- Ovulation Method: Achieving or Postponing Pregnancy the Natural Way (Catholic Website of the Week)
- Catholic Lay Men Ask Pope Francis For Answers And Assistance in Letter (sign if feel called) (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Tips for Driving in the Fall (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum –INRI–Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews
"Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read,
"Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews. …and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek."
"What I have written, I have written," the words of Pontius Pilate to the chief priests who did not want to have Jesus called, "The King of the Jews." (John 19:22) Four little letters that represent so much.
From one perspective, INRI is the charge for which Jesus was killed as was the custom with crucifixion to place the charge above the criminal. From another perspective, it was Pilate's way of having his say after he was somewhat forced to give Jesus over to be crucified. A charge and declaration given for a King who saved and led his people not by an army and the sword, but by the Cross and forgiveness.
On most of our tombstones there will be the year we were born – the year we died (i.e. 1920 – 2006). They say the difference is what that "-" (dash) stands for. If we are accused and charged in this life, let us make sure that it is for doing the right things, and let us remember that the initials on our crucifixes in our homes and churches remind us of the King who first did it for us!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. Look under Catholic Term for more information regarding "INRI."
P.S.S. This coming Sunday is Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time. >>> Readings
"INRI" (Latin for Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum - Iesous Nazareth Rex Judaeos)
- The initials of the Latin for Jesus the Nazareon, the King of the Jews
[The first letters of the Latin phrase that was put on the Cross when Jesus was crucified. There is no "J" in the Latin alphabet. Rex is Latin for "king" as Latin was the language of the Roman Empire, the authority which crucified Jesus. The sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek (John 19:21) The Jews were awaiting a King, but most probably failed to think that he would be this sort of king.]
- Never forget the Most Dangerous Ten Minutes on the road! According to Dr. Bill Tassel, manager of Driver Training for Triple-A, those are the first ten minutes of an autumn rain storm. That’s because the new rain mixes with all the oil, antifreeze and transmission gunk that’s built up over the summer, making the road super slick beneath your tires. So if you’re on the road when rain starts, reduce your speed about 40% – so you can keep 100% control of your car.
- Watch out for fallen leaves. This applies to both wet AND dry leaves, because they both have the same effect as rain. Drive fast through a pile of leaves, and you’ll end up swerving into a ditch!
- It’s also a good idea to run your defroster more in the fall because as it gets colder outside, your body heat in a car is enough to fog up all the windows. So you’ll be safer if you eliminate the windshield mist BEFORE you start moving. NOT as you’re speeding down the highway!
- If it’s foggy OUTSIDE the car, Give yourself more stopping time on the road. A normal rule of thumb is to drive three or four car lengths behind the car in front of you. In foggy weather, plan on at least six car lengths. That will give you extra time to stop, in case you need to suddenly slam on the brakes!
- Give your eyes time to adjust. Over the next few weeks, our days will SHRINK an hour and a half in North America. Once Daylight Saving Time ends on November 4th, chances are you’ll be driving home from work IN THE DARK. So take an extra two to five minutes in the car, to let your eyes adapt, BEFORE you start driving.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #528
Achieving or Postponing Pregnancy Naturally
The Ovulation Method helps you find your window of fertility, greatly increasing your chance to achieve pregnancy sooner or allowing you to postpone a pregnancy with a 99% method effectiveness.
The Ovulation Method does this all naturally without drugs or devices and is absolutely free.
Watch the video, The Ovulation Method, Science at the Service of Family, use the Resources tab above to continue your education in this "best kept secret."
“You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the stray or seek the lost -Ezekiel 34:4
If you know someone who is struggling with the news from the Church or if you have not seen someone in church for awhile, please reach out to them and make sure they know that they are valued and listened to. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers to their questions, but do let them know that you will help them seek the answers they need. Even be willing to walk with them in the action they feel called to if you are able to, and it is right to do so.
The Lord sent out His disciples two by two. We need to be concerned with our family and parishioners who stop coming to church for one reason or another. In time of crisis, we need to make sure we all stay strong, so if we can be strong for someone now and care, they may be able to do so for another at another time even ourselves.
First pray, pray for by name people who have fallen away. Entrust them to Jesus through Mary, loved by St. Joseph. Call, send a note, ask someone close to them to find out what happened or what one is going through let them know you miss them. Affirm or encourage people that may not come that often.
You can look into programs that might help, and with your Parish Priest's permission, you might see if they can help in your parish:
Landings International – Paulist Fathers
Landings helps Catholics who have been away from the Church make a smooth landing as they return to the Faith and parish life.
Denver, Colo., Sep 5, 2018 / 07:00 pm (CNA).- One week after thousands of Catholic laywomen signed a letter asking Pope Francis to respond to their questions about the Church’s sexual abuse crisis, a group of Catholic laymen have penned their own letter to the pope and American bishops, calling for an investigation into the Church’s role in preventing sexual abuse.
The letter is hosted on the website “Catholic Men United for Christ,” but it is not sponsored by any group or organization. The signatories of the letter pledge to do some form of fasting on each Friday starting Sept. 7, and continuing through 2018.
Signatories include popular Catholic author Scott Hahn, radio host Al Kresta, along with other notable Catholic leaders.
“Holy Father, we come to you for answers. You personally have been faced with allegations. These allegations have been leveled by a high-ranking church official, Archbishop Viganò. Further, many bishops in the United States have publicly stated that they believe these allegations should be investigated. We implore you to address them,” reads the letter.
“Moreover, regardless of the veracity of Archbishop Viganò’s allegations, our concerns about corruption remain.”
“Your Holiness, Your Eminences, and Your Excellencies: Amidst widespread global abuse, coverups, and hierarchical failure, what are you doing and what will you do to protect the people of God? We urge you to answer this simple question because the cost of the episcopal corruption is catastrophic.”
The letter requests that an investigation into Church hierarchy be carried out by “faithful lay men and women.”
The signatories “reiterate and support” last week’s letter from Catholic lay women, signatory Mark DeYoung told CNA, "but even more so, we're looking at the bigger picture at what has happened in various countries [...] in just saying that there is certainly established fact there is a problem with abuse."
Letter to Pope Francis from Catholic Women (you can sign if you feel so called there)
Letter to Pope Francis from Catholic Women - Catholic Womens Forum
NOTE: This letter reflects the personal initiative of the individual Catholic women signing this letter, and is not sponsored by...
Failure to combat this corruption and abuse could result in the reduction or elimination of ministries due to a lack of priests, DeYoung told CNA.
DeYoung, a theology graduate student, said that fathers have expressed concern about potentially sending their sons to seminary, and have even said that they "will not have their kids involved in the liturgy as altar servers” out of fear of sexual abuse.
This could result in "potentially the death of vocations and young people being active in the Church,” said DeYoung. He also said it was “heartbreaking” to read testimony from some of the Pennsylvania abuse victims who said that their abuse caused them to lose their religious faith entirely.
“We’re really fighting for these people, (and) we're also saying that as Catholic men that we're going to take responsibility for our own lives as well,” noting that not every Catholic man is faithful or properly follows Church teaching.
DeYoung told CNA that the letter came from the fact that many Catholic men are “angry, heartbroken, and really shocked at the state of the Church at the moment,” in terms of the abuse of minors as well as “the clergy members who are disobeying their vows and living and against the call to chastity and purity.”
In addition to the investigation into abuse and misconduct, DeYoung says that the signatories are also looking to the bishops for spiritual leadership during this chaotic time.
"We are men who love the Church, we love our bishops, we support our Holy Father, and we want to see the truth come out here," he said.
At press time, the letter had been signed by over 3,000 people. (8,000 as of Saturday evening)
IF YOU FEEL CALLED TO SIGN THIS LETTER, YOU CAN AT, AS WELL AS SEE ALL WHO HAVE SIGNED IT:
After the pope’s statement about forgiving abortion, some media reports have made it sound like the Catholic Church doesn’t forgive abortion. People are asking, “Why can abortion only be forgiven during the Year of Mercy?”
Here’s a few facts to help clear up the confusion:
1. Abortion can always be forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In fact, the Church makes every effort to encourage people involved in it to find healing and forgiveness. A wonderful example is Project Rachel. It is not the case that abortions will only be forgiven in the Year of Mercy. They can and are forgiven at any time when a person repents and confesses.
2. Abortion is a sin. Because it is a grave matter and the Church hopes to discourage people from them, canon law says that procuring an abortion also incurs the penalty of automatic excommunication.
3. Forgiving the sin is one thing, and remitting the penalty of excommunication is another. Usually the penalty can only be remitted by the bishop. However, in the United States the bishops have given to all priests the faculty to not only forgive the sin when it is confessed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but also to remit the penalty. This is to encourage people to have easier access to forgiveness and healing.
4. Bishops in other countries, however, may have decided to handle it differently. So in brief, the pope is saying that any priest all over the world will be able not only to forgive the sin in confession but also to remit the penalty. While the pope didn’t mention the penalty in his statement, presumably that’s what he meant. Most likely an official text will be issued to clarify the canonical aspects.
Pope Francis said:
For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfill this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.
5. Also, the automatic penalty of excommunication for abortion doesn’t apply if:
a) the person did not know about it (that would probably exclude about 99% of all Catholic women who have had abortions from incurring the penalty)
b) the person was under the age of 17
c) the person acted out of force or fear
d) the person had an imperfect use of reason
(See this for more info on canonical penalties)
Bottom line: when you see headlines about what the pope said, realize that the journalist writing the story probably knows very little about the Catholic faith and is not getting it right. The best thing is to go directly to the source (Vatican website) and read what the pope actually said.
Finally, God is so merciful. Jesus said, “No one who comes to me will I ever reject.” (Jn 6) His heart is overflowing with love and mercy, that heart pierced on the cross from which blood and water flowed out, the source of sacramental life in the Church.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1235
A woman was taking an afternoon nap. When she woke up, she told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace. What do you think it means?" "You'll know tonight," he said. That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it to find a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams."
When Forest Gump died, he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter said, "Welcome, Forest. We've heard a lot about you." He continued, "Unfortunately, it's getting pretty crowded up here and we find that we now have to give people an entrance examination before we let them in.""Okay," said Forest. "I hope it's not too hard. I've already been through a test. My momma used to say, 'Life is like a final exam. It's hard.' "
"Yes, Forest, I know. But this test is only three questions. Here they are."
1) Which two days of the week begin with the letter 'T'?"
2) How many seconds are in a year?
3) What is God's first name?
"Well, sir," said Forest, "The first one is easy. Which two days of the week begin with the letter 'T'? Today and Tomorrow."
St. Peter looked surprised and said, "Well, that wasn't the answer I was looking for, but you have a point. I give you credit for that answer."
"The next question," said Forest, "How many seconds are in a year? Twelve."
"Twelve?" said St. Peter, surprised and confused.
"Yes, sir. January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd …"
St. Peter interrupted him. "I see what you mean. I'll have to give you credit for that one, too."
"And the last question," said Forest, "What is God's first name? It's Andy."
"Andy?" said St. Peter, in shock. "How did you come up with 'Andy'?"
"I learned it in church. We used to sing about it." Forest broke into song, "Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am His own."
St. Peter opened the gate to heaven and said, "Run, Forest, Run!"
Kids in Church
One Sunday in a Midwest City, a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew, but, were losing the battle. Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"
The preacher was holding a microphone attached to a cord, and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, "If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"
The Best Way To Pray
A priest, a minister and a guru sat discussing the best positions for prayer, while a telephone repairman worked nearby.
"Kneeling is definitely the best way to pray," the priest said.
"No," said the minister. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven."
"You're both wrong," the guru said. "The most effective prayer position is lying down on the floor."
The repairman could contain himself no longer. "Hey, fellas," he interrupted. "The best prayin' I ever did was when I was hangin' upside down from a telephone pole."
"Finally, the People of God shares in the royal office of Christ. He exercises his kingship by drawing all men to himself through his death and Resurrection. Christ, King and Lord of the universe, made himself the servant of all, for he came "not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." For the Christian, "to reign is to serve him," particularly when serving "the poor and the suffering, in whom the Church recognizes the image of her poor and suffering founder." The People of God fulfills its royal dignity by a life in keeping with its vocation to serve with Christ.
The sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them as priests, so that, apart from the particular service of our ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal race and sharers in Christ's priestly office. What, indeed, is as royal for a soul as to govern the body in obedience to God? And what is as priestly as to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord and to offer the spotless offerings of devotion on the altar of the heart?"
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #786
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - September 9th, 2018
The First Reading- Isaiah 35:4-7A
Thus says the LORD: Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water.
This week’s readings are the good news of God’s healing presence. In the first reading, Isaiah tells us to never fear because God is coming and will make all broken things whole. God “comes to save you.”
Adults - Meditate on a time in your life where God has worked a miracle - either an everyday miracle, or a big life changing miracle.
Teens -This reading tells of God doing seemingly impossible (by human standards) things. Don’t be afraid to ask God to help you with the hard things in your life!
Kids - Why is God able to work miracles?
Responsorial- Psalm 146: 6-7, 8-9, 9-10
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The God of Jacob keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
The fatherless and the widow the LORD sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
-Spend an extra amount of your prayer time in thanksgiving and praise this week.
The Second Reading- James 2:1-5
My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please, ” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there, ” or “Sit at my feet, ” have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?
James, in the second reading, reminds us that God doesn’t make distinctions between the rich and the poor, except to choose “those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom …” Both of these readings are reminders of Jesus’ fulfillment of the messianic prophecies: That he is the one who would bring healing, salvation, restoration, and is God who comes to save us.
God loves to take care of the poor. How can we be more intentional about care of the poor in our own lives?
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 7: 31-37
Again Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” — And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Our Gospel is the famous story of Jesus’ healing of the deaf mute telling him to “be open.” This Gospel is the foundation of the “Ephphatha” rite in baptism. The priest or deacon touches the child’s ears and mouth and says, “Ephphatha. Be opened.” This blessing is an invitation to all who receive it or hear it to keep our ears opened to God’s grace, and to have the courage to speak that grace to those who also need to hear it. They recognize God’s power in Jesus because he’s doing the things that the Scriptures foretold that the Messiah would do.
Adults - What do your ears need to be opened to? What do you need to pay more attention to, and need to act on?
Teens -Do you believe that God heals the sick? Do you believe in miracles? Have you ever seen/experienced one?
Kids -Why do you think the people didn’t keep quiet about Jesus’ miracles?