Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Gaining Plenary Indulgence - Praying for the Pope's Intentions

 One of the conditions to gain plenary indulgence is usual to pray for the pope's intentions. What does that mean?  According to the Raccolta the following are some of the Holy Father's intentions.

1.  The progress of the Faith and triumph of the Church.

2.  Peace and union among Christian Princes and Rulers.

3.  The conversion of sinners.

4.  The uprooting of heresy.

The Raccolta, 1910 Edition

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Book Review -How the Angels Got Their Wings, by Anthony DeStefano

Illustrated by Antonio Javier Caparo, Sophia Institute Press, 2022.

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mom of two.

This is another of Anthony DeStefano's beautiful picture books for children.  In this story, he tells how the angels were created, how some of them fell, and how God in His goodness gave each of us a Guardian Angel.

Whenever I see a book about angels I am always concerned that the illustrator should correctly depict them.  Angels do not have bodies, so what is the correct representation of them?  Well, each time angels appear in Sacred Scripture they appear as strong young men.

Happily, that is how the Antonio Javier Caparo represented them in this lovely picture book.  The angels are depicted as young men and many of them in battle uniforms.  They look strong and handsome.

Anthony DeStefano's easy rhymes will help younger children appreciate the story of the angels.  It will also give them an awe for these holy beings that God in His Goodness and Wisdom has given to each one of us to be our helper and guide on our journey to Heaven.

This beautifully illustrated book is highly recommended as a gift for children on the Feast of the Guardian Angels (October 2), or the Feast of the Archangels (September 29), or any child's birthday. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Book Review: The Lenten Cookbook, by David Geisser with essays by Scott Hahn, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.

This book is a beautiful addition to the whole-hearted observance of Lenten fasts.  Lent is that sacred time in the Liturgical Year where we focus on the three pillars of Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.

Scott Hahn, Professor of Biblical Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, writes the introduction to this unique cookbook.  In it he traces the history of fasting in the life of the Church. 

Drawing from Biblical sources, and Sacred Tradition, he carefully explains the reason and motives of fasting in the Church and in Her Liturgy. The essays explain the tradition of fasting throughout the year and on those special days of the Church's calendar such as the Ember Days and of course, Lent.

This exquisitely illustrated book is a cookbook by David Geisser, author of The Vatican Cookbook and The Vatican Christmas Cookbook.  He is a former Swiss Guard and an award-winning chef.  The simple and delicious recipes will give the readers many ways to eat meatless meals that are both tasty and nutritious.  Some of the unique recipes include Lentil and Eggplant Moussaka, Cottage Cheese Frittata with Cucumber and Radish Dip, Eggplant au Gratin, Spinach Quiche, and Marinated Artichokes with Pine Nut Cream.  He also includes various bread recipes to round out the Lenten table:  Flatbread, Potato Bread, Hot Cross Bun recipes, as well as many breakfast offerings such as Muffins with Dates, and Baked Muesli.

This fascinating book will not only be a treasure for the family because of its detailed explanation of fasting, but will be a most welcome addition to the family meals during Lent.

Highly recommended reading for Lent.

The Lenten Cookbook

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, a Catholic homeschooling mother of two girls.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Book Review -Spirit and Life

by Rose Rea, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.

This a beautifully illustrated book that highlights and explains the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church:  Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

Each sacrament is explained in easy to understand prose, and supported by quotes from the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the writings of the Saints.  It also includes various stories from different persons from various perspectives, all with a love and veneration of the sacraments.  Each of these elements adds to the beauty and deep dimension of the sacraments.

This books is colorful, exquisitely illustrated and will make a lovely coffee table book or perfect gift, just interesting and long enough to hold the attention of readers of almost any age.

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two.

Spirit and Life

Book Review -Classic Bible Comics

Adapted by Stanley Silverstein, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.

This Bible comic book is a reprint of the 1974 Peter Pan Children's Bible Storybook. The illustrations are classic and vividly colored.  The print is very readable.  It contains twenty-three of the most loved Bible stories for children of all ages, such as David and Goliath, the Great Flood, Adam and Eve, and of course, the Nativity.

Beautifully illustrated and classic, this 80+  page book will make a charming gift for a youngster in your life.

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two. Classic Bible Comics

Book Review -All You Holy Women Pray for Us

by Adam and Angela Smyth, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.

This sweet little board book will make a perfect gift for a new or expectant mother, especially if she is expecting a girl.  This little book, so perfect for little hands, contains bright and cheery images of eight women saints.  This little sturdy book will make a wonderful introduction to beloved saints at an early age.

The eight women saints are St. Faustina, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Cecilia, St Kateri, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St Joan of Arc, St Josephine Bakhita, and St. Therese of Lisieux.  Each saint is drawn to captivate a small child with its bright and cheery colors and happy faces.  The poem for each is so melodic that it will soon become a favorite for any little child.

The rhyming verses are so flowing and musical, I plan to have my twins memorize them.  This is a delightful little book and I was very charmed by it.

A truly precious little book that is highly recommend.

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two.

All You Holy Women Pray for us

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
It is one of the oldest feast days in the Liturgy of the Church.
The only other births the Catholic Church celebrates as a feast are our Blessed Mother's and our Lord Jesus.
Why does the Church celebrate his birth? It is because he was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb." (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 717) " It is also believed that Jesus sanctified him from the womb and removed his original sin.
Before John was born, the angel announced that "many would rejoice in his birth." Thus, his feast day is one of the more joyous feast in the Church calendar. In olden times, it was observed as a great holiday with much more rejoicing and celebrating than we do now. For example on the eve of his feast, many countries would light up mountains and hills with "St. John's Fires" "Scarce had the last rays of the setting sun died away, when all the world over, immense columns of flame arose from every mountain top, and in an instant every town and village and hamlet was lighted up." (Dom. P.L.. Gueranger).
"The Birth of St. John the Baptist"
Domenico Ghirlandio
Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Wednesdays are Dedicated to St. Joseph -Prayer for the Spirit of Work

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who pass their life in labor, 
obtain for me the grace tow work in a spirit of penance to atone for my many sins; 
to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my own inclinations;
to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honor to use and develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; 
to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties. 
Help me to work, above all, with purity of intention and with detachment from self, 
having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must render of time lost, talents wasted, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, 
which is so fatal to the work of God. 
All for Jesus, 
all for Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph! 
This shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.

New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Lent - The Golden Rules of Detachment by St. John of the Cross

 The soul must always be inclined:

1.  not to the easiest thing but the hardest;

2.  not to the tastiest thing but the most insipid;

3.  not to the thing that gives the greatest pleasure but to those that give the least;

4.  not to the restful things but to painful ones;

5.  not to consolation but to desolation;

6.  not to more but to less;

7.  not to the highest and dearest but to the lowest and most despised;

8.  not to the desire for something but to have no desires.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Lent - An Examination of Conscience by Father Bill Casey

1.  Is there something I can do to get closer to God?

2.  Is there something I can do to know God better and to love Him more?

3.  Is there some way I can increase my desire for prayer?

4.  Is there some way I can rekindle that fire of divine love that might have gone out of my life?

5.  Is there some way I can rid myself of the spiritual mediocrity, the spiritual indifference that I find myself in so much of the time?

6.  Is there something I can give up?

7.  Is there anything in my life right now that is not pleasing to Almighty God?

8.  Is there some sin that I am holding on to?

9.  Is there some habitual sin that is separating my heart from God's graces?

10.  Is there something I need to confess?

11.  Am I crucifying Our Lord all over again by living in my sins?

12.  Well?  Is there?