Monday, June 30, 2008

Cardinal: Eucharist Leads to Better Society

Prelate Notes Early Christianity's Contribution to Justice

QUEBEC CITY, JUNE 20, 2008 ( Christianity is a dynamic movement that cuts off an unjust society at the roots, said Cardinal Telesphore Toppo.

The cardinal, who is archbishop of Ranchi, India, affirmed this today at the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, which is being held through Sunday in Quebec.

The Indian prelate spoke of the Eucharist and the Church's mission. He noted that the Church, from the beginning, moved toward liberating mankind from "selfishness and exploitation, [...] the root of the unjust society."

"All were meant to equal in the believing community and this was symbolized by the Eucharistic meal," he said. "This was not an easy ideal to be reached. This was a spirituality developed in the midst of the ordinary everyday life with its daily struggles and, at that time also, in the midst of contestation and persecution. Ordinary men and women lived this Christian spirituality and began the process of building a new society, a new human family as envisaged by Jesus Christ..." (Continued here)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Year of St. Paul starts today!

Today marks the beginning of the Year of St. Paul declared last year by Pope Benedict XVI. Here is a helpful article from Vatican City:

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has declared June 2008-June 2009 the year of St. Paul in celebration of the 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth.

The Pope decreed the year in a vespers celebration held at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

The Holy Father explained during his homily: "This 'Pauline Year' will take place in a special way in Rome, where for 2,000 years under the papal altar of this basilica, lies the tomb that according to experts and undisputed tradition has conserved the remains of the apostle Paul."

The Pontiff said: "In the papal basilica and Benedictine abbey attached to it, there can take place a series of liturgical, cultural and ecumenical events, as well as various pastoral and social initiatives, all of them inspired by Pauline spirituality."

Special attention can also be given to pilgrims who from various places will want to go to the tomb of the Apostle in a penitential way in order to find spiritual benefits."

Benedict XVI explained that this year must have an important "ecumenical dimension."

"The Apostle of the Gentiles, who dedicated himself to the spreading of the good news to all peoples, spent himself for the unity and harmony of all Christians," the Pope said.

"May he guide us and protect us in this bimillenary celebration," he added, "helping us to advance in the humble and sincere search for the full unity of all the members of the mystical body of Christ."

Fr. James's Homily: Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul

This Sunday’s solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul directs our gaze to Rome, the center of Catholicism. As Catholics, our identity, meaning, and direction only have fulfillment in so far as we are united to the Vicar of Christ, the visible head of the Church. The challenging times that we live in provides countless opportunities to be heroically faithful to the Magisterium of the Church.

In order to continue his work on earth and lead all peoples to eternal salvation, Jesus established one visible and hierarchical Church. It is very clear from the continual preparation of the Jewish people in the Old Testament and then with the precise act of Jesus in Cesarea Philippi, that God willed to found one Church as a visible, hierarchical, living, and continuing authority, to teach, govern, and sanctify in his name. It is no less clear that Jesus appointed the Apostle Simon the fisherman as the visible head of his Church. Even as he conferred the authority, Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter; i.e. rock. The name Peter had never existed prior to this divine event in Cesarea Philippi.

"Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven". (Matthew 16: 17-19).... (Continued here).

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Taking a Stand

Taking a Stand

Fr. James Farfaglia (from his daily blog)

Today, the Catholic Church remembers St. Ireneaus. Not much is known about his life, however what is known about him is that he was fully immersed in the theological controversies of the second century. He was known as a fearless defender of Church teaching and it is not accidental that he is remembered the day before the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

Trials and tribulations will always be a part of the Church because it is not merely a human entity. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and Satan will continue to attack it until the Second Coming. Perhaps history will judge our age as presenting
the most formidable challenges the Catholic Church has had to face, although it is true that there have been other dramatic moments in the history of the Church such as the time of St. Ireneaus.

The Catholic Church is the only institution in human history that has continually survived its own problems and failures. As G.K. Chesterton once said, this is true, "because it has a God who knew his way out of the grave". Jesus assures us of his continual presence and protection: "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16: 18).

Rather than becoming discouraged, angry, or even rebellious during a difficult time of trial, we must stand fast through prayer and fidelity. We must always pray for our Church, and always trust that God will deliver us from all evil. The words that Thomas Paine wrote in 1776 are equally true today as they were then: "These are times that try men's souls".

The reality of division within the Catholic Church in this country is very real. Just after the death of Pope John Paul the Great, CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP Poll found that... (Continued here at "The Daily Homily - also in my right column))

Friday, June 27, 2008

Prayers are needed for World Youth Day

Please spread the word to pray for God's protection and peace at the World Youth Day. This is a quote from an article below by Pastor Karl Hand, who according to this article said, "I'm compassionate towards people who need condoms, who need abortions, who need all sorts of recognition of their relationship and it's just not being provided by this massive worldwide church," he said." He sounds real "compassionate" doesn't he? Where's his compassion for the babies murdered in abortion?

Here is the article:

"PILGRIMS in Sydney for World Youth Day will be handed condoms in a protest against Pope Benedict XVI's opposition to contraception and homosexuality, demonstrators say.

The NoToPope Coalition, which includes members of Sydney's atheist, gay and environmental communities, will march to Randwick Racecourse on Saturday, July 19, alongside Catholic pilgrims who will be walking to Randwick after a pilgrimage trek across the Sydney Harbour Bridge that day.

The coalition is planning a rally at Taylor Square in Sydney's inner east, followed by the march to the racecourse, where Pope Benedict XVI is holding a prayer vigil that evening..." (Continued here)

What??? Are you kidding me???

San Diego, Jun 27, 2008 / 06:28 am (CNA).- Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to a meeting of the Catholic Healthcare Association (CHA) in San Diego on Monday on the topic of healthcare reform, pledging to pray “twenty rosaries every day” if that is what is necessary to have the California legislature pass his health care plan.

Governor Schwarzenegger, who was introduced by former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, addressed the CHA audience to congratulate Lloyd Dean’s assumption of the association’s chairmanship, the California Catholic Daily reports.

The governor said he was excited that Dean had become CHA chairman, praising his “tremendous work” in California as leader of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW).

“And, man, he’s an action hero, I can tell you that,” said Schwarzenegger, a former action movie star, who said Dean had balanced the deeply troubled finances of CHW after only two years... (Continued here)

Let me know what you think of this article. Please leave a comment!

God bless!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Gift of Communion: Part II (Theology of the Body article)

The Gift of Communion, Part II

By Fr. James Farfaglia

As discussed last time, the gift of communion in Marriage is only possible when man and woman make a sincere gift of themselves. Communion of persons in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony of course is only possible if both husband and wife live the theological virtue of charity with Christian authenticity and maturity. The spouses live out in the ordinary circumstances of their lives the daily program of Christian love so beautifully delineated by St. Paul.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7)
This program of love is certainly not easy to live out within our daily existence. However, it is possible to live this life of love if we have a mature spiritual life. Most of all, we need to center our lives on the Sacrament of Love; i.e., the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is called Holy Communion. Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence. As Pope Benedict explains: “And that is what is really happening in Communion, that we allow ourselves to be drawn into him, into his inner communion, and are thus led finally into a state of inner resemblance...” (Continued here at Catholic Exchange)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Applause at Mass

I found this quote at True Confessions of a Prodigal Daughter who very beautifully crafted this image of Pope Benedict with his important message to us. Pope Benedict gives us food for thought. Where have we come at our holy sacrifice of the Mass? Where is our reverence?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer prayer segment on my "Mom's Corner" with Teresa Tomeo

In case you didn't get a chance to tune in to my "Mom's Corner" segment yesterday morning with Teresa Tomeo about summertime prayer and proper summer attire for Mass, among other things, you can listen here.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mom's Corner with Teresa Tomeo Monday morning!

We're on the air on Monday morning! I hope you can tune in! You can actually tune in from your computer by clicking here and then click "listen live." Teresa Tomeo and I will be doing our "Mom's Corner" segment at 9:15 AM Eastern Standard Time.

What are your thoughts right now about a mothering issue? What would you like to hear us discuss on Monday morning? Don't be shy! Send me a comment to this post or if you'd rather in an email, send it to DMCooperOBoyle(at) aol(dot)com.

Talk to you soon!

God bless and Hugs,

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Gift of Communion, Part One by Fr. James

The Gift of Communion, Part One

George Washington Carver, the scientist who developed hundreds of useful products from the peanut once said that when he was young he asked God to tell him about the mystery of the universe. But God answered him and said that such knowledge is reserved for God alone. So the famous scientist asked God to tell him about the mystery of the peanut. God said that knowledge about the peanut was something that he could handle and God told him all about it.”

My dear friends, when we consider the mystery of God, we must realize that just like George Washington Carver had to be content with his knowledge of the inner workings of the peanut, so too we must understand that our knowledge of God is very limited indeed. As Pope Benedict once said: “God, as the Wholly Other, remains beyond our comprehension”.

The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is clearly revealed to us throughout the New Testament. However, we already get a glimpse into this mystery in the first book of the Bible. “God said, let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves…” (Genesis 1: 26). Us? Ourselves? These words reveal to us the nature of God. God is one God, but three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God, not three Gods... (Continued here at Catholic Exchange)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Canticle magazine's latest issue is great!

The latest issue of Canticle is out and I hear it is an amazing one!

Canticle is "an excellent resource for women who are serious about growing in their faith, and who want to share their faith with others in their homes, their parishes, and their communities. Totally faithful to the Magisterium, dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and under the protection of St. Joseph, this quarterly publication is produced by Women of Grace ® and Living His Life Abundantly®."

You can go to this link at Heidi's Hotline to read about the contributing authors. You can go to Canticle magazine's website and order a copy of Canticle magazine and/or subscribe! If you are not already reading Canticle, you are really missing out. I kid you not! :) Canticle is the voice of "Women of Grace" which is associated with EWTN. Visit the Canticle website here.

Oh, did I tell you that this is me with Teresa Tomeo (my favorite girlfriend on the air!) and Cardinal Rylko on the cover? Card. Rylko is the President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting him and in this photo I was giving my books to him.

I hope you enjoy the my article, "Women Thirsting for the Living Water: Mulieris Dignitatem and the International Women's Congress in Rome."

"Jane Roe" from Roe VS Wade will appear in a pro-life commercial!

Roswell, GA, Jun 18, 2008 / 07:25 pm (CNA).- Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff “Jane Roe” in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, will appear in her first-ever television commercial to lament her role in the case.

Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, documented abortions have killed more than 50 million unborn babies in the U.S.

In the new commercial McCorvey says, “back in 1973 I was a very confused twenty-one year old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy. At the time I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion."

“Upon knowing God,” she continues, “I realize that my case, which legalized abortion on demand, was the biggest mistake of my life.

“You read about me in history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death."

McCorvey is now an active Catholic... (Continued here.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pro-life Pharmacies Becoming a Reality

Pro-life pharmacies are becoming a reality. Here is an article from the Catholic News Agency:

Chantilly, VA, Jun 17, 2008 / 06:10 am (CNA).- A pro-life pharmacy which will not stock contraceptives will open this August in Chantilly, Virginia, is joining several pharmacies around the country that accommodate workers with objections to distributing contraceptives.

The DMC Pharmacy, located in a shopping plaza near a major thoroughfare, aims to support pharmacists and other health-care workers whose consciences do not allow them to distribute such products, the Washington Post reports. The DMC Pharmacy is an expansion of Divine Mercy Care in Fairfax, Virginia, a nonprofit healthcare organization that adheres to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

"We're trying not to leave our faith at the door," said John Bruchalski, who chairs the group's board of directors. "We're trying to create an environment where belief and professionalism come together."

Bruchalski said that one of the organization's major goals is helping needy, uninsured patients obtain health care. The group also runs the Tepeyac Family Center, an obstetrics-gynecology practice that offers natural family planning instead of contraceptives, sterilization, or abortion.

Other pro-life pharmacies are in operation around the United States... (Continued here at Catholic News Agency)

"Only Girls can Be the Mommies"

Mary Kochan recently shared her "new baby" with me over at the amazing Catholic Exchange. I hope you'll take a look. I am highlighting one of the articles here by Christopher West in CE's new channel: "Theology of the Body"

Here's what Christopher West has to say in his very interesting article:

"Do you remember the Mister Rogers song that went like this: “Only girls can be the mommies [tinkly piano…] Only boys can be the daddies, yes sir … Everybody’s fancy, everybody’s fine … Your body’s fancy and so is mine”? Well, it seems what may have been true in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is not true in Mister Beatie’s, an Oregonian “man” who announced this spring that he is five months pregnant.

The news was everywhere at the end of March. Some of the Headlines read: “A Pregnant Man: It’s Incredible”; “He’s Having Their Baby”; “Pregnant Man Stuns Medical Profession”; and “She’s Pregnant, But She’s a He.”

What gives? In case you haven’t heard — she is not a he, rather “he” is a she. Thomas Beatie is actually Tracy Lagondino, a woman who had her breasts surgically removed and has been pumping her blood stream with male hormones in order to grow facial hair. Her ovaries and womb, however, have remained intact. She stopped injecting testosterone in order to ovulate and, as she herself says, my body “regulated itself after about four months.”

To “regulate,” of course, means to bring order, to conform something to the truth of things. She, herself, by acknowledging that her body “regulated itself” admits that she is a woman. Wait a minute… even as I write this, I am baffled by the boggling absurdity of needing somehow to demonstrate that “she is a woman.” How could it be otherwise?

Let us allow Mister Rogers, in his own simple way, to inject a little sanity: “Boys are boys from the beginning [tinkly piano]… Girls are girls right from the start, yes sir… Every body’s fancy, every body’s fine… Your body’s fancy and so is mine.”

I don’t mean to make light of the situation, or in any way to turn it into a joke. This is not a laughing matter. Tracy Lagondino is not a man “trapped” in a woman’s body. There is no such thing..." (Continued here)

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Joan's Rome" blog post about President Bush and Pope Benedict


Joan Lewis is EWTN's Rome Bureau Chief stationed right near the Vatican. You can see St. Peter's from her dining room window! What a beautiful view she has there! I had the distinct pleasure of spending much tme with Joan while I was in Rome, participating in the International congress for women for the 20th anniversary of Mulieris Dignitatem. Joan also interviewed me on Vatican Radio (which you can listen to from my blogs by looking in the right hand column to find it and then clicking on the link).

Joan also invited my two daughters that I brought with me to Rome, as well as Teresa Tomeo, (my best girlfriend on the air at Ave Maria Radio!) who is a dear friend of Joan's to a lovely dinner at Joan's home on our first evening in Rome. Teresa and Joan have been friends for quite some time and I am just so happy that Teresa has "shared" Joan with me! We were able to be together on many more occasions together while in Rome in February. I feel so very blessed and honored to know Joan.

Go on over to "Joan's Rome" to read her blog about President Bush's visit with Pope Benedict. You can read her post and see many photos here. Her coverage of the event is excellent! I love her title and commentary! "POPE BENEDICT OFFERS U.S. PRESIDENT BUSH UNPRECEDENTED WELCOME...Oval Office meets Round Office – so to speak."

Complete List of EWTN radio Affiliates

You can check out a complete list of EWTN radio Affiliates here.

From the EWTN website:

"The EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network can be heard on over 100 AM and FM radio stations from coast to coast. For a complete and up to date list, go to You can also hear your favorite programs on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 160).

If there’s no station in your area, be not afraid! There may be a station in your area that’s open to the idea of adding Catholic programming to their lineup.

If you would like to help bring a EWTN Radio affiliate to your area, contact EWTN Radio National Marketing Manager John Pepe at for further information."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

President Bush considering converting to Catholicism?

I just found this:

Vatican City, Jun 13, 2008 / 05:50 pm (CNA).- Today as President Bush and Pope Benedict XVI met at the Vatican, the English newspaper, The Telegraph reported that Bush may be considering converting to Catholicism at the end of his presidential term. The Telegraph indicated that various Italian newspapers have been commenting on the news, especially Il Foglio.

A friend of President Bush, Fr. George William Rutler, who converted to Catholicism in 1979, stated that Bush respects how Catholicism was founded by Christ who appointed Peter as the first Pope. "I think what fascinates him about Catholicism is its historical plausibility," said the priest. "He does appreciate the systematic theology of the church, its intellectual cogency and stability." Fr. Rutler also mentioned that the president "is not unaware of how evangelicalism -- by comparison with Catholicism -- may seem more limited both theologically and historically."

According to the Washington Post, President Bush currently belongs to a Methodist church in Texas and attends an Episcopal church in Washington, D.C.

However, in recent years, the head of state has developed a strong relationship with the Pope and has made known his deep respect for Catholicism. The Telegraph noted that prior to his presidency, Bush's political advisor invited Catholic intellectuals to Texas to explain the teachings of the Church to the president. Bush has also appointed Catholic judges to the Supreme Court, has selected Catholic speech-writers and consultants, and has read the Pope’s theological books... (Continued here)

Fr. James's Sunday Homily: Father's Day

Father’s Day: The mystery of the sacrament of marriage

Our Lady of Gudalupe Electronic Parish has many readers from around the world. For all those in different parts of the world who do not celebrate Father's Day, there is a homily on this Sunday's Gospel at the conclusion of the Father's Day homily.

George Washington Carver, the scientist who developed hundreds of useful products from the peanut once said that when he was young he asked God to tell him about the mystery of the universe. But God answered him and said that such knowledge is reserved for God alone. So the famous scientist asked God to tell him about the mystery of the peanut. God said that knowledge about the peanut was something that he could handle and God told him all about it."

A few weeks ago when we celebrated the Feast of the Blessed Trinity, we considered the mystery of God. God is mysterious. God has revealed himself as One Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

During our consideration we said that we can look upon God as a communion of persons. We can see the image of God stamped into all of existence. Human nature, marriage, the family, human society and the Church are all icons of the Triune God who is a communion of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

This Sunday we celebrate Father's Day. Let us take this opportunity to consider fatherhood and the sacrament of holy matrimony.

When Adam was created by God he was alone. God then created the animal kingdom, but as we read in Genesis, "none proved to be the suitable partner for the man" (Genesis 2: 20). Adam felt incomplete until the creation of Eve. However, with the creation of Eve, Adam now feels complete or fulfilled. But, this fulfillment is rooted in the fact that the nature of man is made complete because a communion has been formed. Man is now male and female.

"This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken" (Genesis 2: 23).

So, man is a communion because man has been created as male and female. Pope John Paul II affirmed that "man becomes an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion". Man becomes image of God because he is a communion. He reflects the communion of God and participates intimately in the communion of God through sanctifying grace.

Marriage is defined as an "intimate community of life and love". The intimate life of married spouses is an image of the interior life of the Blessed Trinity. "Authentic married love is caught up into divine love…". Moreover, the sacrament of Matrimony can be considered as the prototype of all of the sacraments "because all of the sacraments draw their essential significance and their sacramental power from the spousal love of Christ the Redeemer".

If we were to make a synthesis of the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the definition of marriage, we will understand that marriage is the intimate communion of life and love between a man and woman, joined together by God.

The purposes of marriage, as defined by the Catholic Church, are the good of the spouses, the procreation of children, and the education of children. This communion of life and love has been established by Our Lord as one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. This intimate communion of life and love is exclusive, indissoluble, faithful and open to the procreation of children... (Continued here)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pope Benedict met with President Bush at the Vatican

Vatican City, Jun 13, 2008 / 08:58 am (CNA).- This morning at the Vatican, U.S. President, George W. Bush met with the Holy Father in the Tower of St. John, located in the Vatican Gardens. The tower, which is not typically where the Pontiff receives heads of state, was restored by Pope John XXIII as a place he could work in peace, and is sometimes used as a residence for important guests.

President Bush, his wife, Laura, and the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon met the Pontiff at the entrance to the Tower of St. John, before the President and Pope held their discussions. The Vatican reports that the Pope wanted to meet President Bush at the unique venue to express gratitude for the warm reception at the White House the Pontiff received when he visited the United States last April.

As the two heads of state ascended the stairs of the tower, it was reported by the UK Telegraph that President Bush whispered, “what an honor, what an honor!” Laura Bush and the ambassador remained with the prefect of the Pontifical Household, Michael Harvey.

During their discussions, Pope Benedict again thanked the president for the welcome he received during his April visit to the United States and also expressed gratitude for his commitment to the defense of moral values... (Continued in article here.)

Don't forget to check out Fr. James's Daily Blog

"Today’s Gospel passage allows us to consider the sacrament of marriage. However, I would like to reflect on the sacrament of marriage by looking at its relationship to the charism of celibacy for the kingdom of God.

We love in two ways: either through married love or through celibate love. Let us first consider married love.

For all called to the vocation of holy matrimony, God, in his infinite wisdom chooses a spouse for each person called to marriage. Marriage is one of the seven sacraments. A man and a woman give of themselves by pronouncing a vow to love each other totally and unconditionally until the end of their lives here on earth. As we see in today’s Gospel passage, the indissolubility of marriage is an essential part of Christian marriage..." (Go over to my right hand column, scroll down and click on Fr. James's photo to get to his Daily Blog. It is clearly marked.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ann Ball has died

I am very sorry to report that long time Catholic author, Ann Ball has died of a heart attack. Her website is

Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul and the soul of all the faithfully departed rest in peace.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

Follow me

Matthew was among the most hated by the Jewish people. He was a Jew who collected taxes for the Romans. Not only was he considered a traitor; the Jews hated him because they believed him corrupt as well. Moreover, it was common practice for the tax collectors to commit all types of injustices against their own people as they lined their own pockets and curried favor with the Roman officials. No respectable Jew would have anything to do with Matthew.

Jesus was different. Jesus had not come to call the righteous; he came for sinners. Jesus knew that every saint has a past, and that every sinner has a future. Jesus came to Matthew and met him where he was: corrupt, sinful, and in need of redemption.

"As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, 'Follow me'. And he got up and followed him" (Matthew 9: 9).

What did Jesus want from Matthew? "Follow me." This is what Jesus wanted from Matthew. He did not tell Matthew to do anything else. He did not tell him to get his life in order and then to follow him. He simply said, "Follow me." Jesus singled out Matthew, and he poured out his unconditional love upon Matthew. Jesus showed Matthew how much he loved him; and what Jesus wanted from Matthew was his love. 'Follow me'.

Jesus enters our life too. He comes to us just the way we are, and he calls us to a new and better life. He shows us his unconditional love, and he invites us to love him in return. This is what Christianity is all about: Jesus loves me, and I love Jesus. It's that simple.

Every one of our daily acts must be an act of loving Jesus. We do the simple, small, ordinary things with extraordinary love. Getting up on time in the morning for love of Jesus. Going to work in the morning for love of Jesus. Being of good cheer for love of Jesus. Obeying our parents for love of Jesus. Being kind to one another for love of Jesus. Carrying out our daily responsibilities for love Jesus. This is how we show that we are true disciples of Jesus.

My dear friends, here is the antidote for any kind of boredom: to do everything that we do with a supernatural intention. Do everything as a way of showing our love for Jesus. Jesus loves us unconditionally. He wants us to love him unconditionally.

I know that all of this sounds beautiful and very simple. However, it is true that this kind of love is not always easy. We do not always love correctly, and we do not always love the way we should. When we do not love correctly, when we do not love the way that we should, this is called sin.

"What's wrong with the world?" a newspaper editorial once asked many years ago. G.K. Chesterton, the famous Catholic convert from England, wrote in reply, "I am." We are all sinners. We are all in need of redemption. We do not always love correctly. We do not love the way that we should.

"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do" (Matthew 9: 12).

Our struggle is not only with the things that we do, but also with the things that we do not do. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. Sins of omission are those acts of love that have been left undone..." (Continued here)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Catholic Identity...

Did you see Hugh McNichol's article at the Catholic News Agency?

Catholic Identity...parochial school style!
By Hugh J. McNichol

"Growing up in a Roman Catholic, inner-city parish of Saint Gabriel really left little room to think of expressing one’s Catholic identity on a regular basis. For the most part, we didn’t even know there was anything other than Catholicism out there as a means of religious expressionism. Of course, once in a while we would try to get into the local John Chambers Presbyterian Church…to see what it looked like, or maybe even an excursion into the Greek Orthodox Church at 28th and Snyder, but that was about it. The ethnically insulated parish of Saint Gabriel was especially protective of our unique Catholic identity and we expressed that identity on a daily basis even if we did not realize it. Let me give you a few “Catholic-isms” that pervaded our neighborhood. Of course on Fridays, throughout the whole year the fragrances of flounder and other fish by-products, usually Mrs. Pauls could be orafactorilly noticed throughout all of Gray’s Ferry, the fast before the reception of Holy Communion was observed before Sunday Masses (hence the large participation in the 6:30 am Mass), Catholic uniforms dominated the scene every day in Saint Gabriel’s School, every night Catholic sporting events came to an instant conclusion at the ringing of the Angelus and visiting other local Catholic churches was just about as ecumenical as we would dare to go!... (Continued here)

Catholic Exchange article about suffering

Did you get a chance to see the beautiful article by Chris Findley over at Catholic Exchange?

Perhaps you can take a few moments to read it. I feel it is beautifully written and very relevant. My family just experienced the loss of a dear friend, a twenty two year old girl, who was tragically slain a couple of weeks ago. We can certainly relate to this article.

"On May 21st, many of us were deeply saddened to hear of the accidental death of seven-year-old Maria Chapman, daughter of well-known Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. My wife and I live just outside of Nashville and it seems that the entire city has been in mourning for this little girl and her family.

The Questions

Newspapers and blogs are overflowing with questions: How this could happen to such a “spiritual” family? How can God be considered “good” or “loving” when He allows this type of thing to happen? Moments like these cause many of the questions we normally keep suppressed to show themselves. Our society normally removes itself from any meaningful discussion of suffering. But this tragic event should cause us to reflect for a moment on the Catholic response to suffering. What are some of the ways Catholics approach the mystery of suffering and how do we find meaning and hope in its midst?..." (Continued here).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My recent trip to the EWTN studios in Alabama

Last week I left for Chicago as I have posted earlier, to attend the RBTE (Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit). Over 300 book store buyers come from all over the world to get copies of the displayed books at the HUGE event. It was a very nice experience and then I was whisked off to the next hotel to be closer to the airport since I had to catch a very early flight to Birmingham, Alabama to be taped on some EWTN television shows.

As many of you already are aware, I was one of 260 delegates from around the world to participate in an international women's congress in Rome earlier this year. I felt very honored and humbled to be able to be part of a group of women (and a few good men) to "go up to the mountain" to listen, study, reflect, and pray together on the Apostolic Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem/On The Dignity and Vocation of Women penned by our dear Pope John Paul II twenty years ago. The Pontifical Council for the Laity invited the delegates to come together from five continents and about 46 countries to listen to presenters, Biblical scholars, theologians and women from various parts of the world presenting the issues that they face as women in their countries. We heard some incredible stories and shared an amazing and intense three days together--a history-making event that I am sure will be etched in my memory. The profundity of the experience is still sinking in with me.

(In this photo, I am presenting my books to Cardinal Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity as "Catholic Connection" radio host and author, Teresa Tomeo looks on)

Because of this Vatican experience, EWTN arranged with TV host, Colleen Carroll Campbell to conduct a four part series of round table discussions about women and the culture on Colleen's show "Faith & Culture." I was honored to be among these women who comprised the series: Author, and host--the lovely and very accommodating Colleen Carroll Campbell, author, Genevieve Kineke, author, Dale O'Leary, Notre Dame University's Elizabeth Kirk, and "Catholic Connection" radio host and author, Teresa Tomeo. We hope that the shows will be enlightening, informative and may spark an interest in viewers to read and reflect upon the Apostolic Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem, the first letter written exclusively for women. It has been my experience that women have been brought to tears during my talks about women's God-given gifts and dignity while speaking about it and quoting from Pope John Paul II's beautiful affirming words.

(On the set of "Faith & Culture" with the American delegates who are in the four part series)

For more information about Colleen Carroll Campbell's show, "Faith & Culture" you may go to Colleen's website.

"Faith & Culture" is scheduled to air throughout August!(Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time and Wednesdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time). If you don't have EWTN, you can also watch the shows on the Internet at those times. They will also eventually re-air on radio.

Here are the dates you can expect to see the shows on TV:

August 3 and 6: Women's Round table on Mulieris Dignitatem; episode one (Dale, Genevieve, Elizabeth)

August 10 and 13: Women's Round table on Mulieris Dignitatem; episode two (Dale, Genevieve, Teresa)

August 17 and 20: Women's Round table on Mulieris Dignitatem; episode three (Genevieve, Elizabeth, Donna)

August 24 and 27: Women's Round table on Mulieris Dignitatem; episode four (Teresa, Donna, Elizabeth)

After finishing up a full day of taping for the series, I had the treat of being in the studio audience of the "Life on the Rock" show in which Teresa Tomeo and Colleen Carroll Campbell were the guests. Fr. Mark and Doug Barry of RADIX (new to the show and a GREAT addition) did a wonderful job moderating and discussing our cultural climate today. I have to say that Teresa and Colleen did a brilliant job in expressing their concerns about the culture today; pointing out several areas to watch out for as well as some things we can do to help.

Some of us were able to spend some time together after the show and had a bite to eat. Teresa, Colleen, and I stayed up much too late that night because we embraced the time we had together, staying at the Madonna House at EWTN in Birmingham; catching up and discussing many issues. All the while knowing that morning would come quickly and both Teresa and Colleen had early flights out and I had a show to tape. I felt like the "Mother Hen" who every so often would say, "We'd better get to bed." But we didn't get to bed until it was the wee hours of the morning! So much to talk about and so little time!

The following morning, I had to be up bright eyed for my show with the very gracious, Doug Keck for an EWTN "Book Mark" series in which we discussed all of my books: Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine Month Novena for Mothers-To-Be, Catholic Prayer Book For Mothers, The Heart of Motherhood: Finding Holiness in the Catholic Home, and Catholic Saints Prayer Book, my newest book. This show will be aired sometime in the near future and when I know for sure, I will let you know.

God bless you!