Monday, May 30, 2011

Quote of the Day - May 30, 2011

"All the true children, the chosen ones of heaven, have God for their Father, and Mary for their Mother. Whoever does not have Mary for his mother does not have God for his Father."

St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, Chapter II

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kneeling for Holy Communion

As of more recently, we have felt called to kneel for Holy Communion. This has come from almost a year of discussion concerning how people approach the Eucharist in front of the Pope.  When you receive communion from the Holy Father, you are required to kneel.  Well, logically, the same Jesus, the same Eucharist is present in the Churches that we attend, and Father at the Church is consecrating the same Eucharist.  So why are we standing?  It is the norm in the United States to stand for communion.  But does that mean we show the minimum amount of respect required for receiving our Lord and Savior?  Lord Jesus, help us to love you more and more!

This is a link to a website which has a formal publication from Blessed Pope John Paul II's Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Divine Sacraments to a Bishop reminding him that it is a "grave violation" to deny someone Holy Communion who wishes to receive in a kneeling posture. In addition it contains some clear catechesis for the kneeling posture.  We especially like this quote, from the publication, about Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger: "In fact, as His Eminence, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has recently emphasized, the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species." 

Our brothers and sisters in Christ, if you truly and really believe that in Holy Communion that you are approaching to receive the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS (cf. Revelation) then how could you not kneel as you approach Him?

Quote of the Day - May 29th, 2011

“Where the bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church”
-Saint Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, 1st c. A.D.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quote of the Day For May 28, 2011

"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]). ... On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet He founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were also what Peter was , but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?"
~Saint Cyprian of Carthage [A.D. 251]

A flurry of thought condensed...

There are so many things I could write about today!  I think I'm pumped about blogging because I've been reading Fr. Z and his lovely musings on Latin.  Very refreshing since I haven't heard anyone talk about "those fun 4th declension nouns" in a long time!

But I digress...

As many people know, I have been substitute teaching at the public middle school here for about five or six weeks now.  I work in a classroom for the special education kids and help mostly a group of three girls with a couple other students thrown in here or there all day.  It is fun and rewarding and I love the people I work with.  I have noticed, however, that come my lunchtime in the teacher's lounge, the talk always somehow digresses to the evil influences these children are facing leading to their downfall in social and educational situations.  Believe it or not, I am not even blaming the media first.  


But Jen, we all know that the evil media is pointing out these crude behaviors to our kids and teaching them things they shouldn't know and telling them that those behaviors are okay!  Do I disagree with that?  Not at all.  But what bothers me is how they get access to these shows/websites/magazines.  Don't get me wrong here.  I'm not saying that shows like "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" and "The Real Housewives" and "Glee" are appropriate, nor am I saying that today's music "isn't that bad" or that kids really can find role models in a People magazine.  If I met Lady Gaga I would probably have to fight the strong urge to give her a whack upside the head and ask what she's thinking.  

So my question is: WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?!?!?!!?!?!?!?  These people that I talk to on a daily basis are asking the same thing, and they're not even saying that they're Catholic.  I don't ask, it's common sense.  Everyone knows I am: it's kind of hard to miss the large Crucifix I wear.  To go off on a small tangent, that's one of the things I love about living in a town named after a Catholic priest (as opposed to a town with an Indian name that is about as anti-Catholic, in a passive-aggressive way, as you can get): no one is offended here by my faith!  Imagine a world where people don't think that you're ideals are "attacking" them!

Anyway...  What is lacking in our society is a strong lack of conviction.  We need TRUTH with a capital TRUTH and we need it now and we need to stand up for it.  HEY EVERYONE!  THERE IS SUCH THING AS TRUTH! I had a discussion with another teacher yesterday and she asked me an interesting question: Does smoking/drinking/doing drugs while a woman is pregnant constitute as child abuse?  Could you be arrested?  What can be done?  She sees kids all the time that are products of such behaviors who suffer terribly from this or that condition.  I had to fight the urge to make it a hugely political discussion by saying something to the effect of "well they could just go abort it now, couldn't they so why care about killing it some other way?" and chose to be a little more controlled by saying, "well I suppose they would have to define the fetus as a baby first, instead of just a clump of cells."  The dawn emerges and all we can say is "yeah, that's sad."

THIS is why I think it would be awesome if all Catholics could be open to life.  By being "pro-life" we are already winning, I assume that enough "pro-choicers" will choose death that they will not be able to sustain their own population.  It's funny to me that this idea of having a choice that people are so fervent about is going to lead to its own destruction.  Yeah, great idea people.  So we need to have babies.  But not only that, they need to be raised in the light of TRUTH and grace!  We need to form them and teach them and mold them!  As we are being molded by Christ through the help of his Holy Spirit and the graces of his Sacraments, we need to then mold our children! THIS is loving.  Letting them have access to filth and lies is NOT loving.  Teaching bad habits is NOT loving.  IT'S KILLING THEM, BODY AND SOUL.  

This seems kind of "Catholic cliche" to me, but it is so true and so few understand the love in this encyclical: Humanae Vitae.  It is not meant to attack you, or to condemn you, but to help you to see TRUTH!  Read it! Love it! 


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blessed Pope John Paul II is an Effective Intercessor in Spiritual Warfare

Here is a great article from the Catholic News Agency regarding how Blessed Pope John Paul II has proven to be a great help in the spiritual battle against Satan. It is based upon the recent experiences of Father Gabriele Amorth, the official exorcist of the Diocese of Rome. He is also the author of the well-known book, An Exorcist Tells His Story. Interesting to note, Father Gabriele says the most powerful intercessor is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who we know John Paul II had a great devotion to.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to Our Lady: The Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church and the Spiritual Mother of all God's children. Here is the transcript of excellent talk given by Dr. Scott Hahn on the Blessed Virgin Mary covering her foreshadowing in Scripture and her role in God's Salvation plan. May we all imitate Mary and say to God, "Let it be done unto me according to Thy will." Happy Mother's Day, Mary!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Father Z... You're my new friend.

So Kevin pointed out Father Z's blog to me today and I have to say that this man is a genius.  The simple, sarcastic, yet incredibly relevant commentary on the things that we allow to go on in the Catholic Church makes me sigh with satisfaction.  For example, it is an almost guilty pleasure to read his thoughts on anything Richard McBrien has to say.

The sad part is that even though his rants are smart and witty, they are representative of real problems, problems that are so, do I dare say dumb? that they shouldn't even exist.  While entertaining me, it has also given me a list of things for which I need to pray, Lord have mercy on us all.  

Apart from the commentary on Richard McBrien, I am particularly fond of the section, "Wherein Fr. Z Rants."  It is there that I found this post, which articulates perfectly an idea that has been hazily forming itself in the back of my mind for months now.  I know that at my parish they have been working on forming a choir of sorts to do Gregorian Chants and I have been hesitant to get involved because I've over-committed myself elsewhere.  With summer coming up and some of my activities ending, maybe it's time to get involved?  Who knows, maybe God gave me Fr. Z's post as a sign.


Monday, May 2, 2011

That thing on my head

I have had many people ask me about my wearing of a mantilla to Mass, especially as of late.  Short Answer: I do so out of respect, to my husband and to God (not necessarily in that order, I suppose). I think it's a beautiful tradition and I definitely feel God calling me to it, although sometimes I don't understand why.  

For specific questions on the subject, I always recommend the Catholic Answers forums, and I found a GREAT website with a wealth of mantilla pride and information here!

 It seems to be worth mentioning that there is nothing out there that says you have to wear a mantilla.  It is a personal choice and something God might be calling you to do, but not necessarily.  Going to Mass, however, is not an option, so I'll see you there!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Saint Faustina and Blessed Pope John Paul II Pray for Us!

What a wonderful Sunday in the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II's beautiful beatification Mass (which I was able to catch this morning on EWTN) and Divine Mercy Sunday, which he instituted during his Papacy.  The chaplet of Divine Mercy is a beautiful and very potent prayer, and the image of the rays of mercy coming from the heart of Jesus to our hearts is a powerful meditation.  Jesus, I trust in You!