Saturday, October 30, 2004
To be a Catholic
Ok well that's all I wanted to post for now, keep smiling!!!! :-)
Thursday, October 28, 2004
"Take this and eat it, all of you"
I have for so many years seen the importance in Communion. I always feel such a closeness with Jesus, and always have, when taking it. Right now, I cannot take it because I have not been re received, but I look forward to this more than anything. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1384) it says: The Lord addresses an invitation to us, to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: "Truly, I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you"
To me, this is a great invitation to life, to unity with Christ, and as Jesus said that unless we eat of his flesh and drink his blood, then we have no life in us. I want life in me, I want as much of the Son of man in me and with me as I can possibly get!!
I know spiritually he is with me and meets me in my heart, but desire the sacrament too.
So for anyone who awaits like I am, and who has to sit in the pew as communion is being served, here is a prayer for you:
An Act of spiritual Communion
I believe that You are the Blessed Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I long for You in my soul.
Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
As though You have already come,
I embrace You and unite myself entirely to You;
never permit me to be separated from You.
The picture I have used here is from Download free pictures
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
The gift of forgiveness
You were at one time spiritually dead, because of your sins
and because you were Gentiles without the law. But God has
now brought you to life with Christ. God forgave us all our sins;
he cancelled the unfavorable record of our debts with it's binding rules
and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross.
God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ.
God does this to all who believe in Christ,
because there is no difference at all: everyone has sinned
and is far away from God's saving presence.
But by the free gift of God's grace all are put right
with h m through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.
God offered him, so that by his sacrificial death
he should become the means by which peoples sins are
forgiven through their faith in him
When we say that grace is procured for us by the merit of Christ,
we indeed, that we have been purified by his blood,
and that his death was an expiation for our sins
by John Calvin
For all at once all sin is atoned for on the Cross,
the entire Fall is erased, and the whole obligation to Satan
and the entire sentence passed upon the fall of Adam is torn up, cancelled, and annulled by the nails of Jesus
by Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf
Sunday, October 24, 2004
This is according to an Amnesty International report. Women are vulnerable to other crimes such as rape and enslavement.
N.S.W governor Dr.Marie Bashir said in a report,
"As I speak we can be sure that somewhere, some atrocity is being meted out to an innocent female victim" she continues..."There is no doubt this phenomena is a global problem and one which has existed for millennia. The challenge today is in our response and how can we contribute to , or participate in repudiation and extinguishment of these dreadful behaviors"
According to this report, women are frequently singled out for torture in armed conflicts, because of their role as educators and as symbols of the community. Tutsi women in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and muslim, croat, serb and ethnic Albanian women in former Yugoslavia, were tortured because they were women or a particular, national, ethnic or religious group.
"women who have been bought and sold for labor, sexual exploitation and forced marriage are also vulnerable to physical violence, including rape, unlawful confinement, confiscation of identity papers and enslavement" Bashir said.
It's so sad that women are so vulnerable in today's society, it's a fact that we just are, things like this don't just happen in trafficking but all around us, in all countries and situations.
World bank figures show that violence is so universal with every 1 in 5 women having experienced physical or sexual assault. In the US a woman is battered every 15 seconds, while 700,000 are raped every year. So from strangers to within the home, women are at risk.
This issue has really troubled me and I am sure it has alot of people out there, our prayers are what we have to offer and hopefully a change for the better. These figures are astounding.
I am currently preparing myself for confession, I am comming back into the Catholic Church after many years, and the last time I confessed in the Church was so long ago, so it's time to prepare. Sure I give confessions to God now in that private place of prayer, but now it's time for the Sacrament of reconciliation.
As I prepare, I often think of what Jesus has done for me, and what my sin caused, for I am partly responsible as we all are. As I pray and say "sorry Lord" I recall a poem that I read and have pondered on so many times before, I would like to share it here,
The diadem of Pain
Which sliced your gentle face,
Three spikes piercing flesh and wood
To hold you in that place.
The need for blood I understand
Your sacrifice I embrace
But the bitter sponge, the cutting spear,
The spit upon your face?
Did it have to be the cross?
Did not a kinder death exist?
Than six hours hanging between life and death,
All spurred by a betrayer's kiss?
"Oh, Father," you pose,
heart stilled at what could be,
"I'm sorry to ask, but I long to know,
did you do this for me?"
Yes this is a deep one, and not easy to pray or think about, but it certainly helps me bring up sins that I like to keep locked away, as we all do at times. My preist said once "don't only question to God, "what did I do" but also, "what did I fail to do?" Anyway have a ponder :-)
Friday, October 22, 2004
Unfortunately, a lot of Christians have the wrong view on Mary mother of Jesus. It's sad that it can cause division among Christians.
I know from my own experiences in my former Church. I have been informed that Catholics worship Mary, they place her above God, Mary is just like us a mere sinner set free etc.
Although, on the other hand some Catholics themselves do not understand what the Church truly teaches about Mary. Yes, there have been exaggerations in devotion which has helped give protestants the wrong impressions that we give her honor that is due to God alone.
Ok, so Mary is a creature of God just like we are, but we honor Mary as the greatest of all Saints, Mother of Jesus, but one still below Christ, whom we worship as Our Lord and Saviour, Son of God.
Mary is a great model of discipleship, look at her response to the angel's message, she said "let it be done to me according to your word" She was the first person in that gospel story to hear the word of God and do it.
She fulfilled what Jesus describes as the mark of the true discipleship.
So she is a Mother and the model of true discipleship.
Ok so next comes Lukes account of Mary and her visit to Elizabeth, she too had received a revelation from God that she was to be a mother, she was pregnant to the one who would be called John the Baptist.
On this occasion Luke attributes to Mary a song of joy and praise to God, known as the "magnificat". In this song Mary acknowledges the wonderful priviledge that God has given to her, "my spirit rejoices in God my saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name" She was a favored woman, I don't think many of us would have taken the same enthusiasm.
So Catholics honor Mary, not worship her as I have been told all so many times. Catholics honor Mary because they love her, not because they see her as some kind of goddess.
But because God chose her to be the mother of his Son Jesus.
As with the other Saints of the Church, Catholics see her as a model and inspiration for their Christian lives.
We also see in Mary the power of intercession with the risen Lord her Son.
So just as we pray to the other Saints, we pray THROUGH Mary not TO her, recognizing that God alone is the one who ultimately accepts and grants our prayers.
Recently I have begun to learn about the Rosary, my boyfriend had given me one as a gift, I never thought that I would find it such a blessing, since I am a former protestant. I found it to be such a great prayer, honoring Mary. A wonderful meditation on the important events in the lives of Jesus and his mother.
I have seen that devotion to Mary has received great impetus from alleged appearances made by her to children at Lourdes in France, Fatima in Portugal and somewhere in Yugoslavia (I can't remember the name).
Anyway, Catholics are not forced to believe or obliged to believe in these, although in the case of Lourdes, well documented and scientifically tested miracle cures make it hard to not believe that the power of God has been at work in the response to Mary's intercessions.
Now, Catholic women who are taking the pill can risk excommunication (dare I say). This is because at least 25 percent of the time, the pill works by causing an embryo not to attach to the uterine i.e. abortion.
The risks from taking the pill are enough to convince me (even if I were not a Christian) not to ever take it, here are some of the risks:
- You can forget to take the pill, or remember when you took it last
- The pill increases your chance of getting a blood clot
- A 40 percent increased chance of heart attack
- If you are a smoker you have a greater chance of getting breast cancer
- estrogen can make you gain weight
- the pill can effect your fertility and make it more difficult to have a baby, when and if
you decide to conceive.
OK that is not even mentioning the mood swings and bloating etc which are the more minor issues.
Is this the type of thing you want going into your body anyway? When there are natural family planning methods available today? I have come across many over the net and just by accident, you can save your body all the poison in my opinion.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
The gift of life
In a mothers womb, grows a human being, all human beings have the right to life and deserve respect, but sadly there are people who feel that abortion is not a murder, but in fact it is. It's a deliberate act and a deliberate destruction of life.
Pope John Paul II said "all human life is sacred, for it is created in the likeness of God." So, aborting this life, this creation, destroys a life, destroys the human being and causes a death.
The Church's mission is to defend human life from birth until natural death, they will always continue to do this.
So here is a prayer for the unborn which I found on http://catholicism.about.com
Heavenly Father, in your love for us protect,
against the wickedness of the devil, those
helpless little ones to whom, You have given
the gift of life.
Touch with pity the hearts of those women
pregnant in our world today who are not thinking of
Help them to see that the child they carry is made
in Your image - as well as theirs - made for eternal
Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them true womanly hearts
to love their babies and give them birth, and all the needed care
that a mother can give.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord Who lives
and reigns with You and Your Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen
Let's take into consideration this life in the womb of a woman, this life created by God, the giver of life, and remember that it is sacred.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, I have admired her for a long time, she had some
wonderful things to say about Love, as we know God commanded us to love one another.
In her own words she has said:
"Let us love one another as God loved each of us. And where does this love begin? In our own home, how does it begin? By praying together."
In day to day life, we can often get busy and forget to pray together, it is a great way of honoring God and it's also an act of love for one another. There is another quote from Mother Teresa that I love (there are so many) :
"The family that prays together, stays together, and if they stay together they will love one another, as God has loved each one of them. And works of love are always works of peace."
So here you have read only two, if you are intersted I encourage you to read more of what Mother Teresa had to say and offer to us, through God. I hope she can inspire you also
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Prayer to the Father, Our Creator and Liberator
You are a living person,
You are not an impersonal Owner
but a Father,
and your glory is a person who is fully human.
You created us and gave us creativity;
You are responsible for our being here,
and You endowed us with the responsibility.
You are eternally new
and You inspire us to seek ever new fulfillment
in accord with Your Divine Plan.
You are the liberating God of the Exodus
Who inspire us to seek true freedom constantly.
You help us to free ourselves from selfishness
and to go out of ourselves to others
You are infinite Love
and You invite us to be new persons
and bring Your love to others.
Grant us the power to labor in the world
with true freedom,
with honest creativity
with ungrudging responsibility,
with complete selflessness,
and with unfeigned love for all.