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Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’

Sign of the Cross: Biblical Roots

Everything you want to know in life is in the Bible.  As having my Christian roots in Catholicism, I did not know the Sign of the Cross was referenced in the Bible.  Yes, I still bow my head when the name of Jesus is said.  I never take Holy Communion in my hand.  I am old school. But I never learned the Bible in nine years of Catholic School.  Not until I went to a Baptist women Bible Study did I understand what the Bible means. Wow, I am just learning after 6 decades of life.

Christian Bible Studies

Pray continually, Paul urged the Thessalonians. The early church fathers took this one step further: continually make the sign of the cross.

“In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupies us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross,” wrote Tertullian at the turn of the third century, A.D. In the fourth century, St. John Chrysostom (apparently anticipating an American Express slogan) wrote, “never leave home without making the sign of the cross.”

Andreopoulos and Ghezzi find in the sign of the cross a symbol of baptism, protection, profession of faith, defiance of the Devil, invocation of God’s power, solidarity with the church, and a rebuke of self-indulgence—to name a few.

The origins of the sign are unknown; as Andreopoulos points out: “our information is sparse because this ancient practice emerged naturally, as something that made sense to most Christians.” The earliest descriptions, such as Tertullian’s, indicate that the cross was made with one finger—probably the thumb—on the forehead in the shape of a Hebrew T or a Greek X, letters that stood for names of God and Christ. Presumably, early Christians were taking their cues from passages in Genesis 4:15, Ezekiel 9:4, and Revelation 14:1 and 22:4 that describe a mark on the forehead as a sign of God’s claim on a person.

“The spiritual weight of the sign has always been the same,” Andreopoulos writes. “In texts from Tertullian and Origen to Kosmas and Aitolos, it is a blessing, a prayer, a proclamation of the Christian identity, a living mystery, and an acceptance of the role that God has given us.”

“Whether I sign myself silently or with the invocation [of ‘in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’],” writes Ghezzi, “it helps me to look beyond the mundane things I have to do every day … and focus on God and on the greater part of reality, the part that is spiritual and invisible.”

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A Prayer For Our Nation, America.

O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care.

Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection.

Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that go with human freedom.

Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life.  Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God’s law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life.  In this I pray, Amen.

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The Eucharist: Matthew 26:26-28, John 6:35-40.
Matthew 26:26-28: Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

John 6:35-40 I AM the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

My God, I adore You here in the Blessed Sacrament.

I place myself in the presence of Him, in whose Incarnate Presence I am before. I place myself there.

I adore Thee, O my Savior, present here as God and man, in soul and body, in true flesh and blood.

I acknowledge and confess that I kneel before that Sacred Humanity, which was conceived in Mary’s womb and lay in Mary’s bosom; which grew up to man’s estate, and by the Sea of Galilee called the Twelve, wrought miracles, and spoke words of wisdom and peace; which in due season hung on the cross, lay in the tomb, rose from the dead, and now reigns in heaven.

My Lord and Creator, Your goodness encourages me to converse with You. Your mercy abolishes the chasm which separates the Creator from the creature. To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart. In You I find everything that my heart could desire. Here Your light illumines my mind, enabling it to know You more and more deeply. Here streams of grace flow down upon my heart. Here my soul draws eternal life. O my Lord and Creator, You alone, beyond all these gifts, give Your own self to me and unite Yourself intimately with Your child.

O Jesus, Divine Prisoner of Love, when I consider Your love and how You emptied Yourself for me, my senses deaden. You hide Your inconceivable majesty and lower Yourself to miserable me. O king of Glory, though You hide Your beauty, yet the eye of my soul rends the veil. I see the angelic choirs giving You honor without cease, and all the heavenly Powers praising You without cease, and without cease they are saying: Holy, Holy, Holy.

Oh, who will comprehend Your love and Your unfathomable mercy toward us! O Prisoner of Love, I love up my poor heart in this tabernacle that it may adore You without cease night and day. I know of no obstacle in this adoration: and even though I be physically distant, my heart is always with You. Nothing can put a stop to my love for You. No obstacles exist for me. O Holy Trinity, One and Indivisible God, may You be blessed for this great gift and testament of mercy.

I praise, and bless, and give myself wholly to Him, Who is the true Bread of my soul, and my everlasting joy.

In this I Pray, Amen.

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Saint Michael, the Archangel, Protect Us.

Daniel 12:1 ESV

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.

Jude 1:9 ESV

But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

Revelation 12:7 ESV

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back,

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Many Blessings, Sisters Of St. Joseph, Sister Rita, Ascension of Our Lord Parish, Philadelphia, PA

God works everyday as this is a testimony of His Works.

I was shopping at my local mall this morning,  when I entered Many Blessings my favorite place to search for anything beautiful.  They have an enormous assortment of religious items, you name it. Catholic Holy Cards, Medals, anything that warms your soul, it is there.  The employees are all special people and always asks if there is anything they can help you with.  I feel like I go to my own private Church when I enter.  It is a unique experience.

I will share a brief story from this afternoon.

I was back at the Holy Card Section, All the Saints; Prayer cards are located in the back section to the left.

I wanted a Holy Card for the Sick.  Another woman next to me inquired about a St. Michael Holy Card. As I glanced up I said, ” Michael the Archangel, I live on Michael Lane, I believe He guards my home.” She replied, “I know it is the Protector of Policemen but I want it.” She then said, “I am a Sister from the Order of St Joseph.” I inquired what parish she was from. “Ascension of Our Lord Parish in Philadelphia. in the 1960’s. Her name is Sister Rita. To make a long story short, I was schooled at the same parish at the same time and lived across the street from the Convent. But the beautiful Cathedral Church which had two levels is closed now.  I remember those stained glass windows I stared at as a child to becoming a young adult.  I also buried my two parents in the upper level of Ascension parish in the 1990’s. I was beside myself and started to name other Sisters from that parish who taught me. Talked about our Choir that I was a singer in, the May Processions, Carnival on Labor Day, and other memories that are inscribed forever in my mind. But her memory is at a loss. But we reminisced about the parish in the 1960’s. I asked her to keep me in her prayers tomorrow. No, I asked her for her phone  number she can be reached at. I opened my address book and there I find my missing debit/credit card. Wow, I kept saying, “Please St. Anthony come around something is lost and can’t be found” for weeks.  She said, “Better late than never.” It was Sister Rita who touch my innermost soul.  Sister Rita is now located in South Jersey.  We need to pray together at  Mass Sister, as another Sister was in observation. I had tears in my eyes and cried.  I exclaimed, ” It was because of You Sister Rita, that my Faith never diminished. My steadfast morality that  the Sisters taught their students with the The Baltimore Catechism. God Bless you.”

I shared this story with my son and two other friends.

Oh, I also purchased the Michael the Archangel Holy card but gave it to my friend when he told me his story this afternoon.

This is my testimony that God is ever-present in my life.  HE is The LORD who which all thing are good. I await the Sunday in which I can share Mass with Sister Rita.

Read Below: The plight of my once beautiful former parish.  It is very sad. Early in the morning today, I shared this story with my friend Martini who is from Ireland, as I became very emotional with the closure of my once beautiful church, its decay and read her this post showed her the below links. Martini replied, ” Donna, you and I will go over to the Church before it is torn down and get a piece of it so you can have it to remember.” God led Martini back into my life again as we were separated due to her divorce for a reason. That is what God does in your life if you let HIM.

Below are the links to my once beautiful Parish, Ascension of Our Lord, Philadelphia, PA.

The Catholic Church in North Carolina is booming. Raleigh’s new cathedral will reuse the magnificent windows from a grand Philadelphia church, now closed.

Ascension of our Lord Stained Glass pt1 by Beyer Studio

Ascension of our Lord Stained Glass pt2 by Beyer Studio

The Art of Stained Glass….Ascension of Our Lord Parish!

Philly stained glass windows heading to Raleigh

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The Assumption of the Virgin Mary, August 15.  Assumption Day commemorates the belief that when Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, died, her body was not subjected to the usual process of physical decay but was “assumed” into heaven and reunited there with her soul. This holiday, which has been celebrated since the fourth century CE, is a Christianization of an earlier harvest festival and, in many parts of Europe, is known as the Feast of Our Lady of the Harvest.

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church.

Wedding and Blessing of the Sea, Atlantic City, New Jersey  Click Here

Luke 11:28

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Revelation 12:1

12 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.

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