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Monday, March 31, 2014
Noah Movie: Masterwork of Global Indoctrination
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The following is a guest article.  The Noah movie was directed by an atheist who has produced the least Biblically accurate movie ever put on the big screen.
Darren Aronofsy's "Noah" is a masterwork of demonic deception wherein the meek and just Noah is portrayed as a radical, foul-mouth barbarian who spearheads the cause of Antichrist. In a word, the point of the movie is to say that the world in Noah's time was punished because man didn't bow to the environment as a globalist pagan. There is absolutely no reference made whatsoever to sin or the fact that man offended God, but rather that man didn't bow to the planetary idol and its prince, Lucifer. Noah's sons in the movie are not even portrayed as having wives as they are in the Bible, which shouldn't seem queer. This too is part of global agenda. The author truly shows ignorance, since man's idolatrous union with the flesh and the planet was the reason God destroyed the world in Noah's time, just as He will unleash His wrath soon upon humanity for this same reason. Ignorant man refuses to learn from his past.

What is interesting is that during the initial showing of the movie in Los Angeles on March 28, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck the area and sent Apocalyptic chills down movie goers spines. But what is even more interesting is that the quake hit right during the climactic scene in the movie which depicts the end of the world. Was God trying to tell the people something? Can viewers not open their eyes and see that using the name of God and His servants to advance global agenda is blasphemy of the most depraved order?

Yea, the people better take cover because the end is coming quickly. Not the end of the world, but the end of time as we know it (Mt. 24:21). God will spare the just as in Noah's time, but the wicked will be destroyed because of their ingratitude manifested by their having "worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." (Romans: 1:25)

Article by David Martin
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Sunday, March 30, 2014
Recommended Book: Sacred Triduum Missal
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A traditional missal for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Holy Week according to the 1962 rubrics.

This book is very helpful if you do not have a 1958 or later missal which contains the revised rite of Holy Week of Pope Pius XII. Surprisingly, many people who do have the revised Holy Week in their missal, still like to use the Sacred Triduum Missal because the type is fairly large and the entire rite is laid out so that you do not have to flip back and forth.

This book contains the entire ceremonies for Holy Thursday evening, Good Friday's Solemn Liturgy and the Paschal Vigil with parallel Latin and English texts with rubrics in violet.

190 pages, softcover.  Order via Angelus Press.
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Saturday, March 29, 2014
Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Fr. Ottonello
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Father Ottonello 90th Birthday Mass May 24, 2013


Fr. Ottonello passed away yesterday, March 28th, at 1:00am this morning. May his soul rest in peace.

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem. 

May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.
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Friday, March 28, 2014
Indulged Prayer to the Cross for Fridays in Lent
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Prayer to the Glorious Cross:

I adore You, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with blood. I adore You, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.

(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer five times on Friday will free five souls from Purgatory and 33 souls by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with a contrite heart and praying a few minutes for the Pope).

Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified:

My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones!
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Thursday, March 27, 2014
Nativity Stones: Own a Piece of the Cave of Bethlehem
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Nativity Stones Crosses are unique as we are the only ones selling a cross that contains a stone from the Cave of The Nativity in Bethlehem, the celebrated birth place of Jesus Christ. In the heart of each piece a one of a kind authentic Nativity Stone from one time excavation that took place in 1963.

I am pleased to say that I received my order last Sunday.  The item came in a beautiful package and after I took off the cover (see the photo below), it illustrated the beautiful cross necklace that features a piece of the Cave of Bethlehem.  Below it was a Booklet detailing the history and it also came with a rolled up letter of authenticity.

In year 2000 Nativity Stones were even honored with a plaque placed in the Vatican.  Each cross includes a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by the High Priest of the Church of the Nativity and a booklet telling the story.

To be able to hold next to our heart a piece of the Cave in which the Lord was born is truly priceless.

I would encourage all of you to check out their website and I happily endorse this.  They can be found at: http://www.nativitystonescollection.com/   Please feel free to use LIFE15 to save 15% on your order.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014
23rd Anniversary of the Death of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
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Today's the 23rd anniversary of the passing of His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to his eternal reward.  Requiescat in pace, Monseigneur.

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.

May angels lead you into Paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your coming and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May a choir of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest.



"Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy" (John 16:20)

"In the spiritual reality of the church, neither Marcel Lefebvre, nor his bishops and priests, nor the people who frequent the SSPX chapels suffered or suffer excommunication. I believe history will record that the intent to impose such an excommunication was invalid and illicit." - Father Malachi Martin
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Sunday, March 23, 2014
Traditional Mass Propers: 3rd Sunday of Lent
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 Vestments: Violet

INTROIT
Ps. 24:15-16
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall free my feet from the snare. Look upon me, and have pity on me, for I am alone and wretched. Ps. 24:1-2. I have lifted up my soul to You, O my God; in You I place my trust. Let me not be put to shame. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT - O Almighty God, fulfill the petitions of the humble; and defend us with Your right hand of power. Through Our Lord . . .

EPISTLE
Eph. 5:1-9Brethren: Be ye therefore followers of God, as most dear children: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: Or obscenity or foolish talking or scurrility, which is to no purpose: but rather giving of thanks. For know you this and understand: That no fornicator or unclean or covetous person (which is a serving of idols) hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth.

GRADUAL
Ps. 9:20, 4
Arise, O Lord, let not man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your presence. V. When my enemies shall be turned back, they shall be weakened and destroyed before you.

TRACT
Ps. 122:1-3
- To You who are enthroned in heaven, have I lifted up my eyes. V. Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters. V. And as the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes on the Lord, our God, until He have pity on us. V. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy.



GOSPEL
Luke 11:14-28

At that time, Jesus was casting out a devil: and the same was dumb. And when he had cast out the devil, the dumb spoke: and the multitudes, were in admiration at it. But some of them said: "He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils." And others tempting, asked of him a sign from heaven. But he seeing their thoughts, said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation; and house upon house shall fall. And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because you say that through Beelzebub I cast out devils. Now if I cast out devils by Beelzebub, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if I by the finger of God cast out devils, doubtless the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth. But if a stronger than he come upon him and overcome him, he will take away all his armour wherein he trusted and will distribute his spoils. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest: and not finding, he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out. And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself: and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of that man becomes worse than the first." And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: "Blessed is the womb that bore thee and the paps that gave thee suck." But he said: "Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it."

OFFERTORY
Ps. 18:9, 10, 11, 12
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart, and His judgments are sweeter than honey and the honeycomb; for Your servant observes them.

SECRET - May this offering cleanse us from our sins, O Lord, and may it sanctify Your servants in body and soul for the celebration of this sacrifice. Through Our Lord . . .



PREFACE (Preface for Lent) - It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who by this bodily fast, dost curb our vices, dost lift up our minds and bestow on us strength and rewards; through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:

COMMUNION
Ps. 83:4-5
The sparrow has found herself a home, and the turtledove a nest in which to lay her young -- Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God! Blessed are they who dwell in Your house; they shall praise You forever and ever.

POST COMMUNION - O God, You have allowed us to share in this great Sacrament. In Your mercy free us also from all guilt and danger of sin. Through Our Lord . . .
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Sunday, March 16, 2014
Book Review: The Tree of Healing by Diana Tabbaa
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Recently I was privileged to review an absolute wonderful world of Catholic fiction, a genre I rarely read.  Entitled The Tree of Healing by Diana Gonzalez Tabbaa, the book is a Catholic work of fiction for young people, filled with quotes from Scripture, thirty-three color illustrations, and thirty-three poems.

It was a beautiful, moving book that was truly spiritually enriching and captivating. It is one of the best children's books for Catholic children that I have ever read. I am honored to recommend it and promote it to all of you. The book is highly interesting and deeply spiritual. It is a true work of art.

Filled with wonderful poems, insightful Scripture verses and imagery that brings a soul to weep for our Sorrowful Lord, and an interesting story, this is a book that I couldn't put down after I started it.  It's well worth the time and is absolutely perfect book, especially for Catholic children.  I'd love to see more homeschoolers use this book as literature in their reading programs, to see libraries add this to the shelves, and to see people read this book.

I would like to endorse this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.  

Book description:


Rose spends much of her time dwelling on her troubles. She lives in a state of worry and loneliness as her mother has been harsh and distant since the death of her father when she was an infant. One golden summer, as she leaves her childhood years, her grandmother and a heaven-sent friend teach her to bring everything in her life to God in prayer and to bring His Life into her own. She comes to know and trust Him deeply, especially when she discovers a carving made by her father in a great tree that forms the crucifix of a Rosary Garden. Hidden in its depths and unfolding in layers of mystery and beauty, signs of God's Love are continuously revealed to her. A Mary’s Garden that she plants reflects her own growth in a living faith that brings a garden of souls with her to God, including her mother.

Suitable for all ages, this timeless story of forgiveness and hope shows how suffering is transformed through union with Christ. Enriched with spiritual art, poetry, and quotes from Scripture, The Tree of Healing tells of the healing of one young girl and of all wounded humanity by the Sacrifice of Jesus on a new Tree of Life.



Author biography:

Diana González Tabbaa is the author and illustrator of The Tree of Healing, a spiritual work of fiction that includes numerous poems and drawings. Some of her art and poetry, which were previously published as ebooks, made the shortlist for the EPPIE (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) award for the Non-fiction/Philosophy category and were peer-nominated for the Indie (Independent e-Book) award for the Inspirational/ Metaphysical/ Spiritual category in 2002.
A Roman Catholic who loves the Traditional Latin Mass, wife, and mother of two, she holds a master’s degree in biology and works as a research associate in the field of molecular biology. She is a member of the Catholic Writers’ Guild.

Book Details:

The Tree of Healing by Diana Gonzalez Tabbaa
Publication Date:  Dec 25 2013
Copyright 2013
ISBN/EAN13: 1475101112 / 9781475101119

Ordering Information:
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Saturday, March 15, 2014
20th Anniversary of Altar Girls
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Today is the 20th Anniversary of the Church formally stating that girls can serve at the Mass. Yet, as those familiar with Catholic Tradition and those familiar with the effects of this know, altar serving should be for boys ONLY.

I recently say this insightful comment on Facebook:
"Regardless of what anyone contends this is not an issue of gender equality. Indeed, no one has a right to serve at the Mass. As a father of five, four of whom are girls, the equality argument rings hollow to me. To discuss altar girls under the banner of equality is to impose a false, secular, notion of participation into the sacred and eternal realm of the liturgy. We all participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, regardless of what our role is or isn’t."
For hundreds of years, the usage of altar servers has brought about countless priestly vocations. In the words of the Archbishop of Westminster, Bernard Cardinal Griffen, "To serve at the altar, as to sing in the choir, is next to the priesthood the highest privilege which a human can enjoy. He represents the faithful and takes a most intimate part in the rich treasures of the church's liturgy and ceremonial. Those sacred ceremonies should be carried out with devotion, dignity and attention to detail."

Traditionally, the role of altar server has always been reserved to males and rightfully so. By having males serve at the altar, a young man is better able to discern the priesthood since he is involved with the Liturgy. Personally, I support the return of an all-male group of altar servers for the entire Catholic Church. Some parishes are even returning to the practice of all-male altar servers.

Historically, the role of altar server has always been reserved to males. In the Encyclical Allatae Sunt on July, 26, 1755, Pope Benedict XIV stated in paragraph 29:

Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: "Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry." We too have forbidden this practice in the same words in Our oft-repeated constitution Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 6, no. 21."
In 1970 the Vatican condemned female altar serving in Liturgicae instaurationes as well as in 1980's Inaestimabile donum. Not until a circular letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to presidents of episcopal conferences on March 15, 1994, did the Vatican officially allow female altar serving.

Continue Reading on the History and Graces of Altar Serving... 

 

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Can Divorced and Remarried Catholics Receive Communion?
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What does the Church actually teach on the topic of Holy Communion and remarried-divorcees? Fr. Knittel gives some clear answers.  The following is directly quoted from him and presented here for the benefit of my readers.  The original source can be found by clicking here.

Communion for remarried divorcees?

The doctrinal crisis the Church is currently experiencing can be observed and measured on two levels. It is manifest first in the new general directions of the Second Vatican Council (religious liberty, ecumenism and collegiality) as well as in the liturgical reform of 1969. But it is also manifest on a concrete level in daily life when issues such the ordination of women, the lawfulness of contraception, the burial of suicides or the cremated, the personal character of the sacrament of Penance, etc., are called back into question.

Communion for remarried divorcees enters into the second category, as witnessed by the numerous interventions by Rome on this theme during the last 30 years.[1]

After listing several arguments of activists in favor of Communion for the remarried and divorced, we will examine the crux of the question, before ending by responding to these arguments.

Objections

Arguments in favour of allowing the divorced and remarried to receive Communion refer 1) to the example of Christ, 2) to the teachings of St. Paul and 3) to the discipline of the Church.
  1. The Evangelists tell us that during Christ’s life on earth, He accepted to eat with sinners (Matthew 9:11), allowed Himself to be approached by a sinner during a meal (Luke 7:37) and spoke with the Samaritan woman who lived with a man who was not her husband (John 4:9; 18-27). It is surely contradictory that the Church should push remarried divorcees away from Christ by refusing them Communion.
  2. St. Paul rebukes the Corinthians for the divisions appearing in their brotherly agapes, “and one indeed is hungry and another is drunk” (I Cor. 11:20). Is it not contradictory to have invited people to a meal (here, the Eucharist) and not to let them take part (here, to receive Communion)?
  3. The Church discipline that deprived publicly recognized sinners of ecclesiastical burial (1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 1240, paragraph 1, 6) was changed by decree of the Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith on September 20, 1973, stipulating, ”Funerals will not be forbidden for public sinners if they have given any signs of repentance before death and if there is no public scandal for the rest of the faithful.” Is it not then possible to change the discipline of Eucharistic communion in the same way, in favour of remarried divorcees?

The teaching of the Church

Baptism and Penance are called sacraments of the dead, because they establish or re-establish the life of grace in the recipient. The other sacraments are called sacraments of the living, because they increase grace in someone already in a state of grace.

The end of the sacraments is to give or increase grace in the recipient. The sacrament of the Eucharist allows the communicant not only to receive grace, but also the Author of all grace.
The Eucharist is therefore a sacrament of the living that requires the one who receives it to be in a state of grace that he may also receive Christ. Such is the first condition for receiving this sacrament worthily and fruitfully.

The warning of St. Paul to the Corinthians emphasizes this condition:
Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. (I Cor. 11:27–29).

Do remarried divorcees satisfy these conditions for worthiness?

The Gospel records Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage:
For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (…) And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her.  And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. (Mark 10:6–9; 11–12)
In his Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Paul compares the union of spouses in marriage with the union of Christ and His Church:
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular love his wife as himself: and let the wife fear her husband. (Ephesians 5:31–32)
Just there is only one Savior, Jesus Christ, and only one Church, the Catholic Church, and their union is indissoluble, so it is with marriage which is one (union of one man and one woman) and indissoluble (union forever).

Remarried divorcees are therefore living in a state opposite to that willed by Christ and explained by St. Paul. This permanent and public state of grave sin makes them unworthy to receive Communion and incapable of receiving its fruits ([Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas], III, q. 80, a. 4). If this state is known, the priest is bound to refuse them Communion publicly (III, q. 80, a. 6). If they succeed in receiving Communion nonetheless, they commit a mortal sin of sacrilege (III, q. 80, a. 4).

Solutions

In conclusion, let us respond briefly to the arguments set forth at the beginning.
  1. The contact with sinners that Christ authorizes in the Gospels have a very clear purpose: the cure of sinners and a call to conversion (Matthew 9:12–13), the forgiveness of sins (Luke 7:47–48), and the establishment of worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). Certainly, Jesus did not condemn the woman taken in adultery, but He instructed her to sin no more (John 8:11), for “neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers… shall possess the kingdom of God.” (I Cor. 6:9)
  2. Christ instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist and taught the precept of fraternal charity during a meal. The Early Church had maintained the habit of uniting the celebration of the holy mysteries and the fraternal agape. In his reproaches to the Corinthians, St. Paul distinguishes between two kinds of abuse: lack of charity to one’s neighbor during the agapes (I Cor. 11:18–22) and receiving Communion unworthily during Mass (I Cor. 11:27–29).
  3. By denying ecclesiastical burial to remarried divorcees, the Church intended to emphasize their public state of mortal sin—a state that is in no way modified, improved, or corrected by the prayer of the Church—and contrast it with the sanctity of Christian marriage. The recent change of this disciplinary measure in no way changes the minimum requirements for a fruitful Communion, but it illustrates the relationship between relaxing discipline and questioning doctrine.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Lenten Ember Day Fast
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Although Ember Days are no longer considered required in mainstream Roman Catholicism following Vatican II, they can - and should - still be observed by the Faithful. In fact, many Traditional priests encourage the Faithful to observe the days. Ember Days are set aside to pray and/or offer thanksgiving for a good harvest and God's blessings. If you are in good health, please at least fast during these three days and pray the additional prayers. Remember the words from the Gospel: "Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish" (Luke 13:5).  Ember Days are days of fasting and partial abstinence.

Ember Days this Lent: March 12, 14 and15

From New Advent:

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.

At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering: the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter.

Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.


From Catholic Culture:
Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.

The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14 , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks are known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons."

Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014
How to Prepare for Lent
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Our Lord tells us, as recorded in Scripture, "Unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). And St. John the Baptist announced the coming of the Saviour with the ominous admonition, "Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 3:2).





Dead Christ Mourned by the Angels, Boston Museum

Stations of the Cross CD & Booklet

CatechismClass.com is pleased to sponsor with Holy Innocents Catholic School in providing the Stations of the Cross CD & Way of the Cross Booklet. Your purchase will greatly benefit the children of Holy Innocents School, who will receive 90% of the purchase price.

As Christ said, “Take up you cross and follow Me.” Who better than Our Lord knows what we suffer. Make the Benedictine Way of the Cross while following along with our beautiful Stations of the Cross booklet filled with colored mosaic pictures. Hear the heavenly voices of the children as they sing Stabat Mater Dolorosa. You will love this CD because it is easy to meditate on the Passion of Our Lord as you make the Way of the Cross.  The CD includes all fourteen Stations of the Cross with the beautiful Stabat Mater Dolorosa between each Station.

Also included on the CD are a number of Lenten hymns including Now Are the Days of Humblest Prayer, Attende Domine, Parce Domine, What a Sea of Tears and Sorrows, He Who Once in Righteous Vengenance, Adoramus te Christe, Overwhelmed in Depths of Woe, and several others!

Learn more and order by clicking here!

Importance of Lent

With regard to prayer, St. Paul tells us to "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thess. 5:17). And Our dear Lord advises us, "Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father anything in my name, he will give it you." (John 16:23). Also He said, "If you abide in me [i.e., "live in Me," or "stay in the state of grace"], and my words abide ["live"] in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7). Further, Our Lord has said, "Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36). And in the Book of Judith we read, "Know ye that the Lord will hear your prayers, if you continue with perseverance in fastings and prayers in the sight of the Lord." (Judith 4:11).

Our obligation to do apostolic work, no matter who we are, is seen in the general admonition of St. John the Baptist, ". . .make straight the way of the Lord . . ." (In. 1:23; Is. 40:3). The Church has used this counsel in her Advent liturgy, so we know it applies to all—at least to the extent that all must pray and do penance for the success of the Church's missionary activity, help support it financially—and wherever possible take an active part in the conversion or reconversion of those we know.

The primary purpose of Lent, of course, is to help us become truly holy—and we should work toward this goal during Lent by extra prayer, penance, good works, almsgiving, attendance at Mass and reception of the Sacraments (the chief sources of grace).

Fasting of St. Charles Borromeo, the Patron Saint of CatechismClass.com

Practices for Lent

As such, let us consider the following 5 PIOUS PRACTICES FOR CATHOLICS TO PRACTICE DURING LENT:

1. Abstain from Meat

We should all know that Catholics are required to abstain from all meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent.  This is the minimum requirement and violation of this law is a mortal sin and, if you die without Confession and Contrition, for this sin your soul will be damned.

Yet, certainly we can do more than the simple minimum practice for Lent?  Catholics could go further and maintain the older discipline of fasting and partially abstaining from meat on all weekdays of Lent unless a 1st Class Feast falls during the week (e.g. 1st Class Feast of St. Joseph on March 19).  By partial abstinence, a person is allowed to eat mea t only at the major meal.
2. Fasting

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, all Catholics are bound under pain of mortal sin to fast.  Those between 18 and 59 years of age (Can. 1252), are also bound to fast on these two days . Only one normal-sized meal and two smaller meals that do not equal the normal meal are allowed. Eating between meals, however, is prohibited although fruit juices and milk are allowed. This is the minimum under the current Code of Canon Law.

What should a pious Catholic do?   All days of Lent but Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and 1st Class Feasts are days for us to fast and partially abstain from meat. If you fast all of these days, you will have fasted the 40 Days of Lent, as Christ did in the desert.

See laws of fasting and abstinence for more informatio n.

3. Limit (i.e. Remove) your Television During Lent

Even if you have not read Television: The Soul at Risk (and we do highly recommend it), the television is by most accounts, an occasion of sin.  Limit your television to only a few hours a day for your entire family or - better yet - unplug it all together.  Television is a passive activity not only leading to obesity and passivity but allowing indecent speech and dress as well as suggestive dialogue and environments into our very hopes.  Unplug it for Lent.  And think about keeping it unplugged afterward.

4. Daily Rosary

If you are not praying the daily Rosary, you should be.  Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima. These three shepherd children were given messages and a miracle was even performed there that was witnessed by thousands. In the miracle on Oct 13, 1917, the sun danced, changed colors, and was hurled towards earth as if to destroy it. The sun then rose again in its original position. This event was witnessed be 70,000 thousands of people! It's been called, the Miracle of the Sun.

Before this on May 13, 1917, Our Lady told the 3 children (Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco): "Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war." In an apparition on July 13, she requested devotion to her Immaculate Heart and Communions of reparation on the first Saturday of each month. In a September 13th apparition, she stressed the importance of the daily Rosary, and in her final apparition, she said, "I am the Lady of the Rosary."

So pray the Rosary daily - and use Lent to start if you need to.

5. Wear the Brown Scapular

First, if you were not traditionally invested in the Brown Scapular (or if you are uncertain), find a Catholic priest to be properly enrolled in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular.  Recall that by the wearing of the Brown Scapular, Mary promises to pray for us at the hour of death. And more than that - intercede with God to obtain the graces we need to remain in the state of grace. And if we are in a state of mortal sin, she will intercede for us that sanctifying grace may come back into our soul before we die. Mary also promises that the Scapular will be “a safeguard in danger.” Those are the two promi ses by Mary for those that wear the Scapular.

While those who wear the Scapular are required to fast on Wednesdays and Saturdays in addition to the daily prayer of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, priests nearly always dispense the Faithful to instead simply pray the Rosary Daily (See #4).

If you lost your Brown Scapular, simply purchase one online.  The Brown Scapular does not have to be blessed before it is worn, unlike most Sacramentals.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014
Five (5) Catholic Action Sites for Sunday
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In the past I have spoken at length on the importance of Sunday and the Top 10 Activities for Catholics to do on Sundays.  As I had mentioned, Sunday is a day of activism for the glory of God and His True Church.

But what does this look like on any given Sunday?  What are some concrete ways that we can be making a difference for the good of the Church and for society?

I present to you a list of some of the websites I routinely check each Sunday to find action items to address:

1. LifeSiteNews: This site is likely familiar to many of you as it includes a treasure trove of pro-life news.  I scan the articles and find situations to which I can make an impact.  For example, if there is an article about a pending piece of legislation, I will use that to write to my elected officials. 

2. American Life League: Like the item above, this site has great pro-life news and helps me stay informed and shows me action items that I can address.

3. Cardinal Newman Society: This organization is a tax-deductible institution focusing on keeping the Catholic Identity in Catholic schools and learning institutions.  I glance the news recaps to see if there are any so-called Catholic schools hosting pro-abortion speakers or anti-Catholic thought or heresy.  If so, they get a letter from me. 

4. TFP Student Action.  This organization defends Catholic values on campuses.  They have a great "Get Involved Page" and I check it regularly for new petitions, surveys, and ways to make my voice heard.

5. SSPX Headlines.  I check in each week to see the News Headlines for what is new in the realm of Traditional Catholicism.

And please remember to bookmark and participate in the activities I have listed on A Catholic Life's Take Action Page.
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