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Showing posts from 2012

St. Agnes of Rome - My Confirmation Saint!

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My last two posts have been about Saints that have impacted me in some way, shape, or form recently, and they are the first of several. But the one who has been my patroness for the longest is the young girl who I chose as my Confirmation saint - Agnes of Rome.

Agnes was a beautiful daughter of a noble couple who lived in the 4th century, and, like most noble children of the time, she was effectively raised by a Nanny. This woman was a Christian, and she taught Agnes about the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord, and she taught her about the life of St. Paul and how he called young women to a life of purity, consecrated to Our Lord in a special way.

This was something that Agnes greatly desired, and so she consecrated herself and her virginity to Our Lord and said that she would take no human man. Unfortunately, by the time she was 12 or 13, her status and beauty attracted many men, among them, the son of the Prefect of the time. Steadily, she refused him, telling him that sh…

St. Mary Magdalene

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As I have matured in my faith and walk with God, I have realized that certain saints have risen in my life as models. Over the next couple weeks or months, I intend to continue writing about some of them. I wrote about one of the most consistent over the last year and a half in my last post, but now I want to tell you about one of the most recent. And I can honestly say she is a saint I never really expected to connect with. I have recently begun pondering the life of Mary Magdalene, and as I am wont to do, I started doing some research. And you know what I found? That she is easily one of the most misunderstood women in history. 

Not only do we have the Da Vinci Code trying to cast her as the wife of Jesus and propagator of his dynasty (which is heretical on many levels as well as unfounded by any historical evidence), but we also simply don't know who exactly she was. Some people say that Mary Magdalene is a catch all for every Mary or female sinner in scripture: Mary of Bethany,…

My Saintly Stalker: The Little Flower

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As I have matured in my faith, several saints have become more and more real and have walked with me along my journey. Besides the Blessed Mother, none has been as influential in my life as the beautiful St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. Several of you have heard me talk about this spectacular woman, but many more have only heard "I'll tell you more! I promise!" So, I am going to write out a bit about my beautiful Saintly Stalker.

First, let me say that I did not go seeking her out as I did with a couple of the other saints that have become meaningful. I did not choose her. She chose me. God knew I needed her, and so, when I went to my Awakening retreat, He put me in a group where both of the group leaders had encountered her and her intercession, and they beautifully shared that devotion with us retreaters. At the end of the weekend, they gave us a prayer card, a card with a picture of St. Therese on one side, a short prayer on the other, with rose petals (I wi…

The Mystical Body of Christ

This is an article I wrote for my Church's "newsletter" called the Messenger. It had to be really short, so I apologize for how abbreviated it is. I may, at some point, elaborate on one of more of the sections later.

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We are all fighting a battle. We are the church militant. We fight against the forces of evil daily. We are in a constant battle, and, on our own, it would be impossible. But we are no more alone than were the Israelites in Exodus 17.
Moses realized that while his arms were raised, the favor of the Lord shone upon the Israelites, and they could not be defeated. Likewise, we have the priests who offer – on our behalf and that of the whole world – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But, like Moses, our priests tire, as does the army. But like the Israelites, we should not despair, for we are not left alone. We have people to help hold up our priests’ arms so that we can better fight our fight, fueled by the Eucharist – those who consecrate themselves to pr…

Why the Church is Not Against Women

Well, the number of reasons are really too many to number, but I will focus on one.

In almost all religions, the archetypal member is male, and most of their societies are heavily emphasized on the male. And while, yes, it is true, that the Church does not teach that women can be preachers, Christianity is one of the only religions that has for the archetypal member, a woman.

Despite the fact that Jesus chose twelve apostles, declared that the Church would be built on Simon, then renamed Peter, rose Paul to such a position of power and authority, the Church does not promote them as the model Christians.

They could. They are all beautiful examples of Christianity. Paul himself says to imitate him and thus imitate Christ, but you will rarely hear Paul put forward as the model Christian. You will hear Peter put forward as the model for repentance (and also Mary Magdalene), but you will rarely have him put forward - outside of anecdotes - as the model Christian.

The person who is set forw…

The Ark of the Covenant: Found!

The Ark of the Covenant has been found! For two and a half thousand years, people have searched for the ark, but it has already been found, and, as Christians, we can take joy in the knowledge our tradition and scriptures pass to us, for Revelation tells us where it is.

"Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of the covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child...."
The new temple, complete with the altar upon which Christ presents himself, slain, yet glorified, to the Father, is in heaven. And the Ark of the Covenant, the dwelling place and vessel the Almighty used to come to His people who were not ready to see His full glory, is also there. But it is not the same as it once was. It has changed forms, though …

The Right to Life and the Responsibility to Protect It

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What is the worst thing that can happen to the Church? Not torture, murder, threats, persecution, or even the whole world conspiring to exterminate her from the face of the earth. That already happened once, and the result was the greatest growth the Church has ever seen.

The worst thing that can happen to the Church is what is happening to the Church now in the West, namely that the Church is deliberately conforming to the world. This is a betrayal of her primary task, which is to conform the world to Christ. The leader has become a follower. The Lion of Judah has become tame.

Nowhere has this deadly process been more apparent than in the very thought processes and categories that modern Christians use. They are the categories of the world. What categories? The modern world politicizes everything and imposes the political categories of Right and Left on everything. They are the two knee-jerk categories that save us from the awful necessity of thinking through issues on their own merit.

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

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The heart is the part of the body that is responsible for spreading life to every other part. Without the heart pumping blood, no other part can survive. It is also the part of the body the soul is personified as. "Heart" implies totality, the core of essense, and so much more. It is the life and love giving portion of the body. If one offers his heart to a person, he is offering everything to that person - his love, his emotions, his sufferings, his joys, his weaknesses, his strengths, and the promise that as long as that heart still beats, he will be true to that person.

Every beat of our Lord's Sacred Heart was for us. He only took a physical heart for us, and from the moment in started beating, every beat was for us. The heart beating in the body of the infant Lord is the same heart that beat in the chest of our crucified Lord. It beat for one reason and one purpose - a love for us so deep that he would cover us all with his blood.

This love consumed his heart, which…

The Visitation - A Pro-Life Message for Today's Culture of Death

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Today is the Feast of the Visitation - when Mary, newly gifted with the miracle of the God-child, goes to visit her elderly cousin, Elizabeth who was also miraculously pregnant. From the moment of Mary's Fiat, Jesus was within her, the Word was flesh - growing flesh, true, but flesh. The God that made the universe was living and being fashioned a human body inside of a young Jewish girl. 

Mary, filled with joy (and probably a bit scared too), goes to see her cousin and help her through the last trimester, which, for an older woman would be difficult even in our current day of comfort. Mary went and greeted her cousin, and as soon as she did, the Child growing in her womb was made known to the still young John, and he - as David did hundreds of years before - leaped for joy at being in the presence of God.

The very first person to ever leap for joy, to worship Jesus (besides His Mother by offering her life) was an unborn child. That unborn child was the first missionary - he told …

Jesus Glorified is the Lamb Slain

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Today, we in America celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (the technical feast day was Thursday). Jesus, our Risen Lord, takes his body up to the Father so it can be glorified for all time as the Lamb that was slain upon the altar of Heaven, forever offering himself as restitution for our sins, forever allowing the blood from his hands, his feet, and his heart, wash the sinner's sins away and allowing his earthly body and heavenly spirit nourish and strengthen his body the Church. Forever, this Lamb sends forth the Spirit to those of us still living upon the earth.
You might think it's strange to think of our Risen Lord as a slain lamb, and I did too, until I began listening to an amazing CD by Scott Hahn (Title: Understanding the Eucharist), and he talked about Revelation 5 - a chapter I had never really paid much attention to in a book I used only for references (not a great way to use any book of the Bible, much less this most beautiful one that deserves so …

Jesus and His Saints are Risen, not Dead

Guess what, everone? Jesus is risen! He suffered and subjected himself to a horrible death, He remained with the dead for three days, and now He's risen! And just like He suffered, my Big Brother also rose for me. No more do I have to fear death. Death is not something, as in the Old Testament, to be feared or embraced only reluctantly. I can now look forward to the day I die because it is not, as good Gandalf says, the end but "just the beginning." My time here, in my earthly flesh, will be over, but I will be given a new body, a glorious body, like the one Jesus wore from the grave.

What does it mean to, as Paul says, have the hope of the resurrection? Well, if we die to our old selves and become slaves to Christ, then we can join the "Cloud of Witnesses" the author of Hebrews talks about. We will join our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Judah, Simeon, and the other Maccabean Brothers and Martyrs, Simeon and Anna.…