Friday, June 29, 2012

Sts. Peter And Paul:Light In Christ's Mystical Body

As St Paul is the patron saint of this blog, I thought it only fitting to post something about him today. His feast is always celebrated with St Peter. So here is a brief reflection from my archives with a link for further reading about these to great apostolic saints.

Peter and Paul were men whose paths actually crossed while on this earth. Peter was one of Jesus' Apostles and chosen by Him as the first pope. Paul never knew Christ while Our Lord walked the earth, but his powerful conversion had the effect as if he had.
I often wonder about these two great saints, who while in their earthly lives became very faith~filled men, were not always saints. Judging from what we know about their personalities, both were extremely strong willed. I wonder what it would have been like to have them both in the same room at the same time. I somehow imagine some holy sparks flying from time to time. Definitely not always as "chummy" as this El Greco painting portrays them.
Both loved Jesus deeply and believed in Him with everything that they were. God in His infinite wisdom raised up these two pillars of our Church at the same time.
Pope St Leo the Great compares Peter and Paul to: "two eyes that bring light to the body whose head is Christ."
On this Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, let us ask them to continue to intercede for Christ's Mystical Body, His Church, and may they intercede for each of us and inspire us with their fire and conviction in Spirit.

You can read the rest of Pope St Leo the Great's sermon, as well as the writings of other Doctors of the Church on these two powerful saints here.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quick Bytes #29: Wonderfully

Today's Psalm is: I praise you Lord because I am wonderfully made!

It is not: I question you Lord because I am overweight, not as good looking as I want, short, not a Nobel Prize winner, bald, poor, angry, sad, etc., etc., etc.

God Bless.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fortnight For Freedom

Our U.S. Catholic Bishops are calling all Catholics and others of faith, to participate in Fortnight of Freedom starting tomorrow on June 21st until July 4th.  They are calling it "a great hymn of prayer for our country."  During these two weeks, we also celebrate the feast days of brave martyrs who remained faithful to Jesus during persecution and they are:  St. John Fisher, St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, St. Peter, St. Paul and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  We are now facing religious persecution if this HHS Mandate will not be overturned.  All Catholics are asked to focus on prayer, study, catechesis and public action during these two weeks.

For more information please go to the USCCB website to learn how you can make a difference in restoring religious freedom to our nation.  American Life League is supporting this effort and you can go to their website for additional information as well.

Mary Immaculate, pray for us!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!
St. John Fisher, pray for us!
St. Thomas More, pray for us!
St. John the Baptist, pray for us!
St. Peter and St. Paul, pray for us!
First Martyrs of the Church, pray for us!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Quick Bytes #28: Not Tried

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting;
It has been found difficult and not tried.
                     - G.K. Chesterton

Prayers for those that have not yet tried
Christianity in its fullness.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Vultus Christi: Thou hast set Thy Heart on us

Thou hast set Thy Heart on us

From Father Mark Kirby at Vultus Christi:
"This he learned not by searching far and wide,
but by abiding there with Mary near the cross,
there to gaze on the 'one whom they have pierced' (Jn 19:37).
This he learned, John the eagle,
gazing unblinking into the Sun
that rose each day before his eyes
in the Breaking of the Bread.
"This is My Body which is given for you.
Do this for a commemoration of Me.
In like manner the chalice also,
after He had supped, saying:
'This is the Chalice, the new testament in my blood,
which shall be shed for you'" (Lk 22:19-20).

Teach us, John of the seeing heart,
how to gaze with unveiled faces
on the Face here veiled,
that we may discern in the Bread broken and given
the Eucharistic Heart, the water and the blood (cf. Jn 19:34)."
Read the rest here.  Thank you Father Mark.

Teach us, St. John, to abide with Mary near the cross, today in honor of her Immaculate Heart, and all days in His Eucharistic Heart.  In the Most Holy Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Community of Catholic Bloggers.

One year old today.

God bless.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Judgment of Gloria Polo

Gloria Polo is a dentist in Columbia who was struck by lightning and "died". Here is her remarkable story. I posted a link to a longer version for those who are interested on my blog The Beautiful Gate. The details in Gloria Polo's story are amazing and truly make one think about what happens after we die...our judgment before the Lord. I hope everyone will take a few minutes to read this powerful testimony. The translation is poor but still quite readable.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quick Bytes #27: Open

Seen on a church sign:

Now open between 
Easter and Christmas!

As we enter the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere,
now feels like a good time to pray that more Catholics return to the Church.

God Bless.

Monday, June 11, 2012

World Priest Day 2012

I posted this over at my own blog, but thought it would be good to post here as well.
This Friday, June 15, 2012 is the Third Annual Rosary Rally for Priests. It is a day when priest around the world will be gathering at various shrines praying the Rosary for each other. The lay faithful are invited to join in as well. Here are some details and a link to the World Priest Day site. 

Friday June 15, 2012 has been designated as World Priest Day by in partnership with the American Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. This date is also the feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus. A Rosary Relay for priests has been organized.  There will be 60 rosaries in 60 countries prayed throughout the day. The rosaries are being prayed by priests for priests.
We, as the faithful, can join in this relay right in our own homes. The World Priest Day site has the schedule of times and locations where each of the rosaries will be prayed. The particular Mysteries being prayed as well as the intentions are listed under each location.
Now more than ever, our priests need our prayers and our support. As we celebrate the feast dedicated to Our Lord's Sacred Heart, let us entrust our priests to His heart through through our Blessed Mother and the Rosary.

Related article at Catholic News Agency

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena

O, my Jesus, you have said : "Truly I say to you, ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you."  Behold, I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of (insert your request).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be to the Father.
"Sacred Heart of Jesus I place all my trust in you."

O, my Jesus, you have said:  "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, He will give it to you."  Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of (insert your request).
Our Father.  Hail Mary. Glory Be to the Father.
"Sacred Heart of Jesus I place all my trust in you."

O, my Jesus, you have said:  "Truly I say to you, Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away."  Encouraged by your infallible words I know ask for the grace of (insert your request).
Our Father.  Hail Mary.  Glory Be to the Father.
"Sacred Heart of Jesus I place all my trust in you."

O SAcred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender mother and ours.

Say the Hail Holy Queen and add "St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us."

St. Padre Pio prayed this novena every day.  Please come and join us for the Sacred Heart of Jesus link up Here.


Friday, June 8, 2012

A Thought for Corpus Christi

Holy Eucharist in Monstrance
This week the Church celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi.  In many countries it's celebrated on Thursday in commemoration of the Last Supper, but here in the United States we celebrate the feast on Sunday with processions and lots of pomp and circumstance as befits the King of Kings.  

St. Teresa of Avila reflected on the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist in her usual simple but profound way:

How would I, a poor sinner, who have so often offended You, dare to approach You, O Lord, if I beheld You in all Your Majesty?  Under the appearances of bread, however, it is easy to approach You, for if a king disguises himself, it seems as if we do not have to talk to him with so much circumspection and ceremony.

If You were not hidden, O Lord, who would dare to approach You with such coldness, so unworthily, and with so many imperfections?

Besides, I cannot doubt at all about Your real presence in the Eucharist.  You have given me such a lively faith that, when I hear others say they wish they had been living when You were on earth, I laugh to myself, for I know that I possess You as truly in the Blessed Sacrament as people did then, and I wonder what more anyone could possibly want" (T.J. Life, 38-cf. Way, 34).

St. Teresa reminds me that I should get rid of the "gimmies" and make Jesus be enough.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Come Make A Stand

June 8, 2012, marks the 223rd anniversary of  the day our Founding Father James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, with its guarantee of religious freedom, to the First Congress.

Madison's original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read: ''The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.'' 1 The language was altered in the House to read: ''Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.'' 2 In the Senate, the section adopted read: ''Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, . . .'' 3

Religious freedom is something we here in the United States think of as a birth right, something we take for granted. But religious freedom here in the United States is under attach.

As most of us are well aware, on January 20, 2012 the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, unveiled a new policy which has come to be known at the “HHS Mandate.”
The new Mandate would requiring nearly all private health insurance plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, surgical sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs—drugs that interfere with implantation in the womb and therefore destroy the life of a human being in the earliest stage of development.

 The Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society are pleased to announce that the next Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will take place on Friday, June 8, in cities and towns across the United States.

Please come out and support this rally at a location near you. Call a friend or family member and invite them along with you. If there isn't a location near you ,or you are unable to attend, join our efforts in prayer and fasting this day.

Stand up for Religious Freedom
 The First Amendment Overview

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Heavenly Trinity Earthly Trinity

The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities” by Bartolom√© Esteban Murillo.

"Murillo, The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities, about 1675-1682 Photo © The National Gallery, London”.

Our priest mentioned this painting in his sermon today. He explained that the Trinity is difficult to understand for a lot of people. How can God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit be three persons in one.

He said that this painting shows the Holy Trinity with God at the top, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, and Jesus holding Mary on His right and Joseph on His left. Jesus, Mary and Joseph being the Earthly Trinity.

What is important, the priest said, is that Joseph is looking at us and inviting us in the Earthly Trinity.

By accepting who Jesus is, as well as His Mother and Father, we would also, in time, be accepted in the Holy Heavenly Trinity.