Showing posts from December, 2003
Striving Toward Mysticism "It is normal for all Christians to strive to become mystics." This is what I heard in a talk on prayer this evening that nearly knocked me off my chair. When we think of a mystic, we assume the saint has extraordinary gifts, such as the stigmata. The speaker was actually referring to the mystic's unique prayer life of contemplation that all Christians should strive to emulate. He presented the example of Eizabeth of the Holy Trinity (Elizabeth Catez). Elizabeth was born on July 18, 1880 in a military camp in the diocese of Bourges, France to Captain Joseph Catez and Marie Catez. Her father died when she was seven, leaving her mother to raise Elizabeth and her sister. Elizabeth was a strong-willed, exuberant, and popular young lady. She had a great reverence to God, and practiced a beautiful, but simple prayer life. She was a gifted pianist and had a talent for making friends, participating in a very active social life. At the same tim
Pro-Life News Take Action on Plan B The week before Christmas, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) committee recommended that the FDA approve the "morning-after pill" for over-the-counter sale. The pill prevents or terminates pregnancy after unprotected sex, which means it sometimes causes abortion. It also facilitates the cover-up of sex crimes and has unknown health effects on women and girls. Foolishly, this committee wants the FDA to allow stores to sell the pill right off the shelf like aspirin and candy bars. Let's make our voices heard at FDA. E-mail or write a letter to FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan and give him the following reasons to oppose the over-the-counter sale of "Plan B," the morning-after pill: 1.. The FDA does not know if Plan B is safe for long-term or repeat use. The committee could produce no studies showing that the pill is safe for women. 2.. The FDA does not know if Plan B is safe for young girls. When asked if they
The Feast of St. Thomas Becket St. Thomas Becket was born in London, England in 1118. His father was a Norman knight, Gilbert, who had become a prosperous merchant in London; his mother was also Norman, and he had at least two sisters. Thomas was noted for his piety, his strong devotion to Our Lady, and his generosity to the poor. Richly endowed by nature, he was tall, handsome, strong, and athletic, with dark hair, pale complexion and a prominent nose. His sight and hearing were unusually keen, he had an excellent memory, and he was a gifted speaker and debater. He enjoyed playing field sports as a boy, and as a young man, his energy, his practical ability, and his initiative exceeded his wisdom and his judgment. He was educated at the Merton Priory in Sussex and at the University of Paris. When he returned to England at twenty-one, he obtained an appointment as a clerk to the sheriff’s court, where he showed great ability. He was determined to make it on his own in th
Feast of the Holy Family I keep hearing the lyrics of a Carole King song in my head. "It's too late, now. It's too late, though we really did try to make it." I suppose that song dates me, although it wasn't until the late 70's that I actually did get to see her perform on stage at my alma mater. What does this have to do with the Feast of the Holy Family? Forgiveness and healing of families has been on my mind for the past few days. Holiness is a real possibility and needs to be a goal that we strive for in our families. Unlike the secular families today, who focus on the importance of altruism for the sake of maintaining one's social status in the community or helping others because it makes us feel good inside, the Catholic family loves one another because it is what God has commanded us to do, and the fruit of that love is so bountiful that it cannot be contained within the family unit, but overflows into the community of both believers and no
Happy Feast Day of St. John! What a beautiful day to celebrate! Simply because I was blessed to be named after this dear saint, whose name means "God is gracious", and belong to the Community of St. John, is no reason for me to show the least bit of favoritism toward him. I would have loved him anyway (I hear a song somewhere in the back of my head with those lyrics), because he was the "beloved" disciple. He alone reclined upon the chest of Jesus at the Last Supper. He was the only apostle to remain with Jesus at the Foot of the Cross at Calvary along with the Blessed Virgin Mary and other holy women. While standing there, beside Mary, St. John was personally assigned by His Master to be the "son" of Mary-- to care for her, to love her, and to comfort her in her grief-- and Mary to be John's Mother. [ "Woman, behold your son." Behold, your mother." --John 19:26,27] Obediently, John took her into his home and lovingly cared for h
Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men! This theme and these words has been going through my head for the past few days. Could it be the recurring lyrics of Christmas carols that I have been hearing lately in the middle of the night? All musicians hear music when it isn't playing. I think it is something much more that and it's a message that is so important for all of us to ponder when there is so much chaos, violence, and unrest in our world today. When will it happen? Will it ever happen? Is it possible in this life or will it become only a reality in the next life? I believe that God can and does use each of us to be instruments of His peace in this life. We can radiate peace to others when we ourselves carry that inner peace in our hearts. How do we acquire that peace? I believe that obtaining peace is not something that happens to us overnight, but it is a process of spiritual growth obtained through discipline and the acceptance of special graces God offers us.
December 23, 2003 Today is the feast of St. John of Kanty or Cantius (1390 - 1473) in Poland. He was a distinguished professor at the University of Krakow and a benefactor of the poor. As an ordained priest, he was appointed to a lectureship at the University. However, jealous rivals managed to get him removed from his teaching postion, and he was assigned to work as a parish priest. He was a model pastor and won the love of his parishioners, who wept when he returned to the University as professor of Scripture. He held this position for the rest of his life, and became famous for his teaching, his humble life of poverty, and his extreme generosity to those in need. One of his favorite sayings was:"Fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness, and love. Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause." When he died at the age of 63, he was mourned by all, and was already known as being instrumental in many miracles. He was cannon

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