Thursday, February 18, 2010

Encouragement for modern times

Take heart brothers and sister.  From the beginning of the Church, The Church has felt deeply the struggle against the twisting of Christ's message and the Church He left behind.  I found this passage from St. Eusebius very encouraging.  Note:  He wrote his history just after Christianity became the approved religion in the Rome Empire.

 I hope it helps others out there, too.  I highly recommend Eusebius' 'History of the Church' as reading material for Lent.  It makes me glad I live in modern America.  Right now anyway, we can not be persecuted like Catholics were in the first 3 centuries after the Pentecost.

"But this propaganda lasting success, for Truth asserted herself, and with the march of time shone with increasing light. For by her activity the machinations of her foes were promptly shown up and extinguished, though one after another new heresies were invented, the earlier ones constantly passing away and disappearing, in different ways at different times, into forms of every shape and character. But the splendour of the Catholic and only true Church, always remaining the same and unchanged, grew steadily in greatness and strength, shedding on every race of Greeks and non-Greeks alike the majestic, spotless, free, sober, pure light of her inspired citizenship and philosophy.  Thus the passage of time extinguished the calumnies against the whole of our doctrine, and our teaching remained alone, everywhere victorious and acknowledged as supreme in dignity and sobriety, in divine and philosophic doctrines, so that no one today could dare to subject our Faith to vile abuse or o any such misrepresentation as in the past those who conspired against us were in the habit of doing."

--Eusebius, "The History of the Church (from Christ to Constantine)", pg. 110 (London: Penguin Books, trans. c. 1965, Rev. 1988), trans. G.A. Williamson.

Picture:  Reliquary of St. Eusebius

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lent and Ash Wednesday

Don't forget to go to Ash Wednesday Mass or Service tomorrow.  It is a wonderful part of the Church season of Lent.  It reminds us that this is our temporary home and that we are meant to be with Our Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven someday.

If you would like to do some reading on Ash Wednesday and Lent, please see the following:

On the traditions of Ash Wednesday:

Catholic Encyclopedia on Lent:
Meaning of Lent:

I found a terrific article on Lent and the Catholic traditions, such as fasting and abstinence:

Why do Catholics Abstain?  Go here:

Beyond Lent (from a friend's blog):

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Women and Friends

Dear Reader,
I had a terrific time at the Oklahoma Catholic Women's Conference.  I was happy to hear that although Oklahoma has one of the relatively lowest percentages of Catholics in its state, but we have one of the largest Catholic Women's conferences.  There were over 750 women there!  Praise the Lord.  I enjoyed the fellowship with all the women I talked to.  Teresa Tomeo was my favorite speaker.  She is a true women's libber.  The Church has been an advocate and champion of women and women's rights from the beginning of her existence and Teresa gave us a lot of spiritual weaponry on the score.  Speaking of spiritual weapons, Elizabeth Ficocelli's presentation on many of the Marian apparitions of the last 200 years, gave us many pointers on the spiritual weapons we could use today for the health of the world.  More on that later...

I enjoyed the spirituality of the conference.  I got to confession and got some things off my chest.  I talked to some lovely women I hadn't seen in a very long time.  Hi, Joanne!!  Hi, Joelle!!  Hi, Jane!!  It was really great seeing you.  (How come they all start with J?  Hmmmm.  Interesting) 

Then I thought of others I consider(ed) friends.  Why are so many women hard on other women?  We need each other and can help each other.  Why do women always feel that other women are competing with them?  I wish women could always be supportive of each other and were willing to support each other no matter what.  But, if wishes were horses....  Even when I show support for my 'friends', I feel that I am being suspected of competing.  We do have a lot in common, but we also have a lot that is definitely not in common.  I don't need to compete.

 There have been sooo many times that I have been alone in searching for and getting help and resources for homeschooling, only to come to find out many 'friends' already knew those things.  Why does it have to always be such a lonely pursuit?  There have been many times where I've given someone advice and they just blow me off and do it the hard way, anyway.  I've taken advice from others, some has been good and some not so good.  But, I listen and take it into consideration.   One of the reasons I started this blog was to try to help others.  I plan to get back to that pursuit.  If I help one homeschool mom, or one mother, or one woman who wants to be a friend in just one aspect of their life, I will have succeeded. 

God bless all women and mothers, everywhere.

"Discard not an old friend, for the new one cannot equal [her].  A new friend is like new wine which you drink with pleasure only when it has aged....As best you can, take your neighbors' measure and associate with the wise.  With the learned to be intimate; let all your conversation be about the law of the Lord.  Have just [women] for your table companions; in the fear of God be your glory."  (Sirach 9:10, 14-16)