Saturday, May 13, 2006

On This Day in History - May 13, 1981

JPII




Image from Google Images/Jimmy Akin

His Holiness John Paul II was shot by Mehmet Ali Agca, as his he passed by in an open car, in St. Peter's Square. Though seriously injured, His Holiness recovered and he later traveled to Fatima, to thank Our Lady for saving his life. Later, he even went to the the attempted assassin, to forgive him in person.


Mother

BVM
Thank you Sue of Catholic Community.

In a garden Mary stood when Springtime's radiant beauty
Wrapped the world in sunlight and filled her heart with joy.

Down the garden-path there ran a slender little Figure
Bringing her a gift of love - He, her God, her Boy!

Mary opened wide her arms to take her sheaf of lilies:
"Mother!" called her little Son, and never had she heard
In the angel's message, in brooklet, or in bird-song,
Music half so lovely as that one tender word.

On a hill-top Mary stood one sadder, later Springtime.

All the earth was wrapped in gloom beneath that blood-stained Cross;
Memories thronged about her, memories of His Childhood,
Adding to her loneliness, her pain, her sense of loss.

Mary opened wide her arms but His were nailed securely "
Mother!" breathed her dying Son, and never had she heard
In her sword-pierced heart that knew the very depths of sorrow
Anything approaching the pathos of that word.

"Mother! Mother Mary!" a million hearts are calling,
"Open wide again those arms, and in their warm embrace,
Take the children Jesus gave you on that darkened hill-top
When He named you Mother of the sin-stained human race."

Sr. Maryanna Robert, Cyril.
Our Lady's Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Devotion to Our Most Sorrowful Mother

BVM

Thank you Sue of Catholic Community for sharing this from "The Pieta" Prayer Booklet.

THE SEVEN SORROWS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY


The Blessed Virgin Mary grants seven graces to the souls who honor her
daily by saying seven Hail Mary's for each sorrow and meditating on her
tears and dolors. The devotion was passed on by St. Bridget.

HERE ARE THE SEVEN GRACES:

1. I will grant peace to their families.
2. They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their
work.
4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose
the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy
and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the
face of their Mother.
7. I have obtained (This Grace) from my divine Son, that those who
propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from
this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be
forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

SEVEN SORROWS:

1. The prophecy of Simeon. (St. Luke 2: 25-35)
2. The flight into Egypt. (St. Matthew 2:13-15)
3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple. (St. Luke 2: 41-50)
4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross. (St. Luke 23: 27-29)
5. The Crucifixion. (St. John 19:25-30)
6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross. (Psalm 130)
7. The burial of Jesus. (St. Luke 23: 50-56)

The Hail Mary:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst
women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of
God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen



Thursday, May 11, 2006

On Second Thought....The Da Vinci Code

As much as I love watching good movies, I'm not much of a movie-goer. So after speaking to my very wise mother, we have decided that instead of protesting the DVC movie or going to see another movie instead of the DVC, we will be doing a Holy Hour in reparation for the sins against God.

There you have another option. Thanks Ma!

Catholic Belief vs. Modern Fiction

The Catholic Communication Campaign has a site that helps answers questions about what is true and what is fiction with regard to the Catholic Church.

http://www.jesusdecoded.com/

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dying to Self

Another excellent post by Sue of Catholic Community for those of us striving for sanctity.

DYING TO SELF

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ. THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take in all in patient, loving silence. THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any unpunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to- face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility-and endure it as Jesus endured. THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God. THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown. THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances. THAT IS DYING TO SELF

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart. THAT IS DYING TO SELF

Are you dead yet? In these last days, the Spirit would bring us to the cross."That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." Phil.3:10

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Mother's Love

Shared by my friend Marcella. Thank you Marcella!

A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his Mom dried her hands on an apron, she read it, and this is what it said:
For cutting the grass: $5.00
For cleaning up my room this week: $1.00
For going to the store for you: $.50
Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping: $.25
Taking out the garbage: $1.00
For getting a good report card: $5.00
For cleaning up and raking the yard: $2.00
Total owed: $14.75
Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he'd written on, and this is what she wrote:
For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me: No Charge
For all the nights that I've sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you: No Charge
For all the trying times, and all the tears that you've caused through the years: No Charge
For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead: No Charge
For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose: No Charge
Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is: No Charge.
When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said, "Mom, I sure do love you." And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: "PAID IN FULL". ~~Author Unknown

Catholic Family Life in Hawaii

In 2002, I was interviewed for an article in England's National Association of Catholic Families's December issue of Catholic Family.

Esther C. Gefroh explains In Hawaiian, ‘ohana’ means ‘family’.
It is a very important word because life in Hawaii is centred on the family. We are blessed to be a
Catholic ohana in this beautiful state.


This year the Church celebrated 175 years in Hawaii. The date commemorates the arrival of
the Sacred Heart Fathers (the Order of St Damien de Veuster).


Before then, it was illegal to be Catholic; priests were expelled and people were arrested for being Catholic.

Today Catholicism is the majority religion; approximately 20% of the population is Catholic.

There are Catholic churches all over the islands and Mass attendance is high. This said, there is a shortage of priests in Hawaii and several parishes have had to be regrouped.

There are many devotions to help families to grow spiritually: the Rosary, recited prior to daily Mass; the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the Angelus at noon; May processions, Benediction held once a month at most churches. There are also Catholic organisations such as the
Legion of Mary, Knights of Columbus and Respect for Life.


In our own family we began the year by enthroning the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our home. We
attend daily Mass as often as possible, praying the Rosary and wearing the brown Scapular faithfully.


We try to raise our 11-year-old son in a Catholic way of life, despite secular attacks on the faith.

A new group that calls itself Citizens for the Separation of Church and State has had crosses removed from a military base, the fish symbol removed from the doors of senators and the motto ‘In God We Trust’ taken out of the American flag. It is interesting that this same group
protested because some students at a local high school were not permitted to wear T-shirts promoting Satanism; they actually defended the students’ rights to express their views of their ‘religion’.


A few years ago, there was a move to legalise ‘same-sex’ marriage in Hawaii. As a result of the numerous prayers offered by Christians, 70% of the people voted against this motion.

Over 20 years ago, the state that used to hold the ohana in such high esteem was the first state of the Union to legalise abortion.

Catholic parents have a struggle to help their children lead good and moral lives in the current secular atmosphere.

State schools focus on teaching about contraceptives, how the world is over-populated and
‘alternative lifestyles’ to children as young as six. For this reason we have decided to homeschool our son.


Although there are Catholic parochial schools, the education is expensive and with the decline of
religious vocations, children in these schools are often taught by non-Catholic lay people.


Our son is a typical boy, who likes computers, baseball, basketball and other sports. But he is also a Catholic boy who is not self-conscious at crossing himself or saying Grace in public.

We hope that his strong faith, our own efforts and plenty of prayers may lead to a vocation to
the priesthood. Hawaii has need of strong witnesses to the faith.

(Thanks to my friend Francis Phillips of NACF)

Financial Problems in the Family

by the late Larry Burkett
Crown Financial Ministries

Without question, family financial problems seem to increase dramatically during an economic slump. Why do families experience more problems during economic downturns? The truth is they don't. They suffer more symptoms, like unpaid bills. The consequence may be that lights are turned off or cars are repossessed. But, with rare exception, the problems (root cause) that precipitated this began years earlier,perhaps even in childhood.
Many of the symptoms we see so abundantly today -- business failures,massive bankruptcies, divorce, or two-job families -- stem back to the same basic problem of ignoring God's Word and His warnings. "Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth" (Deuteronomy28:1).
God's instructions are neither complicated nor harsh. In fact, they are designed to free us, not bind us, to a set of rigid dos and don'ts. The difficulty is that most American families (Christians included) have been duped into a life of get-rich-quick that includes the way they buy homes, cars, clothes, and food. God's principles in the area of finance shave been largely ignored for the last 40 years, and now we are reaping what has been sown.
I read an article in a business magazine that vividly brought this into focus. It seems that the largest mail order seed company in the country decided to go out of business, despite the fact that sales were higher than ever; unfortunately, so were nonpayments by their mail order sales force. For nearly 50 years the company had been supplying seeds to children who would sell them door to door, mostly in rural communities,to raise money. In recent years, the nonpayment rate to the company had risen steadily until, in 1981, it reached 70 percent. The average age oft his delinquent sales force was 10 years old! The final straw came when the company attempted to contact the parents, hoping they would help in collection, only to discover that the parents actually encouraged the kids.
The symptom described is nonpayment of a just debt, but the problem runs much deeper. It involves basic values that parents fail to instill in their children. It's an attitude that my rights come before others. The lack of integrity in the parents is reflected and is amplified in the lives of their children. It's unfortunate that later these parents probably won't understand why irresponsible children become irresponsible adults. "A righteous man who walks in his integrity--how blessed are his sons after him" (Proverbs 20:7).
Early Symptoms
The symptoms seen today in family counseling are distressingly predictable. It seems obvious that the same basic errors in early family training are being made throughout our society. Before looking at the problems and solutions, it's necessary to identify the symptoms. Most young couples today come from middle-class families with nice homes, two cars each, color television sets, and a variety of credit sources used to purchase them. Their parents don't operate on a budget and, consequently, the children aren't trained to do so either. The parents use credit readily and usually make buying decisions based on monthly payments, rather than the initial price of the item. In more affluent families, the children are often provided with credit cards to buy clothes for themselves and gas for their cars. Many of these dissolve over debt-related problems, but usually the children are buffered from the circumstances and never make the connection.
Once married and on their own, a young couple attempts to duplicate in three years what may have taken their parents 20 years to accumulate.The results are predictable. Within three years they have a lot of assets, but they're all tied up in liabilities. Many, if not most, experience the following symptoms.
**Symptom 1 - They can't pay the monthly bills. Once the maximum limits have been reached on credit cards and other readily available credit sources, the pressures begin to build. Creditors begin to harass(usually the wife), and each month it gets worse. Finally, in desperation, a bill consolidation loan is made. This lowers the overall monthly payments and extends the debt for a longer period of time. A resolution is made to avoid the credit trap, and the pressure is eased.Within a year the small debts return (the consolidation loan eats up allthe available surplus), and the situation is worse than before.
**Symptom 2 - More income is needed. This conclusion seems logical at the time, because they have already tried a consolidation loan, and more credit can't be the answer. So, usually the wife goes to work. If there are small children, the result is a break-even situation or less. But,where no children are involved, the end result is more money in and more money spent. Usually, within a year or less, the bills are larger rather than smaller, and the pressures are even greater, because now the extra income is necessary.
**Symptom 3 - Can't stand the pressure? Buy something new. Usually by this time the financed car and washing machine are breaking down, the house is beginning to need some repairs, and marital pressures are reaching a boiling point. The logical thing to do seems to be to buy anew car or take a vacation to "get away from it all." Unfortunately, it always gets worse later. Now desperation sets in, and loans are solicited from family and friends. Many well-meaning Christians get involved with a "bail-out" program at this point, thinking they're helping without realizing they're only dealing with the symptoms rather than the problems. "A man of great anger shall bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again" (Proverbs 19:19).
**Symptom 4 - Divorce or bankruptcy. Once the financial pressures build, the marital pressures build as well. It's difficult to have much communication when all you ever talk about are problems. The wife feels insecure, and the husband gets very defensive (or vice versa). For a few families, bankruptcy seems to be the solution, so they liquidate the debts and begin again (literally). Since credit is easy to come by, they have no difficulty borrowing again, particularly since they can't go bankrupt again for several years. Within a short period of time, many of these couples face the same symptoms that prompted the bankruptcy. Those who elect divorce find that the same symptoms appear in their next marriage. Fortunately, out of a feeling of panic, many seek immediate help. Many don't, however, and eventually find second and third marriages ruined by the lack of a sound spiritual and financial foundation.
It's bad enough that these symptoms occur over and over again in the non-Christian community. If we Christians were truly living by sound biblical principles, our lives would be lights to attract those who so desperately need help. In fact, nobody really wants to lose a marriage, go bankrupt, or commit suicide. They do so because they have lost all hope.
But an even greater crisis is that the same symptoms are occurring within Christian families -- and at about the same ratio. This crisis can be traced back to not teaching or applying the basic biblical principles God has established for us. Some principles are so fundamental it would seem every Christian would understand them. Bu tunfortunately they don't.
Early Attitudes
**Borrowing - "The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and gives" (Psalm 37:21). Scripture clearly indicates that borrowing is NOT normal to God's plan, and it never was intended to be used as a routine part of our financial planning. Logically, it should be limited to appreciating assets, but Scripture does not say to borrow only for appreciating assets. It says to repay what is owed. Children should be encouraged to save for needs, not borrow to get them. Parental examples of trusting God to provide without borrowing are woefully lacking today.

**Saving - "There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up" (Proverbs 21:20). In our upside down inflationary economy, spending and borrowing are promoted as logical, and saving is discouraged. But let me assure you that those who borrow and spend always look for a saver in time of crises. Children should be taught that it is sounder, biblically and financially, to save for future needs than to rely on creditors. It's a sad indictment of how far we have strayed from God's truth when the average 65-year-old man today has accumulated less than $100 in free and clear assets.
**Avoid Hasty Decisions - "The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty" (Proverbs21:5). Patience and consistency, rather than quick decisions and"instant" success, are the ways to financial security. Children should clearly understand that a firm financial foundation is built by taking small steps over a long period of time. They should also remember that God's plan is not the same for everyone. Children are not promised automatic affluence just because their parents have it. One of the best disciplines a parent can teach a child is to allow him or her to work to reach a goal. Too often everything is given without effort, and this caneasily develop into a lifetime habit.
**Budget - "Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline,but he who regards reproof will be honored" (Proverbs 13:18). Every one of our children should learn to live on reasonable budgets. The best way for parents to teach a budget is to live on a budget themselves. There is no greater financial asset that parents can leave their children than to know how to establish and live on a balanced budget. Overspending should be so discouraged in Christian homes that children wouldn't even consider it a possibility in their own homes later. Remember, at best, the tug of worldly ways will tempt them to go down the wrong paths. At worst, the lack of training will send them down these paths without away back.

How to Help
Obviously, many more principles that are needed to steer our families and friends down the right path to God's plan are found in God's Word. I encourage every couple to start a study of God's financial principles and begin to implement them in your own lives.
Once you have applied God's principles in your own lives, begin a Bible study in your church or home and share what you've learned with others.Help your church establish a regular teaching program on biblical finances and a counseling program to help families that have symptoms already. A part of every pastor's premarital counseling program should include a course on biblical principles of finance and a course on budgeting, in which the couple actually establish their first year's budget.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. --Colossians 3:12-13

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Honolulu Bishop Dedicates Diocese to the Divine Mercy

On Divine Mercy Sunday of 2006, Bishop Clarence (Larry) Silva dedicated the diocese of Honolulu to the Divine Mercy. The dedication will took place during a ceremony and Mass on April 23 at Star of the Sea Church in Honolulu.

This news did not escape the eyes or ears of other Catholics as evidenced by the following blog entry.

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2006/03/word-from-honolulu_24.html