Saturday, January 29, 2011

Discussing the Actions of Priests

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...or anyone else's for that matter.

There has been much talk and speculations this week, especially regarding priests.

I was dismayed to see a local news report being picked up by a national Catholic news service. This of course could not be avoided as it does involve Catholic priests in the news. However, the comments left by some who do not even know the priest involved, has caused me much concern.  We really need to be careful with our thoughts but especially with our words. We do not have the right to discuss the priests' actions because we do not know the full story.

The other day someone left a comment on one of my blog posts. As is my custom when a new commenter leaves something not of the ordinary, I check out their blog. I found that she was defending a priest from horrible accusations.That blogger wrote with much conviction yet it was speculations on her part.

"Outdo one another in showing honor" - St. Paul (Rom. 12:10).
I want to share Jenn Giroux's article here which I found thanks to Mary Ann Kreitzer as well as Mary Ann Kreitzer's article here.

I also found a very good article on speaking ill of others.

We tear down others when we point out their weak points, criticize them, or complain about them when they are not present.
There may be some circumstances in which speaking of a person's faults is not done with the intent to dishonor him or her, but for some good purpose-for example, to correct the person or to protect the community. Yet even in these cases, a person should delicately choose his words with great discretion and moderation. Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once needed to discuss with her close advisors a disciplinary issue involving one of the sisters in her community. She began the conversation by reminding them to speak carefully and not say anything they did not need to say. She led them in prayer asking God to help them speak gently about this particular sister, pointing out that it was as if they were holding her in the palm oft heir hands as they spoke about her.

It would be a good for us to learn to distinguish between the sin of detraction and speaking up for someone's own good.

The Feathers of Gossip: How our Words can Build Up or Tear Down

Friday, January 28, 2011

St. Thomas Aquinas

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Prayer to Saint Thomas Aquinas

Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas, prince of theologians and model of philosophers, bright ornament of the Christian world, light of the Church and patron of all Catholic schools,
who didst learn wisdom without guile and dost communicate it without envy,
pray for us to the Son of God who is Wisdom itself, that,
by the coming of the Spirit of Wisdom upon us,
we may clearly understand that which thou didst teach,
and by imitating thee, may bring to completion that which thou didst do;
that we may be made partakers both of thy doctrine and thy holiness,
whereby thou didst shine on earth even as the sun; and finally,
that we may enjoy with thee in heaven for evermore the most delectable fruits of the same,
praising together with thee divine Wisdom through endless ages. Amen.

Source The Prayer Book, Catholic Press, Inc.

"The Temptation of St. Thomas Aquinas by Velazquez

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Prayer of Dedication to Mary by St. Thomas Aquinas

Virgin full of goodness,
Mother of mercy,
I entrust to you my body and my soul,
my thoughts and my actions,
my life and my death.
O my Queen,
come to my aid
and deliver me from the snares of the devil.
Obtain for me the grace of loving
my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
with a true and perfect love,
and after him,
O Mary,
of loving you with all my heart
and above all things.

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

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How Christ is in the Blessed Sacrament

"Is the whole Christ contained under this Sacrament? (Q.76.1)
(By the whole Christ is meant his integral body, blood, soul, and divinity, viz. The Person of the Word.)

The entire Christ is in this sacrament, first, by power of the sacrament, secondly by concomitance**.

By power of the sacrament there is under the species (or appearances) that which is expressed by the words of the form: 'This is my body' --'This is my blood.'

From natural concomitance there is also that which is really united to the body and blood. (Namely, the soul of Christ and his divinity).

In a real union of two things, where one is, the other must be; and they are only distinguished by an operation of the mind.

Obj.1. The bread and wine cannot be changed into either the divinity or soul of Christ; therefore it seems that the entire Christ is not under this sacrament.

Reply: Where the body of Christ is, there the Godhead must be; for once the body was assumed by the divinity, it is never set aside. But his soul was truly separated from his body; so if this sacrament had been effected during those three days, the soul of Christ would not have been there either by power of the sacrament or from real concomitance. Now since 'Christ rising from the dead dieth now no more' (Rom.6,9), his soul is always really united with his body and is present in this sacrament by real concomitance..."

**Editor's note: By concomitance here is meant what must be present by nature or by virtue of the grace of union. In the Host the blood is present by concomitance and in the chalice, the body as one cannot be without the other after the Resurrection; and by concomitance the divinity must be united to both.

Source: The Blessed Sacrament and the Mass by St. Thomas Aquinas, translated, with noted by Rev. F. O'Neill, Roman Catholic Books

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"Just as divine providence does not wholly exclude evil from things, so also it does not exclude contingency. or impose necessity on things.

Source: Summa Contra Gentiles Book Three: Providence Part 1 by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Translated by Vernon J. Bourke

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Prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas - Patron of Students

Wonderful theologian and Doctor of the Church,
you learned more from the Crucifix than from books.
Combining both sources, you left us
the marvelous Summa of theology,
broadcasting most glorious enlightenment to all.
You always sought for true light
and studied for God's honor and glory.
Help us all to study our religion
as well as all other subjects needed for life,
without ambition and pride in imitation of you.

Source St. Joseph's People's Prayer Book

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Duties of Catholic Parents

1. To give their children the necessary food, clothing and shelter.
This obligation rests on both parents, whether living together or separated. They must also keep their children from all danger to life and protect them from possible death.

2. To give them good example.
Parents give good example by observing strictly all of their religious duties. For example: Regularly attending Mass, not eating meat on days of abstinence, carefully avoiding indecent speech, lying, cursing, criticism of others, immodesty and drunkenness.
-- Parents should remember that children are great imitators, and they should be very careful of everything they do and say in the presence of their children.

3. To provide a truly Catholic home for them.
A Catholic home is one in which God and Religion are of the greatest importance.
-- In the home there should be crucifixes, pictures of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints. Indecent pictures and calendars, lewd and sensational magazines, books, comic books, TV shows and videos [] have no place in the Christian home. There should be good books, Catholic newspapers, and Catholic magazines.

4. To have them baptized as soon as possible after birth.
It is a serious sin to delay the Baptism of infants, and if there is any danger to the life of the newly born baby, the priest should be called immediately.
-- In danger of death, and if no priest is available, Baptism can and should be given by anyone. The one baptizing must have the intention of doing what the Church does in Baptism. The procedure is: Pour water over the head of the child, saying at the same time: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."

5. To see that they go to Confession, receive Holy Communion and receive Confirmation.
The children should be taught to go to Confession and Holy Communion regularly and frequently - every week, if possible, especially during vacation time.

6. To teach them to pray.
Daily prayers should be said together by the whole family.
-- As the saying goes, "The family that prays together stays together." The daily family Rosary will go a very long way toward ensuring that the children grow up to be good Catholics.

7. To see that they go to Mass every Sunday and on the six Holy Days.
Parents should not keep children home from Mass except for very serious reasons.

8. To see that on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent they abstain from meat altogether and that on the other Fridays of the year they refrain from meat or perform a comparable penance.
--See Lesson 43, especially Question 11 -

9. To send them to a Catholic school.
This includes high school and college, as well as grammar school. Parents are forbidden by Church Law to send their children to any other kind of school. [*See below for more on this subject]
-- In very many cases today, the only truly Catholic school available is home schooling. Experience has shown that Catholic home schooling produces excellent results both spiritually and academically and that it brings great blessings to the family.

10. To insist that they marry in the Catholic Church.
A Catholic cannot marry except in the presence of a Catholic priest and two witnesses.
--When a son or daughter begins to think seriously of marrying, the parents should have him (or her) see the priest and receive the necessary instructions on marriage. They should encourage courting only Catholics, or at least with non-Catholics who are willing to take a full course of instructions in the Catholic Religion. Parents commit a mortal sin by forcing or unduly persuading any of their children to marry.

11. To give them the Christian attitude on marriage and having children.
Parents should avoid complaining about the hardships of married life or joking about the sacred duties of marriage.
--The birth of another child should be a joyful occasion for the whole family so that the other children will consider having children as the greatest blessing of married life.

12. To prepare them for marriage.
The children should be taught the serious duties and responsibilities of marriage, both by word and example.
--They should also be taught the practical side of making a home, such as cleaning, cooking, sewing, repairing, caring for children, being on time, and being neat and orderly.

13. To teach them the facts on sex.
This information should be given carefully and with great emphasis on the beauty and sacredness of sex.
--Answers to questions about the facts of life should be correct, but always suited to the age and mental development of the child. Parents should encourage the confidence of their children so that the children will come to them for information.

14. To protect them from sin, particularly sins of impurity.
In addition to protecting their children from bad companions, etc., parents have a grave obligation to do whatever is necessary to protect their children from classroom "Sex Education" either in public or Catholic schools.
--Formal "Sex Education" is always grossly immodest and a temptation to sin, even aside from the un-Catholic and un-Christian "slant" with which it is usually delivered.

15. To correct their sins and faults.
It is a serious sin to neglect this duty.

16. To teach them the virtues of honesty, obedience, truthfulness, purity, and modesty in dress.
These lessons must be given early and repeated continually.

17. To teach them respect for the rights and property of others.
Many parents sin seriously by bad example in this matter.

18. To teach them respect for all lawful authority.
Children should be taught early to respect all lawful authority, especially the authority of the Church, the State and the School.

19. To give them wholesome recreation and keep them from evil companions.
The Christian home should be the center of the child's social life, a place where he feels free to bring his companions.
-- Parents should be extremely careful about allowing their children to attend motion pictures; they should also examine their comic books and govern their use of the radio and television, as well as other electronic media. Children receive many un-Christian ideas on life, marriage, crime, drinking, body piercing, etc. from these sources of entertainment. [One can imagine what Fr. Cogan would say of modern radio, motion pictures and television.]

20. To encourage a child's desire to be a priest, a brother or sister.
Having a priest, brother or sister in the family is one of the greatest blessings that God can give a mother and father. Instead of turning a child away from such a desire, parents should encourage the child.

The foregoing was shared by Sue Cifelli. Sources: OLRL Library and Tan Books

Priest blessed dying police officer

Father Fausto Bailo
Note: Father Bailo just happens to be one of my Facebook friends.
As Sergeant Ryan Russell lay dying on Toronto’s frozen streets in the early morning hours of Jan. 12, a local priest was running late for his morning mass.

Father Fausto Bailo, a chaplain at the downtown Ernescliff College student centre on the University of Toronto campus, recalls approaching the intersection of Avenue and Davenport roads — and finding an unexpected scene of chaos.

Read more: National Post Article

via Twitter/New Advent

An Energizing March for Life Video

See if you can spot former Hawaii Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo.

The Deacon's Bench

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Photos from a Venezuelan Parish Christmas 2011

One of my new friends, Padre Luis E. Rodriguez is the pastor of Parroquia del Espiritu Santo (Parish of the Holy Spirit) located in the Diocese of Teques in Venezuela. He recently shared photos of his parish during Christmas.  He wanted us to see why he loves this parish so much.

As you will see from the photos, the parish has a great devotion to Divine Mercy. In fact, Father Luis is the priest who painstakingly and lovingly worked on a new film for the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet for EWTN. I hope you get to see it soon but more on that at a later date.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Divine Mercy

The Nativity

The Holy Family

Baby Jesus
Detail of the main stained glass

Blessed Mother and Baby Jesus

7 Spiritual Weapons - St. Catherine of Bologna

These notes are contained in her one written work, the "Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons" in which Catherine teaches that to combat evil it is necessary:

"(1) to be careful always to do good;
(2) to believe that we can never achieve anything truly good by ourselves;
(3) to trust in God and, for His love, never to fear the battle against evil, either in the world or in ourselves;
(4) to meditate frequently on the events and words of Jesus' life, especially His passion and death;
(5) to remember that we must die;
(6) to keep the benefits of heaven firmly in our minds,
(7) to be familiar with Holy Scripture, keeping it in our hearts to guide all our thoughts and actions".


Monday, January 24, 2011

St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales, Marian Shrine, Stony Point, NY

Photo by Esther G.
It appears that Francis of Sales was given to the Church by God for a very special mission. His task was to give the lie to a prejudice which in his lifetime was deeply rooted and has not been destroyed even today, that the ideal of genuine sanctity held up for our imitation by the Church is impossible of attainment or, at best, is so difficult that it surpasses the capabilities of the great majority of the faithful and is, therefore, to be though of as the exclusive possession of a few great souls. Saint Francis likewise disproved the false idea that holiness, was so hedged around by annoyances and hardship that it is unadaptable to a life outside the cloister walls." - Pope Pius XI RERUM OMNIUM PERTURBATIONEM ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI ON ST. FRANCIS DE SALES
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"Remember what I have often said to you: do honor to your devotion; make it very amiable to all those who may know you, especially to your family; act so that every one may speak well of it..." - Letter to a woman, on obtaining true devotion and peace of soul.

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"As to conversations, my dearest daughter, be at peace regarding what is said or done in them: for if they are good, you have something to praise God for, and if they are bad, you have something in which to serve God by turning your heart away from them. Do not appear either shocked or displeased by bad conversations, since you cannot prevent them, and have not authority enough to hinder the bad words of those who will say them, and who will say worse if you seem to wish to hinder them. For acting thus you will remain innocent among the hissings of the serpents, and like a sweet strawberry you will receive no venom from the contact of venomous tongues." - Letter to a woman on dealing with improper conversations.
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"First, accept the pain from His hand, as if you saw Him Himself putting and pressing it on your head.
Second, offer yourself to suffer more.
Third, beg our Savior by the merit of His torments to accept these little distresses in union with the pains He suffered on the Cross.
Next, protest that you wish not only to suffer, but to love and cherish these sufferings since they are sent from so good and so sweet a hand.
Lastly, invoke the martyrs and the many servants of God, who enjoy Heaven as a result of their having been afflicted in this world..." -Letter to a woman suffering great physical pain.

Source: Thy Will Be Done by St. Francis de Sales
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"Theotimus, it is a thing strange yet true that if the damned were not blinded by their obstinacy and hatred for God, they would find consolation in their torments and see how wonderfully diviner mercy is mingled with the flames that eternally consume them..."
by Tiepolo
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"Holy indifference must be practiced in things that concern natural life, such as health, sickness, beauty, ugliness, weakness, and strength, in things concerning civil life, such as honors, rank, and wealth; in the various aspects of the spiritual life, such as dryness, consolation, delight, and aridity; and in actions, and in sufferings-- in sum, in every event of every kind..."
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"Lord, You are the royal cavalier who turns the hearts of Your faithful lovers about in every way. Sometimes You urge them forward with full rein, and they run at full speed in the tasks to which You inspire them. Then when it seems good to You, You make them stop in mid-career, and when strongest in their course."

Source: Finding God's Will for You, by St. Francis of Sales, Sophia Press

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O glorious Saint Francis, model of the interior life, and full of zeal for the salvation of souls! obtain for me the grace to employ all my faculties, not for my own sanctification alone, but for that of my neighbor also; that continually spreading abroad the sweet order of Jesus Christ by my words and works, I may again with thee, the blessedness promised to the merciful: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy"; and that I may one day have a share in the glory which thou enjoyedst in paradise with the angels and saints, where those that edify and instruct to justice, shall shine as stars for all eternity (Dan. 12:3).
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Prayer for Perfect Conversion

O blessed Saint Francis of Sales, who in thy mortal life didst excel in all virtues, especially in love for God and the neighbor: I earnestly entreat thee to take me under thy immediate protection, and to obtain of God my perfect conversion, and that of all sinners. Teach me, O my Father! to fix my eyes on heave, than I may generously trample under foot every obstacle that presents itself in my way, and attain that degree of glory, which God in His infinite mercy holds out to me. Amen.

Prayer Source The Prayer Book Catholic Book Press