Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Saint of the Day - St. Hugh of Grenoble

Feastday: April 1

Hugh, from the cradle, appeared to be a child of benediction; in his youth he was recognized as such through his exceptional success in his studies. Having chosen to serve God in the ecclesiastical state, he accepted a canonry in the cathedral of Valence. His great sanctity and learning rendered him an ornament of that church, and at the age of twenty-seven he was chosen Bishop of Grenoble. Pope Gregory VII consecrated him in Rome, and inspired in him an ardent zeal for the Church’s liberty and the sanctification of the clergy. He at once undertook to reprove vice and reform abuses, at that time rampant in his diocese, but found his efforts without fruit. He resolved therefore, after two years, to resign his charge, and retired to the austere abbey of Casa Dei, or Chaise-Dieu, in Auvergne.

There Saint Hugh lived for a year, a perfect model of all virtues in a monastery filled with saints, until Pope Gregory commanded him, in the name of holy obedience, to resume his pastoral charge, saying: “Go to your flock; they need you.” This time his sanctity effected great good in souls. His forceful preaching moved crowds and touched hearts; in the confessional he wept with his penitents, and aroused in them a deeper contrition. After a few years the face of his diocese had changed. His charity for the poor led him to sell even his episcopal ring and his chalice to assist them. During his episcopate the young Saint Bruno came to him for counsel, and it was Saint Hugh who assisted him in the foundation of the Carthusian Monastery in the mountains of the diocese of Grenoble, whose renown after a thousand years has not diminished.

Always filled with a profound sense of his own unworthiness, he earnestly solicited three Popes for leave to resign his bishopric, that he might die in solitude, but was never able to obtain his request. God was pleased to purify his soul by a lingering illness before He called him to Himself. He closed his penitential course on the 1st of April in 1132, two months before completing his eightieth year. Miracles attested the sanctity of his death, and he was canonized only two years afterwards, by Pope Innocent II.

Quote of the __________

This is a selection from an article on conscience by Father William Most. I found this section particularly relevant in light of the many "Catholics" speaking out against the Church.

"If he will not hear the Church, let him be to you as a pagan and a publican." The man in question may not appeal to his conscience. He has the obligation to line that up with the teaching of the Church. If he refuses, then we treat him like a pagan and a publican, not like a Catholic who is just exercising his rights. For the Catholic Church is not a democracy, in which the authorities must dialogue with persons. Yes, all should be done in a pastoral and kindly way. But when all is done, the bottom line is: he must accept the teaching of the Church.

He continues:

Suppose a man wanted to call himself a Mason, but broke with basic Masonic teachings. He would not be a real Mason at all. Similarly, one who does not follow the above teachings of the Catholic Church, especially that in "On Revelation #10" [which says: "The task of authoritatively interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on has been entrusted exclusively to the living Magisterium of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."] really should not call himself/herself Catholic, but Protestant. For Protestants follow private interpretation, each one decides for Himself. Catholics follow the Church.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Saint of the Day - St. Benjamin

It's kind of late now but still worth posting.

St. Benjamin, Martyr (Feast Day - March 31) The Christians in Persia had enjoyed twelve years of peace during the reign of Isdegerd, son of Sapor III, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian Bishop who burned the Temple of Fire, the great sanctuary of the Persians. King Isdegerd threatened to destroy all the churches of the Christians unless the Bishop would rebuild it.

As Abdas refused to comply, the threat was executed; the churches were demolished, Abdas himself was put to death, and a general persecution began which lasted forty years. Isdegerd died in 421, but his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with great fury. The Christians were submitted to the most cruel tortures.

Among those who suffered was St. Benjamin, a Deacon, who had been imprisoned a year for his Faith. At the end of this period, an ambassador of the Emperor of Constantinople obtained his release on condition that he would never speak to any of the courtiers about religion.

St. Benjamin, however, declared it was his duty to preach Christ and that he could not be silent. Although he had been liberated on the agreement made with the ambassador and the Persian authorities, he would not acquiesce in it, and neglected no opportunity of preaching. He was again apprehended and brought before the king. The tyrant ordered that reeds should be thrust in between his nails and his flesh and into all the tenderest parts of his body and then withdrawn. After this torture had been repeated several times, a knotted stake was inserted into his bowels to rend and tear him. The martyr expired in the most terrible agony about the year 424.

Saint of the Day - Peter Regulatus

{From this site}

St. Peter Regulatus (1390-1456)
Feastday: March 30

Also Peter Regalado, Franciscan reformer. Peter was born at Valladolid, Spain, to a noble family, and entered the Franciscan Order in his native city at the age of thirteen. After several years, he transferred to a far more austere monastery at Tribulos, where he became known for his severe asceticism as well as his abilities to levitate and enter into ecstasies. A success as abbot, he gave himself over to bringing needed reforms to the monastery and to promoting reforms in other Franciscan houses. For his zeal in adhering to the rules of the community he was designated Regulatus.

Peter lived at a very busy time. The Great Western Schism (1378 - 1417) was settled at the Council of Constance (1414-1418). France and England were fighting the Hundred Years’ War, and in 1453 the Byzantine Empire was completely wiped out by the loss of Constantinople to the Turks. At Peter’s death the age of printing had just begun in Germany, and Columbus's arrival in the New World was less than 40 years away.
Peter came from a wealthy and pious family in Valladolid, Spain. At the age of 13, he was allowed to enter the Conventual Franciscans. Shortly after his ordination, he was made superior of the friary in Aguilar. He became part of a group of friars who wanted to lead a life of greater poverty and penance. In 1442 he was appointed head of all the Spanish Franciscans in his reform group.

Peter led the friars by his example. A special love of the poor and the sick characterized Peter. Miraculous stories are told about his charity to the poor. For example, the bread never seemed to run out as long as Peter had hungry people to feed. Throughout most of his life, Peter went hungry; he lived only on bread and water.

Immediately after his death on March 31, 1456, his grave became a place of pilgrimage. Peter was canonized in 1746.

Comment: Peter was an effective leader of the friars because he did not become ensnared in anger over the sins of others. Peter helped sinning friars rearrange the priorities in their lives and dedicate themselves to living the gospel of Jesus Christ as they had vowed. This patient correction is an act of charity available to all Franciscans, not just to superiors.

Key Words:

Supernatural ecstasy may be defined as a state which, while it lasts, includes two elements:
[1] the one, interior and invisible, when the mind rivets its attention on a religious subject;
[2] the other, corporeal and visible, when the activity of the senses is suspended, so that not only are external sensations incapable of influencing the soul, but considerable difficulty is experienced in awakening such sensation, and this whether the ecstatic himself desires to do so, or others attempt to quicken the organs into action.

Regulatus - couldn't find an ecclesiastic definition but I did find this:

During the 1400s, speakers of Middle English began using the word "regulate" much in the way we do today. "Regulate" entered English from the Late Latin "regulatus," which traces back to another Latin word "regula," meaning "rule." You might think "regula" also played a part in the word history of our word "regular" and you'd be right. "Regula" means "straightedge, rule," but the story doesn't stop there. "Regula" traces back to "regere," which means "to keep straight, direct," and that is the ultimate Latin ancestor of "regulate."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Richard Rolle's Passion Prayer

This is part of a Middle English song written by the 14th Century English hermit Richard Rolles. The sound of the Middle English is really beautiful, so try and make your way through it. And keep in mind that every letter is pronounced in Middle English.

Jhesu, receyve my hert, and to thi lufe me bryng;
Al my desyre thou ert, bot I covete thi comyng.
Thow make me clene of synne, and lat us never twyn;
Kyndel me fire within, that I thi lufe may wyn
And se thi face, Jhesu, in joy that never sal blyn.
Jhesu, my saule thou mend; thi lufe into me send,
That I may with the lend in joy withowten end.
In lufe thow wownde my thoght, and lyft my hert to the;
My sawle thou dere hase boght, thi lufer make it to be.
The I covete, this world noght, and for it I fle;
Thou ert that I have soght - thi face when may I see?
Thow make my sawle clere, for lufe chawnges my chere.


Jesus, receive my heart, and bring me to thy love;
You art all my desire, but I covet thy coming.
Thou make me clean of sin, and let us never separate;
Kindle a fire within me, that I may win thy love
And see thou face, Jesus, in joy that never ceases.
Jesus, my soul thou mend; thy love into me send,
That I may dwell with thee in joy without end.
In love thou wound my thought, and lift my heart to thee;
My soul thou dearly has bought, thy lover make it to be.
Thee I covet, this world not, and from it I flee;
Thou art that which I have sought - thy face when may I see?
Thou make my soul clear, for love changes my cheer.


In preparation for my "Saint of the Day" posts here is some background information on saints from the Catechism.

The intercession of the saints. "Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness...[T]hey do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus...So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped." (CCC 956)

The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were "put in charge of many things." Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world. (CCC 2683)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thank You

This song, by Christian musician Ray Boltz, is one of the most beautiful and touching songs I have ever heard. My parents used to be involved in World Wide Marriage Encounter and I remember when I first heard it they told me that their friends in Marriage Encounter had played it for them when they stepped down. I think it brought tears to my mother's eyes every time we listened to it. Enjoy

Weekly Schedule

I'm happy with my blog so far, and I really appreciate all the feedback I've received, but I'd like to inject a little more order into my posts.
There is so much going on in the news that most of the posts have been news related and that really wasn't my intention with this blog. I definitely wanted Catholic news to be a major part of it, but maybe not that major. My solution then, is to create various series of posts which will be posted every week and hopefully on the same day of every week. For instance, at the start of the week I'd like to have a Prayer Petition post which will include some of my own petitions and hopefully yours as well (which you can leave in the comment area). I'd also like to have a weekly Catholic trivia/factoid post. You get the idea.
If you have any suggestions for something you'd like to see more of, please let me know. Hopefully this more organized structure will keep me on track with my goal, which is the unity of Catholic Identity. There is so much to Catholicism that I want to be sure to focus on different aspects of it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

$75 Cigars?!

On a brighter note, here's an incredible series of events that I experienced in Miami over spring break.
Myself and two good friends spent the last week in Miami enjoying the beach and the sun. One of the first days we got there we decided to go to a local cigar shop and buy some stogies. I'm not a big cigar guy so I only bought two - total = $15.00.
Fast forward three days.
Friday afternoon found the three of us ordering pasta (remember, no meat) in a nice little Italian restaurant. Right before we had left for the restaurant my buddy John had offered me a piece of gum, which I accepted. It was that same piece of gum which I needed to get rid of before my meal. Unable to find a trash can and unwilling to swallow it, I reached into my pocket for a receipt. I happened to glance at the small receipt I had pulled from my pocket and was amazed that it was for something I had apparently paid $75 for. I knew for a fact that at no time on the trip had I paid that much for anything. I soon came to realize that the cigar shop we had gone to a couple days before had charged me $75 instead of $15.
Expecting the worst, we headed back to the shop that same night. I had no evidence of my purchase (the items weren't listed on the receipt) and to make matters even worse, there was a different cashier at the counter - an older Russian gentlemen.
Our conversation went something like this:
Me: "Hi, I came in here a couple days ago and -"
Him: "Don't worry, I know all about your problem."
Me: "Oh. You do?"
Him: "Yes, the woman told me what happened right away but we had no way of contacting you. Would you like cash or credit?"
Me: "Cash would be great..."
Him: [pulls out his wallet and hands me $60]
Me: [jaw drops] "Thank you so much!"

Praise God! Sixty dollars might not be much, but to a poor college student hoping to spend as little as possible, it's a fortune. What a blessing.

Notre Dame = NOT Catholic

Unfortunately the trend of "Catholics" denying the Church's teaching has now expanded to an entire institution - the University of Notre Dame. If you haven't heard already, Notre Dame has invited Barack Obama to give the commencement speech at this year's graduation. In addition, the university is bestowing an honorary degree on the President. For years now there has been debate about whether Notre Dame is actually a Catholic university, well I am sorry to say that it seems that debate has ended with a resounding "no".
I know that I constantly refer you to other articles, but this one by Catholic writer and Notre Dame professor Ralph McInerny, is a must read.
Furthermore, you can sign a petition here to protest this travesty.
This is a direct slap in the face to the Catholic Church. If Notre Dame goes through with this, there is no way they can even pretend to be Catholic. It will sadly join the ranks of those who merely pay lip service to the One True Faith.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good News Indeed

Amazing news out of Phoenix, Arizona: the Catholics Come Home TV advertising campaign has brought an estimated 92,000 lapsed Catholics back to the Church!!! The website is definitely worth checking out (there's a link to it on the right hand side of the blog) and please read this article as well.
This is exactly the sort of tool needed for the unity of Catholic Identity. Just as it is unfortunately mass media which causes so much confusion and misunderstanding so too can mass media bring about unity.
Hopefully other dioceses will institute a similar program. Please pray for Catholics Come Home and the excellent work it is doing.

I couldn't have said it better...

To make matters worse, some of the Pope's angriest critics claim to be Catholics, and draw their support from Catholic colleges and universities and/or Catholic religious orders. Waving the banners of their Church affiliations, they are working to still the voice of traditional Catholicism.

If ever there was a time to speak out in defense of the Church, and to support those who give voice to Catholic teaching, this is that time. If there was ever a time to pray for the Holy Father, this is it.

This is exactly what I was trying to say in my last post! I found these paragraphs in a great article on the Catholic Culture web site.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I am attempting, while writing this, to remain somewhat calm and clearheaded. A recent article, by a Robert McElvaine, in the Washington Post actually calls for the impeachment of Pope Benedict! Mr. McElvaine is supposedly a Catholic and wrote the article mainly in response to Benedict's statements about the distribution of condoms in Africa making the problem of AIDs even worse (the Pope's statements are producing much criticism and he needs our prayers, check this page for links about his comments). The outrageous thing is that his call for impeachment isn't the worst part of the article - its the other 'crimes' he accuses the Church of committing.

in 2008 that the subject of the ordination of women is not even open for discussion and declaring that anyone involved with the ordination of women will be automatically excommunicated

It's not open for discussion for very good reasons. The following is an excerpt from an excellent article which can be found here.

The question why women can't be ordained priests is often confused with the issue of equality. The Holy Father has made it clear that men and women (as far as their sex is concerned) are equal before God (e.g., Mulieris Dignitatem 6). But equality isn't identity. Men and women have different though complementary functions. Priesthood is a male function, for the reason that a priest is an icon of Christ, and Christ is male.

Also, Pope Benedict's act of mercy in lifting the excommunication on the Society of St. Pius X is twisted into this, the "lifting... [of] the excommunication of Holocaust-denier Richard Williamson." A nice little twisting of the truth.
Or this:

the cardinal sin of the Catholic Church -- a literally deadly sin, if ever there was one -- is its opposition to birth control. Far from being, as the Church contends, part of its moral doctrine, this policy is, plainly, the immoral doctrine of the Church. The use of condoms is a pro-life position.

This man, who claims he is Catholic, unfortunately does not understand at all the moral teaching of the Church. The means do not justify the ends. Contraception is wrong because it violates the unitive and procreative aspects of sexual intercourse. In a day and age when condoms are such a hot topic, for this man (again, a "Catholic") to be ignorant of the Church's teaching is inexcusable.

Why does the Church persist in such a manifestly immoral doctrine? One suspects that it must be the usual twisted thinking about sex and women. The Church's opposition to birth control is largely an outgrowth of its all-male composition and those males' attempts to degrade women's physical powers by asserting that women and the intercourse into which they supposedly tempt men are necessary evils ("It is well for a man not to touch a woman," Paul instructed the Christians of Corinth), the only purpose of which is procreation.

Surely this man can't be serious? In no way is this at all what the Church teaches!! Give me a break...
I want to make it clear that after all that, I do not hate this man. I do not know this man. What I do know is that we are to love our enemies and he is certainly an enemy of the Church that he himself proposes to be a member of. THIS is why we must have a unity of Catholic Identity; because we have journalists and politicians claiming to be Catholic yet denying the Church's teachings and it breeds confusion and misunderstanding among Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Above all we must pray. We must pray for ourselves, for our Church, and for its enemies. And we must educate ourselves so as to educate others. It is our responsibility to be tools of conversion.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sign of the times?

I just read an article on the LifeSite website that blew my mind. The article (found here) is about a couple in Quebec who are suing a hospital for not letting their baby die.

Marie-Eve Laurendeau gave birth to Phebe Mantha at LaSalle Hospital in November 2007. After a difficult delivery Phebe was transferred to Montreal Children's Hospital in serious condition and put on life support.

According to the lawsuit Laurendeau and Phebe's father, Stephane Mantha, were told by doctors that their daughter had little chance for survival and advised them to take her off respiratory support and hydration, to which they agreed.

After withdrawing respiratory support, however, it was found that Phebe could breathe on her own, and the hospital's ethics committee reversed the parents' decision to withhold fluids and food from their baby.

The discouraging thing is that the parents, instead of being overjoyed at the fact that their own flesh and blood survived, were instead pissed off! Just because their child's health is not 'perfect' they believe she is better off dead. They have lost their respect for life and can't see their daughter as anything but a burden. The really mind-boggling part is that when given the decision to take the child home or place her it protective custody, they chose to take her home! And now they're complaining about how difficult it is to raise a daughter with significant health issues!!
However, thank God for that ethics committee which decided to take the steps to ensure the baby's survival. Truly God was with them when they made their decision
to protect an innocent life at all costs. Bravo

Monday, March 16, 2009

Biblia Clerus

I've been meaning to put this link up for a while; if you go to this website you can download an unbelievable program by the Congregation for the Clergy called Biblia Clerus. The download is free and here's the summary from the website:

This program offers Sacred Scripture, its interpretation in light of Sacred Tradition and the teachings of the Magisterium, with appropriate theological commentary and exegesis.
The downloadable version allows you to connect Sacred Scripture to the complete works of many Doctors of the Church, Councils, Encyclicals, teachings of the Popes, Catechisms, as well as commentaries from secular literature, etc.

And as an added bonus it even has several of Chesterton and Belloc's works! It's simply amazing and fairly easy to use, definitely worth getting.

Quote of the _______

More from Mr. Chesterton and What's Wrong With the World.

But in the modern world we are primarily confronted with the extraordinary spectacle of people turning to new ideals because they have not tried the old. Men have not got tired of Christianity; they have never found enough Christianity to get tired of. Men have never wearied of political justice; they have wearied of waiting for it.

In a way it reminds me of that great quote by Fulton J. Sheen:

There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church.

In almost every 'discussion' that I've gotten into with Protestant friends, their main criticisms are about things that people have done within the Church, not with what she actually believes. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't know enough to properly defend my Faith or refute their arguments. Sorry apologetics...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Praying the Rosary

One of the things I've always struggled with is praying the rosary and even Marian devotion in general. I don't have a problem with Mary, but I feel spiritually empty when I pray for her intercession. As for the rosary, I just can't seem to focus on the Mysteries like I know I should. Right now I'm using Father Peyton's Rosary Prayer Book but it doesn't seem to help. The book that benefited me the most was a little prayer book that had a Scriptural verse for every bead; so I would read the verse then say a Hail Mary. However, I can't remember the name of the book and I left it at my house over Christmas break.
So how do you pray the rosary? What works for you? Is there a particular book that helps direct your thoughts to the Mysteries, or maybe a special prayer that helps prepare you? I'm sure I could find books out there (I probably even have a couple) that 'tell' you how to pray the rosary, but I'd rather get your input and see what actually works for you. I remember reading Fr. Michael Scanlan's book Let the Fire Fall and in it he describes a time when he was praying the rosary and he was so absorbed in the Mysteries that he absolutely knew that were he to look up (he was kneeling at the time) he would actually have seen Mary. Whenever I pray the rosary that image comes to my mind. I want to be that absorbed in the Mysteries.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Human dignity

I'd like to share two scenes from The Human Experience that have been on my mind the past two days.
At one point the two brothers are living homeless in New York City and they meet this homeless woman who describes what her life is like. She tells them that when she first started living on the streets there were a bunch of dogs running around loose and people freaked out and made phone calls and did everything they could to take care of these dogs but here she was, a fellow human being, standing in the cold, and no one did anything for her.
In another scene, after the crew has met with lepers in Ghana, one of the guys says how back in New York he used to freak out if he had a zit because of what people would think of him, yet here were these lepers, completely disfigured but still happy. Talk about putting things in perspective.
I never thought about it before but the power of human dignity speaks for itself in these 'hopeless' people. Think about those who suffered in concentration camps during WWII, what motivation could they have had to keep living? How can horribly disfigured lepers even want to keep living? People will do almost anything to preserve their lives, why? Because deep within all of us, whether we recognize it or not, is a profound respect for human life. The problem is this respect for human life is too often self-centered, as is the case with abortion. You often here people say that 'pro-choicers' don't respect life. That's not true; I guarantee you they respect some life, namely their own. And there isn't anything wrong with that, but how is it that we respect some life but not all? How do we help others to respect all life "from conception to natural death"? I think we have to 'rediscover' what it means to be human. I say rediscover because the definition has not changed since Adam and Eve, and we are not in a position to change it. We have to help the world return to its roots and the proper meaning of humanity.
People who have been put in hellish situations yet desire to still live understand what it means to be human. They've seen that human dignity is not something we earn or something external to us; its universal. No matter who you are or what you look like or what you've been through, know that you have dignity which no one can take away.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Human Experience

Last night on campus they showed the Grassroots Films documentary/movie The Human Experience. The premise of the movie is difficult to explain; two brothers, both from a rough background, decide to experience what life is like for the 'hopeless' - homeless, unwanted, lepers, etc. By secular standards, these people shouldn't even bother to live anymore for they have nothing that would make them happy - no big house, no fancy cars, no money... Yet miraculously they choose to get up every morning and continue their existence. Why? After the movie two of the main guys involved in making it (including the main 'actor') were actually at Franciscan for a Q&A. They said they're working to get the movie in theatres and then to DVD. If this movie comes out in a theatre near you all I can say is that you must see it. I can't imagine someone watching this film and not being changed. The trailer here is a little misleading as to what the movie is really about but still gives you a pretty good idea. Enjoy

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why fasting makes sense

In a society such as the one we live in, we can have virtually anything we want as soon as we want it: the instant we're hungry - we eat; the second we feel pain - we take medication; want to know something - look it up online. Most of us need not ever feel the prolonged pains of hunger, the agony of injury, or the injustice of waiting. Some might call this progress, but at what cost? Sure there have been amazing advancements in medicine and technology but they aid us superficially while killing us spiritually. Our 'spiritual immune system' has been so reduced that often times when temptation or sin attacks us we can't muster the strength to resist. That's where fasting comes in - our 'spiritual medicine.' As Pope Benedict said in his Lenten message: "The Sacred Scriptures and the entire Christian tradition teach that fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it." Fasting allows us to build up our resistance to temptation, a resistance that our satiated society has greatly damaged. We have gotten into the mindset that not only can we eat as soon as we're hungry but that we have to eat. On a fast two years ago I realized that if I didn't eat for a couple hours, even though I felt like I was starving, I could survive! So during this Lent I urge you to go above and beyond what we are required to abstain from, I think you'll be surprised by what you find. God bless

Quote of the ______

From What's Wrong With the World by G.K.Chesterton:

There has arisen in our time a most singular fancy: the fancy that when things go very wrong we need a practical man. It would be far truer to say, that when things go very wrong we need an unpractical man. Certainly, at least, we need a theorist. A practical man means a man accustomed to mere daily practice, to the way things commonly work. When things will not work, you must have the thinker, the man who has some doctrine about why they work at all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quote of the _______?

I'd like to periodically post inspiring quotes but I don't want to limit myself to one quote a week or exhaust myself by posting a quote every day so I've decided to post them as I find or remember them. This is the first.

To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.

-John Henry Newman, shortly before his conversion to Catholicism

Monday, March 2, 2009

This quote, from an article on the Catholic Culture website, really stuck out to me:
A culture which prizes wealth and material well-being too highly is doomed to justify one moral horror after another in the name of convenience and comfort. It is one thing to deplore the excesses of such a culture; it is quite another to start transforming it from within by the way that we live. Until Christians begin again to shape their lives and their communities to reflect a tangible difference in how material things are used and enjoyed, Christianity is not likely to attract the following necessary to once again begin to shape culture.

I think it goes along with my last post about courage and even with the unification of Catholic Identity in general - we must live as Catholics. Lip service isn't enough and even our actions aren't enough when, though they are good in themselves, they bring about no good in the world.

What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith." (James 2:14-18)

Sunday, March 1, 2009


The priest at mass today gave an excellent homily on courage and it made me really think about something that's been bothering for a long time - the fact that I am a coward. I'm not ashamed to admit this because I recognize it and I try to change it, but I'm also not happy about it. When it comes to what really matters, that is, spreading the Kingdom of God by witnessing to the Faith, I am a downright coward. Here at Franciscan it's easy to be a good Catholic because we're ALL good Catholics, but back home, with my friends, it's a totally different story. At work or out to eat with my friends, I can't even bring myself to make the sign of the cross at meals for fear of what they'll think or say. This has often led me to ask myself whether or not I would die for Christ - if someone had a gun to my head and was going to shoot me if I didn't deny my Lord and Saviour, what would I do? I happen to truly believe that I would die for Him, so why can't I do the little things? Amongst the people in my life who need the Good News the most, I consistently fail to witness. Why? We are not here to witness only to one another, but to the whole world. Our ability to witness to the world is invaluable to recovering our Catholic Identity. How many lives would be changed if they saw Catholics witnessing to what they believe? Pray without ceasing; pray for courage.
We have to live our lives in such a way that we will be unafraid to witness to what we believe and live.