Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy New Year, Catholics!

Today marks the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the new Liturgical Year for Catholics. This new year, we have been given a gift of the new translation of the Roman Missal. It has been a little more than 40 years since Vatican II. In the 1970's the ICEL went to work on the English translation of the Mass. The translation never truly fit with that of the Latin. Today that all ends. Praise be Jesus Christ, we will be praying with the prayers our ancestors prayed before us.

We men should never mess with the Holy Mass....never!! It is not ours to mess with. The Holy Mass was instituted to us by Christ Himself, and no one else is worthy of making the Mass their own possession to alter...I hope and pray Holy Mother Church will heal as we slowly break away from the errors of the past and into the dawn of the new Springtime in the Church...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day

October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A. Lincoln

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Solemnity of Christ the King

VEE: Here is our king and since no servant is greater than the master we too must follow the same path.

DS: Behold our King... Jesus the Christ, Our Savior and Our Lord.

"Jesus of Nazareth... is so intrinsically king that the title "King" has actually become his name. By calling ourselves Christians, we label ourselves as followers of the king... God did not intend Israel to have a kingdom. The kingdom was a result of Israel's rebellion against God... The law was to be Israel's king, and, through the law, God himself... God yielded to Israel's obstinacy and so devised a new kind of kingship for them. The King is Jesus; in him God entered humanity and espoused it to himself. This is the usual form of the divine activity in relation to mankind. God does not have a fixed plan that he must carry out; on the contrary, he has many different ways of finding man and even of turning his wrong ways into right ways... The feast of Christ the King is therefore not a feast of those who are subjugated, but a feast of those who know that they are in the hands of the one who writes straight on crooked lines."---Pope Benedict XVI

VEE: I LOVE B16!!!!!! especially this "God does not have a fixed plan that he must carry out; on the contrary, he has many different ways of finding man and even of turning his wrong ways into right ways.."

DS: Yes, I love it that when we make mistakes through the hardness of our hearts, God fixes our mistakes and makes everything infinitely better... when the day comes and I am standing before our King, I pray that He will count me as one of his sheep..

Viva Cristo Rey!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

That Others May Live

VEE: The elite men of the United States Air Force Pararescue aka PJs or Pararescue Jumpers undergo very intense training to prepare them to rescue others in hostile environments, on land or sea, in combat or the worse weather possible. They are trained to save someone's life even if it means giving up their own and thus their motto "that others may live." Their creed adds more to it and is as follows "It is my duty as a Pararescueman to save life and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things I do, that others may live." There is a program on youtube that would give an idea of their training, here is part one if anyone is interested:

Isnt that our job as Catholics too? Shouldnt that be our main focus? Sacrificing ourselves so that other may live spiritually. Isnt that the calling the "vocation" of each and every one of us? Sacrificing ourselves in prayer, in penance, offering everything up to save souls. This involves going beyond our personal comforts and desires and being pushed harder and farther then we ever thought possible by God. Sufferings will come that we didnt ask for but God puts them there to toughen us up, to train us, to make us grow. This may be simply getting up, going to work and living as a good Catholic right where you are.

DS: As for the video series about this extraordinary group of military men... nothing can really compare to the grueling feats the soldiers go through in order to achieve membership in their elite club. But, in a sense, it is very much like what I faced in the convent. The convent was "spiritual boot camp." Our discipline was accomplished through strict obedience and relying completely on our fellow Sisters. Catholics throughout the world are known as the "Church Militant," because we are "God's soldiers," doing battle against satan and his minions, fighting temptations and sins, while depending on fellow Catholics to support us in the battle. Living our lives in complete obedience to the Almighty God and the teachings of Holy Mother Church takes the same level of discipline as shown by these men...and we can not give up the "good fight," we must "finish the race" so that others may live, so that others may come to know the TRUTH, the WAY and the LIFE!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps! Semper Fi!

Monday, November 7, 2011

November: a month for all saints and all sinners

DS: I was six years old when I experienced death for the first time. My cousin, Ruben, decided to go on a midnite trip with friends to west Texas. These guys had just graduated from highschool, and were relishing their new found freedom. I can imagine that the guys set out with a tank filled with gas, an 8 track playing Boston, a few drinks under the belt, and not a care in the world. They would be getting to Lubbock around 10 in the morning if they didn't stop. They didn't plan on stopping.

The monotony of the night took its toll. Soon, all passengers were asleep. Ruben was laying out sprawled in the back seat of the '70 chevy nova. Unfortunately, without anyone to distract him and keep him awake, the teenage driver fell asleep at the wheel. The Nova smashed into the concrete wall of an overpass going 90 mph. Ruben was killed instantly, as his head was nearest to the side that smashed against the wall. The others suffered major injuries---one of the passengers became trapped in the rubble of the crashed car and it took emergency crews more than 3 hours to get him out. He wound up losing a limb and the side of his face.

I remember the effect this had on my aunt and uncle, my mom and my cousins. But it hadn't had any effect on me. I remember going to the funeral home and playing amongst the different parlors. I found it all so much fun. When it was time to settle down and pay my respects, my mom took me to the closed casket, and I looked intently at the picture of Ruben placed over it. I didnt' quite understand why I needed to pray for him. He was dead. At that moment, all I could remember was the way he teased me a lot and made me cry. I told my mom later, "Ruben was mean to me." My mom told me this is why I needed to pray for him. She went on to teach me about Purgatory, and how sinners go there to be purified, because a person with sins cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. She told me, "I just hope he was in the state of grace...because if he wasn't..." and she stopped abruptly and wept...I cried a little, seeing how much pain my mother was in. I think it was at this moment that a fear gripped me, that someday I would lose my mother. Life wasn't forever. I started praying to God that he would keep my mom here for a long long long long time...

The month of November is reserved as a time to remember those we have lost. It is a time to remember not only the Saints who have reached the glory of Heaven, but those poor sinners who are still in Purgatory, going through the purification of their souls in order to get into the gates of Paradise. I believe it is very important that the Church reminds us of this, because too often these days, we Catholics attend funerals and never hear about it. Instead, we're already canonizing the deceased, saying, "Well, he's in a much better place now." No he isn't. He's most probably in Purgatory and needs Masses offered up for him and ceaseless prayers!