Saturday, March 31, 2007

Remember Them - Our Military

Mahalo to Sue!

Prayer for God's Mercy and Pardon for Sin

Sacred Heart
Thanks Sue.

Lord, I am in this world to show Your mercy to others. Other people will glorify You by making visible the power of Your grace by their fidelity and constancy to You. For my part I will glorify You by making known how good You are to sinners, that Your mercy is boundless and that no sinner no matter how great his offences should have reason to despair of pardon. If I have grievously offended You, My Redeemer, let me not offend You even more by thinking that You are not kind enough to pardon Me. Amen.

Saint Claude de la Colombiere

Saintly Quote - Life

Mother Teresa
Thanks Sue!
"In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other, as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily."
~ Blessed (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta at the National Prayer Breakfast in Feb. 1994

The Dust of Our Souls

JesusAs I mentioned in the beginning of Lent, one of the books I chose to read was Heart of Joy by Blessed Mother Teresa. The following is found on page 78 and I thought it meaningful as we attempt to cleanse ourselves before Easter.

"This year we ought to prepare a manger of poverty. It will be easy to fill up with charity.

We are convinced that we know each other very well personally. Our lives belong to God--why spend so much time analyzing ourselves?

The problem is not that we don't make our examination of conscience but that we do it by ourselves. We must do it with Christ if it is to be a sincere examination--Jesus is our 'co-worker.'

Our souls should be like a transparent crystal through which God can be perceived. This crystal is sometimes covered with dirt and dust. To remove this dust we carry out our examination of conscience, in order to obtain a clean heart.

God will help us to remove that dust, as long as we allow him to, if our will is that his will come about. Perhaps this is what we have lacked.

Our duties, our attitude toward our neighbor, our contacts, can offer us matter for reflection. If we carry out our examination without anything to divert our attention, we will realize that we need Jesus to help us discover our unfaithfulnesses.

Our examination of conscience is the mirror we focus toward nature: a human test, no doubt, but one that needs a mirror in order to faithfully reflect its faults. If we undertake this task with greater faithfulness, perhaps we will realize that what we sometimes consider a stumbling block is rather a rock we can step on."

Lenten Poll Results - How Often Do You Go to Confession?


A total of 162 people voted in this poll. The results are as follows:

Weekly 34% - 55 votes

Monthly 25% - 40 votes

At least once a year 17% - 27 votes

As often as needed, even if it's more than once a week 10% 17 votes

Other 9% - 14 votes

Never 6% - 9 votes

Thank you all for voting. A new poll starts tonight.

Sainty Quote

Thanks Becca!

"Now I realize that true charity consists in putting up with all one's neighbor's faults, never being suprised by his weakness, and being inspired by the least of his virtues."

~ St. Therese

Creat Your Own Modern Art

H/T to The Generator Blog

Modern Art

Friday, March 30, 2007

A "Conversion" Story - Marriage and the Church

I know most of you read Fr. Dwight's blog regularly, but just in case you don't I strongly suggest you read what he posted today:

With This Ring I Thee Wed

Prayer for Financial Assistance

OLOPHPicture courtesy of This Site

Shared by Sue.

Realizing, dearest Mother of Perpetual Help, that thou art our perpetual help not only in spiritual but also in temporal necessities, we approach thee with submissive and humble hearts because we have a child-like and affectionate trust in thy power and goodness, beseeching thee to assist us in or present financial worry. 'Owing to untoward circumstances which have arisen in our lives, we are in dire want and pecuniary embarrassment, being unable to meet our honest debts.

We are not asking, dearest Mother of Perpetual Help, for wealth, if the possession of it is not in accordance with the holy will of God. We merely beg of thee that assistance which will enable us to satisfy our most pressing obligations.

We believe, Dear Mother of God, that thou art the Queen of heaven and earth, and as such, the instrument and special dispenser of thy divine Son's graces; that thou hast acquired by virtue of thy wonderful dignity, a sweet jurisdiction over all creation. We believe that thou art not only rich and bountiful, but extremely kind and generous to all thy loving and devoted children. We plead with thee, therefore, dear Mother, to obtain for us the help we so urgently need in our present financial difficulty. We thank thee, dear Lady of Perpetual Help, and promise. to publish far and wide, the glories of thy miraculous picture. Amen.

Printed with Ecclesiastical Approval.

Block Rosary

Prayer to Save a Child From Abortion

BabyPicture courtesy of National Right to Life
In my family, it is traditional to pray to end abortion on Fridays. Thank you Sue!

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I come to pray for every mother who is today considering the termination of the life of her unborn child. Grant her the courage and grace to persevere, so that the child already living, will be born safely. I pray also that those who support, encourage, promote or perform abortions may be granted a conversion of mind and heart. Finally, I pray for all those who have been hurt by the tragedy of abortion.

Eternal Father, I offer you the most precious Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the masses celebrated throughout the world today, in atonement for our sins, and for all the sins of abortion in the world. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world. AMEN

Pray one Our Father....One Hail Mary....One Glory be.

I baptise all people who are not baptised, with the holy water and the Precious Blood, and make the sign of the cross 3 times on my forehead. The holy water must flow over my forehead: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. I baptise those unborn in their mother's womb with the Precious Blood and the tears of blood, and again make the sign of the Holy Cross on by brow +++ and pray for all and with all the Creed, which is the exorcism.

Dear Saviour, give them the name of the saint of the day. (Saviours' words)
By thy Virgin Purity, O Mary, save all souls who despise they purity and offend they heart. Amen

Antoinette (Italy)
p.s. I found this prayer in a Pieta book from the Shrine of the Mystic Rose here in Italy, it has Ecclesiastical Imprimatur

Another Saintly Quote

St. Therese
Thanks Becca!
"I had to remember that all would be revealed on the Day of Judgement."
~ St. Therese

Reason Is Antidote to Relativism, Pope Says


Reflects on St. Justin, Philosopher and Apologist

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21, 2007 ( The use of reason is the antidote to false religious myths and relativism, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this at today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square. The Holy Father continued with his series of teachings on protagonists in the early Church; today's address was dedicated to St. Justin Martyr.

The Pontiff recalled the path of conversion which St. Justin followed: He searched for truth in the various schools of Greek philosophy until he discovered Christianity, which he called the "true philosophy."

Benedict XVI added: "In Christianity, in fact, he had found the truth and, therefore, the way to live uprightly. Because of this he was denounced and decapitated around the year 165, under the reign of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor-philosopher to whom Justin had dedicated an 'Apologia.'"

The Pope continued: "Justin aims above all to show the divine projects of creation and of salvation brought about by Christ, the 'Logos,' that is, the eternal Word, eternal Reason, creative Reason.

"Every person, as a rational creature, participates in the 'Logos,' carrying within himself a 'seed,' and can perceive glimmers of truth. In this way, the same 'Logos,' who had revealed himself as a prophetic image to the Jews in the Old Covenant, had also partially revealed himself, as with 'seeds of truth,' in Greek philosophy.

"Thus, Justin concludes, given that Christianity is a historical and personal manifestation of the 'Logos' in its entirety, 'all that is beautiful which has been expressed by anyone, belongs to us Christians.'"

The Holy Father explained that Justin marks "the ancient Church's decisive option for philosophy."

"Justin, and with him other apologists, took the position of the Christian faith as the God of the philosophers instead of the false gods of the pagan religion," the Pontiff said. "It was a choice for the truth of being versus the myth of traditions."

"In an era such as ours," Benedict XVI added, "marked by relativism in the debate on values and on religion -- as well as in interreligious dialogue -- this is a lesson that should not be forgotten."

Saintly Quote

Thanks Sue!
There is no sacrifice which, by the aid of grace, human nature is not
capable of accomplishing. When Saint Paul complained to God of the violence of temptation, God answered, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for strength is made perfect in infirmity."
~ Little Lives of the Saints

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Little Blogger Humor

Confession and Blogging
H/T Contemplata Allis Tradere

Are You Guilty of Pride?

2nd Sorrowful MysteryPicture from the Gefroh Family Collection of Rosary Pictures

The Catholic Warrior posted this yesterday and I wanted to share it with my readers

1. To think that what one says or does is better than what others say or do

2. To always to want to get your own way

3. To argue with stubbornness and bad manners whether you are right or wrong

4. To give your opinion when it has not been requested or when charity does not demand it

5. To look down on another's point of view

6. Not to look on your gifts and abilities as lent

7. Not to recognize that you are unworthy of all honors and esteem, not even of the earth you walk on and things you possess

8. To use yourself as an example in conversations

9. To speak badly of yourself so that others will think well of you or contradict you

10. To excuse yourself when you are corrected

11. To hide humiliating faults from your spiritual director, so that he will not change the impression he has of you

12. To take pleasure in praise and compliments

13. To be saddened because others are held in higher esteem

14. To refuse to perform inferior tasks

15. To seek to stand out

16. To refer in conversation to your honesty, genius, dexterity, or professional prestige

17. To be ashamed because you lack certain goods

From the Writings of Bl. Josemaria Escriva

Saintly Quote

Thanks to Sue
Every virtue in your soul is a precious ornament which makes you dear to God and to man. But holy purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue, is a jewel so precious that those who possess it become like the angels of God in Heaven, even though clothed in mortal flesh.
St. John Bosco


Stick Girl
Thanks Irena!

1. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

2. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

3. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

4. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by simply using the sink.

5. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

6. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget about the toothache.

Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are:

You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

Inspirational Thoughts

God bless
Thanks Cc. I don't agree with all of them but I didn't want to mess up the numbering by deleting :-)

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't mess up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Daily Novena Prayer to Blessed Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Sue shared the following Novena. I have seen it on the internet but I do not know the original source.

Blessed Mother Teresa needs one more miracle to become a saint.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all.

Obtain from the Heart of Jesus (here make your request).

Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for me.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for me.

First Day – Know the Living Jesus
Thought for the day:

“Don’t search for Jesus in far lands; He is not there. He is close to you; He is in you.”
Ask for the grace of an intimate knowledge of Jesus. Recite the prayer to Blessed Teresa

Second Day –Jesus Loves You
Thought for the day:

“Do not be afraid - you are precious to Jesus. He loves you.”

Ask for the grace to be convinced of Jesus’ unconditional and personal love for you. Recite the prayer to Blessed Teresa

Third Day – Hear Him Say to You: “I Thirst”
Thought for the day:
“Just think! God is thirsting for you and me to come forward to satiate His thirst.” Ask for the grace to understand Jesus’ cry of thirst. Recite the prayer to Blessed Teresa

Fourth Day – Our Lady Will Help You
Thought for the day:
“How close we must keep to Our Lady who understood what depth of Divine Love was being revealed as she stood at the foot of the Cross and heard Jesus cry out: ‘I thirst.’ ” Ask for the grace to learn from Our Lady to quench Jesus’ thirst as she did. Recite the prayer to Blessed Teresa

Fifth Day – Trust Jesus Blindly
Thought for the day:
“Confidence in God can do all things. It is our emptiness and lowliness that God needs and not our plenitude.” Ask for the grace to have an unshakeable trust in the God’s power and love for you and for all. Recite the prayer to Blessed Teresa

Sixth Day - True Love is Surrender
Thought for the day:
“Allow God to use you without consulting you.” Ask for the grace to surrender your whole life to God. Recite the prayer to Blessed Teresa

Seventh Day – God Loves a Cheerful Giver
Thought for the day:
“Joy is the sign of union with God, of God’s presence. Joy is love, the normal result of a heart burning with love.” Ask for the grace to find joy in loving and to share this joy with all you meet. Recite the prayer to Blessed Teresa

Eighth Day – Jesus Made Himself the Bread of Life and the Hungry One
Thought for the day:
“Believe that He, Jesus, is in the appearance of Bread and that He, Jesus, is in the hungry, naked, sick, lonely, unloved, homeless, helpless and hopeless.” Ask for the grace of a deep faith to see Jesus in the Bread of Life and to serve Him in the distressing disguise of the poor. Recite the prayer to Blessed Teresa

Ninth Day – Holiness is Jesus Living and Acting in Me
Thought for the day:
“Charity for each other is the surest way to great holiness.” Ask for the grace to become a saint.

Prayer Request


I promised my mom I would post this.

Please keep my brother Carlos in your prayers as he undergoes surgery tomorrow. We would appreciate it.

Thank you!

Prayer to St. Michael in Time of Peace

St. Michael the Archangel
Sue shared the following poem written by G.K. Chesterton:

This poem was first published in The Legion Book (London 1929), and again in G. K.'s Weekly (September 24, 1936).The poem also appeared in Chesterton Review, May 1990 (Vol 16 No 2).

Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning,
Michael of the Army of the Lord,
Stiffen thou the hand upon the still sword, Michael,
Folded and shut upon the sheathed sword, Michael,
Under the fullness of the white robes falling,
Gird us with the secret of the sword.

Click HERE for the entire poem.

Prayer for Family Life

Holy Family
Thanks Sue.

The following is from Fr. Tommy Lane's site

"Dear Lord, with Mary and Joseph, you have lived within a family;
Teach me always to appreciate the precious gift of being part of a family.
Show me ever new ways to protect and comfort those closest to me, and
Let me, each day, do something that will say 'I love you' without
speaking the words.
But remind me also to frequently say those words.
Let me never part from any member of my family in anger.
Prompt me always to turn back without delay - to forgive, and be forgiven.
And let me see your image within each person in my own family, and in my greater family,
Knowing that in your Kingdom, we will truly be one family,
United by your sacrifice on the cross.

(Fr Tommy Lane).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Saintly Quote - Silence

God bless
Thanks Becca

"Silence does good to the soul."

~ St. Therese

Mom's Humor Break - What Do You Do All Day?

Thanks John

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty "food boxes and wrappers" strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house...
and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry-way, he found an even bigger mess.... A lamp had been knocked over (broken), and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

In the front room... the TV was loudly blaring a "cartoon channel", and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of children's clothing.

In the kitchen... dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter-top, the refrigerator door was wide open, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something rather serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water, as it made its way out from under the bathroom door. As he peered inside, he found wet towels, scummy soap, and more toys strewn over the floor... Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap, and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, there he found his wife... still curled up in the bed In her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

He looked at her, bewildered, and asked, "What the hell happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work, and you ask me what in the world I do all day?"

"Yes," was his incredulous reply.

She answered, "Well... today I didn't do it."

Saintly Quote

St. Paul of the Cross
Thanks Sue.
Live in such a way that all may know that you bear outwardly as well as inwardly the image of Christ crucified, the model of all gentleness and mercy.
Saint Paul of the Cross (1694-1775)

Hour Prayer - For the Holy Souls

OLOKPicture courtesy of THIS SITE

Thanks Sue!

This is an old Irish prayer for the holy souls and dedicates each hour of the day to them. It goes:

Dear Lord, this hour I give to Thee,
For all my past O pardon me,
I know my soul must soon depart,
So hide me in Thy Sacred Heart

Turn to Jesus, Mary, turn,
Call Him by His dearest name,
Plead for the holy souls that burn
This hour within the cleansing flame.

If you memorise this prayer and repeat if frequently during the day you will find it gives you much comfort also for it is a prayer to protect you at the moment of your own death.

To learn more about Masses for the Holy Souls, and participating in FOSS, please visit Knock Novena. The above noted prayer has been passed to me by them.

Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi dona eis requiem

Thought of the Day - Great Wealth

Angel Thanks Froggy!

"Even with a small bank account, the one who is contented finds himself with great wealth"

Why Can't Our Cat Do this?

MinxBecause she'd rather be lounging.

Frailty of Human Nature

The following is from Part I Conversion, Chapter 9 of My Daily Bread by the Confraternity of the Precious Blood.

...all human beings are weak. Do not think that you are stronger than others...

...See how often you are troubled by a small matter? At times you resolve to become a better man. Then along comes a small temptation, and away goes your resolution. Just when you think you are safe, when you least expect it, you find yourself pushed over by a slight temptation. Even when you do not give full consent to it, your feelings and desires confuse you. Hateful imaginations rush in on you and refuse to leave...

...You often tend toward what is wrong. You confess your sins today, and tomorrow you commit the same faults again. You resolve to be on your guard, and an hour later you act as though you had never made the resolution. You are so weak and unsteady. It is only right then, that you should humble yourself and refuse to think too highly of yourself...

...You do not remain in the same state of mind for any length of time. Your moods and attitudes change with the changing hours of the day. If you would only turn to Me! I can help you rise above these changing moods. Let your heart turn to Me and find its rest in Me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Saintly Quote

Blessed Maria Teresa of St. JosephPicture courtesy of THIS SITE
The good Lord will give you grace and his Holy Spirit and He will bless your humility; but I wish you would learn to love the cross with all your heart, in whatever form or manner it comes.

Blessed Maria Teresa of St. Joseph (1855-1938)

Thanks Sue!

Pope: Hell Is a Real Place Where Sinners Burn in Everlasting Fire


Isn't it amusing that this caught the attention of the media such is the case with Fox News Their caption read "Pope: Hell Is a Real Place Where Sinners Burn in Everlasting Fire"

Pope Says Sin Is True Enemy


The following is from Zenit
ROME, MARCH 26, 2007 ( Hell consists in closing oneself off from the love of God, and sin is the true enemy of the human person, Benedict XVI says.

The Pope made that comment on Sunday when celebrating Mass at the Parish of St. Felicity and Martyred Sons in the northern sector of the Diocese of Rome.

"If it is true that God is justice, then we should not forget that he is above all love; if he hates sin it is because he has an infinite love for all human beings," the Holy Father explained.

The Pontiff reflected on the Gospel account of the day's liturgy. It dealt with the adulterous woman who was to be stoned to death, but who was saved and forgiven by Jesus.

Benedict XVI stated: "Jesus does not start a theological debate about the law of Moses; he is not interested in winning an academic dispute on an interpretation of the Mosaic laws. His objective is to save a soul and reveal that salvation can be found only in the love of God.

"Jesus came to tell us that he wants us all in heaven and that hell, of which so little is said in our time, exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to his love.

"Therefore even in this episode, we understand that our true enemy is our attachment to sin, which can lead us to failing our existence."

Recalling that Jesus sent the adulterous woman away with the words, "go and sin no more," the Pope explained, "Only God's forgiveness and his love, received with an open and sincere heart, give us the strength to resist evil and to sin no more, to let us be touched by God's love which becomes our strength."

Benedict XVI concluded, "Jesus' attitude thus becomes a model to be followed by all communities, called to make love and forgiveness the pulsating heart of their lives."


Daily Dosage of Sacramentum Caritatis

B16Picture courtesy of Aci Prensa

The following is from Legion of Mary Blog

According to Sacramentum Caritatis, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (and other bishop’s conferences) should re-think delaying confirmation until after first communion, and should consider whether it is more appropriate to follow the model of eastern Rite Catholics and have confirmation before first communion.

Specifically, the documents says:

I. The Eucharist and Christian initiation

The Eucharist, the fullness of Christian initiation

17. If the Eucharist is truly the source and summit of the Church’s life and mission, it follows that the process of Christian initiation must constantly be directed to the reception of this sacrament. As the Synod Fathers said, we need to ask ourselves whether in our Christian communities the close link between Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist is sufficiently recognized. (46) It must never be forgotten that our reception of Baptism and Confirmation is ordered to the Eucharist. Accordingly, our pastoral practice should reflect a more unitary understanding of the process of Christian initiation. The sacrament of Baptism, by which we were conformed to Christ,(47) incorporated in the Church and made children of God, is the portal to all the sacraments. It makes us part of the one Body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 12:13), a priestly people. Still, it is our participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice which perfects within us the gifts given to us at Baptism. The gifts of the Spirit are given for the building up of Christ’s Body (1 Cor 12) and for ever greater witness to the Gospel in the world. (48) The Holy Eucharist, then, brings Christian initiation to completion and represents the centre and goal of all sacramental life. (49)

The order of the sacraments of initiation

18. In this regard, attention needs to be paid to the order of the sacraments of initiation. Different traditions exist within the Church. There is a clear variation between, on the one hand, the ecclesial customs of the East (50) and the practice of the West regarding the initiation of adults, (51) and, on the other hand, the procedure adopted for children. (52) Yet these variations are not properly of the dogmatic order, but are pastoral in character. Concretely, it needs to be seen which practice better enables the faithful to put the sacrament of the Eucharist at the centre, as the goal of the whole process of initiation. In close collaboration with the competent offices of the Roman Curia, Bishops’ Conferences should examine the effectiveness of current approaches to Christian initiation, so that the faithful can be helped both to mature through the formation received in our communities and to give their lives an authentically eucharistic direction, so that they can offer a reason for the hope within them in a way suited to our times (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).

Initiation, the ecclesial community and the family

19. It should be kept in mind that the whole of Christian initiation is a process of conversion undertaken with God’s help and with constant reference to the ecclesial community, both when an adult is seeking entry into the Church, as happens in places of first evangelization and in many secularized regions, and when parents request the sacraments for their children. In this regard, I would like to call particular attention to the relationship between Christian initiation and the family. In pastoral work it is always important to make Christian families part of the process of initiation. Receiving Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion are key moments not only for the individual receiving them but also for the entire family, which should be supported in its educational role by the various elements of the ecclesial community. (53) Here I would emphasize the importance of First Holy Communion. For many of the faithful, this day continues to be memorable as the moment when, even if in a rudimentary way, they first came to understand the importance of a personal encounter with Jesus. Parish pastoral programmes should make the most of this highly significant moment.

The Holy Face of Jesus

Holy FacePicture is from the Holy Shroud of Turin.

Today as I entered the Church for daily Mass, I spotted a little leaflet someone had left. I almost didn't pick it up but I am glad I did. I learned so much about honoring Jesus' Holy Face and it is so appropriate during Lent. The following website is the official website for the devotion to the Holy Face. Please HERE

"Sister Pierina, a holy nun who died in 1945, in many visions was urged by the Blessed Mother and Jesus Himself to spread the devotion to the Holy Face, in reparation for the many insults Jesus suffered in His Passion, such as to be slapped, spit upon and kissed by Judas, as well as now being dishonored in many ways in the Blessed Sacrament by neglect, sacrileges and profanations. She was given a medal which on one side bore a replica of the Holy Shroud and the inscription: 'Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos.' (Ps.66-1 'May O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us.' On the reverse side was a radiant host with the words: 'Mane nobiscum Domine.' - 'Stay with us, O Lord.'...

"I firmly wish that my Face reflecting the intimate pains of my Soul, the suffering, and love of my Heart be more honored! Whoever gazes upon me, already consoles me"...(Our Lord to Sister Pierina)

Prayer of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become "the most abject of men, a man of sorrows", I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men. The tears which well up abundantly in Thy sacred eyes appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to gather up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen

Prayer of Mother Maria-Pierina
O Blessed Face of my kind Savior, by the tender love and piercing sorrow of Our Lady as she beheld you in your cruel Passion, grant us to share in this intense sorrow and love so as to fulfill the holy will of God to the utmost of our ability. Amen.

Promises of Our Lord Jesus Christ to those devoted to His Holy Face

1. I will grant them contrition so perfect, that their very sins shall be changed in My sight into jewels of precious gold.

2. None of these persons shall ever be separated from Me.

3. In offering My Face to My Father, they will appease His anger and they will purchase as with celestial coin, pardon for poor sinners.

4. I will open My Mouth to plead with my Father to grant all the petitions that they will present to Me.

5. I will illuminate them with My light. I will consume them with My love I will render them fruitful of good works.

6. They will, as the pious Veronica, wipe My adorable Face outraged by sin, and I will imprint My divine Features in their souls.

7. At their death, I will renew in them the image of God effaced by sin.

8. By resemblance to My face, they will shine more than many others in eternal life and the brilliance of My face will fill them with joy.

These inestimable promises are drawn from the works of St. Gertrue, of St. Mechtilde, and from the writings of Sister Maria de Saint-Pierre, a Carmelite who died at Tours, in the odor of sanctity.

Liturgical Cliff Notes for Holy Week


Mysterium Fidei posted the following as a reminder as we approach Holy Week:

Washing of Women's feet is completely forbidden by the Apostolic See. This is reserved to men, preferably twelve of number, thus it symbolizes the twelve apostles. Remember the special prayers for the Roman Canon are adjusted for Holy Thursday.

The crucifix should be covered in a red or black material. Also, the baptismal founts are drained on this day until the evening of the Easter Vigil. This is the only day of the liturgical year in which Mass is not, and is prohibited from being celebrated. A Liturgy of the Word with Communion is done by a priest with the special rite prepared in the Sacramentary. Holy Father Benedict XVI permits black to replace the red in the Liturgy of the Word, but red most be work for the Rite of Holy Communion. A cope is appropriate for the Liturgy of the Word, and is permissible for the Communion Rite. This distinguishes Mass from Communion Services.

Readings should not be cut out. While the rubrics opt for this, it is suggested that all be read. The Easter Vigil is the most important vigil in the Church and the readings "portray the whole history of human salvation, from the time of Adam to Jesus Christ." (PBXXI) Thus, shortening the rite is ridiculous. Remember the special prayers for the Roman Canon are adjusted for this feast day.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Daily Dosage - Sacramentum Caritatis

B16Picture courtesy of Aci Prensa

The following is from The Legion of Mary Blog

The development of the eucharistic rite
3. If we consider the bimillenary history of God’s Church, guided by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, we can gratefully admire the orderly development of the ritual forms in which we commemorate the event of our salvation.

From the varied forms of the early centuries, still resplendent in the rites of the Ancient Churches of the East, up to the spread of the Roman rite; from the clear indications of the Council of Trent and the Missal of Saint Pius V to the liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council: in every age of the Church’s history the eucharistic celebration, as the source and summit of her life and mission, shines forth in the liturgical rite in all its richness and variety. The Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, held from 2-23 October 2005 in the Vatican, gratefully acknowledged the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this rich history. In a particular way, the Synod Fathers acknowledged and reaffirmed the beneficial influence on the Church’s life of the liturgical renewal which began with the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (5). The Synod of Bishops was able to evaluate the reception of the renewal in the years following the Council. There were many expressions of appreciation. The difficulties and even the occasional abuses which were noted, it was affirmed, cannot overshadow the benefits and the validity of the liturgical renewal, whose riches are yet to be fully explored. Concretely, the changes which the Council called for need to be understood within the overall unity of the historical development of the rite itself, without the introduction of artificial discontinuities.(6)

Lenten Improvement - Confession

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.

BTW, time is running out if you haven't been to confession. The last day confession will be available in some churches is next Wednesday. Check with your parish or a nearby church as most parishes are offering Penance Services around this time. If not, please call the church and make an appointment with a priest to go to confession. Let's meet the risen Christ with a clean heart and a fresh start!
"Did she say that? Yes, she did. 'I go to Las Vegas more often than I go to Confession!' Quite a statement and she meant it.

Let's look at Confession from another angle. What would your house or apartment look like if, for the last nine to twelve months you hadn't run the sweeper, you hadn't dusted, you hadn't picked anything off the floor? What a mess you would be living in! Now, parallel your soul with your house. What is your soul like if you haven't touched it up for nine to twelve months by going to Confession?"

Stay Out
Try to have the teaching of the Church clear in your mind. A mother says: 'I don't go to Confession any more because I really didn't do anything too wrong.' That statement indicates lack of information. We do not go to Confession just to get out of sin. We go to Confession to stay out of sin. Each time we receive the sacrament of Reconciliation we strengthen yourself so we will not fall into serious sin. Why do we eat good food and drink special juices? So we will not have a physical setback. People say: 'Watch that junk food. You will ruin your stomach!' We go to Confession on a regular basis so we will not have a spiritual setback."

Car Wash
How many times have you had the car washed since you went to Confession? How many times have you taken a shower or a bath since you shined up your soul by going to Confession?

Sense of Sin
Isn't it amazing how holy we suddenly became as Catholics in recent years? In two parishes each with over a thousand families, there was not one Confession Saturday afternoon, not one Confession Saturday night. Maybe some of us have lost our sense of sin.

What did Christ did for? For my sins and for your sins. There must be some sins around or Christ was the biggest fool Who ever came on this earth to end up hanging on a cross.

Up, Up and Away
The Catholic Church is a church for sinner. The only reason Christ came on this earth was to save us from our sins. Now many people do not think they have any sins. Some believe everybody is going super-highway straight through to heaven. I don't believe that. No wonder the priest says to the penitent right at the beginning: 'May God, Who has enlightened every heart, help you to know your sins and trust in His mercy.'

Try to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of Penance, every few months. Say to a friend who has drifted away: 'I'll pick you up. We'll go to Confession together.' That's all that some people need to come home to God. 'For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.' Luke 19, 10.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Feast of the Annunciation - Including a Pro-Life Novena

The AnnunciationPicture from the Gefroh Family Collection of Rosary pictures.

Because this solemnity falls on a Sunday, it will be celebrated on Monday March 26th.

The following is from St. Michael Center for the Blessed Virgin Mary
H/T to Mary Ann S for the Novena.

Annunciation Prayer

O Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins, through the mystery of the Incarnation
of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by which our salvation was so happily begun, obtain for us light to understandthe benefit He has bestowed on us vouchsafing to become our brother, and in giving us you, His own most beloved Mother, to be our Mother also. Amen.

The Angelus

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.
Hail Mary, ...

Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary, ...

And the Word was made Flesh.
And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, ...

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Please join St. Stephens Respect Life Committee in praying a
Novena for Preborn Babies
beginning on Sunday, March 25th, the traditional Feast of the Annunciation, and
ending nine days later, on Monday, April 2nd.

The Prayer asking Our Lady of Guadalupe's intercession in protecting the preborn babies is attached. Please say it March 25th through April 2nd.

There is also a wealth of information AND an invitation to add names of preborn babies and their mothers to the American Life League's prayer intentions on their site… American Life League . Scroll down to the link
"Pray for preborn babies on Feast of the Annunciation."

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Life

O Mary,
Bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
To you do we entrust the cause of life:
Look down, O Mother,
Upon the vast numbers
Of babies not allowed to be born,
Of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
Of men and women
Who are victims of brutal violence,
Of the elderly and the sick killed
By indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
May proclaim the Gospel of life
With honesty and love
To the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
To accept that Gospel
As a gift ever new,
The joy of celebrating it with gratitude
Throughout their lives
And the courage to bear witness to it
Resolutely, in order to build,
Together with all people of good will,
The civilization of truth and love,
To the praise and glory of God,
The Creator and lover of life.

The Empty Egg

Thank you Cc!

The Lesson of Easter from an Unlikely Child

Ida Mae Kempel
Jeremy was born with a twisted body and slow mind. At the age of 12 he was still in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises.

At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher. One day, she called his parents to come to St. Theresa’s for a consultation. As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don' t have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!"

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue, while her husband spoke. "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here."

Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. "Oh God," she said aloud, "here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared to that poor family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy!"

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy's noises and his blank stares. Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris’ face turned red. She stammered, "Wh-why that's very nice, Jeremy. N-now please take your seat."

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. "Now," she said to them, "I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Miss Miller!" the children responded enthusiastically - all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently; his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises.

Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them. That evening, Doris' kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy's parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's desk. After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs.

In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When plants peek through the ground we know that Spring is here." A small girl in the first row waved her arm. "That's my egg Miss Miller," she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that is new life, too." Little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that one is mine!"

Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom, "My Daddy helped me!" he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy's, she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents! Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. "Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?" Flustered, Doris replied, "But Jeremy - your egg is empty!" He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty, too!"

Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, "Do you know why the tomb was empty?" "Oh yes!" Jeremy said, "Jesus was killed and put in there. Then His Father raised Him up!"

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.
This is a true story, the names have been changed for sake of privacy. Ida Mae Kempel is a free-lance writer from Alameda, California. This article appeared in Focus on the Family, April, 1988, and is used here by permission of the author.

-Ida Mae Kempel, Copyright © 1988, 2006, Ida Mae Kempel
and Focus on the Family, Used by Permission,
Copyright © 2006, Christian Resource Institute, All Rights Reserved.
Except for personal use, do not reproduce in any form without explicit permission from the author. Contact Focus on the Family: (719) 531-5181 (USA)

Only You Can Prevent Liturgical Abuses


New blog I visited today had reasons why we should stop liturgical abuses.