Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to make a St. Brigid's Cross

  1. First you need to collect 16 pieces of reed or heavy straw and cut them into equal lengths of 10 inches. 
  2. Soak the reeds or straw in water for 30 minutes to make them more flexible so they don't break. Let them dry on a cloth until dry.
  3. Fold all the reeds or straw in half but leave one unfolded. They will naturally come unfolded when you set them down, but this step just makes it easier when creating the cross. 
  4. Hold the straight reed in one of your hands and take a folded reed and wrap it around the center of the straight reed. It should look like you just hung a towel on a towel rack. Pull the reed taught. 
  5. Wrap another reed around the base of the second reed that you just wrapped around the first one so that is open ends face right. Pull the reed tight so that it is snug against the center. 
  6. Continue rotating the cross to the left and adding another reed at the base so that its ends face right until you have added all 16 reeds. Make sure to keep the reed snug. 
  7. Lastly, using twine tie the ends together to keep it from falling apart and using scissors cut off any excess or trim to your desire. 

  • Day 29: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    People are watching.
    All the time.
    Every word you say.
    Everything you do.
    Be careful.
    Are others seeing God in you?
     Make your words and actions count for Christ.

    "When you are with unbelievers, make good use of the time. Be pleasant and hold their interest when you speak the message. Choose your words carefully and be ready to give answers to anyone who asks questions." Colossians 4:5-6

    Day 2: Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

     O my Jesus who didst say: “Indeed I say to you, ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.” Here I am, knocking, seeking, and asking the grace (mention your request).
    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be…Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.
    O my Jesus who didst say: “Indeed I say to you, whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, it shall be granted to you.” Here I am, asking Thy Father in Thy name for the grace (mention your request).
    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be…
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.
    O my Jesus who didst say: “Indeed I say to you, heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.” Here I am, and supporting myself on the infallibility of Thy words, I ask Thee the grace (mention your request).
    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be… 
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.
    O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom only one thing is impossible and that is not to feel compassion for the wretched, have pity on us, miserable sinners, and grant us the grace which we ask Thee through the Immaculate Heart of She who is Thy tender Mother and also ours. Hail Holy Queen…  
    Saint Joseph foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    Day 1: Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

    The following prayers will be repeated over a 9 day period, hope you have fun! :)

     O my Jesus who didst say: “Indeed I say to you, ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.” Here I am, knocking, seeking, and asking the grace (mention your request).
    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be…Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.
    O my Jesus who didst say: “Indeed I say to you, whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, it shall be granted to you.” Here I am, asking Thy Father in Thy name for the grace (mention your request).
    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be…
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.
    O my Jesus who didst say: “Indeed I say to you, heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.” Here I am, and supporting myself on the infallibility of Thy words, I ask Thee the grace (mention your request).
    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be… 
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.
    O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom only one thing is impossible and that is not to feel compassion for the wretched, have pity on us, miserable sinners, and grant us the grace which we ask Thee through the Immaculate Heart of She who is Thy tender Mother and also ours. Hail Holy Queen…  
    Saint Joseph foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

    Day 28: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    "Quitters never win and winners never quit." When you have problems or when bad things happen, ask God for strength to get through it. Ask Him to help you keep going. He will!

    "I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race." Philippians 3:13-14

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Day 27: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    Why does God pursue you? 'Cause He loves you! He wants to fill your life with His goodness and His love. He wants to bless you. So stop running and spend some time with God.

    "Surely You goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23:6

    Day 26: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    It's cool to think that God works in your heart and helps you be a stronger person. He gives you strength inside yourself. That means He is helping you grow up to be an amazing man of God.

    "The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace." Psalm 29:11

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    Day 25: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    Here's a cool thing about God - He doesn't have bad moods or times when He's too busy to listen to your requests. He never gets annoyed with you and He'll do what's best for you always.

    "If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won't correct you for asking." James 1:5

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Fun ways to pray

    Have you ever had a super busy day where you can barely fit everything you want to into one day? Sometimes I have those and I find fun ways to incorporate prayer into my busy days.

    Try getting up earlier, it adds more time to your day and it gives you the opportunity to pray.

    Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet or Rosary on a walk or a hike, it is a wonderful way to exercise and pray. :)

    Set aside time to pray throughout the day, if you are homeschooled try to finish your class or whatever you are doing then take a small chunk of time to just relax and be with God.

    Sometime I like to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet on the way to the mailbox, my mail box is about 5 minutes from my house so it gives me time to pray while I walk.

    And finally just talk to God throughout the day, acknowledge His Presence in your life and accept and include Him in all things you do.

    Snowshoe for Life!

    Today about 20 or so people from our parish decided to go on a snowshoe for life, basically a march against abortion in the mountains of Park City! Our goal was to pray for the end of abortion and to pray and meditate while walking a 4 mile loop through the trees. It was wonderful to be out in wilderness that God created, truly it was such a joy. My friend Maria and I began by praying the rosary for the conversion of sinners and against abortions. There was something about praying the rosary in the wilderness that was so amazing. We also prayed various chaplets and said the litany of the Saints, it was so beautiful to pray in the outdoors. I am sure heaven was bombarded by our groups fervent prayers for the end of abortion and I hope they will be answered!

    At the top of one hill we made a crown of 12 stars out of snowballs and created a big M for Mother Mary. We also made her another one on the way down out of rocks and twigs. It was so fun to construct these things! Overall the walk was amazing and I am so glad to have participated in it, I truly hope that by the grace of God abortions will stop and innocent children will be saved.

    Have a wonderful evening,

    Yours in Christ,

    Nicholas +JMJ+

    Day 24: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    You are not alone. God promised to stick close to you. Even better, He says He will go before you. So you know that whatever happens, He knew about it first. No worries then.

    "Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic. For the Lord you God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you." Deuteronomy 31:6

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    Day 23: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    News flash - life isn't all about you. Sometimes you need to look at things and think about how other people are affected. You'll be living like Christ if you put the needs of others before your own.

    "Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interesting in the lives of others." Philippians 2:4

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    Prayer for Vocations

    GOD our FATHER,
    WHO wills that all men be saved
    And come to the knowledge of YOUR Truth:
    We beg you to send
    Laborers into YOUR harvest,
    And grant them grace to speak YOUR Word
    With all boldness; so that YOUR Word
    May spread and be glorified,
    And all nations may know YOU,
    The only GOD, and HIM WHOM YOU have sent,

    Our Lady, Queen of the Americas,
    And Mary, Mother of the
    Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word,
    Pray for us.


    Grandpa Joe

    Grandpa Joe

    Ave Maria,
    your favorite song,
    as a child you would tell me,
    to play you that song.

    But here I am grandpa,
    with you today,
    I shall play you your song,
    as you pass away. 

    I will play this song,
    in remembrance of you,
    and each time I play it,
    I will be reminded of you. 

    Day 22: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    God loves you - no matter what. No matter how many goofy or dumb things you do or how many times you ignore Him or disappoint Him - He just keeps on loving you. God is so awesome!

    "It is wonderful each morning to tell about Your love and at night to announce how faithful you are." Psalm 92:2

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    Jesus Loves You!

    A common problem in our time is that people feel that Jesus doesn't love them. To be honest I have felt that way before but it is not true, Jesus loves you more than you could ever know. First off when he was here on earth some 2,000 years ago he was brutally tortured and mocked and was crucified for our sins.  Do you know anyone who would go through that just for you? Jesus did, he did it because of His undying love He has for us. 

    I remember hearing about Roman crucifixion in a class I took a few months ago, I wish to explain how they might have crucified Jesus. First off they would have probably hammered a nail into his wrists, because if it was in His hand it most likely wouldn't hold his weight. Next they might have hammered nails is the soft spot just below your ankle, and His feet were probably nailed like this on either side of the cross. 

    In crucifixion you usually don't die from blood loss, it is from suffocation. So He was probably shifting His position from standing so He could breath but it would be excruciating pain in His feet so next he would probably shift to hanging from His hands but that is where the suffocation begins because His lungs were collapsing. Sorry to be super realistic but it just shows how much Jesus loves you. 

    Jesus I love you with all my heart, help me be more conformed to you. 

    Nicholas +JMJ+

    Don't give up

    Don't feel discouraged when someone makes fun of your or laughs at your because of your faith, hold firm and stand your ground because Jesus loves you and is with you always. He will never leave you side. The next time you get made fun of turn the other cheek, but that doesn't mean you are being passive, it means that you are not going to put up with that behavior and hopefully by your attitude you will help stop the person from doing what they were doing. 

    So do not fear, for I am with you;
        do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
        I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

    This particular piece of scripture means a lot to me, not only is it a very helpful and nice selection but it was written on a letter my Godfather gave to me right before he left to go fight in the war. 
    So do not fear, because God is with you because He loves you more than you could ever know. 

    Day 21: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    If God's Word is going to last forever then it must be important. So make time every day to read His Word. Think about it and let it settle in your mind and heart.

    "Earth and sky will be destroyed, but the words I have said will never be destroyed." Mark 13:31

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Day 20: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    Jesus promises rest from the problems and stresses of life. All you have to do is come to Him. Ask Him for help and trust that He'll give it.

    "Jesus Said, 'Come to Me, All of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'"

    Monday, January 21, 2013

    Day 19: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    What a great idea God had to give you friends. Your best buddy is a gift from God. God knew there would be times when you needed a friend. He knew life would be more fun with friends around.

    "Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    Day 18: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    Do you pray? Maybe you pray as you're falling asleep at night. Don't pray half-heartily. Constant prayer will help you get to know God better and you will be able to see Him working in your life.

    "Never give up praying. And when you pray, keep alert and be thankful." Colossians 4:2

    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    Day 17: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    How much of your time is spent of "Give it to me" thoughts? Being more like Christ means being happy with what you've got. You know you have God - and He is enough.

    "I Have learned how to be content with whatever I have." Philippians 4:11

    Presentation of the Lord Maze

    Hello everyone! I know this is a little early but I figured I would post it so you could all get it ready for February 2nd which is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord or Candlemas. I created this maze for you to help teach your children the meaning of the day. Basically your children will help the Holy Family travel through the maze to present Jesus in the Temple. It is easy as that! I also has a piece of scripture on the page for you to read to them to help them understand what they are doing! Hope you and your children enjoy this!

    Click here to print!

    Friday, January 18, 2013

    Relic of the True Cross

    Hello everyone! Today I went to our Cathedral to visit a relic of the True Cross, it is believed to have come from the cross Jesus was crucified on. It is said that St. Helena the mother of Constantine the first Christian Emperor of Rome, went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 326-328. While there she founded church's and relief agencies for the poor. The historians Gelasius of Caesarea and Rufinus claimed that she found the hiding place that hid that three crosses that were believed to be used at the crucifixion of Jesus and the thieves. It was only by a miracle that revealed which of the three crosses was the True Cross that Jesus was crucified on.

    Day 16: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    Real smarts comes from obeying God. If you're going to be obedient, you have to know what is right and wrong. So read God's Word - then you will be wise and will grow wiser each day.

    "Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord; those who obey His orders have good understanding. He should be praised forever." Psalm 111:10

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    National Vocation Awareness Week

    What better way to tell you that this week is National Vocation Awareness Week on a Thursday? :) It officially started on the 13th and runs through the 19th. It is all about vocations and learning about what they are and what they mean, so I decided to post a prayer for vocations and some videos that could be helpful!

    Prayer #1

    Parents Prayer for Vocations
    Almighty and eternal God,
    in your unfailing love your provide
    ministers for your Church.
    We pray for those whom you call
    to serve the Church of ___________
    as priests
    Inspire in them a generous response.
    Grant them courage and vision to
    serve your people
    May their lives and service call your
    people to respond to the presence
    of your Spirit among us
    that, faithful to the Gospel and
    hope of Jesus the Christ, we may:
    announce glad tidings to the poor
    proclaim liberty to captives,
    set prisoners free
    and renew the face of the earth.

    Prayer #2

    O God, Father of all Mercies,
    Provider of a bountiful Harvest,
    send Your Graces upon those
    You have called to gather the fruits of Your labor;
    preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of you.

    Open the hearts of Your children
    that they may discern Your Holy Will;
    inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves
    to serving others in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ.

    Teach all Your faithful to follow their respective paths in life
    guided by Your Divine Word and Truth.
    Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
    all the Angels, and Saints, humbly hear our prayers
    and grant Your Church's needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

    Prayer #3

    Loving and Generous God,
    it is You who call us by name
    and ask us to follow You.
    Help us to grow in the Love
    and Service of our Church
    as we experience it today.

    Give us the energy and courage
    of Your Spirit
    to shape its future

    Grant us faith-filled leaders
    who will embrace Christ's Mission
    of love and justice.

    Bless the Church of ______________
    by raising up dedicated and generous leaders
    from our families and friends
    who will serve Your people as Sisters,
    Priests, Brothers, Deacons and Lay Ministers.

    Inspire us to know You better
    and open our hearts
    to hear Your call.

    We ask this through our Lord.

    Prayer #4

    Loving God, you call all who believe in you
    to grow perfect in love by following in the footsteps
    of Christ your Son.
    Call from among us more men and women
    who will serve you as religious.
    By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign
    of your Kingdom for the Church and the whole world.
    We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

    Gracious and loving God, help the
    men and women of our parish to hear the
    call to serve in the Archdiocese of ____________.
    Our needs are great and our people
    thirst for your presence.

    Open the hearts of many, raise up
    faithful servants of the Gospel, dedicated,
    holy priests, sisters, brothers and deacons,
    who will spend themselves for your people and their needs.

    Bless those who are serving now
    with courage and perseverance.
    Grant that many will be inspired by their
    example and faith.

    We ask this through Christ our Lord.

    Prayer #5

    He said to them "Come and See."
    They came and saw where he was staying (John 1:39).

    God of all nations, we are most grateful
    for the first Catholic missionaries and explorers who came to ______________. 
    As strangers in a strange land they brought with them countless skills,
    talents and traditions, but their greatest treasure was their faith. 
    May the good News of Jesus Christ, which molded and shaped their lives,
    continue to mold and shape our lives today.
    Bless our diocese with men and women
    who will follow in their footsteps to serve the Church
    as religious brothers, sisters, priests, and deacons.

    Lord Jesus Christ, help to hear your call to "Come and See."

    Prayer #6

    Hail Mary, full of grace;
    all generations call you blessed.
    Hail Mother of God; when asked by the angel
    to bear the Son of the Most High,
    filled with faith, you responded:
    "Let it be done unto me."

    Holy Mother of Jesus, at the wedding feast at Cana,
    you prompted your Son to perform his first sign.

    Be with us as we discern our life's work
    and guide us in the way we are called to follow
    in the footsteps of your Son.

    Holy Mother of the Savior, at the foot of the cross
    you mourned the death of your only Son.

    Bless and embrace the loving parents of all priests,
    deacons, brothers and sisters.

    Holy Mother of the Good Shepherd,
    turn your motherly care to this nation.

    Intercede for us to the Lord of the harvest
    to send more laborers to the harvest
    in this land dedicated to your honor.

    Queen of Peace, Mirror of Justice, Health of the Sick,
    inspire vocations in our time.

    Let the word of your Son be made flesh anew
    in the lives of persons anxious to proclaim
    the good news of everlasting life.

    Prayer #7

    Gracious God,
    You have called me to life
    and gifted me in many ways.
    Through Baptism You have sent me
    to continue the mission of Jesus
    by sharing my love with others.
    Strengthen me to respond to
    Your call each day.
    Help me to become all You desire of me.
    Inspire me to make a difference in
    others' lives.
    Lead me to choose the way of life
    You have planned for me.
    Open the hearts of all to listen
    to Your call.
    Fill all with Your Holy Spirit that
    we may have listening hearts and
    the courage to respond to You.
    Enkindle in my heart
    and the hearts of others the desire
    to make the world a better place
    by serving as
    Lay Minister, Sister, Priest,
    Brother or Deacon.

    Prayer #8

    Father, we're your people, the work of your hands.
    So precious are we in your sight that you sent your Son, Jesus.
    Jesus calls us to heal the broken-hearted,
    to dry the tears of those who mourn, to give hope to those who despair,
    and to rejoice in your steadfast love.
    We, the baptized, realize our call to serve.
    Help us to know how.
    Call forth from among us priests, sisters, brothers and lay ministers.
    With our hearts you continue to love your people.
    We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God forever and ever.

    Prayer #9

    Loving God,
    your Son, Jesus, has shown us that an open heart finds the way.
    Help me to find my way in this world.
    Keep my heart open to following Jesus' way of serving
    others in love.

    Give me the courage to accept the guidance you offer me
    through my family, my friends, and my parish community.

    Through the Holy Spirit, you call me to a particular way of

    If it is the way of a priest, sister, brother or deacon, then
    help me to walk it in joyful service to your people.

    With you, my God, I know I can find my way.

    Prayer #10

    O God, Who wish all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of Your truth:
    send, we beg You, laborers into Your harvest,
    and grant them grace to speak Your word with all boldness; 
    so that Your word may spread and be glorified,
    and all nations may know You, the only God,
    and Him Whom You have sent,
    Jesus Christ Your Son, Our Lord,
    Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

    Prayer #11

    Loving God,
    Is it I, Lord?
    Are you calling me to a vocation
    of ministry in the Church as
    Priest, Sister, Brother or Deacon?
    Or if I am already living out a life's
    vocation, are you asking me to help
    call others to the ministry of
    leadership in the Church?
    We do need men and women to help
    lead us as Church, Lord. We are your
    people of the valley, prairie and pines,
    the Diocese of ______________
    Speak to us Lord.
    Open the minds and hearts of many
    men and women to live your Word
    and build your Kingdom.
    Speak to me Lord.
    Plant your Word within me so that
    whatever you call me to be or do
    I may say Yes, Here I Am Lord.

    Lord here I am!

    What would you like me to
    do with my life?

    (Pause to listen to God for a moment)

    Teach me to do your
    will, Lord.

    And let your Holy Spirit
    guide me!

    Prayer #11

    O Father, you desire all of us to be happy.
    Stir up the grace of a religious vocation in the hearts
    of many men and women.
    Grant to them the willingness and generosity
    to give of themselves,their lives, their time and their
    talents to the service of Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord and
    Savior, and to His Holy Church.

    May more men and women go forth as priests, deacons,
    brothers and sisters to bring the truths of our Catholic faith
    to all others so that soon they, too, may know You better
    and love You more...
    and serving You, be truly happy. Amen.

    Prayer #12

    Father you call each one
    of us by name and ask us
    to follow you.

    Bless your church by
    raising up dedicated and
    generous leaders from our
    families and friends who
    will serve your people as Sisters, Priests,
    Brothers, Deacons, and Lay Ministers.

    Inspire us as we grow to
    know you, and open our hearts
    to hear your call.

    We ask this in
    Jesus name

    Prayer #13

    Creator God,
    Life is your gift to me,
    Through Baptism you invite me to share
    the gift of my life in service to others.
    Be with me as I choose each day to show
    Your presence in our world.
    Give me the courage and generosity to
    respond to Your love, to Your call.
    I pray especially for those who serve you as
    Priests, Brothers, Sisters, Deacons and Lay Ministers.
    Open the minds and hearts of many other
    men and women that they may accept
    Your challenge to build the Kingdom.
    Loving God, you have made me in Your image and likeness,
    and for this I shall praise You forever.
    Through baptism Your invite me to serve as Your son Jesus served.
    I offer You this day all that I have and all that I am
    in union with His saving cross.

    Father, in the power of the Spirit,
    You send us forth to build up Your kingdom.
    I pray especially for those whom You are calling
    to serve the church as priests, deacons, sisters and brothers.
    Help them to hear and answer Your call to discipleship.

    The harvest is plenty, but laborers are few.
    Please provide for us men and women
    who will help to gather in a great harvest of souls.
    I make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Thank you United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the prayers!

    St. Antony of Egypt (The Great)

    Status: Abbot
    Born: 251, near Memphis, Egypt
    Died: 356, Mt. Kolzim, Egypt
    Patron of: Basket makers, gravediggers, hermits, minks, pigs; suffers from skin disease, epileptics, ergotism (St. Antony's Fire'), amputees.

    Antony is widely regarded as the father of monasticism. He was born a Greek in Egypt to a wealthy family, but upon his parents death in 270, he sold their estates and gave the proceeds to the poor. He became a hermit, initially under the guidance of an older mentor. Egyptian hermits tended to live in ancient, empty rock-cut tombs, caves, or ruined buildings in the desert. Antony assembled a number of followers and established the first monastery around 306 - not the dedicated building for communal living we are familiar with today, but a loose community of mystics living in whatever shelter they could find. The Desert Fathers would undertake manual labor or weave palm baskets to pay for food and clothing, but physical deprivation and relative isolation would often lead to hallucinatory torments. Despite this, Antony lived to a great age.

    Day 15: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    Most people want others to notice them doing something kind. But God doesn't want you to do good deeds to get praise from others. He wants you to do nice things for others because you love Him and you love others.

    "Be careful! When you do good things, don't do them in front of people to be seen by them. If you do that you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." Matthew 6:1

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Do Catholics Worship Images?

    To answer the question up front the answer to this question is no. It seems silly to think that people would accuse Catholic of Idolatry it is usually because of a misunderstanding or perhaps they have seen or heard someone who is wrongly informed or not practicing what the church teaches claiming or actually worshiping images.

    First let us understand what Pagans believe about their idols, in reality they believe that the piece of wood that they just formed into the likeness of one of their pagan gods is a god. Could you imagine thinking that your trophy with the baseball player on it you won at your first baseball game is a god and that nothing is more holy or sacred than that item? Well that's what pagans believe.

    But the difference between pagan idol worship and Catholic veneration of images and statues is that Catholic's do not believe that the picture that they are praying in front of is a god. Any good Catholic will tell you they do not worship images and statues because that is exactly the truth. When I pray at in my prayer space I am not worshiping the images or statues, and I know that because I don't believe that any of my pictures or statues are gods. 

    Catholics also not pray to the images or statues, we pray in the presence of them. It is a common misconception that Catholics are praying to the icon but in reality it is a helpful tool to help concentrate while you are praying. I find that many times while praying the rosary I get distracted but when I look at the image of Divine Mercy I usually regain my concentration. But by no means do I believe that image is a god, it is silly to think that a slim piece of paper is a god.

     The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2132) states:
    The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, “the honour rendered to an image passes to its prototype,” and “whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.” The honour paid to sacred images is a “respectful veneration,” not the adoration due to God alone: Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is. [2]
    With this in mind let us explore an example that I hope will help to clarify what the Catechism means. Some people keep images of their family members who have died or are far away, many people will look at the picture and think of their loved one or actually kiss the picture or touch it with their fingers. I can assure you that they are not worshiping the picture of their loved one, when they think about the person in the picture while looking at it they are not thinking of the picture but of the person portrayed. The same with the kiss, they know the picture doesn't have any feelings and isn't real but they are doing out of affection and longing for their loved one.

    Here is the Second Commandment given to us by God:

    You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments (Exodus 20:4-6).
    What He is saying is that you shall not make an idol and worship it and treat it as if it was a God, that would be considered paganism. God clearly instructs them to carved Cherubim in the temple and for the Ark of the Covenant, these are images right? But God allows them and instructs them to do so, it would only become idolatry if they worshiped the images and offered sacrifices to them.

    But if your still convinced that religious images are bad then wouldn't paintings, drivers license photos and pictures of loved ones be considered against the Second Commandment? With this in mind I hope you enjoyed reading about what Catholics believe about the images veneration showed towards them. I hope if you read this post with anti-image thoughts that you will re-consider your position. :)

    Yours in Christ,

    Nikolas +JMJ+ 

    Day 14: 101 Days to Knowing God for Guys

    What the Bible tells you about God is true. When you trust Him, you can have faith in what the bible says about Him. Even thought you can't see God, you can have faith in Him. He never lies.

    "Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is really even if we do not see it." Hebrew 11:1

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    Churchs position on Women Ordination

    I just thought since the whole fuss about Women Ordination has come into play I would post the beliefs of the Catholic Church on Women Ordination. Firstly, as expressed in the current canon law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states that, "Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination." Pope Paul VI, quoted by Pope John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis wrote, "The Church holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church."

    In 1976, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith discussed the issue of women ordination and issued a Declaration on the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood which states that for many doctrinal, theological and historical reasons that church ”...does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination." Some of the most important reasons are to remain faithful to the church's constant tradition and secondly, its fidelity to Christ's will and thirdly, the idea of male representation due to the "sacramental nature" of the priesthood. In April 1976, the Pontifical Biblical Commission released a study examining the exclusion of women from the ministerial priesthood from a biblical perspective. They made the following points: "The masculine character of the hierarchical order which has structured the church since its beginning...seems attested to by scripture in an undeniable way. "As a matter of fact, we see in the Acts of the Apostles and the epistles that the first [Christian] communities were always directed by men exercising the apostolic power." They conclude their document by stating that:
    "It does not seem that the New Testament by itself alone will permit us to settle in a clear way and once and for all the problem of the possible accession of women to the presbyterate.
    However, some think that in the scriptures there are sufficient indications to exclude this possibility, considering that the sacraments of Eucharist and reconciliation have a special link with the person of Christ and therefore with the male hierarchy, as borne out by the New Testament.
    Others, on the contrary, wonder if the church hierarchy, entrusted with the sacramental economy, would be able to entrust the ministries of Eucharist and reconciliation to women in light of circumstances, without going against Christ's original intentions."

    Some supporters of women's ordination to the priesthood have claimed that there have been ordained female priests and bishops throughout history. The Church holds firm on its position and clearly states that "a few heretical sects in the first centuries, especially Gnostic ones, entrusted the exercise of the priestly ministry to women: this innovation was immediately noted and condemned by the Fathers who considered it as unacceptable in the Church."
    Here is some other scripture references:

    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to use authority over the man: but to be in silence.
    —1 Timothy 2:12 

    To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband's power, and he shall have dominion over thee.
    —Genesis 3:16 

    The Cathedral of the Madeline

    Under the leadership of Salt Lakes first bishop the Right Reverend Lawrence Scanlan, the construction of The Cathedral of the Madeline began in the year of 1900 and was completed in 1909. On August 15, in the year that it was finished the cathedral was dedicated by Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore. This wonderful cathedral had two amazing architects who were Carl M. Newhausen and Bernard O. Mecklenburg, they designed the cathedral with a Romanesque exterior and combined it with a Gothic interior. At the time in 1890 the property that the cathedral was built on was $35,000 and the cost to build the cathedral was $344,000.
    The cathedral's exterior remains almost completely the same as it was in 1909, except for the addition of a tympanum over the main wooden doors. Another new addition was the double flight of steps leading to the main entrance. Renovations took place between 1975 and 1980 under the leadership of The Most Reverend Joseph Lennox Federal, the sixth bishop of Salt Lake City. Some of these renovations included a new copper roof, which protected the Utah Sandstone from further erosion and restoring the gargoyles.
    The interior of the cathedral was largely created under the leadership of The Right Reverend Joseph S. Glass, who became the Bishop of Salt Lake in the year of 1915. He had a refined taste and a strong artistic sensibility, Bishop Glass also enlisted the aid of John Theodore Comes who was one of the leading architects in America at the time. His job was to undertake the beautification of the original plain interior. Comes began creating the interior in 1917 and was inspired greatly by the Spanish Gothic of the late Middle Ages. The colorful murals were added at this time as was the dramatic polychrome evident through the building. The ornate shrine of St. Mary Magdalen and the various shrines were notable features of the Comes renovation. 
    In 1980 The Most Reverend William K. Weigand was appointed Bishop of Salt Lake City, and under his leadership he helped lead a much needed restoration of the interior which had suffered the effects of dirt and pollution in the intervening decades, was planned and executed. This renovation and restoration was the most extensive in the cathedral's history which took place between 1991 and 1993 at a cost of a whopping $9.7 million and involved every aspect of the interior.  
    This included renovation of the liturgical elements of the cathedral to bring them into unity with the liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council, chiefly building a new altar in a more prominent location in the midst of the congregation, giving a new centrality to the bishop's chair; providing a separate Blessed Sacrament chapel and adding a more ample baptism font. 
    Additional elements involved a seismic retrofit to strengthen the building to protect it against earthquake damage, the rebuilding of the lower level of the cathedral, including Scanlan Hall; the creation of a new annex entrance to the cathedral  and the construction of a new cathedral plaza.
    The renewed building was formally rededicated on February 21, 1993. The cathedral is listed on the Utah Register of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places.

    331 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84111-1226 
    Phone: (801) 328-8941 

    Service Times

    Monday through Friday
    7:30 AM Lauds
    8:00 AM Mass
    5:15 PM Mass
    Vespers after the 5:15 PM Mass
    7:30 AM Lauds
    8:00 AM Mass
    3:30 PM to 4:30 PM Sacrament of Penance
    4:00 PM Vespers
    5:00 PM Vigil Mass in English
    7:00 PM Vigil Mass in Spanish
    8:30 AM Mass
    10:00 AM Lauds
    11:00 AM Mass
    3:00 PM Spanish Mass
    5:00 Vespers and Benediction
    6:00 PM Mass
    Public Tours are given at 12:30 on most Sundays