Are You All In For Jesus Like He Is For You?!

From the letter to the Hebrews
12:1-13
Let us go forth to the struggle with Christ as our leader

Since we are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith. For the sake of the joy which lay before him he endured the cross, heedless of its shame. He has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Remember how he endured the opposition of sinners; hence do not grow despondent or abandon the struggle. In your fight against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. Moreover, you have forgotten the encouraging words addressed to you as sons:

“My sons, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
nor lose heart when he reproves you;
For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he receives.”

Endure your trials as the discipline of God, who deals with you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you do not know the discipline of sons, you are not sons but bastards.

If we respected our earthly fathers who corrected us, should we not all the more submit to the Father of spirits, and live? They disciplined us as seemed right to them, to prepare us for the short span of mortal life; but God does so for our true profit, that we may share his holiness.

At the time it is administered, all discipline seems a cause for grief and not for joy, but later it brings forth the fruit of peace and justice to those who are trained in its school. So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight the paths you walk on, that your halting limbs may not be dislocated but healed.

RESPONSORY Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 2:8

Jesus, the beginning and end of our faith, endured the cross, heedless of the shame, for the sake of the joy that would follow it.
— He is seated now at the right hand of the throne of God.

He humbled himself by showing obedience even when this meant death.
— He is seated now at the right hand of the throne of God.

Second reading
From the book On the Holy Spirit by Saint Basil, bishop
By one death and resurrection the world was saved

When mankind was estranged from him by disobedience, God our Savior made a plan for raising us from our fall and restoring us to friendship with himself. According to this plan Christ came in the flesh, he showed us the gospel way of life, he suffered, died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. He did this so that we could be saved by imitation of him, and recover our original status as sons of God by adoption.

To attain holiness, then, we must not only pattern our lives on Christ’s by being gentle, humble and patient, we must also imitate him in his death. Taking Christ for his model, Paul said that he wanted to become like him in his death in the hope that he too would be raised from death to life.

We imitate Christ’s death by being buried with him in baptism. If we ask what this kind of burial means and what benefit we may hope to derive from it, it means first of all making a complete break with our former way of life, and our Lord himself said that this cannot be done unless a man is born again. In other words, we have to begin a new life, and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end. When runners reach the turning point on a racecourse, they have to pause briefly before they can go back in the opposite direction. So also when we wish to reverse the direction of our lives there must be a pause, or a death, to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another.

Our descent into hell takes place when we imitate the burial of Christ by our baptism. The bodies of the baptized are in a sense buried in the water as a symbol of their renunciation of the sins of their unregenerate nature. As the Apostle says:The circumcision you have undergone is not an operation performed by human hands, but the complete stripping away of your unregenerate nature. This is the circumcision that Christ gave us, and it is accomplished by our burial with him in baptism. Baptism cleanses the soul from the pollution of worldly thoughts and inclinations: You will wash me, says the psalmist, and I shall be whiter than snow. We receive this saving baptism only once because there was only one death and one resurrection for the salvation of the world, and baptism is its symbol.

RESPONSORY Romans 6:3, 5, 4

By being baptized into Christ Jesus, we have all shared in his death.
— We became one with him by dying as he did; therefore we shall be one with him also in rising to new life.

By our baptism we were buried with him; we shared in his death.
— We became one with him by dying as he did; therefore we shall be one with him also in rising to new life.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

Almighty ever-living God,
grant us so to celebrate
the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion
that we may merit to receive your pardon.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
— Amen.

http://divineoffice.org

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What Is The Paschal Triduum?

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/triduum/

 

Triduum – Referred to as Paschal Triduum, Easter Triduum or Holy Triduum

The word “paschal” is the equivalent of Greek “pascha” and is derived from Aramaic “pasḥā” and Hebrew “pesaḥ”, meaning “the passing over” (cf. Ex 12:13.23.27; cf.

Triduum is the Latin for Three.

The summit of the Liturgical Year is the Easter Triduum—from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ’s Paschal Mystery.

The single celebration of the Triduum marks the end of the Lenten season, and leads to the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil.

The liturgical services that take place during the Triduum are:

  • Mass of the Lord’s Supper
  • Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
  • Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Church Teaching Guidelines on Administering The Anointing of The Sick: Who can receive it and who can administer it

https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/anointing_of_the_sick.htm

Anointing of the Sick


From time to time questions arise about the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Two inquiries predominate, who may minister the sacrament, and who may receive it.


Who may minister the Sacrament.

Canon 1003
1. Every priest, and only a priest, validly administers the anointing of the sick.
2. All priests to whom the care of souls has been committed have the duty and the right to administer the anointing of the sick to all the faithful committed to their pastoral office; for a reasonable cause any other priest can administer this sacrament with at least the presumed consent of the aforementioned priest.
3. Every priest is allowed to carry blessed oil with him so that he can administer the sacrament of the anointing of the sick in case of necessity.

The minister of the sacrament is a priest or bishop. Deacons, religious men or women, and lay men or women, are not valid ministers of the Sacrament. The Holy See recently published the following doctrinal note, drafted by the Pope while still Prefect of the doctrinal congregation.

11 February 2005

In canon 1003, paragraph 1 (Cf. also can. 739 paragraph 1 of the Code of Cannons of the Oriental Churches), the Code of Canon Law includes exactly the doctrine expressed by the Tridentine Council (Session XIV, can. 4: DS 1719; Cf. also the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1516), according to which only priests (Bishops and presbyters) are ministers of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

This doctrine is “definitive tenenda.” Neither deacons nor lay persons therefore may exercise such ministry and any action in this connection is a simulation of the sacrament.

Rome, from the headquarters of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, February 11, 2005, in the Memoria of the Virgin of Lourdes.

+ Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect

+ Angelo Amato, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila
Secretary

* * *

To the Most Eminent and Excellent
Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences

In these last years the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has received several questions about the ministry of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

In this connection, this Dicastery considers it opportune to send to all pastors of the Catholic Church the attached Note on the Ministry of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick (Cf. Annex 1).*

Also transmitted because of its usefulness is a brief note on the history of the doctrine in this regard, prepared by an expert on the subject (Cf. Annex 2).

In communicating the foregoing, I take advantage of the occasion to offer you my best regards and to confirm my devotedness,

+ Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect

* EWTN will make the annexes available as soon as we have them.


Who may receive the Sacrament.

Canon 998
The anointing of the sick by which the Church commends to the suffering and glorified Lord the faithful who are dangerously sick so that He relieve and save them, is conferred by anointing them with oil and using the words prescribed in the liturgical books.

Canon 1004
1. The anointing of the sick can be administered to a member of the faithful who, after having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger due to sickness or old age.
2. This sacrament can be repeated whenever the sick person again falls into a serious sickness after convalescence or whenever a more serious crisis develops during the same sickness.

These canons can be summarized as follows. Those who satisfy three conditions may be anointed:

1. A baptized Catholic,

2. Reached the age of reason,

3. Begun to be in danger from illness or the infirmities of age, or have become sick again or underwent a further crisis. It should be noted that the danger need only have begun to exist. The person does not have to be “in extremis” (in imminent danger of dying). This is a change from the pastoral practice before the Second Vatican Council.

The ritual gives the following examples:

· “those who are dangerously ill through sickness or old age”
· “a sick person…before surgery whenever the surgery is necessitated by a dangerous illness”
· “elderly people…if they are weak, though not dangerously ill”
· “sick children…sufficiently mature to be comforted by the sacrament”
· “sick people who have lost consciousness or who have lost the use of reason…if …they would have requested it if they had been in possession of their faculties”

Doubts about who may receive.

Canon 1002
The communal celebration of the anointing of the sick for many of the sick at the same time who are duly prepared and rightly disposed can be performed according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop.

Canon 1005
This sacrament is to be administered when there is a doubt whether the sick person has attained the use of reason, whether the person is dangerously ill, or whether the person is dead.

Canon 1006
This sacrament is to be conferred upon sick persons who requested it at least implicitly when they were in control of their faculties.

Canon 1007
The anointing of the sick is not to be conferred upon those who obstinately persist in manifest serious sin.

From the canons and the ritual it is clear that the sacrament may not be given indiscriminately. So, for example, the following may not receive, except where noted.

1. One who is not a baptized Catholic. Those who are not baptized may never receive. Baptized non-Catholics may not receive, unless the provisions of canon 844 and the norms of the local bishop and the bishops conference are met. For Orthodox Christians and other Churches with valid sacraments, canon 844, 3 provides that they:

· ask for it on their own
· be properly disposed.

For all other baptized Christians (Anglican, Lutheran and Protestant), canon 844, 4 states that the following conditions must be met:

· danger of death or other grave necessity
· inability to approach a minister of their own community
· ask for it on their own
· manifest Catholic faith in the sacraments
· be properly disposed

Proper disposition for anyone who is conscious includes the confession of all mortal sins since the last good confession, or since baptism, if the person had never made a confession.

2. One who has not reached the age of reason. Those who have not reached the age of reason, or never had its use, may not be anointed. However, a child may not have reached the normal age of First Confession and First Communion, the typical application of the “age of reason” standard, but still may show enough use of the faculty to understand what is taking place and benefit from the sacrament. This could also be the case with a mentally challenged individual. Doubt about whether the person has sufficiently use of reason would be decided in favor of the sick person (c.1005).

3. One who is not in danger from sickness or infirmity of age. Those who are simply ill or old, without danger from sickness or infirmity, may not be anointed. Even communal celebrations of the Sacrament presume this condition (c.1002). Excluded also are the physically or mentally handicapped without any accompanying danger from sickness or infirmity of age. There is obviously both a medical and pastoral component to this issue. In that regard, the ritual states, “a prudent or reasonably sure judgment, without scruple, is sufficient for deciding on the seriousness of an illness; if necessary a doctor may be consulted” (n. 8). Finally, those in danger from some external cause, such as war, natural  disaster, sentence of execution, or surgery unrelated to a dangerous illness, are excluded.

An unspoken criteria, alluded to in canon 1005, is that the sick person must be alive. All the sacraments presume that the recipient is in the “wayfaring state” and has not departed this life for eternity. However, the Church permits anointing if there is doubt. The pastoral practice is to favor the person and anoint them, provided it is not certain that they are dead. This anointing should be absolute rather than conditional, as in the past. In 1983 the Congregation for Divine Worship, in keeping with this canon in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, deleted the conditional form of anointing from the ritual (“Promulgato Codice,” Notitiae 19 [1983] 551).

Finally, canon 1007 excludes the giving of the sacrament to those who are manifestly unrepentant. If the person is still conscious the way to the state of grace is through the Sacrament of Penance, not through Anointing of the Sick. Having repented, they can then be anointed. If the sick person is unconscious and is known to have obstinately persisted in grave sin up to the point of losing consciousness, with no sign of repentance, they cannot be anointed. However, this is a high bar for denying the sacrament. Such a person who showed even an implicit sign of repentance (e.g. “please call the priest”), could be anointed. Another person who while not an obstinate sinner was nonetheless in the state of grave sin, but who had manifested an habitual desire to die a Catholic, could be anointed, even if he became unconscious in the very act of sinning. The basis of the different treatment is a prudent judgment that given their habitual frame of mind the person would repent if he could.


References:

The Canon Law, Letter & Spirit, The Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1995).

Code of Canon Law Annotated, Canon Law faculties of the University of Navarre & St. Paul University (Montreal: Wilson & Lafleur Limited, 1992).

The Sacraments and their Celebration, Nicholas Halligan, O.P. (New York: Alba House, 1986).

Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL

ApologeticsDoctrineCanon LawEastern ChurchesGeneralHistoryLiturgyMoral
NFPPhilosophyPro-LifeScriptureSpiritual 

 

Samson Healing Retreat For Men

I just returned from and experiential retreat the likes of which I have never entered into before and this was the second time I attended this specific retreat albeit the first time I was a retreat participant and this time I was part of the retreat leadership team.

Why did I go? What was I was I looking for? Why does anyone go on retreat? I can only speak for myself. I want to get closer to Jesus. I want to build my relationship with Jesus in the most intimate way possible and He wants to do the same with and for me and you. Secondly, I want to go deeper in my faith as a Christian. I want to study it. I want to learn it. This is a process that never ends. Third, I want to help others by walking with them in faith in Jesus.

For men, there is no greater band of brothers then those brothers you walk in faith with. There is no greater brother than Jesus! I am sure many women feel the same way.

Why is it called a healing retreat?  A healing retreat simply heals. Jesus is the Divine Physician and He heals like no other. At this retreat each man is touched by Jesus personally and intimately in a special way and the experience is unique and special for each individual.

Why is a healing retreat even needed? Because of original sin, which entered the world through the first humans God created, Adam and Eve, who stumbled, went against God’s will and were wounded by their actions we need healing. That is why Jesus became man and entered our world exactly as we are. We use the term concupiscence, which means lust; strong sexual desire. We can lust for another person or an object or an idea or for anything. It weakens our will to resist sin; therefore we need healing. The sacraments of the church are  outwards signs, instituted by Jesus, that provide grace interiorly. We need grace. Grace is God’s very life within us. With grace we can resist temptation and avoid the near occasions of sin. Therefore we need healing ongoing.

Why is it called Samson? Samson was a real person God created some 4000 years ago who is a Biblical Old Testament figure. He was a Judge. The Israelites had a period of time when Judges from their own tribes ruled over them before Kings were established. Samson is one of their most famous Judges. He is a Herculian character. The story of Samson only takes up 3 chapters in the book of Judges. His story is not long but it is very powerful. As strong as he was, he was very wounded, but God used Him anyway. God can use you too. I recommend you go to the book of Judges and read the story of Sansom, starting at chapter 13.

You may think you are not wounded but you are. We all are. Why? Yes, as I mentioned above because of original sin and concupiscence. Christians are washed clean in the blood of Jesus, however, if your parents divorced, you are wounded. If you are divorced, you are wounded. If you never married, possibly you are wounded. If you are married and never had children, whether it was by choice or not, you are wounded. If you view pornography you are wounded. If you drink alcohol to excess you are wounded. If you use drugs you are wounded. If you played sports you are wounded. If you never played sports you may be wounded. For men especially, if your father ever said anything hurtful or belittling to you, you are wounded. If you lost a child or parent or sibling or loved one or friend to death you are wounded. If you experience same sex attraction you are wounded. If you are not living a chaste life whether married or single you are wounded. There are so many other ways you could be wounded. If you have ever been physically, emotionally, mentally or sexually abused, even if you have inflicted self wounds in these areas you are certainly wounded. If you suffer from depression or any other disorder you are wounded. If you have ever abused another in any way, you are wounded!

Guess what? it’s okay to be wounded and you can still live an abundantly joyful life.

Name it, claim it, tame it!

Jesus was not only wounded, he shows His wounds and He still has His wounds. When we meet Jesus in the flesh He will have the wounds from the cross marked on His body.

This retreat helps us to learn to unite our wounds to the wounds of Jesus. Suffering in any way, whether physical, emotional or mental or in any other way should never be wasted! It could and should be redemptive! Jesus wants you and me to enter into His passion and unite our suffering to His, which in turn not only helps redeem us, but He will use it to redeem others.

Sansom was an Old testament Christ figure. He was wounded and abused and he abused others. Jesus allowed Himself to be wounded and abused on our account.

Sansom and Jesus were manly men. We make Jesus out to be a nice guy. He was so much more. He spent long hours outdoors; in the wilderness, in the desert. He was a carpenter. Trust me, Jesus was a manly man. The most manly man who ever walked the earth. He is a warrior! And we are His soldiers! He was the Truth and He spoke the truth to all!

Men, have you ever swung and ax, used a saw, spent time in the outdoors, built something with your hands by only using things found in the outside you can use to build. Have you ever really used your imagination? By the way, I am not handy at all and I love these retreats. They make you feel fully alive by doing some things you normally would not do.

It’s time for men, and women, to step to the plate, and answer the call to be the best version of themselves; to be the best man and woman God created you to be.

The next Samson healing retreat for men is in July and I encourage you to go. We have men from all over the country attend. It’s time to step out in faith, reach out for the hand of Jesus and come to this retreat. You don’t have to be Catholic or even Christian to attend. We have men of every race and we have men who are same sex attracted attend. We are all striving for holiness. We all make up the body of Christ! He is the head, we are the members. We grow in Christ together! All of us!

Come experience the love of The Father, Our Father, who created us, and of the Son, our brother, who redeemed us and of The Holy Spirit who sanctifies us every day. You will experience a love like you never have before!

Please click on the link below to learn more. Spread the word to all men. Ladies, encourage the men in your life to attend this. You won’t be sorry! Let’s continue to build each other up in our words and actions!

All men 18 years of age and older are invited to attend. Men who are contemplating the religious life are encouraged to attend.

May God richly bless you and may you and I keep walking by faith to live! Even when we cannot see!!!

http://www.samsonretreat.com/

 

 

Teachings from The Cathechism

The Confession of Sins

Section 1458

Whoever confesses his sins . . . is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear “man” – this is what God has made; when you hear “sinner” – this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made. . . . When you begin to abhor what you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are accusing yourself of your evil works. The beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light.

Satisfaction

Section 1460

The satisfaction that we make for our sins, however, is not so much ours as though it were not done through Jesus Christ. We who can do nothing ourselves, as if just by ourselves, can do all things with the cooperation of “him who strengthens” us. Thus man has nothing of which to boast, but all our boasting is in Christ . . . in whom we make satisfaction by bringing forth “fruits that befit repentance.” These fruits have their efficacy from him, by him they are offered to the Father, and through him they are accepted by the Father

The Corporal Works Of Mercy

The Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others, as if they were Christ in disguise.  They “are charitable actions by which we help our neighbors in their bodily needs” (USCCA).  They respond to the basic needs of humanity as we journey together through this life.

The seven Corporal Works of Mercy are listed below.  After each work of mercy there are also suggestions and words of advice for living them out in our daily lives.  Have your own suggestions? Let us know @USCCB and use the hashtag #mercyinmotion.

FEED THE HUNGRY

There are many people in this world who go without food.  When so much of our food goes to waste, consider how good stewardship practices of your own food habits can benefit others who do not have those same resources.

  • Having delicious food at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? Donate to a Thanksgiving or Christmas food drive so everyone can have something to eat.
  • Research, identify and contribute financially to organizations that serve the hungry.
  • The next time you make a recipe that can be easily frozen, make a double batch and donate one to your local food pantry or soup kitchen.
  • Try not to purchase more food than you are able to eat. If you notice that you end up throwing groceries away each week, purchasing less groceries would eliminate waste and allow you to donate the savings to those in need.

GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY

Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ do not have access to clean water and suffer from the lack of this basic necessity.  We should support the efforts of those working towards greater accessibility of this essential resource.

  • We take it for granted that we have access to clean water. Donate. . . to help build wells for water for those in need
  • Organize a group of children involved on a sports team (e.g. soccer) or a summer camp. Invite them to collect bottled water to distribute at a shelter for families. If parents can be involved, ask them to accompany their children in delivering the water to the families.
  • Do the same for youth and young adult groups.
  • Make an effort not to waste water. Remembering to turn off the water faucet when you are brushing your teeth or washing dishes can help, especially in regions suffering from drought.

SHELTER THE HOMELESS

There are many circumstances that could lead to someone becoming a person without a home.  Christ encourages us to go out and meet those without homes, affirming their worth and helping them seek a resolution to the challenges they face.

  • See if your parish or diocese is involved with a local homeless shelter and volunteer some time.
  • Donate time or money to organizations that build homes for those who need shelter.
  • Many homeless shelters need warm blankets for their beds. If you can knit or sew that would be an extra loving gift.
  • There are millions of children and families who are on the move, fleeing from war, illness, hunger and impossible living conditions, and searching for peace and safety. Engage parish groups of children, youth, young adults, and families in doing some research on the causes and challenges that these families face to survive. Contact Catholic Social Services, or diocesan offices of peace and justice for help with your research. Seek ways to provide shelter for the homeless locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

VISIT THE SICK

Those who are sick are often forgotten or avoided.  In spite of their illness, these individuals still have much to offer to those who take the time to visit and comfort them.

  • Give blood
  • Spend time volunteering at a nursing home – Get creative and make use of your talents (e.g. sing, read, paint, call Bingo, etc.)!
  • Take time on a Saturday to stop and visit with an elderly neighbor.
  • Offer to assist caregivers of chronically sick family members on a one-time or periodic basis. Give caregivers time off from their caregiving responsibilities so they can rest, complete personal chores, or enjoy a relaxing break.
  • Next time you make a meal that can be easily frozen, make a double batch and give it to a family in your parish who has a sick loved one.

VISIT THE PRISONERS

People in prison are still people, made in the image and likeness of God.  No matter what someone has done, they deserve the opportunity to hear the Word of God and find the Truth of the message of Christ.

  • See if your parish, or a nearby parish, has a prison ministry and if so, get involved.
  • Volunteer to help out or donate to charities that give Christmas presents to children whose parents are in prison.

BURY THE DEAD

Funerals give us the opportunity to grieve and show others support during difficult times.  Through our prayers and actions during these times we show our respect for life, which is always a gift from God, and comfort to those who mourn.

  • Send a card to someone who has recently lost a loved one.  Make your own card and use some of these prayers.
  • Visit the cemetery and pray for those you have lost.
  • Spend time planning your own funeral mass, read through the Order of Christian Funerals and find our hope in the Resurrection.

GIVE ALMS TO THE POOR

Donate money to organizations that have the ability to provide support and services for those in need.  Do research and find organizations that put people in need first, rather than profit.

  • Skip the morning latte and put that money in the collection basket at church.
  • Find a charity that is meaningful to you and volunteer your time or donate.
  • This Lent, give up eating out at restaurants.  Pack you meals and donate the extra money to charities.
  • Participate in Operation Rice Bowl. . .

The Spiritual Works Of Mercy

From The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops –

The Spiritual Works of Mercy have long been a part of the Christian tradition, appearing in the works of theologians and spiritual writers throughout history.  Just as Jesus attended to the spiritual well-being of those he ministered to, these Spiritual Works of Mercy guide us to “help our neighbor in their spiritual needs” (USCCA).

The seven Spiritual Works of Mercy are listed below.  After each work of mercy there are also suggestions and words of advice for living them out in our daily lives.  Have your own suggestions? Let us know @USCCB using the hashtag #mercyinmotion!

COUNSELING THE DOUBTFUL

Everyone has moments of doubt in their faith journey.  Nevertheless, we should always remember that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and turn to him along our way.

  • Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may eventually become wise” (Prov 19:20)
  • The Cross of Christ “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Cor 1:25)
  • Has someone asked you for advice? Orient your response to Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
  • Follow Christ with the witness of your life so that others may see God’s love revealed in your actions
  • Accompany a friend who is struggling with believing to join a parish group for service or faith formation, share a book you found useful in dealing with your friend’s faith concern, and worship at Sunday Mass

INSTRUCTING THE IGNORANT

Learn about our faith and be open to talking with others about our beliefs.  There is always something more to discover about our faith.

  • Go on a service trip or short term mission trip.  No time? Donate to support someone on their service trip
  • Volunteer to help with religious education programs at your parish
  • Invite someone to go to mass with you this weekend
  • Know your faith! Read through the USCCA to find out more about the Catholic faith and how to live it

ADMONISHING THE SINNER

Do not judge, but be supportive in helping others find their way and correct their mistakes.  Together we can learn to walk more closely with Christ.

  • In humility we must strive to create a culture that does not accept sin, while realizing that we all fall at times
  • Don’t judge, but guide others towards the path of salvation (see Mt 7:1-2)
  • When you correct someone, don’t be arrogant. We are all in need of God’s loving correction.
  • We should journey together to a deeper understanding of our shared faith
  • “Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye” (Mt 7:5)

COMFORTING THE SORROWFUL

Be open to listening and comforting those who are dealing with grief.  Even if we aren’t sure of the right words to say, our presence can make a big difference.

  • Lend a listening ear to those going through a tough time
  • Make a home cooked meal for a friend who is facing a difficult time
  • Write a letter or send a card to someone who is suffering
  • A few moments of your day may make a lifetime of difference to someone who is going through a difficult time

FORGIVING INJURIES

Forgiving others is difficult at times because we do not have God’s limitless mercy and compassion.  But Jesus teaches us that we should forgive as God forgives, relying on him to help us show others the mercy of God

  • Let go of grudges
  • Saying sorry is something we learn as kids, but how often do we really mean it? Forgiveness transforms hearts and lives
  • Participate in the Sacrament of Penance
  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet

BEARING WRONGS PATIENTLY

Do not be bitter about wrongs done against you.  Place your hope in God so that you can endure the troubles of this world and face them with a compassionate spirit.

  • Frustrated with someone? Step away from the situation, take a few deep breaths, pray the Our Father, asking God for patience

PRAYING FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

Prayer is one of the most powerful ways we can support others.  Joining together in prayer for the living and the dead entrusts us all into God’s care.

  • Request a mass intention for a friend or family member who is going through a tough time
  • Request a mass intention for a friend or family member who has passed away
  • Keep your own book of prayer intentions, writing down the names of those who you are keeping in your prayers
  • Ask a friend or family member if there is anything you can pray for them about
  • Through prayer, entrust your cares and concerns for those around you to God

http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/jubilee-of-mercy/index.cfm

The Reality of Sin; The Importance of Forgiveness

Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic                         2012                                    Province of St.Joseph

Sacraments of Initiation –Reconciliation

The following material is taken from the Luke E. Hart Series Basic Elements of the Catholic Faith, Part II, Section III of Catholic Christianity: What does a Catholic believe? How does aCatholic worship? How does a Catholic live? by Peter Kreeft (General Editor Fr. John A. Farren, O.P., Director of Catholic Information Service), based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church(Copyright © 2001 by Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. All rights reserved.) It isreprinted here as part of the approved Provincial Novitiate Formation Program of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, Province of St. Joseph with the written permission of the Catholic Information Service, Knights of Columbus Supreme Council.

1. The importance of forgiveness

It is very foolish to fear or resent the authority of the Church, for that authority is the basis on which she forgives our sins.

When he was asked why he became a Catholic, G. K.Chesterton, the great English writer, replied: “To get my sins forgiven.”

Jesus came to earth for that purpose. “You shall call his name Jesus [“Savior”], for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). And the Church, since it is his Body, continueshis work. Therefore the Church’s purpose on earth is to extend through time and space this kingdom of forgiveness.

Not just forgiveness, but Christ’s forgiveness. Forgiveness, like the Church herself, is wholly Christocentric.

“After his Resurrection, Christ sent his apostles ‘so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations.’526 The apostles and their successors carry out this‘ministry of reconciliation,’ not only by [1] announcing to menGod’s forgiveness merited for us byChrist, and [2] calling themto conversion and faith; but also by [3] communicating to themthe forgiveness of sins in Baptism, and [4] reconciling them withGod and with the Church through the power of the keys [theSacrament of Penance], received from Christ”527 (Matthew 16:19; 2 Corinthians 5:18; CCC 981).*

How important is forgiveness? Eternally important! “‘Werethere no forgiveness of sins in the Church, there would be nohope of life to come or eternal liberation. Let us thank God who has given his Church such a gift’”533 (CCC 983).

 

2. The need for forgiveness: the reality of sin

Why do we need forgiveness? Because we are sinners.

Sin is life’s greatest problem, for sin is separation from life’s greatest solution, God, the source of all goodness and life and joy.

Sin is real. So is justice. Sin deserves punishment. The fear of divine justice is wise because that justice is true. If it is not, every book of the Bible lies.

*CCC= Catechism of the Catholic Church

The work of Christ and his Church is “the forgiveness of sins.” Not imperfections, or mistakes, or immaturities, but sins. Brain damage is an imperfection, 2+2=5 is a mistake, and“puppy love” is an immaturity; but acts of greed and lust and pride are sins.

But the sense of sin, the conviction of sin, is increasingly absent from modern minds. This is a radically new developmentin the history of Western civilization. Ancient pagans took sin forgranted and doubted salvation; modern pagans take salvation forgranted and deny sin. Our society’s most popular prophets, the pop psychologists, see sin as a superstition, guilt as a mental illness, and “the fear of the Lord” –which Scripture calls “the beginning of wisdom” –as emotional immaturity.

Why is it “the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10)? Because the wisdom of Gospel love presupposes the wisdom of religious fear; the “good news” of the forgiveness of sins presupposes the “bad news” of sins to be forgiven.

In fact, Christ said he did not come for those who do not believe they are sinners: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick…. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:12-13). If there is no confession of sin, there is no forgiveness and no salvation.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). This is Scripture’s constant assumption. Deny that assumption and everything else in Scripture loses its meaning. The prophets become quaint exaggerations, and Christ’s Incarnation and Crucifixion become unnecessary overreactions.

http://www.laydominicans.org/modules/novitiate/ReconciliationKofC-CIS.pdf

To read the remainder of this module click on the link above and keep walking by faith to live in Jesus! And To Live, keep walking by faith in Jesus!

 

The Rule of St. Augustine

This is specifically written for those living in 
community, however, great advice for all to follow. 

I am in a religious order as a lay Dominican. 

I do not live in community as our Priests 
and sisters do. 

As Dominicans we follow the Rule of 
St. Augustine as defined by our founder St. Dominic. 

In Jesus, Keep Walking By Faith To Live; 
and To Live, Walk By faith In Jesus!

 The Rule of St. Augustine

             This is the previously existing
             rule which Dominic chose to provide
             a spiritual "bill of rights" for
             his newly-formed community. The
             Rule and the ever-developing book
             of constitutions have together been
             the written foundation of the
             Dominican Order for 750 years.
             Augustine wrote this document to
             provide a guide for his
             congregation of priests. It is
             remarkably simple, reasonable and
             evangelical, and sets the "style"
             for Dominican community living.

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				Love of God

 Before all things, most dear brothers, we must love 
God and after Him our neighbor; for these are the 
principal commands which have been given to us. The 
following things, then, we direct you, who live in the 
monastery, to observe:

				Unanimity

 First, that you dwell together in unity in the house 
and be of one mind and one heart in God, remembering 
that this is the end for which you are collected here. 
Call not anything your own, but let all things be held 
in common among you.

 Food and clothing should be distributed to each one of 
you by your superior, not in equal measure to all, 
because all are not equally strong, but rather to each 
according to his need. For thus you read in the Acts of 
the Apostles that "all things were in common among 
them, and distribution was made to every man according 
as he had need."

				Common Property

 Those among you who in the world possessed any goods 
should be heartily willing that in the monastery they 
should become the common property of all. And those who 
before possessed nothing should not in the monastery 
seek those things which in the world they could not 
have had.

 If, however, they are in weak health, everything 
needful should be given to them, even though their 
poverty in the world was so extreme that they were 
without the mere necessities of life. Yet they must not 
make their happiness consist only in the fact of being 
supplied with food and clothing such as they could not 
provide for themselves in the world.

 Nor should they be puffed up because they are in the 
company of those to whom in the world they would not 
have ventured to approach. Let them rather lift up 
their hearts to heaven and not seek after earthly 
vanities lest it should come to pass that monasteries 
should be useful to those only who formerly were rich, 
as would be the case if the rich were to be humbled in 
them, and the poor allowed to become puffed up with 
pride.

 Again, those on the other and, who held a certain 
position in the world must beware of despising those 
among their brethren who may have come from a poor 
state to this holy brotherhood. They should endeavor to 
glory in the companionship of their poor brethren and 
not in the rank of their rich parents. Nor ought they 
vainly to exult if they have contributed anything out 
of their abundance to the support of the community, 
thus taking heed not to be more proud of their riches 
because they have been divided in the monastery than 
they were when they enjoyed them in the world. For this 
is the peculiar feature of pride, that whereas every 
other kind of wickedness is exercised in the 
accomplishment of bad deeds, pride creeps stealthily in 
and destroys even good deeds. And what does it profit a 
man to give all his goods in alms to the poor and 
become poor himself, if his wretched soul becomes more 
proud by despising riches than by possessing them? Let 
all then live together with one mind and heart, and in 
each other honor God whose temples you are.

				Prayer

 Be constant in prayer at the appointed hours and 
times. In the oratory let no one do anything except the 
one thing for which it is made and from which its name 
is derived so that if anyone should wish, besides the 
appointed hours, to spend any of his leisure time in 
prayer, no hindrance may arise from those who may be 
doing other things there.

 When you pray to God in psalms and hymns, entertain 
your heart with what your lips are reciting, and chant 
only those things appointed to be chanted; but what is 
not written to be sung, sing not.

				Meals

 Tame your flesh with fast and abstinence from food and 
drink so far as your health will allow. But in case 
anyone is unable to fast, he must not take any food out 
of meal times unless he be sick. At table listen 
quietly and in silence to that which according to 
custom is read to you until you rise from the meal so 
that not only your bodies may be refreshed with food, 
but your minds also may be strengthened with the word 
of God. If some who are weak from former habits are 
differently treated in matters of meat and drink, this 
must not breed any feeling of discontent nor be 
considered unjust to those whom habit has made 
stronger. Nor should they consider those the more 
highly favored who take what they themselves abstain 
from; rather they should rejoice that their strength 
permits them to do what others cannot. And if certain 
articles of food, raiment, or clothing are given to 
those who have been accustomed in the world to a more 
delicate kind of life while they are not given to the 
stronger, and therefore happier, members of the 
community, those ought to recollect that, although 
their companions cannot practice the same abstinence, 
still there is a great difference between their present 
life and that which they were accustomed to lead in the 
world. Nor ought all to desire to have the particular 
things they see given to a few, not in order to do them 
honor, but out of compassion to their weakness; lest by 
an abominable perversion it should come to pass that in 
the monastery where those who once were rich learn as 
far as possible to lead a hard life, those who were 
poor should grow luxurious. Let the sick whose weak 
condition during illness obliges them to take less food 
be treated when their sickness is past in the way that 
will enable them most quickly to regain their strength 
even if they were formerly in the very lowest state of 
poverty; for then their recent illness gives them the 
same claim to lenient treatment as the habit of their 
former life gives to those who once were rich. But when 
their strength is restored let them return to that 
happier rule of abstinence which the servants of God 
ought to observe with greater strictness as their needs 
grow less; for they must not continue for mere 
gratification of the appetite what was begun for the 
requirements of health. Those who are the best able to 
abstain should be considered the most fortunate since 
it is better to need little than to have much.

				Dress

 Avoid singularity in dress, and strive to please 
others by your conduct and not by your clothes. 
Whenever you go out, walk together; when you reach the 
place where you are going, remain together. Let there 
be nothing to offend the eyes of anyone, whether in 
your gait, your posture, your dress, or your movements, 
but let everything about you be in keeping with the 
holiness of your state.

				Modesty

 Although your eyes may perhaps fall on a woman, they 
must never be fixed on her. For in passing here and 
there, you are not forbidden to see women, but to 
desire them or wish to be desired by them is wicked. On 
either side bad passions are stirred up, and that not 
merely by touch or by thought, but by sight alone. And 
say not that your minds are pure if your eyes are not 
kept in modest restraint, for the immodest eye is the 
messenger of the impure heart. And when such hearts 
exchange thoughts by looks though without words and by 
fleshly concupiscence allure each other with evil 
desires, then chastity flies from the soul, even though 
the body is free from outward stain. And when a man 
fixes his eye on a woman, or takes pleasure in being 
locked on by her, let him not imagine that his sin will 
pass unnoticed. He will surely be seen and by those he 
thinks not of. But even if he were hidden from all 
human sight, how can he avoid that which is above, from 
which nought can be hid? Shall we imagine that God does 
not perceive because His wisdom enables Him to show 
such patience? A holy man, then must fear to displease 
Him, and so keep himself from wishing sinfully to 
please a woman. Let him remember that God sees all and 
so avoid all sights that are sinful. For in this very 
matter the fear of God is commended to us by these 
words: "He who fixes the eye is an abomination to the 
Lord." Where, therefore, you are together in church, or 
in any other place where women are, be a guard one to 
the other in the matter of chastity and in this way 
will God, who dwells among you, preserve you by means 
of one another.

				Fraternal Correction

 If you should detect this wantonness of the eye of 
which have been speaking in any member of your 
brotherhood, forthwith admonish him that the evil thus 
begun may not grow worse but may be corrected by your 
charity. But if, after this warning, the same fault is 
perceived in him on that or another day, the fact must 
be disclosed as a wound that needs cure. Beforehand, 
however, let it be brought under the notice of one 
other, or at most of a third person, in order that the 
culprit may be convicted by the mouth of two or three 
witnesses and may be corrected with due severity. Nor 
are you to consider that you are acting in an 
uncharitable manner when you thus point out your 
neighbors' faults. Or the contrary, you cannot be free 
from blame if by your silence you allow your brethren 
to perish, when by pointing out their faults you might 
have corrected them. For if your brother had some 
bodily wound which he wished to hide through fear of 
the surgeon's knife, would it not be cruel to keep 
silence and merciful to reveal the wound? How more, 
then, are we bound to reveal that which will cause a 
worse corruption in the heart! But, first of all, 
before bringing it to the notice of others who are to 
convict him on his denial, it should be put before the 
superior in case he has neglected to amend after having 
once been warned in order that if possible, his fault 
may be corrected privately and may not need to be made 
known to the rest of the community. Then, if he should 
still deny the charge he must be confronted publicly 
with the other witnesses so as to be convicted not by 
one mouth alone, but by many. And when his guilt has 
thus been proved he must submit to such punishment as 
the superior, whose office it is to inflict penalties, 
may think fit to impose. Should he refuse to perform 
his penance, and has not departed of his own accord, he 
must be cast out of your society. Nor is such treatment 
cruel, but merciful, for many must not be suffered to 
perish by the pestilent example of one. And what has 
been said here with respect to the custody of the eyes 
should also be faithfully observed in all cases where 
faults are discovered, forbidden, denounced, proved, or 
judged. Yet remember to let love of the sinner be ever 
united to hatred of his sin. But if anyone shall have 
gone so far in evil as to have secretly accepted 
letters or presents and of his own accord confess 
having done so let him in that case be forgiven and 
prayed for. If, however, the fault be discovered, and 
he be convicted, then must he be very severely punished 
at the will of the superiors.

				Clothing and Gifts

 Your garments should be kept together under the care 
of one or two, or as many as are required to see that 
they are kept free from moths so that even as we are 
fed out of one larder, we may also be clothed out of 
one wardrobe. Try not to concern yourselves about being 
provided with clothes exactly suited to the changes of 
the season, still less about whether you receive the 
same which you had before or those which another had. 
Let everyone, however, be supplied with that which is 
necessary, And if any disputes or murmurs should arise 
among you upon this matter and one should complain that 
something not so good as he had before has now been 
given him and should think himself slighted in being 
made to wear the clothes formerly worn by another 
brother, reflect that much must be wanting in that 
inner garment of sanctity which should clothe the 
heart, when you contend about the mere raiment of the 
body. If you are allowed, however, out of condescension 
to your weakness to have the clothes you wore before, 
still they must be kept in one place and under the care 
of the officials so that no one may act in a selfish 
spirit but that all things may be done with a greater 
care and more thorough cheerfulness than if each one 
were working for his own selfish interests. For when we 
find it written of charity, that she "seeks not her 
own," we should thus interpret the words, namely, that 
the common good is to be preferred to our own selfish 
interests, and not our own interests to the common 
good. Judge, therefore, your progress by this rule 
whether or not you more and more prefer the welfare of 
the community to your own private interests, so that in 
all the needs of this life which pass away that charity 
may reign which abides forever. It follows then, that 
when any secular person shall give either clothes or 
anything else considered to be necessary to a member of 
the community even though it be to his own son or to 
one to whom he feels especially bound by some other 
tie, the gift must not be secretly received, but must 
be placed in the hands of the superior so that it may 
become the property of the community and may be given 
to him who needs it. But if anyone should conceal a 
thing given to him, he must be judged guilty of theft.

				Common Supplies

 Let your clothes be washed either by yourselves or 
others according to the arrangement of the superior in 
order to prevent your souls from contracting any stain 
through excessive niceness about the cleanliness of 
your garments. The medicinal bath should by no means be 
denied when illness makes it necessary. It should be 
taken without any murmuring according to the advice of 
a doctor, so that even if it is not wanted, that may be 
done under obedience which health requires. If, 
however, it be desired at a time when it is not 
expedient, permission to use it must not be granted, 
for we are often inclined to consider those things to 
be good for us which give us pleasure while in reality 
they are not so. If a servant of God complains of some 
hidden ailment, he should be believed without doubt. 
Still, if there is any uncertainty about whether the 
particular remedy he desires is the best for him, a 
doctor must be consulted on the matter.

 Go not to the baths or any other place in less number 
than two or three together. And he who has need to go 
anywhere must go with the companion appointed by the 
superior. The care of the sick, whether those 
recovering from illness, or those suffering from any 
ailment -- even without fever -- should be committed to 
one person who should obtain from the storekeeper 
whatever he judges necessary in each case. Those who 
have charge of the storeroom, wardrobe, or books should 
willingly place themselves at the service of their 
brethren.

 Books should be applied for at an appointed hour each 
day, out of which time none should obtain them. Those 
who have the care of the clothes and shoes must not 
delay to give that which is needful to those who ask.

				Reconciliation

 Have no disputes, but if any should arise, bring them 
to a speedy end, lest anger should grow into hatred, 
the mote into the beam, and should give you the soul of 
a murderer. For thus you read "He who hates his brother 
is a murderer." If anyone has injured another by 
reproachful or railing words or by false accusation, 
let him remember to apologize as quickly as possible, 
in order to heal the wound he has inflicted -- and the 
injured one must forgive without delay. And if the 
inquiry has been mutual, forgiveness must be mutual 
also and all the more on account of the many prayers 
you say, for the more frequent are your prayers, the 
more holy they ought to be. He who is more frequently 
tempted to anger, but is quick to beg pardon of him 
whom he has offended, is in a better state of soul than 
another who is slower in becoming angry, but slower 
also to beg pardon. But he who will never ask pardon, 
or at least not from his heart, has no business in a 
monastery even should he not be expelled from it. Keep 
yourselves, therefore, from harsh words. But if you 
should have uttered them, be not slow to remedy the 
injury by the same mouth that inflicted it. Superiors, 
however, are not bound to ask pardon of their subjects 
even though they may feel conscious of having used 
harsher words in correcting them than the necessities 
of discipline required, lest by an indiscreet exercise 
of humility the authority of the superior should be 
weakened. Still, he should ask pardon of the Lord of 
all who knows how tenderly you love those whom you have 
rebuked, perhaps too severely Your affection one for 
the other must not be carnal, but spiritual. Obey as a 
father your local superior and still more carefully 
your higher superior who has charge of you all.

				The Superior

 To insure the observance of all these things, and so 
that any irregularities be not negligently connived at 
but carefully corrected, it will be the special duty of 
your superior when he finds anything that exceeds the 
limits of his power or of his jurisdiction to control, 
to refer the matter to him who holds the supreme 
authority over you. Your superior should not take 
pleasure in ruling you but rather in serving you with 
all charity. While the honor you pay him exalts him in 
your eyes, let fear prostrate him at your feet before 
God. He should give an example of good works to all. 
Let him correct the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, 
comfort the sick, be patient with all. Let him observe 
the rule with cheerfulness himself and cause others to 
observe it by the reverence he inspires. And though 
both are necessary, still it should rather be his 
desire to be loved than feared by you, ever mindful of 
the account he will have to give to God of your souls. 
For this reason also you, by a thorough obedience, show 
mercy not only to yourselves, but to him who, being in 
the higher position among you, is therefore in greater 
danger.

				Exhortation

 May the Lord grant that as lovers of the beauty of the 
spiritual life and breathing forth the sweet odor of 
Christ in the holiness of your ways you may faithfully 
observe these things, not like slaves under the law, 
but like freemen established under grace. Let this rule 
be read to you once every week so that in it you can 
see yourselves reflected as in a mirror lest anything 
be forgotten and, therefore, neglected. And when you 
find that you are doing what is here written, thank the 
Lord, the giver of all good things. But if, on the 
contrary, anyone perceives that he has fallen into 
defects, let him mourn over the past, take heed for the 
future, pray that his faults may be forgiven, and that 
he may not be led into temptation.

 The end of the Rule of St. Augustine, Bishop

(Taken from www.op.org/domcentral/trad/default.htm)

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A Powerful Healing Retreat

http://www.samsonretreat.com/

March 18 will mark the first anniversary of my salvation. On this day exactly one year ago I admitted myself to the emergency room of the local hospital due to chest pain. Blockages in my heart were discovered and a stent was inserted into my circumflex artery. I also suffered a mild heart attack during the procedure.

Jesus saved me through intercessory prayer. The saints who interceded on my behalf were St Patrick, St. Joseph, my father Robert and my brother Kenneth who prayed for my life to be spared and it was. Our God is a merciful God and I am thankful and grateful.

I don’t believe in coincidences only Godcidences! It is no coincidence that exactly one year to the day I will be on The Kingsmen Samsom Healing retreat from March 17-March 20. The dates Godincide with the feasts of St. Patrick and St. Joseph. I did not plan this, God did,  but I very much look forward to this retreat and what God has in store for me and the other men on it.

I highly recommend any man reading this to consider attending this retreat or any woman reading this who knows of a man that can benefit from this retreat experience to contact me by replying to this post.

Please click on the link at the top of this post to learn more about the Sansom Retreat and keep on walking by faith to live!!!

We are in the midst of an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy!