Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Second Sunday of Lent

The Transfiguration of Our Lord by Duccio di Buoninsegna


Oldie but worth repeating. Mahalo to Steff.
A man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus do?' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the
chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, naturally..... I assumed you had stolen the car."

Our Lady of Sorrows - Saturday


Friday, February 15, 2008

San Pedro de Jesús Maldonado Lucero - Eucharistic Priest and Saint

San Pedro de Jesus Maldonado Lucero
Picture source: Catedral de Chihuahua (Mexico)

I learned about a new saint today in reading my Magnificat Magazine
As a parish priest, Father Pedro Maldonado Lucero, of Sacramento, Mexico was an advocate of all-night Eucharistic Adoration vigils and of Marian associations. He also instilled int eh people fidelity to the pope.

Early in 1937, while kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament during a holy hour, Father Maldonado prayed that at the time of his death, he would be able to receive Viaticum.

On Ash Wednesday, February 10, 1937, shortly after Father Maldonado had celebrated Mass, soldiers of Mexico's anti-Catholic government arrested him and forced him to walk barefoot all the way to the town where they were taking him. During this ordeal, he recited the rosary. After reaching the town, Father Maldonado was beaten over the head with a rifle butt to the point that his left eye was dislodged.

When the soldiers discovered that he was carrying a pyx containing the Blessed Sacrament, one of them ordered him to consume it, saying" Eat this, this your last communion!"

Thus Father Maldonado's prayer for Viaticum was answered. After further bloody beatings, Father Maldonado died from his injuries on February 11, 1937.

To learn more about San Pedro de Jesús Maldonado Lucero, please visit San Pedro Maldonado's Page maintained by the Cathedral of Chihuahua. It is in Spanish.

Fine Art Friday

Today we spotlight Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664)
A highly original Spanish artist, Francisco de Zurbarán, until recently was not known beyond Spain. His works are rarely met in European museums and are highly appreciated by collectors.
Pictures and biography are taken from Olga's Gallery

St. Francis
The Ecstasy of St. Francis c. 1660

St. Appolonia
St. Apollonia

Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception c. 1660

Still life with Lemons, Oranges and Rose 1633

agnus dei
Agnus Dei

The Crucifixion c.1650

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Marriage Proposal

Twice I have heard Archbishop Fulton Sheen refer to G.K. Chesterton's proposal to his future wife when he spoke of true love. It is a very beautiful marriage proposal and worthy of being read today.

His marriage proposal can be found here


The following is from a plaque given to us by my parents.

LOVE is giving with no thought of getting.
It is tenderness enfolding with strength to protect.
It is forgiveness without further thought of the thing forgiven.
It is understanding of the thing forgiven.
It is understanding of human weakness with knowledge of the true man shining through.
It is quiet in the midst of turmoil.
It is trust in God with no thought of self.
It is the one altogether lovely, the light in the mother's eyes, the glory in the sacrifice, the quiet assurance of protection.

It is in the expectation of our Father's promise coming true.
It is the refusal to see anything, but good in our fellow man.
It is the glory that comes with selflessness and the power that comes with assurance of the Father's love for His Children.
It is the voice that says 'No" to our brother, though "yes" might be more easily said.
It is resistance to the world's lust and greed, thus becoming a positive law of annihilation to error.

LOVE ...the one thing no one can take from us...
The one thing we can give constantly and become increasingly rich in the giving.
Love can take no offense, for it cannot know that which it does not of itself conceive.
It cannot hurt or be hurt, for it is the purest reflection of God, Good.
It is the one eternal, indestructible force for Good.
It is the will of God, preparing, planning, proposing, always what is best for all His universe.

A Prayer for Married Couples

St. Anne and St. Joachim
St. Anne and St. Joachim by Giotto

Saint Anne, help married couples to live up to God's own ideal for them. Help them love each other, live together every day of their married life in health and sickness, and share, with each other the joys and sorrows of life. Help them to live up to God's own description of the closest relationship which is theirs: "A Man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body" (Gen. 2:24). And again: "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth" (Gen.1:28).

As Christ loves his Church which sprang from his love for mankind, and as the Church loves him in return brining all men to him, so a husband and wife should love each other and spend themselves for each other's happiness and for the happiness of their children.

Saint Anne, teach all married couples what their special vocation should be: for each other, for their children, as witnesses to their faith in Christ, and apostles of his kingdom.


From a holy card from Shrine of the Infant of Prague - Dominican Fathers

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Alloooohhhha from EWTN!

Fr. Mitch Pacwa
While knitting and watching EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, I was pleasantly surprised to hear him mention to the viewers and guests which included Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, that Hawaii finally has EWTN through Time Warner: Oceanic Cable!. He even bid us an aloha Hawaii!! Mahalo nui loa Fr. Mitch!

Daily Lenten Resolution

From Regnum Christi
Today I will seek Jesus and ask him how he wants me to act in every situation

Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus

Crucified Christ
Sue of Half the Kingdom posted the following on her blog. BTW, she has worked hard on making her blog and website by the same name truly a treasure trove for us to share. I didn't realize until today that my patron saint St. Elizabeth of Hungary, had something to do with the following devotion which I pray every day.
St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, with St. Matilda and St. Bridget, wishing to know something of the Passion of Jesus Christ, offered fervent and special prayers, upon which Our Lord revealed to them:

To all the faithful who shall recite for 3 years, each day, 2 Our Fathers, 2 Hail Mary’s and 2 Glory Be’s, in honor of the drops of Blood I lost, I will concede the following 5 graces:

1st The plenary indulgence and remittance of your sins.

2nd You will be free from the pains of Purgatory.

3rd If you should die before completing the said 3 years, for you it will be the same as if you had completed them.

4th It will be upon your death the same as if you had shed all your blood for the Holy Faith.

5th I will descend from Heaven to take your soul and that of your relatives, until the fourth generation.

Blessed by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII in Rome, April 5, 1890.

Please keep this prayer with others that you say daily to remind you to recite these prayers. Please record the date you started:____/____/____Mo Day Year

The thought of saving souls should always be on our mind. St. John Bosco stated it well. There is nothing more holy in this world than to work for the good of souls, for whose salvation Jesus Christ poured out the last drops of His blood.” St. Vincent de Paul tells us that: “The Salvation of men and our own are so great a good that they merit to be obtained at any price.”Sad to say, the great majority of Catholics put forth little or no effort in promoting the greater honor and glory of God and the salvation of souls. Let us keep in mind that if we manage to save one soul, we also ensure the salvation of our own. The Holy Ghost reveals this to us in the Holy Bible. (St. James 5:19,20)

Humor Bread

Shared by Martha and Layla.

While shopping in a food store, two nuns happened to pass by the beer, wine and
liquor section. One asked the other if she would like a beer.

The second nun answered that, indeed, it would be very nice to have one, but that
she would feel uncomfortable about purchasing it.

The first nun replied that she would handle that without a problem. She picked up a
six-pack and took it to the cashier.

The cashier had a surprised look so the nun said, "This is for washing our hair."

Without blinking an eye, the cashier reached under the counter and put a
package of pretzel sticks in the bag with the beer.

"The curlers are on me."

Wasted Suffering

Agony in the Garden
Shared by Sue of Half the Kingdom
Wasn't it Bishop Fulton Sheen who lamented what he called wasted suffering. Years ago I remember a letter from a lady who was in constant pain. Searing pain. I wanted so much to reach out and help her. But I couldn't. I prayed for her, of course. I prayed that Jesus would grant her relief. At the end, I asked her to offer up her pain as "a gift of love," for her sins and the sins of loved ones. I received a scolding for my suggestions. A lady who read the letter said in effect, the woman is asking for relief from her pain and you are asking her to "offer it up." "That won't help her; she won't understand." The lady who made the comment didn't understand. I wanted more than anything that Jesus would heal her pain. But I wanted, too, that she not "waste" her suffering. Was that heartless? Was I being cruel? I hope not. All of us "stormed heaven" on behalf of the suffering one. I just wanted her to remember that her pain had enormous value - - if she gave it to Jesus as a "gift." And He in turn might will that gift toward her perfection...
Read the rest of Fr. Robert McSweeney's article HERE

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beautiful Catholic Site

a note
Shared by Sue of Half the Kingdom

Semper Fi Catholic Forum

It will be added to the side bar when blogrolling is working again.

Stations of the Cross - Poetry

Jesus Carrying His Cross

Please check out this beautiful Stations of the Cross via poetry at the following website.

The Way of Tears

Daily Lenten Resolution - Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

From Regnum Christi
I will dedicate a specific time to prayer each day.

Cardinals Hoping for a 5th Dogma

Our Mother Mary
To Declare Mary as Mother of Humanity
ROME, FEB. 11, 2008 ( Five cardinals have sent a letter inviting prelates worldwide to join them in petitioning Benedict XVI to declare a fifth Marian dogma they said would "proclaim the full Christian truth about Mary."

The text, released last week, includes the petition that asks the Pope to proclaim Mary as "the Spiritual Mother of All Humanity, the co-redemptrix with Jesus the redeemer, mediatrix of all graces with Jesus the one mediator, and advocate with Jesus Christ on behalf of the human race..." ARTICLE

Holy Water

Ah, one of my favorite sacramentals. That little bitty bottle that they sell in Catholic stores isn't big enough for my family. I use a very clean, empty decorative Arizona Tea bottles (the glass ones) to store our Holy Water. Can't wait until Easter for our new Holy Water!

I found the following at The Anchoress' place

And, in case you are wondering how Holy Water is made Mark has the instructions. I also got this from my friend Lois.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Daily Lenten Resolution - Monday of the First Week of Lent

From Regnum Christi
I will take advantage of all the opportunities during the day to help others. I will be aware that by doing so, I am encountering Christ himself.

Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes

"For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible."

Original picture from and modified by ECG.

Bernadette and Our Lady of Cambrai

Our Lady of Cambrai
Our Lady of Cambrai, attributed to St. Luke.

This morning before Mass, I had a chance to read the little stories/articles in this month's Magnificat Magazine. One story in particular grabbed my attention. It was a story by Fr. Michael Morris, O.P., on which depictions of art resembled Our Lady as she appeared to Bernadette.

This story appeared in a book Picasso's Mask by Andre Malraux. He told the following story to the famous Spanish painter Picasso. The Blessed Mother appeared to Bernadette a total of 18 times. After which Bernadette entered the convent at Nevers. There she received many pictures and statues of Our Lady. Yet, Bernadette did not display them. Instead, she through them in the closet so she wouldn't have to look at them. The Mother Superior was a little perturbed on why Bernadette would do this. Bernadette replied that "none of those images looked like the Blessed Virgin Mary and she could not abide to meditate on images that were not true.

The Mother Superior wrote to the bishop and went to the convent loaded with books filled with well-known images of our blessed mother. He showed Bernadette paintings by famous artists such as Murillo and Raphael but none of them were met with approval by Bernadette.

After flipping through the books, they randomly came to an image of Our Lady of Cambrai. Bernadette fell to her knees and exclaimed to the bishop "that the face she saw in that icon looked just like the face she had seen in the grotto so any times before.

Malraux and Picasso wondered how a simple peasant girl could see the face of a real person in a painting that lacked "depth, movement, and realistic illusion." It was agreed by both men that "there was some numinous (having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity) element in primitive art that knocked on the very door of the sacred. In essence, Bernadette, who had never before seen an icon, once again came face to face with the divine."

To read more, please refer to February 2008 Issue of the Magnifcat. "Divine Tenderness"


150 Years after the Definition and Lourdes Apparitions
Brother John M. Samaha, S.M. and used with permission.

In these months we are honoring two special vocations in God’s plan of salvation -- the immaculately conceived Virgin Mary and one of her special proteges, Bernadette Soubirous.

The solemnity of Mary’s Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8, and honors the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without original sin. February 11 is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the date of the first appearance of Our Lady to Bernadette. April 16 is the feast day of St. Bernadette.

In 2008 we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin’s apparitions at Lourdes, where she identified herself to St. Bernadette as the Immaculate Conception. In 2004 we observed the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s solemn definition of this dogma on December 8, 1854. Blessed Pius IX explained that Mary was preserved from original sin by a “singular grace and privilege” given her by God “in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, “ Redeemer of the human race. Mary, like every other human being, needed the redemptive benefits of Christ. But in anticipation of what God did for all through Christ, she alone was preserved from original sin “from the first moment of her conception.” As one writer asserted, hers was a “redemption by exemption.” By her Immaculate Conception she was conceived in the fullness of grace, in the state of closest possible union with God in view of her future role as the Mother of the Redeemer.

The feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary was celebrated already in the seventh century in Palestine as the Conception by St. Anne of the Theotokos (Mother of God) on December 9. The doctrine is understood differently by some Eastern Christian Churches because of a variance in their theological understanding of original sin. The observance spread West from Constantinople. Still called the Conception of St. Anne and observed on December 8, it was prominent in Naples in the ninth century; in English monasteries in the eleventh century, when it was called the feast of the conception of Our Lady; and in France in the twelfth century.

When the feast was introduced in France, St. Bernard of Clairvaux opposed it, igniting a controversy that endured for three centuries. Most Scholastic theologians, including St. Anselm of Canterbury, St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Bonaventure opposed the doctrine on the grounds that it detracted from the universality of the redemption by Christ. But it was defended and explained with theological clarity in the thirteenth century by Blessed John Duns Scotus, a Franciscan. In 1263 the Franciscans adopted the feast.

The opponents of this feast and doctrine had argued that Mary had to be touched by original sin for at least an instant, even though she was sanctified in her mother’s womb. John Duns Scotus resolved these objections by explaining that Christ can save and redeem in two ways: he can rescue from sin those already fallen; or he can preserve one from being touched by sin even for an instant. Mary was granted “redemption by exemption.”

The Council of Basel in 1439 affirmed this belief. Ten years later the Sorbonne in Paris required all its degree candidates to pledge an oath to defend the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Pope Sixtus IV in 1476 approved the feast with its proper Mass and Office, and in 1708 Pope Clement IX extended the feast to the universal Church and made it a holyday of obligation.

Later the Council of Trent (1545-1563) explicitly declared that Mary was exempt from the taint of original sin. From then on the belief was embraced generally and defended by all schools of theology. Many Catholic thinkers and founders of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries promoted and expounded Mary’s Immaculate Conception with special interest and verve, and this doctrine became an important part of many Marian spiritualities. One such exponent was Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850), founder of the Marianist Family.

At the First Council of Baltimore in 1846 the Catholic bishops of the United States of America chose Mary under the title of her Immaculate Conception as the patron saint of the nation. This deepened interest in the vast new country.

The apparition of Mary Immaculate to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830 at Paris had also advanced this devotion. At that time Mary asked the young nun to produce the Miraculous Medal, which honored the Immaculate Conception. And the solemn definition in 1854 was the culmination of this development. Like an additional seal of approval on the definition four years later Mary appeared to the uneducated and sickly youngster, St. Bernadette Soubirous, at Lourdes. When Bernadette asked the Virgin Mary on March 25, 1858, to identify herself, Mary replied, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

In 1863 a new Mass and Office were composed for the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This feast is also celebrated as the
Conception of Mary by the Church of England. Among the Eastern Christian Churches the feast of the Conception by St. Anne of the Most Holy Theotokos continues to be observed on December 9. The date set for the feast is nine months before the Birth of Mary on September 8.

To celebrate the centenary of the definition of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius XII, a devout apostle of Mary, declared 1954 a Marian Year -- the first.
Now, 150 years later, we are privileged to mark the sesquicentennial of that solemn definition and its recognition by Mary Immaculate at Lourdes.

“O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.”

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Church Document: Inaestimabile Donum - Added to the Side Bar

Fr. Corapi's talk tonight was about Inaestimabile Donum
Instruction Concerning Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship Approved and Confirmed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II April 17, 1980
Father's talk specifically covered going up to Holy Communion and receiving in a worthy and reverent manner; purifying the Sacred Vessels after Holy Communion and what not to do.

The link has been added to the Catholic Sites on the side bar.

Daily Lenten Resolution - 1st Sunday of Lent

From Regnum Christi
In a moment of temptation, I will try to remember what God wants and ask him for his help.


The following blog link was shared by Emile-James.


I know there are no coincidences with God. Proof of that is that today, the Director of Vocations was our visiting priest at Mass. He gave a wonderful and very interesting talk about the update of the young men interested in the priesthood in the Diocese of Honolulu and how the Diocese is working of promoting this ministry. He started off by saying we should pray for more vocations and support our seminarians financially too.

My DH and I were happy to hear Father Peter twice mention that we should all pray for Joey's vocation. Joey happened to be the Altar boy at the Mass. After Mass we had an opportunity to chat. Since my friend Easter and I are working on a special ministry together within our Diocese which involved the Director of Vocations, I thought I should introduce myself. That introduction let to about 1/2 hour lively conversation and laughter (Fr. is very funny) among him, other friends from our church and my family.

Starting today, the Diocese's Prayer for Vocation will be permanently placed on my sidebar.

First Sunday of Lent

Temptation of Christ