New Evangelization motivation

October 30, 2013

Read Rocco’s post.  Then listen to the audio of Cardinal Maradiaga’s lively address (in the SoundCloud box in Rocco’s post).  Great stuff!!


The Church Alive on Salt + Light TV

October 26, 2013

Church AliveA few weeks ago, Salt + Light TV in Canada launched an innovative series on the New Evangelization in the Church:

The Church Alive” is a fast-paced, segmented and interactive show hosted by Salt + Light producers Cheridan Sanders and Sebastian Gomes.  This unique series will be both television and web based.  The goal: to inspire people and get them talking about the faith, to share stories of the New Evangelization, and to highlight the broad and inclusive nature of Catholicism and its rich tradition.

The episode on the role of the laity was excellent:

Salt + Light TV can be seen live via the internet.  Upcoming episodes of “The Church Alive” that may be of special interest to us are Nov 10th’s “Ecclesial Movements” and Nov 17th’s “Ecumenism.”  The episodes air live on Sundays at 9:00 p.m., with repeats as follows:
Wed at 9am ET
Thur at 9pm ET
Fri at 1am & 1:30pm ET

Episodes can also be viewed at Salt + Light’s YouTube Channel.


Intensify your personal encounter with Jesus

October 23, 2013

Here are 25 ways in which true disciples can nurture and deepen their intimate personal relationship (communion) with Jesus:

  1. Foster an abiding desire for Jesus in your life, especially through a commitment to daily prayer
  2. Prepare for Sunday Mass by spending time in lectio divina with the upcoming Sunday Gospel reading, focusing on the person and the teaching of Jesus
  3. See the priest at Mass as truly in persona Christi (in the person of Christ), and the congregation as the Body of Christ
  4. Make a truly heartfelt thanksgiving to our Lord after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion (like this, but in your own words)
  5. If you don’t get to daily Mass, make a prayerful spiritual communion each day
  6. Spend time in prayerful Eucharistic Adoration whenever possible
  7. Read from the Gospels frequently
  8. Contemplate the Face of Christ in the Gospels
  9. Read a spiritually inspiring commentary on the Gospels (I highly recommend The Better Part by Fr John Bartunek LC)
  10. Use a good Christ-centered prayer book during your prayer time, such as Praying with Our Lord Jesus Christ by Fr Benedict Groeschel CFR
  11. Pray and meditate on the Litanies of Jesus (Sacred Heart, Precious Blood, Holy NameFace of Christ)
  12. Pray and meditate on the Titles of Jesus
  13. Cultivate a true friendship with Jesus (cf. Jn 15:12-17)
  14. Engage in frequent colloquies with Jesus (colloquies are short periods of talking with Jesus as one friend would talk to another)
  15. Practice the presence of Jesus in your heart throughout the day
  16. Occasionally allow yourself to burst forth in brief spontaneous exclamations of praise to Jesus
  17. Read the five best books on Jesus:
    1. To Know Christ Jesus – Frank Sheed
    2. My Beloved Son – Fr Lovasik
    3. Life of Christ – Bp Sheen
    4. The Lord – Msgr Guardini
    5. Jesus of Nazareth (3 volumes) – Benedict XVI
  18. Read other books that have an especially good section exploring the person of Jesus:
    1. Divine Intimacy – Fr Gabriel
    2. Christ in the Psalms – Patrick Henry Reardon
  19. Meditate on the Mysteries of Jesus as you pray the rosary (this book will help)
  20. Delve more deeply into the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  21. Read/study Church teaching on Jesus and on the Holy Eucharist, noting especially the teaching on the Real Presence of Jesus
  22. Be sure to focus on Jesus as you pray the Divine Mercy chaplet (prayers like this and this will help)
  23. Remember to consciously and intentionally unite your sufferings to those of Jesus, and then offer them to the Father
  24. In your nightly examen, look especially for those times when Jesus was present to you or at work in you
  25. Strive to allow Jesus to know you (cf. Mt 7:23 & Lk 13:27)

Feel free to add more in the Comment Box.


Becoming what we are meant to be

October 22, 2013

di-noiaLast month’s Orange County Prayer Breakfast in California featured Abp Augustine DiNoia OP as the keynote speaker.  His talk was entitled “Becoming Like Christ: How the Liturgy Shapes Our Lives.”  However, don’t allow the title to mislead you into thinking that this is a discussion of the rubrics, format or other details of the Eucharistic liturgy.  In this tremendous presentation, he teaches us — in truly Dominican style — the meaning of life and how the liturgy in general is our guide to our fulfillment: to become like Jesus.

What a brilliant teacher Abp DiNoia is!!  He adeptly employs analogies to make his points more understandable.  He appropriately cites examples from the saints and references to popes.  As a true Dominican, he doesn’t fail to mention the rosary.  At times, he speaks with a controlled but intense passion which drew me in and engaged my heart.  The charismatic in me appreciated his enthusiastic reference to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (around the 24:00 to 25:00 minute mark).  Underlying all this is his effective use of Sacred Scripture.  Very inspiring!  You’ll surely find much in this talk to reflect on in your prayer time and beyond.


Back to the basics

October 21, 2013

If you find yourself getting spiritually complacent, or if you feel overwhelmed by the many demands of daily life, then this article by Msgr Charles Pope may help you to re-focus your priorities.


Two inspiring interviews on evangelization

October 20, 2013

First: (audio)
Al Kresta discusses the urgency of the new evangelization with Ralph Martin here (or here) [from 5:15 to 34:20].

Second: (video)
Ralph Martin and Fr John Riccardo discuss evangelization and discipleship from a parish perspective here.


Remembering Jogues et al

October 19, 2013

In honor of today’s Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues and their companions, here’s a sample of what they endured in their efforts to save souls.  It’s an excerpt from “Saint Among Savages,” the classic book on the life of St Isaac Jogues (these paragraphs are from the chapter entitled “Along the Trail of Torture”).

When the Mohawks (a tribe of the Iroquois confederation) captured Fr Jogues and his companions (consisting of his fellow priests, a few French laymen, and the Hurons who had converted to Christianity), they took them to the various villages along the rivers and lakes.  At each Indian village, the Mohawks encouraged their local brethren to “caress” their trophy prisoners, which began with having them run a gauntlet.  Having traveled from the point of their capture for several days already with no food, they arrived at the first such village::

The prisoners were stripped totally naked, and whipped into file.  The old men were placed at the head, for they would set a slower pace.  The stronger Hurons were interspersed with the weaker.  Couture was in the forefront; Goupil in the middle; and Jogues, as the greatest in dignity was held as the last, so that his punishment might be the greatest.  The signal was given.  The first of the Hurons was driven between the lines of Iroquois.  He ran blindly, while the executioners pounded down blows [using clubs and switches of thorny rods] on his head and body and legs.  Another Huron was fed in; the shrieks grew diabolical; Couture rushed into the midst of the whirling clubs; then other Hurons; then Goupil; the outcries were blood-curdling; the hill was a mass of wild passions.

Father Jogues saw it all as he waited for his own ordeal of running the gauntlet.  He was shoved between the columns.  Blows beat down on his head and neck and arms, thudding blows, stinging strokes of switches and thorns, on his sides, on his legs.  Madly he tried to race up the hill.  They tripped and impeded him.  He fought forward.  He stumbled, and fell to the ground ere he had gone a hundred steps.  They showered more blows on him to make him rise.  He tried to escape; but he was hurled back.  He was numbed, paralyzed.  He felt nothing.  The Mohawks kicked and beat him the more; but he did not move.  They dragged him unconscious to the top of the hill.

When he opened his eyes, Jogues found himself lying on the rocky ledge at the top of the hill.  In the center of the open space he saw a platform, half the height of a man, roughly strung together from branches and wattle.  His comrades were being driven to mount it, while the Iroquois giddily whirled around and showered them with blows.  He was discovered revived; then he, too, was lifted roughly and thrown on the stage.  They hauled him up to a standing position, but he sank down to the wood, utterly unable to support himself.  The savages dug into his flesh with their finger nails and thrust burning fagots against his arms and thighs.  He could not move to protect himself.  One of them took his thumb and bit it, crunching and macerating it until the flesh was torn to bits and the bone exposed.  Another held a live coal against his other fingers.  Under the onslaught, once more he swooned off, lifeless.

[snip]

The Mohawks were finished with the French and threw them off the staging.  They turned with newer vigor on the Hurons.  Ahatsistari was the center of their rage.  Jogues watched his sufferings with growing terror.  He saw them slash the flesh with their long knives, from head to feet, saw them staunch the blood with burning torches.  Eustace stood unmoved, never flinching, taunting and maddening them by his words of courage.  They lifted his arms, and severed both of his thumbs in revenge for the arrows he had directed into the hearts of their kinsmen.  He remained unmoved.  One of the Mohawks took a tough stake, cleared of the bark and well pointed; he rammed it into the socket from which the thumb of the left hand had been amputated.  He forced the wood up through the flesh until it protruded at the elbow.  Eustace held his composure.  He would not disgrace his people by twitching a muscle; he would not show himself a coward and thus give satisfaction to his enemies.  He drew himself up more proudly, invincible.


Women’s Day — October 19th

October 13, 2013

A Women’s Day of Prayer with the theme “Mary, Model of Faith” will be held on Saturday, October 19th at the Holy Family Spiritual Renewal Center located at 151 Old Newport Street in Nanticoke.  The day will start with a light breakfast available during the registration period from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., followed by song and prayer, Mass at 10:00 a.m., teaching and discussion, lunch, rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  The teaching and discussion topic will be Pope Francis’ encyclical, “The Light of Faith”.  The day will conclude around 3:00 p.m.  A donation of $30.00 per person is requested.  Reservations are strongly encouraged to help with planning, and can be made by calling Joyce Hudak (735-1068), or via email to pogcnepa@gmail.com.  Here’s a printable flyer.

womens day


A daughter honors her father

October 12, 2013

LevElizabeth Lev, a contributing writer to Zenit, writes about her recently-deceased father, who was Jewish.  Brilliant.  Touching.  Inspiring!


ICCRS anniversary

October 10, 2013

Read about it here.


Fall CFNA Forum

October 8, 2013

Here’s the Fall 2013 CFNA Forum, which is the newsletter of the North American communities that belong to the Catholic Fraternity.