Friday, December 31, 2010

Father Steven Scheier's Near Death Conversion

Father Steven Scheier and Mother Angelica

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Thanks to Sue Cifelli for reminding me of this incredible story.

Father Tommy Lane's Homily: Fr. Steven Scheier and the Parable of the Fig Tree

Please be sure to watch the video of Father when he appeared on the Mother Angelica Live show on EWTN.

The following is what Father Scheier said about priests:

"A priest without prayer is dead.
A priest without the Blessed Sacrament is dead.
A priest without the Blessed Mother is dead."

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

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"There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return." -- Pope Leo XIII

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Recommended Movie - The Miracle of the Bells

Picture source.

On Sunday I was watching this movie by myself. Next thing I noticed, my husband had joined me. Then we called our son over to join us. He checked it out, liked what he was seeing and stayed. We all proclaimed it to be a terrific movie.

Briefly, Fred MacMurray is a press agent accompanying the coffin of an actress whose last wish was to be buried in her hometown. Frank Sinatra is very endearing (at least he was to me) as the priest of the poorer church.

You can read more about it over here.

10th Anniversary of the Death of Father John A. Hardon, S.J.

Father John A. Hardon, S.J.

A big mahalo to Diane of Te Deum Laudamus for reminding us that today is the 10th Anniversary of the death of Father John Hardon. As you know, we at this blog are praying for his canonization.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolution Suggestions

Hawaiian Snow on top of Mauna Kea

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This morning before Mass, I sat praying for some ideas to improve my spiritual life.  Actually, I know very well the areas in my life that need improvement. Therefore, it was not too difficult to focus on those areas to tackle.

I am sharing the following because I think they are both good places to start in resolving to become better Christians.

The first one came from the Anchoress yesterday:

1. A 2011 Gift to Self & the World

"...For 2011, resolve to be here now, and to serve yourself, but do it in this most excellent way: by cultivating silence and overcoming time within one of the classic disciplines of daily prayer—where the pulse of the psalms calms the breath, the pockets of silence center the spirit, and the liturgical calendar frees us from the shackles of time...."

Secondly, my friend Father Gordon MacRae posted today about gossip.

2. Psst! Spread This Around – My New Year’s Resolution About Gossip

The bigger scandal in the Catholic Church is the way pop culture has drawn us into a climate of gossip and ruined reputations. Is it time to stem that tide?

Father John F. Harvey, OSFS RIP

Father John F. Harvey OSFS

Father Harvey was the founder of Courage, a Catholic apostolate to help people of same-sex attractions lead chaste and holy lives.

Eternal rest grant unto Father Harvey, O Lord, and may Your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

In Memoriam.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Reminder in Honolulu: Jesus is the Reason for the Season

On Christmas my family walked around downtown Honolulu enjoying the Christmas  "City lights". We were hopeful that someone would remember that it was indeed Jesus' birthday we were celebrating. We saw the lights, honus (sea turtles) Shaka Santa and the missus, Rudolph, snowmen, Christmas trees and wreaths. We noticed that the area where previous displays from various organizations and religious denominations once stood, was now empty.

Finally we noticed that recessed beyond the lights and huge displays, were a few humble displays. The following is what we found:

"Come over to see the Real Gift of CHRISTmas"

"Jesus is the Reason for the Season"

"For God so loved the world..."

Credit and the City's disclaimer

At least a few remembered.

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!

Just in Time for New Year - Saints Name Generator

Jennifer of Conversion Diary has made it super easy to get a patron saint for the new year. Be sure to check out her Saints Name Generator.

And, in case you were curious about my saint, it is Blessed Alexandrina da Costa whose feast day is October 13th. I am very happy with her!

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

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The following is today's meditation from The Word Among Us. It is a very good meditation for us to remember the Holy Innocents who die daily in the world today.
Rachel weeping for her children. (Matthew 2:18)

What a hard life Rachel had! Both she and her sister, Leah, were married to Jacob, and while Leah gave Jacob many sons, Rachel just couldn’t get pregnant. One day, in her distress, Rachel cried out to Jacob: “Give me children or I shall die!” (Genesis 30:1). Jacob, too, was frustrated because he knew that only God could give life. But God answered Rachel’s prayer. She named her first child Joseph, which means, “May the Lord add another son” (30:24). God heard that prayer as well and gave her another child years later. However, it was a complicated labor, and Rachel ended up dying in childbirth. Before she passed, however, she named the baby Benoni, which means “Son of my sorrow.” But Jacob—who loved Rachel deeply—called him Benjamin, “Son of my right hand” (35:18).

For centuries, Rachel’s tomb was honored by the people of Israel. Her sad story touched them, and they held a special place for her in their hearts. In fact, when the prophet Jeremiah saw the Babylonian soldiers marching the children of Israel—descendants of Rachel—into exile, he said it was like he was feeling Rachel’s anguish all over again (Jeremiah 31:15).

In today’s Gospel, King Herod’s order to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem reminds Matthew of Jeremiah’s prophecy. In the death of these helpless, innocent children, Matthew sees Rachel weeping over her children once more. He sees mothers grieving their horrible loss.

Rachel continues to weep today, this time over the millions of children who are victims of abortions. Who could not be moved by this assault on innocent lives? But even as we mourn with Rachel, we must have hope. We must believe that God will have the final word and that it will be a word of triumph. We need to pray for an end to abortion. We need to work for an end to abortion. But we also need to remember God’s words to Jeremiah: “Wipe the tears from your eyes… . There is hope for your future… . Your sons will return” (Jeremiah 31:16,17). God will turn this horrible situation around. He is the Lord of Life and he will have the victory!

“Father, teach us how to build a culture of life on the earth. May every child be loved and welcomed into life!”

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Padre Pio's Christmas Meditation

Far into the night, at the coldest time of the year, in a chilly grotto, more suitable for a flock of beasts than for humans, the promised Messiah – Jesus – the savior of mankind, comes into the world in the fullness of time.

There are none who clamor around him: only an ox and an ass lending their warmth to the newborn infant; with a humble woman, and a poor and tired man, in adoration beside him.

Nothing can be heard except the sobs and whimpers of the infant God. And by means of his crying and weeping he offers to the Divine justice the first ransom for our redemption.

He had been expected for forty centuries; with longing sighs the ancient Fathers had implored his arrival. The sacred scriptures clearly prophesy the time and the place of his birth, and yet the world is silent and no one seems aware of the great event. Only some shepherds, who had been busy watching over their sheep in the meadows, come to visit him. Heavenly visitors had alerted them to the wondrous event, inviting them to approach his cave.

You can read the rest here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas Message

Stained Glass of the Nativity, SHC, Honolulu

Dear Friends:

I wish you a very blessed and Merry Christmas. May God bless each and everyone of you abundantly.

Please welcome the newborn baby Jesus with true joy in your heart. We cannot control the pain and suffering in the world that many times affects us directly and personally. But we can put God first during this blessed season and have peace in our hearts. So just for Christmas, let us put aside all our troubles and those of of the world and let us focus on our countless blessings. Christ was born on that very first Christmas so that one day we can be saved. Let us remember the love God had for each one of us when The Word was made Flesh.


Pope Benedict XVI's Message for Christmas

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“The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place-- he was to be the Saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history,” the Pope said. “And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means: rather, Christ destroyed death for ever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the Cross.”

Full text can be found here

H/T to Catholic Culture.

Gifts for Children...No Batteries Needed

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Brother John Samaha, S.M.

After the batteries have long expired on other gifts, these intangible gifts will long endure. They were recommended by Canaan Mantermach and Carl J. Pfeifer through the Department of Religious Education of the National Catholic Education Association.

Time. It shows them how much you mean to them.

Love. Nothing is more important than love.

Sense of justice. This includes fidelity to relationships and responsibilities.

Laughter and joy. Happiness nurtures. Morality is a byproduct of growing up with laughter and joy.

Celebration. Find something special to do each month as well as mark special occasions.

Spirituality. Show the importance of prayer and Sunday worship.

Forgiveness and healing. Never let children go to sleep without being forgiven for a wrong, or healing a hurt.

Truth. Help them to be truthful and honest. Insist on this.

Respect. Respect the property of others. Give the example.

Books. Urge children to read, and read aloud with them.

Hawaiian Christmas Carols

1. O Holy Night - Po Hemolele- Willie K

2. Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Hamau E Na Kanaka - Amy Hanaialii

3. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Ka Po La`ela`e Ka Hikina Mai - Jesse Tinsley

4. Away in the Manger -He Kapu Hanai /Silent Night- Po La`ie - Jesse Tinsley

5. Santa Island - Na Leo

6. Twelve Days of Christmas - Hawaiian Style - Na Leo

7. Blue Christmas - Robi Kahakalau

8. Merry Christmas to You - Henry Kapono

9. Carol of the Bells - Jake Shimabukuro

10. Ave Maria - Willie K

The Catholicism Project - New Trailer

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Have a Mass Offered for the Iraqi Christians on Christmas

Iraqi nuns hold a picture of Archbishop Paulos Rahho as they pray during his funeral

Picture source

As most of you are aware, the Iraqi Christians cannot attend Christmas Mass because of the mortal danger it poses to them. Iraqi Christians Cancel Christmas Celebrations and Mass in Wake of Threats

Please keep these persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraqi in your prayers. Since they are prevented from attending Mass on Christmas, please consider having a Mass offered for their intentions this Christmas. If you are unable to have your parish offer a Mass for them because of this late notice, you can still offer up your mass attendance and Holy Communion for them when you attend Christmas Mass. You can also pray for them during the Elevation of the Host at the Consecration. That is when our prayers are more powerful.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some of My Favorite Christmas Carols

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1. Away in the Manger - Nat King Cole

2. Mary's Boy Child - Harry Belafonte

3. Gesu Bambino - Luciano Pavarotti

4. The Holly and the Ivy - Medieval Baebes

5. Sans Day Carol - Gonzaga Choir

6. Infant Holy, Infant Lowly - King's College, Cambridge

7. Once in Royal David's City - St. Paul's Cathedral

8. I Saw Three Ships - Blackmore's Night

9. Bring the Torch, Jeannette Isabella

10. O Holy Night - Luciano Pavarotti & Placido Domingo

Reminders about Christmas and Holy Communion

Sacred Heart Church Honolulu last Christmas

Father Z has some reminders for Catholics: here.

First, if you are not in the state of grace, don’t just go to Holy Communion anyway. That’s a sacrilege and a mortal sin. Those of you who are lax about Mass attendance need to remember that not going to Holy Mass on Sundays and other days of obligation, when you could go, is a mortal sin. Go to confession and then make your good Holy Communion. We all know the bit about making a perfect act of contrition… maybe you can do that and maybe you can’t. That’s up to you. But God cannot be fooled. If you know you shouldn’t receive then don’t...

Don We Now Our Gray Apparel: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas 17 Times

Father Gordon MacRae's latest post, and it's another good one, can be found here.

Please remember the pray for all imprisoned people, especially the innocent.

Ask Blessed Seelos for a Gift Today

Shared by Mary Jane:
166 years ago today, Francis Xavier Seelos was ordained a Priest. A Priest forever according to the law of Melchizedek. He is filled with joy and waiting for you to ask for a gift. Prayers can be found at Seelos Center

Monday, December 20, 2010

50 Reasons to be Catholic

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church

I found the following list on Richard's blog:

See if you can add to the list :-)
50 Reasons to be Catholic

1. We are not emergent, we are eternal
2. We have Cardinal Zen
3. And Cardinal Sin
4. We are not liberal, we love our neighbour
5. We do not use the words ‘clown’ and ‘eucharist’ in the same sentence
6. We are not conservative, we look to God alone
7. Bells….bells….and more bells
8. We have a cloistered nun as the patron saint of missionaries (St Therese de Lisieux)
9. Announcements of our faith halt the conversation at dinner parties
10. The only religion responsible for the smallest nation state
11. We have confession – much cheaper than a psychologist
12. We have the Swiss Guards and their uniforms
13. Catholic morality gives politicians headaches
14. Ash Wednesday can’t be exploited by McDonalds or the greetings card industry
15. Our liturgy gives Freemasons indigestion
16. St Jerome is the patron saint of anger – hope for us all
17. Because when you have tacky statues etc you know you must be in the one true Church
18. We know what cherubim and seraphim are
19. Palestrina
20. St Lawrence (while being burnt to death – “turn me over; I’m done on this side”)
21. Incense smells better than cigar smoke
22. The litany of saints has the best names for your children
23. People do not tour Europe looking at great Protestant Cathedrals do they?
24. We love beauty, ritual and ceremony and are proud of it
25. The Latin Mass is the same the world over
26. Candles
27. If you become a saint parts of your body may become relics
28. We use phrases such as ‘supernatural existential’, ‘diochronicity’ and ‘the hermeneutic of continuity’
29. Mystery is more than a section in the local library
30. We have blessings and Masses to cope with plagues of frogs, illnesses, heresy etc etc
31. We say the black and do the red
32. We don’t call our priests ‘Jim’ or ‘Eric’
33. We have a St Bobo, St Bean and St Quadragesimus
34. Pope Benedict XVI
35. St Paul who said: ‘a little wine for thy stomach’s sake’
36. Orange is not a liturgical colour in the Catholic Church
37. No other denomination buries statues or prays in order to sell a house
38. Fish is good for you
39. We use a dead language and don’t give a damn!
40. No hand puppets, tambourines, clowns, guitars or dancing allowed in the liturgy
41. No crèches in Church, infants stay with us for Mass
42. If you are shy you can be a contemplative
43. We believe that a state of Grace is a condition of the soul, not part of the USA
44. Our religious orders pray during both the night and the day
45. With Our Lady and St Michael, no demons can touch us
46. Thuribles
47. Vestments that look as though they are intended for the worship of God, not as if they were the work of demented seamstresses high on drugs
48. A liturgy that does not patronise
49. The blessing of the throats (February 3nd)
50. Angels

Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 18: O Adonai

O ADONAI, dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extenso.

O Lord (Exodus 6:2, Vulgate), leader of the house of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush (Exodus 3:2) and on Mount Sinai gave him the law (Exodus 20):
come and free us with your powerful arm (Exodus 15:12-13).

Source: Sandro Magister's Advent in Music. Seven Antiphons, All Worth Discovering Again

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas on EWTN

EWTN Media Missionary

Please join EWTN in celebrating the birth of the Christ Child! The word "Catholic" literally means "universal" and how better to spend this Christmas than being united in prayer with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and the entire universal Church. EWTN is proud to bring you LIVE beautiful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses from Rome and the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C., as well as various other inspiring Christmas programs.

Did you know that you can receive the Christmas papal blessing, and the plenary indulgence attached to it, watching and listening live to Pope Benedict deliver his Urbi et Orbi message? Please share the following information with others and insert the announcement below in your parish bulletin.

LIVE - Fri 12/24 4 PM ET, ENCORE - Sat 12/25 8:00 AM ET, 12/25 6 PM ET
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord as he presides over one of the most glorious liturgies of the year. Midnight Mass, live from St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

LIVE - Fri 12/24 10:30 PM ET
Live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, USA

LIVE - 12/25 6:00 AM ET, ENCORE - 12/25 10:00 PM ET, 12/26 10:00 AM ET. 12/31 9:00PM ET
Pope Benedict XVI offers his Christmas Day blessing and message to the city of Rome and to the world. A Plenary indulgence is granted to those who receive the blessing in person or over the airwaves.

Thank you for your kind cooperation and, if I can ever be of assistance to you or your parish with regards to EWTN, please feel free to contact me. Have a blessed Advent and a merry Christmas!

Parish Bulletin Insertion Requested the Weekend of December 18-19

Did you know that you could gain a plenary indulgence attached to Pope Benedict XVI's Christmas Day blessing live over the television, radio, or internet? The Eternal Word Television Network is proud to bring you LIVE Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses from the Vatican and Washington, DC as well as various other inspiring special Christmas programming including Pope Benedict's Urbi Et Orbi - his Christmas Day blessing and message to the world. Visit for more information or to locate EWTN in your area.

December 17th: O Sapientia

O SAPIENTIA, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, who come from the mouth of the Most High (Sirach 24:5),
you extend to the ends of the earth, and order all things with power and sweetness (Wisdom 8:1):
come and teach us the way of wisdom (Proverbs 9:6).

Source: Sandro Magister's Advent in Music. Seven Antiphons, All Worth Discovering Again

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas in Hawaii

From Honolulu page on Facebook.

Photos by Esther G.

Interesting article from the Miami Herald of all places! How Christmas Developed in Hawaii.

Also check out from the Orange County Register Christmas, Hawaiian Style.

Santa seemingly squints in the sun, throwing a Hawaiian thumb-and-pinky "hang loose" shaka sign, his white-fur-trimmed red shirt open wide to reveal a big tanned tummy. The statue of a tropical St. Nick sits next to a huge "Tutu Mele" – "Merry Granny," as Mrs. Claus is called – who has hiked up her skirt to catch a cool trade wind.
Sacred Heart Church, Honolulu Christmas Eve 2009

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Need for Reparation

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"...I also think something else is desperately needed, something that is often neglected when we think about what we can do to stop legalized abortion in this country. That would be reparation..."

Eric Sammons' The Need for Reparation

Encyclical on the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering

Venerable John Paul II
Salvifici Doloris

It will be added to the side bar.


H/T to everyone. I have seen this everywhere :-)

Journey Home - Former Protestant Minister - Doug Keck with Marcus Grodi - 12-13-2010

Guest Convert: Marcus Grodi!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On Priests: Remember the Saying...

Archbishop Fulton Sheen
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The following is from a prayer card.

If the priest is a saint, his people will be holy.
If the priest is holy, his people will be good.
If the priest is good, his people will be fair.
If the priest is fair, his people will be mediocre.
If the priest is mediocre, his people will be bad.

Pray for your priest.
According to Adoro, this quote is by St. Jean M. Vianney. Thank you!

He who honors a priest, honors Christ.
He who insults a priest, insults Christ.
- St. John Chrysostom

If I saw an angel and a priest,
I would bend my knee;
first to the priest, then to the angel.

- St. Francis of Assisi

Prayer source Catholic Prayer Cards. Please be sure to visit their site. They have the most wonderful prayer cards, etc. at very reasonable prices.

Saint John of the Cross

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"If you do not learn to deny yourself, you can make no progress in perfection."

Prayer to Saint John of the Cross

O glorious Saint John of the Cross,
great Doctor of the Church,
who, from very longing to be configured to Jesus crucified,
didst desire nothing more ardently,
even to the last moment of thy holy life,
than to suffer and
to be despised and rejected of all men;
and so great was thy thirst for suffering,
that thy generous heart was filled with joy
in the midst of most painful torments and afflictions;
I beseech thee, dear Saint,
by the glory thou didst merit by thy
manifold sufferings,
intercede for me with almighty God and
obtain for me love of suffering, together
with the grace and strength to endure all
tribulations and adversities with dauntless courage;
for these are the sure means of coming
into the possession of that crown of glory
which is prepared for me in heaven.
Ah yes, dear Saint,
from that high and glorious throne where thou
sittest triumphant, hear,
I beseech thee,
my earnest entreaties, that,
following thee,
I may become a lover of the cross and
of suffering and thus may merit to be thy companion in glory.

Prayer source: The Prayer Book, Catholic Press Inc.

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"Live in the world as if only God and your soul were in it; then your heart will never be made captive by any earthly thing."

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Prayer that We Will Possess All Things in Christ

My God,
You will not take away what You have given me
in Your only Son, Jesus Christ.
In him, You have given me all that I desire.
You will, therefore, no long delay-
and this is my joy-
provided that I wait for You.

So, my heart, why do you delay?
Why do you procrastinate?
From this moment on you can love your God!

Mine are the heavens,
mine is the earth and mine are the peoples;
mine are the just and mine are the sinners;
mine are the angels;
mine is the mother of God-
God Himself is mine, for me-
for mine is Christ
and everything is for me.

What do you ask, what do you seek, my soul?
Everything is for you and everything is yours!

Do not think of yourself as little
nor pay attention to the scraps that fall
from the table of your Father.

Rise on the great day
and take your glory in His!
Hide yourself in it
and be joyful:
everything which your heart desires
shall be yours.

- St. John of the Cross (1549-1591)
Priest, Mystic and Doctor of the Church

Prayer Source: New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book, Catholic Book Publishing

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"In detachment, the spirit finds quiet and repose for coveting nothing. Nothing wearies it by elation, and nothing oppresses it by dejection, because it stands in the center of its own humility."

"In giving us His Son, His only Word, He spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word -- and He has no more to say ... because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son."

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"I wish I could persuade spiritual persons that the way of perfection does not consist in many devices, nor in much cogitation, but in denying themselves completely and yielding themselves to suffer everything for the love of Christ. And if there is failure in this exercise, all other methods of walking in the spiritual way are merely a beating about the bush, and profitless trifling, although a person should have very high contemplation and communication with God."

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"Live in the world as if only God and your soul were in it; then your heart will never be made captive by any earthly thing."

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"O you souls who wish to go on with so much safety and consolation, if you knew how pleasing to God is suffering, and how much it helps in acquiring other good things, you would never seek consolation in anything; but you would rather look upon it as a great happiness to bear the Cross of the Lord."

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"For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ, "In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God." The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labors, and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone long spiritual training.

The gate that gives entry into these riches of his wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it."

Source for the St. John of the Cross quotes on self-denial.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Adam, the Little Christian Boy Who Confronted Islamic Terrorists

by Michael Terheyden for Catholic Online

He was small in height and mind (being only three), yet he stood up to the terrorists and gave the world a message that it desperately needs. He showed us what it means to "Be not afraid" in the face of overwhelming evil. In contrast to the utter destruction of evil, he showed us the beauty and goodness of a child - and human life.
The entire article can be found here.

Video on the attack on the Church in Iraq can be seen here.

Shared by Sue Cifelli.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe

"The eyes that gaze on it now see it exactly as Bishop Zumárraga and the others saw it when the roses spilled from Juan's mantle and it was first revealed. Millions have viewed it..."

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Legionaries of Christ, Thornwood, NY

Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us.

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Gaudalupe, mystical rose, make intercession for Holy Church, protect the Sovereign Pontiff, help all those who invoke thee in their necessities, and since thou art the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from thy most holy Son the grace of keeping our faith, sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, burning charity and the precious gift of final perseverance. Amen.

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
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By now everyone should be familiar with the story of Guadalupe--"The story of an Indian of simple faith, and of the Mother of God. The basilica which today is the Shrine of Our lady of Guadalupe is a part of the teeming metropolis that is Mexico City.  But back of its great high altar is the tilma of Juan Diego, whose love and devotion toward Mary, the Mother of God, has given the world one of the greatest of her shrines."

-The Holy Years of Mary by William A. McLoughlin, O.P.The John C. Winston Company

Original Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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"...Swiftly news of the church to be built in the precinct of the Mother-goddess on Tepeyac was carried from village to village.  The Indians' own church, requested through one of themselves!  Volunteer laborers appeared, more than could be employed.  In only thirteen days the simple chapel-like structure was completed. On the day after Christmas the sacred Image was brought to it in a great procession and installed about the altar; the church was blessed and the Mass celebrated...."

Bishop Juan de Zumárraga
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"I have had the news published-sent a messenger to Cuernavaca- an Indian to Fray Toribio-am preparing the festival and keeping with me a little longer your honor's trumpeters.  How glorious it will be!  The joy of all is indescribable.  Tell my lady the Marquesa (Cortés'' wife) that eventually I want to dedicate my cathedral to the Immaculate Conception because it was during that feast (December 8-17 in the missal used in Mexico) that God and his Blessed Mother deigned to shower the land you won with this great favor.  No more now."
The Bishop Elect, filled with joy.

Letter to the conqueror Hernán Cortés' written by Bishop Zumárraga on Christmas Eve, 1531.

Note:  Between the years 1532-38, eight million natives were baptized.

-A Woman Clothed with the Sun, edited by John J. Delaney, Image Books