- Defending the Bride (Catholic Website of the week-by the laptop computer)
- We Never Leave the Lord Alone: 135 Years of Eucharistic Adoration (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Recycling (Helpful Hints for Life)
- ***NEW FEATURE*** CATHOLIC QUESTIONS AND CATHOLIC ANSWERS is a new section of the e-weekly (see below) ***NEW FEATURE***
BEST PARISH PRACTICES is also back!
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Act of Faith, Act of Hope, Act of Love
“So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
I Corinthians 13:13
At home, my family still prays before and after every meal. After breakfast, mom or dad always add the Act of Faith, Act of Hope, and Act of Love prayers along with other morning prayers. They do this because they were taught this in their youth, and because it has helped to keep them faithful to God and one another their whole life long.
I have searched for these prayers as mom and dad were taught them, but I have not found them. So finally I asked my dad to write them down because they are so simple, yet so profound. And these 3 are virtues are known as the very important theological virtues.
I did this so that I might add them to my daily prayers and pass them on you. We all need more faith, hope, and love in our lives, our marriages, our families, our communities, and our world. May this begin with you and with me!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. These prayers are found in the prayer section below.
P.S.S. This coming Sunday is the Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. >> Here
P.S.S.S. Readings with questions for self or family reflection found at the end of e-weekly.
From a past Sunday homily click below (15 minutes):
a) the raising of one’s mind and heart to God
b) the petition of good things from him in accord with his will
c) the personal and living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is infinitely good
d) All of the above.
535. Why is there a universal call to prayer? (CCC 2566-2567)
a) only because every one needs prayer
b) prayer changes God
c) God draws every person to the mysterious encounter known as prayer
d) prayer is magic and by it I get what I want
THE REVELATION OF PRAYER IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
536. How is Abraham a model of prayer? (CCC 2570-2573, 2592)
a) his prayer was spoken the loudest
b) he walked in the presence of God, heard and obeyed him
c) he gave 1/10 of everything to the king-priest Melchizedek
d) he is the father of many nations
537. How did Moses pray? (CCC 2574-2577, 2593)
a) in a way like Jesus would pray
b) he lingered in conversation with him often and at length
c) face to face, like a man with his friend
d) all of the above
-a voluntarily expressed assent of the mind to some truth revealed by God.
[The assent may be purely internal, or it may be vocalized, as in the recitation of the Apostle's Creed, or it may be implied, as in genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament. It must always be assisted by divine grace.]
act of hope
-a voluntarily expressed trust in God's goodness, based on faith, whereby a person declares his confidence that what God promised He will also fulfill
[As a supernatural act, it can be made only with the help of divine grace.]
act of love
-a deliberately expressed love of God, based on divine faith
[The act may be either perfect or imperfect, depending on whether the motive is God's goodness in himself or in relation to the person who benefited or hopes to benefit from his love of God.]
Even the Pope talks about preserving this beautiful creation that God has given us, by being prudent stewards of it. This includes reducing, reusing, and recycling. Very likely a local school or group is collecting papers, cans, and more where they get money and you do not have to pay for the trash to take it. Recycling saves money, resources, and more.
"Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us." (n. 160) -Pope Francis, Laudato Si
True communication starts inside. We can all look at the same thing and see/hear something different. Perceptions vary among people, and we often assume that other people perceive things exactly the way we do, which is often not the case.
This is a small website dedicated to explaining and defending the truths that God has revealed through the Bride of Christ, the Catholic Church. The site includes free printable one page pamphlets and a free PowerPoint presentation on the Hail Mary. There is an especially nice section featuring pictures and text that demonstrate why the location of Caesarea Philippi was so important as the place where Jesus promised to build His Church on Peter.
[For those traveling this summer and needing to get to the Holy Mass.]
MASS TIMES AND CATHOLIC CHURCHES throughout the US
When traveling this Summer maybe add some religion to your trip. Perhaps stop at a monastery or Cathedral you come across. There are many Catholic historical sites. Or visit http://www.catholicshrines.net/ for a shrine near your vacation destination.
START A HOSPITALITY GROUP FOR YOUR RCIA PROGRAM
[RCIA-Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process by which non-Catholics join the Church, which usually begins in the Fall] Get to know people wanting to get to know the Church before they officially join and witness to them with your kindness and your faith story by being a part of group that brings food and drink to the RCIA class and then shares how you became Catholic or grew up Catholic.
People joining RCIA may not be sure about joining the Church or even know much about the Church, but everyone wants and needs to be received and treated kindly ("love is patient, love is kind" -St. Paul). So being part of a group that brings refreshments or food and drink to RCIA class can touch them by 'breaking bread' with them and affirming that you are glad they are there and want them to be a part of your parish. And if some of your committee, one by one, can share their faith journey, that can confirm the RCIA candidates in theirs, and they get to know members of the Church with whom they will worship and serve one day if they ultimately join the Church. ALSO, small groups that people know and can grow with are central to helping us walk 'two-by-two' toward heaven.
Consult and ask if it is okay with your Parish Priest and the person in charge of RCIA. Look for another person or group of people who would be willing on occasion to make or purchase food and drink and bring them to the RCIA meeting (perhaps once a month or every two weeks). And then hopefully one of your group, or perhaps the head of different ministries of your parish, can share a brief version of their faith journey as a cradle Catholic or as a convert themselves. The sharing does not have to be spectacular or stunning, it just has to be real and heart-felt. This can go a long way to helping RCIA candidates into the Church, and making them a part of your parish family for years to come.
The Benedictine sisters have prayed non-stop for 135 years at the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre in Paris. (interior photos, Sophie Lloyd; archive photograph, AHAP; exterior/dome photos, Stephanie LeBlanc/Unsplash)
WORLD | AUG. 1, 2020
Enthroned at the top of the emblematic butte Montmartre, the highest point of the city, the basilica is particularly prized by tourists and art lovers for the purity of its Roman-Byzantine architecture and its rounded shapes.
It is, after the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the second-most-visited monument of the City of Light.
But this high place of world tourism, as a “Sanctuary of Eucharistic Adoration and Divine Mercy,” is also one of the most important religious sites of France.
Day and night since Aug. 1, 1885, the Body of Christ in the Holy Sacrament has been exposed and adored inside the basilica (except for Good Friday), whatever the external conditions, even the most extreme. This is remarkable, as the history of France hasn’t exactly been calm since that time, including for the Catholic Church, which is also facing an unprecedented wave of secularization at every level of society.
“The adoration hasn’t stopped even for a minute, including during the two world wars,” Sister Cécile-Marie, member of the Benedictine Sisters of the Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre and responsible for the nights of adoration at the basilica, told the Register. “Even during the 1944 bombing, when some fragments fell right next to the basilica, the adorers never left.”
And the recent quarantine period was, of course, no exception. While, usually, many lay or religious people come from outside and take turns in perpetual adoration, this unprecedented situation necessitated the 14 nuns of the community to reorganize their daily life in order to keep honoring the special tradition of the sanctuary, which stayed closed to the public for more than two months, until May 31.
“It was obvious to us that since we were not touched by the coronavirus, as long as we were still on our feet, we had to act and adapt quickly to this new situation,” Sister Cécile-Marie continued.
Each nun had to pray in adoration one hour twice a day to ensure a 24/7 presence, including during meals. “We never leave the Lord alone, and one cannot leave before the next person arrives, which could be pretty difficult at night when one of us didn’t wake up on time!” she said, adding that this has also been an opportunity for them to focus more on prayer and thus reconnect with the very essence of their rule of life.
However, she confessed, the lockdown also created a totally unusual sense of emptiness within the church, usually crowded with pilgrims and visitors. In her view, the most difficult thing to handle when the basilica suddenly emptied was the sight of all the candles slowly going out.
“It was a very sad vision, but, miraculously, we immediately started receiving requests of intentions of prayer from people via email; so, eventually, there were always at least one or two candles burning, and when they were about to extinguish, we would suddenly receive another request, which was so comforting.”
And the Benedictine community was quickly joined in prayer by a multitude of adorers who prayed with them remotely, following an online table for intentions of prayers.
“It was a beautiful experience: We were alone in the basilica, but we felt we were always connected with the adorers that were in spiritual communion from where they were,” Sister Cécile-Marie recalled. “We couldn’t help people by wearing white coats, but we fought the epidemic our own way: through prayer.”
A Place of Reparation
The construction of the basilica wasn’t even completed when perpetual adoration was initiated. The historical context in which the building project was born was particularly sensitive and painful for the French nation.
Indeed, the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War following the Siege of Paris in 1871 left a strong sense of hopelessness among the population and was often associated in the collective mind with a weakening of the faith as a consequence of the French Revolution.
It was then, as an act of reparation designed to instill hope in the nation’s heart, that two laymen, Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury, initiated and developed the ambitious project to build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with the support of a large network of friendships.
And the place chosen by the then-archbishop of Paris, Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert, for the construction owes nothing to chance: It was in Montmartre, which literally means “Mount of Martyrs,” that the first Christians of Paris, including St. Denis, were killed in hatred of the faith in the third century.
“The foundress of our community, Mother Adèle Garnier, heard about the project and received soon after a divine call to establish perpetual adoration in this new church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and she submitted this idea to the archbishop of Paris,” Sister Cécile-Marie said.
But the building process, started in 1875 and completed in 1914, was particularly arduous because of the sand sub-base, which made the site unstable. Therefore, divine assistance was sought through the creation of a provisory chapel so that people could pray and meditate even during the work. “Times of adoration of the Holy Sacrament were already organized there, and the first pilgrims came, giving the first financial contributions for the building site,” Sister Cécile-Marie continued.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux herself was among the first contributors to the basilica, which could only augur a glorious future for the site. During a visit to Paris on her way to Rome with her family and a group of pilgrims, on Nov. 6, 1887, young Thérèse attended Mass at Sacré-Cœur and decided to offer her gold bracelet for the basilica’s monstrance.
It wasn’t until 1919 that the building was finally consecrated by Archbishop Guibert, five years after the completion of the work, as ravages of the Great War forced him to postpone the ceremony.
One century later, as the basilica’s first jubilee coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit chose this emblematic place to conduct an extraordinary blessing ceremony of the French capital with the Holy Sacrament, on Holy Thursday, to seek God’s protection for the city and its inhabitants.
“Sacred Heart of Jesus … from this basilica, day and night, your mercy shines on this city, France and on the world, in the sacrament of the Eucharist,” Archbishop Aupetit said in his prayer raised from the basilica’s portico. “Assist all those who are suffering the consequences of the pandemic and support those who, in so many ways, put themselves at the service of their brothers and sisters. Give health to the sick, strength to the medical staff, comfort to the families and salvation to all those who have died.”
Solène Tadié is the Register’s Rome-based Europe correspondent.
CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY - YEAR OF MERCY
Practical Suggestions for Practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy
(The Corporal Works of Mercy are kind acts by which we help our neighbors with their everyday material and physical needs.)
Feed the Hungry
-see to the proper nutrition of your loved ones,
-support and volunteer for food pantries, soup kitchens, and agencies that feed the hungry;
-make a few sandwiches to hand out as you walk through areas
where you might encounter people in need;
-educate yourself about world hunger;
-avoid wasting food;
-share your meals with others.
-5 out of 4 Americans are bad at Math.
-If you got into a taxi and he started driving backwards, would the driver end up owing you money?
-Why is it called a tv set if you only get one?
-Why is abbreviation such a long word?
-Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?
A rushing tourist, out of breath, stops at a small country house where a grandpa is sitting on the porch and asks, “Excuse me, how can I get the fastest to the train station?” “No problem,” waves the grandpa, “let me just let the dog loose.”
Two friends rented a boat and fished in a lake every day. One day they caught 30 fish. One guy said to his friend,
"Mark this spot so that we can come back here again tomorrow."
The next day, when they were driving to rent the boat, the same guy asked his friend, "Did you mark that spot?"
His friend replied, "Yeah, I put a big 'X' on the bottom of the boat."
The first one said, "Oh my goodness! What if we don't get that same boat today!?!?"
Grandparents and Grandchildren
I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I
decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color
it was. She would tell me, and always she was correct. But it was
fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door, saying
sagely, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these
When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the
lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky
insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before
I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use, Grandpa. The mosquitoes are
coming after us with flashlights."
A nursery school teacher was delivering a mini-van full of kids
home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front
seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started
discussing the dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back,"
said one youngster. "No," said another, "he's just for good luck." A
third child brought the argument to a close: "No, they use the dogs
to find the fire hydrant."
Act of Faith
O my God I believe all You have said because You are the infallible truth.
Act of Hope
O my God I hope for all You have promised because You are faithful.
Act of Love
O my God I love You above all things because You are good.
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
18th Sunday of Ordinary Time - August 2, 2020
The First Reading - Isaiah 55:1-3
Thus says the LORD: All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life. I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David.
Like many oracles in the Book of Isaiah, the prophetic author provides very little information about the time or place when this oracle will be fulfilled. In antiquity, the second half of Isaiah (chs. 40-66) seems to have been understood as a long description of the Messianic or Final Age (the “Latter Days,” cf. Isa 2:2). This oracle is an invitation to the thirsty, hungry poor to come to the LORD, who will simultaneously: (1) provide them with a satisfying meal, (2) grant them life, and (3) renew with them the Davidic covenant. Isaiah 55:1-3 foresees a coming age when the LORD will extend the privileges of the Davidic covenant to all the poor of the earth who come to him. Holy Mother Church pairs this OT text with this Sunday’s Gospel in order for us to make the connection between the promised covenant-bestowing meal and the Feeding of the 5,000; but the Feeding of the 5,000 is itself a pre-enactment of the Eucharist, the meal that bestows the New Covenant on its guests.
Adults - How often do you ask God for wisdom?
Teens - Ask God to give you wisdom every day this week.
Kids - In what ways does the Lord give you wisdom?
Responsorial- Psalm 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18
R.The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
This Psalm follows the theme of the Lord providing us with all we need. Choose a teaching of the Church that challenges you and do some research on it (from solid Catholic sources.)
The Second Reading- Romans 8:35, 37-39
Brothers and sisters: What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Reflection - Suffering in life is inescapable, even for those who capitulate to every social and political bully in order to preserve their peace and comfort. Suffering is inescapable, but despair, loneliness, and hopelessness are not. As disciples of Christ, we can be assured of his love and presence in the middle of the most horrific sufferings, and his embrace in the world to come. As St. Paul says elsewhere, “we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” -What is a hard experience that you have been through that God has brought good out of?
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew 14:13-21
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food ourselves.” But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ” and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over— twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.
Reflection Although the text is not explicit, we are probably correct to assume these crowds were made up of the common and poor people of the land, rather than the wealthy elite. We hear the themes from Isaiah 55: Jesus is providing a free, satisfying meal to the hungry and thirsty poor. But the language Matthew employs is intended to remind us of another incident in Jesus’ ministry, in which he also “takes loaves,” “blesses,” “breaks,” and “gives” them to the disciples. Of course, this is language from the narrative of the Institution of the Eucharist (Matt 26:26), which is indeed the covenant meal promised by Isaiah 55. Specifically, it is a meal which extends the covenant of the Son of David to those who participate in it. This account in Matthew stresses Jesus’ mission to restore the people of Israel, to whom the promise of a New Covenant was given by Jeremiah (Jer 31:31-34). This is the point of the twelve baskets left over—it is a sign of God coming to collect the scattered people of the Twelve Tribes, gathering them up from all the places they had been scattered through various wars and exiles, gathering them back into the Kingdom of David reconstituted around the twelve apostles, who are twelve new patriarchs of the spiritual restoration of Israel. In the next chapter (Matt 15:29-39) Matthew will tell the account of a different feeding miracle that Jesus performed, that took place in Gentile territory and foreshadowed the Gospel going out to the Gentiles. There, 4,000 will be fed (possibly for the four cardinal directions of the compass) and seven baskets will be left over (a covenant number, and perhaps related to the traditional seventy Gentile nations in Israelite ethnography). But here, the focus is on the restoration of Israel.
The Feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew, as in the other Gospels as well, is an anticipation, foreshadowing, and type of the Eucharist, the meal which along truly satisfies and “answers all our needs,” as we sang in the Psalm. It is the meal by which we enter the Davidic Covenant, receiving the gift of Divine Sonship and kingship over the earth, as Isaiah predicted. Out of his loving concern to provide this meal for us, Jesus endured “anguish, distress, persecution, nakedness, peril,” and ultimately, death. In turn, this meal is one of the primary ways that he stays with us and loves us as we suffer our own “anguish, distress, persecution, etc.” This aspect of the Eucharist was foreshadowed in the Old Covenant by the “bread of the presence”—fresh loaves of bread continually set out in the Holy Place to represent God’s presence with his people. As we celebrate this Mass, let us thank Jesus for remaining with us in the Eucharist as we journey through this valley of tears, and pray for those who—because of the pandemic, imprisonment, or other impediment—lack the comfort of the tangible sacrament and must rely on the spiritual indwelling of Jesus in their souls alone.
Adults - The Church is open to all - does that make you uncomfortable in some ways? Talk to God about why that is!
Teens - How can you help new people feel welcome at your parish?
Kids - What does it say about God that He wants all people to be a part of His Kingdom?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - “Though invisible to mortal eyes, He is as truly present on our altars as He was that day in Galilee, when He miraculously fed the multitude. He is present under the form of bread and wine — so that we can partake of Him as spiritual nourishment during our earthly life. Could love go any further? He Himself said: "A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends" (Jn. 15 :13). Yes, once a man has given his life he has given his all; there is nothing more he can give. But Christ was more than man. He was God as well, and, therefore, He was able not only to lay down His human life for us, but was able and willing to remain with us after death under the Eucharistic species: to be our strength and nourishment until we join Him in the promised land of heaven. When we compare our own unworthiness with this, almost incredible, love and thoughtfulness of Christ for us, all we can do is simply to say: "Lord, you know I am not worthy to receive you, but you say you want to come into my poor and untidy home, please make me less unworthy, forgive all my past sins and offenses, and give me the grace and strength to be better in the future." -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
534. What is prayer? d. All of the above.
Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God, or the petition of good things from him in accord with his will. It is always the gift of God who comes to encounter man. Christian prayer is the personal and living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is infinitely good, with his Son Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirit who dwells in their hearts.
535. Universal call to prayer c. God draws every person to the mysterious encounter known as prayer
Because through creation God first calls every being from nothingness. Even after the Fall man continues to be capable of recognizing his Creator and retains a desire for the One who has called him into existence. All religions, and the whole history of salvation in particular, bear witness to this human desire for God. It is God first of all, however, who ceaselessly draws every person to the mysterious encounter known as prayer.
536. How is Abraham a model of prayer? b. he walked in the presence of God, heard and obeyed him
Abraham is a model of prayer because he walked in the presence of God, heard and obeyed him. His prayer was a battle of faith because he continued to believe in the fidelity of God even in times of trial. Besides, after having received in his own tent the visit of the Lord who confided his plan to him, Abraham dared to intercede for sinners with bold confidence.
537. How did Moses pray? d. all of the above
The prayer of Moses was typical of contemplative prayer. God, who called to Moses from the burning bush, lingered in conversation with him often and at length, “face to face, like a man with his friend” (Exodus 33:11). In this intimacy with God, Moses attained the strength to intercede tenaciously for his people: his prayer thus prefigured the intercession of the one mediator, Christ Jesus.