- Stational Church: Thursday in the First Week of Lent
- Death and Humiliation
- The Anti-Catholic Military
- Cardinal Biffi: Ecumenism Downplay Christ
- Stational Church: Friday in the First Week of Lent
- Friday: Abstain from meat
- Stational Church: Saturday in the First Week of Lent
- Words of Inspiration: March 3
- Bishop Cordileone Celebrates Tridentine Mass
- The Lost Tomb of Jesus?
- Living Lent: The Second Sunday by Cardinal Rigali
- Stational Church: Second Sunday of Lent
- Stational Church: Monday in the Second Week of Lent
- Words of Inspiration: March 6
- Stational Church: Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent
- Changes in Bishops: Provost & Farrell
- Help a Fellow Blogger Reach the Convent
- The Passion of the Whole Christ
- Stational Church: Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent
- Stational Church: Thursday in the Second Week of Lent
- Video: Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist
- Updates on me and my vocation
- Vocation Retreat: Brothers of St. John
- Friday: Abstain from meat
- Sr. Sara Butler now against women's ordinations
- Tridentine Mass in Saint Louis, Missouri
- Stational Church: Friday in the Second Week of Lent
- Fr. Lawrence Novak's Christmas Mass Homily
- Raymond Arroyo to sign books on March 15
- Stational Church: Saturday in the Second Week of Lent
- Papal Document to be released on Tuesday
- Words of Wisdom: March 11
- Stational Church: Third Sunday of Lent
- Begin the Novena to St. Joseph
- Wear your habit proudly
- Archbishop of Canterbury: No plans to reunite
- Portugal Legalizes Abortion
- Altar Servers
- Living Lent: The Third Sunday by Cardinal Rigali
- Stational Church: Monday in the Third Week of Lent
- SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS
- Stational Church: Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent
- Video: Tridentine Mass from St. Louis, Missouri
- Stational Church: Wednesday in the Third Week of Lent
- Parish in Norwalk returns to only male altar servers
- Exsurge Domine
- Stational Church: Thursday in the Third Week of Lent
- Czech Republic: 50% are atheists
- Friday: Abstain from meat
- Stational Church: Friday in the Third Week of Lent
- Isaiah 53:11-12
- Video: Last Day of Pope Paul VI
- Photo: Tridentine Christmas Midnight Mass
- St. Patrick's Day
- Colorado Gov. Signs Bill Mandating Catholic Hospitals Provide Abortion Drug
- American Cancer Society funds Planned Parenthood
- Stational Church: Saturday in the Third Week of Lent
- Living Lent: The Fourth Sunday by Cardinal Rigali
- Stational Church: Fourth Sunday of Lent
- Solemnity of St. Joseph
- Stational Church: Monday in the Fourth Week of Lent
- Thanks: I have found two charities
- Pray for the soul of Fr. Daniel Johnson
- Words of Inspiration: March 20
- Stational Church: Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Lent
- Latin in Typical Parish Liturgy
- Charity by Pope St. Leo the Great
- Into the Great Silence
- My Great Grandmother may be dying
- Stational Church: Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent
- HLI: Artificial Contraception
- Words of Inspiration: March 22
- Irreverence to Jesus in the Eucharist
- Stational Church: Thursday in the Fourth Week of Lent
- Friday: Abstain from meat
- HLI: Another Update from Fr. Euteneuer
- Light a candle at the Church of the Annunciation
- Periucundum est Catholicum esse
- Archbishop Flynn bars Mass at gay symposium
- Daniel C. Maguire
- Stational Church: Friday in the Fourth Week of Lent
- Lenten Prayer
- Video of a "Clown Mass"
- Sancta Maria
- Baptism: new vs. old Rite
- Mexico City: Will it allow abortion?
- Stational Church: Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent
- Vocational Update: Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus
- Stational Church: Palm Sunday
- Baltimore Catechism on Marriage
- Stational Church: Monday in the Fifth Week of Lent
- The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Stational Church: Tuesday in the Fifth Week of Lent
- Christ Triumphed Over the Devil on the Cross
- Stational Church: Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Lent
- Stational Church: Thursday in the Fifth Week of Lent
- Fr. Euteneuer's Mini Catechesis on Contraception
- This was a bad week
- Liturgical Law and the coming Paschal Triduum
- Stational Church: Friday in the Fifth Week of Lent
- Our Lady of Sorrows
- Stational Church: Saturday in the Fifth Week of Lent
- Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God
- What Catholic Bloggers will enter the Church at Easter
Here is the list of bloggers that I know will enter the Church this Easter. Who else should be part of this list? I ask because I want to email all of those people and inform them of the post so that they could save the image and put it on their blogs. It is my little gift to those entering the Church.
Rise and Pray
This Catholic Journey
Epiphany Of Faith
We are soon going to share in the Passover
by St. Gregory Nazianzen
We are soon going to share in the Passover, and although we still do so only in a symbolic way, the symbolism already has more clarity than it possessed in former times because, under the law, the Passover was, if I may dare to say so, only a symbol of a symbol. Before long, however, when the Word drinks the new wine with us in the kingdom of his Father, we shall be keeping the Passover in a yet more perfect way, and with deeper understanding. He will then reveal to us and make clear what he has so far only partially disclosed. For this wine, so familiar to us now, is eternally new.
It is for us to learn what this drinking is, and for him to teach us. He has to communicate this knowledge to his disciples, because teaching is food, even for the teacher.
So let us take our part in the Passover prescribed by the law, not in a literal way, but according to the teaching of the Gospel; not in an imperfect way, but perfectly; not only for a time, but eternally. Let us regard as our home the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one; the city glorified by angels, not the one laid waste by armies. We are not required to sacrifice young bulls or rams, beasts with horns and hoofs that are more dead than alive and devoid of feeling; but instead, let us join the choirs of angels in offering God upon his heavenly altar a sacrifice of praise. We must now pass through the first veil and approach the second, turning our eyes toward the Holy of Holies. I will say more: we must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honouring his blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified.
If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ. If you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God. For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore, you must cease to sin. Worship him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself. Derive some benefit from the very shame; purchase salvation with your death. Enter paradise with Jesus, and discover how far you have fallen. Contemplate the glories there, and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy.
If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered his crucifixion, and ask for Christ’s body. Make your own the expiation for the sins of the whole world. If you are a Nicodemus, like the man who worshipped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christ’s body for burial. If you are one of the Marys, or Salome, or Joanna, weep in the early morning. Be the first to see the stone rolled back, and even the angels perhaps, and Jesus himself.
The Station on this eve of Palm Sunday is of a comparatively late origin—formerly, the Pope spent a part of the day distributing alms to the poor, and rested in preparation for Holy Week.
St. John's before the Latin Gate was chosen as a stational church. Near the place where the Appian Way branches off, forming the Latin Way to the left, it was built on the spot where St. John was, by order of Domitian, plunged into a cauldron of boiling oil. St. John, who with Mary shared the privilege of standing near the Cross, also joined his sacrifice to that of Christ when he gladly accepted martyrdom in the boiling oil.
May St. John teach us the spirit of active, soulful participation in the very mysteries in which he did partake in with great faith, reverence and love. The mystery of the Lord's Table, the mystery of the Lord's Cross and the mystery of the Lord's Triumph.
Let us pray: May the people prosper, who are devoted to Thee by the affection of pious devotion, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that instructed by the holy rites, they may be made more pleasing to Thy majesty, and more, may they abound in excellent gifts. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
FRIDAY IN PASSION WEEK
THE SEVEN DOLOURS OF OUR LADY
From the Liturgical Year - Vol.6 by Dom Gueranger
This Friday of Passion-week is consecrated in a special manner, to the sufferings which the holy Mother of God endured at the foot of the cross. The whole of next week is fully taken up with the celebration of the mysteries of Jesus' Passion; and although the remembrance of Mary's share in those sufferings is often brought before the faithful during Holy Week, yet, the thought of what her Son, our divine Redeemer, goes through for our salvation, so absorbs our attention and love, that it is not then possible to honour, as it deserves, the sublime mystery of the Mother's com-passion.
It was but fitting, therefore, that one day in the year should be set apart for this sacred duty: and what day could be more appropriate than the Friday of this week, which, though sacred to the Passion, admits the celebration of saints' feasts, as we have already noticed? As far back as the fifteenth century (that is, in the year 1423), we find the pious feast to be kept by his people. It was gradually introduced, and with the knowledge of the holy See, into several other countries; and at length, in the last century, Pope Benedict XIII, by a decree dated August 22, 1727, ordered it to be kept in the whole Church under the name of "the Feast of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary", for, up to his time, it had gone under various names.
We will explain the title thus given to it, as also the first origin of the devotion of the Seven Dolours, when our "Liturgical Year" brings us to the third Sunday of September [now celebrated on September 15], the second feast of Mary's Dolours. What the Church proposes to her children's devotion for this Friday in Passion-week, is that one special dolour of Mary - her standing at the foot of the cross. Among the various titles given to this feast before it was extended by the holy See to the whole Church, we may mention, "Our Lady of Pity", "the Compassion of our Lady", and the one that was so popular throughout France, "Notre Dame de la Pamoison". These few historical observations prove that this feast was dear to the devotion of the people, even before it received the solemn sanction of the Church.
That we may clearly understand the object of this feast, and spend it, as the Church would have us do, in paying due honour to the Mother of God and of men, we must recall to our minds this great truth: that God, in the designs of His infinite wisdom, has willed that Mary should have a share in the work of the world's redemption. The mystery of the present feast is one of the applications of this divine law, a law which reveals to us the whole magnificence of God's plan; it is, also, one of the many realizations of the prophecy, that satan's pride was to be crushed by a women.
FROM "VICTORIES OF THE MARTYRS"
By St. Alphonsus Liguori
MARY IS THE QUEEN OF MARTYRS, FOR HER MARTYRDOM WAS LONGER AND GREATER THAN THAT OF ALL THE MARTYRS.
Who can ever have a heart so hard that it will not melt on hearing the most lamentable event that once occurred in the world? There was a noble and holy mother who had an only son. This son was the most amiable that can be imagined - innocent, virtuous, beautiful, who loved his mother most tenderly; so much so that he had never caused her the least displeasure, but had ever shown her all respect, obedience, and affection; hence this mother had placed her affections on earth in this son. Hear, then, what happened. This son, through envy, was falsely accused by his enemies; and though the judge knew, and himself confessed, that he was innocent, yet, that he might not offend his enemies, he condemned him to the ignominious death that they demanded. This poor mother had to suffer the grief of seeing that amiable and beloved son unjustly snatched from her in the flower of his age by a barbarous death; for, by dint of torments and drained of all his blood, he was made to die on! an infamous gibbet in a public place of execution, and this before her own eyes.
Devout souls, what say you? Is not this event, and is not this unhappy mother, worthy of compassion? You already understand of whom I speak. This son, so cruelly executed, was our loving Redeemer Jesus; and this mother was the Blessed Virgin Mary; who, for the love she bore us, was willing to see him sacrificed to divine justice by the barbarity of men. This great torment which Mary endured for us - a torment that was more than a thousand deaths - deserves both our compassion and our gratitude. If we can make no other return for so much love, at least let us give a few moments this day to consider the greatness of the sufferings by which Mary became the Queen of martyrs; for the sufferings of her great martyrdom exceeded those of all the martyrs; being, in the first place, the longest in point of duration; and in the second place, the greatest in point of intensity.
This Lenten Station takes us back to a sacred area, which still preserves its aura of mystery. This area was sacred to the pagans, who had, on the nearby Palatine Hill, the black rock of the Magna Mater and who had there the sacred land, on which the "profane" outsiders were forbidden to set foot. It was sacred also to the Christians, who even today venerate it as the place, which gave martyrdom and glory to saints. St. Stephen on Mt. Ceolius, or St. Stephen Rotondo as the Romans call it because of its circular plan, is among the most ancient of the round churches with its altar in the center and thus visible from all sides. It was built between 400 and 450 and was consecrated by Pope Simplicius.
St. Stephen was the first martyr — or witness — of Christ. While dying, he beheld the Savior at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. Thus, it was fitting to assemble in this basilica at this holy time, consecrated to the memory of the Savior's Passion, which prepares us to celebrate His triumph at Easter.
Let us pray: Pour forth Thy grace into our hearts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we who refrain from sin by self-denial, may be rather afflicted in time than condemned to eternal punishment. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Washing of Women's feet is completely forbidden by the Apostolic See. This is reserved to men, preferably twelve of number, thus it symbolizes the twelve apostles. (Source: Paschales Solemnitatis). From Jan. 16, 1988, No. 51 of the circular letter states: "The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came 'not to be served, but to serve.' This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained."
A day of mandatory Fasting and Abstinence (Canon 1251).
Upon entering our pews, we are to genuflect to the Crucifix not the tabernacle because the Eucharist is not present today in the Tabernacle (Source: GIRM 274).
The priest, upon approaching the altar, is to prostrate himself before it (USCCB). Concerning the adoration of the Cross, "A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who in the solemn liturgical action of Good Friday devoutly assist at the adoration of the Cross and kiss it" (Source). The crucifix should be covered in a red or black material. Also, the baptismal founts are drained on this day until the evening of the Easter Vigil.
This is the only day of the liturgical year in which Mass is not, and is prohibited from being celebrated. A Liturgy of the Word with Communion is done by a priest with the special rite prepared in the Sacramentary. Holy Father Benedict XVI permits black to replace the red in the Liturgy of the Word, but red most be worn for the Rite of Holy Communion. A cope is appropriate for the Liturgy of the Word, and is permissible for the Communion Rite. This distinguishes Mass from Communion Services.
While not required by the current Code of Canon Law, Traditionalists will abstain and fast until the Vigil Mass.
Readings should not be cut out. While the rubrics opt. for this, it is suggested that all be read. The Easter Vigil is the most important vigil in the Church and the readings "portray the whole history of human salvation, from the time of Adam to Jesus Christ." (PBXXI)
The Easter [Paschal] fast, from Holy Thursday evening through Good Friday, is sacred. According to ancient tradition, the Church fasts "because the Bridegroom has been taken away" (St. Mark 2:19-20) PS no. 39, (quoting Tertullian De ieiunio 2 et 13). Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence from flesh meat; (PS no. 60) it is also recommended, if possible, that the fast be continued on Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil; so that the Church, with uplifted and welcoming heart, be ready to celebrate the joys of the Sunday of the Resurrection. (Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini, Feb. 17, 1966, II, 3; Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 110; General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, no. 20; PS, no. 39.)
The Book of Blessing notes in the introduction to the Blessing of the First Meal of Easter (nos. 1701-1723) that, “The custom of blessing food for Easter arose from the discipline of fasting throughout Lent and the special [Paschal] Easter fast during the Triduum. Easter was the first day when meat, eggs, and other foods could again be eaten. According to custom, food may be blessed for consumption at the first meal of Easter, when fasting is ended and the Church is filled with joy in the Resurrection."
Secondly, last Tuesday, one of my dogs died. It was a very tragic loss, and I still am very saddened. I have also dealt with my car breaking down and being repaired although the tow truck did not come after waiting for four hours.
It was truly a disappointing week, and I just did not feel like blogging a lot. I am, however, glad to have been able to carry my Cross through this Lent. Unfortunately, I know that I have complained about it and failed numerous times unlike Our Lord who quietly and peacefully carried His Cross. Lord, have mercy.
As you know, the response to the Sean Hannity interview of March 9th was overwhelmingly positive in defense of the Church's teaching and the right/duty of a priest to defend it in public. To address the misconceptions of the cultural mindset of easy acceptance of contraception, I have created a mini-series on contraception to inject some basic common sense insight into the subject and create a modern tool for evangelization. There will be several more mini-catecheses after Easter so stay tuned!
Please click on the video icon, and then forward it on to someone else who may be in need of catechesis on the subject. Know of our prayers for you and your families.
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer
President, Human Life International
There are actually two stational churches indicated for today. The first Lenten Station was established by Pope Gregory II (715-731) in the Church of St. Apollinaris and the second established by Pope Pius IX (1846-1878) with apostolic privilege in the Church of St. Mary the New in the Roman Forum as a closing for a Holy Year of Redemption.
A week from today we shall begin the Pascal Mysteries. The truer the sorrow for our sins and the greater the realization of the need of God's grace, the more fruitful will be the efficacy of these Pascal Mysteries.
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the dignity of human nature wounded by excess, may be reformed by the practice of self-denial. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
A patient sufferer, condemned by his enemies to work in a horse-stable, the good shepherd, Pope Marcellus, is our leader today to the King of Martyrs, Christ, our Good Shepherd.
Why must a human being suffer, physically, spiritually, or both? This has always been and ever will be, the great problem—indeed a problem and a riddle for the worldly individual, but not for the follower of Christ, who finds the answer at the foot of the Cross.
For the Christ-loving soul, there is no suffering for suffering sake, there is suffering only for Easter sake, with its peace and strength and never fading victory.
The mystery of the Cross is the great answer, a solution, which the carnal-minded man will never find. St. Marcellus found it, and having found it, suffered gladly as a true athlete of Christ. "I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou has upheld me and has not made my enemies to rejoice over me."
Let us pray: Sanctify this fast, O God, and mercifully enlightening the hearts of Thy faithful, do Thou hear favorable those to whom Thou grant the grace of devotion. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Other recent articles posted on my pro-life blog:
The Sacred Texts, which like a garland, surround the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Divine Office must not only be understood in their literal and historical sense, but above all in their liturgical one. This is always the case, but especially during Passiontide.
The Divine Head, who nineteen centuries ago underwent the great Passion is now undergoing it in His Body, the Church. An attack on the Church is an attack on Christ. Whenever the Church suffers, her Divine head suffers. But all these sufferings lead to victory. "They have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. The disciple is not greater than the Master." Persecutions and sufferings purify the Church. They remove what is not of God. They cast forth all that comes from Satan—the arch-enemy, and that comes from the fatal act in Paradise—the arch-sin.
May the holy Deacon Cyriacus obtain for us "God's light and truth and conduct us and bring us to His holy hill, to the altar, to Calvary, to Easter, to the immortal Christ at the right-hand of the Father.
Let us pray: O Lord, deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. Send forth Thy Light and Thy Truth. They shall lead me on. Through Christ, Our Lord.
We are branches of Christ, the Vine. As such, we share in His life, share in His joys, and must share also in His sufferings, and thus—as the Apostle so boldly put it—make up in our own body what is yet wanting in the sufferings of Christ, the Head. This we shall do gladly in these holy Passion days. Our mortifications, our self-discipline, our temptations, our trials from within and from without, all our sufferings, we will unite with Christ's Blessed Passion. They will then be lifted out of their own smallness and will share in the greatness and efficacy of His sufferings. He will suffer in us and we in Him.
We humbly ask St. Chrysogonus, in whose Roman home we observe today's mysteries of redemption, that he would accompany us to "the Lord of Hosts, the King of Glory."
Let us pray: O God, hear my prayer. Give ear to the words of my mouth. Save me, O Lord, by Thy name and in Thy power deliver me. Through Christ, Our Lord.
When a Catholic is "married" at a civil or non-Catholic ceremony, other Catholics are not allowed to be present, or even to send gifts or show any approval, since this is not a real marriage, but simply a terrible agreement to live together in sin.
Information is from the Canon Regulars of St. John Cantius:
The Cross of Christ is veiled, so that we may seek it, and Him who died on it, all the more. The holiest season of the year is at hand, so holy, that "all other seasons of the year prepare us for keeping this one duly and worthily. These present days call for special fidelity seeing that they bring us so near to that sublime mystery of the Divine Mercy, the blessed Passion of Jesus Christ." (From the Divine Office)
With an open mind and a willing heart let us approach the altar to celebrate the Passion Sunday Sacrifice with our High Priest, so that His "body, which shall be delivered for us, and His blood that shall be shed for us" may bestow upon us the promise of eternal inheritance in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Let us pray: Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies. Teach me to do Thy will. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
This Station is at a church built on the ruins of three pagan temples and consecrated to St. Nicholas. It is called in carcere because in ancient times it had been a dungeon—a prison devoid of light.
Water, food and light are indispensable for the maintenance and up-building of our natural life. Sacred Water, Sacred Food and Sacred Light are indispensable for the maintenance and up-building of our supernatural life.
1. "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he can not enter into the Kingdom of heaven."
2. "Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you shall not have life in you."
3. "I am the Light of the world. He that follows Me walks not in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
Catechumens and Faithful both were deeply impressed while listening to the Gospel of "The Light of the World" read in today's stational church, which is over a dark dungeon. There criminals were held in confinement, deprived of light, liberty and the joys of life. A man in mortal sin walks in darkness. The light of Christ is not in Him. He sits in darkness and in the shadow of death. With God's help, we must free ourselves during the remaining days from all darkness.
St. Nicholas—lead us today to Him, who by Sacred Water has made us His living branches, to Christ Jesus, our Divine Food and Holy Light.
Let us pray: Mercifully compel our rebellious wills and make them subject to Thee, O Lord. We ask this Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
May 9, 2007 Update: Pope would deny communion, not excommunicate Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.
April 29, 2007 Update: Unfortunately, the bill has become law but a group of Catholic attorneys is planning to take the law to court.
April 25, 2007 Update: Pro-life groups prepare to protest when abortions begin in Mexico City.
April 24, 2007 Update: Unfortunately, city lawmakers have voted to support abortion. The bill legalizes abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The vote was 46-19 with one absentee. Lord, have mercy!
April 6, 2007 Update: Mexico Catholic Bishop says that Lawmakers Who Back Abortion will be Excommunicated.
Original Post: This post will be dedicated to the issue of abortion in Mexico City. I will post updates as they become available.
The local legislature in Mexico City is attempting to legalize all abortions within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and open the door to the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug. The Catholic Church is strongly opposing and working to defeat this proposal (LifeNews).
To see the comparison of Sacrament Baptism in the Old and New Rites, see below:
Comparison of Rites of Baptism
I think these words of Fr. John Corapi are appropriate:
"When a priest shows up for Mass in a clown suit, you can be sure Satan helped him with his vestments in the sacristy."
O Lord, have mercy on us!
The Roman Martyr-Priest, Eusebius, whom the Arian Emperor Constantius II had imprisoned for seven months in the priest's own home so that he might slowly starve to death, is today our leader to the blessed Christ for whose Divinity Eusebius died and won eternal life.
Two weeks from today, we shall celebrate the Lord's life-giving death—the source of our resurrection and life. Christ's death is the Sacrament of all sacraments. All the Christian mysteries flow from this main-spring: "the mystery of new life" "out of water and the Holy Spirit;" restoring or healing life in the tribunal of God's mercy; the reception of the Bread of Life at the Lord's Table; as well as the great "come forth" on the last day (from our tombs as Lazarus was called from his tomb). These and all other mysteries of our Faith are rooted in the death of the Lamb of God.
Let us pray: O God, who renews the world by Thine ineffable sacraments, grant, we beseech Thee, that Thy Church may profit by Thy eternal institutions, and not be lacking in temporal help. Through Christ, Our Lord.
Let us pray for an end to all heresy! O Lord, through thy passion, thou hast redeemed the world. Misere Nobis!
Source: New York Times
People with a homosexual orientation are children of God, not outcasts, Archbishop Harry Flynn explained, and Catholics are called to love gay people unconditionally; but the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis said he was compelled to bar a national organization that ministers to homosexual Catholics from celebrating the Eucharist during its March 16 to 18 meeting in Minneapolis.
“Although I recognize the sincerity of the efforts made by New Ways Ministry to serve lesbian and gay persons, on many occasions this group has openly contested aspects of the fullness of Catholic teaching in this area,” the archbishop noted in a written statement following the event.
The Catholic Spirit
Currently Catholici Sumus is selling wristbands embossed with "Periucundum est Catholicum esse". It is the organization's hope that these wristbands will become a way for Catholics to evangelize. Importantly, every time someone inquires about the purple band (the color of penance), it opens the door for dialogue and evangelization. This can be a excellent opportunity to talk about the Catholic faith. Their vision is to distribute thousands of these wristbands, leading to millions of daily opportunities to share/spread the Faith.
The leader of this new organization said that he is outraged by our society mocking Christian values. Furthermore, he states that there are many misinformed Catholics, a ‘lost generation’ from the 60’s and 70’s that was not properly taught the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This band is a small step to help catechise the lost sheep of the Flock of Christ.
For more information, please visit the website of Catholici Sumus.
More information can be found here: http://www.theholycandle.com/The-Annunciation
For information on lighting prayer candles, see my post entitled Why do Catholics light prayer candles?
This latest edition is available here: http://www.hli.org/sl_2007-03-23.html
There is a “subscribe” button at the bottom of the text. If you do not already do so, I strongly urge you to subscribe to Father’s Spirit and Life newsletters to receive these critical teachings and to share them with family, friends and enemies. :) As you already know, Father Tom is an excellent and fearless preacher and teacher.
To aid this effort, in the next few weeks I will send out a series of brief video email presentations on certain aspects of the contraception issue in order to give you some tools to help others understand the issue more clearly. Send them to family and friends just to get the message out more widely. Below I attach the upcoming schedule, and I look forward to assisting you in the evangelization of our whole society:
• March 30: Does birth control really prevent abortion? (video email)
• April 6: Holy Thursday—the Gift of the Priesthood (regular written Spirit and Life format)
• April 13: NFP: Is this Catholic birth control? (video email)
• April 20: Is the world overpopulated? (video email)
• April 27: Why should we deny Communion to dissenters on Church doctrine? (video email)
For the rules on fasting and abstinence, please see my post on the topic.
Today is a great day to pray the Stations of the Cross. Please join me in praying the Stations of the Cross. Remember, it was on this day that He gave up His life all for you.
Prayer to the Glorious Cross:
I adore You, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with blood. I adore You, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.
(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer five times on Friday will free five souls from Purgatory and 33 souls by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with a contrite heart and praying a few minutes for the Pope).
Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified:
My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones!
Information is from the Canon Regulars of St. John Cantius:
Near this church the penitents used to pass through one of the most infamous of places, near the crossroads of Mercury and the Serbian walls, where there was the merulana necropolis (cemetery). That was where pagan Rome left the bodies of slaves and criminals to rot in the open, until the Christians built a chapel with the aim of venerating the Christian martyrs.
Two weeks from today, the Church will celebrate the mystery of the living and life-giving Bread, the first source of life and health. "For he that eats this Bread shall have life everlasting." "And unless you eat this Bread you shall not have life in you."
Preceded by two stational saints, the first Confessors, who were given public veneration in the Church — St. Sylvester and St. Martin — we will go to God's altar, to the Mystery of Life, to Him who will say also to us:" I say to thee, arise!"
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who are chastised by fasting, may rejoice with holy devotion, and that our earthly affections being weakened, we may, more easily understand the things of heaven. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Taken from "The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary", Chapter 1: Our Lady's Ancestors; the Vision of the Feast of Our Lady's Conception, page 68
"My heavenly Bridegroom said to me, pointing round me as He spoke; 'See far more evil that befalls Me every day at the hands of many throughout the world.' And as I looked about me into the distance, many things came before my soul which were indeed still more dreadful than that sacrifice of children; for I saw Jesus Himself cruelly sacrificed on the Altar by unworthy and sinful celebrations of the Holy Mysteries. I saw how the blessed Host lay on the altar before unworthy degenerate priests like a living Child Jesus, whom they cut and terribly mutilated with the paten. Their sacrifice, though an efficacious celebration of the Holy Mysteries, appeared like a cruel murder."
"Keep strongly and constantly united to God, consecrating all your affections, torments, and your entire self to Him, patiently awaiting the return of that beautiful sun, whenever the Spouse is pleased to visit you through trials of aridity, desolation and darkness of spirit" (St. Padre Pio, Letters III, p. 674.)
As many Catholic bloggers have already posted, Fr. Euteneuer publically debated Sean Hannity, a Cafeteria Catholic who supports artificial contraception. Today I received the following email relating to the subject, and I wanted to pass it on.
If you would, in your kindness, please post the following links:
Father Euteneuer has just graciously posted an article of mine on the HLI Website about the issues at stake in the Sean Hannity matter. He has asked me to spread it far and wide. You can view the article, Contraception the Love Killer, here.
Anyone who somehow missed any of the details of this now famous encounter can read up on it and see the video here.
Even though it’s late, I would also urge everyone to post and join in this Novena for our nation's conversion
At one time, a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Paul in this Lenten penitential procession took on an exceptional character in view of the riches of doctrinal teaching, which has come down to us from the Apostle to the Gentiles. For this reason, it used to happen, that in this particular Lenten Station, the Pope carried out a "third scrutiny" for the baptismal candidates—that is, for those catechumens, who wanted to be baptized in water.
In this church, at the tomb of this great convert-exemplar, the catechumens, turning westward—towards darkness—renounced Satan, his pomps and his works. Then, turning eastward—towards the light—they pledged their loyalty to Christ and His Church.
Here at the tomb of the Apostle, who was "the salt of the earth," the catechumens received a morsel of salt. Accipe sal sapientiae—Receive the salt of wisdom! Receive the taste for the doctrine of God. Hereafter, speak no longer the language of the flesh, but let your conversation be heavenly.
Let us pray: O God, who grantest to the just the reward of their merits, and to sinners pardon through their fasts, have mercy on Thy suppliant people, that the confession of our guilt may enable us to obtain the forgiveness of our sins. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Update: Today she was given a life expectancy of three more days by her doctor. Please pray for her soul.
Original Post: Her name is Lucille, and she is very ill and currently at a hospital. I would appreciate any prayers for her health, so that, if it be God's will, she will improve. But, most of all, I ask you to pray for her soul. She has held atheistic views all of her life. Please pray for her soul so that she might repent and believe like the Good Thief while she bears her final cross.
~by Pope St. Leo the Great
In John’s gospel the Lord says: By this love you have for one another, everyone will know you are my disciples. In a letter by John we read: My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love.
So the faithful should look into themselves and carefully examine their minds and the impulses of their hearts. If they find some of the fruits of love stored in their hearts then they must not doubt God’s presence within them, but to make themselves more and more able to receive so great a guest they should do more and more works of durable mercy and kindness. After all, if God is love, charity should know no limit, for God himself cannot be confined within limits.
What is the appropriate time for performing works of charity? My beloved children, any time is the right time, but these days of Lent provide a special encouragement. Those who want to be present at the Lord’s Passover in holiness of mind and body should seek above all to win this grace. Charity contains all other virtues and covers a multitude of sins.
As we prepare to celebrate that greatest of all mysteries, by which the blood of Jesus Christ destroyed our sins, let us first of all make ready the sacrificial offerings — that is, our works of mercy. What God in his goodness has already given to us, let us give it to those who have sinned against us.
And to the poor also, and to those who are afflicted in various ways, let us show a more open-handed generosity so that God may be thanked through many voices and the needy may be fed as a result of our fasting. No act of devotion on the part of the faithful gives God more pleasure than the support that is lavished on his poor. Where God finds charity with its loving concern, there he recognises the reflection of his own fatherly care.
Do not be put off giving by a lack of resources. A generous spirit is itself great wealth, and there can be no shortage of material for generosity where it is Christ who feeds and Christ who is fed. His hand is present in all this activity: his hand, which multiplies the bread by breaking it and increases it by giving it away.
When you give alms, do not be anxious but full of happiness. The greatest treasure will go to the one who has kept the least for himself. The holy apostle Paul tells us: He who provides seed for the sower will give bread for food, provide you with more seed, and increase the harvest of your goodness, in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
As a representative of the gradual effects that the apostolic exhortation can have (even with a less than stellar translation), Saint Florian Parish in Michigan has announced they will begin to increase their use of Latin in the modern Roman rite liturgy, beginning with the Easter Vigil. Kudos to the pastor.
We celebrate the holy mysteries in spirit in the church of St. Lawrence in Damaso, built by the "poet-Pope" and "lover of the catacombs," St. Damasus, whose remains rest in this venerable edifice.
Mother Church points today to two leaders: Moses and Christ — figure and fulfillment. Both of them were unappreciated by their flock. Both of them were unmoved in their consecration to God and their holy calling. Their people were superficial, proud and selfish, while they, the leaders, were filled with the spirit of prayer, humility and the love of God.
In the spirit of our prayerful, humble and God-loving leader, St. Lawrence, let us make a sincere oblation of ourselves. Then the Divine Victim, through the prayers of this holy deacon, will increase in our souls what is so strikingly expressed in today's Mass:
1. Humility— "With expectation I have waited for the Lord and he was attentive to me."
2. Prayerfulness— "And He heard my prayer."
3. Love— "And He put a new canticle in my mouth, a song to our God."
Let us pray: Hear, O God, my prayer and despise not my supplication. Be attentive to me and hear me. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
"Am I convinced of Christ's love for me and mine for Him? This conviction is like sunlight which makes the sap of life rise and the buds of sanctity bloom. This conviction is the rock on which sanctity is built. What must we do to get this conviction? We must know Jesus, love Jesus, serve Jesus. I must not attempt to control God's actions; I must not count the stages in the journey He would have me make. I ask Him to make a saint of me, yet I must leave to Him the choice of that saintliness itself and still more the choice of the means which lead to it."
St. Padre Pio:
"If you suffer with resignation in doing His will, you do not offend Him but love Him. And your heart will find great comfort in remembering that in your hour of pain Jesus Himself suffers in you and for you. He did not abandon you when you fled from Him; why should He abandon you now that you are proving your love for Him by the martyrdom of your soul?" (GF, 174).
Let us remember to continue practicing prayer, almsgiving, and fasting (voluntarily throughout the week not just on Fridays) as we continue our Lenten journey.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.
Image Source: Photo of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Believed to be in the Public Domain
I just want to thank everyone for any help offered!
The Station is on Mount Caelius, in a church erected in the seventh century in honor of four officers of the Roman army, who having refused to adore a statue of Aesculapius, received the crown of martyrdom. These were the "Four Crowned Ones," whose relics are venerated in this sanctuary together with the head of St. Sebastian, an officer of the army of Diocletian.
Under the leadership of the Four Crowned Martyrs let us celebrate the divine Sacrifice. May the Eucharistic Action "refresh us and defend us," as it refreshed these great athletes and filled them with heavenly fortitude to go forth to make the supreme sacrifice for a true ideal, for their faith, for Christ, the King of Martyrs.
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that as we keep with devotion year by year this holy fast, we may please Thee both in body and soul. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Here is a reading for today:
~by St. Bernardine of Siena
There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favour chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand.
This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: “Good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord”.
What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honourably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.
In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfilment. What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.
Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honour which he gave him on earth, as a son to his father. Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects all that he gave at Nazareth.
Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph: “Enter into the joy of your Lord”. In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph: “Enter into joy”. His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us. They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy, but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss.
Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster-child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.
Information is from the Canon Regulars of St. John Cantius:
In the year 320, Constantine placed here the relics of the Holy Cross, which his mother, St. Helen, had brought to Rome from the Holy Land. Also, there is soil brought from Calvary, placed under the floor of the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Today, in the Church of Calvary at Rome—that is of the Cross—our hope, the Church, sends a ray of light upon our souls to stir us up to persevere in the struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil, until the great feast of Easter is reached.
"Rejoice, rejoice with joy," we are told in the Introit, for having died to sin with our Lord during Lent, we are shortly to rise with him by the Paschal Confession and Communion.
Our whole life is a texture of sorrows and joys. Good Fridays and Easters accompany us on our journey to the land of perennial Easter. But as there is no Good Friday without the assurance that "by the wood of the Cross joy has come into the whole world," so in the soul of a true Christian there is no sorrow without the joy that will come from living faith, strong hope and sincere love. It is a joy ever sustained and increased by that wonderful Bread, which Christ's loving hand multiplies for us in this desert of life.
By the wood of this Cross joy has come into the world and into your heart, also. Lætare Sunday, Jerusalem! Endure the thorns of life courageously. Supernaturalize them.
(Note: On this day, it was the custom to solemnly bless the "golden rose," which was then presented by the Holy Father to a Catholic, who was zealous and outstanding in the Faith.)
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent, also called Lætare Sunday.
Today's Stational Church is the Church of St. Susanna. For information on this devotion, see Catholic Culture. I will post on each Stational Church for Lent.
Information is from the Canon Regulars of St. John Cantius:
Today's liturgy places before us three women—one in the white garment of virginity, the other in the blue mantle of chastity and the third in the purple robe of penitence. The first shows the triumph of Christ's redemption, the second, the power of faith in the coming Messiah, the third, the compassion of the Good Shepherd, who came to seek what was lost.
The first is today's stational guide—St. Susanna, to whom the vow of virginity and consecration to Christ, the royal Bridegroom, meant more than the princely hand of the unprincely Galerius Maximianus. She refused his hand in marriage and was put to death.
The other Susanna is the chaste wife of Joachim living in Babylon in the days of Daniel, the prophet. Two adulterous men, ever to be remembered as a disgrace to manhood, two judges, who perverted justice and drowned their manly honor in the pool of perjury, were this pure women's adversaries. But Susanna prefers to be a victim of the hellish vengeance of her accusers than sin against her God.
And now the third one—the woman caught in adultery. She lost her virginity, her chastity, and has broken fidelity to her marriage vows. "she must be stoned," was the cry. She was an outcast in the eyes of her merciless accusers, who themselves were whitened sepulchers inwardly full of worms. Jesus, the new Daniel, came to her rescue. He condemned her sin, but raised her from an erring sheep to a penitential follower. "Has no one condemned you, woman? No one, Sir. Neither will I condemn you. Now sin no more."
Let us pray: Extend to Thy faithful the right hand of heavenly help, that they may seek Thee with their whole hearts and deserve to obtain what they ask for worthily. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Colorado Catholic hospitals must offer abortifacient drugs to victims of rape under a controversial new law signed by Gov. Bill Ritter Thursday, the Denver Post reported earlier today.
Although Senate Bill 60 contains an exception allowing physicians or medical practitioners who object to the drug on religious or moral grounds to opt out of recommending it, all hospitals, including Catholic, are required to retain staff that will offer information on so-called "emergency contraception."
Colorado Right to Life opposed the law, saying the drug is falsely marketed as contraception when in fact it can cause early-stage abortion. Pro-life groups had successfully lobbied against previous versions of the bill, under the administration of former Republican Gov. Bill Owens.
"We reject the claim that it is emergency contraception because we know that in many cases…it prevents implantation of a newly created embryo, and that's a human life," said Leslie Hanks with Right to Life.
Additionally, opponents of the bill said the measure should have included a clause requiring that parents be informed before the information was given to minor girls.
"The problem is circumventing the parents in giving this very important information," said Rep. Marsha Looper. "You don't know what type of religious implications there may be by educating the young lady. I think it's always helpful to have the parents or guardian there," the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput challenged Ritter in January to ensure his actions as governor reflected his professed Roman Catholic faith. Ritter ran as a pro-life candidate in last fall's election.
"Mr. Ritter's stated commitment to 'restore eligibility requirements for state funding for pregnancy prevention and family planning programs' is seriously flawed public policy," wrote Archbishop Chaput in his column in this week's Denver Catholic Register.
"It's hard to have a future 'for our children and our children's children' without children, and in practice, Planned Parenthood specializes in the business of preventing them," the archbishop stated, referring to Ritter's pledge to create a better future for coming generations, in his State of the State address last week.
To contact Gov. Bill Ritter:
Bill Ritter, Governor
136 State Capitol
Denver, CO 80203-1792
Phone (303) 866-2471
God our Father, you sent Saint Patrick to preach your glory to the people of Ireland. By the help of his prayers, may all Christians proclaim your love to all men. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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