Curious Catholic connections to a little known but powerful devotion to the infant Jesus

Shades of Will Farrell’s Taladega Nights
(where Ricky Bobby preferred to pray to the baby Jesus)

The book H.G. Wells DIDN’T write: “The Invisible MOM”

The Invisible Mother

by Nicole Johnson

One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”

“Nobody,” he shrugged.

Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only five, but as we crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, I’m nobody?”

As Nobody, I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family, like “Turn the TV down, please.” And nothing would happen. No one would get up or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, “Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing.

That’s when I started putting all the pieces together. I don’t think anyone can see me.

I’m invisible.

It all began to make sense! The blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’d think, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”

Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner. No one can see me, because I’m the Invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more. Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I’m merely a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a satellite guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?”

Some days I’m a crystal ball: “Where’s my other sock? Where’s my phone? What’s for dinner?”

Hands, a clock, a crystal ball—but always invisible.

One night, some girlfriends and I were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and was telling wonderful stories. I sat there, looking around at the others all so put-together, so visible and vibrant. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic when my friend turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I read—no—I devoured the book. And I discovered what would become for me, four life-changing truths:

1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals—we have no record of their names.

2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

4. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

 In the book, there was the legend of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built. He saw a worker carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.” And the worker replied, “Because God sees.”

After reading that, I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.”

“No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, no last minute errand is too small for Me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become. But I see.”

When I choose to view myself as a great builder—instead of Invisible Mom—I keep the right perspective.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, “My mom gets up at four in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.” That would mean I’d built a monument to myself! But I don’t want that—I just want him to want to come home with a friend and share a wonderful meal as a family.

The author of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. I disagree.

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right—which is why we may feel invisible some days. But one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Video link

Submitted by AndyP/Doria2

Editor’s note: Happy Mother’s Day!

On the question of universal salvation in Jesus Christ

(Click on pictures to enlarge)


The ONLY valid premise for universal salvation in Jesus Christ involves regular prayer and study … along with full, faithful, consistent participation in all the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the universal (Catholic) church … the ONLY church that Jesus Christ ever founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, for that express (salvific) purpose.

Anything less constitutes gambling with one’s eternal salvation, since there is absolutely no guarantee that the mercy of God will be extended to those who knowingly reject his church, which constitutes the ONLY authentic universal sacrament of salvation, for all.

Since the all powerful, all knowing, sovereign God is our appointed judge, only he can make exceptions to this universal “rule of faith”.

What are the chances that God will make an exception, in any particular case?

Nobody really knows … but why would anyone want to take that chance?

Twelve Tips for Praying a Daily Family Rosary


1) Pray using alternation (The father prays first half of Our Father and everyone else prays second half – same goes for Hail Mary and Glory be).

2) Pray the Rosary after dinner but right before bed – this means homework needs to be finished before dinner. Homework kills the Rosary if you don’t stay on top of it. You’ll also need to say goodbye to watching prime time television – since this is the ideal window of praying together as a family.

3) Pray the Holy Rosary always at the same place at the exact same time. Devotions become strong – even invincible – by constant custom and habit.

4) Pray the Rosary in a special room and set up a little altar with a Bible on it, candles, a statue or image, holy water, or a relic.

5) Dim the lights and light the candles when you begin. If you let the little ones light the candles – they will love it. Kids love fire. Make this a “special time” different from other times. We even burn incense on our domestic altar on feast days. (You can do this easily by placing a little metal screen over a votive candle and then by placing a few grains of incense on the screen. It’s fast and easy. This way you don’t have use charcoal.)

6) Maybe begin with a hymn or Bible reading to slow things down and set the tone.

Read more

Good stuff to know about why Catholics (quite rightly) venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary


— a good starting point is the place where Jesus began His earthly ministry, the Wedding Feast at Cana as described in John 2: 1-11.

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

A close examination of this passage reveals a great deal about our Blessed Lady and the gift that awaits those who turn to her.

For starters, it is reasonable for us to believe that Jesus was fully aware of the needs of the wedding party even before He was approached by Mary. Yet in spite of this, He chose to meet this need only at His Mother’s suggestion.

Read more

Slide show: “Why Catholics Venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary”

Sacred Heart Novena begins June 2, ends June 10, vigil of the Feast of the Sacred Heart


Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – Pray daily through June 10th

Divine Jesus, Thou hast said, “Ask and you shall receive;
seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be
opened to you.” Behold me kneeling at Thy feet, filled
with a lively faith and confidence in the promises
dictated by Thy Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary.
I come to ask this favor:

(Mention your request …)

To whom can I turn if not to Thee, Whose Heart is the
source of all graces and merits? Where should I seek if
not in the treasure which contains all the riches of
Thy kindness and mercy? Where should I knock if not at
the door through which God gives Himself to us and
through which we go to God? I have recourse to Thee,
Heart of Jesus. In Thee I find consolation when
afflicted, protection when persecuted, strength when
burdened with trials, and light in doubt and darkness.

Dear Jesus, I firmly believe that Thou canst grant me the
grace I implore, even though it should require a
miracle. Thou hast only to will it and my prayer will be
granted. I admit that I am most unworthy of Thy
favors, but this is not a reason for me to be discouraged.
Thou art the God of mercy, and Thou wilt not refuse
a contrite heart. Cast upon me a look of mercy,
I beg of Thee, and Thy kind Heart will find in my
miseries and weakness a reason for granting my prayer.

Sacred Heart, whatever may be Thy decision with regard
to my request, I will never stop adoring, loving,
praising, and serving Thee. My Jesus, be pleased to
accept this my act of perfect resignation to the
decrees of Thy adorable Heart, which I sincerely
desire may be fulfilled in and by me and all Thy
creatures forever.

Grant me the grace for which I humbly implore Thee
through the Immaculate Heart
of Thy most sorrowful Mother.
Thou hadst entrusted me to her as her child, and her
prayers are all-powerful with Thee. Amen.

(Personal offering follows…)

My God, I offer Thee all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings
in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
for the intentions for which He pleads and offers Himself
in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
in thanksgiving for Thy favors, in reparation for my sins,
and in humble supplication for my temporal and eternal welfare,
for the needs of our holy Mother the Church,
for the conversion of sinners,
and for the relief of the poor souls in purgatory.

Amen

Submitted by Doria2

Why the Miraculous Medal Is So Important to Catholics

Devotion to Our Lady had been deeply eroded by Jansenism, which, although in great decline at the time, was replaced with more radical forms of Revolution, so that devotion to Our Lady left much to be desired. We can say that the Miraculous Medal was the first major step toward the ‘re-Marianization’ of the nineteenth century, preparing the great movement of souls that would culminate with the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

With the use of the Miraculous Medal, extraordinary graces spread throughout the Church. It became a common custom to wear a Miraculous Medal around one’s neck or to place it on the chest of an impenitent patient while making the novenas and prayers prescribed by Our Lady. It seemed almost certain that the person would convert as a result. Through this devotion, Our Lady began to dispense many other graces to the world.

Read more

Authentic Feminism Pleases God, Is Not Hostile Towards Anyone. Watch the Video.

This video runs only about 6 minutes. It starts out a bit slow, but about 2 1/2 minutes along, you’ll see that the message is not only beautiful, but quite inspiring. And it applies to everyone. Not just women.

Watch the video

Submitted by Doria2

Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday

divinemercyenh1

With provident pastoral sensitivity and in order to impress deeply on the souls of the faithful these precepts and teachings of the Christian faith, the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, moved by the consideration of the Father of Mercy, has willed that the Second Sunday of Easter be dedicated to recalling with special devotion these gifts of grace and gave this Sunday the name, “Divine Mercy Sunday” (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Decree Misericors et miserator, 5 May 2000).

The Gospel of the Second Sunday of Easter narrates the wonderful things Christ the Lord accomplished on the day of the Resurrection during his first public appearance: “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’. When he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad to see the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you’. And then he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained'” (Jn 20,19-23).
                

Plenary Indulgence
To ensure that the faithful would observe this day with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence, as will be explained below, so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit. In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbour, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters.
                   
Pardon of others who sin against us
Thus the faithful will more closely conform to the spirit of the Gospel, receiving in their hearts the renewal that the Second Vatican Council explained and introduced: “Mindful of the words of the Lord: ‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’ (Jn 13,35), Christians can yearn for nothing more ardently than to serve the men of this age with an ever growing generosity and success…. It is the Father’s will that we should recognize Christ our brother in the persons of all men and love them with an effective love, in word and in deed (Pastoral Constitution, Gaudium et spes, n. 93).
                      
Three conditions for the plenary indulgence
And so the Supreme Pontiff, motivated by an ardent desire to foster in Christians this devotion to Divine Mercy as much as possible in the hope of offering great spiritual fruit to the faithful, in the Audience granted on 13 June 2002, to those Responsible for the Apostolic Penitentiary, granted the following Indulgences:

A plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”);
                            

A partial indulgence for those who cannot go to church or the seriously ill, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation.In addition, sailors working on the vast expanse of the sea; the countless brothers and sisters, whom the disasters of war, political events, local violence and other such causes have been driven out of their homeland; the sick and those who nurse them, and all who for a just cause cannot leave their homes or who carry out an activity for the community which cannot be postponed, may obtain a plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday, if totally detesting any sin, as has been said before, and with the intention of fulfilling as soon as possible the three usual conditions, will recite the Our Father and the Creed before a devout image of Our Merciful Lord Jesus and, in addition, pray a devout invocation to the Merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you).

If it is impossible that people do even this, on the same day they may obtain the Plenary Indulgence if with a spiritual intention they are united with those carrying out the prescribed practice for obtaining the Indulgence in the usual way and offer to the Merciful Lord a prayer and the sufferings of their illness and the difficulties of their lives, with the resolution to accomplish as soon as possible the three conditions prescribed to obtain the plenary indulgence.

Click to read the complete text courtesy of EWTN

Click to read the Diary of St. Faustina

Click here for The Divine Mercy Novena

Recommended Good Friday Devotion: The Stations of the Cross

stationsone1

wdstns

slide2j_dce1

slide3j_dce

slide4j_dce

slide5j_dce

slide6j_dce

slide7j_dce

slide8j_dce

slide9j_dce

slide10j_dce

slide11j_dce

slide12j_dce

slide13j_dce

slide14j_dce

slide15j_dce

Catholics: What do you learn or do at church or home?

Q: Catholics: What do you learn or do at church or home?

I’m wondering, because I noticed that Catholics have a particular kind of spirit about them… and I like it.

A: Glad you noticed!

Catholics have a very rich and ancient Tradition based on Jesus, the apostles, and on the ultimate practicality of the authentic Christian faith, which never ceases to glorify God in spirit, and at the very same time, never fails to help perfect each faithful Catholic man and woman … body and soul … according to God’s abundant grace.

Whether practiced from infancy, or adopted later in life, it begins with Baptism, and it is fostered by a lifetime of full, faithful, and charitable participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments, and devotions of the Church.

The Catholic Church has always been known for superb theological scholarship and philosophy, available freely to all, which is easily translated into the types of cultural “norms” that ultimately define what every Catholic is called to be, by God.

The Catholic Church has also always been known for the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, which provides every Catholic with the motive, the means, and the opportunity to come to know and love God, in the most intimate possible way.

The bottom line is this: The Catholic faith is the most authentic, consistent, truthful, and practical faith that ever was, or ever will be … courtesy of Jesus Christ, who founded, authorized, empowered, and personally guaranteed his Church until the end of time, for the purpose of our salvation.

It doesn’t get any better than that, this side of Heaven … until Jesus comes again.

Why pray the Rosary?

rosary.jpg

 

Q: What is the importance of praying the rosary, as a Catholic?

A: There’s no requirement for any Catholic to pray the Rosary.

Catholics choose to do so, for some or all of the following reasons:

The Rosary affirms all the best qualities of humanity, and it also celebrates God’s very own confirmation of his original plan for mankind.

The Rosary celebrates the fullfilment of God’s promise to send a redeemer, the seed of the woman, who would crush the head of the serpent.

The Rosary is almost totally scriptural, as it is taken directly from the gospel of St. Luke: “Luke 1:28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Luke 1:41 And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.
Luke 1:42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

The Rosary is a very effective meditation, since it relies on several other key scriptural sequences (called mysteries) as well, which celebrate Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and much more.

Very few people manage to actually commit a sin, in word or in deed, while they are actively engaged in praying the Rosary … so praying the Rosary certainly enhances personal holiness.

The Rosary can be succesfully prayed alone, while walking, driving, or working … or it can be prayed along with groups of any size … and almost anywhere.

The Rosary is a personally satisfying way to pray, as it proceeds in an orderly fashion from prayer to prayer, from beginning to end. If it is interrupted for any reason, it can be easily resumed and completed later.

The Blessed Virgin, through various Church approved apparitions, has confirmed the effectiveness and the value of praying the Rosary, for the purpose of converting sinners, giving honor and glory to God, and making reparations for our sins, and the sins of the whole world.

Catholics have found that praying the Rosary is a practical and effective way to engage in personal or public prayer and petition, especially in times of crisis.

Praying the Rosary is particlarly satisfying for those whose own mothers have already died.

The Rosary is one of several universally accepted, widely practiced devotions of the universal and worldwide Catholic church, so it brings the faithful together, whenever and wherever it is prayed.

Unlike the repetetive chants and rants of the pagans, who prayed to false and powerless gods, and to no good end … the purpose of the Rosary is to give constant honor, praise, and thanksgiving to God, who saves us through his power and his grace, and who chose to save us particularly through his son, Jesus, who will always be the son of Mary, the humble, holy woman who willingly cooperated so closely and faithfully with him, in his great work of redemption.

The following scripture verse proves that God has no problem at all with (appropriate) repetitive prayer:

Revelation 4:8 And the four living creatures had each of them six wings: and round about and within they are full of eyes. And they rested not day and night, saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.
Revelation 4:9 And when those living creatures gave glory and honour and benediction to him that sitteth on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever …

Blessed be God!