Friday, September 19, 2014

Altar Girls...investigation

Please read this article,  http://www.adoremus.org/0302Altargirls.html   It refers to the history of altar servers, how permitting girls came about, and what the Holy See has really said on the matter in recent years. After reading this and the letter Congregation's letter linked in the article, please consider asking your girls to offer up the role of altar server to God so one boy may serve more often and answer a call to the priesthood. But first read further on the subject and decide from there. This is a bigger issue than we have been aware of. Thank you.

Here are other related links on th subject:

The first is the USCCB guidelines on altar servers. The first line reads,  "Although institution into the ministry of acolyte is reserved to lay men, the diocesan bishop may permit the liturgical functions of the instituted acolyte to be carried out by altar servers, men and women, boys and girls." 


 The second link is an article about a program development for altar servers, preferably for boys, but possibly for boys and girls separate; and the need for a program for true faith formation in them. This too the Holy See has tried to encourage.


http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/frequently-asked-questions/guidelines-for-altar-servers.cfm 

http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=dedestaca&id=570 

God bless.



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Raising the Future

All mothers are extremely blessed with the opportunity to give children life, but also to continue giving Life to them as they grow and become their unique selves. None of us find this journey easy or perfectly followed, but we have a Guide that made a special stop to meet us on the Way. At the Eighth Station Jesus specifically recognized the sorrow of the women and children. Why I ask? Why is it that he stopped to encourage us and ask us to focus on the future generations? What is it that we have been given that makes us so graced with this encounter and invitation? And did the children weep for Christ like the women? No, they wept because they saw their mothers sad. Isn't that how children are? They react as their moms react. So it is with the faith. And Christ draws us from our sins and sorrows and tells us to rise above it, for the sake of the children and future generations.

When my son recently left for college I found myself behaving in different ways than I have noticed before. I began dreaming of reminding him of all those little things that I seemed to have forgotten to tell him, and looking for little minutes to open those important talks about choosing the right friends and the spiritual necessities of avoiding drinking and other bad behaviors. We have had an open conversation all his years, but suddenly I was reacting to an inner desire to help him remember God's Way is the only one to follow, no matter how difficult. I was worried that I had not shown him all I should have. I wanted to make sure nothing was forgotten in preparing him to live his generation of life well and in God's Light. Now, being 18, he got a little annoyed. But I have a son who understands mom needs to be mom. We laugh at it with respect for the facts.  I do on to regret saying any of it. It is avoiding the conversations that now frighten me. Why? 

Well, recently and unknowingly, my son has shown without words how important it is for me to be Fully Mom, and not apologize for it.  I think my behavior before he left may shed some light on the desire of the moms heart to prepare and guide not only the body, but the soul of her children, and the necessity for us to engage in this action with God. It is not by chance, but by a seed planted by Christ into our souls that we mother, whether we have our own children or not. Christ with my son's innocent help has shown me this is a gifted task indeed and one that must be carried out unreservedly if I believe and follow Christ.

God wants us to help Him by prayer and work for the betterment of the next generations. If we become overwhelmed with the sadness in front of us, so will the young. With this seed of mothering, He gives us the ability to move onward and not dwell on what is facing us or the world, but to put all our soul and heart and body into creating a holy generation. He wants us to Live Hope so the young will Hope, too. With the Holy Spirit in our souls and with the Cross upon our shoulders we gather the young ones, pressing onward in hope; witnessing the Way, after Christ, teaching them by our example and words to hope and live by God's grace. Then when they go off on their own, they choose who to follow, and by God's grace, they will follow Him. But never is our task complete, we must keep working with God for our young and all the young. 

Women, we have a serious job indeed! A blessed task! Together we raise the world. And if we do it with Him, in His Church, in His Sacraments; we raise it up to Him "in one accord." A planted song of praise brought to fruitfulness in future generations. And no longer will our children weep because we weep, but they will Live because we first Lived with Christ.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

How can I express how REAL He is?

How can the work of God in the Catholic Church's Sacrements be described? To what can compare His action?

It is the difference between being told your broken arm will heal, and the physician actually mending it.
It is the difference between giving money to the poor, and the actually feeding the food to them.
It is the difference between saying you are sorry and being forgiven, versus being embraced with friendship restored.

There is no other Christian Church on this earth that actually carries in it the ACTUAL action of God in its fullness than the Catholic Church. When a Catholic goes to confession, he is not just listing the sins he is aware of, but he is REALLY mended by God, fed His strength of grace, and embraced with joy and love. A REAL interior healing takes place that forges the way to be able to strive harder to live His Way, in spite of our failings and brokenness. When a Catholic then goes to Holy Communion, he finds himself being fed Christ, consuming Him, and being restored. A restoration takes place that our soul needs, but is found in no other place on earth. Yes, there is the potential meeting of God with any person, in any place, and in any time, but no where so pristine, so eloquent, so sublime, and so consistently, so REAL as in the Eucharist. 

Why should you stay away? What keeps you away? Realize this: He heals if you desire and seek; if you seek to meet Him, go to the Sacraments, frequently. Be restored and Believe I like never before.

If we have desire, we cannot stay away, for He is the reason of our desire to be holy, and the source of that holiness. 

Dear Women of Christ and your loved ones,
            He stops to console us on the Way of the Cross, let Him heal you, too. Amen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hope for Peace

              "To live with Jesus is an endless hope; to live without Him...a hopeless end." -anonymous

Hello, it sure has been some time. I got a-little off track, but by God's grace I have hope to get back on again. And what a great day to recommit to Christ than on the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene! She must have understood what the above quote meant from the bottom of her heart. So much so, she literally clung to Jesus when he revealed Himself to her outside the tomb. She knew she needed Him more than anything. She must have been confused when He had to do the Will of the Father and leave her sight, but I am sure the Holy Spirit taught her the meaning of Christ's words, "Whoever does the will of my Father is my brother and sister and mother." To live so close to Him just by doing His will!? To be family, not just friend!? 

With her we are asked to learn that all things are nothing compared to Christ and to live with Him, so He is literally with us, can happen in our daily lives. She knew it meant only to live His Way, day after day. How Brilliant! How Simple! And NOT impossible for us, but yes, difficult. But we are not alone in it. God's grace is always helping and showing us how. Sure, it can be humanly painful to change our lives, our priorities, and attitudes in order to follow His Way, yet when we do (day after day) the peace given is "not of this world." Mary Magdalene most certainly knew the mocking and advancements that came even after she committed to follow Christ, even after she gave up her previous living in order to learn the Way to live right. She shows us that no matter the sorrow or sin in our lives, no matter the hopes we have had broken, and no matter the earthly enjoyments we experience....no sin or sadness is too great to be removed by God's mercy; and no human joy so deep as to be compared to the peaceful joy of Living the Will of the Father and becoming the "sister and mother" of Christ with Him and to everyone we meet. How many women she must have comforted and given hope to in her travels beside Christ! And how many she models a holy life for today.

Here is part of a silent prayer offered for us to use right before receiving Holy Communion: "And like St. Mary's Magdalene, may I be delivered from all my evils and embrace Thee, my only Good." 

Mary Magdalene knew how worthwhile the confessions, efforts and sacrifices were in order to put her life back on track with Christ and to become His, whole and entire. I encourage you and myself to persevere in following her example and receive the same peace of Christ. May she pray for us. And if you found this post uplifting, please share it with someone who needs to hear it today. Thank you.



Saturday, February 22, 2014

What colors!

Today's calm morning air has the inviting sense of spring immersed through it. As I was driving, the early sky showed hues of rose and pearl and baby blue laid out gently. "Lord, you put such beautiful colors into nature. I love you so much, You are so wise."

Even the iceless parking lot brought a prayer of joy! But as I entered the Church for morning Mass, a very different, distinct enveloping silent joy was present. Everyone was motionless and seemed to be absorbed in Christ's caressing love. The peaceful landscape of people before Our Lord revealed He had each person held intimately, knowingly or unknowingly, by Himself. It gave me a peaceful joy and desire to be part of the community that is not given by any of natures pristine gifts to the senses. This delight proceeds from the soul, not the senses. What joy! For the inner room of the Church this morning revealed that God does not leave anyone who seeks Him untouched by His blanket of grace.

Today is the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. The position which Jesus, under the Father's direction, set up to be a sign and unifying character of His True Church. In His wisdom He knew we would need a guide and protector of the precious gifts that lay tangible only through His Church. There are many Christians that live wonderful lives! striving to do right; but the Catholic Church presents, through Christ what no other church can. She gives the means for God to Color our Souls, refreshing our bodies and minds from within. No where else on earth is this found. Hence, the reason we each need the Church.

Remember every time we visit the Sacraments of the Church, Christ brings springtime to our cold souls. He melts away the ice that hardens our hearts, He gives fresh air to the busy mind, and this meeting between our souls and His creates a palette for God to color our lives from within. This inner meeting fashions the soul so it may live fully here, then forever.

We are blessed. The Catholic Church is the only means on earth for the souls of human beings to be free from their "winter." Only She preserves the means for our souls to be blanketed in grace and brushed by the Painter with the Color of True Life. May more Christians discover where their souls are fed, and may we live the Sacraments with gratitude and fruitfulness.

Praise God, His mercy endures forever.




Wednesday, January 29, 2014

First Saturday invitation

Please make this a devotion of yours. It has made a big difference in my life and will yours.


First Saturday Devotion Requirements

1.  Go to Confession—eight (8) days before or after First Saturday with the intention in your heart of making reparation and consoling Our Blessed Mother.

(When Lucia asked Jesus if it might be valid to go to Confession within 8 days, He told her yes, and that it could be even longer still as long as they are in the state of grace when they receive Him and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  So, if you cannot confess on the First Saturday itself, do so when you can. Heaven is looking for dispositions of mind and heart and at least monthly Confession.)

2. Receive Holy Communion on First Saturday in a spirit of reparation—a spiritual communion will not suffice.

3. Pray five decades of the Holy Rosary with the intention of making reparation for offenses made against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

4.  Keep Mary company by meditating for fifteen minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary.  This meditation entails thinking or reading meditatively (frequently pausing to reflect on the material read), in order to dwell on one or more of the mysteries in Our Lady’s life.  The fifteen-minute meditation and the praying of the Holy Rosary are to be performed separately.

 

First Saturday Promises

God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.

 

I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who practice the First Saturday devotion for five consecutive months.

 

Why five consecutive First Saturdays of reparation?

The five consecutive First Saturdays of reparation were requested by Our Lady of Fatima to atone for the five ways in which people offend her Immaculate Heart:

1. Attacks upon Mary’s Immaculate Conception;

2. Attacks against her Perpetual Virginity;

3. Attacks upon her Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind.

4. For those who try to publicly implant in children’s hearts indifference, contempt and even hatred of this Immaculate Mother;

5. For those who insult her directly in her sacred images.

 

(The First Saturday devotion was revealed to Sister Lucia while she was in prayer in the convent chapel at Pontevedra, Spain. Appearing with the Queen of Heaven in that apparition was the Infant Jesus, Who said to Lucia: “Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”  Our Lady then spoke: “See, my daughter, my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.” ) Obtain more information from: World Apostolate of Fatima, www.wafusa.org 

 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A letter.


To my sister,

I believe when we are having hardships, I mean great ones like you are experiencing, it is the most difficult thing to be open, share and hear words from others. We try to survive on our own. And anyways, it hurts too much to explain to anyone and it reopens the wounds to answer questions from honest caring people, particularly family. We are in survival mode and want to protect ourselves from more sorrow. This is normal for the sorrows we experience have opened up a part of us that words cannot reach nor be used to describe. The pain at this point has reached the depths of our souls. The problem is if we keep closed there, it may burst at any moment; and if we let it out, we may not only scare ourselves, but we may loose terribly. It takes every effort to manage one day. So what to do?

Our human body and mind is a gift. It is very powerful in working through life's sorrows. We move on, we benefit from creative activities, but there is more essential things to do too.

Even though it hurts, we are human and we need human help; we need human advice; we need to learn and listen from others who have survived hardships like our own. So first we must let others encourage us and advise us. But essentially in order to reach the center of our being which is in agony and which needs particular healing, we are wise to seek the only other who dwells simultaneously there and in Heaven. For this healing...Seek God.

See, God "knit you in your mother's womb," He knows you "through and through." If there was no God, we would never be able to feel pain and joy so deeply. It is one more proof that there is more to you and me than merely our frames. So, start small...seek Him in just your breath or sigh. Seek Him and ask for help. You are Greatly Loved! And He wants to heal you from the inside out. Please let Him.

With love,
Your sister.