Wednesday, March 11, 2009

God's Path for Me ... Beginning of a New Life

As I look back, it amazes me how intricately involved God and Mary have been in my life. We hear through God's Word that He knows the number of hairs on your head. What is amazing is that it changes from minute to minute. Hair falls out or is shaved off. New hair grows back or a cell dies and becomes dormant. So we never know from minute to minute or second to second how many hairs we have ... but God, in His infinite wisdom and love for us, does.

He loves us so much that there is no problem too small that He wants to hear about. We think we can only take those grandiose problems that we can not find an answer or solution. However, He wants to know how our day went; what we were feeling; the good things that happened; the anger we felt; the joy; the pain ... He wants it all ... totally and completely.

To be asked by God to join Him is an enormous responsibility and a great privilege. My prayer is that I can successfully complete His will as He requests.

I greatly appreciated your prayers and support during my discernment. As I take this first step tomoorow, joining Him through the Trinitarian Order, I will keep you all in my prayers. Please know that during my Postulancy, I am given limited access to the Internet so my blogging will be few and far between. Please be patient.

God Bless you all!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lenten Message - CatholiCity

I received this from CatholiCity and thought it was very well written - thought I'd share.

The CatholiCity Message
Volume XIII,
Number 2
Special Lenten Edition

Dear CatholiCity Citizen,

Our only purpose today is to help you begin your Lent well. Remember the initials YBLE: Your Best Lent Ever. Before we start, we saved a really, really, really good insight for last, entitled "YOU ARE NOT DEAD." Hmmnn.


This is one message you may want to forward to your friends and relatives--before Ash Wednesday is over. Let us being with...a conceit.

Huh? A what?
What is a "conceit"?

As some of us may recall from English class in the olden days, a conceit, according the fourth definition of the third meaning of the noun in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, is (drumroll): "an organizing principle"

A Lent well-lived needs an organizing principle. May we suggest that your conceit for Lent 2009--your organizing principle--be to: Go. For. It.


Go For It!

We only have so many years on this earth, and to waste a Lent is just plain subpar for a believing Catholic. Challenge yourself spiritually in 2009. Choose extra *difficult* mortifications. Give up your very very most favorite things. Fast more often than ever before in your life. Commit to prayer or Mass or Good Friday devotions like never before in your life. Do not fall for the sadly common temptation to slide into this worldwide season of extraordinary grace like a wet towel into a hamper.

By the way, you know the Pope is going to kick petard this Lent. This is the only time of year when it is, in fact, a good idea to be more Catholic than the pope.

Pope Benedict XVI practically invented the Conceit.
He was going for it, like, over eighty years ago.

So plan today, right now, to look back on April 12, 2009 (Easter Sunday) with the wonderful sensation of knowing that you did your very, very best to grow closer to Jesus. That you did not squander another Lent. And let us know, on April 13, how It was goed for for you.

(Yes, if you read that slowly, it makes sense. Sort of.)


Some of you are psyched. Some of you are groaning. Others are nodding (hopefully in agreement, not into sleep). Many stopped reading after the word "conceit."

And, now, for some suggestions. Please forgive us for listing some of the "usual suspect" suggestions. Our goal below is to make you tremble in fear: "Oh no, not that! I can't give up that!"

Yeah, we (and you) are looking for the Perfect Oh No Not That to give up because this year, our conceit is Go For It.

And remember, there is no prohibition from "doubling" up, or choosing three, five, or seven things for Lent 2009 (Your Best Lent Ever!).

We know that many of you have been intending to get off your duffs and do several of the following for years (and even decades--you know who you are).

We can only offer this bold encouragement because we are weak, slothful, wimpy, selfish, lazy, prideful, ashamed, and cowardly. Here are some suggestions to get into the spirit of GO FOR IT, followed by helpful hints, resources and comments...

1. Pray the Rosary every day.
2. Receive Communion at Mass every day.
3. Go to Confession every Friday.
4. Pray the Family Rosary every day or once a week.
5. Pray in silence 20 minutes a day.
6. Make a Eucharistic visit every day.
7. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet (at 3:00 PM) every day.
8. Fast on bread and water one to three times per week.
9. Read a spiritual book.
10. Give a painfully large donation to charity.
11. Give a donation to charity instead of buying something for you.
12. Pray "Jesus, I love you!" in the first waking seconds of the day.
13. Listen to Catholic CDs.
14. Do something major to improve your marriage.
15. Volunteer anywhere: at your kid's school, homeless shelter16. Visit a home for the elderly
16. Give up something you absolutely love, crave, or spend time on, or that annoys the people you love, including:

-television or your favorite television show
-television before a certain hour
-television AFTER a certain hour
-diet soda
-chocolate, and anything with chocolate flavor
-all snacks or desserts
-movies, Netflix, movie rentals
-the Internet
-following your favorite sports team
-video games
-celebrity magazines
-golf (an objectively grave moral evil) (only kidding)
-watching golf on TV
-a destructive, irresistable "friendship"
-foul language
-picking your nose
-sports radio
-satellite radio
-music radio
-talk radio
-driving when you could walk
-sleeping in late on the weekends
-sleeping an "extra" ten minutes in the morning
-fast food drivethroughs
-not cooking breakfast for your kids
-shopping for clothes or food
-text messaging
-not stopping by your neighbors to say hello for weeks
-failing to visit or call your "not close by" relatives
-soap operas
-the beach (for those of you lucky enough to have one nearby)
-fishing, hunting, four
-wheeling, skateboarding-some of your "alone" time doing any hobby
-your absolute favorite, passionate hobby (aha, you just fainted!)
-nagging your husband (you know who you are)
-nagging your wife (she knows who you are)
-interrupting others
-not smiling when you arrive at the office
-knitting, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku
-knitting? (you addicts understand)
-cigarettes, cigars, gum, and "phony candy" breathmints
-cellphone calls in your car on the drive home
-bluetooth headset (harder than you think)
-fantasy football, basketball, or baseball
-eat your vegetables (even you adults)
-betting on March Madness
-gossiping at work
--say something nice instead
-stealing "little stuff" from your employer, including time online
-relations with your spouse (on certain days or weeks)
-thinking about yourself when you wake up or go to sleep (pray instead)
-thinking about yourself when you drive (pray instead)
-buying anything you don't need


That, ahem, should get you started.
We are also big advocates of children giving up video games and television.

Consider encouraging your little ones to abstain from meat on Friday and even to fast (using your parental judgment, under your supervision of course). Have them give 10% of their piggy bank into the collection basket.Let's review our conceit: GO FOR IT.


May we mildly suggest that you are not dead. You are not a corpse. You are alive. You are breathing.

Put your index finger into your bellybutton. Dig. That's lint.

This is Lent.
And Lent 2009 and it shall never come again, and it shall never *start* again, so that is why it is so important to have some courage on Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.

Lent is about changing, for forty days, how you live so you can grow closer to Jesus.


Our prayer is simple. Let us begin in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit..."

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

Please help me do my best, and by leadership or by example, help my family and friends, do their their best, this Lent. Because I love you and I want to love you more. Amen.


"Study the generations long past and understand;
has anyone hoped in the Lord and been disappointed?
Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken?
has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the Lord;
he forgives sins, he saves in time of troubleand he is a protector to all who seek him in truth."
Sir 2:5-11 (Reading for Tuesday, February 24, 2009)

"An honest man is the noblest work of God."
Alexander Pope

"I have done my part. May Christ teach you to do yours."
Saint Francis of Assisi, final words on his deathbed

"My Lord has suffered as much for me."
Savonarola, final words on his deathbed

"I have not behaved myself that I should be ashamed to live, nor am I afraid to die, because I have so good a master."
Saint Ambrose, final words on his deathbed

"Jesus! Jesus!"
Saint Joan of Arc, final words on her deathbed

Thank you for being an august citizen of CatholiCity, and for reading to the sweet end.
Next time we write, it shall be in the middle of Lent, in the fray, so to speak, of Lent 2009.
Meet us there, going for it.With Immaculate Mary,Your Friends at CatholiCity____________________________________________________


Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Day has come

The D-Day has been determined .... March 12th. Yes, in one month I will be officially entering the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity.

And guess what - it's the feast day of St. Maximilian, no not St. Maximillian Kolbe, but St. Maximilian son of Fabius. He was beheaded because he refused to join the Roman army.

Also the feast day of St. Seraphina.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Action Needed ... - STOP HR 645 - A rather scary piece of legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives entitled HR 645. Also known as the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act. ...

A friend of mine, who is in the military, alerted me to this. Your action is urgently needed regarding H.R. Bill 645

New Blog in Town

Check out the new Blog -

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Anyone in & around Cleveland
This evening at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine (Euclid, OH)
Rosary & Mass
Mass celebrated by Bishop Pevec


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To All Parents of Religious

I found this article, 'To All Parents of Religious', on Catholic Exchange. I also shared it with my parents...who 'can now start their life of crime.' Okay, maybe not. :-)

To All Parents of Religious

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, February 6, 2009

Challenges & Thanksgiving

My parents and I were supposed to attend the retreat at Our Sorrowful Mother's Ministries in Vandalia, IL this weekend. However, other plans were made. Someone stole my check card number and started purchasing things off of the internet - over $700! Tack on the insufficient funds charges and it's over $1000! So all Thursday afternoon, I was at the Bank, closing my account, canceling my check card, opening other accounts and check card, counting up charges and fees, and plotting next steps. It has been a true nightmare! I do have to say that the Bank has been very gracious and helpful - so much so that the Personal Banker that I was working with, worked through her lunch to help me. I am indebted to her gift of mercy!

Late afternoon Thursday, I visited the local Police Department and submitted a report. During my discussion with the Officer, I discovered that this is considered a felony since it is over $500 worth of charges...thus a higher concern issued over this case.

Needless to say, I was quite bummed when I could not attend the retreat. However, God always opens a window/door/porthole when one closes. My parents and I visited Our Lady of Sorrows in Bellevue, OH (just south of Sandusky - Cedar Point area). I had never been to this Shrine, nor had my Father. It was amazing!


My parents prayed over me in front of the statue of the Pieta in the Chapel. Then, they 'gave' me to the Blessed Mother. It was an awesome experience! Knowing that my earthly Mother and Father have asked our Blessed Mother and God to take over the role of parenting. Wow!

I can only imagine this is what Priests must feel when they are consecrated. To know that their Mother and Father is now Mary, the Blessed Virgin, our Heavenly Mother, and God, the Father.


I talked with the Vocation Director at the Shrine this evening. C.T. and I have rescheduled our meeting with her to Saturday, February 14th. If I need to drive to get C.T. and bring her to this meeting, I will. *grin* One way or another, we are going to have this meeting on February 14th!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes - February 3 - 11

The Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes began yesterday, Tuesday, February 3rd.


For those of you in/near Cleveland, the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes has Rosary and Mass every evening, starting at 7:00pm. The Shrine is located at 21281 Chardon Road, Euclid, OH. Everyone is welcome!

Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine - Euclid

O Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, you are the refuge of sinners, the health of the sick, and the comfort of the afflicted. You know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. By your appearance at the Grotto of Lourdes you made it a privileged sanctuary where your favors are given to people streaming to it from the whole world. Over the years countless sufferers have obtained the cure for their infirmities -- whether of soul, mind, or body. Therefore I come to you with limitless confidence to implore your motherly intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests. Through gratitude for Your favors, I will endeavor to imitate Your virtues, that I may one day share in Your glory. Amen.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Christmas Scene

Every Christmas we have a gift exchange with the extended family on my mom's side. The theme this year was to bring something handmade. My Dad originally made a Christmas Scene out of wood - however, when he was finished, he liked it so well, he decided to keep it and make something else out of wood.

My sister received the Christmas Scene.

The picture on the right shows the detail of the wood, whereas the picture on the left shows how it looks with the light from behind.

He has been doing some amazing things!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Called to be Saints

I woke up early this morning and could not get back to sleep. As I was trying to relax, a thought kept entering my mind - saints.

We are all called to become saints. But what does this mean exactly? Should we give up everything, like the Apostles, and follow Jesus? Should we sell everything and give to the poor? Should we seek out those who are persecuted and give our lives for them?

I seriously doubt this is what God had in mind when He calls us to become saints. For 'seeking' to become a saint when we are not following the path God leads for us, we fail in our efforts.

So what does it mean to be a saint? St. Maximillian, my patron, received a message from Mary - to take a white crown or red. He chose both. What about St. Therese, St. Faustina, or St. Gemma? All virgins and all received messages from God. Does the message make them a saint? Does the fact that St. Max chose both crowns?

Do you have to be a Priest or Religious to be a saint? What about St. Jane de Chantel or St. Theophano? Both were married yet became saints - and there are many others.

It's not in the extraordinary things that they became's in the ordinary. They all chose to follow God's will wherever it led them. They chose to put God in front of everything else that happened.

They chose.

To be a saint is to choose to keep God in the foremost part of your life. To put Him first and to be thankful for everything that you have and do not have. It means to choose God's way, not your way.

It was not that these men and women were prophetic or virgins or married or had visions. It was that they cared more about God's will than their own. They cared more about the well-being of others and giving everything they had to help others.

We are called to be saints - not in the extraordinary, but in the ordinary.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Picture of Mary

My Dad made this picture of Madonna & Child out of wood! It is truly remarkable - this picture does not do the craftsmanship justice.

The Madonna & Child are in the middle of the Jesse Tree. Below is a view of Jerusalem.

I thought you'd enjoy viewing.

Sister ... In Waiting...

They say patience is a virtue ... well, God is REALLY testing me on this virtue!

The meeting this morning did not happen. Not because of lack of planning - car trouble.
C.T. was having car problems - she could not get into her car because her locks were frozen. She called her parents who live nearby - and even the de-icer would not work. They called AAA, however, someone would not be able to get there until 2-3 hours.


The Vocation Director and I talked a bit while I was there. We are going to try to reschedule yet again so the 3 of us can meet. In the mean-time, it is looking like late February, early March when I will be entering. You got it ... in A MONTH!

This is going to be very difficult for me because this will be the first time I will be away from my family for Easter....I will be with my new family.

I know it's all in God's time - and so far, He's been doing the planning. We're just trying to keep up with Him.

Update on P.H.'s brother - he was in ICU - he stablized and the doctors sent him home. Without getting into any details, he needs many, many prayers. He's angry, confused, and needs God's guidance. Child Welfare is going to be called to assist the daughter who witnessed the event. She is currently in good hands and safe. Please continue to pray for the entire family.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thanksgiving & Prayers


Wanted to give an update on C.T. - SHE PASSED HER SOCIAL WORK BOARDS!!!!!
Thank you all for your prayers!


A good friend of mine, 'T.H.', needs your prayers - actually her entire family needs your prayers.
Her brother and his wife were having marital problems...there are many issues involved and several children, one of whom is still living at home and in high school. The wife stabbed the husband with a knife yesterday morning....collapsing one lung and nicking the aorta. He is in the hospital and alive.

Please keep not only their family, but the entire H. clan in your prayers. This has hit the family really hard. The youngest is currently staying with relatives but in emotional turmoil. Apparently, just before this happened, she was yelling at her father and told him that she hates him. We know this was an emotional outburst and that she really did not mean it - but then the incident occurred and she's really torn inside.

Please say an extra Hail Mary for this family.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Hour Approaches...

Our meeting with the Vocation Director at the Trinitarians is quickly approaching. C.T. and I will be meeting with her, discussing the 'date' (the date that we will enter as Postulents) as well as other pertinent information.

Please pray for C.T. - she is taking her boards for Social Work this Friday.

I'll keep everyone updated on our next steps.

Thank you for all of your prayers!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just a bit o'humor

What happens to a dyslexic agnostic who has insomia?

She lays awake all night wondering if there really is a doG.

Monday, January 19, 2009

God is a Verb

Buckminster Fuller once said, 'God is a Verb'.

Exodus 3:14
God replied, "I am who am." Then he added,
"This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you."

I am reading The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. (actually, I read it in three days) - and now I am continuously contemplating its message. One of the many points that struck me was that God defined Himself as a verb. 'I am a verb. I am that I am. I will be who I will be. I am a verb! I am alive, dynamic, ever active, and moving. I am a being verb.'

Before this I never really thought about it before. God was God. The Holy Trinity. 3 Persons in One. Person being a noun; God the Name for all 3 Persons - also a noun. (For those of you who have heard the School House Rock! - you can sing with me - A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing).

The book continues: 'And my very essence is a verb. I am more attuned to verbs than nouns. Verbs such as confessing, repenting, living, loving, responding, growing, reaping, changing, sowing, running, dancing, singing, and on and on.'

But the more I think about it - God introduces Himself to Moses as a verb - a form of 'Be'. 'I am Who Am'. God can not be anything other that He Who Is present, past, and future...He Who Is Now. He is the same with Moses as He was with Jesus as He is right now at this very moment, and will be for years to come. He will never change. He is incapable of changing. He Is.

The book continues: 'Humans, on the other hand, have a knack for taking a verb that is alive and full of grace and turning it into a dead noun or principle that reeks of rules: something growing and alive dies. Nouns exist because there is a created universe and physical reality, but if the universe is only a mass of nouns, it is dead. Unless 'I am', there are no verbs, and verbs are what make the universe alive.'

I could not stop thinking about this. Do we really take a perfectly good verb and make it into a dead noun?

Expectations vs Expectancy

God does not put expectations upon us. How could He? He already knows the present, past, and future. We could never disappoint Him. He loves us and we belong to Him. We are a part of He Who Is. We are made in His image and likeness. Like Him, we have a trinity within us - Mind, Body, and Spirit. Sound familiar? There was the Word. And the Word became flesh. Mind - the Word. Spirit, the Soul, linked to the Holy Spirit. Body - God Who Is. God does not put expectations upon us - we do that very well on our own.

Relationship vs Relations

Think about it - relationship, relations. Relationship, relations. It is so true - relationship does sound dead when compared to relations. God does not want a relationship with us - He wants continuous relations with us. Relations where we include Him in every part of our life. He is the Sun of our universe - where everything revolves around Him and without Him, nothing will be.

How little I understood, and still understand, about God. God is a verb! His essence is a verb!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Listening - the Lost Art

A Priest that I know often sends an email to several people asking for feedback on his sermon idea for the following Sunday. This Sunday's homily is on 'Listening'. Here were my thoughts:

Listening.... it's becoming a 'lost art'

The thing about listening - is that I have to stop talking in order to listen.
Listening to God - I have to stop telling God what I want before I can hear what He wants for me.

And sometimes, listening means that I have to accept criticism - even from the Church (ecclesial & Magesterial). Lately, many Priests are receiving criticism from parishioners & Bishops for speaking the Truth about what the Church teaches and how we, as children of God, should live our lives. My take on this - the Priests and Bishops are our Shepherds. They are the ones that are trying to save our souls so that we can live with the Holy Trinity, the Angels, the Saints, our Heavenly Mother in the next life - in Heaven. Without them, we would be lost.

And if a Priest told me something that I need to work on and I am offended - actually, I should be thanking God for him being here to guide me so that I can become holy. If I am offended - that leads toward pride, which is not of God. This also means that I need to listen ... really listen to what God is telling me through that Priest.

This also goes for the Laity - it is our jobs to help guide others toward holiness. It's not just the Priests - we, as the ecclesial Body of Christ, need to listen to what Christ, the head of this Body, is telling us.

But listening has become very difficult to do -
I get up in the morning, I have the radio on. I eat breakfast at the computer, reading the stories for the day. I get to the train, conversations of others are overheard and the stops are announced. I get to Tower City, music is playing. I get to work, the phones are ringing, meetings are held, cell phones and pagers are going off, emails are read, etc. I get home around 7pm and eat dinner in front of the TV, family and friends call, friends come over, neighbors chat.... we have become such a 'turned on' society that we 'turn off' listening because it happens every minute of every day.

When do we actually MAKE time to pray? When do we MAKE time to listen to God?
Without a synthetic connection to God - like email, pager, phone, TV program - He is tuned out because we can't stand silence. And silence is what is needed when we talk to God.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Next Step ...

Ok, I have to admit, I am getting VERY excited!

The Vocation Director called me and wants to meet with C.T., the woman who is joining the Trinitarians at the same time as I am, and me to go over next steps. We will also be discussing the 'date' .... the date that we will enter as Postulents in the Trinitarian Order.

We are meeting on Saturday, January 31st!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Generations Lost

I recently read a book about 'paying it forward.' It's when you pay someone back by helping three other people in need. It's sorta like the '6 degrees of separation' in reverse.

If I help 3 people and ask them to pay it forward by helping 3 people...
they then each help 3 people in need....
conceivably, by the 5th 'generation', 363 people would have been helped (not including myself).

Don't believe me? Take a look.
Each triangle represents a person helped (do not count white triangles).

By the 10th generation, a total of 88,573 people would have been helped, including myself!
Eighty-eight THOUSAND!
Even my computer drawing abilities could not create that many triangles in one area.

Isn't it the same with families? Parents have children, who then have children of their own, who also have children. Generations! We've all heard of or seen the photographs representing 4 or 5 generations within one family. The stories, the laughter, the tears all because two people said 'yes' to God's plan, then two more, then two more. It's totally amazing.

Why is this important?

Just think - what if one, just one of those people were aborted?

Look at all of the lives that are lost because one person said 'no'.

Still don't get it?

There are 3700 infants aborted each day in the U.S. Yes, each day!
Which means, over 1.5 million aborted each year!

If, by paying it forward, I affect 363 people in 5 'generations', how many lives
would never be affected because of abortion?

Take the number of people within 5 generations: 363
Now, multiply that by 3700 (the number of abortions occurring per day in the U.S.)



(number of lives never affected per year because of abortion)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Urgent Novena against FOCA

Warning: Graphic Image below

A Catholic Mom in Hawaii posts the need for an urgent Novena against FOCA.
To learn more about FOCA, click here.
To say a novena (9 days of prayer) along with fasting starting on January 11th.
For Catholics, the prayer of choice will be the Rosary with intentions to stop the FOCA.
For non Catholics I encourage you to pray your strongest prayers with the same intentions, also for nine consecutive days.

The hope is that this will branch andblossom as to become a global effort with maximum impact.
We have verylittle time so we all must act fast.

Just do three things:

1) Pass this letter to 5 or more people
2) Do it in three days or less
3) Start the novena on January 11th and pray for nine consecutive days.
(Please also fast for at least two days during the novena)

Remember that with God all things are possible and the power of prayer is undeniable.
If you are against the senseless killing of defenseless children then the time is now to do something about it!

8 weeks in the womb:

7 Month Aborted Fetus:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Introductory & Penitential Rites

For one of my Bible studies, I had to research the Introductory Rite and Penitential Rite.
Here is some of what I learned.

  • Objective Truth to the Mass: that by Divine Power, through the instrumentation of the Priest, acting in persona Christi, bread and wine are changed into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

The graces we receive from this Sacrament depend on our receptivity, our disposition, and our readiness to receive them.

  • We receive grace to the extent that we are prepared to receive.
  • We must be in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion (not be conscious of any mortal sins).
  • If we receive worthily (in a state of grace), along with the Body & Blood of Christ and many graces, we also receive numerous blessings, including the gift of our redemption.
  • We must purify our soul before receiving Holy Communion

Introductory Rite

Entrance Procession:
Represents our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem.
When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on a donkey, he processed through the streets to shouts of joy & victory. The crowed, who held palm branches, welcomed Him in song (once a year this is presented liturgically on Palm Sunday)

For centuries the Priest would arrive at the steps of the Sanctuary and recite Psalm 42 along with the altar boy: ‘Introibo ad altare Dei. Ad Deum qui lactificat iuventutem meam.’ Our Lord and King is about to enter the Sanctuary in order to defeat evil, sin and Satan once again. The entrance procession is a time for joy & victory, for our salvation is near!

  • Upon entering the Sanctuary (of Jerusalem), the Priest and ministers genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Tabernacle and make a profound bow toward the altar.
  • The Celebrant, Concelebrating Priests, and Deacons then reverence the altar with a kiss.
  • The altar, which takes central importance in the Sanctuary, has always been the greatest sign for Christ, whose body became the altar upon which He would sacrifice Himself to the Father. It is the focal point of the Holy Mass.
  • The altar may receive the first incensation (3 others may follow during the Mass). The incense prepares the altar for sacrifice and may be used in any Mass.

Following the Sign of the Cross

Congregation is greeted through Sacred Scripture (epistles of St. Paul)

Priest: “The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”
- or -
“The grace and peace of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you”
- or -
“The Lord be with you”

Bishop: “Peace be with you”
By virtue of his office as Vicar of Christ, recalling the inaugural words of Our Lord to his apostles after his resurrection. (John 20: 19 – 23)

Congregation responds: “And also with you” (or more precisely translated, ‘And with your spirit’)

This completes the first dialogue of the Mass, expressing reciprocal conversation between Christ, the head, and the Church, His Mystical Body.

Penitential Rite

From the beginning to the end, Mass is a prayer, the highest prayer known to mankind. Mass teaches us how to pray.

In the Penitential Rite, we are in the midst of a conversation on prayer
The primary movement of prayer in the Mass is one of humility. In imitation of Christ, the Son of God, who humbled Himself to become man; take upon Himself our sins; undergo the Passion, crucifixion, and death on our behalf, we must humble ourselves.

The Church seeks to imitate the humility of Christ by first recognizing our sins and acknowledging the fact that we are sinners in desperate need of God’s abundant mercy.

  • We pause, examine our conscience in silence, and ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
  • Recall individual sins
  • Become aware of our overall need for forgiveness and mercy for the sins that we have committed and the good we have omitted, which we may have forgotten.
  • Prepare our souls to abandon our old sinful habits and seek the grace and mercy that God has prepared for us in receiving his Body and Blood in Holy Communion.

Penitential Rite does not grant absolution for mortal sins. It does help us to receive forgiveness for our less serious sins, venial sins, which are forgiven when we receive Holy Communion with humility and love. (GIRM, 51)

One of 3 Prayers will be led by the Celebrant:

“I confess to Almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters,: that I have sinned through my own fault (Strike breast) in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and what I have failed to do. And I ask Blessed Mary, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.”

This is prayed as a community, confessing that we are guilty of sins in thought, word, and deed.
We seek the intercession of:

Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin, who was conceived without sin and remained sinless throughout her life

The Angels, who battle with Satan and defeat evil

The Saints, who were sinners like us, but cooperated with God’s grace and mercy to defeat their own sinfulness and persevered in holiness of life

Members of the Church Militant (the pilgrim Church on earth) (“and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord, our God.”)

Kyrie Eleison:
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison
(Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy)

This litany is the only surviving vestige of the Greek language remaining in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.

Comes straight from the Gospel.
A great healing by Christ is preceded by the humble cry of a beggar, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Matthew 15:21
Mark 10: 46 – 52
Luke 17: 13

This is where we find ourselves at the beginning of Mass – a poor beggar in need of mercy.This is why we approach the throne of our Heavenly Father in humility from the very beginning.

Instead of the Confiteor and Kyrie, Two other Prayers could be led by the Celebrant

Priest: [These or similar words] "My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries, let us call to mind our sins."
[Pause for silent reflection]
Priest: "Lord, we have sinned against you: Lord, have mercy."
People: Lord, have mercy.
Priest: "Lord, show us your mercy and love."
People: And grant us your salvation.
Priest: "May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life."
People: Amen.

-- OR --

Priest: [These or similar words] "My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries, let us call to mind our sins."
[Pause for silent reflection]
Priest, Deacon, Cantor or Choir: "You were sent to heal the contrite (or any other suitable invocation): Lord, have mercy."
People: Lord, have mercy.
Priest, Deacon, Cantor or Choir: "You came to call sinners (or any other suitable invocation): Christ, have mercy."
People: Christ, have mercy.
Priest, Deacon, Cantor or Choir: "You plead for us at the right hand of the Father (or any other suitable invocation): Lord, have mercy."
People: Lord, have mercy.
Priest: "May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
People: Amen."

Sprinkling Rite (Can be said at all Sunday Masses, Saturday evening Masses, and Holy Days of Obligation)

On Sundays, it is commendable that the rite of blessing and sprinkling holy water ("Asperges") should take the place of the penitential rite of the mass . . . so that the faithful may perceive the baptismal significance of this popular sacramental.

A holy water vessel and sprinkler (Picture) of ample proportions are easier to clean and to use. Water may be blessed in this vessel at the rite of the blessing and sprinkling at the beginning of a Sunday Mass.

A reasonably deep "bucket" with a moveable handle is more convenient. The sprinkler may take the form of a brush or of a hollow, perforated ball, perhaps containing a sponge. But the pocket-size sprinkler conveniently used in pastoral situations does not seem appropriate for celebrations in a church.

Priest: "Dear friends, this water will be used to remind us of our baptism. Let us ask God to bless it, and to keep us faithful to the Spirit he has given us. [Or similar words of introduction]"

Option A:
Priest: "God our Father, your gift of water brings life and freshness to the earth; it washes away our sins and brings us eternal life. We ask you now to bless this water, and to give us your protection on this day, which you have made your own. Renew the living spring of your life within us and protect us in spirit and body, that we may be free from sin and come into your presence to receive your gift of salvation. We ask this through Christ our Lord."
People: Amen.

Option B:
Priest: "Lord God almighty, creator of all life, of body and soul, we ask you to bless this water: as we use it in faith forgive our sins and save us from all illness and the power of evil. Lord, in your mercy give us living water, always springing up as a fountain of salvation: free us, body and soul, from every danger, and admit us to your presence in purity of heart. Grant this through Christ our Lord."
People: Amen.

Option C (during the Easter Season):
Priest: "Lord God almighty, hear the prayers of your people: we celebrate our creation and redemption. Hear our prayers and bless this water which give fruitfulness to the fields, and refreshment and cleansing to man. You chose water to show your goodness when you led your people to freedom through the Red Sea and satisfied their thirst in the desert with water from the rock. Water was the symbol used by the prophets to foretell your new covenant with us. You made the water of baptism holy by Christ's baptism in the Jordan: by it you give us a new birth and renew us in holiness. May this water remind us of our baptism, and let us share the joy of all who have been baptized at Easter. We ask this through Christ our Lord."
People: Amen.

[After blessing the water, the priest moves through the church sprinkling all of the people while an antiphon or other song is sung. When the sprinkling and the song is finished, the priest concludes this rite as follows:]

Priest: "May almighty God cleanse us of our sins, and through the Eucharist we celebrate make us worthy to sit at his table in his heavenly kingdom."
People: Amen.

[This rite is commonly celebrated during the Easter Season, but may also be used at other times. When it is used, the Penitential Rite is omitted, and the Mass continues with the Gloria (on most Sundays and solemnities) or with the Opening Prayer (during Advent and Lent, and on weekdays).]

The Penitential Rite has become one of my favorite parts of the Mass. I know that I do not deserve what God is about to give me, but I also know that HE can make me whole again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Adult Women 'Playing House' with Fake Babies

I read this article on Channel 7's website - 'Adult Women Play House with Fake Babies.'

Yes, you read that correctly... women are using fake babies to fill a void in their life.

"Some women are even going as far as taking day trips with the fake babies to the park, out to eat, and even hosting birthday parties for them. Forty-nine-year-old Linda is married with no children of her own. Now, she says she feels like a mother because she has Reborns -- dolls made to look and feel like the real thing.

"It's not a crazy habit, like, you know, drinking, or some sort of, something that's going to hurt you. It's like a hobby.and it doesn't really hurt anybody," Linda said. These women are paying big bucks for this hobby, from $100 to a few thousand dollars. For Reborn owner Lachelle Moore, the fake babies fill a void.

"What's so wonderful about Reborns is that, um, they're forever babies," said Moore, who has grown children and grandchildren. "There's no college tuition, no dirty diapers... just the good part of motherhood," she added.

This is so disheartening! These women are not only hurting themselves but also their families. They are missing the mark!

They are also missing out on all of the joys, laughter, and excitement of having children, seeing them grow up to be toddlers, boys and girls, teenagers, young adults, and finally adults....where the cycle then continues. Yes, there are times of pain and suffering, nights that you are up until the wee hours of the morning praying that your child is safe, heartaches and disappointments.

But it is those times when you see your child succeed in something that has been a struggle in the past, the laughter they bring to the family, the hugs willingly given, the 'I love you mom', and seeing them blossom into beautiful children of God that makes parenting worth while.

There are so many children in fostercare and orphanages that NEED and WANT a family to be loved as a son or daughter. It is so sad that these mothers feel that they can only get the love from a baby doll rather than from their husband or family. They need our prayers! Motherhood/parenting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world ... and it can not be substituted by a doll.

Please pray for these women.