Monday, March 30, 2009

A Tale of Two Miracles

There was a story that ran in Business Week September 10, 2001. Undoubtedly it was eclipsed by the events of the following day.

It contained a powerful message for anyone despondent over the current financial crisis.

This story is for anyone who is facing a consuming, painful situation. Anyone who feels they don't have a way out. Anyone who thinks things can't possibly get better.

Personally, I have experienced a miracle of a similar ilk. The professional circumstances were not as dire, and the stakes were not as high, but I was tempted to despair on many occasions.

On those occasions I would pick up my rosary.

Through that prayer, I immersed myself in Jesus. His humility, His divinity. His miracles, love, suffering and ocean of mercy. I thought about the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all of her joys and sorrows. Her wisdom, her gentleness, kindness and her absolute surrender to the will of God.

A funny thing happened. The more I thought about them, the less I thought about me.

And then one day, after months of prayer, the call came. Jesus had given me a miracle.

My heart swelled with love for Jesus, the greatness of God and in gratitude for the loving intercession of Our Lady, and Glorious St. Joseph, whose protection I had also sought.

Maybe it wasn't a coincidence that the story in Business Week ran Sept. 10, 2001. For if ever there was a day that this message was needed, it was Sept. 11, 2001.

Please, please pray the rosary. Consider the mysteries carefully and pray with all your heart.

Jesus is waiting for you.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who Painted It?

During her recent visit to Mexico City, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an impromptu stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She was given special access to view the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin as it appears on Juan Diego's tilma.

Secretary Clinton was understandably impressed by the beauty of the image.

"Who painted it?" she asked.

I pray the story of the image will touch Secretary Clinton's heart in a big way. At the very least it should take some of the luster off of the award she received in Houston this evening.

Here's what Secretary Clinton had to say about being honored in such a grand way by Planned Parenthood.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bullying Burke?

Stories are circulating that the Obama administration is putting pressure on Vatican officials to muzzle Archbishop Raymond Burke.

Archbishop Burke famously offered pastoral counseling on Church teaching to then- KS Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who identifies herself as a Roman Catholic, because of her adamantly pro-abortion stance and close association with notorious late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller. Sebelius refused, and Burke asked her to refrain from presenting herself for communion because of her insistence on persisting in serious sin.

President Obama later nominated Sebelius to his cabinet, as Secretary of Health and Human Services. It would be very important for him to have someone who shares his pro-death ideology in this position as this agency oversees all things related to abortion.

Archbishop Burke called Sebelius' nomination the 'source of greatest embarrassment '.

Such statements aren't made lightly.

Formerly the Archbishop of St. Louis, Archbishop Burke is now Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. This is the Vatican's equivalent of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Archbishop Burke certainly knows Canon Law.

He is unlikely to be intimidated by the Obama Administration.

Maybe their efforts are better spent silencing others.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Great Day!

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation.

After school, I took my children to church to bring flowers to Mary.

We passed the tabernacle first, went in and said a prayer. My young son was anxious to take the flowers back to Mary, so he asked if he could go there.

I said yes.

I reminded him to please say goodbye to Jesus.

He waved at the tabernacle and smiled affectionately just like he does when he says goodbye to his father and me.

"Bye, Jesus. I love you."

Off he went in search of Mary.

As we set the flowers alongside her statue, I explained that today was a beautiful day because it commemorated the day that Mary learned she would be Jesus' mommy.

We talked about how Mary was probably pretty scared. And confused. Excited, too.

Because even though she couldn't see Him, God had already become a person. And she was in charge of keeping Him safe.

I explained that if he was ever scared or confused he could talk to Mary, because she understands what it is like to feel that way.

Tonight when we say our prayers, we will thank Mary for saying yes to God.

And we will thank God the Father for the gift of His Son.

We will of course have very special prayers for Jesus. Although we celebrate His birth on Christmas Day, this feast commemorates the day He became human.

Mary couldn't yet see Him, but she trusted God that He was there.

He was a person.

And she was His Mother.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No Shame at Notre Dame University

The article asks, and answers…

“…The point of contention? The president’s record on issues related to abortion, the majority of which clash with the strict anti-abortion stance of the Catholic Church.”

True. Never mind that this fairly innocuous statement is the only polite way of saying that Barack Obama is the most anti-life person to ever occupy the office of President of the United States.

But the secular media doesn’t understand that the reason for the backlash goes deeper than opposition to President Obama’s abortion on demand stance.

But it still bears the name of the Mother of Our Lord.

Notre Dame. Translated from French to English - Our Lady.

How DARE the president of Notre Dame University, Father John Jenkins, invite a man who is responsible for such colossal setbacks in the prolife movement, to speak at a University bearing the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

Patroness of the Unborn.

Does he not understand that by extending the invitation and giving Obama an honorary law degree, he is implying endorsement of Obama’s abortion policies?

Does he not understand how implying endorsement of Obama’s abortion policies in the name of Our Lady is so offensive it defies description?

What is next, a center for fetal stem cell research on the Notre Dame campus?

Their excuse is that it is prestigious to have the President of the United States accept an invitation to deliver the university’s commencement address, regardless of his policy stances.

Perhaps this argument would be defensible if the policy difference were minor, but abortion- on- demand is a central tenet of President Obama’s political ideology. Or maybe if it were not on the heels of the rescinding of the Mexico City policy and fetal stem cell decisions.

But there is no getting around Obama’s’ extreme position on abortion.

Notre Dame's bishop John M. D'Arcy, who was not informed of the university's decision to invite Obama, responded by deciding to boycott the event and invoking "Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige"

As if to vindicate Father Jenkins' decision, MSNBC reminds us that Catholics voted 54-45 in favor of Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

What MSNBC and Father Jenkins don’t understand is that Catholics are paying attention these days. Obama’s action on abortion has been swift and absolute. Any doubt that ‘he couldn't be that bad on abortion’ has been erased.

Further, many Catholics have buyer’s remorse. Even those who wrongly overlooked his stance on life, thinking perhaps his economic policies had merit, are now concerned at the alarming rate at which he is spending money, expanding government and moving our country towards godless secularism.

Father Jenkins crossed a line. Backlash among alumni and donors is likely, but he may actually have provided the catalyst for an examination of the Catholic political conscience.

Bishop D'Arcy states: "Indeed, the measure of any Catholic institution is not only what it stands for, but also what it will not stand for."

The same holds true for Catholics everywhere. And, I can say without reservation, that offending Our Mother is something Catholics will not stand for.
Contact Notre Dame here, or call 574-631-5000. Better yet, travel to South Bend on May 17th to prayerfully protest this sad occasion.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Year of the Priest

Pope Benedict has declared this to be 'The Year of the Priest'

I am happy to hear this. I hope it will invigorate priests across the world and encourage vocations. Mostly I hope it will inspire people everywhere to look at the priesthood in a new light.

Please pray for our priests.

Many are drained mentally and physically from the challenges of running parishes short on funds and long on needs. Others end up far from home, facing the horrors of war, disease, poverty and oppression in order to share God's message of mercy and hope.

They have big joys in their lives, of course. God gives them extraordinary access to the most sacred moments on Earth.

Priests have unique access into our lives as well. They witness some of life's biggest moments - baptism, first holy communion, confirmation and holy matrimony. They are there in our trials as well, through the sacraments of penance and anointing of the sick.

But priests, no matter how holy, are people just like us. They get lonely, sad, angry and frustrated at times. Sometimes they fall short.

They give their lives for God.

Without priests, there would be no holy sacrifice. No Mass. No Eucharist.

No Eucharist = No Church. And that's a world I don't want to live in.

Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich once said (this is based on private revelation, the faithful are not required to accept it as truth; however, her writings have been granted the Nhil Obstat and Imprimatur by church officials)

"Mass badly celebrated is an enormous evil. Ah! it is not a matter of indifference how it is said! . . . I have had a great vision on the mystery of Holy Mass and I have seen that whatever good has existed since creation is owing to it."

and also this, which I assume quotes her dialogue with the Blessed Virgin Mary:

"She said what is most painful for me to repeat, that if only one priest offered the Unbloody Sacrifice as worthily and with the same sentiments as the Apostles, he could ward off all calamities from the Church."

So please, please pray for our priests.

Pray that they are holy.

Pray that they find joy in loving and serving the Lord.

Pray that they are protected from evil, and that their every word and action is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Pray that God reveals more of Himself and the Divine mysteries to them everyday, so that we the faithful may grow along with them.

Pray that you can support them in times of trial.

Pray for vocations.

And please, please take the time to thank a priest for becoming a priest.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

No Excuse, YouTube

This is an abomination.

The uber-blasphemous video, ' Jesus Juice ' remains on YouTube. It looks as though it has been hosted by YouTube for THREE MONTHS.

Seriously, would something so heinous, so offensive to another faith be allowed to remain on YouTube for three months? Three weeks? Three days?

I am guessing it would be more like three hours, after which the video would be yanked with profuse apologies to a host of groups representing whomever was offended.
But offending Catholics doesn't appear to be on the radar screen over there at YouTube.

In the event that they are unaware of the existence of the 'Jesus Juice' video- please take a minute, click the link above (I paused it so I would not have to watch) and flag the video as inappropriate. You'll be asked why you find the video offensive - I selected 'hate' - inciting hateful action against a 'protected group' - in this case, The Body of Christ, our Catholic Church.
And please pray for this man, who appears to be obsessed with hating the God he claims doesn't exist.
May the very real, very merciful God help him.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Reel Help for Catholic Parents

Your teenagers want to see a movie.

The title sounds innocent enough, and the ubiquitous PG-13 movie rating doesn't offer much help in discerning content.

Plan A : You let them go . However, you sit directly behind them in the movie theater, so you can cover their innocent eyes and ears in the event of inappropriate scenes.

Plan B: HappyToBeCatholic parents visit Catholic Movie Reviews ahead of time and decide which movie your teenager will see based on evaluations by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's Office for Film and Broadcasting.

Films are assigned the following classifications:

A-I -- general patronage;
A-II -- adults and adolescents;

A-III -- adults;
L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.
O -- morally offensive.

** Discontinued classification. All archived movies that were originally in the A-IV category are now classified as L.

The reviews include the USCCB rating, the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and a brief synopsis of the movie.

So, you can relax and enjoy that 90 minutes of free time - maybe in adoration praying for most of Hollywood.

PS - There are archived reviews for movies no longer in theaters, and resources for television programs too!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy St Joseph's Day!!

Today is a great day for Catholics everywhere - it is the Solemnity of St. Joseph.

If you need an answered prayer, today is the day to ask!!! St. Joseph is so good, so strong, so holy - such an example for us all.

After the Blessed Virgin Mary, there is no more powerful intercessor in all of heaven.

The great Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila, says this about glorious St. Joseph:

Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint [St. Joseph], for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honored him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it. If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good . . . "

" I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself—then he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devoted to him.”

Still not convinced? Consider the words of Our Lady to Venerable Mary of Agreda

“The children of the world are ignorant regarding the privileges and rights which the Most High has conferred on my holy spouse, and the power of his intercession with the Divine Majesty and with me. But I assure you, my daughter, that in Heaven he is most intimate with the Lord, and has great power to avert the punishment of Divine Justice from sinners. In all trials seek his intercession, because the Heavenly Father will grant whatever my spouse asks.”

On the Day of Judgment, the condemned will weep bitterly for not having realized how powerful and efficacious a means of salvation they might have had in the intercession of St. Joseph, and for not having done their utmost to gain the friendship of the Eternal Judge."

Here's a well-known prayer to St. Joseph, touted for its efficacy

Prayer to St. Joseph, over 1900 years old

O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the Loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press him to my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.

Say for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.

This prayer was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the 1500’s it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle.

It is promised that whoever reads this prayer or hears it or carries it, will never die a sudden death, nor be drowned, nor will poison take effect on them. They will not fall into the hands of the enemy nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.

Make this prayer known everywhere

Most Rev. George V. Ahr
Bishop of Trenton
Glory be to Jesus and Mary

Thank you St. Joseph!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Socialized Medicine ? No thank you.

Following Father Corapi's interview on church opposition to socialism ( see 3/15/09 post), I've been mulling what several of the Obama Administration's proposed plans means for America.

Socialized medicine, or 'free health care' is among the most troubling.

First and foremost, it means federal funding of so many things Happy to Be Catholics must oppose. Abortions, for starters. Fetal stem cell research, all types of birth control, and euthanasia.

We've already been informed that Catholic hospitals will close if forced to deliver abortion services. So what would their fate be under a socialized plan?

But a temptation to look the other way because of the 'free' price tag remains.

Breaking news from Britain's National Health Service, their socialized medicine program, provides insight as to what lies ahead for American citizens if we continue down this road.

I have no confidence a system like this will be good for our country. And his plan to fund it by a massive tax increase seems positively insane, especially now. Something tells me they've underestimated the enormous cost associated with delivering even such substandard care.

The last thing our country needs is another few trillion dollars worth of debt.

Doesn't the Bible tell us that debt - which is all they seem to be handing us - is a curse, and children - who are viewed by this administration as disposable when unplanned or needed for research - are a blessing?

Please join me in praying that President Obama's plans to socialize our country's government are stopped and that private sector alternatives - preferably faith-based - are encouraged and allowed to flourish.

This is still the land of liberty. And for now, I am still allowed to pray as I choose.

Desecration -Again- on YouTube

This just breaks my heart.

Yet another video has been posted on YouTube, mocking our Lord and desecrating the Eucharist.

It's called ' Jesus Juice' and shows someone mixing a consecrated Host in a juicer with fruit. Further, the perpetrator not-so-subtly suggests others to do the same.

The America Needs Fatima Blog has a link for those who wish to send a message protesting YouTube's hosting the video of this heinous act.

Please be a warrior for our faith. Write and let them know that Our Lord deserves better.

May God help us all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day.
Big, big day for my Irish American family.

I grew up being very fond of St. Patrick without really knowing why. Mere mention of his name generated warm and fuzzy thoughts of my proudly Irish family and our yearly festivities.

Turns out he was born in Scotland.

Was kidnapped when he was sixteen and sold into slavery.

Ended up in Ireland as the slave of cruel pagan master.

Escaped after six years of after being advised to do so by his guardian angel.

Studied under St. Germain and became a priest.

He accompanied the great Saint on many missions but longed to return to Ireland to evangelize.

St. Patrick is great example of how God can use any bad situation for good purposes for those who love Him.
Patrick was able to return to Ireland and evangelize to the pagan culture in their native tongue - which he learned in captivity. His cruel master was also a pagan drudical high priest, so he learned the ways of pagan culture.
Armed with this knowledge, incredible devotion to serving the Lord and a burning desire for salvation for the people of Ireland, he converted their population at an astonishing rate.

He used the three leaves of the shamrocks found throughout Ireland to explain the Holy Trinity.
The Lord worked many miracles through St. Patrick and word of this holy man spread.

But Patrick was not one to rest on his laurels. He knew the value of prayer and sacrifice and still had much work to do.

Here's an excerpt from's lengthy encyclopedic entry on the great Saint.

St. Patrick, in obedience to his guardian angel, made this mountain his hallowed place of retreat. In imitation of the great Jewish legislator on Sinai, he spent forty days on its summit in fasting and prayer, and other penitential exercises. His only shelter from the fury of the elements, the wind and rain, the hail and snow, was a cave, or recess, in the solid rock; and the flagstone on which he rested his weary limbs at night is still pointed out. The whole purpose of his prayer was to obtain special blessings and mercy for the Irish race, whom he evangelized. The demons that made Ireland their battlefield mustered all their strength to tempt the saint and disturb him in his solitude, and turn him away, if possible, from his pious purpose. They gathered around the hill in the form of vast flocks of hideous birds of prey. So dense were their ranks that they seemed to cover the whole mountain, like a cloud, and they so filled the air that Patrick could see neither sky nor earth nor ocean. St. Patrick besought God to scatter the demons, but for a time it would seem as if his prayers and tears were in vain. At length he rang his sweet-sounding bell, symbol of his preaching of the Divine truths. Its sound was heard all over the valleys and hills of Erin, everywhere bringing peace and joy. The flocks of demons began to scatter. He flung his bell among them; they took to precipitate flight, and cast themselves into the ocean. So complete was the saint's victory over them that, as the ancient narrative adds, "for seven years no evil thing was to be found in Ireland."

The saint, however, would not, as yet, descend from the mountain. He had vanquished the demons, but he would now wrestle with God Himself, like Jacob of old, to secure the spiritual interests of his people. The angel had announced to him that, to reward his fidelity in prayer and penance, as many of his people would be gathered into heaven as would cover the land and sea as far as his vision could reach. Far more ample, however, were the aspirations of the saint, and he resolved to persevere in fasting and prayer until the fullest measure of his petition was granted. Again and again the angel came to comfort him, announcing new concessions; but all these would not suffice. He would not relinquish his post on the mountain, or relax his penance, until all were granted. At length the message came that his prayers were heard:

• many souls would be free from the pains of purgatory through his intercession;

• whoever in the spirit of penance would recite his hymn before death would attain the heavenly reward;

• barbarian hordes would never obtain sway in his Church;

• seven years before the Judgement Day, the sea would spread over Ireland to save its people from the temptations and terrors of the Antichrist; and

• greatest blessing of all, Patrick himself should be deputed to judge the whole Irish race on the last day.

Such were the extraordinary favors which St. Patrick, with his wrestling with the Most High, his unceasing prayers, his unconquerable love of heavenly things, and his unremitting penitential deeds, obtained for the people whom he evangelized.

Wow. Big, big favors that St. Patrick wanted from God.

So it required big prayers and big penance and he was up to the task.
Thank you God and Thank you St. Patrick!
May St. Patrick intercede for us, and help us all to become more fervent in our own prayers and penance.
PS St. Patrick's Breastplate is a favorite prayer, it can be found in the New Advent entry as well , here's the link

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Socialism and the Church

Lots of talk about socialism these days. Wonder where the Church stands on it?

Father John Corapi to the rescue. He's researched the church's position on socialism, distilled it and explains it in an easy-to-understand manner the White House hopes you'll never have a chance to hear.

The interview, conducted by EWTN's Father Mitch Pacwa, can be found here follow the 'archived audio' link for EWTN Live in the lower right hand corner of the screen.
If you can't download this or the podcast, you can order copies on CD or DVD here

Broken Banks

A quickie - here's a link to a very good sermon on Jesus kicking the money changers out of the temple, and how it relates to the present financial crisis.

Spring Cleaning For My Soul

I came across a great tool to assist in preparing for the sacrament of confession.

to read Father Robert Altier's Examination of Conscience. Bonus - there are versions for children too!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rosary of the Seven Sorrows - Powerful Prayer for Tough Times

There are a lot of things these days that give my Catholic self cause for outrage and sadness - President Obama lifting the ban on federal funding of fetal stem research is a big one. The whole culture of death that our government is embracing. Socialism, opposed in strong terms by the Church, being touted as the only reasonable answer to whatever ails the USA. The sickening yet fast -approaching milestone of fifty million babies murdered in the wake of Roe v. Wade.

All so wrong.

Fortunately for Happy to Be Catholics, an ancient prayer is making its way back into the mainstream and serious prayer warriors everywhere are adding it prominently to their arsenals.

I had heard this prayer was powerful, it was not until I started praying it myself that I realized just how special it is.

It is called the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, the Deven Dolors of Mary Chaplet, or the Servite Rosary.

Lots of promises attached to this one. I'll list them following an explanation of the prayer.

You can check around on the Internet for a seven sorrows rosary. It looks a little different from a standard five-decade rosary. There are seven mysteries, followed by seven small beads ( called weeks in stead of decades)

The prayer goes like this:

1) Act of Contrition

2) Announce the First Sorrow. Our Father... then pray

Seven Hail Marys while meditating on the Sorrow

3) Announce each respective Sorrow, pray the Our Father, then pray Seven Hail Marys while meditating on the Sorrow.

4) Finish with three Hail Marys for the Tears of the Blessed Virgin Mary, followed

5) Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father

6) Finish by praying ' Virgin Most Sorrowful, Pray for Us' three times.

The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, with thanks to

The First Sorrow

The Holy Prophecy of Simeon

The Blessed Virgin, filled with joy, presented her only son in the temple. How her heart must have broken to hear the prophetic words of Simeon as he foretold the suffering of the Savior and His mother.

The Second Sorrow

The Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt

On a moments notice, St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin must take the Infant Jesus on a perilous journey to evade Herod's men who hunted Him. They endured cold, hunger and many hardships as they made their way to a foreign land.

The Third Sorrow

Mary seeks Jesus lost in Jerusalem

It is every parents nightmare to lose their child, and the Virgin Mary understands firsthand this profound sorrow. For three agonizing days St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother searched for twelve-year-old Jesus, before finding Him among the scholars in the temple.

The Fourth Sorrow

Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary

Jesus, battered and condemned to crucifixion, meets His mother, on the road to Calvary. He is beaten and indescribably defiled; her sorrow is absolute as Jesus drags the cross on which He will be crucified.

The Fifth Sorrow

Mary stands at the foot of the cross

Mary stands near her dying Son, unable to minister to him as he cries "I thirst". She hears him promise heaven to a thief and forgive his enemies. His last words, "Behold your mother," a gift for all of mankind, as His Beloved Mother becomes Mother of All Peoples.

The Sixth Sorrow

Mary holds the body of Jesus

The Pieta. The passion and death are complete, but for Our Lady, grief continues. She holds His body in her arms. Meditate on her tears.

The Seventh Sorrow

Mary places the body of Jesus in the tomb

The sun goes down on the most tragic day in history. As she awaits in faith the resurrection of her Son, Mary alone in sorrow, lays the body of her Son in the tomb.

As promised, The Promises. with thanks to and

According to the visions of St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) our Blessed Mother promises to grant seven graces to those who honor her and draw near to her and her Son every day by meditating on her dolors (sorrows) and entering into her grief.

"I will grant peace to their families."

"They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries."

"I will console them in their pains and will accompany them in their work."

"I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls."

"I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives."

"I will visibly help them at the moment of their death-- they will see the face of their mother."

"I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy."

St. Alphonsus Liguori testifies to complementary revelations given by Our Lord to St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) where He further promises four special graces to those dedicated to the sufferings of the co-redeeming Mother:

1. That those who before death invoke the Blessed Mother in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins.

2. That He would protect in their tribulations all who remember this devotion, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death.

3. That He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven.

4. That He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, so that she might obtain for these souls all the graces she wanted to lavish upon them.

Hard to describe the peace I feel when I pray this rosary.

Please, Lord, let your peace remain with me always. And please help my country.

Touch President Obama's heart so that he may understand that abortion really and truly is murder. Open the eyes and hearts of the nation. And if there is anything wrong with my prayer, please fix it, because it is too important of a petition to get wrong.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

I have a BIG devotion to St. Joseph. More on that another day, but this is a new- to- me prayer that I wanted to share with others who are, or hope to be, Happy to Be Catholics.

March, the month dedicated to St. Joseph, is the perfect time to meditate on the joys and sorrows of the humble, the just, the Glorious St. Joseph.

You can pour out your heart to wonderful St. Joseph. Ask him to present your prayers to Our Lord.

Miracles are waiting for you.

Devotion to St. Joseph will bring you closer to Our Lord and closer to Our Lady.

The thing about the Holy Family is – everything is focused on Jesus. And that is the way life should be.

Also, I say thank you to God the Father Almighty for the graces you have given to St. Joseph and Our Lady. That they corresponded to such unimaginable graces brings tears to my eyes. I am humbled and so very grateful to be able to learn about them and from them. And I thank you again that sinners like me are able to ask for their intercession. You are so good, Lord.

Good night and God Bless.

PS it is not too late to contact the Norbertine order and have your intentions included in the annual solemn novena to St. Joseph. (See yesterdays post for link)

The Seven Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

1. The Doubt of St. Joseph and the Angel’s Message

"Her husband Joseph, being a man of honor and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit’" (Mt 1:19-20).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

2. The Poverty of Jesus’ Birth and the Birth of the Savior

"And she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn" (Lk 2:7).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

3. The Circumcision and the Holy Name of Jesus

"When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised" (Lk 2:21), "he named him Jesus" (Mt 1:25).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

4. The Prophecy of Simeon and the Effects of the Redemption

"Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected7" (Lk 2:34).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

5. The Flight into Egypt and the Overthrow of the Idols in Egypt

"So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt" (Mt 2:14). "That day, there will be an altar to Yahweh in the centre of the land of Egypt and, close to the frontier, a pillar to Yahweh" (Is 19:19).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

6. The Return from Egypt and Life with Jesus and Mary in Nazareth

"But when he learnt that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as ruler of Judea, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the region of Galilee" (Mt 2:22). "When they had done everything that the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And as the child grew to maturity he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favor was with him" (Lk 2:39-40).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

7. The Loss of the Child Jesus and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple

"When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. Three days later, they found him in the Temple sitting among the doctors, listening to them and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies" (Lk 2:45-47) (7).
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

St. John shows us that the people asked, "Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph ... we know his father and mother" (Jn 6:42). O Blessed St. Joseph, who labored unselfishly through love to nurture the Son of God and Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We humbly implore:
Intercede with our Lord Jesus Christ, to assist us with His Divine grace; to follow the loving example of the Holy Family and live in peace and harmony within our own households.

Let us pray

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may our family life be a reflection of your household at Nazareth. Help me to be able to say ‘I love you’ to each member of my family. Let Jesus’ pure love be in all my actions (2 Jn 6; 1 Cor 1:4; 1 Jn 3:18). May I never go to sleep harboring anger or unforgiveness towards them! Help me to see in all of them the presence of Jesus, especially when there is pain, division and lack of peace (1 Cor 8:11-12; Lk 7:47; Mt 18:22).

O Family of Jesus, with the guardian angels, watch over my family. Protect us from all evil influences and harm. Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, so adored by the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the most chaste heart of St. Joseph, reign always in my heart and in the hearts of my loved ones. Amen

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

To Honor a Most Glorious Saint

Saint Joseph.

Head of the Holy Family.

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Protector, provider and foster-father to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The bible tells us that Joseph was a just man.

Not just a man. A just man.

Various definitions of just tell us that means Joseph was 'fair, upright and honest'. Another definition says that just means 'free from self-interest'.

That makes alot of sense to me. Joseph put God first. Joseph put Jesus' and Mary's interests ahead of his own.

Yet another definition of just is 'of moral excellence'. Very likely some understatement here. At least by what modern society deems moral excellence.

For God the Father to ordain Joseph to fulfil the role of earthly father to His Only Son, nothing short of moral excellence would do.

He was the spouse of the Immaculate Conception. He held the Infant Jesus. He loved them, and protected them, prayed with them, worked and laughed with them. He knew as no other humans have had the opportunity to know Our Lord and Our Lady.

So he was not just a man.

St. Joseph was a just man.

And we should honor him for it.

The March 19th feast day of St. Joseph approaches, commemorated by an annual solemn novena held at the National Shrine of St. Joseph. The Shrine is located in DePere, WI, in care of the Norbertine Order. If you would like petitions delivered for the novena, please contact the Norbertines at

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mary and the Passion of Our Lord

Lenten Fridays are special. Very good days to meditate on the suffering of Our Lord.

As a mother, it is almost unbearable to think of what Mary must have felt as she encountered Jesus on his way to Calvary.

I found a little solace in an encyclical of Saint Pius X.

Think about God the Father for a second.

Through the mystery of the Trinity, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, are one.
So God, in Jesus the Son, got to choose His own Mother.

He chose Mary.

Think about how perfect she would have to be, to be worthy to carry Him in her womb. To nurse Him, to hold Him, love Him and protect Him. How perfect she would be to be trusted to help shape His human nature.

Not only that, she had to understand the significance of her role in the salvation of humanity. She had to appreciate the magnitude of her responsibility in being the Mother of Our Lord.

Kind of hard to get your brain around that one. God is walking around in the kitchen, he's hungry. Have to make God a snack.

So God made Mary really smart. Wise, as they say in the bible. It means that she got it. She understood how important her Son was and is, that He truly was and is God. And when she stood at the foot of the cross, although her heart undoubtedly broke at the agony of her Son, she rejoiced along with Jesus in His Passion.

In her wisdom, she knew that the Passion was necessary for our salvation. And she knew the Passion was necessary for Jesus to bring you home.

Because Mary, above all things, wants her Son to be happy. And that means having you home with Him in heaven. So however horrible it was to endure, both for Jesus who suffered and for His mother who had to watch her beloved Son in such unimaginable physical, mental and spiritual agony, the Passion was a beautiful thing.

She understood that you are worth it.

She knew that her Son dying on the cross was the greatest triumph the world would ever know.

Most people- Christians, Catholics - live their whole lives and only understand a fraction of what Mary knew.

So she joined her Son and rejoiced through her tears as he suffered on the Cross.

Yep, she is that cool.

And the good news is, she loves you with a mother's heart. She wants more than anything for you to be with her Son one day in heaven.

So open your heart, and ask for her help.

She will answer.

Hail Mary
Full of Grace
The Lord is With Thee
Blessed art thou among women
and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us Sinners
Now and the hour of our death


for further reading, see:

Saint Pius X
Encyclical, Ad diem illum, Feb. 2, 1904

Hence that never disassociated manner of life and labors. ... But when the final hour of her Son came, His Mother stood by the cross of Jesus, not just occupied in seeing the dread spectacle, but actually rejoicing that her Only-Begotten was being offered for the salvation of the human race. ... from this common sharing of sufferings and will, she merited to become most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world, and so the dispensatrix of all the gifts which were gained for us by the death and blood of Jesus. ... She ... since she was ahead of all in holiness and union with Christ, and was taken up by Christ into the work of human salvation, she merited congruously, as they say, what Christ merited condignly, and is the chief minister of the dispensation of graces.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Catholic Muscle

Did you ever hear of something over-the top offensive to the Catholic faith and say to yourself "Why isn't anyone doing anything to stop this?"
Well, there are a number of Catholic crusaders, possibly caped, fighting the good fight.
Front and center is the Catholic League's Bill Donahue.
His in- your- face style leaves no question as to where the Catholic League stands on an issue.
One of his latest fights is a preemptive strike against anti-Catholic forces in Hollywood.

Production is underway of the cinematic version of Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown's book Angels and Demons.

The Catholic League issued a statement yesterday lambasting the movie, complete with undercover insights as to the film's reported anti-Catholic agenda.

“Besides the fact that both producers admit their films are anti-Catholic, we now know, thanks to Father Bernard O’Connor, that their sentiments are typical of those working on the latest movie. O’Connor hung out with the film crew last summer for two days when they were filming in Rome; he was dressed casually, so no one knew he was a priest.

“A person self-described as a ‘production official,’ told the Canadian priest that Brown spoke for the majority of those working on the movie when he said, ‘Like most of us, he [Brown] often says that he would do anything to demolish that detestable institution, the Catholic Church.’ He credited the media for the ‘demise’ of the Church. This same person opined that the Catholic Church ‘is humanity’s chief enemy,’ adding that this sentiment is reflective of those in Hollywood.

Donahue challenges anyone associated with the movie to a debate.

Read the full release here
Archives have a flurry of recent releases relating to this. And lots of other bare-knuckled Catholic-defending opinions.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thoughts on Confession

Father Larry Richards never disappoints.

In this clip, he offers razor-sharp and VERY FUNNY insight on this most important sacrament.

PS Did you know that the Vatican's chieft exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, says that the enemy hates confession more than exorcism? Who knew?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Angelic Thoughts

For Catholics, belief in angels is not optional. Angels are part of the doctrine of the faith.

They appear at key points in the gospel, and they are always serving God - whether it is helping Tobias in a time of need, offering counsel to a troubled Joseph or announcing to the Virgin Mary that she would become the Mother of Our Lord.

Celebrated Catholic author Peter Kreft offers the following:

Angels: The Twelve Most Important Things to Know About Them

  1. They really exist. Not just in our minds, or our myths, or our symbols, or our culture. They are as real as your dog, or your sister, or electricity.

  2. They’re present, right here, right now, right next to you, reading these words with you.

  3. They’re not cute, cuddly, comfortable, chummy, or “cool”. They are fearsome and formidable. They are huge. They are warriors.

  4. They are the real “extra-terrestrials”, the real “Super-men”, the ultimate aliens. Their powers are far beyond those of all fictional creatures.

  5. They are more brilliant minds than Einstein.

  6. They can literally move the heavens and the earth if God permits them.

  7. There are also evil angels, fallen angels, demons, or devils. These too are not myths. Demon possessions, and exorcisms, are real.

  8. Angels are aware of you, even though you can’t usually see or hear them. But you can communicate with them. You can talk to them without even speaking.

  9. You really do have your very own “guardian angel”. Everybody does.

  10. Angels often come disguised. “Do not neglect hospitality, for some have entertained angels unawares”—that’s a warning from life’s oldest and best instruction manual.

  11. We are on a protected part of a great battlefield between angels and devils, extending to eternity.

  12. Angels are sentinels standing at the crossroads where life meets death. They work especially at moments of crisis, at the brink of disaster—for bodies, for souls, and for nations.

Your Guardian Angel protects you out of service to God. He or she has seen you at your best and your worst, and knows all of your sins and good works.

It must hurt our Guardian Angels terribly when they see the offenses to God we cause when we sin.

So, I offer apologies and gratitude to my Guardian Angel.

I am sorry for any pain I have caused you.

And thank you so much for loving and serving the Lord by watching over me.

With Jesus' help, I will try to make your job a little more enjoyable.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gifts for Mom

After a priest is ordained, he wipes the oils from his hands onto a cloth. Customarily, he gives this cloth to his mother. When she dies this cloth is placed in her casket. She carries this cloth with her when she appears before the Lord as an indication that she gave God the gift of a priest.

So sweet!
Speaking of mothers, Jesus loves His Mother very much. Please do yourself a favor and learn more about Mary, the Mother of the Word. She will change your life, and bring you to love Jesus more than you thought you ever could.
Because like every good mother, Mary wants everyone to know how wonderful her Son is.

A little Lenten humor...

I love being Catholic

and I love a good joke


Lost on a rainy Friday night, a priest stumbles into a monastery and requests shelter there. Fortunately, he's just in time for dinner and was treated to the best fish and chips he's ever had.
After dinner, he goes into the kitchen to thank the chefs. He is greeted by two kind and humble brothers.
One steps forward and offers his hand, "Welcome Father, I'm Brother Michael, and this is Brother Francis."
"I'm very pleased to meet you both." the priest says. "I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful dinner. The fish and chips were the best I've ever tasted. Out of curiosity, who cooked what?"
Brother Charles replied, "Well, I'm the fish friar."
Father turns to the other brother and says, "Then you must be...."
"Yes, that makes me the chip monk..."
with appreciation to Fisheaters