Saturday, December 22, 2007

Blessed Mother

MOGPictured shared by Sue Cifelli.


O Mother of Jesus, and my Mother, let me dwell with you, cling to you and love you with ever-increasing love. I promise the honor, love and trust of a child. Give me a mother's protection, for I need your watchful care. You know better than any other the thoughts and desires of the Sacred Heart. Keep constantly before my mind the same thoughts, the same desires, that my heart may be filled with zeal for the interests of the Sacred Heart of your Divine Son. Instill in me a love of all that is noble, that I may no longer be easily turned to selfishness.

Help me, dearest Mother, to acquire the virtues that God wants of me: to forget myself always, to work solely for him, without fear of sacrifice. I shall always rely on your help to be what Jesus wants me to be. I am his; I am yours, my good Mother! Give me each day your holy and maternal blessing until my last evening on earth, when your Immaculate Heart will present me to the heart of Jesus in heaven, there to love and bless you and your divine Son for all eternity.

Prayer is from Concordia Ministries, a wonderful Catholic site I found today. Check out their Silence area.

Welcome Home!

B16 and Tony Blair
LONDON — Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who generally kept his religious views private while in office, has converted to Catholicism, church officials said Saturday.
Fox News Article

4th Sunday of Advent Wreath

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hawaii's Bishop's Christmas Message

Agnus Dei

From the Hawaii Catholic Herald
Happy Holidays!

There is so much controversy these days about this simple greeting, because it seems to make Christmas little more than a secular holiday. Few would deny the holiday’s historical roots in Christianity, but there is a prevailing attitude that the holiday has “matured” into a day for believer and non-believer alike. Christ is no longer the center of the observance for many.

While it would be easy for us to rail against this contemporary bow to secularism, we might also be challenged to scrutinize our own attitudes about our faith and ask if we ourselves have not planted the seeds of the separation of Christ from Christmas. Is our faith in Jesus simply belief in a historical person who lived an exemplary life, who died a sacrificial death, and who left us a legacy of teachings to guide us in life’s journey? Or do we also truly believe that Christ IS risen, that he is alive now, and that, even though he has ascended into heaven, he comes physically to earth as the living bread come down from heaven in the Eucharist? Do we go to the Eucharist simply out of obligation or tradition, or do we go to encounter the Lord of our lives? Do we view the Eucharist only as a series of rituals, or as an encounter with a living person whose love can transform us? Do we truly believe that the little Babe laid in a feeding box in Bethlehem, whose birth stirs up so much joy in us, is the same Jesus who is laid on the altar to feed his sheep today? Can we be filled with the wonder and awe of those down-to-earth shepherds who witnessed heaven singing to celebrate the joy of God-become-man? When we go to Mass do we find the experience dull or dreary unless the choir or the homilist brightens it up for us, or do we go with stars in our own eyes, stars that guide us to adore the King of heaven and earth? When we leave after having received the Eucharist, do we grasp the incredible wonder that the same Jesus who was carried in the womb of the Virgin until she brought him forth to the world is carried in us so that we can bring him forth in today’s world?

Yes, we should prefer “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” because it is more expressive of the truth we are celebrating. But “Merry Christmas” will only regain its meaning if we live the reality and not just the words. “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” The same Word takes flesh in us today, so that he can continue to touch the hearts of believer and non-believer alike. Can you see the star? Can you hear the angels singing?

Merry Christmas!
Mahalo Bishop Silva, for reminding us, your flock, of the true meaning of Christmas.

About the Judgment and How Sinners are Punished

The following is from the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis. I thought this was a good time to post this as we should all be purging our sins through the Sacrament of Confession prior to Christmas.

"...Much better to get rid of your sins now, prune away your bad habits here, than keep them to be paid for hereafter...

The more you spare yourself, and take corrupt nature for your guide, the heavier price you will pay later on...

The pattern of a man's sins will be the pattern of his punishment:

-red-hot goads to spur on the idle

-cruel hunger and thirst to torment the glutton

-see where the dissipated souls, that so loved their own pleasures, are bathed in hot pitch and reeking sulfur

-where the envious souls go howling like mad dogs, for very grief!

Each darling sin will find its appropriate reward:

-for the proud, every kind of humiliation

-for the covetous, the pinch of grinding poverty

Spend a hundred years of penance here on earth, it would be no match for one hour of that punishment. Here we have intervals of rest, and our friends can comfort us; there is no respite for the damned, no consolation for the damned.

Take your sins seriously NOW, be sorry for them NOW, and at the Day of Judgment you will have confidence, the confidence of blessed souls.

We shall see...what the true wisdom was:

- learning how to be a fool, and despised, for the love of Christ

-troubles endured with patience will be a grateful memory to us

-it will be the turn of the wicked to look foolish.

-See how all pious souls make merry, and the scoffers go sad

-how the body that was mortified shews fairer, now than if it had been continually pampered

-how rags are all the wear and fine clothes look shabby

-how the gilded palace shrinks into insignificance beside the poor man's cottage!

-the dogged patience you shewed here will do you more good than all earth's crowns

-you will get more credit for unthinking obedience than for any worldly wisdom...

-The devout prayers you offered, not the good meals you ate, will be your comfort then.

-The silence you kept, not the long chats you had, will be pleasant to think of then

-Saintly deeds done, not phrases neatly turned, will avail you then.

-A well-disciplined life of hard penitential exercise, not a good time here on earth, will be your choice then.

You have go to realize that all your sufferings here are slight ones, and will get off much worse sufferings hereafter...

Love God with all your heart, and you've nothing to fear; death or punishment, judgment or hell; love, when it reaches its full growth, is an unfailing passport to God's presence...Only, if a man doesn't make the fear of God his final consideration, his good resolutions won't last; he will walk into some trap of the devil's before long."

The Best Christmas Ever

Santa and Jesus
The following story was shared by my friend Chris S. I hope you take the time to read it to the end. It first appeared on Christmas Day, 2005.
Navy Reserve chaplain Ron Camarda didn't want to go to Iraq. But go he did, writing in his journal the names of the 2,000 troops -- some dead, many wounded -- he met along the way. His experience changed him and his message for the holiday.

By MARK WOODS, The Times-Union

To start to understand what happened last Christmas -- how a Catholic priest from Jacksonville ended up standing in an eighth-floor lookout in Fallujah, Iraq, singing Oh Holy Night with a Marine, tears streaming down both of their faces -- first you have to hear the other stories about the tears.

How NOT to Discern Your Vocation

The following is from Travis over at Catholic Tube

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Panis Angelicus

As performed by Josh Groban.

Saintly Quote

The Blessed Virgin did not speak many words. She remained silent in the adoration of her Son; she lived on the contemplation of the ineffable mystery wrought in her and through her, and from the sanctuary of her Immaculate Heart a hymn of praise and thanksgiving rose up unceasingly to God. Let us then live in recollection and try to remain closely united to our Lord.
Blessed Columba Marion (1858-1923)

Thanks Sue!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Book! AB Sheen on Therese

sheenLook what I found at the Anchoress's blog! I wish I had seen this earlier, it would have been on my Christmas wish list. You know I love the Archbishop!

Like the Anchoress, I highly recommend the following book:ab sheen
I used some of the quotes for the Three Priests video.

And, speaking of Archbishop Sheen, remember his Family Retreat talks? Well, only one word to describe them........EXCELLENT!!! Last night's talk was on Confession. It was filled with anecdotes and compelling stories of people who were changed through the Sacrament of Confession. A few other of my favorites and ones I will watch again are The Devil, Kenosis and The Cross.

You can learn more about this must have DVD HERE

Ember Days

The following is something new I learned from Seminarian Matthew of a Catholic Life
For those who are able to do so, I highly encourage you to observe the ancient practice of fasting and partial abstinence on these days - this coming Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The following information is from Fish Eaters:

These times are spent fasting and partially abstaining (voluntary since the new Code of Canon Law) in penance and with the intentions of thanking God for the gifts He gives us in nature and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation. The fasts, known as "Jejunia quatuor temporum," or "the fast of the four seasons," are rooted in Old Testament practices of fasting four times a year:

Zacharias 8:19:

"Thus saith the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Juda, joy, and gladness, and great solemnities: only love ye truth and peace."

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Gaudete Sunday (3rd Sunday of Advent) are known as "Advent Embertide," and they come near the beginning of the Season of Winter (December, January, February). Liturgically, the readings for the days' Masses follow along with the general themes of Advent, opening up with Wednesday's Introit of Isaias 45: 8 and Psalm 18:2 :

"Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just: let the earth be opened and bud forth a Savior. The heavens show forth the glory of God: and the firmament declareth the work of His hands"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Planned Parenthood's Mockery Against Christmas

The following is from American Life League

Planned Parenthood’s “Choice on Earth” cards offend
WASHINGTON, D.C. — “Planned Parenthood’s ‘Choice on Earth’ holiday cards are its latest assault on Christianity,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American life League. “By changing the word ‘peace’ to ‘choice’, Planned Parenthood is effectively implying that Mary should have considered aborting Jesus.”

American Life League’s latest video report exposes Planned Parenthood’s continued assault on Christianity. The report goes from ‘Choice on Earth’ holiday cards to Planned Parenthood’s involvement in a 1973 comic book that depicts a sacrilegious rendition of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman posing as the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“King Herod sent soldiers out to slaughter babies because he wanted to kill Jesus,” said Sedlak. “Two thousand years later, Planned Parenthood is still doing all it can to kill babies. That is what their motto ‘Choice on Earth’ really means.”

“Planned Parenthood continues to flaunt its anti-God, secular humanist agenda in its products and in our schools,” Sedlak concluded. “It is time for all Americans to stay away from this organization.”

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another Auld Lang Syne

Aloha Dan Fogelberg

Eternal rest grant unto him O lord and may your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

Singer Dan Fogelberg, 56, dies of cancer

Christmas in Hawaii

Dwarfs wishing us a Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

Mele Kalikimaka

Menehune giving us a shaka while riding the train

Shaka Santa and Mrs. Claus

City Christmas Tree

Frosty and Family