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Monday, February 19, 2018
Reparation to the Holy Face for the Offenses of Mardi Gras
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For those Catholics who wish to more closely follow the ancient customs of the Church, Lent is a time of austere penance undertaken to make reparation to God for sin (our own sins and others), to grow in virtue and good works, and to comfort the heart of our Savior much offended by the barrage of sin and filth increasing by the day. 

Yet, there are very few Catholics who undertake the true discipline of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. 

How many of us are observing all 40 days as true fast days and not just Ash Wednesday and Good Friday?  Yet our ancestors did.  In fact, it was forbidden to eat meat or any animal products (e.g. eggs, dairy, cheese, butter, etc) through all of Lent.  How many of us are making this kind of intense sacrifice?  How many of us are finding the time this Lent to pray the Rosary every day or go to Daily Mass more often or at least pray the Stations of the Cross each Friday?

We live in sad, pitiful times where few souls even care to observe Lent.  The prophetic words of Pope Benedict XV are coming true when he said:
“The observance of Lent is the very badge of Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should men grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe.” 
And yet, how many people indulge in public sin, lust, and gluttony on Fat Tuesday in a mockery of our ancestors?  Nowadays, no one - or at least few of us - fast for all forty days.  Yet, people are engaging in eating on Shrove Tuesday like they were.  It is a mockery of the Faith!  How many people are fasting by "light eating" on Ash Wednesday and then indulging on cheeseburgers on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday on a Lenten feria day!

Even the great liturgist Dom Guaranger wrote of the excesses and sinfulness of Mardi Gras in his own time.  And how much worse it is in our own times than his, who lived from 1805 to 1875!
How far from being true children of Abraham are those so-called Christians who spend Quinquagesima and the two following days in intemperance and dissipation, because Lent is soon to be upon us! We can easily understand how the simple manners of our Catholic forefathers could keep a leave-taking of the ordinary way of living, which Lent was to interrupt, and reconcile their innocent carnival with Christian gravity; just as we can understand how their rigorous observance of the laws of the Church for Lent would inspire certain festive customs at Easter. Even in our times, a joyous carnival is not to be altogether reprobated, provided the Christian sentiment of the approaching holy season of Lent be strong enough to check the evil tendency of corrupt nature; otherwise the original intention of an innocent custom would be perverted, and the forethought of penance could in no sense be considered as the prompter of our joyous farewell to ease and comforts. While admitting all this, we would ask, what right or title have they to share in these carnival rejoicings, whose Lent will pass and find them out of the Church? And they, too, who claim dispensations from fasting during Lent and, for one reason or another, evade every penitential exercise during the solemn forty days of penance, and will find themselves at Easter as weighed down by the guilt and debt of their sins as they were on Ash Wednesday ‒ what meaning, we would ask, can there possibly be in their feasting at "Mardi Gras."

In our modern world, when sinful indulgence is the rule all year long, it is especially sad to see the annual repetitions of the most decadent carnival celebrations taking place in formerly Catholic cities. But even long ago the need for reparation for such scandalous debauchery was recognized. The Church offered a substitute for frivolous amusements and dangerous pleasures; and those of Her children upon whom faith has not lost its influence, found a feast surpassing all earthly enjoyments, and a means whereby to make amends to God for the insults offered to His Divine Majesty during the days of carnival. The Lamb Who taketh away the sins of the world was exposed upon the altar. Here, on His throne of mercy, He received the homage of them who came to adore Him, and acknowledge Him for their King; He accepted the repentance of those who came to tell Him how grieved they were at having ever followed any other Master but Him; He offered Himself to His Eternal Father for poor sinners, who not only treated His favors with indifference, but seemed to have made a resolution to offend Him during these days more than at any other period of the year.
It is a shame.   It is a public scandal.  And our Lord Himself has asked for reparation.

In an apparition of our Lord to Mother Pierina in 1938, the Lord said: 
“See how I suffer. Nevertheless, I am understood by so few. What gratitude on the part of those who say they love me. I have given My Heart as a sensible object of My great love for man and I give My Face as a sensible object of My Sorrow for the sins of man. I desire that it be honoured by a special feast on Tuesday in Quinquagesima (Shrove Tuesday – the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday). The feast will be preceded by novena in which the faithful make reparation with Me uniting themselves with my sorrow.”

And even though we are now after the Tuesday in Quinquagesima, I am asking everyone reading this article to take a few minutes and comfort the heart of our Savior, who is much offended, by praying the Golden Arrow in honor of His adorable Face.



May God be pleased with our Lent.  And may we be undertaking penance (abstinence, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving) to make reparation to God for our sins and those of others. 
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Sunday, February 18, 2018
Round 20: Collectible Catholic Books for Sale
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Here is the next installment in the books that I am selling.  Please contact me at acatholiclife[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in any of these titles.

All are hardcovers in good condition.  All books are $20/each. All prices include shipping.

1.  "Mohammed and Charlemagne," Henri Pirenne, 1992 re-print of 1930s work, 274 pp.

2.  "Back to Holy Church," Dr. Albert Von Ruville, 166 pp., 1911 (converts story)

3.  "Evolution and Faith," Bishop Hedley, 253 pp., 1931

4.  "Life After Death," Becque and Becque, 125 pp., 1960

5   "What Catholics Believe and Why," John Brunini, 289 pp., 1946

6.  "The Son of Man, His Preparation, His Life, His Work," by Placid Huault, SM, 304 pp., 1910

7.  "What the Church Teaches," Msgr. J. D. Conway, 336 pp., 1962

8.  "Moral Philosophy," Walter Hill, SJ, 333 pp., 1879

9.  "Judas and Jude," Rev. Michael Chapman, 132 pp., (a "Study of Contrasts"), 1929

10. "Learning the Breviary," Bernard Haussmann, SJ, 176 pp., 1932

11. "The God of Reason," J. K. Heydon, 151 pp., 1942

12. "The Divine Plan of the Church," Rev. John McLaughlin, 316 pp., 1901

13, "Man and Eternity," C. Lattey, SJ, 272 pp., 1937

14. "Is One Religion as Good as Another?", Rev. John MacLauchlin, 234 pp., 1891
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Sunday, February 11, 2018
Follow A Catholic Life on Social Media
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In order to better share the articles of others, re-share old yet timely articles from this blog, and to better engage with the world, I have expanded A Catholic Life's presence on social media.  Please like, follow, and share us!


A Catholic Life Facebook - We now have our own Facebook Page.  New articles will be shared automatically.


A Catholic Life Twitter - Join our Twitter feed which has been sharing articles for the past few years.

A Catholic Life Google Plus - While not every article is shared here, top articles are shared and revisited.

A Catholic Life Instagram - Follow us on Instagram to see some of the beautiful photos from awe inspiring Catholic Churches around the world.

A Catholic Life You-Tube - Original videos will uploaded and hosted on our You-Tube Channel.
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Wednesday, January 31, 2018
The Cultural Importance of the Cloistered
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The cloistered men and women are doing more for our country than all its politicians and labor leaders; they are atoning for sins of us all. They are averting the just wrath of God, repairing the broken fences of those who sin and pray not, rebel and atone not. As ten just men would have saved Sodom and Gomorrah, so ten just saints can save a nation now.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
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Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Catholic Family News Conference: Deerfield, IL in April 2018
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Catholic Family News' annual conference will be held from April 6-8, 2018 in Deerfield (Chicago), Illinois. Register now at www.catholicfamilynews.org, or call 1 (800) 474-8522.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018
Monastery of Ligugé
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This video was made for the tens of thousands of believers who come to hear the uplifting Gregorian chants from in the oldest monastery in the West, that of Ligugé.  This is the beauty of having Mass said in a universal language - even if we do not speak Latin, we can understand the Mass when it is said in a universal, timeless, and global language.  And for Catholics that language is Latin.
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Friday, January 19, 2018
First Mass of Jesús Cano Moreno & RP Guiscafré.
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Some beautiful images from Facebook showing the first Mass of both of these priests.  Let us pray for them and for their work on behalf of the salvation of souls.






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Thursday, January 18, 2018
The Journey of a Priest: Sacred Heart of Jesus Seminary
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Public vs. Private Litanies
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For those new to Catholicism - and even those of us who have been Catholic for a long time - we may be unfamiliar with what is a public versus a private litany. 

A good summary is given by the Catholic Encyclopedia of litanies and the distinction of public versus private:
A litany is a well-known and much appreciated form of responsive petition, used in public liturgical services, and in private devotions, for common necessities of the Church, or in calamities — to implore God's aid or to appease His just wrath. This form of prayer finds its model in Psalm cxxxv: 'Praise the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Praise ye the God of gods . . . the Lord of lords . . . Who alone doth great wonders . . . Who made the heavens', etc., with the concluding words in each verse, "for his mercy endureth for ever."...

...Litanies appeared in honour of God the Father, of God the Son, of God the Holy Ghost, of the Precious Blood, of the Blessed Virgin, of the Immaculate Conception, of each of the saints honoured in different countries, for the souls in Purgatory, etc.

In 1601 Baronius wrote that about eighty forms were in circulation. To prevent abuse, Pope Clement VIII, by decree of the Inquisition of 6 Sept., 1601, forbade the publication of any litany, except that of the saints as found in the liturgical books and that of Loreto. To-day the litanies approved for public recitation are: of All Saints, of Loreto, of the Holy Name, of the Sacred Heart, of St. Joseph [Ed. and, approved in 1960, of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ].
Many more litanies exist but only the following six may be publicly prayed in liturgical settings.  So if you are planning to lead a group at a chapel, church, oratory, etc in a litany, make sure it is one of the following:

1. Litany of All Saints
2. Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (i.e. Litany of Loreto)
3. Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus
4. Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
5. Litany of St. Joseph
6. Litany of the Precious Blood of Jesus

Many, many other litanies exist, and all of them may be prayed privately (assuming of course they don't contain heresy). I've posted several litanies over the years that are private litanies.

Fish Eaters provides the following overview of the The Litany of the Saints, the oldest of the six:
The Litany of the Saints -- the oldest of the litanies, dating to A.D. 595 -- is prayed liturgically at the Easter Vigil, during ordinations, on Rogation days, and also during solemn exorcisms, etc.. Privately, it is prayed any time one wishes, as with the other litanies, but is especially prayed after sundown on All Saints' Day in preparation for All Souls' Day, and on All Souls' Day itself.

This litany first invokes God in all Three Persons, then follow, in this order: Mary; the blessed spirits; St. Joseph and the Patriarchs and Prophets; the Apostles and Evangelists; all the disciples of the Lord; the Holy Innocents and the glorious martyrs; the holy Bishops and Confessors (those who suffer for the faith); the holy priests and Levites; the virgins and widows; and all holy men and women.
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Sunday, January 14, 2018
Duty of the Diaconate: Uphold and Defend the Church of God
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During the ordination of Deacons, the Archbishop instructs the candidates: "It is your duty to uphold and defend this Church of God, even as the Tabernacle, with the armor of holiness, by divine preaching and perfect example."

July 3, 2013, at the church of Sts. Michele e Gaetano in Florence.  Ordinations for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
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Monday, January 8, 2018
Monks Offering Simultaneous Private Masses
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They rose at midnight for the night-office that the sleeping world might not be wholly dumb to God; went to rest again; rose once more with the world, and set about a yet sublimer worship. A stream of sacrifice poured up to the Throne through the mellow summer morning, or the cold winter darkness and gloom, from altar after altar in the great church. Christopher remembered pleasantly a morning soon after the beginning of his novitiate when he had been in the church as a set of priests came in and began mass simultaneously; the mystical fancy suggested itself as the hum of voices began that he was in a garden, warm and bright with grace, and that bees were about him making honey – that fragrant sweetness of which it had been said long ago that God should eat - and as the tinkle of the Elevation sounded out here and there, it seemed to him as a signal that the mysterious confection was done, and that every altar sprang into perfume from those silver vessels set with jewel and crystal.

Robert Hugh Benson, The King’s Achievement.
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Thursday, January 4, 2018
Beauty & Chant Bring Life to the Monastery
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13 Fridays in Honor of St. Francis of Paola
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Tomorrow is the 13th Friday before the Feast of St. Francis of Paola this year and thus the first day of the Thirteen Fridays in Honor of St. Francis of Paola.  This is an indulged devotion with the following excerpted from the Raccolta:


Pope Clement XII., in the Brief Coelestium munerum dispensatio of Dec. 2, 1738, granted -

i. A plenary indulgence to all the faithful who, upon thirteen Fridays continuously preceding the Feast of St. Francis of Paola (April 2), or at any other time of the year, shall, in honour of this Saint, being truly penitent, visit, after Confession and Communion, a church of the Minims, commonly called the Paolotti, either already erected or hereafter to be erected, and pray there for our Holy Mother Church; this Indulgence may be gained on any one of the said Fridays; and

ii. An indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines on all other Fridays.

Moreover, wherever there are not churches of the above named order, or where they are distant at least a mile from a person’s own dwelling, the same Clement XII. granted in these two cases, by a Brief Nuper editae of March 20, 1739, the same indulgences to the faithful as are mentioned above, conditional of course upon their previous Confession and Communion. In this Brief permission is given to visit any other church whatsoever dedicated to God in honour of St. Francis of Paola, or any altar existing in any church where there is a picture of this glorious Saint; and if none of these conditions can be complied with, the visit may be made to their own parish church.

This devotion originated with St. Francis himself, who practised it in honour of our Lord Jesus Christ and His twelve Apostles with this intent, on each of the thirteen Fridays he used to recite thirteen Pater noster’s and as many Ave Maria’s, and this devotion he promulgated by word of mouth and by letter to his own devout followers, as an efficacious means of obtaining from God the graces they desired, provided they were for the greater good of their souls.

Since the death of the Saint, which took place April 2, 1507, the day on which Good Friday fell in that year, this devotion has always been practised by the faithful throughout the whole Catholic world in honour of the holy Founder; and so it came at last to be approved by the said Clement XII., who granted the Indulgences above named, in order to animate good Christians to adopt it.
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Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Catholic Resolutions 2018
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Each year I have made what I call "Catholic Resolutions."  These New Years Resolutions are not centered on losing weight, eating more healthy, or the like.  Rather, these resolutions each year are centered around my spiritual life.  I encourage all of you to make resolutions specifically geared on improving your own Faith life and your own knowledge of the Faith.  Ask yourself:

1. Do I know the Faith that I profess to believe in?  If not, how can I learn more?  For example, CatechismClass.com has an ideal Adult Course just for this purpose.
2. Am I truly living a Catholic life?  Am I learning more prayers?  Am I helping others to learn the Faith and live it out?  Do I regularly receive the Sacraments?
3. Do you struggle with certain sins or addictions?
4. Do you need to make more donations to Catholic organizations or pro-life charities?

This is the time of year to truly set Catholic Resolutions which will have eternal repercussions.

I will begin with reviewing my 2017 Resolutions:

2017 Catholic Resolutions

1.   Continue to pray the Rosary Daily
2.   Pray the Divine Office at least 1X Daily
3.   Attend Daily Mass
4.   Attend an Ignatian Silent Retreat
5.   Weekly Confession to help conquer old habits and grow in virtue

2017 Catholic Resolutions

1. Overall, I have always struggled to pray the Rosary all 7 days a week.  I did make better progress during Lent with Daily Rosary than the rest of the year, but I think I finish the year with averaging the Rosary on most days of the week.
2. I have been able to really make this a habit and I've seen good fruit from the Daily Divine Office in my life.
3. In the first half of the year, I was able to make it to Mass at least 5 or 6 days a week.  With the job situation change that occurred in July, that wasn't as easy.  So I'm going to adapt this goal so that Daily Mass can still be a part of the week.
4. I did attend the Ignatian Retreat in July 2017
5. Confession each week has been probably my best resolution as it has really helped me grow in virtue and root out several bad habits. 

So, now, here are my 2018 Catholic Resolutions

1.   Focus on Morning Prayers Each Day (3 Dominican Prayers, Daily Lauds, the 3 Hail Mary Devotion each morning)
2.   Attend Daily Mass 3X a week
3.   Make time for 15 minutes of spiritual reading / meditation each day preferably in the morning
4.   End the work day with Evening Prayers (e.g. Vespers)
5.   Focus on conquering old habits and practicing a detachment to material things.

I encourage you to make Catholic Resolutions as well!
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Sunday, December 31, 2017
A Year with the Church Fathers
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As we prepare to welcome 2018 and begin a new year, I am going to personally try to devote more time to spiritual reading this year.  I saw this book, A Year with the Church Fathers, on Angelus Press and think it is an excellent way to incorporate disciplined and fruitful spiritual reading into the routine.  Please consider this book



In A Year with the Church Fathers, popular Patristics expert Mike Aquilina gathers the wisest, most practical teachings and exhortations from the Fathers of the Church, and presents them in a format perfect for daily meditation and inspiration. The Fathers were the immediate inheritors of the riches of the Apostolic Age, and their intimacy with the revelation of Jesus Christ is beautifully evident throughout their theological and pastoral writings: a profound patrimony that is ours to read and cherish and profit from.

Learn to humbly accept correction from St. Clement of Rome. Let Tertullian teach you how to clear your mind before prayer. Read St. Gregory the Great and deepen your love for the Eucharist. Do you suffer from pain or illness? St. John Chrysostom's counsels will refresh you. Do you have trouble curbing your appetite for food and other fleshly things? St. John Cassian will teach you the true way to moderation and self-control.

A Year with the Church Fathers is different from a study guide, and more than a collection of pious passages. It is a year-long retreat that in just a few minutes every day will lead you on a cycle of contemplation, prayer, resolution, and spiritual growth that is guaranteed to bring you closer to God and His truth. From the Church Fathers we should expect nothing less.

Beautiful gift edition, with two- tone ultra soft cover, ribbon marker, and designed interior pages.
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