One of the essential pieces in the Rite of Penance is the examination of conscience. We take an internal self-examination of our spiritual life and bring to light those sins that keep us from a more intimate relationship with Christ. Here, we recall our sins and faults committed since our last confession.
Few Christians can recall all seven of Our Lord’s last words on the Cross. As you contemplate His Passion and Death this season, remember that these words, although spoken nearly 2,000 years ago at Calvary, were meant for every generation. Nothing our Lord said or did was without meaning. Prepare your hearts for Lent by reflecting on the Seven Last Words of Christ and consider incorporating this reflection into your Lenten practices.
Towards the end of Lent you may notice purple cloths draped over crucifixes, statues, and images of saints in your church. In some churches, these items are actually removed from the sanctuary altogether.
This old custom of veiling religious images is a way of focusing on the penitential aspect of this liturgical season. It reminds us in a visual way that our faith is made possible only through the work of Christ in his suffering and death on the cross.
Veneration of the Holy Face of Jesus has its beginning during the very passion of Our Lord, making it one of the oldest devotions in the Christian tradition. This devotion originated with the sacred image of Our Lord that miraculously appeared on St. Veronica’s Veil. Below is a short account of how this devotion has spread from ancient times to today.
This physical sign commemorates the beginning of our Lenten season of sacrifice and spiritual growth. If you are like me, it is not uncommon for your Ash Wednesday cross to turn into a smudge. When going out in public, you may receive a question or comment about your forehead being “dirty”. It’s easy to be vague and shy away from giving an answer about the meaning of this mark of sacrifice. But this year challenge yourself to be prepared to fully answer their questions. Here are three ways to respond to remarks about the smudge on your forehead:
Lent is fast approaching and Catholics across the world will soon gather in solidarity on Ash Wednesday to embark on the 40+ day journey into the proverbial wilderness of self-denial. Denying ourselves something we enjoy during Lent is a simple and clear way to remember all that Christ has sacrificed on our behalf. Yet, Lent is often remembered as an “ordeal”. We fall into the trap of characterizing Lent as a miserable and grumpy time. Why?
For those whose formation classes may be done or coming to a close, it is important to realize that your catechesis will never end. You will continue to be filled with questions, and your faith will grow by leaps and bounds if you respond with an eager pursuit of the answers. You can spend your entire life studying and reflecting on the faith. As you grow older, you will discover more about yourself, your relationships, your God-given desires, and God himself. And you have a guide and helper dwelling inside you—the Holy Spirit.
The sacrament of Confirmation is the bestowal of Pentecost into the soul of every baptized Christian, and it is final sacrament of initiation into the Catholic Church. The bishop or priest prays for those being confirmed to receive the Holy Spirit and his Seven Gifts. What are the “Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit” and what do they mean?
First Holy Communion is a rite of passage in a young Catholic’s life that usually happens around the age of seven or eight. It is one of the three of the Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church along with Baptism and Confirmation.
At this major event a child will, for the first time, receive Jesus—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—in the Blessed Sacrament, usually along with many other children their age. And parents have a lot to think about and prepare to celebrate this sacred occasion in their child’s life: the outfit, the ceremony, the food, and the festivities.
We’ve compiled some best practices regarding invitations, guests, and gifts for First Communion Day. These are not hard and fast rules but rather guidelines to help make the start of First Communion season easier to handle.
In a life full of never ending lists of “must-dos”, we constantly need to check if we are abiding by “Thy will be done” or “MY will be done”. But, we are still faced with the question: How do we know if we are on the right track? At The Catholic Company we had the privilege of talking with Teresa Tomeo about her new book, “being still”, and how she continues to be an enthusiastic and committed Catholic.