ExpectDelaysSignWhen real life calls, blogging moves to the back burner. And boy, has life been real lately: surgery, moving, et alli.

I’m dusting off the blog and will be returning shortly to this space  with commentary and photos.

IMG_1078yeah, wating on that….
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Dusty and Old? Or Full of Gold?

Over at Like Mother,  Like Daughter Leila has started a discussion on the encyclical Casti Connubii written by His Holiness Pope Pius XI.  I’m joining in with my .02.

First off, I love her post title! So many people see our faith as out-dated, but we know that the Church’s teachings and traditions are our treasure!mountains

A bit of background: the letter was written as a response to the decision of the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican church (1930) which, departing from Christian tradition, permitted the use of birth control by married couples, reinforcing however that abstinence would be the preferred route. On Chaste Wedlock covers the topics of marriage, contraception, and abortion.

His Holiness clearly and expeditiously lays out the premise and purpose of this encyclical: the dignity of chaste wedlock and its place as the foundation for domestic society and therefore all relationships, and its elevation to the rank of a sacrament. It is apparent from even the opening paragraphs his concern for the dignity of the marriage union as well  the sons and daughters that have this vocation, how they can be subject to a corrupt society in their relationships and how the Church maintains her duty to protect that which God Himself has ordained.

My favorite line, thus far:

By matrimony, therefore, the souls of the contracting parties are joined and knit together more directly and more intimately than are their bodies, and that not by any passing affection of sense of spirit, but by a deliberate and firm act of the will; and from this union of souls by God’s decree, a sacred and inviolable bond arises.

Please head over to Leila’s blog and join in, and thanks, Leila, for opening this discussion. I hope to continue to take part.

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From The Heart of Christ On This Valentine’s Day

For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.  (2 Corinthians 5:14- 15)


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Bishop Homilies On The Holy Family

I came across two homilies given today that I thought worth sharing with you.

The first, Archbishop Jose Gomez, of Los Angeles. Listen for these gems his Excellency shared at the cathedral this morning:

“In God’s plan of love, marriage and family are the heart of the church and the foundation of the civilization of love and truth…
God wants to make all our families holy families. And through the witness of our families, God wants to bless all the people of the world and make them into one holy family in His Church…
Mary and Joseph taught Jesus to love God and to love God’s laws. They taught him how to be faithful to God by going to the temple to worship Him…
We have to take our children to church…
We have to make the beautiful truths of our faith, and our devotions and traditions a normal, natural, ordinary part of everyday family life…”


And from Bishop Paul Etienne, Diocese of Cheyenne:


“…The first reading today from the Book of Sirach has a strong instruction which can easily be overlooked.  The first line of today’s reading says: “God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.”  To no surprise, once again, Sacred Scripture confirms that God is the author of all life, human and divine.  God is the designer of the human family.  The feast of the Holy Family which is always set within the Christmas season, teaches us that God is not only the Designer of marriage and family life, but with the birth of his Son, he also participates in our human life; individually, within families, within society.  In Jesus, God has become a human being.  God has entered into the day-to-day life of the human family and human history….  

Our family values and practices are to prepare us for entering into an eternal Kingdom.  The home is the place where we are to live and learn the values that lead to a healthy society.  How we live in our family relationships will influence the relationships we form in the broader society.  The respect we learn for family members will lead to respect for the members of the broader human family in society.

St. Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians (6:4) instructs parents regarding their children: “Bring them up with the training and instruction befitting the Lord,” namely, the instruction of the home is to help children learn God’s ways; God’s truths.  Today’s readings instruct us in these basic paths of human formation.  As already stated, the human family is to be built upon God.  The Book of Sirach (3:2-7; 12-14) teaches that the family is built upon honor, reverence, obedience and prayer.  The Letter to the Colossians (3:12-21) goes on with the type of human formation that takes place within the family.  Within the home we are to practice and grow in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and over all of these we are to practice love.

 Love is an instruction all by itself on humility, self-sacrifice, and generosity…”

You can read the rest here.

Thank you, Excellencies, for using your teaching office so well!

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Feast Of The Holy Family

“Dear brothers and sisters!

Today is the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the liturgy the passage from Luke’s Gospel presents the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph who, faithful to tradition, go to Jerusalem for the Passover with the twelve-year-old Jesus. The first time Jesus had entered the Temple of the Lord was forty days after his birth, when his parents had offered “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24) on his behalf, which is the sacrifice of poor. “Luke, whose Gospel is filled with a whole theology of the poor and poverty, makes it clear … that Jesus’ family was counted among the poor of Israel; he helps us to understand that it was there among them where the fulfillment of God’s promise matured” ( The Infancy Narratives, 96). Today Jesus is in the Temple again, but this time he has a different role, which involves him in the first person. He undertakes the pilgrimage to Jerusalem as prescribed by the Law (Ex 23.17, 34.23 ff) together with Mary and Joseph, although he was not yet in his thirteenth year: a sign of the deep religiosity of the Holy Family. But when his parents return to Nazareth, something unexpected happens: he, without saying anything, remains in the City. For three days, Mary and Joseph search for him and find him in the Temple, speaking with the teachers of the Law (Lk 2: 46 ,47), and when they ask him for an explanation, Jesus tells them they have no cause to wonder, because that is his place, that is his home, with the Father, who is God (The Infancy Narratives 143). “He – Origen writes – professes to be in the temple of his Father, the Father who has revealed Himself to us and of which he says he is the Son” (Homilies on the Gospel of Luke, 18, 5).

Mary and Joseph’s concern for Jesus is the same as every parent who educates a child, introduces them to life and to understanding reality. Today, therefore, we should say a special prayer to the Lord for all the families of the world. Imitating the Holy Family of Nazareth, may parents seriously concern themselves about the growth and education of their children, so that they may mature as responsible and honest citizens, without ever forgetting that faith is a precious gift to be nourished in their children through personal example. At the same time we pray that every child is welcomed as a gift from God, is sustained by the love of the father and mother in order to advance as the Lord Jesus “in wisdom and age and favour before God and man ” (Lk 2: 52). The love, loyalty and dedication of Mary and Joseph are an example for all Christian couples who are neither the friends nor masters of their children’s lives, but the guardians of this incomparable gift from God.

The silence of Joseph, the just man (cf. Mt 1:19), and the example of Mary who kept all things in her heart (cf. Lk 2:51), causes us to enter into the mystery full of faith and humanity of the Holy family. I wish for all Christian families to live in the presence of God with the same love and the same joy as the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

I welcome all the English-speaking visitors present for this Angelus prayer. Today the Church throughout the world celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. May Jesus, Mary and Joseph bring greater love, unity and harmony to all Christian families, that they in their turn may be a firm example to the communities in which they live. May God bless you and your dear families!”   (Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, December 30, 2012)

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Joy To The World



For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:7)

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Christmas Blessings


“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David.

Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  (Luke 1:67-79)

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When Elizabeth Heard Mary’s Greeting…

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:39-45)


The New Testament revelation confirms the indisputable recognition of the value of life from its very beginning. The exaltation of fruitfulness and the eager expectation of life resound in the words with which Elizabeth rejoices in her pregnancy: “The Lord has looked on me … to take away my reproach among men” (Lk 1:25). And even more so, the value of the person from the moment of conception is celebrated in the meeting between the Virgin Mary and Elizabeth, and between the two children whom they are carrying in the womb. It is precisely the children who reveal the advent of the Messianic age: in their meeting, the redemptive power of the presence of the Son of God among men first becomes operative. As Saint Ambrose writes: “The arrival of Mary and the blessings of the Lord’s presence are also speedily declared … Elizabeth was the first to hear the voice; but John was the first to experience grace. She heard according to the order of nature; he leaped because of the mystery. She recognized the arrival of Mary; he the arrival of the Lord. The woman recognized the woman’s arrival; the child, that of the child. The women speak of grace; the babies make it effective from within to the advantage of their mothers who, by a double miracle, prophesy under the inspiration of their children. The infant leaped, the mother was filled with the Spirit. The mother was not filled before the son, but after the son was filled with the Holy Spirit, he filled his mother too”. (Evangelium Vitae, #45) [emphases mine]

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Life’s Paths…..

Don’t always take us where we want to go….


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Pray For Us Who Have Recourse To Thee

“Times are evil in France and in the world” – The Virgin Mary to Sr. Catherine Labouré, July 18, 1830.

Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Mary conceived without sin, in which the Church celebrates the conception of Mary, full of grace, daughter of Anne and Joachim. Conceived without sin, to prepare a vessel for the coming of His Son in the flesh, she would as a young woman give her ascent to the words of an angel, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His Name, Jesus.”

Here is a brief CNS video via New Advent on the teaching in the Church:

Sr. Catherine received her first vision on the eve of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul (the original date) . Months later she received a second vision, during which she was instructed to have a medal cast with the image before her: the Blessed Virgin, standing on a globe with rays light streaming from her fingers. The image turned and the reverse image was revealed to her as well.


After the medal of the Immaculate Conception was struck and distributed, so many miracles were attributed to it that it became know as the Miraculous Medal, and bears that name even today.

” Ô Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons récours à vous”
“Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee”

The declaration of the Immaculate Conception was made by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854. The artist Francesco Podesti was present for the proclamation, and later painted the scene. Here is a video of the Immaculate Conception room in the Vatican museums.

video courtesy Rome Reports

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