Search A Catholic Life:

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
6th Day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit
edit_button

We are drawing closer and closer to Pentecost. Please remember to pray today's prayer in the Novena for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Feast of the Visitation
edit_button

Feast Day (1969 Calendar): May 31
Double of the II Class (1955 Calendar): July 2

Each year the Universal Church celebrates the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and recalls Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth. The event is recorded in Luke 1:39-57.  Feeling the presence of his Savior, John the Baptist leaped within the womb of his mother Elizabeth upon Mary's arrival; John was then filled with the grace of God.

The Feast of Visitation was first commemorated in the beginning of the 13th century, when St. Bonaventure recommended it, and the Franciscan chapter adopted it. The Franciscan breviary spread it to many churches, but it was only universally adopted in the 14th century, when Pope Urban VI extended it.

While there are many worthy meditations appropriate for today, let's consider a meditation on Our Lady as the Mediatrix of All Graces. Concerning the title of Mediatrix, Fr. Reginald Garrigou‑Lagrange, O.P. discusses the office of mediator:
"The office of mediator belongs fully only to Jesus, the Man‑God, Who alone could reconcile us with God by offering Him, on behalf of men, the infinite sacrifice of the Cross, which is perpetuated in Holy Mass. He alone, as Head of mankind, could merit for us in justice the grace of salvation and apply it to those who do not reject His saving action. It is as man that He is mediator, but as a Man in Whom humanity is united hypostatically to the Word and endowed with the fullness of grace, the grace of Headship, which overflows on men. As St. Paul puts it: 'For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave Himself for a redemption for all, a testimony in due times' (I Tim. ii, 56). "

But, St. Thomas adds: 'there is no reason why there should not be, after Christ, other secondary mediators between God and men, who co‑operate in uniting them in a ministerial and dispositive manner.’ Such mediators dispose men for the action of the principal Mediator, or transmit it, but always in dependence on His merits.”

St. John Vianney: "All the saints have a great devotion to Our Lady: no grace comes from Heaven without passing through her hands. We cannot go into a house without speaking to the doorkeeper. Well, the Holy Virgin is the doorkeeper of Heaven.”

When Zachary had doubted the promise of the Lord that Elizabeth would bear a child, he was struck speechless. Elizabeth was thereafter visited by Mary, at which time Mary spoke the hymn of praise now known at the Magnificat.  By divine providence, it was upon John's birth that Zachary's speech was restored. While this is all that is known in the Scriptures, an older tradition remains that states that Zachary was later murdered in the Temple when he refused to tell Herod where his son John was to be found.

Both St. Elizabeth and St. Zachary’s feast days are on November 5th.

Prayer:

Bestow upon Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of Thy heavenly grace: that as the childbearing of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of our salvation, so the solemn feast of her Visitation may bring us an increase of peace. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Image Source: Visitation from Altarpiece of the Virgin by Jacques Daret, 1434
Read more >>
Amnesty International and Abortion
edit_button

August 20, 2007: Amnesty International affiliates have unfortunately reaffirmed a decision their leading officials made in April to endorse abortion. With their official backing, AI will now move ahead with plans to promote abortion in areas like Darfur and to try to get nations in places like Latin America and Africa to overturn their pro-life laws prohibiting abortions. Catholics must now boycott the organization and cancel their memberships and plans to send in donations. Source:LifeNews

June 14, 2007: Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for justice and Peace, has called on all Catholics to stop funding Amnesty International because of its recent support of abortion. Source: LifeSiteNews

May 21, 2007: Below is an email that I found on the blog Kyrie Eleison. It is certainly time for us to sever our membership with Amnesty International.
To: All those who signed the petition asking Amnesty International not to take a stand on decriminalizing abortion and pushing governments to allow access in certain circumstances.

From: Rachel MacNair, Vice-President, Consistent Life

The petition was hand-delivered to the hands of each member of the Board of Directors of the U. S. chapter of Amnesty International on March 23, 2007.

I am sorry to report that AI has indeed decided to take this step. You can get more information at http://www.consistent-life.org/ai.html and a good editorial on this at http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=719.

The decision was made despite polling of members in the UK that went against it, despite a vote of US members the results of which were never reported, and included explicit censorship of someone wishing to leaflet at the U.S. national conference. Those of us AI supporters who are heartsick about this no longer have a voice, inasmuch as it can be said we ever did.

We encourage all US members of AI to telephone them at (212) 807-8400 and ask for the membership department. We have been told that they are keeping track of what this abortion policy decision does to their membership; they anticipate that losses may be offset by gains, so knowing of losses is important.

We also suggest the following organizations for those who wish to re-direct their human-rights donation budget:

Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC)
4121 Harewood Road NE ~ Suite B
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: (202) 529-2991
http://www.tassc.org/
info@tassc.org

National Religious Campaign Against Torture
c/o CCTPP
4500 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Phone: (202) 885-8648
http://www.nrcat.org/
campaign@nrcat.org

Human Rights First
333 Seventh Avenue, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10001-5108
Phone: (212) 845 5200
www.humanrightsfirst.org/
feedback@humanrightsfirst.org

Friends Committee on National Legislation (Issues of Torture and Civil Liberties)
245 Second St., NE
Washington DC 20002-5795

It would be good to include a note to let these groups know that they are getting funds re-directed from AI and why, to make it less likely that they will move in a pro-abortion direction in the future.

Student groups who no longer wish to affiliate with AI but would like to continue their good work might consider setting themselves up as independent organizations, and using informational research from AI along with other human rights groups in order to continue acting and educating on these important issues.

May 8, 2007: It appears that Amnesty International may have adopted an overall pro-abortion stance (Read more)

March 31, 2007: UK Affiliate of Amnesty International has adopted a pro-abortion stance (Read more)

April 28, 2006: Amnesty International, the organization dedicated to curbing human rights abuses, wants to take a stance on abortion. They claim that abortion should become an international right and pro-life laws should be toppled. (Read More)

Please contact Amnesty International and ask them to not support a right to abortion.

June 29, 2006 Update: The Catholic Church has told Amnesty International that if it does adopt the policy to work for a "right" to abortion in its international meeting in Mexico in August 2007, then the Catholic Church will withdrawl all support of the organization.

Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, said "I have great esteem for Amnesty but doing this, they cut off their hands. I hope they don't do this because if they do, they are disqualified as defenders of human rights." He added, "When they say 'reproductive rights', they mean abortion. Do they defend the rights of everybody? No! Not of the unborn because the unborn will be killed."

May 31, 2006 Update: Amnesty International of Canada has voted to support abortion and work to defeat all pro-life laws. Please act on this issue!

May 19, 2006: A few weeks ago I posted asking my readers to contact Amnesty International. The group was thinking about whether to support abortion and change their neutrality. I am disappointed to say that the British and New Zealand affiliates have voted to support a right to abortion.

What about the children! What about those little babies that don't get a chance to live!

Currently, Amnesty International says it “takes no position on whether or not women have a right to choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies; there is no generally accepted right to abortion in international human rights law.” In August 2007, Amnesty International will take part in an international meeting in Mexico. The organization is going to decide where to take a stand to support abortion. If they do approve, Amnesty International will not only support abortion but fight to eliminate all pro-life laws.

PLEASE contact Amnesty International. Tell them as a Catholic you will never support an organization that supports abortion. This is so important, please contact them. (Source)
Read more >>
Words of Inspiration: May 31, 2006
edit_button

I have several quotations that I'd like to share today:

"Without prayer I could not work for even half an hour. I get my strength from God through prayer" (Blessed Mother Teresa)

"Helping Christ carry His cross fills one with a strong and pure joy, and those who may and can do so, the builders of God's kingdom are the most authentic children of God" (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross)

"Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits" (Saint Philip Neri)

"Prayer ought to be humble, fervent, resigned, persevering, and accompanied with great reverence. One should consider that he stands in the presence of a God, and speaks with a Lord before whom the angels tremble from awe and fear" (Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi)
Read more >>
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
5th Day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit
edit_button

Today is the 5th day of the Novena for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Pray today's prayers.

Also, if you would like a gift/fruit of the Holy Spirit to pray for, just ask. Please read about this devotion first, though.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Wisconsin Newspaper Funds Planned Parenthood
edit_button

Capital Times newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin has just given a local Planned Parenthood abortion business $25,000. Last Friday, May 26, 2006, the newspaper offered $2 million in gifts and grants. Most of the funds supported good community programs such as the city zoo, college scholarships, and food for low-income families.

"It is one thing for a newspaper to advocate a pro-abortion position as the Capital Times does," Wisconsin Right to Life legislative director Sue Armacost told LifeNews.com about the donation. "[B]ut it's quite another thing when that newspaper directly contributes to the destruction of human life by contributing $25,ooo to the state's largest abortion provider."

Source: LifeNews

Please click here to write a letter to the editor to express your disagreement with donation that will be used to kill lives.
Read more >>
Blythe Danner & Gwyneth Paltrow Support Abortion
edit_button

It is very upsetting that I report that actress Blythe Danner and her daughter, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, are supporting Planned Parenthood again. In a letter to the largest abortion provider in America, they called the move to end abortion as "disturbing". Both of them recently campaigned for Planned Parenthood's Mother Day fundraiser. The very company that raises money to have babies murdered is having a fundraiser on Mother's Day!

I will tell them what's disturbing! It's disturbing to see people supporting the murder of unborn children!

"Let's face it, Planned Parenthood is a shameless, money hungry business that will do anything for the almighty dollar," said Brown. "This latest stunt goes right along with Planned Parenthood's radical agenda of pushing contraception on kids, promoting casual sex and killing preborn babies. On this Mother's Day and beyond, mothers nationwide should do all in their power to protect their children from the dangers of Planned Parenthood."

American Life League is inviting all who are shocked by Planned Parenthood's tactics to sign the petition at http://www.stopplannedparenthoodtaxfunding.com/ and help eliminate the $265 million the organization receives each year in federal, state and local tax money.

Source
Kyrie Eleison!

"And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God" (John 3:19-21)

"Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter" (Isaiah 5:20)
Read more >>
Philippines: Rediscover the Angelus
edit_button

 
I came across this piece of news today through a newspaper from the Philippines. I think all of us could take this advice to heart and begin praying the Angelus again if we don't now.
Upon a resolution authored by Councilor Jay Sangil, the City Council passed a move to urge parish priests of the Catholic Church to enjoin all parishes and churches to pray or play the "Angelus" over public address systems.

Sangil said that the observance of the Angelus will help renew and strengthen the faith of the Catholics and help them as they go about their daily lives.
"These are the trying times where one's faith is tested through trials and tribulations. The signs of the times call for a renewal, restoration and strengthening of faith as even the Bible predicts that the so-called last days will be marked by hardships and even apostasy," he said.
Read more >>
Fr. McKenna & Fr. Todd Reitmeyer Have Died
edit_button

I want to personally thank each of you that have been praying for Fr. James McKenna. I regretfully inform all of you that he has passed away. I received this email from a friend of his.

"...[He] passed away on Tuesday morning after a brief but valiant struggle with cancer. His funeral mass was yesterday and the church was so packed that the streets were impassable. Father McKenna wished to thank all who kept him in his prayers and he asked that we continue to remember him to Our Lord. He also told us that he will remember us to Our Lord as well."

I ask you one last time, my readers and friends, to pray for his soul that it might enjoy the beatific vision. Please, light a candle for him at your parish and pray for his soul.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Please also pray for another priest that died, Fr. Todd Reitmeyer, who is a fellow blogger. Read about his death at To Jesus Through Mary [now defunct].

Image Source: Photo of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Believed to be in the Public Domain

Read more >>
Gospel: May 30, 2006
edit_button

May 30, 2006
Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

The Gospel:

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.” Jn 17:1-11a

I attended Mass and Eucharistic Adoration today and found those words from today's Gospel especially poignant. Jesus Christ, who has all the glory in the world, came to die just for me. St. Peter Julian Eymard said, ""For whom is Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament? For me; because He loves me!" He left the glory of Heaven and became man all because of His love for me. And just last Sunday we celebrated his triumph Ascension into Heaven. In a few days we will celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and for this special time, we really need to reflect on the life and death of Jesus.

So how will I prepare for Pentecost?

I have already posted parts of the Novena for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and I will continue to post about the novena for the next few days.

However, I'm going to be doing something more. Each day of this week I am going to read parts of the Gospels. I plan on reading the Gospel according to St. Matthew and hopefully the Gospel according to St. John before Pentecost. I think that by reading and meditating on the life, death, and Resurrection of Our Lord these next few days I will be better able to better celebrate Pentecost.
Read more >>
Morning Offering Prayer
edit_button

Almighty God, I thank you for your past blessings. Today, I offer myself - whatever I do, say or think - to your loving care. Continue to bless me, Lord. I make this morning offering in union with the divine intentions of Jesus Christ who offers himself daily in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and in union with Mary, his Virgin Mother and our Mother, who was always the faithful handmaid of the Lord. Amen.

Prayer Source: Paul and Leisa Thigpen, Building Catholic Family Traditions. (Our Sunday Visitor, 1999), p. 72.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Monday, May 29, 2006
What is Death Like?
edit_button

As Christians we know that death is not the end but rather the beginning of eternal life - whether in Heaven or Hell. My Catholic Reflections has a wonderful metaphor on death that I wholeheartedly recommend.

Image Source: Unknown, Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
4th Day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit
edit_button

This is the fourth day of the Novena leading up to Pentecost for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Pray the prayers for the fourth day of the Novena.
Read more >>
"Opus Dei And The Da Vinci Code": Documentary
edit_button

I want to thank a reader for letting me know about an upcoming documentary on Opus Dei. This is the first documentary to be granted access to the Catholic organization, and it will air at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 4, 2006, on the Hallmark channel.

Additionally, Faith & Values Media will be taping a panel discussion about the accuracies and inaccuracies of “The DaVinci Code.” It will air following an encore presentation of the documentary on Sunday, June 11, 2006, from 8-10 a.m. ET/PT (7-9 a.m. CT).

Panelists scheduled to appear include:

  • Amy-Jill Levine – professor of New Testament Studies, director of the Carpenter
  • Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN;
  • Ed Murray – president and chief executive officer, Faith & Values Media, NYC;
  • Dick Staub – author, spiritual pundit and former radio talk show host, Seattle, WA

Read more >>
On Genuflecting and bowing
edit_button

I think it's important to post again about when one should bow or genuflect. I know that some people at my parish didn't think we should genuflect to the Crucifix on Good Friday, but you actually do according to the Church. Here are some facts on genuflecting and bowing.

Disclaimer: This post does not express my endorsement of the entirety of the GIRM. I do not necessarily support everything in the GIRM or any post-Vatican II document in its entirety or any of its parts.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM 2003):

274. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.

275. A bow signifies reverence and honor shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. There are two kinds of bows: a bow of the head and a bow of the body.

A) A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.
B) A bow of the body, that is to say a profound bow, is made to the altar; during the prayers Munda cor meum (Almighty God, cleanse my heart) and In spiritu humilitatis (Lord God, we ask you to receive); in the Creed at the words Et incarnatus est (by the power of the Holy Spirit . . . made man); in the Roman Canon at the words Supplices te rogamus (Almighty God, we pray that your angel). The same kind of bow is made by the deacon when he asks for a blessing before the proclamation of the Gospel. In addition, the priest bows slightly as he speaks the words of the Lord at the consecration.

Also, please remember to genuflect by touching both knees to the ground before entering the pew when the Holy Eucharistic is visible on the altar in Adoration. This will also occur if you arrive at Mass after the Consecration. In these two cases touch both knees to the ground, make the sign of the Cross, and bow.
Read more >>
Memorial Day, USA
edit_button

Today in the United States we celebrate Memorial Day. On this day we have been asked to take a moment of silence at 3 o'clock to remember all that have served and given their lives for our freedom. Appropriately, 3 o'clock is the hour of Divine Mercy. I wanted to reflect briefly on Catholics serving in the military. Some people recommend Catholicmil.org. However, as with all modern "Catholic" webpages, be cautious as these are not traditional Catholic orders.

In World War II, there were 3,220 priests ministering to our troops overseas. In today’s Global War against terrorism, there are less than 325 priests. That is 100 less priests than just two years ago. We desperately need vocations to the military to serve as priests. Pray for traditional vocations to the priesthood.

So, please take a brief moment of silence to remember all that gave their lives for our freedom, and please pray for vocations for priests in the military.

Image Source: Mass on the Battlefield, Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Sunday, May 28, 2006
3rd Day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit
edit_button

Today is the 3rd Day of the Novena for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Image Source: Unknown, Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Prayer to Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar
edit_button

Dear Jesus, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, be forever thanked and praised. Love, worthy of all celestial and terrestrial love, Who, out of infinite love for me, ungrateful sinner, didt assume our human nature, didt shed Thy most precious blood in the cruel scourging, and didt expire on a shameful cross for our eternal welfare! Now, illumined with lively faith, with the outpouring of my whole soul and the fervor of my heart, I humbly beseech Thee, through the infinite merits of Thy painful sufferings, give me strength and courage to destroy every evil passion which sways my heart, to bless Thee in my greatest affliction, to glorify Thee by the exact fulfillment of all my duties, supremely to hate all sin, and thus to become a saint.

Prayer Source: Catholic Online

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Pope Benedict XVI Visits Auschwitz
edit_button

(Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters)

Right now I'm watching Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Auschwitz, the death camp of WWII. As he entered, our Holy Father stopped at Wall of Death, where the Nazis killed thousands of prisoners. Then he placed a lighted candle before the wall. 32 survivors stood to greet Benedict XVI, most of them Catholic, and he put his hands on the head of one woman. The Holy Father also visited the dark cell in the basement of one of the buildings, the place where St. Maximilian Kolbe was executed by the Nazis after he voluntarily took the place of a condemned prisoner so that the prisoner could be spared and return to his family. Pope Benedict XVI stopped to pray in the cell, standing before a candle placed there by John Paul II during a 1979 visit.

The pain is so evident at that place of death. From Auschwitz, Pope Benedict XVI arrived at Birkenau, the very close death camp accompanying Auschwitz. There he stopped at each marker to pray for the victims of the Nazis and meditate on the scope of this tragedy. He looked at each of the nationalities on the markers.

This is his third visit to Auschwitz, his first as pope. As he walked back to his chair, during the ecumenical service, a beautiful rainbow appeared behind him. The sky is think gray with the lone rainbow shining through. Following this, a group of young people came and each placed a candle on each of the markers, and the Holy Father prayed for God's forgiveness for the horrors committed by the Nazis.

Psalm 22 and Psalm 23 were then solemnly sung to all present [believed to be the modern Psalm numbering, not the traditional Catholic numbering of the Psalms]. A member of the Orthodox church, the Roman Catholic Church, and a rabbi each spoke praying for God's forgiveness. Let us pray for God's forgiveness for all of the sins committed by the Nazis in WWII. [This instance of ecumenism is unfortunate though]
Read more >>
Pope Benedict XVI in Poland - Day Three
edit_button

Yesterday, Saturday, May 27, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI visited the birthplace of Pope John Paul ll in Wadowice. Pope Benedict XVI accompanied with Cardinal Dziwisz, the longtime secretary of John Paul ll, visited The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the place of John Paul ll's baptism. Benedict XVI also journeyed to Pope John Paul ll's boyhood home in the city. In Wadowice, the Holy Father spoke to nearly 30,000 people gathered.

Pope Benedict XVI requested prayers for the canonization of John Paul ll: "I wished to stop precisely here, in the place where his faith began and matured, to pray together with all of you that he may soon be elevated to the glory of the altars."

After that stop, Pope Benedict XVI journeyed to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, the shrine that John Paul ll frequently went to pray. He said, "I hope that Providence will soon grant us the beatification and canonization of our beloved Pope John Paul II." Continuing the journey of remembrance, Benedict XVI went to the Divine Mercy shrine a Lagiewniki where he took part in Eucharistic adoration and prayed before the relics of St. Faustina. St. Faustina was the one that received the apparitions of Christ concerning the Divine Mercy of our Lord. The Holy Father then addressed the sick saying they are "...united to the Cross of Christ, but at the same time the most eloquent witnesses to the mercy of God."

Pope Benedict XVI ended Saturday with a meeting with the youth. There, to the nearly 1 million gathered in Krakow's Blonie Park, our Holy Father reminded them not to be discouraged by the people who reject the claims of Jesus Christ. He reminded them that St. Peter faced the same anguish. He reminded them not to join the secular world in viewing Christ "a king of the past."

Sunday he is going to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, the death camp in Poland.

Above Photo Source: Petr David Josek, AP

Photos of his visit with the youth:

(REUTERS/Peter Andrews)

(AFP/Vincenzo Pinto)
Read more >>
Saturday, May 27, 2006
2nd Day of the Holy Spirit Novena
edit_button

Today is the second day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit. Veni Creator Spiritus!

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Pope Benedict XVI Journeys to Jasna Gora
edit_button

Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI journey to Jasna Gora and the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa where he celebrated Mass. The Shrine is home to the Black Madonna believed to have been brought to Poland in 1382.

Here is part of his message to the men, women, religious, consecration, and priests present:

Faith is the gift, given to us in baptism, which makes our encounter with God possible. God is hidden in mystery; to claim to understand him would mean to want to confine him within our thinking and knowing and consequently to lose him irremediably. With faith, however, we can open up a way through concepts, even theological concepts, and can "touch" the living God. And God, once touched, immediately gives us his power. When we abandon ourselves to the living God, when in humility of mind we have recourse to him, a kind of hidden stream of divine life pervades us. How important it is to believe in the power of faith, in its capacity to establish a close bond with the living God!

We must give great attention to the development of our faith, so that it truly pervades all our attitudes, thoughts, actions and intentions. Faith has a place, not only in our state of soul and religious experiences, but above all in thought and action, in everyday work, in the struggle against ourselves, in community life and in the apostolate, because it ensures that our life is pervaded by the power of God himself. Faith can always bring us back to God even when our sin leads us astray.

In the Upper Room the apostles did not know what awaited them. They were afraid and worried about their own future. They continued to marvel at the death and resurrection of Jesus and were in anguish at being left on their own after his ascension into Heaven. Mary, "she who believed in the fulfillment of the Lord's words" (cf. Luke 1:45), assiduous in prayer alongside the apostles, taught perseverance in the faith. By her own attitude she convinced them that the Holy Spirit, in his wisdom, knew well the path on which he was leading them, and that consequently they could place their confidence in God, giving themselves to him unreservedly, with their talents, their limitations and their future.

...

These were the words that I placed at the beginning of the first encyclical of my pontificate: "Deus caritas est!" This is the most important, most central truth about God. To all for whom it is difficult to believe in God, I say again today: "God is love." Dear friends, be witnesses to this truth. You will surely be so if you place yourselves in the school of Mary. Beside her you will experience for yourselves that God is love, and you will transmit this message to the world with the richness and the variety that the Holy Spirit will know how to enkindle.

Praised be Jesus Christ.

© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana [translation by Holy See; adapted]

(Read More)


Photos:


(REUTERS/Max Rossi)


(REUTERS/Max Rossi)

(Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)

(AP Photo/Diether Endlicher)
Read more >>
St. Augustine of Canterbury
edit_button


Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): May 27
Double (1955 Calendar): May 28

Today is the Feastday of St. Augustine of Canterbury, who is not to be confused with St. Augustine of Hippo.

St. Augustine of Canterbury was born in Rome and died in England of natural causes on May 26, 605. St. Augustine of Canterbury was a monk and an abbot. Along with forty brother monks, including Saint Lawrence of Canterbury, St. Augustine was sent by Pope Gregory the Great to bring the Gospel message to the British Isles in 597.

He established and spread the faith throughout England; one of his earliest converts was King Aethelberht. When the king converted, 10,000 of his people also entered the Church. St. Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, and he helped establish contacts between the Celtic and Latin churches.

Prayer:

O God, Who by the preaching and miracles of blessed Augustine, Thy Confessor and Bishop, didst vouchsafe to shed upon the English people the light of the true faith: grant that, through his intercession, the hearts of the straying may return to the unity of Thy truth, and that we may do Thy will with one accord. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Read more >>
New Poll
edit_button

I have just created a new poll for this blog (near the bottom of the right hand column). I wanted to know if my readers would like me to add background music to this blog. The Holy Vocations Blog now has music, and I think it sounds beautifully. I wanted to know if the people that read this blog would like to hear some Latin music in the background or if it would just be annoying to them.

Please vote.

Thanks

Poll is now closed
Read more >>
Friday, May 26, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI Celebrates Mass in Pilsudski Square
edit_button

The Holy Father celebrated Mass to approximately 270,000 people in the rain in Warsaw. Pilsudski Square was the location where John Paul II inspired Poland's Solidarity movement against communist rule in his 1979 visit.

In his homily, Benedict XVI again attacked relativism, which teaches that nothing can be an absolute truth. This view by many "cafeteria catholics" must be stopped. Everything the Holy Church teaches as a defined dogma must be believed including it's view on birth control, abortion, stem cells, gay marriage, and euthanasia.

Even though the rain poured down, many people came out.

Aneta Owczarek, 18, who was dripping wet without a raincoat, didn't consider going inside. "No way," she said. "This is one of the most important events that could ever happen in Poland and we don't know if we'll ever see the pope here again."

Read More

Photos:

(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(AFP/Janek Skarzynski)
Read more >>
Catholic Q&A: Why do we show reverence to the Gospel?
edit_button

At Mass the priest should always show the Gospel an elevated degree of respect. While Jesus is not physically present in the Word as He is in the Eucharist, Jesus is still in His Word. At Mass only a bishop, priest, or deacon is allowed to read the Gospel; no layperson, nun, or even seminarian may proclaim the Gospel (Redemptionis Sacramentum, Chapter III, Part 3). Since we are to treat the Gospel with reverence, priests will kiss the Gospel after it is read.

I strongly encourage my readers to take part in Lectio Divina and reading the Daily readings from Mass. Note: Unlike Lectio Divina, Catholics should never take part in centering prayer. I have also just read about the Enthronement of the Holy Bible, which seems to be a proper devotion

Information from the Zenit News Agency:

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) describes the following honors toward the Book of the Gospels:

"172. [At the entrance procession] Carrying the Book of the Gospels slightly elevated, the deacon precedes the priest as he approaches the altar or else walks at the priest's side.

"173. When he reaches the altar, if he is carrying the Book of the Gospels, he omits the sign of reverence and goes up to the altar. It is particularly appropriate that he should place the Book of the Gospels on the altar, after which, together with the priest, he venerates the altar with a kiss.

"175. [At the Liturgy of the Word] If incense is used, the deacon assists the priest when he puts incense in the thurible during the singing of the Alleluia or other chant. … Having bowed to the altar, he then takes up the Book of the Gospels which was placed upon it. He proceeds to the ambo, carrying the book slightly elevated. He is preceded by a thurifer, carrying a thurible with smoking incense, and by servers with lighted candles. There the deacon, with hands joined, greets the people, saying, 'Dominus vobiscum' (The Lord be with you). Then, at the words 'Lectio sancti Evangelii' (A reading from the holy gospel), he signs the book with his thumb and, afterwards, himself on his forehead, mouth, and breast. He incenses the book and proclaims the Gospel reading. When the reading is concluded, he says the acclamation 'Verbum Domini' (The gospel of the Lord), and all respond, 'Laus tibi, Christe' (Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ). He then venerates the book with a kiss, saying privately, 'Per evangelica dicta' (May the words of the gospel), and returns to the priest's side.

"When the deacon is assisting the Bishop, he carries the book to him to be kissed, or else kisses it himself, saying quietly, 'Per evangelica dicta' (May the words of the gospel). In more solemn celebrations, as the occasion suggests, a Bishop may impart a blessing to the people with the Book of the Gospels.

"Lastly, the deacon may carry the Book of the Gospels to the credence table or to another appropriate and dignified place."

Later, in describing norms for all Masses, the document adds:

"273. According to traditional practice, the altar and the Book of the Gospels are venerated by means of a kiss. Where, however, a sign of this kind is not in harmony with the traditions or the culture of some region, it is for the Conference of Bishops to establish some other sign in its place, with the consent of the Apostolic See."
Read more >>
Begin the Original Novena
edit_button

Today is the start of the Novena leading up to Pentecost. It is called the original Novena because the first novena in history was of the apostles and Mary praying for 9 days for the Holy Spirit leading up to Pentecost. I have offered to send people specific gifts/fruit that are picked from a jar to help us grow in holiness.

Please join me in praying this Novena for the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Image Source: Unknown, Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI Arrives in Poland!
edit_button

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Poland and will begin his visit lasting from May 25 to May 28, 2006. During his assembly Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI has said, "I will visit the places of [John Paul ll's] life and of his priestly and episcopal ministry." During this trip, the Holy Father will visit Warsaw, Czestochowa, Krakow, Wadowice, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and Auschwitz.

According to a recent survey, 1 in every 10 Poles is expected to attend at least one event with Pope Benedict XVI. Poland is home to 34,850,000, which account for 95% of the population. 80% of those polled said they would follow the events on television. And concerning television, Poland's TVP public broadcaster has promised to ban all TV ads that contain any erotic or violent scences during the Pope's visit.

EWTN will show an encore presentation of Pope Benedict XVI's arrival tonight, and early tomorrow morning, they will show the Mass in Pilsudski Square in Warsaw live. Pope Benedict XVI also visited the Warsaw Cathedral (photo to the right). Read his four-day itinerary.

Please say this prayer for Pope Benedict XVI's visit:
Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to Your shepherd, the Pope, a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love.

By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care may he, as successor to the apostle Peter and vicar of Christ, build Your church into a sacrament of unity, love, and peace for all the world.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Read more >>
Ascension Thursday
edit_button

Today is 40 days after Easter Sunday and the day we celebrate Our Lord's Glorious Ascension into Heaven. The Ascension has three principal parts: the departure of Jesus from earth, His going up into heaven, and taking His place at the right hand of the Father. In addition to the information posted below, see Fish Eaters for more information on the Solemnity of the Ascension.

In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for "the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the holy Spirit."

When they had gathered together they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away.

Acts 1:1-12

I am trying to put myself in the disciples place. They had been with Jesus for 3 years, saw Him suffer and die, and then they rejoiced to see Our Risen Lord. Imagine the pain in them when they knew that Our Lord was leaving them - this time they would not see Him until they would die and stand before Him in Judgement. It must have been terribly lonely and painful for them at first, but then as we look at John 14:1-3, we see the reason that Our Lord was to ascend:

Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be.

I have heard the Ascension called the capstone of the life of Jesus, but Jesus is not gone completely! He has promised to remain with us till the end of the ages, and He does this by the Holy Eucharist. Jesus Christ is in the Holy Eucharist. When Jesus was speaking of the Eucharist, His disciples were murmuring about having to eat His flesh. Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? Then how will you react when you see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?" (Jn.6:61-62). Jesus is still with us and shall remain with us. He looks out for us and loves us. Jesus is Our God forever and ever! Today is a glorious event and we celebrate!

Let us go forth this day still in the Easter Joy. We are sinners, but, if we are repentent and seek Our Lord in the Sacrament of Confession, then we can be forgiven. Jesus gave us the Sacraments and the Church through His disciples for this day - the day He would ascend bodily into Heaven. How glorious it must have been!

Concerning the place of Jesus's Ascension, I received this in an email. Unfortunately, the place of Our Lord's Ascension is currently the location of a mosque.

"Regarding the place from which Christ ascended, Sulpicius, bishop of Jerusalem, says, and the 'Gloss' also says, that when a church was built [on the Mount of Olives] later on, the spot where Christ had stood could never be covered with pavement; and more than that, the marble slabs placed there burst upwards into the faces of those who were laying them. He also says that footmarks in the dust there prove that the Lord had stood on that spot: the footprints are discernible and the ground still retains the depressions his feet had left.
Let us praise Our God!

Reflection:

"In the Ascension the Savior did not lay aside the garment of flesh with which He had been clothed; for His human nature would be the pattern of the future glory of other human natures, which would become incorporated to Him through a sharing of His life. Intrinsic and deep was the relation between His Incarnation and His Ascension. The Incarnation or the assuming of a human nature made it possible for Him to suffer and redeem. The Ascension exalted into glory that same human nature that was humbled to the death."

- Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Life of Christ

Te Deum:

O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Thy Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sitest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.

V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.

V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.

V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. O Lord, in Thee I have put my trust; let me never be put to shame.
Read more >>
Ascension Thursday Prayer
edit_button

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God: that we, who believe Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have ascended on this day into heaven, may also ourselves dwell in mind amid heavenly things. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal; Collect for Ascension Thursday

Image Source: Images in the Public Domain. If you are interested in obtaining all of the images of this series in high resolution, please click here to visit my post to obtain them.
Read more >>
Today's An Important Day: Ascension Thursday & Pope Benedict XVI visits Poland
edit_button

Today is Ascension Thursday, the day we remember Our Lord's glorious Ascension into Heaven. While this day is not a holy day of obligation because the celebration is moved to this Sunday, today is still an important day for prayer.

Today is also the day that Pope Benedict XVI journeys to Poland and begins his visit that will last until May 28, 2006. I'll post about both of these later when I have more time.
Read more >>
If You Liked the Saint for the Year Devotion...
edit_button

...then you'll love this!

(Moved to the top due to popularity)

The creator of that devotion had the brillant idea of starting another devotion where we receive a fruit/gift of the Holy Spirit. With Pentecost approaching, it would be great not just to pray for all the gifts/fruits but to focus on one special one. I received the gift of wisdom in the drawing, and I have been really praying for greater wisdom now. Just like the Saint for the Year devotion, this is a way to grow closer to God.

If you would like to join this devotion please read the introduction that the woman doing this has written, and just leave your name in the comments box. I will leave all results in the comments box, so please check there after you ask for one to be pulled for you.

Introduction:


Many people have enjoyed having a patron saint "pick" them for the year ... There has been many testimonies on all the connections and intercessions that have occurred. How wonderful it is to know that we are not walking alone!

In the same sense, we are doing the same thing with Pentecost and the Holy Spirit "picking" a fruit and gift just for us to reflect on and pray about for the year.

Curious? Read on ...

As we approach Pentecost, let's reflect on what happened to the Apostles on that day and what happened to us when we were confirmed.

The Holy Spirit is first introduced to a Catholic the day that they are baptized, because the entire Holy Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — are invoked at the ceremony. During Confirmation, God the Holy Spirit comes upon the person, accompanied by God the Father and God the Son, just as he did at Pentecost. The Feast of Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit from heaven to earth upon the 12 apostles and the Virgin Mary, occurring 50 days after Easter and 10 days after Jesus' Ascension (Acts 2:1–4).

This sacrament is called Confirmation, because the faith given in Baptism is now confirmed and made strong. Sometimes, those who benefit from Confirmation are referred to as "soldiers of Christ". This isn't a military designation but a spiritual duty to fight the war between good and evil, light and darkness — a war between the human race and all the powers of hell.

Confirmation means accepting responsibility for your faith and destiny. Childhood is a time when you're told what to do, and you react positively to reward and negatively to punishment. Adulthood, even young adulthood, means that you must do what's right on your own, not for the recognition or reward but merely because it's the right thing to do. The focus is on the Holy Spirit, who confirmed the apostles on Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4) and gave them courage to practice their faith. We, as Catholics, believe that the same Holy Spirit confirms Catholics during the Sacrament of Confirmation and gives them the same gifts and fruits.

Traditionally, the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity. These are human qualities that can be activated by the Holy Spirit. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These gifts are supernatural graces given to the soul.

When was the last time you thought about these blessing bestowed upon you? Have some of your "fruits" rotted or dried up? Are your gifts sitting on a shelf, collecting dust?

To commemorate Pentecost, how about asking the Holy Spirit to look inside you, deep inside you and pick out one particular fruit and one particular gift that is unique to you that He wants you to pray about? He may want you to develop this gift and fruit. He may want you to share this gift and fruit. He may want you to be an example of your fruit and gift. Only you and the Holy Spirit will know. You may have an instant connection with the fruit and gift that the Spirit picks for you. Or you may wonder what in the world is He thinking? Everyone's will be different and everyone's will be unique, just for them.

I would suggest doing some research on your particular fruit and gift and then reflecting on how they play in your life. Do a lot of listening, the Holy Spirit will be doing a lot of talking!

To have a fruit and gift for the year, please contact me. I have a container full of all the fruits and all of the gifts and will be happy to pick one and send it to you. Just let me know!

God bless!
Read more >>
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
How Far Are We from Being Universal?
edit_button

 
It is becoming more and more frustrating for me to read of "Catholics" that think they can believe in lies while still serving the Church. In Enormous Prayers: A Journey into the Priesthood, one priest does not believe in angels. Angels! The very creatures that are referenced over 200 times in the Bible.

"Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: 'Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels'" (Matthew 25:41)

Jesus even spoke of angels and a priest would outright deny their existence! It was the Archangel Gabriel that announced the Incarnation to Mary! The Catechism states that angels are a "truth of the faith"; Catholics must believe in them. Then the book mentions another priest that says purgatory is not real. Purgatory is real and it is a firm part of the faith. A Catholic is obligated to believe every single dogma and firm truth of the faith. If we do not then we are not Catholic! We must believe in the Creed:
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Not only the above, but we must follow the Church on morals. There are five non-negotiables, five things that Catholics must be opposed to. There is no leniency - these are always wrong.
  1. Abortion
  2. Embryonic Stem Cell Research
  3. Gay Marriage
  4. Euthanasia
  5. Artificial Contraception
It is my prayer that all Catholics start believing and teaching these firm truths. We are to be beacons of the light. You are called to go out and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Church! Remember, as Mother Teresa said, God didn't ask you to be successful, He asked you to be faithful. You may only bring one person to the Catholic Church your entire life. Thousands may reject your words and the Church. You may suffer persecution for the sake of the Truth. But that is one soul closer to God. That is one soul and that makes all the difference in the world.

Believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Believe and Follow His Church!

I am alarmed by the number of "charities" that go directly against the Catholic Church like Catholics for Reproductive Freedoms and others. I want to know what are some good charities out there. Here are the criteria I use to define the best charities.
  1. They have a Catholic credo and agree with everything the Church teaches.
  2. They work for the improvement of society and/or helping out individuals in need.
  3. They support evangelization and the spreading of the Gospel. I don't want to support an organization that doesn't help to bring Jesus to others.
  4. Most of the contributions go directly to programs and not to fundraising, management, etc.
Read more >>
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Proposition 73 is Back in California!
edit_button

Last year in the 2005 November Elections, a proposal for a parental-notification act for an abortion failed in California. California, being one of the most liberal and anti-life states, came surprisingly close to passing Proposition 73. It failed by a 52.6 percent to 47.4 percent vote.

Thankfully, Proposition 73 is back! Many people feel that Proposition 73 failed last year because it was one of the referendums supported by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Ever referendum supported by the Governor failed. Out of all of the proposals, Proposition 73 received the most votes.

Now Proposition 73 is back. The state has collected over 1 million signatures to put it on the ballot even though only 600,000 were needed. James Holman, the publisher of a San Diego weekly newspaper and several Catholic papers, has given $2.2 million to help this get on the ballot. This amount compares with the $1.1 million that he donated last year.

Planned Parenthood, in an effort to allow teenagers to murder their unborn children with a parent finding out, is trying to campaign to defeat Proposition 73.

Take action!

I am asking every reader of my blogs not only to pray for this proposal but for the life of the unborn in general. Life is being attacked today by contraception, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia. Let us unite and pray for the culture of life.

Confident in the power of the Holy Rosary, I am asking each of you to pray the Rosary just one day a week for life. Perhaps Friday is a good day to pray for you or perhaps it is Sunday when you are waiting for Mass to start. Please, just pray the Rosary once each week for life. I have read of numerous Rosary miracles in the past, and I am confident that our prayers could bring an end to abortion and attacks on the dignity of human life.
Read more >>
Prayer for the Cronically ill
edit_button

Almighty, everlasting God, the eternal salvation of those who believe, hear us in behalf of Thy sick servants, for whom we implore the help of Thy mercy, that, being restored to health, they may render thanks to Thee in Thy Church. Through our Lord.

Epistle:

Beloved: Is any of you sad? Let him pray. Is he cheerful in mind? Let him sing. Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess, therefore, your sins to one another, and pray one for another, that you may be saved (James 5:13-16)

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal, Collect & Epistle from the Votive Mass for the Sick

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Words of Inspiration: May 23, 2006
edit_button

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

Source: Mother Teresa

Image Source: Unknown, Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Monday, May 22, 2006
St. Rita of Cascia
edit_button

Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): May 22
Mass in Some Places (1955 Calendar): May 22

St. Rita was born in Italy in 1386 to Antonio and Amata Lotti. Even at a young age, Rita visited the Augustinian nuns at Cascia, and she showed interest in a religious life. However, at the young age of twelve, her parents betrothed her to Paolo Mancini. Rita was disappointed, but remained obedient and married Paolo at the age of 18. Paolo was an ill-tempere and abusive individual who worked as town watchman. St. Rita of Cascia became the mother of twin sons.

After eighteen years of living with Paolo's abuses, Rita's life changed when Paolo was ambushed and stabbed to death. Her sons swore vengeance on their father's killers, but through Rita's prayers and interventions, they were able to forgive the murderers. After the death of Paolo, St. Rita of Cascia desired to enter the convent. However, some of the sisters at the Augustinian convent were relatives of her husband's assassins, and she was denied entry. At the age of 36, after praying for the intecession of intervention of Saint John the Baptist, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, she was able to enter the convent.

St. Rita lived in the convent for 40 years and was especially devoted to the Passion of Christ. In response to a prayer to suffer as Christ suffered, St. Rita received a chronic head wound that appeared to have been caused by a crown of thorns. The wound bled for 15 years. For the last four years of her life, St. Rita was confined to her bed and ate nothing more than the Eucharist. When St. Rita was near death, she received a visitor who asked if she would like anything. Rita's only request was a rose from her family's estate. The visitor went to the home, but since it was January, knew there was no hope of finding a rose. Yet, sprouted on an otherwise bare bush, was a single rose blossom.

St. Rita of Cascia died on May 22, 1457. She lived an extremely devout and holy life. She was canonized on May 24, 1990.

Prayer

O God, Thou didst confer on Saint Rita the great graces of loving her enemies and of bearing on her brow the marks of Thy love and Thy passion. Through her prayers and merits may we forgive our enemies and dwell upon the sufferings of Thy passion and so receive the rewards promised to the humble and to those who mourn: Who livest and reignest.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

LITANY OF SAINT RITA:

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us, Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, ….
God, the Holy Spirit, …
Holy Trinity, One God, …
Immaculate Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of pure love, …
Holy Mary, Comforter of the afflicted, …
Holy Mary, Queen of all the saints, …
Holy Mary, Model of life for Saint Rita, …
St. Rita, our advocate and protectress, …
St. Rita, beloved by the Lord, …
St. Rita given special grace from heaven, …
St. Rita, remarkable in childhood, …
St. Rita, model of obedience to God’s Will, …
St. Rita, of untiring patience, …
St. Rita, model of Christian mothers, …
St. Rita, mirror for Christian spouses, …

St. Rita, heroic in sacrifice, …
St. Rita, generous in forgiving, …
St. Rita, martyr in penitence, …
St. Rita, embracing humility and poverty, …
St. Rita, exemplary as a widow, …
St. Rita, prompt to answer the divine call, …
St. Rita, patient in suffering, …
St. Rita, mirror of religious observance, …
St. Rita, mystical rose of every virtue, …
St. Rita, enamored of the Passion of Christ, …
St. Rita, pierced with a thorn, …
St. Rita, in ecstasy before the Blessed Sacrament, …
St. Rita, consumed with Divine Love, …
St. Rita, received into heaven with joy, …
St. Rita, incorrupt in your chaste body, …
St. Rita, advocate of impossible cases, …
St. Rita, persevering in prayer, …
St. Rita, help of those in need, …

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Leader: Lord, you have signed your servant, Rita.
All: With the marks of Your love and Passion.

Leader: Let us pray. O God, Who bestowed on St. Rita such grace that she loved her enemies, and bore in her heart and on her forehead the mark of Your love and Passion, grant us, we beseech You, through her merits and intercession, a love for our enemies. Through our contemplation of Your sufferings and Passion, may we merit the reward promised to the meek and the suffering. You live and reign forever. Amen
Read more >>
Prayer for Patience in Accepting God's Will
edit_button


Preface: For a listing of hundreds of prayers with indulgences and special blessings attached to them, be sure to refer to a copy of the Raccolta oftenClick here to order one.

Lord, teach me to be patient - with life, with people,and with myself. I sometimes try to hurry things along too much, and I push for answers before the time is right. Teach me to trust Your sense of timing rather than my ownand to surrender my will to Your greater and wiser plan. Help me let life unfold slowly, like the small rosebud whose petals unravel bit by bit, and remind me that in hurrying the bloom along, I destroy the bud and much of the beauty therein.

Instead, let me wait for all to unfold in its own time. Each moment and state of growth contains a loveliness. Teach me to slow down enough to appreciate life and all it holds. Amen.

Recommended Reading:



Image Source: At Prayer by Edwin Longs den Long
Read more >>
This Week in Catholicism
edit_button

Monday: St. Rita of Cascia (Mass in Some Places)
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday: The Ascension of the Lord; Pope Benedict XVI also visits Poland starting today!
Friday: St. Philip Neri
Saturday: St. Bede the Venerable

Source: 1955 Calendar of Saints
Read more >>
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Words of Inspiration: May 21, 2006
edit_button

"To attract souls and transform them into Himself through love, Christ has revealed His own infinite love, His own Heart inflamed by love for souls, a love that impelled Him to mount the Cross, to remain with us in the Eucharist and to enter our souls and to leave us in testament His own Mother as our Mother" (St. Maximilian Kolbe)

"The poor are Christ Himself" (Blessed Mother Teresa).

"Jesus who reigned in heaven with His most holy humanity received from the womb of the Virgin, wanted his mother to be reunited to Him not only with her soul but also with her body and share fully in His glory. And that was right and the just. That body that was not as slave of the devil and sin for one instant was not to be as slave of corruption either" (St. Padre Pio).
Read more >>
Saturday, May 20, 2006
St. Bernardine of Siena
edit_button


Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): May 20
Semidouble (1955 Calendar): May 20

St. Bernardine of Siena was born on September 8, 1380, and lived a life of holiness. When the plague broke out in 1400 AD, St. Bernardine offered to care for the sick and would not stop until he became ill. In 1402 he entered the Franciscan Order and was ordained a priest in 1404.

St. Bernardine was sent out to preach the Good News of Jesus, and his sermons drew thousands. He usually would focus on devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus. From these speeches, St. Bernardine decided to create a symbol of devotion to the Holy Name. The center features an abbreviated form of the Holy Name of Jesus surrounded by a blazing sun. This symbol soon spread throughout the region and charges of heresy were made against St. Bernardine. He was found innocent by Pope Martin V, who testified to the worthiness of St. Bernardine's life.
"Whoever clings to me I will deliver;
whoever knows my name I will set on high.
All who call upon me I will answer;
I will be with them in distress;
I will deliver them and give them honor.
With length of days, I will satisfy them
and show them my saving power."
Psalm 91:14-16.

St. Bernardine continued to serve the Gospel until he became ill in route to Naples, Italy in 1444. St. Bernardine was taken to the convent of St. Francesco where he died on the Vigil of the Feast of the Ascension. On May 24, 1450, six years after his death, Bernardine was canonized a saint.

Painting Source: El Greco

Prayer:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst grant to blessed Bernardine, Thy Confessor, a surpassing love for Thy holy name: we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, graciously pour into our hearts the spirit of Thy love: who livest and reignest.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Read more >>
Pat Buchanan on DaVinci
edit_button

Pat Buchanan examines "The DaVinci Code:"

"If you would know who wields cultural power, ask yourself: Whom is it impermissible to offend? Thus the hoopla attending the release of "The Da Vinci Code," based on the Dan Brown novel that has sold 7 million copies in the United States, tells us something about whose God it is permissible to mock and whose faith one is allowed to assault.

"For what "The Da Vinci Code" says is that Roman Catholicism is a gigantic fraud, that the church has for centuries been perpetrating a monstrous hoax, duping hundreds of millions into believing something it knows is a bald-faced lie. At the novel's heart lies the contention that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, that they had a daughter, that the Vatican has known this and been hiding the descendants of Jesus, that Opus Dei is a secret order whose agents will engage in murder to protect the secret."

Buchanan's last paragraph:

"But that it will be a box-office smash, that it is the subject of lavish praise in the press, that it is the best-selling novel of the 21st century, tells us we live not just in a post-Christian era, but in an anti-Catholic culture not worth defending or saving, for it is truly satanic."

Related Posts:
Read more >>
Friday, May 19, 2006
Summer Reading List - Updated
edit_button

With summer right around the corner, I like to start reading. Last year I read quite a few books by Pope John Paul ll and a book by Cardinal Bernardin. This year I wanted to do the same, but I wanted the advice of my readers on what books I should read. I have a small list started. If you would like to recommend a good, Catholic book please comment below.

  • Mother Angelica by Raymond Arroyo


  • "The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood"


  • "The Priest is Not His Own" by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


  • Priest - Portraits of Ten Good Men Serving the Church Today


  • The Dialogues of St. Catherine of Sienna


  • "Silence" by Shusako Endo


  • "Light and Peace" by R. P. Quadrupani


  • "The Mass of the Early Christians" by Mike Aquilina


  • "Through the Years with Oscar Romero: Daily Meditations"


  • "Romero: A Life" by James R. Brockman

Read more >>
Our Lady's Martyrdom of Love
edit_button

Remember that we are still in May, the Month of Mary.

"After Jesus Christ’s ascension to heaven, Mary longed continually with burning desire to be reunited with Him. To be without her divine Son was a very harsh exile. Those years of separation from Him were for her a most slow and painful martyrdom of love that consumed her slowly" ~ St. Padre Pio

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Read more >>
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
My Day in Review
edit_button

Today was a wonderful day. I feel like I got so many things accomplished, and I feel that my words online have helped spread the Gospel message.

I wanted to share a part of my day that was very special. This afternoon I was thinking about the young woman that aborted her child. I was feeling so sorry for that child - he/she didn't have a chance at life. And, I asked God to give me a sign so that I know what I am doing is actually prevailing. I felt like I failed. So, I asked God to show me that I am serving the Truth - that I am making a difference.

I prayed this driving home and as I turned the corner I saw two beautiful doves fly side-by-side up into the air and off into the distance. Doves are symbols of the Holy Spirit, and just as important, this is the first time I've ever seen a dove in my neighbor. I even saw two of them. Right then I realized again how much God loves me, and I knew that I was indeed serving God even if some prayers are not answered the way I would have hoped. God is love.
Read more >>
Remember Jesus in the Eucharist
edit_button

""Never forget Jesus, this divine Model. Try to see a certain lovable majesty in his Presence [in the Holy Eucharist]. Try to hear a certain pleasant authority in His manner of speaking . . . . Imagine His extremely composed and sweet expression with which He drew the crowds, making them leave cities and castles, leading them to the mountains, to the forests, and to the solitude of the deserted beaches of the sea. Imagine the crowds totally forgetting food, drink, and their domestic duties in order to follow Him" (St. Padre Pio)

Image Source: Unknown
Read more >>

Copyright / Disclaimer

Copyright Notice: Unless otherwise stated, all items are copyrighted under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you quote from this blog, cite a link to the post on this blog in your article.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Subscribe to Future Posts on A Catholic Life

Enter email address: