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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I thought I would leave this year with the Holy Family to see us out; may Mary and Joseph care for and protect us in 2009 and may the Christ Child live in our hearts forever. I pray for a strengthening of family values and that all babies will be born. I pray for the spiritual and temporal needs of my family and yours. And I ask Our Father for families to receive the grace and courage they need in any troubles which may beset them in the coming year. Blessed Virgin, shelter families beneath your mantle. God bless you all!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Looking Back

The end of the year is always a good time for reflection; and it has been quite a year for many of us. My husband and I moved into a new community in the spring where he found a job that suits him well; I too am working here at an Auction mart for cattle sales- which I thoroughly enjoy.
We have a little country church here which I helped to paint the interior, and did a little painting of the Holy Spirit for; my husband is now attending Mass regularly and receiving the Sacraments, for which I am very grateful that my prayers have been answered.
My husband got in contact with his daughter after many long years of not knowing her and we hope that she will decide to get to know him for the wonderful person he is.
I overcame my fear of flying to go to the coast to sponsor my niece for Confirmation.
I started two blogs- this one and my horse blog- which has led to more proficiency on the computer and camera, but more importantly, I have new friends to share with and pray for.
Every year must also have it's sadness, and while we had a wonderful family gathering for Dad's 80th birthday, he has, in the last few months, advanced in dementia, and it's very sad to see. My mother also is failing in health but increasing in holiness.
I lost my cat Otis last month to Urinary Tract disease, and my heart goes out to Tom in Vegas who lost his little dog, Critter, on Dec. 28th.
Although the world is in a recession, it hasn't hit us too hard, and I pray for relief for those who are struggling to get by.
So to all, I wish a Happy New Year and pray that God will bless you in all your spiritual and temporal needs, and that 2009 will see a renewal in traditional values in the Catholic Church, and will see more people living their faith.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fr. Corapi newsletter

A Christmas Greeting
The blessed and joyous time of Christmas is here again. So, I’ll just take the opportunity to thank all of our viewing and listening family for allowing us into your homes. I don’t take that for granted. I am honestly grateful to you for allowing us to serve you in that way.
As I look out the windows of my home in Montana it sure is “beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” We have about a foot of snow and it’s been below zero for about ten days. Two of my dogs are under my desk with their heads resting on my feet--looking like those big fuzzy slippers that little kids sometimes wear.
Christmas is, of course, the best time to recall that Jesus, the Son of God, in fact was born in a poor stable or cave on a cold night—“for us men, and for our salvation.” Amidst the escalating uncertainty and chaos of the modern world we must sit still for a moment and remember what really matters.
In recent years major corporations have been vaporized in the twinkling of an eye. It’s a sign of the times, but recall that what really matters is that it was the twinkling of a star that led shepherds and wise men to the One who is the Light of the world.
In recent years the biggest accounting firm in the world ceased to be over night. They don’t account for anything today, but it honestly doesn’t matter. What really matters is that on a cold night two millennia ago the God who loves us was born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger by the Mother who loves Him.
In recent years the unthinkable has happened--major banks and financial institutions have ceased to be. That doesn’t matter either because the truly unthinkable happened on the first Christmas Eve long ago when the God who always was and will never cease to be came to show us the depth and breadth of His love.
In recent years I have been accused of being a “prophet of doom, and a pessimist.” I can understand this criticism, but it really isn’t true. I am a realist, and as a priest and Catholic/Christian of necessity must share in the prophetic dimension of Christ. The United States, and the entire world for the most part, is in many ways precipitating its own demise. That matters, and we must do all we can to “fight the good fight,” but what truly matters is the state of your soul and mine because in the end that will determine how we live forever, and compared to that nothing else really matters.
Things may go from bad to worse. It may well go from uncomfortable to dangerous to live your Catholic/Christian faith in a world unraveling rapidly due to one bad moral choice after the other. Remember that it will not be the first time if Christians are persecuted, even imprisoned and executed. “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.” The Western world is too fat and lazy, in the secular order and even in the religious. Perhaps a jolly good persecution may be what it takes for people to decide to live their faith, rather than go along with what they know to be a sick society.
In any event, don’t let it get you down. Whatever happens, stay close to Jesus and Mary. Remember that our God is not against you. He is for you, and He will be with you through all of the ups and downs of life. He will be with you in sickness and in health; in good times and in bad; and when death comes knocking at your door He will be there to comfort you and lead you safely home. Having fought the good fight and run the race to the finish line, you will surely hear those beautiful words:
“WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT! NOW AT LAST ENTER INTO THE JOY OF YOUR MASTER’S HOUSE.”
A most blessed and merry Christmas and a holy, happy, and healthy New Year to each and all of you!
Fr. John Corapi

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The History of a Carol

I recently came across this explanation of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and I'm asking you scholarly types out there if there is any truth to it:

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So what say ye?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Faith Freedom Fighters

Are courts in the U.S. starting to get a backbone? So it seems.....

Illinois Supreme Court Decision Supports Conscience Rights of Pharmacists
CHICAGO, Illinois, December 19, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Yesterday the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Morr-Fitz v. Blagojevich that individual pharmacists and pharmacy owners do have legal standing to challenge a rule requiring them to dispense Plan B, which abortion activists call “emergency contraception,” regardless of their religious, moral, or conscientious beliefs. The rule was originally forced upon the pharmacists and pharmacies by a 2005 emergency order of Governor Rod Blagojevich, who stated in no uncertain terms that pharmacists should either dispense the controversial drug or leave the profession. Two lower courts had previously ruled that the plaintiff-pharmacists and pharmacies did not have legal standing to challenge the rule. In a 2006 State of the State address, Blagojevich expressed his intention to veto any bills that attempted to restore physicians’ conscience rights. "Now, I understand that several bills have been introduced that would overturn my executive order to protect women's reproductive freedoms,” he said. “So let me make something else very clear -- if any of those bills reach my desk, they are dead on arrival."
Also in 2006 he boasted to the Windy City Times about his record of denying pharmacists their conscience rights. “Think about what we’ve been able to do since I’ve been governor,” he said. “The reproductive freedoms of women are more protected in Illinois than any state in America. That’s in [stark] contrast to the advances and assaults coming from the Bush administration of Washington. We passed a law under my leadership to make insurance companies fill female contraceptives. Illinois had never done that before and we passed that law.”
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life (AUL) President and CEO, responded to the Supreme Court decision, stating, “This is a huge victory for the freedom of conscience of all healthcare providers. Pharmacists now have proper recourse against a discriminatory law that would force them to check their constitutional rights at the workplace door.” Mailee Smith, AUL Staff Counsel, noted, “Finally, an Illinois court got it right. If pharmacists and pharmacy owners don’t have standing to challenge a rule that unfairly targets them, who does? People should have legal recourse when the state attempts to circumvent and even eliminate their constitutional rights.”
AUL’s brief is available at
http://tinyurl.com/aulmorrfitz

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nuns receive the Order of Canada

Two nuns have received the Order of Canada. While there is no doubt that they deserve it,is this just a knee-jerk reaction to the huge protest over giving the Order to abortionist Morgentaler? Are the powers that be trying to placate us, like throwing the dog a bone? Hmmmm...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Journey, Continued

"People today do not come to God through the order of the universe; they come to God through disorder within their own selves." This quote from Archbishop Sheen, is true in my own case. It was the emptiness in my life and the knowledge that there was something missing that brought me back to the Catholic Church and an active prayer life. When I look at the people in my life, I can see so many of them that also have this emptiness and are not even aware of it; they are dissatisfied and find no joy in life, but don't know how to change.
The beginning of change has to be in surrendering ourselves to the inspiration of grace. Those still, small voices within us that prompt us to do something good; a kindness, or a charitable act. So often these are shrugged away as an inconvenience, as the world takes over. Sheen also says; "The path of duty, in a flash of an eye, becomes very plain, but self-indulgence makes the soul as blind as a mole."
Don't be afraid to give in to the inspirations of grace. It will take you out of your comfort zone, to be sure. It may make you the center of ridicule among your family and friends. It may give your life the fulfillment your restless soul has been seeking.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

I was going to do a post with a prayer to our lady of Guadalupe, patroness of North America, but instead I am directing you over to St. Robert Bellarmine's Blog for his post, complete with beautiful pictures and a scriptural reading.

The Pope's World Day Of Peace Message

I love our Pope! Here is a link to his World Day Of Peace (Jan. 1 2009) document. If only the world leaders were as wise as he is!

Faith Freedom Fighters

Here is the story of a police officer who was fired for defending his faith. I sent an email to his employer asking for him to be reinstated and I urge you to do the same. The link is at the bottom. Keep it polite and charitable!

Officer Fired for Expressing Christian Views on Homosexuality Says Dismissal is "Destroying" Him and His Family
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
NORFOLK, BRITAIN, December 11, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Norfolk County police officer who was fired for quoting the Bible regarding the immorality of homosexual sexual relations says that he is "totally devastated" by what has happened to him.
"It was a job I loved. This is destroying me and my family," Officer Graham Cogman told the Daily Mail last week.
Cogman was reportedly dismissed from his position in late November after he sent an email quoting Biblical passages denouncing homosexual behavior, and another e-mail linking to a ministry in the USA that seeks to cure homosexuals of their condition.
Cogman says he sent the emails after being "bombarded" with emails sent by police department employees promoting the "gay" agenda, including messages urging him to wear a pink ribbon in honor of "gay history month." He reportedly responded to one email from a homosexual liaison officer with the Christian saying, "Love the sinner, hate the deed."
There are no reports of firings or discipline against the employees of the police department who promote homosexual behavior.
Police officials claim that Cogman violated department regulations regarding computer use, as well as regulations requiring "politeness and tolerance," according to one media report. "This officer's behavior fell well below what we expect of our people," said department spokesman Ian Learmoth.
"In the service in general there is a feeling of fear," Cogman told the Daily Mail. "There is a definite bias against faith – any faith – if it takes a critical view of homosexual sex."
"The easy option for me would have been to keep quiet but when there is such prejudice towards one point of view, how can that be right? That doesn’t sound like equality and diversity to me," he added.
The Rev Martin Young, vicar of St Andrew’s church in Norwich, has written an open letter to the Norfolk police department blasting their actions.
"His views are not extreme or unusual," writes Young. "They are consistent with the published understanding of the Church of England, of which he is a member."
“The phrase 'Love the sinner, hate the deed' is a common Christian aphorism which encapsulates the Christian's duty to love all people, regardless of their lifestyle choices," the letter continued. "This is presumably also what the service intend to convey in their diversity policy."
“PC Cogman made measured responses in a spirit of openness and honesty, and for this he should be lauded, not punished."
Cogman is reportedly appealing the decision with the help of the Christian Legal Centre.
Contact Information:
Norfolk Police Department(44) 0845 456 4567 (from the US, dial "011" first)enquiries@norfolk.pnn.police.uk
Christian Legal Centre
http://www.christianlegalcentre.com/

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dec. 11 and what it means to me

This was my sister, Sharron. We were very close. I think she was 14 when this picture was taken. At the age of 16, she was hit and killed by a drunk driver while walking along the side of the highway. Today, she would have been celebrating her 58th birthday.
Her patron saint is St Therese, and I have been making a novena to her that ends today. Please join me in the last day of this novena:

St Therese of the Roses, please pray for the soul of my sister, Sharron. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on her and may she rest in peace. Amen.

Please remember that you never know the hour or the day when Our Lord will call you home; be prepared by always striving to remain in a state of grace, always trying to do God's will in your daily life, and remembering that each day draws you closer to death and is a preparation for your eternal life.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Family: God set the example

In this news article from Australia, the Archbishop hits on a subject that infuriates the gay community. However, thank you to the Archbishop for this timely message, and affirming the necessity of fathers in the family. St. Joseph, please pray for and protect families.


Archbishop Barry Hickey laments lost fathers
Article from: PerthNow
December 06, 2008 06:00pm

THE absence of fathers is the biggest family and social problem in our society, according to Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey.
Delivering his pre-Christmas message on Friday, Archbishop Hickey said the absence of dads was a bigger problem than drugs. ``If Father Christmas was offering me gifts, I would ask for peace in every family and a father at the heart of every family,'' he said.
``The absence of fathers is the biggest family and social problem we face today. It is the biggest cause of lifelong difficulties for fathers, mothers and, most of all, for children.
``The absence of fathers is bigger than anger, aggression, alcohol, drugs, crime and under-achievement by children because it is the biggest single contributor to all of them. ``This is borne out worldwide by every large-scale, long-term study of family.
I know that Father Christmas isn't going to solve this problem for me, but I keep praying for it.'' Archbishop Hickey said Christmas was an important time for families. But these days we were in danger of forgetting what family was, he said.
``Firstly, it is father and mother accepting lifelong responsibility for one another and their children and then it is sharing of family life within and across generations,'' he said.
``It is not only that Christmas is important for families. It is also true that family is important for Christmas. When God chose to send his only son to Earth to share in our humanity, he chose to place him in a family.
``He chose a mother, Mary, who gave her life to God's will and a father, Joseph, who gave his life to caring for Mary and Jesus.
``This was God himself confirming to us that children need to be raised in families where they can learn what it is to be a man and what it is to be a woman and how wonderful is the love between them.''

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Faith Freedom Fighters

It is suitable that during Advent, there are signs of hope throughout the world. More and more we see people standing up for Christianity in the face of the outrages being perpetrated by those in power; and by the grace of God this new political party will gain support and momentum:

Italy’s Most Prominent Muslim Convert to Catholicism to Establish Party to Defend “Europe’s Christian Values”
By Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
MILAN, Italy December 5, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A well-known convert to Catholicism from Islam has announced that he will be starting a new European political party that will uphold “the sanctity of life of every human being.” Magdi Allam, an Egyptian journalist living in Italy, said that he and others will run in European Parliament elections on June 7, 2009 for a new party called Protagonists for Christian Europe.
“The party,” he said, “will be committed to promoting and defending Europe’s Christian values.” It will “fill the ethical void” that he says exists in Italy and in Europe and will be based on the “Judeo-Christian roots of Europe.” These values “must be recovered and affirmed with clarity now more than ever” in response to the threats of “savage capitalism, relativism and the spread of Islamic extremism,” Allam said.
He warned against the growing incursions of Islamic law in Europe, which, he said, represent a threat to the traditional Christian family structure, “as is occurring already in England, where decisions by private Muslim courts regarding polygamy are indirectly beginning to be legitimized.”
He wrote recently of his conversion to Catholicism: “On my first Easter as a Christian I not only discovered Jesus, I discovered for the first time the face of the true and only God, who is the God of faith and reason.” He has received numerous death threats from Islamic extremists since his baptism.
Allam, who was baptised and received into the Catholic Church in a well-publicised Easter Vigil ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI this year, is a long-time supporter of Israel and was honoured last year by the American Jewish Committee. Author of the Italian best-seller, “Long Live Israel - From the Ideology of Death to the Civilization of Life: My Story,” he has continued to defend Israel despite the fact that the Islamic Palestinian authority Hamas condemned to death in 2003.
Allam was exposed to Christianity early in life, being raised in part by a member of the Catholic religious order, the Comboni Missionary Sisters, and later sent to a Catholic boarding school in Egypt - the Institute of Don Bosco - for junior high and high school. He is a deputy editor of Milan-based Corriere della Sera newspaper, regarded in Italy as a paper with a conservative editorial position.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Quotes from Bishop Fulton Sheen

Sanctifying the moment:

Every moment brings us more treasures than we can gather. The great value of the Now, spiritually viewed, is that it carries a message God has directed personally to us.

The Divine Beloved speaks to the soul in a whisper, but because the soul is waiting for a trumpet, it loses His command.

The big, world-shattering things many of us imagine we would like to do for God, might, in the end, feed only our egotism. On the other hand, to accept the crosses of our state of life because they come from an all-loving God is to have taken the most important step in the reformation of the world, namely, the reformation of the self.

The phrase that sanctifies any moment is, “Thy will be done.”

Each trial is an occasion for faith and an opportunity for virtue.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Journey, Continued

In my spiritual readings today, everything I read was about accepting suffering and humiliation. It got me to thinking about a conversation I had a few years ago with a young friend. We were talking about how suffering can purify the soul, and the grace derived from accepting suffering gladly. This young woman was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, and she just didn't understand. She talked about how her grandfather had suffered greatly before his death. Being such a young person, the thought of such suffering moved her to tears, and she told me she would be in favour of allowing drug-induced death rather than allowing the suffering to continue. There are so many people in the world today that have absolutely no idea about the redemptive value of suffering that it is no surprise that euthanasia is gaining in popularity. This all comes back to the lack of good religious education. There is a lot of clean-up to do for Catholics to repair the damage done in the last 50 years, and I believe that until we, as Catholics, return to the correct teachings of the Catholic Church, the world will continue in it's downward spiral. The good news is that we have a Pope who is attempting to return us to our traditions and Traditions, and I pray that he lives long enough to see the fruits of his labour. If you would like to read a report on this subject, go here.