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Just reminding erryone of my current location #rio #papafrancis #skyline #beautiful

Posted by on 7-22-13

El Jueves salgo para Puerto Rico y estare participando del JMJ en PR. Un Evento unido al JMJ de Brasil. Seran dias de mucha gracia, poder y misericordia. Contamos con sus oraciones! Para mas info porfavor visiten www.jmj2013pr.com #jmj #jmj2013pr #brasil #puertorico #unasolaiglesia #jovenes #catholic #catolico #papafrancis

Posted by on 7-22-13

“Não tenho ouro nem prata.. Vim aqui transmitir o maior presente que recebi nessa vida: Jesus Cristo” – Papa Francisco, no Palácio Guanabara, na sua chegada no Rio de Janeiro

Posted by on 7-22-13

Nada mejor que coger cosas de los hoteles y encontrartelas un tiempo mas tarde #recuerdoson #abril2013 #antequera #campeonatoespañaporescuelas #catalunya #buenequipo #genialrelevo #granada #bocadecaballo #dientesdeleon #mojopicon #bananas #pasajeros #titofrancis #papafrancis #yayofrancis #quierovolver

Posted by on 7-22-13

El papa Francisco acaba de recitar: “Necesitamos santos sin velo, sin sotana. Necesitamos santos de jeans y zapatillas. Necesitamos santos que vayan al cine, escuchen musica y paseen con sus amigos. Necesitamos santos que coloquen a Dios en primer lugar y que sobresalgan en la Universidad. Necesitamos santos que busquen tiempo cada dia para rezar y que sepan enamorar en la pureza y castidad, o que consagren su castidad. Necesitamos santos modernos, santos del siglo XXI con una espiritualidad insertada en nuestro tiempo. Necesitamos santos comprometidos con los pobres y los necesarios cambios sociales. Necesitamos santos que vivan en el mundo, se santifiquen en el mundo y que no tengan miedo de vivir en el mundo. Necesitamos santos que tomen Coca Cola y coman hot-dogs, que sean internautas, que escuchen iPod. Necesitamos santos que amen la Eucaristia y que no tengan vergüenza de tomar una cerveza o comer pizza el fin de semana con los amigos. Necesitamos santos a los que les guste el cine, el teatro, la musica, la danza, el deporte. Necesitamos santos sociables, abiertos, normales, amigos, alegres, compañeros. Necesitamos santos que esten en el mundo y que sepan saborear las cosas puras y buenas del mundo, pero sin ser mundanos”. Amen!!!!!!! (Esta parte la dije yo) :) #santidadenjeans #santidad #PapaFrancis #Iglesia #yes #holiness

Posted by on 7-21-13

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Pope Francis will no longer impose the pallium on ...

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A letter dated 12 January was sent out to all the nunciatures by Msgr. Guido Marini, the papal Master of Ceremonies.  HERE

Pope Francis has changed the way the pallium will be distributed to new Metropolitan Archbishops.

The pallium is a liturgical vestment comprised of strips of white wool embroidered with black crosses, held together with pins, worn over the shoulders at certain solemn events.  It symbolizes the close union of the archbishop, and his region, with the See of Peter.  For a long time, new Archbishops would travel to Rome to receive the pallium from the hands of the Roman Pontiff in St. Peter’s Basilica on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Before they receive the pallium, the archbishops take a public oath in Latin:

Ego… Archiepiscopus… beato Petro apostolo,  Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae, ac tibi, Summo Pontifici,  tuisque legitimis Successoribus  semper fidelis ero et oboediens.   Ita me Deus omnipotens adiuvet.

I… Archbishop of the _____ diocese (these are adjectives) will always be faithful and obedient to St. Peter the apostle, the Holy Roman Church, and to you, the Supreme Pontiff and to your legitimate Successors. So help me God Almighty.

No longer.

Now the pallium will be given to the Archbishops in their local churches.

I suppose that will give bishops of suffragan dioceses a chance to be present, as well as more people from the region.

Once upon a time, the pallium was simply sent out to those who were to receive it.  There is nothing new here, historically speaking.   Also, there is nothing magical about the pallium.  It doesn’t make an archbishop more of an archbishop.

However, …

Although the pallium will still probably be blessed by Pope Francis on 29 June, and although the pallium is still supposed to symbolize  the union of the archbishops with the Bishop of Rome, and although I imagine that the archbishops will still make the same oath, probably in the vernacular (since, after all, who uses Latin?), the sign value of the archbishop receiving it from the hands of the Successor of Peter will be lost.

Keep in mind that Pope Francis has as part of his project for his pontificate, to weaken the Roman Curia and decentralize the Church.  Whatever other value sending the pallium out to local churches might have, I see this move also as part of that project.

 

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There’s Something about Francis...

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Two articles popped into my Facebook news feed yesterday, both on the search for the authentic St. Francis: a The New Yorker article, Looking for St. Francis, about a display in New York of the few documents in Francis’s own hand, and “Early Celano Umbrian Legend Discovered.” The second referred to the discovery of a new document, believed by scholars to be authentic, by Francis’s first “biographer,” Thomas of Celano.

When asked by L’Osservatore Romano what struck him the most about this newly discovered work, scholar Jacques Dalarun said,”… after a careful reading, it becomes clear that the author’s reflection becomes deeper over time, especially on the theme of poverty and love for creation. Tommaso da Celano was a very profound man and he never stopped reflecting on the teachings of Francis.”

We are fascinated by the person of St. Francis because his life of gospel simplicity seems so difficult that from the beginning his followers have been challenged by that ideal. Pope Francis, just three days after his election, said, “Some people want to know why I wished to be called Francis. For me, Francis of Assisi is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.”

In the nearly two years of his papacy, the pope has frequently spoken about Franciscan ideals. His thoughts are collected for the first time in The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis. Published in cooperation with the Vatican, this original collection brings the life and legacy of Francis of Assisi to life.

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There’s Something about Francis...

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Two articles popped into my Facebook news feed yesterday, both on the search for the authentic St. Francis: a The New Yorker article, Looking for St. Francis, about a display in New York of the few documents in Francis’s own hand, and “Early Celano Umbrian Legend Discovered.” The second referred to the discovery of a new document, believed by scholars to be authentic, by Francis’s first “biographer,” Thomas of Celano.

When asked by L’Osservatore Romano what struck him the most about this newly discovered work, scholar Jacques Dalarun said,”… after a careful reading, it becomes clear that the author’s reflection becomes deeper over time, especially on the theme of poverty and love for creation. Tommaso da Celano was a very profound man and he never stopped reflecting on the teachings of Francis.”

We are fascinated by the person of St. Francis because his life of gospel simplicity seems so difficult that from the beginning his followers have been challenged by that ideal. Pope Francis, just three days after his election, said, “Some people want to know why I wished to be called Francis. For me, Francis of Assisi is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.”

In the nearly two years of his papacy, the pope has frequently spoken about Franciscan ideals. His thoughts are collected for the first time in The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis. Published in cooperation with the Vatican, this original collection brings the life and legacy of Francis of Assisi to life.

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Hope and Joy through the Miraculous Medal...

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger is Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, author of The Miraculous Medal: Stories, Prayers, and Devotions from Servant Books. To learn more about Donna, click here.

A couple of months ago I felt inspired to give a blessed Miraculous Medal to a woman I met who was working at a department store. I’ll call her Louise. She seemed very touched to receive the medal. After accepting it, Louise began to tell me that she had been going through some really rough times lately and felt she truly “needed” the medal. As she was telling me this, she began to cry. Her tears seemed to come from profound thankfulness and even relief. Louise’s whole demeanor changed when she accepted the medal into her hand. She continued to wipe her eyes with a tissue as tears continued to appear.

About a month later, I saw Louise again at the same store. She proudly showed me her beautiful medal which was now on a chain around her neck and hanging alongside two tiny opals. Louise said the opals represented hope. When she had come across the opals in her jewelry box she thought that she should wear them together with the medal, for the medal brought her great hope. My heart secretly soared. I was thrilled that she was wearing the blessed medal I had given her and that it brought her a renewed hope.

Louise also shared that her sister Mary was going through some very hard times. I asked Louise if I could give her a blessed medal for her sister and she gladly accepted my offer. I reached into my pocket and retrieved a blessed medal that I had placed in there that morning before heading out to do my errands. I kissed it, touched it to the one I wear, and handed it to Louise who teared up instantly. She sincerely thanked me.

Just recently, as the Advent season was winding down to the tail end, only a couple of days before Christmas, I went into the same department store to finish up my Christmas shopping. I spotted Louise behind the jewelry counter and went over to say hello and to wish her a very happy Christmas. She was very eager to share a little story with me. Thankfully, there were no customers around the counter and she could freely speak to me. Louise said that she visited her sister recently and Mary told her that she was feeling very sad because she was sorely missing their mother who had passed away the previous Christmas. Mary couldn’t stop thinking of her mother. When she heard the song “Ave Maria” playing, she broke down and cried. It was their mother’s favorite song.

So, at the visit with her sister, Louise pulled out the Miraculous Medal I had given to her for her sister and proceeded to tell Mary about meeting me and the gift of the medal. She also told her sister that I had touched it to the blessed medal that I wear that Mother Teresa had given me (a relic). Her sister began to cry and said she felt very blessed and thankful to receive the special gift. After that, Mary’s husband bought her a chain and she is now wearing the medal. Mary is now feeling comforted with a sacramental of the Blessed Mother who is with her at all times to bring her graces, hope, and encouragement.

I believe that God is so very good and takes care of our every need. He desires that we open our hearts to His whispers to our souls and that we be cooperative to His many graces so that we can help others around us who are struggling with hurt, loneliness, sadness, and pain. So many people are deeply wounded and need a loving touch. Mother Mary is always ready to assist us in getting closer to her Son Jesus.

*****
Photo: Xhienne/Wikimedia Commons

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Hope and Joy through the Miraculous Medal...

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger is Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, author of The Miraculous Medal: Stories, Prayers, and Devotions from Servant Books. To learn more about Donna, click here.

A couple of months ago I felt inspired to give a blessed Miraculous Medal to a woman I met who was working at a department store. I’ll call her Louise. She seemed very touched to receive the medal. After accepting it, Louise began to tell me that she had been going through some really rough times lately and felt she truly “needed” the medal. As she was telling me this, she began to cry. Her tears seemed to come from profound thankfulness and even relief. Louise’s whole demeanor changed when she accepted the medal into her hand. She continued to wipe her eyes with a tissue as tears continued to appear.

About a month later, I saw Louise again at the same store. She proudly showed me her beautiful medal which was now on a chain around her neck and hanging alongside two tiny opals. Louise said the opals represented hope. When she had come across the opals in her jewelry box she thought that she should wear them together with the medal, for the medal brought her great hope. My heart secretly soared. I was thrilled that she was wearing the blessed medal I had given her and that it brought her a renewed hope.

Louise also shared that her sister Mary was going through some very hard times. I asked Louise if I could give her a blessed medal for her sister and she gladly accepted my offer. I reached into my pocket and retrieved a blessed medal that I had placed in there that morning before heading out to do my errands. I kissed it, touched it to the one I wear, and handed it to Louise who teared up instantly. She sincerely thanked me.

Just recently, as the Advent season was winding down to the tail end, only a couple of days before Christmas, I went into the same department store to finish up my Christmas shopping. I spotted Louise behind the jewelry counter and went over to say hello and to wish her a very happy Christmas. She was very eager to share a little story with me. Thankfully, there were no customers around the counter and she could freely speak to me. Louise said that she visited her sister recently and Mary told her that she was feeling very sad because she was sorely missing their mother who had passed away the previous Christmas. Mary couldn’t stop thinking of her mother. When she heard the song “Ave Maria” playing, she broke down and cried. It was their mother’s favorite song.

So, at the visit with her sister, Louise pulled out the Miraculous Medal I had given to her for her sister and proceeded to tell Mary about meeting me and the gift of the medal. She also told her sister that I had touched it to the blessed medal that I wear that Mother Teresa had given me (a relic). Her sister began to cry and said she felt very blessed and thankful to receive the special gift. After that, Mary’s husband bought her a chain and she is now wearing the medal. Mary is now feeling comforted with a sacramental of the Blessed Mother who is with her at all times to bring her graces, hope, and encouragement.

I believe that God is so very good and takes care of our every need. He desires that we open our hearts to His whispers to our souls and that we be cooperative to His many graces so that we can help others around us who are struggling with hurt, loneliness, sadness, and pain. So many people are deeply wounded and need a loving touch. Mother Mary is always ready to assist us in getting closer to her Son Jesus.

*****
Photo: Xhienne/Wikimedia Commons

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Death on Hopple Street...

Posted on Jan 27, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Fred Limke, the Advertising Sales Director for Franciscan Media. Fred and his wife Sondra manage 4 cats, 3 granddaughters and 2 sons.

I live in Cincinnati where we have our share of scary situations. Recently during a nighttime demolition of an aging expressway exit ramp, a portion of the old Hopple Street overpass simply collapsed, landing on top of the equipment operator doing the demolition work. Tons of steel and concrete then fell onto southbound I-75, which was still open to traffic. At that instant, a semi driver drove his rig into the falling debris. The truck lurched to a stop, the cab totally crushed. Amazingly, the driver was injured only slightly. The crane operator, a 35-year old father of four, was killed instantly.

The local media interviewed the family of the young man who died. His 84-year old father, it turns out, was no stranger to personal tragedy. He’d also lost a daughter to heart disease at a young age. In the words of someone who’d devoted his life to hard work and family, the father eulogized his son with simple elegance: “He was a good boy, a hard-working boy. I don’t know what else to tell you about him.”

Certainly our hearts and prayers go out to this stricken family. What would any of us do if a loved one were taken from us so suddenly and violently? In Safely Through the Storm: 120 Reflections on Hope, we find this quote from Fr. Henri Nouwen: “The Good News of the Gospel, therefore, is not that God came to take our suffering away, but that God wanted to become part of it.” Suffering in our lives is a given. Yet we are never alone if we invite God to share it with us.

*****

Image courtesy of Serjek, Photoxpress.com

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Death on Hopple Street...

Posted on Jan 27, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Fred Limke, the Advertising Sales Director for Franciscan Media. Fred and his wife Sondra manage 4 cats, 3 granddaughters and 2 sons.

I live in Cincinnati where we have our share of scary situations. Recently during a nighttime demolition of an aging expressway exit ramp, a portion of the old Hopple Street overpass simply collapsed, landing on top of the equipment operator doing the demolition work. Tons of steel and concrete then fell onto southbound I-75, which was still open to traffic. At that instant, a semi driver drove his rig into the falling debris. The truck lurched to a stop, the cab totally crushed. Amazingly, the driver was injured only slightly. The crane operator, a 35-year old father of four, was killed instantly.

The local media interviewed the family of the young man who died. His 84-year old father, it turns out, was no stranger to personal tragedy. He’d also lost a daughter to heart disease at a young age. In the words of someone who’d devoted his life to hard work and family, the father eulogized his son with simple elegance: “He was a good boy, a hard-working boy. I don’t know what else to tell you about him.”

Certainly our hearts and prayers go out to this stricken family. What would any of us do if a loved one were taken from us so suddenly and violently? In Safely Through the Storm: 120 Reflections on Hope, we find this quote from Fr. Henri Nouwen: “The Good News of the Gospel, therefore, is not that God came to take our suffering away, but that God wanted to become part of it.” Suffering in our lives is a given. Yet we are never alone if we invite God to share it with us.

*****

Image courtesy of Serjek, Photoxpress.com

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Card. Marx pulls a fast one with the text of ‘Ev...

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

There was an interview with His Eminence Reinhard Card. Marx in America Magazine.  We can trust that the interview really conveys what Card. Marx thinks because, as we are informed, he had a chance to go over it before publication.

I noticed something in the interview that bothered me… a lot.  Here is the section that most troubled me.  My emphases in his response

What challenge accompanies this new time in the church?

MARX: It is best to read “Evangelii Gaudium.” Some people say, “We don’t know what the pope is really wanting.” I say, “Read the text.” It does not give magical answers to complex questions, but rather it conveys the path of the Spirit, the way of evangelization, being close to the people, close to the poor, close to those who have failed, close to the sinners, not a narcissistic church, not a church of fear. There is a new, free impulse to go out. Some worry about what will happen. Francis uses a strong image: “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets,” rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary. The latter church does not help the people. The Gospel is not new, but Francis is expressing it in a new way and is inspiring a lot of people, all over the world, who are saying, “Yes, that is the church.” It is a great gift for us. It’s very important. We will see what he will do. He has been pope for only two years, which is not much time.

Let’s pull this apart.

Card. Marx says… “Francis is expressing”… and he also forcefully says “Read Evangelii gaudium… Read the text.”

Okay, Your Eminence, let’s read the text from Evangelii gaudium you quoted.

49. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: [Here’s what Marx quoted] I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. […]

Again, now, let’s see what Card. Marx said, paying attention to the position of the quotation marks:

I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary.

Again… let me spell this out:

Francis wrote:

rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.

Marx said:

rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary.

When Card. Marx quotes the Pope, he continues (in the “rather than” section) what people are going to assume is what Francis wrote.

But that’s not what Francis wrote or intended.  Again, pay attention to the position of the quotation marks.

Whereas Francis writes about a Church that is confined, unhealthy, clinging to security, Marx speaks about a Church that is clean and that has the truth.  Marx sets up a dichotomy (a false dichotomy) which is not in Francis’ text: a Church that is clean v. a Church that is dirty… a Church that has truth v. a Church that…. who knows what… that doesn’t?

By closing the quotation marks before the second clause of the sentence, Card. Marx accurately quotes the Pope, but misleads us about the Pope’s intentions.

Card. Marx misintends the intention of the Pope, and sets up a false dichotomy.  The problem with this is that the Church is not susceptible to this sort of dichotomy.

In my years studying Augustine, one thing in his thought was made clear:  Augustine saw the Church in realistic terms as a corpus permixtum malis et bonis, a body mixed through with good people and bad.  The Church is both dirty and clean.

Some people might think that this is a petty point to pick on.  It is after all, only a small item in a longer interview and, as such, not worth the microscope treatment.

I disagree.  This is important.

The words “clean” and “truth” point to the problem of sin.  They set up a discussion, farther along in the interview, of moral issues such as homosexual acts and adultery (civil marriage after divorce without “annulment”).

Card. Marx pulled a fast one with the text of Evangelii gaudium.  Since the Cardinal had a chance to go over this and double-check it, and since the Cardinal told us to read the text and check what the Pope wrote, we have to conclude that we are being misled.

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Card. Marx pulls a fast one with the text of ‘Ev...

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

There was an interview with His Eminence Reinhard Card. Marx in America Magazine.  We can trust that the interview really conveys what Card. Marx thinks because, as we are informed, he had a chance to go over it before publication.

I noticed something in the interview that bothered me… a lot.  Here is the section that most troubled me.  My emphases in his response

What challenge accompanies this new time in the church?

MARX: It is best to read “Evangelii Gaudium.” Some people say, “We don’t know what the pope is really wanting.” I say, “Read the text.” It does not give magical answers to complex questions, but rather it conveys the path of the Spirit, the way of evangelization, being close to the people, close to the poor, close to those who have failed, close to the sinners, not a narcissistic church, not a church of fear. There is a new, free impulse to go out. Some worry about what will happen. Francis uses a strong image: “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets,” rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary. The latter church does not help the people. The Gospel is not new, but Francis is expressing it in a new way and is inspiring a lot of people, all over the world, who are saying, “Yes, that is the church.” It is a great gift for us. It’s very important. We will see what he will do. He has been pope for only two years, which is not much time.

Let’s pull this apart.

Card. Marx says… “Francis is expressing”… and he also forcefully says “Read Evangelii gaudium… Read the text.”

Okay, Your Eminence, let’s read the text from Evangelii gaudium you quoted.

49. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: [Here’s what Marx quoted] I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. […]

Again, now, let’s see what Card. Marx said, paying attention to the position of the quotation marks:

I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary.

Again… let me spell this out:

Francis wrote:

rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.

Marx said:

rather than a church that is very clean and has the truth and everything necessary.

When Card. Marx quotes the Pope, he continues (in the “rather than” section) what people are going to assume is what Francis wrote.

But that’s not what Francis wrote or intended.  Again, pay attention to the position of the quotation marks.

Whereas Francis writes about a Church that is confined, unhealthy, clinging to security, Marx speaks about a Church that is clean and that has the truth.  Marx sets up a dichotomy (a false dichotomy) which is not in Francis’ text: a Church that is clean v. a Church that is dirty… a Church that has truth v. a Church that…. who knows what… that doesn’t?

By closing the quotation marks before the second clause of the sentence, Card. Marx accurately quotes the Pope, but misleads us about the Pope’s intentions.

Card. Marx misintends the intention of the Pope, and sets up a false dichotomy.  The problem with this is that the Church is not susceptible to this sort of dichotomy.

In my years studying Augustine, one thing in his thought was made clear:  Augustine saw the Church in realistic terms as a corpus permixtum malis et bonis, a body mixed through with good people and bad.  The Church is both dirty and clean.

Some people might think that this is a petty point to pick on.  It is after all, only a small item in a longer interview and, as such, not worth the microscope treatment.

I disagree.  This is important.

The words “clean” and “truth” point to the problem of sin.  They set up a discussion, farther along in the interview, of moral issues such as homosexual acts and adultery (civil marriage after divorce without “annulment”).

Card. Marx pulled a fast one with the text of Evangelii gaudium.  Since the Cardinal had a chance to go over this and double-check it, and since the Cardinal told us to read the text and check what the Pope wrote, we have to conclude that we are being misled.

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Four Ways to Increase Faith and Trust in God...

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today our guest blogger is Randy Hain, author of Joyful Witness: How to Be an Extraordinary Catholic.  To learn more about the book—or to share stories of faith—click here.

Joe Zuniga has been married for 30 years, is the parent of 11 children, has nine grandchildren, and has enjoyed a long and successful career as a human resources leader. You don’t have to be around him for long to realize that he sees his wife, children, and grandchildren as gifts from God, and he views his love and care for them and his positive example as his gifts back to God. Based on his story from Joyful Witness, here are four ways to increase your faith and trust in God.

Pray throughout the day. Whether it’s a daily rosary, grace before meals, a nightly Jesuit Examen, or praying with your family before bed, the abundant spiritual fruit from a rich prayer life has no limit.

Practice humility. We can choose daily to put our pride aside and pursue what God wants in our lives, not merely what we want. We don’t have to worry about who gets the credit; instead we can be quick to assign recognition and praise to others, recognizing that we are working for God’s greater glory, not our own.

Have clear priorities. We must be crystal clear about our priorities: God first, family second, and work third. This allows our faith and trust in God to inform and energize our vocations as husband and father, wife and mother. When we keep work in its proper place, we can pursue excellence in any project with joy and the desire to offer it up to God.

Love and serve. Let’s love God wholeheartedly and love and care for our families in ways that provide an example to those around us. We should strive always to deepen our love for the Church and look for ways to serve. Loving our neighbor means doing anything we can to help those we encounter on life’s journey.

*****
Photo: Pavels Arsenjans/PhotoXpress

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New Life...

Posted on Jan 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Saint Augustine tells us that all new life is a miracle. Even though it may be such a common thing for us to see flowers and plants spring up from seeds, and calves born of cows, still, God demonstrates as great a miracle in giving these creatures life, as He did in the feeding of the 5000. 

Yesterday, two calves were born and the miracle of life continued. They are both doing well, and it is wonderful to remark that within hours of being born they are able to stand up and seek milk from their mother. These first few days are the most critical as their life is so fragile.

This young male calf is barely one day old. He is healthy and well.
It is very difficult not to be moved by a newly born animal!
This mother cow is the biggest of all the animals we have.
Here we have the second calf not yet a day old.
He is still a little frail but is doing very well all the same.
Mobile calving pens with locking yokes allow safe access to the calf or mother.
There is a gate which swings around totally surrounding the cow allowing this access.
This the Simmental Bull, Sire to all the calves. 
A feeding passage down the middle of the barn which houses cows on the one side . . .
. . . and last year’s calves on the other side.
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Francis to new bishops…...

Posted on Jan 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Yes, Our Holy Father does have a way of stopping us in our tracks and rereading the sentence.

Not exactly rhetoric in the lofty style, but rhetoric is about getting the point across in way that either persuades, moves or entertains. One considers the ability of one’s audience to follow at which level and then crafts one’s speech accordingly.

According to CNA, Pope Francis said to newly nominated members of the august College of Cardinals:

“The spirit of worldliness … stuns more than grappa on a fast, disorienting and separating one from the cross of Christ.”

Grappa.

So much more than just a great breakfast drink.

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Pope Francis says: GO TO CONFESSION!...

Posted on Jan 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Pope Francis is nothing if not interesting.   When he goes off text or speaks off the cuff… anything can happen.  The usual result is that we are left stopped in our tracks and scratching our heads, trying to figure out what he is talking about.  Sometimes he seems to contradict Catholic teaching or practice (he doesn’t).  The MSM grabs his somewhat artless sound bites and trumpets them, with the result that many Catholic faithful are left confused.   One need only call to mind his remarks on nearly every airplane presser he has given.

However, if we breathe deeply and think, we eventually sort out what Francis is talking about.

Today, however, Francis spoke extemporaneously in one of his non-magisterial morning sermonettes about a topic on which he is rock solid: the need to GO TO CONFESSION.

This Pope often talks about the sacrament of penance.   Francis talks about confession more than his predecessors, as a matter of fact… and that’s a big win.

From the Vatican Radio account we learn:

Pope Francis said confession is not a judgment but a meeting with God who forgives all our sins, without exception. His words came during his homily at his morning Mass on Friday celebrated in the Santa Marta residence. [I would put it a little differently.  Confession is judgment but it is also an exercise in mercy.   In the tribunal of confession we are our own prosecutors.]

Basing his reflections on an extract from St Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, the Pope said our God forgives all our sins, always and without exception and He rejoices when somebody asks him for pardon.  [That’s a key: we must ask.] This God who pardons us, he continued, choose Jesus to set up a new pact with humanity and the cornerstone of this pact is forgiveness for our sins.

“First of all, God always forgives us.  He never tires of this.  It’s we who get tired of asking for forgiveness.  But HE does not tire of pardoning us.   When Peter asked Jesus: ‘How many times must I forgive? Seven times?’ – ‘Not seven times: seventy times by seven.’ Namely always.  That’s how God forgives us: always.  But if you have lived a life full of so many sins, so many bad things, but in the end, a bit repentant, you ask for forgiveness, He will immediately pardon you!  He always pardons us.”

Pope Francis said a doubt can arrive in a person’s heart over how far God is prepared to forgive us. But, he stressed, all you have to do is repent and ask for forgiveness and you don’t have to pay because Christ has already paid on our behalf. [Keep in mind that Christ established the sacrament of penance as the ordinary means by which God desires us to obtain forgiveness for our sins.]

There is no sin which He won’t pardon. [We little finite mortals cannot commit a sin that is so bad that our infinite and all-powerful God cannot forgive.] He forgives everything.  [Provided we ask.] ‘But father, I don’t go to confession because I have committed so many really bad sins, so many that I can’t be pardoned.’  No, this is not true.  He forgives everything.  If you go (to confession) repentant, He will forgive everything. [And all the sins you have forgotten are forgiven as well, provided you make your confession sincerely and completely as you are able at the time.]  When… so many times He doesn’t even let you speak! You start to ask for forgiveness and He lets you feel that joy of forgiveness before you have even finished confessing everything.”

The Pope went on to describe how God rejoices when somebody asks for forgiveness and at the same time He “forgets” or wipes out from his memory our sins.  [An important point!  Once we have confessed our sins and obtained absolution, it is as if they never were on our soul.  They are gone, eradicated, taken away, washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb.  They are not merely “ignored” by God, or “covered over”.  That is an error non-Catholics make.  On the contrary, they are so thoroughly forgiven that they are, quite simply, no more.  We remember them, but the sins will not be “remembered” against us at our judgment.] The reason for this, he explained, is because what matters for God is for us to meet with him. Confession is not a judgment but a meeting with God. [Well… it’s also a judgment, but one in which mercy is exercised.]

“Confessions often seem like a procedure, a formality.   Everything is mechanical!  No!  Where’s the meeting in this? [Well… the process, the formality can free a penitent and help her get past the jitters.  Also, there is nothing wrong with formality in a moment which is so profound as submitting oneself to God for, yes, judgment and mercy.  But the Pope is surely meaning to be encouraging.] The meeting with the Lord who pardons you, hugs you and rejoices.  [Maybe the Lord hugs you, but don’t expect me to, not in the confessional.] And this is our God who is so good.  We too need to teach (others): teach our children, our youngsters to make a good confession, because going to confession is not like going to the dry cleaners to get a stain removed.  No!  It’s about going to meet with our Father who pardons us, who forgives us and who rejoices.”

Everyone… GO TO CONFESSION.

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Pope Francis says: GO TO CONFESSION!...

Posted on Jan 24, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Pope Francis is nothing if not interesting.   When he goes off text or speaks off the cuff… anything can happen.  The usual result is that we are left stopped in our tracks and scratching our heads, trying to figure out what he is talking about.  Sometimes he seems to contradict Catholic teaching or practice (he doesn’t).  The MSM grabs his somewhat artless sound bites and trumpets them, with the result that many Catholic faithful are left confused.   One need only call to mind his remarks on nearly every airplane presser he has given.

However, if we breathe deeply and think, we eventually sort out what Francis is talking about.

Today, however, Francis spoke extemporaneously in one of his non-magisterial morning sermonettes about a topic on which he is rock solid: the need to GO TO CONFESSION.

This Pope often talks about the sacrament of penance.   Francis talks about confession more than his predecessors, as a matter of fact… and that’s a big win.

From the Vatican Radio account we learn:

Pope Francis said confession is not a judgment but a meeting with God who forgives all our sins, without exception. His words came during his homily at his morning Mass on Friday celebrated in the Santa Marta residence. [I would put it a little differently.  Confession is judgment but it is also an exercise in mercy.   In the tribunal of confession we are our own prosecutors.]

Basing his reflections on an extract from St Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, the Pope said our God forgives all our sins, always and without exception and He rejoices when somebody asks him for pardon.  [That’s a key: we must ask.] This God who pardons us, he continued, choose Jesus to set up a new pact with humanity and the cornerstone of this pact is forgiveness for our sins.

“First of all, God always forgives us.  He never tires of this.  It’s we who get tired of asking for forgiveness.  But HE does not tire of pardoning us.   When Peter asked Jesus: ‘How many times must I forgive? Seven times?’ – ‘Not seven times: seventy times by seven.’ Namely always.  That’s how God forgives us: always.  But if you have lived a life full of so many sins, so many bad things, but in the end, a bit repentant, you ask for forgiveness, He will immediately pardon you!  He always pardons us.”

Pope Francis said a doubt can arrive in a person’s heart over how far God is prepared to forgive us. But, he stressed, all you have to do is repent and ask for forgiveness and you don’t have to pay because Christ has already paid on our behalf. [Keep in mind that Christ established the sacrament of penance as the ordinary means by which God desires us to obtain forgiveness for our sins.]

There is no sin which He won’t pardon. [We little finite mortals cannot commit a sin that is so bad that our infinite and all-powerful God cannot forgive.] He forgives everything.  [Provided we ask.] ‘But father, I don’t go to confession because I have committed so many really bad sins, so many that I can’t be pardoned.’  No, this is not true.  He forgives everything.  If you go (to confession) repentant, He will forgive everything. [And all the sins you have forgotten are forgiven as well, provided you make your confession sincerely and completely as you are able at the time.]  When… so many times He doesn’t even let you speak! You start to ask for forgiveness and He lets you feel that joy of forgiveness before you have even finished confessing everything.”

The Pope went on to describe how God rejoices when somebody asks for forgiveness and at the same time He “forgets” or wipes out from his memory our sins.  [An important point!  Once we have confessed our sins and obtained absolution, it is as if they never were on our soul.  They are gone, eradicated, taken away, washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb.  They are not merely “ignored” by God, or “covered over”.  That is an error non-Catholics make.  On the contrary, they are so thoroughly forgiven that they are, quite simply, no more.  We remember them, but the sins will not be “remembered” against us at our judgment.] The reason for this, he explained, is because what matters for God is for us to meet with him. Confession is not a judgment but a meeting with God. [Well… it’s also a judgment, but one in which mercy is exercised.]

“Confessions often seem like a procedure, a formality.   Everything is mechanical!  No!  Where’s the meeting in this? [Well… the process, the formality can free a penitent and help her get past the jitters.  Also, there is nothing wrong with formality in a moment which is so profound as submitting oneself to God for, yes, judgment and mercy.  But the Pope is surely meaning to be encouraging.] The meeting with the Lord who pardons you, hugs you and rejoices.  [Maybe the Lord hugs you, but don’t expect me to, not in the confessional.] And this is our God who is so good.  We too need to teach (others): teach our children, our youngsters to make a good confession, because going to confession is not like going to the dry cleaners to get a stain removed.  No!  It’s about going to meet with our Father who pardons us, who forgives us and who rejoices.”

Everyone… GO TO CONFESSION.

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Stand for Life...

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a second-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.

Today we remember Roe v. Wade, that awful Supreme Court decision that sits among Plessy v. Ferguson and Dred Scott v. Sandford as one of the most controversial rulings the Court has ever made. Since then, at least 50 million unborn children have been aborted in the United States.

50 million too many.

Right now, hundreds of thousands of people are remembering that horrible day by marching in protest in Washington, D. C. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. I imagine that a lot of you readers aren’t among those people on the March for Life, either. But even though I’m not in D. C. right now, I plan to stand for life in my own way, right here, on my college campus. It probably won’t be anything too special. I’ll probably walk around campus with a pro-life shirt on. I’ll probably try to talk to some people about how important it is to respect life from conception to natural death. I might even participate in some on-campus protests. And no matter what, I’ll pray. I’ll pray not only for the unborn victims of abortion, but for everyone involved–the mothers, the fathers, the family members, the friends–no matter what circumstances may surround these people.

I pray that all of us may take some sort of stand for life today. I pray that anyone reading this post might remember to stand for life somehow, even if it only involves saying some prayers for the unborn. But more than anything, I pray that there will be an end to abortion in this nation. May God answer that prayer with haste.

(CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World)

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."