Have Courage

We must always remember that no matter what happens in our lives, God has already won the victory in Christ Jesus. Our job is to take heart and to bear our trials with patience, even when it is not easy. Check out this encouraging quote by St. John of the Cross:

CourageandPersJohnofCross

There will be trials ahead, both personally and as a society, but if we remain fast, persevere with courage, and trust in the Lord, all will work out according to HIS plan, and for our greater good! God bless!

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Quote found at Catholicbible101

Give Yourself the Gift of Confession this Lent

Give Yourself the Gift of Confession this LentGo to confession. Truly.

Church teaching requires that Catholics go to confession at least once a year. However, to grow in the spiritual life, the Church encourages Catholics to go at least once a month (when I was young, we were encouraged to go every two weeks). But this post isn’t about the theology behind confession or Church teach.

You see, I love going to confession. Besides the Eucharist, Confession is my favorite sacrament. (Crazy, I know!) Don’t get me wrong, I still get nervous sometimes when I go to confession. I sometimes think I don’t have anything to say. And yes, I often confess the same things over again. But that’s okay!

When we go to Confession, we don’t just have our sins forgiven. We gain grace and strength to live out our womanly vocation. Additionally, depending on the priest, we can get some really good insights and/or advice. Even if we don’t, we still encounter Christ in a very real and profound way in Confession.

Sure, just like the liturgy, it is great if get to confess to a priest who is on fire for his faith and truly a vessel of Christ. But, sadly, that just isn’t always going to happen unless we are blessed to be in a parish with priests who understand the value of the sacrament. We just need to remember that no matter what vessel Jesus decides to use, it is JESUS we confess to in the Sacrament. Years ago, I read in a book that when we go to confession we “whisper into the ear of Jesus.” That has made such an impact on me and to this day I try to remember that when I go to confession.

Over the years, I have gone to confession to some wonderful priests and there have been times when I left the confessional wondering if the sacrament was valid! One day I realized that I have a choice. I know the priests in the area that I like and I try to make a point of confessing to them. Of course, I realize that I am blessed to live in an area where there are several churches with at least two priests in the parish. If you live in an area where that is not possible, please don’t let that stop you from the Sacrament. The grace is still there!

So please, if you can, please take the opportunity to go to confession. Here is a little blurb on how to make a good confession, if you need it.

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Christ the King

(Repost with some changes)

Christ the King

Image by geralt (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Wow! Yesterday was the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical calendar. It’s hard to believe that we will be heading into Advent next week! Where has the time gone?

“At the name of Jesus every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS Lord.” Philippians 2:10-11

Yesterday, the Church celebrated the feast of Christ the King. It is the day that we celebrate and acknowledge the all-encompassing authority of Christ over our lives. To find out more about this awesome feast, go here.

As we transition into Advent, like many of us, I have been thinking about what I want to do to prepare for Christmas this year. In light of today’s feast, here are some questions I am asking myself:

  • How have I grown in my relationship with Jesus this year?
  • Am I growing in trust and surrendering my will to His?
  • In what areas of my relationship with Jesus do I need to improve?
  • How has my prayer life been this year? Am I taking time for the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and other devotions?
  • Am I actively participating in the sacramental life? Am I fully participating in the Mass? Confession?
  • What can I do this year to make Advent a true preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas?

As you prepare for the Advent season, I pray that Christ will truly be at the center of your heart, that you may grow in His Love, and that you will be guided by the Holy Spirit throughout the season and always. 🙂

Tweetable: Christ the King

 

Saints and Feasts in December 2015

Since next week is the solemnity of Christ the King and Thanksgiving, and I won’t be doing much (if any) blogging, I thought I would get a jump start and send out the saints and feasts for December a little early.

Don’t you just love December! I know there is a lot of work and stress that goes into the holidays but we have to make time to remember what the holidays are about: Jesus! Besides Christmas (of course), there are some lovely and wonderful solemnities, feasts and memorials that I hope you won’t be too busy to overlook.

In addition, to make December even more special, December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, begins the Holy Year of Mercy! No doubt this will be a year of great grace!

Saints and Feasts in Dec 2015

Without further ado, here are the most notable dates for December:

Saints and Feasts

December 3:  St. Francis Xavier, priest (obligatory memorial)

December 4: St. John Damascene, priest (optional memorial)

December 4: First Friday Devotions (optional)

December 5: First Saturday Devotions (optional)

December 7: St. Ambrose, bishop & doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

December 8: The Immaculate Conception (solemnity, holy day of obligation)

December 9: St. Juan Diego (optional memorial)

December 11: St. Damasus I, pope (optional memorial)

December 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe (feast)

December 14: St. John of the Cross, priest & doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

December 21: St. Canisius, priest & doctor of the church (optional memorial)

December 23: St. John of Kanty, priest (optional memorial)

December 25: Nativity of Our Lord, Merry Christmas! (solemnity, holy day of obligation)

December 26: St. Stephen, the first martyr (feast)

December 27: The Holy Family (feast)

December 28: The Holy Innocents, martyrs (feasts)

December 29: St. Thomas Becket, bishop & martyr (optional memorial)

December 31: St. Sylvester I, pope (optional memorial)

 Other Dates to Note

Every Saturday is traditionally dedicated to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

December is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

December 7: Pearl Harbor Day, 1941 (USA)

December 21: Winter Begins

December 26: Boxing Day (Canada)

I pray you will have a blessed and holy Advent leading up to Christmas, filled with joy and family.

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Tweetable: Saints & Feasts in December 2015

Image by artemtation (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

31 Days With Mary: Day 20

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Our Hope

“The King of Heaven, being infinite Goodness, desires in the highest degree to enrich us with His graces. But because confidence is a necessary condition for being heard, and because He wants to increase our confidence, He has given us His own Mother as our Mother and intercessor, and has granted her all power to help us. So it is that He wishes us to place our hope for salvation and every blessing in her.” –St. Alphonse Liguori

Offering: A smile for those we love, even when we don’t feel like it.

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(P.S. The third day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost is today. Don’t have a prayer? Follow the novena here.)

Saint Michael, the Archangel

Today is the feast of the great Archangel, St. Michael (along with st. Raphael and Gabriel). His intercession is so necessary and important in these uncertain times when it seems like evil and darkness and overcoming the world.

Saint Michael

But, we must take heart! The victory has already been won in Christ and we have St. Michael battling on our side! Evil will not overcome, and even in our darkest days we must remember that in the end, God will prevail. No matter what is battling against us, we must take courage and continuing fighting the good fight.

It is so important to have devotion to Saint Michael and we should pray the prayer of St. Michael every day! Did you know that the prayer to St. Michael that most of us are familiar with is the shortened version of the original St. Michael Prayer? The original prayer is quite powerful and it would be good to pray the longer version regularly, too.

Here’s the longer version of St. Michael in video form:

By the way, this devotion is something not only for ourselves. We should endeavor to instill devotion to St. Michael in our children. We can teach them and encourage them to pray the prayer to St. Michael every day – even make it a regular part of morning or evening prayers.

If your family doesn’t  have a particular devotion to St. Michael, today would be a great day to start! Many of us Catholic moms do different activities to mark special feast days anyway, and today is definitely an important day of the church calendar and worth celebrating.

A quick search online will bring up different activities and crafts to do; and, if you are the crafty type you can probably put together some fun ways to teach your children about St. Michael (and the other Archangels). Unfortunately, I’m not very crafty. I will read about St. Michael in our saints book, have him color this coloring page and plan a special meal and dessert (Angel food cake, of course!) similar to what I found here.

What are you doing (or have done) in your family to commemorate this feast?

St. Michael the Archangel, Pray for us!