My Sons the Seminarians (Church News and More)
Mobile (Cell) Phone Etiquette (Helpful Hints for Life)
Homily on Mental Prayer is at end of e-mail
-***NEW FEATURE*** BEST PARISH PRACTICE is a new section of the e-weekly (see below) ***NEW FEATURE***
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
"May my meditation give Him pleasure, as much as God gives me!"
Pray, Pray, PRAY. Ok, so we know that we must pray, but how do we do it. Is one way more effective than another? How did the saints pray? What gave them their 'power'? "Mental prayer is the blessed furnace in which souls are inflamed with the love of God. All the saints have become saints by mental prayer" (St. Alphonsus de Liguori).
Mental Prayer/Meditation (see term below) is the difference. Mental Prayer/Meditation is interior prayer engaging the mind, heart, soul, and strength. Vocal Prayer (see term below) is more exterior. One can offer Vocal Prayer and perhaps remain in sin. One who constantly offers Mental Prayer will either give up sin or give up Mental Prayer.
Next week, I will give you the steps to offer mental prayer.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. A former Sunday's homily is in written form at the end of the e-weekly.
Only Strong Families Do Strong Prayer
prayer (from Latin precārius "obtained by entreaty") [entreaty = earnest request, appeal, beg]
-the raising of one's mind and heart to God
Vocal Prayer (from Latin vocalis, from voc-, vox "voice" = "obtain by entreaty with voice")
-set prayer offered exteriorly (by mouth) by an individual
[The use of some set formulas a person employs using verbal expressions that are not, at the time, the immediate product of communication with God.]
Mental Prayer (from Greek menos "spirit" = "obtain by entreaty with spirit")
(also from Late Latin mentalis, from Latin ment-, mens "mind,")
-one's own prayer offered interiorly with mind, heart, soul, and strength
[In mental prayer the three powers of the soul are engaged: the memory, which offers the mind material for meditation; the intellect, which ponders or directly perceives the meaning of some religious truth and its implications for practice; and the will, which freely expresses its sentiments of faith, trust, and love, and (as needed) makes good resolutions based on what the memory and intellect have made known to the will. Mental Prayer is a form of meditation consisting in the application of the various faculties of the soul, memory, imagination, intellect, and will, to the consideration of some mystery, principle, truth, or fact, with a view to exciting proper spiritual emotions and resolving on some act or course of action regarded as God's will and as a means of union with Him.]
Contemplative Prayer (Latin contemplatus, past participle of contemplari, from com- + templum space marked out for observation of signs from God = "awaiting a sign or gift from God after obtaining by entreaty")
-gift of 'prayer' from God given to the one who perseveres in prayer
[Contemplative Prayer is a gift from God and cannot be acquired or forced. It might be viewed as intimate communion with God.]
Mobile (Cell) Phone Etiquette
Mobile phones are wonderful tools and can even save lives, but as Grandma used to say, all things in their proper order. Here are some essentials:
1) Love the person you are with. Do NOT answer a mobile phone while with someone OR do NOT put someone on hold unless necessity demands that you take that call. In that case, try to tell the person, you might get a call when you are with them.
2) Leave your phone in the car or at home. Do NOT take your phone with you when going to places of worship, public leisure or performances, or visiting others. (Or for an emergency use sake, set the phone to silent.)
3) Be prudent when using mobile phone appropriately out of the house. Be careful not to talk loud, get emotional, or reveal things that should be kept hidden while talking to someone else in public locations. Give your time and attention to the one you are speaking to on the phone. Make sure your ring tones are not too loud.
4) Drive your car while you are driving. If you need the ability to use your cell phone while in your vehicle, pick up a headset, ear bud, bluetooth, etc to leave your hands and eyes available for the road
A Beginners Guide to Catholic Mental Prayer
This is a practical guide to explain and assist you through the steps to this powerful means of union with God.
[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.
After Sunday Mass, host a time of fellowship (once a month or every week) that is run by the parish organizations that includes, donuts, fruit, breakfast bars or other food. For Saturday night, maybe a soup supper can be hosted by 5-6 people supplying the soup, sandwiches.
People join in fellowship and get to know each other and grow from the food of the Eucharist (Holy Mass), by then sharing a meal together. Parish organizations can get their name, their work, who they are and recruit members by speaking with those who come through the line. Banners or information can be available on tables where people sit for people to take or pass on.
Consult and ask if it is okay with your Parish Priest. The Pastoral Council or a staff member might be able to schedule and coordinate groups to rotate doing the setup, serving and clean up. The coordinating person can give written instructions and remind the organization's leader each time or hand them a schedule. Organization leader then gets people at a monthly meeting. Parish can pay for the donuts, fruit, food, or the organization can. Cups, napkins, etc. can be supplied by the parish possibly bought in bulk and used each time Donut Fellowship Sunday is had.
By Hannah Brockhaus
The pope announced the date of the young Italian’s canonization during an ordinary public consistory at the Vatican July 19. The canonization will take place alongside six others, including that of Bl. Oscar Romero and Bl. Pope Paul VI, who presided over Sulprizio’s beatification.
At the beatification Dec. 1, 1963, Paul VI said that Bl. Nunzio Sulprizio teaches us that “the period of youth should not be considered the age of free passions, of inevitable falls, of invincible crises, of decadent pessimism, of harmful selfishness. Rather, he will tell you how being young is a grace…”
“He will tell you that no other age than yours, young people, is as suitable for great ideals, for generous heroism, for the coherent demands of thought and action,” the pope continued. “He will teach you how you, young people, can regenerate the world in which Providence has called you to live, and how it is up to you first to consecrate yourselves for the salvation of a society that needs strong and fearless souls.”
Sulprizio said it was “God’s Providence” that cared for him during his short life, and would say, “Jesus endured so much for us and by his merits eternal life awaits us. If we suffer a little bit, we will taste the joy of paradise” and “Jesus suffered a lot for me. Why should I not suffer for him?”
Born in the Italian region of Abruzzo in 1817, Sulprizio learned the faith from a priest at the local school he attended and from his maternal grandmother.
He was orphaned before the age of six, and after the death of his grandmother three years later, went to live with an uncle, who took him on as an apprentice blacksmith, not permitting him to attend school anymore.
His uncle also mistreated him, sending him on long errands, beating him, and withholding meals if he thought things were not done correctly or the boy needed discipline. The young Sulprizio would take consolation in Eucharistic adoration and in praying the rosary.
While still very young, he contracted an infection in one of his legs, causing intense and constant pain, with a puss-oozing sore. Due to a lack of proper medical care, the boy developed gangrene, and was sent to a hospital in Naples. There he would unite his pain with Christ’s suffering on the cross, also helping his fellow patients.
During this time, Sulprizio was introduced to a colonel who treated him like a son and helped pay for his medical treatments. While in the hospital, the young man was visited by a priest who prepared him for his first confession and Holy Communion.
He also met St. Gaetano Errico, an Italian priest and founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, who promised him he could enter the religious order when he was old enough.
Though he experienced periods of increasing health, Sulprizio contracted bone cancer. His leg was amputated, but it did not help, and he died from the illness shortly after his 19th birthday in 1836. One of the last things he told his friend, the colonel, was, “be cheerful. From heaven I will always be helping you.”
Besides Bl. Pope Paul VI and Bl. Oscar Romero, the other canonizations to take place Oct. 14 are Bl. Francesco Spinelli, a diocesan priest and founder of the Institute of the Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament; Bl. Vincenzo Romano, a diocesan priest from Torre de Greco in Italy; Bl. Maria Caterina Kasper, a German nun and founder of the Institute of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ; and Nazaria Ignazia of Saint Teresa of Jesus, founder of the Congregation of the Misioneras Cruzadas de la Iglesia Sisters.
The 2018 Synod of Bishops, a gathering of bishops from around the world, will take place Oct. 3-28 in Rome on the topic of young people, the faith and vocational discernment.
A father shares insights about how families can foster religious vocations
by Brendan Glasgow
It is a tremendous joy and blessing to have two sons attending St. John Paul II Seminary in Washington, D.C. Brendan Jr. entered the seminary as part of the new school's inaugural class in the fall of 2011. James followed him in the fall of 2014.
When Brendan entered, I knew I did not control his vocation and learned to simply let go. I asked the Holy Spirit and Mother Mary to guide him in his discernment and spiritual formation.
Since then, I have not experienced any anxiety about what the future holds for my two sons because God is so evidently with them. My wife, Beth, and I are incredibly joyful as we witness our sons' response to God's call. Their openness is truly inspiring. There was a time when I helped teach and guide them in their faith, but now I learn from them - a role reversal that has been both humbling and rewarding.
Some say there is a crisis of vocations, but I believe the real crisis is in responding to the call. With two of my boys on the path to priesthood, I am sometimes asked for my "secret." I respond that three persons are most responsible - the Holy Spirit, Mother Mary and my wife. Brendan and James were both homeschooled through high school, and my wife was their first and most important catechist. Her love and knowledge of the faith planted the seed, and her wisdom and devotion taught them how to live the faith daily by word and deed. In addition, I cannot overemphasize the importance of family prayer for fostering vocations, whether to the priesthood, religious life or marriage.
About 20 years ago, I first heard the family described as a "domestic church." This spoke deeply to me and changed how I viewed family life. While I am my sons' biological father, their creator and spiritual father is the Lord. My role is to pass on the faith to them by instruction and example. When Brendan first told us that he was applying to seminary, my spirit rejoiced. His heavenly Father knew better than I what he should do with his life, and my expectations for him were no longer relevant.
For James, the path was less direct. He entered The Catholic University of America as a physics major, switched to math, and then decided to enter seminary at the end of his junior year while spending a semester in Ireland. While we were aware that he was considering the priesthood, God led James to that decision in his own time, and that fact also brought us much joy.
One thing that has helped to foster our sons' vocations has been to invite priests and religious into the home. My wife has done this exceptionally well. Her invitations and hospitality to priests and religious sisters resulted in the boys seeing them as ordinary men and women who opened their lives to God's grace. They didn't view priests as distant figures on the altar with whom they had no connection; rather, they learned what life as a priest was like, and the extraordinary impact that one man can have on the parish community and beyond.
In the seminary, Brendan and James receive wonderful human and spiritual formation and a solid academic education. They are taught by dedicated priests who inspire them by example, and they share their lives with brother seminarians who are also a source of grace, fellowship and wisdom.
I encourage parents who may be unsure or anxious about how to respond to a child's interest in the priesthood or religious life to remain confident that the Lord knows what their vocation should be. He will lead them if you prepare and encourage them to respond to the call. Remember what Mary said to the servants at Cana: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5).
BRENDAN GLASGOW lives in Olney, Md., where he is a member of Father Peter Paul Maher Council 6793. He and his wife, Beth, are the parents of seven children.
-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?
I marked the spot - 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!?!?"
A Child's Point of View!
The story of Adam and Eve was being carefully explained in the children's Sunday School class. Following the story, the children were asked to draw some picture that would illustrate the story. Little Bobby drew a picture of a car with three people in it. In the front seat was a man and in the back seat, a man and a woman. The teacher was at a loss to understand how this illustrated the lesson of Adam and Eve. Little Bobby was prompt with his explanation. "Why, this is God driving Adam and Eve out of the garden!"
Falling Off The Horse
The old time pastor was galloping down the road, rushing to get to church on time. Suddenly his horse stumbled and pitched him to the ground. In the dirt with a broken leg, the pastor called out, "All you saints in Heaven, help me get up on my horse!
Then, with superhuman effort, he leaped onto the horse's back and fell off the other side.
Once again on the ground, he called to Heaven, "All right, just half of you this time!"
The Pastor had just put up his "Shut OFF all Mobile Phones and Electronic Devices" sign in the back of church during the week. At Mass, a cell phone rings in the assembly. The embarrassed person does not reach to shut it off not wanting to draw attention to himself.
The priest finally says out loud, "That better be God calling!"
How to Deal With The Issue
A friend of mine recently sought counsel for an issue in his life, and came back to me with this funny report...
"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start.
So far today, I have finished 2 bags of chips and a chocolate cake.
I feel better already."
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 5th, 2018
The First Reading- Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "Would that we had died at the LORD's hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!" Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not. "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread, so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God." In the evening quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning a dew lay all about the camp, and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, "What is this?" for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, "This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat."
Are we there yet? I’m hungry! I’m thirsty! Long trips are hard. It was no different for Moses taking the Hebrew people from slavery to a home of their own than it sometimes is for parents taking children on a vacation or day trip. Traveling can make people cranky and frustrated. The Hebrews were so out of sorts they blamed Moses and said they’d rather be slaves than be on that journey. God took care of them and gave them a food called manna so that they wouldn’t give up.
Adults - Life is full of ups and downs. What empowers you to help those you love through their struggles?
Teens - We walk alongside the people God puts in our lives in many ways - sometimes this walk is pleasant and sometimes it is hard. What helps you not give up on people you love in the hard times?
Kids - Do you get cranky on long car rides or trips? What can you do to make the trips more pleasant?
Responsorial- Psalm 78: 3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
R.The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
We will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
and the wonders that he wrought.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
-Take a moment this week to be extra grateful for the food you eat.
The Second Reading- Ephesians 4: 17, 20-24
Brothers and sisters: I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; that is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God's way in righteousness and holiness of truth.
Saint Paul reminds us here that our lives must look different than the ways of the world. We are called to be in the world but not of it, and to witness to Our Lord by how we live our lives.
Regarding Paul’s letter today, what are some ways that you, throughout your life, have “put away the old self of your former way of life” and “put on the new self?” What events made you make those changes?
The Holy Gospel according to John 6: 24-35
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." So they said to him, "What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat." So Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." So they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."
Today’s Gospel begins a five week breakdown of the “Bread of Life Discourse” which is chapter six of the Gospel of John. Jesus had just fed thousands of people in the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and now they followed him because they wanted more food. He told them that regular food is good, but it’s not enough. We need to accept the food that God offers us in Jesus — the Eucharist — so that we won’t get too tired on our journeys and so that we can help people along on their journeys, too. When we let God feed us spiritually, we will always have what we need.
Adults -Reflect this week on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Are you consciously aware that you are in the presence of Almighty God when you enter the Church?
Teens -Do you have questions about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist? Have a conversation with your Pastor or a trusted Spiritual Leader about those questions.
Kids - How many wicker baskets did the Apostles have left over? How many Apostles were there?
Homily Introducting to Mental Prayer
First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity. -Second Reading
Where is the quiet and tranquil life? Are we offer prayer and supplications?
It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument. -Second Reading
Men, MEN, you are the ones in the family that are to say, 'its time to pray,' or 'let's get ready for Mass.' Men, it is your job, not your wife or children to say. Men are to be the leaders of prayer in the family!
Pray together, stay together
Couples, do you pray together. If not, why not
God at the center Who is at the center of your life?
Pray simply and humbly
My dad recently said to me, "Only strong families are going to make it today." You know there might have been a time when we could go through the motions of life, do the minimum be Catholic in name only and get by, but those times are past. Only strong families, and only strong prayer is going to make it today.
"The Eucharist . . . is the greatest gift in the order of grace and of sacrament that the divine Spouse has offered and unceasingly offers to His spouse" (John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae 121. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the source and summit of the whole Christian life and contains the entire wealth of the Church (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11, Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5). Yet it is possible for one to attend Mass and 'get nothing out of it.' Why is this?
I don't get anything out of Mass. Why do I have to go to Church?
People pray Rosary, attend Mass often, do good works, but still struggle with vice, addiction, habitual sin, no change. Prayer does not seem to be enough. What is needed? MENTAL PRAYER
The reason: people do not know how to meditate; they do not know how to engage in mental prayer.
"Mental prayer is the blessed furnace in which souls are inflamed with the love of God. All the saints have become saints by mental prayer" (St. Alphonsus de Liguori).
Vocal Prayer - External intention and direction to God
Mental Prayer - What we give to God
Contemplative Prayer - What God gives us
The Church's Canon Law says that "Priests . . . are to be conscientious in devoting time regularly to mental prayer" (Canon 276, §2). Holy Mother Church also teaches lay people to travel the way of mental prayer in the Second Vatican Council's decree on the laity: "Only by the light of faith and by meditation on the Word of God can one always and everywhere recognize God in Whom 'we live, and move, and have our being' (Acts 17:28), seek His will in every event, see Christ in everyone" (Apostolicam Actuositatem, 4).
What is Mental Prayer?
-Keep attention on God
-Heart, mind, soul, and strength on God
-Engage mind in imagination to paint more real picture
-Attention is kept
[Meditation is a form of mental prayer consisting in the application of the various faculties of the soul, memory, imagination, intellect, and will, to the consideration of some mystery, principle, truth, or fact, with a view to exciting proper spiritual emotions and resolving on some act or course of action regarded as God's will and as a means of union with Him.]
The function of mental prayer then, is to study the features of the life of Jesus and to beg the Holy Spirit to fashion our lives according to this resplendent pattern.
Keeping constantly in mind who you are and whom you are addressing.
Prayer Mental Prayer everyday
10 Minutes in the classroom of silence.
Either your will give up vice or sin, or you will give up Mental Prayer