Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why I am a Catholic

What brought me to the Catholic Church was Jesus! Jesus in the Holy Eucharist! Never was there a happier day for me, than when I discovered that He was truly present in the bread and in the wine. My soul was filled to overflowing with the thrill of this discovery. No other protestant sect could or ever assured me of this fact. Yes, there are many other beautiful truths about the Catholic faith; but, for me, if it weren't for the transubstantiation, I would still be a drifter in a sea of many divergent beliefs.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

Today the priest ushered us into the sanctuary while we waved the ribbons of palm leaves and sang a joyous hymn. I wonder how Jesus felt. Did he feel jubilant? happy? Think for a moment how you would really feel if transported back in time to the city of Jerusalem, exactly at that moment, watching Jesus the Christ riding upon a donkey, the sun beaming down, the air is hot and stifling from the crowds surrounding him; the cacophony of discordant sounds, the jostling crowds, the smells assailing your nostrils; but, all of that pales in comparison to seeing Jesus the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Son of God - for just a glimpse of Him passing by. Oh, what I wouldn't give for that moment. Next Friday we celebrate the Lord's passion and contemplate the events surrounding his final day on earth - it involves betrayal, torture, execution, and of course, the resurrection.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pope Francis

Dressed in simple white vestments, the 76-year-old pontiff delighted pilgrims by zipping through St. Peter's Square in an open-backed jeep for about half an hour before the ceremonial events began, waving and kissing babies handed up to him. At one point, he dismounted and went over to lay hands on a disabled man while Swiss Guards tried to keep the crowd behind barriers.
For posterity and so that I can come back here and read what he said on the day of his installation as Pope, these are his words said that day:
"Let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment," the pope said. "Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!"
He called on government leaders, and himself, to "protect all of God's people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important."
"To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope," he said, with majestic St. Peter's Basilica behind him. "It is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds."
"Let us never forget that authentic power is service and that the pope, too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the cross," Francis said. "He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked St. Joseph."
Read more here:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pope of the people

I like this pope's style! Blessed are the poor in spirit and blessed are the merciful. Read these words of Pope Francis:
“Never forget this: the Lord never tires of forgiving us. Have you thought about the patience that God has with each of us?” These were the words that Pope Francis addressed to the nearly 200,000 people who had travelled from around Italy and from around the world in previous days to be able to live this first Angelus with the new Pope.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis

Archbishop-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina. Our first Latin American, first Jesuit, and first Francis has been elected as our next pope. I am so happy to hear this! Give God the praise and glory.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Befriending the Stranger

Our lives are moulded and fashioned
by all the graces we have received or refused;
by all the gestures of love as well as the acts of hatred
or indifference;
by our successes as well as our failures.
Absolutely everything is engraved in our being.
So the experience of being loved by God
does not change our lives completely,
yet something is changed
when we realize that God loves us just as we are,
not as we would like to be
nor as our parents or society would have liked us to be.
God loves us today
with our gifts, our qualities, as well as our failures and our fragility.
If we have the impression people are disappointed in us
because we do not live up to their expectations;
if there seems to be a gap
between the way in which others perceive us
and who we really are,
between what we like to think we can do
and what we actually can do,
we need to discover God is never disappointed in us.
God knows us;
God knows our abilities and disabilities;
God knows we are a mixture of light and darkness.
Others may be disappointed
because they have an ideal image of Him,
but not God, who knows me today just as I am.
God does not live in the past or the future
but in the "now" of the present moment.
God sees me in my present reality
as I am in each present moment.

-Jean Vanier, Befriending the Stranger
(reposted from Abbey Roads blog)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

'The Eucharist is my highway to Heaven!'

Repost from Abbey Roads: A fifteen-year-old Milanese youth, deeply devoted to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii.

Carlo died at the age of fifteen due to leukemia, although it was only diagnosed days before he died. In this he reminds me of Blessed Pier Giorgio, who died of polio, although no one knew he was so seriously ill. Like Pier Giorgio, Carlo had overflowing crowds of mourners at his funeral. I think his story is very important for youth and young men especially - who need solid examples of authentic Catholic spirituality. I believe Carlo's witness demonstrates that holiness is indeed attainable in our anti-Christian, hedonistic culture. A maxim from Carlo states: "You must want it (holiness) with all your heart, and if this desire has not arisen in your heart, you must ask for it with insistence from the Lord." His example affirms for me that fidelity to the duties of one's state in life is the ordinary means to sanctity.

'The Eucharist is my highway to Heaven!'

"He is remembered by those who knew him for the enthusiasm with which he conveyed to others his love for God and the neighbor. At seven he did his First Communion and since then, every day, he has never missed the daily appointment with the Holy Mass, the Eucharistic Adoration and the Holy Rosary. The focus of Carlo’s spirituality was the daily encounter with the Lord in the Eucharist: he said It 'was Jesus truly present in the world, as at the time of the Apostles the disciples could see him in flesh and bones walking on the streets of Jerusalem'. Carlo often repeated: 'The Eucharist is my highway to Heaven!' This is the summary of his spirituality and the core of his whole existence spent in friendship with God.

"Carlo was very fond of the Virgin of Pompeii, where he came dozens of times, accompanied by his parents, and where each time he renewed his act of consecration to Mary. He used to say: 'The Madonna is the only woman of my life!', and he never missed 'the most loving appointment of the day', which was for him the prayer of the Holy Rosary.

"Some days before Carlo was led to the hospital, when no one suspected that he had leukemia which in a few days brought him to the grave, he told his parents: 'I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer to the Lord, for the Pope and the Church, for not to do Purgatory and go straight into Heaven'. The heroism with which he dealt with his illness and death convinced many people that really there was something special in him. When the doctor who followed him asked him if he suffered a lot, Carlo replied: 'There are people who suffer much more than me'.

"A continuous pilgrimage held a wake for his body. His funeral was attended by a crowd so immense that many were forced to remain outside the Church. The continuing testimonies, letters, stories, which still today arrive at the postulator of the Cause of Beatification, Dr. Francesca Consolini, appointed by the Curia of Milan, tell of an extraordinary young boy, blessed by grace, so much that the Archdiocese of Milan thought to propose him as a model for the young and to start the process in view of the introduction of the Cause of Beatification which, as you know, may begin 5 years after death. It results, in fact, that so many are those who ask the intercession and the aid of Carlo.

"From the testimonies collected a few days after his death, one discovers that Carlo was completely dedicated to the welfare of the people he met. He helped everyone: non-Community immigrants, beggars, disabled persons, elderly people, children. He was worried about his friends whose parents were divorcing and invited them to his house to support them; in the classroom he always took the defences of those who had more difficulty to integrate. On more than one occasion he defended the disabled that were taken around by frivolous boys.

"With great courage he defended the Christian values, even if this sometimes caused him misunderstandings. His professor of religion at the high school recalls that in a discussion in the classroom Carlo was the only one to oppose abortion.

"He had a great view of all persons and was concerned about how many wasted the talents that God had given them. On more than one occasion he affirmed: 'All are born with their own originality, but many die as photocopies'.

"This intense spirituality did not prevent him from having a normal life, common to that of his peers." - source: and

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Should we spank our children?

This article is from canterbury tales blog -- I thought it was worth reposting:
Summa theologiae, Supplementum Supplementi q. 54

Article. 1 Whether spanking children is lawful.

Objection 1. It seems that spanking children is not lawful because the Apostle states, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged” (Col 3:21) and again, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4). Now physical injury is a provocation. Hence spanking children is not lawful.

Objection 2. Besides, the Psalmist sings, “thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me” (Ps 23:4). Now striking a child with the rod is not comforting. Hence, it is not lawful to spank a child.

Objection 3. Furthermore, God prevented Moses from entering the Promised Land because he angrily struck the rock of salvation with a rod (cf. Num 20:11). By this signification we learn that the rod denotes the species of anger that forfeits the divine promises on account of malice. Hence, it is not lawful to use the rod on children about which Christ spoke: “For to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 19:14) for in these words Christ speaks of a promise.

On the contrary, It is written: “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” (Prov 12:24) and again, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him” (Prov 22:15). Now the dutiful parent disciplines his child and drives away folly. Therefore, it is lawful to spank a child with the rod.

I answer that, striking a child may be accomplished in two ways. A parent may spank a child in wrath so as to injure the child, or a parent may spank a child in a spirit of charity and patience so as to fulfill the words: “he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Consequently, spankings administered in charity are virtuous and meritorious.

Reply to the First Objection. Here the Apostle speaks of wrathful provocation whereby the child is wounded. Now the correction of vice in a child is not a wound, but a cure. Hence, the Apostle does not denounce corporeal punishments.

Reply to the Second Objection. The rod comforts the Psalmist spiritually. As stated above, the removal of vice is comforting. Hence, corporeal punishment that seeks to mitigate vice is licit since it leads to spiritual comfort.

Reply to the Third Objection. Moses forfeited his right to the Promise Land by angrily bearing the rod of the Lord. Previously, the Lord also said to Moses: “And you shall take in your hand this rod, with which you shall do the signs” (Ex 4:17). Now rods can be used in two ways. Relatively speaking, rods are neutral in that they can be used for a good or a bad purpose. The rod of discipline, simply speaking, drives away folly, as stated above, and for this reason the Lord says, “with which you shall do the signs.” Hence the term “rod” need not denote wrathful indignation on the part of the one who bears the rod.

My Guardian Angel

oy vey iz mir; This is what I imagine my guardian angel saying when I do/say/think dumb things!