Friday, November 04, 2011

Be Courageous: Adopt a Keiki,

I have been praying and asking for prayers for the children in the foster care system. The following is an article written by the executive director of Hawaii Family Forum, Allen Cardines, Jr.

I received an email on Wednesday reminding me that there are children in Hawaii entrapped in our state foster care system that need Jesus. I also heard about 3 foster youths who are turning 18 soon and have NO FAMILY to support them and love them through their young adult years. These precious keiki need both the love of Jesus AND a permanent home. Could YOU be the one the Lord is calling?

As we approach the holiday season, we must consider all the children in Hawaii that do not have a loving family to share a Thanksgiving meal with or spend the Christmas holiday with. This breaks my heart.

The sad fact remains that, right here in Hawaii, there are hundreds of keiki whose only permanent parent is the state of Hawaii. These children are modern day orphans living among us. Their birthparents’ rights had to be terminated so they could have an opportunity for safety, security and happiness throughout their lives.

These keiki don’t have the security and happiness they deserve because they have no adoptive families to call their own. Many live in multiple temporary foster homes and are at risk of moving into adulthood with no forever family. Many are older and desire to be part of a family, but most people don’t know of their desperate need. Well, now you know (if you didn't already.)

As it has done since 2006, Hawaii Family Forum (HFF) is partnering with HOPE INC (In the Name of Christ), a Christian adoption agency to recruit, train and support families from the faith based community willing to provide a forever home to one of these needy children.

If you or someone you know would be willing to open your heart and home to a child without a family please contact HOPE INC at (808) 230-2445 or via email. Please let us know, if you would like to schedule a workshop at your church.

Allen Cardines, Jr.

More Healings Attributed to Bl. Seelos, Including few members of the same family

watch the video here.

Mahalo to Mary Jane.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Fine Art Friday - The Flagellation of Christ

by Piero della Francesca
Picture source

Fine Art Friday - Virgin Enthroned with Saints

by Luca Signorelli

Picture source

Fine Art Friday - The Holy Family

by James Collinson

EWTN Live - 11-02-2011 - Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory -

Humility and Saint Martín de Porres

Holy Card from Peru belonging to my father

The virtue of humility defines a great saint. In that respect, one of the Catholic Church's greatest saints has to be Saint Martín of Porres or as he is affectionately known in Peru as San Martincito de Porres.

He was born in Peru the illegitimate son of a Spanish officer and a black woman from Panama. Because of the class status which was very important at the time, his father could not or would not acknowledge Martín or his sister as his own children. It was very sad that this loving little boy was not shown the love of his earthly father.  His father did love them but could not openly show any affection or love for his children.  His mother on the contrary, loved both her children. Because of the circumstances surrounding her love her the children's father, life could not have been easy for her or her little family. Yet it was because of her that her son Martin grew to know and love God very much.

By know everyone should know the story of how he grew up and wanted to serve God. He was apprenticed as a barber which was comparable to being assistant to a doctor. He also wanted to serve God by entering the Dominican order.  He thought himself unworthy to become a priest.  Instead, he wanted the most humblest job in the monastery. He requested the habit of a "donado" who were ranked lower than the lay brothers. He was only 15 or 16 years of age.
"In itself, humility is a hidden virtue which escapes our perception. It exists in the depths of the souls, and no one can say with certainty if it is truly there or not, because no created eye can penetrate to those depths. But when humility exists in the soul, it has a companion which serves as an indication of its presence: patience, which holds the field for humility without avoiding assaults, but rejoices int eh battle and 'through suffering, wins.'"

Holy cards usually depict Saint Martín de Porres holding a broom and surrounded by animals, usually a dog, a cat, and mice. The broom symbolizes his humility.  The animals symbolize how he was able to communicate with them and how they listened to his gentle way of talking to them.  He was able to rid the monastery of a mice infestation that way.  He accepted the lowest tasks in the monastery one of which was to sweep the floors of the entire place. He also continued to use the medical knowledge he learned as a barber's apprentice to heal people.

People grew to love and respect him because of his kindness towards all and his generous and helpful spirit. But not everyone felt like that. There were a few who treated him badly and called him vicious names. One such person was a novice named Francis in the same order as Martín. He called Martín "a mulatto dog, a hypocrite, a cheat" and this all happened as Martín was tending to him. Instead of becoming angry or indignant...or even stop helping this brother, Martín patiently continued to tend to Francis. Martín was actually grateful to the brother for treating him like that.  

Later it was brought to the novice master's attention how Francis had treated Martín.  Martín asked the Novice master to forgive the young novice because "he Martín was really a great sinner, and his mother was a poor Negress, and therefore the title of 'mulatto dog' fitted him perfectly. Why punish someone who had spoken only the absolute truth? Francis did not deserve punishment, but a reward."

Even after being forgiven because of Martín, Francis continue to make life hard for Martín who always responded in a patient and loving manner. Inevitably, Francis' eyes were opened and he began to watch Martín closely.  He also began to follow Martín example in imitating the saint's holy life. Martín had won him over with patience and humility.

God has given us many saints like Saint Martín de Porres whose feast we celebrate today, for us to imitate. Let us thank God today for St. Martín, a gentle and true humble brother who became a great saint by loving God and his neighbor.

Source of the quotations Saint Martín de Porres: Apostle of Charity by Giuliana Cavallini

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Blessed Seelos' path to sainthood

New Orleans -- Giving thanks at the Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Shrine is a ritual for 64 year old Walter Larter and his family.

Seelos is the 19th century priest who spent his last years of service in New Orleans and was widely known for his gift of giving.

Read article here

H/T to Mary Jane

All Soul's Day

Picture source

From the Pieta prayer book:

Pray for the Souls in Purgatory

The Holy Souls in purgatory are incapable of helping themselves. They depend on the works of mercy by the living and the mercy of Jesus and Mary to shorten their time in purgatory. Their souls are very dear to God's Heart. He is most generous to those who offer every good act, suffering, prayers, or Holy Mass for these souls. In gratitude they intercede for us.

(St. John Vianney once said: "The good God will render us back the good we do for them - poor souls - a hundredfold."

On August 16, 1969 in San Damiano, Italy, Our Lady asked that we pray very much for the poor souls and that if we pray these prayers, we'll "deliver so many souls, so many souls!" Note: The Pieta prayer book may have been referring to this.

"Pray: 5 Apostle's Cred; 1 Hail Holy Queen; 1 Our Father; 1 Hail Mary; 1 Glory be; 1 Requiem: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace. Amen."

Requiem Indulgenced by Pope Leo XIII, March 22, 1902.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Visiting a Cemetery - Plenary Indulgence

Picture source

From Pieta Prayer Book:

"An indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only momentarily, for the dead. This indulgence is applicable only to the souls in purgatory. This indulgence is a plenary one from November 1 through November 8 and can be gained on each one of these days. On the other days of the year this indulgence is a partial one."

"It is, there, a holy and wholesome though to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sin." - (2 Mach.12:46).

Solemnity of All Saints

Picture source

“The Saints are not a small caste of chosen souls but an innumerable crowd to which the liturgy urges us to raise our eyes. This multitude not only includes the officially recognized Saints, but the baptized of every epoch and nation who sought to carry out the divine will faithfully and lovingly. We are unacquainted with the faces and even the names of many of them, but with the eyes of faith we see them shine in God's firmament like glorious stars… This, then, is the meaning of today's Solemnity: looking at the shining example of the Saints to reawaken within us the great longing to be like them; happy to live near God, in his light, in the great family of God's friends. Being a Saint means living close to God, to live in his family...”
(Homily of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican Basilica, 1 November 2006).

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Monday, October 31, 2011

Living Simply

Before I even read today's Magnificat's meditation by Caryll Houselander, I have been trying to simplify our family.  Getting rid of excess things in our home is a priority for me. One of the main reasons I am focusing on this is because of Matthew 6:19 :“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.  But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."

Scripture source

The above passage became very clear to me when my father died. My mom was left with the family home and all the possessions they and we and accumulated over the years. We were in such a hurry to help my mother that we hurriedly tried to get rid of as much of my father's things are we could. I see now that it interfered with the time my mother needed to grieve.  My dad was a collector of movies and baseball cards. Those items entertained him while he was alive but they only caused my mother to be burden with them after he died.

Then there is an elderly friend. She really has no family members left. She also has a house full of things she collected over the years, including many she collected when she traveled the world. It is sad to see her give away her precious things to "friends" and acquaintances such so she has the comfort of knowing they would be in good hands. She knows her time on earth is short.

I don't want to burden my son with the things his father and I have in our home. I think it is time to let go of material possessions and to really start concentrating on storing up treasures in heaven. Many things we have are kept for sentimental reasons. Even a little scrap of paper my mom wrote me a note on seems to precious to throw away. I mentioned that to my mom and she just laughed.

The following is the Caryll Houseland meditation I mentioned above.  I hope to have a "poor" home like the one she describes. That would be heavenly.
"To be rich is to live in an overcrowded house, a house of life overcrowded with false values; they encumber like useless heirlooms. They ought to be thrown out of the windows bu the courage and the virility to do this are lacking...

Poverty is like one room. The windows are open, the sun comes in, the walls are whitewashed, there are one or two books chosen for our delight, they are read and re-read; if there is a picture it is one bought at the cost of sacrifice because it is a real joy, we see it because there is no bric-a-brac to distract from it. There is one earthenware pot that holds water, and the wild flowers know in it their affinity to earth and rain. This room is a workroom, it it we learn the joy of good work, done well, and of the real charity, the fellow-feeling, of working with others..."

There is a great spiritual danger in being attached to things and that includes animals. Recently we lost our beloved dog. The pain my husband and I felt was intense. I wanted to cry out "Why me!, Why me!" But then I asked "Why not me?" I recalled the immeasurable pain our Lady suffered when she lost her beloved and innocent Son, our Lord. How can I even dare to complain of my pain. How can I get to Heaven if I cannot even carry this little cross without needing comfort. I can't.

It is not easy to let go or to get rid of things. But it will all be worth it not only at the end but also now because we will have more time and room for things that working on our treasures to store in Heaven.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Priesthood Sunday

From the Sacred Heart Church's bulletin today:

On the last Sunday of October each year we honor our priests, who have dedicated their lives to Jesus and His bride, the Church, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. We cannot receive the Blessed sacrament, Jesus Himself, without our priests. They sanctify us. Through the celebration of the Mass and through the sacraments they form us in faith, and they serve the parishes and larger community in varied ways. Their desire is to help draw us closer to our Lord and to lead us to eternal salvation.

We are asked to support our priests in prayer, to thank God for the gifts of their priesthood, and to encourage future vocations to the priesthood among our families and in our faith community. For their faithful and loving service, we say THANK YOU to our pastors Reverend Gordy Carvalho, our parochial vicar Reverend Edmund Barut, our sacramental priests Father Paul Smith and Father Joe Grimaldi.

To this we the Spiritual Moms would add...all the priests in the Diocese of Honolulu and all the priests in the entire world.


Most gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for our faithful priests and bishops,
whose spiritual fatherhood and example of fidelity, self-sacrifice, and devotion
is so vital to the faith of your people.

May our spiritual fathers be guided by the examples of saints Peter and Paul,
all the Apostles, and their saintly successors.
Give them valiant faith in the face of confusion and conflict, hope in time of trouble and sorrow, and steadfast love for you, for their families, and for all
your people throughout the world.
May the light of your Truth shine through their lives and their good works.

Assist all spiritual fathers, that through your Grace they may steadily grow in holiness and in knowledge and understanding of your Truth.
May they generously impart this knowledge to those who rely on them.