Tuesday, January 31, 2006
God is Always There

"God is always there. He never leaves our prayers unanswered" (Mother Teresa).
A Daily Schedule for Living a Christ-Centered Life

I received this excellent email yesterday and wanted to post it here. Even if we incorporate just one more of these suggestions in our lives, we will become much holier. This schedule is one where Jesus Christ is the foundation of daily life. Is your schedule founded on Christ? If not, then please read through this. I'm hoping to add some of these into my life.

A Rule of Life For Those Who, Living in the World, Aspire after Perfection

By Father Michael Muller, C.Ss.R.

In the Morning

1. Rise at affixed hour, for example, six o'clock; do not remain longer in bed without a reasonable motive.
2. As soon as you awake, offer your heart to God, make the sign of the Cross, and dress yourself quickly and modestly. Then, on your knees, say three "Hail Marys," in honor of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to obtain a great purity of body and soul.
3. Say your morning prayers, and make a meditation during half, or at least a quarter of an hour. It is better to say short prayers - "Our Father" and "Hail Mary," - or to say your prayers going to or at your work, than to say no prayers at all.
4. Hear Mass, if it is possible.

During the Course of the Day

5. Read a spiritual book for at least a quarter of an hour.
6. Say your beads, if possible, with the rest of the household.
7. Pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the church if you can do so. N.B. - For these three last exercises you can choose whatever time will
least interfere with your daily occupations.
8. Frequently make short ejaculatory prayers, above all at the beginning and end of your actions. Employ chiefly acts of the love of God, such as these: My dear Jesus, I love Thee ... I wish very much to love Thee ... make me love Thee more and more, etc.
9. Practice the mortification of the eyes, of the ears, and of the tongue, by sometimes refraining from looking, hearing, or saying things, which, though not dangerous, are useless, in order to be able more easily to abstain from what is dangerous, or even bad.
10. Seize carefully every opportunity of suffering any little pain, contradiction, or humiliation, for the love of God. In every such occasion submit yourself to the will of God, saying: O my God, this is Thy Will; may Thy holy Will be done!
11. At your meals deprive yourself in part or entirely of some little thing you are fond of; and never completely satisfy your appetite.
12. Do not eat between meals without necessity.
13. Fly idleness, bad company, and every occasion of sin, especially those in which chastity is in danger.
14. In temptations, especially those of impurity, make the sign of the Cross, if you are alone; and say in your heart, Jesus and Mary, help me. If the temptation still continues, do not be troubled, but pray with greater earnestness, saying, My dear Jesus, I would rather die than offend Thee.
15. If you have the misfortune to commit a sin, so not give way to trouble, even though the sin be grievous, but make immediately a good act of contrition, with a firm purpose not to fall again, and to confess it as soon as possible.

In the Evening

16. At a fixed hour, for example, nine o'clock, say your night prayers, and make your examination of conscience; recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, and then read over the subject of the next morning's meditation.

17. Having said, on your knees, the three "Hail Marys," as in the morning, undress yourself with all modesty, and be careful to remain always decently covered in bed, and to preserve a modest posture.
18. Until you fall asleep, occupy your mind with the subject of the tomorrow's meditation, or with the remembrance of death, or some other pious thought.
19. Choose a good [Traditional] Confessor, in whom you have confidence; open your heart to him without reserve, and be guided by his advice; do not quit him without strong reason.
20. Go to confession once a week, and receive the Holy Communion as often as your director judges proper. (Note: This was before Pope St. Pius X's decree encouraging frequent and daily communion.)
21. Attend sermons and instructions as often as you can, endeavoring always to apply them to yourself, and to draw some practical resolution from them; enter some pious confraternity, with the sole view of attending to the interest of your soul.
22. If your health will permit, fast on every Saturday, and on the eves of the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin. At least perform in Her honor some little act of mortification on those days, according to your state of health and your occupations. Nourish in your heart a tender devotion towards the Blessed Virgin, and address to Her from time to time this fervent prayer: My
good Mother Mary, help me to love your divine Son Jesus with all my heart. Wear the scapular, and at least the miraculous medal.


As this rule of life does not of itself impose any obligation under pain of sin, no one must be alarmed if he cannot follow it in every thing. Let each one take that which is in accordance with the duties of his state of life, which ought always to be attended to in preference to any exercises of piety which are not of obligation. Thus let each one do what he can, but cheerfully, and for the love of God.

A Short Practical Method of Meditation

In the preparation, say: 1. My god, I believe that Thou art really present, and I adore Thee with all my heart. 2. O Lord, I ought to be at this moment in hell; I am sorry for having offended thee: grant me pardon. 3. O Eternal Father, for the love of Jesus and Mary, enlighten me. Then
recommend yourself to the most holy Virgin, to St. Joseph, to your Angel Guardian, and to your Patron Saint; for this purpose say a "Hail Mary," and then pass on to the meditation.
Read the meditation, and pause wherever you find food for reflection. After this, be careful to make affections of humility, gratitude, and, above all, of sorrow and love, resigning yourself in ever thing to the divine will, and make an offering of yourself, saying: O Lord, do with me whatever Thou pleasest, and tell me what Thou wilt have me to do, for I wish to do
Thy will in all things. Be also very careful to ask for particular blessings and graces, as for
example, begging God the grace of holy perseverance, His divine Love, and the light and strength to do always the divine Will, and always to pray. Before concluding your meditation, make a special resolution to avoid some defect, into which you fall most frequently; and then finish with an "Our Father" and "Hail Mary"; and remember always to recommend to God the
souls in Purgatory, and poor sinner. Live Jesus our Love, and Mary our Hope!

Taken from A Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine, 1875 (out-of-print), by Father Michael Muller, C.Ss.R. The above is a reprint from "Catholic Family News"

Image Source: Photo believed to be in the Public Domain, From the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX)
Prayer to St. John Bosco

O glorious St. John Bosco, who in order to lead young people to the feet of the divine Master and to mold them in the light of faith and Christian morality didst heroically sacrifice thyself to the very end of thy life and didst set up a proper religious Institute destined to endure and to bring to the farthest boundaries of the earth thy glorious work, obtain also for us from Our Lord a holy love for young people who are exposed to so many seductions in order that we may generously spend ourselves in supporting them against the snares of the devil, in keeping them safe from the dangers of the world, and in guiding them, pure and holy, in the path that leads to God. Amen.
St. John Bosco

Memorial (1969 Calendar): January 31
Double (1954 Calendar): January 31

Today the Church remembers and celebrates the sainthood of St. John Bosco (1815 - 1888). St. John Bosco was a man of God, he received visions of Mary and numerous dreams. One of these is a famous dream of a Pope dying with another pope rising up to steer the Church to safety. This famous dream, pictured above, is called the Two Pillars. See more in the book: The Forty Dreams of Saint John Bosco

St. John Bosco worked countless miracles. He had the gift of multiplication of the loaves, and St. John even raised a boy from the dead to give him the chance of a good confession. The boy confessed his sins and died, but this time he went straight to Heaven.

St. John Bosco was ordained as a priest in 1841, and he worked tirelessly with young boys in his neighborhood. His goal was to make saints out of them and at least one of his boys became a saint, St. Dominic Savio. St. John founded the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales and was the chaplain there. He opened up workshops there for tailoring and shoe-making to help the boys not only grow spiritually but also have enough money to live. He worked for many years in Turin, Italy.

St. John lived daily for Jesus Christ. He would rise early, hear Confessions, and write letters to those in need for hours into the night. He wrote over 130 works defending the faith, and for that, he was hated by anti-Catholics. There were numerous plots to kill him though none succeeded.

In 1854, St. John Bosco formally banded together under the patronage of St. Francis de Sales. With Pope Pius IX's encouragement, St. John Bosco founded the Salesians in 1859, whose charism focuses on missionary and educational work.

He was beatified on June 2, 1929, by Pope Pius XI, who later canonized him on Easter Sunday (April 1) 1934. He was given the title "Father and Teacher of Youth." And his feastday was assigned to January 31st, moving St. Peter Nolasco from that date up to January 28th.

Please say a prayer for St. John Bosco's intercession today.


O God, Who didst raise up Saint John Thy Confessor to be father and teacher of youth, and by him, with the help of the Virgin Mary, dist promote new families in Thy Church: grant, we beseech Thee, that inflamed by the same fire of love, we may win souls and serve Thee alone. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Monday, January 30, 2006
Catholic Schools Week

Darren over at My Catholic Reflections has an excellent post up today on Catholic Schools Week. And with St. Thomas Aquinas' - the patron saint of Catholic schools - feastday being last Saturday according to the Novus Ordo Calendar, it is a great time to focus on Catholic Schools.

St. Thomas Aquinas' Prayer for Students:

O Mary, Mother of enchanting love, of fear, of knowledge, of holy hope, through Whose pious intercession many make admirable progress in studies and piety despite crudeness of understanding, I choose Thee as protectress and patroness of my studies. Humbly I implore Thee that, from the heart of Thy maternal pity, and principally from the Eternal Wisdom that deigned to take on our flesh in Thee, and that exalted Thee in heavenly light above all the saints, Thou obtain grace from the Holy Ghost for me so that I might be able to penetrate with my understanding, retain in my memory, express by my life and words, and teach to others all that brings honor to Thee and Thy divine Son, likewise to the advantage of my eternal joy and that of all men. Amen.

Students Prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas:

O Blessed Thomas, Patron of Schools, Obtain for us from God an Invincible Faith, A Burning Charity, A Chaste Life, And True Knowledge Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Image Source: Photo believed to be in the Public Domain
St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti

Today the Holy Church remembers the life of St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti.

She was born in 1585 in Italy and died of natural causes there in 1640. St. Hyacintha was raised in a Franciscan covenant, although she used personal funds for comfortable longing. She lived affluently for several years until she was plagued with a serious illness. Her confessor brought her Communion and was dismayed over the luxuries of her room. He urged her to live more humbly.

And that was when she changed. St. Hyancintha became both modest in her food and dress and even replaced her bed with a few boards to lay upon. She worked for the rest of her life with the aged poor, those less fortunate, and the novices of her convent. St. Hyancintha soon became an inspiration for everyone.

She founded the Oblates of Mary. St. Hyancintha was canonized May 24, 1807, by Pope Pius VII.  Her feast is celebrated annually on January 30th.

Note, St. Hyacintha is not to be confused with Hyacinth of Poland whose feast is August 17th.
Some Saintly Advice for Today

Blessed Mother Teresa - "We need to be able to pray.We need prayer just like we need air.Without prayer, we can do nothing."

St. Padre Pio - "I have no desire except to die or to love God; either death or love, since life without this love is worse than death and for me it would be more unbearable than it is at present. "

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Sunday, January 29, 2006
What's Your Favorite Liturgical Song?

Ed at Through Jesus Through Mary has a good poll in his sidebar asking readers to vote for their favorite liturgical song. I'm finding it hard with so many good choices. Please go on over through the link and vote.
A Prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas

Devoutly I Adore Thee (Adoro te devote)

O Godhead hid, devoutly I adore Thee, Who truly art within the forms before me; To Thee my heart I bow with bended knee, As failing quite in contemplating Thee.

Sight, touch, and taste in Thee are each deceived; The ear alone most safely is believed:I believe all the Son of God has spoken, Than Truth's own word there is no truer token.

God only on the Cross lay hid from view; But here lies hid at once the Manhood too; And I, in both professing my belief, Make the same prayer as the repentant thief.

Thy wounds, as Thomas saw, I do not see; Yet Thee confess my Lord and God to be:Make me believe Thee ever more and more; In Thee my hope, in Thee my love to store.

O thou Memorial of our Lord's own dying! O Bread that living art and vivifying!Make ever Thou my soul on Thee to live; Ever a taste of Heavenly sweetness give.

O loving Pelican! O Jesus, Lord!Unclean I am, but cleanse me in Thy Blood; Of which a single drop, for sinners spilt, Is ransom for a world's entire guilt.

Jesus! Whom for the present veil'd I see, What I so thirst for, O vouchsafe to me:That I may see Thy countenance unfolding, And may be blest Thy glory in beholding. Amen.

Prayer by Saint Thomas Aquinas, translated by E. Caswall

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
The Saint for the Year Devotion Continues

I cannot thank some of you enough. The Saint for the Year Devotion has spread greater than my highest hopes. Well over 300 requests have been made! I've just posted a few more results.

If you would like a special patron saint for this year, or if you know someone that would, please just see my original post and reply.

God Bless and Thank you
Saturday, January 28, 2006
St. Thomas Aquinas

Memorial (1969 Calendar): January 28
Double (1954 Calendar): March 7

Today the Church remembers my confirmation saint and certainly one of the deepest intellectual saints in the Church's history, St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and Doctor of the Church. He is especially dear to me since I chose him as my confirmation saint.

One of the greatest glories of the Dominican Order is St. Thomas Aquinas, who is known as The Angelic Doctor.

St. Thomas Aquinas was born to noble parts in Aquino, near Naples, Italy in the year of our Lord 1225. In his childhood the young saint was the provider for the poor of the neighborhood during a famine; his father, meeting him in a corridor with the food he had succeeded in taking from the kitchen, asked him what he had under his cloak; he opened it and fresh roses fell on the ground. The nobleman embraced his son and amid his tears, gave him permission to follow thereafter all inspirations of his charity.

At the young age of 19, he received the Dominican habit in Naples Italy, only a short time after the Dominican Order was established. But his family was opposed to the choice. His brothers captured him while he was on his way to Paris and locked him in the castle of Rocca Secca for two years. During this time the threats would not deter him from following his religious vocation. St. Thomas managed by his holy example to win over his older sister who decided to renounce a high-class marriage that was going-to-be and instead embrace the life of a nun. She would become the Abbess in Capua.

In order to stop Thomas from joining the Dominicans, St. Thomas's father sent him impure women to seduce him to the pleasures of this world. St. Thomas responded by chasing the women away with a flaming torch. As a reward, St. Thomas was privileged to receive a vision of an angel who girded him with a cincture of purity, and from that day he was free from all bodily temptations. St. Thomas Aquinas is often depicted in one famous image as receiving the belt of chastity after this temptation. He later accepted and joined the Dominicans.

He was taught in Paris and Cologne under St. Albert the Great. As a young student he was recognized by his professors as a genius, but it was Saint Albert the Great who later said of his disciple whom some called “the mute ox,” that “someday the lowing of this ox will resound throughout the entire world.” This prophecy has indeed come true and with it, the Dominican Order would see its greatest saint.

St. Thomas Aquinas' writings exhibit some of the greatest harmony ever conceived on paper. His works including Summa Theologica (which he did not finish before his death) and his 5 proofs for God's existence are still regarded as theologically brilliant.  Few though also own and read his fantastic Commentary on the Gospels, the four-volume set Catena Aurea. St. Thomas Aquinas' thoughts led to the formation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the 1800s.

Near the end of his life, St. Thomas received an extraordinary grace when a crucifix in Naples actually came alive and the Lord spoke to Thomas: “Well hast thou written concerning Me, Thomas. What shall I give thee as a reward?” St. Thomas replied, “No other reward except Thyself, O Lord.” And it is to this end that St. Thomas said that all of his works were but straw before the magnificence of Almighty God.

St. Thomas became a counselor to the papacy, and Pope Gregory X personally invited him to participate in the General Council of Lyons in 1274, but the Dominican saint died on his way there at Fossa Nuova near Terracina, Italy on March 7, 1274.

He was only 49 years old when he was called home to Heaven and exactly 49 years later he was canonized by Pope John XXII in 1323. Thomas was officially declared a "Doctor of the Church" in 1567 by Pope Saint Pius V and his feast day has traditionally been celebrated on March 7th up until the Second Vatican Council. It still is in the Traditional Roman Calendar. The Dominican Rite Calendar keeps his feast on March 7th and keeps a second feastday in his honor on January 28th in honor of the translation of his relics.

Thomistic Philosophy has been the cornerstone of seminary formation since the formation of seminaries themselves after the Protestant Revolt in the 1500s. A Catholic would be hard-pressed to study any area of Theology where the writings and teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas are not integral to the doctrine at hand. St. Thomas Aquinas is truly the glory of the Dominican Order and one of the most intelligent saints that God has blessed His Church with.

The Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, is one of the greatest sources of intellectual inspiration in the history of the world. It is especially ironic that St. Thomas, who was dubbed the "dumb ox" by some, would become recognized as the most brilliant scholar in the history of the Church. Having written more than just the Summa, we sing hymns written by him each time at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament when we sign the "O Salutaris Hostia" and "Tantum Ergo."

Studiorum Ducem:
In a recent apostolic letter confirming the statutes of Canon Law, We declared that the guide to be followed in the higher studies by young men training for the priesthood was Thomas Aquinas. The approaching anniversary of the day when he was duly enrolled, six hundred years ago, in the calendar of the Saints, offers Us an admirable opportunity of inculcating this more and more firmly in the minds of Our students and explaining to them what advantage they may most usefully derive from the teaching of so illustrious a Doctor. For science truly deserving of the name and piety, the companion of all the virtues, are related in a marvelous bond of affinity, and, as God is very Truth and very Goodness, it would assuredly not be sufficient to procure the glory of God by the salvation of souls-the chief task and peculiar mission of the Church-if ministers of religion were well disciplined in knowledge and not also abundantly provided at the same time with the appropriate virtues.

Encyclical of Pope Pius XI promulgated on June 29, 1923

Litany of St. Thomas Aquinas:

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Glorious Mother of the King of kings, Pray for us.

Saint Thomas of Aquinas, Pray for us.
Worthy child of the Queen of virgins, Pray for us.
St. Thomas most chaste, Pray for us.
St. Thomas most patient, Pray for us.
Prodigy of science, Pray for us.
Silently eloquent, Pray for us.
Reproach of the ambitious, Pray for us.
Lover of that life which is hidden with Christ, Pray for us.
Fragrant flower in the garden of Saint Dominic, Pray for us.
Glory of the Friars Preachers, Pray for us.
Illumined from on high , Pray for us.
Angel of the Schools, Pray for us.
Oracle of the Church, Pray for us.
Incomparable scribe of the Man-God, Pray for us.
Satiated with the odor of His perfumes, Pray for us.
Perfect in the school of His Cross, Pray for us.
Intoxicated with the strong wine of His charity, Pray for us.
Glittering gem in the cabinet of the Lord, Pray for us.
Model of perfect obedience, Pray for us.
Endowed with the true spirit of holy poverty, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Oh, how beautiful is the chaste generation with glory, For the memory thereof is immortal.

Because it is known with God and man,
And it triumpheth crowned forever.

V. What have I in Heaven, or what do I desire on earth!
R. Thou art the God of my heart, and my portion forever.
Let Us Pray. O God, Who hast ordained that blessed Thomas should enlighten Thy Church, grant that through his prayers we may practice what he taught, through Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.


O God, through Whom Thy Church is glorified by the wonderful learning of Thy blessed Confessor Thomas and profiteth still from his holy labors: grant, we pray, that we may grasp his teaching with our minds and show it, as he did, in our lives. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Another Catholic Blog

I wanted to announce another good Catholic blog by Ed called To Jesus Through Mary. He writes well and has some very good posts and novenas at his blog. I've been working on helping him create a good sidebar. So please go on over, have a look around, and say hello.

2007 Update: His blog is no longer online.

Image Source: The Assumption of the Virgin by Veronese
Thank you for the Prayers for Kathleen

First, thank you everyone that commented on my post below about a friend of the family dying. It really comforts me to know that other people are out there praying for her. My family recently saw her in November, and she was setting up a camper for the summer. In a few weeks we were supposed to go down and have a little vacation. But it's not going to happen.

But, I entrust her soul completely to Christ, the Most Merciful. Thank you all for your prayers. It really means a lot to me.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Image Source: At Prayer by Edwin Longs den Long
Friday, January 27, 2006
Please Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Kathleen

A friend of my family just died a few hours ago. Her name was Kathleen and she was Catholic. It is very hard for my family. Please pray that she might now be in God's mercy in His glorious love. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son," and God loves us still.

Please pray for her soul. Please offer up indulgences and prayers. She was so kind to us. It is very upsetting to write about. I ask for your prayers.

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
5th Day of the Novena to St. John Bosco

Today is my 5th day of the Novena to St. John Bosco, who worked so many miracles in his life. His feast day is approaching - January 31st.

If you have not started this novena, please do so and pray along with me. Here's a link to the Novena.
St. Angela Merici

Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): January 27
Double (1954 Calendar): May 31
Class III (1962 Calendar): June 1

Today the Church remembers St. Angela Merici, virgin. St. Angela was born in 1474 in Italy and ended up forming the Order of Ursulines, which was the first teaching order for women to be approved by the Church.

Early on in her life, St. Angela devoted her life to Christ as His bride. This deep love for God led her to a deeper prayer life and love beyond today's standards. When her parents died, St. Angela lived for Christ and His Gospel every day in solitude. In 1524, St. Angela journeyed on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. She visited Pope Clement VII, in Rome, who desired for her to remain in the city. So, in 1516, she founded a society for girls under St. Ursula's protection, which later became the Ursuline Order. At age 70, St. Angela Merici died, and her body remained perfectly incorrupt for 30 days afterward. A remarkable event also happened at her burial in the Church of St. Afra.

In 1954, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen setting it on May 31st, and to make room for it, he moved the feast of St. Angela Merici to June 1 from May 31st.

Traditional Matins Reading:

Angela de Merici was born of virtuous parents at Decenzano, a town in the diocese of Verona, near lake Benago, in the Venetian territory. From her earliest years she kept the strictest guard over the lily of her virginity, which she had resolved should never be taken from her. She had a thorough contempt for those outward deckings on which so many women set their hearts. She purposely disfigured the beauty of her features and hair, that she might find no favour save with the Spouse of our souls. Whilst yet in the bloom of youth, she lost her parents; whereupon she sought to retire into a desert, that she might lead a life of penance; but being prevented by an uncle, she fulfilled at home what she was not permitted to do in a wilderness. She frequently wore a hairshirt, and took the discipline. She never ate flesh-meat, except in case of sickness; she never tasted wine, except on the Feasts of our Lord’s Nativity and Resurrection; and, at times, would pass whole days without taking any food. She spent much time in prayer, and exceedingly little in sleep, and that little on the ground. The devil having once appeared to her in the form of an angel of light, she at once detected his craft, and put him to flight. At length, having resigned her right to the fortune left her by her parents, she embraced the rule of the Third Order of St Francis, received the habit, and united evangelical poverty to the merit of virginity.

She showed her neighbour every kind office in her power; and gave to the poor a portion of her own food, which she procured by begging. She gladly served the sick. She gained the reputation of great sanctity in several places, which she visited either that she might comfort the afflicted, or obtain pardon for criminals, or reconcile them that were at variance, or reclaim sinners from the sink of crime. She had a singular hunger for the Bread of Angels, which she frequently received; and such was the vehemence of her love of God, that she was often in a state of ecstasy. She visited the Holy Places of Palestine with extraordinary devotion. During her pilgrimage, she lost her sight on landing on the isle of Candia, but recovered it when leaving. She also miraculously escaped shipwreck and falling into the hands of barbarians. She went to Rome during the Pontificate of Pope Clement the Seventh, in order to venerate the firm Rock of the Church, and to gain the great Jubilee Indulgence. The Pope had an interview with her, at once discovered her sanctity and spoke of her to others in terms of highest praise; nor would he have allowed her to leave the city, had he not been convinced that heaven called her elsewhere.

Having returned to Brescia, she took a house near the church of Saint Afra. There, by God's command, which was made known to her by a voice from heaven and by a vision, she instituted a new society of virgins under a special discipline, and holy rules, which she herself drew up. She put her Institute under the title and patronage of Saint Ursula, the brave leader of the army of virgins: she also foretold, shortly before her death, that this Institute would last to the end of the world. At length, being close upon seventy years of age, laden with merit, she took her flight to heaven in the year 1540, on the sixth of the Calends of February (January 27). Her corpse was kept thirty days before being put in the grave, and preserved the flexibility and appearance of a living body. It was laid in the church of Saint Afra, amidst the many other relics wherewith that church is enriched. Many miracles were wrought at her tomb. The rumour of these miracles spread not only through Brescia and Decenzano, but also in other places. The name of Blessed was soon given to Angela, and her image used to be placed on the altars. St Charles Borromeo affirmed, whilst preaching at Brescia, a few years after Angela’s death, that she was worthy of canonization: Clement the Thirteenth ratified and confirmed the devotion thus paid her by the faithful, which had already received the approbation of several bishops, and the encouragement of several Indults of Sovereign Pontiffs. Finally, after several new miracles had been juridically proved, Pius the Seventh enrolled Angela in the list of holy virgins, in the solemn canonization celebrated in the Vatican Basilica, on May 24 in the year 1807.

Litany to St. Angela Merici for private recitation:

God the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, and faithful Guardian of our Mother Saint Angela, Pray for us.

Saint Angela Merici, Pray for us.
St. Angela, favored with the choicest gifts of God from thy infancy, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who didst give thyself to the practice of all the virtues from thy tenderest years, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who didst always preserve a spotless purity, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who by thy love for holy purity, didst merit to receive thy name, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who from childhood found thy delight in solitude, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who led an angelic life in the house of thy parents, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who didst daily hear on thy body the mortification of Jesus, Pray for us.
St. Angela, whose gift it was to reconcile the bitterest enemies, Pray for us.
(St. Angela, who at thirteen become a Tertiary of St. Francis and ever remained faithful,) Pray for us.
St. Angela, gifted with the graces of prayer and contemplation, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who visited the Holy Land, and there followed the bloody footprints of Jesus, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who triumphed over the illusions of the devil, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who wast not afflicted at the loss of thy sight in visiting the holy places, Pray for us.
St. Angela, whose sight was miraculously restored in the Island of Candia, Pray for us.
St. Angela, whom the love of God had wounded and whom this same love cured, Pray for us.
St. Angela, model of perfect self-denial and true humility, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who, like Jacob, wast permitted to see the mysterious ladder, Pray for us.
St. Angela, chosen by God to be the mother of many holy virgins, Pray for us.
St. Angela, Foundress of the illustrious Order of the Ursulines, Pray for us.
St. Angela, to whom God promised that this Order should always subsist, Pray for us.
St. Angela, who, filled with joy, didst give up thy soul in the embrace of the Lord, Pray for us.
St. Angela, whose body remained incorruptible after death, Pray for us.
St. Angela, Patroness of Christian mothers, Pray for us.
St. Angela, Protectress of young girls, Pray for us.
St. Angela, our Mother and Advocate, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O glorious Mother Saint Angela:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray.
O God, Who by means of our blessed Mother Saint Angela didst cause a new Order of holy virgins to flourish in Thy Church: grant, through her intercession, that we may imitate her angelic virtues, and, forsaking all earthly things, may be found worthy of eternal bliss. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.

Litany Source: Kyrie Eleison — Two Hundred Litanies by Benjamin Francis Musser O.F.M., The Magnificat Press, 1944
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Final Day for the Novena for Chrisitian Unity

Please join me in praying the 9th and final day for the Novena for Christian Unity. Yesterday was the Feast of St. Paul's Conversion, and we remember how anyone can be converted. We must pray for everyone.

Also, today is the 4th day in the Novena to St. John Bosco.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The Conversion of St. Paul

Today's Readings:

And he saith: I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the truth of the law of the fathers, zealous for the law, as also all you are this day: Who persecuted this way unto death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the ancients: from whom also receiving letters to the brethren, I went to Damascus, that I might bring them bound from thence to Jerusalem to be punished.

And it came to pass, as I was going, and drawing nigh to Damascus at midday, that suddenly from heaven there shone round about me a great light: And falling on the ground, I heard a voice saying to me: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered: Who art thou, Lord? And he said to me: I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me, saw indeed the light, but they heard not the voice of him that spoke with me. And I said: What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me: Arise, and go to Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things that thou must do.

And whereas I did not see for the brightness of that light, being led by the hand by my companions, I came to Damascus. And one Ananias, a man according to the law, having testimony of all the Jews who dwelt there, Coming to me, and standing by me, said to me: Brother Saul, look up. And I the same hour looked upon him. But he said: The God of our fathers hath preordained thee that thou shouldst know his will, and see the Just One, and shouldst hear the voice from his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness to all men, of those things which thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Rise up, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, invoking his name. Acts 22:3-16 (Douay Rheims)

So Saul was baptized and took the name Paul, by whom the epistles were written and the Church spread a hundred-fold over across the world. I could not help but post the great story of conversion.

While meditating on this passage of Scripture, I'd like to ask my readers, What was your story of conversion? I didn't have a great one as Paul did. I wasn't struck with light, but I knew in my heart the truth of the Catholic faith. I was raised Christian and after visiting a Catholic Mass, my family and I enrolled in RCIA and became Catholic officially at the Easter Vigil in 2002.

Image Source: Photo believed to be in the Public Domain
Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

Feast (1969 Calendar): January 25
Greater Double (1955 Calendar): January 25

Today the Church celebrates its only feast that is centered on someone's conversion. Today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. We remember and also realize how extraordinary it was. Through God's divine light on the Road to Damascus, St. Paul came not only to believe in Jesus but serve Him until his death. Through St. Paul's preaching, the Church was formed. His conversion was fundamental but others have in our time experienced this same conversion.

Today is also the final day in the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Acts of the Apostles 9:1-22
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to Him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My name." So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened.

For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, "He is the Son of God." And all who heard him were amazed, and said, "Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests." But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
We have already seen how the Gentiles, in the person of the Three Magi, offered their mystic gifts to the Divine Child of Bethlehem, and received from Him, in return, the precious gifts of faith, hope, and charity. The harvest is ripe; it is time for the reaper to come. But who is to be God's laborer? The Apostles of Christ are still living under the very shadow of mount Sion. All of them have received the mission to preach the gospel of salvation to the uttermost parts of the world; but not one among them has, as yet, received the special character of Apostle of the Gentiles. Peter, who had received the Apostleship of Circumcision (Gal. ii. 8), is sent specially, as was Christ Himself, to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel (Matt. xv. 24). And yet, as he is the Head and the Foundation, it belongs to him to open the door of Faith to the Gentiles (Acts, xiv. 26); which he solemnly does, by conferring Baptism on Cornelius, the Roman Centurion. 
But the Church is to have one more Apostle--an Apostle for the Gentiles--and he is to be the fruit of the martyrdom and prayer of St. Stephen. Saul, a citizen of Tarsus, has not seen Christ in the flesh, and yet Christ alone can make an Apostle. It is then, from heaven, where He reigns impassible and glorified, that Jesus will call Saul to be His disciple, just as, during the period of his active life, He called the fishermen of Genesareth to follow Him and hearken to His teachings. 
The Son of God will raise Saul up to the third heaven, and there will reveal to him all His mysteries: and when Saul, having come down again to this earth, shall have seen Peter (Gal. i. 18), and compared his Gospel with that recognized by Peter (Gal. ii. 2)--he can say, in all truth, that he is an Apostle of Christ Jesus (Gal. i. I), and that he has done nothing less than the great Apostles (II Cor. xi. 5). 
It is on this glorious day of the Conversion of Saul, who is soon to change his name into Paul, that this great work is commenced. It is on this day, that is heard the Almighty voice which breaketh the cedars of Libanus (Ps. xxviii. 5), and can make a persecuting Jew become first a Christian, and then an Apostle. This admirable transformation had been prophesied by Jacob, when, upon his death-bed, he unfolded to each of his sons the future of the tribe of which he was to be the father. Juda was to have the precedence of honor, since from his royal race, was to be born the Redeemer, the Expected of nations. Benjamin's turn came; his glory is not to be compared with that of his brother Juda, and yet it was to be very great-- for from his tribe is to be born Paul, the Apostle of the Gentile nations. 
These are the words of the dying Prophet: Benjamin, a ravenous wolf, in the morning shall eat the prey, and in the evening shall divide the spoil (Gen. xlix. 27). An ancient writer (long thought to have been St. Augustine) asks, Who is he, that in the morning of impetuous youth, goes like a wolf in pursuit of the sheep of Christ, breathing threatenings and slaughter against them? Is it not Saul on the road to Damascus, the bearer and doer of the high-priest's orders, and stained with the blood of Stephen, whom he has stoned by the hands of all those over whose garments he kept watch? And he, who, in the evening, not only does not despoil, but with a charitable and peaceful hand, breaks to the hungry the bread of life--is it not Paul, of the tribe of Benjamin, the Apostle of Christ, burning with zeal for his brethren, making himself all to all, and wishing even to be an anathema for their sakes? 
Oh! the power of our dear Jesus! how wonderful! how irresistible! He wishes that the first worshipers at His Crib should be humble Shepherds--and He invites them by His Angels, whose sweet hymn was enough to lead these simple-hearted men to the Stable, where lies, in swaddling-clothes, He who is the hope of Israel. He would have the Gentile Princes, the Magi, do Him homage--and bids to arise in the heavens a Star, whose mysterious apparition, joined to the interior speaking of the Holy Ghost, induces these men of desire to come from the far East, and lay, at the feet of an humble Babe, their riches and their hearts. 
When the time is come for forming the Apostolic College, He approaches the banks of the sea of Tiberias, and with this single word: Follow me, He draws after Him such as He wishes to have as His Disciples. In the midst of all the humiliations of His Passion, He has but to look at the unfaithful Peter, and Peter is a penitent. 
Today, it is from heaven that He evinces His power: all the mysteries of our redemption have been accomplished, and He wishes to show mankind that He is the sole author and master of the Apostolate, and that His alliance with the Gentiles is now perfect. He speaks; the sound of His reproach bursts like thunder over the head of this hot Pharisee, who is bent on annihilating the Church; He takes this heart of the Jew, and, by His grace, turns it into the heart of the Apostle, the Vessel of election, the Paul who is afterwards to say of himself: I live not I, but Christ liveth in me. (Gal. ii. 20) 
The commemoration of this great event was to be a Feast in the Church, and it had a right to be kept as near as might be to the one which celebrates the martyrdom of St. Stephen, for Paul is the Protomartyr's convert. The anniversary of his martyrdom would, of course, have to be solemnized at the summer-solstice. Where, then, place the Feast of his Conversion if not near Christmas, and thus our own Apostle would be at Jesus' Crib, and Stephen's side? Moreover, the Magi could claim him, as being the conqueror of that Gentile-world, of which they were the first-fruits.
St. Paul's conversion is "The Example" of how anyone can come to believe and follow our Savior. While we may not be struck by a blinding light on the Road to Damascus as St. Paul was, we too must experience the light of the Gospel changing our hearts.

Remember too, that St. Paul persecuted Christians as is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. The first martyr, St. Stephen, was sentenced to death by St. Paul. But, through God's love each of us can be converted. Conversion is a life-long process where the end result of a true conversion is Heaven. Just like St. Paul, anyone can find God, and likewise, we must pray for unbelievers.


O God, Who hast taught the whole world by the preaching of blessed Paul the Apostle: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who this day celebrate his conversion, may through his example draw nearer to Thee.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Novena Reminders: Christian Unity and St. John Bosco

Please keep praying!

Today is the 8th Day in the Novena for Christian unity and since today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, it's a great day to pray for unity. Also, today is the 3rd day of the Novena to St. John Bosco, whose feast day is January 31st.

Please keep praying with me.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain, Title Unknown
Pope Benedict XVI's First Encyclical is Here!

Today was the release of Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical - "Deus Caritas Est" (God is love).

I just learned from one of the readers of my blog that the Vatican has now made all Encyclicals copyrighted. This means I can't publish it here, but I can link to the document and read it free of charge. So please go ahead and read, but remember that it is now a copyrighted document along with all encyclicals going back to Pope John XXIII. I don't agree with this because I think that the words of our Holy Father should be free, but that's just me.

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
St. Francis de Sales

Memorial (1969 Calendar): January 24
Double (1954 Calendar): January 29

Today the Church celebrates the life of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (1567-1622). St. Francis was a lawyer before he felt called to the priesthood. He received the message, "Leave all and follow Me," so he left to be ordained a priest. His family fiercely opposed his vocation, but he still followed God. Through a devoted prayer life and his gentle manners, he won over his family.

At 35 years of age, St. Francis became bishop of Geneva. He was a preacher, writer, and spiritual director. He was also a good friend to St. Vincent de Paul. St. Francis died on December 28, 1622, and was canonized on April 19, 1665. He is a Doctor of the Church. He is the author of many works that continue to work for the good of souls even today.

The Office of the Church shares the following account of his life:
Francis was born of pious and noble parents, in the town of Sales, from which the family took their name. From his earliest years, he gave pledge of his future sanctity by the innocence and gravity of his conduct. Having been instructed in the liberal sciences during his youth, he was sent early to Paris, that he might study Philosophy and Theology; and in order that his education might be complete, he was sent to Padua, where he took, with much honour, the degree of doctor in both civil and canon law. He visited the sanctuary of Loreto, where he renewed the vow he had already taken in Paris of perpetual virginity, in which holy resolution he continued till death, in spite of all the temptations of the devil and all the allurements of the flesh. 
He refused to accept an honourable position in the Senate of Savoy, and entered into the ecclesiastical state. He was ordained Priest, and was made Provost of the Diocese of Geneva, which charge he so laudably fulfilled that Granier, his Bishop, selected him for the arduous undertaking of labouring, by the preaching of God's word, for the conversion of the Calvinists of Chablais and the neighbouring country round about Geneva. This mission he undertook with much joy. He had to suffer the harshest treatment on the part of the heretics, who frequently sought to take away his life, calumniated him, and laid all kinds of plots against him. But he showed heroic courage in the midst of all these dangers and persecutions, and by the divine assistance converted, as it is stated, seventy-two thousand heretics to the Catholic faith, among whom were many distinguished by the high position they held in the world and by their learning. 
After the death of Granier, who had already made him his Coadjutor, he was made Bishop of Geneva. Then it was that his sanctity showed itself in every direction, by his zeal for ecclesiastical discipline, his love of peace, his charity to the poor, and every virtue. From a desire to give more honour to God, he founded a new Order of Nuns, which he called of the Visitation, taking for their Rule that of St Augustine, to which he added Constitutions of admirable wisdom, discretion, and sweetness. He enlightened the children of the Church by the works he wrote, which are full of a heavenly wisdom, and point out a safe and easy path to Christian perfection. In his fifty-fifth year, whilst returning from France to Annecy, he was taken with his last sickness, immediately after having celebrated Mass, on the Feast of St John the Evangelist. On the following day, his soul departed this life for heaven, in the year of our Lord 1622. His body was taken to Annecy, and was buried, with great demonstration of honour, in the Church of the Nuns of the above mentioned Order. Immediately after his death, miracles began to be wrought through his intercession, which being officially authenticated, he was canonized by Pope Alexander the Seventh, and his Feast was appointed to be kept on the twenty-ninth day of January, and he was declared a Doctor of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX, after consultation with the Sacred Congregation of Rites.
Rerum Omnium Perturbationem:
Whoever attentively reviews the life of St. Francis will discover that, from his earliest years, he was a model of sanctity. He was not a gloomy, austere saint but was most amiable and friendly with all, so much so that it can be said of him most truthfully, "her conversation (wisdom) hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and gladness." (Wisdom, viii, 16) Endowed with every virtue, he excelled in meekness of heart, a virtue so peculiar to himself that it might be considered his most characteristic trait. His meekness, however, differed altogether from that artificial gentility which consists in the mere possession of polished manners and in the display of a purely conventional affability. It differed, too, both from the apathy which cannot be moved by any force and from the timidity which does not dare to become indignant, even when indignation is required of one. This virtue, which grew in the heart of St. Francis as a delightful effect of his love of God and was nourished by the spirit of compassion and tenderness, so tempered with sweetness the natural gravity of his demeanor and softened both his voice and manners that he won the affectionate regard of everyone whom he encountered.

Encyclical of Pope Pius XI promulgated on January 26, 1923
Prayer by St. Francis de Sales:

Lord, I am yours, and I must belong to no one but you. My soul is yours, and must live only by you. My will is yours, and must love only for you. I must love you as my first cause, since I am from you. I must love you as my end and rest, since I am for you. I must love you more than my own being, since my being subsists by you. I must love you more than myself, since I am all yours and all in you. AMEN.

Prayer Source: Treatise on the Love of God by Saint Francis de Sales


O God, by Whose will blessed Francis, Thy Confessor and Bishop, became all things to all men in his zeal for souls: graciously fill us with the sweetness of Thy love, and grant that by the light of his counsel and with the help of his merits we may attain eternal joy. Though our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Blessed Mother Teresa's Words

"We need to give Christ a chance to make use of us to be his word and his work. If we do not radiate the light of Christ around us, the sense of darkness that prevails in the world will increase. The people around us should be able to recognize him by our union with God."

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain, Title Unknown
Today's Novenas: Christian Unity and St. John Bosco

Today is the 7th Day of the Novena for Christian Unity. Thank you to Darren and all others that are praying spiritually with me.

Also, today is the 2nd day in the Novena to St. John Bosco. Please join me in prayer to St. John Bosco if you have not already.

Image Source: Photo believed to be in the Public Domain
Our Lady of Perpetual Help

With today being Tuesday, January 24th, I wanted to continue my Tuesday tradition to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Please join me in prayer:

O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of all the gifts which God grants to us miserable sinners; and for this end He has made thee so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful, in order that thou mayest help us in our misery. Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners who have recourse to thee: come to my aid, for I recommend myself to thee.

In thy hands I place my eternal salvation, and to thee I entrust my soul. Count me among thy most devoted servants; take me under thy protection, and it is enough for me. For, if thou protect me, I fear nothing; not from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me the pardon of them; nor from the devils, because thou art more powerful than all hell together; nor even from Jesus, my judge, because by one prayer from thee He will be appeased.

But one thing I fear: that in the hour of temptation I may through negligence fail to have recourse to thee and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me, therefore, the pardon of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace ever to have recourse to thee, O Mother of Perpetual Help.---3 Hail Marys.
Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain, Title Unknown
Monday, January 23, 2006
A Rosary for Life

The Rosary has been attributed to many, many miracles. Please join me today in praying for an end to abortion as we recall the sad reality of 33 years of legalized murder of the unborn.

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." Pope Pius IX
Prayer for the Helpless Unborn

Prayer for the Helpless Unborn

Heavenly Father, in Your love for us, protect against the wickedness of the devil, those helpless little ones to whom You have given the gift of life. Touch with pity the hearts of those women pregnant in our world today who are not thinking of motherhood.

Help them to see that the child they carry is made in Your image - as well as theirs - made for eternal life.

Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them true womanly hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a mother can give.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

Source: EWTN
2005 Pro-life Year in Review

I watched EWTN last night for their Solemn Mass for Life from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. It was amazing. So many people and so many priests were there. It took around 20 minutes just for all the concelebrants to enter for the Mass [no comment on that liturgical issue at the moment though].

And during the Mass, William Henry Cardinal Keeler, spoke of the greatest successes this past year. He is the chairman of the pro-life committee for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and he during the homily he spoke of successes.

He said that 52 pro-life laws were passed last year. Nineteen parental notification laws were proposed. There are so many victories from 2005!

As of the end of 2005, this is true:
"Twenty-nine states mandate that a woman seeking an abortion be given counseling including information intended to discourage her from obtaining the procedure, such as a purported link with breast cancer; 24 states require a woman seeking an abortion to wait a specified period of time, usually 24 hours, between when she receives counseling and when the procedure is performed.

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia prohibit the use of public funds to pay for abortion for low-income women, even when it is medically necessary, generally making exceptions only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. Only 17 states use their own funds to pay for all or most medically necessary abortions for Medicaid enrollees.

Thirty-four states require some type of parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion: Twenty-one states require one or both parents to consent to the procedure, while 13 require that a parent be notified. "

Source: Guttmacher Institute
Yet, there is still so much to be done! Please join me in supporting life this year in supporting pro-life legislation. Pro-life legislation does make a difference! Again, here is a link to NARAL's grades for states on abortion. Let's strive to fail more states this year and stand up for life.
Please let me know of any pro-life legislation passed by your state this year as I make this master list of pro-life laws from 2005:

The Cord Blood Stem Cell Bill became Federal Law

Parental Consent Law

Born Alive Infant Protection Act signed into law on Aug 12, 2005

Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act passed

Prevents minors from crossing state lines & requiring abortion centers within a 30 mile radius of a hospital.

South Dakota:
5 great laws passed

Parental Consent Law
6th Day of the Novena for Unity

Today is the 6th day of the Novena for Unity. Please join me in praying that all our brothers and sisters may one day unite with us in the Catholic Church.
Novena to St. John Bosco

I love reading up on St. John Bosco. One of the most inspirational stories I've ever read has come from him when St. John Bosco raised a boy back to life from death. I'm asking my readers to please join me in praying the Novena to St. John Bosco from today, Jan 23rd to Jan 31st.

The Novena Prayer:
Father and teacher of Young, In need of special help, I appeal with confidence to you, O Saint Don Bosco, for I require not only spiritual graces, but also temporal ones, and particularly... (add your own personal intentions here)

May you, who on earth had such great devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary Help of Christians, and who always had compassion for those who were suffering, obtain from Jesus and His Heavenly Mother the grace I now request, and also a sincere resignation to the Will of God.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Catechism of the Catholic Church on Abortion


The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2271. "Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish. [Didache 2, 2: SCh 248, 148; cf. Ep. Barnabae 19, 5: PG 2, 777; Ad Diognetum 5, 6: PG 2, 1173; Tertullian, Apol. 9: PL 1, 319-320.] God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes. [GS 51 # 3.]"

2272. "Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. 'A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,' [CIC, can. 1398.] 'by the very commission of the offense,' [CIC, can. 1314.] and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. [Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324.] The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society."

2274. "Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being. Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, 'if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual.... It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.' [CDF, Donum vitae I, 2.]"

2322. "From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a 'criminal' practice (GS 27 # 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.

Do Aborted Babies Go to Heaven or Hell?

The Catechism of St. Pius X states, "There should be the greatest anxiety to have infants baptized because, on account of their tender age, they are exposed to many dangers of death, and cannot be saved without Baptism."

In the way in which God has created the world, it is necessary to receive Baptism in order to see God in Heaven. Seeing God and being present with Him in Heaven is the beatific vision. It is the greatest joy of Heaven. There are three types of Baptisms: Baptism by water (the Sacrament of Baptism), Baptism of desire (what happens if someone who is a catechumen studying for entry into the Church dies before receiving the Sacrament), and Baptism of blood (what happens if someone who is martyred for the Faith before receiving the Sacrament of Baptism). 

Of course, not everyone who is baptized will be saved. To be saved requires dying in the state of sanctifying grace. That is why we must work out our salvation our entire life and have frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Confession so that we may be forgiven for our sins and restored to sanctifying grace. Heaven is not possible for those who die without sanctifying grace.

Because a baby who was born and who was baptized can not commit any actual sins, we know without any doubt that these children, if they die before they are old enough to know right from wrong, will go straight to Heaven. They are truly saints

What does this mean for unbaptized children? What does it mean for aborted children?

The answer is that we are not as certain about these. Some have proposed that these children go to Hell. But that is not the position of the Church. We believe that in God's mercy these children will not suffer the pains of Hell, through no fault of their own, but they are nevertheless unable to go to Heaven.

This is what we call the Limbo of the Infants (not to be confused with the Limbo of the Fathers where the Old Testament saints waited until Christ opened Heaven). This is a place of perfect natural happiness - imagine a life of happiness on a place like earth. They will not suffer the flames of hell. They will not be in pain. But, they are not in Heaven. They will never see the face of God. They will never have a chance to enter Heaven. 

This sad reality is one of the many reasons that we must reject abortion completely - it deprives a human soul of Heaven. While the child will not suffer, he/she will never see God. And the guardian angel that God has appointed to guard that child weeps. 

Not only does the sin of abortion, which is the willful murder of a human being, cry out to Heaven for vengeance, but it also deprives a soul of seeing God forever.

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