- Catholic Bible Apologetics - Explain our Catholic Faith from the Holy Bible (under the laptop - Catholic Website)
- Pope Gives Thousands of Rosaries to Christians in Syria (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 are getting 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. 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 Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time. >>> Readings
For a weekday homily (Queenship of Mary) click the blue lines below (2 minutes respectively):
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.
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
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!
“Prayer made with faith is powerful! We continue to pray the rosary for peace in the Middle East and in the whole world,” Pope Francis said Aug. 15 in his Angelus message for the Assumption of Mary.
The pope blessed the rosaries made by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, and said that the Syrian families that lost someone because of the war are close to his heart.
“The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is a call for everyone, especially for those who are afflicted by doubts and sadness,” Pope Francis said. “Today we look at Mary and we see the goal. We see that a creature was assumed to the glory of Jesus, the Risen Christ.”
The Feast of the Assumption, commemorating the end of Mary’s earthly life and assumption into heaven, is a major feast day and a public holiday in many countries. In most countries, including the United States, it is a Holy Day of Obligation, and Catholics are required to attend Mass.
“Mary is assumed in heaven; small and humble, she receives the highest glory first. She, who is a human creature, one of us, reaches eternity in soul and body. And she awaits us there, like a mother waiting for her children to return home,” Francis said.
“Every time we take the rosary into our hands and pray with it, we take a step towards the great goal of life,” he said.
Pope Francis said that Mary exalts in the greatness in the Lord and invites everyone to raise their eyes to the great things that the Lord accomplished in her.
“Mary shows us that if we want our life to be happy, God must be placed first, because he alone is great,” he said.
Mary, as every mother, wants the best for her children, the pope explained. He said that Mary tells each person: “You are precious in the eyes of God; you are not made for the small fulfillment of the world, but for the great joys of heaven.”
“Let us be attracted by true beauty, let us not be sucked into the smallness of life, but choose the greatness of heaven,” Pope Francis said.
“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.
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.
The practice of goodness is accompanied by spontaneous spiritual joy and moral beauty. Likewise, truth carries with it the joy and splendor of spiritual beauty. Truth is beautiful in itself. Truth in words, the rational expression of the knowledge of created and uncreated reality, is necessary to man, who is endowed with intellect. But truth can also find other complementary forms of human expression, above all when it is a matter of evoking what is beyond words: the depths of the human heart, the exaltations of the soul, the mystery of God. Even before revealing himself to man in words of truth, God reveals himself to him through the universal language of creation, the work of his Word, of his wisdom: the order and harmony of the cosmos-which both the child and the scientist discover-"from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator," "for the author of beauty created them."
[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
The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 18th, 2019
The First Reading- Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
In those days, the princes said to the king: "Jeremiah ought to be put to death; he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such things to them; he is not interested in the welfare of our people, but in their ruin." King Zedekiah answered: "He is in your power"; for the king could do nothing with them. And so they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah, which was in the quarters of the guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the cistern, only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud. Ebed-melech, a court official, went there from the palace and said to him: "My lord king, these men have been at fault in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah, casting him into the cistern. He will die of famine on the spot, for there is no more food in the city." Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite to take three men along with him, and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he should die.
The prophet was maltreated and imprisoned. Jeremiah was a man of God who suffered all his life for the sake of the true religion. Christ is our peace (see Ephesians 2:14). By His Cross He has lifted us up from the mire of sin and death—as He will rescue the prophet Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 38:10).
Adults - How has Christ rescued you and brought you peace?
Teens - Is there a situation that you are struggling with? Ask the Lord to help you the way He helped the prophet Jeremiah. Be open to those people He may be putting in your life to assist you!
Kids - What do you need God’s help with this week?
Responsorial- Psalm 40:2, 3, 4, 18
R.Lord, come to my aid!
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
The LORD heard my cry.
He drew me out of the pit of destruction,
out of the mud of the swamp;
he set my feet upon a crag;
he made firm my steps.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in awe
and trust in the LORD.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
Though I am afflicted and poor,
yet the LORD thinks of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, hold not back!
R. Lord, come to my aid!
-This week’s Psalm is a call to faith in our Lord and Savior. What is happening in your life that you need to turn over to God and receive healing from?
The Second Reading- Hebrews 12:1-4
Brothers and sisters: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
In our struggle against sin, we have not yet resisted to the point of shedding our own blood, Paul tells us in this week’s Epistle. We have not undergone the suffering that Jeremiah suffers in the First Reading this week. But this is what true discipleship requires. To be a disciple is to be inflamed with the love of the God. It is to have an unquenchable desire for holiness and zeal for the salvation of our brothers and sisters. Being His disciple does not bring peace in the false way that the world proclaims peace (see Jeremiah 8:11). It means division and hardship. It may bring us to conflict with our own flesh and blood.
Ask the great cloud of witnesses, the Communion of Saint in Heaven, to pray for your intentions this week.
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
Our God is a consuming fire, the Scriptures tell us (see Hebrews 12:29; Deuteronomy 4:24). And in this week’s Gospel, Jesus uses the image of fire to describe the demands of discipleship. The fire He has come to cast on the earth is the fire that He wants to blaze in each of our hearts. He made us from the dust of the earth (see Genesis 2:7) and filled us with the fire of the Holy Spirit in Baptism (see Luke 3:16). We were baptized into His death (see Romans 6:3). This is the baptism our Lord speaks of in the Gospel this week. The baptism with which He must be baptized is His passion and death, by which He accomplished our redemption and sent forth the fire of the Spirit on the earth (see Acts 2:3).
The fire has been set, but it is not yet blazing. We are called to enter deeper into the consuming love of God. We must examine our consciences and our actions, submitting ourselves to the revealing fire of God’s Word (see 1 Corinthians 3:13).
Adults - Do you think Jesus wants us to be at odds with our families? Check the footnotes in your Bible or a Catholic commentary and read the context of these verses.
Teens - Jesus is predicting that He will cause division. What type of division is He referring to?
Kids - Ask you parents to show you photos of your baptism!
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK!
God speed the day, and let us each give him a helping hand in this work (by prayer, by reaching out, by kindness), when not only all Christians will be one but when our Jewish and Moslem fellowmen will also be with us, thanking Christ for all that he has done for us. That day may still be a long way off, but every step I take towards bringing it about, is bringing me a step nearer to heaven and making me dearer to God. -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
546. How did the Virgin Mary pray? b. by faith and the offering of her whole being
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.