Life-in-Christ

Knowing Christ & His Message through Scripture, the Catechism, & the Catholic Church

Living the “us” in Jesus…

Image result for Mark 16:15Bring on the Jesus team!

“…and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians…” (Acts 11:26).

In a talk given by Pope Francis, he warned about those who seek to promote themselves instead of Jesus and His teachings.

Pope Francis warned that some people, even in the Church, are “social climbers” that try to promote themselves, instead of seeking to glorify Christ.

“These social climbers exist even in the Christian communities, no? Those people who are looking out for themselves … and consciously or unconsciously pretend to enter but are thieves and robbers,” he said.

Why? Why steal the glory from Jesus? They want glory for themselves and this is what (Jesus) said to the Pharisees: ‘You seek for each other’s approval,’” the Pope responded. The result of this approach is that the faith becomes “something of a ‘commercial’ religion,” he reflected. “I give glory to you and you give glory to me. But these people did not enter through the true gate. The (true) gate is Jesus and those who do not enter by this gate are mistaken.” Christians can know which way or gate is Jesus’ by looking for the marks of the Beatitudes, he said.

There are many paths that we can follow, he explained, some perhaps more advantageous than others in getting ahead, but they are “misleading, they are not real; they are false. The only path is Jesus.

Jesus calls us to work together in His name. He commands us to go out into the world – Baptizing all in the name of the Father, & the Son, & the Holy Spirit – He commands us to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, & Spirit, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

No, the Christian life cannot be about “I.”  It is about Jesus … and the collective, unified us.

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Moms…

Image result for funny sayings about mothersMothers are special people, with a special vocation in life.  They form, develop, care,and nourish their children.  A mother’s influence carries on far longer than she can imagine.  Her need for good role models and intercessors is not only important, but essential.

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As Abraham Lincoln noted, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my Mother.”

Therefore, I would like to share an article from BeliefNet.  The article highlights 5 different patron saints for moms (God knows we need them!), as well as the virtue or trait they exemplified:

Five Patron Saints for Moms

Catholics honor saints as heroes and heroines in faith. We look to them as examples of how to live holy lives, and we pray for their intercession, trusting them to present our prayers to God.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/galleries/five-patron-saints-for-moms.aspx?p=2#6Pq8105uKckffhd2.99http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Galleries/Five-Patron-Saints-for-Moms.aspx?p=2#

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St.Gianna: Sacrifice

St. Monica: Persistence

The Blessed Mother: Virtue

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Withstanding Hardships/hope

St. Judith: Living a Simple Life

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  What a Mother longs to be…


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Happy mother’s day!

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Let’s talk about May & Mary…

Mary & the month of May

Have you ever read that book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Talking about Mary, is kind of like that…

If you mention May and the Blessed Mother, you have to mention May Crowning.

If you mention May Crowning, you have to explain how Mary is the Queen of Heaven & Earth.

If you mention that Mary is the Queen of Heaven & Earth, you have to talk about the Assumption.

If you talk about the Assumption, you have to explain that Mary was received into Heaven, body and soul, without suffering corruption.

If you make it through all of that, you have to explain that Jesus loved her and wouldn’t the perfect Son want to do that for the Mother who bore Him and loved Him and was there at the beginning of His public ministry and stayed with Him even when He was crucified on Calvary.

If you explain that she is full of grace and lived out her calling perfectly, you have to talk about the Immaculate Conception.

If you talk about the Immaculate Conception, you are going to have to talk about the Ark of the Covenant and how no man could touch it and how it prefigured Mary and how she is the New Eve and why that’s all scriptural and the Book of Revelations and the Women Clothed with the Sun and how she was like Hannah, and Ruth, and Queen Esther, and Judith.

And if you make it to Judith, you are going to have to explain why Judith is not in their Protestant Bibles—but they don’t know what they are missing because it is an AWESOME book.

And if you make it past the Septuagint, you are going to have to explain why the Protestant Reformers rejected it.

If you mention the Protestant Reformation, you are going to have to talk about Indulgences and the Papacy and praying to the Saints and the Rosary.

And if you talk about the Rosary, you are going to have to talk about why the prayers come right out of the Bible and the Our Father was prayed by Jesus Himself and the Hail Mary is a combination of the words of Archangel Gabriel and Saint Elizabeth (Gospel of Luke).

And if you manage to explain why we pray memorized prayers, you will have to explain that we pray in many different ways and it all comes together in the Mass and the Mass fits into the Liturgical Calendar and the Liturgical Calendar takes us from Advent to Christmas to Ordinary Time to Lent to Easter to Pentecost to…

May.

To the Blessed Mother (Who always leads us to Jesus)!

And… if you mention the month of May and the Blessed Mother, you’d better put on another pot of coffee because you are about to cover the same ground all over again.

(adapted from Catholic by Grace blogspot)

Mary & the month of May

Have you ever read that book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Talking about Mary, is kind of like that…

If you mention May and the Blessed Mother, you have to mention May Crowning.

If you mention May Crowning, you have to explain how Mary is the Queen of Heaven & Earth.

If you mention that Mary is the Queen of Heaven & Earth, you have to talk about the Assumption.

If you talk about the Assumption, you have to explain that Mary was received into Heaven, body and soul, without suffering corruption.

If you make it through all of that, you have to explain that Jesus loved her and wouldn’t the perfect Son want to do that for the Mother who bore Him and loved Him and was there at the beginning of His public ministry and stayed with Him even when He was crucified on Calvary.

If you explain that she is full of grace and lived out her calling perfectly, you have to talk about the Immaculate Conception.

If you talk about the Immaculate Conception, you are going to have to talk about the Ark of the Covenant and how no man could touch it and how it prefigured Mary and how she is the New Eve and why that’s all scriptural and the Book of Revelations and the Women Clothed with the Sun and how she was like Hannah, and Ruth, and Queen Esther, and Judith.

And if you make it to Judith, you are going to have to explain why Judith is not in their Protestant Bibles—but they don’t know what they are missing because it is an AWESOME book.

And if you make it past the Septuagint, you are going to have to explain why the Protestant Reformers rejected it.

If you mention the Protestant Reformation, you are going to have to talk about Indulgences and the Papacy and praying to the Saints and the Rosary.

And if you talk about the Rosary, you are going to have to talk about why the prayers come right out of the Bible and the Our Father was prayed by Jesus Himself and the Hail Mary is a combination of the words of Archangel Gabriel and Saint Elizabeth (Gospel of Luke).

And if you manage to explain why we pray memorized prayers, you will have to explain that we pray in many different ways and it all comes together in the Mass and the Mass fits into the Liturgical Calendar and the Liturgical Calendar takes us from Advent to Christmas to Ordinary Time to Lent to Easter to Pentecost to…

May.

To the Blessed Mother (Who always leads us to Jesus)!

And… if you mention the month of May and the Blessed Mother, you’d better put on another pot of coffee because you are about to cover the same ground all over again.

(adapted from Catholic by Grace blogspot)

St. Joseph

May 1 – Feast of st joseph the worker

What is the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker?

Apparently in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. But the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a much longer history.

In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Comment:
“The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it” (Genesis 2:15). The Father created all and asked humanity to continue the work of creation. We find our dignity in our work, in raising a family, in participating in the life of the Father’s creation. Joseph the Worker was able to help participate in the deepest mystery of creation. Pius XII emphasized this when he said, “The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Savior of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work. Thus, if you wish to be close to Christ, we again today repeat, ‘Go to Joseph’” (see Genesis 41:44).
Quote:
In Brothers of Men, René Voillaume of the Little Brothers of Jesus speaks about ordinary work and holiness: “Now this holiness (of Jesus) became a reality in the most ordinary circumstances of life, those of work, of the family and the social life of a village, and this is an emphatic affirmation of the fact that the most obscure and humdrum human activities are entirely compatible with the perfection of the Son of God….this mystery involves the conviction that the evangelical holiness proper to a child of God is possible in the ordinary circumstances of someone who is poor and obliged to work for his living.”
Do you see your work as a way to be connected to Jesus?  Can you find God in your work? Do you let Him be part of your work?  Ask St. Joseph to help you…
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What is Divine Mercy Sunday?

What is Divine Mercy Sunday? What is Divine Mercy?

Since 2000, the second Sunday of Easter has also been known as Divine Mercy SundayOn the Second Sunday of Easter of the Jubilee Year 2000, at the Mass for the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska, Pope John Paul II proclaimed to the world that “from now on throughout the Church this Sunday will be called Divine Mercy Sunday.”  Pope John Paul II had made “mercy” a theme of his pontificate.  In 1980, he wrote an encyclical on mercy, entitled, “Rich in Mercy.”  Therefore, it is not surprising that he would want a Feast in honor of God’s mercy. Why, however, did he choose the Sunday after Easter? He did this in order to highlight the fact that the Church’s liturgy is already proclaiming what God had revealed about His mercy to Faustina.

On the Second Sunday of Easter, the responsorial psalm and Gospel for Cycles A, B and C center on the theme of mercy. In Psalm 118 we sing three times, “His mercy endures forever.” The Gospel, from John 20:19-31, begins with the risen Christ appearing to the apostles on Easter night. Jesus calms his disciples by saying and giving them “Peace.”  The Gospel continues: Then he (Jesus) breathes on them and explains what the Divine breathing means with the words, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” He gives the apostles the power of God’s mercy for the sinner, the gift of forgiving sins from God’s treasury of mercy.

In his sermon for the canonization, Pope John Paul II highlights Faustina’s writings on mercy, as well as our call to live the message.  Here are some excerpts from a sermon given by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska on 30 April 2000 (Vatican web site).

From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion
began spreading throughout the world in the 1930s. TheImage result for jesus hugging
message is nothing new, but is a reminder of what the
Church has always taught through scripture and tradition:

that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must show mercy and forgiveness. But in the Divine Mercy devotion, the message takes on a powerful new focus, calling people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is unlimited and available to everyone — especially the greatest sinners.

The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy
is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.

The message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us —
no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.

AAsk for His Mercy. God wants us to approach
Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and
asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon
the whole world.

BBe merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy
and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to
extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does
to us.

CCompletely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know
that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our
trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will
receive.

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/backgr.htm#ixzz2PZkefsh2

Divine Mercy Chaplet

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The Disciples were filled with Joy & the Holy Spirit!

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The Easter Season continues

If we are believing Christians, we know that Christ has won our salvation for us…We have reason to be joyful! If only we faithfully accept God’s great & loving gift. Let us, therefore, be faithful to the One who has loved us unto death.

This season of joy is highlighted in the Acts of the Apostles. So, it should come as no surprise when we read in the Acts of the Apostles that: The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Even though they had just been persecuted & thrown out of the area… they had the Holy Spirit within them – & were filled with joy! 

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As a disciple of Christ, can we say the same?

Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Be Joyful!

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We know the outcome…

We know that God (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) love us.

All we have to do is: Ask for the Holy Spirit — Love God in return, & love our neighbor (be kind to all, be patient with all, do not think ourselves better than others…).

Today is a good day to reflect on how faithful, how joyful, & how loving we are. Are we living the Easter message?  Do we ask the Holy Spirit to come to us… to be with us … to guide us in all we do? Do we need to make changes?

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“My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior” (Lk 1:46:47)

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Where is my Lord? The Easter Season Continues!

Where is my Lord?

Greetings in Christ! As the Easter Season continues, I think back to my childhood.  Growing up, one of my family’s traditions was the hiding of Easter baskets and Easter eggs. When we got home from Easter Sunday Mass, we knew that if we wanted to partake in all of the Easter goodies – chocolate, different flavored jelly beans, and more chocolate – we would have to find our Easter basket.

For those of you who think I am going to talk about the joy and anticipation of this tradition – you are mistaken. I dreaded the Easter basket hunt and the Easter egg hunt later in the day, even though there was monetary reward involved with the latter.

Everyone else in my family loved these traditions. My own children love doing something similar.  So, why did I find it so dreadful? To put it quite frankly, I often have difficulty finding things that are not in plain site. Unfortunately, sometimes even when things are in plain site, I still don’t see them.

Perhaps it will come as no surprise then that the Easter story which touches me most is from the Gospel of John (20:13). Mary Magdalene is weeping outside the tomb where Jesus was laid. Some angels, whom Mary doesn’t recognize as such, ask her why she is crying.

“Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” The Gospel continues: She turned around and saw Jesus standing , but did not know that it was Jesus.

He was so close – right in front of her – but she did not recognize Him. It is not until Jesus says her name, “Mary,” that she is able to recognize Him.

Jesus is risen. Truly risen! He lives and He is present to us. Do we seek Him? Are we open to recognizing Him, especially as He calls us by name? or – Do we just assume that we are better off not searching because we can’t readily see Him?

Jesus is always with us. Sometimes it will be easy to see Him, other times, not so easy. As a child, my dad would go stand by my basket, or by where some of the eggs were hidden, and all he would have to do is gently say my name, and I would know that the treasure was very close. I was then able, by his quiet guidance, to quickly discover that which I previously could not detect. Even though I acted as if I didn’t care, once I found my Easter treat, I was filled with joy!

Our faith teaches us that the Crucifixion is not the end of the story. Christ lives and is present to us. He calls us each by name, and wants us to find Him – daily.

May we open our eyes and our hearts to the many ways He calls us, so that like Mary Magdalene, our weeping can be turned into great joy and happiness. We, then, can in turn share the Good News, as Mary did with the Apostles: “I have seen the Lord!”

Wishing you many Easter graces and blessings as we continue our faith journey together!

 

 

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Rejoice! Christ is Risen!

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“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer.”

—CS Lewis

 

 

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Search no longer…

 

Happy Easter… Let us celebrate, not just for one day, but for a Season & for a Reason — we have found the answer… & the answer is Christ!

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed…  Jn.20:1-9

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For God So Loved the World…

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 Good Friday: A special REMEMBRANCE of God’s Love

Lent is a time for us to slow down, reflect on our relationship with Christ, & His great love for us.

Fridays during Lent, are dedicated in a special way, to honoring God’s great love & the  Good Friday manifestation of this Love…by Jesus’ Death on a Cross… for our salvation.

“Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life.”   Pope Benedict XVIImage result for god so loved the world

How much time have you spent allowing God’s Word to penetrate your life?

Are you reflecting on: Who you are? Where you come from? Where you must go? What path you must take in life?

The Gospel of John is a great place to begin… click on the underlined link to help guide you.  Reading, hearing, meditating on Jesus’ Passion & Death is not very comfortable, but it is necessary.  It gives us time to know Jesus more deeply.  It allows us to have a glimpse of what love is willing to do; of what love is capable of doing.

For God So Loved the World…

 

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The Cost of Betrayal: Spy Wednesday…

Click for video meditation

 

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over. Mt 26:14

 

 

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Click for video meditation

 

What does Judas’ betrayal mean to us? To you? To me?  Do I betray Christ?  What type of “silver” am I choosing?  I encourage you to click on the images & reflect on the message of the videos…

This is the holiest of weeks…do I understand what Christ has done for us, for me?  Am I prepared to celebrate in His victory?  Am I prepared to walk with Him to Calvary so that I can share in His victory, His Love, His Life…?

Let us take time over the next few days to be with Jesus. Let us reflect on Scripture, talk to Jesus, and listen to Him.  

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As the events of Holy Week intensify, are we prepared to be known as "criminals?" Do we stand by Jesus?

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M Crooks, Doctorate Pastoral Ministry: 2009-2012 http://xtnfamily.tumblr.com/