Saturday, July 19, 2008

Holy Father's Homily - Final Mass WYD 2008 Sydney

Dear Friends,

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you" (Acts 1:8). We have seen this promise fulfilled! On the day of Pentecost, as we heard in the first reading, the Risen Lord, seated at the right hand of the Father, sent the Spirit upon the disciples gathered in the Upper Room. In the power of that Spirit, Peter and the Apostles went forth to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In every age, and in every language, the Church throughout the world continues to proclaim the marvels of God and to call all nations and peoples to faith, hope and new life in Christ.
Zenit has the homily in its entirety

Saintly Quote - Priests

Take caution to see priests only as the dispensers of the Blood of the humble, Immaculate Lamb and overlook the faults you may see in them. A priest is a man and therefore fallible and capable of making mistakes, but this does not prevent him from being the Anointed of the Lord, marked forever with the indelible sign and having the power to consecrate the Body of Christ and administer the sacraments and to preach to the people in the name of God.
St. Catherine of Siena

Thanks to Sue for sharing via email.

Mother Angelica and Mikey

I always thought of Mother Angelica being a dog person...

EWTN Mother Angelica update

Thanks to my friend Betty who shared this with me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters

Send to me via email by Sue of Half the Kingdom

Vote Prolife
1. Isn’t conscience the same as my own opinions and feelings? And doesn’t everyone have the right to his or her own conscience?

Conscience is NOT the same as your opinions or feelings. Conscience cannot be identical with your feelings because conscience is the activity of your intellect in judging the rightness or wrongness of your actions or omissions, past, present, or future, while your feelings come from another part of your soul and should be governed by your intellect and will. Conscience is not identical with your opinions because your intellect bases its judgment upon the natural moral law, which is inherent in your human nature and is identical with the Ten Commandments. Unlike the civil laws made by legislators, or the opinions that you hold, the natural moral law is not anything that you invent, but rather discover within yourself and is the governing norm of your conscience. In short, Conscience is the voice of truth within you, and your opinions need to be in harmony with that truth. As a Catholic, you have the benefit of the Church’s teaching authority or Magisterium endowed upon her by Christ. The Magisterium assists you and all people of good will in understanding the natural moral law as it relates to specific issues. As a Catholic, you have the obligation to be correctly informed and normed by the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium. As for your feelings, they need to be educated by virtue so as to be in harmony with conscience’s voice of truth. In this way, you will have a sound conscience, according to which we you will feel guilty when you are guilty, and feel morally upright when you are morally upright. We should strive to avoid the two opposite extremes of a lax conscience and a scrupulous conscience. Meeting the obligation of continually attending to this formation of conscience will increase the likelihood that, in the actual operation or activity of conscience, you will act with a certain conscience, which clearly perceives that a given concrete action is a good action that was rightly done or should be done. Being correctly informed and certain in the actual operation of conscience is the goal of the continuing formation of conscience. Otherwise put, you should strive to avoid being incorrectly informed and doubtful in the actual judgment of conscience about a particular action or omission. You should never act on a doubtful conscience.
The rest can be found at A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters by Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD

20 Rules for Parents of Adolescents

H/T to my friend Melissa.

1. Follow Through. I’m a big believer in disciplining with consistency. If you create an expectation and consequences for not meeting the expectation with your kids, follow through on it! By not following through, you send the message that your word isn’t worth anything.

2. Watch Your Expectations. All parents want the best for their kids. The trick is to help them set and then achieve their goals for themselves, rather than to expect them to live up to our goals for them.

3. Accept Them Where They Are. Adolescence is a very turbulent time for kids. They can be a roller coaster of moods, emotions and hormones all wrapped up together. If your daughter is brokenhearted over a “crush” that hasn’t worked out the way she had hoped, don’t belittle her or tease her over “puppy love.” Remember, “puppy love” is very real to “puppies.” Affirm their feelings. They are what they are – and they are real.
You can read the other 17 tips at The Homeworld Site

Fine Art Friday - Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Self Portrait
Self Portrait

The Adoration of the Magi


Tower of Babel
The Tower of Babel

The Harvesters

Peasant Dance
Peasant Dance

Peasant Wedding
The Peasant Wedding

(c. 1525 – September 9, 1569) was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (Genre Painting). He is nicknamed 'Peasant Bruegel' to distinguish him from other members of the Brueghel dynasty, but is also the one generally meant when the context does not make clear which "Bruegel" is being referred to. From 1559 he dropped the 'h' from his name and started signing his paintings as Bruegel.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"I Like Bein' a Catholic" Music Video

I LOVE being a Catholic. How about you?

Mahalo to Tom for sharing this with me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

One of the important Marian Feast days commemorated by the Catholic Church is today's feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This one is particularly important because we are called to wear our Lady's own garment...the Brown Scapular. She made a promise to St. Simon Stock that whoever wore the Brown Scapular would not suffer eternal fire.
The Blessed Virgin Mary gave the scapular to St. Simon Stock with the following words:
"Receive, my dear son, this scapular of thy Order, as the distinctive sign of my confraternity, and the mark of the privilege which I have obtained for thee and the children of Carmel. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in danger, and a special pledge of peace and protection till the end of time. Whosoever dies wearing this shall be preserved from eternal flames."
To learn more about our Lady's feast day and to learn how to become enrolled with the Brown Scapular, please visit St. Michael's Center for the BVM, Honolulu, Hawaii

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Points to Remember on Election Day

Eagle and FlagFrom an email send to me by John.

During this political season let's be reminded of these wise words.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

--- Abraham Lincoln

Addressing Misinformation Regarding the Holy Eucharist

Holy Eucharist
In the book I am currently reading In the Presence of Our Lord by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, the good father addresses erroneous teachings by anti-Catholics.
..."Without any credible evidence anti-Catholic writers often falsely maintain that belief in the reality of the Body and Blood of Christ and in the Eucharist as a sacrifice began in the Church in the fourth century, after Constantine declared Christianity to be the religion of the Roman Emipre. It is alleged, completely without any historical foundation, that large numbers of pagan priests, put out of their jobs by the formal end of the Greco-Roman cult, became Christians in name only and brought their pagan belief in sacrifice with them.

Ignatius of Antioch and several other key patristic writers long before Constantine's edict in 313 clearly demonstrate the fallacy of this claim. No one who knows the writings of the postapostolic Fathers could honestly maintain that the idea of the reality of the Eucharist and its sacramental character came from pagan priests. Since many of these anti-Catholic writers are misled and confused about the Catholic teaching on the reality of the Eucharist, we need to be aware of and ponder the message of the early Christian writers...
Father Groeschel goes on to show how early Church Fathers such as Saint Justin Martyr, very early in the Church's history referred to the Eucharist as a sacrifice. When referencing the prophet Malachi, the saint wrote "Already, then, did he prophesy about those sacrifices that are offered to him in every place by us Gentiles, speaking, that is, about the Bread of the Eucharist and the cup of the Eucharist."

Fr. Groeschel also referred to St. Irenaeus, who is referred to as an important link to the apostles. He wrote a book entitled Against the Heresies, wherein he condemned those who taught that the human body was not saved. He believed that the promise of Christ in the Eucharist must be real because the promise of eternal life it gives is true.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Acts of Kindness During Tough Hawaii Economic Times

Dover Angel 6
I would like to share the following article with you. I am posting it here with the author's permission. It originally appeared in the Hawaii Reporter
How To Make A Difference In Hawaii's Tough Economic Times
By Daniel de Gracia, II, 7/13/2008 5:23:04 PM

Fifty-three years to this date on July 11, 1955, the 84th Congress of the United States passed H.R. 619 as Public Law 140, an act "to provide that all United States currency shall bear the inscription of 'In God We Trust.'"

Today, as our dollar continues to lose ground to the Euro and the price of petroleum drives higher and higher the cost of services and products, more than ever that motto rings true for the elderly, the retired on fixed incomes, and those with low paying jobs struggling to make ends meet.

We are living in tough economic times and more and more people are becoming calloused and bitter in their outlook towards themselves and others. This is not an easy time to work, live, and play, but if you ask me, it is an outstanding opportunity for us to learn what it means to be a human being and to make a difference by showing generosity and compassion to those in need around us.

Just a few weeks ago while I was pumping gas into my Toyota at a Kunia gas station near my house, a young man approached me and said, "Excuse me. My car is right over there, and I ran out of gas.

Can you please spot me some cash so I can make it home?" Without hesitation, I reached into wallet, gave him half of all of my cash and wished him good luck. The man was shaken that I had done such a thing so reflexively and without any hesitation that as he went to pre-pay for his gasoline, he almost looked like he was going to cry.

That incident, as strange as it was, was not the only time something like that has happened to me: on two other occasions random people have approached me asking for help in paying for gasoline, and countless other times people have walked right up to me asking for money in general, only to be surprised when I give them a wad of cash in return.

The principle that I exercise every time someone asks me for help is this: how would I feel if I was in the unenviable position of having to ask for favor from a total stranger? When I find myself realizing that I'd be sweating it out hoping they don't say no, I make it a point to live my life as best as possible with an attitude of "Yes!" towards my fellow man. I don't like to be told no, so I always make it a point - as is possible or practical - to tell others "Yes!" when they ask for my help.

The fact of the matter is that no matter what is going on in the world around us, generosity enables us to change the world for good. Last week, one of my friends was fired from one of his two Honolulu jobs (he had one to pay rent, one to pay for food) and so, because he needed someone to complain to, I decided to take him to the Oceanarium Restaurant at the Pacific Beach Hotel.

As we arrived, there was absolutely no parking available, so we had to park at the metered stalls at the zoo instead. My friend who was in an already agitated mood from being fired watched with annoyance as he saw Honolulu Police Department officers marching up and down the rows administering tickets to anyone whose time had expired. "I can't believe that they're [expletive] doing that now," he said.

At first I tried to reassure him that HPD was just doing their job, but then I realized that this was an outstanding opportunity to demonstrate to my friend how generosity can change any situation.

Since I carry quite a few quarters in my car from the regular need of having to park at the State Capitol or other government buildings, once I paid for my own meter, I immediately took as many quarters as I could get and walked from meter to meter, dropping in quarters for anyone's car who was about to get ticketed by the HPD for being in the red (or close to it).

You can imagine the looks we got from people who saw me checking each meter individually to see how much time was left, but I was not ashamed. When I was finished, I told my friend that the action we had done had turned a negative into a positive. My friend, now deeply surprised by what he had seen, agreed that we had done something that took us from being out of control to being in control.

Some of you might recall from Sunday school a story of a certain man who, knowing that he was going to lose his job, started contacting all of his company's clients and either reduced or canceled out completely their outstanding balance of debts in the hope that people would remember his generosity in his time of need and welcome him with open arms (Luke 16:1-9). There's a lot of practical applicability of that story to our lives, and what it means for us is that we need to be seeker-friendly to those who come to us in need, because we ourselves never know when we'll be out looking for help.

If you're waiting for our State Legislature or our Federal Government to come in and reverse the economic crisis, as the saying goes, don't hold your breath: in this season of want, all we have is one another, and its time that we as a community band together and start looking for ways to help one another. The issue here is not distribution of money but rather the distribution of mercy to those who are in need.

I honestly believe with all my heart that working together, we can soften the blows of this difficult time and use it as a pretext to get closer to our neighbors and sow the seeds of aloha. In this world, what we do for ourselves dies with us, but what we do for others and the world is something that lives forever. Meeting each other's needs is an important part of being human and staying human.

One of the Scriptures that I live by is found in Ephesians 6:8 which says, "whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord" (KJV). Said another way: what goes around, comes around. If you see people in need and you have the power to help them, help them out, because you never know when you'll need assistance in another area of life. I truly believe that as we give into other people's lives, we will receive back into our own lives in all the areas that we lack in. So until this crisis is over, my advice to all of you is this: give, keep on giving, and you shall receive.

Daniel de Gracia, II lives in Waipahu. Reach him at

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Third Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima


Prayers of the Angel of Fatima

My God, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, and do not love Thee. (repeat three times)

Bowing over profoundly:

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in Tabernacles throughout the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament!

O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee, in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the conversion of poor sinners, for our Holy Father, and for all of our special intentions and petitions.

Padre Pio and the Holy Souls in Purgatory

This is a video I found on Travis' Catholic Tube blog and narrated by one of my favorite priests Fr. Bing Arellano of the Alliance of the Two Hearts.