Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 29 - St. Thomas Becket

St. Thomas Becket - Pray for us
If I am disagreeable, or if you find what I have to say offensive, I ask your pardon. Please pray for me, a sinner and pilgrim.


What, man, can you do in this world?  Mind your thoughts and your tongue; always guard your actions. But most important of all, mind your heart which is the throne of your soul, the place where God wishes to reside. Pray, and offer Him humble entrance.


The wonderful thing about Rome is that she welcomes all pilgrims.


The Evil One has many weapons in his arsenal, and all are effective in changing our focus from God to less worthy things. These are the weapons he commonly uses:

  1. Anger
  2. Confusion
  3. Fear
  4. Politics

What does it say about us that we disrespect the dead, that we do not pray for the souls of the faithful departed? What does it tell us about who we are?


On Icons

An icon is like a picture, a photograph of someone who is dear to us, whom we love. Just as we do not confuse the photograph with the person, so, too, we do not confuse the icon with Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the apostles, the saints or martyrs. Therefore, we are not idolators, for we do not worship created things. It is alien to us to think or believe otherwise. We do not love the picture, but we do love who is represented therein. In Deuteronomy 4, the issue is worshipping an image in and for itself (and the moon and the stars, too). That is idolatry. Icons are not.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

NCRegister | Good vs. Evil: Spiritual Warfare

About 12 years ago, Donna, a Catholic mom from the Midwest, began doubting her ability to be a good wife to her husband and mother to her children. There were no family problems or marital discord to provoke such thoughts, yet the feeling remained with her relentlessly.
"I was very new in my spiritual journey," Donna said. "And, looking back now, I see that Satan was trying to brainwash me [by planting those thoughts in my head], and he was right. There was another, better Christian woman to take care of my family: It was me — I just had to keep growing in my faith."

Read the rest here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28 - The Holy Apostles Simon and Jude

Sts. Simon and Jude - Apostles and Martyrs
Ora pro nobis

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Glorious Saints Simon and Jude Thaddaeus, by those privileges with which you were adorned in your life times, namely, your friendship with our Lord Jesus Christ and your vocation to be apostles, and by that glory which now is yours in heaven as the reward of your apostolic labors and your martyrdoms, obtain for us from the Giver of every good and perfect gift all the graces that we stand in need of. Amen.

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St. Simon was a Chananean, and was known among the apostles as "the Zealot". Before Christ called him to be an apostle, Simon belonged to the patriotic party known as Zealots, who, impatient of foreign rule, prepared for a war of independence. This circumstance was not forgotten, and even after he had become a disciple of the Lord, he was still known by the appellation of the Zealot. He suffered martyrdom in Persia (modern Iran), according to tradition.

St. Jude is the brother of James the Less, first bishop of Jerusalem, and therefore a cousin of Our Savior. The New Testament includes a short letter written by St. Jude, who is daily commemorated in the Roman Canon of the Mass under the name of Thaddeus. It is believed that the relics of these two apostles are in St. Peter's in Rome. Tradition says that he preached in Mesopotamia, where he died for the Faith. He is the patron of difficult cases.  (Source: The New Roman Missal (1945). Fr. F.X. LaSance)

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jesus, the Image of God

The Shroud of Turin
"He is the image of the invisible God..." - Colossians 1:15

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kateri Tekakwitha becomes North America’s first native saint - The Globe and Mail

VATICAN CITY — The Canadian Press

Kateri Tekakwitha, a woman credited with life-saving miracles, has become North America’s first aboriginal saint after a canonization mass at the Vatican.
Kateri was among the seven saints Pope Benedict XVI added to the roster of Catholic role models Sunday morning as he tries to rekindle the faith in places where it’s lagging.

Aboriginal Canadians and Americans in traditional dress sang songs to Kateri as the sun rose over St. Peter’s Square.
They joined pilgrims from around the world at the Mass and cheered when Pope Benedict, in Latin, declared each of the seven new saints worthy of veneration by the church.
In his homily, Pope Benedict praised each of the seven new saints as examples for the entire church.
“With heroic courage they spent their lives in total consecration to the Lord and in the generous service of their brethren,” he said.
Speaking in English and French, in honour of Kateri’s Canadian ties, Pope Benedict noted how unusual it was in Kateri’s culture for her to choose to devote herself to her Catholic faith.
“May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are,” he said. “Saint Kateri, protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint, we entrust you to the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America!”
Kateri, who is also known as “Lily of the Mohawks,” was born in New York state in 1656 before fleeing to a settlement north of the border to escape opposition to her Christianity.
She died in 1680 at the age of 24. Her body is entombed in a marble shrine at the St. Francis-Xavier Church in Kahnawake, a Montreal-area Mowhawk community that was expected be well represented among the 1,500 Canadian pilgrims set to attend the celebrations.
The process for her canonization began in the 1880s and Kateri was eventually beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980.
According to a longtime deacon at the Kahnawake reserve, an event six years ago is widely viewed as a miracle which sealed Kateri’s canonization.
The case involved six-year-old Jake Finkbonner, who belongs to the Lummi tribe in Washington, said Ron Boyer, who was appointed by the Vatican in 2007 to help make the case for the canonization.
Jake was knocked over while playing basketball, striking his lip on a post. The incident led to the boy developing a high fever which landed him in intensive care where doctors determined he had a flesh-eating disease.
The deacon said Sister Kateri Mitchell, a Mohawk from the Akwesasne reserve, happened to be visiting the area and was summoned by the family. She had a bone relic of Kateri Tekakwitha which was held to Jake’s chest as his family prayed.
According to Mr. Boyer, at that point the infection stopped spreading and began to heal.
Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, is among 17 bishops who were to make the trip to the Vatican, while House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer was also expected to attend Sunday’s mass.
The other new saints are: Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for leprosy patients in Hawaii; Pedro Calungsod, a Filipino teenager who helped Jesuit priests convert natives in Guam in the 17th century but was killed by spear-wielding villagers opposed to the missionaries’ efforts to baptize their children; Jacques Berthieu, a 19th century French Jesuit who was killed by rebels in Madagascar, where he worked as a missionary; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian who founded a religious order in 1900 and established a Catholic printing and publishing house in his native Brescia; Carmen Salles Y Barangueras, a Spanish nun who founded a religious order to educate children in 1892; and Anna Schaeffer, a 19th century German lay woman who became a model for the sick and suffering after she fell into a boiler and badly burned her legs. The wounds never healed, causing her constant pain.

Kateri Tekakwitha becomes North America’s first native saint - The Globe and Mail