Saturday, March 28, 2009

Prayer Request for My Dad

Prayer Request
Just about an hour ago, I received a telephone call telling me my dad had suffered a massive heart attack. My family and I would really appreciate your prayers for my dad and my mom.

Just yesterday, I read that Melissa was requesting prayers for her Oom Sam. BTW, please keep her Oom Sam in your prayers too. There she shared the following prayer:

Prayer for the Sick and Seniors
All praise and glory are yours,
Lord our God.
For you have called us to serve you and one another in love.
Bless our sick today so that they may bear their illness
in union with Jesus' sufferings and restore them quickly to health.
Bless those who have grown old in your service
and give them courage and strength in their faith.
Lead us all to eternal glory.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Amen.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Update on Cloistered Nuns in NJ and Prayer Request

A reader found this post and left the following update:

The Blue Chapel closed for good late March 2009. I live in Union City, Hudson, New Jersey and have followed the postings about this dominican monastery for some years.

Thank you for the postings and updates regarding cloistered sisters in New Jersey.

I believe Sister Gemma was the lone survivor and last to go. She accepted. Another of the remaining nuns died earlier in the year. Due to the seclusion of the nuns it's was not always easy to get information.

It would be appreciated if a final update with reliable facts can be posted.

Please pray for the neighboring community of residents who lived close to the monastery. They are not now without this sanctuary. After many years the end came and a familiar landmark and the presence of the nuns taken for granted.

People wonder what will happen to the building, unusual and well-maintained. Will it fall victim to vandals or fire or the wrecking ball?

We covet your prayers and pray God's will be done.


Thank you for sharing this with us.

If anyone would like to share a final update, please feel free to leave a comment or email me.
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USCCB - Warnings Against Reiki

I hope all the Catholics (or anyone for that matter) who engage in Reiki (either by "healing" with it or receiving that treatment) read the following:

Catholic Culture's US bishops: Reiki is dangerous, superstitious





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Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Saints - Mother Angelica

Mother Angelica

The reason for this post is because I read the following in my daily saint reading in Butler's Lives of the Saints.

St. Eugendus, or Oyend, Abbot (c.A.D. 510)

...His life was most austere, and he was so dead to himself as to seem incapable of betraying the least emotion of anger. His countenance was always cheerful; yet he never laughed...
At first I thought to myself that I could do that with a little effort. Then I returned to reality.

Now, Mother Angelica's thoughts on the saints is something I can relate to:
When I was a young nun, I used to read the lives of the saints, hoping to find someone like me. Someone who had to eat six times a day and get nine hours of sleep. Someone who was not robust enough o make all the sacrifices that the 'ordinary' saint seemed able to make. I read about saints who had spent entire nights in payer and gone days without food. The more I looked, the more discouraged I became, realizing that holiness must be for the elite...

...The women were wide-eyed and graceful, while the men were gentle and handsome. There were no fat statues, no saints with big noses. None of the saints were frowning, and none looked tired...

...Before long, I was fed up. I wished then, and I wish now, that the biographers of the saints would go to Purgatory for forty years. They made the saints unrealistic. They made them perfect. Always kind. Always patient. Always able to resist temptation.

What the biographers failed to note was that the majority of saints were ordinary people who struggled with temptations, sin, frailties, and weaknesses. Just like you and me.

Take the Apostles, for example:
The men that Jesus chose to teach and to follow Him and to inspire others to follow Him were extremely imperfect. (Did you know that there is no account in Scripture of the Apostles ever catching any fish on their own?)
-They were jealous at times.
-Envious.
-They had temper tantrums,
-they pouted,
-they became obsessively depressed and fearful in times of trial.
-They ran in times of crisis,
-and they became proud of their status of being in the 'in' group.
-They weren't too bright either, inasmuch as the meaning of a simple parable like the sower and the seed completely escaped them-so much so that they were forced to ask Jesus to explain it to them late at night. A parable that we consider within the intelligence of any fifth grader today was not comprehended by the men Jesus chose to be the leaders of His new Church.

Reading about the Apostles gave me a lot of courage. I could see that they didn't start out being perfect. It became clear to me that saints are not born but made...

For when we ask 'What does God want with me?'...The answer is that God wants us to become saints.

God gave you and me everything we need to become saints:
-the strengths and
-the weaknesses,
-the happiness and
-the heartaches,
-the flaws and
-the ability to overcome them in absolutely heroic ways...

God wants you to be a saint!


Mother Angelica's Answers Not Promises, by Mother M. Angelica with Christine Allison





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On Obedience

St. Josemaria Escriva

620 If obedience does not give you peace, it is because you are proud.
The Works of St. Josemaría Escrivá

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Bishop Olmsted tells Fr. Jenkins Obama invitation "public act of disobedience to US Bishops"

You can read Bishop Olmstead's letter at the American Papist's blog

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

News From St. Luke Productions

St. John Vianney

Pope Benedict XVI has declared June 2009 through June 2010 a YEAR OF THE PRIESTHOOD and has dedicated the entire year to SAINT JOHN VIANNEY. This year, he explained, marks "the 150th anniversary of the death of the saintly Curé of Ars, Jean Marie Vianney, a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ's flock." During this year, the Pope will also proclaim Saint John Vianney, who is currently known as the patron saint of parish priests and confessors, the "patron of all priests of the world."

VIANNEY DRAMA OPENS AUGUST 4, 2009

St. John Vianney's Feast Day


We are now booking performances for a limited one year tour of VIANNEY, the inspiring story of Saint John Vianney, in commemoration of his 150th anniversary. We urge you to bring this powerful drama to your own community!

The U.S. tour of VIANNEY will travel to parishes, theaters, seminaries, universities and throughout the Catholic school system, as a significant contribution to the year-long celebration and renewal of the priesthood and family life.

The Curé of Ars is the saint who will inspire all of us, especially young people, with a deeper understanding of the heroic life of the priest. We believe a tremendous upsurge in vocations will spring from this Year of the Priesthood because our youth are seeking a radical choice, a way to make a difference in our world, and John Vianney points the way through his dramatic life of self-sacrifice and his struggle with evil.

For more information on the new VIANNEY production, visit

Vianney Drama



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Feast of the Annunciation Video

RealCatholic TV

"The Day God Is Made Flesh"
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Feast of the Annunciation

Jules Coignet

The Annunciation by Jules Coignet


Mary, you received with deep humility
the news of the Angel Gabriel
that you were to be the Mother of God's Son;
obtain for me a similar humility.

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

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saintly Quote - Staunch and Sincere

St. Peter Canisius

Better that only a few Catholics should be left, staunch and sincere in their religion, than that they should, remaining many, desire as it were, to be in collusion with the Church's enemies and in conformity with the open foes of our faith.

St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597)
Shared by Sue


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Repentance According to Mother Angelica

Mother Angelica


...Repentance is critical to achieving holiness. Simply put, it means saying you're sorry to God--and meaning it...We wonder how we could possibly hurt Someone so powerful and wise, or how our puny actions could affect the Creator of the universe.

And yet they do. We all hurt God every day, because His Love for us, individually, is so strong. This is why it's so important to know that when we sin we are not simply making a mistake or doing something 'bad.' We are hurting Someone Who loves us very deeply. When we repent, we go to our wounded Lord and offer a truly sorry heart; we are sorry for our offense and we try never to repeat it.

Repentance means saying you're sorry, but it doesn't mean wallowing in guilt and shame or beating yourself up for committing this sin or that.

Image three persons: a good person, a bad person and a saint.

All three fall into a big, juicy mud puddle, which represents sin.

What does the good person do?

Well, the good person falls in and thinks it's the very end of the universe. He can't believe he blew it. He looks at the mud all over him and he wonders how many people will notice it. He continues to sit there lamenting over it and feeling sorry for himself. And then, finally, he looks up to God and asks for forgiveness. ''I'm sorry, Lord,' he says. 'I should have know better. I'm the lowest of the low. I hate myself. No punishment is too great for me.' And on and on.

The bad person is equally predictable.

He didn't fall into that mud puddle, he dived in head first. He sits there, and he loves it. He wallows in it, pouring the mud all over himself. He enjoys the mud.

But watch the saint now.

The saint, remember, is not perfect, but he is holy. He will make mistakes. But his response is what sets him apart. For the saint falls in to the mud puddle and instantly stands up, his eyes focuses on God, asking for forgiveness immediately with a truly contrite heart. He doesn't dwell on the mistake by wringing his hand or by wondering what others will think of him or by focusing on himself. He turns to God with haste and humility, and he quickly moves on, determined never to make that mistake again.

When we fail to obey the Commandments, when we fall into sin or toy with temptation, our first inclination must be to repent. God in His mercy will accept our plea for forgiveness. He will forgive us. and then we must move on....
- Mother Angelica's Answers, Not Promises by Mother M. Angelica with Christine Allison

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Bishop D’Arcy will not attend Notre Dame commencement featuring Obama

Bishop D'arcy

"President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred.

Bishop John M. D'Arcy has issued a statement saying that he won't be attending Notre Dame's commencement exercises, which will feature President Obama as the keynote speaker and honor him with a doctor of laws degree.
CNA Article
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Monday, March 23, 2009

On Being a Loudspeaker for the Enemy

St. Josemaria Escriva

836 To serve as a loud-speaker for the enemy is the height of idiocy; and if the enemy is God's enemy, it is a great sin. That is why, in the professional field, I never praise the knowledge of those who use it as rostrum from which to attack the Church.
The Works of St. Josemaría Escrivá
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Confession - Bishop Finn

Confessional
And to think that frequent confession was at times discouraged by well-meaning, but misguided individuals, including some clergy, who have forgotten the beauty of this particular sacrament.

...Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis (#88) urged frequent confession of venial sins “to ensure more rapid progress day by day in the path of virtue.”

According to the Pope, some of its benefits are these: Genuine self-knowledge is increased; Humility grows; Bad habits are corrected; Spiritual neglect and tepidity are resisted; The conscience is purified; The will strengthened; A helpful self-control is attained; and Grace is increased in virtue of the Sacrament itself.

I have found personally that frequent confession – I try to go every week – helps me to try harder to be a better and more holy bishop.
Read Bishop's Finn's article in it entirety here

H/T to Father Z


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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Concupiscence

The Disbelief of St. Thomas

The Disbelief of St. Thomas

When I am read spiritual works, I inevitably come across a word that makes me pause. Usually, I have a sense of what it means but do not really understand the full meaning.

So with that in mind, I decided to open up the Catholic Dictionary and actually check out what the definition is. Today's word is concupiscence.
Concupiscence according to St. Thomas is the appetite which tends to the gratification of the senses ("bonum delectablile absens").

This tendency is in itself neither good nor evil, because the object may be either lawful or unlawful.

The desire of eating and drinking in moderation is good: that of eating and drinking to excess is evil; but in the one case and in the other we have an instance of concupiscence.

However, the word concupiscence is constantly used for that appetite which exists in fallen man and is an incentive to sin, because it seeks forbidden objects or permissible in an forbidden way.

St. Paul, in Rom. vii, speaks of it as "The flesh," and again as the "law of sin that is in my members."

Such concupiscence, in rebellion against reason and against the commandments of God, did not exist in Adam till he had fallen from original justice. From him it has passed to all his descendants; it remains even in those who have been born again by baptism, so that the saints themselves have had to fight against this tendency in the sensual appetite to forbidden pleasures, without being able to eradicate it.

We now come to the difference on this mater between Catholic doctrine and the tenets of the Reformers. The latter taught that concupiscence, even if the will did not consent to harbour or encourage it, had the nature of sin.

Catholic doctors on the other hand, following the principle of St. Thomas that no action can be moral or immoral except so far as it depends on the free-will of the agent, deny that concupiscence which remains, in spite of the efforts made by the will to subdue it, is to be considered sin.

It is plain that the Catholic doctrine is the only one consistent with belief in the moral freedom of man.

It is moreover, the only one consistent with experience and the common sense; for who can believe that a man engaged in heroic struggle with the temptations of the flesh is all the while offending God?

The Council of Trent lays down the doctrine of the Church with great clearness, in the following words:

"This holy synod confesses that concupiscence of the fuel of sin (fomes peccati) remains in the baptized; but since it is left that they may strive against it, it cannot hurt those who give no consent, but resist manfully by the grace of Jesus Christ; nay, more, he who strives lawfully will be crowned. The holy synod declares that this concupiscence, which the Apostle sometimes call sin (Rom. vi. 12, vii 8) has never been understood by the Catholic Church to be so called because it is truly and properly sin in the regenerate, but because it is from sin and inclines to sin. But if any man hold a contrary opinion, let him be anathema."...
A Catholic Dictionary y William E. Addis and Thomas Arnold, 17th Edition, Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited, London, 1960




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Josyp Jaromyr Terelya - RIP

Josyp Jaromyr Terelya

He was released after the intervention of President Ronald Reagan. He spent twenty years in some of the harshest prisons known to humanity -- imprisoned in the Soviet gulag for his Catholic activism. In prison, he suffered tremendous hardship as well as mystical experiences. Upon release, he met privately on several occasions with another victor over Communism -- John Paul II.

His name was Josyp Jaromyr Terelya and he died Monday night at the age of 65 at a Toronto restaurant after several years of battling congestive heart failure...
Article

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Shrine at Fatima - Live Broadcast

OLOF
This is just a beautiful site! It is the official site for the Fatima Shrine in Portugal. There is even live broadcast of the Chapel. Right now it is quiet but just imagine what it will be like when there is a special occasion!

Santuario de Fatima

Live Broadcast and scheduled events Note: The video was not working when I checked a few minutes ago. If it isn't working when you visit, keep trying.

A big mahalo to Madalena for sharing this with me.

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