My Team: An Analogy of The Communion of Saints and Football

This article is meant to help those better understand The Communion of Saints and why we need them; it was God’s intention.

 

Let me first provide a definition of the Communion of Saints –

 

What is meant by the Communion of Saints?

 

The Communion of Saints (In Latin, Communio Sanctorum), when referred to persons, is the spiritual union of the members of The Christian Church, living and the dead, those on earth, in heaven, and, in purgatory, those who are in that state of purification.

I will provide an analogy between the Communion of Saints and Football.
Football has been a part of my life since as long as I can remember. I was blessed to play the game for 15 years and coach it for another 9 years and I have been a lifelong fan and remain a longtime season ticket holder to my beloved Philadelphia Eagles NFL Football club. Faith and Football are in my blood and always will be.
I learned much about life and faith from football and here is what I mean and how both are related.
In the sport of football, in my opinion the ultimate team game, you cannot attain the victory or cross the goal alone. No way, no how! Impossible. The team needs to be a well oiled machine consisting of and with all parts working together including coaches, players, trainers, managers and it certainly helps and inspires the players to have cheerleaders and fans urging them on. Each of the eleven players on the field must be one in body, mind and soul to matriculate that ball down the field past the defense and cross the goal into the end zone and win the game. No one player can do it on his own without his teammates help and proper coaching and motivation and inspiration. A player needs to memorize his playbook and study his weekly game plan or he will be lost during the game and have no chance to defeat the defense he faces and cross the goal.
What does football have to do with our faith?
A Lot!!!
Jesus called himself the gate. We need to enter through the gate (Jesus) to get to Heaven to be with Him. So, think of Jesus as the end zone, the goal, our final destination which is where an offense in football is headed; the end zone, the goal is the final destination. I explained above what it takes for the offense in football to get into the end zone and cross the goal.
How do we get to Jesus, the Goal or the end zone. Well, God Himself gave us teammates to do it. We can’t do it alone. Don’t kid yourself. Just like no one player can get into that goal or end zone without the help of his teammates, no way can we get into the goal of Jesus without the help of our teammates and it starts with Our Blessed Mother, ever Virgin, Immaculate Mary! Make no mistake about this she is our biggest Cheerleader or fan, but so much more! Go to her! Next we have the man who taught Jesus how to be a man; The carpenter, St. Joseph. Mary and Joseph are like the owners of the team. God used them to give us Jesus (Yes, Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus, but he was his father and taught Him how to be man as well as instructed Him in the faith as well as life).
Let’s think of St. Peter as our head coach (Jesus appointed him). Currently Pope Francis represents the See of St. Peter and is the vicar of Christ on earth. The rest of the Apostles are the assistant coaches and our current bishops today represent them. All your teammates including the fans in the stadium along with Mary, Joseph, Peter and the rest of the Apostles are the communion of saints down through the ages and even up to today playing next to us and /or cheering us on. Get in the game by using the Communion of Saints and the Church and all it’s sacraments to get that ball past the defense and all it’s wily wickedness so you can cross the goal and enter the end zone and pass through the gate to enter into the Kingdom of Jesus!
In addition to relying on the help of your teammates (The Communion of Saints) don’t forget to memorize your playbook (The Bible) and study your weekly game plan (The Cathechism of The Catholic Church), otherwise that wily wicked defense will overcome you and swarm you and stop you from crossing the goal and entering the end zone into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ!
God bless you and never stop walking and training and worshiping God with your friends The Communion of Saints (read the lives of the Saints) and never cease praying and practicing the Sacraments and memorizing your play book (The Bible) and studying your weekly game plan (The Cathechism of The Catholic Church).
Through your perseverance you will win the Victory!!!
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Happy Memorial Day 2016

Wishing everyone a Happy and healthy and peace filled Memorial Day!

May we never forget that freedom is not free and give thanks for our veterans and pray for the repose of the souls of every veteran of war that has served the United States of America since the birth of this great nation.

May we give thanks for and never forget to pray for our current veterans fighting for freedom throughout the world to protect us.

May we give thanks for and never forget our family members, loved ones, friends, acquaintances and all souls who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and paved the way for our lives to be a little better by their love, courage, faith and example.

Last, but most importantly may we give thanks for and never forget Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ atoning work on the cross and great sacrifice so we can live forever with Him in Heaven as we celebrate today the solemnity of the feast of Corpus Christi in our Liturgical calendar year.

Our Triune Godhead is the ultimate and most loving God we could ever imagine.

Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Abba, Father, Daddy for your great Love and Mercy!

And thank you God for giving us the greatest teammates imaginable to help us in our walk to You starting with Mary, Most Immaculate and her most manly and chaste spouse St. Joseph! The manly fishermen and all the Apostles and the entire heavenly host of Angels and Saints down through the ages; our brothers and sisters forever as well as those saints and souls you put in our lives to this day to help guide us to YOU!!!

Pro-Life Rally, June 7, 2016 at 11am in Pennsylvania State Capitol Building

There will be a pro-life rally at The State of Pennsylvania Capitol, Main Rotunda in Harrisburg, PA on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 11am.

This rally urges the Pa. general assembly to pass H.B. 1948. This legislation extends Pa.’s ban on abortions from six months to five months gestation and bans abortions by dismemberment with the same exceptions as Pa.’s current Abortion Control Act.

Stop Late-term Abortions in the state of PA!

Featured speaker: Monique Ruberu, M.D., who is the leading pro-life obstetrician/gynecologist in the state of PA.

Support our pro-life legislators, Rep. Kathy Rapp and Sen. Michele Brooks who are leading the efforts to pass this life-saving legislation. Thank them for their leadership and courage!

Former State Rep. and pro-life leader Steve Friend will also be speaking.

Please contact Speaker Michael Turzai at 717-772-9943 and mturzai@pahousegop.com and Majority leader David Reed at 717-705-7173 and dreed@pahousegop.com and urge them to hold a final passage vote on H.B. 1948 as soon as possible.

Also, contact your Pa. House member and urge him or her to support this legislation.

Finally, attend the rally on June 7, 2016 in the Pa. Capitol Rotunda from 11am to 12noon.

Come To A Day Of Recollection In The Year Of Mercy

Living Mercy – A Day of Recollection for the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Prayer, Talks, Discussion, Lunch Saturday June 4, 2016 – 10 am – 3 pm

Talks led by Br. John Paul Kern, O.P.

Merciful like the Father

Receiving God’s Healing Mercy

Living as a Missionary of Mercy

Holy Name of Jesus Church + 701 Gaul St. Philadelphia, PA 19125

Sponsored by the Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena Chapter

Masculine Genius Institute

It was a great honor and privilege for me to attend the first inaugural Masculine Genius Institute held on the grounds of Mundelein, IL at the Cardinal Stritch retreat center and near Mundelien Seminary and Marytown.

The purpose of this inaugural men’s summit was to forge a vision of manliness.

The summit founders are Mark Houck, president of The Kingsmen and Dr. Phillip Chavez.

The mission of MGI is to promote serious presentation and discussion of the work experience, expertise, and research on the natural and supernatural dimensions of manliness in order to further genuine manly development and conduct.

The vision of MGI is that men throughout the world be well informed and well trained about their natural and supernatural mission, identity, and journey so they may thrive in authentic manliness as the Creator designed.

The presenters Dr. Deborah Savage,  Reverend Fr. Joseph Levine, Mark Houck, Fr. Gabriel Torretta, OP, Dr. Phillip Chavez, John Horvat, Dr. Greg Bottaro, Dr. Peter Colosi and Matthew Christoff are some of the greatest Catholic minds in the Church today and experts on inherent characteristics of manhood from perspectives of anthropology, sociology, neurology, theology, and other fields.

We had a number of invited attendees including renowned Catholic author and speaker Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers.

Research findings along with discussions and data and statistics will be published with recommendations for educational advancement and pastoral care.

The goal of the summit is to produce media resources for the Church which emerges from the research and findings presented, as well as the resulting recommendations, to advance the integral development of manliness.

I would like to share comments by Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Diocese of Phoenix –

“I’m grateful to The Holy Spirit for stirring up in men a hunger for the word of God and a longing for closer friendship with Jesus. These are signs that we are not alone as we address the crisis in fatherhood that exists both inside and outside the Church and as we seek, in this age, to be men of integrity and holiness of life. Accordingly, I offer my encouragement and prayerful support for The Masculine Genius Institute’s inaugural summit. May it bear good fruit in the Church and the world.”

And Dr. Deborah Savage – Director of the Masters in Pastoral Ministry Program at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity at The University of St. Thomas –

“It would be impossible to overstate the importance of these proceedings or the depth of our common concern for the questions that bring us together here. We all know that the future of our civilization depends on both grasping and affirming the nature of man, not merely in the abstract, but as it finds expression in each and every man and boy. This is a moment in history that calls for real and sustained courage and I am very grateful to the organizers of these proceedings – and immeasurably honored to have been invited to contribute. Because though many of the women we know or hear about might be upset to hear it stated quite this starkly: there simply is no future without the contributions, the leadership,  and the protection of real men. The truth is that if it weren’t for men, we would still be living in caves, afraid to come out.”

I, Charles DeFeo,  would like to add my own personal comments about what I experienced from listening to the reports of the presenters and the questions that came out of it. I cannot start talking about man without first addressing woman and encourage all to prayerfully read Genesis chapters one and two to learn about God’s plan for man and woman from the beginning as well as the Gospel of Matthew starting at chapter 5 verse 29 and finally Matthew chapter 19 starting at verse 7 through at least verse 9.

Man and woman are complimentary and make no mistake about it. Physically and neurologically man and woman compliment each other in every way and that is the way God designed us and it will be proven when the results of MGI are published in all areas scientifically, psychologically and spiritually. No matter what a culture tries to say or change the fact is men are men and women are women, each with different and unique God given traits; little boys are boys and little girls are girls starting in the woman’s womb. Woman is made to carry and bear life and man simply cannot carry and bear life, however woman cannot bear life without man. Man is outward in every way including his reproductive body parts and woman is turned inward phsysiologically and emotionally, hence our complimentarity.

Man and Woman can share some similar characteristics like empathy for instance to name one but women just have naturally different characteristics than men and it’s proven in their different brain chemistry and makeup.

A man dressing like a woman or wearing lipstick does not make him a woman nor does a woman dressing or acting like a man make her a man.

I would like to turn my focus to manhood, womanhood, what a husband and father are and what wife and mother are and the family unit.

Sociologically speaking when we look down upon a woman for being a stay at home mom we do great damage to the family unit which is the building block of society. Not only should this not be looked down upon but conversely it is the highest good for the family unit. The reason being is the woman is sacrificing, laying down her life for the good of her family, community, society, church and God.

This dynamic can only take place if the man fully understands his role as leader, protector and provider and in turn lays down his life for his bride (as Christ did for His bride, the Church). So man must fully understand his role as to what God has called him to be  and his heart must be oriented toward God to fully actualize and provide a stable environment for his wife to live and thrive and grow into the her role as fully actualized woman, wife, mother and person God created her to be and to be open to children and teach, raise and train them in the way they should go (see Proverbs 22:6). The woman is man’s helper and it was that way from the beginning.

This represents the ideal plan of God for man, woman, marriage and family and the home becomes a nuclear church as Pope St. John Paul II instructs and explains in his writings which I encourage you to read. Start with his Theology of The body.

Because we live in a culture where more often than not the man and woman both work outside the home it is paramount that both man and woman in the sacrament of marriage, and only marriage, lay down their lives for each other in sharing household chores and loving each other with dignity and respect always lifting each other up and never tearing down under all circumstances. Men should never ever be ridiculed as dopes by their wives as is so often depicted on TV. Woman should never be taken advantage of by her man in any way nor should she ever be objectified. Man and woman need to avoid viewing any pornographic material ever. Man and woman in the sacrament of marriage, not cohabitation, which is not marriage, help each other and work together for the highest good of family and community and Church!

The only person a man or woman should ever see naked is their spouse. Sex is for marriage and marriage is between a man and a woman.

Boys and girls starting at the youngest age should be in schools of the same sex only and that should continue throughout high school and possibly even college in my opinion.

Let’s continue to love one another with Agape love! The love of Christ, the Son, in the Father and proceeding from the Holy Spirit and let’s model our families after the Holy Family Jesus, Mary and Joseph, all three of which exhibited the ultimate traits of manhood in Jesus and Joseph and womanhood in Mary, our Blessed Mother and let’s never forget to pray unceasingly with and for each other and continue our journey on a daily basis to walk by faith to live, even when we cannot see!

http://www.masculinegeniusinstitute.com

The 7 Attributes

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a7.htm

Because of this reference, the seven attributes are sometimes grouped as four cardinal virtues(prudence, temperance, fortitude, justice) and three heavenly graces or theological virtues(faith, hope, charity). (taken from Google)

The cardinal virtues comprise a quartet set of virtues recognized in the writings of Classical Antiquity and, along with the theological virtues, also in Christian tradition. They consist of the following qualities:

  • Prudence (φρόνησις, phronēsis; Latin: prudentia): also described as wisdom, the ability to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time
  • Justice (δικαιοσύνη, dikaiosynē; Latin: iustitia): also considered as fairness, the most extensive and most important virtue[1]
  • Temperance (σωφροσύνη, sōphrosynē; Latin: temperantia): also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, and moderation tempering the appetition
  • Courage (ἀνδρεία, andreia; Latin: fortitudo): also termed fortitude, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation

These virtues derive initially from Plato‘s scheme, discussed in Republic Book IV, 426-435 (and see Protagoras 330b, which also includes piety (hosiotes)). Cicero expanded on them, and Saint Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, and Thomas Aquinas[2] adapted them.

The term “cardinal” comes from the Latin cardo (hinge);[3] the cardinal virtues are so called because they are regarded as the basic virtues required for a virtuous life. (taken from Wikipedia)

Happy Mother’s Day!

Saints and mystics have through the centuries identified four transcendent truths. These qualities describe God. They are markers, if you will, that no matter what happens, no matter who says what, we know that God is unchanging, immutable. Reliable.

Surely, we are called to imitate the good Lord. So, dear mothers, your sons and daughters thank you for every kindness. We know that you are exclusively in our corner. You have carried us and you gave us breath. Time and again you have proven yourself. In your heart of hearts, you are that person who cares. With your care, you imitate the eternal virtues of God: beauty, truth, goodness and unity.

In the most practical order, you bring into our lives that lovely room called the nursery, freshly painted alive with color, spotless. Your lullaby brings assurance. Your strength, even on the brink of exhaustion, prepares that place where we know we are safe. Drawing the whole picture together, mother, you insist, don’t you, that every effort be focused on nurturing your new born babe. Anything else to the contrary is dismissed. As your child is drawn into the routine of daily living, we your sons and daughters, often take that glance, that second look for your presence, that nod of reassurance that we are connected, we belong, we belong to you.

Mother’s day simply helps to remember. To Remember Your Mother!

Pray for each of our Mother’s who we celebrate with today…”Our Lady full of Grace, The Lord is with Thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of death. Amen. And we ask all the Mother’s in heaven to pray for each of us…

The above was written by my good friend, Fr. Michael Gerlach, pastor at Saints Simon and Jude parish in West Chester, PA and the below is written by me Mr. Charles A. DeFeo:

I attended Sunday Liturgy this evening at Saints Simon and Jude where Fr. Gerlach presided. The Sunday Liturgy mass on Mother’s Day has become one of my favorites to attend because of the special recognition Mother’s are given during this Mass at most parishes if not all. In most cases a small gift is always presented to all Mother’s as well as the priestly blessing over them. I encourage all Mother’s who read this to make sure they attend the Mass at their respective local parish church and receive the gift and blessing of the priest. Ask Mary, our Blessed Mother to make your heart like her’s in her love for Jesus!

I wish all Mother’s in the world a happy and Blessed Mother’s  day. Especially my mother. Thanks for being you mom! I love you! Your Chas.