Our Lady of Fátima: Intercede for Families

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Today marks the 100th anniversary of last of six apparitions of Our Blessed Mother to three shepherd children – Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta – at Fátima, Portugal. She first appeared to the children on May 13, 1917. In her subsequent appearances, the Virgin Mary requested conversion, prayer (particularly the recitation of the Rosary), and sacrifices on behalf of sinners. She also revealed a three-part secret regarding the fate of the world.

Fatima children_crop

The Children of Fátima: Lúcia dos Santos, Francisco Marto, Jacinta Marto

As word of the apparitions spread, Mary promised a sign from heaven. On October 13, 1917, the “Miracle of the Sun” occurred.  The crowd of some 70,000 witnesses reported that the sun began to spin, twirling in the sky, and at one point appeared to veer toward earth before jumping back to its place in the sky.

Continue reading

Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for Us

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Praying hands rosary

Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Roman rite of the Catholic Church. Since the sixteenth century when St. Dominic was inspired to develop the devotion, the Rosary has been used to combat both physical and spiritual enemies.

This feast was instituted by Pope St. Pius V to honor Mary for the Christian victory over the Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571. He attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was invoked through praying the Rosary throughout Europe for protection from the Turkish invasion.

Continue reading

Knowing God’s Providence in Times of Trouble

Tags

, , , , , ,

Field of Lilies

To be in family, is to encounter times of struggles and strife. As parents, we are sure to experience fear and worry over the well-being of our children. Many parents are grieved and fear for the eternal salvation of their children who make poor life-choices. Spouses may be in a troubled marriage and fear the breakup of the family. No one is immune from struggles in life. How you deal with these struggles can positively affect the outcome and your own sense of well-being. Jesus speaks to these situations in the Gospels.

Continue reading

Straining for the Goal

Tags

, , , , ,

Last Judgment_Sistine Chapel_Michelangelo_c 1541

The Last Judgment, Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo, c. 1536-1541

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you know that your mission as a husband or a wife is to help your spouse get to Heaven? Of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church, only two are called “Sacraments of Service,” Holy Orders and Matrimony. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says about these two sacraments:

Continue reading

Entrust Your Family to Our Lady of Sorrows

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Sorrowful Heart_Salamanca_Iglesia_de_la_Vera_Cruz_crop

Seven Swords Piercing the Sorrowful Heart of Mary

Iglesia de la Vera Cruz

Church of the Holy Cross – Salamanca, Spain

Today the Church celebrates the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. From the cross, Jesus pronounces “Behold, your mother!” (Jn 19:27). As Jesus was dying, He entrusted us, the Church to the care of His mother. While He was on earth, Mary comforted and strengthened Jesus, especially at the foot of the cross. Jesus knew that we would need the maternal closeness of the Sorrowful Mother to sustain us during the trials in our lives. As a mother, Mary especially desires to comfort us during difficulties in our families. She comforts us in our suffering and shows us how to offer our suffering back to God.

Continue reading

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

Tags

, , , , ,

Christ_Rescuing_Peter_1370_Lorenzo_Veneziano

Christ Rescuing Peter from Drowning, Lorenzo Veneziano, 1370

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:22-31

Continue reading

Family: Let Your Light Shine

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Slide2

Tawas Point Lighthouse, Michigan, USA

Photo Credit: Dennis Wingfield

Families that live their lives according to Joshua’s proclamation are beacons of light in their neighborhoods. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says “the family home is rightly called ‘the domestic church,’ a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity” (CCC, 1666). If your family is a school of virtue and Christian charity, people will take notice. They will see that your family is different. They will be attracted to what you have.

St. John Paul II is his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World) had this to say about families:

Continue reading

Reconciling a Relationship

Tags

, , , ,

Prodigal Son_Rembrandt_full_crop

The Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt, c. 1667 or 1668

We have a love for Sacred Scripture. It has so much to say about human interactions and is particularly helpful for issues we face every day in marriage and family life. That is why it is so important to immerse yourself in daily Scripture reading. The Father does know best when it comes to issues pertaining to maintaining and developing our relationships with others.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:15-20

Continue reading

Responding to Love with Love

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Tiziano Vecelli_Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_c1565

Christ Carrying the Cross, Tiziano Vecelli, c. 1565

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:24-28

In this Gospel passage, Jesus tells us how to be one of His followers. Specifically, to be His disciple requires the denying of self. In this age of the unholy trinity – me, myself and I – these words of Jesus are hard to understand and follow. We live in a culture that honors and admires rugged individualism and personal satisfaction. Sacrifice and suffering are to be avoided at all costs. Yet Jesus is telling us that this is the way to eternal joy and happiness.

Continue reading

Making Your Marriage a Sacrifice of Praise

Tags

, , , ,

marriage certificate_02_sepia

Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!” The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! Psalm 50:5-6

Our parents grew up during the Great Depression and both of our fathers served in World War II. Back then, self-sacrifice was a normal part of life. However, in modern times, we have an aversion to sacrifice; it is to be avoided at all costs. But, the increasing rates of divorce, suicide and substance abuse suggest that people are not happy. That’s because true happiness is found in giving ourselves totally for the good of another, in imitation of Christ’s self-sacrificial love for His bride, the Church.

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15

Continue reading