Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Today is the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, and so begins the Christmas Anticipation prayer. My grandparents handed this prayer to my father and he to me. They say that if you repeat this prayer 15x a day, everyday, through Christmas, you will have your answer by Christmas Day. Hail and Blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [mention here your request] through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and His blessed Mother. Amen....
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What makes one Mortal Sin better than another?

What makes one Mortal Sin better than another?

"I can't believe THAT GUY is still around acting just fine when I am dealing with so much pain..." I've heard this basic thought multiple times recently.  It bothers me to hear it because instead of accepting one's own suffering as reparation for sins, they are committing sin against the 5th commandment.  This person is wishing their own pain was being cast against another. Pondering deeper on this thought, it really has roots in an idea that one persons vices are better than another.  A disturbing example of this is in the realm of sexuality.  There has been huge outbursts from all points of view on the subject of homosexuality. Trying to follow the back and forth debates can be dizzying.  If you take a step back and look at what the church teaches, it is clear that the issue has a much deeper problem. The teaching in the church is that EVERY sexual act be open to the transmission of new life. ...
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HE IS RISEN!

HE IS RISEN!

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? "He is not here, but He has risen... (Luke 24:1-6) Happy Easter to all!  May your families be blessed.  Enjoy the thoughtful reunion with whatever you gave up for lent. I hope this Lenten season brought you closer to God....
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Five 1st Saturdays

Five 1st Saturdays

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Lucy of the Dorothean Sisters, a visionary of Fatima, in 1925.  Below is from Fatima.org On December 10, 1925, the Most Holy Virgin Herself appeared, and beside Her, borne by a luminous cloud, the Child Jesus. The Most Holy Virgin put Her hand on her shoulder and showed her, at the same time, a Heart surrounded by thorns which She held in the other hand. At that same moment, the Child said to her: ‘Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.’ In other words, people are sinning against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Jesus is asking for reparation for these sins by the faithful.  We are tasked to perform an act to pay the debt these unrepentant men owe. Continuing: Then the Most Holy Virgin said: ‘Look, My...
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The Annunciation

The Annunciation

Tomorrow, March 25, is the Annunciation of The Blessed Virgin Mary.The Catholic Calendar was put together to be very precise, which is why exactly 9 months from tomorrow is Christmas. When I pray my rosary I like to focus on the relationship of the first decade of all three mysteries. 1st Joyful Mysteries: The Annunciation And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38) 1st Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus' Agony in the Garden And he was withdrawn away from them a stone's cast; and kneeling down, he prayed,   Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done. (Luke 22:41-42)" 1st Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection The Resurrection is the fulfillment of Gods will.   Well, what about the Luminous Mysteries? In my book FOUND: Prodigal Catholic I left these out intentionally. The reason being is that Mary gave us her rosary with the three...
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St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate

St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  Below is a prayer composed by Saint Patrick in preparation for his greatest victory over Paganism (from the Catholic Encyclopedia): I bind to myself today The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity: I believe the Trinity in the Unity The Creator of the Universe. I bind to myself today The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism, The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial, The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension, The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day. I bind to myself today The virtue of the love of seraphim, In the obedience of angels, In the hope of resurrection unto reward, In prayers of Patriarchs, In predictions of Prophets, In preaching of Apostles, In faith of Confessors, In purity of holy Virgins, In deeds of righteous men. I bind to myself today The power of Heaven, The light of the sun, The brightness of the moon, The splendour of fire, The flashing of lightning, The swiftness of wind, The depth of sea, The stability of earth, The compactness of rocks. I bind to myself today God's Power to...
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The Forgotten Ember Days

The Forgotten Ember Days

The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after Ash Wednesday were prescribed for the entire church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) as Ember Days.  There are four such weeks and were to be days of prayer and fasting and abstinence in order to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.  They purposely fall just prior to the change in season.  Sometime after Vatican II, these days were removed from the liturgical calendar and are no longer well known amongst catholics.  It may no longer be required by the church, but it can be a very rewarding thing to do. The other Ember Days are the Wed, Fri, Sat after the Feast of St. Lucia (Dec 13th), this is the Winter Embertide; Whitsunday (Pentecost Sunday), this is the Summer Embertide; and the Wed, Fri, Sat after Exaltation of the Cross Sunday (Sept 14th), this is the Autumn Embertide.  And...
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Why is Easter on a different day every year?

The reason that Easter is celebrated on a different day every year is because of the significance of him dying over Passover.  The Last Supper was his Passover meal.  Passover always falls on the full moon after the March equinox.  Because of this, the church set Easter to always fall on the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the March Equinox. This method was established during the Council of Nicaea in 325AD.  The table which establishes the full moon dates used by the church was set in 1583AD and has been used ever since. The March Equinox, end of winter and the start of spring, is on March 20th.  March's full moon in 2017 is on the 12th, before the Equinox.  This means we will have to wait for the April Full Moon, which is on Tuesday, April 11th.  This makes Easter fall on the following Sunday, April 16th....
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Are you just “giving up” something for Lent?

If you are Catholic then you know what today is.  ASH WEDNESDAY!  And with Ash Wednesday is the period of 40(-ish) days of giving up something that you love.  It means no meat on Friday and, of course, that Easter is on the way!  Will it be Chocolate?  Coffee? Candy? There is something you can do to get a little more out of lent this year.  What if instead of giving something up, you said some different prayers?  What if you read a little bit about being Catholic? Where would you find the right prayers or the right readings? I have just the thing!  My new book Found: Prodigal Catholic is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle form. It was written with the intention of helping Catholics who have the desire to learn more about the faith if they have been away from the church, but it can help anyone interested in deepening their faith. So this lent, do something MORE.  Read...
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