Friday, February 19, 2021

Lent - An Examination of Conscience by Father Bill Casey

1.  Is there something I can do to get closer to God?

2.  Is there something I can do to know God better and to love Him more?

3.  Is there some way I can increase my desire for prayer?

4.  Is there some way I can rekindle that fire of divine love that might have gone out of my life?

5.  Is there some way I can rid myself of the spiritual mediocrity, the spiritual indifference that I find myself in so much of the time?

6.  Is there something I can give up?

7.  Is there anything in my life right now that is not pleasing to Almighty God?

8.  Is there some sin that I am holding on to?

9.  Is there some habitual sin that is separating my heart from God's graces?

10.  Is there something I need to confess?

11.  Am I crucifying Our Lord all over again by living in my sins?

12.  Well?  Is there?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Lent - Guidance from the Apostles from the Ten Commandments

 The Didache: An Instruction of the Lord Given to the Heathen by the Twelve Apostles

Source:  The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom by Father John A. Hardon, S.J.

"My child:

1.  Shun evil of any kind and everything resembling it.

2.  Do not be prone to anger for anger leads to murder.  Do not be fanatical, not quarrelsome, not hot-tempered; for all these things beget murder.

3.  Do not be lustful, for lust leads to fornication.  Do not be foul-mouthed or give free rein to your eyes; for all these things beget adultery.

4.  My child, do not be an augur, because it leads to idolatry.  Do not be an enchanter, not an astrologer, not an expiator, and do not wish to see 9and hear) these things for they all beget idolatry.

5.  Do not be a liar, for lying leads to theft.  Do not be a lover of money, or a vain pretender.  All these things beget thievery.

6.  Do not be a grumbler, because it leads to blasphemy; or self-willed, or evil-minded.  All these things beget blasphemy.

 On the contrary, be:

7.   gentle (for the gentle will inherit the land).

8.  Be long-suffering, and merciful, and guileless, and quiet, and good, and with trembling treasure forever the instructions you have received.

9.  Do not carry your head high, or open your heart to presumption.  Do not be on  intimate terms with the mighty, but associate with holy and lowly fold.

10.  Accept as blessings the casualties that befall you assured that nothing happens without God."

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Lent - Lessons from the Stations of the Cross


The First Station:  JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH - Keeping silent in the face of injustice.

The Second Station: JESUS TAKES UP HIS CROSS - Learn to love our crosses and sufferings.

The Third Station:  JESUS FALLS FOR THE FIRST TIME - Keeping vigilant to avoid falling into temptation and the same sins.

The Fourth Station:  JESUS SEES HIS MOTHER, MARY - Comforting Jesus' sorrowful Mother by carrying out Jesus' Will faithfully.

The Fifth Station:  SIMON IS FORCED TO HELP JESUS CARRY HIS CROSS - Being patient especially in adversity.

The Sixth Station:  VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS - Being charitable and compassionate towards our neighbor.

The Seventh Station:  JESUS FALLS FOR THE SECOND TIME - Keeping close to Jesus at all times, especially during difficult times.

The Eight Station:  JESUS GREETS THE WOMEN IN JERUSALEM - Praying for living faith;

The Ninth Station:  JESUS FALLS FOR THE THIRD TIME - Seeking forgiveness quickly when we fall into sin.

The Tenth Station:  JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS - Stripping ourselves of anything that keeps us from God and bearing all humiliations for the love of Jesus.

The Eleventh Station:  JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS - Loving my enemies and difficult people with the love of Christ.

The Twelfth Station:  JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS - Accepting our crosses without complaint.  Praying and preparing for a happy death.

The Thirteenth Station:  JESUS' BODY IS PLACED ON HIS MOTHER'S LAP - Entirely trusting in  God's Mercy.

The Fourteenth Station:  JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB - Fighting for the salvation of souls.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Book Review - The Thief Who Stole Heaven


by Raymond Arroyo, illustrated by Randy Gallegos, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.

Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two.

    This story of the Good Thief may be more than just legend having been mentioned in some apocryphal accounts.  Written for children in a very dramatically illustrated picture book, Raymond Arroyo weaves together this tale of a young thief who becomes the first conquest of Christ on the Cross.

    I first heard of how the Good Thief "stole" Heaven from none other than the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.  In one of his Lenten talks he makes the connection that one who was a thief his whole life would die a thief by stealing Heaven at the last moment of his life.

    This touching story is retold for children by bestselling author and EWTN host, Raymond Arroyo.  This colorfully illustrated picture book captures the drama of Dismas' life and hard times and final redemption on the cross.

    The book imaginatively follows Dismas' life from a childhood of sadness, misfortune, and wrong-doing and chance encounter with the Holy Family to his final meeting with Christ on the cross.

    This is a worthy addition to children's Lenten book collection.  I loved the story.  However, my only disappointment with the book was the illustrations of the Blessed Mother.   I would have liked to have seen her drawn more beautifully, more serenely.

The Thief Who Stole Heaven