Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ste. Anne Mission- photo essay

Every July, there is a pilgrimage at Lac. Ste. Anne Mission, west of Edmonton. For a couple of years, this was my parish, and I attended the pilgrimage when I lived there. I intended to go this year, but I got the dates wrong and missed it by two days. So I will share with you these photos of the site

The little church where I attended Mass.

A close-up of the statue of Ste. Anne and the child Mary above the entrance to the church.The shrine on the shores of Lac. Ste. Anne, which seats over 4,000 people and is filled at all three Masses daily during the pilgrimage.
The beautiful altar inside the shrine. Unfortunately, it isn't used in the traditional way as they use the "table" instead.
This building houses the confessionals.
The Sacred Heart statue, with candles still burning two days after the end of the pilgrimage.
St. Joseph and the Child Jesus, in the centre of the seating area of the shrine.
I love this life-size Crucifix with Mary and John at the foot of the Cross.
And last but not least, the prayer bench and monument to Ste. Anne.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quirk meme

I have been tagged by Therese at Aussie Coffee Shop for the Unspectacular Quirk meme for 6 quirks and an extra fact about me so here you are:

1; I enjoy road trips with my husband because I value time spent with him.
2; I really really dislike vacuuming!
3; My favourite way to spend a day is alone on horseback.
4; I'm always stubbing my toes.
5; I get as much joy out of nature as most women get from shopping.
6; I don't really like talking about myself.
And an extra fact about myself; I'm left-handed.

Instead of passing this meme along, I invite you to partake in it if you wish.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Giveaway

For those of you who weren't paying attention, the post below, My Journey continued, The Mass, contains a book giveaway draw.

The baptism of my neice, Valarie

The reason I posted the baptism image for Sunday Silence is because my husband and I were in Calgary to be the Godparents for my neice. This is my sister, Danielle, with the priest and Valarie. We attended the Latin Mass and she was baptised afterwards.She cried a little, but I think all babies cry at baptism because the devil is so angry at losing his grasp on their soul !

After the baptism we consecrated her to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who this Church is named for. Valarie, we will do our best to keep you faithful to God!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fr. Corapi Newsletter

On the 40th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae

The Catholic Church is in the process of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the prophetic and landmark encyclical of Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, on human life. At the time the Holy Father promulgated the encyclical there was a general spirit of dissent in the air. This inspired document put the dissenters into yet a new orbit, even further from the center of Church teaching. Their lack of humility resulted in disobedience, ultimately resulting in moral death for them and countless others.
What has resulted from the rejection of the principles contained in this great document is a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. “Life begins at conception. Abortion begins at artificial contraception.” Pope Paul VI prophetically predicted that if artificial contraception were to become generally acceptable in society, then abortion would inevitably become just another means of artificial contraception. Today, not only have what is approaching one billion children been murdered in the name of “choice” worldwide, but a host of incredible evils have followed in the wake of the rejection of the Holy Father’s teaching on life.
Pope John Paul II called abortion murder in the clear and inspired language of his encyclical Evangelium vitae. If a single abortion is homicide—and it is—then the cumulative result of abortion on demand is genocide. Numbers of innocent and helpless children totaling more than the population of large countries have been annihilated. Can a society that elevates such an outrage to the noble status of law be pleasing to God? Or, will God’s patience soon run out and visit an avalanche of natural disasters, wars, chaos, and economic collapse on the perpetrators of such violence and evil?
I have no doubt whatever that the Western world is headed for collapse and annihilation, and it will be by suicide, not at the hand of terrorists or enemy states—although that may well facilitate the demise. As Abraham Lincoln asserted, “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
The Western world’s wholesale rejection of the teaching of “Humanae Vitae” ushered in a death wish that is even now well on its way to completion. Pseudo-Christian Europe has had an extremely low birthrate for decades, while the burgeoning Muslim population is growing exponentially. With the average European family having less than 2 children and the average Muslim family having 8-10 children it won’t be long until Europe as we know it will be no more. Muslims vote and they will vote to radically alter laws that facilitate gross immorality. God may use them to chastise a decadent West. I assure you they will not need bombs and bullets; mathematics will more than suffice.
The unspiritual person cannot see reality as it is, hence they cannot discern the advancing disaster of our rejection of both common sense and proper morality. The spiritual person must pray fervently for the Spirit of God to discern reality as it is. (i.e., 1 Corinthians 2:12-16). Things such as artificial contraception, abortion, homosexual sex, and euthanasia all have something in common—They have no life in them. They are part of a death wish that when brought to its inevitable conclusion will result in the annihilation of the West as we know it, if something isn’t done to change course immediately.
Every one of us, as disciples of Christ, must pray and sacrifice for the cause of life, and do so with earnest. The hour is late and time is now short. The battle between truth and lies, good and evil, life and death rages on toward its consummation. We know the ultimate outcome—truth, the good, and life is victorious in Christ the Conqueror. We, however, must fight the good fight. How we shall live forever is determined by how we live now. We are being called upon by the Spirit of God to be the saints of these times. How we respond to the call will dictate the rise and fall of nations, and the eternal salvation of many.“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).God bless you,Fr. John Corapi

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Journey, Continued-The Mass


I am reading The Incredible Catholic Mass, by Fr. Martin von Cochem, a wonderful book which should be on the must read list of every Christian, Catholic or not. There is so much information on the Mass in this book that I am at a loss as to which part to expound on here, so I will leave it to you to make an effort to find and read this book. Reading it will change the way you prepare yourself for Mass; it will enrich your understanding of what actually transpires at the altar; it will open up to you ways to make certain of your own salvation and the salvation of others. It will be a means of increasing grace in your life.

This is a book that should be read and reread and makes a great gift; so I am ordering 5 of these books from Tan, and here is your opportunity to obtain one. I will randomly select someone from the comments section on this post. This is open to all my regular commenters and to every reader of this blog so if you have never posted a comment before, here is a good reason to start.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Music Feature

I have added a new feature on my sidebar: Embedded music (sorry about the ads, but the music is worth it.) If you wish to hear it just click the play button or click on whatever track you would like to hear. This album is by Zephyrus; here is a short bio of them:

The music of Renaissance Europe comes to life in the voices of Zephyrus, the early music ensemble based in Charlottesville. Known throughout the region for its innovative programming and professional caliber, Zephyrus offers several major performances each year and appears locally in churches and at the University of Virginia.
Since its founding in 1991 by director Paul Walker, Zephyrus has devoted itself to bringing the treasures of of Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque music to a wider audience. The ensemble's repertoire spans six centuries, from the polyphonic chants of Notre Dame Cathedral to the sacred motets of Tudor England, the madrigals of Renaissance Italy, and the masterworks of the early Baroque. The eighteen-member core group regularly divides into double chorus, quintets, and other smaller ensembles, offering a range of musical textures at every concert. Zephyrus strives for historical accuracy in performance and has enlisted the efforts of early music instrumentalists. The group has collaborated with Baroque flutist Robert Turner of Charlottesville, Medieval fiddle player Nancy Bren Nuzzo of Buffalo, NY, and theorist Scott Horton of Baltimore.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feast Day- St. Mary Magdalene

When Mary Magdalen came to the tomb and did not find the Lord's body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them.
The text then says: "The disciples went back home," and it adds: "but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb." We should reflect on Mary's attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away.
And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tell us: "Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved."
From a homily by Pope Saint Gregory the Great

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Journey, Continued-Friendship

I have often reflected on how difficult it is to find true friends, especially so when one lives out in the country. Other than family, I have no truly Catholic friends who keep in touch with me. I do have two friends who are nominally Catholic but don't practice their faith with any fervor. My husband makes friends easily, but even he has only two really good friends who will stand by him no matter what happens. I am grateful for my Catholic blogging friends who give me the opportunity to "talk" about spiritual matters, and help me on my journey. I hope that through this blog, and theirs, our lives will be enriched with grace and a deeper appreciation of our faith and love of God. Today I offer to you this excerpt on friendship from The Imitation of Mary , by de Rouville:
Mary: Do not deceive yourself, my child; you will not taste the innocent delights of friendship unless you seek them in a holy friendship.
In choosing friends, people often make mistakes. You should give your confidence only to those you know to be faithful and on whose religious spirit you can rely.
Make it a matter of conscience never to speak evil of anyone. If you cannot prevent others from backbiting, at least let them know by your silence that you accept no part of their malicious gossip.
Shrink from any talk that is not decent. Do not smile at the talk the world calls good-humored, but which is really indecent.
Take pride, above all, in being regarded as a person in whose presence people dare not attack religion and piety. Reproach the wicked man with a holy freedom, and if you have no other way of checking his evil tongue, at least show your disapproval by stern silence.
Be truthful in what you say, modest and prudent in your words. Be affable to all, take part in innocent joys. Virtue allows that and at times even orders it.
The more you are exposed to the danger of sinning with your tongue, the greater caution you should take in forcing it to silence.
If you love being alone with God in your house, you will be able to handle yourself better when you have to go out among men.
Before entering into conversation ask the Lord: Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips (Ps.141:3); then reflect that He is present and listening to you. Speak to Him interiorly from time to time with sentiments of love.
When a conversation is finished reflect on the words you have spoken. Thank God if you have acted properly. Discipline yourself for faults you have committed.
If you follow these rules you will attain that discretion and wise reserve which the masters of the spiritual life so strongly urge and which they rightly regard as a matter of high perfection.
You will find many ordinary friends who will offer you outward signs of affection, but you expect nothing more from them.
Such people will be your friends as long as they can profit by your prosperity. They will suddenly stop being your friends if your fortunes take a turn for the worse.
They will try to correct those defects in you which may cause harm to themselves, but they are unconcerned with defects which Christianity struggles against and the world cherishes.
Be aware, then, of what makes a true friend: help in need, comfort in affliction, light in uncertainty, counsel in affairs, guidance back to the straight path when you have gone astray, and, above all, exhortation, by word and example, to the carrying out of your duties. But such friends are rarely found, because it is rare that in choosing friends men take virtue into account.
Love virtue yourself, and you will surely find a worthy friend, another self.
Many friendships seem in the beginning to be sincere and deep, but they soon fade because faults are the only common bond.
As far as possible, make your friendship a source of edification; give your friends good example and receive good example from them. Find in such friendships all the delight your conscience will allow; but do not carry the delight too far.
Do not demand too much of your friends; avoid flattering them; above all, do not flatter them so that you may be flattered in turn!

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Journey, Continued

From The Imitation of Christ:

Loving Jesus Above All Things
BLESSED is he who appreciates what it is to love Jesus and who despises himself for the sake of Jesus. Give up all other love for His, since He wishes to be loved alone above all things.
Affection for creatures is deceitful and inconstant, but the love of Jesus is true and enduring. He who clings to a creature will fall with its frailty, but he who gives himself to Jesus will ever be strengthened.
Love Him, then; keep Him as a friend. He will not leave you as others do, or let you suffer lasting death. Sometime, whether you will or not, you will have to part with everything. Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death; trust yourself to the glory of Him who alone can help you when all others fail.
Your Beloved is such that He will not accept what belongs to another -- He wants your heart for Himself alone, to be enthroned therein as King in His own right. If you but knew how to free yourself entirely from all creatures, Jesus would gladly dwell within you.
You will find, apart from Him, that nearly all the trust you place in men is a total loss. Therefore, neither confide in nor depend upon a wind-shaken reed, for "all flesh is grass"
[5] and all its glory, like the flower of grass, will fade away.
You will quickly be deceived if you look only to the outward appearance of men, and you will often be disappointed if you seek comfort and gain in them. If, however, you seek Jesus in all things, you will surely find Him. Likewise, if you seek yourself, you will find yourself -- to your own ruin. For the man who does not seek Jesus does himself much greater harm than the whole world and all his enemies could ever do.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Painting of The Holy Spirit

When we painted our church, there was a spot that really needed some artwork. It is at the center of the archway that separates the sanctuary. Since it is a relatively small area, it had to be a simple painting. So here it is,in close up,

and installed. (Come, Holy Spirit, and enkindle in us the fire of Thy love). Some of the parishoners have said that they would like to see some art or statues on either side of the crucifix, behind the altar. I'm not sure what protocol allows, but I think the Divine Mercy print would not be out of place there. Anyone have any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I wear the brown scapular, and never take it off. I encourage everyone, especially men, to get enrolled in the Brown Scapular for the sake of their souls. The book, Prayers and Heavenly Promises by Joan Carrolll Cruz, contains the ritual for enrollment, to be performed by the priest. Scapular wearers share in the daily prayers of the Carmelite Order and the good works of the Scapular Confraternity.
The scapular is a very powerful sacramental; here is a story, posted on my sister's blog, Salve Regina, that comes from our family. It leaves me in no doubt how much the devil hates the scapular. All the more reason to wear it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Beautiful Morning

This is what I woke up to at 5:30 this morning:


And God said: This is the sign of the covenant which I give between me and you, and to every living soul that is with you, for perpetual generations. 13 I will set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be the sign of a covenant between me, and between the earth. 14 And when I shall cover the sky with clouds, my bow shall appear in the clouds: 15 And I will remember my covenant with you, and with every living soul that beareth flesh: and there shall no more be waters of a flood to destroy all flesh. (Genesis 9 12-15)

Monday, July 14, 2008

From Marty's Blog- an Exorcism

While perusing Marty's blog (see new link in my sidebar under Favorite Blogs) I read this most interesting post on an exorcism in 1975. It clearly shows how the legions of Hell are determined to undermine the Catholic Mass, how they have been succeeding, and what we can do about it. Note; Pope Benedict is on the right track, he just needs to do more and not worry about what other religions think as he is doing with altering the Stations of the Cross for WYD in Australia.

One step back, two steps forward

The following article is lifted from Spirit Daily, and talks about the direction that our Pope is taking our beloved Church. I rejoice in this direction. I believe that it will make us stronger in our faith. It will bring us back to the true focus of the Mass, instead of the social gathering- visit your neighbour-hand clapping- feel good- (which is all fine, if you are going to a party) type of Sunday outing which going to church has degenerated into in most parishes. Let's get back to worshipping God in His house!

Now that the Pope has expressed his preference for sacred music (raising issue with that which detracts from the holiness of Mass), and has opened the way for more Latin in the liturgy, as well as indicated that he prefers giving Communion on the tongue (pointedly minding not at all when those receiving are kneeling as they receive it), the question is whether bishops in North America and Australia -- where he is currently visiting -- will follow up with more traditional liturgies.
Perhaps another question is: if not, why not? Is it not time to train our eyes more directly toward Rome?
The common theory is that bishops fear a turn away from modernism will further put the Church out of touch with the culture and also further empty the pews (when, in fact, others theorize, it was modernism, including awkward and rocking new music, that helped empty them to begin with). Where is the move in America to traditionalize?
Interesting is the notion that this Pope not only doesn't care if the Church shrinks, but actually desires such, as long as it purifies -- that Benedict XVI is interested in a purer, more devotional, and stricter Church, citing the strength of the Church in its early history, when it was vastly smaller than the billion-strong institution of our present day, a Church that is large but often in disagreement.
Is there now special opportunity in a place like Australia, where the regular Sunday faithful have dwindled -- where the Church has shrunken -- in such a dramatic way?
"We might take a moment here to ponder the thoughts of Pope Benedict on the character and activity of the Church in the coming decades of the third millennium," writes Dr. Joseph Maucier in The Millennial Papacy. "His analysis is not economical but ecclesiological. Nonetheless he looks at both possibilities. Pope Benedict has spoken of a smaller, more faithful Church as perhaps the model of the Church for these perilous times, not unlike the early Church in its intense solidarity.
"We must remember that the solidarity of the early Church was ecclesiological, theological, and economical, as reflected in the Acts of the Apostles. Might that same Church in the economic life of its members be more congenial to Pope Benedict's vision than the present state within which Catholics and Christians are engaged?
"Pope John Paul II had spoken of 'a new springtime of Christianity' and Pope Benedict XVI speaks of a smaller and perhaps somewhat centripetal ["directed-to-the-center"] Church, not separated from the world but carefully guarding and nurturing a smaller household of the faithful.
"These are not contrary visions," adds Dr. Maucier, "but they do presuppose harder times are coming."

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Lecture from Fr. Corapi

As we know, Fr. Corapi, bless his soul, is very outspoken and does a great job of defending the faith and instilling in us morals and values in keeping with our Catholic faith. He has invited us to share electronically, this letter which is directed at the voting public in the U.S.
It starts like this:
"A large number of endangered, unwanted, and unborn children held a town hall meeting on the 4th of July--alarmed at the brutal and untimely killing of millions of their brothers and sisters in recent years. That the murderous war waged on them had the full force and respectability of the law made their plight all the more terrifying.Their complaint was humble and it was simple. They were not distressed by rising gas prices, or the deteriorating economy in general. They were not even frightened by the exponential increase of natural disasters. The threat of global warming or global terrorism did not greatly disturb them.They had become an endangered species, and little had been done to answer their terrified and silent screams from the womb... "
I encourage you to read the rest of the letter.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our Church- After

Well, after 4 days of our little crew working hard, here is the finished product. We've gone from bland to bold.

The pews will have to remain pale grey, way too much work to sand and paint them! We had to leave the side walls white next to the pews or they would have looked very out of place. There is depth, dimension and warmth now.

This little statue is St. John Bosco; our Church is named for him. Hope he approves of the change!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our Church



This is our Church in Winfield. It is a mission church, and built about 70 years ago. This was a sawmill town then, and the people who built this church weren't carpenters, but they did the best they could. It has some structural problems due to a poorly built foundation, which makes the floor heave in some spots, and drop off in others. I opened my big mouth and mentioned that it could use some colour, as the white and grey made it look and feel cold and uninviting. So guess what I and a few others have been doing for the last few days? Yup; painting!


This view from the altar shows the pews that drop off on the left, and also shows the unused choir loft. We do have a bell tower, with a bell that we ring after Mass (for the 6 o'clock Angelus).

Stay tuned for after pictures!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Journey, Continued

From the Imitation of Mary, Alexander De Rouville
....Holy Virgin, at Communion time, despite my efforts to have the sentiments which the Presence of the Body and Blood of the Lord should inspire in me, my soul is often dry, my heart cold.
Why is it that I cannot share at that time in the sentiments of tender love and sensible sweetness that must have been yours when you carried Jesus in your womb and which devout souls share when they receive Communion?
Mary: My child,when you find yourself dry at Communion time, humble yourself with the reflection that you deserve such a condition because of your unfaithfulness. Then bear your burden patiently in expiation of your sins and do not lose heart.
If you have reason to believe that your state of deprivation is really a punishment, then change your ways. If it is only a trial, then turn it into a source of merit through your submission.
The profit from a good Communion is not necessarily connected with enjoyment at the time of reception. The profit to which I refer is fidelity to one's duties.
A heart may be sincerely and entirely dedicated to God and yet find no pleasure in the things of God.
Many souls who are advancing fervently along the path of perfection are tested by dryness in prayer and even when they approach the Eucharistic table.
Virtue does not depend on tangible consolation. On the contrary, it is to be feared that souls may not be sufficiently detached from such consolation.
The Divine Spouse knows quite well what souls need. He gives to some a sweetness and consolation He does not give to others, because He wants the latter to adore without seeking to understand fully.
A negligent soul must not expect generosity on the part of Jesus. On the other hand, a faithful and fervent person ought not to regret having occasion to show Jesus that he serves Him for His own sake than for His gifts.
Do not think, then, that God is rejecting you when you feel repugnance in His service. Instead strive faithfully to serve Him, and do all as though you found His service delightful.
My child, go to your God through faith rather than through the senses. Try to please Him in all things. If you succeed, you will have found the happiness the saints sought and found.
The state of dryness can be a great help to holiness if you profit by it to adapt yourself to the divine plan.
What God intends to accomplish trough your persevering in such a state is to teach you not to seek yourself but to find your happiness and merit in pleasing Him.

The Believer: Holy Virgin, I desire no consolation, and in this as in all things I bow to the will of the Divine Teacher.
Blessed be He if in His mercy He places me among those to whom He grants these sensible consolations. But blessed be He, too if He denies me them.
I ask no other consolation of Jesus than to be faithful to Him.
I regard myself as infinitely blessed if I may sacrifice all my own heart's desires to those of the Heart of Jesus, my God, and if I may do my duty without having any other pleasure than that of knowing that I do it in order to please Him.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

O Canada, Whatever Happened To You?

There are so many ugly things going on in Canada right now. Today is Canada Day and I am very unhappy with our government- check out this post, and this one, both at Salve Regina. There is rampant evil in our country. I am ashamed.This is not the country that I know and love. This is not what I voted for. This is a shipwreck, and unless our politicians get some sense knocked into them, we're all going down.
Thank God for the Catholic faith. Thank God for a Pope who is bringing, slowly, our Church back on track. Thank God for the hope that faith inspires in me. Jesus, I kneel at the foot of your Cross and beg for your Mercy on our country.