Check out this article by Fr. Dave Zimmer commenting on the anti-Catholic segment involving Catholics Come Home commercials on Bill Maher’s show a few weeks ago.
“The Lord turned my thoughts to that day when Jesus walked through the streets of Jerusalem, being mocked, laughed at, spit upon and even cursed. As I looked up at our crucifix into the face of Jesus looking down upon me, the only thought I had was His words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” As His words became mine, the “stretching” of my faith was occurring, a common dynamic of practicing stewardship…”
“I must go to confession with love because I have an opportunity to make my soul clean, to become pure.”
“Confession is Jesus and I, and nobody else. Remember this for life.”
“Don’t waste time on what happened before. If something is hurting you inside, preoccupying you, get it out, make a good confession.”
“It is a place where I allow Jesus to take away from me everything that divides, destroys.”
“Only to confession can we go as sinners with sin and come out as sinners without sin.”
-from Where There is Love, There is God
Have you taken the opportunity to experience the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Lent? If not, now is the time. Let us prepare ourselves for Christ’s glorious Resurrection at Easter by making penance for our sins throughout these 40 days.
“Don’t search for Jesus in far lands–he is not there. He is close to you; he is with you. Just keep the lamp burning and you will always see him. Keep on filling the lamp with all these little drops of love, and you will see how sweet is the Lord you love.”
“Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.”
Vatican City, May 26, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News).- In his last catechesis on the priesthood, Pope Benedict dedicated his Wednesday audience address to the authority that priests receive from Jesus, emphasizing that it must be used in service of people, not as an end in itself. He also asked for prayers to conclude the Year for Priests for all the ordained, including himself. Read more here.
Take time to encourage priests in celebration of the Year of the Priesthood! We need YOUR help in the lauch of our updated EncouragePriests.org website. Visit EncouragePriests.org to submit a short story testimonial about a priest who you are inspired by! We are also collecting your 60-second videos thanking your priests to share on our site…Thanks for praying for and encouraging our holy Catholic priests!
In the article, Fr. William Saunders quotes Pope John Paul II saying, ‘Pope John Paul II in Redemptoris Custos (1989) exhorted the faithful to look to St. Joseph in our troubled age: “This patronage must be invoked, and it is always necessary for the Church, not only to defend it against dangers ceaselessly cropping up, but also and above all to support it in those fearful efforts at evangelizing the world, and spreading the new evangelization among nations where the Christian religion and life were formerly the most flourishing, but are now put to a difficult test…. May St. Joseph become for all a singular master in the service of the saving mission of Christ that is incumbent on each and every one of us in the Church: To spouses, to parents, to those who live by the work of their hands or by any other work, to persons called to the contemplative life as well as to those called to the apostolate.”‘ ”
St. Joseph, please place our Lenten intentions at the feet of Jesus…and pray for us!
Interested in adding a great book to your Lenten reading?
In I’m Not Being Fed: Discovering the Food that Satisfies the Soul, Jeff Cavins explores the reasons why many Catholics have left the Church for various Christian denominations. You probably have personal stories of either you, your family, your friends, or your neighbors experiencing some of the issues Cavins discusses in this book. He responds to that commonly-heard complaint of former Catholics — that they simply were not being “fed” by their Church and that they longed for a more personal, “spiritually nourishing” relationship with Jesus. This book is sure to help you understand how to respond to this common sentiment, and to help you grow in the knowledge and love of the Catholic Church–where all can find the true food they are looking for!
If you haven’t been introduced to this prayer, you will surely fall in love with it…This is a great prayer to get you in the right mindset to shine for Jesus each morning!
Jesus Prayer by Cardinal John Henry Newman
(This prayer was recited daily after Communion by Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her Sisters of Charity)
Help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that my life may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with
may feel your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine.
It will be you, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise you in the way which you love best,
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by example,
by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you. Amen.
Are you devoting enough time to prayer in your life? After all, it’s a necessity. But if you are like many people, you may find praying difficult at times. Perhaps you get easily distracted or aren’t quite sure how to approach God in your prayer…or maybe you just keep “forgetting!”
Dr. Peter Kreeft has this to say in his excellent book, Prayer for Beginners: “What is the main problem with this prayer?
“Simply remembering to do it. This is embarrassing, because this forgetting is so foolish. Why do we forget? Clearly this forgetting is not merely a mental problem. There are mental blocks to remembering. Something in us fears remembering. And I think we all know what that is.
“When we do remember and call him, and he comes and acts, he does all the work, for free! Our part is only to call; the Great Physician makes house calls and charges nothing. And yet we continually fail to call him. Is this reasonable?” (Chapter 9).
Learn more about prayer at CatholicsComeHome.org today. Also, visit our Shop section for more great book recommendations from our CCH team!
Sadly, many Catholics haven’t had the opportunity to really learn what’s happening at Mass… By journeying through the parts of the Mass, we hope you will find new excitement in this joyful and meaningful celebration of our Faith every Sunday (or every day)!
Today’s Bored at Mass feature: Entering the church
When you enter your church, you are probably used to blessing yourself with holy water while making the sign of the cross. Do you ever think back to your baptism when you do this? If not, you should! Every time you repeat this gesture, you should be reminded of the waters of your baptism and being baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
And what’s that thing Catholics do (sometimes quite quickly) right before they sit down? Oh yes, genuflect. We often forget that this small gesture is one of adoration. It helps to “get us focused” on who is present in our midst—in the tabernacle. When we enter the sanctuary, we are in the presence of God!
Catholics Come Home Lost & Found Tip: When you cross yourself with holy water, remember this: You belong to Christ, just as much now as on the day of your baptism! Also, realize the act of adoration you participate in when you genuflect to the tabernacle. You aren’t just touching your knee to the ground for no reason…You are acknowledging the Presence of the Son of God in your midst!
Sadly, many Catholics haven’t had or taken the opportunity to really learn what’s happening at Mass… By journeying through the parts of the Mass, we hope you will find new excitement in this joyful and meaningful celebration of our Faith every Sunday (or every day)!
Today’s Bored at Mass? feature: The PRE-GAME
In order for us to “make the most” of each Mass, it is important for us to ready our hearts, minds, and bodies prior to walking into church on Sunday.
How to ready our hearts: Take time to reflect before you go to Mass. Think about the desires and intentions of your heart you want to place before Lord that day. Also, prepare your heart to praise Him in all His glory during Mass.
How to ready our minds: Michael Dubruiel, in The How-to Book of the Mass, points out that “Some of us play an intellectual game at Mass of finding fault with the way the Mass is celebrated…But the Mass is not a place for us to sit back like a movie and to find fault; rather, it is a place to encounter Jesus Christ” (page 30).
How to ready our bodies: We should all take the time to examine our thoughts, words, and actions before Mass. Perhaps we’ll find we need go to Confession to get rid of our sins and receive forgiveness before receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Lost & Found Tip: The warm-up sets the pace for the game. How we prepare for Mass will help guide our prayer and focus during the Mass. This Sunday, prepare yourself for who you are about to encounter at Mass—Jesus. He’s truly present, so we should want to give Him our best!