You are currently browsing mvandusen’s articles.

We are called to forgive, for who among us does not have a lot that God has forgiven us of?  We all fall short and if we want to continue to receive God’s mercy we must give it to others.  With God that is not so hard to do, just pray and trust.  Jesus Christ himself has given to the Church in these hard times the devotion to his great Mercy.  Given to Saint Faustina in the l930s in Poland.  It is nothing new, Scripture is full of verses that glorify his mercy.  He gave the devotion to us I think so that we will not lose hope in these hard and evil times.   He told St. Faustina that the greatest sinner has a right to his Mercy.  We all at times think someone is so despicable that they don’t deserve mercy, but God does not hold that opinion.   We all have some skeletons in the closet that we don’t wish others to know. 

The novena starts on Good Friday and ends on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter.  Jesus has promised to all those who receive the Sacrament of Confession and go to Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday in honor of His Great Mercy that he will give a pardon for all punishment due to sin.  Father John is going to be in his confessional from 3:00pm the hour of mercy to 12:00 midnight on Divine Mercy Sunday so anyone who wants to receive the sacrament of mercy (confession) may do so.  He is at St. Johns on Vestal Avenue in Binghamton.   If people cannot get to confession that day, you can go eight days before or eight days after, as long as it is offered in honor of Jesus’s unfathomable Mercy. 

 The Divine Mercy novena leading up to Mercy Sunday starts Good Friday.  To find out how to participate, go to and from the menu under “Faith” choose “Devotions” then “Novenas.”


THE TRAGEDY OF SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGEOh for the good old days. Who hasn’t heard that expression at
one time or another. When it comes to medicine, though the
good old days were not as good, but when it comes to sin, and
it’s consequences, life is not so good as it used to be.
Granted there was always sin, but it was never applauded as
good and because it has become accepted as common place,
suffering has increased for all of us. There is no family that
is not touched by the suffering that comes from disobeying
God’s laws.

According to the American Psychological Association,
counselors on U.S. college campuses are seeing significant
increases of severe psychological problems especially in young
women. Like it or not, sex outside of marriage is very common
and creating much devastation in people‘s lives. When people
give themselves sexually to each other it creates a bonding
which is brought on by the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is the
attachment hormone which produces bonding and trust. God
intended man and woman to become an image of the absolute and
unfailing love with which God loves man. (CC 1648) Their union
is holy and sacred and how beautiful it is in the context of
marriage when two people put God first, but when casual sex is
common place it puts young women in line for heartache. How
many of us walking around today know this as a fact because we
have experienced it? I can personally say that in my teen
years, I remember being happy until I decided to throw away
God’s law on sexuality.

Dr. Miriam Grossman in her book “Unprotected”, reveals
that “radical politics” has replaced “common sense” in the
campus health counseling centers. The nation’s 17 million
college and university students are being fed a lie while their
risky behavior is condoned by the prevalent social agenda on
campus. Sin is now being applauded and young women are reaping
the consequences. Even men are suffering because evidence is
proving that men suffer from post abortion trauma even more so
than women do. Abortion being a consequence of sex outside of
marriage and the contraception mentality. Not only this, but
HPV (HPV goes right through condoms) which is a major cause of
a highly contagious cervical cancer is spreading from casual
sex. Considering this and the spread of HIV/AIDS and Chlamydia
which causes infertility. Women are waiting longer to get
married which along with exposing themselves to the above which
affects fertility there is a 75% decline in the ability to
conceive after 30. Miscarriage increases after 30, stillbirth
doubles and the risk of genetic abnormality is six times
greater. College campuses focus on career which pushes
young women into valuing this over finding a husband and having
children. Therefore many times it is too late when women
finally decide to start a family and they find themselves

God is not welcome in college health clinics according to Dr.
Grossman. Psychologists are more likely to be agnostic or
atheist than the general public. Religion has been replaced by
values of inclusion, respect and equality, especially in
respect to gender, race, sexual orientation, disability and
other identities. There is evidence that religion protects
against drug and alcohol use, early sexual activity and
suicide, yet this is being ignored. Through television we are
constantly bombarded with sex outside of marriage as an
acceptable lifestyle. God has warned us repeatedly through
Scripture and His Church that there are consequences to
ignoring His laws. He loves us and wants only what is good for
us and keeping His commandments is they only key to joy in
this life.

Sex and Consequences by Janice Shaw Crouse, January 10, 2007

Catechism of the Catholic Church l994 United States Catholic
Conference, Inc.

Deena Burnett started chronicling information about her late
husband Tom Burnett Jr. for her children, but eventually it
turned into a book called “Fighting Back.” She said that
following September 11, 2001, the media gave credit to someone
else for bringing down the plane Flight 93 before it reached
it’s intended target. After watching the DVD, “A Portrait of
Courage,” all of the people involved had some special talent
that contributed to the success of what they all tried to do
that fateful day. It was as if God had chosen who would be on
that plane to do His will. We may never know how much more
damage the terrorists would of perpetrated if the intended
target, which was believed to be the white house, had been
struck by the plane.

People who know me well will say that the reason why I chose to
focus on Tom Burnett is because he was a faithful Catholic.
They know how passionate I am about the Catholic Faith. Well
that is partially correct. I’m sure there were other good
Catholics on the plane, but I personally have found out more
about Tom than any other person, and it has always intrigued me
when people go against the flow to help others when most people
choose not to act. My next choice would be Todd Beamer. He
was the Evangelical Christian who recited the Lords Prayer on
the phone with a GTE Verizon Operator while on the plane. He
is noted for his famous words “lets roll,” that the operator
heard him use at the start of the revolt against the
terrorists. Their telephone conversation was the only one that
was recorded.

Another reason why Tom got my notice was that his wife Deena
said that about a year before 9/11 Tom told her that the reason
why he hadn’t been coming home for lunch lately was because he
started going to daily Mass. He felt that God was trying to
tell him something and that maybe he could figure out what he
was trying to tell him if he spent more time in church and in
prayer.. Spending more time with God and receiving Jesus in the
Blessed Sacrament causes a person to acquire more Christ like
attributes. You strengthen the bond with God so that you can
hear His voice more clearly. A person starts asking himself
what would Jesus do in this situation. Tom did give his life
for others and I believe that the grace from frequent communion
gave him the strength to do what he did.

Tom had a Genius level IQ. He had a talent for quickly forming
strategy and putting them into effect. God used this gift he
bestowed upon Tom to thwart the terrorists plans. Deena said
that Tom was immensely interested in American History and the
different generals that fought and the different strategy they
took during the Civil War. General Nathan Bedford Forrest was
one whom he particularly admired. During the war the General
found himself surrounded but did not surrender. Instead the
General and his men swung around and defeated the enemy.

Deena remembers her husband telling her about a charge at
Gettysburg where the soldiers wrote notes to their families and
pinned them on trees. Then they proceeded to follow orders and
marched toward the enemy knowing they would be killed. He told
her that he wondered if he would ever have the courage to do
the same. Deena often contemplated whether Tom realized before
he died that he did have the same courage those soldiers
possessed. I believe that Tom’s admiration of those who were
selfless showed that he possessed the ability to show the same
selflessness. It is seen in the lives of the saints. Their
love for others overcomes their love of self and they are able
to do great things to help those in need.

Tom Burnett called his wife four times between 9:27am and 9:54
am. At the last phone call he told his wife that they were
going to take the plane back. She told him not to and to just
sit quietly and not draw attention to himself. He screamed
back “NO DEENA! NO! If they are going to crash this flight we
are going to do something.” She asked him what else can she
do and he responded, “Pray Deena, just pray.” She responded a
tearful “I am.”

When Deena was able to listen to the cockpit recorder on April
18, 2002 she heard one of the terrorists screaming for his life
and then silence. She then heard Tom’s voice where the
terrorists voice was and she could hear the actions that he
took. It reaffirmed what Tom had told her he was going to do.
It gave her a sense of peace that he acted courageously.

Tom Burnett and all those who showed integrity and courage on
Flight 93 took in consideration the safety of others. They have
given the American people a sense of hope and heroes to admire.
Maybe they should be canonized? 🙂 “All that it takes for evil
to triumph is for good people to do nothing. On 09/11/01 good
people decided to do something” (DVD Portrait of Courage).

Source, DVD “Portrait of Courage, The Untold Story of Flight 93”

National Catholic Register Volume 82 No. 36 Sept 10-16 2006,
Inperson, Interview with Deena Burnett, “Tom Burnett Is Still
Fighting Back, 5 Years later.”

Anyone wishing to over-come same-sex-attraction please call the
Director of Courage in our area, Father Tom Ward at 343-8494 or
email him at

For the latest spiritual news go to or
watch EWTN the Catholic Channel 49 in the Binghamton area.