- The Rosary Foundation (Catholic Website of the Week)
- Pope Says, Lent is the Perfect Time to "Come Home" (DiocesanNews and BEYOND)
- Helpful Hints Submitted by Wives--Husbands Please Read (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
PRAYER, Fasting, and Almsgiving
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
The three tools to truly change this Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. And, if there is one thing we can never do enough of, it is pray.
Prayer needs not be only time in church, on our knees, or at specific times. Prayer needs to become a way of life. We must strive to be constantly united to Jesus Christ in our way of living, that we “pray always.” How wonderful it would be if praying became as natural as breathing.
I was at a profession of a dear friend of mine some years ago, when she united herself formally to a Carmelite convent. She pointed out to me that some of the nuns that ‘never break prayer.’ Even if they talk to you or do some task they keep themselves fully united to their Lord in constant prayer, with heart and mind raised to Him. I soon experienced what she was pointing out to me as I spoke with one of the Carmelites.
While the average Catholic is not called to this specifically, you and I are called to strive to pray constantly by uniting whatever we think, say, or do to Jesus Christ, the REAL person who loves us more than others do and more than we love ourselves. That is the challenge and joy of the Good News!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This past Sunday was the First Sunday of Lent. >>> Readings
P.S.S. Sunday Readings and reflections at the end
prayer (from Latin precaria, “obtain by pleading or earnestly requesting”)
- the elevation of the mind and heart to God (in praise of his glory; a petition made to God for some desired good, or in thanksgiving for a good received, or in intercession for others before God).
(Husbands, please take a look)
Not listed in any particular order
1) Be my best friend.
2) I need to know you call my name in your prayers
3) Hold me when I cry
4) Show and tell me that you love me often, and leave no doubt about it in my mind.
5) Show me your approval when I make a decision that is good.
6) Talk to me about what's important to you and to me.
7) Listen to me and don't treat me like I am stupid and don't know anything.
8) I need intimacy, and not just sexually. Anyone can have relations, but it takes a REAL man to be intimate.
9) Make me feel wanted and trusted in the things I can do for you.
10) Don't try to make me like your mother.
11) Remember that I am your "Help Mate". I am not someone to be stomped on and just used for your "whims".
12) Understand that I like to have our family near and want all relationships to be what God intended.
13) Comfort and hold me.
14) Be a one woman man.
15) Take the spiritual lead in giving me (and our children) direction and guidance.
16) Ask me for my help - it is good to be regarded as a helper and useful.
17) Make appropriate adjustments to your lifestyle and preferences as a married / family man.
18) Treat me with love and respect in the company of others.
19) Show appreciation and affirmation.
20) Tell me you love me often, even if you think I should already know this.
21) Show affection for no "reason" at all.
22) Make me feel as though I am still desirable.
23) Be devoted to caring, giving protection, and affirming your love.
24) Encourage me to realize my goals, and don't put me down for trying something new. Try to understand how I feel and listen to me when I try to tell you something that is important to us or that is hurting us.
“Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The "spiritual battle" of the Christian's new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2725
The Rosary Foundation - Pray the Rosary for World Peace
Welcome to eRosary, the official homepage of The Rosary Foundation. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting rosary prayer and the benefits gained by ...
The Rosary Foundation is a charitable organization that is dedicated to promoting the benefits gained through recitation of the rosary. Its mission is to enlighten the world about the special graces available to all those who pray the rosary.
The Rosary Foundation organizes and manages several Rosary Awareness campaigns in an effort to promote the use of the rosary. Its members promote the rosary through search engine marketing and online media advertising; they promote prayer offline via word-of-mouth; they also promote prayer for several nonprofit charity organizations.
By Hannah Brockhaus
Vatican City, Feb 14, 2018 / 11:33 am (EWTN News/CNA)
At Mass for Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis invited everyone to live the 40 days of Lent as a time to “pause” from things which keep us from virtue and to return home to the loving and merciful embrace of God the Father.
“Return without fear to those outstretched, eager arms of your Father, who is rich in mercy, who awaits you. Return without fear, for this is the favorable time to come home,” the Pope said Feb. 14.
“[Lent] is the time for allowing one’s heart to be touched...” he continued, explaining how “persisting on the path of evil only gives rise to disappointment and sadness. True life is something quite distinct and our heart indeed knows this. God does not tire, nor will he tire, of holding out his hand.”
Marking the start of the Lenten season Feb. 14, Pope Francis prayed the Stations of the Cross at St. Anselm Church in Rome before processing the short way to the Basilica of Santa Sabina for the celebration of Mass, benediction, and the imposition of ashes.
The traditional procession is composed of cardinals, bishops, priests, the Benedictine monks of St. Anselm, the Dominican friars of Santa Sabina, and lay people. As they make their way between the two churches, they sing the Litany of the Saints.
The practice of beginning the Lenten season of prayer and penance this way was started by Pope John XXIII when he came for the opening of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in 1961.
In his homily at Mass, Pope Francis criticized distrust, apathy and resignation, stressing that Lent is the ideal time to uproot these and other temptations from our hearts. He listed out different ways we can do this through the actions of pausing, seeing, and returning to the Father.
He offered several suggestions of how to pause, including refraining from showing off, or from an attitude which gives rise to unproductive thoughts and self-pity, and which lead us to forget our call to encounter others and share in their burdens.
He also urged an end to the desire “to control everything, know everything, destroy everything,” which he said stems from a lack of gratitude for our life and what we've already been given.
Lent is also a good time for the “creative power of silence” in order to “leave behind the unrest and commotion that fill the soul with bitter feelings which never get us anywhere,” he advised.
“Pause from this compulsion to a fast-paced life that scatters, divides and ultimately destroys time with family, with friends, with children, with grandparents, and time as a gift... time with God,” he stated.
The Pope also called out “haughty looks” and “fleeting and pejorative comments,” and urged a break from words stemming from a lack of “tenderness, compassion and reverence for the encounter with others, particularly those who are vulnerable, hurt and even immersed in sin and error.”
Francis urged people instead to look upon and contemplate those actions which promote faith, hope and charity, and to look upon the faces of the vulnerable and in need, like families who, despite hardship, still strive to make their homes “a school of love.”
He also advised people to see the faces of children and youth, yearning for a future, to see the faces of the elderly reflecting “God's wisdom at work,” and to see the faces of sick people and their caretakers, whose vulnerability reminds us of the value of every person.
“See the remorseful faces of so many who try to repair their errors and mistakes,” he continued, “and who from their misfortune and suffering fight to transform their situations and move forward.”
Finally, the Pope encouraged everyone to take time during Lent to “see and contemplate the face of Crucified Love.”
“See and contemplate the real face of Christ crucified out of love for everyone, without exception,” he said. “For everyone? Yes, for everyone. To see his face is an invitation filled with hope for this Lenten time, in order to defeat the demons of distrust, apathy and resignation.”
By Blanca Ruiz
Madrid, Spain, Mar 6 (EWTN News/CNA) -After an anti-clerical childhood and adolescence, filled with hatred for the Church, Fr. Juan José Martínez says he discovered “that God exists and wants me as his priest.”
“Sunday mornings I would peer out of the balcony of my house, and when the people were going by on their way to Mass, I would spit on them. I told them that the Church was a sect that wanted their money,” explained the priest, who ministers in the Diocese of Almeria, Spain.
Fr. Juan José's parents were not believers, and he had received no religious formation, but he said they did not raise him to be intolerant. In fact, he says he does not know where he got all those ideas, because the perception he had of the Church and God was that of a “multinational corporation with branches in every neighborhood to extract money, like a sect.”
“I was absolutely anticlerical, I was the first student in my school and the town of Carboneras, Almeria Province, to never be taught Religion because when I was 8 or 9, I chose the alternative course which was Ethics. In the following years, I went on convincing my friends to quit Religion classes and to take Ethics with me. In the end, my whole class ended up being taught Ethics and none of them Religion.”
But what he never imagined is that the end of his journey would be to help his friends to come back to the Church. Fr. Juan José remembers quite well that the first day he went into a Catholic church, “I went to make fun of those who had invited me.”
“It was in January 1995, some friends from class invited me to a Catholic Charismatic Renewal prayer group at the parish. Obviously I told them I wasn't planning on going because I didn't want them to brainwash me. For a whole month they persisted. I finally gave in – it was a Thursday in February 1995 when I went into a Catholic church for the first time.”
A golden box
A lot of his friends were there, and he was surprised because “they were all looking at a golden box at the back of the church. I didn't know what it was, but I thought it was where the parish priest kept the money.”
That golden box was the Tabernacle.
Fr. Juan José says that he came to make fun of them because “I thought they were crazy. Inside, I was laughing at them a lot, but I was polite and concealed it. But I decided to come back the following Thursday to laugh at them some more.”
And so one Thursday after another, Fr. Juan José was letting go of his prejudices against the Church and religion.
“The pastor seemed to me to be a very wise man who was helping the people,” he told CNA. And little by little, the love of God was penetrating his heart: “I was 15 years old and I started to sing at Mass, which meant I would attend Mass on Saturdays. I liked being in front of the tabernacle and little by little, I realized that God existed and loved me. I felt the love of God. The Charismatic Renewal group, which I had come to make fun of, helped me a lot.”
“My eyes were being opened and I saw that God was not a legend or story for the weak, but that he existed and that he was supporting and guiding me. I experienced that he loved me so much that he wanted me for himself and was calling me,” he recalled.
“I am yours for whatever you need”
Fr. Juan José had been baptized and made his First Communion because of his grandparents' wishes, but he did not have a relationship with God after that. “I made my Confirmation as I was right in the midst of the process of conversion, and it was a genuine gift. That day I told the Lord, 'I am yours for whatever you need.' My mother came but my father did not. It was a unique moment in my life to receive the Holy Spirit and to put my trust in the Lord.”
For months, the young Juan José was resisting the call to the priesthood. “I told the Lord that I didn't want any hassles and to quit talking to me. Until I had to make a decision and it was to follow him, becoming a priest.”
One Saturday afternoon when he was 17, Fr. Juan José told his father he wanted to go to the seminary. His father beat him and said that “he would be a priest over his dead body.”
“They did not understand that I would want to be a priest. In fact, my father offered to pay for me to go to college in the United States but (he told me) he would never pay for the seminary.”
In such a difficult moment, Fr. Juan José recalled that all he could think of was the prayer of Saint Teresa of Avila: “Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. All you need is God” and when his father stopped rebuking him, the young man gave him a hug and said to him, “I knew you were going to react like that, but I also knew that one day you'd understand.”
In fact, his father went so far as to threaten to report the pastor to the police if kept helping his son discern his vocation. “My father was trying everything, but the Lord is stronger,” he said.
To obey his father, Fr. Juan José could not start the seminary, and so he began to study teaching at the University of Almeria. For years he was patient, and continued to be faithful to his vocation to the priesthood. Until one day in May 1999, as he recalled, his mother told him that she had spoken to his father and that finally he would let him enter the seminary. “I began to cry and cry. I remember when I told the pastor about it he said “welcome” and gave me a great big hug.”
In September 2000, he finally entered the seminary.
In 2006, Fr.Juan José was ordained in the Almeria cathedral and his father even attended the ceremony. “In no way did he want me to become a priest, but he saw that I was happy and even though he was totally anticlerical, he decided that the happiness of his son came before his ideology and if I was happy, even though he didn't understand it, he would have to accept it. “
In fact, he recalled that two years ago, “before dying, my father received the Anointing of the Sick. And it was I who administered it to him.”
“When somebody tells me he doesn't believe in God, I always tell him that neither did I believe in Him, but I was mistaken, because I have discovered the genuine happiness that Jesus has given to me. If you're not completely happy, ask the Lord to help you, because only He will give you the happiness that your heart needs.”
(Vatican City, Feb 17 (EWTN News/CNA) - As homeless men and women line up under the massive arms of Saint Peter's colonnade waiting to take advantage of the Vatican's newly-christened showers and barbershop, volunteers who assist them say they are deeply moved by their encounter with a population often rejected by society.
“Initially when they offered me this (job) I thought I would find myself confronted with grouchy, perhaps mean people,” said volunteer barber Danielle Mancuso.
“You see these poor people out in the middle of the street, discarded. Then, you speak to them, and they're human,” he said, recounting his first day.
Officially inaugurated on Feb. 16, the facilities provide the opportunity for homeless individuals to have their hair cut each Monday – a day when barber shops in Italy are traditionally closed – by volunteer barbers. Meanwhile, the shower services will be offered daily, with the exception of Wednesday due to the large crowds which attend the weekly general audience.
“I cut my hair, took a shower, beard, everything. It's wonderful!” 51-year-old Gregorio from Poland, who's been living in Rome for 13 years, told EWTN News.
Construction began in November on new showers and bathrooms under the colonnades of St. Peter’s Square.
Many barbers have volunteered with enthusiasm, including two barbers from the national Italian organization that transports the sick to Lourdes, France and other international shrines (UNITALSI). Other volunteers are finishing their final year in barber school.
“It's been a great lesson for me,” said Andrea Valeriano, an UNITALSI volunteer. “Everyone has waited (their turn) calmly. And I've seen a lot solidarity among them.”
Papal almoner Archbishop Konrad Krajewski spearheaded the reconstruction of St. Peter's square bathrooms to include the shower and barbershop facilities, which have witnessed a substantial response since their opening.
The Polish bishop is charged with the dual responsibility of carrying out acts of charity for the poor and raising the money to fund them. When the archbishop was appointed, Pope Francis urged him not to stay at his desk but rather to be an active worker for the benefit of the poor.
Vatican Insider reported that Archbishop Krajewski received his inspiration for the showers after taking a homeless man to dinner in order to celebrate his birthday. The man, who turned 50, told the archbishop that finding food in the city is easy, but staying clean was not.
“Prayer to Jesus is answered by him already during his ministry, through signs that anticipate the power of his death and Resurrection: Jesus hears the prayer of faith, expressed in words (the leper, Jairus, the Canaanite woman, the good thief) or in silence (the bearers of the paralytic, the woman with a hemorrhage who touches his clothes, the tears and ointment of the sinful woman). The urgent request of the blind men, "Have mercy on us, Son of David" or "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" has-been renewed in the traditional prayer to Jesus known as the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" Healing infirmities or forgiving sins, Jesus always responds to a prayer offered in faith: "Your faith has made you well; go in peace."
St. Augustine wonderfully summarizes the three dimensions of Jesus' prayer: "He prays for us as our priest, prays in us as our Head, and is prayed to by us as our God. Therefore let us acknowledge our voice in him and his in us."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2616
I’m now in high school, so when I ran into my third-grade teacher, I doubted she would remember me.
“Hi, Miss Jones,” I said.
“Hi, Eddie,” she replied.
“So you do remember me?” I asked.
“Sure. You don’t always leave a good impression, but it is a lasting one.”
They Still Fit
I don’t want to brag or make anybody jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.
A man is driving down to New York to see a show, and he's stopped in Connecticut for speeding. The state trooper smells alcohol on his breath, sees an empty wine bottle on the floor, and asks, "Sir, have you been drinking?"
The man replies, "Just water."
The trooper asks, "Then, why do I smell wine?"
The man looks down at the bottle and exclaims, "Good Lord, Jesus has done it again, just like at the Wedding Feast of Cana!"
After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother,
"Mom, I've decided to become a minister when I grow up."
"That's okay with us, but what made you decide that?"
"Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway,
And I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen."
The Sunday School Teacher asks,
"Now, Johnny, tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?"
"No ma'am," little Johnny replies, I don't have to.
My mom is a good cook."
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.
“In the battle of prayer, we must face in ourselves and around us erroneous notions of prayer. Some people view prayer as a simple psychological activity, others as an effort of concentration to reach a mental void. Still others reduce prayer to ritual words and postures. Many Christians unconsciously regard prayer as an occupation that is incompatible with all the other things they have to do: they "don't have the time." Those who seek God by prayer are quickly discouraged because they do not know that prayer comes also from the Holy Spirit and not from themselves alone.” -Catechism of the Catholic Church #2726
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
First Sunday in Lent - February 18th, 2018
The First Reading- Genesis 9: 8-15
God said to Noah and to his sons with him: "See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark. I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth." God added: "This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings."
Welcome to the First Sunday of Lent. Lent is a time of final preparation for adults preparing for baptism, and for the already baptized to prepare to renew our baptismal promises. And so, our first reading brings us back to the covenant that God made with Noah, which was made after 40 days on the water. The covenant is God’s promise to never destroy the world with water again, and the rainbow is the sign of this covenant. Although most of the world was destroyed with water, Noah and his family and a certain amount of animals were saved through the water — which pre-figures baptism.
Adults - Reflect on your Baptism - if you were baptized as a baby, find the date, look at photos, ask family about it. If you were baptized as an adult, take some time to look back at that time, and consider the impact it has had on your life. Reach out to your godparents or sponsors if you are able! Make plans to celebrate your baptismal date.
Teens - Reach out to someone who is joining the church this Easter. Greet them at Mass, send a card, or send snacks to RCIA.
Kids - God made a promise to Noah in today’s first reading. God always keeps his promises. Is keeping promises important to you? Are you good at it?
Responsorial- Ps 25: 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Good and upright is the LORD,
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and he teaches the humble his way.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
-God is always will to guide us. Are we willing to let Him?
The Second Reading- 1 Pt 3: 18-20
Beloved: Christ suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit. In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison, who had once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now. It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.
Peter teaches in the second reading that the story of the ark pre-figures baptism; it’s a foreshadowing of our salvation through baptism. Peter reminds us that it was through Jesus’s death and resurrection that we were saved, and that we should work hard to keep a clear conscience, once we receive it in baptism.
The Holy Gospel according to Mk 1: 12-15
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
The Gospel shows us a Lent for Jesus — but instead of repenting, because he had nothing to repent — he went out to the desert to prepare himself for his public ministry. God gave Noah 40 days on the ark to prepare him to make a new earth, and God gave Jesus 40 days to prepare to make the earth new with his ministry. Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit. He took that time to make sure that, in his humanness, nothing would get in the way of his mission to save the world. He proved that his physical needs wouldn’t become more important to him than his spiritual ones, that God the Father was his number one priority, and that he would trust himself to God’s care no matter what happened. We take 40 days for Lent too. This is a time of preparation for us to recommit ourselves to our baptismal mission. So, we fast, pray and give alms to make us ready. We may have trials that make us feel like we’re floating aimlessly for an unknown destination, or we might feel like we’re alone in a desert; dry, thirsty, undernourished, afraid. Sometimes things get very dry and seemingly lifeless before they bloom. Whatever our Lent brings, we know that it is leading us to the refreshment of Easter and that we are never alone in our trials.
Adults - What trials do you need God to help you with this Lent? What is currently standing between you and God, preventing you from living your baptismal call to the fullest?
Teens -Ponder the significance of the number 40. What other biblical references to the number can you think of? What were the people in those stories preparing for? What is God preparing you for?
Kids - How are you observing Lent this year? How are your actions for Lent bringing you closer to God?