Friday, May 02, 2008

Novena for the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Pentecost

Holy Spirit
Today begins the Novena for Pentecost.

The Novena for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit can be found atThe Eternal Word Television Network's website

Feast of St. Athanasius

St. Athanasius

Fine Art Friday - Famous Artists Quotes

"At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since".
Salvador Dali

persistence of memory
The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

"Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master".
Leonardo da Vinci

mona lisa
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

"Practise what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know". Rembrandt van Rijn

Dutch Masters
The Dutch Masters by Rembrandt van Rijn

"If you could say it in words, there'd be no reason to paint."
Edward Hopper

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

"Above all keep your colours fresh!"
Edouard Manet

Le Lifre
Le Fifre by Eduoard Manet

"As a child I drew like Raphael but it has taken me a lifetime to draw like a child."
Pablo Picasso

3 Musicians
The Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

"Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything." Eugene Delacroix

Liberty by Eugene Delacroix

"As practice makes perfect, I cannot but make progress; each drawing one makes, each study one paints, is a step forward."
Vincent van Gogh

Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh

"Painting isn't so difficult when you don't know ... But when you do ... it's quite a different matter!"
Edgar Degas

Chasse de Danse
Chasse de Danse by Edgar Degas

"Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish".

Creation of Adam
The Creation of Adam

"Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment".
Claude Monet

Water lily Pond
Water Lily Pond by Claude Monet

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for".
Georgia O'Keefe

Red Poppy
Red Poppy by Georgia O'Keefe

Thursday, May 01, 2008

St. Joseph the Worker - Optional Memorial

St. JosephHappy Feast Day Joey, Dan and Dad!

Ascension Thursday

Even though here in Hawaii we will be celebrating this Solemnity on Sunday, Fr. Dave did celebrate the Mass for Ascension Thursday today.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You might be hardcore Catholic if...

Jackie's friend shared the following with her and Leander shared the email with me.

- you've accidentally genuflected at a place other than church ex. the movie theatre, school auditorium

-you're sick of being asked why priests can't be married

-you have a "favorite" religious order

-you say the meal prayer no matter where you are

-you have a nativity set at your house during Christmas, and have also played with it.

-you've accidentally made the sign of the cross when leaving regular buildings (Note from Esther: actually I cross myself when I pass the bank or the library)

-you know that advent is the beginning of the new church year.

-You know at least five people named Mary

-You can name off all the Joyful, Glorious, Sorrowful, and Luminous mysteries.

-one or more of your friends entered the seminary or the convent

-you have 20+ cousins.

-your mom is currently pregnant

-you and your spouse practice NFP

-you believe in Purgatory and know it's important to pray for the souls who are currently in Purgatory

-you live chastity and are saving yourself for your future spouse.

-you're able to sit still for a full hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament

-you are discerning the religious life

-you often end disputes with, "Let's look it up in the Catechism."

-you and your friends have shown up at Adoration at 4:00 in the morning

-when watching star wars and hear "may the force be with you" you respond with "and also with you"

-your mom always says "4 kids, Catholic" (Thanks to Jim Benedick)

-you have participated in sword fights using Palms on Passion Sunday

-you and friend friends ever played "Mass" instead of House, or Cops and Bad Guys

-You have your own designated seat at Mass

-they know you at every Catholic bookstore in the area, and ask you where you’ve been if you haven’t stopped by in a while.

-you're named after a saint, not a family member.

-you get excited about going to mass

-you arrive at Mass half an hour early to get a good seat and talk to Jesus

-your mom always makes sure to celebrate your feast day

-altar serving was the cool thing to do

-you point at your friends in line for confession calling them sinners and everyone laughs as you get to the end of line

-Your teachers grade you down when you write papers about moral issues and papers involving God

-You never eat before church, and brunch afterwards is always the best! (Thanks to Larry Perez)

-Your first serious conversation you have with a potential girl/boyfriend involves your conversion story

-You lie awake at night wondering why the St. Michael Prayer was removed from the end of Mass

-The word "vocation" to you does not simply mean "job"

-People tend you look in your direction in class whenever anything involving religion comes up

-You have a Rosary or Saint Christopher pin in your car

-One of your Crucifixes has five years worth of dried out palms stuck behind it.

-You have more than one Rosary hanging from your bed.

-You have contemplated being in a religious order at least once.

-you say "God bless you" anytime anyone sneezes, out of habit

-you have had multiple meetings with the priest at your own will

-You had competitions with your friends on Ash Wednesday to see who could keep their ashes on the longest

-You still write "Your Kingdom Come!" or "JMJ" at the top of your page/letter/report/test

-You know that some Catholics don't eat meat on Wednesdays or Fridays, even not during Lent.

-you get really excited over a holy day of obligation

-if you are tired of people referring to the birth of Jesus the immaculate conception

-you've ever been told my your mom, "Offer it up", and then felt very obliged to do so

-when discussing possible names for your future children with friends or your future spouse, you start ruling out names that aren't virtues, saints, or biblical

-You plan what to wear based on the liturgical color of the day

-you were disappointed when you couldn't find a catholic version of trivia pursuit

-You know that "prostrate" is not a place where men develop cancer

-Instead of change, you find a rosary under your couch cushions.

-you have at one point had to stop a younger sibling from playing in the holy water font.

And guess what I found over at Karen's blog? Yes, more....

The following is one she shared:

You have had a pet blessed. Your pet even got a St. Francis Medal. Well, you did, but you still consider it *her* medal.
You'll have to visit her blog for the rest. They are funny!


homeschooling blinky
Shared by Sue

The following is a recent article by Joel Turtel
Homeschooling (or low-cost internet private schools), can have the following extraordinary benefits for you and your children:

1. Be with Your Family
2. Set Your Own Schedule
3. Vacation When You Want
4. Choose curriculum that best suits the needs of your child
5. Be totally aware of the state and progress of your child's education
6. Keep your child away from un-necessary peer pressure
7. Keep your child away from the bad influence of other children
8. Love, nurture, and teach your child the character and morals you value most
9. Make learning fun
10. Make learning as "experiential" as you want...
To read the entire list of 54 reasons, check out the article.

Today was a typical day of homeschooling. Joey attended his astronomy class at the university. Upon arriving home, I asked if he would like to take a break and run some errands with me. So off we went walking. We ended up getting our hair cut, getting our dog treats made in the USA and picking up a tasty little lunch. On the way we met some friends and chatted with them. When we got home, we had lunch. Then Joey started doing his regular homeschooling work.

By 1:35pm, his homeschooling day was finished. It is now 2pm and he is blogging for fun.

Tomorrow is his Saint's Name day (St. Joseph the Worker). We might just head of to morning Mass and then celebrate with breakfast out.

You can't do things like that with your child if he or she attends a regular school.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Feast Day of St. Louis Marie de Montfort

St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Since it is St. Louis Marie de Montfort's feast day, consider consecrating yourselves and your family via his Total Consecration.

To Jesus, through Mary.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Book Recommendation - The Road to Hope by Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan

Cardinal Van Thuan and JPII
Pope John Paul II naming Archbishop Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan cardinal in Rome on 21st February 2001.

Last Saturday after Confession, Joey and I visited Pauline Books and Media as we sometimes do. We went looking for a movie to add to our growing Catholic movie collection. We didn't expect to be greeted by a new sister there who greeted Joey with "Have you thought about being a priest"? That opening line led to an interesting conversation with Sister Beatrice.

She asked me if I was familiar with Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan of Vietnam. Of course, I answered in the affirmative. We talked about the impressive writings of Cardinal Van Thuan while he was in prison. We both agreed that when he described celebrating Holy Mass on the palm of his hand as the altar with the consecration of the tiny piece of bread and small yet miraculous wine he was able to get a hold of, was the most moving of his memoirs. If you aren't familiar with his writings, the above story can be found in Testimony of Hope.
Every year, John Paul chooses someone to preach a course of spiritual exercises for himself and the Roman Curia at the Vatican. This Jubilee Year, he asked Vietnamese Archbishop Nguyen van Thuan.
As we paid for our movie (The Robe on DVD) Sister told me they had all of the Cardinal's books in stock. That statement took me by surprised because I thought The Testimony of Hope had been the only book he had written. She took me to the book rack that had one shelves full of the Cardinal's books. She picked out The Road to Hope for me to look at. The cover read "A Gospel from Prison". The back of the book read "An Imitation of Christ for the 21st Century"...Francis B. Schulte, Archbishop of New Orleans.

This book contained 1000 short messages by Cardinal Van Thuan.
In 1975, Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan was traveling to Saigon, Vietnam, to become its new Coadjutor Bishop. On the way, he was arrested and imprisoned--an incarceration that lasted thirteen years.

Despite tremendous risk, Van Thuan refused to remain passive. During his nights in prison, he wrote encouraging messages to the Vietnamese people. These brief reflections, scribbled on scraps of paper, were smuggled out of prison, copied by hand and circulated within the community. Bishop Van Thuan was thus able to remain connected to the people in a hidden yet powerful way.
The following two messages are from the God's Will Chapter. "God's will is the passport to heaven":
#17: Your responsibilities indicate the will of God for you at the present moment.

#24: The worker will become a saint in the workplace; the soldier will become a saint in the army, the patient will become a saint in the hospital, the student will become a saint through studies, the farmer will become a saint on the farm, the priest will become a saint through his ministry as a priest, and the public servant will become a saint in the government office. Every step on the road to holiness is a step of sacrifice in the performance of one's mission in life.
What could I do? I had to read this book.

I strongly recommend the above named books by Cardinal Thuan. It is a perfect book to bring with you during a Holy Hour of Adoration or for spiritual reading at home.

Please be sure to check out the other fine books and DVDs offered by the Daughters of St. Paul.

The following are Cardinal Van Thuan's 10 Rules for Life:

#1 I will live the present moment to the fullest.
#2 I will discern between God and God's works.
#3 I will hold firmly to one secret: prayer.
#4 I will see in the Holy Eucharist my only power.
#5 I will have only one wisdom: the science of the Cross.
#6 I will remain faithful to my mission in the Church and for the Church as a witness of Jesus Christ.
#7 I will seek the peace the world cannot give.
#8 I will carry out a revolution by renewal in the Holy Spirit.
#9 I will speak one language and wear one uniform: Charity.
#10 I will have one very special love: The Blessed Virgin Mary.

Source for photo and the above rules Our Lady of La Salette and St. Joseph's Church

Recently, Cardinal Van Thuan was in the news because his cause for canonization has been opened. Read it here

Please pray for this intention.