SEPTEMBER 2015: MONTH OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS
September, the month of Our Lady of Sorrows, remembers the suffering of Mary, Jesus' Mother. There are seven sorrows, seven afflictions that pierced her heart. Catholics commonly reflect upon each and they say daily one Our Father and seven Hail Mary's for each.
- The Prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34–35)
- The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13)
- The loss of the child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:43–45)
- Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary.
- Jesus dies on the cross. (John 19:25)
- The piercing of the side of Jesus, and Mary's receiving the body of Jesus in her arms. (Matthew 27:57–59)
- The body of Jesus is placed in the tomb. (John 19:40–42)
AUGUST 2015: MONTH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
August, the month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, remembers the miracle of Redemption through the participation of the faithful. Mary, Jesus' Mother, said yes to God perfectly. This came about as a result of grace, and no sin stained her soul, her heart. From Conception to her Dormition, Mary remained Immaculate. Her love for God, "her fiat" and beautiful interior life, is honored by Catholics. There are a variety of devotions available for consecration to her Immaculate Heart. Traditionally, her heart is depicted pierced with seven wounds or swords, in reverence to her seven sorrows. more...
July 2015: Month of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ
July, the month of the Precious Blood of Jesus, reverences the Blood of Jesus Christ as the fountain of salvation. By it we are made clean from Original Sin and personal sins. Blood is the life source of every creature. The Incarnation-- when God became man-- came about because God wanted to share with us His life source. In His Passion and Death, He gave us His Body by the shedding of His Blood. According to St. John, in the Apocalypse, mankind regained His innocence by this act:
“These that are clothed in white robes, who are they?” The Lord answers: “These are they that have washed their robes, and have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”
The Precious Blood of Christ is part of the on-going healing of every soul; Christ asks us to enter into full Communion with Him. We do this in the Eucharist when we follow Jesus' command:
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." more...
June 2015: Month of the Sacred Heart
June, the month of the Sacred Heart, focuses on the the entirety of Jesus as a person, that is, in His divine essence as the Son of God the Father. Jesus became Incarnate out of pure love for us, and only wishes us to love Him with our entire being in return.It is no surprise then, that this month emphasizes personal conversion through consecration. This means an attitude of conversion and reparation, of love and gratitude, apostolic commitment and dedication to Christ and His saving work.This isn't done to earn "heavenly points", rather devotion to the Sacred Heart, as all the other devotions of the Church are to help one develop a health relationship with Jesus. He is a person; it is easy to forget this. Do we talk to him daily, is he involved in our lives or do we treat him as a dead object? Do we only call on him when we need something?June, the month of the Sacred Heart calls us to attention to look at how we treat Jesus; it encourages us to heal the parts in our lives where we do not allow Jesus to be present. more...
Theology is the study of God, coming from the combination of the Greek words: theos (god) + logia (study).Theology's end is twofold: love of God and neighbor.However, many think that the subject is irrelevant to today’s culture.Surprisingly, theology is very pertinent to daily living, and is important for every Catholic—whether a scholar or not.
A lay person can enjoy theology because he/she is able to respond to “being in love”:
“O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth! Make haste, my beloved...” (Song of Solomon, 1:1-8:14)
The main purpose of studying theology is the desire of being an amazing lover! The theologian's whole life is a romance. This life-long adventure gives purpose: being wholly consumed in the deepest love, the love of God. Being a "theologian" is not limited to reading, writing, or teaching, but actually living. more...
May is honored as the month of Our Lady; it is also the month honoring mothers. The Lady honored is Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ. At Jesus' crucifixion, He gave her to His beloved disciple, John: "Behold your Mother; woman, behold your son." In this moment, Mary became the mother of all mankind. This is why Jesus called his mom, "woman". He wanted to emphasize that she is the new Eve and the woman referenced in Revelation-- which was written by St. John. St. John clearly saw Mary as the woman that fulfills the prophecy in Genesis.
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise him on the heel." Genesis 3:15
"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” -- Revelations 12: 1-5
Saint Mark's feast day is April 25th.
The Gospels are probably the most important written works of all of Christianity. It is from their words, that the Word of God has been carried in writing to millions of people throughout the centuries. Each of these writers is represented by a creature. As one of the four Gospel writers, and one of the seventy disciples of Jesus Christ, Saint Mark is considered by the Church to represent the Lion. This was taken from a vision seen by the Prophet Ezekiel around 625 years B.C.:
And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was a human face, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. - Ezeckiel 10:14
April is honored as the month of the Holy Eucharist. This year, April 2nd, is Holy Thursday, the day that the Church commentates the Institution of the Eucharist in a special way. For on the night before Jesus' Crucifixion, Jesus met with His apostles, broke bread, and blessed wine. He asked that his followers do these in memory of Him. Catholics believe that when Jesus broke bread and said, "This is my Body", the bread became Jesus' Body and not in a figurative sense; likewise, Catholic believe that the wine when blessed, becomes Jesus' Blood. His command: "Do this in memory of Me", has been adhered to by Catholics for over 2000 years. The mystery of how mere bread and wine can and does transform into Jesus' Body and Blood is called "transubstansiation" and it explains how there is a real substance transformation, while the matter retains its form, taste, etc.,. There have been many Eucharistic miracles and the Holy Eucharist is the most treasured belief and source of grace that Catholics have. more...
Does it matter if your rosary beads are not made of sterling silver? The answer is no. You can have your rosary beads made out of any material you want, such as cloth knots, plastic, wood, other metals, precious materials and stones. The most important thing about the rosary is prayer. Pray with the rosary that actually helps you to pray. The material that your rosary is made out of should be second to this. However, if you do not know what to pick, sterling silver rosary beads do have some advantages. These advantages include their resiliency and increasing popularity. Sterling silver rosary beads are naturally shiny and they are easy to clean and polish. Sterling silver is also priced lower than gold, so they are also affordable. more...
What makes a Catholic Gift Shop worthy of your time? Whether you visit your local Catholic Gift Shop, or browse online at a Catholic Shop, it is important to consider making your purchases here. As a Catholic, you might find educational, personal or gift items at a secular or even Christian store. However, if the item is of a religious nature, can you guarantee that these stores offer items free from error, or that is rich in history, and tradition? A catholic book, for instance, is always reviewed by two Bishops. If it is free of heresy, even if they personally don’t care for the book, they will give their imprimatur, which can be found on the publishing/copyright page. This means that they think that it is in good standing with the Church and doesn’t contain misleading information. Because the Church is careful about what is dogmatically declared in her name, she will safeguard it. So by purchasing your literature at a Catholic Gift Shop, you can be secure in your purchase. Also, why miss out on other items that may have been made in prayer? Most Catholic items are crafted by religious: monks, nuns, and oblates to different Catholic Christmas. more...