Archive for August, 2011

The Assumption (Picture)

Posted: August 29, 2011 by CatholicJules in Holy Pictures

The Assumption - Fra Angelico (c. 1430)

CatholicJules Journeys On….

Posted: August 26, 2011 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

When I first truly started my faith journey late last year, I decided to start a blog so that others could share my experiences, even the knowledge I’ve gained and anything new I learn from day to day.  After all, the original blog I started when I was first introduced to blogging did pretty well.  I now refer to it as my ‘secular’ blog because it contained nothing about my faith whatsoever.  Amazingly enough, I have todate approximately 400,000 hits on that blog entitled ‘Living Life With A Passion’  even after I have stopped posting write-ups on it.  I now occasionally upload photos to it only when I have the time.  All my time is now spent updating this blog whenever I can because I believe it a kingdom building tool in which I can contribute to in my small way.

In the beginning I wondered if there was anyone even interested in sharing this journey with me, as it had kicked off to a very,very slow start.  Now I have a promising 11,000 hits since it’s birth 11 months ago.  My only aim is to evangelise and bring others to this truly wonderful faith of ours and to help fellow Catholics grow in faith, as I am constantly doing so myself.

Lately I found another way in which I could link this blog to a Facebook page. And I have done so not for personal glory, but in hopes of reaching out to a greater target audience.  I feel that most busy people will not bother to click a direct link to a blog but may do so while looking through updates of their friends or pages they subscribe to on Facebook.  Anyhow in order to get a direct link address on Facebook I will need 25 Likes.  Right now I have only 3 but honestly it does not really matter, I just pray that I will be able to do my part in reaching out to more people through this media so that they too can experience God’s love for us.  I know full well that it is God our Father who is the only one who can convert and strengthen hearts through His sanctifying grace.

So if you can please help spread the word………..

 

August 28th, 2011 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: August 24, 2011 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

 Readings:

Jeremiah 20:7-9
Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
Romans 12:1-2
Matthew 16:21-27


Today’s First Reading catches the prophet Jeremiah in a moment of weakness. His intimate lamentation contains some of the strongest language of doubt found in the Bible. Following God’s call, he feels abandoned. Preaching His Word has brought him only derision and .

But God does not deceive – and Jeremiah knows this. He tests the just (see Jeremiah 20:11-12), and disciplines His children through their sufferings and trials (see Hebrews 12:5-7).

What Jeremiah learns, Jesus states explicitly in today’s Gospel. To follow Him is to take up a cross, to deny yourself – your priorities, preferences, and comforts. It is to be willing to give it all up, even life itself, for the sake of His gospel. As Paul says in today’s Epistle, we have to join ourselves to the passion of Christ, to offer our bodies – our whole beings – as living sacrifices to God.

By His cross, Jesus has shown us what Israel’s sacrifices of animals were meant to teach – that we owe to God all that we have.

God’s kindness is a greater good than life itself, as we sing in today’s Psalm. The only thanks we can offer is our spiritual worship – to give our lives to the service of His will (see Hebrews 10:3-11; Psalm 50:14,23).

Peter doesn’t yet get this in today’s Gospel. As it was for Jeremiah, the cross is a stumbling block for Peter (see 1 Corinthians 1:23). This too is our natural temptation – to refuse to believe that our sufferings play a necessary part in God’s plan.

That’s how people think, Jesus tells us today. But we are called to the renewal of our minds – to think as God thinks, to will what He wills.

In the Mass, we once again offer ourselves as perfect and pleasing sacrifices of praise (see Hebrews 13:15). We bless Him as we live, confident that we will find our lives in losing them, that with the riches of His banquet, our souls will be satisfied.

Five Paths Of Repentance

Posted: August 23, 2011 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

From a homily by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop

Would you like me to list also the paths of repentance? They are numerous and quite varied, and all lead to heaven.

A first path of repentance is the condemnation of your own sins: Be the first to admit your sins and you will be justified. For this reason, too, the prophet wrote: I said: I will accuse myself of my sins to the Lord, and you forgave the wickedness of my heart. Therefore, you too should condemn your own sins; that will be enough reason for the Lord to forgive you, for a man who condemns his own sins is slower to commit them again. Rouse your conscience to accuse you within your own house, lest it become your accuser before the judgment seat of the Lord.

That, then, is one very good path of repentance. Another and no less valuable one is to put out of our minds the harm done us by our enemies, in order to master our anger, and to forgive our fellow servants’ sins against us. Then our own sins against the Lord will be forgiven us. Thus you have another way to atone for sin: For if you forgive your debtors, your heavenly Father will forgive you.

Do you want to know of a third path? It consists of prayer that is fervent, careful and comes from the heart.

If you want to hear of a fourth, I will mention almsgiving, whose power is great and far-reaching.

If, moreover, a man lives a modest, humble life, that, no less than the other things I have mentioned, takes sin away. Proof of this is the tax-collector who had no good deeds to mention, but offered his humility instead and was relieved of a heavy burden of sins.

Thus I have shown you five paths of repentance; condemnation of your own sins, forgiveness of our neighbor’s sins against us, prayer, almsgiving and humility.

Do not be idle, then, but walk daily in all these paths; they are easy, and you cannot plead your poverty. For, though you live out your life amid great need, you can always set aside your wrath, be humble, pray diligently and condemn your own sins; poverty is no hindrance. Poverty is not an obstacle to our carrying out the Lord’s bidding, even when it comes to that path of repentance which involves giving money (almsgiving, I mean). The widow proved that when she put her two mites into the box!

Now that we have learned how to heal these wounds of ours, let us apply the cures. Then, when we have regained genuine health, we can approach the holy table with confidence, go gloriously to meet Christ, the king of glory, and attain the eternal blessings through the grace, mercy and kindness of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

I Love Being Catholic!

Posted: August 21, 2011 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections, Questions & Answers

We all should spend sometime today and reflect on our faith.  Why are those of us Catholic, still Catholic?  And perhaps those from other denominations can reflect on why not Catholic?  What is it that is keeping you away from the Catholic faith? 

I absolutely know why I am Catholic and loving every little bit of it because I have the fullness of faith and am in communion with the one triune God!

Today’s Gospel especially shows us who it was that established our Church.

Matthew 16:13-19

So I encourage you sisters and brothers in Christ, to share with all of us why you are Catholic here in the comments section?  Those of you interested to know more about the Catholic faith and are in Singapore can contact me for a sit down and I will share with you all that I know.  For those overseas, a good place to find answers will be at http://www.catholic.com/

God bless you all!

🙂

Humility

Posted: August 20, 2011 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

        To define humility: Humility is a virtue by which one has a low opinion of one’s self because one knows one’s self well.  This is the virtue that belongs to those who have set their hearts to climb and have gone from virtue to virtue, from step to step, until they have reached the highest peak of humility and have gazed upon truth from the watchtower of Zion. “For the lawgiver will give a blessing.”  This means that he who gives the law is the same who gives the blessing; he who commands humility will lead safely to the truth.  Who is the lawgiver?  Who but the good and sweet Lord who gives a law to those who wander from the way?  They wander from the way because they have gone astray from the truth.  Will they then be deserted by our sweet Lord? No, the law that this good kind Lord gives them is the way of humility bu which they can return to the knowledge of the truth….

        The Lord looks on the children of the human family with eyes of truth, that deceive not and cannot be deceived, to see if there is any who understands and seeks God.  His place at the ladder’s top shows us that the knowledge of truth is to be found at the summit of humility.

       Yes, the way of humility is a good way.  It seeks for truth, it wins charity, it shares the fruits of wisdom.  Just as the end of the Law is Christ, so the perfection of humility is the knowledge of truth.  When Christ came he brought grace; when truth is known it brings love.  To the humble it is known.  “He gives his grace to the humble.”

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

 

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (+1153) is considered the last of the Fathers of the Church and is a Doctor of the Church.

From the Explanations of the Psalms

Posted: August 19, 2011 by CatholicJules in Memory Book

by Saint Ambrose, bishop

The man Christ Jesus, the one mediator between God and men

Brother cannot redeem brother, but a man will redeem man. No one can give to God the ransom for himself nor the price of his soul’s redemption. Christ is saying: What have I to fear in the day of evil? What can do me harm if I do not need a redeemer but am myself the redeemer of all mankind? Shall I free others, yet tremble for myself? See, I shall make all things new, so as to surpass even the love and devotion of brothers. Where a brother, born of the womb, cannot redeem, suffering as he does from the infirmity of a common nature, yet a man will redeem, that man of whom it is written: The Lord will send them a man who will save them; the man who said of himself: You seek to kill me, a man who has spoken the truth to you.

He is a man, yet who will recognize him? Why will no one recognize him? Because, as there is one God, so there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. He alone will redeem man, showing love greater even than that of brothers. He poured out his blood for strangers, as no one is able to do for a brother. He did not spare his own body in redeeming us from sin, but gave himself as the redemption of all, and Paul the apostle is a true witness to him: I speak the truth and do not lie.

But why will this man be the only redeemer? Because no one can equal him in the love he showed in laying down his life for his own poor servants. Nor can anyone equal him in sinlessness, for all men are ruled by sin, and all are victims of the fall of the first Adam. He alone is chosen to redeem, for he alone cannot be subject to that age-old sin. So let us understand by “the man” the one who took upon himself the condition of man in order to crucify in his own flesh the sin of all, and to cancel by his own blood the debt owed by all: the Lord Jesus.

You may ask: How can we say that brother cannot redeem when the man we are discussing has said: I shall declare your name to my brothers? But it was not as our brother but as the man Christ Jesus, in whom God dwelt, that he forgave our sins. For it is written that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself. God was in the man Christ Jesus, of whom alone it was said: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. It was not, therefore, as a brother but as the Lord that he dwelt among us in the flesh.