Sunday, December 03, 2017

Catholic, Even If...

     It is interesting to me that I am "not understood" when I explain why I am Catholic.  A revert to the faith, I was brought back into the Church through the powerful intercession of Our Lady.
  So close to me during my sojourn away from Catholicism, she gracefully brought me back to the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist. I am not following Christ for social acceptance. I am Catholic because my soul is drawn to the True Presence of Christ. The road is narrow.  Jesus said:    
     "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world."
     "Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you. Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever."
      Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said, "This saying is hard, and who can hear it?" But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: "Doth this scandalize you?  If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life. But there are some of you that believe not." For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him.
     And He said: "Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father.After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him. Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?  And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God."From the Gospel of John Chapter 6.
     So, even if "everybody else" walks away, I prefer to follow the example of our courageous Parish Priest who is never afraid to proclaim the truth of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Prayers and Love

     A dear friend, who has been a Religious Sister since early in her life, shared with us her experience of prayer. She said that her prayers cause her to fall in love with Jesus over and over again. She explained that during her busy days, each time she chooses to take a moment to pray, she is drawn more closely into her loving union with Christ.
     Her countenance was graced with a joyful, golden, peaceful beauty as she described her life of prayer and love!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

A Very Special Novena

A very special Novena
St. Therese's life of humble sacrifice
her devotion to Jesus
her passion for His Mission 
 gentle reminders
of her prayerful intercession
Saint of "the little way"

Sunday, September 03, 2017

at all times

I will bless the Lord at all times
His praise shall be always in my mouth
In the Lord shall my soul be praised  
Let the meek hear and rejoice
O magnify the Lord with me
And let us extol His name forever.
I sought the Lord and He heard me
He deliered me from al my troubles. 
(The words of King David)
Douay-Reims  Roman Catholic Bible 
Psalm 33(34):2-5

Sunday, August 06, 2017

The Brown Scapular

     Unassuming and fragile the Brown Scapular attracts very little outward attention. The Brown Scapular is a most powerful supernatural gift from Our Blessed Mother.
     After moving into our house, I encountered a Brown Scapular tucked under a heating register. There it was, just waiting for me.
    As my father was dying, it was a tremendous comfort that he was wearing a Brown Scapular.
Wearing the Scapular is a constant reminder of the intensity 
of our dear Holy Mother's advocacy for us. We, her children are ever protected by her intercession for us throughout this earthly spiritual battle. To learn more about the Brown Scapular see:

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Drawn Home by Two Pillars

Don Bosco's Dream reminds me of 
the embrace of the prodigal son and his father 
and my return Home to Holy Mother Church.
     Reviewing my own turbulent spiritual journey, I realize that, though a cradle Catholic, I occupied dissenting enemy ships. Navigating through life's precarious deceptions, I was spiritually consumed and crushed by "what the world had to offer". Yet, my soul always knew wherein resided the Divine truth and beauty I had rejected. The most vitriolic foes of the Church are found among former Catholics. From this group emanate the strongest objections to reversion to Catholicism. Interestingly, many returning Catholics come Home fervently embracing many of the teachings which drove us away! 
     Looking at this painting, I am impressed with the unwavering, insurmountable, forward progression of the True Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Holy Mother Church. With the Pope at the helm, the Church fearlessly overcomes all weapons aimed against her while safely carrying the faithful to our longed for eternal destination.
     It was during Blessed John Paul II's final illness that I was irresistibly drawn home, heart and soul, into the loving embrace of Jesus and Mary. When people would ask me why I returned to the Catholic faith, my  automatic response was "Jesus in the Eucharist and Mary".  Blessed John Paul II's monumental offering of prayer and suffering supernaturally brought about my reversion and that of many, many other souls. With regards to conversions and reversions, it is doubtless that when these numbers are tabulated they will represent a high point in Catholic Church History. 
     Blessed John Paul II was praying for us. I could "feel" it!
     I like to think that my current location in this painting is deep within the heart of La Barca de la Iglesia Católica~cooking, sweeping, cleaning, or fueling the engine with Adoration, Rosaries and Novenas.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

About Wisdom...

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
 and the knowledge of the holy is prudence."
Proverbs 9:10
Douay Rheims Roman Catholic Bible
      "And all such things are hid and not forseen, I have learned: for wisdom, which is the worker of all things taught me. For in her is the spirit of understanding, holy, one, manifold, subtile, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which nothing hindereth, beneficient, gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all thingsm and containing all spirits, intelligible, pure, subtile. For wisdom is more active than all active things, and reacheth everywhere by reason of her purity. For she is a vapour of the poser of God and a certain pure emanation of the glory of the almighty God, and therefore no defiled thing cometh into her. For she is the brightness of eternal light and the unspotted mirror of God's Majesty, and the image of His goodness. And being but onem she can do all things, and remaining in herself the same she reneweth all things and through nations conveyeth herselfo into holy souls, she maketh the friends of God and prophets. For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom. For she is more beautiful than the sun and above all the order of the stars, being compared with the light, she is found before it. For after this cometh light, but no evil can overcome wisdom."
Wisdom  7: 21-29
Douay Rheims Roman Catholic Bible

Sunday, May 07, 2017

The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary~The Glorious Mysteries

The Glorious Mysteries~Sundays and Wednesdays
(Luke 24:1-9)
(Luke 24:50-53)
Pentecost~Wisdom, Love of God
(Acts 2:1-47)
Assumption~Grace of a Holy Death, Devotion to Mary
(Holy Scripture and Catholic Tradition)*
Coronation of Mary~Trust in Mary's Intercession, 
Devotion to Mary, Eternal Happiness
(Revelation 12:1)

Because this prayer is rooted in Sacred Scripture, the Holy Rosary was affectionately referred to as "The Poor Man's Bible"

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary~The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Sorrowful Mysteries~Tuesdays and Fridays
Agony in the Garden
~Contrition for Sin, Conformity to God's Will
(Matthew 26:36-46)
Scourging at the Pillar~Purity
(Mark 15:15)
Crowning With Thorns~Moral Courage
(Matthew 27:28-30)
Via Crucis~Patience in Suffering
(John 19:17)
Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
~Self Denial, Persevernace
(Luke 23:33-43)

Because this prayer is rooted in Sacred Scripture, the Holy Rosary was affectionately referred to as "The Poor Man's Bible"

Sunday, March 05, 2017

The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary~The Luminous Mysteries

The Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary
Baptism of Jesus
~Discernment, Openness to the Holy Spirit
(Matthew 3:13-17)
Wedding at Cana
~Gratitude, To Jesus Through Mary
(John 2:1-11)
Proclamation of the Kingdom
~Repentance, Trust in God 
(Matthew 5:3-12)
~Courage, Desire for Holiness
(Luke 9:28-36)
Establishment of the Eucharist
~Desire for Mass and Eucharistic Adoration 
(Luke 22:7-23)

Because this prayer is rooted in Sacred Scripture, the Holy Rosary was affectionately referred to as "The Poor Man's Bible"

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary ~ The Joyous Mysteries

The Joyous Mysteries of the Rosary 
(Mondays, Saturdays)
The Annunciation~Humility
(Luke 1:26-38)
The Visitation~Charity
(Luke 1:39-56)
The Nativity~Poverty
(Luke 2:1-20)
The Presentation~Obedience
(Luke 2:22-38)
Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple~Zeal for Jesus
(Luke 2:41-52)

Because this prayer is rooted in Sacred Scripture, the Holy Rosary was affectionately referred to as "The Poor Man's Bible"

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Signal Graces

     Praying the Rosary causes our souls to become receptive to signal graces. Signal graces are promised to those who pray the Rosary regularly. God gives us graces and blessings every day. Signal graces are specific to our state in life, according to our vocation. These graces are events or signs, divinely assisting us in making decisions that will lead us closer to God. There are no coincidences. Doors are supernaturally opened and closed as we journey through this life. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He has a perfect unique plan for each of us. This perfect plan, our vocation, may be marriage, consecrated single life, the priesthood~for men, and religious such as Brother, Monk or Deacon and religious vocations for women such as Nun or Sister. Signal graces are important in discernment of each Christian's vocation. Additionally, we may be called to particular challenges or suffering such as chronic illness, loss, poverty or loneliness. Acceptance  of these less than pleasurable events as God's Will leads us closer to Christ. The life of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus is filled with examples of how, through her suffering, she became more holy and closer to Jesus. How many signal graces do we overlook because our souls are closed to the perfect, Holy Will of God? Prayer and obedience to God unveil these graces. Our Blessed Mother is always ready to deliver God's graces to her children, the followers of Jesus. Scripture tells how Mary lived, completely surrendering to God's Will.
     While we are praying the Rosary, our egos are set aside. We allow our souls to be immersed in the life, miracles, teachings and virtues of Jesus. This leads to the blessings of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
     The angel Gabriel said to Mary "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women" Luke, 1:28
     Elizabeth spoke these words to Mary: "Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." Luke 1:42
    May this holy and beautiful prayer always be the sweetest song in our hearts:
Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen