Saturday, March 03, 2007

Lenten - Saintly Quote

St. Therese Quote

The Clinging Cross

Clinging Cross

Thanks Barb

"I call it a holy grail moment for me because I just knew I had something incredible," said Jane Davis of Kingwood, who manufactures the 'Clinging Cross.'

It's bringing comfort to people all over the country, including ABC's Bob Wooddruff. He used it while recovering from a bomb attack in Iraq. And now, we've learned those popular crosses are made by a Kingwood woman.
To read the entire article click the title above.

Lenten Improvement - Humility (Cont.)

The following is taken from Improve:Now is the Acceptable Time! distributed by the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers.

Note: Fr. Lester has kindly permitted me to use these excerpts daily. Please click HERE to learn more about the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers and to consider joining them as a member.

Spiritual X-Ray

Humility is truth. Humility puts an x-ray on us and makes us see ourselves as we really are. Humility, according to Saint Bonaventure and Saint Bernard, is that
virtue by which man, through self-knowledge, acquires a lowly opinion of himself. It was humility that made Saint Augustine pray to God: 'May I know You; may I know myself.' Humility prompted the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi: 'My God and my All! Who are You...and who am I?'"

Friday, March 02, 2007

40 Ways to Improve Your Lent

40 Ways

Mahalo to Sue C!

You know what I've discovered about myself? I love lists. I can't resist lists. Here's one that Sue shared recently and which appeared in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald

1. Learn about your patron saint.

2. Pray for — by name — people you don’t like and for people that don’t like you.

3. Participate in a healing service.

4. Read a Catholic magazine every time you visit the library.

5. March 19, in honor of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters and fathers, build or build upon a relationship with one of your children.

6. Buy two of everything on your grocery list, and give the duplicates to the local food pantry.

7. Find out why you should have fun on Laetare Sunday, and then do so.

8. Start a “cuss bowl.” For every unkind word you utter, put in a dollar — two dollars during Holy Week. After Easter, give the money to an English as a second language program.

9. Bring a “Baltimore Catechism” to a gathering of Catholic friends, and start asking each other questions.

10. Give away a material item you really value.

11. Pray for those, e.g., children, parents, spouse, siblings, who have left the church.

12. Talk to a neighbor you rarely or never talk to.

13. Keep a dish of ashes in a prominent place as a constant reminder of the season.

14. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

15. Test your knowledge of Scripture.

16. Read a biography about Archbishop Oscar Romero and/or watch the video “Romero.”

17. Open a Christmas Club account with the intention of giving the money to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

18. Visit a church when you don’t have to.

19. Reserve a button on your car stereo for the Relevant Radio station in your area.

20. Pray the news — for the people whose stories of hardship are reported daily and weekly.

21. Read an entry from a Catholic encyclopedia.

22. Attend Mass at a parish other than your own

23. Tithe your tax return.

24. If Catholic schools get NCAA tournament bids, learn for whom those schools were named.

25. Observe five minutes of silence every day.

26. Instead of watching the Academy Awards on Feb. 27, watch “The Passion of the Christ.”

27. Use a Lenten theme in decorating part of a room.

28. Memorize a Proverb.

29. Participate in a faith formation presentation.

30. Tell someone your story(ies) of faith, how God has made a difference in your life.

31. Disconnect the TV and/or the computer.

32. Identify your God-given gifts, how you use them, and how you could use them better.

33. Fast from gossip.

34. Pull the rosary out of your drawer and say it. Too boring? Say the Scriptural rosary.

35. Remove your watch before leaving for church on Palm Sunday.

36. Develop a prayer list.

37. Read a history of the papacy.

38. Find out who Raamah, Putiel, and Uzzah are.

39. Sacrifice your time in order to help others.

40. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.”
Aren't these suggestions great???

Corporal Acts of Mercy - Sheltering the Homeless

Madonna of the Streets Picture is the Madonna of the Streets

To shelter the homeless

Unless we can open our door and invite a homeless person to live with our family, we cannot do what Jesus' asks. Or can we? There are ways we can help those in need of a home.

1. We can donate to a homeless shelter either with our time or money.

2. We can also remember to help the unwed mothers in our midst...those who may have made a mistake but did not compound the problem by aborting (murdering) their baby.

There are many organizations that help unwed mothers. Here in Hawaii we have the Catholic Charities' Mary Jane Program I know that one of our Catholic homeschooling groups helps them out on a regular basis.

Another program that I would recommend is the one run by Fr. Benedict Groeschel...Good Counsel Homes. My family and I went to hear Fr. Groeschel and Chris Bell speak in New Jersey. They do wonderful work! You can read for yourself by visiting their website.

3. We can discuss with our family what can be done to do our small part in helping shelter the homeless.

You'll be surprised what ideas your children or even your husband may come up with.

Lenten Improvement - Humility

The following is taken from Improve:Now is the Acceptable Time! distributed by the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers.

Note: Fr. Lester has kindly permitted me to use these excerpts daily. Please click HERE to learn more about the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers and to consider joining them as a member.

Not Weakness:

Humility is strength. What made Peter and Paul the fearless fighters for Our Lord after their conversion? Their humility. They knew their own weakness. They became strong with the strength of Christ and courageous with the courage of Christ. The humble man continually hears the passage from Scripture: 'Without Me you can do nothing,' but he also hears the other passage: 'I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.' Humility is strength, the strength of the divine in a human heart freed of pride."

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Corporal Acts of Mercy - Clothing the Naked

Clothing the Naked Picture courtesy of Works of Art Clothing the Naked by Michiel Sweerts

Clothing the Naked.

Suggestions, go through your family's closets and drawers and donate those items of clothing no longer worn. To make a bigger sacrifice, considering donating something that is a favorite piece of clothing. You can donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Salvation Army or if you know someone in need, give it to that person.

Lenten Improvements - Are You Humble?

Day 8

The following is taken from Improve:Now is the Acceptable Time! distributed by the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers.

Note: Fr. Lester has kindly permitted me to use these excerpts daily. Please click HERE to learn more about the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers and to consider joining them as a member.

"To be humble you need not be a football that everyone may kick around, nor need you be a carpet that people can walk all over, nor a door mat on which people wipe their feet. Some falsely think the humble man is like a ping-pong ball that can be batted back and forth, now on one side, now on the other side -- a 'yes man'. Others wrongly picture a humble man as being soft, pliable, spineless like a powder puff or a marshmallow. To others a
humble person is one who has an inferiority complex; he is as helpless as a corpse and as unsteady as a swinging door.

Hearts are Trump:

Humility is even sometimes associated with frailty and poor health. In the minds of most people a humble man is pictured as being about forty-two years old, stooped, weighing one hundred and seventeen pounds and wearing ill-fitting clothes. Not so at all! He may be humble but not because of his physical frailty. You cannot weigh humility on a scale nor measure it with a yardstick. Our Lord said, 'Learn of Me because I am meek (not weak) and humble of heart."

More on being humble tomorrow.

Please visit Catholic Fire's post on humility.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Corporal Act of Mercy - To Give Drink to the Thirsty

ThirstPicture courtesy of this Website

To Give Drink to the Thirsty.

Remember, that some people thirst for human kindness, understanding, companionship, etc..

Lenten Improvements - Thoughtfulness (cont.)

Day 7
The following is taken from Improve: Now is the Acceptable Time! distributed by the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers.

Why Be Thoughtful?

Life is packed with opportunities for practicing the virtue of thoughtfulness, if only we use them. In the Gospel story of the good Samaritan, God had to send three men to do the work on one man. The priest and the levite passed up an
opportunity, and the good Samaritan came along and helped the traveler who had been beaten by robbers. May God never have to send someone else to perform the thoughtful deeds that you could perform. Your home, your place of work, and your city will be a better place for living and working because you are there if you practice Christ-like thoughtfulness. Remember the motive: 'As long as you did it for one of these, the lease of My brethren, you did it for Me.'--Christ"

Lenten Tip from the Legion of Mary

RosaryPicture courtesy of Holy Spirit Interactive

The following is a tip from the Legion of Mary Blog

We must become more contemplative. From contemplation comes unity of the heart. We must spend time in prayer, and not worry about distractions that take us from our interior life such as TV, Radio, etc. that keep our heart empty.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Today's Thought

Thanks Froggy!

The devil tempts all, but those who are idle tempt the devil.

Lenten Improvements - Being Thoughtful

Day 6
The following is taken from Improve: Now is the Acceptable Time! distributed by the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers.

That Added Measure:
A thoughtful person goes the extra mile and does more than he has to do. You are told to polish the kitchen floor and end up by doing the basement stairs for good measure. Mother asks you to go upstairs for a pair of scissors, and you pick up the basket of clothes at the bottom of the steps and take it with you. Going the extra mile is like the shine on your shoes, the icing on a cake, the shock absorber on a car, or the power on your nose. It's not necessary but it does help.

Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 25:31

Christ the King

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit
upon His glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before Him. And He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.

Then the king will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and You gave me food, I was thirsty and You gave me drink, a stranger and You welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'

Then the righteous will answer Him and say, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You ill or in prison, and visit You?'

And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for Me.'

Then He will say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink,
a stranger and you gave Me no welcome, naked and you gave Me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for Me.'

Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to Your needs?'

He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for Me.'

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Corporal Act of Mercy - Feeding the Hungry

Starving child in SudanPicture courtesy of All Things New

To feed the hungry

Today, volunteer at a soup kitchen near your home or bring food to a neighbor in need such as a lonely elderly neighbor.

To help those in need around the world, consider donating to:

Food for the Poor or

Catholic Relief Services. As you know, sacrificing and adding to the Operation Rice Bowl is a Lenten tradition for most Catholics.

An Examination of Conscience

I highly recommend Father Robert Altier's Examination of Conscience.

It can be found HERE in pdf form or ordered from Leaflet Missal

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Lenten Improvements - Are You Thoughtful?

Day 5

The following is taken from Improve: Now is the Acceptable Time! distributed by the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers.

"What is thoughtfulness? It is a virtue, a habit, a quality of the heart, which makes us forget ourselves and become mindful of others to the extent of sensing and even anticipating their needs and wishes. Thoughtfulness is the giving of a little bit of yourself, going the extra mile, performing the pleasantly unexpected favor. Thoughtfulness doesn't way, 'What must I do?' but, 'What all can I possibly do?'

A thoughtful persona forgets self. Forgetting yourself to help others implies a sacrifice without considering the cost to yourself. 'Service' is the motto of one who forgets himself. Thoughtful is the girl who comes home from school and washes the few dishes piled in the kitchen sink before being told to wash them. The young man who goes out and shovels the snow, cuts the grass, rakes, the leaves, or polishes the family car without behaving to be reminded or paid is thoughtful.

An Eye for Others:

A thoughtful person is mindful of others. Being mindful of others, you pass the food at the table, move away from the door in a crowded bus, share the seat on a train or bus, dim your bright lights for on-coming cars, and keep your hand off the horn in congested traffic*.

How's Your Average?

A thoughtful person gives part of himself. One French proverb says: 'He gives nothing who does not give himself.' A thoughtful man spends not cash but himself on others. It doesn't cost anything to give away some of your time, a smile, a bit of courtesy, sympathy, encouragement, appreciation, or a good idea. Are you one who gives credit, one who takes notice, one who comments on a good meal, a tasty pie, a new arrangement of the old furniture in the living room? As a son, daughter, or husband, do you ever startle your mother or wife by telling her she did a neat pressing job on your shirt or blouse? Thanks are so inexpensive and are part of yourself. In the Gospel only one out of ten lepers that Christ cleansed came back to say thanks. One out of ten! Are you trying to bring up that average by saying 'thanks' more often?"
*Note: In Hawaii, people do not blow their horns. It is considerate impolite. For the most part, the people in Hawaii are very considerate of others. No wonder our nickname is that of the Aloha State. We try to share the Aloha spirit daily.