Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Feast of St Teresa of Avila

VEE:  When I first heard about her I was like "who cares about some dusty old Spanish nun??"  Boy did she ever get me back for that <_<  I think I've watched her miniseries 10 times now.  The first time was on youtube, four episodes of it all in Spanish until I couldn't take it anymore and bought the DVDs so I'd know what the heck was going on!

The funny thing is that even when I didn't know her, she knew me and God sent her to help me.  We don't choose the saints in our life, they choose us or are appointed by God.  God knew I needed her and so with her daughter Therese they found me.  I was alone, scared, lost without God, and in basic total despair.  They led me to God , they led me home both physically and spiritually and taught me much, or at least tried to.  She is my spiritual mother and I love her very much.

An excellent post on her 

Vee goes to the Divine Liturgy

VEE:  The Ukrainian Catholic Church celebrates the Divine Liturgy according to the Ruthenian tradition of the Byzantine Rite Translation they are Eastern Catholic/Byzantine and are in union with Rome.  Further translation...  ICONS!!!

Im not Ukrainian at all however due to the paths of life I have had the chance to attend the Ukrainian Divine Liturgy on three occasions.  Saturday made it four.  I long for reverence and respect when at Church.  No priest talking about football or trying to ham it up for the kids.  No loud talking before or after Mass etc.  Unfortunately there aren't many Catholic Churches where I live so it's either my Roman rite parish where things were getting on my nerves too much and proving a distraction, or the Ukrainian Catholics.  I know it's important to pray for our priests and talk to them about problems at Mass but when nothing changes I need to.

The Ukrainian rite calls their Mass the Divine Liturgy and the prayers are arranged a bit differently.  There is much more making the sign of the cross, from right to left btw, at the sign of peace no one shakes hands the prayers simply continue.  There is less music and if any it is simple chant.  There is incense, and the censure has bells.  At Communion ONLY the priest distributes the precious Body and Blood.  These are mingled together in a chalice, yes leavened bread in small cubes with the wine which then becomes Our Lord.  This cube is dropped onto ones tongue by the priest using a small ornate spoon.  I felt like a little bird being fed. 

Now some pics I took

Saturday, October 13, 2012



VEE: oh my gosh taking care of a stubborn adult is worse than a two year old.  I guess my mom put up with all my crap for years now its my turn to look after her.  Im sooo stinking angry though because she does things like yard work that the doc told her she shouldnt do (because her bones are full of cancer and could shatter) but she is doing it anyway.  I dont even want to go to Mass Im jsut so angry.  There is no way I can receive Communion with this level of anger and Im not even sorry either.  Im not taking it out on her though, I vent to my sister instead.  It pisses me off that she is in denial and wont acknowledge her cancer, then there are the complete opposite people who bitch and moan about every hang nail.  One has nothing wrong when really everything is wrong and the other has everything wrong when its frikken nothing. 

Ninety-Five Years ago, the Sun Danced at Fatima

This is recorded in the Book of Jashar. The sun halted halfway across the heavens; not for an entire day did it press on."---(Joshua Ch. 10 vs. 13)

In the year of our Lord, 1917, God deigned to send His Mother to three shepherd children, Lucia, aged 10, Francisco, 9, Jacinta 7.  The place was Fatima, Portugal a remote village filled with peasants and hard working families.  Lucia was cousin to siblings, Francisco and Jacinta.  Together they would shepherd their family's flocks on property owned by Lucia's family.

These were very devout children, but nothing out of the ordinary.  What I mean is, they were taught at a very young age about the tenets of their Faith.  They had a devotion to God, but at that age, it was a developing relationship---much like any normal Catholic children have.  Nonetheless, Our Lord chose them to receive some of the most important messages for our times.  

It was on May 13, 1917, while the shepherds were out with their flocks, they saw what they describe as a luminous globe, resting upon a holmoak tree in a part of the land called "Cova de Iria."    In the middle of this globe of light, stood a very beautiful lady, who looked no older than 18 years of age.  She spoke to the children and told them not to be afraid, for she came from Heaven.  She told them she had a mission for them, one that was very important, and asked if they wished to take upon themselves this mission.  The children agreed.  For the next months, Our Lady appeared on this very same spot on the 13th of every month.  With every visit, she disclosed the important message, and the children's important mission.  The main theme of this message was to pray for sinners.  Our Lady described the evil that was spreading in the world.  A philosophy was coming out of Russia, she told the children, a philosophy that was Godless and militant.  What she described to the children, was the spread of communism.  Atheistic, militant communism has murdered more people in all of civilized history.  At the time of this apparition, marxism was not widespread, and ordinary folk did not know much about it, most especially children, nor would even understand Marxism.  (The exception was leaders of certain nations, who at this time were fighting for Marxist principles to become the norm in their rule of law.  Portugal's own rulers were flirting with it.)  At the very moment, Our Lady was giving this warning, the Bolshevik revolutions were going on in Russia, deposing the monarchy and putting into place a regime of murderous, atheistic thugs who would rule Russia and spread their evils around the world for the next 75 years.  (One would argue that this philosophy has evolved into the socialistic principles we see driving certain politics in our own country.)

Our Lady showed the children how to offer up their sufferings for the reparation of the sins of the world.  Jesus invites every believer to take a part in the suffering He did for us.  This is why St. Paul writes, "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2)  

Our Lady also bestowed upon the children 3 secrets which were revealed in their entirety to the Church and the world in the year 2000.  These secrets were the vision of hell, shown to the children during the first apparition.  The children described the earth tearing open, and all sorts of beasts and fire, smells and noises arrising from the pit.  Lucia describes what she said were souls "dancing to and fro in the fire, never finding a surface to rest, never finding relief from the scorching pain of the flames."  Our Lady then told the children that they had seen "Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go because no one will pray for them.  Most go to hell for the sins of the flesh."  (Sins of the flesh are immorality, sexual sins, masturbation, indecent thinking, partaking in pornagraphy, fornication, adultery, lusts, impure thoughts.)  The second secret was the prophecy that a worst war was coming if mankind did not cease in offending God (this prophecy was fulfilled with the rise of the NAZIs and WWII), and the last was a vision of the Church Militant on earth.  It was a vision showing Catholic laity, religious, bishops and even the Pope losing our lives at the hands of our enemies.  This has been interpreted as to have already passed, in the many wars of the 20th century, where countless Catholics lost their lives to militant atheism.  (I wonder, though, if this is still to come?)

This takes us to October 13, 1917, 95 years ago today.  On this day, God allowed a miracle to take place, only so that the doubting would BELIEVE in these messages, and put into practice the prayers, supplications and sufferings that Our Lady asked the children as well as all of us to participate in for the salvation of souls.  God allowed the sun to "dance" at Fatima.  Here are some pictures of that event: 

It had actually been raining that day, but after the Sun spiraled and came closer to the earth, the onlookers were suddenly dry as well as the ground they were walking on...

photo of the onlookers watching the sun as it danced in the sky
picture of the crowds that day at the Cova

People look at the sun, and fall on their knees in prayers to God
the crowds that day

Inset of "O Seculo," the marxist, left-leaning newspaper of Fatima

Even the liberal/marxist leaning newspaper could not help but rave about what their reporters had witnessed of the Miracle of the Sun!

After the apparition was finished, people wanted to get close to the children, they had to be shuffled away quickly.  This picture shows a soldier who took pity on Jacinta, and carried her through the crowd so the crowd would not get to her...

During this last apparition, the sun began to spiral and all colors of light flew off the sun.  It appeared in a way so as not to hurt the eyes of anyone who watched it.  The sun seemed to break away from its place in the noon day sky and "dance" across the sky, going from one direction to the other.  At one point, during this "dance," the sun seemed to be flying down towards the earth.  This sent the thousands at the Cova in great fear.  Many souls who had not been living right, at that moment were converted.  

In 1930, after a decade and a half of research, in-depth investigation, interviews of witnesses and family members, the apparitions at Fatima were deemed "worthy of belief" by the Catholic Church.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!  Bl. Jacinta and Bl. Francisco, pray for us!  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Year of Faith

Today begins what Pope Benedict declared a "Year of Faith."  In this year, the Pope hopes to "usher in a time of rediscovery" of our Catholic Faith.

The Pope's Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, outlines this year, and the reasons behind it.  You may read it at this link:   Porta Fidei

Several Diocese in the United States have set up programs to help Catholics participate in the year.  My Bishop, for example, held an Evening Prayer at the cathedral last night to start off.   You can contact your local diocesan office and pick up an information packet.  Fr. Mitch Pacwa has a book out to assist the individual with a Bible Study organized to use throughout the year.  You can find it here:   Year of Faith Bible Study  There are several web resources, as well as many Catholic forums and blogs that will promote activities to deepen the Faith.  The Pope also suggests reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as the documents of Vatican II as tools for study during this year.  

Of course, individuals can decide for themselves what they wish to do in order to take part. I decided to wake up an hour early and take that hour to pray.  Prayer is instrumental in our relationship with God, and one cannot live out their Faith without that relationship.   My meditation this morning was an essay on prayer by St. Claude de Colombiere.  In it he writes:"[Prayer] is the only means of purifying us, of uniting us to God, and of allowing God to unite Himself to us and be glorified in us."  So many of us may find prayer tedious, and boring at times.  We may even go through periods of "dryness" in prayer, and feel we cannot do it.  St. Claude says of that, "When we are distracted during prayer and find the time long because of our impatience to pass on to something else, it is good to say to yourself:   'My soul, are you tired of your God?  Are you not satisfied with him?  You possess him and do  you seek for something else?  Where can you be better than in his company?  Where can you profit more?'  I have experienced that this calms the mind and unites it with God."

I will pray for you as you begin this endeavor.  Please pray for me!  

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Day In The Life: The Carmel of St. Joseph

VEE:  I have never visited this Carmel however it reminds me of the few I have visited and the taste of of their life I have had.  It reminds me of the patience God is teaching  me as I have no freedom from obligation to enter.  If that does come it will be at a very high price. 
watch here