Monday, April 30, 2012

May 1 St. Joseph the Worker

The feast day of St. Joseph the Worker was established in 1955 by Pope Pius XII. May 1st was chosen to enhance May Day with Christian meaning. May Day or  the International Workers' Day, was secularly established for unions, workers and socialists.
St Joseph the Carpenter by George de La Tour, 1640s
On the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, the church proclaims the high dignity of all work. Work is a gift from God and man enhances his own dignity when he collaborates with God. The Church proposes St. Joseph as an example of someone who worked to provide for his family. All honest work has value.

God intended work to allow us to create and follow His example. With the fall of man, work became burdensome. But with and through Jesus Christ, work becomes a means of sanctification.

And so today we ask ourselves:

Do I put my best effort into all my work, whether paid full time job, work in the home or volunteer work?

Do I have a sense of urgency and thoroughness in my work?

Do I properly care for the instruments with which I work?

Do I offer any/all sufferings of my work to Jesus for the Salvation of Souls? Including feeling tired, overwhelmed or incapable?

Do I give a good example to all by work done well?

Let us model our work after St. Joseph and be diligent, honest, thorough and cheerful in all we do.
Let us also pray for all unemployed and underemployed who are seeking meaningful work.

Prayer to say each day before work or school:
"Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations; to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor the gifts I have received from God, to work methodically, peacefully, and in moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from it through weariness or difficulty to work; above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness, having unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I have to render of time lost, talents unused, good not done, and vain complacency in success, so baneful to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all to imitate thee, O patriarch St. Joseph! This shall be my watchword for life and eternity." - Pope Pius IX

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great Book for Mother's Day~order a copy today!

Amazing Grace for Mothers will lift your heart and send your spirit soaring. You will laugh, you will cry, but most of all you will be refreshed by stories of love, inspiration, miracles, and God's amazing grace. This collection of 101 stories will bring you the warmth and support of other women, all dedicated to the same glorious role - motherhood.

A great gift for less than $10!  CLICK HERE TO ORDER 

What I love about this book is that each woman's story is short enough for a busy mom to read in between all the other things she is doing. I can keep a copy in the car, and can read one story while waiting in car line. Or at night before I fall asleep, I can get one inspirational story in and fall asleep tired, but encouraged! Maura Buete first gave me this book several years ago and it is a treasure. Get one for yourself, your mom or your girl friends and celebrate Motherhood!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Pope Benedict~85 years old today

Please take a moment to pray for our Holy Father's intentions.

This is what he said today... "I find myself on the last stretch of my journey in life, and I don't know what is awaiting me."  "I know, however, that the light of God exists, that He is risen, that His light is stronger than any darkness and that God's goodness is stronger than any evil in this world, and this helps me go forward with certainty."

I highly recommend the new book out about the Holy Father. His life story is amazing. We truly have a holy wonderful pope. May God grant him many years.

CLICK HERE to get a copy of the book.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Divine Mercy Sunday April 15, 2012

On October 5, 1938, a young religious by the name Sister Faustina (Helen Kowalska) died in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Kracow, Poland. She came from a very poor family that had struggled hard on their little farm during the terrible years of WWI. Sister had had only three years of very simple education. Hers were the humblest of tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or the vegetable garden, or as a porter.

On February 22, 1931, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared to this simple nun, bringing with Him a wonderful message of Mercy for all mankind.

Jesus appeared to her with red and white rays radiating from His heart and said,
Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You.  I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world. (Diary 47)
I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory. (Diary 48)
By this image, the Church's doctrine on justification and grace are explained. First, by itself an image is merely a painting, no matter how beautiful and expressive. Yet, it can point us the mysteries of the faith and dispose us to grasp and receive what it represents, in this case the Divine Mercy. It is thus a vessel, not the source, a reminder, not the reality. The reality is the merciful fountain of grace flowing from the pierced Heart of Christ on the Cross, and flowing out visibly to represent the visible, that is the sacramental, signs of grace, Baptism and Eucharist, standing for all the sacraments of the Church.

Blessed Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina in 2000 and set the Sunday after Easter as the day to celebrate the Divine Mercy of God. 

On this day we all do well to practice the ABCs of Divine Mercy:

The message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us —
no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that
His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon
Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to
others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message
we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.

A— Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach
Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and
asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon
the whole world.

B— Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy
and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to
extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does
to us.

C— Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know
that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our
trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will


To learn more about Divine Mercy, CLICK HERE for Fr. Jason Brooks inspiring talk.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

St Vincent Ferrer

If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with all your heart. Ask him simply to fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues; with it you can accomplish what you desire. - Saint Vincent Ferrer from On the Spiritual Life
 If any saint is a patron of reconciliation, Vincent Ferrer is.
Despite parental opposition, he entered the Dominican Order in his native Spain at 19. After brilliant studies, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Peter de Luna—who would figure tragically in his life.
Of a very ardent nature, Vincent practiced the austerities of his Order with great energy. He was chosen prior of the Dominican house in Valencia shortly after his ordination.

The Western Schism divided Christianity first between two, then three, popes. Clement VII lived at Avignon in France, Urban VI in Rome. Vincent was convinced the election of Urban was invalid (though Catherine of Siena was just as devoted a supporter of the Roman pope). In the service of Cardinal de Luna, he worked to persuade Spaniards to follow Clement. When Clement died, Cardinal de Luna was elected at Avignon and became Benedict XIII.

Vincent worked for him as apostolic penitentiary and Master of the Sacred Palace. But the new pope did not resign as all candidates in the conclave had sworn to do. He remained stubborn despite being deserted by the French king and nearly all of the cardinals.

Vincent became disillusioned and very ill, but finally took up the work of simply "going through the world preaching Christ," though he felt that any renewal in the Church depended on healing the schism. An eloquent and fiery preacher, he spent the last 20 years of his life spreading the Good News in Spain, France, Switzerland, the Low Countries and Lombardy, stressing the need of repentance and the fear of coming judgment. (He became known as the "Angel of the Judgment.")

He tried, unsuccessfully, in 1408 and 1415, to persuade his former friend to resign. He finally concluded that Benedict was not the true pope. Though very ill, he mounted the pulpit before an assembly over which Benedict himself was presiding and thundered his denunciation of the man who had ordained him a priest. Benedict fled for his life, abandoned by those who had formerly supported him. Strangely, Vincent had no part in the Council of Constance, which ended the schism.

from: Saint of the Day

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Brother the Pope by Msgr Georg Ratzinger

I just finished reading a fantastic new book from Ignatius Press, My Brother the Pope. Before picking up a copy, I didn't even know the Pope had a brother, and I certainly didn't know that the Pope's brother was also a priest, ordained on the same day as the Pope over 60 years ago!

Born in 1927, Joseph Ratzinger enjoyed a sweet childhood in Bavaria in the late 1920s and early 1930s. His father was a policeman/civil servant. His parents married later in life and had a daughter, Maria and a son, Georg, before Joseph.

One of the family "secrets" is that the family prayed the rosary just about every day. The boys were altar servers from an early age. Mass and the Eucharistic were very important to the family. They regularly received the sacrament of confession.

When World War II began, both brothers were in-scripted into service of the Nazi. Their studies for the priesthood were postponed until after the war. They were both ordained June 29, 1951. The story continues through the Pope's life as University Professor, Bishop, Cardinal and of course, Pope.

I have always loved Pope Benedict, but reading this book really gave me insight into his intellectual and somewhat shy personality. His Episcopal motto of "Coworkers for the Truth" is so appropriate. Throughout his entire life, he has searched for Truth and shared it. His humility is very evident, as is his love for his family.

Anyone would enjoy this book, but particularly Catholics, those who like biographies or those who love reading about the great events of the 20th Century. His life encompasses it all.

St Isidore of Seville

If a man wants to be always in God's company, he must pray regularly and read regularly. 
When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us.
– St. Isidore of Seville (560?-636)
Born in Cartagena of a family that included three other sibling saints (St. Leander, St. Fulgentius and St. Florentina), he was educated (severely) by his elder brother, whom he succeeded as bishop of Seville.

An amazingly learned man, he was sometimes called "The Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages" because the encyclopedia he wrote was used as a textbook for nine centuries. He required seminaries to be built in every diocese, wrote a Rule for religious orders and founded schools that taught every branch of learning.

 Isidore wrote numerous books, including a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a history of Goths and a history of the world—beginning with creation! He completed the Mozarabic liturgy, which is still in use in Toledo, Spain. For all these reasons, Isidore has been suggested as patron of the Internet.

He continued his austerities even as he approached 80. During the last six months of his life, he increased his charities so much that his house was crowded from morning till night with the poor of the countryside.