Augustine, Augustine of Hippo, Christ, Christian, Christianity, City of God, Companions of the Cross, Conrad of Parzham, Devotion, Doctor of the Church, Francis of Assisi, God, Jesus Christ, Lepanto, Prayer, relics, Rosary, Sack of Rome, Saints, Thérèse of Lisieux
by Celeste Behe, Register Correspondent
Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 7:22 AM
“Crisis makes people return to their faith,” says Father Carlos Martins. “To hold a relic of a beloved saint makes the faith real for people, because the touch of a saint is always a touch of tenderness.”
Father Martins’ ministry is to carry that “touch of tenderness” to parishes across North America through his “Treasures of the Church” exposition. Incorporating both a multimedia presentation and exposition of actual relics, the exhibit gives the scriptural, catechetical and devotional basis for the Church’s use of relics and offers attendees the opportunity to venerate the relics of more than 150 saints.
At a time when religious liberty is being threatened and the truths of the faith attacked, the saints are a tangible source of solace to the faithful.
“The saints are God’s agents whom he sends to carry his love and mercy,” explains Father Martins. “As members of his mystical body, they are an extension of him. They are his hands and feet that go out to touch his children and make them aware of his presence.”
The exposition includes the relics of such beloved saints as Sts. Thérèse of Lisieux and Francis of Assisi, as well as those of lesser-known saints such as Sts. Conrad of Parzham and Zeno the Tribune. Of all the saints whose relics are included, Father Martins holds up Sts. Thomas More and Augustine as special intercessors for our time: “St. Thomas More was a brilliant lawyer and statesman who was martyred for defending the sacramental nature of marriage against King Henry VIII. St. Augustine, a doctor of the Church, wrote the beautiful City of God in response to the Roman Senate’s request — provoked by the sack of Rome and the anti-Christian sentiment that followed it — for an apologia for the Christian faith.
“These are saints who knew both politics and saintliness and who successfully married the two.”
Father Martins, a member of the Companions of the Cross religious community, adds, “Many see the recent encroachment against religious liberty by United States politicians as an echo to that which was instigated by Henry VIII and opposed by St. Thomas More.” The similarity makes Thomas More a saint to be “especially invoked” in these conflict-ridden times.
Stephen Krason, professor of political science at Franciscan University and author of The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic, agrees that “turning to saints for the intention of a religious revival in the United States may be just the thing for people to do.”
To illustrate, he points to two historical events: the 1571 victory of the Christians over the Turks at Lepanto and the 1955 withdrawal of the Soviets from southern Austria. Both events came about through the widespread and resolute recitation of the Rosary. “History shows the power of concentrated prayer and devotion,” asserts Krason. “We can’t shortchange the spiritual.”
Indeed, the spirituality of a single individual can alter the course of history. Such is the case with St. Augustine. Augustine’s compelling defense of eternal truths, City of God, is a book that has had a profound influence on Western civilization. But if it is St. Augustine’s brilliance that has distinguished him as a defender of the faith, it is his brokenness, as described by the saint in his autobiographical Confessions, which has endeared him to Christians over the centuries.
“The saints know what it is to be human and imperfect — to be sinful, broken, finite. And, yet, they have overcome these shortcomings with the grace of Christ,” says Father Martins. “Thus, they are attractive on two levels: They struggled with their imperfect natures, and, through grace, they achieved perfection in their natures.”
Pope Benedict voiced the same idea when, in his homily at last year’s chrism Mass, he stated, “The figure of Jesus Christ seems too lofty for us to dare to measure ourselves by him. The Lord knows this. So he has provided ‘translations’ on a scale that is more accessible and closer to us.”
The saints themselves are the “translations” provided to us by God, and our very kinship with them can help us to effect change in our country. Observes Father Martins, “The favorite saint to whom someone prays for the recovery of an ill child, for help with paying the monthly bills and for intercession that his job will be spared in the next round of layoffs is often the same one who is entrusted with the very important task of getting just laws enacted.”
The priest adds, “Relics are important because they provide a way to get closer to these Divine translations so as to better intuit the Word which gives them being. As members of Christ’s mystical body, the saints are incarnate in Christ. They lead us to him. As physical expressions of their lives, relics bring us closer to the saints.
“Because the saints now serve as our models and intercessors, their victory has become a victory for all of us.”
Celeste Behe writes from
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By Scott P. Richert, About.com Guide
Teaching your children how to pray can be a daunting task. The best place to start is with common prayers for children that can be easily memorized. Children who are making their First Communion should have memorized most of the following prayers, while the Grace Before Meals and the Guardian Angel Prayer are prayers that even very young children can learn by repeating them daily.
The Sign of the Cross is the most basic Catholic prayer, though we don’t often think of it that way. We should teach our children to say it with reverence before and after their other prayers.
The most common problem that children have in learning the Sign of the Cross is using their left hand instead of their right; the second most common is touching their right shoulder before the left. While the latter is the correct way for Eastern Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox, to make the Sign of the Cross, Latin Rite Catholics make the Sign of the Cross by touching their left shoulder first.
We should pray the Our Father daily with our children. It’s a good prayer to use as a short morning or evening prayer. Pay close attention to how your children pronounce the words; there are a lot of opportunities for misunderstandings and mispronunciations, such as “Howard be thy name.”
Children naturally gravitate to the Virgin Mary, and learning the Hail Mary early makes it easier to foster devotion to Saint Mary and to introduce longer Marian prayers, such as the Rosary. One useful technique for teaching the Hail Mary is for you to recite the first part of the prayer (through “the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”) and then have your children respond with the second part (“Holy Mary“).
4. The Glory Be
The Glory Be is a very simple prayer that any child who can make the Sign of the Cross can easily memorize. If your child has trouble remembering which hand to use when making the Sign of the Cross (or which shoulder to touch first), you can get some extra practice in by making the Sign of the Cross while reciting the Glory Be, as Eastern Rite Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do.
Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity are common morning prayers. If you help your children memorize these three prayers, they will always have a short form of morning prayer at their disposal for those days when they don’t have time to pray a longer form of morning prayer.
An Act of Hope is a very good prayer for school-aged children. Encourage your children to memorize it so that they can pray the Act of Hope before taking a test. While there is no substitute for study, it is good for students to realize that they don’t have to rely on their own strength alone.
Childhood is a time filled with deep emotions, and children often suffer real and perceived slights and injuries at the hands of friends and classmates. While the primary purpose of an Act of Charity is to express our love for God, this prayer is also a daily reminder to our children to try to develop forgiveness and love toward others.
The Act of Contrition is an essential prayer for the Sacrament of Confession, but we should also encourage our children to say it every evening before they go to sleep. Children who have made their First Confession should also make a quick examination of conscience before saying the Act of Contrition.
Instilling a sense of gratitude in our children can be especially hard in a world where many of us have an overabundance of goods. Grace Before Meals is a good way to remind them (and ourselves!) that everything we have comes ultimately from God. (Consider adding the Grace After Meals to your routine as well, to cultivate a sense of thanksgiving as well as to keep those who have died in our prayers.)
As with devotion to the Virgin Mary, children seem predisposed toward belief in their guardian angel. Cultivating that belief when they are young will help to protect them from skepticism later on. As children grow older, encourage them to supplement the Guardian Angel Prayer with more personal prayers to their guardian angel.
See More About:
The Basics of Catholicism
- The Sign of the Cross – How to Make the Sign of the Cross in the Catholic C…
- Physical Acts of Devotion – Catholicism
- Giving Thanks and Saying Grace – Mealtime Graces and Blessings
- Prayer of Mothers – Prayer To Be a Good Mother
- Catholicism – About Catholicism and the Catholic Church
From Scott P. Richert, your Guide to Catholicism
As fall descends upon the Northern Hemisphere, the Catholic liturgical year draws to a close. In the traditional calendar, many of the feasts between mid-September and the First Sunday in Advent make reference to conflicts between Christianity and Islam, and great victories in battles in which the Church–and, more broadly, Christendom–was threatened.
The memory of these events turns our thoughts to the end times, when the Church will undergo trials and tribulations before the return of Christ the King. It may not be obvious how dedicating the month of October to the Holy Rosary fits into this pattern. But the rosary–and, more specifically, Our Lady of the Rosary–is credited with victory in a number of the battles commemorated in these final months of the year. Read more…
See More About: the rosaryprayers for octoberour lady of the rosary
Many Protestants attack the rosary not simply because it is a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary but because of the fact that, in praying the rosary, we recite the same prayers over and over. And, sadly, in recent decades (no pun intended) many Catholics have begun to question the rosary for the same reason. But are rote prayers like the rosary really a problem? Or can they be an aid to a deeper prayer life? Read more…
See More About: the rosarycatholic prayersbenedict xvi
Each one of us, the Church teaches, has our own guardian angel, who protects us both spiritually and physically. That physical protection is a reflection of the dignity that God has instilled in our bodies, and not simply our souls. We should thank God and our guardian angel for such great care, and make the Guardian Angel Prayer that we learned as children a part of our daily prayer life.
See More About: catholic prayerschildren’s prayersevening prayers
Most Catholics know the Prayer of Saint Francis (“Make me a channel of your peace . . . “), but this Act of Love, which he also wrote, is less well known. An act of spiritual communion, it expresses our belief in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist and asks Him to come into our heart even when we cannot receive Him physically.
See More About: communion prayersthe blessed sacramentholy communion
This newsletter is written by:
Scott P. Richert
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© 2012 About.com
- The Feast the Holy Rosary – October 7 (christopherjmoorewriter.wordpress.com)
- Sunday (October 7): “What God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
- About Catholicism: Who Was Born Without Original Sin? (gingerjar2.wordpress.com)
- The most holy Rosary (english.pravda.ru)
- OCTOBER the Month of THE HOLY ROSARY (parchment9.wordpress.com)
- A Rosary Video (mundabor.wordpress.com)
- Pray The Holy Rosary Every Single Day (credointhecommunionofsaints.wordpress.com)
Baltimore Catechism, Battle of Lepanto, Catholic, Catholic Church, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Immaculate Conception, Incarnation, Jesus Christ, Mary, meditation, Mysteries, Novena, original sin, Redemption, Rosary, Virgin Birth, Virgin Mary
From Scott P. Richert at About.com
Unfortunately, many Catholics open themselves up to this Protestant attack, because they think that Mary had to be preserved from Original Sin in order to prevent Christ from being subject to Original Sin. But that’s not true, and it represents a misunderstanding not only of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception but of how Original Sin is transmitted. Read more…
The venerable Baltimore Catechism, with its question-and-answer format, has been criticized in recent decades for not explaining Catholic doctrine in sufficient depth. But the Q&A format has certain advantages, not least that it provides a structure that allows us to grasp quickly what the Church does teach, thus providing us with the basic knowledge necessary to examine the doctrine in greater detail. Here is the Baltimore Catechism on how Original Sin originated, and how it continues to affect us today. Read more…
- The Baltimore Catechism on Sin and Its Kinds
- The Baltimore Catechism on the Incarnation and Redemption
October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, commemorating the victory of Christian naval forces over the Muslim Turkish fleet at the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. One of the more astounding examples of the power of the rosary, it is by no means the only one. And yet today, the rosary is no longer a part of the daily prayer life of many Catholics. As we prepare for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, let’s change that by praying the rosary as our novena of the week. Read more…
To help readers pray the rosary, last year I wrote a series of meditations on the three traditional sets of mysteries of the rosary, illustrated by some beautiful stained-glass windows from Saint Mary’s Church in Painesville, Ohio. You can read the appropriate set of meditations when you pray the rosary, or simply use them as the starting point for your own meditations on each of the mysteries. Read more…
- Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
- Meditations on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary
- Novena To The Mother Of God For The Nation Day 1 (credointhecommunionofsaints.wordpress.com)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 07, 2011
Take a moment to consider this: Jesus Christ went through every stage of human life and the holy rosary helps you connect with him at every stage of your life.
Think about it. The Annunciation is the moment of his conception. It was a perfect conception; perfect in love, perfect in unity, perfect in power and purity. Our own conception may have been less than the best. Maybe at that very first moment of life we were somehow tainted with lust or drunkenness or inability to love fully or some human flaw in the circumstances or in our parents. It might have left a wound or an empty place in our lives. The mystery of the Annunciation can be the point in the Rosary where we connect with that greater grace which will heal that broken-ness.
The Visitation is the time when Christ was in the womb of the Blessed Mother. It was a time for him of perfect bliss, perfect love and growth in perfection because he had a perfect Mother. In our own lives those nine months may have been stressful for all sorts of reasons. Maybe we weren’t really wanted. Maybe mother was sick. Maybe there was stress in the family. That stress can be communicated and maybe those nine months for us were a time when a foundation of fear or stress or lack of love were established. Praying the second joyful mystery helps to bring God’s perfect love into our lives.
The same principle applies to the other mysteries of the rosary. This is the theme and method of my book Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing. This has been by far the most popular of all my books, with people from around the world writing to me to say how it has changed their lives. They tell me how they have got extra copies to give to others, and it has been a surprising and joyful thing to see how it has been used by God.
Bl. John Paul II said that the rosary connects with every stage of human life, and so it is. In a mysterious way we identify and put our imperfect lives into the perfect life of love between Christ and his mother. It is no mistake that we call the events of the rosary ‘mysteries’ for they work in the world and work on us in a mysterious way–because a mystery is something that can be experienced even if it cannot be explained.
Posted by Fr Longenecker at Friday, October 07, 2011
I have the book. I started it. I got halfway through the joyful mysteries and put it down. I will get back to it someday, when I’m ready. It’s very painful but then again most healing is.
i have read the book from cover to cover, truly the best book i have ever read.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.Matthew 11:28-30
1113 The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.This article will discuss what is common to the Church’s seven sacraments from a doctrinal point of view. What is common to them in terms of their celebration will be presented in the second chapter, and what is distinctive about each will be the topic of the Section Two.
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
I am looking forward to next Easter and becoming a full member in the Catholic church.