Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Catholic Conversion




"But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." 
 ~ John 4:14

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Catholics in Ecuador




I am thinking of moving to Cotacachi, Ecuador.

Many American and European expats have found their way to this beautiful small town in the Andes foothills.

Jesus watches over the village from atop the huge Cathedral on the town square.

If you have ever been there, or if you are familiar with the Catholic culture in Ecuador,
please comment here.




Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why Silencing Christians will Continue



Why Silencing Christians will Continue | Crisis Magazine



"The older notion of “free speech” as a search for the truth through
reasonable argument is being replaced. We no longer want to hear speech
if it “offends” someone’s feelings or self-defined identity."

The Gospel is Very Clear




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Catholicism: Scandalous in Every Age


Catholicism: Scandalous in Every Age

"I don’t know what the word “conservative” means, if we are talking about the teachings of Jesus and of the Church. That’s because those teachings transcend politics, and are always going to be a scandal, no matter what culture encounters them."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spread 'joyous wonder' of Easter, says Pope Francis



Spread 'joyous wonder' of Easter, Pope tells Christians :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

A Yard of Weeds: Coming Home to the Catholic Church.


weed


"Joining the Church — the mystical body of Christ — through the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion are only the beginning. I am now a seedling having broken into new life and must now reach toward my God-written destiny. I am surrounded by a forest — the Church –, those still on their journeys and those who have gone before us (the saints), who stand like towering sequoias who nurture, protect, and guide us along with the Holy Spirit."

A Yard of Weeds: Coming Home to the Catholic Church.

and

Read his wife's conversion story too.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"The Church of Mercy" Homiles of Pope Francis



New book of Pope Francis' homilies during his first year as head of  the Catholic Church!




"In the year since he was elected, Pope Francis’s simple message of mercy, service, and renewal has spread to every corner of the world. Through his gentle demeanor, selfless actions, and welcoming call for service to others, Pope Francis has captured the attention of a world longing for an authentic message of hope—we want to hear what he has to say.

Collected from Pope Francis’s speeches, homilies, and papers presented during the first year of his papacy, The Church of Mercy is the first Vatican-authorized book detailing his vision for the Catholic Church. From how to be citizens of the world to answering God’s call for evangelization, Pope Francis's deep wisdom reminds us that the Church must move beyond its own walls and joyfully bring God's mercy wherever suffering, division, or injustice exists.

Named TIME Magazine’s 2013 “Person of the Year,” Pope Francis is helping the Church continue toward an authentic Christianity that is faithful to the Gospel and resonant with the world’s greatest needs. The Church of Mercy encourages each of us to ignite the flame within to help share the light of Christ and revitalize the Church.  (Amazon.com)

Return to Your Own Galilee and Be Surprised by the Lord


Father John Paul, in his homily on EWTN today, discusses Pope Francis' Easter message about returning to your own 'Galilee', where you first met the Lord and learned of His Love for you.

 Fr. John Paul reminds us to always be ready to be surprised by the Lord.


Easter Season Celebration of Faith and Joy

 

Ways to keep the Faith: A checklist for the Easter season It should be eight weeks of continuous celebration and joy

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pope Francis' Easter Vigil Homily

Jesus Christ

"Go back to 'Galilee',
that place where you first met Christ. 
Return to your First Love.
Rekindle that fire." ~ Pope Francis



Pope Francis' homily at the Easter Vigil this evening in St. Peter's basilica:
"The Gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ begins with the journey of the women to the tomb at dawn on the day after the Sabbath. They go to the tomb to honour the body of the Lord, but they find it open and empty. A mighty angel says to them: "Do not be afraid!" (Mt 28:5) and orders them to go and tell the disciples: "He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee" (v. 7). The women quickly depart and on the way Jesus himself meets them and says: "Do not fear; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me" (v. 10).
After the death of the Master, the disciples had scattered; their faith had been utterly shaken, everything seemed over, all their certainties had crumbled and their hopes had died. But now that message of the women, incredible as it was, came to them like a ray of light in the darkness. The news spread: Jesus is risen as he said. And then there was his command to go to Galilee; the women had heard it twice, first from the angel and then from Jesus himself: "Let them go to Galilee; there they will see me". 
Galilee is the place where they were first called, where everything began! To return there, to return to the place where they were originally called. Jesus had walked along the shores of the lake as the fishermen were casting their nets. He had called them, and they left everything and followed him (cf. Mt 4:18-22).
To return to Galilee means to re-read everything on the basis of the cross and its victory. To re-read everything – Jesus’ preaching, his miracles, the new community, the excitement and the defections, even the betrayal – to re-read everything starting from the end, which is a new beginning, from this supreme act of love.
For each of us, too, there is a "Galilee" at the origin of our journey with Jesus. "To go to Galilee" means something beautiful, it means rediscovering our baptism as a living fountainhead, drawing new energy from the sources of our faith and our Christian experience. To return to Galilee means above all to return to that blazing light with which God’s grace touched me at the start of the journey. From that flame I can light a fire for today and every day, and bring heat and light to my brothers and sisters. That flame ignites a humble joy, a joy which sorrow and distress cannot dismay, a good, gentle joy.
In the life of every Christian, after baptism there is also a more existential "Galilee": the experience of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ who called me to follow him and to share in his mission. In this sense, returning to Galilee means treasuring in my heart the living memory of that call, when Jesus passed my way, gazed at me with mercy and asked me to follow him. It means reviving the memory of that moment when his eyes met mine, the moment when he made me realize that he loved me.
Today, tonight, each of us can ask: What is my Galilee? Where is my Galilee? Do I remember it? Have I forgotten it? Have I gone off on roads and paths which made me forget it? Lord, help me: tell me what my Galilee is; for you know that I want to return there to encounter you and to let myself be embraced by your mercy.
The Gospel of Easter is very clear: we need to go back there, to see Jesus risen, and to become witnesses of his resurrection. This is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia. It is returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth.
"Galilee of the Gentiles" (Mt 4:15; Is 8:23)! Horizon of the Risen Lord, horizon of the Church; intense desire of encounter… Let us be on our way!"


Friday, April 18, 2014

Fr. Cantalamessa's Good Friday Homily

 Full text of Fr Cantalamessa’s homily:

Good Friday homily: Judas' story ‘should move us to surrender' to Christ


"Peter had confidence in the mercy of Christ, and Judas did not! Judas’ greatest sin was not in having betrayed Christ but in having doubted his mercy."

Jesus the Bridegroom



"Friday of the Passion of the Lord

"There is an excellent new book by Brant Pitre on Jesus the Bridegroom (Image 2014). It has helped me understand the mystery we celebrate today and I'd would like simply to summarize the major points of his reflections, offering them to you for your prayer and meditation on this holy day...."  

 Good Friday Homily: Jesus the Bridegroom

 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

King of Kings

This is the  movie that changed my life!

 Having grown up in an unhappy athesist family, I had no religious instruction. Though fortunately,  I was baptized Catholic, due to the insistence of my grandma and the grace of God.

The movie "King of Kings" came out in 1961, but I did not see it until much later, when I was blessed to live with a Catholic family.

When I first saw this movie during Holy Week many years ago, my heart was burst wide open!  I had never seen such love as Christ's Love.

 During the last scene on the shore, with the Resurrected Jesus Christ speaking as his large shadow moved slowly across the shore, I was overwhelmed!  I remember crying from the deepest depths of my soul.

 Christ's words, "I am with you always, even to the end of the world.",  spoke to a burning hunger within me, I didn't even know was there.

Now, I always watch "King of Kings" every year during Holy Week. It never grows old, and the final scene still.... always brings tears.



Happy Birthday Benedict XVI




April 16th,  Pope B16 celebrates his 87th Birthday! We wish him many, many more! 

Join me this Holy Week in reading his outstanding book about this week in history,  what it meant to the world, and what it means for you and I today. 

"Jesus of Nazareth,  Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday Reflection

From a sermon by Saint Andrew of Crete, bishop
(Oratio 9 in ramos palmarum: PG 97, 990-994)
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.
Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives. Today he returns from Bethany and proceeds of his own free will toward his holy and blessed passion, to consummate the mystery of our salvation. He who came down from heaven to raise us from the depths of sin, to raise us with himself, we are told in Scripture, above every sovereignty, authority, and power, and every other name that can be named, now comes of his own free will to make his journey to Jerusalem. He comes without pomp or ostentation. As the psalmist says: He will not dispute or raise his voice to make it heard in the streets. He will be meek and humble, and he will make his entry in simplicity.
Let us run to accompany him as he hastens toward Jerusalem, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then we shall be able to receive the Word at his coming, and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.
In his humility Christ entered the dark regions of our fallen world and he is glad that he became so humble for our sake, glad that he came and lived among us and shared in our nature in order to raise us up again to himself. And even though we are told that he has now ascended above the highest heavens—the proof, surely, of his power and godhead—his love for man will never rest until he has raised our earthbound nature from glory to glory, and made it one with his own in heaven.
So let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of his victory. Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Holy Week




Father in Heaven,
ever-living source of all that is good,
keep me faithful during this Holy Week.
Help me to drink of Christ's Truth,
and fill my heart with His Love
so that I may serve You in faith
and love and reach eternal life.
In the Sacrament of the Eucharist
You give me the joy of sharing Your Life.
Keep me in Your presence.
Let me never be separated from You
and help me to do Your Will.

Amen

Be Thou My Vision


Many hymns are like prayers.  This is my favorite.

Friday, April 11, 2014

'Extraordinary Faith' Promo



Extraordinary Faith Channels have been created on both Vimeo (for quality) and YouTube (for reach).

Have a look at the promo created for EWTN: 


https://vimeo.com/90683020

Pope Francis calls abortion an ‘abominable crime’



 



Pope Francis calls abortion an ‘abominable crime’ in strongest remarks to date | LifeSiteNews.com

Everybody to Pope Paul: Drop Dead

 ..

 

Everybody to Pope Paul: Drop Dead


 Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae

Jesus said, " My thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Beautiful Marriage

Nathan Trapuzzano’s widow: “He said, ‘I want us both to be saints…’”

 From "The Deacon's Bench"

"I don’t think you’ll read anything more heart-rending this week than this: an exclusive interview with Jennifer Trapuzzano, the pregnant widow of Nathan Trapuzzano, the 24-year-old young man killed while taking his morning walk last week. She describes her last hours with her husband—and a marriage that was beautifully full of grace and hope."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Catholic Family Communities


Intentional Catholic Communities of Families Forming 

This Is What We Do

This would be my 'dream' way of living!

 Never having been part of a loving family unit, let alone a Catholic family I love the idea of Catholic family communities!   This would be a great way for single people to feel like a part of a family, and be able to contribute to that Christian love and way of life.

What could be more fun than being part of a Catholic family? 

 Being part of a community of Catholic families!!! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Cross... A Mystery of God's Love



“Christianity is not a philosophical doctrine, it’s not a programme for life survival or education, or for peacemaking. These are consequences. Christianity is a person, a person raised on the Cross, a person who annihilated himself to save us, who became sin. Just as sin was raised up in the desert, here God who was made man and made sin for us was raised up. All our sins were there. You cannot understand Christianity without understanding this profound humiliation of the Son of God who humbled himself and became a servant unto death, even death on a cross, in order to serve us.”

“The Cross is not an ornament that we must always put in the churches, there on the altar. It is not a symbol that distinguishes us from others. The Cross is mystery, the mystery of God who humbles himself, he becomes ‘nothing.’ He becomes sin. Where is your sin? ‘I don’t know, I have so many here.’ No, your sin is there, in the Cross. Go and find it there, in the wounds of the Lord and your sins will be healed, your wounds will be healed, your sins will be forgiven. The forgiveness that God gives us is not the same as cancelling a debt that we have with Him, the forgiveness that God gives us are the wounds of his Son on the Cross, raised up on the Cross. May he draw us towards Him and may we allow ourselves to be healed by him.”


~ Pope Francis

Excerpt From Scott Hahn's "Evangelizing Catholics"




St. Francis didn't even say that: Evangelization means more than a silent witness An excerpt from 'Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization' Scott Hahn

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fervent Evangelization



EVANGELII GAUDIUM

266. But this conviction has to be sustained by our own constantly renewed experience of savouring Christ’s friendship and his message. It is impossible to persevere in a fervent evangelization unless we are convinced from personal e
xperience that it is not the same thing to have known Jesus as not to have known him, not the same thing to walk with him as to walk blindly, not the same thing to hear his word as not to know it, and not the same thing to contemplate him, to worship him, to find our peace in him, as not to. It is not the same thing to try to build the world with his Gospel as to try to do so by our own lights. We know well that with Jesus life becomes richer and that with him it is easier to find meaning in everything. This is why we evangelize. A true missionary, who never ceases to be a disciple, knows that Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, works with him. He senses Jesus alive with him in the midst of the missionary enterprise. Unless we see him present at the heart of our missionary commitment, our enthusiasm soon wanes and we are no longer sure of what it is that we are handing on; we lack vigour and passion. A person who is not convinced, enthusiastic, certain and in love, will convince nobody.

~Pope Francis

Radiating Christ


Photo: Radiating Christ</center>

Dear Jesus,

Help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go.  Flood my soul with Your Spirit and Life.  Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that my life may only be a radiance of Yours.  Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come into contact with may feel Your presence in my soul. Let them look up, and see no longer me, but only Jesus!  Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.  The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine.  It will be You, shining on others through me.  Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart hears for You.  Amen.

By Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman


Radiating Christ
Dear Jesus,

Help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Your Spirit and Life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that my life may only be a radiance of Yours. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come into contact with may feel Your presence in my soul. Let them look up, and see no longer me, but only Jesus! Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others. The light, O Jesus, will be all from You; none of it will be mine. It will be You, shining on others through me. Let me preach You without preaching, not by words but by example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for You. 
 Amen.


By Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Meditation of St. Francis of Assisi



 

 Meditation of St. Francis of Assisi

Let everyone be struck with fear,
the whole world tremble,
and the heavens exult
when Christ, the Son of the living God,
is present on the altar in the hands of a priest!


O wonderful loftiness
and stupendous dignity!
O sublime humility!
O humble sublimity!


The Lord of the universe,
God and the Son of God,
so humbles Himself
that He hides Himself
for our salvation
under an ordinary piece of bread!


See the humility of God, brothers,
and pour out your hearts before Him!


Humble yourselves that you may be exalted by Him!

Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves,
that He Who gives Himself totally to you
may receive you totally!

God, the Life of the Soul

 shutterstock_104724911



God, the Life of the Soul

Saving Catholic Culture from Destruction | Crisis Magazine

 St. Anne's Interior



Saving Catholic Culture from Destruction | Crisis Magazine

As We Forgive....

Why We Need to Think Liturgically

 high mass

The first step to thinking liturgically is to understand that the liturgy should be the primary instructor
in our faith.  How many of us actually think in these terms today?  -
See more at:
http://catholiclane.com/why-we-need-to-think-liturgically/#sthash.mFgdMcJR.dpuf
The first step to thinking liturgically is to understand that the liturgy should be the primary instructor
in our faith.  How many of us actually think in these terms today?  -
See more at:
http://catholiclane.com/why-we-need-to-think-liturgically/#sthash.mFgdMcJR.dpuf
The first step to thinking liturgically is to understand that the liturgy should be the primary instructor
in our faith.  How many of us actually think in these terms today?  -
See more at:
http://catholiclane.com/why-we-need-to-think-liturgically/#sthash.mFgdMcJR.dpuf
The first step to thinking liturgically is to understand that the liturgy should be the primary instructor
in our faith.  How many of us actually think in these terms today?  -
See more at:
http://catholiclane.com/why-we-need-to-think-liturgically/#sthash.mFgdMcJR.dpuf


Why We Need to Think Liturgically



The first step to thinking liturgically is to understand that the liturgy should be the primary instructor
in our faith.  How many of us actually think in these terms today?  -
See more at:
http://catholiclane.com/why-we-need-to-think-liturgically/#sthash.mFgdMcJR.dpuf


When the Government Takes Your Children | Crisis Magazine


 justina pelletier

 When government agencies, such as HHS, IRS, and CPS decide they know better than the public, whom they  actually work for, the public citizenry becomes hopelessly trapped under the control of an out-of-control government.

God not Government is in control! Our victory will come only when we remember our holy heritage, and be willing and ready to stand up and fight!

When the Government Takes Your Children | Crisis Magazine

The Eternal Dwelling Place