December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


May the blessing of Christmas be with you and your loved ones - now and forever.

December 24, 2012

Seven Reasons to be Catholic, Reasons 2 & 3: History & C.S. Lewis



Dr. Peter Kreeft is a convert to the Catholic faith from Dutch Calvinism. He teaches philosophy at Boston College and has authored a number of books on matters of faith and reason. Many of his writings and talks are available at www.peterkreeft.com. His lecture "7 Reasons to be Catholic" focuses on why one might consider full communion with the Catholic Church

December 22, 2012

Seven Reasons to be Catholic, Reason 1: Narrowing the Choices



Dr. Peter Kreeft teaches Philosophy at Boston College and is a convert to the Catholic faith. This audio overviews reasons for considering Catholicism.

December 21, 2012

Pope: Future of mankind at stake over gay marriage...

Pope Benedict XVI has weighed in on a heated debate over gay marriage, criticising new concepts of the traditional family and warning that mankind itself was at stake.

In the fight for the family, the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question," the Pope said in Italian during an end-of-year speech.

"The question of the family ... is the question of what it means to be a man, and what it is necessary to do to be true men," he said.

The Pope spoke of the "falseness" of gender theories and cited at length France's chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, who has spoken out against gay marriage.

"Bernheim has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper," he said.

He cited feminist gender theorist Simone de Beauvoir's view to the effect that one is not born a woman, but one becomes so – that sex was no longer an element of nature but a social role people chose for themselves.

For more go here.

December 18, 2012

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. 

Amen.

December 17, 2012

Saints for Advent

Here is a short list of some saints whose commemorations come during or just before early Advent, depending upon the year. Each has an Advent message.


MARY

Most of us readily think of St. Mary, Mother of God, during Advent. After all, Mary is the one closest to Jesus. Two Marian feasts fall during Advent: the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12). From Mary we learn the greatest traits of the Christian: love, humility, justice, openness to God's grace and willingness to act.


ST. FRANCIS XAVIER (DEC. 3) 

He tirelessly evangelized in the Far East. Busy as he was, he took time to set religious truths to verse and fit them to popular tunes in the countries he served. This was such a successful way of spreading the Good News that his songs were sung in the streets. Xavier invested his missionary zeal in a way that yielded a harvest long after he left. This didn't happen without hours spent in silence and prayer, asking for guidance and inspiration. Ask for his intercession if you want your time spent in Advent to bear fruit long after you've left the season behind.


ST. JOHN DAMASCENE (DEC. 4)

"The one who seeks God continually will find him, for God is in everything," says St. John Damascene. It's to this little-known Advent saint that we owe the pleasure of looking at religious art. In a period of Church history when others wanted to forbid the use of images, John Damascene insisted they could be used to inspire us. He suffered for his convictions, but now we need to thank him. Where would we be at Christmastime without our treasure of religious art? Take time looking at your Madonna and Child Christmas cards, and thank God for clear thinkers like John Damascene.


ST. NICHOLAS (DEC. 6)

This fourth-century Greek bishop is known for his faithfulness to Christ, his devotion to justice and to charity. Santa Claus is a character that started with Nicholas and took on a life of its own. We would do well to remember the real Nicholas. Ask for his intercession as you pray for a charitable heart.


ST. AMBROSE (DEC. 7)

Ambrose of Milan spent much of his time listening. He listened to St. Monica as she wept about her sinful son—the future St. Augustine—and Ambrose was able to comfort her. He listened to opposing factions in the Church and was able to make peace. This Doctor of the Church saw himself as a lifelong learner: "In the endeavor to teach, I desire that I may be able to learn," he said. We only learn if we keep listening—especially when we're the teachers! Pray with Ambrose to improve your listening skills.


ST. LUCY (DEC. 13) 

This fourth-century martyr chose to be a Christian when being Christian was illegal. She wanted to give up all her wealth and devote her life to the poor, but she herself became a victim of oppression. After resisting the advances of a Roman soldier, she was denounced as a Christian and torturously executed. She teaches us that life in Christ's light is worth devoting your life to—even dying for.


ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS (DEC. 14) 

He is the great mystic of Advent, who says that we are "face-to-face with Love's own grace." What wonderful words to ponder this week! Yet in contrast to John's lofty poetry, he took for himself the most menial jobs wherever he was. Before he entered religious life he worked in a hospital for people with disgusting diseases. Besides bathing them, he sang songs to cheer them up. Even when he held high administrative posts he took the lowliest tasks. His life reminds us that no matter how soaring our spirituality, it must be grounded in humble day-to-day duties or we miss the whole meaning of the Incarnation.

A Prayer To The Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents, you died before you were old enough to know what life means, pray for all children who die young that God may gather them into His loving arms.

Holy Innocents, you were killed because one man was filled with hatred, pray for those who hate that God may touch their hearts and fill them with love.

Holy Innocents, you experienced a violent death, pray for all who are affected by violence that they may find peace and love.

Holy Innocents, your parents grieved for you with deep and lasting sorrow, pray for all parents who have lost young children that God may wrap a warm blanket of comfort around them.

Holy Innocents, those around you certainly felt helpless to prevent your deaths, pray for all who feel helpless in their circumstances that they may cling to God for courage and hope.

Holy Innocents, you who are now in Heaven, pray for all of us that one day we may join you there to bask in God's love forever.

December 15, 2012

Five Awesome Pro-Life Videos of 2012 Everyone Should Watch

1. Think Fast



2. Baby Yawning in the Womb



3. Silent No More



4. The Final Frontier of the Civil Rights Movement



5. Aaron


December 12, 2012

December 12, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe


Can you imagine what it would be like to be out walking one day and suddenly see a woman of perfect demeanor, her clothes shining like the sun? Well, this is pretty much what happened in 1531. Mary appeared to Juan Diego, a recent native convert, on Tepeyac Hill, in what is not Mexico City. She asked that Juan go to his bishop and ask that a church be built there, a “house for her son.”

When the bishop asked for a sign, the woman told Juan to fill his cloak with flowers that appeared miraculously on the hill. Returning to the bishop, Juan opened his cloak to find not only the flowers but also an image of Mary, “clothed with the sun with the moon at her feet,” on his cloak.

On Tepeyac Hill, Mary identified herself as Our Lady of Guadalupe, and she appeared at a time when human sacrifice was part of the native Aztec culture. It has been estimated that one out of every five children was sacrificed to the Aztecs’ gods. The image on Juan Diego’s cloak conveyed an important message to the Aztecs. The woman stood in front of the sun and wore stars on her mantle. Her feet not only rested on the moon but also were crushing the head of a serpent. All of these images were gods that the Aztecs worshipped. The sash that she wore indicated she was pregnant – pregnant, in fact, with the author of life, Jesus Christ. Through this miraculous image, the Aztecs were introduced to the one true God.

This appearance of Mary caused millions of native to be converted to Christ and to abandon the practice of child sacrifice. Today, millions of unborn children are slaughtered by abortion. These children, however, are not thrown down the steps of Aztec pyramids but instead are placed into garbage cans, incinerated, or used for scientific research. On a day like today, we should all turn to Mary and ask her to intervene yet again on behalf of these innocent little victims.

From the Word Among Us.

December 6, 2012

Advent Reflection 2012

According to John Paul II holiness isn’t simply one option among many; it is the essence of being Catholic. To be Catholic is to be called to holiness. Holiness can be summed up in one word – love. Christ calls his disciples to authentic love – love of God and love of neighbor.

Saying this is one thing. Living it is another. We might think that holiness is the stuff of priests and nuns. We might think of living a holier life as something we will do tomorrow or sometime in the future. This is wrong. Sacred Scripture tells us the time to be holy is now!

1.The spiritual journey is entirely dependent on God. It is a gift God gives us. It is a grace. Going to Mass doesn’t make us holy. Neither does saying a million rosaries. God sustains us in life – in everything we do. We are entirely dependent on his mercy.

2. Our effort is necessary. What we can do to place ourselves in the presence of Christ we should do. Daily prayer is essential. Reading the scriptures is another key that unlocks the doors to eternity. God loves us abundantly. God knows us completely. Everything we say and do should be a response to that Love.

3. There are painful dimensions to the path toward holiness. We’re all familiar with the expression “no pain no gain.” Expelling sin from our lives can be difficult even painful. Expanding our hearts, minds, and souls takes work. Letting go of lesser cares and filling us up with God’s love can be a challenge. The temptation may be to put off the heavy lifting until later.

4. Despite its painful dimensions, the journey toward holiness is worth it. To find the pearl of great price we must get rid of the junk in our lives. Falling in love with God means letting go of the world. Whatever our difficulties - holiness is worth the journey

December 3, 2012

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 4-12

Novena Prayer for Life to Our Lady of Guadalupe


Oh Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of Life,
We honor you as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Thank you for pointing us to Jesus your Son,
The only Savior and hope of the world.

Renew our hope in him,
That we all may have the courage to say Yes to life,
And to defend those children in danger of abortion.

Give us your compassion
To reach out to those tempted to abort,
And to those suffering from a past abortion.

Lead us to the day when abortion
Will be a sad, past chapter in our history.

Keep us close to Jesus, the Life of the World,
Who is Lord forever and ever. Amen