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I Found True Peace in Sacred Silence

Adoration

Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance on the altar for Adoration with Tabernacle in the background.  Photo credit: Caring Catholic Convert

In our society, we all have our ear buds, television, computers, radio.  This is our connectivity but it is also noise.  It makes our minds so busy.   I see on the news that a lot of people are doing yoga and meditating to get peace of mind.  It was about 122 years ago that the radio was invented.  Before that, we didn’t have all the gadgets or noise.  We had nature and each other to listen to.  We are missing something though…Silence!

 

When was the last time we took some time and just listened to God?  When was the last time we went to the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration and just sat and spoke with God or just sat in silence in His presence?  If you truly want peace of mind, go to Adoration or pray.  This is so peaceful and easy and free!  You don’t have to go to the gym to do this.  You can pray anytime.  You can go to the chapel and sit in Adoration anytime and it doesn’t have to last an hour; you can do whatever time you have available.  Even five minutes makes a huge difference.

So many people are searching for peace in their lives in many different places and frustrated when they can’t find it, or they think they found it but still feel restless deep down.  They think peace is in the gym, music, drugs, caffeine, hobbies, traveling, money, or whatever else they occupy their minds with.  Peace is not in these things or anything else.  St. Augustine wrote in his book, Confessions, “Our heart is restless until it rests in you (God).” He had searched for peace in his young adulthood in adultery, other religions, and sin after sin until he found the Catholic Church and allowed God in his life.  His mother, St. Monica, prayed for 17 years for him to return to the Church and the salvation of his soul.  She also prayed for her husband and mother-in-law.  Her prayers were answered when all three converted and came into the Church.  St. Ambrose’s prayers, a bishop, also helped to bring them all into the Church.

Did you know you don’t even have to be Catholic to go to Adoration?  If you go, remember proper reverent etiquette:

  •  to be silent while in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament
  •  to bow or genuflect on your way in and on your way out 
  • If you don’t know where to find Adoration in your area, call the nearest Catholic Church and ask.
  • If it is not available in your area, you can still go to the Catholic Church and sit before the Tabernacle (look for the candle, usually red, near the gold box or cylinder that is ornate).  This is where the Blessed Sacrament is kept.  You can still pray before the Tabernacle in Adoration.  You can also ask the Church to start Adoration.
  • You can either pray, be silent, read a religious book or just speak with God in your thoughts silently.  Sometimes, just sitting with Jesus is the best.  He knows your heart.

If you are searching for peace in your life, look as close as your nearest Catholic Church.  You will find peace in Jesus in the Eucharist/Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle of any Catholic Church.  This is true peace.

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What is Divine Mercy?

Mercy is compassion or forgiveness.  Jesus came to Sister Faustina in Poland in the 1920’s and 30’s asking her to write down His words for the world.  He asks for everyone to come to Him and ask forgiveness and if possible come to Reconciliation.  He wants us to repent and come back to Him.  She became His “Secretary”, keeping journals of His visits to her and His words during that time.  The picture below is the picture of Divine Mercy.  The rays from Jesus’ heart represent Blood and Water.  The white rays represent Baptism and Reconciliation.  The red rays represent the Eucharist and the Blood He shed for us. St. Faustina was canonized as a saint in the year 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

The Sunday after Easter is the Divine Mercy Sunday.   “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.  On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow.  Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.”  (Jesus’ words in the Diary 699)  We get our sins forgiven in Confession but we don’t stop to think about the punishment for our sins.  If one of our children smashes a window, we can forgive them but they still will be grounded for doing it and may have to work to pay for the damage.  They need to learn from their mistakes.  God deals with us the same way, as a Father would.  It doesn’t mean we would go to hell but we may spend time in Purgatory for it.  If we go to Divine Mercy Sunday and do what’s required, we not only have that sin forgiven but the punishment will be gone too.

Jesus gave us the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  This is a devotional prayer said on beads like the rosary but it’s said to Jesus.  This prayer helps us to accept His mercy and to be perfected in it.  The best time to say it is 3:00 pm because that’s the time Jesus died.

Check out the two links on the Links page for Divine Mercy and the Diary of St. Faustina.

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Jesus, I trust in you.

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Ever Wondered Why?

Have you ever wondered why Catholics pray to saints?  Or genuflect?  Or call it Mass instead of worship service?  All questions are good questions.  Whatever your question, you can get dozens of answers on the radio show, Called to Communion.  It is meant for people who have questions but didn’t know where or who to ask.  It is also on EWTN on Thursdays and Saturdays.  Check for the time in your area.

Click on the link below and then click on the “Called to Communion” link for several podcasts to listen to.  Also, if you would like to subscribe to their feed, click on “Subscribe” right under the name of the show.

There’s another answer forum that is very interesting.  Catholic Answers is a great resource for those nagging questions.  You can watch a video, listen to audio or look it up by topic.  This show is also coming to television soon.

I sincerely hope that these help you in your search for the One True Church.

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Can’t Get to Mass?

If you can’t get to Mass, you can still watch it online at the following links below:

Also, if you would like to watch Catholic TV, click here.

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The Power of the Sign of the Cross

Sign of the Cross

 Touch the forehead, stomach, left shoulder, right shoulder, then fold your hands in prayer.

Why do Catholics make the sign of the cross?  What does it mean?  Is it just a gesture or superstition?

 

The sign of the cross dates back to the second century in the Early Church.  It started out with making the cross on the forehead with the thumb or index finger but then changed into a larger cross on the forehead, chest and shoulders.  People used it to secretly mark themselves during religious persecution.  In the ninth century, Pope Leo IX instructed the faithful on this devotional/prayer.  It is a reminder of the crucifixion and suffering of Jesus.

We bless ourselves with holy water and the sign of the cross when we come into or out of a church, during a sacrament, and in remembrance of our Baptismal promises.  Catholics usually begin and end all prayers with the sign of the cross.  What we are saying is the prayer or request “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen”  When we say a prayer in the name of the Trinity as above, we are calling upon them with confidence that our prayers will be answered and in love and worship of the Trinity.  The word “Amen” means “I believe”.  When we do this, we are asking for and receiving grace from God.

Making the sign of the cross is a prayer in itself.  A very reverent devotion a person can do is every time you pass by a Catholic Church, is to make the sign of the cross as you pass.  Why do that?  Because, Jesus is in the Church in the Eucharist in the Tabernacle.  You are saying you believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  I do this every time I pass by one even if I’m just passing by in another town.

Another thing you can do, every time you see an ambulance or life-flight helicopter for someone ill, make the sign of the cross in a prayer for the removal of their sins and salvation of their soul, also for their quick recovery.

If you ever feel alone, lonely, in danger, or that evil may be around you, make the sign of the cross and this will help to keep your soul safe and keep the safety and security of all of heaven around you.

Making the sign of the cross with holy water also absolves your venial (little) sins.  Make the sign of the cross often.  Keep a bottle of holy water handy and do it before you go to bed, get up in the morning, leave the house, return home, feeling ill, anytime that you feel the need.  The sign of the cross is a short, humble little prayer but so powerful.

See this link for more information.

 

 

 

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Who was St. Joseph?

St. Joseph was a man who we never hear much about.  He didn’t say anything in the Bible but we know something about him.  Most pictures show him with white hair like he was a lot older than the Virgin Mary but he was not many years older than she was.  She was about 15.  The Bible says that he was a “righteous man”.  He is usually pictured with Baby Jesus and a white lily symbolizing St. Joseph’s purity and virginity.

Click here for more information and prayers.

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The Virgin Mary and St. Joseph were betrothed before Jesus was conceived.  That means they were engaged to be married but in their tradition that means they were married but lived apart for one year.  An angel came to Joseph in a dream telling him “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins,” he did as the angel told him and took Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:19-25).    When she gave birth, he was there and assisted her.  Logically, he was the first one to see the Child Jesus after his birth.  In Matthew 2:13-23, Joseph has another dream telling him of danger to his family, Mary and the child Jesus.  He takes them to Egypt without question and keeps them safe until King Herod dies and it is safe again to return home.  King Herod had killed all children under the age of two.  These are called the Holy Innocents as they are the first martyrs of Christ.

Joseph was a carpenter and taught Jesus how to be a carpenter also.  He died sometime before Jesus began His ministry.  St. Joseph was of noble blood of the House of David.  This fulfills prophesy that the Messiah would be from the lineage of the House of David.

St. Joseph was a man who had the most beautiful woman on earth, the Virgin Mary, as his wife but he never touched her in a disrespectful or sexual way.  He kept her dignity intact and never tarnished her purity.  He protected her virginity and kept it intact for the rest of her life.

Joseph is the patron saint of the dying because, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.  Joseph is also patron saint of the Catholic Church, families, fathers, stepparents, pregnant women, travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and working people.

We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker.

Consider a devotion to St. Joseph asking for his intercession in prayer for you.  Jesus listens to his stepfather answering many prayers.  Try putting a piece of paper with your prayer on it stuck in the frame of his picture.  Or put that same prayer in the hand of a statue of St. Joseph or under it.  This is not expecting the statue to answer the prayer, but instead, when St. Joseph sees that you are honoring his image, he will intercede for you.  This is not worshipping the statue but honoring his image, like we would a family member.  St. Joseph is also a great saint to have as a patron saint for anyone who needs fatherly guidance such as a baptismal saint or for someone who doesn’t have a father in the home.

St. Joseph is the protector the family.  Ask for his assistance if you have struggles in your family.  He will take it to Jesus and Jesus can’t refuse His father because He respects His father.

 

 

 

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The Old Art of Palm Weaving

Every year my mother would try to remember how to weave her palm from Palm Sunday.  It was something she had learned when she was young.  I remember the braided palms hanging behind pictures in the house and feeling a sense of comfort knowing that they were blessed palms.  They weren’t decorations, they are a sacramental.  A sacramental is something that is blessed and lead us to the sacraments of the Church.  Also, the palms remind us of the suffering of Christ.

Palm Sunday is the day that Jesus came into Jerusalem and was treated as a king and prophet but a week later he would be crucified.  This is the beginning of his Passion or suffering that he endured for us.

Since they are blessed, you can’t throw them away.  To dispose properly of the blessed palms, either burn them and dispose of the ashes in your lawn or garden or bury them in a respectful manner.  Also, you can bring them to the Catholic Church and they will burn them to make ashes for Ash Wednesday.

This link has some great resources on Palm Weaving.  The link on the bottom for the “Lost Art of Palm Weaving” is an excellent resource.  The nun did a lot of research on palm weaving and created a book on the subject before the Art was lost forever.  https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=1035

 

Video credits: Arlington Catholic Herald