- Catholicity (Catholic Website Classic of the Week)
- Why I Wear the Habit (Belleville News and BEYOND)
- Living and Loving Others (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
“Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her:
rejoice with joy you that have been in sorrow:
that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation.
I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord."
-Isaiah 66:10-11; Psalm 121:1
Sometimes in life we have long projects or difficult journeys to complete. Some view the season of Lent this way. So the Church helps us and encourages us at such times.
One way the Church does this is by marking the middle of a journey or when it is over half-way completed, and this is the case with Lent. Generally, Lent is a subdued time with focus and work on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Music is less during the Masses of Lent, and the organ is recommended not to be used at all. Longer readings of Sacred Scripture and silence tends to play a big part in the Mass. Flowers are not used to adorn the altar. But all this is lessened with Laetare Sunday.
The Thursday before Laetare Sunday (read more below) is actually the middle day of Lent, and it was at one time observed as such, but afterwards the special signs of joy permitted on this day, intended to encourage the faithful in their course through the season of Lent, were transferred to the Sunday following this Thursday. These special signs of joy consist (like those of Gaudete Sunday in Advent [3rd Sunday of Advent]) in the use of flowers on the altar, and of the organ at Mass; rose-colored vestments (NOT pink :o) ) are allowed instead of purple. The contrast between Laetare and the other Sundays of Lent is thus emphasized, and is characteristic of the joys of this life, restrained rejoicing mingled with a certain amount of sadness.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This Sunday is Laetare Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent. > > > Readings
> > > Listen
Laetare Sunday (from Latin laetare “(you) Rejoice! or (you) Be Glad!”)
- the fourth Sunday of Lent marking that Lent is over half way completed;
Rose-colored vestments may be worn, flowers are permitted and organ played (Laetare – Latin meaning “Rejoice” comes from the opening of the Mass "Laetare Jerusalem…" -- "Rejoice, O Jerusalem…")
Gaudete Sunday (from Latin gaudete “(you all) Rejoice!”)
- the Third Sunday of Advent marking with subdued joy that we are over half way in our waiting for Christmas; Rose-coloredvestments may be worn while the rose candle is lit on the Advent wreath (Gaudete comes from the opening of the Mass: Gaudete in Domino simper… –“Rejoice in the Lord always…”)
Living and Loving Others
Never take a "You did", "You said", "You always", and "You never" approach to any discussion with someone you know. Use non-threatening language, and voice tones that bring forth the spirit of cooperation and trust you should have with another especially if you profess to love that person.
Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week." Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:
We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church#2174
> > > Catholicity
Here is a website for the modern Roman Catholic. First, many free things; second, great news and commentary; third, great Catholic resources for most any topic; and finally it was started by as average a Catholic Joe as there ever was. Site describes itself as having:
· Swift and Effortless Online Ordering
· Free Rapid Delivery to Your Doorstep
· The Finest Catholic CDs, Tapes, and Novels
· Parish-Friendly Catholic Resources
· Superb & Innovative News and Commentary
By Ann Schneible
Rome, Italy, Feb 2 / 05:30 pm (EWTN News/CNA) - As Pope Francis' year dedicated to consecrated life comes to a close, one nun shared her thoughts on the how her religious garb serves as a “visible sign” that God exists and loves every person.
Though the official Year for Consecrated Life just concluded, it's actually “the beginning of helping people get reacquainted with religious life,” said Sr. Mary Christa of the Sisters of Mercy of Alma.
She said that while there are those who have a general idea about religious sisters, there's still a degree of uncertainty on the part of many about what religious life looks like.
Right now, Sr. Mary Christa added, there's “confusion” – over questions such as why some sisters wear habits and some don't – and her hope is that this year marks the start of “a fruitful understanding of religious life in the Church in its most authentic, visible witness.”
The Year for Consecrated Life, which began Nov. 30, 2014, concluded Feb. 2 on the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus.
Sr. Mary Christa, who also runs U.S. bishops' visitor's office in Rome with several other Sisters of Mercy, called the habit of a religious sister an important part of being a witness.
“The religious habit should say a number of things, both to the sister herself, and to those who see her,” she said, recounting how she is often approached by strangers asking for prayers, who automatically trust her on account of her appearance.
“The habit is a visible sign of the love of God,” she said. “But it’s also, I have found, a great responsibility and a reminder to me: the responsibility to be what I show that I am.”
“It’s a sign of the love of God and that this life is not all there is: that God exists and loves them,” she said.
One of the distinguishing aspects of their habit – a dark veil and a simple, pale blue frock in the summer, and a darker color for the winter – is a simple black cross, overlaid by a smaller white cross, which is worn around the neck.
“The black of the cross represents the misery of mankind that we find in the world, and the white represents God’s mercy, which we are called to bring into the world as Sisters of Mercy,” explained Sr. Mary Michaela, who works at the visitor's office.
“There is a long tradition in religious life of wearing a habit as a visible sign that we are consecrated to God and to the service of the Church in a special way,” she said. “It’s also part of poverty,” she added. “Our habit is simple, so we don’t buy a big wardrobe.”
Living in Rome, Sr. Mary Michaela noted how she too is approached by people asking for prayers on account of her habit.
“When they see the habit, they realize that there is something particular about our life,” she said.
“They recognize that we represent, in some way, God’s presence. We remind people of God’s presence here in the world.”
First established in Ireland in 1831 by venerable Catherine McAuley, the Sisters of Mercy centered their work on education, catechesis, healthcare. Spreading to the United States, the order was re-founded in 1973 in Alma, Michigan, where its motherhouse is currently located.
In addition to the three vows taken by all religious sisters, the Sisters of Mercy take a fourth vow of service to the poor, sick, and ignorant.
In Rome, the Sisters of Mercy offer orientation to U.S. Pilgrims – obtaining tickets for papal events, answering their questions about the city, and helping them with the pilgrimage aspect of their visit.
“This is one of the apostolic works that we do as a community,” said Sr. Regina Marie, speaking on her work at the visitor's office.
Pilgrims “can come here and learn about the faith,” she said. “We will often have a priest that will come at a certain time for a half hour and give catechesis for anyone who wants to. We have catechetical materials out for the pilgrims, (or) even just a place for them to sit down for a few minutes.”
“Our charism is the mercy of God,” she said. “Our apostolates are usually focused around the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, which can manifest themselves in many ways.”
Sr. Anna Marie, another sister at the office, adds that “the consecrated life is a sign of his presence on earth.”
“We live our vows so that when people see us, they think of God, and they think of Jesus, and they think of the Church. That’s a tremendous privilege.”
On how people will often ask her about her life as a religious, Sr. Anna Marie said she is excited to answer their questions.
“It’s a gift not only for me, but a gift for the whole Church and for the world,” she said.
When asked why she entered the competition, Sister Scuccia told the judges “I came here because I have a gift and I want to share that gift, I am here to evangelize.”
The four judges of the popular TV program are the Italian singers Raffaella Carra, J-Ax, Noemi, and Piero Pelu. Sister Cristina Scuccia, a nun with the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family was accompanied to the show by 4 members of her order and her parents. The video already has over 12,000,000 on YouTube and “#suorcristina” is trending on Twitter.
The saints are acutely aware of this unity:
Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does "head and members" mean? Christ and the Church.
Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.
Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.
A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #795
Question on second-grade math quiz: "Tony drank 1/6 of a glass of juice. Emily drank 1/4 of a glass of juice. Emily drank more. Explain." My grandson’s answer: "She was more thirsty."
Perfect AttendanceOur local newspaper lists recipients of school awards. Beneath one photo, the caption read "This year’s Perfect Attendance Awards go to Ann Stein and Bradley Jenkins. Not present for photo: Bradley Jenkins."
Flight TrainingAn amateur pilot wannabe, I knew I’d finally made progress with my flight training the day my instructor turned to me and said, “You know, you’re not as much fun since you stopped screaming.”
A first grade teacher collected well known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of the proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb:
- Strike while the...bug is close.
- It's always darkest before...daylight savings time.
- Never underestimate the power of......termites.
- Don't bite the hand that.....looks dirty.
- A miss is as good as a ......Mr.
- If you lie down with dogs.....you stink in the morning
- An idle mind is....the best way to relax
- Where there's smoke there's.....pollution
- Happy the bride who.....gets all the presents
- A penny saved is.....not much
- Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and.....you have to blow your nose
- Children should be seen and not...spanked or scolded
- When the blind lead the blind.....get out of the way
R. O Lord, hear my prayer.
V. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, you gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom: We commend to your loving care this child. Relieve his/her pain, guard him/her from all danger, restore to him/her your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise this child up to a life of service to you.
Hear us, we pray, for you dear Name's sake. Amen.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1971