Precious insights into the family life of the Blessed Virgin Mary – and our families, as well

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Saint Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and the Mediatrix of All Graces, knew the contempt that would be visited upon His Divine Grandson, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, sent himself into voluntary exile after he was denounced by a priest of the Old Dispensation for not producing a child after twenty years of marriage to his wife, our good Saint Anne.

He was visited by an angel, who reminded him of the fact that Abraham’s wife, Sarah, did not conceive a child until she was ninety years old, telling him that his wife, Saint Anne, would conceive a daughter named Mary, who would be the Mother of God.

Saint Joachim and Saint Anne brought their daughter to the Temple when she was three years old, giving their long-awaited child back to the good God Who had given them to her so that she could be the Mother of their own Saviour, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Counter-cultural Catholicism and a remarkable conversion story

Growing up, I wasn’t exposed to God, or the Catholic Church. I knew that my grandparents were Catholic, but no one talked about this, and I didn’t know what “Catholic” even was.

Due to terrible abuse, I was removed from my home at nine. I lived in an asylum for a weekend, an orphanage for eight months, and then once a space became available in a foster home, there until I was twelve.

The courts ordered my mother to take me, and this was how we met.

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McConaughey Oscar speech blowback: Thanking God in the midst of assembled idolaters deemed insensitive, by some.

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Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey, 44, triggered a love-hate reaction and a viral video Sunday when he thanked God profusely after winning the best actor Oscar for his role as Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyer’s Club.”

“There’s three things that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward and another is someone to chase,” he said in the run-up to his acknowledgment of God.

Text and video

Editor’s note: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Worth Remembering: Fathers Are The Priests Of The Home!

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The Ten Commandments For A Husband And Father

I. Develop an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus, allowing Him to forgive you of your past, to talk to you, to heal you and to guide you. Then, trust the Holy Spirit in all things. Trust Him to provide everything you need, including financial help.

II. Get your priorities in order: Jesus first, your wife second, your children third, your work fourth, etc. Develop a weekly schedule, blocking out quality time for the Lord, your wife, each child and the family as a whole. A husband’s most important time during any given day is the first five minutes when he gets home from work and the love and attention he shows his wife and children at that time. Remember that your human fatherhood is rooted in the Divine Fatherhood of Almighty God (cf. Ephesians 3:14-15; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2214).

III. Realize that you are the “priest” of the home. It is your primary responsibility to oversee the TV and its influence, the internet and its influence, as well as the books and magazines that enter into your home. You must stand firmly against all evil influences, asking constantly for God’s strength and guidance to lead your family in living a pure, holy and non-violent lifestyle. Esto vir! (Be a man!). A father fosters moral virtue within his home first and foremost by example. Get into the habit of blessing your children – both alone and with your wife – before they go to sleep at night or before they leave the house in the morning.

Seven more – from Father Wade Menezes

PRAYER FOR OUR FAMILY Heavenly Father, most good and gracious God, sustain our family in Your love. Make our family home a place where holiness and love abound. In our daily actions, help each one of us to learn to be more like Jesus. Aid our family to imitate the Holy Family of Nazareth: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Help our family to learn from the good example of those families that especially please You in their way of life. May our family members learn to give good example always by living lives in true Christian faith, hope and love. Assist our family in learning to bear pain and suffering as Jesus did. Aid our family members, too, in overcoming difficulties and carrying their crosses. Help our family life to lead to Jesus Christ, the Source of all Truth and happiness. We ask this through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. AMEN.

FAMILY PRAYER TO OUR BLESSED MOTHER, MARY Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, we seek your patronage and we invoke you under your title “Queen of Families.” O Blessed Mother, you were conceived without sin. May every family choose you this day as the model for their household, along with St. Joseph, your most loving, chaste and caring spouse. Through your Immaculate Conception, preserve all families from every disaster, from all violence and from every misfortune. O Holy Virgin, bless and protect all families, strengthen them in trial and keep them from every evil. AMEN.

Submitted by Robert K.

I love this pope. He reminds me of my (now dearly departed) maiden Aunt Genevieve.

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1955 Chevy Bel Air – Proof of God’s Abiding Love?

by Doug Lawrence

My aunt Gene (Genevieve) never married, always held down a good job, and for most of her life, lived in a modest apartment, along with her two unmarried sisters.

By the time I was two years of age there was already no doubt in my mind that aunt Gene was also a good Catholic. She never failed to attend Sunday Mass – and as further proof of God’s abiding love, she actually won a a three-speed, red and white, 1955 Chevy – at the Saint John of God Church Raffle. In Chicago, during the 1950’s you couldn’t be much more publicly Catholic than that!

She was a charitable and helpful person, willing to do just about anything for anybody. She loved little babies, she loved her family and she loved her food. Gene was also a bit “quirky” – holding to her own opinions on certain things, in spite of obvious and abundant evidence to the contrary – stubbornly clinging to certain mysterious habits, rituals and personal preferences. It wasn’t always easy figuring out precisely what she meant, when she was speaking. But she was my aunt and I loved her, without qualification or exception. That’s what family is all about.

It wasn’t until several decades later, after aunt Gene had been diagnosed with a particularly fast-growing strain of lung cancer, that I would begin to understand the true depth and utter practicality of her Catholic faith.

Learning that all available treatments had failed and she would surely die very soon, Gene remained upbeat and generally unconcerned. She certainly didn’t like what the cancer had done and was continuing to do to her body, but as a woman of faith, she always knew the end would come – whatever the circumstances – and she had always relied on Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church to keep her fully prepared for that day.

She was a true daughter of the Catholic Church who fully accepted (to the very best of her ability) all that the Catholic Church practiced and proclaimed. She had for a long, long time now, been a very close friend of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist and of his Blessed Mother, so she had absolutely nothing to fear.

Aunt Gene also found great solace in this type of traditional Catholic stuff which many today – unfortunately – think is out of date. But unless and until death itself goes out of style, I must respectfully disagree!

She told me all this the day before she died. It was a life (and faith) lesson that I will never forget. I also have little doubt that her prayers were answered – both here – and in the next life. We should all pray for similar graces.

So … how does Pope Francis remind me of my “sainted” Aunt Genevieve?

Other than the physical resemblance (they could pass for brother and sister) they’re both a bit quirky and sometimes difficult to understand; neither ever married; both had a penchant for relatively unusual, minimalist living arrangements; both made extensive use of public transportation; both are well-traveled; both worked long and hard at their chosen professions; both are by virtue of baptism, undeniably Catholic and people of faith.

As such, they are both “family” to me, a fellow Catholic and adopted child of God – so I love them, without qualification or exception.

This would remain true even if it became necessary for me to go out of my way to charitably correct, defend and/or explain occasional incongruous, irrational, embarrassing conduct or “quirky” personal opinions.

Nobody’s perfect – so who am I to judge – right?

In the end, that’s what “family” – and authentic Catholicism – is all about!

Photo: Wikipedia

New Orleans bishop attempting to “reclaim” Sundays for more traditional Catholic purposes

After months of nudging Catholics to reclaim Sunday as a day to attend Mass and spend time with family, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond is mandating that Catholic schools clear their calendars that day each week.

Aymond began asking schools last year to tweak practice schedules and reschedule social events so harried families could dedicate their Sundays to worshipping and staying close to home. This year, the request took on new urgency, and by the 2014-15 school year, it will be an official policy of the archdiocese.

“It’s rooted in the fact that people have a number of obligations and commitments. Our society is fast-paced,” Aymond said. “In living such a hectic life, people neglect sometimes, not purposefully, the very basics of faith and family.”

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Essential Marxist/Socialist concepts: Homosexual marriage, abortion, easy divorce, government control of schools, destruction of the family.

September 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A publication of the international socialist movement has explicitly stated it is promoting abortion and gay “marriage” as part of a multi-pronged campaign to “replace global capitalism” with Marxism.

The admission came on Monday in an article entitled “How Can We Change the World?” by Todd Chretien in the Socialist Worker, which is published by the International Socialist Organization. The ISO proudly “stands in the tradition of revolutionary socialists Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin, and Leon Trotsky.”

The article was putatively about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington. However, it hailed the socially liberal views of young people, women, and minorities – the same groups President Obama appealed to during the 2010 and 2012 campaigns.

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