Friday, November 30, 2007

I can't wait to read Pope Benedict's new encyclical!


Spe Salvi

November 30, 2007 - By Pope Benedict XVI



1. “SPE SALVI facti sumus”—in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24). According to the Christian faith, “redemption”—salvation—is not simply a given. Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey.

Now the question immediately arises: what sort of hope could ever justify the statement that, on the basis of that hope and simply because it exists, we are redeemed? And what sort of certainty is involved here?

Faith is Hope

2. Before turning our attention to these timely questions, we must listen a little more closely to the Bible's testimony on hope. “Hope”, in fact, is a key word in Biblical faith—so much so that in several passages... (Continued here).

Pope Benedict's new encyclical on HOPE!

Vatican City, Nov 30, 2007 / 06:15 am (CNA).- Today at noon in Rome, the Holy See released Pope Benedict XVI’s second encyclical, “Spe Salvi”, which proclaims the need for hope in modern society and the necessity for Christians to recover its true meaning.

The Pope begins his 75 page encyclical by explaining that “the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey.”

“Spe Salvi” draws upon the rich treasure of Benedict XVI’s learning, with references from the lives of the saints and the Church Fathers. Armed with this wisdom and the virtue of hope, the Holy Father says, “The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life.”

Naturally, this leads to the question, what is hope? The pontiff relates that “to come to know God—the true God—means to receive hope.”

Yet Christian hope is different. Referring to... (Continued here.)

Are you WISHING for this book?

Since my Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be is ranked number 8 at Amazon.Com in the Mother Teresa category (she wrote the foreword) in the most wished for list, I will give this book away! So, for this contest, tell me why you are wishing for this book for yourself or someone else. Do this in a paragraph or less and please send it to me by email to: DMCooperOBoyle(at)aol(dot)com. You may enter only once for this contest. But, be sure to tell others about this contest and perhaps you can link to this from your own blogs to spread the word. :)

I will pick a winner on December 12th, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

So, what are you waiting for? Christmas?? :)

Don't forget to give your smile away - especially to those you don't particularly feel like smiling at - it may help them to change their perspective and their heart!

God bless!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fr. James's Homily: Feast of Christ the King!

The Kingdom Of Christ
I have always been inspired by the example of Blessed Miguel Pro of Mexico who as a priest of the Society of Jesus, lived during a very trying time for the Mexican people. The Catholic Church was terribly persecuted. A popular uprising of Catholic laymen called the Cristeros rose to the occasion to free the Church from oppression. Blessed Miguel Pro died as a martyr, executed on the firing squad by federal soldiers on November 23, 1927.

As he stood, waiting for the shots that would end his earthly life and begin a new life in the kingdom of Heaven, he forgave his executioners, and spreading out his arms in the form of a cross he cried out ¡Viva Cristo Rey! Long live Christ the King!

This is the kind of zeal and conviction that the kingdom needs from all of us. No true reforms will take place in the Church; no renewal will take place in our nation until Jesus Christ... (Continued here.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Culture's pressure on our teen and "tween" girls

In case you'd like to leave a comment at Catholic Exchange on my article there today about the pressure on our teen and "tween" age girls, or to read the article, click here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's my birthday today!

It's my birthday today. I'll be enjoying it with my family. I hope you all had a very nice Thanksgiving day! Have a happy day today during this holiday week end, everyone! Try to take at least a few moments to pause and enjoy and listen to what our Lord is telling you.

I'll be back tomorrow, God willing. :)

God bless!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

O give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love endures forever.--Ps 136:1

Enjoy your day, snuggle together to watch the parade, cook together, pray together, eat together, chat, play, make memories!

God bless!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Let's not forget that today is the feast of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary!

Here are some beautiful words by Saint Augustine about Mary:

"The blessed Mary certainly did the Father's will, and it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ's disciple than to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood. Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb him whom she would obey as her master." -St. Augustine

When Mary was only three years old, she was taken to the Temple in Jerusalem by her parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne. (We celebrate their feast day on July 26.) Mary's whole life was to belong to God. He had chosen her to be the Mother of his Son, Jesus. The Blessed Virgin was happy to begin serving God in the Temple. And St. Joachim and St. Anne were pleased to offer their saintly little girl to God. They knew that God had sent her to them. In the Temple, the high priest received the child Mary. She was placed among the girls who were dedicated to prayer and Temple service. The high priest kissed and blessed the holy child. He realized that the Lord had great plans for her. Mary did not weep or turn back to her parents. She came so happily to the altar that everyone in the Temple loved her at once. St. Joachim and St. Anne went back home. They praised God for their blessed daughter. And Mary remained in the Temple, where she grew in holiness. She spent her days reading the Bible, praying and serving the Temple priests. She made beautiful linens and splendid vestments. Mary was loved by all the other girls because she was so kind. Mary tried to do each of her duties well, to please God. She grew in grace and gave great glory to the Lord.

It's been busy here!

It's been very busy here lately! I hope that you are happily making preparations for a Thanksgiving holiday together (all of those who celebrate this holiday, that is). You can visit my "Embracing Motherhood" blog (click on image on button in right hand column here) to see some tips to ease in to the holiday as well as hear the clip from my latest radio segment yesterday morning which speaks on the subject of Thanksgiving- keeping it sane, simple, and holy.

Have a beautiful day! We'll be baking some pies and breads and spending time together. I hope that you can be together too!

God bless!

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Miraculous Medal Novena

Today starts the Miraculous Medal Novena. I will be praying this powerful novena and invite you to join me to pray this prayer for the next nine days. St. Catherine of Laboure's feast day is November 28th.

In keeping with Blessed Mother Teresa's tradition of giving out Miraculous medals to all she met, I do the same at all of my talks and book signings. I wear the one that Mother Teresa gave me during my precarious pregnancy with my daughter, Mary-Catherine.

I have witnessed amazing works from the Blessed Mother through her Miraculous medal. Fr. John Hardon S.J. a now deceased renowned Catholic theologian and author and my former spiritual director spoke highly about the Miraculous Medal and told a story about how the Miraculous medal changed his life... (Please go to my "Embracing Motherhood" blog for the continuation)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Annual Meteor Shower PEAKS TONIGHT!!

Nov. 16) - This weekend brings us the return of the famous Leonid Meteor Shower, a meteor display that in recent years has brought great anticipation and excitement to skywatchers around the world. Check out the information here.

"Button" for "Embracing Motherhood" blog

If anyone would like either of the two buttons of the images in the right hand column of "Embracing Motherhood" for their own blogs, just let me know and I'll send you the code. You may write to me at DMCooperOBoyle(at)aol(dot)com.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hidden in the Tabernacle

Recently my daughter, Mary-Catherine volunteered to help at the parish with the Christmas pageant auditions. The people in charge decided to use the Church to hold the auditions. Various stations were set up in the Church for the many roles in the pageant.

I decided to stay and pray before the Blessed Sacrament while my daughter was helping out - it would be an hour or two - so good to use this time wisely, I thought. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament was gracing us with His presence while all of the mothers were bringing in their children of all sizes to try out for the pageant. There was much hustling and bustling all around the Church and the adjacent hall getting ready for the rehearsal and try outs to begin. It really was lovely to see all of the people come in to the Church at a time when no one would normally be there other than a stray visitor of Jesus or two. But, some of the Moms allowed their children to run through the Church and climb over pews as if it were a playground.

Wouldn't it be nice if all of these parents realized that Jesus was present here in our midst, I thought. Jesus, who is God is here -- right here -- now! I wonder if that knowledge would change any one's life, perspective, or attitude if they really knew. I sadly have not seen any genuflections or bows. Perhaps everyone feels that this is not a Mass, therefore no need to show reverence. I wish they knew, dear Lord. I wish they would acknowledge You!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pope Benedict's new encyclical, "Saved by Hope" ready before Christmas

ROME, Nov 15, 2007 / 09:41 am (CNA).- The Italian newspaper La Repubblica revealed today that Pope Benedict XVI has finalized his second encyclical on the subject of Christian hope, and that it should be published before Christmas, during Advent.

Benedict’s first encyclical, “Deus Caritas est”, was signed on Christmas Day 2005 and by the following month had been published in eight languages. His second encyclical is tentatively titled "Spe Salvi” (Saved by Hope) and takes its inspiration from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, the newspaper reported. The potential title comes from the 24th verse of the eighth chapter of St. Paul's letter, which reads: "Because we have been saved by hope..." (Continued here.)

Feel like climbing back into bed...

It's a rainy, dreary day - actually pouring rain right now which makes one's aches and pains ache a bit more and accentuates one's already tired mind...making one desire to climb back into bed! But, nope, not me! As Fr. John Hardon S.J. told me so many times, "There's work to be done!" Therefore, work I shall do!

Enjoy your day of working for the Lord!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pope Benedict's upcoming trip to the US

Baltimore, Nov 12, 2007 / 09:37 am (CNA).- Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., has announced that Pope Benedict will be making his first visit to the United States April 15-20. The plans for the five day voyage will include an address at the United Nations in New York and a stop in Washington D.C.

The Pope’s itinerary will begin with an April 16 meeting with President George W. Bush at the White House, followed by a gathering with the U.S. bishops at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

On Thursday, April 17, the American public will have its first chance to see Benedict XVI at a Mass to be held at the new Washington Nationals stadium. Later in the day the Pope will... (Continued here)

The Golden Compass

A friend sent me this email below. I have posted a warning at "Embracing Motherhood" about this movie recently but would like you to read what this person says because it's important.

Watch out for this movie. I thought you might find the following article from

It isn't a movie for children!!

FYI This is a terrible, anti-Catholic (anti-Christian) movie called the 'Golden Compass' will be coming out in early December, aimed at children and labeled as a family movie. This movie is based on a series of books by an atheist British author (Phillip Pullman) whose goal in writing the books is to be the 'Anti-Narnia' series and to lead children into atheism. The main villains in the series of books are the Magisterium, Cardinals, and the Pope, and includes a heroine that is a young girl who sets out to kill God. The truly sick thing about the movie is that they have made it APPEAR as if it is an innocent film, with exciting effects and a fairytale story. They have removed from the movie the appalling anti-Catholic/Christian themes from the book. The goal of the movie is to hook unsuspecting families into viewing the film so that children will then want to read the books (and probably buy merchandise) . Nicole Kidman stars in it, and Scholastic Books is behind it. I heard about this from Bill Donahue of the Catholic League who was on 'The World Over' on EWTN. The goal is to let as many people as
possible know about this horrible film and to have it bomb at the box office. The makers of the movie are hoping it will be as big as Harry Potter or the Da Vinci Code. Let's pray that it won't! Please tell as many people as possible to avoid this terrible film.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

Is There Life After Life

Can science prove that there is life after life? There is increasing medical evidence that people who experience clinical death and return after being resuscitated do experience inexplicable phenomena that point to life after life.

Medical reports speak about patients having out-of-body experiences, walking toward a bright light, seeing and communicating with deceased family and friends, and feeling embraced by unconditional love. After their encounters these patients lose all fear of dying. Having been deeply affected by their experiences, they now live changed lives.

Diane Corcoran, Ph.D., RN of Durham, North Carolina is one of several nurses around the world studying the phenomenon of near-death experiences. Many medical professionals who are atheists or agnostics attempt to discredit the events reported by patients as hallucinations, but many questions remain unanswered. Corcoran gives as an example the near-death event experienced by an eight year old boy. (Continued here.)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Busy, busy, busy...

Busy, busy, busy and head ache, head ache, head ache lately so posts have been bare here. Check out my other blog, Embracing Motherhood for a coupla things including an important recall alert.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Holy Souls in Purgatory

Since the 16th century the month of November has been dedicated to praying for the souls in purgatory. We continue our prayers for them each day this month.

As we have learned, the Holy Souls are those who have died in the state of grace but who are not yet free from all punishment due to their unforgiven venial sins and all other sins already forgiven, however the satisfaction for them has not been made. First, they must suffer in Purgatory but they are promised to eternally rest in Heaven thereafter. The Holy Souls cannot help or pray for themselves and they must rely on others for prayer(John 9:4). We are part of the Communion of Saints with these poor holy souls and should consider it a blessing to pray for those brothers and sisters who have gone before us and are in purgatory. We can shorten their time in purgatory--their separation from God by our prayers, sacrifices, good works, and, especially, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine agony in the Garden, in Thy scourging and crowning with thorns, in the way to Calvary, in Thy crucifixion and death, have mercy on the souls in purgatory, and especially on those that are most forsaken; do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in paradise. Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal rest, etc.

FOR ALL THE DECEASED By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham's bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom. (Byzantine Liturgy)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

The Example of Zacchaeus

As the end of another liturgical year quickly approaches, the Church presents to us another beautiful and uplifting message through this Sunday’s liturgy. Once again we are reminded of the mercy of God and the call to conversion.

In this Sunday’s first reading we hear these consoling words: “Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little, warm them and remind them of the sins they are committing, that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O Lord!” (Wisdom 12: 2). Zacchaeus is someone who recognized his sin and repented of all the wrong that he had done.

But, let us take a look at where the gospel narrative is taking place... (Continued here.)

Friday, November 2, 2007

All Souls day

Reading 1
Wis 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Feast of All Saints

God our Father,
source of all holiness,
the work of your hands is manifest in your saints,
the beauty of your truth is reflected in their faith.
May we who aspire to have part in their joy
be filled with the Spirit that blessed their lives,
so that having shared their faith on earth
we may also know their peace in your kingdom.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
[opening Mass prayer, solemnity of All Saints]


This litany is the oldest litany continually in use. It was used if not by Pope Liberius certainly by Pope St. Gregory the Great in the "Litania Septiformis" at Rome and in the procession of St. Mamertus at Vienna. This litany forms one of our oldest liturgical offices in the West, and is the model for all others.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Response: pray for us

Holy Mary, Holy Mother of God, Holy Virgin of virgins, St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, All you holy Angels and Archangels, All you holy orders of blessed Spirits, St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, All you holy Patriarchs and Prophets, St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Andrew, St. James, St. John, St. Thomas, St. James, St. Philip, St. Bartholomew, St. Matthew, St. Simon, St. Thaddeus, St. Matthias, St. Barnabas, St. Luke, St. Mark, All you holy Apostles and Evangelists, All you holy Disciples of the Lord, All you holy Innocents, St. Stephen, St. Lawrence, St. Vincent, Sts. Fabian and Sebastian, Sts. John and Paul, Sts. Cosmas and Damian, Sts. Gervase and Protase, All you holy Martyrs, St. Sylvester, St. Gregory, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Martin, St. Nicholas, All you holy Bishops and Confessors, All you holy Doctors, St. Anthony, St. Benedict, St. Bernard, St. Dominic, St. Francis, All you holy Priests and Levites, All you holy Monks and Hermits, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Agatha, St. Lucy, St. Agnes, St. Cecilia, St. Catherine, St. Anastasia, All you holy Virgins and Widows, All you Holy Men and Women, Saints of God, make intercession for us.

Be merciful, spare us, O Lord. Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Response: O Lord, deliver us

From all evil, From all sin, From your wrath, From sudden and unprovided death, From the snares of the devil, From anger, and hatred, and all ill-will, From the spirit of fornication,. From lightning and tempest, From the scourge of earthquake, From plague, famine, and war, From everlasting death, Through the mystery of your holy Incarnation, Through your Coming, Through your Nativity, Through your Baptism and holy Fasting, Through your Cross and Passion, Through your Death and Burial, Through your holy Resurrection, Through your admirable Ascension, Through the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, In the day of judgment,

Response: We beseech you, hear us

We sinners, That you would spare us, That you would pardon us, That you would bring us to true penance, That you would deign to govern and preserve your holy Church, That you would deign to preserve our Apostolic Prelate, and all orders of the Church in holy religion, That you would deign to humble the enemies of Holy Church, That you would deign to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes, That you would deign to grant peace and unity to all Christian people, That you would deign to call back to the unity of the Church all who have strayed from the truth and lead all unbelievers to the light of the Gospel, That you would deign to confirm and preserve us in your holy service, That you would lift up our minds to heavenly desires, That you would render eternal blessings to all our benefactors, That you would deliver our souls and the souls of our brethren, relations and benefactors, from eternal damnation, That you would deign to give and preserve the fruits of the earth, That you would deign to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, That you would deign graciously hear us, Son of God,

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Our Father, etc. (inaudibly).

V. And lead us not into temptation. R. But deliver us from evil.

Psalm 69: Deign, O Lord, to rescue me; O Lord, make haste to help me. Let them be put to shame and confounded who seek my life. Let them be turned back in disgrace who desire my ruin. Let them retire in their shame who say to me, "Aha, aha!" But may all who seek you exult and be glad in you, and may those who love your salvation say ever, "God be glorified!"

But I am afflicted and poor; O God, hasten to me! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, hold not back! Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

V. Save your servants. R. Who trust in you, O my God.

V. Be a tower of strength for us, O Lord, R. Against the attack of the enemy.

V. Let not the enemy prevail against us. R. And let not the son of evil dare to harm us.

V. Lord, deal not with us according to our sins. R. Neither requite us according to our iniquities.

V. Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff, Pope N. R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

V. Let us pray for our benefactors. R. Deign, O Lord, for Your name’s sake, to reward with eternal life all those who do us good. Amen.

V. Let us pray for the faithful departed. R. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them.

V. May they rest in peace. R. Amen.

V. For our absent brethren. R. Save your servants, who trust in you, my God.

V. Send them help, O Lord, from your sanctuary. R. And sustain them from Zion.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come to you.

V. The Lord be with you. R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray: O God, whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, receive our petition, that we, and all your servants who are bound by the chains of sin, may, by the compassion of your goodness, be mercifully absolved. Graciously hear, we beg you, O Lord, the prayers of your suppliants, and pardon the sins of those who confess to you, that in your bounty you may grant us both pardon and peace.

In your clemency, O Lord, show us your ineffable mercy, that you may both free us from all our sins, and deliver us from the punishments which we deserve for them.

God, who by sin are offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of your suppliant people, and turn away the scourges of your anger, which we deserve for our sins.

Almighty, everlasting God, have mercy upon your servant N., our Sovereign Pontiff, and direct him according to your clemency into the way of everlasting salvation, that by your grace he may desire those things that are pleasing to you, and perform them with all his strength.

O God, from whom are holy desires, good counsels, and just works, give to your servants that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts be set to keep your commandments, and that, being removed from the fear of our enemies, we may pass our time in peace under your protection.

Burn our desires and our hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit, O Lord, that we may serve you with a chaste body, and with a clean heart be pleasing to you.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of your servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that, through devout prayers, they may obtain the pardon which they always desired.

Direct, we beg you, O Lord, our actions by your holy inspirations, and carry them on by your gracious assistance, that every prayer and work of ours may begin always with you, and through you be happily ended.

Almighty and everlasting God, you have dominion over the living and the dead, and you are merciful to all who you foreknow will be yours by faith and good works; we humbly beg you that those for whom we intend to pour forth our prayers, whether this present world still detain them in the flesh, or the world to come has already received them our of their bodies, may through the intercession of all your Saints, by the clemency of your goodness, obtain the remission of all their sins. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer. R. And let my cry come to you.

V. May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us. R. Amen.

V. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. R. Amen.

Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968