Sunday, November 30, 2008
Culture of Life. That, faced with the growing expansion of the culture of violence and death, the Church may courageously promote the culture of life through all her apostolic and missionary activities.
Fraternal Witness. That, especially in mission countries, Christians may show through gestures of kindness that the Child born in Bethlehem is the Hope of the world.
The research team found induced abortions result in increased risks for a myriad of mental health problems ranging from anxiety to depression to substance abuse disorders. Ultimately, the authors write that abortion is directly"responsible for more than 10% of the population incidence of alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, drug dependence, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and bipolar disorder" among all Americans.
Full report at LifeNews.com.
The First Sunday of Advent (Meditation)
Today the Church celebrates the First Sunday of Advent. This is the beginning of a new liturgical year. The Advent liturgy opens with that great yearning cry of the prophets of Israel to the Messiah and Redeemer whose advent they awaited. "Come!" God is not deaf to His people's cry. Fulfilling the promise of salvation made to our first parents at their fall He sent His Son into the world. And the application to all generations of mankind of the redemption that the Son of God made Man obtained for us by His passion continues until the end of time: it will conclude with the end of the world when the Messiah comes to complete His work and lead us into His kingdom. The history of the Church occupies the period between these two great events.
In the Mass of this Sunday the whole work of redemption is set before us, from its preparation in Israel's expectancy and its effect on our present lives down to its final fulfillment. The Church, in preparing us to celebrate at Christmas the birth of Him who came to snatch our souls from sin and transform them into the likeness of His own, invokes upon us and on all men the complete accomplishment of the mission of salvation that He came to perform upon this earth.
On the first Sunday of Advent, the traditional opening prayer (or Collect) prayed: "Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, and come." With this request to God to "stir up" His might, this day was traditionally called Stir-Up Sunday. Many families create a traditional plum pudding or fruit cake or some other recipe that all the family and guests can "stir-up." This activity of stirring-up the ingredients symbolizes our hearts that must be stirred in preparation for Christ's birth. (Catholic Culture)
Tis the Season - Advent! Mega Links from My Domestic Church
Advent 2008 Resources Clearinghouse from Aggie Catholics
Resources for Advent from Phat Catholics Apologetics
Advent - The Beginning of a New Year from Musings of a Catholic Bookstore
Friday, November 28, 2008
You Are Easter
You are an optimistic, hopeful, and genuinely sweet person.
Sensitive and affectionate, you are easily touched.
You love nature, animals, and anything cute or cuddly.
For you, every day is a new chance - no matter what happened yesterday.
What makes you celebrate: Almost anything. You love most holidays and celebrations.
At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The peacemaker. You can prevent any squabbles that might break out.
On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Remember to include everyone
The Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
At which the Son of God was born
Of a most pure Virgin
At a stable in Bethlehem
In the piercing cold.
At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech thee,
To hear my prayers and grant my desires.(Mention your request here.)
Through Jesus Christ and his most Blessed Mother. Amen.
H/T: Spiritual Woman
Pass this on to 5 blogging friends. Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that.
"If a brush dipped in black becomes black, and if cloth takes on the color of the dye, would not He, in the eyes of the world, have also partaken of the guilt in which all humanity shared? If He came to this earth through the wheatfield of moral weakness, he certainly would have some chaff hanging on the garment of His human nature. Putting the problem in another way: How could God become man and yet be a sinless man and Head of the new Humanity?"
This passage was excerpted from Fulton J. Sheen's The World's First Love, Doubleday Image Book, 1952.
I am passing this award/meme on to:
3. Christine the Soccer Mom
I would love to select more, but am limited to 5.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
We all have so much to be thankful for!
This year I want to share an editorial that caught my eye and made me realize how blessed we really are in this country. I'm spending a simple Thanksgiving at home this year and not travelling anywhere. I plan to have a festive day -- thanking the Lord for all my blessings -- even those things I don't always view as blessings, because God knows what is best for us and as St. Therese of Lisieux says "everything is grace." Have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving!
For Today: A Thanksgiving Prayer
Oh, God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work, help me
to remember the jobless;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer;
And, remembering, help me to destroy my complacency
and bestir my compassion.
Make me concerned enough
to help, by word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
~ Samuel F. Pugh
"For I was hungry and you gave Me food.
I was thirsty and you gave Me drink.
I was a stranger and you welcomed Me..."
~ Matthew 25: 35
Just in Time for Christmas: Planned Parenthood Gift Certificates
Online: Powerful Pro-life Film
Prayer for the Unemployed
Pope Benedict calls on society to reconnect beauty to truth and goodness
Thank you, Sarah Palin!
St. Pio of Pietrelcina: Meditation
St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr
Catholic Carnival 200: You've got to see this!
Send a Christmas Letter to a Pro-life Heroine
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The lyrics, written by Neil Thrasher and Wendell Mobley, capture perfectly the quandary of a young man whose dreams are shattered when he learns his girlfriend is pregnant. "There goes my life," Chesney sings. "There goes my future, my everything. Might as well kiss it all good-bye." In the music video the father of the child is portrayed as a star football player who is forced to give up a promising career to care for his child.
The story fast-forwards two years later when the young man realizes his daughter was no "mistake," but as the chorus eloquently reflects, she embodies "my life, my future, my everything" that he was sure he had lost. The ending reflects on the father years later as he watches the now-teenage girl drive away to college, revisiting once more his agony of detachment after learning to love his daughter's life more than his own.
(To watch the music video, go here.)
Read the entire article here.
Here's the story, from WISH-TV:
Gift certificates have become a popular holiday gift option, but a controversial new one, already has people talking.
For the first time, Planned Parenthood in Indiana is offering gift certificates. The organization said a big increase in calls and visits from newly unemployed and uninsured Hoosiers prompted what it calls the unusual, yet practical gift option.
"People are making really tough decisions about putting gas in their car and food on their table, so we know that many women especially put healthcare at the bottom of their list to do," said Chrystal Struben-Hall, VP of PP of IN.
The certificates come in $25 increments. They can be used for everything from birth control to $58 examinations that include breast exams and pap tests. Men who receive healthcare at PP can use them too.
"They can be seen for sexually transmitted disease screenings, HIV tests and general prostate exams and those kinds of things," said Struben-Hall.
Some Hoosiers... asked if the gift certificates could be used towards abortions. The answer is yes. But, PP said that's not the purpose of the gift certificates.
Struben-Hall said, "They really are intended for preventative healthcare. We decided not to put restrictions on the gift certificates so it's for whatever people feel they need the services for most."...
Planned Parenthood, this generation's King Herod, you know, the guy who ordered the mass slaughter of babies when Jesus was born.
~ Via Jill Stanek.
I just finished watching a powerful pro-life film online entitled Volition.
Here is the description: "The act of making a choice. Sometimes the choice of inaction has consequences stronger than we could ever imagine. Throughout history, men have been faced with difficult choices in a world that makes it easy for them to conform. This film explores the hope that lies behind every decision made in the face of adversity; the hope that is buried in the heart of those that look beyond themselves and see something bigger worth fighting for."
It's not long and is well worth watching. Go here to see it in its entirety.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
~ Via Catholic City.
Related Post: What do you do when you get laid off?
Pope Benedict calls on society to reconnect beauty to truth and goodness A world can be immersed in images and yet empty of beauty, Pope Benedict said today in a message sent to the Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Literature as it explores the relationship between aesthetics and ethics.
When Christians create works that "render glory unto the Father," the Pope continues, they speak of the "goodness and profound truth" that they are portraying, as well as the integrity and sanctity of the artist or author. To this end, Benedict XVI encourages believers to learn how to "communicate with the language of images and symbols ... in order effectively to reach our contemporaries."
The Holy Father also mentions how at the Synod on the Bible the bishops noted that knowing how to "read and scrutinize the beauty of works of art inspired by the faith" can lead Christians to discover a "unique path that brings us close to God and His Word."
Finally, Pope Benedict cites John Paul II's Letter to Artists, "which invites us, to reflect upon ... the fruitful dialogue between Holy Scripture and various forms of art, whence countless masterpieces have emerged." His message closes by appealing to academics and artists "to arouse wonder at and desire for beauty, to form people's sensitivity and to nourish a passion for everything that is a genuine expression of human genius and a reflection of divine beauty."
They forgot, "Thank you for standing up for special-needs kids and the unborn, and thanks for sharing your beautiful family with us."
However, I will say it for them. Thank you for upholding the precious gift of life, Sarah Palin. Thank you for being a living example of love to us!
God has other plans for you now, but we hope you will consider running for election in 2012 -- our country needs you! God bless you! Happy Thanksgiving!
H/T: Granny Grump
He who does not meditate acts as one who never looks into the mirror and so does not bother to put himself in order, since he can be dirty without knowing it. The person who meditates and turns his thoughts to God who is the mirror of the soul, seeks to know his defects and tries to correct them, moderates himself in his impulses and puts his conscience in order.
~ Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
Catherine, virgin of Alexandria, devoted herself to the pursuit of knowledge; at the age of eighteen, she surpassed all her contemporaries in science. Upon seeing how the Christians were being tortured, she went before Emperor Maximin (311-313), upbraided him for his cruelty, and with convincing reasons demonstrated the need of Christian faith in order to be saved. Astounded by her wisdom, the Emperor ordered her to be kept confined, and having summoned the most learned philosophers, promised them magnificent rewards if they could confound the virgin and turn her from belief in Christ. Far from being successful, a considerable number of the philosophers were inflamed by the sound reasons and persuasiveness of Catherine's speech with such a love for Jesus Christ that they declared themselves willing to offer their lives for the Gospel.
Then the Emperor attempted to win her by flattery and by promises, but his efforts proved equally fruitless. He ordered her whipped with rods, scourged with leaden nodules, and then left to languish eleven days without food in prison. The Emperor's wife and Porphyrius, general of the army, visited Catherine in prison; her words brought both to Christ and later they too proved their love in blood. Catherine's next torture consisted of being placed upon a wheel with sharp and pointed knives; from her lacerated body prayers ascended to heaven and the infernal machine fell to pieces. Many who witnessed the miracle embraced the faith. Finally, on November 25 Christ's servant was beheaded (307 or 312). By the hands of angels her body was carried to Mt. Sinai, where it was interred in the convent which bears her name.
Patronage: Apologists; craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters; spinners; etc.); archivists; attorneys; barristers; dying people; educators; girls; jurists; knife grinders; knife sharpeners; lawyers; librarians; libraries; maidens; mechanics; millers; nurses; old maids; philosophers; potters; preachers; scholars; schoolchildren; scribes; secretaries; spinners; spinsters; stenographers; students; tanners; teachers; theologians; turners; unmarried girls; wheelwrights.
You have to go and check out what's going on there and see how she integrates what's happening in her barn with the various posts from the Catholic community.
But first, heed her warning: You might want to run back in the house to put on some barn boots (shoes that you don't mind getting dirty) and you'll definitely want to make sure you're dressed warmly (our weather's been a lot on the freezing-cold-how-do-people-live-like-this end of the spectrum).
Pro-life heroine Linda Gibbons will spend another Christmas in jail this year for her refusal to abide by an injunction which forbids even silent prayerful pro-life witness on the public sidewalk in front of the Scott abortion mill in Toronto.
Rosemary Connell of Show the Truth Canada informed LifeSiteNews.com today that Gibbons appreciates very much the letters and cards she receives from pro-lifers all over the world. She assures them of her prayers as well.
"I know she appreciates letters and cards and the effort to send them," Connell told LifeSiteNews.com. "She enjoys letters and art work from children also. She is very humble about the number of letters she gets each day. Please consider sending a Christmas card and short letters regularly. It is great for her spirits and important that the employees of the prison know of her supporters. It reminds people of the plight of little babies being threatened by abortion."
The rules for such letters are:
- handwrite or type address and return address on envelope
- no stickers or stamped images etc. on envelope or in letter
- put return address on letter as well as envelope
- no plastic prayer cards or bookmarks
- paper prayer cards and bookmarks are fine
- she is allowed a couple of pamphlets but not many
- no questions about day to day workings of the prison
- baby saves, prayer groups, difficulties she faces.
She cannot comment on the day to day workings of the prison but will call Show the Truth with any news.
- please number your letters so she can be sure she is getting all that you send
- please include a pro-life comment in each letter
- facts of numbers of children being executed, loss of God's children, our prayer for everyone involved in abortion industry Gibbons' upcoming trial is Jan 12, 2009 in Toronto.
Letters should be addressed to
Linda Gibbons - Vanier Women's Detention Centre
655 Martin St. - Box 1040 - Milton, ON
For more information, go to LifeSite News.com.
Jordin Sparks: determined to remain a virgin
Spanish woman shows homosexuality can be overcome
Pope Benedict speaks on the Beatifications in Japan and Cuba
Simple Woman's Daybook -- November 24
St. Andrew Dung - Lac and Companions, Vietnamese Martyrs
Monday, November 24, 2008
~ Painting at The Little Sisters of the Poor
Pop Tarts: Jordin Sparks is Proud to be a Virgin But Finds Always Being a Good Girl Difficult
Jordin Sparks has made no secret of the fact that she's a virgin and plans to stay that way until her wedding night, a personal pledge that was reinforced backstage at Sunday's American Music Awards after the songstress was presented with an un-televised award as Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist. The 18-year-old was truly flattered when we gave her credit for her chastity pledge and for setting herself apart from so many other trouble-makers in Tinseltown, saying a humble thank you multiple times.
"The role model tag has definitely been thrust on me and that's something I don't take lightly," Sparks said.
The "American Idol" alum reminisced that it was just two years ago that she was sitting at home as an aspiring singer watching these very awards, but felt that there was no young performer she could really look up to as a figure of inspiration.
"That really motivated me. Being a role model is fun but I find it difficult," Sparks admitted. "I have to constantly watch myself, watch my mouth and who I hang out with."
Hmmm, perhaps that’s why Sparks has opted to take a very safe date with her when she hits the road again soon -- her grandmother.
Lozano said she decided to write the book to “help those who live tormented by a feeling of shame and/or guilt, who feel excluded or different, either because they have been victims of physical or psychological violence or because they have experienced a homosexual attraction which they neither sought nor desired.”
In her case, “it was the unbearable pain and profound unease that led me to ask for help. I could have channeled this pain in a different way, for example, by falling into deep bitterness or trying to harm others or myself, but luckily that didn’t happen. The only thing I regret is not having begun this journey sooner, since shame and loneliness are demolition machines that destroy you inside and isolate you from the world,” she said. MORE
Are you or a loved one experiencing homosexual attractions and looking for answers?
Courage, an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, ministers to those with same-sex attractions and their loved ones. Learn more here.
After praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled the fact that tomorrow, November, 24, "the beatification will take place of 188 Japanese martyrs, both men and women, killed during the first half of the seventeenth century. On this occasion, so important for the Catholic community of Japan, I give assurances", he said, "of my spiritual closeness".
Benedict XVI then went on to mention the fact that, on November 29, Br. Jose Olallo Valdes of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God will be proclaimed a blessed in Cuba. "To his celestial protection", he said, "I entrust the Cuban people, especially the sick and healthcare workers".
Speaking Spanish, the Pope directed a special greeting to Cuban pastors and faithful who will participate in the beatification ceremony at Camaguey, expressing the hope that "the intercession of the new blessed may help the Church in her evangelising mission, and bring renewed apostolic vitality to all Cubans who glory in being disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ".
Visit Peggy's to discover what the other women are thinking and doing today.
Outside my window... it's very sunny and bright. The leaves of the trees are dancing in the wind and it's in the upper 50's outside.
I am thinking...that I am looking forward to Thanksgiving this Thursday. I have so much to be thankful for this year.
I am thankful for...the hope that God gives me each day and for the grace to persevere in prayer.
From the kitchen...we are having chili tonight, as it will be cooler by the time we eat supper, which will be following Mass and our walk.
I am wearing...my soft purple pants and a pink t-shirt.
I am creating...my Plurk social journal. I am also on Twitter and enjoy both social networks.
I am going...to be busy this week cleaning and cooking.
I am reading...my devotionals and Mother Teresa's Secret Fire by Joseph Langford.
I am hoping...for my special intention to be answered soon.
I am hearing...the whirr of the washer and the soothing hum of the dryer.
Around the house...it's fairly quiet this afternoon.
One of my favorite things...is celebrating Thanksgiving and giving thanks to God for his many blessings.
A few plans for the rest of the week: reading writing, cooking, cleaning, and decorating for Thanksgiving.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
~ Via The Daughters of St. Paul.
St. Andrew Dung-Lac's name was originally Dung An Trân, and he was born about 1795 in a poor and pagan family in Bac-Ninh in North Vietnam. When he was twelve the family had to move to Hà-Nôi (Hanoi) where his parents could find work. There he met a catechist and got food and shelter from him. He also got education in the Christian faith for three years, and was baptized in Vinh-Tri with the Christian name Andrew (Andrew Dung). After learning Chinese and Latin he became a catechist, and thereafter taught catechism in the country. He was chosen to study theology, and on March 15, 1823 he was ordained a priest. As parish priest in Ke-Dâm he was tireless in his preaching. He often fasted and lived a simple and moral life, he was a good example for the people, and many were baptized. In 1835 he was imprisoned under emperor Minh-Mang's persecutions (he was called Vietnam's emperor Nero), but his freedom was purchased by donations from members of the congregation he served. To avoid persecutions he changed his name to Lac (Andrew Lac) and moved to another prefecture to continue his work. But on November 10, 1839 he was again arrested, this time with Peter Thi, another Vietnamese priest whom he was visiting so that he might go to confession.
Once again Andrew was liberated, along with Peter Thi, in exchange for money. Their freedom was brief. They were soon re-arrested and taken to Hanoi, where both suffered dreadful torture. Finally they both were beheaded December 21, 1839.
~ Excerpted from Catholic Culture.
Find out more about the Vietnam martyrs.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Do you have any gaps in your knowledge?
What do you do when you get laid off?
What is Your Blog's Personality Type?
Twelve Tips To A Better Advent Season
Solemnity of Christ the King
What Your Taste in Music Says About You
Your musical tastes are upbeat and conventional.
You are an easy going, optimistic person.
Family and friends are very important to you.
You enjoy caring for and helping other people.
You thrive in a tranquil environment, and you do your best to keep things peaceful.
You enjoy your life. You have your priorities straight.
~ Via Jackie.
There Are 1 Gaps in Your Knowledge
Where you have gaps in your knowledge:
Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:
The analysis indicates that the author of http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/ is of the type:
ISTP - The Mechanics
The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters. (Catholic Fire)
Find out your blog's personality by adding its URL here.
Here are some tips for practical strategies that can help:
1. Review your separation package: At the termination meeting, your employer should provide you with a folder of information containing specific forms and instructions to review. Review these forms carefully and do the following:
• Ask about severance pay, accrued vacation, overtime and sick pay, pension benefits, and eligibility for unemployment insurance.
• Severance packages may be negotiable. You have nothing to lose by asking for more than what’s offered.
• Request information on continuation of health and life insurance benefits. Your employer, if the company has over 20 employees, is mandated by law to offer health insurance coverage through COBRA to terminated employees for 18 months. However, it is worth asking if you will be covered for a certain period of time at no cost to you.
• Ask about outplacement resources and/or an office with a phone, computer, and a printer to use for your job search.
• Request a reference letter for your files.
2. Share the news with your partner: It may seem unusual to include this as a “must-do” step, because most people will automatically do this without a reminder. After all, it only makes sense that your partner be told immediately about your job loss. Nevertheless, some people try to spare their spouse the pain and will go through the motions, pretending that they are still working. However, trying to spare your partner unnecessary anguish, can backfire on you, when he/she finds discovers the truth and feels hurt because you have kept them in the dark.
3. Talk to your children: Once you have had the opportunity to discuss this with your spouse, you’ll want to determine the best way to share the news with your children. While you can probably wait a day or two before meeting with your children, thereby giving yourself some time to calm down and gather your thoughts, don’t let weeks go by without sharing the news. Children often have a sixth sense when something is wrong, so letting them know is vital.
4. Let people know where they can reach you during this transition period. To stay in contact with your business associates, immediately send an e-mail to them, letting them know your new contact information. While you may want to send a personal note to close contacts, a simple business-like note to the majority of your client list will suffice.
5. File for unemployment benefits: The fifth "must-do” step is to file for unemployment. Granted, you won’t get paid very much, but it is money that you are entitled to and you’d be foolish not to claim it. Fortunately, filing for unemployment has been simplified in recent years. In many states, you can now file by telephone, removing the stigma of having to stand on long lines at the unemployment office.
6. Establish a Routine: Take a day or two to rest from the stress of your loss, but don’t fall into the trap of that routine, as it can lead to greater anxiety and even to depression. Get up at your regular time and plan structured days.
7. Assess Your Goals: Refocus your energy and use this time to reassess your career goals and to get on track to find a new position. This can be turned into a positive experience for you by finding a job that is even more satisfying to you than the one you left behind.
8. Polish up your resume: Taking stock of your achievements will help ease the pain of the layoff, and setting a new career objective will help you focus your job-search efforts.
9. Identify Target Employers: Research the employers in your area and identify 15 or 20 on which you will focus your energy.
10. Execute your job search: Get assistance from your state employment office - often called a “Career One Stop”.
11. Take stock of your contacts: Make a list of everyone you know, and don’t avoid them. It’s tempting to hide sheepishly when you have been laid off, but this is the time to renew your acquaintances and let them know that you are available for work.
12. Update or create your Facebook or LinkedIn profile: Employers are using social networks to look for employees these days, so make these sites work for you.
13. Stay safe, fit and healthy: This will be a trying time. Don’t neglect your health and well being. Make your health and state of mind your priorities. Don’t blame yourself. Employees are selected to be laid off for reasons that are often beyond their control. Don’t look for reasons why you may have brought the layoff upon yourself. It’s easy to get down on yourself. Unfortunately, searching for a job is much more difficult when you lack self-confidence. Not only is it difficult to speak comfortably in a job interview when you lack confidence, but it’s also difficult to deal with the nearly inevitable rejection that is part of a job search. After all, it is extremely rare that job seekers are offered a perfect job after a single interview.
14. Revise your household budget: Prioritize your spending. Make painful cuts now to avoid even more painful ones later. Never assume that unemployment is going to be brief.
15. Pray: with your partner and your family. Seek the prayers of prayer groups in your parish, diocese, and community.
16. Trust in God. He will see you through this difficult time and will provide for all your needs.
Scripture Meditations to Focus on Now:
Matthew 7: 25 - 31
Psalms 37: 25-26
Jeremiah 29: 11 - 14
The liturgical season of Advent begins on the first Sunday in Advent, opening a new year in our Church's Calendar. The word Advent is from the Latin adventus, which means "coming" and is associated with the four weeks of preparation for Christmas.
Advent blends together a penitential spirit, very similar to Lent, a liturgical theme of preparation for the Second and Final Coming of the Lord, called the Parousia, and a joyful theme of getting ready for the birth of Christ.
During Advent, we are called upon to:
1) prepare ourselves to worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
2) make our souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace
3) make ourselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world
~from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia
Advent is a season of waiting, a season filled with hope. Here are ten tips that will help you and your family keep this season holy:
1. Use an Advent calendar and/or a wreath to mark this time of preparation. Pray Advent prayers with the family and the rosary when you light up the candle on the wreath. Sing 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel' throughout Advent.
2. Keep outdoor lights & decorations simple, using religious CHRISTmas scenes like the Nativity or a star.
3. Use a Jesse tree or an Advent tree.
4. Have your Christmas tree blessed. Remind your children that the tree is a Christian symbol and relates to many aspects of our faith.
5. Let your children know that "Santa Claus" is another name for the real St. Nicholas and tell them his story. Celebrate the day. Encourage your children to leave their shoes outside their bedroom doors on Dec. 5. When they awaken, they will find small gifts like candy or fruit if they’ve been good.
6. Participate in the Giving Tree at church. Have your children buy a gift to donate to children in need or perform some service for the poor or elderly.
7. Put a Nativity set in a prominent place in your home, but only put out some of the animals. You can put the other statues out, but in another place in your home. Each week, read a little from the Christmas story in Luke's Gospel, and move the statues a little closer.
8. Have the children place a piece of straw in the manger for each good deed they do during Advent as a gift to the baby Jesus.
9. Take the entire family, when possible, to daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and to the sacrament of Reconciliation.
10. Light a candle before the Blessed Mother when visiting the Blessed Sacrament.
11. The Mary candle: Some families have the custom of decorating the Christ candle with a blue veil on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On this great feast, others place a candle with a blue ribbon before a statue or picture of the Blessed Virgin, whose “yes” to God enabled our Lord’s coming at Christmas. The candle is lit during meal times to serve as a delightful reminder of Mary’s eager expectation of the “Light of the World.”
12. St. Lucy cakes: The feast of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, is on December 13th. This marks the opening of the Christmas season in Sweden. Her life story can be found in most saints books, as can the recipe for the traditional cakes. The symbolism is rich and her life story worthwhile reading.
Here are some great Advent links:
Today's Mass establishes the titles for Christ's royalty over men: 1) Christ is God, the Creator of the universe and hence wields a supreme power over all things; "All things were created by Him"; 2) Christ is our Redeemer, He purchased us by His precious Blood, and made us His property and possession; 3) Christ is Head of the Church, "holding in all things the primacy"; 4) God bestowed upon Christ the nations of the world as his special possession and dominion.
Today's Mass also describes the qualities of Christ's kingdom. This kingdom is: 1) supreme, extending not only to all peoples but also to their princes and kings; 2) universal, extending to all nations and to all places; 3) eternal, for "The Lord shall sit a King forever"; 4) spiritual, Christ's "kingdom is not of this world.
~ Rt. Rev. Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas
Excerpt from the Quas Primas:"Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord. We were led in the meantime to indulge the hope of a brighter future at the sight of a more widespread and keener interest evinced in Christ and his Church, the one Source of Salvation, a sign that men who had formerly spurned the rule of our Redeemer and had exiled themselves from his kingdom were preparing, and even hastening, to return to the duty of obedience."
~ Pope Pius XI
The way to "enter" into God's Kingdom "does not permit shortcuts"; rather, "every person must freely welcome the truth of the love of God. He is Love and Truth and both love and truth never impose themselves: they knock at the door of the heart and mind and, wherever they may enter, they bring peace and joy. This is God's way of reigning; this is his project of salvation, a 'mystery' in the biblical sense of the word, which is a plan that is revealed little by little throughout history."
~ Pope Benedict XVI
A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King. A plenary indulgence is granted, if it is recite publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King.
The Holy Father's Angelus Meditation on Christ the King from Whispers
Daily Resolution on the Feast of Christ the King from A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
~ Via Catholiques.
Going The Distance For Life
What Do Barack Obama Voters Know?
St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
Obama Petition: Another Chance to Sign Online
SHOCKING NEWS: OBAMA VOTERS WERE RIGHT!
When The Saints Go Marching In: Louis Armstrong - Danny Kaye
Happy Birthday, Eleanor!
The Feast of the Presentation of Mary
1.Which do you like better: cooking at your house, or going elsewhere? I like being with family, who live out of state, but I also enjoy cooking on Thanksgiving. I am thankful wherever God places me.
2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird? Frozen
3. What kind of stuffing? I make dressing - no stuffing.
4. Sweet potato or pumpkin pie? We eat both.
5. Do you believe that turkey leftovers are a curse, or the point of the whole thing? We love turkey and enjoy the leftovers.
6. Which side dish would provoke a riot if you left it off the menu? The dressing is delicious and probably the best part of the meal.
7. Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock? No, but that's a good idea.
8. What do you wish you had that would make preparing Thanksgiving dinner easier? More time
9. Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour? I'm normally already awake at the crack of dawn after working all night.
10. If you go to somebody else’s house, what’s your favorite dish to bring? Brownies or a pumpkin or cherry pie
11. What do you wish one of your guests would not bring to your house? nothing
12. Is your cranberry sauce fresh or canned? I make it fresh.
13. What’s your absolute favorite thing on the menu? I can't choose a favorite thing -- I like it all!
14. Share one family tradition. We drink some wine from our blessing cup and pray a special Thanksgiving prayer together.
Related Post: How Barack Obama Got Elected
It is believed that St. Cecilia was born in the 2nd or 3rd century A.D., although the dates of her birth and martyrdom are unknown.
Tradition tells us that Cecilia was a Roman girl of a patrician family who had been brought up as a Christian. She fasted often and wore a coarse garment beneath her rich clothing. Although she had consecrated her virginity to God, her father betrothed her to a young pagan named Valerian.
When the wedding day arrived, Cecilia sat apart from her guests, repeating psalms and praying. After the ceremony, when the guests had departed and she was alone with her husband, Cecilia made known her great desire to remain a virgin, saying that she already had a lover, an angel of God who was very jealous. Valerian, shaken by fear, anger, and suspicion, said to her: “Show me this angel. If he is of God, I shall refrain, as you wish, but if he is a human lover, you both must die.” Cecilia answered, “If you believe in the one true and living God and receive the water of baptism, then you shall see the angel.” Valerian assented and following his wife’s directions sought out a bishop named Urban, who was in hiding among the tombs of the martyrs, for this was a time for persecutions. Valerian made his profession of faith and the bishop baptized him.
When the young husband returned, he found an angel with flaming wings standing beside Cecilia. The angel placed chaplets of roses and lilies on their heads. The brother of Valerian, Tiburtius, was also converted, and after being baptized he too experienced many marvels.
Valerian and Tiburtius devoted themselves to good works on behalf of the Christian community, and they made it their special duty to give proper burial to those who were put to death. The two brothers were themselves soon sentenced to death for refusing to sacrifice to Jupiter. Maximus, a Roman officer charged with their execution, was converted by a vision that he saw in the hour of their death. After professing Christianity, he, too, was martyred.
The three were buried by the grieving Cecilia. Soon after, she was sentenced to death. The prefect tried to reason with her, but she remained strong in her faith. Consequently, he gave an order that she was to be suffocated in her own bathroom. Surviving this attempt on her life, a soldier was sent to behead her. He struck her neck three times, then left her lying, still alive, for it was against the law to strike a fourth time. She lingered on for three days, during which the Christians who remained in Rome flocked to her house. In dying she bequeathed all her goods to the poor, and her house to the bishop for a place of Christian worship. She was buried in the crypt of the Caecilii at the Catacomb of St. Callistus. St. Cecilia's body was found to be incorrupt in the Catacombs of Saint Callistus. Her body was later moved to St Cecilia in Trastevere.
She is praised as the most perfect model of the Christian woman because of her virginity and the martyrdom which she suffered for love of Christ.
At her wedding banquet, while the pipes were playing, St. Cecilia sang to the Lord, asking that her heart might remain immaculate, that she not be put to shame. This inspired early composers to write elaborate music for the antiphon used on her feast day, and St. Cecilia became the special patron of musicians. For this reason, she is usually shown at the organ, although a harp or lute may be used. Sometimes she wears a wreath of white and red roses.
Patronage: Albi, France; composers; martyrs; music; musicians; musical instrument makers; archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska; poets; singers.
"Sing a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy." ~ Psalm 33:3
Prayers to St. Cecilia
Thousands sign online demand,reveal frustration over secrecy
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Friday, November 21, 2008
Obama voters were right -- I will have my taxes reduced. I won't be paying any income taxes for a while, nor will over 2,300 other people. That is the minimum number of people being laid off here in Wichita. Today, I became a part of that statistic when I was laid off for "business reasons."
That number includes: 500 employees from Cessna Aircraft, 500 from Hawker Beechcraft, 500 at Spirit Aerosystems and 800 at Boeing Aircraft. This town went from busting at the seams just one month ago, to laying off now. Boeing and Cessna were posting record sales, Cessna had a 10 year backlog of orders. Right at the time of Obama's election, all hiring was frozen and now we have lay-offs. Our largest customer (when I was working) was Case New Holland, but they are shutting down now until after January 31 of next year, with another 400 people losing their jobs. Boy, NObama is really good for the economy!!!
THANK YOU, PRESIDENT - ELECT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA!
Chaunie Brusie shares the story of her pregnancy and her involvement with Feminists For Life.
The film was the fourth and final entry in MGM's "Broadway Melody" series of films, and is notable for being the only on-screen pairing of Astaire and Powell, who were considered the finest movie musical dancers of their time.
Give thanks to Almighty God who resists the proud and gives grace to the humble, and offer Him all the glory that this Maiden accorded to His majesty by her practice of the richest humility during her childhood and throughout the rest of her life."
~ St. John Eudes
What does the feast of the Presentation celebrate?
It celebrates the fact that the parents of Our Lady brought her to the Temple at the age of three and handed her over to live there for a long period as a virgin consecrated to the Temple, contemplating God exclusively.
What is the special beauty of this feast?
Our Lady was the one chosen before time began, the Queen of Jesse from whom the Messiah would be born. The Temple was the only place in the Old Testament where sacrifices were offered to God. It represented, therefore, the only true religion. Our Lady being received at the Temple was the first step to the fulfillment of the promise that the Messiah would come to the true religion. It was the encounter of hope with reality. When she was received at the Temple, Our Lady entered the service of God. That is, a soul incomparably holy entered the service of God. At that moment, notwithstanding the decadence of the nation of Israel, and even though the Temple had been transformed into a den of Pharisees, the Temple was filled with an incomparable light that was the sanctity of Our Lady. It was in the Temple atmosphere that, without knowing it, she began to prepare herself to be the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It was there that she increased her love of God until she formed the ardent desire for the imminent coming of the Messiah. It was there that she asked God the honor to be the maidservant of His Mother. She did not know that she was the one chosen by God. This is so true that she wondered about the meaning of the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel when he greeted her to ask her permission for the Incarnation. That preparation for Our Lady to be the Mother of Jesus Christ began with the Presentation at the Temple, the feast the Church celebrates on November 21.
Is there a grace we should ask on this day?
We should ask for spiritual help to be better prepared to serve God as Our Lady did. But the best way to serve God is to serve Our Lady herself. So, on this feast day we should re-present ourselves before Our Lady, asking her to receive our offer of service and to give us her assistance in the task of our sanctification, just as the Holy Ghost helped her at the Temple of Jerusalem.
~ Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
WASHINGTON – WND today announces the launching of an online petition designed to enlist the public's help in demanding evidence of Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility for the office of the presidency.
The electronic petition calls on all controlling legal authorities to take seriously the matter of where and when and to whom Obama was born and whether he qualifies as a "natural-born American citizen," according to Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution.
Learn more here:
Gateway Pundit: Dr. Alan Keyes Sues Barack Obama Over Eligibility
MacRanger: Trouble in Paradise: Obama’s Kenyan Birth Record on it’s Way to US
WND: Obama's state secret: His birth certificate!
'Constitutional crisis' looming over Obama's birth location
Alan Keyes lawsuit warns America may see 'usurper' in Oval Office
Supremes to review citizenship arguments
Thursday, November 20, 2008
How do I shop for Christmas?
1. I think of my family and close friends all year round, but send each one of them a special card with a personalized greeting in my own handwriting. I call each of them during the Christmas season on my cell phone and the long distance calls are free, as they are in my cricle.
2. When I see something during the year that reminds me of the person and it is affordable on my budget, I buy it.
3. When I read or review a new book or DVD and finish it, I give it to the person whom I think will most benefit from it or the person who will enjoy it the most.
4. Each year I go the Knights of Columbus fundraiser for a local pro-life facility. There I can get practically new books or like new books for both children and adults, CD's, or DVD's for a fraction of the cost that you would pay in the stores.
5. One of the best gifts is to donate money to a charity in the person's name -- even small monetary donations make a treasured gift.
6. I offer the gift of companionship and time. I invite someone to my home who is away from family and friends to share dinner with us. If someone is lonely or distraught, I give the gift of my time and listen to them.
7. I bake extra cookies, brownies, and special treats, wrap it up and share it with others. I try to personally deliver it.
8. I offer to perform a service for the other person, such as babysit for a couple with a handicapped child who rarely are able to spend time together.
9. I write a personalized poem for the person.
10. I offer the gift of prayer -- something we can all use.
Here’s what you do: Band Name: Random Wikipeda Link
Album Title: Random quote generator (take the last four words from the first quote on the page)
Album Art: Flickr Interesting Photo (pick one)
Here’s what I came up with for Band Name: Dancing Satyr
Album Title : Does Away with Fear
And the album cover:
From Operation Rescue: Maxwell Leaves Monnat Miffed As Tiller Hearing Is Continued To January
“I go to church every week. I went to Catholic schools my entire life.” But, says Shriver, when it comes to Church teachings, “I pick and choose… I think I’m probably a ‘Cafeteria Catholic.’”
“I don’t believe that if someone’s divorced they shouldn’t get Communion; I don’t believe that people who are gay shouldn’t be accepted into the Church… I’m pro-choice, I believe women should have that right.” She also said “women should have a larger role in the Catholic Church.” What she does like about Catholicism, said Shriver, are its teachings on “compassion” and “social justice.”
H/T: Carl Olson
When asked last week whether a Catholic politician voting for the FOCA – which would impose nationwide abortion on demand and government funding of abortion – would incur automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said the question would need to be discussed once the actual language of the bill was known. Entire article at CNS News.
H/T: Jay Anderson