Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Lenten Program


Jesus, forgive me for I do not know what I do!
As part of the lenten sacrifice, this blog will be inactive during the season of Lent.
Until Easter, a Blessed Lent to all of you!

Catholic Culture offers a complete Lenten program. I encourage you to avail of it.

Pope's Lenten Message


"They shall look on Him whom they have pierced."

This is the biblical theme that this year guides our Lenten reflection. Lent is a favorable time to learn to stay with Mary and John, the beloved disciple, close to Him Who on the Cross, consummated for all mankind the sacrifice of His life. With a more fervent participation let us direct our gaze, therefore, in this time of penance and prayer, at Christ crucified Who, dying on Calvary, revealed fully for us the love of God. In the Encyclical 'Deus caritas est,' I dwelt upon this theme of love, highlighting its two fundamental forms: 'agape' and 'eros.' Read the rest here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Thirty Day Novena To St. Joseph


Hat tip to A Catholic Life. This thirty-day novena to beloved St. Joseph ends on his feast day, March 19 (although it can be said anytime of the year).


Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow. Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection.

Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world's Redeemer in a cave.

I ask it by that painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.

I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt.

I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.

I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country.

I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you met with so many joys and sorrows.

I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His Mother for three days. I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the Temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus.

I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.

I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary.

I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.

I ask it through Mary's glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God.

O good father! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.

(make your request)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Our Lady's Jubilee Next Year

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, celebrated unless it falls on a Sunday like today.

Lovely Lady Dressed In Blue

Teach me how to pray
God was just your little Boy
Tell me what to say!
Did you lift Him up, sometimes
Gently on your knee?
Did you sing to Him the way
Mother does to me?
Did you hold His hand at night
Did you ever try
Telling Him stories of the world?
O, and did He cry?
Do you really think He cares
If I tell Him things -
Little things that happen? And
Do Angel's Wings make a noise?
Can He hear me if I speak low?
Does He understand me now?
Tell me, for you know!
Lovely Lady dressed in blue
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little Boy


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Angelus Message on Family


The Holy Father's Angelus message stressed the importance of praying for the family. The family is the first place from which vocations flow. Today's gospel speaks of the apostles being fishers of men. Let us pray fervently (even within our own family) for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

In the Diocese of Rome, a Week for Life and the Family begins today, an important occasion to pray and reflect on the family, which is the cradle of life and every vocation. We know very well how the family founded on matrimony constitutes the natural environment for the birth and education of children, and therefore, to insure the future of all humanity. But we also know how the family is marked by a profound crisis and must face multiple challenges today.

For all this, the family must be defended, helped, protected and valued in its
irrepeatable uniqueness. If this task falls primarily on married couples, it is also a priority obligation of the Church and of every public institution to sustain the family through pastoral and political initiativies which take into account the real needs of couples, of old people and of the new generations. A serene family atmosphere, enlightened by faith and the holy fear of God, also favors the budding and flowering of vocations in the service of the Gospel.

I refer, in particular, not only to those who are called to follow Christ in the priesthood, but also to all the religious and consecrated persons whom we remembered on Friday in the World Day for Consecrated Life.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray that through constant efforts in favor of life
and the family, our communities may be places of communion and hope where,
despite so many difficulties, we may renew the great Yes to authentic love and
to the reality of man and the family according to God's original plan. Let us
ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Most Blessed Mary, that respect
for the sacredness of life may grow, that there may always be awareness of the
true needs of families, and that there may be more and more who contribute to
realize a civilization of love in this world.

From Papa Ratzi

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Sign of The Cross


When the priest says at Mass, "Bow your head and pray for God's blessings", Msgr. Ganswein shows us how to do it.

The Sign of the Cross as a Sacramental

The sign of the cross is one of the most important and one of the most frequently used of the sacramentals. It is the sacred sign first taught to the feeble fingers of the child at its mother's knee; it is the sacred sign traced by the faltering fingers of the dying Catholic. From birth to death it is the holy sign, the holy ceremony that continually reminds the Catholic of the source from which all spiritual blessings come—the cross.

The two most common forms of this sacramental are the large sign of the cross made by touching the forehead, the breast, and the left and right shoulders. The cross thus covers the body—at least the most important members—the head and heart. The smaller sign of the cross is traced upon the forehead, lips, and breast.

1 Why do we make the sign of the cross?

a. To remind us of the Blessed Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We repeat their names.

b. To remind us that the Son of God died on a cross for all men. Before Calvary it was a sign of disgrace. Christ made it a thing of glory and power.

c. To stir up our faith. It recalls that God is one and God is three; it recalls that the Second Person of the Trinity died for all men; it professes our faith; it identifies the Catholic. That is why the family of our story felt so secure, so much safer, as soon as they saw those American soldiers make the sacred sign.

d. To strengthen our hope. By making this sacred sign we express the hope that through the cross all blessings will come to us.

e. To kindle and feed our charity. Making this sign recalls the limitless love of Him who died upon the cross. We determine to return love for love.

2. The uses of this sacred sign in the Catholic Church are practically without limit:

a. According to many our Lord and the Apostles used it. Many affirm that our Lord blessed the Apostles with the sign of the cross on the day of His Ascension. Certainly the early Christians used it constantly.

b. It is used in all the public worship of our Church:

i. The sign of the cross in some form or other is made about 54 times during Holy Mass.

ii. It is used frequently in the Divine Office or daily prayer of the priest.

iii. It is used in all blessings bestowed by bishop and priest.

iv. It is used in all the sacraments: 14 times in Baptism; 17 times in Extreme Unction. Yes, even in the semi-darkness of the confessional the priest makes the sign of the cross over you.

v. It is used in everything blessed for the service of God—altars, linens, holy water, etc.

c. It is used frequently in personal devotions:

i. In the morning and evening to seek God's help.

ii. Before and after prayer, against distractions.

iii. Before and after meals, asking God's blessing.

iv. In dangers of soul, like temptation and occasions of sin.

v. In dangers of body like storms, sickness, travel.

vi. Before our chief actions and undertakings, to make them pleasing to God and to obtain God's help in performing them properly.

Let me quote the instructive words of St. Gaudentius:

"Let the sign of the cross be continually made on the heart, on the mouth, on the forehead, at table, at the bath, in bed, coming in and going out, in joy and sadness, sitting, standing, speaking, walking—in short, in all our actions. Let us make it on our breasts and all our members, that we may be entirely covered with this invincible armor of Christians."

An indulgence of 100 days is granted for making the sign of the cross and saying the words. An indulgence of 300 days for making the sign of the cross, with holy water.

A love and devotion toward this sacred sign is the mark of a true follower of Christ. Use it frequently, use it thoughtfully, use it lovingly. It will bring you countless blessings. Amen.

From here.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Presentation of the Lord


“And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb” (Lk 2:21).
During His ministery, our Lord stated that He came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it (Mt 5:17). In order to fulfill that law, the Lord was circumcised when He was eight days old. As God, He was not bound by any law, but as St. Paul said, was born under the law in order to redeem those who were under the law. In other words, the Lord of the Universe humbly submitted Himself to the Mosaic Law. Scripture tells us that after the days of her purification were complete, according to the laws of Moses, our Blessed Mother Mary and Saint Joseph took the Child Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to present Him to God. As it was written in the law, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord” (Ex 13:2).

The Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple is the celebration of this time when our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself to come and dwell among us, not only fulfilling the Law and Prophets, but also submitting Himself to persecution, torture and death in order to redeem each of us.

The Lord of the universe Who created us all submitted Himself to suffering even unto death for us, yet so many times we are unwilling to go out of our way to help one another. It is good for us, when faced with trials and tribulations or even inconveniences in our daily lives, to reflect on the humility of our God.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory! We love and adore You and give you all thanks for Your mercy, kindness and love. Help us dear Lord, to remember Your commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Give us the grace to fulfill Your words, Lord. In Your holy name we pray. Amen.

Catholic Exchange

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Holy Father's Intentions for February 2007


General: That the goods of the earth, given by God for all men, may be used wisely and according to criteria of justice and solidarity.

Mission: That the fight against diseases and great epidemics in the Third World may find, in the spirit of solidarity, ever more generous collaboration on the part of the governments of all nations.
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Apostolic Blessing by Pope Benedict XVI

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