Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mary, the Mother of God

Source: Catholic Tube

After viewing this video, one has to wonder how anyone could have a problem honoring Mary, the Mother of God.

Our Lady of Saturday

Our Lady of the Rosary
Our Lady of the Rosary

Friday, January 25, 2008

Forgiving Yourself

Fr. CatoirPicture source: Messenger of Joy
The following is from Father John Catoir's January 2008 Newsletter and is being used with permission.
Joy is in the eye of the beholder. To get past the pain of needless guilt, its helps to change your perspective, and avoid all forms of self-sabotage.

Millions of brokenhearted people live their lives in quiet desperation feeling guilty over one thing or another. One elderly woman had an abortion in her youth, and she never got over it. She was still punishing herself, years later, believing that God was surely going to punish her if she didn't beat up on herself here and now.

That is a faulty theology, and a poor understanding of God's infinite love.
She had confessed her sin many years before, but still acted as though God never heard her confession, and worse, never forgave her.

People forget that the greatest sin ever committed on earth will never be big enough to limit God’s infinite mercy. The greater the mercy, the greater the glory given to God. There is no need to perpetuate feelings of guilt, and no need to keep on punishing oneself. The best thing is thank God for his mercy, and move on with one's life, in a spirit of gratitude. It is a matter of controlling your thoughts.

Feelings follow thoughts. If you fail to accept God’s love and forgiveness, you are refusing to honor God’s love. We cannot allow ourselves to be too proud to accept God’s mercy. Mercy is love as it confronts misery. Guilt feelings can only dissolve when we trust God enough to show his power; namely to bring good out of evil. God always forgives. Jesus set the tone: “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” The message of God’s mercy may seem too good to be true, but if you accept his forgiveness, the gift of peace will come.

Acceptance purifies the soul, and brings relief to the wounded spirit. “The forgiven penitent is reconciled with himself in his inmost being, where he regains his own true identity…he is reconciled with the Church, with himself, and with all creation,” (Pope John Paul II).

Very often those, who cling to guilt feelings, are putting themselves above God’s mercy. They do not believe that they are worthy of forgiveness, so they punish themselves endlessly. “Do not be afraid… your sins are forgiven,” says the Lord. Take him at his word

The penitent needs to bow in gratitude, not fear. Thank Jesus for his forgiveness. Peaceful feelings will follow eventually. Forgive yourself, or at least ask for the grace to forgive yourself, and learn to be patient.

Forgiveness is in the will, and the will has only one function. The will says yes or no. Say yes to God and accept his forgiveness. Do it because you know God loves you. He wants you to share in his peace and joy. He wants to bring you peace and pardon through his beloved Son, Jesus Christ.God will do for you, what you cannot do for yourself, bring you peace of soul.

Dear Jesus, teach me be still; teach me to accept your love and forgiveness. I know you are blessing me every moment of my life, and I thank you with all my heart.
To obtain a copy of the above book: Encounters With Holiness, or any of Father Catoir's other books like:
Joy The Gigantic Secret of the Church's Survival,
Enjoy the Lord,
God Delights in You, or
Enjoy Your Precious Life

Call the publisher: Alba House 1-800- 343-2522 or visit their website HERE

Please consider a tax-deductable donation to help support Fr. Catoir's radio ministry. Make your check payable to St. Jude Media, and forward it to Father Catoir at Box 745, Chester, N.J. 07930

Thank you, and God bless you.

Visit our website: Messenger of Joy

Fr. John Catoir is the former director of the Christophers. He was also the executive director of Eva's Village, formerly Eva's Kitchen. He is a syndicated columnist in Diocese newspapers around the country including the Hawaii Catholic Herald. He is a noted author of many books as mentioned above especially the ones on the topic of Joy. And, lastly, he used to be our parish priest Our Lady of Victories in the Paterson Diocese. That is the church my family attended when I was growing up.

Fine Art Friday

Today's featured artist is Gianlorenzo Bernini. (1598 - 1680)

Apollo and Daphne
Apollo and Daphne

St. Lawrence
The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence

David - This happens to be my favorite sculpture.

St. Teresa
The Ecstasy of St. Teresa

Feast Day - Conversion of St. Paul

conversion of st. paul
by Caravaggio

Humor Break

Adam and EvePicture: Titian, Adam and Eve, c. 1550. Madrid, Prado

The following was shared by Danielle via email.

To those of us who have children in our lives,
whether they are our own,
or students...
here is something to make you chuckle.

Whenever your children are out of control,
you can take comfort from the thought that
even God's omnipotence did not extend
to His own children.

After creating heaven and earth,
God created Adam and Eve.

And the first thing he said was
" DON'T !"

"Don 't what ? "
Adam replied.

"Don't eat the forbidden fruit."
God said.

"Forbidden fruit ?
We have forbidden fruit ?
Hey Eve..we have forbidden fruit ! "

" No Way ! "
"Yes way ! "

"Do NOT eat the fruit ! "
said God.

"Why ? "

"Because I am your Father and I said so ! "
God replied,
wondering why He hadn't stopped
creation after making the elephants

A few minutes later,
God saw His children having an apple break
and He was ticked !
"Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit ? "
God asked.

"Uh huh,"
Adam replied.

"Then why did you ? "
said the Father.

"I don't know,"
said Eve.
"She started it! "
Adam said.

"Did not ! "
"Did too ! "
"DID NOT ! "

Having had it with the two of them,
God's punishment was that Adam and Eve
should have children of their own.
Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.

If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and
they haven't taken it,
don't be hard on yourself.

If God had trouble raising children,
what makes you think it woul d be
a piece of cake for you ?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Believe

The following was shared by my good friend Laura.
I believe -. . . That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe - That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe - That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I believe - That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I believe - That you can do something in an instant that will give you
heartache for life.

I believe - That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want
to be.

I believe - That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I believe - That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I believe - That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I believe - That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I believe - That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I believe - That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I believe - That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I believe - That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I believe - That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I believe - That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I believe - That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I believe - That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I believe - That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I believe - That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could
change your life. Forever.

I believe - Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I believe - That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I believe - That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I believe - That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I believe - That the people you care about most in life are taken from
you too soon.

What lies behind us and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Feast Day - St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.
- St. Francis de Sales

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spiritual Help From Jesus - The Wiles of the Devil

The Temptation of Christ
The Temptation of Christ
"...The Devil, that old enemy of yours, tries by every means he can to obstruct your desire to do good, and to lure you away from:

- any kind of devout exercise; honouring the Saints, for example,

- devout meditation upon my sufferings,

- profitable recalling of your sins,

- keeping watch over your heart,

- and your firm resolve to advance in holiness.

Many are the evil thoughts he slips into your mind, to fill you with weariness and disgust, hoping so to entice you from prayer and reading good books.

A humble confession is abhorrent to him, and he would make you give upon Communion if he could. Do not believe him; pay no attention to him, however, often he spreads out his crafty nets to catch you.

When he suggests evil and filthy thoughts, tell him they are his , not yours.

Speak to him like this:

- 'You filthy spirit, be off with you!

- Blush, you wretch! How utterly filthy you are putting stuff like that in my ears!

- Away from me, you traitor, you monster of evil, you shall have no hold upon me.

Jesus will be beside me, like a valiant warrior, and you will stand there confounded. I would rather die, rather undergo any kind of torment, than give in to you. So keep quiet and hold your tongue; I'm not going to listen to you any more, however often you try annoying me...' "
- From the Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis. Chapter 6: On the Testing of a True Lover.

Pray to End Abortion - 35th Anniversary of the Legalization of Murder

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Protectress of the Unborn

Listen, put it int your heart, my smallest child that the thing that frightened you,
the thing that afflicted you is nothing:
Do not let it disturb you...
Am I not here, I who am your mother?
Are you not under my shadow and protection!
Am I not the source of your joy?
Are you not in the hollow of my mantle,
in the crossing of my arms?
Do you need something more?
- Our Lady of Guadalupe 1531

"A child of God who is helpless and trusting boundlessly in His mercy has the power of the Creator Himself at his disposal."
-S.C. Biela, In the Arms of Mary

From In the Arms of Mary

Please pray to end abortion.

Please pray for the people marching for life in Washington, D.C. EWTN is covering it live

Remember today, January 22nd is a day of pray and fasting.
Jean has the details

Later today, my family will join hundreds of pro-life folks at the Hawaii State Capitol for the annual March and Rally for Life. Please pray that our appearance will change the harden hearts of our legislators and politicians.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Feast of St. Agnes

St. Agnes
St. Agnes: Virgin and Martyr
Picture source: St. Agnes Church

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus and St. John the Baptist
The Virgin Mary With Jesus and St. John the Baptist by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Jn 1:29-34
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
Source: USCCB