Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 14 is the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. I think the following scripture (the 2nd reading from the feast day’s mass) from Philippians 2:6-11 sums up this feast perfectly:

Image by calibra (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by chaddyfynn (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Though He was in the From of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at.

Rather, He took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men.

He was known to be of human estate, and it was thus that He humbled himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!

Because of this, God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name above every other name,

So that at Jesus’ name 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!

I cannot even begin to fathom the awesomeness of God’s mercy in giving us His son, Jesus, to suffer, die and rise for our salvation. It is simply mind-boggling. What an amazing love God has for us! What lengths He went to in order to assure our place in heaven and to bring us into relationship with Him!

May we today, and every day, remember that great love, especially when we go through struggles and difficulties. There is no suffering that we go through that will compare to the sufferings of Jesus. He knows the feelings of desolation, despair, and agony. And because of that, He is able to assist us and be with us in our suffering. Let us try to live in trust and hope knowing God will always be there for us!

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Tweetable: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

That You May Have Life: Saints and Scripture Sunday

“…I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Today is sandwiched between the “Day of Penance for violations to the dignity of the human person”, which was yesterday, and the March for Life, which is tomorrow.

These days remind us again of the need to work and pray for the respect of all persons, from conception to natural death.We have a lot of work to do in the pro-life movement, and with life being ever more degraded and tossed aside each day, it feels like an uphill battle. We must  not lose courage, though. In God we are “more than conquerors” (Rm 8:37) and the “victory has already been won in Christ!” (1 Cor 15: 57)

Each person is sacred, unique, and precious in God’s eyes. YOU are sacred, unique, and precious in God’s eyes. We should occasionally take a time to remember that and rejoice in that. So, today, in the midst of battle let us rejoice and take a moment to revel in God’s love for us. 🙂

(Linked to The Kennedy Adventures!)

The Holy Name of Jesus: Saints and Scripture Sunday

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them, ‘Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in His name this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.’ There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” Acts 4:8-12

Traditionally in the Catholic Church, January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. The feast has been celebrated in the church since the 15th century on a local level and was extended to the whole church in 1721. The feast of the Holy name of Jesus is a wonderful feast (optional memorial, actually) that is officially celebrated on January 3rd. The feast is overlooked, however, due to all the other celebrations of the Christmas season, which is why I am mentioning it now. 🙂 .

Here are some resources about and devotions for the Holy Name of Jesus for the month of January:

Catholic Encyclopedia

Wikipedia

Prayers in honor of the Holy Name

Fisheaters

About.com

(Linked to The Kennedy Adventures!)

Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival (September 5)

Here’s this week’s Sunday Snippets:

Sunday: The Beheading Edition of Saints and Scripture Sunday

Monday: Saint Jeanne Jugan: Champion of the Aged

Tuesday: 10 Random Things I want to Learn Before I Die

Works for Me Wednesday’s  monthly theme:  Back to School Tips

Thursday: September Stands for Sorrow

Fearless Friday: Prayer for Those Trying to Conceive

Hope you all have a wonderful and productive week! God bless!

The Beheading Edition: Saints and Scripture Sunday

If it wasn’t Sunday, it would be the memorial of the beheading of St. John the Baptist.

“Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him , It is not lawful for you to to have her.’ Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.’ The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.” Matthew 14:3-12

We are very fortunate in our country that we haven’t had to die or endure serious suffering for our faith; not yet, at least. I can see it happening in the near future though, if society continues as is and the government continues to seize control of all aspects of our lives.  We live in scary times, don’t we?

Saint John is an incredible witness to the faith for our times. He was bold and not afraid to speak the truth, to call out Herod for doing what was unlawful and not pleasing to the Lord – no matter what the cost. He was the forerunner of Christ and it cost him his life. He was not afraid to go against the grain and ruffle some feathers.

Me? I shy away from talking about the Lord or standing up for the tenets of our faith, especially in casual conversations. Sure, it’s easy to talk about Jesus and faith here on my blog. It’s almost like “preaching to the choir” because many who read my blog share the same values/belief system as me.

It’s not like talking to family, friends or acquaintances face to face. All the ‘what-ifs” pop up: What would he/she think? What if I’m rejected? What if they don’t want to be friends anymore or talk to me anymore? It’s all unfounded fear based on “me” and not pure love.

Pure love is “willing the good of another.” The ultimate “good” is God and being with him forever. If I truly love, than I want all people to be with God in heaven. So, if speaking out is the ultimate good for that person, then I shouldn’t let let fear stop me. But, I do.

There is such an assault on our values: contraception, abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, pre-marital relations. The Ten Commandments are pretty much ignored and those who follow the teachings of the Church are considered “out-of-touch” and old-fashioned. If one lives out their faith with any regularity they are considered fanatics.

We (and I’m speaking mostly about myself here) need to be like Saint John the Baptist. Be bold. Go against the grain. Speak out. We need to “die to ourselves” and live fully in Jesus and then allow Jesus to work through us  to bring His love to others. Yes, we need to pray for others, but we (I) also need to reach out and not be afraid to call them out, in love, when we can.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us! Help us to be faithful and confident witnesses for Christ!

(For more Saints and Scripture head over to Kennedy Adventures.)

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

StMaxWM

August 14 is the obligatory memorial for Saint Maximilian Kolbe. He had a strong devotion to Our Lady, so it is fitting that his feast falls on the eve of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe has quickly become one of our favorite saints and it all started a few years ago. You see, we have this custom in our family (which we “stole” from Saint Faustina’s Diaryaff link) every New Year’s Eve  to pick a special patron for the New Year.  What we do is: I write a bunch of saint names on little pieces of paper, fold them up and put in a hat or other container. Then we take turns picking out a saint. Whoever we pick becomes our special patron saint for the New Year.

During the course of year, we spend time getting to know our special patron by reading up on him/her doing crafts related to him/her and praying to him/her every day. One year, Andrew picked Saint Maximilian Kolbe out of the hat for his special patron and we started getting to know “Saint Max” and celebrating his life.

Most people know Saint Maximilian as the Franciscan Priest who gave his life for another man in the Auschwitz concentration camp; but, he is so much more than that!  In spite of bad health, he was a missionary and champion of the faith; he published a magazine and used the radio to “illuminate the truth and show the true way to happiness” to the people of Poland and elsewhere. He had a great zeal for souls and great love for Our Lady, attributes we should all imitate!

Saint Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!

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Image in Public Domain

(Linked to The Kennedy Adventures’s Saints and Scripture Sunday posts!)