Sunday, May 31, 2009

May God Have Mercy

I can't believe I am posting yet again today, but this needs to be said. I do not usually engage in political posting nor do I usually write on "hot topics", but as someone who is truly pro-life, I need to add my voice to this story.
George Tiller, infamous abortionist was shot dead at his church this morning. The details of the story and Mr. Tiller's killer are still coming in. You can click the link for the rest of the story.
All I would like to do here is add my prayers for Tiller as well as his murderer. What this person did is just plain wrong and it does not help the cause for life at all; in fact it can and probably will do more harm.
My opinions aside, I just ask that pro-lifers and all Christians offer their prayers for Tiller, his family, and for Tiller's murderer. May God have mercy on us all.

Here are some other links to Catholic bloggers who report on this type of thing better than I do:
Mark Shea at Catholic and Enjoying It
Creative Minority Report

Eternal rest grant him, O lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he, and all the faithful departed, rest in Your peace. Amen.

*I've closed the combox on this one because I do not want to engage in debate, I just wanted to offer prayer and encourage others to do the same. Thanks for understanding.

The Feast of Pentecost ~Birthday of the Church

Happy Birthday to Our Church!
Fr. Mark at Vultus Christi has two beautiful meditations for this great feast day.


Prayer For Priests This Pentecost

The Church celebrates the feast of Pentecost today; it is the day the Holy Spirit came upon all those gathered in the Upper Room after the Ascension of our Lord. We too, have received the Holy Spirit. Part of accepting this gift is listening to the promptings of this Spirit of God within us and then following through on what we hear. No, this is not a theology or catechesis post as I am not qualified to speak that way. It is simply a post that illustrates how I have heard and felt the promptings of the Holy Spirit in regard to a very specific intention, that of praying for our priests.
Several weeks ago after reading a post on Fr. Mark's blog, Vultus Christi, I began doing as Father suggested and offer a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament offering prayer and reparation for priests. Since then, this intention has been weighing even more heavily on my heart. Those of you who read this blog know I have written several posts on the importance of praying for priests.
I have found the Holy Spirit to be relentless in this area, and with good reason; our priests need our prayers now more than ever.
Yesterday while I briefly stopped by Twitter, there was a tweet from Adoro, whose tweets I follow, on this topic of praying for priests. We exchanged one or 2 tweets and that was that ~ or so I thought. After I received her reply tweet, I had wanted to ask her about resources for ways to offer prayer for priests, but I was distracted and left Twitterland for that day.
This morning I was skimming through my Google Reader and came upon this post by Adoro. It links to a site titled Priests in Crisis. Today's post on that site is the story of Fr. Gordon MacRae who is serving a 33 year prison sentence for a crime he did not commit. You can read
Fr. Mac Rae's story here or link to it through Adoro's post. If you feel moved to do so, you can leave father a note of encouragement and prayer in the comment box of the site.
I bring all of this to your attention to reiterate my plea of past posts to pray for our priests. We need them desperately and they need us!
This was a bittersweet God Moment for me; on the one hand I am always amazed and overjoyed by how God speaks to and within me, but today it came in the heart-wrenching story of a priest in need.
So let us entrust our priests, especially those who may be in crisis of any kind, to our Blessed Mother who will bring them to her Son.

Sunday Snippets ~ A Catholic Carnival #7

I know today is Pentecost and I should probably be posting about this very important feast, but my posts for this week are related to a different feast ~ that of the Visitation. While the Church celebrates it's birthday today, I also celebrate a birthday of sorts ~ my "spiritual birthday", so to speak. As a Catholic, I know that it is not about me, but I hope you will forgive my moment of self indulgence as you read The Time of My Visitation. It is a brief reflection on the significance of the feast of the Visitation in my reversion.
In the days following my reversion, I found myself very drawn to the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Both the first post I mentioned, as well as The Sacred Heart of Jesus and Me, do bear a connection in my overall story of return.
Finally, a post that has nothing to to with either of the first two, Our Father's Love Letter is a video post that Scripturally tells of God's immense love for each one of us.

*Thanks, as always to RAnn at This That and the Other Thing for hosting. Click the link for information on how to join the carnival and to read posts by other Catholic bloggers.

The Time of My Visitation

Today the Church celebrates its birthday in the Feast of Pentecost. If this were not a Sunday, let alone Pentecost Sunday, we would be celebrating another beautiful feast day ~ that of the Visitation. Shortly after learning of her own pregnancy, Our Lady rushed to her cousin Elizabeth who in her somewhat advanced years also found herself pregnant.
The reason I am writing about this particular feast is because it was this day seven years ago that I made the decision to come back to the Church. Now my actually being able to walk back into a church and receive Holy Communion worthily would be about six months down the road, but on this particular day I could no longer resist Christ's invitation to return to Him. What I have come to believe over these last 7 years is that our Blessed Mother was behind it all. She was doing at that moment what she always does; she was leading me back to her Son. Although in my case at this point in time I think there was some dragging by my hair involved ~ at least at the beginning. The date of my reversion is no mere coincidence. Just as Elizabeth was visited by Mary and Jesus, I too had my own moment of visitation.
One thing I began to do almost immediately after this day was I began to pray the Rosary again. The Visitation would now play another key role in my coming back fully into the Church. When I had signed up to make the Rachel's Vineyard retreat for post-abortion healing, I was told that I would need to name my aborted child. Well, all I could think was how am I supposed to name someone I never laid eyes on before? Our Lady took care of this as well. One day as I was praying the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary, just as I began the second mystery of the Visitation, the name Elizabeth~Anne seemed to just find its way into my mind. I knew almost in an instant that I had a daughter and I now also knew her name. Now to some who may read this, it may sound a bit far-fetched or just the wishful thinking of a grieving mother; I assure you this had very little to do with me. I truly felt as though that name had been given to me.
So today as the Church celebrates its birthday, in some ways I also celebrate my own. Yes, there are still some growing pains along the way, but I am so very grateful that I am able to feel them again. And like most school children, I continue to learn something new each day. This has been and continues to be the time of my Visitation.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our Father's Love Letter

I posted this video on my other blog as part of my Friday Meme post, but wanted to share it with those of you who follow me here.
If ever you should feel you are not loved, just remember this...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and Me

I came across an article today on the CERC website titled The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist by Fr. Richard Neilson. The article was written back in 1988 for Lay Witness magazine. As you may surmise from the title of the article, it speaks of the interconnection between the Sacred Heart and the Eucharist; they are inseparable. The article is beautifully written and worth the time it takes to read. However, this post is not merely to point you in the direction of this beautifully written piece; I would also like to share my own experience of devotion to our Lord's Most Sacred Heart.
Seven years ago, when I finally woke up and answered our Lord's call to return to Him, I almost immediately felt drawn to the Sacred Heart. I could come up with no concrete reason for this feeling; it wasn't the feast day of the Sacred Heart or even the feast of Corpus Christi ~ although it was the last day of May so the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart was about to begin. All of that aside, I didn't need a reason. All I knew was that in Jesus' Heart was where I wanted and needed to be!
Then one day, almost out of nowhere, I received a packet in the mail with a pamphlet of prayers to the Sacred Heart and one of the most striking portraits of the Sacred Heart I had ever seen! (It is the picture at the beginning of this post).
Now what you need to know here is that when I made the decision to return to our Lord and His Church, I did not run to the nearest confessional. Being post-abortive made that very difficult. Between the months of June and August, while I searched for ways to deal with the abortion, all I had was prayer and that picture. In August I found Rachel's Vineyard, but it would be November before I could get on a retreat! So I literally clung to those prayers and that picture. Our Lord heard those prayers and used that time to draw me closer to Him. There were days during those long 6 months that I hungered for the Eucharist. At this point you may be wondering why I didn't just run to the nearest Church and make my confession. The fear, shame and guilt that had built up over those 14 years since the abortion had created a huge roadblock~ I needed to wait for the "safety" of the retreat. Our Lord was very patient and gentle during those months. I continued to pray.
Once I had finally made my confession and returned to Mass, our Lord continued to draw me to His Sacred Heart. I was drawn to daily Mass. I don't just mean that I felt like going; I mean I was drawn ~ felt almost compelled to go! Seven years later this is still the case and when I do miss daily Mass on occasion, I feel it.
The next thing I felt drawn to was Eucharistic Adoration. Those of you who have followed this blog know that I am blessed to be in a parish that has Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. At first I would go whenever I felt like being close to Jesus. Then one day as I was leaving the chapel, my dear friend who is coordinator of the chapel told me she had 2 hours in need of an adorer; one was Saturdays at 3pm the other was Sundays at midnight. Since I work on Saturdays, I took the midnight slot. I began my regular hour with our Lord at midnight on Sundays Divine Mercy Sunday 2003. The other interesting tidbit about this particular hour is that this was the same time slot I had for Adoration on the Rachel's Vineyard retreat ~ guess Jesus just likes having me around at midnight!
I know that I have kind of rambled through much of this post, but the point is that from that first scared little "yes" that I gave our Lord, He has continued to draw me to His Sacred Heart. I truly find it a refuge; I know that I am always safe there. In this post I have simply wanted to give you a picture of my personal devotion to the Sacred Heart; the article I mentoned at the beginning will give more of the doctrine and history of the devotion. The links throughout the post will also give more information. For the prayers and picture I talked about go here.
I thank our Lord and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for this devotion. I thank Him for the grace of drawing me into His Sacred Heart through this beautiful devotion. I thank Him above all for the fire of His unfathomable love in His Most Sacred Heart.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us; have mercy on me.

*Painting by Joseph Fanelli

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mary Moments Carnival

Sarah at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering is hosting Mary Moments Carnival today. You can share your own Mary moment and read those by others by clicking the link. During this last week of the month of May, let us honor our Blessed Mother who is always interceding for us, her children. Thanks for hosting, Sarah.

My Mary Moment post is titled Growing in a Mother's Love. It is a reflection on the history of my own relationship with our Lady over the years. I pray that our Blessed Mother will take the little I have to offer her and use it to deepen my devotion to her and to bring me closer to her Beloved Son, Jesus.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Growing In A Mother's Love

One of my favorite memories of our Blessed Mother is from my childhood. As a little girl going to Catholic school, I remember looking forward to the May Crowning of Mary each spring. If my memory serves me correctly, it was always a second grader who had just made First Communion who was chosen. The year I made my First Communion I got to crown our Blessed Mother. I remember being very excited about this. Our parish had a lovely little grotto where Our Lady was enshrined. (She is still there) This little shrine was one of my favorite spots on the parish grounds; even once I graduated 8th grade, I would purposely take a slight detour on my walk to highschool so I could pass this beautiful place on my way.

With all of these wonderful memories, you would think that my relationship with our Blessed Mother would be an extremely close one. The truth is I struggle with my devotion to Mary. Don't get me wrong, I believe everything the Church teaches about her, but I just don't have that "run to mamma" feeling. This may be due to several factors: It could be a reflection of my difficult relationship with my earthly mother, or it could be the 20 some odd years I spent away from my faith, or perhaps it was all of the guilt and shame over the things I had done that not only offended our Lord, but offended her as well. It is probably some of all of that; I really don't know. However, I do know this ~ Our Blessed Mother is greater than all of that!

When I returned to my faith almost 7 years ago, I did begin saying the Rosary again, but it has been a struggle; I'll be honest ~ I just don't like to do it. What I have come to realize in these last few years is that Jesus gave us an awesome gift in giving us His mother. So as Fr. John Corapi would say, "If she's good enough for Him, she's good enough for me."

Because I know that the only thing our Blessed Mother wants to do is to bring me closer to her Son, I persevere in my relationship with her. I know and believe the power the Rosary contains, so I try to say at least some part of it each day.

Slowly over time I am beginning to see and experience her motherly love for me. She has never given up on me, even when I gave up on her and her Son. It is probably no coincidence that the day I made the decision to return to my Catholic faith was May 31st ~ the feast of the Visitation!

Like Elizabeth, I find myself echoing the words, "Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:43)

While I have found my devotion to Mary to be less than I'd like it to be, I believe that she will work with my desire to love her more deeply. Like any good mother who loves her children, there are days she calls me to task on things, and days that she knows that I just need to be held. She does both with the complete love of which only she is capable. Thanks, Mom!

"O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

Sunday Snippets~A Catholic Carnival #6

Thanks once again to RAnn of This That and the Other Thing for hosting Catholic Carnival. Click the link to read other Catholic posts and for information on how to join.

This week I have taken a very serious and personal turn in my choice of post. I wrote Hate the Sin ~ Not The Sinner just last night in response to a Tweet left by one of my Twitter followers. Much of this post is a summary of my personal journey of healing from the sin of abortion. My desire to return to my faith is what led me to seek the healing I needed. The rest of the post is a kind plea for compassion for those who are in need of this healing. No sin, no matter how horrible, is ever beyond God's mercy and forgiveness; all He asks for is a contrite heart.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hate The Sin ~ Not The Sinner

The adage, "Hate the sin, not the sinner" came to mind today as I was checking in to see what was going on in Twitterland. I have recently acquired a follower who has posted some things of late that seem to twist this statement. His tweet today asking those who have had an abortion how old their son or daughter would be had they not killed their child has made me think about blocking this person.
Now, I understand this was probably meant as a rhetorical question on the part of the tweeter, but I chose to respond to the question along with asking the person to pray for those who have received healing and for those who are still in need of it. I also added that I would pray for him and I will.
I have prayed about whether or not I should write this post for several reasons. First, I am not in the habit of just "outing" myself just anywhere. Second, I do not want to get on a religious or political soapbox and I am not going to. Finally, I really don't want this to be just about me. Having said all that, I still believe what I am going to write needs to be said. So here is the Reader's Digest form of my story.
Twenty one years ago this past Mother's Day was the anniversary of the death of my daughter. She died a horrible death because of my fear, lack of faith, and selfishness. It would be 14 years from that day before I would seek healing and forgiveness. I found it in the last place I thought to look ~ the Catholic Church in which I was raised but left. When I made the decision to come back to my faith, I knew the abortion was a roadblock that needed to be dealt with. I found a link to Rachel's Vineyard. I read the testimonies of those who had made the retreat and how they experienced God's mercy. I knew instantly that this is where I needed to go for the healing I desperately needed. I made the retreat in November of 2002. I have gone from being very pro-choice to very pro-life. I know that God and my daughter have forgiven me and equally important, I have been able to forgive myself. What I received from the Church and those involved in this ministry was compassion; they hated the sin, not the sinner.
As someone who made this horrible choice, I ask that people try to remember that compassion not condemnation is what is needed if people are to come to healing; the healing can not begin without it. Yes, those of us who have committed this sin need to be held accountable for our actions. The healing I received is what enabled me to do that.
The tremendous shame and guilt that are associated with abortion make it extremely dificult for those who need healing to seek it. However if they are met with compassion, it at least opens the door. What I saw was Christ's hand reaching out to extend His healing touch. I heard the words He spoke to the woman caught in adultery, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
In his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life), the late Pope John Paul II writes in Paragraph 99: I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.
I and many like me have come to live these words. God has taken the horrible wrong and brought about tremendous good. Every time I give my witness, whether it be to a parish congregation, a group of high school students, or to a group of seminarians, it gives my daughter some of the dignity she deserves. I can't give her back her life, although her prayers have helped to give me back mine, but as her mother I can honor her memory.
Back to my Twitter friend~ I did not respond to his tweet to be cruel or even arguementative, but to ask for and offer prayer. I pray that God will soften his heart. St. Paul encourages us to correct with love. No matter what the sin, whether it be as heinous as abortion or as venial as a "white lie", compassion will always go father than condemnation and accusation in bringing the sinner to repentance.
To those of you who have taken the time to read this, I thank you for your patience and I apologize if I came off as preachy; that is not my intention. I am simply trying to live the words offered by Pope JohnPaul II ~ to be an eloquent defender of all human life.

*For more information and resources on Post Abortion Healing go to the Rachel's Vineyard website.
You may also want to read this post by Angela at Where Angels Go... This lady is an example of what is needed. Thank you, Angela

**Picture courtesy of allposters

Friday, May 22, 2009

Novena To The Holy Spirit

Today begins the novena to The Holy Spirit. Below is a bit of background on this beautiful prayer. You can go to EWTN and print out the entire novena. If you have never prayed this novena before, you may want to begin it this year. I believe we as Christians need the power of this ancient prayer perhaps now more than ever.
The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by
every Christian.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Ascension of The Lord

Picture courtesy of art.com
The Ascension of The Lord

Bl. Abbot Columba Marmion, OSB (+1923), wrote in Christ in His Mysteries that “of all the feasts of Our Lord … the Ascension is the greatest, because it is the supreme glorification of Christ Jesus.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fr. Robert Barron ~ Answering the Skeptics Pt.3

Why Aren't Women Ordained Priests?
That is the question Fr. Barron answers this week in the third part of his latest series, Answering the Skeptics. This is a huge topic and as Fr. Barron explains, too many angles to it to get into in this brief clip. His answer concentrates on where and how power is obtained in the Church and how two of the greatest women saints obtained that power. (It may not be how you think it is obtained.)
After you listen to Father discuss this topic, you may want to read his article The Fetishism of Dialogue; it is his response to Sunday's Notre Dame Commencement. Some of the comments following the article are also quite interesting.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Snippets~A Catholic Carnival #5

This week Daughter of the King celebrated her 100th post and in it I highlighted 5 of my favorite posts leading up to that 100 mark. I never thought I would still be blogging at this point; I was sure I would run out of things about which to write. This just prooves to me that this is more God's blog than mine although I have enjoyed trying to follow His lead in where the blog goes. Those times when an idea or a thought seems to come from nowhere and won't leave, those are usually the things about which I end up writing.
So head on over to number 100, Who Would Have Thought, where you will find the links to some of my favorite posts since this past November~ including the one that started it all. For those of you who may be a loyal follower, I will redirect you to one of my favorite meditations, titled "How Do I Trust Thee?".
Be sure to pay RAnn a visit at This, That and the Other... for more Sunday Snippets as well as for information on joining the group.
Thanks for hosting, RAnn!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fr. Barron on Angels and Demons

It's time for more Fr. Barron. This week he gives us his commentary on Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. You can also read Father's article, A Case For Celibacy By Priests. The article is in response to the Fr. Cutie' scandal.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Who Would Have Thought?!

Not me~that's for sure, but here I am at my 100th post! When I began this blog late last November, I did it purely on a whim. I happened to be on another blog drooling over an awesome cookie recipe and saw the "Create Your Own Blog" link at the top of the page. So I thought why not- I'll see how long it lasts.
If you are wondering about the title, it came from something one of my favorite priests said to me after I had made a confession. He said, "Karin, you are a Daughter of the King." I remember thinking how truly amazing that is. I do try to remember the truth of that and try to do my best to live up to it; some days I do better than others~ some days I fall flat on my face. So I thank God for the Sacrament of Reconciliation!
When I realized I was about to hit this blogging milestone, I wanted to wait for the perfect thing to write about. Well, nothing truly inspiring has come and to be honest I am just plain tired of waiting! So I figured a little self- promotion wouldn't be a terrible idea. I went back through my archives (this in and of itself was a fun activity)and pulled five of my favorite posts. Here they are in chronological order because I am somewhat of a Type A personality.

The first is just that~my first post titled New Explorations. It's just a bit of an introduction, so if you are new to this blog, you may want to start there.
Next is a post I wrote after spending the day with a good friend who inspired me with her Catholic Backbone.
Number three is from January titled Returning Home; it is one of my reflections on the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
Moving right along, number four is about one of our greatest, but perhaps most under-rated saints. Read Unsung Hero for my musings on St. Joseph.
Finally you can read how I find that Everything is Easier With Jesus.
For those of you who follw on a regular basis, I thank you. You have had nothing but kind words over these last few months and I appreciate and am blessed by your visits. If you have just stumbled upon this humble little blog, welcome. I pray you find something to perhaps feed you soul.
One thing I have learned since that first post is that blogging is a very humbling experience. I realize that if anyone finds any good in anything I write, it is not me but God working through his lowly creature.
I hope you have enjoyed your visit.
God Bless!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

If I Could Sit With You Awhile

This is one of my favorite Todd Agnew songs. I needed to hear it today and thought I'd share it. So sit back, put yourself in our Lord's presence and turn up the volume. Then rest in Him.
Enjoy and God Bless!

If I Could Just Sit With You Awhile - Todd Agnew

Sunday Snippets~A Catholic Carnival #4

Thanks again to RAnn for hosting Sunday Snippets. Click the link to read posts by other Catholic bloggers and for information on how to join the group.
Since today is Mother's Day, I am pulling a post from the archives of my Blessings For the Day blog. It was a post I wrote on Spiritual Motherhood. It is a reflection based on my own experiences within the context of a brief description of my return to the faith. As you celebrate Mother's Day, I would ask your prayers for the following groups of mothers:
* mothers who have lost children both before and after birth in whatever way
* those who desire motherhood
* expectant mothers
* mothers in crisis pregnancies
Finally, I offer all mothers this Mother's Day card.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Let's Storm Heaven

The commencement exercises at Notre Dame are just one week away. The man we call President is still scheduled to speak and to be honored by this once fine Catholic university. I don't usually write about current events and I am not going to do that now, but I will say this, I believe the greater sin has been commited by the university. Mr. Obama is who he is and his politics are very clear. Notre Dame knew and knows this and yet still chooses to blatantly defy the teaching of the Catholic Church. Shame on Fr. Jenkins and all who were involved in this invitataion. I don't mean to sound judgemental, but that is just my own humble opinion- backed up by the Church and its teaching.
That being said, what is really called for is prayer and lots of it; Heaven needs to be stormed! I found a link to a novena to St. Joseph over at Fr. Philip's blog. Click his name and it will take you to the link for the novena and the very powerful post that goes with it. The novena began yesterday, but our awesome God does not live in time, so join in whenever you read this. Pray it before the Blessed Sacrament if you can. Those of us who live by the Church's teaching need to make reparation before our Lord.
May God have mercy on Notre Dame, President Obama, and us all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Life...Imagine the Potential #2

This is the second installment from Catholicvote.org in their "Life Imagine the Potential" series. It's just as beautiful as the last one they did.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Praying For Our Priests


I imagine that being a priest in today's world is far from easy. It seems to me that many people spend a lot of time complaining about their priests or priests in general. Their time would be much better spent praying instead of complaining.
I think sometimes that many of us forget that priests are human beings, born with original sin just like the rest of us. I also believe that being called to this vocation also puts them on the front lines, so to speak. Think about what our priests do everyday; they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Through them Christ makes Himself present to us on our altars so that we can receive Him. And don't you know the devil knows this! No priests-no Jesus! So more than anything our priests need our prayers.
Fr. Mark over at Vultus Christi has reminded us that a wonderful practice would be to offer a Holy Hour of Adoration and Reparation for priests on Thursday of each week. Now that is time well spent! It is also a wonderful practice to begin as we approach The Year of the Priest declared by Pope benedict XVI. Pray that good priests remain that way and deepen their realtionship with Christ. Pray that priests who struggle with their vocation will find strength and not have a divided heart. Fr. Mark offers a prayer we can use during our Holy Hour. Click the link to go to Vultus Christi. Then find some time today to sit with our Lord and pray for His priests. In the event that you are unable to make a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament, father also has the answer for that as well.
May God bless and protect our priests.
St. John Vianney, pray and intercede for our priests.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Answering the Skeptics ~ Pt. 2

Father Barron is back with the next installment of his latest series, Answering the Skeptics. In this second clip, he answers the long asked question "Why doesn't the Church sell it's artwork and treasures to help the poor?" As usual father gives his clear, concise and truth-filled reply.
If you missed Part 1, you can retrieve it from my labels under Fr. Barron or go to Word On Fire.
If you haven't heard Fr. Barron before, please check out his site. You can also catch up with the latest on the filming of his Catholicism Project.

Hearing the Shepherd's Voice

Last Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday. The Gospel readings throughout this week have continued the theme of the Good Shepherd. Christ tells us He is the Good Shepherd who comes to find and save his sheep; they hear his voice and follow.
I often wonder how many times our Lord has called me and I haven't followed. Oh, I know the blatant sinful times, but what about those daily callings? How many of those do I ignore consciously or unconsciously?
Today as I was perusing the posts in my Google Reader, I came upon one by Fr. John Bartunek at Catholic Spiritual Direction titled the Secret Rendevous. Now I have to admit, while this site is on my follow list, I often just skim or even pass by the posts each day. This morning, however, was different; the title caught my attention. I still felt the urge to pass by because I do need to get to work and wanted to see what else was in the Reader, but I guess you can say I heard the Shepherd's voice saying, "Stop~don't pass this one by!" So I went back and read. There is great depth in what Father Bartunek has written, but where God really had something to say was in the prayer that was included (it's at the end of this post). Our Lord knows that I don't always have the words to say what I want and need to say to him, so sometimes he provides them very concretely as he did this morning.
Christ calls to us in a million different ways and at a million different times each day. As father says in his post, we can continue to pray without ceasing with the desire to do so.
Listen for the Shepherd's voice in your day today; keep the appointment for the "secret rendezvous" with him. You will be glad you did; I know I was.
Christ in My Life
You see all my motives and intentions, but I think sometimes I try to hide from them. Show them to me, Lord. I don’t want anything to get in the way of our friendship. I don’t want to fall into hypocrisy. I want to do all things out of a humble, sincere love for you. With the humility of your heart, Lord, shape my heart…
At times life seems so complicated... but you simplify it. Stay with me, Lord, walk with me; teach me how to love you, to love my neighbor, and to master my own selfish tendencies. With the silence of your heart, speak to my heart…
Teach me to fast, Lord. Teach me to govern my urges and instincts, to be the master of my passions and not their slave. Teach me to be free to give myself to you and to my neighbors. Show me how to make loving sacrifice as much a part of my life as it was a part of yours…
Yours in Christ, Father John Bartunek, LC

You can read Father Bartunek's entire post here; it is definitely worth the read and even some meditation afterward.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shepherd Me O God

I found this over at the Deacon's Bench. A piece of beautiful music to bring Good Shepherd Sunday to a close.
Thanks, Deacon Greg!


Shepherd Me, O God - Marty Haugen

Sunday Snippets~A Catholic Carnival #3


Another Sunday is upon us so it is time once again for Sunday Snippets~A Catholic Carnival. Click on the Sunday Snippets link in this post for more information on how to join and to read posts by other Catholic bloggers. Thanks to RAnn for hosting.
This week I have a bit of a theme for the posts I am highlighting~ the saints. This past week the Church celebrated two of its great saints, St. Catherine of Siena on April 29th and St. Joseph the Worker as an optional memorial on May 1st.
The first post, Some of My Best Friends, reflects on my deepening understanding, appreciation and friendship with the Communion of Saints. I end the post with an excerpt from St. Catherine's, The Dialogue.

The second post, on St. Joseph the Worker, talks about how God used and continues to use St. Joseph to give dignity to human work. Sometimes we look at work as drudgery or just a way to pay the bills, but it is so much more than that if done for God's glory.

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival is a weekly opportunity to share our best posts with the wider Catholic blogging community. To participate, create a post highlighting posts that would be of interest to Catholics and link to the host blog by clicking on the Sunday Snippets link above.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Saint Joseph the Worker


Today the Church has the option of celebrating the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker. This feast was started by Pope Pius XII in 1955 as a resposnse to the Communist May Day celebrations. You can read more about the history of the relationship between St. Joseph and the cause of workers here.
To me Joseph is the epitome of humility. Scripture says very little about him, yet he was chosen by God to be the foster father and earthly protector of our Lord and Savior. God, through Saint Joseph, shows us the dignity of work. Jesus learned the trade of carpentry from Joseph and worked by his side in Nazareth until he left to begin his ministry. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, dignified human work.
In today's culture work is often seen as something that is just necessary to pay the bills. While this is true, our work can and should be offered to God for His glory. When I was in highschool, our principal, a sister of St. Joseph, loved to say to us, "Girls, work is a privilege!" I never quite understood what she meant until I came back to my faith. The God-given ability to work, to be productive is a privilege and not everyone has it whether it be due to economic circumstances or physical limitations. We can ask St. Joseph's intercession for blessing upon our work whether we are a stay at home Mom or Dad, a highly skilled professional or a tradesman.

Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker
Glorious St. Joseph, example for all who are engaged in toil, pray with me, please, to obtain the grace that I may work in the spirit of penance, and so make atonement for my sins…
that I may work conscientiously, keeping devotion to duty before my personal feelings…
that I may work with thankfulness and joy, holding it an honour to use and develop by my labour, the gifts I have received from Almighty God.
Pray with me, that I may obtain help to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience - and never shirk duty because of weariness or because of difficulties encountered, and that, before all else, I may work with a right intention and with detachment from self, keeping always in mind the hour of my death and the account I must give then for misused time, for neglected talents, for good not done, and for any foolish pride in my success - a fault so fatal to the work of God,
All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you , Joseph most faithful! This shall be my motto in life and death.
Amen.

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.