Friday, June 30, 2017
Scripture Speaks: The Costs and Blessings of Discipleship:
"Today, Jesus gives the Twelve lessons in discipleship, both its costs and its blessings. Gospel (Read Mt 10:37-42) In verses preceding today’s reading, Jesus perhaps startled His disciples with this warning: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace but a sword” (vs. 34). …"
Me, Myself, and I: The Unholy Trinity:
"When “Self” Magazine made its debut a few decades ago, it certainly was a sign of the times. Ours is an age when it is socially acceptable to admit that life is all about me. But selfishness is nothing new. Ever since Eve bit into the forbidden fruit, human beings have made the choice to …"
Spiritual Reading Makes Saints:
"Spiritual Reading Makes Saints Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints. —Saint Josemaría Escrivá, The Way Shortly after I became a Catholic, I stumbled upon a book that highlighted traditions of the Faith that had been followed for some centuries. Some were small-t traditions, and others large-T traditions. My husband is a …"
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Beginning to Understand St. Paul:
"Meeting St. Paul Much has been written about the great preacher, St. Paul of Tarsus: that he was the true founder of Christianity who ultimately distorted the simple, loving teachings of Jesus and laid the groundwork for creating the “oppressive monstrosity” that became the Catholic Church; he was a fire-brand preacher and that he was …"
St. Benedict and the Spirit of Community:
"Whether you’ve read The Benedict Option or not, there is a good chance you’ve heard of it or even had a discussion about it. This book written by Rod Dreher has spurred many important discussions on how we as Christians should build community. It has also brought Saint Benedict of Nursia and monasticism into the …"
Evangelization: Reaching Out to the Broken:
"A good friend of mine from high school died recently. It was a tragic death. This was not at all surprising to me because I worried that he would meet an early and untimely death. He died at the age of 37. The sadness and grief I feel are even greater because I knew deep …"
Saints Peter and Paul:
"Saints Peter and Paul were the two greatest Apostles, and the two most important leaders of the early Church. Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen, and followed Jesus throughout His public ministry. Saul of Tarsus (who changed his name to Paul upon becoming a Christian) was originally a Pharisee who persecuted the early Church …"
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Crippling Our Fears…for a Change!:
"A homily for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is it not amazing how we can have so many experiences of God’s faithful love for us and still succumb to fears in our daily lives? We are afraid of what people will say or think about us. We are afraid of being rejected, criticized, and …"
St. Irenaeus of Lyons:
"St. Irenaeus (130?-202) was one of the most important theologians in the early Church. He was born in the city of Smyrna (in modern-day Turkey) and, as a youth, became a disciple of St. Polycarp. He went to Gaul (modern-day France) and, during the persecution of the Church by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, became a …"
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Spiritual Healthy Living Today:
"Healthy organic foods, physical health centers, taking various vitamin pills, exotic vacation resort getaways, and many others are all attempts to maintain good bodily health. No doubt, all of this can be good for this simple reason: our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should be responsible guardians and custodians of …"
Summer Activities with a Catholic Twist:
"Several years ago, our family went on an adventure that my husband and I had dreamed of and saved for all our married life: a 36-day cross country RV trip. One of my fondest memories of that family experience was reading the Scripture readings for each day during the week, and having our boys play …
The Value of Time Spent in Overcoming Temptations:
"Some persons, much subject to temptations, lament the time they spend in resisting them. “I cannot,” they say, “preserve recollection. When I try to meditate, to recite some prayers, to spend a few moments in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, I cannot fix my mind on God. That is the very time that temptations …"
Monday, June 26, 2017
Why Is the Sacred Heart Burning?:
" Images of the Sacred Heart meticulously recount key details of the crucifixion. The wounded heart itself, the crown of thorns, and the cross itself all appear. Some depictions even include the lance that pierced the side of Christ penetrating His heart. But there’s one detail that seems out of place. There was no fire at …"
Repentance and the Fatherhood of God:
"One of the most common mistakes we make is thinking of sin as merely a legal matter. That is, that it sin is only about breaking a code of laws and rules and righteousness about conforming to them. But to think of sin and righteousness in strictly legal terms is to miss the point. Sin …"
Make Known the Mercies of God:
"Make Known the Mercies of God In the name of the Father, Christ sends His disciples into the world in the power of the Holy Spirit to make known the mercies of God. The humble movement of God’s heart reaching out to ours, extending even into the deepest recesses of our misery, ought to evoke …"
St. Josemaría Escrivá:
"Josemaría Escrivá was born in Barbastro, Spain, on January 9, 1902. At a young age, he felt a calling to the priesthood and to some other unknown work that the Lord had planned for him. After his ordination in 1925, he went to Madrid where, while on retreat in 1928, he finally realized what God …"
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Scripture Speaks: Shrink Not From Fear:
"Today, Jesus tells His disciples that there is empty fear and worthy fear. How will they know the difference? Gospel (Read Mt 10:26-33) The tenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel begins with Jesus calling the Twelve apostles. Then, He sends them out to preach the Good News He’s going to teach them. He gives them detailed …"
John the Baptist: Pointing Away From Himself:
"On December the 25th, we celebrate the big one—the birthday of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh. The Church actually does not celebrate the birthday of the saints, except that of Jesus’ mother. Generally, their special day in the calendar is the date of their death, their entry into eternal life. But there is …"
Friday, June 23, 2017
Falling in Love: Knowing the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
"Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an act of love. It is a love that we express through our thoughts, words, or actions to our good God, Who makes His divine love known to us through His Son and through the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. The Sacred Heart of …"
Sacred Heart: Love that Crushes Evil:
“Sacred Heart devotion isn’t our devotion. It’s God’s. It’s God’s devotion to us”, writes Fr. James Kubicki, S.J., in his book, A Heart on Fire. He also reminds us that the Sacred Heart devotion didn’t begin in the seventeenth century with revelations to a Visitation nun named St. Margaret Mary Alacoque—it began “before time, in …
Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
"Devotion to the Sacred Heart, as we know it, began about the year 1672. On repeated occasions, Jesus appeared to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun, in France, and during these apparitions He explained to her the devotion to His Sacred Heart as He wanted people to practice it. He asked to be honored in the symbol of His Heart of flesh; he asked for acts of reparation, for frequent Communion, Communion on the First Friday of the month, and the keeping of the Holy Hour.
When the Catholic Church approved the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she did not base her action only on the visions of Saint Margaret Mary. The Church approved the devotion on its own merits. There is only one Person in Jesus, and that Person was at the same time God and Man. His Heart, too, is Divine -- it is the Heart of God.
The devotion especially emphasizes the unmitigated love, compassion, and long-suffering of the heart of Christ towards humanity."
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Friday June 23, is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
"Devotion to the Sacred Heart calls for a fundamental attitude of conversion and reparation, of love and gratitude, apostolic commitment and dedication to Christ and his saving work."
(Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy)
Community: Having the Right Intention:
"We can't build communities out of fear, vain glory, or selfish motives, neither for high ideals. Those foundations will not stand the tests of time. We also have to stop thinking like consumers....."
The Intersection of Catholic Faith and Modern Classical Music:
An Interview with Mark Nowakowski
"I recently had the opportunity to interview Polish-American maestro Mark Nowakowski, a musician at the frontier of modern classical music, to say nothing of his family’s devotion to their Catholic faith. Mark recently released his new album, “Blood, Forgotten,” performed by the Voxare String Quartet. Here is the transcript of …"
Our Lady of Czestochowa:
"Q: I know that Pope John Paul II had a strong devotion to Our Lady of Czestochowa. Please explain how this devotion came about.
Pope John Paul II visited the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa on his first trip to Poland in 1979. He said, “The call of a son of Poland to the …
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Gripped by the Eucharist:
A homily for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi
"Her husband had left her after close to 40 years of marriage and five grown kids and moved in with another younger woman. Her friends made fun of her for choosing to remain single and faithful to her marriage vows and not follow their warped advice to …"
Job and My Greatest Fear:
"Fatherhood has changed me. I used to be able to handle stories of tragedies involving children with a sigh and a prayer; now, as a husband and father, I can barely sigh for the sorrow I feel. Stories from friends about miscarriages or the death of a child mix in my mind with reports of …"
'St. Aga, Who?':
"Just when I think that I’ve “heard” it all, I read some new, bizarre, nonsensical idea. Let me explain. I was in the thrift store, scanning the bookshelves, when I came upon a book about simplifying your life while at the same time living your life more abundantly. So far sounds good! I cracked it …"
SAINT OF THE DAY - ST. ALOYSIUS GONZAGA
St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568–1591) was born to a noble Italian family, the eldest of seven children, and was destined for the military. However, by the time he was 9 years of age he chose the religious life and made a personal vow of chastity. As a safeguard against sexual temptation he always kept his eyes downcast in the presence of women. Although many tried to dissuade him from his chosen vocation, he was eventually allowed to renounce his inheritance and enter the seminary in order to become a Jesuit priest. While he was studying in Rome, there was an outbreak of the plague. Aloysius volunteered to care for the sick, despite the delicateness of his own health. As a result, he contracted the disease and died at the age of 23, before completing his priestly studies. St. Aloysius was connected with two great figures of the Counter-Reformation: he received his First Holy Communion at the age of 12 from St. Charles Borromeo, and his Last Rites from St. Robert Bellarmine, both of whom served as his spiritual advisers. On the night of his death, St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi had a vision of him being received into great glory. St. Aloysius Gonzaga is the patron saint of youth and bodily purity. His feast day is June 21st.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Five Ways to Improve Your Prayer Life:
"How much time and energy is exerted in obtaining a degree from some prestigious University? How much blood, sweat and tears are expended to win a trophy from some sporting event? How much time and energy can even be consumed in preparing for a surprise Birthday party? If we can expend so much time, money, emotional and physical …"
Mystery of Hope:
" Presence of God – Let me hunger for You, O Bread of Angels, pledge of future glory.
MEDITATION Jesus said: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever, and the bread that I will give is My Flesh, for …"
Monday, June 19, 2017
Mary as My Refuge:
"Jesus took on our sin -- my sin -- and died. What higher purpose could His mother have than to act as a refuge to the very ones he offered his life to save? Jesus wants us to have His mom for comfort, just as He did throughout His life..."
Symbols of the Spiritual Journey:
" In this image of the desert the traveler is preoccupied—not with their progress upward or inward but with advancing in love toward their destination, often in darkness and struggle, but also as God wills resting in oases of light and peace...."
Friday, June 16, 2017
Scripture Speaks: The Body and Blood of Christ:
"When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to His followers to give them the divine life of the Trinity. Why, then, did He also give them a meal of Bread and Wine to attain eternal life? Gospel (Read Jn 6:51-58) Our Easter lectionary readings moved us through Christ’s Resurrection, Ascension, and the …"
Corpus Christi and the Mystical Body of Christ:
"Christ promised to be with us always, even unto “the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Each time we walk into a Catholic Church and see a flickering red light we are reminded of how he continues to keep this promise, through his Eucharistic presence. Growing up Catholic, attending a Catholic school, and very much …"
Thursday, June 15, 2017
A Heart of Flame: Four Reasons to Love the Sacred Heart:
" We are well into the month of June, and many of us are are celebrating warm weather and clear skies with barbecues, vacations, and time outdoors. But there is another aspect of this month that is often forgotten: Holy Church has dedicated June to the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sadly, devotion to the Sacred Heart has …"
Community: The Gift of Witness:
"We cannot emphasize enough, the value of Christian witness. In heaven, we have the saints and their lives to draw inspiration from, their intercession to rely on but we also need contemporaries we know on some personal level, to walk with us on our journey..."
The Power of Spiritual Fatherhood:
"This Father’s Day, remember the priests in your life. Send them a Father’s Day card, or offer them thanks on the day. (And if you know a newly ordained priest, enjoy his delighted expression when you wish him a, “Happy first Father’s Day!”) Take time to let these dear men know that we love them, too."