- Catholic Bible Apologetics - Explain our Catholic Faith from the Holy Bible (under the laptop - Catholic Website)
- 80 Years Ago St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe Gave His Life at Auschwitz to Save a Father with a Family
(Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Save Money and Gas with some simple driving Hints (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 PRACTICE is also BACK! (see below)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Back to School, Back to Truth, Back to Prayer
“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." (John 18:37-38)
Many people this time of year usually are trying to back into the habit of education and a regular 9 month schedule called school. For some it is brand new, bringing excitement; for others it is a struggle that may bring stress. This year with the pandemic, it uniquely challenging. Yet, all of us ought to continue to learn even if we do not ‘go to school.’
But an education is first meant to lead us to truth, and to the one ultimate truth, God. For Jesus (Who is God) said, “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life. (John 14:6)” And what is knowledge and education if it does not lead one to its source? Plus, it was the Catholic Church that gave us Universities and the pursuit of truth and knowledge. Let you and I continue in pursuit of truth and the Truth, Jesus Christ!
Finally, as many people return to school and summer begins to wane, many will return to a formal schedule of prayer that summer may not have allowed. Prayer must ALWAYS be a part of your life and mine, day in and day out. But if prayer has not really been a part of your life, please start again right now!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. > > Readings
For a weekday homily (Queenship of Mary) (2 minutes respectively):
Getting to Know Catholicism Better
(Answers at very end.)
a. she prayed to herself
b. by faith and the offering of her whole being
c. only on her knees
d. none of the above
547. Is there a prayer of Mary in the Gospel? (CCC 2619)
a. No, only prayers of Jesus
b. Yes, the Hail Mary (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord…)
c. Yes, the Magnificat (My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…)
d. No, Mary always prays silently in the Gospels
PRAYER IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH
548. How did the first Christian community in Jerusalem pray? (CCC 2623-2624)
a. they were educated in the life of prayer by the Holy Spirit
b. by dedicating themselves to the teachings of the apostles
c. by the “Breaking of the Bread” (the Mass)
d. all of the above
549. How does the Holy Spirit intervene in the Church’s prayer? (CCC 2623, 2625)
a. by uniting us to Jesus
b. Jesus is the only way to pray
c. the Holy Spirit is the only one who prays in the Church
d. by possessing us and making us pray
truth (from Old English trEowth “fidelity”)
- conformity of mind and reality
[Namely, it is the conformity of our mind to the greatest reality which is God; in Jesus, Incarnate Truth.]
Saving on Gas and being More Safe on the Road
1) Accelerate slowing; do not drive aggressively (save average of 33%)
2) Lower speeds (save average 12%) [Speed Limit or 5 less]
3) Use cruise control (save average 7%)
4) Remove excess weight (can save up to 2%)
5) Do not let your car idle for long. It only takes 10 seconds worth of gas to re-start it.
In Jesus Christ, the whole of God's truth has been made manifest. "Full of grace and truth," he came as the "light of the world," he is the Truth. "Whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." The disciple of Jesus continues in his word so as to know "the truth [that] will make you free" and that sanctifies. To follow Jesus is to live in "the Spirit of truth," whom the Father sends in his name and who leads "into all the truth." To his disciples Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: "Let what you say be simply 'Yes or No.'" -Catechism of the Catholic Church #2466
Catholic Biblical Apologetics
Apologetics without apology!
What does the Roman Catholic Church teach about ...? ... and why?
This website surveys the origin and development of Roman Catholic Christianity from the period of the apostolic church, through the post-apostolic church and into the conciliar movement. Principal attention is paid to the biblical basis of both doctrine and dogma as well as the role of paradosis (i.e. handing on the truth) in the history of the Church. Particular attention is also paid to the hierarchical founding and succession of leadership throughout the centuries.
[For those traveling this summer and needing to get to the Holy Mass.]
MASS TIMES AND CATHOLIC CHURCHES throughout the US
MAKE RETREATS AVAILABLE FOR PARISHIONERS (During pandemic times, these can be virtual/online)
Some parishes offer retreats at their parish, but many also coordinate weekend retreats to a Diocesan Retreat House or a local monastery. There are retreats for all ages usually closer than one realizes, and they can greatly bless those who participate.
Most people need time to hear God and recharge spiritually, but daily life often leaves little time and room to do that. Retreats in holy and/or quiet places can really connect or re-connect people to God. Powerful preached men and women retreats can help stir faith into flame for God, marriage, and family. High school and college age retreats can make the Faith more relatable to that age group, too.
Consult and ask your Parish Priest if it is okay to coordinate this for your parish. Or ask your Parish Priest, office staff, or someone at the diocese to make a list available to put in the bulletin or provide to men and women groups in your parish. When one or two of you go on retreat, and its effect is seen by others, that may lead to others going!
Eighty years ago St. Maximilian Kolbe died in Auschwitz on August 14 after volunteering to take the place of a father in the concentration camp’s starvation bunker.
Today devotion to the saint continues to spread, including as an intercessor for the family, according to a theologian in Rome.
Fr. Kolbe, a Franciscan priest and missionary, was sent to Auschwitz in 1941. After a Polish prisoner tried to escape the camp on July 29, the SS security forces selected 10 prisoners to starve to death as a lesson for the entire camp.
One of the prisoners chosen was Franciszek Gajowniczek, who asked for mercy. He mentioned that he had a wife and children. Fr. Kolbe offered to die in his place.
"Fr. Kolbe told the commandant, 'I want to go instead of the man who was selected. He has a wife and family. I am alone. I am a Catholic priest,'" Gajowniczek told the NY Times in 1995.
In an interview with ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian language sister news agency, Fr. Raffaele Di Muro, said this act of sacrifice is one of the reasons why Kolbe is considered a patron saint of families today.
“What has always struck me the most about Father Kolbe's sacrifice - both as a scholar of his life and personally as a religious - is that he feels internally, deeply, the pain of this father of a family,” Di Muro said in the interview on Aug. 14.
“Kolbe senses in his heart the sadness that Francis Gajowniczek feels in having to lose his family. … The cries of this father tear the heart of Kolbe who immediately thinks of the other pain that would have been there if Francesco had died: the suffering of his own family.”
Di Muro is the dean of the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure in Rome. He holds the Kolbe Chair in Theology, named for the saint who earned his doctorate in theology at the university in 1919.
The theologian highlighted that Kolbe visited many families on his mission to Japan, as well as in his ministry in Europe.
“For him, all families represented a reflection of the Holy Family,” he said.
“There are many documents that attest to the baptisms that Kolbe himself celebrated,” he added.
In the starvation cell in Auschwitz, Kolbe is reported to have led other prisoners in prayer as they died one by one. Though Kolbe was held without food or water for two weeks, he did not die of starvation. Instead, camp guards killed him with an injection of carbolic acid on Aug. 14, 1941.
He was canonized a saint on Oct. 10, 1982 by Pope John Paul II, who declared Kolbe a “martyr of charity.”
Di Muro said that Kolbe’s intercession is needed for the many difficult situations facing families today.
“Kolbe would work to ensure that hope in marriage, in the family, is not extinguished,” he said.
“Let us place all families of the world under the mantle of Mary, under the intercession of Maximilian Kolbe.’
Pointing to how Peter begins to sink when walking toward Jesus on the water in the day's Gospel reading, Francis noted that the same thing can happen to us when we put our trust in false securities.
“When we do not cling to the Word of the Lord, but consult horoscopes and fortune tellers, we begin to sink,” the Pope said Aug. 13.
The episode, he said, serves as a reminder “that faith in the Lord and in his word does not open a path where everything is calm and easy; it does not take us away from the storms of life.”
Rather, “faith gives us the security of a presence that pushes us to overcome the existential storms, the certainty of a hand that grabs us in order to help us in difficulties, showing the way even when it's dark.”
“Faith, then, is not an escape from life's problems, but it supports on the journey and gives it meaning.”
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for his weekly Angelus address, focusing on the day's Gospel reading from Matthew, in which Jesus walks on water in the midst of a storm, and beckons Peter to come to him. Peter initially begins to walk toward Jesus, but starts to sink out of fear when he sees the waves, and cries out for Jesus to rescue him.
This episode, Francis said, has a lot of symbolism for both individuals, and for the Church as a whole.
The boat can represent the life of each person, but also the life of the Church, he said, explaining that the wind signifies the “difficulties and trials” each will face.
Peter's cry of “Lord, command me to come to you,” and then his plea “Lord, save me!” represent both our desire feel close to the Lord, and “the fear and anguish which accompany us in the most difficult moments of our lives and our communities, marked by internal fragility and external difficulty,” Francis said.
In the moment when he looked at the wind and the waves and began to fear, Peter wasn't founded on the Word of God, “which was like an outstretched rope to cling to in front of the hostile and turbulent waters.”
The same thing happens to us when we put our faith in trivial, worldly securities, rather than in the Lord, he said.
Pope Francis said the passage is “a stupendous image” of the reality of the Church throughout the ages: “a ship which, along the crossing, must counter winds and storms which threaten to overwhelm it.”
What saves the ship is not the courage and quality of it's men, he said, but rather, “the guarantee against a shipwreck is faith in Christ and in his word.”
“On this ship we are safe, despite our miseries and weaknesses, above all when we get on our knees and adore the Lord” as the disciples did, who, after Jesus calmed the storm, prostrated themselves and said “truly you are the Son of God!”
To drive the point home, Francis had the crowd repeat the phrase, listening as they shouted “truly you are the Son of God” three times.
Francis closed his address asking that the Virgin Mary intercede in helping all to “stay firm in the faith in order to resist the storms of life, to stay on the boat of the Church, eschewing the temptation to go on amusing, yet insecure boats of ideologies, fashions and slogans.”
He then led pilgrims in praying the traditional Marian prayer and greeted various groups of youth from around Italy before asking for prayer and giving his blessing.
Man tends by nature toward the truth. He is obliged to honor and bear witness to it: "It is in accordance with their dignity that all men, because they are persons . . . are both impelled by their nature and bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and direct their whole lives in accordance with the demands of truth." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #2467
Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married? Ruthless.
Q. What do call pastors in Germany? German Shepherds
Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible? Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.
On the first day of school, the teacher asked a student, "What are your parents' names?" The student replied, "My father's name is Laughing and my mother's name is Smiling." The teacher said, "Are you kidding?" The student said, "No, Kidding is my brother. I am Joking."
-I dreamt I was forced to eat a giant marshmallow. When I woke up, my pillow was gone.
-Why is women’s soccer so rare?---It’s quite hard to find enough women willing to wear the same outfit.
-I saw a poster today, somebody was asking “Have you seen my cat?” So I called the number and said that I didn’t. I like to help where I can.
-My neighbors are listening to great music. Whether they like it or not.
Fun at the Office…
Bring in some dry ice and make it look like your coworker’s computer is smoking.
"Do you believe in life after death?" the boss asked one of his employees.
"Yes, sir," the new employee replied.
"Well, then, that makes everything just fine," the boss went on. "After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother's funeral, she stopped in to see you!”
"Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning."
“The difficult thing with quotes on the internet is verifying them” – Abraham Lincoln (I think)
Martin Takes the Bait?
Martin arrived at Sunday school late. Miss Walter, his teacher, knew that Martin was usually very punctual so she asked him if anything was wrong.
Martin replied no, that he had been going fishing but his dad told him that he needed to go to church.
Miss Walter was very impressed and asked the lad if his dad had explained to him why it was more important to go to church than to go fishing?
Martin replied, 'Yes he did. Dad said he didn't have enough bait for both of us.'
God our Father, we celebrate the feast of St. Bernard who dedicated his life to seeking the truth in all things. He was fearless in his support of the truth. In our world today, it is so difficult to seek the truth and to remain firm in the truth. As we reflect on the life of this great man, may we become more aware of how important it is to seek the truth, to remain faithful to the truth that lives in us and to be fearless in support of the truth. We ask for the grace to follow the example of St. Bernard and live by the truth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
[Wisdom] is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. For [wisdom] is more beautiful than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail. I became enamored of her beauty.-Catechism of the Catholic Church #2500
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Sunday, August 15th, 2021
The First Reading- Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab
God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One.”
The first thing we notice is that the reading is prefaced with the announcement that “God’s Temple was opened … and the ark of the covenant was visible in the Temple …” But then, without missing a beat, the author proceeds to describe a “woman clothed with the sun” in the very place we were expecting a description of the ark itself. Why is this? Because the woman is the ark. This woman, then, is the mother of the Messiah: Mary of Nazareth. Some say, “No, she is only a symbol of Israel (or the Church),” but these interpretations will not work. Israel did precede Christ and could be thought of as Christ’s “mother,” but Israel was not whisked away and spared from the onslaught of the beast the way this woman was. Likewise, the woman cannot be the Church, because Jesus gives birth to the Church, not the Church to Jesus. No, just as the dragon is an individual, Satan, who also represents a group (the powers in league with him), and just as the child is an individual, Jesus, who also represents a group (the Church), so the woman is an individual, Mary, who also represents a group (the faithful remnant of the people of Israel, who received the Messiah).
Adults - Are you familiar with typology and how it is used in Scripture? Ask someone to explain it to you, or research it on solid Catholic sources, like Catholic Answers.
Teens - Why do you think it’s important to study Scripture under the guidance of the Church, with reliable Catholic sources, instead of trying to interpret it for yourself?
Kids - Mary is a spiritual mother to you too! Ask her to pray for you!
Responsorial- Psalm 45: 10, 11, 12, 16
R.The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir.
R.The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father’s house.
R.The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord.
R.The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
R.The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
Psalm 45 is the “Royal Wedding Psalm,” and it is unlike any other psalm in the Psalter; in fact, it is closer in style and diction to the Song of Songs than to any other Psalm. Psalm 45 is a minstrel’s song sung addressed to the bridegroom king and the princess-bride in Solomon’s court. Two royal women show up in the Psalm: the “queen” who “stands are your right hand, arrayed in gold.” This is the Queen Mother, who is a type of Mary as the Mother of Jesus, King of the Universe. The other royal woman is the princess-bride. It is to her that all but the first verse of our responsorial are addressed. Lines like “Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear, forget your people and your father’s house” are addressed to the foreign-born princess who is about to become the wife of Solomon and thus take an elite place in ancient Near Eastern society. She, too, is a type of the Blessed Mother, who is the “spouse of the Spirit,” bound in a complex nuptial relationship with God.
-Did you know that in the Davidic Kingdom, the queen has always been the mother of the king, not his wife?
The Second Reading- 1Corinthians 15:20-27
Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the first-fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for “he subjected everything under his feet.”
The Blessed Mother and the truths about her are the beautiful feminine complement to all the truths about Christ that are expressed in this passage. If Jesus Christ is the sun, then his Mother is the moon, perfectly reflecting the truth and doctrine of his person and mission. If Christ is the first-fruits from the dead, the Blessed Mother in her assumption are the “second-fruits,” if you will. We are living in an interim, where a battle is going on, in which Christ is destroying “every sovereignty and every authority and power” and putting “all his enemies under his feet.” This is spiritual warfare, and it goes on in the interim period, which is why we speak of the “Church militant.” The last enemy is death, but for his Mother, Jesus neutralized this enemy in advance, in the extraordinary grace of the assumption. Paul quotes Ps 8:6, which says of the Son of Man, “you put all things under his feet.” There may also be an echo here of Ps 110:1: “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies a footstool.” Both of these Psalms are speaking of the royal son of David, to whom God promised universal dominion. Mary shares in that dominion as the Mother of the King. So we see that the theme of the royal Davidic covenant unites all the Readings. How does the Assumption of Mary give you hope for the future?
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 1:39-56
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
We have at least two typological themes operating in this Gospel. The first is the Ark of the Covenant. When Luke speaks of Mary “going up into the hill country of Judah” and of John the Baptist “leaping” in Elizabeth’s womb, he is using language and images from the famous account of David’s bringing the Ark up into Jerusalem, recounted in 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chronicles 15. David brings the Ark up into the hill country of Judah, to Jerusalem, and he “leaps” and dances before the Ark wearing a linen ephod, a priestly garment. In this interesting typological relationship, both David and John the Baptist are cast in the role of priestly figures leaping and celebrating before the arrival of the Ark of the Covenant, the seat of God’s presence. Just as we saw in our First Reading from Revelation, Mary is cast in the role of the New Ark. Elizabeth, although much older and of a higher social caste in Judean society, shows deference to her younger, poorer cousin: “Why is this granted to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” Elizabeth treats Mary like a Queen, namely, like the Queen Mother, and uses a term for the Queen Mother: “Mother of my Lord.” We modern readers are not sensitive to these subtleties, because we don’t live in a royalty. In ancient times, the mother of the king or emperor had enormous influence (as perusal of the histories of the times will show), and her position was often formalized with titles and honors, as it was in the ancient Kingdom of David. The fact that Mary would bear the Messiah, Son of David, Lord of Lord and King of Kings, necessarily made her and makes her the Queen of Creation, over all that her son rules. Yet there is no competition between Mother and Son because, as an example to all her subjects, she is completely deferential to God’s Word, which is her Son.
Adults - Had you ever seen the connections between Mary and the Ark? How does it change your view of her?
Teens - Why do you think it’s important to learn about the culture of Jesus’s time and the history of the Jewish people in order to understand Scripture correctly?
Kids - Did you know that Mary is queen of the universe because her Son is king?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! – In an age of sensuality and materialism the Assumption points out the dignity and destiny of our human body, extols the dignity of womanhood, and turns our eyes to the true life beyond the grave. At Mass today ask Mary for the grace to keep your mind fixed on things above and to aspire continually to be united with her and to be brought to the glory of the Resurrection. And let us live life this week in that truth!
Mary’s prayer was characterized by faith and by the generous offering of her whole being to God. The Mother of Jesus is also the new Eve, the “Mother of all the living”. She prays to Jesus for the needs of all people.
547. Is there a prayer of Mary in the Gospel? (CCC 2619) c. Yes, the Magnificat (My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…)
Along with the prayer of Mary at Cana in Galilee, the Gospel gives us the Magnificat (Luke1:46-55) which is the song both of the Mother of God and of the Church, the joyous thanksgiving that rises from the hearts of the poor because their hope is met by the fulfillment of the divine promises.
PRAYER IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH
548. How did the first Christian community in Jerusalem pray? d. all of the above
At the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles it is written that in the first community of Jerusalem, educated in the life of prayer by the Holy Spirit, the faithful “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread, and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42).
549. How does the Holy Spirit intervene in the Church’s prayer? a. by uniting us to Jesus
The Holy Spirit, the interior Master of Christian prayer, forms the Church in the life of prayer and allows her to enter ever more deeply into contemplation of and union with the unfathomable mystery of Christ. The forms of prayer expressed in the apostolic and canonical writings remain normative (the standard) for Christian prayer.