Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Advent: Our Hope is Not in This World:
In my experience, paring down the material side of Advent and Christmas greatly deepens the spiritual dimensions. I do not spend my Advent stuck in traffic, pushed around in stores, or struggling to maintain patience in the face of widespread rudeness. In paring back, and focusing on Christ in Advent, I am more prepared for the realities offered in the mystery of Christmas.
Advent: the Season of Forgotten Penitence:
For many American Catholics, Thanksgiving kicks off another season of “here we go again”—fending off the annual bombardment from advertisers and the temptation to measure Christmas in terms of presents. It’s a monthlong struggle to get all of our holiday work done and somehow keep Christ in Christmas, too. Many of us look back to …
Andrew, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, was the first disciple of our Lord. Prior to coming to Jesus, Andrew had been a follower or disciple of John the Baptist. One day while walking with John, Jesus passed by. St. John, seeing Jesus, pointed Him out to Andrew and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Realizing …
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
The Advent Gift of John the Baptist:
“Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her” (Luke 1:57-58). True gatherings of the friends and families of Christians should have for their object to celebrate the …
Advent is a Time for Greater Silence and Prayer:
Advent is a season of very special graces! It is time of waiting, hope and joy. Waiting—for the birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; Hope—because Jesus came to save us; finally Joy—because Jesus’ birth, life and Resurrection is a promise of eternal life for those who obey His commandments and love Him. Silent …
Keeping Advent when it's not yet Christmas:
It’s nearing the end of November. Which means Christmas music has already begun playing in stores, and I’m too late to buy Thanksgiving blend at Starbucks, because Christmas blend has already been out for weeks and weeks. The grocery stores are starting to fill out their fabricated forest of Christmas trees out front, and okay, …
Monday, November 28, 2016
Four Advent Attitudes:
It’s hard to believe Advent has already arrived. If I’m not mistaken, this is the longest observance of Advent we celebrate because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. It seems Advent is one of the seasons that happens, and usually goes quicker than we would like! We are always in a hustle and a …
The History of Advent:
The liturgical season of Advent marks the time of spiritual preparation by the faithful before Christmas. Advent begins on the Sunday closest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30). It spans four Sundays and four weeks of preparation, although the last week of Advent is usually truncated because of when Christmas falls. …
St. Catherine Labouré:
Catherine Labouré was a French mystic who initiated devotion to the Miraculous Medal. Born on May 2, 1806, this virgin entered, at an early age, the community of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, France. When she was a 24-year-old novice, the Virgin Mary appeared to her in a vision, seated on the right side …
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Singing the Mass, Part One:
Liturgical Music as Participation in Christ
Part one in a four-part series on sacred music from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, bishop of Phoenix, published on Dec. 15, 2011 in the "Catholic Sun"
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Friday, November 25, 2016
"What is so important about worship? To worship is to order the whole of one’s life toward the living God, and in doing so, one becomes interiorly and exteriorly rightly ordered. To worship is to signal to oneself what one’s life is finally about. It’s nothing that God needs, but it is very much something that we need."
~ Bishop Robert Barron
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Thanksgiving for the Greatest Gift of All:
Thanksgiving is a national Holiday that brings families together to socialize, communicate, connect emotionally, and to enjoy a good hearty meal! On this day we should never forget the primary reason we should render abundant thanksgiving; this is for God, who He is and all that He has so generously bestowed upon all of us …
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
"Loving Father, You have been my Rock in times of trouble, my Peace in times of distress and my Shelter from the storms of life – but Lord as I advance in years I find I am becoming weary, and worn-down with life in general - and I need You to be my good and gracious Shepherd, as my steps are slowing down to a shuffle and my health is showing signs of fatigue… Carry me on Your shoulder, my Saviour and let me rest quietly in the crook of Your loving arms. Give me strength to face each day – for new every morning is Your love for me…
Lord You have been my faithful Friend through so much of my life. You guided me thorough my childhood and were there during those days of carefree youth. You were with me as I entered into the joys and woes of marriage and supported me through the frantic years of parenthood. And now in the twilight years of my life I am so thankful that You are my precious Saviour Who loved me so much that You took the punishment on the cruel cross - that I rightly deserved. How can I ever thank You enough - my Lord and my God….
Visit me I pray in my advancing years and nourish me as I turn each day to Your precious Word for my daily sustenance. I love You Lord and although I long to be with You and see You face to face – while-ever there is breath in my body – may I be used as a channel, through whom Your love flows out to others. Thank You Father that I may come boldly to Your throne of grace – in and through the wonderful name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ."
Monday, November 21, 2016
Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe:
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe*
Thy Kingdom Come! The kingdom of God, in the words of our Lord and Savior, does not come for all to see; nor shall they say: Behold, here it is, or behold, there it is, but the kingdom of God is within us …
November 21st is the memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and marks the day that Mary dedicated herself to God in her childhood under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who filled her with grace at her Immaculate Conception.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Friday, November 18, 2016
(There is a town in Utah named after this Saint!)
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne: American Missionary:
"November 18 is the feast day of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne. Mother Duchesne persevered through all the obstacles placed in the path of her vocation. She entered religious life despite her father’s vehement objection and she returned to it after nine years of absence caused by the French Revolution. She humbly accepted Saint Madeline Sophie …"
Scripture Speaks: Christ the King:
"At Jesus’ Nativity, wise men asked, “Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews?” Herod wanted to kill Him. Thirty-three years later, the Jews finally acknowledged their King. How? Gospel (Read Lk 23:35-43) Today, on the Feast of Christ the King, St. Luke describes a scene from Christ’s Crucifixion. As Jesus moved …"
Living In Between:
November 20, 2016 Christ the King
First Reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-3 http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/112016.cfm
"Many times we are called to live in between two different realities. We might be studying for our chosen profession, where we learn, practice, even play-act the role which we hope to adopt at the conclusion of our training. Or we might be …"
Thursday, November 17, 2016
FRANCISCAN OF THE DAY: St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Elizabeth, daughter of Andrew king of Hungary, was born in the year 1207. As a young girl she was given in marriage to Louis the Landgrave of Thuringia and bore him three children. She was assiduous in meditating on the things of Heaven, and after her husband’s death she embraced a life of poverty. She erected a hospital in which she served the sick. Her death occurred in Marburg in the year 1231.
Raising Daughters Like St. Elizabeth of Hungary in a Disney Princess World:
"Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. St. Elizabeth was born on July 7, 1207 as the daughter of Hungarian King Andrew II and Gertrude of Merania. While still a young child, Elizabeth was betrothed to marry Ludwig IV of Thuringia, who was a German nobleman. She was sent to the …"
Love the Stranger as Yourself:
"A lawyer – that is, a scholar of Torah – asks Jesus what he has to do to live forever (Luke 10:25). Life forever is what Jesus offers, so how do we get it? It’s a fair question. Well Jesus says to the man, you already know. Really he says, “What does it say in …"
The End of Mercy:
"During my novitiate year, I visited residents in an assisted living facility every week. Sometimes the interactions were whimsical (once, a resident advised me on cheap places to take a girl on a first date—I don’t think he quite understood the meaning of the habit). But one particular resident left a lasting impression on me. …"
St. Elizabeth of Hungary:
St. Elizabeth was born in 1207, the daughter of King Alexander II of Hungary. At the age of four she was sent for education to the court of the Landgrave of Thuringia, to whose infant son she was betrothed. As she grew in age, her piety also increased by leaps and bounds. In 1221, she …
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
St. Margaret of Scotland:
"Margaret was probably born in Hungary and raised at Stephen’s Court, where her father, Prince Edward d’Outremer, was in exile. When she was 12 years old she was taken to the court of King Edward the Confessor in England, but was forced to flee England with her siblings and her mother, Agatha, after the Battle …"
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Unless the Lord Build It
..."Peace comes only through reconciliation with the Father’s will, ending hostility toward the divine commandment to “love the Lord your God” and “your neighbour as yourself,” which is the original divine order of creation. And this love is a total giving of oneself to the other, even unto death. It is the opposite of the post-election hatred (which is the worst kind of “wall”) rising in America, and all over the world at this hour. Something terrible is happening as human beings are becoming absolutely brutal to one another in social media, entertainment, newscasts, school yards and elsewhere...."
Three Minutes that Can Change Your Life:
"There are 1,440 minutes in each day. And there are three minutes you can spend, within each of these days that will have a huge impact on your life. Drum roll please … Three-minute meditation! OK, so now that the suspense is over (whew), let’s take a step back. Meditation? Let me clarify – when …"
Steps to Prepare for a Happy & Holy Death:
"The great woman Doctor of the Church who lived with an invisible stigma, who was spiritual director to priests, Bishops, even the Pope, Saint Catherine of Siena made this powerful assertion: “The two most important moments in our life are: Now and at the hour of our death.” Sound familiar? Of course—the last part of the …"
Yes, the Church Still Believes in Indulgences:
"These examples of indulgences hint at one of the purposes behind the practice—and it’s not just the remission of the temporal penalty of sin. Indulgences also are one way the Church helps the faithful prioritize just what prayers and devotional practices are most important..."
Monday, November 14, 2016
Christ: Judgment and Mercy:
"The image is jarring, unsettling, even a little bit scary. Most icons are inviting. But the Christ Pantocrator icon, especially the oldest known version, the one found at St. Catherine’s monastery in Egypt, gives one pause. The icon depicts Christ with two quite different facial expressions juxtaposed together. As one gazes at the right, Christ’s …"
Children Are the Most Precious of God’s Creations:
"More Than Many Sparrows and Our Common Home “So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:31) Perhaps we as a society have forgotten, not necessarily due to any willingness, willfulness, or distractions, that it is beyond merely possible or convenient – indeed, it is necessary –
for us within …"
Canton’s Rhoda Wise Miracle House:
"In a working class neighborhood on the outskirts of downtown Canton, the Rhoda Wise “Miracle House” at 2337 25th Street NE, is a tiny, vinyl-sided ranch in a residential area of similar, nondescript dwellings..."