Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Pass this on to 5 blogging friends. Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that.
"...What is more, he knew where he came from."~The Fellowship of Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
"But how did he find that out?" asked Frodo.
"Well, as for the name, Bilbo very foolishly told Gollum himself; and after that it would not be difficult to discover his country, once Gollum came out."
I tag anyone who hasn't done this yet!! :-)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Thank you Jesus for everything,
For every person, creature, and blessing,
Without You and them, my life would be so hollow,
And that’s why I’m saying mahalo.
Mahalo for my parents,
Who try to make my life straight not bent,
Mahalo for my siblings,
Without them, life would be so boring. :-P
Mahalo for my friends,
Whose friendship would never end,
Mahalo for my pets,
Who are so cute and colorful I bet.
Mahalo for the birds that sweetly sing,
And the comfort that cats and dogs bring,
Mahalo for every creature great and small,
From the tiniest ant to the giraffe so tall.
Mahalo for the flowers from roses to daises,
From colorful carnations to little white lilies,
Mahalo for plant life, whose names can be a disguise,
Especially for Hawaii ’s favorite, the bird of paradise.
Mahalo for the ocean so blue,
That fish swim in like there are always things to do,
Mahalo for the beach where it’s so fun to play,
Otherwise there would be no such thing beach day. :-(
Mahalo for the beautiful sky above,
Which is a sign of Your wonderful love,
Mahalo for the moon and the stars at night,
And the sun that gives us much light.
Mahalo for delicious food,
Which cheers us up when we’re in the mood,
From lumpia to grilled steak,
And from chocolate to pineapple cake.
But most of all, I thank you for you,
For your birth, death, resurrection too,
Mahalo for being my best Friend,
Whose love for me would never end.
Thank you Jesus for everything,
For every person, creature, and blessing,
Without You and them, my life would be so hollow,
And that’s why I’m saying mahalo.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
"The apostle is a temple of the most holy Trinity, within whom God is supremely active. The apostle exudes God from every pore: with words, works, prayers, actions, and attitudes, in public and in private, with one's entire being. Live God! Give God!" ~Blessed James Alberione
James Alberione (1884-1971) was born in a peasant family with four other brothers. Um...unfortunately I can't say too much about his childhood because I have two books that mostly tell about his later works in life. Anyway, with poor health, his mother always took care of him. She'd teach him about God and take him to church, often sitting in the back just in case he felt sick.
When he was six years old, his teacher, Rosina Cardona (Kind of like one of those sweet Sunday School teachers I imagine :-), asked her eighty students what they wanted to do in the future. James paused for a moment before saying, "I am going to be a priest." His teacher then saw great potential in him, and did her best to teach him well.
Even with poor health, thin and weak, he advanced well in his school years. Once, when he was nine years old, he was running fast to tell his mother that he had passed ahead of his class. But he didn't dare to tell her that he had promised to light a candle to the Madonna of Flowers, whom his mother had a great devotion to. She guessed, and scolded him saying not to just like a little candle. Then she gave him a coin that was enough for a larger one.
As a student he loved to read. He'd play sometimes, but it wasn't his aptitude, due to his poor health. He'd rather watch, or study with another student.
Most students, especially farmers, would usually finish after third grade (sniff...why can't we?), but James Alberione was the first in his family to have gone through the first year of junior high.
When farming (or something, I can't remember) he would be in charge of holding the lantern for light. Tired and sleepy, it was hard for him to lift it high. So that his father wouldn't scold him, his mother would call out to him, "James, give them light!"
Part two about entering the seminary coming next year :-P ;-)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I think the following song really fits the election for those who were voting for life... in my opinion anyway. It was composed by a group of three girls (siblings, and homeschooled!!!) who always base their songs on real meanings, not just weird ones that don't make any sense. It's kind of why they're one of my favorite singers. :-)
One More Round
Round 1 wasn't how I thought it'd be
Round 2, I'm struggling to breathe,
3, 4, 5, 6, 7 times I wonder why I
stepped inside this ring.
I may be knocked down and so bruised
but I'm here to tell you
I may be knocked down, but not for the count...
So take me one more round
I'll just keep fighting
One more round
You're messing me up but I'm still here
One more round
I'll come out swinging
One more round
I'm telling you now I'm not going to lose it here.
It's so hard to get up off the floor again
But I know that victory is near,
I'm pushing through the pain that tries to feed me lies
that I won't reach the end.
I may be bloodied and so bruised
but I'm here to tell you
I may be knocked down but not for the count...
I am not defeated,
though you cannot see it,
I have never won a battle on my own.
I find strength in weakness
and find hope believing,
God is for me who can bring me down?
Even though I'm beaten up and hurt, you can't take me down, because God is at my side. You can knock me down, but I'll come back springing up. My body may be so tired... but not my will. I'm not giving up fighting for life! Don't let anyone knock you down, come back! Don't let them count your fall as a point! God is with us, who can take us down?
"The one who does things makes mistakes (sometimes). But the one who does nothing lives a continuous mistake." ~Bl. James Alberione
Saturday, November 1, 2008
...and some part of my saying of pro-life. Anyway, here's a another vid I made. Thanks to Ms. Micki at http://thewindowshowsitall.blogspot.com/index.html for several of the featured holy cards.
I’ve been hearing voices
Telling me that I could
Never be what I wanna be.
They’re binding me with lies,
Haunting me at night,
And saying there’s nothing to believe.
Somewhere in the quietness,
When I’m overcome with loneliness,
I hear You call my name.
And like a father You are near
And as I listen I can hear You say
You are a child of Mine
Born of My own design
And you bear the heart of life.
No matter where you go,
Oh, you will always know
You have been made free in Christ.
You are a child of Mine
And so I listen as You tell me who I am
And who it is I’m gonna be.
And I hang on every word,
Knowing I have heard
I am Yours and I am free
But when I am alone at night
That is when I hear the lie
You’ll never be enough
And though I’m giving into fear
If I listen I can hear You say
I am calling…I am calling…I am calling…
The saints heard the call of Jesus to be His children, and we are called too! As his children it is our duty to listen and obey like good children. But listening wouldn't be called listening if it wasn't followed by obeying... We're God's children, isn't that amazing?! He gave us the ultimate gift of life. But if we're God's children, then who are we to destroy it? We don't stand a chance against the Creator and Author of Life.
Imagine God's gift of life and abortion like this: You've been planting a flower for a special person. When you finally see that it's starting to grow, and you're so excited, that special person you've been growing this plant for, comes, pulls it out, roots and all, saying it's a weed. And they don't want a weed. But the flower hasn't even grown so much or bloomed out yet, how could you say it's a weed?
Those pre-born haven't done anything wrong. Not yet anyway. Not like they've killed someone. Not like they have done something so horrid that it death for more than one person. In fact, they haven't gotten a chance to do anything. What part of "Thou shalt not kill" do the abortionists not understand? God created life for us to live, not to destroy other's!
Even if I'm only a child, and cannot vote yet, doesn't mean I'm not old enough to help speak the truth out. I'm not afraid of being pro-life, neither should those pro-lifers be. Jesus mentioned more than one time to not be afraid. And he's also saying it today. You're alive. I think that should be more than enough to be thankful for. If you're alive, then I think you should stand up.
Life is life. Death is death. Killing is murder. Abortion is not just bad, it's 100% wrong. No one can change that. Not 75%, not even 99% wrong. St. Paul says let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no, all the way. It's that simple, like black and white. If black and white were the only colors that existed, then you can't have grey. There.
Let's fight the good fight of our faith, for life!
Please Vote for Life!!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
"There is no such thing as bad weather. All weather is good because it is God's." Saint Teresa of Avila
Since I've already posted several of the saints' stories, I've decided for this year (until next May) to write about their childhood and vocation story (before becoming ordained or entering convent). Part 2, which will be about...well, the next part, I will write next year. :-) If I haven't done a saint's childhood this year, I'll have to do it next time. (Like St. Faustina's feastday I missed:-( )
Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada (wow long name...) grew up in a family of ten. Six brothers and only one sister. :-S Not to mention several other servants... But her 'favorite' sibling was her older brother who was closest to her, Rodrigo. They would often hide away in the garden and have their own religious discussions. Most would be about becoming martyrs. They probably based their attraction of martyrdom on the fact that the finest church in Avila had the relics of three child martyrs of Rome: Vincent, Cristeta, and Sabina. When Teresa was seven, they even attempted to run away to North Africa were they were sure that the Moslems would kill them. After they were sadly taken away by their uncle home, Rodrigo, whose feet were already sore, blamed it all on little Teresa, "It was la nina (little girl) who dragged me into it." Both were soundly punished. :-(
Besides the great desire to be martyred, she also wanted to become a nun. She built her own cloister with stones from the garden. Unfortunately, it collapsed, leaving Teresa planning something else. Cloth began to disappear from the house as Teresa then decided to make her own habit. Her impatient desire for instant sanctity only resulted as more trouble.
After a while she got tired of it. By the time she was fifteen, she was considered as one of the most beautiful ladies in Avila. Her sweet 'piousness' turned into sour frivolous. Like many other vocation stories, this was the part right before setting out for Damascus. Her father, fed up with her flirtations, sent her off to a convent at the age of sixteen for an education and discipline. Teresa wasn't too happy about that. Once there, she managed to keep in contact with her worldly friends, feeling cooped or locked up.
But after some time, and ever so slowly, she began to realize what she had been doing. Teresa began to worry, "Should I be a nun, or a wife?" Nervous strains and exhaustions made her feel rather ill as she thought up reasons not to enter the convent. She couldn't take it anymore. She came back home, and while keeping the house for her family, thought and discerned what God wanted of her. But it began to be just too obvious. God was calling her, and who was she to stand against His Holy Will? Teresa stopped worrying and at the age of twenty, against her father's wishes, she ran off to the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation.
To be continued... ;-)
O my God! Source of all mercy! I acknowledge Your sovereign power. While recalling the wasted years that are past, I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain. Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things. Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your grace, both now and in the future, that I may appear before You in "wedding garments." Amen.
~Saint Teresa of Avila
Pic, prayer, and quote source & info from the book: Catholic World Culture, and yes, my history schoolbook.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Mahalo to Pueo for tagging me! :-D
Here's the deal - go to your pictures, go to the 6th file, go to the 6th picture and then post it. For bonus points [yeah, sure, there's points] see if you can remember even taking the picture.
Well....I've got a problem too. :-P ...actually, really two. Since Cy and I use the same computer, I'll probably end up with the same picture (unless I miscount :-P) ;-). But (currently) I'm using the laptop on which my profile doesn't have a sixth folder. (yeah, that's how small it is...) For me, there's only three folders: the sample pics, the bulging folder of JMJ holy cards, and yes, the gigantic one with the saint cards. The rest of the pictures that I have are lying around in the My Pictures ...I don't usually blog with this computer, but anyway...
Oh right, I forgot... I didn't take any pictures that are in my folders. :-(
Here's the sixth picture:
NOTE: I did not take this picture!! (but that'd be so awesome if I did ;-) ) That was a long time ago. No, Sr. Kim, or Sr. Maria Kim as she is called now, sent this one to me (by email) some time before she was professed. She said she and her other fellow novices were at a... I can't remember. It was a book something... I've forgotten what she called it. I had to delete the message because of this advertisement that I thought that was real saying that I was over limit on my email space. I never did delete emails before... so then... :-P Anyways, I'm happy to say that (or type) that (I'm pretty sure) that all those novices in the photo all had their first profession now! :-D
I tag Kaila,
and anyone who hasn't done this one yet! :-)
...Okay I guess. :-P
H/T to Nunblog
St. Paul Interactive Game
I got three swords around the second journey... (no fair! the computer was so slow.... :-P ;-)
Hopefully you can get much better than that! :-D
Thursday, October 9, 2008
St. Anicet Adolfo
St. Augusto Andres
St. Benito de Jesus
St. Benjamin Julian
St. Cirilo Bertra'N
St. Inocencio de la Immaculada
St. Julian Alfredo
St. Marciano Jose
St. Victoriano Pio
Brothers of the Christian Schools martyred in 1934 in the persecutions of the Spanish Civil War.
PS~Sorry this was posted so late again. :-P
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
(video taken from Cy's blog last year)
Sorry this was posted soooo late. I would've made a video myself, but I haven't had the time lately. :-)
I remember the first time (I mean, second time :-P) I saw this movie... It was with some of my friends at the movie theater when it first came out. It was supposed to be just with friends, but the mothers insisted that they would go. We all went in with that 'okay... I wonder what this movie is kinda about' feeling, and came out with tears. (or, at least the moms did)
I have to say that my favorite parts were when St. Therese and her sisters really treated each other like good siblings. ;-) Like the many times when Celine cheered her up (in school) and gave up entering the convent sooner so that Therese wouldn't have to stay to take care of her father... and when Pauline helped her in (home)schooling her(!!). And when they all prayed for her when she was sick and the time when they all performed the play about St. Joan of Arc!
I really love the soundtrack of this movie! It really fits her. It was nice to know that it was composed by another nun named after St. Therese. Another interesting fact to know is that the actress (who played St. Therese...and I can't remember her name) became converted and took the name Faustina Therese. :-) Has anyone else out there seen it? :-)
Monday, September 29, 2008
- from a homily by Pope Saint Gregory the Great
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
"For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy." - Saint Therese of Lisieux
I won't be posting the novena prayers everyday for nine days this time... :-) You could find them down there on the side bar (under novenas) or here.
pic from here
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Sorry for such a late post...
"Meanwhile, by night and day, we confirm our souls by exercises of piety, we chastise our bodies by scourging, haircloths, and other like mortifications; and what constitutes our greatest consolation, we minister at the altar daily. And it has surely been by a special providence of God, that vestments and other requisites for the holy sacrifices were introduced unseen by the guards, after we had been at first for several months deprived of them and unable to refresh ourselves with that heavenly bread of angels.
For my own part I am overjoyed at this special benefit of God, accomplishing the desire which chiefly brought me hither, and I esteem it above the splendor of all fleeting dignities. And justly, for Saint Paul, after being once imprisoned triumphed more in the glory of his chains and bonds, than in his very apostleship, calling himself `Bound in the Lord.' I blush for shame when I think how by no merit of mine, I have obtained this great grace; how God, having before so many holy persons who have cultivated this vineyard with such admirable zeal, has cast his eyes on me, the last of all in the gifts of nature and merit.
I, who can aver that I now begin to be a disciple of Christ amid the greatest pain and confinement of prison, even when my strength seemed failing from hunger alone, I was always refreshed by such delights of consolation, that I deemed all my sufferings undergone in the divine service richly rewarded. Were I still to pass several years in this dungeon, the time would seem to me short in my intense desire of suffering for His love, who so lavishly rewards the labors of this life and makes even torture itself sweet and desirable. Yet God is to be served chiefly for himself alone, for He is the fountain of all goodness, and merits all our devotion without any hope of reward."
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Got tagged by Cy and Mom! Thanks! :-D
What picture would I use for my holy card, should I make it to sainthood, and of what cause(s) would I want to be patron(ess) of?
Sorry that I wasn't able to post this earlier... I couldn't find the right picture. :-P (usually I'm the one behind the camera) Haha... actually I was going to post one holding up a camera trying to take a picture of the one who was taking a picture of me, but it turned out that she took the picture first... :-) Then there were a couple of ones of me holding up plates with smiley faces in front of my face... ;-) Anyway, I found a really old one after we moved...
Mom said it was okay because I said that I don't think look like that anymore... (do I?) :-D I picked this one because all holy card pics are old and look old, right? jk :-P :-) I think this one was taken when I was about five or six years old...
Should I make it to sainthood? Um, should I? ;-) I dunno, I was kind of looking forward to writing someone else's saint story who I know! :-) Wouldn't that be fun to do? I'd rather write someone else's story...
Patroness... photographers! The people who are behind the cameras! :-D And maybe young people... Oh! and young vocations too! I found out that there are only about two who are patrons of it! ...But that's not up to me. :-) (updated) But if I could possibly choose, I'd really like to be the patroness of "unknown saints". It's kind of odd, but I've read a lot of saint stories who have stories just good as all those other famous saints. But not just those unknown saints too! I think it would include all those other people living in the present world who are kind of like "unknown saints" helping little by little in little ways to others in secret... Who knows? :-) Maybe there's an unknown saint in your life too! :-D I know plenty of them! Or... (would be my other choice) How about those who are trying to imitate the saints? :-)
I tag whoever would like to play along! :-)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
"O eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To you do I sigh day and night. When I first came to know you, you drew me to yourself so that I might see that there were things for me to see, but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread.
I sought a way to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy you. But I did not find it until I embraced "the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed for ever." He was calling me and saying: "I am the way of truth, I am the life."
Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed you fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace."
-from the Confessions of Saint Augustine
Most people (and I'm pretty sure you do too!) probably already know about he outline of St. Augustine's life (his mom stormed heaven with her prayers for him, then he became converted then became a bishop sometime later...)... so I'm not going to post that part about him. :-) But if you'd like to, you can read about him here. (and that's also the quote and pic source)
For those of you who just can't read the Confessions by St. Augustine, the book, The Restless Flame by Louis de Wohl is a good one about him to start with. It's about his story before he became converted, and some several years after he did. In that book the title, "the restless flame" really does suit him :-D. "Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you." In one of his writings, it could be summed up like that.
Act of Hope prayer by St. Augustine
For your mercies' sake, O Lord my God, tell me what you are to me. Say to my soul: "I am your salvation." So speak that I may hear, O Lord; my heart is listening; open it that it may hear you, and say to my soul: "I am your salvation." After hearing this word, may I come in haste to take hold of you. Hide not your face from me. Let me see your face even if I die, lest I die with longing to see it. The house of my soul is too small to receive you; let it be enlarged by uou. It is all in ruins; do you repair it. There are thing in it - I confess and I know - that must offend your sight. But who shall cleanse it? Or to what others besides you shall I cry out? From my secret sins cleanse me, O Lord, and from those of others spare your servant. Amen.
Saint Augustine of Hippo
Thursday, August 21, 2008
"My hope is in Christ, who strengthens the weakest by His Divine help. I can do all in Him who strengthens me. His Power is infinite, and if I lean on him, it will be mine. His Wisdom is infinite, and if I look to Him for counsel, I shall not be deceived. His Goodness is infinite, and if my trust is stayed in Him, I shall not be abandoned." - Pope Saint Pius X
Even as a young boy, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto (1835-1914) was already showing promise and excessive holiness to his family and neighbors. He was a very bright (even until he was older and wore his bright white cassock!) and intelligent student who was always eager to learn and help his family, neighbors, and classmates. He would even win most school prizes. Although the senior elementary school was four miles away from his hometown, he and his brothers always did their best to not miss a single day of it. Since he did come from a poor family; and he did have only one pair of shoes, he would sometimes walk barefoot to school, trying to save his shoes. After a while his father bought them a little wagon and a donkey to pull them to school. Although the wagon was not new and the donkey was not young, the boys didn't mind the old cart when it creaked and groaned when they rode. At least they wouldn't have to walk... Sometimes they would get into arguments deciding who would get to play "coachman", but Bepi, as everyone called him, would always win and drive the donkey to school. Like most saints around before and around his time, before his First Communion he himself had begged the pastor to allow him to receive his Our Lord earlier than usual. But his answer would always be a nice "When you are older, you can," then a wink before saying next, "Some day, Bepi, when you are Pope, you can grant permission to all the children of the world to receive Holy Communion at an early age." Sixty years later, Bepi did just that.
When he was eleven years old, he had already decided to become a priest, and told his family about his decision. His parents were a bit surprised and at the same time, thrilled at the thought of giving their son to God. Bepi was the oldest of eight children, and was quite a bit help to the family and their farm. They desperately needed him, 'but if God wants him,' they decided, 'then God shall have him.'
By the time he was fifteen he finished his school and reached the top of the list of those who had the highest scores in all the subjects. He received prizes and conquered the examination (yay), yet he was the only one who had the least time to study. Right after he would come home from school he would pitch in to help with the chores... take care of the stable, help his father with his job, or herd the cattle. If he ever had any free time, that time would gladly be put to use to volunteer with anything else his father or mother needed. But the day that he finished the last examination in his school and came home, the poor country boy's mind wasn't exactly set on performing his usual chores. Rather, his mind was set on his decision and whatever step he would take in his vocation. He wished to go to the seminary... but who would pay for his education there? He didn't want his father to worry more than he already was with his leaving home. After having sought the parish priest for advice, he stormed heaven with his prayers. Everyday he begged the Queen of Heaven for her motherly help at a nearby shrine. Bepi knew in his heart that his future life, his vocation to the priesthood depended on his prayers.
During those days of deep prayer for Bepi, the parish priest wrote a letter to a cardinal who gave out several scholarships for free schooling and board at the seminary where Bepi wished to go to. After he sent the letter, Bepi and his family prayed harder than ever... novena after novena and rosary after rosary... it seemed as if no reply would ever come. Every morning when Bepi would come to the morning Mass to serve he would ask if there was any reply yet.
At last, after about a month of storming heaven, Bepi, the future Pope and saint, received a reply from that cardinal. He and his whole village rejoiced to find that Bepi had indeed been given a scholarship to the seminary in Padua.
Part 2 will be posted next year. :-)
Prayer to Saint Pius X
Glorious Pope of the Eucharist, Saint Pius X, you sought "to restore all things in Christ." Obtain for me a true love of Jesus so that I may live only for Him. Help me to acquire a lively fervor and a sincere will to strive for sanctity of life, and that I may avail myself of the riches of the Holy Eucharist in sacrifice and sacrament. By your love for Mary, mother and queen of all, inflame my heart with tender devotion to her. Blessed model of the priesthood, obtain for us holy, dedicated priests, and increase vocations to the religious life. Dispel confusion and hatred and anxiety, and incline our hearts to peace and concord. so that all nations will place themselves under the sweet reign of Christ.
Saint Pius X, pray for me.
prayer and pic source, and the info from the book Saint Pius X, The Farm Boy who Became Pope, by Walter Diethelm, O.S.B.
Friday, August 1, 2008
The oldest of seven children, --and here's his whole name-- Alphonsus Mary Antony John Cosmas Damian Michael Gaspard de' Liguori(1696-1787), was very bright (not bright so that he had to wear sunglasses, but because he had bad eyesight and wore glasses), high-spirited, and responsible even as a child. He had great progress in all kinds of learning, from fencing to riding, and even an evening game of cards. He was also quite fond and did well at music, as his father made him practice the harpsichord three hours a day. By the time he was 13 years old, he had already reached the perfection of a master of the harpsichord. He wasn't sent to school, rather, his father kept watch on him when he had tutors give him excellent education. (So in a way you could say he was homeschooled too! :-D jk) Alphonsus never liked theaters (he even refused to take part in a play!) so when there would be an opera to attend, he would remove his glasses to enjoy the music more!
At the age of sixteen he took his degree as Doctor of Laws. Alphonsus even said himself that he was small at that times, so much that he was almost buried in his doctor's uniform, and all the onlookers laughed. For about eight years he worked as an advocate, and is said to have never lost a case (except until later). But before attending court he always attended Mass first.
By the time he was around 26 years old, he began to enjoy what the world had to offer for him. Constantly, he would go into society. He put aside prayer and other things as he began to take pleasure in his popularity and the attention he would receive everywhere. "Banquets, entertainments, theatres," he later wrote, "these are the pleasures of the world, but pleasures which are filled with the bitterness of gall and sharp thorns. Believe me who have experienced it, and now weep over it." And later, he began to have the feeling that the more he learned more of the world, he liked it more less. And finally in the year 1723 it seemed as if God had taken him on the road where St. Paul had been... on the way to Damascus.
As one of the leading counsel in court, Alphonsus had made a brilliant speech that was sure to bring victory to his side. As he sat down with much confidence that he had already won, the opposing counsel rebuked him ever so harshly saying that he had overlooked a document holding evidence that they were right and he was wrong. As the future saint took hold of the document, he reread the document that he knew that he had read so many times he began to be somewhat flabbergasted, as if he finally realized some part in it. With trembling hands he finished, and he replied in a sad, broken voice that they have indeed won the case. All those around him, and even the judge, had attempted to console him, but they all unsuccessfully had done so. It was as if by just that one case he had lost, Alphonsus's once high-spirit had been broken down. He knew in despair and humiliation that his career had ended by that one mistake he had made. As he left the court he said in a quiet voice, "World, I know you now. Courts, you shall never see me more." Feeling crushed to the ground in complete misery, he refused food for three days.
But just as St. Paul too, had recovered of his blindness, Alphonsus began to see the light shortly after as well. He began to understand why God had allowed that previous event; to break down his pride and tear him away from the worldly life he was living. Feeling as if a new hope had risen within him, he started praying ever so sincerely to find what God had wanted of him. Alphonsus never returned to his profession, but instead of standing in court, he stood in the hospital doing simple acts of charity to those who had incurable illnesses.
At two points in time during his visits, (in that same year) he felt as if the house was shaking and saw that he was surrounded by a mysterious light. "Leave the world and give thyself to Me," An interior voice said to him. After it had all ended, he left the hospital right away went to the church of the Redemption, his once broken down spirit now rising high again. When he had reached the church he laid his sword before the statue of Our Lady, and solemnly vowed to enter the religious life and even to offer himself as a novice to the Fathers of the Oratory. As he went home back to his house, it suddenly came to him that the rest wouldn't easy. (especially telling his father) But he also knew in his heart that if God had taken him this far in his vocation, wouldn't He help him in the later years to come? Surely God wouldn't drop him off like from a car just like that!
Alphonsus's father was indeed upset at his decision, but for two reasons: he had already arranged a marriage for this future saint, and even more depressed that his son had given up his excellent career as an advocate. For two months Alphonsus was scolded by his father for having given up his once 'excellent' life. But just as St. Paul endured persecution for his faith, Alphonsus waited patiently for his father's approval. But needless to say, his father gave in anyway... but under but only if he would let go of his promise to join the Oratory, and just become a priest and live at home. After also receiving his director's approval, Alphonsus agreed. And because of his free time, he was able to work on what he would soon be able to do: found a new religious order.
Still in that same year, 1723, the ecstatic future saint put on the clerical dress and almost a year later, he joined the association of missionary secular priests (called the Neapolitan Propaganda) and received the tonsure shortly after. It was as if he had once again regained his high-spirit disposition; his joyful heart was now soaring. In the next couple of years he received minor orders and the subdiaconate. Then around the middle of the year 1726, he was ordained deacon. Alphonsus rejoiced as he finally found his vocation; what he was really called to. And just before Christmas of that same year, the 21st of December, he was ordained a priest.
"God says to each of us: 'Give me your heart, that is, your will.' We, in turn, cannot offer anything more precious than to say: "Lord, take possession of us; we give our whole will to you; make us understand what it is that you desire of us, and we will perform it."
If we would give full satisfaction to the heart of God, we must bring our own will in everything into conformity with his; and not only into conformity, but into uniformity also, as regards all that God ordains. Confirmity signifies the joining of our own will to the will of God; but uniformity signifies, further, our mkaing of the divine and our own will one will only, so that we desire nothing but what God desires, and his will becomes ours. This is the sum and substance of that perfection to which we ought to be ever aspiring; this is what must be the aim of all we do, and of all our desires, meditations and prayers. For this we must invoke the assistance of all our patron saints and our guardian angels, and, above all, of our divine mother Mary, who was the most perfect saint, because she embraced most perfectly the divine will."
- Saint Alphonsus Liguori, from The Redeeming Love of Christ
O holy and heavenly Infant, Thou who art the destined Mother of my Redeemer and the great Mediatress of miserable sinners, pity me. Behold at thy feet another ungrateful sinner who has recourse to thee and asks thy compassion. It is true, that for my ingratitude to God and to thee, I deserve that God and thou should abandon me; but I have heard, and believe it to be so (knowing the greatness of thy mercy), that thou dost not refuse to help any one who recommends himself to thee with confidence. O most exalted creature in the world! Since this is the case, and since there is no one but God above thee, so that compared with thee the greatest Saints of heaven are little; O Saint of Saints, O Mary! Abyss of charity, and full of grace, succour a miserable creature who by his own fault has lost the divine favour. I know that thou art so dear to God that He denies thee nothing. I know also that thy pleasure is to use thy greatness for the relief of miserable sinners. Ah, then, show how great is the favour that thou enjoyest with God, by obtaining me a divine light and flame so powerful that I may be changed from a sinner into a Saint; and detaching myself from every earthly affection, divine love may be enkindled in me. Do this, O Lady, for thou canst do it. Do it for the love of God, who has made thee so great, so powerful, and so compassionate. This is my hope. Amen.
Friday, July 25, 2008
...Um, you know that part in the "WYDH retreat!!! :-D" post when I said I stood in the rain? hehe... well, I found out that I caught a cold two days after... :-) So yeah, the blogger is sick... (but I'm not gonna say that I regret standing in the rain!! :-D) Anyway, (maybe some of my readers know already) my family and I are moving. (Yes, again!) So please kindly pray for my family and I! The internet will be off (for us) this Tuesday until... I don't know when. :-( I (hopefully) might just post just one saint post sometime later before it gets hooked off, but I can't be sure... But we'll be moved around the first of August, I think. So after next Tuesday, that is, July 29 I think, you probably won't hear anything from this blog...(waaahhh)
So anyway... thanks for all your prayers!!
~Jesus, Mary, and Joseph pray for us!~
pic from here
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
(they're not exactly in order...and I'm not posting any faces....)
Here's the chapel at the retreat center where all the retreatants (is that what you call them?) spent most of the time (besides their rooms)! Isn't it nice? :-)
Anyway, there we had adoration, morning and evening prayer, Benediction, and where (I noticed just now that the schedule is right beside me!) we prayed all four mysteries of the Rosary, Catechesis(es?), a bit of journaling/writing, singing, Sunday Mass, and also Confession. One of the best parts was that there was adoration anytime from around 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. when it ended. I knew that some of those teens actually got up from bed around 1:00 a.m. or so, and spent at least half an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament! Too bad Cy and I didn't stay overnight... we could've done that! :-)In a field (I don't have a picture of it, sorry) we did separate groups of the Stations. Not the Stations of the Cross, but the Stations that was after the Passion and Death of Christ. We were told that the early Christians did this practice when the Stations of the Cross was not made yet. (not sure but I think it was made around St. Francis of Assisi's time... I think?) And we did a procession through the field too! Carrying our candles as a symbol of the light of Christ into the darkness of the night, all the teens and children quietly, but joyfully made a procession through the field, lighting the way for each other. It was really nice! :-D (Too bad I forgot the camera inside Cy's bag!) There was also supposed to be a Eucharistic procession around the field as well, but it rained right before it started, during the time for Confession.
I got soaked waiting, or rather, looking for a line to go to Confession. There were 6 priests, I think, all scattered around the retreat center close by the chapel. So I went around (since Cy went off to another place close by), looking for a line, (since the ones inside the chapel were long) and then went outside. It was a light shower at first when I stepped out of the chapel. After just a few steps it began to rain harder, and harder and harder! Most of the teens who had waited in lines that were outside ran back in the chapel. I was going to follow to, but I couldn't help but just stand there and get all soaked by the cool rain! It was really fun, actually! Anyway, my bag started to get soaked (there were books inside of it), so I went back inside the chapel. At least the lines were shorter now! :-) After I stood in my place in that line, the rain slowed to a stop. Hehe, I was really tempted to go back out to get soaked again if it rained harder! :-D But I didn't. Some of the other teens wanted to play outside in the rain too! :-) So... not so dripping wet anymore, I went to Confession inside the chapel where some of the teens asked me afterwards, "How was the rain?" :-)
Catechesis, choir, and songs!
Everyone started out kind of late (and also because it rained and the field was all wet), most of the schedule was changed. Some bits and parts were taken out, and the Catechesis and songs took longer than they were scheduled to be. But I'm glad theywere! Everyone enjoyed them so much! It was definetely one of their top favorites of the retreat! The catechesis were said/taught by Vince Ambrosetti, a musician, singer, composer, and missionary! You can read more about him here. Everybody loved his music, singing, and ministry! :-D
The rest of the choir was wonderful too! There were three of them, I think, Vince Ambrosetti, Steven Vitale, and Ruben Galabeas. All of three of them are muscians, singers, and composers. We even got to sing their songs at the retreat! Everyone participated, sang, and even danced and clapped to their music! :-D We also got to sing all over again and all over again the main theme song for this WYD, "Receive the Power", the same one that the people in Australia sang! :-D
On the 2nd day, there was even a concert. Some teens from the other islands sang songs, from Ave Maria, As I Kneel, to even a song that was from a commercial... I think? But I heard that the message was good. :-)
That was also one of the youths' favorites. After the Catechesis, they would scatter everywhere! They'd go into their rooms, outside, downstairs, and up somewhere on the mountains! Although it was announced, I noticed that not all who participated in the retreat actually came downstairs (all together) during break time to watch EWTN (yaaayyy!!!) for the Papal Mass and other things there. Oh! And there were snacks too!!! (on the right side!!) :-D
Also during break time, some of the teens explored the retreat center, wandered around the grassy and rocky areas, and climbed up and down here and there.
Then later on in the two evenings, we all went to dinner :-D. Since Cy and I weren't staying overnight, we brought our own food.
(Cy and I were holding our sandwiches when we took this picture, really!) ;-) Anyway, we ate just outside of the dining area where there was such a beautiful view!
That's on the left side!
And that's on the right! (sorry, I meant the mountain part...) But at least you could see the chapel! :-)
Cy and I got to meet some really nice people and kids. :-) Two of the group leaders even invited us to the second day's dinner and the Sunday breakfast! :-D
In the end of the Sunday Mass, there was this thing called 'commissioning'... I think. The two priests that were there throughout the whole retreat gave everyone medals!
The second pic isn't too clear, but it says: World Youth Day Hawaii "You will receive power when the Holy Sprit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses." Acts 1:6 18-20 July 2008
On the last day (Sunday 20th) our mom and little sister joined us. Our departure had a loooonng delay because mom started to get all caught up in so many conversations! (I bet you teens know how that is!) ;-) But I'm grateful. Now that mom knows about it, I'm (hopefully) going to attend another retreat next month! :-D
Anyway... since Cy and I don't exactly like having our pictures taken, we just decided to take our nametags off to prove that we've been to the WYDH retreat!!!
So hopefully next WYD we'll be able to go to Spain!!! Can't wait!! :-D
Thursday, July 17, 2008
But at least I got to see the part about the Pope's arrival in Australia on television!! (or rather... my mom's computer...) :-) (You should've heard the deafening joyful shouts when the Holy Father embarked off the ship!!! I thought the earphones were gonna break!!) Anyway, you could go and see it yourself here if you don't have the EWTN channel like us.... :-)
Happy World Youth Day!!!!
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:6)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
On July 9th, 1572, nineteen martyrs were hanged by Calvinists for their loyalty to the Pope and for their belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist.
Adrian van Hilvarenbeek,
Antony van Hoornaer,
Antony van Weert,
Antony van Willehad,
Cornelius van Wyk,
Godfrey of Duynen, (a parish priest and was a rector of a school in Paris)
Godfrey of Merville, (a painter, and was a custos (a guard...I think) of the Franciscan house in Gorkum, Holland)
Jerome of Weden, (a Fransiscan missionary to Palestinian Muslims, and returning to Europe he preached against Calvinism)
John of Cologne, (He had joined the Dominicans in Cologne, Germany, but was unable to wear a habit due to the persecutions of that time. He later became the parish priest of Horner, Netherlands. When the word that Catholics were being arrested in Gorkum, he visited them, and gave them Holy Communion. He was arrested after being discovered, and was even offered his freedom if he would deny the Pope's authority over the Church. After having declined, he was also martyred.)
John of Osterwick, (an Augustinian at Briel, and at Gorkum he served as a spritual director and confessor to a community of Augustinian nuns)
John van Hoornaer,
Nicholas Janssen Poppel,
Nicholas Pieck, "We must always serve God with cheerfulness." - Saint Nicholas (Known for his cheerfulness, openness, and modesty, he was a priest who also served as a guardian of a convent in Gorkum, and preached against Calvinism)
Peter of Assche,
and Theodore van der Eem.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Happy late fourth of July everyone!!! :-D Hope everyone had a spectacular day!!!
Thanks for tagging me Cy! :-D
A) Four places that I go to over and over:
2. lost in thought... (Thanks Pueo! ;-D)
3. um... bed?
4. study desk...:-)
B) Four people who e-mail me regularly:
2. ..that are far...
3. ...and are near...
4. and... um, yeah that's it. :-)
C) My favorite 4 places to eat:
1. Home & with family
2. with friends (adults too, not just kids :-)
4. ...and anywhere that has good icecream!!!
D) Four places I would rather be right now:
1. someplace cooler... (it's really hot here!)
2. bed... (ugh... I think I ate too many cookies...)
3. someplace with familiar faces :-)
4. and a familiar place...
E) Four people I think will respond:
2. would like to play
4. tagged :-)
F) Four TV shows I watch all the time:
4. That's pretty much it...
G) Four words that best describe you:
1. quiet... (oh yes, but not when I'm at the computer...:-)
2. shy... (not at home!! and then when people get to know me... they know that I'm pretendingto be shy...) :-)
3. petite... (huh? what does that mean?)
4. prayerful...photographer.... (hahaha!!!)
H) Four favorite "old school" Hollywood Actors/Actresses:
4. does one actress for one movie count? I liked Sound of Music and Julie Andrew's (I think that's her name...) role in it!! :-D oh wait... it that Hollywood? I can't tell! (*singing do ra mi fa so la ti do!!!*)
I) Four favorite "old school" television game shows:
1. huh? game shows?
J) Four favorite "old school" television shows:
4. ...what's that?
K) List four things you liked best about Christmas when you were a
(I'm still a child too, right!!!)
1. simply CHRISTMAS!!! *waves hands and jumps around* ...and that pretty much says it all for a child...:-)
2. Everyone's eagerness to make each other happy...
3. Midnight Mass (celebrating Jesus's birthday of course!)
4. Did I mention CHRISTMAS!!! *gets up again and jumps around* ?
L) List four things you liked best about Halloween when you were a
1. Making the costumes... (Some of my sibs 'hire' me to go make it for them)
2. Candy & cake!!! (weird, but I don't eat much...)
3. The cool breeze in the Autumn's night air...
4. The next few days... All saints day, all Souls Day...
M) List four things you did not like about growing up:(it's in progress...?)
1. simply growing up...
2. learning hard stuff...
3. I was really short and small, so some people didn't really let me help them, or let me play with them...
4. When people give this 'odd' look at me when they know more about me... hmm...
N) List four events that impacted your life :
1. Starting to go to daily Mass... (yep!)
2. The first time I actually started playing musical intruments... and liking music...
3. one time a friend gave a vocation talk in a chapel...
4. ... Actually, there's several, but I can't list them all here...
I tag whoever would like to play!! :-D
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Anyway, here's a few links if you want to read about it... You might have to scroll down a bit for the first two ones.
Sniff... um, right now I'm going to say Happy Feastday of St. Peter and Paul! today because tomorrow I don't think I would be able to post anything... (waahh)
Anyway, tomorrow I'll be playing at a piano recital... so that'll be my gift to St. Paul! :-D
You could check the blog archives to see last year's post about both St. Peter & St. Paul... It not much though.... :-)
Monday, June 23, 2008
"I had to endure many difficult moments, which I would not wish even on my worst enemies. Nevertheless, I consider my prison days as a higher education in humility. In prison I learned a great many things, as how to be of service to others in their need. Prison in itself is not such a terrible place after all. What is frightening is the company one is forced to keep, being locked up in the same cell with all kinds of criminals, spies, insane, and some other strange characters." - Blessed Basil
Born among poor peasants, Basil Hopko's (1904-1976) parents had left him at an early age. His father had passed away just a year after his birth, and three years later his mother traveled to America to look for work. He was educated in Hungary, and graduated with the honors in 1923. He later trained at the Eparichial Seminary in Prjashev, Czechoslovakia. Basil dreamed of joining his mother in America and persuing his vocation there, but unfortunately, due to health problems, he was unable to travel. After finally deciding to stay his his native land and working there, he was immediately cured. He then realized it was a sign about his calling. Ordained a priest in February 1929, he became a parish priest in Prague where he helped the poor, unemployed, and students. Basil then later taught at the same seminary where he was trained. In the next several years he had gained the titles of Monsignor (1936), Doctor of Theology (1940), and Auxiliary bishop (1947).
He was later arrested by the communists, kept on starvation rations, and tortured for several weeks. Eventually Basil was given a trial, but was sentenced to 15 years for the "subversive activity" of staying loyal to Rome. He was then often moved from prison to prison, and continued to be abused. Physically and emotionally, his health failed, and was finally moved to a home for the aged in 1964. Although he was kept under guard there and was recovering from a severe depression, he ministered to a group of 120 religious nuns also imprisoned in the home. Unforunately his health never completely recovered, but he managed to persevere in his ministry.
He was beatified on the 14th of September, 2003, by Pope John Paul II at Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
O Christ, our Lord and Savior, in Your boundless love for the human race You assured us that "whatever we will ask You, You will do it for us". Encouraged by your living promise, we humbly ask You to glorify Your faithful servant, Bishop Basil Hopko, who by his trials and tribulations gave living testimony to his complete trust in You, hoping to receive from You "a great reward in Heaven". Inspired by his Trust in You, we humbly implore you to hear our prayer, and through the intercession of that Man of Hope, Bishop Basil, grant us (here make your request). For you, O Christ our God, are Help to the helpless and Hope to the hopeless, and we render glory to You with Your Eternal Father and All-Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.
I know I'm way behind for all those memes I've been tagged... Sorry about that.
Anyway, tagged by Mom!
1. What food does your best friend not like?
Umm... I don't know, I never asked. :-P ;-)
2. What is your favorite cookbook?
Mrs. Field's Cookie book! Yaaayy!!! :-D
3. Are you more of a sushi person or a lamb person?
4. Given a choice of something fried and salty or something baked and sweet, what would you choose?
Baked and sweet! :-D
I can't cook very well... :-P :-)
5. Do you buy whole chickens and boil them and pick the meat off or does that gross you out?
I run away from the kitchen when mom does that... :-P
6. How do you feel about butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and half and half?
All...m...mixed to...gether? I'll eat cream cheese with spam though! ;-)
7. (Skip this question if you are a vegetarian) If you are a carnivore, would you be willing to hunt or butcher your meat? Or to watch someone do that for you or would you rather not think of it? Or are you grateful for the animal who gave its life to sustain your life?
8. What is the most exotic ingredient or spice in your cupboard?
Mmm... hold on a sec, I'm looking up the word 'exotic' in the dictionary... then I'll go to the kitchen and dig it out somewhere...
9. What is your favorite vegetable?
Corn! I think... no-wait, po-ta-toes! Especially sweet potatoes! :-D
10. What is your favorite fruit?
Cherries, apples, and lychee! Oh my! ;-D
Oh... that reminds me, I think I have to prepare dinner soon... ;-)
I tag aaall the teens!!! :-D
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
"Lord, shed upon our darkened souls the brilliant light of your wisdom so that we may be enlightened and serve you with renewed purity. Sunrise marks the hour for men to begin their toil, but in our souls, Lord, prepare a dwelling for the day that will never end. Through our unremitting zeal for you. Lord, set upon us the sign of your day that is not measured by the sun.
In your sacrament we daily embrace you and receive you into our bodies; make us worthy to experience the resurrection for which we hope. Teach us to find our joy in your favor!
Savior, your crucifixion marked the end of your mortal life; teach us to crucify ourselves and make way for our life in the Spirit." -from a sermon by Saint Ephrem
Prayer for strength in weakness
Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings, you have power over life and death. You know even things that are uncertain and obscure, and our very thoughts and feelings are not hidden from you. Cleanse me from my secret faults, and I have done wrong and you saw it. You know how weak I am, both in soul and in body. Give me strength, O Lord, in my frailty and sustain me in my sufferings. Grant me a prudent judgement, dear Lord, and let me always be mindful of your blessings. Let me retain until the end your grace that has protected me till now.
-St Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Poet and Doctor
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon me, humbly prostrate before you. I am yours and yours I wish to be. But to me more surely united with you, behold I freely consecrate myself to your most Sacred Heart. Many in this world have never known you. Many, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart.
Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you. Grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by error, by bad opinions, those whom discord keeps away. Call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith so there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Grant, Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm. Give peace and order ot the nations. Make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation. To Your Heart be glory and honor forever. Amen.
"About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter." - Saint Joan of Arc, as recorded at her trial
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
When a fire is lit to clear a field, it burns off all the dry and useless weeds and thorns. When the sun rises and darkness is dispelled, robbers, night-prowlers and burglars hide away. So when Paul's voice was raised to preach the Gospel to the nations, like a great clap of thunder in the sky, his preaching was a blazing fire carrying all before it. It was the sun rising in full glory. Infidelity was consumed by it, false beliefs fled away, and the truth appeared like a great candle lighting the whole world with its brilliant flame.
By word of mouth, by letters, by miracles, and by the example of his own life, Saint Paul bore the name of Jesus wherever he went. He praised the name of Jesus "at all times," but never more than when "bearing witness to his faith."
Moreover, the Apostle did indeed carry this name "before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel" as a light to enlighten all nations. And this was his cry wherever he journeyed: "The night is passing away, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves honorably as in the day." Paul himself showed forth the burning and shining-light set upon a candlestick, everywhere proclaiming "Jesus, and him crucified."
And so the Church, the bride of Christ strengthened by his testimony, rejoices with the psalmist, singing: "O God from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds." The psalmist exhorts her to do this, as he says: "Sing to the Lord, and bless his name, proclaim his salvation day after day." And this salvation is Jesus, her savior.
-from a sermon by Saint Bernadine of Siena
Dear Saint of the Franciscan Order, you were a tireless preacher of God's Saving Word. By your growing love for Jesus you spread that love all around, advertising his Holy Name. Be kind to advertisers in our frantic times. Make them broadcast only what is true and what can serve the well-being of humankind, while doing all for the glory of God. Amen.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
"In those days, Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples and said..." As the fiery spirit to whom the flock was entrusted by Christ and as the leader in the band of the apostles, Peter always took the initiative in speaking: "My brothers, we must choose from among our number." He left the decision to the whole body, at once augmenting the honor of those elected and avoiding any suspicion of partiality.
Did not Peter then have the right to make the choice himself? Certainly he had the right, but he did not want to give the appearance of showing special favor to anyone. "And they nominated two," we read, "Joseph, who was called Barsabbas and surnamed Justus, and Matthias." He himself did not nominate them; all present did. But it was he who brought the issue forward, pointing out that it was not his own idea but had been suggested to him by a scriptural prophecy.
And they all prayed together, saying: "You, Lord, know the hearts of men; make your choice known to us. You, not we." Appropriately they said that he knew the hearts of men, because the choice was to be made by him, not by others.
They spoke with such confidence, because someone had to be appointed. They did not say "choose" but "make known to us" the chosen one; "the one you choose," they said, fully aware that everything was being preordained by God.
-from a homily on the Acts of the Apostles by Saint John Chrysostom
O Glorious Saint Matthias, in God's design it fell upon you to take the place of the unfortunate Judas who betrayed his Master. You were selected by the twofold sign of the uprightness of your life and the call of the Holy Spirit. Obtain for us the grace to practice the same uprightness of life and to be called by that same Spirit to wholehearted service of the Church. Then after a life of zeal and good works let us be ushered into your company in heaven to sing forever the praises of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
My God, I believe in Thee, I adore Thee, I hope in Thee, and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee. (3 times)
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg Thee the conversion of poor sinners.
My God, I love You because of all the graces You have given me!
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!
pic source and prayers from the book, The Children of Fatima And Our Lady's Message to the World, by Mary Fabyan Windeatt
Monday, May 12, 2008
"Can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?" - Blessed Imelda
Imelda Lambertini (1322-1333) was born to wealthy but charitable parents. Imelda's mother was the sister of an archbishop. Right when she was born, the whole town had expected her father, the Captain General of Bologna, Ambassador to the Republic of Venice to have a son and heir. Some were disappointed when it turned out that they had a baby girl instead. Her parents did not mind, and they named her Imelda. Then, for some reason, bells started to ring loud and long when that was only a custom reserved for the first-born son of a noble family. Shortly after her birth, her mother had a dream that St. Dominic blessed her and Imelda.
Imelda grew up to be a pious young girl who loved to hide away in her garden to pray. She would stop when her family servant would find her, and tell her to come inside the house. Imelda told her maid servant that she prayed every day for a family friend who was blind. On her fifth birthday she told her parents her great desire to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. Her parents then explained to her that she could not receive Holy Communion because she was still too young. Disappointed, Imelda decided to wait patiently, but also eagerly. During the years, she began to have a great interest for Bologna's (where she grew up) saints like Bl. Diana, but also saints like St. Agnes and St. Tarcisius. As time past, her desire to receive Holy Communion grew.
About four years later, she entered the convent at Val-di-Pietra, and stayed there, still eagerly waiting and praying to receive her first Holy Communion soon. It didn't take very long for the other nuns to discover Imelda's great desire to receive Our Lord. Most of them admired and were impressed by this. became Finally one day when the 11 year old girl was quietly praying alone in the Blessed Sacrament after Mass had been celebrated, a Sacred Host floated down to her from the front. Meanwhile, somewhere in the monastery the other nuns noticed that Imelda was missing, but they also notice some strange, but sweet fragrance around as if there were flowers everywhere, but nowhere to be seen. As they made their way back to the chapel, they found Imelda kneeling down, and facing up towards a Sacred Host float just above her. The chaplain then came, and knowing of Imelda's long and strong desire to receive Our Lord, he took the Host, placed it on a golden paten, and gave the little novice her First Holy Communion.
Later, her family friend who had been blind had regained his sight.
As everyone left the room, Imelda fell into deep prayer. She didn't move from that spot, and soon the other nuns began to worry about her. Imelda's face had become pale, and then the Prioress took her by the shoulders. At once, the little girl fell limp in her arms, and it suddenly came to them that Imelda had died a few minutes after making her first Holy Communion.
Lord Jesus Christ, you received into heaven Blessed Imelda who loved you in the Eucharistic banquet. By her prayers may we learn to approach your holy table with that same fervent love and so fulfill our longing to be with you, who live and reign with the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. - General Calendar of the Order of Preachers pic and prayer from here, and info from the book, Patron Saint of First Communicants The Story of Blessed Imelda Lambertini, by Mary Fabyan Windeatt
Lord Jesus Christ, you received into heaven Blessed Imelda who loved you in the Eucharistic banquet. By her prayers may we learn to approach your holy table with that same fervent love and so fulfill our longing to be with you, who live and reign with the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. - General Calendar of the Order of Preachers
pic and prayer from here, and info from the book, Patron Saint of First Communicants The Story of Blessed Imelda Lambertini, by Mary Fabyan Windeatt
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Dear Jesus, please bless each mother,
So that all may treat You as their Brother,
Bless all mothers and mothers to be,
Happy Mothers’ Day to our Mother Mary.
Thank You for mothers, for their great love,
Which are sent from You above,
Bless all mothers so that they serve and love You more,
And so that they may praise you evermore.
Thank You for Mary, who loves us so,
And who gave birth to You we know,
Help all mothers to be patient and kind,
So that Your great joy to them they may find.
Dear Jesus, please bless each mother,
So that all may treat You as their Brother,
Bless all mothers and mothers to be,
Happy Mothers’ Day to our Mother Mary.
Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissima donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,s
ermone ditans guttura.
Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utrisque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula. Amen.
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.
Father of light, from whom every good gift comes, send your Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind, and by the flame of your wisdom open the horizons of our minds. Loosen our tongues to sing your praise in words beyond the power of speech, for without your Spirit man could never raise his voice in words of peace or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Wow... It's been a year since I made this blog! :-D A big mahalo to all readers for your encouraging and uplifting comments, and for tagging me, and for all those awards, and taking the time to read this blog! :-D Anyway... I hope sometime very soon I'll be able to post here about Saint Damien of Molokai! :-D
Video found here
Updated: The video can be reached here.... I had to take it out because I just found out that it played automatically without pressing the play button... :-)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
"Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.... Charity is the sweet and holy bond which links the soul with its Creator: it binds God with man and man with God..." -St. Catherine of Siena
Catherine Benincasa (1347-1380) was the youngest child in a large family... with twenty-three siblings! Catherine had a twin sister, but she did not live very long....
When she was six years old, her mother sent her on an errand to deliver a package with her brother to her older sister who was already married. As they walked back home, they took a short cut through an open field. As they walked through, Catherine and her brother both agreed on picking the many beautiful flowers that grew there. There was also a Dominican church nearby, and as Catherine looked above it, she saw some people standing and kneeling in before a great throne. A King was seated there, and He seemed quite pleased with the people around Him, including Catherine. Then, she saw Him turn in her direction and smile. Catherine went down to her knees, as her brother stared at her, wondering what in the world she was doing. Her brother then asked her in a confused manner what was wrong with her. But Catherine did pay any attention to her brother, for she knew who the King was. Then Catherine saw the King raised His Hand to bless her. A few seconds later her brother started pulling her to her feet and at once the beautiful vision was gone.
Sometime later, she thought of the saints that had been hermits. St. John the Baptist, St. Anthony of Egypt, St. Paul, St. Romuald, and even St. Mary Magdalen! Catherine then made her decision to be like them too, since those hermits ended up being saints... and the saints are God's friends, right? Withough hesitation, she got up one early morning and took from the kitchen some food and drink, silently bid goodbye to her fast-asleep family, then set off to find her own place to be a hermit. Without looking back home, she let her thoughts run off... But before she thought of the possibility of her family looking for her, she spotted the perfect cave not so far away from where she was walking. Catherine gave a cry of joy, and ran to the cave, giving thanks to God on the way. She soon discovered that there was a little brook nearby, and inside the cave it felt much cooler than outside in the burning sun.
A little later, as she was spending quite some time kneeling in deep prayer, she her a voice lovingly asking her to go back to her home to be a saint there, and not in a cave. Catherine was disappointed at first, but she knew that God had special plans for her there. Catherine ran toward the village, desperately praying that her family would not be cross with her. Suddenly, her surroundings changed from a peaceful place, to a crowded street. Catherine's prayer was answered... Now, it was time to be a saint at home...
Novena Prayer to Saint Catherine of Siena
O marvelous wonder of the Church, seraphic virgin, Saint Catharine, because of your extraordinary virtue and the immense good which you accomplished for the Church and society, you are acclaimed and blessed by all people. Oh, turn your benign countenance to me who, confident of your powerful patronage, calls upon you with all the ardor of affection and begs you to obtain, by your prayer, the favors I so ardently desire.
You, who were a victim of charity, who in order to benefits your neighbor obtained from God the most stupendous miracles and became the joy and the hope of all, you cannot help but hear the prayers of those who fly into your heart - that heart which you received from the Divine Redeemer in a celestial ecstasy.
Yes, O seraphic virgin, demonstrate once again proof of you power and of your flaming charity, so that your name will be ever more blessed and exalted; grant that we, having experienced your most efficacious intercession here on earth, may come one day to thank you in heaven and enjoy eternal happiness with you. Amen.
info from the book, Saint Catherine of Siena, The Story of the Girl Who Saw Saints in the Sky, by Mary Fabyan Windeatt, and pic, quote, and prayer from here