Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ten Minutes In The Sun

Today marks the 95th. anniversary of the culmination of the Marian apparitions at Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal.  The sixth and final appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Lucia dos Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto concluded with the event known as "the miracle of the Sun".

What happened, according to Wikipedia.

Two eye-witness accounts are noted:  one from a well-know researcher of all the events; the other, a very familiar figure in Church history.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Going Away Gifts

I haven't see one of these kind of stories in a while.  It was a post from one of my "friends" on Facebook.  Edited for spelling and punctuation:


I saw a cashier hand a little boy his money back at the mall; the boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old.  The cashier said, "I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll."

The little boy turned to the old woman next to him. "Granny, are you sure I don't have enough money?"

She replied, "You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear."  Then she asked him to stay there for just 5 minutes while she went to look around.  She left quickly.

The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.  Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to.

"It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for Christmas. She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her."

I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus would bring it to her after all and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly, "No, Santa Claus can't bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.  "His eyes were so sad while saying this.  "My sister has gone to be with God.  Daddy says that mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister."

My heart nearly stopped.  The little boy looked up at me and said, "I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall."  Then he showed me a very nice photo of himself.  He was laughing.  He then told me, "I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won't forget me.  I love my mommy and I wish she didn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister."  Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy, "Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll! '

"OK." he said.  "I hope I do have enough."  I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it.  There was enough for the doll and even some spare money.

The little boy said, "Thank you God for giving me enough money!" Then he looked at me and added, "I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give it to my sister. He heard me! I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much.  But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose.  My mommy loves white roses."

A few minutes later, the old lady returned and I left with my basket.  I finished my shopping in a totally different state of mind from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind.  Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago which mentioned a drunk man in a truck who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl.  The little girl died right away and the mother was left in a critical state.  The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma.  Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy I read in the newspaper that the young woman had passed away.  I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was for people to see and make last wishes before her burial.  She was there in her coffin holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest.

I left the place teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever.  The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine; and, in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Sword Which Divides?

Tonight will be a novelty.

Two men who share the same Faith but differ on how to utilize it in the public square.

Two candidates, vying for the same position, debate on how best to serve the United States, with their shared religion in the background.

This could be a referendum on the state of Catholicism in this part of the world.

This article describes the differences.

Benedict As Janus

He was there when it opened fifty years ago, and recalls that day.

He now use the occasion of that anniversary to preach (with commentary from Fr. John Zuhlsdorf) on what the Year of Faith should mean to all of us.

Let the conversations start.

Annus Fidei

And so it begins.

Today marks the opening of the "Year Of Faith", from now until the Feast of Christ the King in 2013.

Held in conjunction with the Golden Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th. anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The goal, from the website of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops:
During the Year of Faith, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith. 
The upcoming Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.
In accordance with Faith seeking understanding, I think this could be the most significant year in a person's spiritual life.  Do we understand what we believe? Do we even know what we are to believe? Do we know the tenets of our Faith?  These are the question to be answered in the next 13 months.

At least we can look at the same pages, if not be on the same page.

I have both editions of the Catechism and have read the revised version (twice).  As to the "Sweet Sixteen", the documents issued in the three years Vatican II met--no, I have not.  Looks like I have some homework to do.

There is so much confusion and division within the Church.  Much of it stems from how to implement what happened as a result of the 21st. Ecumenical Council.  This is where the so-called "spirit of Vatican II" make an appearance.  This is where the hermeneuetic of continuity comes into play.  This is an interaction worth having.

May this be a time when the phrase "ut unam sit" becomes more a reality.

Here is how to gain a Plenary Indulgence during this time.

Monday, October 01, 2012

October 2012 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  New Evangelization. That the New Evangelization may progress in the oldest Christian countries. 
Mission:  World Mission Day. That the celebration of World Mission Day may result in a renewed commitment to evangelization.