Saturday, February 13, 2010

Loving Him to Folly

I have come to understand today that even if I did not accomplish any of the things the Lord is demanding of me, I know that I shall be rewarded as if I had fulfilled everything, because He sees the intention with which I begin, and even if He called me to himself today, the work would not suffer at all by that, because He himself is the Lord of both the work and the worker.

My part is to love Him to folly; all works are nothing more than a tiny drop before Him. It is love that has meaning and power and merit. He has opened up great horizons in my soul-love compensates for the chasms.

Saint Faustina Kowalska

Thank you to Ed for sharing the above meditation with me. Be sure to check out the other wonderfully inspirational posts at his blog.

St. Valentine's Catacombs

Behind this door lies the story of one of history's most famous saints at least by name...St. Valentine.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Documentary Film on St. Damien - Honolulu Film Festival

Damien Making a Difference, God Making A Saint

The following is from the filmmaker Jennifer Hoge:

Honolulu Film Festival has chosen it as one of 41 films that will be screened during the Festival this year! This year's festival is on April 24 and 25, 2010. Here is a website about the festival: Honolulu Film Festival

Anyone can support the film by attending the screening. I want to fill the house! I am so excited that the festival is giving us the opportunity to spread the word about Damien!!!

At the age of 33, Fr. Damien de Veuster was sent to Molokai to serve the people suffering from Hansen's Disease (leprosy). When he arrived, the people living in the leper colony lacked all basic necessities and lived in fear---immorality and lawlessness being the norm. Fr. Damien came to live among them, becoming a voice to the outside world, ministering to the people, providing food, shelter, love, hope and faith. This story is told through Damien's own words taken from his writings in letters and journals. Members of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, of which Damien was a member, provide refection, showing how the touch of God was evident throughout Damien's life from the very beginning.

Damiens transcribed writings made available to the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts USA West in the book, Damien of Molokai through his letters by Osvaldo Aparicio

Photos and artwork provided courtesy of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts—Hawaii Archives, Congregation of the Sacred Hearts USA West, Congregation of the Sacred Hearts Leuven, Damiaan Center & Museum Leuven, SS CC Archives Rome, and SS.CC. Picpus

Photo of Pope Benedict XVI taken by Agencia Brazil
For more information or to make a donation to receive a copy of the documentary, contact
PO BOX 668
San Dimas, CA 91773

Edited and directed by JENNIFER HOGE in association with PREMIER IMAGE PRODUCTIONS, LLC

For more information on this Not to Be Missed Documentary, please be sure to check out Premier Image Production's Website

Sunday, April 25th

Film Screenings
Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa
Coral Ballroom Theater

1:15 PM - Damian Making a Difference, God Making a Saint (46 min, USA)

To purchase tickets Click here

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Q & A: How Can I Prepare for a Better Lent

Q: Father John, How can I better prepare for Lent this year?

A: You have no idea what God has in store for you this Lent (but God does, and he is looking forward to it!). On the other hand, you do know that God has chosen to work in our souls through the Liturgy, and that includes the liturgical seasons. So preparing for Lent means getting ready to hear and heed what God wants to say to you during those days. The Church gives us three general directives in this regard.

First, intensify our prayer life...

Read the rest of Father John's excellent response here

Etiquette - Grace Before Meals


I pulled one of the seldom read books from the shelf, Emily Post's Etiquette, copyright 1955.  Since good manners and etiquette never goes out of style, I read with interest Miss Post's section on Grace Before Meals.

"The old-fashioned custom of giving a family blessing or thanks before meals is a very gracious one though unfortunately it is not observed as widely as it used to be.  Some families are seated with bowed heads and touch nothing until the grace has been said; others remain standing--both forms are correct.

Usually the mother or the father offers the prayer, but it is sweet to allow the youngest member of the family or if there are several to let them take turns in asking grace.

There are a number of shorter and longer variations, but he following three are typical examples."

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Lift up your hand toward the Sanctuary and bless the Lord.  Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe who bringest forth bread from the earth.  Amen.

Bless, O Lord, this food to our use, and us to Thy service, and make us ever mindful of the needs of others, in Jesus' Name.  Amen.

Source: Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, 1955.  Published by Funk & Wangalls, New York

Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes

Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy; Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.

Christ hear us; Christ graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven; Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world; Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit; Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God; Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary; Pray for us.

Holy Mother of God; Pray for us.

Mother of Christ; Pray for us.

Mother of our Savior; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, help of Christians; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, source of love; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the poor; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the handicapped; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of orphans; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all children; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all nations; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the Church; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, friend of the lonely; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of those who mourn; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, shelter of the homeless; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, guide of travelers; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, strength of the weak; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, refuge of sinners; Pray for us.

Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of the suffering; Pray for us. Conception.'

- Shared by Brother John Samaha, 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How Keeping One's Devotions to Our Lady Can Save One From Hell

Hell by Salvador Dali

In the year 1604, in a city in Belgium, there were two young students who gave themselves up to a life of debauchery instead of following their studies.

One night they were at the house of an evil woman; but one of the two, who was named Richard, stayed only a short time and then returned home. While he was preparing to retire, he remembered that he had not yet said the few Hail Marys that were his daily practice.

He was very tired and half inclined to omit them; nevertheless, he forced himself through the routine, saying the words half asleep and with no particular devotion. Then he lay down and fell asleep.
Read the rest here

I am reminded of a story that our Lady is not pleased when we do not follow up on our devotions and prayers to her. This story may just be the reason why...she is looking out for our eternal souls.

Photo of Army Chaplain Celebrating Mass During War - U.S. Army Museum

I took my mom on a walking tour of Waikiki today. We wanted to visit the Blessed Sacrament at St. Augustine.  Unfortunately, because of some incidences, the Church is now closed outside of Mass.

We started walking from one end of Waikiki and ended up at the other end closer to Ala Moana Beach Park.  Toward the end of our walking tour we decided to visit the U.S. Army Museum at Fort DeRussy.  They have the best information on the history of the United States Army from Hawaii's point of view.

I somehow missed the following photo on my last visit.  It appears to be traditional Latin Mass being celebrated during World War II.

Photo by Esther G.


By Brother John M. Samaha, S.M. Posted with permission.

To see Lent only as a period of spiritual practices, penances, and self-imposed deprivations would be distorted and limited. Some understand Lent solely as a time of painful spiritual exercises accepted more or less willingly. But with reflection and by following attentively the Lenten celebrations brought to us by the Church and its liturgy, we come to recognize that Lent is a paradigm of Christian life. We come to recognize the wisdom of St. Benedict’s admonition that the lives of Christians and of the Church “ought to be a continuous Lent.” Lent is a reminder of our baptismal consecration to lives as other Christs in our circumstances.

Lent is an important time of the liturgical year aimed at redressing Christian life. The works of Lent – prayer, almsgiving, fasting – do not have their value in themselves, as the Scriptures proclaim on Ash Wednesday and the following Thursday and Friday. All actions have a God-centered motive and aim.

In encouraging us to a greater emphasis on private and liturgical prayer, the Church does so to help us to recapture during Lent their rightful place in Christian life at all times.

Almsgiving and sharing practiced during Lent are part of a movement of conversion regarding the use of goods. Far from jealously and selfishly keeping material goods for themselves, Christians learn to possess them not as possessing them. They manage their possessions as good stewards, with constant concern for those less fortunate. This is not an occasional practice either. The ideal continues to be relevant at any time there is a need.

Primarily, fasting concerns restricting our bodily intake of food and drink. Whatever value is assigned to seasonal or even habitual fasting, fasting is essentially an attack on uncontrolled appetite for earthly goods of all kinds. We are called to learn to restrain our greed for earthly goods, and to have concern for the needs of others (Is 58: 6-9). People yield easily to such an appetite, especially in countries where over-consumption is a matter of course. Not to curb the search for bodily and material satisfactions is pagan. Christians seek to rectify their behavior in order to balance their everyday lifestyle in harmony with their faith and hope. The pagans think we should eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. But the dead are raised, and now we know that Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep (1Cor 15).

The lessons from Scripture proclaimed during Lent help us raise our eyes to God and His plan of salvation, to Christ and His mystery that brings this plan to realization, to its fulfillment here and now in the Church and in the world. Of course, this can be said of all seasons of the liturgical year. What characterize Lenten liturgies are the density, the wealth, and the strength of the texts. Especially challenging are the Gospel readings for Christian initiation, the selected apostolic catecheses, and the remembrance of the most significant steps of salvation history. In this way Lent proves to be catechumenal for all baptized persons and not only for those preparing for baptism. With special insistence Lent repeats the never-ceasing call: “Become what you are.”

Lent is a paschal journey because it leads us to the Easter celebrations. It has a fixed place in the liturgical calendar, beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Thursday before the evening Mass. But Christian life is wholly paschal because it is an exodus toward our eternal Father. From this point of view, Lent is a parable of the lives of Christians and a paradigm of the Church. What is experienced intensely for forty days must give new and enduring dynamism to our lives in all the days of the Lord.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Winning Superbowl coach named after famous Irish “rosary” priest

Now, here is an interesting story I found over at Priests' Secretary.
New Orleans coach Patrick Sean Payton had a higher power helping him in the Super Bowl which I think can got him across the line.

He is named after an Irishman known variously as "The Miracle Priest" and the "Rosary Priest."
Read the rest HERE

New Blessed Mother Marianne Cope Statue





Photos by Esther G.

This beautiful new statue overlooks the waters off of Kewalo Basin in Honolulu.

Monday, February 08, 2010

MORALS AND MARRIAGE: The Catholic Background to Sex

While researching for a St. Valentine's Day post, I found this interesting e-book originally published in 1936. Pretty clear on church teaching regarding marital intimacy.

From the EWTN Library

Morals and Marriage: The Catholic Background to Sex

Quarterback for Life

"God Sent Me a Quarterback"

"I asked God to send me a preacher. God sent me a quarterback." —Bob Tebow (Tim's father)

"And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.'" —Mark 16:15

by Stefanie Stark
Read the article over at Moynihan Report