Saturday, January 16, 2010

What a Great Idea! - Archdiocese of Cincinnati - Man Behind the Collar

The Archdiocese of Cincinati's Office of Vocations has a new video series spotlighting priests from their own priests. Check out Rich Leonardi's Ten Reasons for episode 2, where they are featuring one of my favorite Priest bloggers, Father Martin Fox of Bonfires of the Vanities.

This video spotlight shows what a parish priest really does. Father Fox is the pastor of two parishes. He seems to be very busy with those two parishes. Yet, he makes time for the parish school children who seem to like him very much. He is also involved with prison ministry!

I hope other parishes follow suit and we start meeting more and more of our priests.

Hint, hint Diocese of Honolulu!

Book Review: My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories

I am sad.

Why?  Well, I recently received a beautiful new book for young Catholic children, and my only son is now a college student.

Heidi Hess Saxton's new book My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories is reminiscent of the excellent Catholic Books for children from the '40s and '50s where one was never disappointed by the spiritual content, beautiful illustrations, whether in black and white or in color, and solid binding on a hard-covered book.

By the way, this lovely book contains the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur of the Bishop of the Diocese of Nashville, the Most Reverend David R. Choby, STB, JCL. This is one mark of a solid Catholic book for me.

My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories has chapter after chapter of stories of the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Since the readings this week in Mass were from the Book of Samuel, I will focus of that story for you.

Hannah and Samuel

Heidi begins each story with a short paragraph to make the story more understandable to the child.

"Have you ever prayed urgently for something, only to be disappointed when God didn't answer your prayer like you wanted...?

What child or even adult cannot relate to the question posed by Heidi at the beginning of Hannah and Samuel?

The passages are taken from the Holy Bible.  Heidi has kept the wording true to Scripture, utilizing the NRSV Catholic Text.  The fact that she did that was a big plus for me.  Many bible stories that I have read, have unfortunately dumbed down the words as if a child were not sufficiently intelligent to be able to comprehend God's words.  You will not find that problem here.

Following each story, there is a beautiful little prayer which would be good for parent and child to recite together.

I know when my son was young, he would have questions following any interesting story, especially from the Holy Bible.  Heidi knew that children's interest may be peaked by some of the stories.  She added a Going Deeper part to the stories where she gives citations with an activity which will instruct the child to read something further, like from the Catechism of the Catholic Church,  and also do something with their family to further make the story come alive.

I know I mentioned my son was too old for this kind of book. But you know what?  My mom and son cannot wait until I lend them the book to read.

By the way, considering the quality of the binding, as mentioned above, the beautiful illustrations and the overall look of this book, it sells for an incredible price of 19.99.  I really thought I would see at least 35.00 on the back of the book!

Thank you Heidi for this treasure which is now a part of our permanent Catholic library.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Come to Washington to tell Congress: NO abortion in health care!

Hawaii residents: Please be sure to attend the annual March for Life at the State Capitol this Friday, January 22nd. 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Stand up for Life!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Venerable Pierre Touissant intercessory Prayer

Venerable Pierre Touissant,
We ask for your intercession for the land of your birth, Haiti, during this tragedy.
Assist the helpless,
Comfort the people as they mourn the loss of their loved ones.
Give hope to the hopeless
Protect those who unselfishly have gone there on the rescue mission;
and above all, remind everyone, God has not abandoned them.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,

by Esther G.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On Our Human Feebleness and Sins

How great is the frailty of human nature which is ever prone to evil! Today you confess your sins and tomorrow you again commit the sins which you confessed. One moment you resolve to be careful, and yet after an hour you act as though you had made no resolution.

We have cause, therefore, because of our frailty and feebleness, to humble ourselves and never think anything great of ourselves. Through neglect we may quickly lose that which by God’s grace we have acquired only through long, hard labor. What, eventually, will become of us who so quickly grow lukewarm? Woe to us if we presume to rest in peace and security when actually there is no true holiness in our lives. It would be beneficial for us, like good novices, to be instructed once more in the principles of a good life, to see if there be hope of amendment and greater spiritual progress in the future.
From Imitation of Christ

It is no wonder that our some of our confessors get a little impatient with us in the Confessional.  Do we really make a conscientious effort to avoid the same sins?  Are you overwrought with feelings and emotions that we forget our resolutions and/or promises to God?  Are we so self-involved at the moment that nothing else matters but ourselves?

Bishop Larry Silva Addresses the Catholic Faithful on HB444

From the Diocese of Honolulu

January 12, 2010

Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Honolulu:

“In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

I urge all the faithful of the Diocese of Honolulu to write your State Senators and Representatives to urge them to defeat HB-444, which would grant legal recognition to civil unions between same-sex couples. Many of the supporters of this bill may feel offended, but it is not our intention to offend them, simply to assure that we all live in the light of the truth. The truth is that God made complementary sexes, that he gave the power of procreation to be used responsibly by a man and woman, and he wants both father and mother, when possible, to contribute to the healthy nurturing of children. This special role of man and woman has been recognized for millennia by societies as marriage, the stable, committed relationship of man and woman giving themselves to each other totally and bearing the fruit of that love in the procreation and education of children. This is a truth that goes beyond religions, because it is built into the very nature of our human being. It is a reality that has been safeguarded by the laws of societies in virtually all cultures of the world.

In many places throughout our country and the world, and now here in Hawaii, some are attempting to distort this natural relationship by claiming the right of persons of the same sex to marry. They point out that it is discriminatory to allow opposite-sex couples to marry but to disallow the same for same-sex couples. And they are correct! It is discriminatory, making distinctions between one and another. But not all discrimination is unjust. Some is quite justified because it is based on reality and truth. While every person, no matter his or her sexual orientation, is worthy of dignity and respect and has certain inalienable rights given by the Creator, there is no right for people of the same sex to call their unions marriage. (“Civil unions” is simply a euphemism for same-sex marriage.)

In these days in which we lament decisions we made regarding our environment and are paying the price for those decisions, let us not make decisions now that ignore our social environment or experiment with its well-being. Love and friendship are realities that all people can share, regardless of sexual orientation. Marriage, however, is a sacred bond between a man and a woman, and we need to do all in our power to preserve, strengthen, and nurture it.

In addition, I urge all to attend the iVote Rally on Sunday, January 17, at 2:00 p.m. at the State Capitol. We hope that tens of thousands of Hawaii residents will attend to encourage voter registration and participation, so that issues of great moral importance can be addressed more readily in our public policies.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Most Reverend Larry Silva

Bishop of Honolulu

A Very Graphic Music Video - The Early Christian Martyrs

Warning: Very graphic depiction on the Martyrdom of the Early Christians. Scenes of dismemberment at the end.

For All the Saints.

Thanks John.

The Falsely Accused and Convicted in Prison

Father Gordon shares another powerful article this week The Eighth Commandment
Please remember that visiting the incarcerated is one of the corporal acts of mercy.

Please pray for prisoners, especially the innocent ones.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Fatima Shrine Has Been Vandalized

The church of the Holy Trinity and four statues at the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima were vandalized early Sunday morning.

In a press release Monday, officials from the shrine announced that in the early hours of Sunday morning, four statutes on the sides of the church as well as the church itself were painted with graffiti.
Read the rest here

Our Lady of Fatima we ask for your intercession.

8 False Types of Piety and What We Can Do To Avoid Them

Our spiritual life is the life of grace within us; through it we become children of God. For our spiritual life to be preserved and to develop, a series of actions are required that constitute the life of piety.

How must that life of piety be? What deviations must be avoided?

These are the problems we must understand to progress in sanctity.

1 - Minimalist piety

In all his acts of piety, a minimalist devotee is contented with what seems to him absolutely indispensable. His prayers are short, quick, almost mechanical. He believes a monthly or weekly Communion suffices and does not even think about receiving it more often. If someone encourages him to receive Communion more often, he will perhaps reply with a kind word but believing he already does enough. St. Ignatius appears a bit exaggerated to him when he recommends daily meditation. In the morning and before going to bed, he says some hasty Hail-Marys and thinks his duty is fully done. To him, weekly confession made out of devotion even without grave sin appears perfectly dispensable. He practices other acts of piety such as spiritual reading, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, prayers before and after meals, and frequent ejaculations without the least warmth...
Read the rest of the list here

A Prayer for True Devotion to Our Lady

"My dear Mother and Mistress, I realise that up to now
I have received from God through your intercession
more graces than I deserve.
But bitter experience has taught me that I carry
these riches in a very fragile vessel and
that I am too weak and sinful to guard them by myself.
Please accept in trust everything I possess,
and in your faithfulness and power keep it for me.
If you watch over me, I shall lose nothing.
If you support me, I shall not fail.
If you protect me, I shall be safe from my enemies."

I found the above prayer on paragraph 173 of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, the spiritual classic by St. Louis de Montfort.

There may be no better way to get ourselves and our loved ones to Heaven then by becoming true slaves of Jesus and Mary. It is a shame that it is only now that I have discovered the secret to true happiness and peace. This peace will only come to those truly devoted to God's Mother and through her, to her Son. She loves us as her little children. She wants the best for us. She is the only one who is close enough to God and who can present our petitions in a way that only a real mother can.

The word slave should not have a negative connotation here. Instead, we should embrace it with all our heart. We should dedicate our lives, thoughts, actions, our families... everything to our Mother's care. She will take take of everything.

By offering our lives like this, we are freed from worries. We are taken care of by God. Mary will see to it that we are.

I really wish I had known about this when I was a very little girl.

True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

Monday, January 11, 2010

Holy Hour of Adoration on January 22nd, Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

I just learned about this from the Prayers for Priests e-group I belong to.
January 22, 2010 will be the 37th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. In Phoenix, in individual parishes, we spend time in Adoration and do penance in atonement for the sins of abortion. Would you like to join us?

It is not too late to sponsor a Holy Hour at your parish (or to encourage participation at other parishes) for healing those affected by abortions and for conversion of those who promote abortion. Some parishes are able to have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all day long, other have a few hours in the evening. During the Exposition hours, have different groups in the parish say the Rosary on the hour. Some other activities include Mass, Benediction, Chaplets of Mercy, etc.

I would be pleased if you do have an activity, to list it on this site so your parishioners can see the scheduled activity and time. Days of adoration

Pardon Crucifix

The Front of the Crucifix:
Above the cruciform figure, the familiar I.N.R.I. has been inscribed with the words "Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum. "" Latin uses I instead of the English J, and V instead of U (Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm). The English translation is "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." .

The Reverse of the Crucifix:
On the transverse arms are the words, "Father, forgive them.". On the vertical beam of the Cross are the words, "Behold this heart which has so loved men.". An image of The Sacred Heart of Jesus is shown in the center.
A few months ago, a friend gave my mother and me a Pardon Crucifix. With that gift, am developing a more deep devotion to the Crucifix. I also learned that there are many indulgences attached when one has a devotion to the Crucifix.

Source of the above description

"Granted by his Holiness, Pope Pius X to the Pius Union of the Pardon Crucifix, the aim of which is to obtain pardon of God and to pardon one's neighbors.

1. Whoever carries on his person the Pardon Crucifix, may thereby gain an indulgence.

2. For devoutly kissing the Crucifix, an indulgence is gained.

3. Whoever says one of the following invocations before this crucifix may gain each time an indulgence: "Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." "I beg the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray to the Lord our God for me."

4. Whoever, habitually devout to this Crucifix, will fulfill the necessary conditions of Confession and Holy Communion, may gain a Plenary Indulgence on the following feasts: On the feasts of the Five Wounds of our Lord, the Invention of the Holy Cross, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Immaculate Conception, and the Seven Sorrows (Dolors) of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

5. Whoever, at the moment of death, fortified with the Sacraments of the Church, or contrite of heart, in the supposition of being unable to receive them, will kiss this Crucifix and ask pardon of God for his sins, and pardon his neighbor, will gain a Plenary Indulgence.

(Pontifical Rescript of June 1, 1905 to MM the Abbes Lemann)

A Card. Tripepi
Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences

To the Faithful who devoutly kiss this Crucifix and gain these precious indulgences, we recommend to having in view the following intentions: To testify love for Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin, gratitude towards our Holy Father, the Pope, to beg for the remission of one's sins, the deliverance of souls in purgatory, the return of the nations to the Faith, forgiveness among Christians, reconciliation among the member of the Catholic Church.

By another Pontifical Rescript of November 14, 1905, His Holiness Pope Pius X, has declared that the Indulgences attached to the Pardon Crucifix are applicable to the souls in Purgatory.

With Ecclesiastical Sanction
January 15, 1907

W.J. Hirten Co."

Pray for the Church in Malaysia

By know most of the world knows that a recent court decision in Malaysia, giving Christian publications to right to use the word "Allah", has resulted numerous attacks on Catholic Churches.

Malaysia: 9 Christian institutions attacked.

Please pray for the persecuted church all over the world.

St. Damien's Relic

This is for those of you who have not or will not have a chance to visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, in Honolulu. As you know, St. Damien's heel, is the first class relic that is contained in a Koa reliquary at the Cathedral.

On True Charity

"...he who has true and perfect charity seeks self in nothing, but searches all things for the glory of God. Moreover, he envies no man, because he desires no personal pleasure nor does he wish to rejoice in himself; rather he desires the greater glory of God above all things..."

Source Imitation of Christ - Chapter 15: On Charity as te Motive of Our Actions

Ever wonder why one performs certain good things?  We would really be approaching the state of holiness if our actions were done soley for the love of God and neighbor.  However, an examination of our conscience and actions may surprise. One may find that the real reasons were not always altruistic but may be tainted with the stain of selfishness instead. 

All our thoughts prior to our actions should be examined to see whether or not we want to do it for God's glory or for our own.  If it is for God's glory, then we are on our way to holiness.  If it is because we want others to notice our good deeds and what a terrific person we are, then we already have our reward, don't we?

Daily Resolution

I will meekly apologize for having offended someone without touching on anything negative about that person.

Regnum Christi Daily Meditation