Thursday, December 8, 2011

Immaculate Conception

I sure hope you all went to Mass today, after all, it is a holy day of obligation.  I meant to share this wonderful coloring page I found.  I used it in my second grade RE class to explain what the Immaculate Conception is.  So go to Catholic Icing for a copy and print it out for you kids or your RE Class.  It is sweet and I am so happy I found it.  It is the best physical way I've found to explain the concept to seven year olds. 
    

Monday, December 5, 2011

St. Nicholas Day--December 6

One of my favorite feasts of the year is that of St. Nicholas--the man who would become Santa Claus.  His generosity to the poor and his care for children seems naturally to have morphed into the Santa Claus stories of today.  His is a wonderful, fun, and inspiring story. 

Read the Children's version (great for adults, to) on The Real Santa Claus by Carol Myers by clicking on the title or go here for an adult version.
   
Go here for a St. Nicholas' Day Blessing by Thomas G. Simons as a wonderful addition to your regular advent prayer routine.  .

For online games and activities for kids go here: 

For some really wonderful printable activities for kids go here.

For some really fun crafts to make a St. Nicholas figure, including one from chocolate go here.

Celebrate this wonderful saint who was the figure behind the legend of Santa Claus. 

Feast day:  December 6.

On a more personal note, it is the day we celebrate new life for my oldest son.  He was diagnosed with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes on St. Nicholas day, 2006.  At one time in the not too distant past, it would have been a death sentence.  With the wonders of modern medicine (insulin) and modern medical technology (insulin pump the size of a cell phone) he can live a relatively normal life.  God gave him this cross for a reason we don't know yet, but we celebrate God's gift of life to him and us.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baptism Saves You Now

     Today, I was working on a paper for a college course I'm taking (at CDU--see below), when I decided to look up the phrase "baptism saves you now."  I couldn't remember exactly where it was in I Peter.  What was so funny is that many Protestant entries came on the Google search.  I clicked on the first one which did not, at first give the reference (I Peter 3:21, by the way).  It went on and on about how this verse had nothing to do with water baptism and salvation.  The rest of the diatribe was about how spiritual baptism saves us.  All I kept thinking as I'm reading this is how does this fit in with his professed sola scriptura position?  It wasn't just him, though.  There were many others with similar and differing things to say on the subject.
    
     My problem with such a convoluted explaining away of the actual context is the claim that they believe that the Bible is their "only authority" when it comes to doctrine.  Of course that first 'author' I read did not go back at all and quote the previous verses and I wonder if he'd even read them, judging by the way he twisted verse 21. 
     
"For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that He might lead you to God.  Put to death in the flesh, He was brought to life in the spirit.  In it He also went to preach to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water.  This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.  It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into Heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him."  (I Peter 3:18-22, NAB)

Honestly, even as a former Baptist, I cannot understand how one can ignore such a glaring indication of the place of WATER baptism in God's plan of salvation.  Noah and his family "were saved through water".  It says right there in black and white, "This prefigures baptism, which saves you now."  How can intelligent person in their right mind, unless of course they have a man-made agenda, pretend that this is not about literal water baptism?  Obviously, Peter does mean water baptism saves you now.  He indicates this not only by the prefigurement of the flood but also his comment afterward.  "It is not a removal of dirt from the body" can only indicate he means water.  Certainly if he meant "spirit baptism", for which the article I read tried to make a case,  he wouldn't need say anything about the removal of dirt from the body--only water can do that.  I just cannot comprehend that a man's agenda can blind him so much to God's plan.

According to the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus said, "All power in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Me.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (28:18-20a)

and in St Mark's Gospel, Jesus said:  "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned."  (16:15,16) 

How one can "reason" away these passages is a mystery to me.  How so many "bible only" Christians not only don't believe what the Bible says about baptism and it's place in God's plan of salvation, but they don't follow Jesus' command and baptism anyone.  Many sincere, well-meaning Christians have been lead far afield by other Protestants or their own "understanding."  Another indication that sola-scriptura (bible only) Christianity doesn't work.  In His Church, the Catholic Church, the Scriptures are seen as a whole, not picked apart into proof-texting.  God's plan of salvation is in all of Scripture and given to us wonderfully and mystically and spiritually in the Sacraments, including baptism, "which saves you now."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Catholic Distance University

I started my college career at 18.  However in my Junior year, I quit college because I was scared of debt.  I was already $30,000 in the hole and had another year and a half to go for my teaching degree.  I eventually joined the Air Force and paid my debt.  I also received an Associates degree during my tenure.  I considered "completion" degrees here and there, but almost every one of them was for a business degree or nursing.  I was not interested at all in a business degree and I do not qualify for a nursing degree, so I pretty much let it go.  Until now...

CDU Logo
 I looked into Catholic Distance University.  My husband was flying for an airline, and gone 2 weeks out of 4.  Call it a mid-life crisis but I panicked a little, wondering what would happen to me if he didn't come back (I've been a stay at home, homeschooling mom for almost 18 years now).   Catholic Distance University (CDU) has a Bachelor's degree completion program in a field I'm interested in--Theology.  It can be done completely online.  They've had their online Master's courses for sometime, as well.  CDU also offers catechetical certificates and education credits, and their seminars are wonderful!  This year they've even introduced an Associates' degree program.  You can do it all on line, at your convenience.  Yes, I've done school work at 1AM a couple of times.  I fit my assignments, readings, and research for papers at my convenience. 

So, if you're a stay at home mom like me, or a working man or woman who would like to finish or get a degree, and interested in studying catechetics or theology, you should check them out. 

So go here for the CDU homepage, here for information on their AA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Catholic Studies program, here for CDU's Bachelor of Arts in theology degree completion progree, and here for their Master of Arts in Theology degree.  Also available from CDU, the catechetical diploma,  courses for education credit withour applying to one of their programs, and non-credit courses and seminars for those who just want to learn more about the Catholic faith.  So, go check them out and help me win a free seminar!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hallelujah in Alaska


You have got to see this!  It is wonderful, especially if you like flash mob videos.  This is sweet!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rock and Roll

Last night we, here in Oklahoma, had a 5.6 earthquake at 11pm.  It lasted close to half a minute.  It is one of the strongest I've experienced since I was a kid in Seattle.  Two of my kids were awakened and my oldest, who was awake, all  showed up in the living room, asking me what was going on.  I told them it felt like it was between a 5 and a 6.  I didn't know how right I was until this morning!  But what a ride!  It is exhilarating at the same time it is terrifying.  Our whole house shook as if it were on rails.  No damage done--but it sounded like we had monsters in the closets.  It felt like I was "home" again in Auburn (near Seattle), Washington. 
We really are not in charge.  God has us right in His hands. 

More later...

Addendum:  We had another experience about 8 pm Saturday night.  It was "only" a 4.6.  But we were fully aware of the experience.  It was quite interesting to have a thunder storm with a threat of tornadoes, at the same time an earthquake is rocking the house.  Wow!  What is God trying to tell us?!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I know, I know, it's All Saints' Day now, but it was so fun I had to share.  My kids dressed up and went to the carnival at our parish school Saturday night.  There were all kinds of games.  My youngest son's favorite was candy corn bowling--he is obsessed with bowling.  He was, after all, dressed as a bowling ball! (The costume probably cost $4!)  He was devastated when we returned to the game after having gone to the costume contest and they had switched out candy corn bowling for a cone ring toss game.  I'll have to find one of those darn things for him.  He was surprisingly good at the tossing games.  I can only guess that is because he has a basketball hoop, and he has been playing catch with his dad.

Speaking of costumes...my oldest went as a "Steam punk" scientist, costing around $6 for a vest from the second hand store and a pair of spats made of white felt.  The rest of the costume he already had on hand.  My second son was the joker.  His was the most expensive.  I bought a shirt, tie, and 2 green shirts that I cut up to make Joker's green vest.  It cost around $15.  My third son was some sort of gaming character, costing around $10.  My daughter's hippie costume cost me around $5.  Her costume won second place in her category (6-8 grades).  So, all in all not a bad Halloween, and everyone got to dress up as the character they wanted.  They all got their pictures taken as a souvenir of the night--they were free!

Trick or treating tonight was interesting.  I would say about 1 house in 10 had its porch light on, and of those on, 1 in 4 did not answer the door.  It is hard to explain all that to an anxious 6yo bowling ball.  His older sister wanted to go another street but he just wanted to go home.  I got him to compromise, but he complain half-way round the loop home.  Just so you all know...don't sit in your dark driveway in a black hooded robe if you actually want the kids to come to your house.  I don't know about other people's kids, but mine don't particularly want to be scared by a complete stranger in the dark.

Oh, and one neighbor said, "And don't forget to celebrate Christmas."  Huh?  Does one exclude the other?  Not really.  Halloween is actually the Eve of All Saints' Day and has been a Christian celebration for centuries--not always with costumes and candy mind you but a celebration none-the-less.  It was similar to Christmas Eve, the night before Christmas, when people get together, eat a big meal then go to midnight Mass for Christmas and open presents in the wee hours of the morning.  The man's comment just struck me as rather silly.  Halloween was never a celebration of witches and monsters.  It is actually a way of making fun of them and contrasting the silliness of them with the wonderful lives of the holy people we call saints.  Anyway, a Christian CAN celebrate both.  It is perfectly legitimate and perfectly alright.

It struck me as kind of silly, too, that I was carrying about 2-3 pounds of candy in my son's sack, while at home my husband was passing out about the same amount at home.  Silly custom, isn't it?  But the children have such a good time, I haven't the heart to not go.

I found Ben & Jerry's site tonight and got obsessed with some of the fun games on the site.  They have a Halloween section but I'm not sure if it will still be there tomorrow.  I'm going to watch out for Thanksgiving or Christmas games.  Thanks Ben & Jerry's!

Now--Don't forget to go to Mass tomorrow (today).  It IS a holy day of obligation.  That means all good Catholics must attend Mass.  You do realize it is for your own soul's health.  Jesus loves you and wants to see you there!  God bless!  Have a blessed All Saints Day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ave Maria

I attended a funeral Mass Monday.  The Ave Maria was sung to the music written by Shubert while the altar was readied for the Eucharist.  I thought I'd share the Latin and English translation here.

Ave Maria Prayer : The Latin text of the Ave Maria prayer
set to the music by Franz Schubert


Ave Maria Gratia plena
Maria Gratia plena
Maria Gratia plena
Ave, ave dominus
Dominus tecum

Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Ventris tui Jesus

Ave Maria
Ave Maria Mater dei
Ora pro nobis pecatoribus
Ora, ora pro nobis
Ora ora pro nobis pecatoribus

Nunc et in hora mortis
In hora mortis, mortis nostrae
In hora mortis nostrae
Ave Maria!

The Latin text of the Ave Maria prayer
set to the music by Franz Schubert

It is the prayer that so many of us, Catholics, take for granted.  Schubert's music and the liturgical Latin just heighten the beauty of the prayer.

Ave Maria Gratia plena
Hail, Mary, full of Grace

Luke 1:28:  Gabriel said, "Hail, full of Grace..." The Church just added her name here because that is the name of the person called "full of grace" by an angel.  Interestingly, the only other time this phrase (Gr. Kecharitomenae) is used in the NT is for her Son, Jesus in John 1:14. 

Ave, ave dominus
Dominus tecum
the Lord is with you

Luke 1:28 cont:  "...The Lord is with you." 

Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Blessed are you among women

Luke 1:42:  Elizabeth said, "Blessed are you among women..."

Et benedictus fructus ventris
Ventris tui Jesus
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.    
 
Luke 1:42 cont:  "...and blessed is the fruit of your womb."  Jesus' name was added here, for obvious reasons. 

Ave Maria Mater dei
Holy Mary, Mother of God

Luke 1:43, Elizabeth also said, "Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?"
Elizabeth actually becomes the first to use this title for Mary, her cousin. If Mary is full of Grace, then see is holySince we Catholics, and most mainstream Christians believe Jesus Christ to be God the Son, and Mary is His mother, how could one object to this title?  God-bearer (Theotokos) is just as acceptable and just as true.

Ora pro nobis pecatoribus
Pray for us, sinners

Luke 2:34: Simeon's prophecy included, "...so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare."

and in John's Gospel (2:3-5) it says, "3 And they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the feast had all been used, and the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.'  4 Jesus said, 'Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not come yet.'  5 His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.'

Mary will according to Simeon's prophecy hear the secret thoughts of others and in the Gospel of John, she asks Jesus a favor and prepares for the request to be fulfilled.

Nunc et In hora mortis nostrae
now, and at the hour of our death.

From 2 Maccabees 12, it says, 44 "For had he not expected the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead, 45 whereas if he had in view the splendid recompense reserved for those who make a pious end, the thought was holy and devout."

Amen.


As we can see the "Hail, Mary" prayer can be seen in the tradition of Scripture which is part of the Tradition of His Church.  The Mysteries of the Rosary that we pray every time are Scripturally-based also.  It is a wonderful way to meditate on Scripture.

“Joyful Mysteries” (Mon & Sat)

First Decade: The Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26-38)
Second Decade: The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-56)
Third Decade: The Birth of Our Lord (Luke 2:1-21)
Fourth Decade: The Presentation of Our Lord (Luke 2:22-38)
Fifth Decade: The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)

"Luminous Mysteries” (Thurs.)
First Decade: The Baptism of Our Lord in the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13-16)
Second Decade: The Wedding at Cana, when Christ manifested Himself (Jn 2:1-11)
Third Decade: The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15)
Fourth Decade: The Transfiguration of Our Lord (Matthew 17:1-8)
Fifth Decade: The Last Supper, when Our Lord gave us the Holy Eucharist (Mt 26)

“Sorrowful Mysteries” (Tues & Fri)
First Decade: The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-56)
Second Decade: Our Lord is Scourged at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26)
Third Decade: Our Lord is Crowned with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-31)
Fourth Decade: Our Lord Carries the Cross to Calvary (Matthew 27:32)
Fifth Decade: The Crucifixion of Our Lord (Matthew 27:33-56)

“Glorious Mysteries” (Wed & Sun)
First Decade: The Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord (John 20:1-29)
Second Decade: The Ascension of Our Lord (Luke 24:36-53)
Third Decade: The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41)
Fourth Decade: The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (Song of Songs 2:2,10-11)
Fifth Decade: The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth (Gn 3:15a) (Jdt 13:18) (Jdt 15:9) (Rv 12:1) (Sir 24:4) (Sir 14:9) (Cor 4:17) (Lk 8:21)(Gal 4:19)
(From CatholicBridge.com)

You can learn the Rosary here and here 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wonderful Book on the Mass


This is the whole package that is available
 I don't think I can recommend many books as highly as I want to recommend Dr. Sri's current book, A Biblical Walk Through the Mass.  I am only halfway through the book and study guide.  I've seen the introductory video (at our last month's catechists meeting).  This book takes you not only through the biblical roots of the Mass, in what we say and do, but it also takes you through the changes to the wording of parts of the Mass that go into affect this year at Advent.

All of the materials for the parish or for personal use can be purchased from Ascension Press.  I have the book (orange cover) and the student book behind it.  I did not purchase the videos, but our parish did.  It is well worth the viewing.  This book is a must for anyone interested in the changes in the Mass this year or interested in the Biblical roots of the Mass.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Being a Grown Up

I don't know about the few of you who read my blog, but I'm tired of being a grown-up--the only grown up I know sometimes seems.  I feel like I know too much about some people and too little about others.  I have to make all the decisions, and push every one else in my life to do so.  I am the only one who can pick up anything, remind everyone else to pick up anything, or remember to pick up anything.  I am the one who runs all the errands, and must make all the phone calls.  It seems like I am the one who has to make sure everyone eats and breathes. 

Sometimes, I sit dazed at the end of the day wondering--when is my day off?  When is my break?  When do I get to have fun?

I have so long fought for my children's right to be kids that they can't be bothered to do chores, or pick up after themselves.  Now, I'm not even taken seriously unless I'm yelling at everyone.  I don't know when that happened.  I've tried to tell everyone that I don't enjoy being angry, but they don't do anything I say unless I'm yelling.  I hate it.

Being the grown up sucks. 

I need to pray more:

"When night comes, and retrospect shows that everything was patchwork and much that one had planned left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as is, lay it in God's hands, and offer it up to Him. In this way we will be able to rest in Him, actually to rest and to begin the new day like a new life."
[St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross - excerpted from Gold in the Furnace, Jean M. Heimann, copyright 2004.]

"Holy Spirit, come into my heart; draw it to Thee by Thy power, O my God, and grant me charity with filial fear. Preserve me, O ineffable Love, from every evil thought; warm me, inflame me with Thy dear love, and every pain will seem light to me. My Father, my sweet Lord, help me in all my actions. Jesus, love, Jesus, love."
Amen
[St. Catherine of Siena]

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Titles I Recommend

On a friend's blog, The Mom mentions some books she loves and recommends.  I thought I might do the same.  (I know copy cat).  But she had a very good idea.

I like Hooked on Phonics.  I have taught four children to read with this program and I love it.  However, it can be very expensive.  I have used the same books and tapes for all four kids so it was a good investment for me, seeing that number five is now using the 10 year old books.  My friend, The Mom, recommends Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  I have seen it at the library, but I have never tried it.  I didn't know about this program before I stared with HOP.  Free is good!

I love Singapore Math.  Last year was the first year I used their Kindergarten math with the Aesop's Fables books.  Loved it.  It was fun and engaging.  Stories and Math (not unlike the Mom's recommendation of Five in a Row for Preschoolers) together is engaging for that grade level.  My son loved it.

When it comes to Junior High and High School we now switch to Life of Fred.  My oldest took Beginning Algebra (Algebra I) in 8th grade, my second son in 9th.  This series is humorous and engaging, and almost self-teaching.  With minimal help from mom, my oldest has aced math up through Trigonometry.  Stan Schmidt (the author of the series) was a college math teacher and developed this series after he saw the deficiencies in the public school systems methods of teaching math.  He was also a protestant minister at one time, so he has employed Christian principles in the stores without being overtly Christian.  IOW, anyone can use them.  I cracked up one time when I read a negative review of his books because he mentions Fred, who is 6 entering a bar.  The writer was quite offended.  However, she apparently didn't read the story very thoroughly because it was a JUICE bar.   (Note:  I am happy to see that Mr. Schmidt is now developing more Life of Fred Books for the younger grades.  I look forward to looking at them and perhaps getting them for my younger ones.) 

We use the Faith and Life Series for religious education up through 8th grade.  While I also have my children read various saints stories and we try to do fun crafts and activities tied to the Church year, the material is solid and engaging.  It is thoroughly Catholic and the kids actually have a solid foundation in their Faith.  We use the texts and the activity books.  I use the teacher's resource manual but it is not strictly necessary for home use.  We use Fr. Laux High School series later on.  Plus, The Catholic Catechism by Fr. Hardon, the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, and various other recommendations by Kolbe Academy Homeschool for High School Theology. 

I will add to this as I have time in the coming week with History and English.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Ten Commandments

One of my pet peeves in Catholic Catechesis is the Ten Commandments.  In our local Catholic school, they teach the wrong version of the Ten Commandments.  Every Ten Commandments display submitted for the "Religion Fair" at school was the wrong version of the Ten Commandments.  In the parish bookstore, whenever they sell a plaque with the Ten Commandments on it, it is invariably the wrong version of the Ten Commandments.  Whenever I've been to other Catholic Churches and have seen the Ten Commandments displayed, it has been the wrong version of the Ten Commandments.  Why such ignorance of our own Faith?  I'm sure one of the reasons in the Catholic school is not only the lack of teaching nuns, but also the fact that you don't have to be Catholic to teach there.  Does anyone see a problem with an elementary school teacher teaching religion class in a Catholic school when they are not Catholic????  I don't get it.  Not only are we not properly catechizing adults and children but we are allowing those who have never learned the Faith to teach it.

Anyone who has read and loved the Scriptures all his life should, in my opinion, can see the significance of the signs of numbers in Scripture and in our Christian Faith.  Let's just look at the numbers first, then we'll talk about the significance of the redivision of the Commandments by Protestants (protesters against His Church).  The Catholic Ten Commandments are divided this way:

THREE for God: 
1. I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange Gods before me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

What is the significance of THREE?  That's a pretty easy one.  Three represents the Blessed Trinity, the Christian Godhead.  There is also the three days Christ was in the tomb, the three days of Jonah in the whale's belly as a sign of the aforementioned, and the Three Kings who visited the Christ Child. 

SEVEN for man: 
4. Honor your father and mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

What is the significance of seven?  It is the number of the completion of creation.  On the seventh day "God rested," not because of fatigue but because it was complete.   We divide our week into seven days for the same reason.

Now, let us look at the Ten Commandments changed by some Protestants.

1. I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
10. Thou shalt not covet.


Moses and Serpent image
You will be hard pressed to find any significance to a division of 4 and 6.  One will note that the first commandment (Catholic version, 2nd in the Jewish version) has been divided into two, giving protestants an excuse to accuse the Catholic Church of idolatry.  The problem with this accusation and division of the commandments as its "proof" is that not all "graven images" (ie, statues) were condemned by the 1st (now protestant second) commandment.  In fact, God commanded Moses to carve an image of  a snake for the people to look at and be healed.  Just look at the instructions for the building of the temple given by God to Solomon.  These instructions included the construction of twelve bronze oxen and golden cherubim to be displayed prominently in the temple complex.  "Don't make any graven images" obviously does not apply in these circumstances.  God was speaking about things like the "golden calf" that the people had constructed to worship as a god.  They did not worship the snake on the pole as a god but it is a "graven image."   They did not worship the golden oxen or cherubim in the temple as gods but they are "graven images." 
Our Lady of Grace
   In the same way the Protestant second commandment cannot apply to the images of Our Lady, or the Saints in Catholic Churches.  These images are not worshipped as gods.  These "graven images" are pictures of our family, our loved ones.  They are no more worshipped then the Protestant who has a picture of her mother on the wall worships her mother.  Many people find pictures, mementos, or even urns a comforting way to remember their loved ones and have them close to them.  It is the same with the Church.  Now, do some people go over board with their zeal for Our Lady or a Saint?  Of course.  That does not mean the Church is doing anything wrong. Sin by one individual does not make God wrong, nor does it make His Church wrong.

I read somewhere that there are actually 27 commands given by God in Exodus and Deuteronomy, but the Jews compacted them down to 10 because that way they could be easily memorized on two hands.  The Church kept to this tradition but changed the Jewish numbering slightly.  There is evidence that the numbering Catholics, Orthodox, and Lutherans use today may have been developed by St. Augustine in the late 4th or early 5th century.  The list of the Ten Commandments we use today was confirmed by the Council of Trent in the 16th--for what should be obvious reasons.  The protestants (except Lutherans, ironically) later changed the Ten Commandments to what they thought was closer to the "original", along with removing seven books from the Christian Bible.  As you can see by the chart below (sorry about the quality), the protestant version only matches the Jewish one on the last 6 commandments.  The 1st commandment differs and 2-4 of the Jewish commandments actually match 1-3 of the Catholic version.  I conjecture that St. Augustine saw the first (Jewish) commandment as too specific to God's People, the Jews and decided to leave it out.  I have also heard the accusation that Catholic 9th and 10th commandments were insulting because it looks as if wives were property.  Actually Catholic teaching helps us understand that the separation of wife from property in the 10th commandment proves just the opposite.  The Ten Commandments are in order of importance, as taught by the Church, and coveting someone's wife would be a much graver sin than coveting his property, and since lusting after someone's wife (and the strange marriages and remarriages in Rome of the 1st century) was a big problem for man, it was emphasized as a separate command.



The Three Current Versions of the Ten Commandments
 Did the Catholic Church change the Ten Commandments?  Yes and No.  The Christian version, like the Christian version of Scripture, varies slightly from the Jewish version.  The original Christian Church, the Catholic Church, has had the same version of the Ten Commandments (and Scriptures) since at least the 5th century. 

A case can be made that the reason Christ summed up the Ten Commandments into the Great Commandment(s) was just for this problem of division.  "Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength [covers the first 3 commandments], and love your neighbor as yourself." [covers the last 7 commandments]  No more worrying about numbering.  However, when we teach our children and catechumens about how to use the Ten Commandments as a tool for confession and a faith filled life, we need to make sure we are giving them the correct Catholic education and catechesis.

Further reading:
The Ten Commandments - Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The True Ten Commandments -- Catholic Answers Article by Fr. Wensing
The Catholic Church Changed the Ten Commandments?
The Ten Commandments -- A Comparison from EWTN's website
Word for word comparison of the different Scripture versions of the Ten Commandments in Exodus and Deuteronomy
Dave Armstrong's article on the same subject.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Crazy Summer

Wow!  I can't believe it has been over a month since I posted last.  It has been a crazy summer.  I am taking classes to complete my bachelor's degree.  I took my final last Tuesday, and turned in my 7 page term paper just a week before that.  All the kids went to at least one camp.  We had swimming lessons and lots of trips to the pool.  My oldest took his SAT and ACT in June.  We've had day camps and driving lessons (again my oldest).  We've had very few days of doing nothing--especially on the weekend when my husband is home.  I'm not allowed to sleep in, even on Saturday, that's when my husband does all the yard work with the older boys before the heat gets here. 

http://www.gwpark.org/

But summer hasn't been without its high points.  My daughter and I went on a girl's only weekend this past weekend.  We spent too much money but boy did we have a good time.  We stayed in a "cottage" in Sulphur, OK a little over an hour and a half drive away.  She wanted to visit the Little Niagara falls.  Swim, have fun, goof off.  That's kind of hard when the "falls" are a tiny, stagnate green pool.  The falls were a bust.  We found other things to delight.  We went to the lake there but my daughter was freaked out by all the fish that were curious and poked her legs.  So, we didn't do much swimming. We spent some time at the local museum.  Saturday night we enjoyed a movie on the "plaza" in town.  They showed "Remember the Titans" a movie you wouldn't think would appeal much to a 10 yo girl, but we had a terrific time watching and munching popcorn outdoors.  The stars were beautiful.  We went to church on Sunday morning but what an odd church.  They had the tabernacle veiled still, flanked by seraphim, so I thought there was hope of an orthodox Mass.  Everything was okay except for the altar girls and one of THEM preparing the altar--which is the PRIEST'S (or deacon's) job, not the altar girl's.  I was truly disappointed by that.  During Mass I tried hard not to think about it.  Then I used their restroom...guess what, another pet peeve of mine.  They had the WRONG ten commandments posted on the wall.  Why are Catholics so ignorant of the history of the protestant ten commandments?  That will be my next post.  Despite the faults of St. Francis Xavier parish we did get to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord, so it was worth the unorthodoxys in their church.  Anyway, we took another route home and stopped at G.W. Exotic Animal Park.  I guess they just want to get some revenue that day so only charged the two of us $20 to get in.  If it wasn't soooo darned hot out (around 105 degrees) it would have been the highlight of our trip.  It was amusing to see several tigers laying in the tin tubs provided for them--several with bubbles.  My youngest is obsessed with bowling.  He would have enjoyed seeing the many bowling balls and pins in the cages for the tigers' amusement.  I felt sorriest for the bears.  This Oklahoma hot spell has to be torture for a creature with dark thick fur, who belongs on a mountain somewhere far North of here.  We didn't stay as long cooing and ahing over the animals as we would have liked because we were both melting--like in that Perrier commercial.  It was pleasant, though.  I really didn't want to come home.  I would have enjoyed another couple of days in that cottage and exploring more of Oklahoma on the way home. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Must Be Doing Something Right...

...although I can't take all the credit.

My 12 yo son pounded the pavement Saturday afternoon, looking for someone, anyone to pay him to mow their lawn.  In our neighborhood, that is very hard.  Most people around here pay these roving "services" that pop up every summer, because "they have a family to feed."  What was once a great summer job for teens is now a going concern for adults.  Not that I begrudge anyone a job.  It is just that my teens have no other way to earn money before they're 16. 

Back to my 12 yo.  He finally found a job and got paid $17 dollars.  He gave his friend $2 for going around the neighborhood with him--his friend did not mow.  He came home with $15.  What did he want to do with it?  Buy a toy?  Nope.  Buy a video game or magazine?  Nope.  Some kind of treat for himself?  Nope.  He went straight to the video game store to buy a special video game book for his brother's birthday on Friday.  He knew we didn't have the money to buy presents "from" everyone in the family--so he did it himself.  I am soooo proud of him right now.  He has got a rare work ethic that I hope he learned from his father and me. 

Not to take anything away from him, but my daughter started her own enterprise this summer also.  She started her own little "business".  Her net total profits thus far--$30 dollars.  Not bad for a 10 yo.  Don't want to say what the business is because I don't want to give anyone any ideas and shut her out of her very small niche market.  Suffice to say it was all her idea, she did a great job, and went out and sold her product herself.  She is a wonder.  And, yes, she too bought her brother a gift--actually a birthday card.  She's saving up for "something special".

God Bless them both.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (or Corpus Christi)

Tomorrow, Sunday June 26, 2011, is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.  For Catholic (and I would guess our sister Orthodox) Christians this is an especially solemn day of celebration.  It is the day we celebrate the Real Presence of Jesus Christ Our Lord at Mass.

The first reading is from Deuteronomy 8:2-3; 14b-16a.  It tells the story of the manna in the desert.  The people were in the desert starving.  God provided food in the form of manna which tasted of honey (a preview of the land "flowing with milk and honey") and looked like coriander seeds.  Manna literally means, "What is it?"  It has been called the bread from Heaven.


Manna in the desert gathered up by the people.
 Moses said to the people:  "Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert, so as to test you by affliction and find out whether or not it was your intention to keep his commandments.  He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your fathers, in order to show you that not by bread alone does one live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD.
"Do not forget the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery; who guided you through the vast and terrible desert with its saraph serpents and scorpions, its parched and waterless ground; who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock and fed you in the desert with manna, a food unknown to your fathers."

Notice how this passage ties in with the Gospel reading:

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:  "I am the Living Bread that came down from Heaven; whoever eats this Bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is My Flesh for the life of the world."


Jesus offering us His Body and Blood
 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"


Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.  For My flesh is True Food, and My blood is True Drink.  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in him.  Just as the living Father sent Me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will have life because of Me.  This is the Bread that came down from Heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this Bread will live forever." 
John 6:51-58

There is nothing ambiguous or symbolic in what Jesus is saying.  "I AM the bread from Heaven."  "Whoever EATS MY FLESH and DRINKS MY BLOOD has eternal life."  He didn't say whoever symbolically eats my flesh or symbolically drinks my blood has eternal life.  There is nothing wishy-washy or symbolic about his language.  It is a wonderful mystery just as the Blessed Trinity is a mystery.  The Mass is a mystery.  I love God in all His majesty and mystery. 


Jesus, I trust in You!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Goodbye, Father Corapi, Hello Black Sheepdog

Dear Father Corapi,
We will miss your humor, your truth, your powerful messages inspired by the Holy Spirit.  I'm sorry this has happened to you the way it has.  While I am a Catholic faithful to the Magesterium, I do have problems with the American Bishops at times.  Just when you think things are looking up for the American Church, things like this happen.  It is a terrible injustice.  Yet, we know you are still a member of the Body, and we look forward to your future work.  I plan to take advantage of your book sale and reading any of the books I have yet to read.  Satan may seem to win now, I am confident (as I think you are too, from what I read) that he will not win in the end.  God bless you, Father. (Click to go to his website and message)

+JMJ+

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blessed John XXIII's Prayer for Fathers

As Father's Day is coming up, I thought I'd share Pope Blessed John XXIII's prayer for fathers with my readers.  Pray this for your father so that he will know what a special place he holds in God's plan.

Saint Joseph, guardian of Jesus
and chaste husband of Mary,
you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty.
You supported the holy family of Nazareth
with the work of your hands.
Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you.
You know their aspirations,
their hardships, their hopes.
They look to you because they know
you will understand and protect them.
You too knew trial,
labour and weariness.
But amid the worries of material life,
your soul was full of deep peace
and sang out in true joy
through intimacy with God's Son entrusted to you
and with Mary, his tender Mother.
Assure those you protect that they do not labour alone.
Teach them to find Jesus near them
and to watch over Him faithfully as you have done.
Amen.

Monday, June 13, 2011

God's providence

It is such a pain in the *** to get up and take your husband to work at 6 AM.  His car wouldn't start; it was dead.  Even jump starting it didn't work--there was nothing wrong with the battery.  So, instead of my kids missing their daycamp--my daughter in a sewing class and my 5 yo son in "All Sports"--I got the kids out of bed and took my hubby to work.  The whole time both my 5 yo and I were grumbling about it.

Well, I called the tow truck and had it towed to our mechanic about a 1/4 mile from our house.  The mechanic calls 30 minutes later and says, "It's fixed."  Needless to say I was very surprised.  I was waiting for a two hundred dollar bill or something.  It cost $35.  There was a loose connection to the starter and there was no oil in the engine.  If my husband had driven to work, the engine probably would have seized and would have cost us hundreds. 

God watches out for us.  He is good.

Pope Blessed John XXIII

Wow did I see a great movie on Pope John XXIII: The Pope of Peace yesterday.  I knew virtually nothing about him until then.  Words cannot describe how much that film moved me.  He was a brilliant man; a man with humor and heart.  He moved the Church to start an ecumenical council in just two short years--Trent took 25 years to organize!  He moved people with love and understanding.  Moved by his experiences in World War I and II and the cold war, he worked hard to talk to nations about peace.  If you ever get a chance to see this film you should.  Also, read his famous encyclical Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth).  It has moved millions.  He died two months after the publication of this important encyclical.

Pope John XXIII was beatified on September 3, 2000.
God Bless

Saturday, June 11, 2011

VBS Blues

Today I was feeling pretty good about how things were going this summer.  I have successfully navigated my son's SAT last Saturday, his taking the ACT today, one day camp, two son's apprenticeships at the science museum across town, worked on finishing up the school year, and worked on my own theology class assignment.  Whew!  Then today, I got the news--I am not cooking for VBS.

I teach my five kids all year, I teach RE to 20 kids during the school year, this year I didn't want to teach VBS.  I volunteered for cooking.  I love to bake and make treats.  To me, it is relaxing and fun.  When I volunteered to do it, I got a very good response from two of the three ladies "in charge".  I started to get excited and bought some decorations at a local Christian book store (yes, it is yet another warmed over Protestant VBS in Catholic clothing).  I researched prices, and I even researched sites to buy gluten-free, peanut-free, nut-free, milk free cake and cookie mixes.  The same site also has nut and peanut free granola, believe it or not.  All I was waiting for was my budget.

Well, apparently, the third lady gave the job to someone else.  Now, I don't think it was out of spite.  I think the problem is with having three "chiefs" so-to-speak.  So, I guess I am the nice one, the one that "won't mind" that they gave my job to someone else.  The one that won't make waves, because they want me to do the oh-so-"important" job of telling the kids how the snack ties in with the theme of the day.  Like a wimpy milk toast girl I said okay.  Well, the more I think about it, the more I am saddened and disappointed.  And, ya know what, I don't think I am going to take it.  I didn't want to teach this year.  I wanted to do something not-teaching and fun.  I wanted to be the funny, quirky lady with the apron on in the kitchen.  They are going to have to have someone else tell the kids how the food ties in with the theme.  I'm out.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Early Morning Meanderings

Last night we had a "slumber" party for my daughter.  She being the only girl (with four brothers) compensates by being the one who brings friends home frequently.  This would be fine if the friends, when they came over for a slumber party, slept.  One of the girls wandered the house and woke me up more than once.  Finally she said she wanted to go home--at 5:30AM.  I talked her into waiting until it was light out at least, and turned cartoons on.  So she has settled in for corn flakes and hot cocoa until the others wake up.

Now, I think about all the times I've wanted to write.  I am so busy, though, that I can't take the time to sit down and write...

For instance, my son and I are reading "Paradise Lost" by John Milton.  Most people I know groan when they hear the title.  It has a really bad reputation.  I remember my college fiance talking about it.  It sounded dreadful.  I had vowed never to read it.  Well, guess what?  Here I am reading Milton with my high school junior, and I am enjoying it.  Since I grew up reading the King James Bible (I am a former Baptist, after all), the language really isn't that hard for me, with the exception of  a few outdated words that are, thankfully, explained in the footnotes.  Also, we've read a lot of Shakespeare and my son had enjoyed it, so I thought my junior would have no problems with Milton.  Actually, I think it bores him.  I'm a little frustrated by that.  However, I am have a great time reading this book.  Yes, Milton slips in some snide anti-Catholic nonsense every once in a while, but for the most part it is a fascinating look at the beginning of the world, Satan, and sin.  May be I'm just weird.

I'm also taking a theology class this trimester called God, Man, and the Universe.  The final paper we have to write is scaring me a little, mostly because I don't have a lot of free time right now to write--I don't even seem to be able to make time to keep this blog up to date.  Also, I haven't written a term paper in decades.  However, I am learning so much from the class, the stress is worth it.  Just learning about atheism, polytheism, and heresies in the past and modern ages is helping to better equip me as a Catholic apologist.  It also helps me see that most of the heretics I "talk to" online have nothing new to say.  Every false and silly they have to say about God, His Church, the Bible, salvation, etc. has been around before--and defended against and defeated before.  So, it is really nice to get some more ammo in the arsenal against heresies.

For instance, their is a silly woman on one of my debate forums who claims that the Church's belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist can't be true because Jesus is on His throne in Heaven.  She says He cannot be in Heaven and everywhere in the Eucharist at the same time.  She still hasn't given me a straight answer on whether she believe Jesus is God or not.  This particular heresy, modalism, that is one God manifesting Himself in different modes, has actually popped up more than once in Church history--In Manicheism, fought against by St. Augustine, Sabellianism, and now by crazy lady home 'churches' apparently.  Oh, and she also believes the "Word" in St. John's Gospel chapter one is the Bible and not Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit is just God's soul, so to speak--really?  I don't understand where people get their crazy ideas.  That is the danger of "Sola Scriptura" or Scripture as the final authority.  If there is no one authority to steer you in the right direction concerning Scripture, you get screwy ideas like hers (or even Mr. Camping's).

Studying factual Church history and theology will (and did for me) lead one to the true Church, the one Our Jesus Christ established through His apostles.  He gave those men His authority and gave the leadership to it to St. Peter--that is not only clear in Church Tradition, which predates the Scriptures, but is clearly seen in Scripture.  I thank the Baptist church for the upbringing in the Scriptures and for my love of Our Lord Jesus.  I praise the Holy Spirit for leading me to His true Church and giving me Tradition, history, an appreciation and admiration for the Mother of God (a reference to Jesus' Divine Nature-PERIOD), St. Mary, and most especially for giving me Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist.  He said, "This is My Body...this is the cup of My Blood."  I believe Him.  I can't say enough about the Eucharist.  I can't believe I lived over 35 years without it.  Now I get to have Him the rest of my life--then eternity.  Praise God!

Well, time to take my son to his SAT.  I'm sure he can't wait--ha, ha!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Looking for some good reading this summer?

I found a good list on Catholic Summer Reading.com.  It is sponsored by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.  The reading list includes some wonderful adult Catholic books, both fiction and non-fiction, teen books, and children's books.  I had been looking for some good books for my kids to read this summer.  I am grateful to find a Catholic list.  I am also happy to find an adult list.  If I have extra time this summer, I plan to hit one or two of the books listed.  I would really like to read "The Godless Delusion" by Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley, "Kristin Lavransdatter" by Sigrid Unset, or "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" by Thornton Wilder (actually from the teen list).  So, if you have some time and the inclination, read some good Catholic literature this summer--and get the kids involved.

Link for the reading program will be on the right column throughout the summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

End of Year Blues

The end of the year is my least favorite time of the school year.  The children are even less motivated than at the beginning of the year.  As more and more kids are done for the summer, the less my kids are motivated.  We spent a lot of time on extra projects this spring which left us a little behind schedule.  I try my best to keep us close to the same schedule as the schools around us, so they can enjoy all the summer activities they can.  However, schoolwork comes first.  If we are to get the boys off to Boy Scout camp without school work hanging over their heads, they must take these next two weeks seriously and get done.  If the promise of summer vacation doesn't motivate kids to finish their work, what will?  I am out of ideas and out of patience--may be even out of my mind.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Religion as a Novelty

I just watched this video from the vortex. about how Obama loved seeing his girls meeting the pope.  Michael points out how Obama has no respect for children, as the world's leading proponate of abortion, nor the Catholic Church, a 'quaint novelty of the middle ages.'  I hope that as many Catholics as possible see this video.  I hope they are not as gullible during the next election; for if Michael's assertion is true that 'ignorant' Catholics help elect Obama, I hope and pray better educated Catholics will help boot him out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Divine Mercy Novena

The Divine Mercy Novena seems to have worked!  Peace in the world for just a moment.  God bless America!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Divine Mercy Sunday

I am posting this a little early because I am not certain I will be online tomorrow.  Our family tries to keep Sunday a day for the family. 

I think the addition of Mercy Sunday to the Church calendar was one of the best things Blessed John Paul II did for us.  What is there to celebrate more than God's mercy on us unworthy humans?  He showed mercy on His people over and over in the Old Testament.  Then, He sent His only begotten Son to die for us.  Why?  He loves us so much, He just can't let us be cursed by our own stupidity for eternity.  He loves us exponentially more than I love my children.  His only Son,  Jesus loved us so much that in obedience to the Father's will, He died for us.  His mercy was demonstrated even at the crucifixion when He said, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."  Remember His mercy on us; celebrate it!


Divine Mercy
in Greek icon style
 [Quote] Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:

Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary 341)

This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of My tender mercies. (Diary 420)


Divine Mercy Image in English
 On one occasion, I [St. Faustina] heard these words:  My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)

I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109) [UNQUOTE]

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/feast.htm#ixzz1K0xHN4qr
 
Read here on the Divine Mercy Sunday Indulgence.

Have a wonderful and blessed Mercy Sunday!

Divine Mercy Novena -- Day Nine (Easter Saturday)

"Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm, 
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy."

[We pray:]  Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.


Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Source:  http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/novena.htm

Thank you all who prayed with me all these nine days.  May you have a blessed Mercy Sunday tomorrow.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Divine Mercy Novena -- Day Eight (Easter Friday)

"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory,

and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."

[We pray]  Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.


Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Source:  http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/novena.htm

Today's Gospel:

Jesus revealed Himself again to His disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.  He revealed Himself in this way.  Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of His disciples.  Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”  They said to him, “We also will come with you.”   So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”  They answered Him, “No.”  So He said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”  So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.

So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”  When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea.  The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish.  When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”  So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.  Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. 

Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”  And none of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.  This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to His disciples after being raised from the dead. 
John 21:1-14

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Divine Mercy Novena -- Day Seven (Easter Thursday)

"Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy,
and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death."

[We pray] Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.


Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:


Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.


2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Source:  http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/novena.htm

Today's Gospel


Jesus appears to the disciples, mosaic Ravenna
 The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this, He stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.  Then He said to them, “Why are you troubled?  And why do questions arise in your hearts?  Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. 
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.”  And as He said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.  While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, He asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”  They gave Him a piece of baked fish; He took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  And He said to them,  “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.”

Luke 24:35-48