Saturday, January 19, 2008

Our Lady for Saturday

The Blessed Mother and the Holy Trinity by Murillo

Friday, January 18, 2008

Caution: Do Not Remove the Holy Water During Lent

Fr. Daren explains why this custom is so contrary to the observance of Lent.
The intention, I think, was good and was to help people repent of their sins by attempting to get them to focus on their baptism, but, as I have said before, they removed the very thing that helps us to focus on our baptism. I can’t say that I even once remembered baptism when I could not find the holy water. I was, instead, irritated by the fact that the holy water was gone and began to think ill of those in charge (which should have led to repentance rather quickly but often didn’t). The logic was flawed and, as is so very often the case these days, the thought was not carried out to its completion...

First Amendment Doesn't Apply to Pro-Lifers

H/T to Lois.
Woman jailed for refusing court-required psych exam
Ordered tested after conviction for sidewalk counseling at abortion business
Hawaii Right to Life blog has article and video from World Net Daily

Fine Art Friday

I've noticed that on Fridays many blogs participate in Poetry Friday. It's a wonderful opportunity for a person who really doesn't care for poetry like yours truly, to read some lovely poetry. But I am an art-lover and was happy to spot this new Friday theme on Exspectantes's Blog Fine Arts Friday. BTW, I owe my love of art, especially the Italian Art of the Early Renaissance, Renaissance and the Post-Impressionists to my art history professor, Dr. Karl Lunde. He made art-history come alive in his lectures.

The artist I select for today will be Sandro Botticelli, March 1, 1444/45 – May 17, 1510.

The Annunciation
The Annunciation

The Birth of Jesus

Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child

and the very popular and well-known

Birth of Venus
Birth of Venus

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ave Maria

Good way to learn the Hail Mary in Latin. Thanks Sue for sharing this!

Become a Lay Missionary of the Blessed Sacrament

JPII and Monstrance
Shared by Sue which she found at the Miracle of the Rosary Mission Click their link to read the entire article by Fr. Lucia.
...Lay Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament - You can help spread Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in the United States and throughout the world. Read the article by Father Martin Lucia, M.S.S. and find out how:

I am fully convinced that if it were humanly possible to fully understand the value of the Holy Hour, everyone would either find time or make time to do it. The difficulty of finding time in today's busy world makes the daily Holy Hour that much more precious and meritorious in the eyes of God.

For those who make a daily Holy Hour, or as a result of this article are inspired to do so, I ask you to please pray for the spread of Perpetual Adoration throughout the world...

Our goal is to help every parish establish Perpetual Adoration, not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

What will make this possible are the Lay Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament.

A Lay Missionary is one who make a daily Holy Hour, and contributes a donation each month to help support a seminarian studying for the priesthood.

Your daily Holy Hour generates the graces necessary for the spread of Perpetual Adoration. (The Holy Hour can be before the Tabernacle when Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is not available.) And your monthly donation makes it possible for a young man to study for the priesthood.

Not everyone is called to be a priest. But to make it possible for someone to become a priest: one shares in the merits of his priesthood, and in the glory and graces of his Apostolate. In this case, the priest you help will dedicate his priesthood to going from parish to parish, setting up Chapels of Perpetual Adoration.

With the support you give this seminarian, and with all the graces generated by your daily Holy Hour, you will make a major impact on the Church.

Like Saint Therese, you will be a missionary without ever going to the missions!

If you feel called by God to be a Lay Missionary of the Blessed Sacrament, and are willing to make a daily Holy Hour, and to help a seminarian with a monthly donation, please fill out the Member's Promise and enrollment form.

On behalf of Our Eucharistic Lord, I thank you!

Father Martin Lucia, MS.S. is Founder of the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament. Their special apostolic work is promotion of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
For additional Information:
Lay Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
4761 Foxdale Drive
Kettering, Ohio 45429 Phone: (513) 433-8781

A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful when they visit the Blessed Sacrament for the purpose of adoration. When this is done for at least half an hour, it is a plenary indulgence.

10 Reasons Why Abortion is Evil

The following is from TFP Please visit their site to see how you can help fight the evils of abortion.
1. Abortion Offends God
Abortion is never a mere personal choice but a grave offense against God and His creation. The anti-abortion struggle has always been a religious battle and foremost in its ranks have been Catholics across the country. This is because Church teaching on abortion is clear and unequivocal: Abortion is murder. There are no exceptions allowed, no compromises possible.

2. The Unnoticed War
The continuing war on terror has lead to a renewed national consciousness of the high price of war, and, for many, a heightened desire for peace. Yet, despite all this concern, the most horrible war of all has gone all but unnoticed. This is a war going on within our own borders, and it has claimed 42 million American lives in the last 31 years.

This scourge is as horrible as anything terrorists can fathom, because it strikes at the very core of humanity and our country: the family. By destroying the most basic human bond of all—that between mother and child—abortion dissolves the precious glue that binds our nation together.

While mother and child are the first victims, there is not a single element of society that is not affected by abortion. Mother, child, father, husband, aunt, uncle, friend, sibling and grandparent alike suffer the scars of the abortionist’s scalpel. Peace abroad is meaningless without peace at home.

3. Life starts at the moment of conception
This is the definition given in any respectable medical textbook. To declare a beginning of life at any point after the fusing of a wife’s egg and a husband’s contribution is irrational and an exercise in sophistical chicanery. Only machines such as clocks and cars come into existence part by part. Living beings come into existence all at once and gradually unfold their world of innate potential. A living human begins to exist at the moment of conception, even though only as a cell. What is important is not the accident of size or weight but the essence – which is fully human. The unborn baby has a distinct, unchanging and unrepeatable genetic code, unique in all of history, from the moment of conception till death. Nothing is added except nutrition and oxygen.1

4. Mankind must protect life whenever possible
The first and foremost instinct of humans is preservation of life. This begins with self-preservation, and extends to all humanity through domestic bonds and realization of a like nature. "Pregnancy termination" stops the beating heart of a growing human being and is in direct contradiction to this most basic premise of human nature. It forsakes natural law, and has left America as a country unable to repopulate itself without the aid of mass immigration.

5. Abortion is an unsafe procedure
Compared with other medical procedures, the abortion industry is largely unregulated. Although there are no exact statistics for the number of women who die from botched procedures, compiled a list of 347 women killed by legal abortions since 1973.2 Furthermore, according to the National Cancer Institute, an induced abortion raises a woman's chance of getting cancer before age 45, by 50%. If the abortion is performed after age 30, it increases 110%; if before age 18, it goes up 150%.

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer reports: "28 out of 37 worldwide studies have independently linked induced abortion with breast cancer. Thirteen out of fifteen studies conducted on American women report increased risk. Seventeen studies are statistically significant, sixteen of which found increased risk. Most of the studies have been conducted by abortion supporters."3

6. Embryonic stem-cell and human cloning research: a biogenetic Tower of Babel
In a cynical but logical progression, the culture of death is now bent on engendering human life so as to destroy it. Its new frontier is embryonic stem-cell and human cloning research. In the name of science and health, human life is destroyed at its very inception and "limited" cloning is used to produce usable cells that can be manipulated and harvested to aid the living. In short, the remaining ethical barriers that preserve human dignity and God's rights in Creation are steadily coming down. The biotech revolution has as its avowed goal not just curing disease but the construction of a "brave new world" of genetic engineering, changing the very makeup and design of man himself. We cannot permit the completion of this challenge to God, a new Tower of Babel, which will be like another Pandora's box, unleashing untold ethical and moral havoc on our nation.

7. Breaking the abortion cycle
Abortion is evil because it created a horrific abortion cycle that perpetuates this sin. The abortion mentality destroys the family by making it more difficult for new Americans who survive beyond the womb to find the family welded together by the indissoluble bond of marriage solely between a man and a woman. Children need families that will nurture them, guard their innocence and develop their personalities. In particular, all children must find within their homes the Faith that enables them to know, love and serve God in this world and be happy with Him forever in the next. As long as the traditional family remains in crisis, we will never sever the power lines that supply the abortion mills. As long as the Faith remains dead in souls, we will never wipe out the moral rot of sexual immorality, which is the contaminated soil where the abortion movement grows and flourishes.

8. Roe v. Wade: 31 Years of Lies
The 31st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion-on-demand calls to mind the biggest pack of lies ever set in motion - lies that have cost the lives of more than 42 million innocent babies cruelly torn from their mothers' wombs. How can such slaughter, numerically on par with Hitler's Germany or Stalin’s Russia, be tolerated by the present United States of America, a republic purportedly based on moral values and human rights?

9. Addressing an abortionist
Once you were an enchanting child, as all babies are. Today you are an abortionist, a killer of babies. Do you not regret your wicked deeds? Do you not see the innocent blood of our children that stains your hands and cries out to God? Have you no shame as did our first parents when they sinned against God? Why do you not turn to Him today, seek His forgiveness and His strength never again to murder the innocent? Would you not rather bring children into the world than destroy them? Children you could raise with respect for life to take the place of those you robbed from God?

10. The dangerous slippery slope
Yesterday it was contraception. Today it's abortion, the murder of unborn children, and same-sex "marriage." Will it be euthanasia tomorrow? Then what...? Once abortion is universally accepted, what logical arguments will stop euthanasia and other forms of murder?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Protecting Our Souls

This is a continuation of the article I was writing about yesterday regarding the evils of certain television shows. Please note, that the quote attributed to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton has been removed because it could not be authenticated.

So what can we do to grow in sanctity and protect our souls from evil inclinations? The author of the article A Moral Society to A Godless Society says:
"We should replace the TV with an altar and get rid of our mountains of newspapers and magazines! These are the tools of propaganda the enemy uses to deceive event he elect."
We can use common sense when choosing what to see or read. But I think it is a good suggestion to not read certain women's magazines such glorify everything but modesty and chastity. However, just to point out about television, we are usually pretty careful about what we watch. We try to avoid shows that have sexual themes. We also watch DVD's of our favorite programs instead so as to not expose our son to the constant barrage of Cialis and Viagra commercials.

Last night I made a bad call. My son and husband were watching Mythbusters. I came along and suggested we watch Seinfeld on DVD instead. My son and husband agreed and the particular shows we watched were loaded with the theme of promiscuity, lesbianism, etc. I exposed both of them to the near occasion of sin for my selfishness. I hope I have learned my lesson. You see, be careful what shows and movies you bring into your home.
"Listen to God! Never let a day go by without doing your spiritual reading and praying the Holy Rosary. The TV, especially the commercials, is the most destructive thing that has ever been unleashed against the souls of mankind. The shepherd of the family is the father, not the TV!
What does television viewing do:

1. It is a passive sport which promotes loss of imagination;

2. It seduces ; it mesmerizes us.

3. The filth of some shows invades our homes.

4. We are afraid to interrupt the television shows by conversation

5. It is a thief that steals from us time that could be given to prayer, good works and visiting the sick.

6. It enslaves us.

What can abstinence from television viewing do:

1. We can think more clearly;

2. We can discern more correctly;

3. We will spend more time as a family, sharing, listening to each other in conversation; doing things together.

4. We will have more time to spend with God.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Universal Living Rosary Association of St. Philomena

St. PhilomenaIn the previous post I mentioned the Dedicated Decades magazine from the Universal Living Rosary Association. I have been a member for at least 6 years or so. I remember like it was yesterday. I was sitting next to Joey's Godmother and our friend Agnes approached us and asked if we wanted to become members. At that time, I was already a member of the Legion of Mary, Militia Immaculata and I'm sure something else so I was hesitant to accept. But our dear friend Adelaida did not hesitate. She accepted without hesitation for her and for me.
The Living Rosary is not a new devotion, but a continuation of the Rosary preached by St. Dominic and announced by Our Lady for centuries. The Living Rosary Association was founded by Pauline Marie Jaricot, who is also the foundress of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith. The indulgences granted to this simple devotion include all those of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary and more!...
All it takes when you sign up to become a member, is to be responsible for reciting one decade of the Rosary daily. You are assigned a particular Mystery. I was assigned the First Sorrowful Mystery.

In the year that followed that enrollment, I grew lax in praying that one decade and wanted to quit. But my dear mom would not have it. She reminded me of all the good fruits that are obtained by praying this perpetual Rosary. Well, I couldn't never say no to my mom so I gave it another try and have been praying my decade ever since.

If you would like more information or would like to enroll. Please visit their website located at Universal Rosary

The Dangers to Our Souls


Soutenous of A Catholic Notebook has a very thought provoking post about the Touchable Past and Future. She starts off with a quote from E.B. White:
"I believe television is going to be the test of the modern world, and that in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our vision we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance of the general peace or a saving radiance in the sky. We shall stand or fall by television -- of that I am quite sure."
Guess when it was written? Well, visit her blog to find out.

Interestingly, I received the Winter Edition 2007 Dedicated Decades from the The Universal Living Rosary Association on Saturday. All the articles are usually very good but this issue was even more so. I was especially intrigued by the article "A Moral Society to a Godless Society: How Did it Happen?"

I will briefly highlight some of the points of that article here:

In a time span of 50 years, our society has gone from a God-fearing, moral generation, based on family traditions, values and roots to a society where everything is questioned, changed and/or compromised.
"Fifty years ago, abortion, murder, corruption, pornography and the multitude of evils which plague our society today would never have been tolerated. Society would have revolted."
According to the author of this article, all of this was well calculated with the introduction of television into our homes. We were lulled with wholesome and entertaining shows such as I Love Lucy, Lawrence Welk and soon we were glued in front of our sets. We forsook the time spend together in our backyards, with family, with friends and neighbors and instead became busier and busier.
"Man became more reliant on himself and less reliant on God. When we quit praying, we became less holy. Because of our lack of virtue, we became more prone to sin. This lack of holiness was a breeding ground for the great sins of our society."
What can we do? Well, the author challenges us to turn off our TV sets.

According to the Church Fathers:
"The eyes are the windows of the soul." If protected, innocence dwells; if exposed to the world, filth dwells..."
It is sad but true that television is often used by some parents as a baby sitter for their children. This supposedly inexpensive method of babysitting then frees the parents from the constant demands of their children. But at what cost????
"The entire sexual revolution has been launched by television and brought into the sacred confines of our home, imprinted on our minds and is a constant torment to the natural piety and modesty of our souls. The American Hersey is planted firmly in both the young and the old. "I am #1, I will do it my way, I gotta be me!". It is an entire philosophy of self-glorification, instant and complete, which has snuffed out the noble deeds of sacrificing oneself for the sake of one's brethren."
What the saints thought about television or entertainment that would one day lead to television:

Padre Pio was both disturbed and disgusted by television. He knew that eventually television would destroy the family. So he often warned people not to allow the Devil into their homes.

Saint Cyprian said "Theaters are a school of impurity and a place where modesty is prostituted."

Saint John Chrysostom said: "All should fly from theaters as from a plague."

In fact, Jesus told us that "Whoever allows adultery into his heart, commits the sin".

Just think about the shows on television. There is no need to think that hard to come up with shows on television right now that glorify adultery, infidelity and other sinful behavior. We are exposing ourselves and our families to the near occasions of sin by watching these shows.

Pope Pius XII made a prophetic statement about television when he stated:
"Children can often avoid the transient attack of a disease outside their home, but cannot escape the disease when it resides in the home itself. It is wrong to introduce any occasion of sin, whatever, into the sanctity of the home."
Well, I think that is enough for today. Tomorrow I will post more about clearing our homes from other destructive publications, etc. I leave you with the following:

The TV is my shepherd, I shall not want.
It makes me to lie on the sofa.
It leads me away from the Faith. It destroys my soul.
It leads me to the path of sex and violence for the advertiser's sake.
Yea, though I walk in the shadow of Christian responsibilities,
There will be no interruption, for the TV is with me.
It's cable and remote control, they comfort me.
It prepares a commercial for me in the midst of my worldliness,
It anoints my head with humanism and consumerism;
My covetousness runneth over.
Surely ignorance and laziness shall follow me all the days of my life.
And I shall dwell in the house of wretchedness watching TV forever.

From Hearts Aflame Magazine Issue 4, 2002
Source: Catholic Kids Page

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Baptism of Our Lord

Baptism of Our Lord
Picture by Joey and taken at Sts. Peter and Paul R.C. Church, Honolulu, HI

Dominican Sisters of Mary: Mother of the Eucharist

Shared by my friend Melissa.

the ABC's of Fostering, Supporting, Nurturing Vocations Within the Home

Holy Orders
Soutenous of A Catholic Notebook posted this on her blog recently. As we are entering Vocations Week, I thought it would be good to share. The original source is The Diocese of Grand Rapids, From the Office of Priestly Vocations: The Few, The Proud; The Called

  1. Answer your children’s questions about priesthood or religious life; never discouraging them or ridiculing them if they bring it up.
  2. Ask your child to identify a talent which he or she has; imagine together what work or ministry God might want someone to do with that type of talent. Also talk about what good things can be done with the talent right now. For instance, singing talent could be used to sing a baby brother or sister to sleep. Talent at soccer could be used to help someone on the team who needs extra practice.
  3. Bring your family to the next ordination mass or prayer vigil for religious.
  4. Challenge teens and young adults to consider a Church-related vocation. Tell them about the gifts in ministry you see in them. Encourage them to participate in at least one special vocation event (ordination, vocation retreat, discernment group).
  5. Cultivate an attitude of service by responding as a family to the needs of others. Seek out those in need and find ways to care for them.
  6. Discuss your own vocation to family life, explaining that God calls some people to priesthood or religious life, some to marriage, and some to life as single laypeople. You can talk about vocations firsthand!
  7. Encourage your children to be involved in the liturgical life of the parish as servers, lectors, musicians, etc. (and see to it that they get there on time).
  8. Explore the feelings you might experience should one of your children choose to give his or her life to Church ministry and discuss with your spouse your feelings and reactions if one of your children should decide to become a priest or nun.
  9. Find opportunities to affirm the gifts and talents of your children, and help them relate their gifts to various career and life choices (including priesthood and religious life).
  10. Guide your junior high child to pray that he or she might discover and use the gifts God has given.
  11. Have a priest come and bless your home
  12. Have your younger children make a cross to hang in each bedroom in your home.
  13. Include the diocesan vocation prayer in your personal and family prayer especially on Fridays.
  14. Invite a priest, brother or sister to dinner or to an outing with your family.
  15. Join together in prayer as a family; include a short vocations prayer when you pray before meals (especially on Friday).
  16. Keep an eye open for TV shows and movies that present Gospel-centered role models. Watch them with your children and engage in a discussion.
  17. Let your children see their Baptism pictures. Have the children make and send a card or note to the priest who baptized them promising him they will pray for him.
  18. Let your children notice an attitude of openness to God’s will in you.
  19. Make time for teenagers in your life; your children and their friends, nieces and nephews, babysitters, etc.
  20. Name the gifts of each family member on their birthday. Express gratitude for these gifts.
  21. On the date of your child’s baptism, talk about the life of the saint for whom the child is named (or the saint’s day it is). There is plenty of information about the background of saints on the Internet. The saints are people from all walks of life who tried to make a positive difference in the world—a goal as real today as it was for the saints.
  22. Pray for the seminarians of the diocese by name (you can get their names, bios, and birthdays on this website); you may want to “spiritually adopt” one of them.
  23. Quiz your children and discuss with them stories of calls in Scripture (e.g. Mary’s response to God in Luke 1:26-39, Jesus’ calling the Apostles in Mt 4:18-22, etc.).
  24. Remember in prayer by name those who minister to your family and include in your family prayers petitions for those called to priesthood and consecrated life.
  25. Set aside a “family time” each week for kids to talk about what is happening in their lives. Let them share about their day.
  26. Share the story of your own vocational choice with your children. Celebrate the occasion of your wedding anniversary as you share the story of your vocation to married life.
  27. Support and participate in any school or parish vocation activities.
  28. Talk about your family’s ethnic or cultural heritage at supper, while driving in the car, or at some other time when family members are all together. Pass along memories of cultural aspects of holiday and other celebrations that you remember.
  29. Talk positively and enthusiastically about the priests, sisters, brothers, deacons in your parish and share with your children the stories of the priests or sisters who have inspired you and how (e.g. priest at your wedding, or baptized your children, priests or religious from school, etc.).
  30. Tell your children why you chose your particular profession. Who helped you form your decision?
  31. Use books and videos to familiarize your children with saints who are priests or vowed religious. Use these lives of the saints as a springboard for discussion on these lifestyles.
  32. Utilize opportunities to share your vocation as parents; what you value, how you came to that decision, and the importance of faith in your life.
  33. Visit Churches and Shrines while on vacation and offer prayers together as a family.
  34. Witness to your own vocation by telling stories about how you fell in love. Let the children see the love and care that parents have for each other.
  35. XYZ – the end of the alphabet, but certainly not the end of ways or ideas to foster vocations at home!
  36. Please check out the above website for more information and prayers for parents.

Gregorian Masses

Purgatory - Mass
Shared by Sue of Half the Kingdom


By Susan Tassone

We hear stories of people who have been healed in body and we are in awe! We seldom consider how much Jesus does to heal souls suffering on earth and more so the souls suffering in Purgatory. A place where none of us have seen to which many of us could go. We need to start acting on what Our Lord and the Saints are telling us about Purgatory...

“Remember your deceased. Give them joy with the celebration of the Holy Mass.” They become our nearest, sincerest, and dearest friends here on earth and in heaven.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highest act of reparation, the highest form of prayer. It is the summit of our Faith. St. John Chrysostom says, “Christ is the victim that gives solace to the dead.”

So what are we doing for our dead? Who do you miss the most? Who do you wish you could have done more for? Who hurt you? Who are your enemies? Do you have family members that are into cults, not practicing their faith, do not have their children baptized? Have a Mass offered for them!

The Council of Trent states, “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Perpetual Sacrifice, is the greatest of all suffrages for the holy souls.”

And remember to have Masses offered for yourselves as well! St. Anselm tells us that those which we hear or have offered during life are more profitable than those said for us after death.
Gregorian Masses

Free St. Louis de Monfort Consecration Package

St. Louis de Montfort and BVM
Friends of Our Lady Apostolate is offering this package so that we pledge to consecrate ourselves to Jesus, through the Blessed Mother. If you have not already consecrated yourself through St. Louis de Monfort's Consecration, this is a good time to do so.

Top Ten Reasons

Why We Should Consecrate Our Lives

To Jesus Through Mary

1. To emulate the sanctity of our previous Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, who selected the de Montfort Consecration (True Devotion) for his own Marian Spirituality

2. To provide the easiest, safest, fastest, most secure, and surest path to Jesus and to our own salvation

3. To obtain Our Lady's help in bringing us from our own unworthiness to the level of conversion, holiness, and perfection in our lives needed to enable us to become saintly

4. To turn our lives over completely and without reservation in service to Jesus through Mary to reflect our love and our trust in them now and for all eternity

5. To obtain special graces and protection under Our Lady's sheltering mantle

6. To help bring others to Jesus through Mary for their conversion, holiness, and perfection through this total consecration devotion

7. To hasten the day of the Triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart and the day when Mary and Jesus will reign in all hearts

8. To fulfill Our Lady's request for individual consecration of our lives to her Immaculate Heart, as given to us through Sister Lucia during the Fatima apparitions

9. To become an effective counter-force to the legion of evil so prevalent in the world by offering up our prayers, sacrifices, and sufferings to Jesus through Mary

10. To renew our Baptismal promises and to evangelize the world to Jesus through Mary

The above link will permanently appear on the side bar.