Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saintly Quote

Saint Padre Pio
H/T to Sue

The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain.

St. Padre Pio (1887-1968)

The Rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary
Thank you Sue!

In order to pray well, it is not enough to give expression to our petitions by means of that most excellent of all prayers, the Rosary, but we must also pray with great attention, for God listens more to the voice of the heart than that of the mouth.

To be guilty of willful distractions during prayer would show a great lack of respect and reverence; it would make our Rosaries unfruitful and make us guilty of sin.

How can we expect God to listen to us if we ourselves
do not pay attention to what we are saying? How can we expect him to be pleased if, while in the presence of his tremendous majesty, we give in to distractions, like a child running after a butterfly?

People who do that forfeit God's blessing, which is changed into a curse for having treated the things of God disrespectfully: "Cursed be the one who does God's work negligently." Jer. 48:10.

Of course, you cannot say your Rosary without having a few involuntary distractions; it is even difficult to say a Hail Mary without your imagination troubling you a little, for it is never still; but you can say it without voluntary distractions, and you must take all sorts of precautions to lessen involuntary distractions and to control your imagination. To do this, put yourself in the
presence of God and imagine that God and his Blessed Mother are watching you, and that your guardian angel is at your right hand, taking your Hail Mary's, if they are well said, and using them like roses to make crowns for Jesus and Mary.
But remember that at your left hand is the devil, ready to pounce on every Hail Mary that comes his way and to write it down in his book of death, if they are not said with attention, devotion, and reverence.

Above all, do not fail to offer up each decade in honour of one of the mysteries, and try to form a picture in your mind of Jesus and Mary in connection with that mystery.
~ St. Louis De Montfort

Silent Night Movie

Silent Night Picture courtesy of Natural Moment

To watch the Silent Night Movie, please click

Vatican Museums Evangelize With Art, Says Pope

Masterpieces Synthesize Gospel and Culture

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 19, 2006 ( The Vatican Museums provide an "extraordinary opportunity for evangelization," Benedict XVI said on the occasion of the institution's 500th anniversary.

The Pope said this Saturday during an audience with the participants of an international congress which closed a year of events commemorating the long history of the Vatican Museums.

The Holy Father described them as "the greatest museum institutions in the entire world."

Benedict XVI congratulated those participating in the symposium to reflect on the identity and role of the museums today, and their prospects for the future.

The congress identified "elements that make it possible to better delineate the function, which we could describe as 'educational,' of museums in the context of the present globalized society," said the Pontiff.

The Pope said that "the Church has always supported and promoted the world of art, considering its language as a privileged vehicle of human and spiritual progress."

The Vatican Museums have the following inscription placed on the main door: "Ad augendum Urbis splendorem et asserendam religionis veritatem" (To promote the splendor of the city of Rome and affirm the truth of the Christian religion).

Benedict XVI continued: "The development in time of the Vatican Museums shows that these ends have always been clearly present in the Popes' intentions."


The Vatican Museums "can represent an extraordinary opportunity of evangelization because, through the different works exhibited, they offer visitors an eloquent testimony of the continuous intertwining that exists between the divine and human in life and in the history of nations," added the Pope.

The Holy Father said: "The enormous number of people that visit them every day shows the growing interest in these masterpieces of art and these historical testimonies, which are a marvelous synthesis of the Gospel and culture."

The Pontiff said that the museums are no longer "reserved for artists, specialists and men of culture alone, in our days it is increasingly everyone's home, thus responding to a widespread formative need of society."

Benedict XVI added that the institutions belong as well to the youth, "which can recognize in the museums the roots of their history and culture."

The Pope said that "every opportunity to foster integration and encounter between individuals and nations is, undoubtedly, something that should be stimulated."

"In such perspective, also museums -- though keeping in mind the changed social conditions -- can become places of artistic mediation, links of relationship between the past, the present and the future, crossroads of men and women of several continents, in addition to sources of research and forges of cultural and spiritual enrichment," the Holy Father said.

The Pontiff said: "The museums will be able to spread the culture of peace if, while retaining their nature of temples of the historical memory, they are also places of dialogue and friendship among all."

If you are interested in visiting the Vatican Museum virtually, please

Eucharistic Quote

Bread of Angels
Mahalo Sue

"I reminded the entire Church of the central and irreplaceable nature of the Eucharist in Christian life, in order be faithful to the vocation to sanctity.

Make the Blessed Sacrament the pinnacle of spiritual life and an inspiration for every missionary and apostolic project. In effect, in the Blessed Sacrament we encounter Christ, and therefore, it is a privileged point of encounter for souls in love with Him."

"Live the just-begun Year of the Eucharist as an intense time of encounters with Christ," "discover in this incomparable treasure that Jesus left us the joy and goodness of the loving presence of the Savior"

Pope John Paul II, November 9, 2004

Saintly Quote

Mahalo Sue

Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love.
Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.

St. John of Kanty (1390-1474)

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Legion of Mary Tip


Be nice. Do not be mean. Be respectful. Be sweeter than honey, but do not water down the truth. Sound doctrine, with sweet honey.

Top 10 Notorious American Catholic Politicians

Custos Fidei has the list so make sure to check it out their blog.

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Shaka Santa and Mrs. Claus
Santa in Hawaii picture courtesy of Color Matters

An old Christmas favorite has been posted on
Domestic Vocations' Blog

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897. [See The People’s Almanac, pp. 1358–9.]

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no
Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the
truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

CLICK HERE for the Editor's response.

The Legend of the Candy Cane

Candy Cane
H/T to Di

Even thought the following story may not be true, it is still a beautiful way of viewing the candy cane. And, in the spirit of Christmas I would like to share it:

Many years ago, a candy maker in Indiana had an idea to show through the candy he made, that Jesus Christ was born among us, lived and died to save us all.

So he created the candy cane. He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and the firmness of the promises of God. The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the shepherd's staff, reminding us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.

Catholic - T'was the Night Before the First Christmas

Holy FamilyPicture Courtesy of Christian Iconography
H/T to Di

It is said that Clement Moore wrote the "Night Before Christmas" for the enjoyment of his children. The same motive was the inspiration behind this poem by Sister Mary Thomas many years ago. Thus the true story of the "Night before the First Christmas. "

T'was the night before Christmas and all through the town
St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down.
Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild.
While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child.

The children were nestled, each snug in his bed,
And the grownups wouldn't bother. There's no room, they said.
When even the innkeeper sent them away
and Joseph was wondering where they would stay.

He thought of the cave in the side of the hill
Let's go there," said Mary. It's silent and still."
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Made a pathway of light for their tired feet to go.

And there in the cave in a cradle of hay
The Saviour was born on that first Christmas Day.
The Father was watching in heaven above
And sent for His angels, His courtiers of love.

More rapid than eagles God's bright angels came,
Rejoicing and eager as each heard his name.
"Come Powers, come Cherubs, come Virtues and Raphael,
Come Thrones and Dominions, come Michael and Gabriel.

"Now fly to the earth where my poor people live,
Announce the glad tidings My Son Comes to give."
The Shepherds were watching their flocks on the night
And saw in the heavens an unearthly light.

The angels assured them they'd nothing to fear.
"It's Christmas," they said. "The Saviour is here!"
They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door,
Till Mary invited them in to adore.

He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet,
And never did shepherds see a Baby so sweet!
He spoke not a word but the shepherds all knew.
He was telling them secrets and blessing them too.

Then softly they left Him, the Babe in the hay,
And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day.
Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill,
"Glory to God in the highest; Peace to men of good will."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Babes - The Eucharist and the Crucifix

H/T to Sue

When asked by her faith-education teacher what was the difference between the crucifix and the Eucharist, a little girl had this delightful reply:

"In the crucifix we see Jesus but he is not there.
In the Eucharist we don't see Jesus, but he is there."


Eucharistic Quote

B16 Eucharist
H/T to Sue

Whenever I go to the chapel,I put myself in the presence of our good Lord, and I say,"Lord, I am here. Tell me what you would have me do."

St. Catherine Laboure (1806-1876)

The Delicate Juggling Act of Praying as a Family

Family Prayer Picture courtesy of Catholic Culture

In this time of Advent, it feels appropriate to review the various ways in which we can prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus Christ. What is it exactly that we can do and how can we do it? This is quite a special time of the year and there's got to be more to it than frantic shopping and endless food-feasts with family and friends and co-workers, right? We all need to go on a diet anyhow and
this constant marching music of "Buy this! Buy that! Buy NOW!" is rather deafening. It is exactly in this month of December that the difference between the spirit of the season in the secular and consumer world and the Spirit of this Advent liturgical season in the Church are definitively taking different paths... and I think that the two of them are growing more and more apart as the
years go by. Lucky for us, we have the Mass and the readings of Scripture and the homilies (and our conscience!) to constantly call us to another level, to redirect us to the proper level of relationships vs. the level of things, because it is all about love, the love of God and the love of neighbor, and there is more to love than a wrapped box with pretty paper and lovely ribbons. Of course, a material gift can be the way we express our love but it's definitively not the first way and it looks to me like nowadays, in 2006, in our wonderful and wealthy and free democracies of the West, the voice of the Church is the only one to constantly challenge us to go beyond ourselves and beyond
what we see and hear and feel. Thank God for that challenge!

Please click title above for the entire article which includes suggestions for praying as a family.

The Sign of the Cross

H/T to Sue

When we bless ourselves with the sign of the cross, we should take advantage of
this opportunity to meditate the passion of Christ.

As I bless myself with the sign of the cross, I clothe my soul with the holy wounds of Jesus Christ who died for my sins.The image of my soul which has been destroyed by sin receives restoration and protection from my Lord and Saviour.

"Lord Jesus Christ imprint upon my soul your most holy wounds, so that I may be
purified from all my sinfulness, deliver me Lord from all evil."

In the name of the Father,

I bless my soul with the holy wounds of the sacred head of Jesus and the sufferings of His holy mind, so that I may always keep my soul in the Presence of God.

In the name of the Son,

I bless my soul with the wounds of His sacred feet, so that I may always walk in the path of Salvation and proclaim the Word of God to others.

In the name of the Holy Spirit, I bless my soul with the wounds of His sacred hands, that I may always do the work of God.

+ + +

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Joseph of Jesus and Mary
The Work of God Apostolate

While you are at it, please visit this website
Work of God where the above was from.

Pope Remembers Those Who Suffer at Christmas

Word of the Lord for "Life's Wounded," He Says

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 17, 2006 ( Benedict XVI remembered people who will spend Christmas in the cross fire of war, especially in the Middle East and Africa, or in conditions of loneliness and poverty.

Christmas, when Christ enters the world to save humanity, "is a prophetic proclamation destined for the whole of humanity, in particular, the poorest, in this case, those who are poor in joy!" the Pope said.

The Holy Father made his comments today to the thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square to recite the Angelus.

He referred to the readings of this Sunday's liturgy, which call for joy, as "The Lord is at hand."

"This promise was fully realized in the mystery of Christmas, which we will celebrate within a week, and which it is necessary to renew in the 'today' of our lives and in history," Benedict XVI said, speaking from the window of his study.

He continued, "The joy awakened by the liturgy in the hearts of Christians is not reserved to them alone: It is a prophetic proclamation destined for the whole of humanity, in particular, the poorest, in this case, those who are poor in joy!"

The Pope mentioned in particular "our brothers and sisters who, especially in the Middle East, in some areas of Africa and in other parts of the world, live the tragedy of war."

"What joy can they experience? What will their Christmas be like?" he asked. "Let us think of all the sick and lonely people who, in addition to having physical suffering, suffer in the spirit, as often they feel abandoned. How can one share joy with them without lacking respect for their suffering?"

Artificial paradise

The Holy Father also invited his listeners to think of those, "especially young people, who have lost the sense of authentic joy, and who seek it in vain where it is impossible to find: in the exasperated race for self-affirmation and success, in false amusements, in consumerism, in moments of drunkenness, in the artificial paradise of drugs and of other forms of alienation."

"The Word of the Lord is addressed precisely to those who are being tested, to life's wounded and orphans of joy," assured the Pontiff. "The invitation to joy is not an alienating message, or a sterile palliative, but rather a prophecy of salvation, an appeal for rescue that starts with inner renewal."

The Holy Father concluded by inviting Christians to do all they can "with humility and courage so that the world will welcome Christ, who is the source of authentic joy."

The Liturgy - Changes Coming Our Way

According to Fr. Martin Fox

Some new things are coming for the Catholic liturgy--and what that might be is beginning to become clear.
Please click here to learn more.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Saintly Quote

Thanks Sue

One who is anchored in God does not suffer any loss,even if attacked by a thousand waves and a thousand storms. On the contrary, he emerges stronger.

St. John Chrysostom

Monday, December 18, 2006

Marian Quote

Mary H/T Sue

The Mother of God contained the infinite God under her Heart,the God Whom no space can contain.
Through her, the Trinity is adored,demons are vanquished, Satan is cast out of heaven,and our fallen nature is assumed into heaven.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria

Rosary Army

H/T to Heather

Make Them, Pray Them, Give Them Away

to learn more about this project, please click the title above.

Saintly Quote

crucified Christ
Mahalo Sue!

As love is paid for in love, I must imitate Him, sharing in spirit all His sufferings. I must consider how much I owe Him and what He has done for me.
Putting these sufferings between God and my soul, I must say, "What does it matter my God, that I should endure for your love these small hardships?"

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Vatican to Catholic Homeschoolers - Good Job!

H/T to Easter and Me Monk, Meander

As a Catholic homeschooling mom, I could take the opportunity to tell homeschooling naysayers, "I told you so" But I won't :-) The following article speaks for itself.

Vatican to Catholic Homeschoolers: "I truly admire parents, who take on this great commitment"

VATICAN CITY, December 13, 2006 ( - Three veterans of the United States Catholic home school movement spent Thanksgiving week in Vatican City meeting with officials of various congregations and councils of the Holy See to discuss the positive results of Catholic home schooling. Dr. Mary Kay Clark, Director of Seton Home Study School, as well as Dr. Catherine Moran,
President of the Catholic Home School Network of America, and Mrs. Virginia Seuffert, home schooling mother of 12 and a frequent speaker at Catholic Home Schooling conferences, were encouraged by the positive response of the Vatican prelates.

Many of the prelates were already familiar with Seton Home
Study School, a Catholic home study program in the diocese of Arlington, Virginia, which has been operating for the past twenty-five years, with a current enrollment of approximately 11,000 students. Officials were presented with textbooks from Seton Press, the publishing arm of the school, and the largest publisher of Catholic schoolbooks in North America with over 100 titles
and hundreds of thousands of books sold. Students are enrolled primarily in the United States, but also from many countries from around the world, such as Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, Mexico, the Philippines, Japan, the Czech Republic, Germany, Colombia, and India.

The home school envoys emphasized to the Vatican cardinals and bishops the primary importance of the Faith in Catholic home schooling. They explained that when parents teach the Faith to their children on a daily basis, teaching not only with textbooks but through the daily practice of prayer, good example, and frequent reception of the Sacraments, children will develop a love for the Faith and vocations will increase. They quoted one Midwest bishop who says that over a five-year period, 23 percent of young men graduating from one home school cooperative in his diocese entered the seminary. They pointed out that Justin Ferguson, the seminarian who gave the first reading at Pope Benedict's papal installation mass, is an alumnus of Seton Home Study School.
Click title above for the entire article.