know, Love, and Serve Him in this life and to be with Him in eternity. Sadly, that was about all that I was positively sure of looking out of the hole that I had dug for myself.
I decided that no matter what “I am Catholic”. Secondly, in order to love God and Serve Him I must know Him. I was made to do this and I knew that it not possible to be truly happy in this life without doing what I was made to do. If life is without God, it is without purpose, empty, a dead end. This was during the Vatican II era when many Catholics believed that the church had left them behind. The third realization that I came to was that many in the Church at that time were losing their faith or most were not sure what it was anymore. Before Vatican II, Truth was ours, black and white. When Vatican II was implemented [at least in America] it seemed that truth was left in a subjective grey.
When I was in fifth grade, during lunch break, I would go across the street and into the little Catholic church (that was always unlocked) to pray. I remember one time when the sun came out and I could see the dust particles suspended in the slanted columns of light that shown through the stained glass windows between where I knelt and the altar. Holding that memory I asked God to remember me as I was then and bring me back into the light and out of the empty darkness. And so, I begin to read and study The Lives of the Saints and then later on, Holy Tradition. I began a studious return to the Faith that was handed down to me by my parents and grandparents, and I am sure, back for hundreds of years on not only on my side of the family but also your mother’s side. My search would not be one to simply find rules or dogmas to believe, I knew those already.
God works in strange ways. Gods’ ways are not our ways and the biggest problem we have, seems to be our tendency to believe only what we are comfortable with and down play or outright ignore anything uncomfortable. In this age of confusion it is hard to know what the truth is. So, we don’t know if a particular slant on a teaching is some theologians’ pet idea or if it actually is from God. [My brother was studying to be a deacon. In the class the “Instructor” said that it really doesn’t matter if Jesus really appeared physically to the disciples on the road or just spiritually after the resurrection.] This caused him to drop out of the deacon program and is now a really faith filled and involved protestant. As I was told: “At least they believe in what the bible says.” [Feel the hurt?] I will attempt to proceed in an orderly manner.
To reiterate, our western way of thinking is “linear” 1+1=2. Understanding is “holistic”. The understanding of our faith is more “holistic” that is everything is inter-related. It is therefore possible to understand what seems to be a contradiction but the explanation, because of the nature of language, is linear and time consuming and may involve the explanation of other seemingly unrelated truths. It is sort of like a complicated math problem. Complicated to me that is and you the mathematician look at it and you know the answer. “It is rather simple really” You think to yourself. But, try to explain to me how you arrived at the solution. The lineal communicative task that I have before me is not simple. Jesus Christ, the Word through whom all things were made and ordered, who knows all things about life and the universe was in the beginning reduced to using parables to teach truth. Understanding of anything is a wonderfully interconnected mosaic of mutually supporting structures be it a painting, song, theory, or Gods plan for us in eternity.
I have studied, prayed, suffered, lived, learned, and finally am writing some of it to you. Moreover, it is complicated yet simple. It is the Pearl of Great Worth. It is our Faith that starts in the Garden of Eden and has not yet come to completion but is being consummated at the right hand of the Father through with and in our Lord Jesus Christ. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to bear witness to Truth and to die for us. One of the saints said that Christ’s love for us is so great that if it were necessary Jesus would die for each one of us individually or even hang on the cross from His time to the end of the world if that would save us. So, great is his love for us.
Christ said that He came to fulfill the Old Testament not to do away with it. This is important to remember otherwise one might become unbalanced. There are many New Covenant truths that can only be understood in context with the Old Covenant. For instance, Death came from a Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, first through the disobedience of Eve and then Adam. Life came from a Tree of Death on a hill called The Skull, first through the obedience of a woman named Mary who replied to God’s request for her to bear His Son: “Be it done unto me according to Thy word.” And through the obedience of Jesus even unto death on the cross.
This is one of the teachings of St. Justin, a student of St. John and a Father of the Church. [The people taught directly by the Apostles are called “Fathers of the Church.”] St. Justin must have known Mary who went and lived with St. John after the Death of Jesus. Many of St. Justin’s teachings are to show that Mary is the New Eve and all Christians are therefore her children.
Many Protestants do not hold Mary to be their mother partly because they are New Testament orientated and do not recognize the Balance of God’s plan for our salvation. Protestants that denigrate Mary also have cut themselves off of from the teachings of the Fathers of the Church and the Traditional understanding of what Christ was commanding when He said: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations whatsoever I have commanded.” The Roman Church and the Eastern Catholic Church broke apart hundreds of years before the Protestant Reformation. The Eastern Church still has the Traditions, seven sacraments, the priesthood, and hold Mary to be their Heavenly Mother.
God called Eve “Woman” in Genesis. The literal translation of woman as it was used in the original scripture means “Mother of all the living.” At the wedding feast Jesus called His mother “Woman”. Jesus used the same form of the word that was used in the Garden of Eden. Jesus called her “Mother of all the Living”. This is found in the Book of John Ch. 2 “And the wine having run short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “they have no more wine.” And Jesus said to her, “What wouldst thou have me do, woman? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the attendants, “Do whatever He tells you.”
Another scripture that is often misunderstood is when Jesus was inside a home in a crowd and not accessible. Mark Ch 3 – 13. “His mother and brothers arrived, and as they stood outside they sent word to him to come out. The crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.” He said in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” and gazing around him at those seated in the circle he continued, “These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.”
I those days, the language did not have a word for cousin and so referred to what we know as cousins as brother and sister. Moreover, Jesus was complimenting Mary by what He said to the crowd. What he said was an inside communication as can be found in any intimate family. He told Mary that she meant more to him then just being His mother because who else has heard the word of God and done it better? “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.” At the same time, Jesus held out the hope to us and crowd that we can become “family” to him if we do God’s will.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is also called the Arc of the New Covenant. As you know from the Old Testament, God was present in the Arc. Mary who bore the Christ child within her is recognized as the Arc of the New Covenant. Furthermore, in Revelations: Ch 11, 19 “Then God’s temple in heaven opened and in the temple could be seen The Arc of his covenant. There were flashes of lighting and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm.” Ch. 12: “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of 12 stars.”
From the beginning, Mary is the new Eve; Mother of all the living and Jesus is the new Adam. In what way is this important? God’s Love for us is only concerned with one thing and that is His relationship with us and our relationship with Him. All that we can say of God and the Kingdom of God is Family Business.
It is God’s manifest will that Mary is our Mother. The whole human race fell through the pride of Eve yet no one objects to Eve as being the mother of the human race. If God wishes to raise Mary up and give to her Eve’s place as Mother of All the Living and creating her Full of Grace which she manifest throughout her life of humility, meekness and obedience then if we belong to the family of God and are numbered among the living then she is our Mother. Mary seeks no glory for herself but only for the glory of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and for our growth as children of God. Your heritage goes beyond the heritage of the flesh of parents and grandparents because we have the same Mother and Spirit.
We need to define the word “truth”. We are told that there are two kinds of truth: Subjective and Objective. Remember in scripture that Jesus, before Pontius Pilate, said that He came to bear witness to the “Truth” and Pontius Pilate replied: “What is truth? Am I a Jew?” Pilate was stating the dark condition of the world that truth is subjective and relative to and for different peoples.
Throughout the ages mankind has asked: What is truth? We have been lost. If we do not know truth then we do not know what is real. We cannot even say what priorities in life should come first. This is the real darkness of the world. Jesus came to bear witness to the truth, to die for the truth for what is real. Jesus brought Objective Truth to the world. Jesus is God. Jesus is the Word of God. All things were made through Him. This is why He is the Light of the world which was a dark insane place before He came to tell us what is real. He even told us what the priorities of living are and He left us his example and sent us the Holy Spirit.
Being a member of the family of god does not mean simply “Not doing evil”. This is sadly what being a Christian means to many. God does have a job for us to do. We must change our lives. Heaven is not a place that people that do not do evil go to. Heaven is the fulfillment the realization of the relationship that we have with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We do not become part of the Family of God after we die if we are not part of the family while we live.
The Catholic faith is not based on scripture. Christ commanded the Apostles to go and teach what he had commanded. Jesus did not say write it down, distribute it worldwide and let all arrive at their own personal beliefs!
Nature and creation are the handiwork of God. Creation has God’s finger prints all over it and shows forth the Glory of God. However, left open to man’s interpretation without God resulted in darkness!
God chose Israel to carry a light of Truth and sanity in the darkly insane ancient world. So strong was the pull of this lusty darkness and self indulgent insanity that the chosen people fell away and turned their backs on God many times. God did not abandon His people but brought them back to Himself through the prophets He repeatedly sent to them.
The underlying messages in the history of salvation all have to do with the relationship between God and mankind. In the days of the Old Testament our understanding of God was limited. Jesus came not only to save us but to tell us what relationship God desires to have with us. Moreover, Jesus came to reveal the relationship that God desires to have with us and to show us what we must do to achieve the relationship that God desires. Jesus left us His example to follow and a new commandment that requires us to follow His example in such a way that is unwelcome and unacceptable to the world.
We have all heard “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These are not Christian (New Covenant) commandments. These are Old Covenant axioms. Jesus said of them that they sum up the Law and the Prophets. That is: “Love the Lord your God with your whole heart, mind, strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. The easy way out for us is to say that this is the commandment of Christ or this is baseline Christianity. However easier it is to fool ourselves then it is to follow Christ’s commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” This is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New.
Jesus said that he is the good shepherd. His sheep know Him and He knows His sheep, and he calls them by name and they know his voice and follow him. We are talking about “follow the leader” but the problem is that they nailed our leader to the cross. Jesus said that he sends us like sheep among wolves and he goes on to say that we must be wise (among the wolves) as serpents. In other words, we must have a spirit of self sacrifice and we must understand why that is necessary.
If we set aside the sacrificial spirit necessary to go among wolves as sheep then we are practicing a form of the religion without the power of religion. Despite the fact that it may seem “safer” to be wolves among wolves it is not in keeping with Christ’s commandment and example. Moreover, there has been an identity crisis and a loss of who we are and has led to the questioning of those doctrines of the church that call on us to be self sacrificing. In order to understand our heritage we must return to the “Fathers of the Church, Holy tradition, and the example give us by the lives of the saints.
I wish to point out that breaking away from the church is no answer. God never abandoned the chosen people to start something new. God brought his wayward people back to Him again and again until in the fullness of time He established His New Covenant and new chosen people the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which still contains the fullness of Truth in Word and Tradition.
We must reestablish the spirit of self sacrificial love after the examples and spirits of St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine, St. Francis, and St. Patrick, just a few who followed the good shepherd among wolves. We must reestablish it in Vatican II terms and in keeping with Vatican II’s original purpose: To take the bushel basket off of the lamp and let the light of Christ shine forth in the neo-pagan world. So, let us get started.
Our Relationship with Jesus Christ and His Relationship with Us.
St. Stephen was captured, falsely accused, and brought before the Sanhedrin for judgment. At the end of the trial and after he had his say: ACTS 7, 54-57 “Now as they heard these things, they were cut to the heart and gnashed their teeth at him. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”” Whereupon, they took him out of the city and stoned him. St. Paul, still called Saul, stood and watched St. Stephen getting stoned to death, of which he approved. St. Stephen asked God not to hold his death against those that stoned him.
Saul was on horseback heading out with his comrades on the hunt for more Christians [Who were perverting the Law and the Prophets.] Suddenly Saul finds himself on the ground. Saul is blind. He hears a voice saying: ACTS 9, 7 “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Who are you sir?” he asked. The voice answered, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting.”
On a different occasion, before Jesus was lifted up, He had pointed out that whatsoever is done to the least of His brethren is done unto Him. What does this all mean? A very shallow but most common and selfish understanding is that: “If I do something for a Christian then, at the Last Judgment, I will have a reward.” We are addressing the relationship between Christ, sitting at the right hand of the Father, and each one of us that belong to his family. If Jesus says: “I am being fed.” because someone is giving a Christian food then what does he say if it is a Christian that is giving the food? Does he not say “I am feeding my brother?” Know this: “Only God is Good.” So, what is a good work?
In Jesus’ prayer for unity He asks that He might be one with us as He is one with the Father. Our union with Jesus is intimate. Jesus is not just sitting at the right hand of the Father, twiddling his thumbs, waiting for the final trumpet to blow so that He can finally return in glory to judge the world. Jesus is extremely busy living our lives with us. That is to the extent that we conform ourselves to His commandment to love one another as He loves us, as he has loved us. To the extent that we take up our cross daily and follow Him.
So that with Saint Paul we may say: “Not I live but Christ lives in me.”
So that with St. Patrick we may say: “Christ above me, Christ below me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ in the eye of all that see me, Christ in the ear of all that hear me, Christ in the minds of all that think of me.
So that with St. Francis we can: Where there is darkness let me bring light, hunger–food, thirst-drink, sorrow-joy. Find the song and really listen to what St. Francis is really saying.
Jesus knows all our thoughts, emotions and deeds. The parts of our lives that He can identify with, He will. Jesus said that if we seek our own lives we will lose it but if we lose our lives for His sake we will gain it. Everything that Jesus did during his time on Earth was for the glory of The Father in obedience to the Father. This is how we lose our lives for His sake; by living for God this burden is light because it is how we gain life in abundance. Jesus is the Life and it is only through him that we have eternal life in God.
Jesus is the Truth. We need to recognize our purpose in life and recognize the reality that is of God’s making. Jesus is the Life. Jesus is the Word of God. All things were made through Him. We are being made through Him now. Jesus came that we might have life and that in abundance. Eternal life is the result of our relationship with Jesus. It is His active identification with our prayers, works, and deeds that gives us life.
It is not necessary for the heavens to open and for us to see Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father intently watching us personally for it to be a fact. Jesus is very busy. After Christ’s sacrifice on the cross His greatest work is what He is doing right this moment and every moment. Jesus death on the cross and the advent of the Holy Spirit made His present work possible. Again recalling that “Only God is Good” [in essence] then it is a small step to see that Jesus must put the “Good” in not only in all our works but into all aspects of our lives but only those in which Jesus can fully identify. I submit that the true definition of sin is any thought word or deed that Jesus cannot identify with. Everything that Jesus cannot identify with will not pass into eternal life. For, all things are made through Him.
Jesus is at the right hand of the Father and in the Holy Sacrament. His body and blood are under the appearance of bread and wine and contains His soul and divinity. It is through the Holy Spirit who has been sent to us that Jesus identifies with us. When we eat His body and drink His blood [“recognizing his presence” as St. Paul said] we make our oneness with Christ greater and our union stronger and the following of His sacrificial spirit easier.
The answer to the following question is No. If I feel that Jesus is with me and I take bread into my hands and say: “This is my body” does Jesus in heaven make it so? The answer is that unless one is a priest and the power has been handed down to him in holy orders, absolutely not. Now, we turn to the Old Testament.
God gave the law to Moses and put him in charge of the chosen people. Following the instructions of God, Aaron and his sons could offer sacrifice before God in the Ark. No one from any other family or tribe was allowed to offer sacrifice.
Two hundred and fifty men felt that God was in their midst and wished to offer sacrifice to God before the Ark. In the Book of Numbers Chapter 16, 35 So they withdrew from the space around the Dwelling [of Korah, Dathan and Abiram]. And fire from the Lord came forth which consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense. Chapter 17, 1-4 : The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, to remove the censers from the embers; and scatter the fire some distance away, for these sinners have consecrated the censers at the cost of their lives. Have them hammered into plates to cover the altar, because in being presented before the Lord they have become sacred.
Jesus placed Peter in charge of His church and instituted the sacraments by giving orders to the Apostles. In the sacraments Jesus has guaranteed that when His priest says the words that He is saying them. We know that we are forgiven in confession. We know that Jesus is truly present under the form of bread and wine and is the same Body and Blood that the apostles received from the hands of Jesus at the last supper. We know that it is Jesus, in every instance [through His priest] that does it.
The priesthood is handed down continually to the present day so is the seat of Peter. The Pope often comes under the same criticisms that Moses came under. Female priests, birth control, liberation theology, whatever. The Pope can only teach what Christ commanded and those that hear and believe will be saved the rest is selfishness and there is no life in it.
God through His actions with the chosen people demonstrated to them and to us that once he has established his covenant and law and priesthood that it stands. There is simply no rationalization around it. Again we return to: Jesus did not come to do away with the Old Covenant but to fulfill it. Remember the two hundred and fifty men who offered incense before the ark? It was their sacrifice of self that consecrated the incense burners. It was because they were presented before the Lord that they had become sacred’. The scripture speaks to the incense burners only?
God has established His new covenant in Jesus Christ with Him and Through Him. Jesus established His church and placed Peter at its’ head. Peter was the Moses of the new covenant. Jesus granted the priesthood to the Apostles through His Orders which have been past down to the present. The purpose of this priesthood is to bring Jesus Himself to us throughout our lives. It is the apostolic sacerdotal priesthood of Holy Orders.
Included in the “Good News” which is the New Covenant is that all followers of Christ are priests. We have a common priesthood. We may and must offer sacrifice to God which is the fulfillment of the self sacrifice of the two hundred men before the Ark. Moreover, our offering up of our lives with and in our Lord Jesus Christ who in identification with us through the action of the Holy Spirit makes our living sacrifices His own and presents them before the Father.
Our priesthood is the priesthood as shown and taught to the children of Fatima by our blessed Mother Mary and by the angel. Our priesthood is not the apostolic priesthood which is handed down by anointing of oil and the Holy Spirit with the laying on of hands. Our priesthood is common to all the children of God and is conferred to us at baptism and is made more effective in communion and is officially instated in our common holy order [with a light slap on the cheek] in confirmation. We are given the Holy Spirit that we might go like sheep among wolves.
What we of the common priesthood have to sacrifice [offer up] is ourselves, labors, sorrows, joys, and every moment in the manner of the “little way” practiced by all saints in secret [not for the approval of mankind] for the greater honor and glory of the Father and his kingdom. St. Peter said that we are a royal nation and a holy priesthood.
Even the pope and bishops and all priests and deacons must practice their common priesthood. It is through the exercise of this little priesthood that saints are made and without its unselfish exercise there is no eternal life. Dedicated Sisters and Brothers of the various religious orders take vows and some forsake the world in order to better practice their little priesthood. We have a daily offering to say every morning and the example of all the saints whose lives, if studied, show forth the common thread and witness to the truth and practice of the little priesthood. Our Blessed Mother has always shown the way.
With the words, “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” Mary offered the perfect example of the practice of the little priesthood. Mary has appeared many times. One of the most famous is probably Fatima. Let’s look at the effect that Mary had on the children. The children began praying and fasting and offering themselves for poor sinners. They began to practice their priesthood. http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/tsfatima.htm
In August 1917 at Valinhos Mary appeared to the children and said to them: “Pray, pray very much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.” Previously In 1916 and angel appeared to the children and gave them a prayer to say:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee. I ask pardon of Thee for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.”
The angel appeared again and said: “Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.” Lucy asked, “How are we to make sacrifices?” The angel said “make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.”
When Jesus said that unless you are like little children you will not enter into the Kingdom of God, do you suppose that he was looking into the future and referring to the children of Fatima?
These three children were young. They had not all received Holy Communion. They were instructed to practice their common priesthood. We can only conclude that it is a right conferred to the children of God in baptism. The angel appeared again later and gave them all communion and taught them another prayer. “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the immaculate heart of Mary I beg of the conversion of sinners.”
Why did Mary appear at Fatima [other than to ask for the consecration of Russia] why simply to exhort us by the example of little children to exercise our common priesthood? Mary was saying to us what she said at the wedding feast to the servers, “Do whatever He tells you.” We were not doing what Christ told us to do and so He sent His Mother to remind us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. If we read the whole story, the account of Lucy, we will come to understand what we need to do in our own daily lives.
However, keep in mind that our deeds fall far short. It is ultimately Jesus who is identifying with us that fives Life, Holiness, and effectiveness to our daily life offerings. It is because Jesus makes it His that it is a “good” work. It is Jesus who puts the “Our” in Our Father. Jesus is the unseen partner in our lives. This is what He prayed, that He may be one with us as He is one with the Father. That is why He said “Be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect.” On the other hand, Jesus is meek and humble of heart and will take what He can get. This is one reason why He was born in a stable and not in a palace, so that we would not be afraid to invite Him in. More often than not our hearts are more like a stable then a temple.
We should strive to grow more and more in solidarity with His spirit in our motivation, thoughts and deeds out of love for the Father and for souls that have no one to offer prayer for them.
Catholic Priests exist to serve the people of God by bringing Jesus to us in the sacraments. Because many do not recognize our little priesthood with much clarity they do not demand of us that we exercise it. Spiritual direction is almost nonexistent in the pews. There is so much more in this Spiritual balloon that we have been trying to expand. We are in a battle against darkness of subjective priorities. There is a dark neo-pagan thrust by the children of darkness against the Light of Christ and his brethren. We are in an epic battle against evil. Read the lives of the saints and martyrs. Maintain a special devotion to your Blessed Mother Mary who is the Mother of all the Living.
When Jesus hung on the cross He said: “My God, My god why have you forsaken me?” This is the beginning of a psalm, one we have heard quoted many times that goes: “for my cloak they cast lots” and “they have pierced my hands and my feet” If you find the psalm and read it to the end you will find that it goes like this:
“IN THE MIDST OF THE ASSEMBLY, I WILL PRAISE THY NAME.”
We are that assembly.
If you wish you may follow this link to a site that promotes a group that I have belonged to for a long time but now “in absentia” according to the Monsignor.
You may have noticed that this letter wasn’t written as a scholarly paper with proper quotes and references. It is actually a letter that I have modified somewhat and added some links
The quote of St. Patrick: http://catholicism.about.com/od/prayers/qt/Lorica_Patrick.htm
The quote of St. Francis: http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com/peace-prayer-of-st-francis.html
If you are curious about scripture quotes I suggest that you get a bible.