Tag Archives: Christ

This anti-speeding ad from New Zealand will haunt you | News.com.au

Christ taught us to love our neighbor. Well here is another example of how the simple act of obeying laws we deem “fluid” based on location, car, mood, etc. can become a day-to-day expression of that love simply because you care enough to be considerate of the person or persons you may never see otherwise.

This anti-speeding ad from New Zealand will haunt you

ANTI-SPEEDING ads have been done to death, which is perfectly appropriate when you consider how many people die every year because of speeding.

But this ad from our friends in New Zealand turns the subject on its head. It asks speeders, who may think they’re in control, to think about the mistakes that other drivers make. And in doing so, it literally makes time stop.

The ad opens with its focus on a father who is waiting to turn onto a country road with his son sitting in the back seat.

The father makes a mistake. He pulls out in front of a car which is travelling towards him too fast. Moments before the two vehicles collide, time freezes.

Both drivers get out of their cars and walk towards each other.

The father knows there’s nothing he can do. Source: News.com.au via YouTube

“Mate … I’m so sorry, I thought there was time,” the father says.

“You just pulled out,” the other man responds. “I don’t have time to stop.”

The father knows there’s nothing he can do. Source: YouTube

“Please. I’ve got my boy in the back,” says the father. The other man looks over and sees the child in the back seat.

“I’m going too fast,” he says. There’s an awkward pause. “I’m sorry.”

Both men walk back to their cars. The second man looks at his speedometer, which says he’s moving at more than 100km/h. The father takes one last look at his son, with pain etched all over his face.

Then time restarts, and the two vehicles smash into each other.

As the screen fades to black, the words “Other people make mistakes. Slow down” appear.

Watch the ad. It might haunt you for a while, but that’s probably a price worth paying.

via This anti-speeding ad from New Zealand will haunt you | News.com.au.

 

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Beggars All: Ex Opere Operato baptismal regeneration is not Biblical!

 

I was looking over some blog post suggestions from Zemanta and came across the blog post linked below. This is a highly anti-Catholic blog and what they certainly got right is the unity of the authors in their anti-Catholicism. This type of unity against the Church is one, that for me, is a simple affirmation of her divine origin and the fact that she is the One True Church. Reminds me of 1 John 2:19:

They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us; but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of us.

Anyway, here are a couple of paragraphs that I wanted to focus on and offer my opinion on – inline of course:

So, we are unified in the gospel and in Christ against the errors of the Roman Catholic Church [How do they know they are correct since their theology extends back just a few hundred years at most and much of what they profess is heresy that was already addressed years ago by the Church? But they are united – though not in Christ but against Him and His Holy Church (1 Tim 3:15).], and specifically here, ex opere operato and baptismal regeneration. Infant baptism is a secondary issue over which we can disagree about, and Evangelical Protestant churches are free to practice and teach their convictions about it and defend it biblically, but maintain gospel unity [This is contradictory in nature as the Sacrament of Baptism, its regenerative nature and its requirement for entrance into heaven is central to the Gospel – but yet the Evangelical ecclesiastical communities can continue to disagree. Well as long as they agree to attack the Church.] and fellowship in conferences and networks such at “together for the gospel” and “the gospel coalition”, but RC baptismal regeneration is a doctrine and practice that divides us and that doctrine is a heresy and contrary to justification by faith alone in the Scriptures. [If baptism does nothing then why does St. Paul equate it circumcision (Col 2:11-12) or our own co-burial with Christ (Rom 6:3-7) and St. Peter give us the very clear statement, “baptism now saves you” (1 Peter 3:21)? Then there is the last statement about justification by faith alone. Well St. James tells us with one of the most clear versus in Sacred Scripture that we are “justified by works AND NOT BY FAITH ALONE” (James 2:24). Insert a head scratch here.]

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the work of the priest [Actually what the Church teaches is that any person can baptize another so long as they use the proper form – Trinitarian formula – and matter – water – and have the proper intent. A valid baptism can even be performed by an atheist! This is because it is God  who does the washing by pouring out His grace into our hearts – our souls – cleansing us.] – performing the ceremony of baptism on the recipient (infants mostly, and adult converts who have never been baptized in the name of the Trinity, etc.) actually causes the person to be born again and confers grace on that person. They teach that the water of baptism literally washes their souls [This part is correct as we see in Jesus’ own words to Nicodemus (John 3:5). Now the next statement about the priests and use of Latin is wrong. the priest happens to be the normal means by which this is done because they share in the Divine priesthood of Christ and thus act in persona Christi so he wold be the most obvious , primary choice. The use of Latin – sounds nice but not required. I was baptized in Spanish and I have seen baptisms performed in English. Doesn’t matter in this case so long as the Holy Trinity is the formula.], when performed by the RC priest, when he says the words in Latin, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit“. The Latin phrase, “ex opere operato” means “from the work, it works”, which is to say that the action and duty and performance of the ceremony actually does something [Again, the Church does not teach tat the ceremony does something – it is the form and matter that Jesus revealed to us that confers this grace upon  us Not by some magic spell but by the Grace of God who engages our physical and spiritual components directly as the water one the outside gives us a physical representation of what is going on on the inside.And this is done by God.]  to the recipient.

via Beggars All: Reformation And Apologetics: Ex Opere Operato baptismal regeneration is not Biblical!

 

The target of anti-Catholic bigotry

 

English: Baptism of Christ
English: Baptism of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, for the first time in my life, I really felt the heartache resulting from bigotry cause by irrational hatred based clearly on ignorance. What the hell is he talking about you ask?

Well, I was told – and made clear – by a close family member that they “completely and totally renounce anything Catholic.” And this even when they cannot defend their acceptance and adherence to sometimes heretical doctrines of men such as “Baptism is you getting wet and not required,” “Jesus is in my heart but especially not in the Sacrament of the Alter,” “Mary was just a vessel and not blessed” and so on.

You see, each of the items in the list and more are all refuted in the Bible, the sole rule of authority for most Protestants despite the Bible itself stating otherwise, and moreover are inventions of men trying to justify their own abandonment of the Church which through the Holy Spirit, as promised by Christ, is infallible and led to all truth. In this conversation truth was relative yet “my truth” held no value.

This pointed denial of the Church who gave this person the doctrines of Salvation by Grace, the Most Holy Trinity and even the Canon of Scripture, we shocking in their own professed willingness to take that position to hell if that is where it led. (Of course they were referring to the “hell” of the Catholic Church, which is apparently somehow different from their “hell.”)

Anyway, I just felt like a little rant before bed on this matter because I cannot recall ever feeling such hatred wrapped in a sweet presentation.

 

The Opening Credits Sum Up the 2011 Film Adaptation of The Rite – “Suggested by Matt Baglio”

The Rite (2011 Film) Theatrical Poster
The Rite (2011 Film) Theatrical Poster via Wikipeda

In 2010 journalist Matt Baglio brought to the consciousness of modern American Catholics and secular persons the true story of Father Gary Thomas: the making of an exorcist. The sober and unapologetic chronicling quickly grabbed the attention of the masses spawning a second edition and now a major motion picture complete with all the fixings, trappings and Hollywood movie-making that makes honest works into mere sugar-coated happy endings void of life but full of the promise of money for exploitation. These are the basic sentiments for this film.

The opening credits perhaps spoke the most truth when the attribution to Matt Baglio’s book, The Rite, appeared on the screen reading, “suggested by the book…” This “suggestion” already clued me in. There was going to be more liberty taken with the screen rights of this film than I have seen before with concern for a film adaptation of true life events.

That said, I cannot completely knock the film as Anthony Hopkins turned in a great performance as Father Lucas as did the remainder of the cast. Furthermore, it would seem that the director was sincere enough in his approach to show some details that others may overlook, such as the robes of Father Xavier, a Dominican. But the story still felt pressured for Hollywood showmanship rather than the truth of Rite.

These disappointments came primarily in two flavors:

  1. Changing all but the essence of the related primary characters of the book: Father Gary Thomas, Matt Baglio and Father Carmine in addition to altering the nature of their relationships.
  2. Although the film’s protagonist elects to follow his vocation to the priesthood after having “found and accepted” the grace of faith via the disturbing events of the film’s climax, it does not excuse the fact that the director choose ignore major facts concerning the priestly vocation. For example, Father Gary Thomas was already a priest when he began his specialized training to become an exorcist. Next, the director chooses color completely outside the lines for the benefit of the narrative, completely destroying what made the book a stirring work, that is the acknowledgement that the Church and the priests therein are fully and completely representatives of Jesus Christ – the latter sharing in the High Priesthood of Our Blessed Lord. An untrained seminarian would have no place in the events depicted either on film and especially in the book. Without the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the soul of Michael would be no different than any lay person and thus would be an ineffective witness at commanding any demon to do anything in the name of Christ. (The Church has always taught that by virtue of the baptism into the Body of Christ, the laity has the ability and efficacious power of prayer when it comes to minor deliverance but never when there is explicit demonic activity especially that of possession.)

The lapse in acknowledge the necessity and authority of the priesthood is one that ruined the experience of the film for me as it did not reproduce the impact that the book did. Again, that does not take away from the fact that this is one of the few instances where the Church, the priesthood and even the interpretation of the unseen world were represented with some care.

In this vein I would like to address a couple of issues that were alluded to in the trailers and ominous poster featuring Anthony Hopkins and state outright that The Rite is not a scary at all. No this does not mean that you can watch the film with the entire film (the subject matter is not for the faint of heart) but that there is no sense of fright like that of The Exorcist or other films that dig into the mind to evoke the real sense of fear. What is done properly here reminds of the another, more “realistic” film on the topic of possession and exorcism, that of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, also based on real events.

Like Rose, The Rite, is successful setting the ambiance of danger, dread and despair. The cinematography, sound and editing come together effectively to produce that sense of foreboding necessary to engage the viewer and bring them into the journey. Once more, loose depiction of the priesthood and Michael’s struggle does a disservice – how much so depends on the level of knowledge of the viewer. There are also great “BAM!” moments in the film; (You know, the ones where you are watching the movie and there is an air of silence and then all of a sudden BAM! something jumps out at you.) enough that if I were to have taken my mother to see this in the theaters she would have screamed enough for all watching with us. (I love you mom!)

So to recap:

  • The movie by itself is okay.
  • It is a very liberal adaptation of the book.
  • It plays fast and loose with the vocation of the priesthood and the necessity of the Sacrament of Holy Orders to truly combat the Enemy in such intimate confrontation.
  • Finally, rent it first and come back here to buy it, especially of you like Anthony Hopkins!
You can purchase this DVD here.

I wrote this review of The Rite ( 2011 ) for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Mass during the Day

Icon of Saints Peter and Paul“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Saint Peter on the Person on Christ, Matthew 16:16

Saints Peter and Paul are the founders of the Diocese of Rome. One was the Prince of the Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome, known as the office of the Papcy today, and the other was the majority author of the New Testament books and something of a travelling evangelical priest/bishop.

Catholic Culture wrote this short tidbit about these two great saints (more after the readings of course):

Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God’s providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their martyrdom, the center of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel.

St. Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero, in A.D. 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the basilica of St. Peter’s. St. Paul was beheaded in the via Ostia on the spot where now stands the basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts. Peter and Paul.

A plenary indulgence may be gained today by anyone who makes devout use of a religious article blessed by a bishop and who also recites any approved profession of faith (e.g. the Apostles Creed), as long as the usual conditions are satisfied.

Catholic Culture prepared this special section during the Year of St. Paul.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year


Read the Bible at Mass

First Reading: Acts 12:1-11

In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. –It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–  He had him taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the Church was fervently being made to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell from his wrists. The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” So he followed him out, not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter recovered his senses and said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”

Responsorial Psalm34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (5) The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Second Reading: 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Reading: Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply:

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”


St. Peter

Peter’s original name was Simon. Christ Himself gave him the name Cephas or Peter when they first met and later confirmed it. This name change was meant to show both Peter’s rank as leader of the apostles and the outstanding trait of his character — Peter (in Hebrew Kephas) the Rock. Peter was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Like his younger brother Andrew, he was a fisherman and dwelt at Capernaum. Peter’s house often became the scene of miracles, since the Master would stay there whenever He was teaching in that locality. Together with his brothers John and Andrew, Peter belonged to the first of Jesus’ disciples (John 1:40-50).

After the miraculous draught of fish on the Sea of Galilee, Peter received his definitive call and left wife, family, and occupation to take his place as leader of the Twelve. Thereafter we find him continually at Jesus’ side, whether it be as spokesman of the apostolic college (John 6:68; Matt. 16:16), or as one specially favored (e.g., at the restoration to life of Jairus’ daughter, at the transfiguration, during the agony in the garden). His sanguine temperament often led him into hasty, unpremeditated words and actions; his denial of Jesus during the passion was a salutary lesson. It accentuated a weakness in his character and made him humble.

After the ascension, Peter always took the leading role, exercising the office of chief shepherd that Christ had entrusted to him. He delivered the first sermon on Pentecost and received the first Gentiles into the Church (Cornelius; Acts 10:1). Paul went to Jerusalem “to see Peter.” After his miraculous deliverance from prison (Easter, 42 A.D.), Peter “went to a different place,” most probably to Rome. Details now become scanty; we hear of his presence at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1), and of his journey to Antioch (Gal. 2:11).

It is certain that Peter labored in Rome as an apostle, that he was the city’s first bishop, and that he died there as a martyr, bound to a cross (67 A.D.). According to tradition he also was the first bishop of Antioch. He is the author of two letters, the first Christian encyclicals. His burial place is Christendom’s most famous shrine, an edifice around whose dome are inscribed the words: Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Against frenzy; bakers; bridge builders; butchers; clock makers; cobblers; Exeter College Oxford; feet problems; fever; fishermen; harvesters; locksmiths; longevity; masons; net makers; papacy; Popes; ship builders; shipwrights; shoemakers; stone masons; Universal Church; watch makers; Poznan, Poland; Rome; Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi; Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada; Diocese of Marquette, Michigan; Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Symbols: Two keys saltire; pastoral staff and two large keys; inverted cross; inverted cross and two keys saltire; crowing cock; fish; two swords; patriarchal cross and two keys saltire; two keys and a scroll; sword.
Often portrayed as: Bald man, often with a fringe of hair on the sides and a tuft on top; book; keys; man crucified head downwards; man holding a key or keys; man robed as a pope and bearing keys and a double-barred cross.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year


St. Paul

Paul, known as Saul (his Roman name) before his conversion, was born at Tarsus in the Roman province of Silicia about two or three years after the advent of the Redeemer. He was the son of Jewish parents who belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, was reared according to the strict religious-nationalistic party of the Pharisees, and enjoyed the high distinction of Roman citizenship.

As a youth he went to Jerusalem to become immersed in the Law and had as a teacher the celebrated Gamaliel. He acquired skill as a tent-maker, a work he continued even as an apostle. At the time of Jesus’ ministry he no longer was at Jerusalem; neither did he see the Lord during His earthly-life. Upon returning to the Holy City, Paul discovered a flourishing Christian community and at once became its bitter opponent. When Stephen impugned Law and temple, Paul was one of the first at his stoning; thereafter his fiery personality would lead the persecution. Breathing threats of slaughter against the disciples of Jesus, he was hurrying to Damascus when the grace of God effected his conversion (about the year 34 A.D.; see January 25, Conversion of St. Paul).

After receiving baptism and making some initial attempts at preaching, Paul withdrew into the Arabian desert (c. 34-37 A.D.), where he prepared himself for his future mission. During this retreat he was favored with special revelations, Christ appearing to him personally. Upon his return to Damascus he began to preach but was forced to leave when the Jews sought to kill him. Then he went to Jerusalem “to see Peter.” Barnabas introduced him to the Christian community, but the hatred of the Jews again obliged him to take secret flight. The following years (38-42 A.D.) he spent at Tarsus until Barnabas brought him to the newly founded Christian community at Antioch, where both worked a year for the cause of Christ; in the year 44 he made another journey to Jerusalem with the money collected for that famine stricken community.

The first major missionary journey (45-48) began upon his return as he and Barnabas brought the Gospel to Cyprus and Asia Minor (Acts 13-14). The Council of Jerusalem occasioned Paul’s reappearance in Jerusalem (50). Spurred on by the decisions of the Council, he began the second missionary journey (51-53), traveling through Asia Minor and then crossing over to Europe and founding churches at Philippi, Thessalonia (his favorite), Berea, Athens, Corinth. He remained almost two years at Corinth, establishing a very flourishing and important community. In 54 he returned to Jerusalem for the fourth time.

Paul’s third missionary journey (54-58) took him to Ephesus, where he labored three years with good success; after visiting his European communities, he returned to Jerusalem for a fifth time (Pentecost, 58). There he was seized by the Jews and accused of condemning the Law. After being held as a prisoner for two years at Caesarea, he appealed to Caesar and was sent by sea to Rome (60 A.D.). Shipwrecked and delayed on the island of Malta, he arrived at Rome in the spring of 61 and passed the next two years in easy confinement before being released. The last years of the saint’s life were devoted to missionary excursions, probably including Spain, and to revisiting his first foundations. In 66 he returned to Rome, was taken prisoner, and beheaded a year later. His fourteen letters are a precious legacy; they afford a deep insight into a great soul.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Against snakes; authors; Cursillo movement; evangelists; hailstorms; hospital public relations; journalists; lay people; missionary bishops; musicians; poisonous snakes; public relations personnel; public relations work; publishers; reporters; rope braiders; rope makers; saddlemakers; saddlers; snake bites; tent makers; writers; Malta; Rome; Poznan, Poland; newspaper editorial staff, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Diocese of Covington, Kentucky; Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama; Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada; Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island; Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Symbols: Book and sword, three fountains; two swords; scourge; serpent and a fire; armour of God; twelve scrolls with names of his Epistles; Phoenix; palm tree; shield of faith; sword; book.
Often portrayed as: Thin-faced elderly man with a high forehead, receding hairline and long pointed beard; man holding a sword and a book; man with 3 springs of water nearby;

Things to Do:

  • From the Directory on Popular Piety, this feast is important because “it is always useful to teach the faithful to realize the importance and significance of the feasts of those Saints who have had a particular mission in the history of Salvation, or a singular relationship with Christ such as St. John the Baptist (24 June), St. Joseph (19 March), Sts. Peter and Paul (29 June), the Apostles and Evangelists, St. Mary Magdalen (22 July), St. Martha (29 July) and St. Stephen (26 December).”
  • The Directory on Popular Piety also explains the devotion of the Christian Pilgrimage. During the Middle Ages in particular, “pilgrims came to Rome to venerate the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul (ad Limina Apostolorum), the catacombs and basilicas, in recognition of the service rendered to the universal Church by the successor of Peter.”
  • Besides the recipes in our database, Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf has seven recipes alone for the feast of St. Peter. This is a wonderful book, beautifully illustrated with art of the saints and the actual dishes. This would be a great addition to your liturgical year library.
  • Learn more about St. Paul, read Paul of Tarsus

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year

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One of the most effective ways of refuting the Protestant heresy Eternal Security

One of the most effective ways of refuting the Protestant (particularly Calvinist) heresy of Eternal Security (aka Once Saved Always Saved) is to point out some examples of individuals in Scripture who at one point in their life were saved but then lost their salvation through grave sin (whether they repented or not is outside the scope of this brief article). The following list is by no means exhaustive, and I welcome any suggestions for other examples.

King Uzziah:

I have to credit Dave Armstrong (bookmark him!) with pointing this example out to me a while ago. 2 Chronicles 26:3-5, 16, 20-21 records the following about this man:
Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.

But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.

And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead! And they rushed him out quickly, and he himself hurried to go out, because the LORD had struck him. And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD.

Clearly, there was a time when Uzziah was living in God’s favor, with no indication this was disingenuous. Yet, he “grew proud, to his destruction” to the point he was struck by God and never healed. (This is in contrast to those who have sinned and have healed after repenting.) This can only signify that Uzziah lost his salvation, and goes directly against the Protestant notion that good works will automatically flow. I’m sure there are similar situations for other OT Kings who at one point lived uprightly but then became corrupt.

NICK’S CATHOLIC BLOG: Examples of Individuals Losing Salvation in Scripture

Optional Memorial of St. Cyril of Alexandria, bishop and doctor

St. Cyril I, 24th Patriarch of AlexandriaSupernaturally, we are all one. We are made one body in Christ, because we are nourished by one flesh. As Christ is indivisible, we are all one in him.

St. Cyril of Alexandria

St. Cyril is one of the most important and outspoken Church Fathers. It was at the Council of Ephesus (mid-400s), in which he was presiding in the name of the Pope at the time, that it was defined that Mary is truly Theotokos, the Mother of God. This secondary infallible declaration is a result of the primary infallible declaration of the Council, which was the proclamation that Jesus is both Truly God and Truly Man.

In addition to this, St. Cyril was an ardent defender of the Real Presence and the authority of the Bishop of Rome as the visible head of the Church on Earth.


Read the Bible at Mass

First Reading: Gn 18:16-33

Abraham and the men who had visited him by the Terebinth of Mamre set out from there and looked down toward Sodom; Abraham was walking with them, to see them on their way.

The LORD reflected:

“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, now that he is to become a great and populous nation, and all the nations of the earth are to find blessing in him? Indeed, I have singled him out that he may direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD may carry into effect for Abraham the promises he made about him.”

Then the LORD said:

“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out.”

While the two men walked on farther toward Sodom, the LORD remained standing before Abraham. Then Abraham drew nearer to him and said:

“Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty, so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?”

The LORD replied, “If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

Abraham spoke up again:

“See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes! What if there are five less than fifty innocent people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?”

He answered, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

But Abraham persisted, saying, “What if only forty are found there?”

He replied, “I will forbear doing it for the sake of forty.”

Then Abraham said, “Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?”

He replied, “I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there.”

Still Abraham went on, “Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?”

He answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

But he still persisted:

“Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?”

He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”

The LORD departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham,
and Abraham returned home.

Responsorial Psalm: 103:1b-2, 3-4, 8-9, 10-11

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. 

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. 

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Gospel Reading: Mt 8:18-22

When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”


St. Cyril of Alexandria

St. Cyril is one of the great Greek fathers of the Church. He was chosen by divine Providence to be the shield and champion of the Church against Nestorius, who denied the unity of person in Christ. If this heresy had succeeded, Mary would not be called the Mother of God.

Excepting Sts. Athanasius and Augustine, his equal as a defender of orthodoxy, can hardly be found in the Church’s history. His greatest achievement was the successful direction of the ecumenical council at Ephesus (431), of which he was the soul (Pope Celestine had appointed him papal legate). In this council two important dogmas were defined – that there is but one person in Christ, and that Mary (in the literal sense of the word) can be called the Mother of God (Theotokos). His successful defense of the latter doctrine is his greatest title to honor.

His writings show such depth and clarity that the Greeks called him the “seal of the fathers.” He died in 444 A.D., after having been bishop for thirty-two years. In Rome, the basilica of St. Mary Major stands as a most venerable monument to the honor paid Mary at the Council of Ephesus. On the arch leading into the sanctuary important incidents in the lives of Jesus and Mary are depicted in mosaic.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

In 1881, he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII, and in 1944, on the fifteenth centenary of Cyril’s death, Pope Pius XII issued his encyclical Orientalis Ecclesiae, commemorating Cyril’s place in the history of the Church.

Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Patron: Alexandria; Egypt.

Symbols: Shown holding a pen; with the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus.

Things to Do:

  • Read Pope Pius XII encyclical, Orientalis Ecclesiae (On St. Cyril, Patriarch Of Alexandria).
  • Read some excerpts from the writings of St. Cyril at the Crossroads Initiative.
  • St. Cyril lived in the fifth century and combated the heresy of Nestorius, who denied the union between the humanity and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and thus, the divine motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church466) Read what the Catholic Encyclopedia says about Nestorius and Nestorianism.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year

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    Jesus, I Trust in You: Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Mass During the Day

    Jesus, I Trust in You: Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Mass During the Day

    trustinjesus:

    "Saint John the Baptist" (c.1560) by...

    There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came to bear witness to the light, to prepare an upright people for the Lord.

    — Entrance Antiphon, cf. John 1:6-7; Luke 1:17

    Today the Church celebrates thenativity of Saint John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets (and patron saint ofPuerto Rico). The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of Saint John:

    “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”(Jn 1:6) John was “filled with the Holy Spiriteven from his mother’s womb”(Lk 1:15, 41) byChrist himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.(cf. Lk 1:68)

    John is “Elijah (who) must come.”(Mt 17:10-13; cf. Lk 1:78) The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of “(making) ready a people prepared for the Lord.”(Lk 1:17)

    John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.”(Lk 7:26) In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah.(Cf. Mt 11:13-14) He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the “voice” of theConsoler who is coming.(Jn 1:23; cf. Isa 40:1-3) As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.”(Jn 1:7; cf. Jn15:26; 5:35) In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels.(Cf. 1 Pet 1:10-12) “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God…. Behold, the Lamb of God.”(Jn 1:33-36)

    Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of “the divine likeness,” prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John’s baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth.(Cf. Jn 3:5) (Catechism of the Catholic Church 717-720)

    However, like the Transformers, there is more to John than meets the eye. He and his mother Elizabeth are the first to receive Our Blessed Lord in a “Eucharistic procession” as Christ was carried by His Blessed Mother Mary – the Ark of the New Covenant, His first Tabernacle. It is John’s reaction to the presence of God near him that fills Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit allowing her to proclaim the Gospel truth as Peter did later at Caesarea Philippi (Cf. Mt 16:16):

    In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke (RSV) 1:39-45)

    It is, in part, the witness of the unborn John that confirms the Church’s teaching on three dogmas:

    1. Jesus is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity Who is God. Jesus is God incarnate.
    2. Mary, ever-virgin and immaculately conceived, is the Mother of God Who is Jesus. When we see Mary, we see Christ. When we see Christ, we see God. It is her DNA alone that miraculously makes His incarnation.
    3. Human life begins at conception. For two unborn children to interact in such a manner is not only mind boggling with respect to mystery of Divinity but also because it occurs every day in every pregnant woman. Does a child not react to outside stimuli but most especially to familiar sounds such as the heartbeat of their mother, her voice or even their father’s voice and love?

    Simply put, the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist is “Advent in ordinary times” (Catholic Culture).

    Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Mass During the Day

    "Saint John the Baptist" (c.1560) by...

    There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came to bear witness to the light, to prepare an upright people for the Lord.

    — Entrance Antiphon, cf. John 1:6-7; Luke 1:17


    Today the Church celebrates the nativity of Saint John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets (and patron saint of Puerto Rico). The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of Saint John:

    “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”(Jn 1:6) John was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb”(Lk 1:15, 41) by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.(cf. Lk 1:68)

    John is “Elijah (who) must come.”(Mt 17:10-13; cf. Lk 1:78) The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of “(making) ready a people prepared for the Lord.”(Lk 1:17)

    John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.”(Lk 7:26) In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah.(Cf. Mt 11:13-14) He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming.(Jn 1:23; cf. Isa 40:1-3) As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.”(Jn 1:7; cf. Jn 15:26; 5:35) In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels.(Cf. 1 Pet 1:10-12) “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God…. Behold, the Lamb of God.”(Jn 1:33-36)

    Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of “the divine likeness,” prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John’s baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth.(Cf. Jn 3:5) (Catechism of the Catholic Church 717-720)

    However, like the Transformers, there is more to John than meets the eye. He and his mother Elizabeth are the first to receive Our Blessed Lord in a “Eucharistic procession” as Christ was carried by His Blessed Mother Mary – the Ark of the New Covenant, His first Tabernacle. It is John’s reaction to the presence of God near him that fills Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit allowing her to proclaim the Gospel truth as Peter did later at Caesarea Philippi (Cf. Mt 16:16):

    In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke (RSV) 1:39-45)

    It is, in part, the witness of the unborn John that confirms the Church’s teaching on three dogmas:

    1. Jesus is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity Who is God. Jesus is God incarnate.
    2. Mary, ever-virgin and immaculately conceived, is the Mother of God Who is Jesus. When we see Mary, we see Christ. When we see Christ, we see God. It is her DNA alone that miraculously makes His incarnation.
    3. Human life begins at conception. For two unborn children to interact in such a manner is not only mind boggling with respect to mystery of Divinity but also because it occurs every day in every pregnant woman. Does a child not react to outside stimuli but most especially to familiar sounds such as the heartbeat of their mother, her voice or even their father’s voice and love?

    Simply put, the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist is “Advent in ordinary times” (Catholic Culture).


    Read the Bible at Mass

    First Reading: Is 49:1-6

    Hear me, O coastlands,
    listen, O distant peoples.
    The LORD called me from birth,
    from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
    He made of me a sharp-edged sword
    and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
    He made me a polished arrow,
    in his quiver he hid me.
    You are my servant, he said to me,
    Israel, through whom I show my glory.

    Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
    and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
    yet my reward is with the LORD,
    my recompense is with my God.
    For now the LORD has spoken
    who formed me as his servant from the womb,
    that Jacob may be brought back to him
    and Israel gathered to him;
    and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
    and my God is now my strength!
    It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
    and restore the survivors of Israel;
    I will make you a light to the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

    Responsorial Psalm: 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15

    R. (14) I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

    O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
    you know when I sit and when I stand;
    you understand my thoughts from afar.
    My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
    with all my ways you are familiar.

    R. I praise you for I am wonderfully made.

    Truly you have formed my inmost being;
    you knit me in my mother’s womb.
    I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
    wonderful are your works.

    R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

    My soul also you knew full well;
    nor was my frame unknown to you
    When I was made in secret,
    when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.

    R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

    Second Reading: Acts 13:22-26

    In those days, Paul said:

    “God raised up David as king; of him God testified, I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish. From his man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’

    “My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent.”

    Gospel Reading: Lk 1:57-66, 80

    When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.

    The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.


     

    About the Feast Day

    This feast, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.

    Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint’s death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin (for which reason even her very conception is commemorated by a special feast), and John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother. This is the dogmatic justification for today’s feast. In the breviary St. Augustine explains the reason for today’s observance in the following words:

    “Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior’s birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced.) In the case of other saints or of God’s chosen ones, the Church, as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.

    “For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace.”

    In other words, today’s feast anticipates the feast of Christmas. Taking an overall view, we keep during the course of the year only two mysteries, that of Christ’s Incarnation and that of His Redemption. The Redemption mystery is the greater of the two; the Incarnation touches the human heart more directly. To the Redemption mystery the entire Easter season is devoted, from Septuagesima until Pentecost; and likewise every Sunday of the year, because Sunday is Easter in miniature.

    The Christmas season has for its object the mystery of God-become-Man, to which there is reference only now and then during the remaining part of the year, e.g., on Marian feasts, especially that of the Annunciation (March 25) and today’s feast in honor of the Baptist. In a sense, then, we are celebrating Christ’s incarnation today. The birth of Jesus is observed on December 25 at the time of the winter solstice, while the birth of His forerunner is observed six months earlier at the time of the summer solstice. Christmas is a “light” feast; the same is true today. The popular custom centering about “St. John’s Fire” stems from soundest Christian dogma and could well be given renewed attention. St. John’s Fire symbolizes Christ the Light; John was a lamp that burned and shone. We Christians should be the light of the world.

    Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

    Patron: Baptism; bird dealers; converts; convulsions; convulsive children; cutters; epilepsy; epileptics; farriers; hail; hailstorms; Knights Hospitaller; Knights of Malta; lambs; Maltese Knights; lovers; monastic life; motorways; printers, spasms; tailors; Genoa, Italy; Quebec; Sassano, Italy; Diocese of Savannah, Georgia; Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina; Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas; Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey; Diocese of Portland, Maine.

    Symbols: Lamb; lamb on a book of seven seals; locust; camel’s hair tunic; girdle; his head on a charger; scroll with words Ecce Agnus Dei or with Vox Clamantis in deserto; long, slender cross-tipped staff; open Bible; banner of victory.

    Things to Do:

    • Read about the traditions connected with this feast, particularly the connection with bonfires.
    • The Liturgy of the Hours for the Evening Prayer (Vespers) of the Birth of St. John the Baptist has traditionally included the Gregorian chant Ut Queant Laxis. Tradition has ascribed the hymn to a Paul Warnefried (Paul the Deacon, 730-799). While preparing to sing the Exsultet at the Holy Saturday vigil, he found himself hoarse, and so prayed to St. John the Baptist, since his father lost his voice before John was born. Paul’s voice was restored and he wrote this hymn in honor of the saint. True or not, what makes this song memorable is that the Benedictine monk used this hymn as a pivotal reference for our musical scale. See Catholic Encyclopedia’s entry Ut Queant Laxis, more information on the hymn from Catholic Culture, a Beginner’s Guide to Modal Harmony, and Gregorian Chant Notation.
    • The Church year has two cycles. The more important cycle is the Temporal cycle (from the Latin tempus which means time or season). The life of Christ is relived in liturgical time, in both real time and Church’s memory. Throughout the year the Paschal Mystery (Christ’s work of redemption through His birth, life, passion, death, and resurrection and ascension) is relived, and broken down into the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Ordinary Time. Sundays are the usual means by which this cycle unfolds.

      At the same time with the temporal cycle, the Sanctoral cycle (from the Latinsanctus which means saint) progresses. The Church honors Mary, Mother of God “with a special love. She is inseparably linked with the saving work of her son” (CCC 1172). Then the memorials of martyrs and other saints are kept by the Church. They are held up to us as examples “who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God’s favors” (CCC 1173).

      This is one of the few saint feast days that is connected with the temporal calendar, not the sanctoral calendar, because John the Baptist was intimately involved in Christ’s work of redemption. Charting or making your own liturgical calendar would be a great family project.

    • Read the excerpt from the Directory on Popular Piety on the cult of St. John the Baptist.
    • In Brazil, this day is known as Diário de Sáo Joáo (Saint John’s Day). The festivities are set off in the villages and countryside by the Fogueira de Sáo Joáo (bonfire) on St. John’s eve. Families and friends eat traditional foods around the fire while younger folks jump over the fire and firecrackers are exploded. The day is primarily a festival for children, who save up months in advance to purchase fireworks to set off for the day. In cities this is a day for parties and dances, with the urban dwellers dressing up in rural costumes.

      St. John is the protector of lovers, so for fun, young country girls in Brazil will roll up scraps of paper, each bearing a name of a single girl and place them into a bowl of water. The first one which unfolds indicates the girl who will marry first.

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    thelyricsofmyworld:

    Dare You To Move
    Switchfoot
    The Beautiful Letdown

    This is fairly deep. And it certainly applies to bearing witness to one’s faith in Christ.

    Life in Him exposes the darkness to the light of Truth. Thus there is often fallout.

    Life in Him is not “worldly.” Thus you face resistance.

    When a man or woman carries their cross daily in cooperation with God, tension most certainly exists between the wants for the self and the need to be selfless.

    As we walk out path to Calvary there is always the question – are we being all that God created us to be?

    Only when we recognize “how it is” versus “how it should be” can we truly accept the Truth of our sinful nature and move closer towards eternity with Our Blessed Lord.

    You know, I always love how God is present in every aspect of our lives even when we least expect it because we never intended it.

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