-"Visions of God to Akiane Kramarik"-a MUST SEE Video in (Helpful Hints for Life.)
-Life Teen: Catholic Youth website (below the laptop)
-A Few of Our Favorite Things: Lessons From The Von Trapp Family(Diocesan News and Beyond)
-***LENT BEGINS THIS ASH WEDNESDAY - Lenten Regulations at the very end of E-weekly***
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
SILENCE-Silent Moments in the Mass
"Teach me, and I will be quiet." Job 6:24
Once we are able to be in a silent outside, the inside must be recollected, composed. Why? So that we can hear Jesus speak to us, so that we can hear the miracles that happen at Mass, so that we can be transformed outside and inside by Jesus Christ who was Himself silent.
Interior silence is very difficult, but we must make the effort. In silencewe will find new energy and true unity. The energy of God will be ours to do all things well. We will find the true unity of our thoughts with His thoughts, the unity of our prayers with His prayers, the unity of our actions with His actions, and the unity of our life with His life."
-St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Silence in the Mass, from the 'calling to mind our sins' to 'Let us pray' to the intimate silence after Holy Communion when it is Jesus and I in the midst of His Family, the Church, silence in the Mass is where you and I must enter into from NOW on.
Go to the upper room of your heart where you can recollect yourself in silence, then enter the silent parts of the Mass and be transformed for earthly service and heaven forever!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time. >>> Readings
Homilies on Silent Moments at the Mass are found below:
Silent Moments at the Mass
recollected (from Latin recolligere, recollēct-, "to gather up, to collect")
- calm and composed state of the mind and body to receive God
Listen to God
Visions of God to Akiane Kramarik
This is a CNN spotlight of a 15 year old girl who has been drawing from age 4 and been a self-taught painter since age 6. Her mother was an atheist and never spoke of God, but Akiane has communicated visions from God and turned them into paintings and even music now. (5 minutes)
Her official website tells more about her life, has her art work and more:
"Entering into contemplative prayer is like entering into the Eucharistic liturgy: we "gather up:" the heart, recollect our whole being under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, abide in the dwelling place of the Lord which we are, awaken our faith in order to enter into the presence of him who awaits us. We let our masks fall and turn our hearts back to the Lord who loves us, so as to hand ourselves over to him as an offering to be purified and transformed."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #2711
Men and fatherhood is under attack today. Being men of faith and good example to others is critical for ourselves and others. Bring together a group of men in your parish or church to learn more about Christ, support one another, and help them to be the best version of themselves to their loved ones and one another.
Parishes are only as strong as their families and their marriages. Strengthening one part strengthens all. And men who know how to follow Christ, love those around them, and are strengthened in faith are tremendous blessings to their homes, parishes, and the world.
Ask your Parish Priest for guidance and permission, especially if this will be held on parish grounds. Gather two or more men once a week or as often as you are able or would like. You might have food or drink for the gathering which allows fellowship and sharing a meal (have one participant provide it each week, or buy from local restaurant and ask for donations). And then go to:
GOD AND THE MEN OF YOUR PARISH NEED YOU TO DO THIS TODAY!
Around the Year With the von Trapp Family — published in 1955 and now reprinted for a new generation of Catholic families — confirms what the musical portrays: Maria really was a postulant at a Benedictine convent in Salzburg, Austria, and she really did become governess in the employ of World War I Navy veteran and widower Georg von Trapp. Maria and Georg really did fall in love, get married, and sing with the family at festivals all over Europe, and they really did flee Austria after the Nazi takeover.
The musical ended there, and the credits rolled — but the real-life story of the von Trapps was far from over. As Maria relates in her memoirs, by 1939, Maria and Georg had had two children of their own and had another on the way. Just as war was breaking out all over the Continent, the von Trapps emigrated to America, where they continued to perform as a family. In 1942 they purchased an old farm in Stowe, Vermont.
For more than 20 years, they delighted audiences all over the world with their music. The old farm in Stowe has been converted into a world-class resort that is still operating to this day, with some of Maria and Georg’s grandchildren at the helm.
Meg Marlett, a home-schooling mother from Livermore, California, had heard of Maria’s second memoir years ago but never found a copy of her own because it was out of print.
However, when the new edition of Around the Year with the von Trapp Family came out, she snapped it up immediately. Even though she and her husband, Mark, are seasoned parents — they have eight children and four grandchildren — Maria’s book provides much-needed inspiration for the “home stretch” of their parenting journey.
“The book is beautifully laid out,” Marlett said.
But what she appreciates most is the theme of family unity that runs like an unbreakable cord through the entire book.
“We segregate by age so much in the world, and even in the Church. Maria’s main point, though, is to integrate the whole family into all the traditions and activities, so that all ages can celebrate the high times and low times together.”
As their youngest children enter their late teens, the Marletts are determined to continue providing the same rich and solidly Catholic upbringing as their older children enjoyed. Mrs. von Trapp offers plenty of inspiration.
The book begins with Advent, Christmas and the winter feasts, including a charming pre-Lenten season called Carnival. Lent, Holy Week and the Easter season follow. The great swath of Ordinary Time that comes after Easter gets its own lovely chapter entitled, “The Green Meadow,” so named for green liturgical vestments and for the single summer feasts that are “like isolated peaks towering above the green meadow.”
With a tone of gentle and joyful nostalgia, full of hope that many of the old traditions will be revived, Maria teaches the reader about Christkindl, the joys of feasting and fasting (“high tide and low tide”), and ways to commemorate important family days (like baptismal anniversaries). She provides handy lists of saints for various occasions, and in the chapter on celebrating the sacraments, she gives one of the best explications of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (from the prophet Isaiah) that I’ve ever read.
But she also writes with candor and concern about the shocking differences between Austria and America, which serve as stand-ins for the Old World and the New World — or, even more broadly, for Christendom and secularism. A chapter called “The Land Without a Sunday” is particularly timely.
She writes that “the Christian Sunday is threatened more and more both from without and from within — from without, through the systematic efforts of the enemies of Christianity, and from within through the mediocrity and superficiality of the Christians themselves who are making of Sunday merely a day of rest, relaxing from work only by seeking entertainment.”
She then quotes Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mediator Dei: “The results of the struggle between belief and unbelief will depend to a great extent on the use that each of the opposing fronts will make of Sunday.”
But Maria doesn’t merely lament. She’s practical and positive. To combat a pernicious secular problem, she writes, “There is no use in just talking against it. Something better has to be substituted.”
And for that, Maria’s book is full of ideas. Even though it was published more than a decade before Vatican II, modern Catholic parents will still gain much wisdom and practical help from this book. The new 2018 edition is a keepsake-quality, hardcover book featuring illustrations by Georg and Maria’s daughter Rosemary.
Naturally, a book about the musical von Trapps will include music, and this book is filled with seasonal songs, many with lines for harmonizing with the melody. Some of the songs include piano staves, but it would have been much improved and accessible to more families if all the songs had been arranged for piano and included guitar chords.
Another minor fault of the book is that numerous pre-Vatican II references received no editorial comment to provide context for the benefit of modern readers. Some of the recipes also should have been updated if present-day Catholics are expected to use them.
Nevertheless, with the combination of practical “how-to” advice and inspiring, relevant essays, this book is a welcome addition to every Catholic family library. Parents searching for a way to build a distinctive Catholic family culture that is intentionally different from the culture “out there” will find this book especially helpful. Parish priests would also benefit from this book because they could use it to reinstate worthy traditions and practices from the past, such as having a special service on Candlemas Day and giving every family a blessed candle, or ceremoniously veiling an “Alleluia” plaque at the beginning of Lent. It also makes an excellent wedding present or gift for a young family at their first child’s baptism.
Lent is here, so picking up this book now will give you time to peruse it and make some plans for “The Great Fast.” As Maria exhorts her readers, “Let us not be so soft anymore!”
Maria also writes, “When Hitler’s troops invaded Austria in 1938, my husband and I felt bound by conscience to save our children from yielding to the religion and philosophy of this neo-paganism. … Only the Church throws light onto the gloomy prospects of modern man — Holy Mother Church — for she belongs, herself, to a realm that has its past and present in time, but its future in the World Without End. ... With every passing year, I [realize] more deeply how joyful our religion is. The more one penetrates into what it means to be Catholic, the fuller life becomes.”
Joe and Joannie Kuefler live in suburban Boston with their eight children, ranging in age from 4 to 25.
Joannie advises Catholic parents to study Maria’s book (and books like it) to gain whatever inspiration they can, but “choose what will work for your family and your own family culture.”
“The whole of Western civilization is suffering from Modernism and secularism,” Joannie told the Register, “but books like Maria von Trapp’s help reassure us that a lot of the worldly seasonal practices actually come from Catholicism. It’s a simple matter to add meaning and richness to them by explaining the religious significance to children.”
Clare Walker writes from
The book is available online via sophiainstitute.com or by calling (800) 888-9344.
Fruits of Family Traditions
A little goes a long way in family life, as the von Trapps can attest. When parents deliberately incorporate Catholic traditions and practices into their daily life, even small ones, they often “stick,” staying with our children into their adulthood.
For example, Kat Millard, a 2009 college graduate, vividly remembers her parents’ emphasis on daily prayer. “Every morning the family gathered around the table to pray with Dad before he left for work and before the school day started. Then, in the evening, we read aloud together and then prayed, either the Rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.” She and her husband, John, now try to make prayer a cornerstone of their day with their four children in their home in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
And Andrew Kelly, an actor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, remembers family travel, Catholic-style: “Saying a quick prayer for passing emergency vehicles is a fairly ingrained behavior for me,” he said.
Brothers Noah and Josh Billing, both college students in Illinois, have strong memories of many Catholic family traditions growing up, such as going on retreats and to daily Mass as a family, kneeling down and praying at the Christmas crèche before opening presents, and making dinner together a priority. At these family dinners, the conversation often turned to the Catholic faith, which had a big impact on both of them. Their friend Jake Bartley, also an Illinois college student, had a similar experience of dialogue with his parents about the faith and about life: “Open discussion about faith and morals was encouraged and fostered in my family.”
— Clare Walker
To understand what this love means, the pope urged young people to both read and study chapter four of his 2016 post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia, which is dedicated to “Love in Marriage.”
“I tell you that the core of Amoris Laetitia was chapter four. How to live love. How to live love in the family,” he said, and told youth to read and talk about the chapter with each other, because “there is a lot of strength here to continue going forward” and to transform family life.
Love “has its own strength. And love never ends,” he said, explaining that if they learn how to truly love as God taught, “you will be transforming something that is for all of eternity.”
Pope Francis sent a video message to participants in the youth assembly of the Antilles Bishops Conference, which is taking place in the Archdiocese of Saint-Pierre and Fort-de-France, in Martinique, from July 10-23.
In his message, the pope asked youth whether they were really living as young people, or if they had become “aged youth,” because “if you are aged young people you are not going to do anything. You have to be youth who are young, with all the strength that youth has to transform.”
He said young people should not be “settled” in life, because being “settled” means one is at a standstill and “things don't go forward.”
“You have to un-stall what has been stalled and start to fight,” the pope said. “You want to transform, you want to carry forward and you have made your own the directives of the post-synodal exhortation on the family in order to carry the family forward and transform the family of the Caribbean,” he said.
In order to promote and carry the family forward, one must understand both the present and the past, Pope Francis said.
“You are preparing to transform something that has been given to you by your elders. You have received the history of yesterday, the traditions of yesterday,” he said, adding that people “cannot do anything in the present nor the future if you are not rooted in the past, in your history, in your culture, in your family; if you do not have roots that are well grounded.”
To this end, he told youth to spend time with their grandparents and other elderly people, and to take what they learn and “carry it forward.”
"The Christian tradition comprises three major expressions of the life of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplative prayer. They have in common the recollection of the heart." -Catechism of the Catholic Church#2721
- When I asked if you'd like to go out on a date sometime, I meant with me.
- Why, yes, I am dressed for the weather. I am wearing a house.
- My diet always starts on a Monday morning and ends at the donuts somebody brings into the office later that morning.
- I hate when I'm singing along to the Beatles and they mess up the lyrics.
Pastor's Business Card:
A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door.
Therefore, he took out his business card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door.
When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, "Genesis 3:10."
Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked."
DEAR Lord, here lie in their last rest, the boys and girls, the men and women that worked on the land. They knew the meaning of hard work. They knew the joy and peace that is the product of labor. Now we trust they know the peace and happiness of everlasting life with You.
They watched the sun rise often, winter and summer, over these hills and fields. They worked hard by its light, and turned willingly to their rest at its setting. Now they walk in the light of a Sun that knows no setting. Lord, if they are still in the waiting room of heaven--in purgatory--bring them speedily to the light of Your peace and the happiness of Your presence.
These men and women all their lives long labored to supply the food and drink necessary to sustain human life. Now, or soon, they enjoy in all its fullness the life that You, Lord, came down to earth to give men, and to give more abundantly.
Dear Lord, bless us who labor now in the fields and hills where these dear dead have worked. Grant that we may remember them with charity and kindness, walking reverently in the ways that they have left behind them. Grant, too, that we may finally meet these men and women, these boys and girls, in the eternal mansions that You are even now preparing for us. Amen.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #2724
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
8th Sunday of Ordinary Time - March 3rd, 2019
The First Reading- Sirach 27: 4-7
When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do one's faults when one speaks. As the test of what the potter molds is in the furnace, so in tribulation is the test of the just. The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does one's speech disclose the bent of one's mind. Praise no one before he speaks, for it is then that people are tested.
The first reading invites us to reflect on how the words we used make known what is in our heart. The way we respond in difficult situations can tell others about what kind of shape we are in on the inside - in our hearts and minds. Do you speak words and react in a way that shows others that you are a follower of Christ?
Adults -What is one way you can strive to respond better in difficult situations?
Teens - Do you pause and think before you speak, especially in a difficult situation?
Kids - What do you do when it’s hard to speak kindly to others?
Responsorial- Psalm 92: 2-3, 13-14, 15-16
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praise to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your kindness at dawn
and your faithfulness throughout the night.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
The just one shall flourish like the palm tree,
like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow.
They that are planted in the house of the LORD
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
They shall bear fruit even in old age;
vigorous and sturdy shall they be,
Declaring how just is the LORD,
my rock, in whom there is no wrong.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
-Give thanks in an intentional way for something different every day this week.
The Second Reading- 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
Brothers and sisters: When this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Saint Paul reminds us to stay dedicated to the work of the Lord, even when it may seem to be in vain. He is in control, and will guide and assist us in all ways if we simply show up to do His work. He didn’t promise that it would be easy - but He promised us the reward of life eternal, and God always keeps His promises.
How do you find encouragement when things get difficult?
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 6: 39-45
Jesus told his disciples a parable, "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,' when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye. "A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thorn bushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks."
It’s very easy to see, acknowledge, and even spread the word about what we perceive to be the faults of others. How often do we turn such probing eyes upon ourselves, to look and see where we may need work in our own lives? Jesus has strong words here for those who are quick to judge the actions of others, but who avoid such thorough examinations of their own lives. It is good to remember that we often don’t know the whole story of things we hear, or even things we see, and that God expects us to be be, foremost, loving, merciful, and to help each other to Heaven.
Adults -Can you think of a time you judged someone unjustly? Can you make amends? Sometimes it’s possible and sometimes it isn’t. Talk to God about it in prayer.
Teens - Have you formed opinions of someone based on the words of others instead of getting facts straight from the source themselves. What can you do to change that?
Kids - How can you show kindness to someone who has been treated poorly?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Lenten Regulations for Catholics
(from Church Law and US Bishops)
Lent - The Christian faithful are to do penance through prayer, fasting, abstinence and by exercising works of piety and charity. All Fridays through the year, and especially during Lent, are penitential days. (“Piety” is the moral virtue by which a person is disposed to render to God the worship and service He deserves.)
Abstinence from meat: All who 14 years of age or older are to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, on all Fridays during Lent and on Good Friday. (On other Fridays of the years, Catholics may substitute a work of penance or charity (i.e. extra prayers said for those in need; visiting or assisting the sick, poor, or needy; etc.) or abstain from meat.
Fasting: All those who are 18 years of age and older, until their 59th birthday, are to fast on Ash Wednesday (March 6) and Good Friday (April 19). Only one full meatless meal is allowed on days of fast. Light sustenance on two other occasions, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to one's needs. But together, these two occasions are not to equal a full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices, are allowed.
The obligation does not apply to those whose health or ability to work would be seriously affected. People in doubt about fast or abstinence should consult a parish priest. The obligation does not apply to military personnel in deployed or hostile environments in which they have no control over meals.
To conscientiously disregard or purposely fail to observe the regulations of fasting and abstinence is seriously sinful (that is, an area of mortal sin).
CONFESSION/PENANCE/RECONCILIATION: Catholics are bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year (Canon 989). Lent is an appropriate time to fulfill this obligation.
EASTER DUTY: After having received their First Holy Communion, all the faithful (all Catholics) are bound by the obligation of receiving Holy Communion at least once a year. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season, unless for a good reason it is fulfilled at another time during the year. This obligation may be fulfilled between March 10 (First Sunday in Lent) and June 16 (Most Holy Trinity Sunday).