Saturday, December 15, 2007

Well, I Know It's Not My Fault

I buy lots of books :-)

Originally from Ironic Catholic and H/T to Ma Beck where I saw it.

BTW, I don't remember seeing the disclaimer that No Actual Books Were Harmed in the Making of this Video" :-(

Advent Wreath - 3rd Week

What to Get Your Priest for Christmas

Priest
Let me preface this post by saying I wish we could afford to give each and every Catholic priest a gift for Christmas. They give so much to us by way of the sacraments. But one gift we can give is to remember to pray for them every moment you can. Good time to consider adopting one spiritually too!

Back to the post, this is always a concern for me. I don't want the gift to be too impersonal or too personal or something Father will not be able to use.
Well, if you are like me, it's Father Daren to the rescue! He shares a wonderful resource full of "do's" and "don'ts" when giving a present to a priest.

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

OLOBS
O Virgin Mary,
our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament,
you are the glory of the Christian people,
the joy of the universal Church,
and the salvation of the whole world.
Pray for us,
and awaken in all believers a vibrant devotion
for the most Holy Eucharist,
so that they may be worthy to partake daily
of this holy Sacrament of the Altar.

- New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book, Catholic Book Publishing

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Poem For Friday

HB

The Early Morning

The moon on the one hand, the dawn on the other:
The moon is my sister, the dawn is my brother.
The moon on my left and the dawn on my right.
My brother, good morning: my sister, good night.

- Hilaire Belloc

From The Home Book of Verse for Young Foks, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston

Three Ways to Fight the Devil

According to Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, one can fight the Devil with the following three ways. It is because the Devil hates them!

1. The Holy Name of Jesus - Holy Name
Picture source: Moniales - Dominican Nuns


2. The Precious Blood of Jesus - PB

and the


3. Through our Blessed Mother of God - MOG

Feast of San Juan de la Cruz

John of the Cross
The following is the reflection from this morning's Magnificat's Meditation of the day.
"Love effects a likeness between the lover and the object loved...He who loves a creature, then, is as low as that creature, and in some way even lower, because love not only equates, but even subjects the lover to the loved object. By he mere fact, then, that a man loves something, his soul becomes incapable of pure union and transformation in God...Until a man is purged of his attachments he will not be equipped to possess God, neither here below through the pure transformation of love, nor in heaven through the beatific vision...Love causes equality and likeness and even brings the lover lower than the object of his love...All of the world's wisdom and human ability contrasted with the infinite wisdom of God is pure and utter ignorance...Anyone, there, who values his knowledge and ability as a means of reaching union with the wisdom of God is highly ignorant in God's sight and will be left behind, far away from this wisdom. Ignorance does not grasp what wisdom is; and in God's sight those who think they have some wisdom are very ignorant...Only those who set aside their own knowledge and walk in God's service like unlearned children receive wisdom from God...Accordingly, a man must advance to union with God's wisdom by unknowing rather than by knowing.
St. John of the Cross

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Update - on the Franciscan Sisters Minor

Prayer Request for Franciscan Sisters Minor

This update comes from my friend Shana:

Esther,

I spoke to Diane, the daughter of Sr Mary Clare of the Franciscan
Sisters Minor and was updated on the new convent for the sisters.

The Diocese of Worcester has finally located a suitable house and is
now working out arrangements with the sisters. A good amount of money was raised, but not enough for the house to be purchased outright. Mother
Clement is working with the diocese to form an agreement that will
comply with their Rule and still allow the sisters to move in --maybe
'rent-to-own' -- but since the sisters have vows of absolute poverty,
there are some pretty big obstacles that have to be worked out first.

It is not too late to send donations to the Diocese for the new
convent! Donations, marked "St Paul Cathedral/convent", with "Franciscan Sisters Minor" in the memo line, can still be sent to:

Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester
49 Elm Street
Worcester, MA 01609

The Sisters are all very grateful to all who have given generously to
the cause of their new house! They were astonished to see how many people from all over the country (and I think a few from out of the country)
sent donations and could not imagine how so many found out about their
need so quickly. Diane can only speak with her mother by phone once a
month or so, and had no time to write to her, so none of the sisters
knew about my asking on their behalf through the blogs! If you have prayed for them or sent money, consider yourself thanked into Eternity by the Sisters!

In the Sacred & Immaculate Hearts - shana

Feast of St. Lucy

Lucy

Prayer While Shopping During Advent

Thanks Sue!
Dear God, as I look through my gift shopping list, I hold up to you
each person listed on it. Slowly, one by one, I ask that the fire of
your abundant love burn within each of them. I pray that the gift I
find for each person will bring joy into that life.

But, help me to keep a balance this season, Lord. Let me keep my
buying in perspective, not to spend more than I need to or can
afford. Let me not give in to the pressures of this world and not
equate love with money spent. Let me always remember the many, many
people who have so much less in material things. Help me to buy
wisely, so that my choices will not burden those in other countries
who are so deeply affected by this country's economy.

And finally, loving God, help me to find time in the frantic moments
of each day to become centered on you. Walking through a store,
riding on the bus, hurrying down a street: let each of these times be
moments when I can remember your incredible love for me and rejoice in it.
<*}}}><Half the Kingdom!

The Burden of Addiction

UPDATE: For those of you requesting prayers for loved ones or friends, I have posted a prayer request at The One Came Back Prayer Request Blog.

Please feel free to continue leaving prayers requests either here or there.

God bless,

Esther

Shared by Sue CifelliDM

Article at Divine Mercy at Stockbridge
As a Marian priest, I hear a lot of amazing stories about how people who are hurting discover the mercy of God and then see their lives turned around for the better. The Lord promises as much. "When you seek Me with all your heart you will find Me … and I will change your lot" (Jer 29:13-14).

The mercy of God is not just some pie-in-the-sky cure for a select few. It's for everyone!

With this in mind, I'd like to talk about addiction. Why? Because addicts — whether they are addicted to drugs, drink, sex, whatever — all have a way out of their misery through our Merciful Lord...

The Story of Little Nellie - Love of the Eucharist

Child Eucharist
The following story was shared by my friend Louise.

THIS IS THE STORY OF LITTLE NELLIE OF HOLY GOD

Her real name is Nellie Organ and she was born in the family quarters of the Royal Garrison Barracks in Waterford in August 1903 since her father was working in the British army. It was just three weeks after Pius X was elected Pope. There were four children in the family. Nellie’s father, William, with his family, were transferred to the barracks on Spike Island in Cork Harbor and Nellie’s mother died there. William decided that he could not care for the children and the two girls were given to the care of the Good Shepherd Sisters at St. Finbarr’s Industrial School in Sunday’s Well, Cork and the two boys were sent to another location.

Nellie spent only one year in Sunday’s Well before she died due to illness. She had whooping cough when she arrived and it was also discovered that she had a spinal injury which was later found out to have been caused
when the family’s child-minder dropped her as a baby. She also had tuberculosis and caries, a rotting disease of the gums and jaws.

Nellie is famous for her outstanding love of Jesus in the Eucharist. A Jesuit, Fr Bury was giving a retreat in the convent and visited Nellie’s bedside each day. He realized that Nellie, although only four years of age, had reached the age of reason. Fr Bury asked her, “What is Holy
Communion?” She answered, “It is Holy God.” Fr Bury asked her what would happen when she would be allowed to receive Holy Communion. She answered, “Jesus will rest on my tongue and then he will do down into my heart.” One could scarcely find a more beautiful description for
receiving Jesus in Holy Communion.

One night when the Mother Superior was wishing Nellie good night Nellie asked her if she would bring Holy God up to her in the morning. Mother Francis said she would come to see her after Mass which Nellie misunderstood as meaning that she would bring her Holy Communion.
When Mother Francis came without Holy Communion Nellie was devastated. Then Nellie asked people to come to her bedside for a moment after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion and then they could return to the chapel to finish their thanksgiving. That was the closest she could get to receiving Jesus in Holy Communion.

During the retreat Fr Bury realized that Nellie, although only four years and three months, met all the criteria necessary to receive Holy Communion. And at that time children had to wait until the age of twelve to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. Fr Bury heard her confession and contacted the bishop of Cork for permission to give her Holy Communion. The bishop agreed.

She was dressed in white and taken down to the convent chapel for her first Holy Communion. This is what Mother Francis said of Nellie receiving Holy Communion, "At the moment of her First Communion, which she received in a transport of love, Nellie’s features shone as if the
presence of the great light in her heart reflected itself in her face. Yes, those who saw Nellie then are well convinced that the child’s appearance was not at all ordinary. This phenomenon was seen more particularly at her other Communions because, after the first, she was taken almost immediately out of the chapel and there were only a chosen few who had the happiness to witness the transformation which took place. Then Nellie had not only a countenance more recollected, an attitude more pious than she customarily had, but an extraordinary radiance.”

It is said that Nellie’s thanksgiving for receiving Holy Communion would continue until late in the afternoon. From the day of her First Holy Communion the odor from Nellie’s mouth caused by the rotting of her gums and jaws ceased. Less than two months after receiving her First Holy
Communion Nellie died on Sunday 2nd February 1908 ages 4 years, 5 months and 8 days and was buried in St Joseph’s Cemetery in Cork. Eighteen months after her death permission was granted to have Nellie’s remains transferred to the Good Shepherd Convent Cemetery and upon
opening her grave her body was found to be incorrupt. Her body was fresh with no sign of the wasting disease she had at her death.

I have visited her grave in the Good Shepherd Convent. I was reminded of Little Nellie by the words of Jesus in our Gospel today, “For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. As I who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.”

In Little Nellie's transformation after receiving Holy Communion and her extended thanksgiving until the late afternoon we see Jesus living in her and she living in him. She is a beautiful example of Jesus transforming us when we receive him in Holy Communion. Not only was Little Nellie transformed after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion but in a sense the entire Church has been transformed after her. It is reported that Pope Pius X was considering lowering the age for children to receive Holy Communion from twelve to seven and when he heard of Little Nellie he said she was the sign he was waiting for.

On 15th August 1910 Pope Pius X published his encyclical Quam Singulari encouraging early and frequent Holy Communion of children. It is nice to know that a little girl so near here influenced the Pope in his decision although the bishop of Cork waited until after the decree to officially inform the Pope in writing. The 24th of this month is the centenary of her birth and there will be an exhibition of her personal things in Dungarvan. I will conclude with some of the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel, “For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. As I who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me."
In looking for the original source of the above story, I came across a simplified version at the following website. I am giving you the link to the beginning of the online book of True Stories for First Communicants by Catholic Tradition

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

OLOG
La Morenita as Juan Diego called her


My post from last year: The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Another post from last year - Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Recommended books for children: Our Lady of Guadalupe by Helen Rand Parish and Illustrated by Jean Charlot, The Viking Press, New York, contains a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1955

The Lady of Guadalupe written and illustrated by Tomie de Paola

For a list of books for adults as well as children please check out Mary Pages Bibliography

Resources in Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe: Patrona de las Americas

And for more info on the missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, please check out Dan Lynch's site

Recommended video for children: Juan Diego Messenger of Guadalupe by CCC

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Patroness of the Unborn

Virgin of Guadalupe, grant us the grace to
love and respect life in its beginnings, with
the same love with which you conceived in
your womb the life of the Son of God.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen encouraged the spiritual adoption of an unborn child. This is done by praying that one particular but unknown child's life be spared abortion and be allowed to continue to and after birth. To help accomplish this, it was recommended an individual say the following daily prayer for a period of one year:
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much, I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion."


Lastly, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MY DEAR HUSBAND! I'm glad I met you! (private joke)

love

dan

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Vatican Seeking Spiritual Moms for Priests

Priest
Oh! This is just up my alley!!!
And Dioceses Willing to Offer Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 11, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican Congregation for the Clergy is looking for people willing to offer Eucharistic adoration for the priesthood and "consecrated feminine souls" ready to become spiritual mothers of priests.

A new Web site from that Vatican dicastery offers explanations and resources both for the campaign to begin Eucharistic adoration and for those who would like to be spiritual mothers of priests, following the example of the Virgin Mary.


ARTICLE FROM ZENIT

Monday, December 10, 2007

Decorating Fr. Duffy's Place for Christmas

Here are some photos.
tree
We started with the lights first on Fr. Duffy's real tree. No artificial tree for him.

tree
Here is my friend decorating the tree.


blessing
After the blessing we usually get from Father at the end of our visits

2nd Week of Advent

Joey
Loving Father, let me always remember that your Son reveals His Presence in every single detail of my life.

May I always cling to this Presence

From the Advent Magnificat Magazine.

Spiritual Help

from Regnum Christi
Conversation with Christ: “What do you ask most, Lord, of a poor guilty sinner except repentance and self-abasement for personal sins? For true contrition and a humble heart bring forth the hope of forgiveness, the troubled conscience is reconciled, and the grace that was lost is recovered and a person is secured against the wrath to come. God and the penitent soul meet together with a holy kiss” (Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Book 3, Chapter 52, 4).

Resolution: I will make an act of kindness today towards a person whom I hold a grudge against or whom I have a hard time being with.

Praying Advent as Parents

H/T to Sue of Half the Kingdom
annunciation
It is a special privilege and a tremendous challenge being a parent and Advent is a wonderful season to reflect upon this mystery. Because it is a season of hope, we can bring our children into our Advent prayer, holding them up to the Lord in love and in trust - in the loving hope that only faith can give.
Click Here for more

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Advent Wreath for the Second Week of Advent

Fulton Sheen Radio - New Addition to Side Bar

Fulton Sheen
I found this wonderful site last night. You can listen to Archbishop Fulton Sheen on their Fulton Sheen Radio, which you can add directly to your blog or website.

FULTONSHEEN.COM

Feast Day of San Juan Diego

Juan Diego
I actually made the slide show for the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe this coming Wednesday, but since Saint Juan Diego's feast day gets lost in the Sunday celebrations, I thought I would share it now: