Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy Feast Day to the Josephs in My family!

St. Joseph

To Joey of course! My DH and I named him after St. Joseph.

For my DH and dear F-i-L whose middle names are Joseph.

To celebrate this morning, I attended Mass and we feasted on waffles, strawberries and whipped cream.

Virginity of St. Joseph

Marriage of Mary and Joseph
The following is from today's Magnifcat reading.
Joseph: Virgin Husband

What were the thoughts of Mary and Joseph on being united under the eyes of God? Ah! They wee surely turned toward Christ who was to come, toward the promised Messiah. The expectation of the Messiah was in the heart of every good Israelite. The Patriarchs, on entering into marriage, had in view primarily the propagation of the race from which the Messiah was to come.

But Mary had promised God to remain a Virgin and that promise was very dear to her. She agreed to marry Joseph, but she would remain a Virgin. And behold, Saint Joseph came into the presence of Mary. At once, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, by a sweet unction, his most pure soul understands that Mary must remain a Virgin, that virginity is essential to her person, inseparable from her. Mary inspires only chaste thoughts. She can be loved only with virginal love. From the first, Joseph is won to the zeal of holy virginity; and their marriage is made on the understanding that they will entrust one another with their virginity. The virginity of Joseph will be the treasure of Mary. What Joseph loves most in Mary is that she is a virgin, so all his love for her consists in guarding very preciously her virginity.

O, who can tell the delights of such a union which is not of the earth? The two souls of Mary and Joseph meet and melt into one another in the ineffable light of a wholly divine fusion, breathing the spiritual perfumes of holy virginity.

- Dom Bernard Marchaux

The Seven Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph

St. Joseph
Thanks to Sue
Source: Oblates of St. Joseph

1. Chaste Lover of Mary, how overwhelmed you were when you thought that you would have to end your betrothal to her. But when the angel of God came to you in a dream, you were filled with awe to realize that Mary would be your wife, and you would be the guardian of the Messiah.

Help us St. Joseph, help our families and all our loved ones to overcome all sadness of heart and develop an absolute trust in God’s goodness.

2. Faithful guardian of Jesus, what a failure you thought you were when you could only provide a stable for the birth of the Holy Child. And then what a wonder it was when shepherds came to tell of angel choirs, and wise men came to adore the King of Kings.

Through your example and prayers, help us St. Joseph and all we love to become like sinless mangers where the Savior of the world may be received with absolute love and respect.

3. Tender-hearted Joseph, you too felt pain when the blood of Jesus was first shed at His circumcision. Yet how proud you were to be the one privileged to give the name Jesus, Savior, to the very Son of God.

Pray for us St. Joseph, that the sacred blood of Christ, poured out for our salvation, may guard our families, so the Divine Name of Jesus may be written in our hearts forever.

4. Joseph, loving husband, how bewildered you were when Simeon spoke the words of warning that the hearts of Jesus and Mary would be pierced with sorrows. Yet his prediction that this would lead to the salvation of innumerable souls filled you with consolation.

Help us, St. Joseph, to see with eyes of faith that even the sorrows and pains of those we deeply love can become the pathway to salvation and eternal life.

5. Courageous protector of the Holy Family, how terrified you were when you had to make the sudden flight with Jesus and Mary to escape the treachery of King Herod and the cruelty of his soldiers. But when you reached Egypt, what satisfaction you had to know that the Savior of the world had come to replace the pagan idols.

Teach us by your example, St. Joseph, to keep far from the false idols of earthly attractions, so that like you, we may be entirely devoted to the service of Jesus and Mary.

6. Ever-obedient Joseph, you trustingly returned to Nazareth at God’s command, in spite of your fear that King Herod’s son might still be a threat to Jesus’ life. Then what fatherly pride you had in seeing Jesus grow in wisdom and grace before God and men under your care.

Show us St. Joseph, how to be free from all useless fear and worry, so we may enjoy the peace of a tranquil conscience, living safely with Jesus and Mary in our hearts.

7. Dependable father and husband, how frantic you and Mary were when, through no fault of yours, you searched for three days to find Jesus. What incredible relief was yours when you found Him safe in the Temple of God.

Help us St. Joseph, never to lose Jesus through the fault of our own sins. But if we should lose Him, lead us back with unwearied sorrow, until we find Him again; so that we, like you, may finally pass from this life, dying safely in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

And Jesus Himself, when he began His work, was about thirty years old being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph.

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

Let us pray.
O blessed St. Joseph, tender-hearted father, faithful guardian of Jesus, chaste spouse of the Mother of God, I pray and beseech you to offer to God the Father my praise to Him through his divine Son, who died on the cross and rose again to give us sinners new life. Through the holy name of Jesus, pray with us that we may obtain from the eternal Father, the favor we ask . . . (Pause) . . . We have been unfaithful to the unfailing love of God the Father; beg of Jesus mercy for us. Amid the splendors of God’s loving presence, do not forget the sorrows of those who suffer, those who pray, those who weep. By your prayers and those of your most holy spouse, our Blessed Lady, may the love of Jesus answer our call of confident hope. Amen.

Feast Day - St. Joseph

San Jose
San José con niño (Saint Joseph with the child) Anonymous Cuzco's School Oil on canvas
40.5 x 32.2 inches 18th Century

Interestingly, I watched St. Joseph's meditations by Fr. Groeschel after I posted this. Fr. Groeschel says that there is evidence, writings and traditions from the Early Church that St. Joseph was in fact, much older than our Blessed Mother. He said that St. Joseph gets younger and younger as the years go by.

He also reiterated the fact that our Blessed Mother was and remained a virgin.

Picture source: Here

The following was written by Br. John and posted with permission.


Husband of Mary and Guardian of Jesus

Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

How much do we know about and appreciate the man who was the husband of the Mother of Jesus and the guardian of our Redeemer? How do we honor him? St. Joseph is often overlooked. Scripture says little of him. We seem to give him scant attention.

Yet devotion to St. Joseph has deep roots in Christian tradition.

Joseph is often the overlooked member of the Holy Family. Do you remember as children when we wrote “J.M.J.” at the top of our papers in Catholic school? We did that to remind ourselves to have the intention that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph had in life as we did our own work. We pictured the members of the Holy Family side by side.

Remember that Mary and Joseph are a couple. And Jesus is their child. They belong together. When separated, their significance in God’s plan of salvation is clouded, because their importance lies in their relationship to each other. While honoring the perpetual virginity of Mary, we cannot disregard Joseph’s privilege and happiness of being Mary’s husband. In past centuries many works of art depicted Joseph as an old man. Most likely this was done to disallow any threat to Mary’s virginity. This tended to undervalue the loving relationship of Mary and Joseph as husband and wife. Despite the tendencies of her times, St. Teresa of Avila always insisted that Joseph was a young man when he married Mary. The Divine Liturgy reinforces this positive approach regarding Joseph: “With a husband’s love he cherished Mary, the Virgin Mother of God.”

Since Joseph is the husband of Mary, he is also father to Jesus. We know that he was not the physical father of Jesus. But in the gospel account about Jesus being lost in the temple, Luke has Mary saying to Jesus: “Son, your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow.” And the Divine Liturgy testifies: “With fatherly care he watched over Jesus Christ your son, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

If one might think that Joseph’s fatherhood was not quite real or effective because he did not physically procreate Jesus, let that person speak with adoptive parents, especially those who have conceived a child of their own and adopted others. They will let you know how real Joseph’s fatherhood is.

Joseph played a very important role as Jesus “grew in wisdom, age, and grace before God and men.” In the Jewish tradition children were, until the age of five or so, in the special care and tutelage of their mothers. But beyond that age children came under the special guidance of their fathers. Joseph by duty and privilege was the rabbi of the Holy Family to teach Jesus the Jewish faith and practices. Joseph led his family in the worship of God in their home at Nazareth.

At meal times both Mary and Jesus looked to Joseph at the head of the table to offer the prayer of blessing. Each year when the great evening of the Passover was celebrated, the youngster Jesus played his role and addressed the ritual question to Joseph: Father, why is this night different from every other night? Then he listened with his Mother to Joseph’s narration of the glorious events of the Exodus and the explanation of the meaning of the paschal lamb. Later Jesus would hear John the Baptizer proclaim him, the Son of Joseph and Mary, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.

When Jesus was of age, Joseph introduced him to synagogue worship. Jesus was faithful to the synagogue rituals throughout his life. Joseph also taught Jesus the skills of a carpenter. Through the practice of this trade Jesus supported himself and his Mother after Joseph’s death.

Jesus’ human experience of fatherhood was drawn from his relationship with Joseph, his own earthly father. When Jesus said, “What father would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf, or a poisonous snake when he asks for a fish,” surely he had in mind how kind and gentle Joseph was to him as he was growing.

When Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son, Joseph must have been the model of that loving father. As Jesus described how the father hugged and kissed the son who had been lost, perhaps he was recalling how Joseph hugged and kissed him after he had been lost in the temple for three days.

When Jesus taught us how to pray, he began with the same loving title with which he had addressed Joseph all his life, abba.

His deep affection for Joseph is evident in the circumstances of the gospel. Joseph made a profound impression on Jesus.

Has Joseph made an impression on us? How do we think of St. Joseph, honor him, and pray to him? Do we appreciate the special place he has in Christian spirituality and in our own heritage? Let us revere wholeheartedly the husband of Mary, the foster father of Jesus, the patron of the universal Church. After all, he is the man who is closest to Christ.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Celebrations All Around Today!

AE and PiePicture source:Not Exactly Rocket Science and who is also celebrating both Pi Day and Albert Einstein's birthday.

Thanks to my friend Mary B I found out today was Pi Day. It makes sense since today is Albert Einstein's Birthday. Now let's see if my mathematician at home will remember what day today is.

It is also St. Patrick's Day today. Our church didn't observe this optional memorial today but I hope yours did.
And last but certainly not least, today is my dear brother's birthday!!

Easter Spring Cleaning

Easter Spring Cleaning
I don't know about you but I started cleaning our home in time for Easter. Well, actually I did want to get rid of clutter but I also promised my DH that if we could keep the new kitten we took in, I would get rid of a lot of unused stuff. More on the kitten later.

This is a good time to clean out closets and donate to a worthy organization like the Salvation Army. Not only is our home beginning to look like we have more room but it also gives us a chance of reflecting that we shouldn't be attached to material things but instead we should be attached more to our loving God.

My friend Barb also shared the following which I thought was a good reminder to me.

Monday Wash Day

Lord, help me wash away all

my selfishness and vanity,

so I may serve you with

perfect humility through the week ahead.

Tuesday Ironing Day

Dear Lord, help me iron out

all the wrinkles of prejudice

I have collected through the years

so that I may see the beauty in others.

Wednesday Mending Day

O God, help me mend my ways

so I will not set a bad example for others.

Thursday Cleaning Day

Lord Jesus, help me to dust out

all the many faults I have been hiding

in the secret corners of my heart.

Friday Shopping Day

O God, give me the grace to shop wisely

so I may purchase eternal happiness

for myself and all others in need of love.

Saturday Cooking Day

Help me, my Savior,

to brew a big kettle of brotherly love

and serve it with clean,

sweet bread of human kindness.

Sunday The Lord's Day

O God, I have prepared my house for you.

Please come into my heart so

I may spend the day and

the rest of my life in your presence.

If anyone knows the author, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

The Authentic St. Patrick

St. PatrickPhoto source Joyces Images and used with permission.

The following was written by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M. and used with permission.

What do we really know about St. Patrick? His background is shrouded in mystery. What we have heard often mingles myth with reality. To separate fact from fiction we need a closer look. We need to ask the real St. Patrick to please stand up.

In the fifth century A.D. an adolescent boy in Britain was kidnapped and enslaved by marauders from a nearby country. The youngster they captured eventually eluded his captors in Ireland, but several years later returned as a priest with the conviction that God had chosen him to convert that country to Christianity. That young Briton named Patricius died an Irishman named Patrick. Ireland and Christianity have not been the same since. Meet the authentic St. Patrick.

Fact over Myth

His life was clouded by legend, but peeling away the myth we discover that what is factually known about St. Patrick is far more interesting. He never chased the snakes out of Ireland, nor do we have any certainty that he used the shamrock to teach the Trinity to his converts.

History possesses no written records about Britain or Ireland from the fifth century except those few about Patrick. Quite simply Ireland had no written records prior to Patrick.

The sequence of his life is not clear, and historians cannot identify when he was born, ordained a bishop, or died. But scholars agree that the two extant examples of his writing are clearly the work of the same man we today call Patrick.

The two brief compositions of Patrick, his Confession and his Letter to Coroticus, are the sources of all we know for certain about the historical Patrick.

The Confession, not really a biography, recounts his call to convert the Irish and aims to justify his mission to an unsympathetic people in Britain.

The Letter to Coroticus, an Irish warlord whom Patrick excommunicated, illustrates his power as a preacher, but yields little biographical information.

His Life

In a nutshell these are the biographical facts. Patrick was born Patricius in Roman Britain to a Christian family of some wealth. He was not religious in his youth, and claims he was close to renouncing his family’s faith. Kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave for a warlord, he worked as a shepherd for six years and then escaped. At home he began studies for the priesthood with the intent to return as a missionary to his former captors. Clearly he had committed his life to Ireland until death. By the time he had written the Confession, Patrick was recognized as bishop of Ireland by both the natives of Ireland and by Church authorities on the continent.

His Character

Two traits are patently evident in Patrick’s Confession: his humility and his strength. These characteristics are missing in early biographies and in the legends.
The missionary Patrick who returned to Ireland was a strong and vigorous personality. He was tough and determined. He had to be to pursue the vision that launched him in the evangelization of the pagan island. He was not the least bit reluctant to undertake this mission despite the fact that in 400 years no one had taken the Gospel beyond the bounds of Roman civilization. As each obstacle was encountered, Patrick mustered the strength to overcome it.

With limited education -- he was chiefly self-educated -- but with the grace of the experience of his enslaved exile, Patrick determined to do what no other had done in the previous four centuries of Christian history. He decided to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and he planned wisely a way to do it. Unaided he figured out how to carry Christian values to the barbarians who practiced human sacrifice, who constantly warred with each other, and who were noted slave traders. That was neither simple nor easy to attempt. Most likely he hazarded this challenge of evangelization never before undertaken by the missionaries of the Greco-Roman world because the Christians of the continent did not consider barbarians to be human.

Patrick’s years as a slave had uniquely molded his attitude to mount a heroic effort to reach the minds and hearts of these untamed people. Patrick detested slavery, and may have been the first Christian leader to speak out unequivocally against it. The Church did not formally condemn slavery as immoral until the late nineteenth century. Patrick had experienced this suffering, knew how to suffer with others, and understood the sufferings of others. Compassion was his strong suit.
A more genuine advocate for the disadvantaged and the marginated of society than Patrick would be difficult to find. Without doubt he is one of the great saints of the downtrodden and excluded whom others shun.

In Patrick women too find an advocate. He speaks of them as individual human beings, lauds their strength and courage in the sufferings they endured in slavery, and respects them as handmaids of the Lord. Unlike most of his episcopal contemporaries, he might be the first male Christian since Jesus to speak so positively about women.

Patrick was convinced he had a God-given mission, and that Providence would see him through thick and thin. This gave him the will to return to the barbarians who had mistreated him. Patrick saw God at work in the world as a loving and benevolent Father.

His Legacy

Did Patrick accomplish his mission? At the time of his death human sacrifice had ceased, the Irish people abandoned the slave trade, and, although they had not stopped warring with each other, the battles were more restrained. Patrick knew these people would not change overnight.

This is the legacy left by St. Patrick: he had met the objective set by Christ, the Master of Apostles, to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. And his successors continued the pursuit of that objective.

As Ireland without Patrick is unthinkable, so too is life today without the saints. The saints are for the ages, ours no less than others. Without saints life would be miserable. The saints are for everyone -- believing and unbelieving -- because they are the people who proclaim by their lives that life is valuable, life is worth living, that a provident God cares for us. Without them life would be a series of disasters. St. Patrick personified this Christian hope.

Fine Art Friday

Ghent Altarpiece
Adam and Eve
Queen of Heaven
Saint Gabriel
Choir of Angels
red and white
Today, I thought we would spotlight a Masterpiece instead of the Master Artist. It is the famous Ghent Altarpiece or Adoration of the Mystic Lamb .
The altarpiece consists of a total of twenty-four compartmented scenes, which make up two views, open and closed, which are changed by moving the hinged outer wings. The upper register (row) of the opened view shows Christ the King (but see below) between the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist. The insides of the wings represent angels singing and making music, and on the outside Adam and Eve. The lower register of the central panel shows the adoration of the Lamb of God, with several groups in attendance and streaming in to worship, overseen by the dove representing the Holy Spirit. On week days the wings were closed, showing the Annunciation of Mary and donor portraits of Joost Vijdt and his wife Lysbette Borluut.
Source: Wikipedia
As the defining monument of the "new realism" of Northern Renaissance art, the Ghent Altarpiece was regarded as both the foundation of a distinguished tradition, and an exemplary achievement to challenge all later artists. In 1495, an early visitor named Hieronymus Münzer justly described it as encompassing the whole art of painting.

The discovery in 1823 of a rhymed quatrain on the frame of the altarpiece confirmed that it was begun by Hubert van Eyck, and even described him as greater than his more famous brother Jan, who completed the work upon Hubert's death in 1426. No one has ever convincingly distinguished their respective shares in this painting. Dedicated on May 6, 1432 in the Church of Saint John, Ghent (now the Cathedral of Saint Bavo), the work was installed above an altar in a chantry chapel founded by the wealthy patrician Joos Vijd and his wife Elizabeth Borluut.
To learn more about this intricate work of art, visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art the source of the above article.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Chaldean archbishop of Mosul - Martyr for the Faith

Archbishop Faraj Rahho
Mahalo to Fr. Z for the article link.
The Chaldean archbishop of Mosul is dead. Archbishop Faraj Rahho was kidnapped last February 29 after the Stations of the Cross. His kidnappers gave word of his death, indicating to the mediators where they could recover the body of the 67-year-old prelate. "It is a heavy Cross for our Church, ahead of Easter", Bishop Rabban of Arbil tells AsiaNews in response to the news. Leaders of the Chaldean Church, including Bishop Shlemon Warduni, brought the body to the hospital in Mosul to ascertain the causes, still unknown, of the archbishop's death. The funeral will be held tomorrow in the nearby city of Karamles. Archbishop Rahho will be buried near Fr Ragheed, his priest and secretary killed by a terrorist brigade on June 3, 2007, while leaving the church after celebrating Mass.
Asia News Article

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and may Your perpetual light shine upon him. May Archbishop Rahho rest in peace. Amen.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Are You a Catholic Nerd?

H/T to Jean

Catholic Nerdity

I may be or at least I come very close to being one.

Kanaka Waiwai - The Parable of the Rich Young Man

English Translation of Kanaka WaiWai:

In the travels of Jesus
He met
a prominent young man
known for his wealth.
Said the youth,
"My good Lord
what must I do
to have eternal life?"

"Give, give away
your possessions.
Turn and follow me.
Thus have life eternal."

The youth treasured
his wealth.
He did not want to give all his possessions
to the needy and poor.
Jesus turned
and answered the youth,
"Being attached to worldly
possessions, you cannot reach
the kingdom of heaven."

I received an e-letter from Secretum Meum Mihi and it had an article about Patricia Devlin's favorite hymn which is a Hawaiian hymn. The video I chose to post here was created as a tribute to Queen Lili'uokalani. This beautiful hymn is playing in the background. I hope you enjoy that hymn as well as the old photos of Hawaii's beloved queen as much as I did.

(Born and raised in Hawaii, Patricia Devlin is the mother of two children and holds advanced degrees in psychology and counseling. She has been blind since birth, and has survived two bouts with cancer. She currently suffers from migraines and breast cancer. Her book, The Light of Love, is a compilation of conversations with her guardian angel, and later with our Lord. She lives in Lubbock, Texas and is under spiritual direction there with a priest of her diocese, in obedience to the bishop.)

The Catholic Prayer Club

A Note
You can receive a free e-letter from the Catholic Prayer Club

The following is from their website:
Helping Catholics discover their deeper individual selves and to strengthen their relationship with God through prayer, meditation, discernment and reflective living…

Monday, March 10, 2008

Local Artist 's Father Damien Mosaic to Be Unveiled

Beloved O'ahu artist Peggy Chun, who is almost completely paralyzed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), has completed a mosaic of Father Damien that took 18 months and a little help from a lot of friends.

Chun, who is able to communicate only by directing her gaze at an alphabet board, nevertheless directed the creation of a 4-by-8-foot mural made upfof 50,0000 small squares of paper, each painted to her specifications. The mural will be unveiled in a ceremony at the State Capitol at 12:45 p.m. March 14, with readings and music, after a resolution commending her is read on the Senate floor.

Ailing Peggy Chun's Damien Mosaic Unveiled

The Preventative System of Education As Implemented by St. John Bosco

Don Bosco
Fr. Bing Arellano of the Alliance of the Holy Family talked about education of our children during St. John Bosco's time and in the present time. His show is aired on EWTN in the afternoons here in Hawaii.

Don Bosco's method of the Preventative System of Education according to the Blessed Virgin Mary produced in his boys, holiness, purity and saints. The education system forced on our society today which includes emphasis on sex education produces as its fruits homosexuality and child molestation.

Fr. Bing says we have to counter the harmful education system we have today. One way of doing so is through homeschooling.

This Preventative System of Education comes from the Four Pillars of Salesian Spirituality.

First pillar: devotion to Mary Help of Christians
For Don Bosco, the Immaculate Virgin, Mary Help of Christians, was the ever-present Mother who helps her children daily, going to their rescue and leading them to Jesus. "Be devoted to Mary Help of Christians", he would habitually say, "and you will see what miracles are!".
Second pillar: devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist
The second pillar of Don Bosco's spirituality was devotion to Jesus in the
Eucharist, which he saw as the heart of every Salesian house. He used to remind young people: "If you want many graces, pay many visits to Jesus in the Sacrament; if you want few graces, pay him few".

Don Bosco was a "vir eucharisticus", that is, a saint formed through and through by the Eucharist. He was so passionate about the Eucharist that he communicated his passion to the young people he carefully prepared for communion with the Lord through the sacrament of Reconciliation. For Don Bosco, Confession and the Eucharist were the two sacraments that inculcated in young people the Christian virtues and holiness.
On this topic he wrote in 1877:

"Frequent Confession, frequent Communion and daily Mass are the pillars that must support an educational building that we desire to protect from threats and scourges. Never force youngsters to receive the holy sacraments, but only encourage them and make it easy for them to do so" (John Bosco, Il sistema preventivo nella educazione della gioventù [1877], n. 4).

The 15-year-old St Dominic Savio is a shining example of this sacramental pedagogy which strengthened his virtuous habits and his union with Jesus, witnessed by his Eucharistic ecstasies during Holy Communion.
Third pillar: educational system based on joy, hope
The third pillar of Don Bosco's spirituality was his educational system of joy and hope. Dominic Savio, who once said to Don Bosco: "I am the fabric, you are the tailor; make me into a beautiful suit for the Lord!", had fully grasped this when he suggested to his young companions: "Let's make holiness consist in being very cheerful!"...

..."Run, jump, amuse yourselves as much as you like, but for pity's sake, don't sin!"...
Fourth pillar: devotion to Church and Vicar of Christ
Don Bosco's fourth and last pillar is his devotion to the Church, to her Pastors and especially to the Holy Father. His love for the Pope was extraordinary and is an integral part of the Salesian formation and apostolate.
To read the above text in its entirety please visit EWTN's Library: The Four Pillars of Salesian Spirituality.

Lack of Self Control

According to Mother Angelica:

It is a lack of self-control that makes me--

lash out at my brother in a burst of anger,

show impatience with my neighbor,

talk about the faults of others,

speak before I think,

be intemperate in things that cause me pleasure,

buy things I cannot afford,

be brutally frank and caustic at times,


criticize the faults of others publicly.

From the Fruits of His Love by Mother M. Angelica,

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Living Bible

Bible and Rose
Shared by Wyman
His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college.

He is brilliant. Kind of profound and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything.

Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet.

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill.

Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do.

How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.

The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.

And then they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be alone..

Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister regains control, he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. "

"Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read!"

Be a Blessing to Others

My friend Carlos gave me permission to share with you the following which he wrote for some friends:
Do people know that YOU care and do YOU look for opportunities to be a blessing to others?

Consider this my friends ....

Instead of complaining because your paycheck is too small, be grateful that you even have a paycheck. Consider the many thousands of people who are unemployed and frightened because they do not know where the next meal will come from to feed their families.

Instead of asking "what is in it for me?" consider what you YOU can do for a fellow member of God's human family as opposed to doing "it" simply because it benefits YOU.

Instead of spending five dollars on a pack of cigarettes or fifty dollars on a college or pro sporting event, why not send that five or fifty dollars to an organization or agency that helps abused children get back on track with their lives?

Instead of feeling sorry for yourself because YOU are alone, why not visit an aging brother or sister living in a senior home or a child in a hospital who truly understand the meaning of lonliness.

Instead of complaining about your boss, supervisor or co-workers, why not consider that they are people too. Consider that they are people who are loved just like you and people who are depended upon, just like you. They may not always be fair, right, or agreeable, but are we when it comes to others? Think about that!

Instead of complaining because YOU think that God isn't doing enough to change the world, why not start by looking at the world YOU live in and change that?

Instead of asking for raise after raise to support your indulgent excessiveness, why not become less material, needy, and wanting and more economical, practical, and sensible. Ask yourself, "Is it something I truly need, or just something that I want?" There is a difference.

I can go on, but I believe WE get the picture here.

"People don't care what you know, they just want to know that you care." It doesn't get any simpler than that.

I am ready to become a blessing to others. Are you?


Carlos Michael Padilla

St. Dominic Savio

St. Dominic Savio
The following is from St. Michael Center for the BVM
On March 9 the Catholic church honors the feast of St Dominic Savio. He is the patron saint of the youth, choir boys, and falsely accused. He was an ordinary boy with an extraordinary love for God. He was a gentle, calm and cheerful lad who puts great efforts into his studies, helps others in every way, teaches the Catechism, tends the sick, sorts quarrels and other tasks. He was described by Pope Pius XI as “small in size, but a towering giant in spirit.” He set up the ‘Sodality of Mary Immaculate’ with a group of friends to carry out his apostolic work

When St Dominic received his first communion at the age of seven, he wrote down the following as his plan of life: “I will go to confession very often and go to communion as often as my confessor gives me permission. I will celebrate Sundays and feast days as holy days. Jesus and Mary will be my friends. Death rather than sin.”

Prayer to
St. Dominic Savio

Great model for God-loving boys and cherished pupil of the famous Don Bosco, you died prematurely, humanly speaking, but you had already attained mature spiritual wisdom. Your kindness won you many friends, but your love above all sought the Master who is present in our tabernacles. His praises you eucharistically sang. Make choir boys be singers like you, for the love of Jesus, our most loving Master.

Quotable Quote on St. Dominic Savio
“You have many good boys, but none can match the good heart and soul of Dominic. I see him so often at prayer, staying in church after the others; every day he slips out of the playground to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. When he is in church he is like an angel living in Paradise.”- Mamma Margaret, remarked to his son St John Bosco about St Dominic Savio

“In other circumstances, Dominic might have become a little self-righteous snob, but Don Bosco showed him the heroism of the ordinary and the sanctity of common sense.” -Rev. Clifford Stevens, The One Year Book of Saints
I highly recommend The Life of St. Dominic Savio by St. John Bosco.

5th Sunday of Lent

Painting by Giotto

St. John 11: 1-45