|"Put out into the deep." Luke 5:4|
|On the porch of the B&B.|
|Whale at the natural science museum.|
|Paddle boats at the children's park.|
Mary Vitamin is a daily email support for Marian mental prayer. Each day (Monday through Friday) members will receive a brief Marian quote with a corresponding Marian meditation and resolution. The Mary Vitamin is designed to make mental prayer a little simpler and bring Our Lady into your day in a systematic way.She calls her emails Mary Vitamin, and the emails are quite like taking a daily Marian vitamin. For more information, click here. To view her blog, click here.
Real Marian devotion is studying the life and virtues of Our Lady and then putting into practice what we learn from her.
Virtual Rosary is a free program with three goals in mind:I think it is a terrific idea for encouraging praying the Rosary. I, myself, would rather not look at a computer monitor while praying the Rosary, but I am sure many people find this very useful as an aid in their prayer life. I added a link to the site on the right pane under Web sites of Interest.
- To teach the rosary and make it simple with the program's super-easy operation.
- To help keep the rosary refreshing and deep for anyone with the aid of scripture, illustrations, and music.
- To build a worldwide community of people to pray for each other through the PrayerCast network.
The world is in urgent need of Catholics working to protect the environment, says Benedict XVI.
Following Christ, the Holy Father affirmed, brings with it "the continual effort to make one's own contribution to building a more just and solidary society, where all can enjoy the goods of the earth."
"I know that many of you dedicate yourselves with generosity to bear witness to your own faith in various social ambits, volunteering, working to promote the common good, peace and justice in every community," he said. "One of the areas in which work appears to be urgent is without a doubt that of protecting creation.
"To the new generations the future of the planet is entrusted, in which there are evident signs of a development that has not always known how to safeguard the delicate equilibriums of nature.
"Before it is too late, it is necessary to make courageous decisions that reflect knowing how to re-create a strong alliance between man and the earth.
"A decisive 'yes' to the protection of creation is necessary and a firm commitment to reverse those tendencies that run the risk of bringing about situations of unstoppable degradation."
Benedict XVI applauded an initiative from the Church in Italy to promote sensitivity to the issue of protecting creation. Sept. 1 has been established as a national day for promoting awareness of these matters.
"This year," the Holy Father observed, "attention is focused above all on water, a most precious good that, if it is not shared in a fair and peaceful way, will unfortunately become a cause for significant tensions and bitter conflicts."
Labels: Holy Father
The beginning of this Sunday's Gospel helps us to correct a widely diffused prejudice: "One Sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him." Reading the Gospel from a certain angle we have ended up making the Pharisees the prototype for all vices: hypocrisy, duplicity, falsity; Jesus' enemies par excellence. The terms "Pharisee" and "Pharisaical" have entered into the vocabulary of many languages with negative connotations.To view the liturgical readings for today, click on the link, Today's Mass Readings in the top right of this post.
Such an idea of the Pharisees is not correct. There were certainly many among them who corresponded to this negative image and it is with these that Jesus has serious problems. But not all of them were like this. Nicodemus, who comes to see Jesus one night and who later defended him before the Sanhedrin, was a Pharisee (cf. John 3:1; 7:50ff.). Saul was a Pharisee before his conversion and was certainly a sincere and zealous person then, if misguided. Gamaliel, who defended the apostles before the Sanhedrin, was a Pharisee (cf. Acts 5:34ff.).
Jesus' relationships with the Pharisees were not only conflictual. They often shared the same convictions, such as faith in the resurrection of the dead and the love of God and neighbor as the first and most important commandment of the law. Some, as we see in Sunday's Gospel, even invited Jesus to dinner at their house. Today there is agreement that the Pharisees did not want Jesus to be condemned as much as their rival sect, the Sadducees, who belonged to Jerusalem's priestly caste.
For all these reasons, it would be a very good thing to stop using the terms "Pharisee" and "Pharisaical" in a disparaging way. This would also help dialogue with the Jews who recall with great respect the role played by the Pharisees in their history, especially after the destruction of Jerusalem.
From Zenit (Also for the full commentary)
Pope Benedict is concerned about the Church in Europe, a continent that has seen a long decline in all traditional Christian churches. Europe seems to have forgotten its first love, the Crucified and the Risen Jesus Christ, and the darkness of relativism has invaded all the institutions of Europe.Missionary - That following Christ joyfully, all missionaries may know how to overcome the difficulties they meet in everyday life.
Opposing this darkness, the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly has chosen this theme: "The light of Christ shines upon all. Hope for renewal and unity in Europe." Ironically, the diminished churches bring an opportunity for greater unity as 3,000 delegates gather in Sibiu, Romania, September 4-8.
This meeting culminates a “pilgrimage” of the major Christian traditions of Europe as they listen together to the Word of Christ and seek the essence of what makes us Christian. At the Last Supper, Jesus prayed that all his followers might be one in him. He knew how easily divisions set in, even among sincere followers.
With Jesus, we pray that the assembly delegates may grow in understanding, love, and unity through the power of the Holy Spirit. We pray for the light of Christ on them as they discuss many topics, including the visible unity of the Church, the reconciliation between peoples and cultures, the safeguarding of creation, and the dialogue with other religions and philosophical viewpoints, starting with Judaism and Islam.
We pray that they may set in motion a powerful unification of all Christians in Europe and throughout the world.
While celebrating Eucharist with fellow bishops in Brazil this past May, Pope Benedict spoke of the missionary nature of the Church. As Jesus was the missionary of the Father, so the Church extends Christ’s love throughout the world.
What difficulties face today’s missionaries? According to the Holy Father, "secularized culture, the crisis of the family, the drop in vocations, the aging of the clergy, churches closing in on themselves, and lowered hopes" are difficulties more formidable than perilous travel, primitive life, and savage rejection such as have afflicted past missionary efforts.
Some of today’s greatest missionary difficulties arise from the need to re-evangelize formerly Christian nations and peoples.
We pray in obedience to the Holy Father that missionaries may be full of Christ’s joy. We pray that their joy will give them strength and understanding needed to overcome the serious difficulties they face in their work.
Rather than lose hope ourselves, we ask God to make us passionate about evangelization in all its forms. Let us see new opportunities in new technologies. Let us welcome missionaries into our own midst. And, most of all, let us give ourselves to the missions in our prayers. We Apostles of Prayer seek everyday to “be apostles now.” We venture by our prayers into all the difficulties faced by the men and women missionaries we support.
With joy, with hope, we offer ourselves in prayer for missionaries today. We will offer ourselves again tomorrow—and again and again—until God’s Kingdom comes.
Labels: Prayer Intentions
Labels: Prayer Request
Labels: Prayer Request
He: There are times when it is necessary to spank my children to teach them important lessons. For example, I spank my two-year-old to teach her not to run into the street.
She: After you have spanked your two-year-old to teach her not to run in the street, will you let her play unsupervised by a busy street?
He: Well, no.
She: Why not? If the spanking teaches her not to run into the street, why can't she play unsupervised by the street? How many times would you need to spank her before you would feel she has learned the lesson well enough?
He: Well, I wouldn't let her play unsupervised near a busy street until she was six or seven years old.
She: I rest my case. Parents have the responsibility to supervise young children in dangerous situations until children are old enough to handle that situation. All the spanking in the world won't teach a child until he or she is developmentally ready. Meanwhile you can gently teach. When you take your children to the park, invite them to look up the street and down the street to see if cars are coming and tell you when it is safe to cross the street. Still, still you won't let them go to the park alone until they are six or seven.
Studies show that approximately 85 percent of all parents of children under twelve years old resort to spanking when frustrated, yet only 8 to 10 percent believe that it is dignified or effective. Sixty-five percent say that they would prefer to teach through positive methods to improve behavior, but they don't know how. This book shows you how.
If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most certainly that of suffering, patiently endured.The older I get, the more I grasp the very simple truth of that statement. Suffering, patiently endured, was the way of our Lord, and there is no reason why it should not be my way too.
German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer has told the Munich newspaper Abendzeitung that his October 2005 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) was "the most important experience" of his life.I have always been a bit of a Beckenbauer fan. When I was first introduced to soccer as a child, I learned about this legend of the sport. I was able to see him play for a while prior to his hanging up his boots for good. After retiring from playing, he went on to add to his successful career by winning championships from the front office and as a head coach including Germany's last World Cup triumph in 1990.
As chairman of the German committee organizing the 2006 World Cup competition, Beckenbauer met with the Holy Father at the Vatican in October 2005. The encounter made a deep impression on the German athlete, and after the Pope's trip to Bavaria in 2006, Beckenbauer began to immerse himself in the Pope's writings. As a result of his reading, Beckenbauer returned to the active practice of his faith.
"Benedict XVI leads people to the Church," Beckenbauer told Abendzeitung, "and I myself am the best example of that." CWN
A Benedictine monk was chosen by divine Providence to become Germany's great apostle and patron. Boniface's first missionary endeavor proved unsuccessful (716). Before attempting a second he went to Rome and received papal authorization (718). Under the holy bishop Willibrord he converted Frisia within a period of three years. On November 30, 722, Boniface was consecrated bishop by Pope Gregory II.Here is an article about some of the efforts of the Church in Germany to use the World Cup to reach out to proclaim the Gospel to football supporters. Also, here is a Web site (in German) put together by the Catholic Church in Germany to the same ends. (I like the link "Play and Pray" which provides meditations with a sports-related theme from a book of the same name.) I know there are many other efforts by Christian groups to share the Good News during the upcoming tournament. I think that St. Boniface will be praying in support of their efforts.
In 724 he turned his attention to the Hessian people, among whom he continued his missionary activity with renewed zeal. On an eminence near the village of Geismar on the Eder, he felled a giant oak that the people honored as the national sanctuary of the god Thor. Boniface used the wood to build a chapel in honor of St. Peter. This courageous act assured the eventual triumph of the Gospel in Germany.
The resident clergy and the priests dwelling at the court, whose unworthy lives needed censure, were constantly creating difficulties. Nevertheless Boniface continued to labor quietly, discreetly. He prayed unceasingly, put his trust in God alone, recommended his work to the prayers of his spiritual brothers and sisters in England. And God did not abandon him. Conversions were amazingly numerous. In 732 Gregory III sent him the pallium, the insignia of the archiepiscopal dignity. Boniface now devoted his time and talent to the ecclesiastical organization of the Church in Germany. He installed worthy bishops, set diocesan boundaries, promoted the spiritual life of the clergy and laity, held national synods (between 742 and 747), and in 744 founded the monastery of Fulda, which became a center of religious life in central Germany. In 745 he chose Mayence for his archiepiscopal see, and affiliated to it thirteen suffragan dioceses. This completed the ecclesiastical organization of Germany.
The final years of his busy life were spent, as were his earlier ones, in missionary activity. Word came to him in 754 that a part of Frisia had lapsed from the faith. He took leave of his priests and, sensing the approach of death, carried along a shroud. He was 74 years of age when with youthful enthusiasm he began the work of restoration, a mission he was not to complete. A band of semi-barbarous pagans overpowered and put him to death when he was about to administer confirmation to a group of neophytes at Dockum. Source
[M]arriage and the family are rooted in the innermost core of the truth about man and his destiny. Sacred Scripture reveals that the vocation to love is part of that authentic image of God that the Creator willed to imprint in his creature, calling man to become similar to him precisely in the measure in which man is open to love. The sexual difference entailed in the body of man and woman is not, therefore, a simple biological fact, but bears a much more profound meaning: It expresses that way of love with which man and woman become only one flesh; they can realize an authentic communion of persons open to the transmission of life and cooperate in this way with God in the procreation of new human beings. (Benedict XVI in an address to the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family)Missionary - That the Pastors and the Christian faithful may consider inter-religious dialogue and the work of the inculturation of the Gospel as a daily service to promote the cause of the evangelization of peoples.
In carrying out his ministry, the new Pope knows that his task is to make Christ's light shine out before the men and women of today: not his own light, but Christ's. Aware of this I address everyone, including the followers of other religions or those who are simply seeking an answer to the fundamental questions of life and have not yet found it. I address all with simplicity and affection, to assure them that the Church wants to continue to weave an open and sincere dialogue with them, in the search for the true good of the human being and of society. I ask God for unity and peace for the human family, and declare the willingness of all Catholics to cooperate for an authentic social development, respectful of the dignity of every human being. I will make every conscientious effort to continue the promising dialogue initiated by my Venerable Predecessors with the different civilizations, so that mutual understanding may create the conditions for a better future for all. (Benedict XVI in his first address to the College of Cardinals)
My friends, in the heart of every man there is the desire for a house. Even more so in the young person’s heart there is a great longing for a proper house, a stable house, one to which he can not only return with joy, but where every guest who arrives can be joyfully welcomed. There is a yearning for a house where the daily bread is love, pardon and understanding. It is a place where the truth is the source out of which flows peace of heart. There is a longing for a house you can be proud of, where you need not be ashamed and where you never fear its loss. These longings are simply the desire for a full, happy and successful life. Do not be afraid of this desire! Do not run away from this desire! Do not be discouraged at the sight of crumbling houses, frustrated desires and faded longings. God the Creator, who inspires in young hearts an immense yearning for happiness, will not abandon you in the difficult construction of the house called life. (Source)He continues the rest of his message to describe how when can build that house by constructing it on Christ who is the rock and the Church which our Lord founded.
We ate our lunch and began to say the Rosary. After that we began to play a game with pebbles. We had only been at it a few moments when a strong wind began to shake the trees and we looked up to see what was happening, since it was such a calm day. And then we began to see, in the distance, above the trees that stretched to the east, a light whiter than snow in the form of a young man, quite transparent, and as brilliant as crystal in the rays of the sun. As he came near we were able to see his features. We were astonished and absorbed and we said nothing to one another. And then he said:It is interesting the strong call that God had upon the lives of these three children. The second apparition, again expressed in the words of Lucia, reveals the seriousness of what was being asked of the children.
Do not be afraid. I am the angel of peace. Pray with me.
He knelt, bending his forehead to the ground. With a supernatural impulse we did the same, repeating the words we heard him say:
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.
After repeating this prayer three times the angel rose and said to us:
Pray in this way. The hearts of Jesus and Mary are ready to listen to you.
And he disappeared. He left us in an atmosphere of the supernatural that was so intense we were for a long time unaware of our own existence. The presence of God was so powerful and intimate that even among ourselves we could not speak. On the next day, too, this same atmosphere held us bound, and it lessened and disappeared only gradually. None of us thought of talking about this apparition or any pledge of secrecy. We were locked in silence without having willed it.
His words sank so deeply into our minds that we never forgot them, and ever after we used to spend long periods on our knees repeating them, sometimes until we fell down exhausted.
Suddenly we saw the same angel near us.The third visit by the angel to the children in the fall of 1916, was a final preparation for the visits by our Lady. Lucia records;
What are you doing? You must pray! Pray! The hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you. You must offer your prayers and sacrifices to God, the Most High.
"But how are we to sacrifice?" I asked.
In every way you can offer sacrifice to God in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for sinners. In this way you will bring peace to our country, for I am its guardian angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, bear and accept with patience the sufferings God will send you.
The Angels' words sank deeply into our souls like a gleaming torch, showing us Who God is, what is His love for us, and how he wants us to love Him too; the value of sacrifice and how it pleases Him; how He receives it for the conversion of sinners. That is why from that moment we began to offer Him whatever mortified us.
We lifted our heads to see what was happening. The Angel was holding in his left hand a chalice and over it, in the air, was a host from which drops of blood fell into the chalice. The Angel leaves the chalice in the air, kneels near us and tells us to repeat three times:The message of reparation for sins is again strongly emphasized. It might seem difficult to understand God's choice of these three children, the oldest being only ten years of age, to make reparation for the sins of others, but it seems to only underscore the need for all of us to make reparation for our own sins and offer up sacrifices for the sins of others. Perhaps we cannot do the "great things" that others can, but we can offer up our "small offerings" of our daily life in love to God. It is perhaps a facet of the spiritual life to which I am not familiar.
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. And by the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.
After that he rose, took again in his hand the chalice and the host. The host he gave to me and the contents of the chalice he gave to Jacinta and Francisco, saying at the same time,
Eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ terribly outraged by the ingratitude of men. Offer reparation for their sakes and console God.
Once more he bowed to the ground repeating with us the same prayer thrice: Oh, Blessed Trinity etc. and disappeared. Overwhelmed by the supernatural atmosphere that involved us, we imitated the Angel in everything, kneeling prostrate as he did and repeating the prayers he said.