The existence of angels - a truth of faith The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition. Who are they? St. Augustine says: “‘Angel’ is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it...
Seven Great Qualities of a New Evangelist
According to Fr. Barron, a New Evangelist must: Be in love with Jesus Christ. Evangelization is sharing a relationship with Christ, and you can’t give what you don’t have. Be filled with ardor. John Paul II said the New Evangelization must be new in ardor or fire. Know the story of Israel. In other words, they must know salvation history. Know the culture. You have to know what your audience...
Ecclesiastes calls you the All-powerful; the Maccabees call you the Creator; the...– Victor Hugo, Les Miserables (via shortbreadsh)
The Church as the New Eve
From Adam’s side came forth one who was both body and bride: Eve, formed from his body, was bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh. Joined in him in marriage, she became one body with him, his body, as he became her body. Similarly, from the side of Christ pierced by a lance came the Church. “The Origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from...
Scripture Reflection: Luke 1:39-45
The Visitation “Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your...
Scripture Reflection: Luke 5:17-26
Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of...
Scripture Reflection: Matthew 8:5-11
The Faith of the Centurion When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.For I myself am a man under authority, with...
Who is going to save our Church? Do not look to the priests. Do not look to the...– Archbishop Fulton Sheen (via sermoveritas)
So the other day, I was having a conversation with a friend about his vocation. As I was sharing with him my discernment process, prayers, and reflections, I shared with him my heart’s desire. I want to be a married saint. I know that seems pretty bold to say, but it was Blessed Mother Theresa who is quoted, “Sainthood (holiness) is not the luxury of a few, it is everyone’s duty: yours and...
My Side of the Confessional: What Is It Like for a...
I was once riding in a shuttle-bus with a number of older folks on the way from an airport. They noticed that I was a priest and started asking questions about it. “Do you do all of the priest stuff?” “Yep.” “Even the Confession thing?” “Yeah. All the time.” One older lady gasped, “Well, I think that that would be the worst. It would be so depressing; hearing all about people’s sins.” I told...
St. Martin of Tours: Soldier, Bishop, Saint
Martin’s approach, in its simplicity, would unleash their enthusiasm; all they needed to do was to accept the truth that they received everything from God. This is the faith that does not seek to work out reasons; the important thing is to contemplate the mystery and to trust that the mystery is a shining light. In such cases, very simple preaching that is accessible to everyone is also...
Remember the Innumerable Gifts of God
Open my heart, O Lord, to Your law and teach me to talk in the way of Your blessings - all of them and each single one of them - with great reverence and care so that henceforth I may return worthy thanks for them. I know that I am unable to give due thanks for even the least of Your gifts. I am unworthy of the benefits You have given me, and when I consider Your generosity my spirit faints away...
Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses...– St. Ephraem (via petrapostle)
Eucharistic Adoration Flash Mob
Eucharistic Adoration Flash Mob Jesus Christ is in every book of the Bible… In Genesis Jesus is… “The Seed of the Woman” In Exodus He is… “The Passover Lamb” In Leviticus He is… “The Priest, the Altar & the Sacrifice” In Numbers He is… “The Pillar of Cloud by Day and the Pillar of Fire by Night” In Deuteronomy Jesus is… “The Prophet Like Moses” Come and kneel before...
Avoiding Idle Talk
Shun the gossip of men as much a s possible, for discussion of worldly affairs, even though sincere, is a great distraction inasmuch as we are quickly ensnared and captivated by vanity. Many a time I wish that I had held my peace and had not associated with men. Why, indeed, do we converse and gossip among ourselves when we so seldom part without a troubled conscience? We do so because we seek...
The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love
I BLESS you, O Heavenly Father, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, for having condescended to remember me, a poor creature. Thanks to You, O Father of mercies, God of all consolation, Who with Your comfort sometimes refresh me, who am not worthy of it. I bless You always and glorify You with Your only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, forever and ever. Ah, Lord God, my holy Lover,...
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow...– Prayer of St. Francis (via approximatelyinfinity)
Praying with Scripture
GOD SPEAKS TO US FIRST This fundamental truth makes it possible for us to pray to God. God has been concerned for each of us long before we became concerned for ourselves. God desires communication with us, speaks to us continually, -through Jesus Christ, His Word; -through the Church, the extension of Christ in the world (because we are joined together in Christ, God speaks to us through other...
The World Vs. The Bible
For any human on planet earth to have a chance to get to heaven, choices have to be made. Choices regarding whether or not the things of this world are important to us, or whether the things of the next world are more important to us. Some are mutually exclusive. Loving the things of this world can make us hard and insensitive to others, because pride sets in, and the thought process becomes one...
Uncle Eddy's Daily Spiritual Vitamins: 9/9 St... →
uncleeddy: Dear Clyde, So you’re bored at Mass and you’re distracted in prayer. Welcome to the human race. If being holy were fun and easy, sinners would be saints. Get humble, accept your imperfections, and work to improve them instead of complaining about them. The only worrisome thing in your…
Continuing Christian Education (CCE)
“From this we see the supreme importance of Christian education, not merely for each individual, but for families and for the whole of human society, whose perfection comes from the perfection of the elements that compose it. From these same principles, the excellence, we may well call it the unsurpassed excellence, of the work of Christian education becomes manifest and clear; for after all...
Daily Reading Reflections, 08-20-2012
What gives hope and satisfaction to our desire for happiness and security? A young man who had the best the world could offer wealth and security came to Jesus because he lacked one thing. He wanted the kind of lasting peace and happiness which money could not buy him. The answer he got, however, was not what he was looking for. He protested that he kept all the commandments; but Jesus spoke...
Transfiguration of the Lord Reflection
Are you prepared to see God’s glory? God is eager to share his glory with us! We get a glimpse of this when some of the disciples see Jesus transfigured in glory on a high mountain. [In the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican churches, this event is celebrated as a major feast on August 6.] Jesus often went to a lonely place to pray to seek solitude and sanctuary away from the crowds....
Daily Reading Reflections, 07-25-2012
Who doesn’t want to be first, to be esteemed and honored by others? We seem to have an unquenchable thirst for recognition and fame, power and authority to rule our own lives as we please as well as the lives of others. Should we be surprised to see the disciples of Jesus thirsting for power, position, and authority? James and John, the sons of Zebedee, urged their mother to strike a deal...
Biblical typology is when a person or an event in the Old Testament foreshadows a person or an event in the New Testament. The bible is full of these kind of things. It is a primary tool of Catholic biblical exegesis to study these, because they all point toward the fact that Jesus Christ is indeed the Messiah (the Anointed One) promised to the Israelites for centuries. There are numerous...
Friendship: the love that dare not speaks it name.
Once upon a time, there was friendship. Once upon a time, society accepted that the love of friends could be the single most important thing in a person’s life, and they did more than just accept, they celebrated the fact. Throughout history, discourses and sermons have been written in praise of friendship. When Alfred Tennyson’s friend Arthur Hugh Hallam died tragically young in 1833, he spent...
If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend...– Epictetus (via fathershane)
Daily Reading Reflections, 06-20-2012
1st Reading: 2 Kings 2:1,6-14 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 31:20, 21, 24 Gospel: Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 Why did Jesus single out prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for his disciples? The Jews considered these three as the cardinal works of the religious life. These were seen as the key signs of a pious person, the three great pillars on which the good life was based. Jesus pointed to the heart of the matter....
Cancelling or Fulfilling – Emptiness or Plenitude →
joecatholic: Father Shawn Aaron, LC Listen to podcast version here. Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not…
Daily Reading Reflections, 06-07-2012
1st Reading: 2 Tm 2:8-15 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 25:4-5ab, 8-9, 10, 14 Gospel: Mk 12:28-34 What is the purpose of God’s law or commandments? The Pharisees prided themselves in the knowledge of the law and their ritual requirements. They made it a life-time practice to study the 613 precepts of the Old Testament along with the numerous rabbinic commentaries. They tested Jesus to see...
Daily Readings Reflection, 06-06-2012
1st Reading: 2 Tm 1:1-3, 6-12 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 123:1b-2ab, 2cdef Gospel: Mk 12:18-27 How reliable is the belief that all will be raised from the dead? The Sadducees, who were a group of religious leaders from the upper classes in Jesus’ time, did not believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead to eternal life. They could not conceive of heaven beyond what they could see with...
The Lord's Prayer - العربية (Arabic)
treasuredwealth: أبانا الذي في السموات، ليتقدس اسمك، ليأتي ملكوتك، لتكن مشيئتك، كما في السماء كذلك على الأرض، اعطنا خبزنا كفاف يومنا، واغفر لنا خطايانا، كما نحن أيضاً نغفر لمن اخطأ الينا، ولا تدخلنا في التجربة، ولكن نجنا من الشرير، لأن لك المُلك والقدرة والمجد إلى أبد الدهور.
Book of Revelation -Apocalyptic literature: from the Greek apokaloupsis, which means revelation. -A type of writing popular in the Jewish-Christian culture from 200 B.C. to 100 A.D. -Disclosure of heavenly mysteries -Product of a time of great crisis and distress -Language is symbolic -Imagery attempts to go beyond mere words in describing political and social reality Persecution...
A Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
A visit to the Blessed Sacrament is something we all should do more often. Catholics know that the consecrated host is really the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, the same Jesus Christ that was born in Bethlehem and died for us in Jerusalem. If the Pope were to come to our church, we would all be clamoring to get a seat to see him. But let the church offer Eucharistic Adoration...
St. Matthias, Apostle
He was not one of the Twelve; but after the treachery and death of Judas Iscariot, someone was needed to take his place. Two candidates were selected, and lots were drawn to see which of them should be made one of the Twelve: the choice fell on Matthias. Nothing is known for certain about his subsequent history. Drawing lots to select a candidate for an office sounds strange to us, but it was...
Paul: The Man and His Letters
The Man Paul: -Born 0-10AD -Grew up in Tarsus, southeast coast of Asia Minor (Modern Turkey) -From the Tribe of Benjamin and a Pharisee -Studies with Gamaliel to be a rabii -Supported himself as a tentmaker -Roman Citizen -Converted on the Road to Damascus -Made three missionary Journeys -Arrested in Jerusalem, beheaded in Rome Paul’s Adversaries -Hellenists: non-Greeks who spoke Greek and...
The Gospel of Matthew
Author: -Tradition holds the apostle Matthew the tax collector -No name given in the text -Used Mark and Quelle as sources -Author clearly a Jewish Christian who stands in opposition to Jewish Leadership -Probably a Jewish-Christian scribe -Knew of the 70AD Temple Destruction -Writing to a Jewish-Christian Audience Date: -Most scholars date at 80 AD near Antioch -Church tradition places priority...
The Gospel of Mark
Author: -Tradition holds John Mark, associate of Paul, Barnabas and Peter. -Greek speaking, but not from Palestine -Most likely a Roman Christian -Shows no knowledge of Jewish Revolt in 66-70AD -Is writing to a persecuted community, most likely in Rome under Nero Date: -Most scholars date around 68AD Characteristics of the Gospel: -Fast moving writing style. Uses term...
St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
He was born Mark Roy or Rey in 1577, in Sigmaringen, a town in modern-day Germany, then under the Principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. His father’s name was John Rey. He studied law and philosophy at Freiburg. Roy subsequently taught philosophy at the same University of Freiburg, ultimately earning the degree of Doctor of Law. During his time as a student he did not drink wine, and...
Q & A about Purgatory Part II
“But purgatory is unnecessary, for Christ’s death on the Cross has paid all debt of punishment for sin.” Christ’s death on the Cross sufficed to redeem humanity and free us from the eternal damnation of hell, but it did not free us from the need to undergo temporal punishments for sin. For example, humanity is still subject to the temporal punishments of labor, pain,...
The Image of the Unseen God →
joecatholic: St Paul tells us that Jesus Christ is ‘the image of the unseen God.’ (Col. 1:15) In other words, in Jesus we see what God is really like. The reason images were forbidden in the Old Testament was that God’s intended image was still to come. While graven images of God were forbidden the Old Testament, there were plenty of word pictures of God. The images are rich and abundant. God is...
Q & A about Purgatory Part I
“I don’t believe in purgatory, because it is not mentioned in the Bible! There exists only heaven and hell.” The Catholic Church teaches that purgatory is a temporary place of purification where those who have died undergo a period of expiation to remove all stain of mortal sin duly forgiven or all stain of unrepentant venial sin. Souls are sent to purgatory as “nothing...
Uncle Eddy's Daily Spiritual Vitamins: 4/17 St... →
uncleeddy: Dear Don, Glad to hear that your “business” is doing so well, you’re a chip off the old entrepreneurial block. Being able to pay your own way through school will free up some of your parents’ funds to help offset the educational costs of your less business-minded siblings. One caveat, though…
Daily Readings Reflection, 04-14-2012
1st Reading: Acts 4:13-21 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 118:1, 14-15, 16-18, 19-21 Gospel: Mark 16:9-15 Reflection: How amazing that Jesus first went to Mary, the adulterous, the sinner, the outcast, before any of Apostles! How amazing that Jesus came to the least among them to let her know first that He was risen. Because of her childlike faith, she believed immediately and came over to tell...