Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pope Using Technology to Reach Young People

The Vatican recently celebrated the 43rd World Communications Day (May 24th) by launching a new website entitled Pope to You.  The site uses iPhone, Face Book, wiki, and YouTube applications to spread the Gospel to young people and other techies.

I recently downloaded the iPhone application called H20News from iTunes.  The application allows you to view Vatican news in three different formats - audio, text and video - and eight different languages.

The site has promise in reaching young people who use such technologies on a regular basis.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Behold Your Mother

This is a follow up and supplement to my talk at Meal and a Message (5/26/09)  entitled Your Momma! Our Momma!  I am including an outline to my talk, the resource page I handed out and an interactive reading list for some additional study.

Congrats to Beatriz Canto for winning the drawing for the free copy of Scott Hahn's Hail, Holy Queen.


Simple compact, digested version of the teachings - If Mary is good enough for Jesus, she’s good enough for us!

Four Dogmas on Mary

  1. Divine Motherhood
  2. Perpetual Virginity
  3. Immaculate Conception
  4. Assumption

Mary’s Special Role

  1. Prophesized in the Old Testament (Gen 3:15:)
  2. Mary is the New Eve - her Magnificat - my soul glorifies the Lord
  3. Eve brought sin & death into the world through her disobedience (my will)
  4. Mary brought redemption into the world (Jesus - the fruit of her womb) through her fiat - your will be done
  5. Mary’s special place is all due to God grace hence - Hail Mary full of grace
  6. The old covenant (Ten Commandments) were held in an ark
  7. The Ark of the New Covenant - the first Tabernacle

Divine Motherhood (Council of Ephesus 431)

  1. Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, “was born of a woman” Gal 4:4
  2. Mary was that woman
  3. Theotokos
  4. Determined in conjunction with the answer to the heresy that Jesus was not both Man/God
  5. St. Josemaria in Friends of God #274  (Read the whole section. It's pretty good)

She is our Mother John 19:27

And since mother of Christ who is head of the Church she is also Mother of the Church

Perpetual Virginity (Ancient Creeds) - virgin before, during and after birth of Christ

  1. The messiah would be born of a virgin
  2. Based on Scripture (Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:27 and 1:35) and the ancient creeds, early Baptismal rites, early liturgy
  3. A2 Jesus had brothers 
  4. No word for cousins
  5. Does not make logical sense - would create doubt about Jesus’ status as the Son of God
  6. Council of the Lateran, 649  Mary conceived "without any detriment to her virginity, which remained inviolate even after his birth"

Immaculate Conception (Pius IX, December 8, 1854) - from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege from Almighty God and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, was kept free of every stain of original sin."

  1.  No original and no personal sin
  2. "at the first moment of Her conception, Mary was preserved free from the stain of original sin, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ."  Blessed  John Duns Scotus
  3. The angel Gabriel said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary. 
  4. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning "to fill or endow with grace." Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence. 
  5. Doesn’t it make sense that God would have chosen to perfect the means he would come to Earth

Assumption (Pius XII, November 1, 1950) - Mary was assumed into Heaven body & soul

  1. Intimated in scripture
  2. Sg 2:10; 4:7
  3. Rev 12:1
  4. Must distinguish from what it is not
  5. Mary was assumed thru God’s drawing her up
  6. Jesus ascended with His own power as God
  7. She reigns in heaven as Queen; mother queen
  8. Negative proof - no relics/remains; as highly as we esteem Mary wouldn’t we have her bones, etc if she remained here on Earth
  9. Over the centuries, the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church spoke often about the fittingness of the privilege of Mary’s Assumption. The speculative grounds considered include Mary’s freedom from sin, her Motherhood of God, her perpetual virginity, and—the key—her union with the salvific work of Christ.
  10. The dogma is especially fitting when one examines the honor that was given to the ark of the covenant. It contained the manna (bread from heaven), stone tablets of the ten commandments (the word of God), and the staff of Aaron (a symbol of Israel’s high priesthood). Because of its contents, it was made of incorruptible wood, and Psalm 132:8 said, "Arise, O Lord, and go to thy resting place, thou and the ark of thy might." If this vessel was given such honor, how much more should Mary be kept from corruption, since she is the new ark—who carried the real bread from heaven, the Word of God, and the high priest of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ. 

Mary intercedes for us - Wedding at Cana

She always takes to Jesus 

Pray the Rosary - spiritual weapon (Padre Pio & St. Josemaria)

Every General has to have weapons

Her mission is the same as her Son’s – our redemption

Her weapon – don’t leave home without it: The Rosary

This is the weapon

JP2 instructed us to pray everyday after 9-11

The last several popes prayed all the decades every day: busier than the Pope?

He’s got time to pray the  Rosary everyday.

The Rosary is a Prayer of the Gospel - the Word Made Flesh - not something but somebody

You could ask your Protestant friends what do you have against the Gospel?


The Catechism of the Catholic Church & Scripture

CCC 963-972 - Mary’s influence in our lives

CCC 484-507 - Mary Mother of God

CCC 490-493, 508 - Immaculate Conception

CCC 510-511 - Perpetual Virginity

CCC 966 - The Assumption 

CCC 971 - Mother of the Church

CCC 484-507, 2674 - Helper of Christians

Gen 3:15 - The Second Eve

Gal. 4:4 - Mother of Jesus

John 19:27 - Mother of Church

Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:27 and 1:35 - Perpetual Virginity

Luke 1:28 - Full of Grace (Immaculate Conception)

Song of Songs 2:10; 4:7 and Rev 12:1 - The Assumption


Hail Holy Queen, Scott Hahn

True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort


Mary, Mother of God - Knights of Columbus Veritas Publication

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Creed: An Interactive Resource

I am posting the full text of the Nicene Creed with biblical annotations.  You should be able to click on the scripture passage and go directly to the chapter in which the verse appears in the New American Bible for Catholics.

We Believe......

in one God, (Ex 20:2-3, Is 45:5, 1 Cor 8:4) the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, (Gen 14:19, Ex 20:2-3) of all that is seen and unseen. (Col 1:16)

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, (Luke 1:35)  begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God. Begotten not made, one in Being with the Father. (Heb 1:3) Through Him all things were made. (John 1:2-3, Col 1:15-17))

For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven: (John 3:13) by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, (Matt 1:18) and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; (John 19:16) he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; (1Cor 15:3-4)  he ascended into heaven (Luke 24:51) and is seated at the right hand of the Father. (Col 3:1) He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, (2 Tim 4:1) and his Kingdom will have no end. (Luke 1:33)


This morning I gave a brief talk on the Creed (Our Profession of Faith) to a group of adults who are preparing to be confirmed in a couple of weeks  by Bishop Vann at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

The Creed defines and enunciates the important elements of our faith.  In fact, it makes up the first of the four parts which constitute the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Suffice it to say that a one hour class on the subject does not nearly begin to cover the full meaning of the Creed.

I thought I would use this opportunity to flesh out some of the talk while creating a built in method of finding additional resources through the internal links in these postings.  I plan to cover the parts of the creed in separate posts so it's easier to just sit down and read one at a time and not get overwhelmed by a long post.

It would be so easy to breeze by the significance of these first two words and that would be a mistake.  It ALL begins with belief - a belief in God instilled in us at Baptism through God's grace.  He gives this to us freely.  We have done nothing to merit .  When we open ourselves to this grace, the belief grows into faith.  This inherent belief is that inkling we all have in us to seek out happiness.  St. Augustine once said, "Lord, our hearts are restless until they rest in thee."  In other words, when we seek our happiness in  worldly things (wealth, fame, sex, power, drugs, etc.)  we will always be left feeling empty - not satisfied.  True happiness will not come until we rest with our Lord in eternal peace.   We can enjoy some of that happiness here on Earth if we place our hearts in His.  If we let His grace seep in... and we believe.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Mass Technology

If you are an iPhone or iTouch owner you will be happy to know that there is now an application that contains most of the Daily Missal, including the daily readings, prayers and calendar.

The iMissal recently launched on iTunes for $4.99.  While I generally prefer to carry my MTF version of the missal, this comes in handy when you are traveling or attending daily mass on the run.  I downloaded it myself and it now joins my Bible Reader and Catechism on my iPhone.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Communion of Saints

I recently had an opportunity to give a talk with Giovanni Troncoso covering the Church teachings on the Communion of Saints. I hope to post a summary soon. For now I leave you with St. Josemaria's words:

Through the Communion of Saints you should feel very closely united to your brothers. Defend that holy unity without fear.If you were alone, your noble ambitions would be doomed to failure. A sheep on its own is nearly always a lost sheep.
– St. Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, #615

Friday, January 02, 2009

Starting the New Year Right: Begin a Spiritual Plan of Life

Here is a list of things you can do throughout the year to fortify your relationship with our Lord:
  1. Begin with a morning offering; courageous moment; arise immediately and offer the day to our Lord
  2. Daily Prayer - ACTS (Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving & Supplication) pick a time and place for at least 15 minutes devoted to silent prayer
  3. Spiritual Reading - 3 minutes a day from scripture ( I recommend you begin with the daily readings) and 12 additional minutes from other sources  (See list of recommended books)
  4. Pray the Rosary
  5. Say grace at each meal and openly demonstrate the Sign of the Cross
  6. Attend Daily Mass (advanced)
  7. Invocations or short prayers throughout the day
  8. Frequent Confession (start with once every 8-12 weeks and build up to once a month)
  9. End the day with an Examination of Conscience
Like any new plan you should consider your determination to implement the changes in your life.  You may be better served to start with a few of the recommendations and build yourself up to doing more.  The goal is NOT to create a check list of things you are doing, but to increase your relationship with Christ.  We are ALL called to be HOLY - it's the real END GAME.

Peace and Grace be with you,