Come Holy Spirit: A Beautiful Song and Prayer!

This is a beautiful song and prayer by Tom Booth! Close your eyes, listen, and invite the HOly Spirit into your heart!

St. Theresa of Lisieux on Purgatory

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"One does not need to go to Purgatory" ~ St. Theresa of Lisieux

Saint Thomas Aquinas' Prayer Before Study

Click on the title of this post for St. Thomas Aquinas' Prayer Before Study

An Encounter with Our Lady, or Just Wishful Thinking!

As I tell this story, keep in mind that the name, Maria, in Hebrew, means the star of the sea.

One day this past summer, I was playing with my three year old daughter on a beach not too far from my home. Regan was having fun digging in the sand as I stood over her watching her delight as she created her sand sculptures. It was then that a young woman, whom appeared to be in her mid twenties and dressed from head to toe in a blue and white makeshift dress of some sort, walked past us in silence. It was a very warm and sunny day and I could not help but think that this woman was way overdressed for the weather conditions, but at the same time I found the woman’s modesty to be rather refreshing in a culture that has become almost devoid of modesty. There was something peaceful about the woman that was hard to describe!

As I continued to play with Regan on the beach, I saw that the woman was walking back toward our direction. Upon reaching our location, she stopped, and pointing to Regan, said something like, ‘She is so beautiful!’ I thanked her for the compliment. She then said, “I’m a Catholic missionary.” Although I thought it strange for someone to initiate a conversation in such a manner, I welcomed her words as an opportunity to discuss my Catholic Faith and my interest in evangelization!
I responded, “I am a Catholic also. Aren’t we all called to be missionaries? The world is our mission field, isn’t it?” The woman seemed pleased with my response and smiled as she nodded her approval. I noticed that the woman spoke with an accent, so I asked her where she was from. She replied, “I am from Mexico.”

The woman went on to explain that she was on a mission at a local girl’s boarding school where some girls from her country were taking part in a summer program. We engaged in a very brief conversation about her mission at the school. As the woman spoke, I was drawn by the peace she seemed to radiate! At the end of our conversation, I asked the woman for her name and told her I wanted to include her missionary efforts in my prayers, to which she responded, “My name is Maria.” The woman then said goodbye and continued walking up the beach and eventually out of sight.

It did not strike me until I was driving home, especially since the woman had identified herself as Maria, that for whatever reason, I may have had an encounter with the Blessed Mother, not to mention the fact that the woman’s physical appearance reminded me so much of just about every image I have ever seen of our Blessed Mother during my lifetime. But why me? I don’t know! I only know that for the remainder of my life, I’ll always remember the day I encountered a woman who may have been the “Star of the Sea”!

An encounter with our Blessed Mother, or just a case of wishful thinking?

Time for Catechesis

Catechesis should be of primary concern to the Roman Catholic Church when Catholics provide answers such as these when asked whether or not they regularly attend Mass, and if so, why?
‘I don’t go to Mass because it’s not a sin anymore.’
‘I think you don’t have to go.’
‘ I have to because I go to boarding school. I do it to keep my parents happy.’
‘I go every Sunday because my grandmother and my family go, but if I were on my own I would not go.’
‘I go because my parents go, but I don’t really know any other reasons for going.’
‘I’m just not interested.’
‘It’s boring. I used to go with my grandmother because it made her feel good.’
‘I don’t have to go to church to pray. I can pray at home.’

The aforementioned answers were given to Michael Voris of as he randomly interviewed Irish Catholics on the streets of Dublin on June 29, 2011. What makes these answers so alarming is the fact that Ireland, where 84.7% of the population is Catholic, has been a bastion of the Catholic Faith for nearly 1500 years. What has existed in Ireland for 1500 years has been nearly totally destroyed in less than 40 years. But this attitude toward Mass is not unique to Ireland!

The bottom line is that Catholics need to be informed of the reasons for attending and participating in the Mass, the most important of which is the fact that Jesus is present at Mass and longs to give himself to us in the Eucharist! For this reason alone Catholics should be knocking down the doors to churches to get in!

Priests should take every opportunity to reinforce the importance of the gift God has given us through the sacraments, especially Holy Eucharist at Mass! The importance and the reasons for participating in the Mass should be taught and reinforced at every level of catechesis.

I cannot imagine the faithful thinking that Mass is “boring” if they truly knew what happens at each Mass. It is far from boring when the Creator of all that is “seen and unseen”, humbles Himself to become truly present under the appearance of bread and wine in order to give Himself to us, so that we may experience Him through all our senses and share in His Divinity! That is exciting and AWESOME, not boring!

Let us pray that others will come to know what the Mass is all about! Let us take every opportunity to share what we know about the awesome treasure that we call Mass!

Solomon Asked for Wisdom - So Should We!

In his homily this past Sunday, our pastor, Father Wilson, illustrated how we can all experience the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth through the practice of our Faith. But he went on to say that it requires more than just routine attendance at Mass and simply going through the motions of receiving Holy Communion. Father Wilson warned that those of us who simply go through the motions each week at Mass should not be surprised when our lives are unaffected by this so called practice of our Faith.

In the gospel reading this past Sunday (July 24th), Jesus explains that “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” The point Jesus makes in this parable is that the things found, i.e., the treasure in the field and the pearl of great price, were being earnestly searched for with great effort. Picture one man digging up a field in search of a treasure, the other toiling and searching through oysters for that one great pearl. And so in the practice of our Faith we must put forth effort to seek the treasure of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Truth, who is Jesus. Do we earnestly seek the Truth? How much effort do we expend seeking and understand His Truth? Do we pray for more faith? Jesus is the Truth! He is the “way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6)! If we don’t participate in Mass and truly believe that Jesus is really present under the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist, we gain NOTHING from it (John 6:48-58)! NOTHING! This is the reason so many Catholics have left the Church. It is also the reason why Mass attendance has declined. It is the reason many Catholics will say, ‘I get nothing out of it!’ Multitudes should be crashing the doors to go to Mass if there was a true belief in Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist!

I strayed from the practice of my Catholic Faith for a lengthy period of time in my life. So for years I missed out on so much grace! Without verbalizing it, I too was among those Catholics who doubted Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. This had to be the case; otherwise I would have put Jesus first in my life and greatly anticipated each and every reception of his very body, blood, soul, and divinity in Holy Communion! We Catholics should long to go to Mass and be healed and nourished through the grace of the sacraments. For me it was a lack of knowing the truth. It was my neglect in seeking the truth. I think that is the case for most Catholics.

As Father Wilson said in his homily, and continues to incorporate into many of his homilies, ‘there is no greater gift we can receive on earth; there is nothing more important in our lives than strengthening our relationship with Christ in the Eucharist and receiving his grace through the sacraments; these are the ways to true and lasting joy!’

My prayer is that Catholics with a lack of knowledge or doubts about their Faith will pray for understanding; will seek the truth through the Magisterial teachings of the Church; and worthily receive Jesus in the Eucharist after returning Home through the healing portal of the sacrament of Reconciliation!

May 21st Rapture

I write today to the followers of Harold Camping and all the precious souls throughout the world who love Jesus and want to experience His eternal and awesome love! I humbly ask in a most charitable way that you consider looking no further then your local Catholic church for a truly life-changing and transforming experience!

Jesus is there, truly present in every tabernacle, in every Catholic church, under the appearance of bread. In the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, Jesus longs to give Himself to us and to become united with us, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. If you have the faith to truly believe that God is the Creator of the universe, all that is seen and unseen, then it should not be hard to believe that He can also make Himself truly present in the Eucharist!

Please spend time in prayer over what I have written to you, and invest some time in seeking the truth concerning Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist!

Reference sources for the Eucharist:

John 6

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1322 - 1419

Real Presence Website

Little Known Facts About Our Lady of Guadalupe

Last week at our parish we were blessed to have the opportunity to view the missionary image of Our Lady of of Guadalupe. I have for some time been aware of the story of our Lady's appearance to Juan Diego in 1531, and I have seen the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe many times in my life, however, I knew very little of this miraculous event until our pastor gave his homily this past Sunday. I would like to share what I learned with you!

In 1531, in Mexico City, Mexico, our Lady appeared to 57-year-old widower, Juan Diego as he was on his way to attend Mass. Juan Diego was an Aztec Indian and a convert to Christianity.

Our Blessed Mother revealed her identity to Juan Diego and told him she wanted him to inform the bishop of the diocese that she would like a chapel built in the place she was standing so she could have a place in which she could lead people to her Son. Juan agreed and met with the bishop, however was quickly dismissed.

Our Blessed Mother appeared to Juan a second time to see if he had made any progress with her request. Juan explained that he was quickly dismissed and suggested to our Lady that she find a more prominent member of the village, someone whom the bishop would be more likely to listen to. Our Blessed Mother insisted that Juan go back to the bishop once more, which he did. This time, the bishop told Juan he would take the request seriously if Our Lady would give a sign.

In an attempt to avoid Our Lady, Juan took a different route as he walked to attend Mass, however, Our Lady once again appeared to him to question him regarding her request. Juan explained about the bishop's request for a sign.

Our Blessed Mother than directed Juan to pick some roses on a hill nearby and bring them to her. The roses that Our Lady requested did not normally grow in the season in which she appeared to Juan Diego. Nonetheless, Juan brought a bunch of roses back to Our Lady. She then directed him to give her his tilma (cloak). Our Blessed gently laid the tilma on the ground, wrapped the roses in the tilma, and gave it back to Juan directing him to take it and give it to the bishop.

Juan promptly delivered his tilma to the bishop, and upon opening it in the bishop's presence, the roses fell out and the two gazed in amazement upon the most beautiful image of Our Lady which covered the entire tilma. The bishop was convinced of the miracle and built the chapel. Within approximately eight years of the building of the chapel, there were nearly 7 million converts to Christianity in what was then a pagan society.

Recently scientists have discovered some truly amazing facts about the tilma and its image that defy nature and all scientific explanation. Here are a few:

The plant fibers tilmas are made of wear out after fifty years, but the Tilma of Our Lady has endured 480 years. For 116 years it was left unprotected from smoke, dust, heat, humidity, and continual contact with hands and other objects. Not even the accident in 1791, when muriatic acid fell on the Tilma, nor the terrorist attack in 1921, when a bomb was placed in front of her in a flower vase, have been able to destroy the Tilma of Guadalupe.

NASA has stated that the image’s colors are not made from any material found on Earth. A laser that scanned the image even found that the colors float three tenths of a millimeter in front of the Tilma surface, without touching it.

Microscopic analysis of the pupils of Our Lady of Guadalupe reveals what she must have seen in the instant her image appeared. She is surrounded by thirteen people. One of these is clearly identified as Bishop Juan de Zumárraga. Zooming in even more, to the point of examining the Bishop’s pupils, reveals the spectacle he saw: Juan Diego opening his garment in front of him. The Virgin exhibits qualities of a living person, too. Her eyes contract and dilate in response to light and darkness. The temperature of the Tilma remains stable at 98.6 degrees. A stethoscope has even measured the heartbeats of a baby in her womb.

The aforementioned facts were obtained from the following source -