December 12th is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, unborn children, and the New Evangelization. Our Lady of Guadalupe is unlike any other apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. First, it is the only apparition where Our Lady left a miraculous image of herself unmade by human hands. Second, it is the only universally venerated Madonna and Child image where Our Lady appears pregnant instead of holding the Infant Jesus.
Understanding the temperaments is important is because your temperament has a crucial place in your spiritual life. It can greatly affect your growth as you seek to draw closer to the Heart of Christ. This kind of self-knowledge will help you to know where your strengths are as well as your weaknesses; it gives you more accurate self-knowledge.
Pope Pius VI named John Carroll the first bishop of the United States of America in 1789. His cousin, Charles Carroll, was one of America’s Founding Fathers and the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. Archbishop Carroll wrote the following prayer for our newly formed government on November 10, 1791, to be recited in parishes throughout his diocese.
Graduation, a wonderful time, opens the door for a different kind of life to begin. I graduated from college only a few years ago; not long enough for me to forget the mixed emotions that came along with throwing my cap into the air. Remember that this is the beginning. Be proud of your degree, but if you have regrets about whether you reached your true potential in undergrad (we all do—mine are longer than the treaty of Versailles) remember that future opportunities are still ahead. The curtain has dropped on act one, but it will open for many more acts, on many other stages. So, congratulations, graduates. And here are some quotes to remember as you venture out into the world “and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4).
A sacrament is an outward sign of an invisible spiritual reality. Because humans are a unity of a physical body and a spiritual soul, God uses the means of physical objects and rituals to convey spiritual truths that we cannot detect using our senses.
This outward sign functions as a channel through which God imparts sanctifying grace into the soul. The sacraments are seven in number and have their source in the saving work of Jesus in his passion, death, and resurrection, and were established by Him for the sanctification of every member of His Church.
The Bishop of Phoenix, Thomas J. Olmsted recently released a very important document called Into the Breach: An Apostolic Exhortation to Catholic Men, my Spiritual Sons in the Diocese of Phoenix. This masterful pastoral letter is addressed to men, asking Catholic men to be men, in all that God designed for a man to be in strengthening, defending, fighting for, guiding, and fathering.
This document is so important that it deserves much attention and circulation. You should read it. You should have the men in your family read it. You should gather together a group of men from your parish or circle of friends to study and discuss it.
While most Latinos are raised Catholic as children, fewer and fewer of them are staying Catholic as adults, or raising their kids Catholic – even though the Catholic faith remains the dominant religion among Latinos. This is why a strong sacramental practice and a deep prayer life are necessary tools to keep yourself close to Christ and the Church he founded. As parents, you need to guide your child’s steps too. You might not know everything, but when you teach, you learn, too. So, let’s get familiar with these practical rules to help you and your child stay rooted in the Catholic Faith:
“Peace be upon you, O Mark, my Evangelist.” Venetian legend has it that, while visiting the region of Italy that would later become Veneto, Mark was approached by an angel, greeted with those words, and told that the Venetian lagoon would be his ultimate resting place.
When I learned that the coffin behind the high altar kept the relics and parts of the body of Saint Mark the Evangelist, I felt like somebody removed a blindfold from my soul and I realized that everything that I read and learned only through books and movies since I was a child about the Bible, the Gospel, and the saints were all true. It was like a living proof and I found myself in an emotional moment:
Let’s face it, keeping distractions at bay during Mass is a difficult task for just about everyone.
We’re human. We live in a fast-paced world. We have so many things bouncing around in our minds that we bring into Mass, not including the distractions we’re bombarded with after we find our seat in the pew. And if we have little ones – multiply that by ten.
It takes an almost heroic amount of effort to keep our minds from wandering away from the most important thing happening in our world in that moment—Jesus Christ coming to us in the flesh.
But, nevertheless, it is possible to at least limit some of our distractions at Mass with these simple yet practical tips:
Parents shop for their boys fine attire and the perfect dress for girls – sometimes so fancy that it looks like an early wedding ceremony! There is nothing wrong with that unless we lose sight of the real meaning and think that it is all about la fiestecita. So, there is a question: is First Communion just a tradition, or a religious conviction?