Saturday, June 21, 2008

Feast Day of St. Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Picture source and more about St. Aloysius can be found here

Fighting for Our Rights as Parents and The Catholic Family

Holy Family Picture source Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Gifts Be sure to check out their other fine gifts.

In a previous post I directed your attention to the attack on families worldwide. What can we do to combat this growing threat?

As Catholics Christians, we know that God will always prevail over the Devil. Therefore, one thing that we should do is pray and pray unceasingly.

Another thing we can do is to sign a petition calling for an amendment to the Constitution in order to protect our rights as parents. My friend Sheri of Classical Education in Paradise has provided us with a link to Parental Rights. They believe that
The best way to protect children and their parents is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
You may also consider placing a Parent Rights Support button on your blog like Sheri did.

The Family is the Microcosm of the Church

Contemplating the truth of the family as a microcosm of the Church makes us see clearly the primacy and the mission of the family in the following ways:

1. it perpetuates the Church which Jesus Christ established in this world;

2. the presence of God is realized in the family;

3. the family witnesses to the presence of the Church in its day-to-day life;

4. the efforts of the family to be united to God help the entire Church to advance;

5. the family strengthens the communion between God and each of its members.

by Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan

More quotes by Cardinal Thuan:
The family is a microcosm of the Church, the Church in miniature. The Lord is present in his life, death and resurrection in a mystical way in the members of the family. This reflection throws light on he meaning of the Catholic family and has the power to change it.

Having children is not only a response to the need to carry on the family lineage, but also a participation in the Body of Christ. The education of your children is the training of the faithful who will continue the worship of God the Father. Discover and admire the noble design which God has for your families.

You help your children to become children of God by teaching them to be active members of the Body of Christ. As parents your duty is to guide your children along the way in every respect and in every virtue.

Christ desired to build up his Mystical Body by means of the family. The Church may alter its methods of preaching, its various organizations, but the Church will always expand by means of families. The faith is spread through dynamic and healthy family units.

The education of children is a 'school of perfection' for parents. Children possess a critical outlook and are sharp observers. They oblige you to carry out your role sincerely, and thereby help you to advance.

If we maintain that the world of labor should be sanctified by laborers, then we must believe that the Catholic family should be the primary apostle to other families.

People evaluate Catholic marriage according to the criterion of holiness in Catholic families.

Morning and night prayers in the family - or better put, times of family prayer- fulfill the duty of the family to become a community of Christians, one unit of the Church, according to the words of our Lord: 'For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them' (Mt 18:20).

The Catholic family is apostolic through its witness. You must show that you have been called to holiness and that you live a married life that is pleasing to God. Share with other families the grace and the happiness which God has bestowed on your family.

When you sit side by side together in God's presence, it is a time of truth and of wonderful discovery. It is a dose of immortal medicine. The atmosphere of the family changes and many thorny problems are solved with mutual understanding. Where once a husband and wife might have lived together in a kind of 'peaceful co-existence,' now they are one in love, one in happiness, one in troubles, and one in prayer.

The first seminary, the first formation program, the first college is the Catholic family. No director, however talented or skilled, can replace parents. If this most fundamental unit breaks down, the future of the Church and of human society becomes shaky and risks collapse..."
The Road of Hope by Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, Pauline Books and Media

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fine Art Friday - Andrea Mantagna

Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child

Adoration of the Shepherds

St. Jerome
St. Jerome

St. Sebastian
St. Sebastian

The Crucifixion

Madonna with Child
Madonna With Child

St. George
St. George

Agony in the Garden
Agony in the Garden

Dead Christ
Dead Christ

Italian painter; born according to some authorities, at Vicenza, according to others at Padua, in 1431, died at Mantua, 13 September, 1506. Little is known of his origin save that he came of honourable parentage and was adopted at an early age by Francesco Squarcione who reared him as his son.
Source New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blessed Damien and NJ - Perfect Together

Fr. Damien and Fr. Patrick 3
Fr. J. Patrick Ryan and Blessed Damien

Fr. Damien and Fr. Patrick 2
Fr. Damien and Fr. Patrick Blessed Sacrament
Fr. Patrick, Fr. Damien and the Blessed Sacrament

A while back when I was in Hawaii, my mom excitedly mentioned that Fr. Patrick, the pastor of her parish church Blessed Sacrament, had received a framed picture of Blessed Damien of Molokai. The arrival of Blessed Damien's picture caused my mom as well as one of the Filippini Sisters at the parish to revive their interest in Blessed Damien. They couldn't wait to read a book about him and were eager to pray for his canonization using holy cards I provided for them.

It was with a lot of interest that I hoped to be able to see the picture. However, when Joey and I arrived the picture was not on display.

A few weeks later, I finally asked Fr. Patrick about it and he was kind enough to pull it out to show it to me. It really was more beautiful than I had imagined. The pictures above don't really do the print or painting (I can't really tell which one it is) justice. If you click to enlarge you may see it better.

Mahalo Fr. Patrick for permitting me to take the pictures as well as agreeing to be in the pictures ;-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Prayer and Sacrifice Today - For Sanctity of Marriage

from American Needs Fatima

Suggested Intentions for the June 17 prayer warriors are:

(Note: As practicing Catholics, we are filled with compassion and pray for those who struggle against violent temptation to homosexual sin. We pray for those who fall into homosexual sin out of human weakness, that God may assist them with His grace.)

1. That Americans who still defend a moral law be victorious in their efforts to protect marriage from the attacks of the homosexual revolution and its secularist allies.

2. That America resist the imposition on our country of “morals” opposed to those of Christ.

3. That our resistance be accompanied by sincere, ardent, and persevering trust, since, as the Savior admonished us, “without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

4. That since the legalization of homosexual “marriage” is a public sin that can draw God’s punishment upon our country, we sacrifice and do penance, for God does not despise “a contrite and humbled heart.” (Ps. 50:19)

5. That by taking energetic and faithful action in this struggle, we can heed the Blessed Mother’s maternal warning at Fatima, recognize and correct our failings, and rightly be one nation under God.

6. That Our Lady help us all to do our duty, in full and faithful compliance with the perennial and immutable teaching of Holy Mother Church on the intrinsic evilness of homosexual acts.

The Sacrament of Marriage

Sacrament of Matrimony
The following are quotes by Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan on the Sacrament of Marriage:
The love of marriage has the power to stir the human heart to great courage, confidence, and generosity.

Love helps your spouse to grow and gives your spouse the means for growth. To force your spouse to change by making that change a prerequisite of your love completely removes the very means of bringing about change.

The unique way to secure a change in one's spouse is to accept him or her in love-just as when that love was new. Change is effected only when one knows and feels oneself to be loved.

If a person does not love the 'flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones' and cannot bring happiness to this fundamental unit of society-upon which every other society is based-then how can such a person think of reforming the world?

Are you surprised to hear of the 'vocation to be parents of a family'? People are mistaken when they restrict the idea of a vocation, that is, a calling to perfection, to the priest or religious alone. When, by means of the sacrament of Matrimony, two people solemnly sear to love one another in Christ for their entire lives, is this not a profession of faith a profession of vows?

It is truly regrettable that the civilized world's comprehension of the Catholic doctrine concerning marriage is limited to some of its prohibitions. From these the world does not gain the slightest inkling that Jesus came to redeem humanity through love, and that through the sacrament of Matrimony humanity is enriched in an extraordinary way. Therefore, study and present the beautiful and positive aspects of Catholic Marriage.

To love your spouse is to act according to the will of God. When you realize this, you will understand that you can fulfill your vocation in the most ordinary circumstances of your life by perceiving God's call even in the most trifling sanctify. This is a revelation that will revolutionize your whole life.

The love between husband and wife is an image of the love of Christ for the Church (cf. Eph 5:31-32). In this mystery you will discover dignity, strength, and unity. The love that exists between a husband and wife is an extension of God's love. How uplifting and supportive is this love of the partners!

God has given you a loving spouse and beautiful children to help each other to become holy. What have you done with this gift?

You must discover that you can and indeed have the responsibility to become holy in marriage and through marriage.

The unity between husband and wife has to be absolutely complete: unity of body, love, mind, and spirit, through the presence of Christ. To love ach other in God is very beautiful, and doing this for God's sake is even more beautiful; then, the whole family listens attentively to God and advances together toward greater intimacy with him.
from The Road of Hope: A Gospel From Prison., Pauline Books and Media

Sunday, June 15, 2008

11th Sunday of Ordinary Time


Happy Father's Day!

St. Joseph
Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus

Picture source here

to my dear father whom I speak call "Daddy",
my dear husband,
my dear brothers,
my dear father in law,
my dear brothers in law,
my dear uncles,
our dear priests all over the world,
and to all of my dear blog visitors who are fathers.

What is a father's great task?
To bring himself and his family to God.
That task requires self-discipline, wisdom, patience,
strength and understanding.

Small minds and hearts of children are not easy to guide;
adolescent minds and hearts are bewildered and battered at times;
the minds and hearts of young adults are often lost
or too embarrassed to seek guidance.

For them a father is a steady example
of perseverance and good,
a beacon for wondering and wandering minds.

How could a father's task be done
unless he remembered his children were created
by a loving, wise and merciful God
who is with his children - and with him?
Source here