Saturday, April 07, 2007

Saintly Quote

St. Max
Thanks Sue.

We will do very much more if we are plunged into interior and exterior darkness, filled with sorrow, weakness, exhaustion, without consolation, persecuted at every step, surrounded by constant failure, abandoned, ridiculed, scoffed at, as was Jesus on the Cross -- provided that we want by all means to draw all people to God.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thought for the Day - Anger

4th Sorrowful MysteryGefroh Collection of Rosary Pictures

Thanks Froggy.
"Anger destroys the beauty of the heart as well as the beauty of the face."

What is a Cruifixion?

CrucifixionPainting by Thomas Eakins

Thanks Barb!

C. Truman Davis, M.D.,
in The Expositor's Bible Commentary writes:

What is Crucifixion?
A medical doctor provides a physical description:
The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly
thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire
feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy,
square wrought-iron nail through the wrist deep into the wood. Quickly
he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to
pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The
cross is then lifted into place. The left foot is pressed backward
against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail
is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim
is now crucified.

As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists,
excruciating fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to
explode in the brain -- the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on
the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching
torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again
he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves
between the bones of his feet.

As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through his muscles, knotting them
deep relentless, and throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the
inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the
lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even
one small breath.

Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream,
and the cramps partially subsided. Spasmodically, he is able to push
himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-renting cramps,
intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from
his lacerated back as he moves up and down against rough timber. Then
another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the
pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

It is now almost over. The loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical
level. The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish
blood into the tissues. The tortured lungs are making frantic effort to
gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping
through his tissues.

Finally, he allows his body to die!

Another Saintly Quote

St. Therese
Thanks Becca!

"When I am charitable, it is Jesus alone acting in me."

~ St. Therese, The Little Flower

Sainty Quote

Precious Child
Thanks Sue.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections,but instantly set about remedying them.

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

Sacred Triduum

Holy Thursday

The following is from St. Michael Center for the BVM
The last three days of the Holy Week- Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday- which is called Sacred Triduum is commemorated on April 5 to 7. This covers the three-past drama of Christ redemption.

Holy Thursday derives its English name from Mandatum (commandment) which the first words spoken by Jesus to His apostles at the last supper after he completed the washing of the feet: "I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you." (John 13:34). This day also recalls Jesus arrest and imprisonment.

Good Friday observes the death of Jesus on the cross. The church holds mourning services and is traditionally spent in fasting and prayer.

Meanwhile, Holy Saturday is sacred as the day of the Lord's rest; it has been called the "Second Sabbath" after creation. The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function and is chiefly a day of solemn vigil for the Lord’s resurrection.
Prayer for the Sacred Triduum

God our Father, we are gathered here to share in supper which your only Son left to his Church to reveal his love. He gave it to us when he was about to die and commanded us to celebrate it as the new and eternal sacrifice. We pray that in this Eucharist we may find the fullness of love and life. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

For the following information on the Sacred Triduum, please click the above link:

Holy Thursday Table Blessing
Table Blessing for Holy Thursday
Family Evening Prayer for Holy Week
Prayer for Good Friday
Good Friday Table Blessing
Prayer for Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday Table Blessing
To Keep a True Lent
Prayer Before a Crucifix
Family Evening Prayer for Holy Week

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Litany of Reparation

3rd Sorrowful Mystery Gefroh Family Rosary Picture Collection.

Thanks to Sue for sharing this one.

Litany of Reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which Christ is offended by those who receive the Blessed Sacrament unworthily and for the healing of all the members of the Mystical Body of Christ.

Taken from the booklet: Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet during Adoration for the Sick and the Dying. Pope John Paul II gave his Apostolic Blessing to those who pray it during an hour of Adoration.

Christ told St. Faustina, that those who pray the chaplet for those in their hour of dying, 'I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the Just Judge but as the Merciful Savior.' (1541).

Please pass this on to those who are sick that they may be healed and the dying that they will receive salvation through Divine Mercy.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
God, the Father of Mercy, response; have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Mediator between God and man, *
God, the Holy Spirit, Enlightener of hearts, *
Holy and undivided Trinity, *
O Sacred Host, Victim of reparation for the sins of the world, *
O Sacred Host, immolated on the altar for us and by us, *
O Sacred Host, despised and neglected, *
O Sacred Host, outraged by the blasphemies of men, *
O Sacred Host, neglected and abandoned in Your temples, *
Be merciful unto us, spare us O Lord,
Be merciful unto us, hear us O Lord,
For so many unworthy Communions, we offer You our
reparation O Lord,
For the irreverence of Christians, have mercy on us,
For the continual blasphemies of the impious, *
For the infamous discourses made in Your holy temples, *
For the crimes of sinners, *
For the sacrileges which profane Your sacrament of Love, *
For the coldness of Your children, *
For their contempt of Your loving invitations, *
For the infidelity of those who call themselves Your friends, *
For the abuse of Your grace, *
For our unfaithfulness, *
For our delay in loving You, *
For our tepidity in Your holy service,*
For Your bitter sadness at the loss of souls, *
For Your long waiting at the door of our hearts, *
For Your loving sighs, *
For Your loving tears, *
For Your loving imprisonment, *
For Your loving death, *
That You spare us, that You hear us, we sinners beseech You, hear us,
That You will make known Your love for us in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, have mercy on us,
That You will vouchsafe to accept our reparation made in the spirit of humility, have mercy on us,
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord,
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, hear us O Lord,
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us O Lord.

Optional conclusion:
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair or become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will which is love and mercy itself (950).

Recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Conclusion prayer:
O Blood and water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, we trust in You! (say three times.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Daily Dosage of Sacramentum Caritatis

H/T Legion of Mary

Respect for the liturgical books and the richness of signs
40. Emphasizing the importance of the ars celebrandi also leads to an appreciation of the value of the liturgical norms. (121) The ars celebrandi should foster a sense of the sacred and the use of outward signs which help to cultivate this sense, such as, for example, the harmony of the rite, the liturgical vestments, the furnishings and the sacred space. The eucharistic celebration is enhanced when priests and liturgical leaders are committed to making known the current liturgical texts and norms, making available the great riches found in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the Order of Readings for Mass. Perhaps we take it for granted that our ecclesial communities already know and appreciate these resources, but this is not always the case. These texts contain riches which have preserved and expressed the faith and experience of the People of God over its two-thousand-year history. Equally important for a correct ars celebrandi is an attentiveness to the various kinds of language that the liturgy employs: words and music, gestures and silence, movement, the liturgical colours of the vestments. By its very nature the liturgy operates on different levels of communication which enable it to engage the whole human person. The simplicity of its gestures and the sobriety of its orderly sequence of signs communicate and inspire more than any contrived and inappropriate additions. Attentiveness and fidelity to the specific structure of the rite express both a recognition of the nature of Eucharist as a gift and, on the part of the minister, a docile openness to receiving this ineffable gift.

Child's 1st Right Is to Be Born, Insists Holy See

Address Made at Council in Geneva

GENEVA, MARCH 29, 2007 ( The Holy See has told the Human Rights Council in Geneva that "the first right of the child is to be born."

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer to the U.N. offices and agencies in Geneva, made that point during a recent address to the watchdog council.

Speaking to the fourth session of the recently established council, the papal representative recalled that "The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child attributes to the child the fundamental rights of a person; it recognizes the child to have the same equality and dignity as any adult person."

"In many cases, due to lack of will and of resources, good legal provisions and public policies are not implemented, with grave consequences for children," the prelate affirmed, according to the Vatican Information Service. "They often become the first victims of famines and wars."

On the other hand, the nuncio added, "To many children the right to life is denied; prenatal selection eliminates both babies suspected of having disabilities and female children simply because of their sex, and thus denies the equal and intrinsic value of disabled persons and of girls for their families and for society."

Archbishop Tomasi last Friday underlined that "the first right of children is that of being born and educated in a welcoming and secure family environment where their physical, psychological and spiritual growth is guaranteed, their potential is developed, and where the awareness of personal dignity becomes the base for relating to others and for confronting the future."

The permanent observer recalled: "The Catholic Church's over 300,000 social, caring and educational institutions work daily to ensure both a peace-oriented and creative education for children, and the development of their talents, and to provide the reintegration of abused and neglected children into their families, if possible, and into society.

"To pursue the defense of their rights and the elimination of all forms of violence against them remains an institutional challenge for the international community.

"Success will be reached if priority is given to the natural role of the family and to the public culture that recognizes that children too are full human persons."


Another Saintly Quote

Boy Umbrella
Thanks Sue!

You should be like a little child who while it knows that its mother
is holding its sleeve walks boldly and runs all around without being distressed at a little fall or stumble; after all, it is as yet rather unsteady on its legs. In the same way, as long as you realize that God is holding onto you by your will and resolution to serve Him, go on boldly and do not be upset by your little setbacks and fails; there is no need to be put out by this provided you throw yourself into His arms from time to time and kiss Him with the kiss of charity. Go on joyfully and with your heart as open and widely trustful as possible; and if you cannot always be joyful, be at least brave and confident.
~ St, Francis De Sales

Sainty Quote

2nd Sorrowful MysteryPicture from Gefroh Family Rosary Collection

Thanks Sue!

Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all
the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men
who announced the coming of the Lord.

And let us emulate
their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life,
patience under suffering,
and perseverance unto death,
so that we may also share their crowns of glory.

Saint John of Damascus (676-749)

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Way, The Truth, The Life

Child Jesus with Cross
Thanks Barb!

"Arrogance, pride is always the beginning of the end.
It is only in the simple hearts of man, the simple hearts,
the child-like candor of an adult,
that the truth will be found and the way.
I am the way! No one shall come to the Father but through Me,
for I am the way. All who deny My visit to your world,
all who have not accepted Me as the Messiah, they are against Me,
and as such, will seek to destroy all who uphold the truth."

The Spiritual Life:
A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology

Reverend Adolphe Tanquerey, S.S., D.D.

Living Your Life Without Sin

Thanks Barb!

There was a little girl, who's father was a pastor.

One day, she came to her father and said, "Daddy, can a person go their whole life without sinning?"

The father answered, "No, honey, I'm sorry, but that's just not possible."

"What about a year, daddy? Can a person go a whole year without sinning?" She continued.

"No, I don't think that's possible either."

"What about a day, can a person go a day without sinning once?"

"It's very unlikely, no, I don't think they can."

"What about one moment, daddy, can a person go one moment without sinning?"

"Yes, that is possible."

"Then daddy, I want to live my life, moment by moment."

Isn't that how we should live our lives. Not looking ahead to our whole lives, or distant plans. But live moment by moment, as if this moment where your last one before you reach eternity.

~ Author Unknown ~

Daily Dosage of Sacramentum Caritatis

H/T to Legion of Mary

Liturgical song

42. In the ars celebrandi, liturgical song has a pre-eminent place. (126) Saint Augustine rightly says in a famous sermon that “the new man sings a new song. Singing is an expression of joy and, if we consider the matter, an expression of love” (127). The People of God assembled for the liturgy sings the praises of God. In the course of her two-thousand-year history, the Church has created, and still creates, music and songs which represent a rich patrimony of faith and love. This heritage must not be lost. Certainly as far as the liturgy is concerned, we cannot say that one song is as good as another. Generic improvisation or the introduction of musical genres which fail to respect the meaning of the liturgy should be avoided. As an element of the liturgy, song should be well integrated into the overall celebration (128). Consequently everything – texts, music, execution – ought to correspond to the meaning of the mystery being celebrated, the structure of the rite and the liturgical seasons (129). Finally, while respecting various styles and different and highly praiseworthy traditions, I desire, in accordance with the request advanced by the Synod Fathers, that Gregorian chant be suitably esteemed and employed (130) as the chant proper to the Roman liturgy (131).

Regarding the Gospels

1st Sorrowful MysteryPicture from Gefroh Family Rosary Collection

Last year there was a big hullabaloo about the newly discovered Judas Gospel. This year apparently a secret gospel of Mark has been found!! Imagine that!

But let us remember what what the early Church writers had to say:

St. Irenaeus writing during the latter half of the second century wrote that our four Gospels were the only recognized ones: "It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are."

Origen summed it up quite concisely during the first half of the 3rd century:
"The Church has four Gospels, heretics have many more."

Sunday, April 01, 2007

John Paul II

JP2Tomorrow marks the 2nd anniversary of the death of our beloved Pontiff. It is with joy that I read that his cause for sainthood is ever so close.


Personally, I never had an opportunity to meet him. When he was in New Jersey, I was in Colorado and when he was in Colorado, I had moved to Hawaii. Our paths sadly never crossed. But like many other Catholics, cradle or converts, I owe my growth in faith to both my mom and to John Paul the Great!

At the end of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, our family prays a little litany to the saints who promoted Divine Mercy...St. Faustina, St. Maximilian Kolbe and John Paul II.

As everyone knows, he died on the vigil of Divine Mercy and we know that was no coincidence.

Favorite Quotes by JP2

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.

Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.

I kiss the soil as if I placed a kiss on the hands of a mother, for the homeland is our earthly mother. I consider it my duty to be with my compatriots in this sublime and difficult moment.

Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family - a domestic church.

Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.

Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it.

The cemetery of the victims of human cruelty in our century is extended to include yet another vast cemetery, that of the unborn.

The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.

The vow of celibacy is a matter of keeping one's word to Christ and the Church. a duty and a proof of the priest's inner maturity; it is the expression of his personal dignity.

To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.

...and my all-time favorite...

Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.

Favorite Books in our Family's Library by JP2 or about him

The Jeweler's Shop

Easter Vigils and Other Poems

Gift and Mystery

Crossing the Threshold of Hope

Pope John Paul II He Came to us as a Father

The Wisdom of John Paul II

John Paul II The Biography by Tad Szulc

...and my favorite...John Paul II's Book of Saints by the Bunsons

Praise of Christ Who Suffered for Us

Ecce Homo
Christ suffered for you,and left you an example to have you follow in His footsteps.

He did no wrong; no deceit was found in His mouth. When He was insulted, He returned no insult.

When He was made to suffer, He did not counter with threats. Instead He delivered Himself up to the One who judges justly.

In His own body He brought your sins to the cross, so that all of us, dead to sin, could live in accord with God's will.

By His wounds you were healed.

1 Peter 2:21-24
From New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book, Catholic Book Publishing, New York

You Know You're a Cradle Catholic When...

H/T to Just Doing My Best

1. Your Sunday Missal was a gift for your First Holy Communion, and has a large chocolate stain on the page for the Easter Sunday daytime Mass. [Or is that just me?]

2. You were baptised before you were old enough to hold your head up unaided.

3. Every time you fell over and grazed your knee as a child, your mother would tell you to "offer it up".

4. There's a lively family discussion every year about whether you're still required to fast on Christmas Eve.

5. At least once in your life, you have accidentally genuflected on entering a theatre or cinema.

6. You once worked out that the only person in your family who was required to fast under the rules of the Church was your mother. Since she was responsible for catering, the entire family fasted every fast day anyway.

7. When you were told to draw your family tree as a child at school, you kept having to ask for extra paper.

8. Converts seem to know a lot more about the teachings of the Church and the source of Catholic beliefs than you do.

9. As a teenager, you used to have a snack at 11:30 pm the night before a fast day and keep eating until midnight struck, to stave off any potential hunger pangs.

10. Talking about your beliefs makes you feel faintly uncomfortable, particularly when in the company of other cradle Catholics (especially if they also happen to be members of your family). You do, however, know a good selection of Catholic jokes.

I would like to add one find yourself doing the Sign of the Cross when passing the library or other secular building.

Holy Week - Palm Sunday

Jesus Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem

Hosanna, Hosanna to the son of David.
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.

Hosanna to the son of David (Tomás Luis de Victoria)

These are the palms we received at Mass this morning. My husband made a little cross of one of them.

Today we were pleasantly surprised to hear Father J. chant in Latin. He also chanted the Consecration prayers in Latin. Before the dismissal, he told us to expect more Latin during our liturgies. We may even have a Tridentine Mass maybe once a month or so. He explained that Latin was never supposed to be replaced and only used on some occasions but rather, it was always supposed to be used during the Liturgy with the vernacular used on certain occasions.

Latin has made its way into our parish and from the response of some of the parishioners, we couldn't be more happier. It was a very solemn Mass and it was so beautiful. Again, thanks Father J!