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Don’t Miss the USCCB sale on Catechism Titles Every Catholic Home Should Have!

Don’t Miss the USCCB sale on Catechism Titles Every Catholic Home Should Have!

Besides the Bible, every Catholic home should have this reference texts!

This is the annual sale that USCCB offers on these titles. This is the Church’s equivalent of a back-to-school sale. Do it!

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 10.25.36 AMNow thru Sept 30 (yes, there’s a typo above, its not Sept 3, but the 30th) you can get 20% off hard copies of the Catechism (CCC), the US Catechism for Adults, the Compendium of the CCC, and the Compendium of Social Doctrine. Here’s a download of an online-form (.pdf) to use in ordering. 

Use the promo code “faith”!

Website: http://www.usccbpublishing.org

Phone: 800-235-8722

E-mail: publications@usccb.org  Customer Service: css@usccb.org

 

Take three minutes and pray with me today, for life. Day #9 of the USCCB’s Nine Days of Prayer novena to build a culture of life (Prayers & links here)

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 4.13.04 PMEven though this is the last day of the Nine Days, if you’ve missed out on joining in, you can start your own nine day novena for life right now! There’s no limit to how and when this novena gets prayed. Learn more about the Nine Days initiative and find PDF’s with the prayers, as well as more links here.

This is from the USCCB website...

Intercession: For repentance, healing and peace, in every heart and every nation.

 

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

 

Reflection: Today is the memorial of St. Angela Merici, foundress of the religious community now known as the Ursuline nuns. Living in northern Italy in the early 1500s, she was moved by the needs of young girls in the community, who were poor and uneducated. She responded to the girls’ needs by educating them in the Gospel. Her example reminds us that to share Christ with those in need is to share news of great joy. “…for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10) We hear these words proclaimed in today’s first reading. The message of the Gospel of Life is one of great joy! Our call to live this Gospel is not marked with sadness and despair, but with hope, expectation and exuberant joy. “It is up to you, young followers of Christ, to show the world that faith brings happiness and a joy which is true, full and enduring.… The Gospel is the “good news” that God loves us and that each of us is important to him. Show the world that this is true!” (Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 27th World Youth Day, March 15, 2012).

 

Acts of Reparation (choose one):

  • Spend quality time with a family member or friend; ask them if they would like to help out at a local charity with you.
  • Say three Hail Mary’s for your parish priest. Without our priests, we could not have the sacraments.
  • Make a “quiet hour” today, turning off all electronic devices (cell phone, iPod, computer, television, radio, video game system), and retreat to your room.

Take three minutes and pray with me today, for life. Day #7 of the USCCB’s Nine Days of Prayer novena to build a culture of life (Prayers & links here)

We’re on Day 7 of a 9-day novena! The home stretch!

Get caught up on the Nine Days initiative here.

This is from the USCCB website...

Intercession: For elected leaders who oppose any restriction on the abortion license: may God allow them to grasp the brutal violence of abortion and the reality of post-abortion suffering experienced by countless women and men.

 

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

 

Reflection: Today’s reading from Acts tells the story of St. Paul’s conversion. Before, he was “breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord.” After encountering Christ, Paul became a “chosen instrument,” filled with the Holy Spirit, and ready to suffer for Jesus’ name. There is absolutely nothing and no one outside of the power of God’s loving embrace. Today we remember the children, the mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all those who have been involved in or affected by abortion. We entrust them to the unfathomable healing mercy of God, recalling the words of Jesus to St. Faustina: “The greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy” (Diary, 1182).

 

Acts of Reparation (choose one):

  • Go to Confession—today, if possible—or during this week.
  • Fast from snacking today. Eat three meals only.
  • Today, go visit an adoration chapel and spend an hour with Jesus.

Take three minutes and pray with me today, for life. Day #6 of the USCCB’s Nine Days of Prayer novena to build a culture of life (Prayers & links here)

Pray to support life initiatives in this country –especially the events taking place in Washington DC over this weekend. Are you late to this novena? No problem! Start today. Any and all prayer counts.

Get caught up on the Nine Days initiative here.

This is from the USCCB website...

Intercession: For those whose work involves promoting abortion and contraceptive use:may God help them understand that the casual sex they foster undermines the capacity for the self-giving, faithful and enduring love that is the longing of every heart.

 

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

 

Reflection: On this feast of St. Francis de Sales, let us consider these words of the great saint: “All that we do must be motivated by love and not force. We must love to obey rather than fear to disobey.” St. Francis reminds us that all of our actions must be borne of a spirit of love, and that we find our freedom in living the truth. As we defend the dignity of human life, let us ask St. Francis to pray for us so that everything we say and do for unborn children and their grieving parents is imbued with both compassion and truth.

 

Acts of Reparation (choose one):

  • Learn how to pray the Angelus. . . prayer, and get into the habit of saying it every day—at noon or 6 pm or on awakening (or all three times).
  • Today ignore your sweet tooth. Make healthy eating choices.
  • Clean a room in your house without being asked or without telling anyone. Pray for your family members while you clean, “and your Father who sees in secret will repay you” (Matthew 6:6).

Take three minutes and pray with me today, for life. Day #5 of the USCCB’s Nine Days of Prayer novena to build a culture of life (Prayers & links here)

IMG_1087Pray with Americans from all over the country  in support of life! Get caught up on the Nine Days initiative here.

This is from the USCCB website...

Intercession: For scientists and pharmaceutical employees who help create and manufacture contraceptive and abortifacient drugs: that the Lord will open their eyes to the moral danger and health risks these drugs pose for women and prompt them to work only on medications that benefit human life.

 

 

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

 

 

Reflection: In today’s Gospel, we hear how Jesus grieved the hardness of heart of the Pharisees, as he heals the man with the withered hand. Let us open our hearts in faith, entrusting our culture to the healing power of Christ, the One who has overcome sin and the power of evil. We recall the words of Pope Benedict XVI, having faith that “this God exists, and hence that this power to ‘take away the sin of the world’ (Jn 1:29) is present in the world” (Saved in Hope [Spe Salvi], 36).

Acts of Reparation (choose one):

  • Gratitude helps us love God and neighbor. Today try to not complain or be negative. Say a prayer of thanksgiving instead.
  • Sometimes we forget to quiet ourselves and spend quality time with God. Fast from Facebook or Twitter today. Spend that extra time meditating on a Gospel passage.
  • Don’t push the snooze button. Get right out of bed and offer your day in prayer to God. “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:14).

Take three minutes and pray with me today, for life. Day #4 of the USCCB’s Nine Days of Prayer novena to build a culture of life (Prayers & links here)

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 4.15.16 PMDon’t feel bad if you are late to this novena. Just start it today… All prayers count! And remember God can work outside of time limitations!

Get caught up on the Nine Days initiative here

This is from the USCCB website...

Intercession: For the doctors, nurses and counselors who now know they were wrong in cooperating with abortion: may God grant them the courage to renounce their involvement in the abortion industry and open their hearts to doing his will from now on.

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be


Reflection:
 Today, on this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we consider the past four decades in which our society has legally permitted abortion, wandering far from God. Instead of accepting children in joy and hope, our culture is lost in a barren place marked by rejection of others, sorrow and despair. Yet, like Abraham, whom we hear about in today’s first reading, Christians must “hold fast to the hope that lies before us,” trusting in faith that Christ makes all things new. With Mary’s intercession, let us pray that our nation becomes a place where every child is welcomed with joy, as an irreplaceable gift from our Creator.

Acts of Reparation (choose one):

  • Go to an abortion clinic and pray, or set aside an hour today to pray for those who are struggling with a decision of life or death for their unborn child.
  • Pray the Rosary today for someone who has hurt or disappointed you, and ask for the grace to forgive that person.
  • Instead of donating “old clothes,” offer to buy a new piece of clothing or item a charity is seeking.

Take three minutes and pray with me today, for life. Day #3 of the USCCB’s Nine Days of Prayer novena to build a culture of life (Prayers & links here)

Get caught up on the Nine Days initiative here.

This is from the USCCB website...

Intercession: For the parents who influenced their child’s choice to abort their grandchild: that they may have the humility and wisdom to see the wrong they’ve done and to seek forgiveness from God and from their child.

 

Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

 

Reflection: Today we honor the life of St. Agnes, a 12-year-old girl martyred in Rome in 304 AD during the Diocletian persecution. Agnes never wavered in her commitment to remain a virgin and to give her whole life to the Lord, refusing proposals to marry. Her innocence and heroism facing death helped bring an end to the persecution of Christians in Rome. Following the example of St. Agnes, let us remain steadfast in recognizing Christ, who is Love Incarnate, as the source and summit of our lives. May his love give us the determination and courage to live for him and for others, especially the most vulnerable among us.

 

Acts of Reparation (choose one):

  • It’s easy to put our headphones on and ignore our siblings or parents in the car. Instead, enjoy the opportunity you have to talk to them, ask them how they are doing.
  • Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and share your love for Christ with those who need that encouragement the most today. “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” –Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
  • We can sometimes forget how blessed we are to have many of our daily comforts. Give up sleeping with your pillow tonight.

Take three minutes and pray with me today, for life. Day #2 of the USCCB’s Nine Days of Prayer novena to build a culture of life (Prayers & links here)

photoGet caught up on the Nine Days initiative here.

This is from the USCCB website...

Intercession: For the father whose child died with his cooperation and consent: that the Lord grant him the grace to repent and be reconciled with God.


Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

 

Reflection: Today’s memorial of St. Sebastian, the famous martyr and patron of athletes, lived his faith courageously in the midst of intense Roman persecution. St. Sebastian’s life reminds us that even in the midst of threats to the faith, a life lived and died in Christ is the ultimate witness—one that changes others. The wedding feast at Cana, described in today’s Gospel, recounts the first miracle Christ performs, changing six stone jars of water into wine. At the request of his mother, Jesus takes up the ordinary substance of water and turns it into something extraordinary—choice wine for the wedding guests. Our life, too, is changed into something extraordinary when given over to Christ. We trust that He always gives us what we need. Today we bring to him our desire to uphold human life, and entrust everything to him, through the intercession of his mother. We can be certain that he will bless all our efforts with success.


Acts of Reparation
 (choose one):

  • When others are speaking uncharitably about someone else, change the conversation, leave, or offer a counter opinion that is kind and charitable.
  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. . . for mothers and fathers who’ve lost a child through abortion, asking that they find the courage to seek Reconciliation and counseling through Project Rachel Ministry.
  • Read about the life of a modern (19th or 20th century) saint. You might be surprised by how much you have in common with them.
This makes me think… about how evangelizers are evangelized.

This makes me think… about how evangelizers are evangelized.

The New Evangelization reminds us that the very agents of evangelization – you and me  –will never achieve that abundant harvest Blessed John XXIII described unless we are willing and eager to first be evangelized themselves. Only those themselves first evangelized can then evangelize. As St. Bernard put it so well, “If you want to be a channel, you must first be a reservoir.”

I would suggest this morning that this reservoir of our lives and ministry, when it comes especially to the New Evangelization, must first be filled with the spirit of interior conversion born of our own renewal. That’s the way we become channels of a truly effective transformation of the world, through our own witness of a penitential heart, and our own full embrace of the Sacrament of Penance.

“To believers also the Church must ever preach faith and penance,” declared the council fathers in the very first of the documents to appear, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. (SC, n. 9)

To be sure, the sacraments of initiation – – Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist – – charge, challenge, and equip the agents of evangelization. Without those sacraments, we remain isolated, unredeemed, timid and unfed.

But, the Sacrament of Reconciliation evangelizes the evangelizers, as it brings us sacramentally into contact with Jesus, who calls us to conversion of heart, and allows us to answer his invitation to repentance — a repentance from within that can then transform the world without.

What an irony that despite the call of the Second Vatican Council for a renewal of the Sacrament of Penance, what we got instead was its near disappearance.

We became very good in the years following the Council in calling for the reform of structures, systems, institutions, and people other than ourselves.That, too, is important; it can transform our society and world. But did we fail along the way to realize that in no way can the New Evangelization be reduced to a program, a process, or a call to structural reform; that it is first and foremost a deeply personal conversion within? “The Kingdom of God is within,” as Jesus taught.

The premier answer to the question “What’s wrong with the world?” “what’s wrong with the church?” is not politics, the economy, secularism, sectarianism, globalization or global warming . . .none of these, as significant as they are. As Chesterton wrote, “The answer to the question ‘What’s wrong with the world?’ is just two words:’I am,'”

I am! Admitting that leads to conversion of heart and repentance, the marrow of the Gospel-invitation. I remember the insightful words of a holy priest well known to many of us from his long apostolate to priests and seminarians in Rome, Monsignor Charles Elmer, wondering aloud from time to time if, following the close of the Council, we had sadly become a Church that forgot how to kneel.If we want the New Evangelization to work, it starts on our knees.

~Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, Presidential Address, November 12, 2012.

image

Welcome to the Year of Faith! (Great links to get you started and to bookmark.)

Welcome to the Year of Faith! (Great links to get you started and to bookmark.)

Welcome to the Year of Faith!

The Year of Faith is actually slightly longer than a full year: October 11, 2012 through November 23, 2013.  It has a three-fold focus: knowing our Catholic faith, living it out both sacramentally within the church and in the world, and sharing the faith through evangelization and catechesis. This is a wonderful opportunity to make a plan for yourself as to what you might do to grow in those three areas.

Here are some links to help us get the most out of this year.

An Overview of the Year of Faith

  • The Calendar for the Year of Faith highlights special Vatican-sponsored events for the coming year including special days to celebrate the canonizations of new saints, lay and religious vocations, confirmations, World Youth Day, devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist, Mary and Marian devotion, and more.
  • The Pope and the bishops of the world are meeting in a Synod through the month of October. The theme of those meeting is the new evangelization. The document that contains the agenda for those meetings is found here.

Knowing Your Faith

Get to know the Bible. Most newcomers to bible study get comfortable by first looking at the Gospels and the epistles of the New Testament. Here’s an excellent bible commentary series on the New Testament for personal study or for groups, plus a New Testament study bible to with wonderful study helps built right into its pages.

Get to know the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This landmark reference work is the first update to the universal catechism the Church has had in 400 years, since the Council of Trent. It’s a masterpiece of all the Church believes, worships, lives, and prays. The Year of Faith celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Catechism’s reception. Find one at your local Catholic bookseller, or you may enjoy these resources

  • YOUCAT: the Catechism for youth

Read the Documents of Vatican II. The Year of Faith coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council. Read the documents online, or buy a copy from your local Catholic bookseller. Need a place to start? Try reading Lumen Gentium (The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church). It is 8 chapters long and it is the key to unlocking the themes of the council found in the rest of the documents. Also, coming soon: a film on the historic Council known as Vatican II.

Discover Catholic programming to strengthen your faith through the national television ministries of Catholic TV and EWTN, and look to your local diocesan programming as well. Don’t forget Catholic radio networks, many of which can be found here. If you enjoy new media, SQPN is a Catholic podcasting network. Or, subscribe to Catholic newspapers, magazines, and your diocesan paper.

Watch a DVD. Try the 10-part Catholicism DVD series from Word on Fire. It is often shown in parishes and dioceses, as well as on Catholic television. It is also available for purchase.

Take a course. Pillars of Catholicism is a free online course that is being offered by the professors of John Paul the Great University. This series is a self-professed crash course in the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith. It consists of 13 episodes, each a half-hour long. A new episode will be unlocked each week and will be permanently accessible. The course and all materials it provides are free.

Interested in subject matter related to women and the feminine genius? Watch for my new book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, due for release in March 2013. And for your personal and group study I recommend the ministry of Endow, which supports nearly 20,000 women in study groups across the US and Canada.

Living Your Faith

Get more out of the Mass. Try these resources:

  • Magnificat is a print subscription, or use their app for your smart phone to access the daily readings, commentary, and morning and evening prayer.

Pray more and increase your devotional life. Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Discover the Liturgy of the Hours. Longtime the prayer practice of priests and religious, many lay people enjoy praying the liturgy of the hours in whole or in part. You can purchase a breviary from your local Catholic bookseller, or online, by going to Universalis or the Divine Office. Modified versions of morning prayer and evening prayer are found in Magnificat.
  • Receive a plenary indulgence for your religious practice by fulfilling certain requirements during the Year of Faith. Elizabeth Scalia offers understanding on the plenary indulgence.
  • Make a holy hour, or go to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Find a chapel that offers Adoration here.

Sharing Your Faith

A baptized Catholic is baptized into the mission of the Church. Therefore, we, too, are called to spread the faith to others. Get started with these resources:

  • New Evangelizers website has blog posts and free resources that can help you make a faith connection with others.

Official Icon of the Year of Faith
Christ the Pantocrator – Cefalu, Sicily (Photo by Xerones, on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xerones/464417485/in/photostream/

 

The information shared here is also found in numerous links I prepared for my column at Patheos. Read the original article here. You can subscribe to it via RSS or email here. It has also been shared in an audio format on the Among Women Podcast