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
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.
P.S.S. www.RomanCatholicGoodNews.com/ is a website that has the Roman Catholic Good News from previous weeks along with multiple homilies. Please take a look and pass on if you think others would benefit.
Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of ...
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - usccb.org
...and the Ancient One took his throne. and myriads upon myriads attended him. The court was convened and the books were opened. As the visions during the night ...
For the Holy Gospel and homily from a former Sunday on Mental Prayer (13 minutes):
(it may take a while to load, please be patient or cut and paste this website address in your browser address bar):
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.
Why the Knights of Columbus Will Resettle Iraqi ChristiansBy Matt Hadro
St. Louis, Mo., Aug 4, 2017 / 03:55 pm (EWTN News/CNA) -
The urgency of the problems facing displaced Iraqi Christians has driven a new campaign by the Knights of Columbus to resettle an entire village in their homes, says a spokesman for the Knights.
The roughly 200,000 Christians still in Iraq – down from 1.5 million in 2003 – “are increasingly feeling a sense of hopelessness over the situation,” Andrew Walther, vice president of communications for the Knights of Columbus, told EWTN News on Thursday.
Even with Islamic State swept out of most of Iraq, many Christian families who lived in Mosul or on the nearby Nineveh Plain are not yet able to return to their homes, three years after being displaced by the group.
With their lives as internally displaced persons surpassing the three-year mark, “it was made very clear that if there weren’t concrete steps that showed people that moving home was possible in the next 30 to 60 days, there was a very good chance that many of them would just leave for other countries in the region, for wherever they could go,” Walther said.
The Knights of Columbus announced this week that it was beginning a $2 million drive to raise and donate money to resettle an entire village of families in Karemlesh, a town on the Nineveh Plain 18 miles outside Mosul. Most of the families are Chaldean or Syriac Christians, with some Shabak families, Walther said.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced the drive during his annual remarks on Tuesday at the 135th annual international convention of the Knights of Columbus. The group is an international Catholic men’s organization with over 1.9 million members in councils all over the world.
“Now we will ensure that hundreds of Christian families driven from their homes can return to these two locations and help to ensure a pluralistic future for Iraq,” Anderson said on Tuesday announcing the drive. 100 percent of the funds raised would go to help Christians rebuild their homes.
The Islamic State swept through large swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, giving families of Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities an ultimatum – convert to Islam, die, or leave.
“When ISIS took the town, everybody fled,” Walther said, and militants began their campaign of cultural genocide: burning homes, desecrating parishes, destroying Christian symbols, and even digging up the body of a local priest to desecrate his grave.
“They wanted not just to erase the Christians from the town, they wanted to erase whatever was reminiscent of Christianity from the town as well,” Walther said.
Many Christians fled eastward to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where around 70,000 Christians were living in and around the city of Erbil, dependent upon aid groups for their basic needs.
Since 2014, the Knights have already provided over $13 million in aid to Christians in Iraq and Syria who have suffered persecution, most notably at the hands of Islamic State.
The Knights also helped produce a report for the U.S. State Department, which requested it, detailing the violence and forced displacement inflicted upon Christians in Syria and Iraq. The report helped lead to the State Department declaring in March of 2016 that Islamic State was committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims in Iraq and Syria.
The Islamic State has since been forced back from much of the territory it gained, including the Nineveh Plain and Mosul. “With the departure of ISIS as a meaningful military force, you have a lot of new opportunities, in terms of rebuilding and resettling, that you didn’t have six months ago, three months ago,” Walther said.
Now, however, many Christians have still not been able to return to their homes, which were vandalized, damaged, or destroyed by Islamic State militants. Their future is in question as they are currently living as displaced persons in Kurdistan. The situation is so bleak that local Church leaders are saying that if something is not done to remedy the problem, Christians could leave Iraq for good.
If that is the case, it would be an ideological victory for Islamic State, whose “program was the de-Christianization of Iraq, the total obliteration of any religious minorities,” Walther said.
Furthermore, with Christians gone, it could further destabilize Iraq by helping eliminate religious pluralism. “Christians are an enormous example of forgiveness, and they’ve been praised by imams in Iraq, by television commentators in Egypt, for this capacity of forgiveness,” Walther said.
And if the Christians have no more roots in the land where they have lived for centuries, a priceless cultural vestige could be gone as well.
The government of Hungary has already given $2 million to move around 1,000 families back to the town of Telskuf, Walther said, providing a working example that such a plan can be successful.
“We have a proof of concept, we know this can work, and we know that if it worked in Telskuf, there’s no reason that it wouldn’t work in a town also in Nineveh that is also predominately Christian that also has its population in Erbil,” he said.
The money would go to provide materials for Christians to repair their homes from the destruction that Islamic State inflicted. “The families are actually putting their own lives back together with a little bit of assistance,” Walther said. “The idea is to make these houses habitable.”
And although a goal of $2 million is lofty, it is entirely within reach if parishes and communities all over the world pitch in, Walther said.
“An individual can do this,” he said. “A prayer group can do this. 20 people put in $100, you can send somebody home. This is one of those things where people can do a concrete, tangible action that is a meaningful step in saving Christianity in the Middle East.”
“It’s a model that can allow Christianity to be transplanted back to where it was,” Walther said. “It’s an early step, but it’s an important step if Christianity is going to survive in Iraq.”
Donations to the project can be made at www.christiansatrisk.org or via phone at 1-800-694-5713. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, the Knights said.
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!
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