July 27, 2012

Thought of the Day

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

July 17, 2012

Prayer to St. Joseph for a Difficult Problem

Prayer to Saint Joseph for a Difficult Problem
O Glorious St. Joseph, thou who hast power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress.

Take this important and difficult affair under thy particular protection, that it may end happily. (MENTION YOUR REQUEST)

O dear St. Joseph, all our confidence is in thee. Let it not be said that we would invoke thee in vain; and since thou art so powerful with Jesus and Mary, show that thy goodness equals thy power. Amen.
St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.

July 16, 2012

F.Y.I. "Christ is the Answer"

I want to alert you to a great radio program available online called "Christ is the Answer" by Father John Ricarrdo on Ave Maria Radio. "Christ Is the Answer" provides instruction on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other topics critical to those seeking answers to life’s greatest questions.

The show airs from 11-12 M-F and at other times during the week. [Update: this program now airs: Monday - Friday 11:00-11:30 am EST & 2:00-3:00 pm EST.]

"All Christ is the Answer" programs are available for free download or podcast in Ave Maria Radio's Audio Archive.

If you would still like to order a copy of any "Christ is the Answer" program with Fr. John Riccardo, please go to the Program Copies page for more information.

July 12, 2012

MARRIAGE: THE GOOD WINE (a wedding homily) Part 3, By Cormac Burke

Continued from Part 2 ...

I would suggest three conditions which, if you fulfill them, will make your marriage happy.

* Prayer: The first condition is that you pray a lot ? "The family that prays together, stays together", so the saying goes. I feel certain that the couple married at Cana were a praying couple. Lay that sure foundation of prayer in your married life from the very start. The thought that your marriage is a sacrament, and therefore a source of grace, must be your mainstay. Not only do you want your marriage to be happy, but God wants it to be happy. If you learn to look to Him and pray to Him, your marriage will work out. But marriages do not work out without prayer.

* Unconditional Love: The second condition is that you try to love each other always as God loves you. He loves each of you with your defects. This is the marvel of God's love. He doesn't love our defects, or love us because of our defects. He loves us because of our virtues, or at least because of our possibilities of virtues. But He loves us with our defects. If the moment were to come in which one of you were to begin to see ? to think you see ? more defects than virtues in the other, then you would have to go hurrying to take a refresher course in that school of love where God is always prepared.

If many marriages today go "on the rocks" perhaps it's because the spouses expected too much of one another. Do not expect too much. Try to give without limit, even though you know you will never perfectly succeed in doing so. Therefore do not expect without limit. Only God can give without limit, and only God can satisfy unlimited expectations. He will do that, but only in heaven. Marriage is not heaven; though, if lived in a holy fashion it can be a foretaste and a preparation for heaven. When your partner fails to give what you expected, forgive. And when you fail to give what you thought you would always give, ask for forgiveness.

* Fidelity: The third condition is that you always try to live your marriage in accordance with God's will. In a few moments you will exchange marriage vows, your mutual promises of life-long love and fidelity. These promises are not of your making, though you have freely chosen to make them. They are of God's making, for they express the nature of the marriage bond as He has made it. It is important to remember ? for it is so often forgotten today ? that marriage was God's idea before it was ever man's. The nature of marriage is given by God, just as the promise of happiness marriage contains has been placed there by God. That is why the final condition for achieving that promised happiness is to live marriage according to its God-given nature.

Visit Monsignor Cormac Burke's excellent website for related content and more.

July 9, 2012

Protecting the True Meaning of Marriage

John Paul II – “The Pilgrim Pope”

Revered by many as the most prominent man of the 20th century, Pope John Paul II was loved and respected by many millions of people. Active in the Church and world affairs, he was also the first non-Italian Pope in over 450 years, and the first Polish Pope in the history of the Papacy.

Born on May 18, 1920, in the town of Wadowice, near Krakow, Pope John Paul entered the world as Karol Józef Wojtyła, one of three children born to Emilia Kaczorowska and Karol Wojtyła. His older brother, Edmund, was 14 years his senior, but as his sister, Olga, died in infancy, Karol grew very close to his only remaining sibling. Karol’s mother died in 1929, on April 13th, when the boy was only 8 years old.

Karol turned to athletics as a method of keeping his mind and body entertained, and developed kinship with the thriving, vibrant community of Jews in his hometown. Often times, school games would be organized between Catholic and Jewish children. Karol was the first to volunteer to play against his own team if the Jewish players needed an additional player.

In 1938 Karol and his father moved to Krakow, where the young man was enrolled at Jagiellonian University, with studies in various languages and philology. He also volunteered to work in the library, and while the Academic Legion required participation in military training, Karol strictly refused to fire a weapon. Showing his creative side, Karol worked as a playwright and was active in a number of theatrical troupes. Not only was he a talented writer and performer, but he was gifted in languages, which he employed regularly while in Papal office. Highly adept, he spoke Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Russian, Croatian, Esperanto, Ancient Greek, Latin in addition to his native Polish.

Tragically in 1938 Karol lost his brother Edmund, a physician, to scarlet fever. Then In 1939, Karol’s university was forced to close due to the Nazi occupation. To avoid being deported to Germany, the young man worked in a quarry and the Solvay chemical factory from 1940- 1944. In 1941 his father, a non-commissioned officer, died, leaving Karol without immediate family for support.

Pope John Paul II, during his first U.S. visit in 1979, at Yankee Stadium, New York City

Karol received his calling to serve the Lord in 1942, and embarked in clandestine seminary courses run by the archbishop of Krakow. After the Second World War ended, the seminary was allowed to re-open and Karol formally enrolled. His university also reopened, and he undertook studies in theology there. On November 1st, 1946, Karol took a step forward and was ordained as a priest by the Archbishop Sapieha.

Not long after, he was relocated to Rome and continued to study and work under the guidance of Garrigou-Lagrange, a French Dominican. His doctorate in theology was completed in 1948, and during breaks or vacations, Karol practiced his ministry among other Polish immigrants in Belgium, Holland, and France. Eventually, he returned to Krakow as vicar and chaplain, then again took up studies in philosophy and theology in 1951.

1958 saw him appointed as titular bishop, and in 1964, he was formally inducted as archbishop of Krakow. Pope Paul IV, who anointed him as archbishop, would also make him a Cardinal in 1967, eventually promoted to por illa vice to the order of priests. Karol, now Cardinal Wojtyla, took part in Vatican Council II, where he contributed to the drafting of the Constitution Gaudium et spes, alongside engaging fully in the Synod of Bishops.

It was on October 16, 1978, that the Cardinals elected him Pope, and he took the name of John Paul II. This election made him the 263rd successor to the Apostle Peter, who founded the Papacy. John Paul II would enjoy the second longest pontificate, or time in Papal office, in the history of the Church.

On May 13th, 1981, a foiled assignation attempt left Pope John Paul II critically wounded, with two bullets lodged in his lower intestine, while bystanders were also hit. After five grueling hours of emergency surgery and many blood transfusions, the Pope survived and even forgave his attacker, who had been apprehended by security and help from those gathered.

Pope John Paul II has gained the moniker “pilgrim pope” for all the traveling outside the Vatican that he had done, and this title was taken from Pope Paul VI, who traveled only 9 times outside the country in his 15 year reign, as opposed to John Paul II’s 129 trips logging more than 725,000 miles. Many of his trips were to countries that previous Pope’s had never visited before.

Pastoral Visits of Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was a man of great charity, learning, wisdom, and faith. His love for his fellow human was evident and unbounded by any external indicators. He prolifically wrote and left behind a large body of literature in his documents and five books.

Pope John Paul II is remembered for his influential presence, opinions, morality, and significantly improving relations with other religions, such as Judaism and Islam. He is also often credited as being responsible for bringing about the fall of communism in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.

He entered into life eternal on April 2nd, 2005, and the usual five year waiting period from canonization was waived for him, a clear indication that he touched the lives of so many, he was already considered a saint.

July 6, 2012

Card Dolan Exposes Obama's Devious Tactics Against the Church

Cardinal Dolan: I don't want to judge people, but I think there would be a drift in the administration that this is a good issue. And if we can divide the Catholic community because it's already divided and if one can caricature the bishops as being hopelessly out of touch, these bullies who are trying to achieve judiciously and legislatively what they've been unable to achieve because their moral integrity has been compromised recently. There's that force out there trying to caricature us."