Saturday, November 5, 2011

O Death! where's thy Sting?

Michelangelo's The Last Judgement

I used to be afraid of death but then I realized it wasn't exactly death I was afraid of but where I will go when I die....

Many don't talk about death these days probably because they don't believe the afterlife exists or they are afraid to come to terms with the existence of the afterlife. The thing is even if one forgets or not, it is real and everyone will die one day.

Although some believe in the afterlife, they also believe that everyone who dies will go to Heaven, that Jesus has come down to save us so we have a free ticket; we can steal, fornicate, kill, lie in fact do all sorts and once we believe Christ has died for us and have acknowledged He is our savior, we go straight to Heaven. Well, they've got it all wrong...

NOTHING UNCLEAN can enter Heaven. Even if we believe in Jesus Christ and acknowledge his suffering on the cross we still have to show love by obeying his commandments.

Christ said:
 If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (LK 9:23).

The demons believe and yet are in Hell solely because they did not serve God and that is the only way we shall be saved.

I think once we follow Christ, we should not be afraid of death nor find it hard to talk about it. Sometimes we do need to remind ourselves so that we do not stray from our main goal on Earth- to make heaven.

Hell is not a very pleasant place to be, neither is Purgatory and we have to reflect on this once in a while to keep us on track. Although God is merciful, He is also just but with Him all things are possible.

So in the words of St Paul: 

 with fear and trembling work out your salvation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Souls Day- 2nd Nov

Would have said happy All Soul's Day but I guess its more of sadness and contemplation than happiness.
A day to pray for our beloved and others who have no one to pray for them. 
Purgatory is not a very pleasant place so it would be nice if we remembered our departed brethren, we are their only hope to see the beatific vision, lets help them.
There are a couple of prayers we could say in addition to attending mass on their behalf, we could also visit the grave of a loved one or a grave yard and say a couple of prayers for them. 
The Requiem Missa cantata is my favourite sung mass, I find the hymns moving which helps you contemplate better, here are some of the tunes I like
The Dies Ire is a psalm all must read...

Here is another version, very dramatic

Please attend a traditional Latin  sung Requiem mass, you will be moved....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Information (Don't be afraid to change)

Sometimes I'm scared of knowing because when you know you probably don't have an excuse unlike someone who knows nothing at all...

At the same time when you know, you're certain of your actions.

I still have much to learn about the faith, I'm a struggling young person who lost my way and found it through information.

There are many things we might not understand and as a result we find ourselves straying away or not being bothered about it. Sometimes we are scared to find out because the new information we have might demand more from our actions. I think that could be a reason why many are afraid to know the teachings of the church because it expects one to act accordingly. For instance I was very moved when I watched the Passion of the Christ, it made me feel like an ungrateful sinner and I promised to change my sinful ways (actions speak louder than words). I had a friend then who said she did not want to watch it because she did not want to change (at least she was honest).  

Why do we find it scary to change?

I think we are afraid to change or become holy because we are afraid we would be alienated from society, few friends etc. well, maybe getting closer to God is worth it? besides I doubt those who leave you because you're practicing your faith were friends in the first place.

We might also find it hard to change because we might not want to give up old bad habits and weaknesses, life might become boring without them, I think this is the hardest thing to do and can sometimes make one depressed but I guess we could try to find new good ones? I know, easier said than done but worth trying.

One might think that he/she has strayed so much that he/she cannot be forgiven by God, don't despair, there's always hope! and God forgives even the worst person in the world.  St. Peter denied Him three times- he's holding the keys to heaven, St. Mary Magdalene was  known to be promiscuous- she was one of the first to see the resurrected Lord. Once we are ready to change the angels and saints are very happy and more than willing to help, just pray for help.

Looking at the pros and cons of converting to a Christian life In my opinion should be good enough for us to change and that's why we need to inform ourselves.

Also, won't it be boring if only we knew? we could tell others too?  one doesn't have to go on the streets with a preaching bell to get people closer to God, a simple explanation of why you go to mass on Sunday, Confession once in a while or inviting a friend to church are simple ways to keep people informed. Most times people probably act the way they do because they don't know so when they get informed, they have a choice. 

I think as Catholics the best thing we can do is to  let people know. We learn our faith, understand it and explain it to those who don't know or understand. One can't really change a person but one can influence the person to change. At the end of the day its the decisions we make that determine our actions and where we end up when we leave this world.

Change also takes time and is a gradual process. I don't think anything natural and lasting is rushed because it is a thorough and total conversion we are moving towards. So it doesn't matter if you told someone that something was a sin and he/she hurled curses at you, what matters is that he/she is informed and by the grace of God would think about it and hopefully change, the person might even become better than what anyone expected.

Hope this inspires people to want to change for the better, like I said I don't know much and my posts should be taken as a matter of opinion. Its a medium to hope that through this information one would try to find out for him/herself about the faith from traditional sources and Christian teaching. 

 I truly hope and pray we all reach total conversion before we move to the next world. 

So we hope, so may it be.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Catholic and Pro-Life

Its quite comforting being in the company of people who share your religious beliefs, for one you know you're not crazy and for the other you know there are people out there like you who are striving to be better Christians and are ready to help you be better yourself. Its really advisable to attend as many good catholic gatherings as you can, it helps you share your views with others and clarify things you don't understand especially with priests (ask them, they're harmless).

Many of us know the basics of Catholic teaching, we know some basic prayers like the "our Father", "Hail Mary" etc.  but what we probably don't know or don't understand are the catholic teachings. If one does not understand catholic teaching it is very easy for one to become a lapsed Catholic and eventually fall out.

At the moment,  40 days for Life is running an event where pro-lifers pray in front of an abortion clinic and offer fliers and counselling to those who go in or pass by. I think its a wonderful thing they are doing. some passers-by look with disgust and doubt while some with  approval and admiration, some shout insults while some shout praises. I guess this is just a taste of how one's journey in life is; some would encourage you while many wont. One might not understand why a group of people would pray for hours for something that most people agree to and the government has approved, to some its like wasting time and energy (like one person said) but I and many others know its not. The christian martyrs were persecuted and killed for hundreds of years, I'm sure then it looked like they were crazy but they touched millions of lives and that's why the faith is still alive today! nothing good comes easy and good things come to those who wait, people might persecute and hate now but they have also been informed with love and an alternative idea and option has been placed before them. We might not see the results now but slowly and surely the results will show.  According to the link there are many women who have come to realize the evil of abortion from this campaign and thus have saved many babies, some might have hurled insults but you know and hope later they would think about it. so the prayers are not only to stop abortion but also to soften the heart of pro-choice thinkers and abortionists so they would fully understand that the act is an act of murder and if they know it is would have the grace to stop.

Its sad to know that there are still catholics who are pro-choice and are totally convinced that its okay to kill a baby. no matter what terms we use (i.e foetus, baby, embryo) we all can agree that a human being exists in the mother's womb. In my opinion that should be enough to convince anyone that according to human rights everyone has a right to life! Many know this but I think the possible reason why many do not want to think of the child in that way is because one is going further to say that premarital sex is sinful and that contraceptives are as well- the church's teaching.

I believe catholic pro-choice thinkers don't really know the church's teachings and don't want to know. One can't call himself/herself catholic if he/she does not accept all the teachings of the church. One cannot say he/she is catholic and pro-choice at the same time, it just doesn't follow.
Abstinence is not torture as some might see it, its reasons like this that abstinence makes a lot of sense because if one abstains there would be no need for complications and if one should unfortunately find him/herself in such a situation we can't compromise. If one thinks he/she is mature enough to have sex then he/she should be mature enough to face the consequences.  Advising one to choose life for her baby is not punishing her at all, its making her aware that even though she made a mistake, she doesn't have to make another and help is available for her to start a better life without judgement.  Furthermore, to be a Catholic demands much, it demands total, selfless love for God. We can't pick and choose which we like and what we would follow just like Christ didn't pick which tortures He would undergo, he did everything for love of us.
There is more than enough proof to show that the human being in the womb is more than a potential life and if one truly wants to understand there are many materials that explain these things. I truly believe that many already know these things but the world has made it so hard to be especially catholic with the sexual revolution so we prefer to live in a subjective reality and follow our own thinking in order not to feel guilty about the atrocities we commit.

Dear catholic youth, you are not fully catholic unless you read widely and try to know your faith better by developing a good reading habit. Its not that boring. Maybe every Sunday one could just pick a little book or the cathecism and read a page or two, this way you understand more and would be able to explain to others what it means to be truly catholic.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Meat on Friday

It has been announced that all baptized Catholics are to abstain from meat consumption every Friday!
This might sound impossible for some but it is not and here are the reasons:

  1. first of all as Catholics we are obliged to express some form of love for our Lord Jesus Christ who suffered and died for us. Is it asking too much to show a little love by honoring His passion and by being grateful for it? is it asking too much to show a bit of compassion by participating in some little way in His sufferings by denying ourselves of something pleasurable for His sake like He did for ours? certainly not!
  2. The idea that it is quite unrealistic to abstain from beef for just one day is absurd! its all in the mind. There are many times we have given up things we enjoy like sleep, alcohol, TV or ice cream because we need to wake up early enough for that job or school or take care of our health and we motivate ourselves to do these things, most times we even forget we are sacrificing something because we have our goal in sight. In this case our goal is to make heaven and if abstaining on Friday will help us with that it is indeed very reasonable!
  3. Lets look at it as a day for being creative! aren't you tired of that beef stew or chicken and chips? time to try something healthy and tasty at the same time; fish! you can roast it, fry it, season with curry and pepper, you'd love its delightful taste! It could also be another way of varying our diet, trying something new which also improves our physical and spiritual well being.
  4. This helps keep our Catholic identity, it fosters unity among us knowing that we are all in this together, on this race to eternal salvation

Besides to be honest many of us probably wont engage ourselves in any form of penance if not obliged to, lets not forget there is no crown without a cross, success is achieved through sacrifice and hard work and this is exactly how it is from the spiritual aspect.
So don't worry, you won't die, you can do it!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Catholic Prayers from Childhood Part 1

From as far back as I can remember I have always said certain prayers that I know them like the back of my hand. Sometimes I grumbled slightly when my parents made us pray, not because I hated it but because I thought they were "too many" prayers! Now I'm older I have realized there can be never such a thing as too many prayers! I now believe that the more we live, the more we pray, we need our Lord's guidance in our lives in whatever we do no matter how trivial it is. Plus He is always waiting for us to talk to Him and the best way to do this is through prayer!

here are a few that I grew attached to and have come to love over the years. I'm still not good at praying  alone nor without distraction but I ask God to give me the grace to fully understand its importance and value.

P.S: the Pieta  is my favorite catholic prayer book. It is quite small but it holds enormous treasure! try to get one and you might understand what I mean

Prayer For Daily Neglects

Eternal Father, 
I offer Thee the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
with all its love, 
all its sufferings and all its merits.

First --- 

To expiate all the sins 
I have committed this day and during all my life. 

Gloria Patri. 

Second --- 

To purify the good I have done poorly this day 
and during all my life. 

Gloria Patri. 

Third --- 

To supply for the good I ought to have done, 
and that I have neglected this day and all my life. 

Gloria Patri. 

A Poor Clare sister who had just died, appeared to her 
Abbess who was praying for her, and said to her: "I 
went straight to heaven, for, by means of this prayer, 
recited every evening, I paid all my debts." 

- The Pieta

The  Miracle prayer

Lord Jesus, I come before Thee, just as I am, I am sorry for my sins, I repent of my sins, please forgive me. In Thy Name, I forgive all others for what they have done against me. I renounce Satan, the evil spirits and all their works. I give Thee my entire self, Lord Jesus, now and forever, I invite Thee into my life Jesus, I accept Thee as my Lord God and Savior. Heal me, change me, strengthen me in body, soul, and spirit.
Come Lord Jesus, cover me with Thy Precious Blood, and fill me with Thy Holy Spirit, I love Thee Lord Jesus, I praise Thee Lord Jesus, I thank Thee Jesus, I shall follow Thee every day of my life. Amen.

Mary, My Mother, Queen of Peace, all the Angels and Saints, please help me. Amen.

Pro-life Prayer

O Lord, Giver of Life, provider of health and happiness. We offer You the souls of aborted babies. We beg for pardon for those who have committed this act of murder. We pray for the old, the sick and the suffering who are killed by the painful act of Euthanasia. We beg of thee Lord to remove the vices of immorality and indecency and inculcate in our hearts the virtues of Chastity and Holy Purity. We pray for the upliftement of family values and the restoration of the family, as the first institution of the child's development  physically, mentally and spiritually.  Father we also ask of thee to fix in our hearts lively sentiments of faith hope and love for life that we may attain peace in the womb, peace in our hearts, minds, souls and eventually peace in the world. we say this prayer through Christ our lord. Amen

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Young Pilgrim's Tale

I embarked on a 60 miles pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham from the 26th-28th of August and the next few paragraphs say it all

We arrived from London to Ely on the 25th of August. the women were entitled to a large hall where they could sleep and the men were to camp at the field of a farm house. I had never camped before so I decided to join them and it was quite nice! I chose a lovely spot under the tree and I assembled my first ever tent with the help of a great friend I met that day. The other days  I slept in the halls but camping was my best sleeping experience!
I actually kept a diary of the events that occurred and what I learned from it all so here is a bit of the pilgrimage from my perspective.

 Morning of the Pilgrimage:

"It's raining outside and it's quite cool. Really enjoyed my sleep even if I was almost awake every hour (due to excitement lol) the pilgrimage starts today and I think it would be really cool!
Found a few insects in my tent though, just remembered I did leave it open for a while...
Its actually not bad to camp at all! its really cool especially if you want to write a book or be closer to nature. it was a good experience"

N.B: the dinner that night was superb, for the Africans like me that have probably never tasted melted Butter on boiled Potato, you should try it! its delightful!
The calmness of the environment struck me, I think its a good idea for us to take some time off the noise of the city and spend time somewhere really quiet and peaceful, there you calm your heart and might even hear God speak to you or inspire you to write a beautiful piece.

Day One of the Walk (about 22 Miles)

"Today was mad!!! we had mass at st Ethrelda's  Catholic Church in Ely before we embarked on our journey. It poured and poured but it was really cool! walked for miles though but it was worth it. Passed lovely farmlands and saw beautiful Swans!"

N.B: I'm not exactly a fan of walking, I'd rather drive in a nice car with comfortable seats but in order to challenge myself  I went on this walk. It seemed difficult at first but after the first few hours  I  found myself carrying on and then the thought of walking such a distance left my mind and was replaced by the intention it was for which was a huge motivation! I wore trekkers instead of boots but it suited me quite well! God probably gave us more penance by sending the rain but I liked it in a twisted kind of way ( I'm sure I'm on my own with this one lol), it felt like I was in a scene of  The Lord of the Rings! I also got my very first pilgrim staff!

Day Two of the Walk (about 22 Miles)

 Today wasn't as wet as yesterday but the weather was playing tricks on us with sunny spells, rainy pours and droplets. same walking as yesterday but saw more animals. the scenery was really beautiful! we sang the Rosary  with lovely tunes and prayed some prayers.We visited a 500 year old mansion where priests were hidden in tiny holes in those days and we prayed the Dies Irae (one of my favourite Catholic chants) at a probable grave site then we walked some more. We had a lovely dinner of Shepherd's Pie and venerated the true Cross of Jesus which one of the very fortunate pilgrims had (God bless him!)

N.B: we stopped at intervals to eat and rest, this made it quite easy to walk for more miles (obviously) and also to meet other pilgrims which were very nice.  The chaplain Fr Bede Roe was wonderful! he heard confessions and spiritual direction, he also led the rosary and was a great friend to all. Wish more priests could be like him!  the hiding places created for the priests was moving, it showed  how Catholics suffered for the love of God and the faith.
The pilgrimage consisted of both old and young people and I realised that nothing is really difficult to do with the help of God because seeing children and old people walking this walk made me realise that I have been quite lazy spiritually!

Day Three of the Walk (about 11 Miles and The Holy Mile at Walsingham)

This seemed like a piece f cake judging from how long we walked the previous days. The Sun was out and there were a few rain droplets. we finally reached our destination where we paid a visit to the Slipper Chapel, had mass and walked the Holy Mile.

N.B: this ended the pilgrimage but it marked the beginning of many things for me. The pilgrimage made me appreciate the Catholic faith even more, it truly shows how we  all are pilgrims in this world on our journey to everlasting life, with Jesus Christ amidst the severe heat and rainfalls of the world that come in form of distractions and temptations. Praying and focusing on our goal keeps us motivated to finish our walk in the right direction. It also shows the beauty of catholic community! knowing you are not alone in this tedious journey to Heaven. I was honoured to ride and walk with special people like  Miss Woolven (the charming Nightingale), Mr Riley, (the fortunate Cross Bearer), Mr Bones/ Catholic Rock star, Mr Sean (the special hobbit) and Mr Smeaton ( the wonderful coordinator) we six make a good couple!

 I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity to experience this and for making it worthwhile. Its a very good idea to add going on a pilgrimage to your itinerary for the year. It might seem tasking but the blessings and graces gained from it will be immeasurable, show a little extra love for Our Lord and challenge yourself, embark on a pilgrimage and watch how it will change your life.
 Our Lady of Walsingham, Pray for us!

P.S: The Latin Mass Society is giving a very good early booking  offer for the pilgrimage next year, click here for more details

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Is it Worth It?

I'm very hungry at the moment and I see a slightly rotten apple. Its looks very sweet; it is as red as ever and shines with delightful taste. I can't resist looking at it because it looks scrumptous! but wait! I know its rotten and if I have it I'm definitely going to have a tummy ache! I might decide to eat it anyway and endure the coming ache or I might decide not to and look for something else to eat.
Every decision we make  in life always comes with consequences and we do them probably because we are ready to take responsibility for our actions. 
I think there comes a time in life where as young catholics we have have to look inward and motivate ourselves to live the faith. Our environment is a terrible means of motivation, it is very difficult to obey God's commandments in this world. We are filled with distractions from all over; music, fashion, movies and all other forms of entertainment. Some times its difficult to find someone who's trying to live the faith like you and its also difficult for you to live like you, but one thing we could ask ourselves is; is it worth it? following the band wagon? acting as we like? accepting every single thing around us? being dormant?
Every great man or woman in history till date is remembered for something; being different. If they all followed the current we wont hear about them today. They were normal people like you and I with weakness and fears but they caused change! and this was done by standing out and doing ordinary things extraordinarily!
There is one particular thing in vogue now and (according to the world) if you are not part of it you better curl yourself up by the corner of your room and weep! most television programmes, music, fashion and other forms of entertainment slap us hard with sexual content. There is hardly a place you go without something beckoning you to participate, it almost seems like the world is on a mission to drown everyone in the sea of promiscuity. We should ask ourselves; is it worth it? satisfying our carnal nature for a few minutes or hours then facing billions of years in Hell?
Many people come up with varying excuses to justify premarital sex but till now none makes sense! I was told a while ago that sex helps prevent cancer, well... so does eating a healthy meal and going for regular checkups at the hospital. I was also told that there would be no fireworks if one keeps his/her virginity till marriage, well... there will be in heaven coupled with a great reward the person will receive and oh, yeah! there WILL be fireworks! at least in the person's heart and thats good enough.
No one is perfect but we have to strive to do Our Lord's will. Acting in the ways of the world is not worth it because it only brings pain and more pain in Hell, engaging in premarital sex attaches a lot of deadly consequences ranging from serious health risks to a chain of psychological and spiritual consequences that could damage one's life permanently.
Human beings are creative,there are other ways besides sex one can engage in and in the long run these even prove more the level of love couples have for each other because it shows the tremendous respect they have for themselves and that sex does not determine their relationship. This is often the confusion those who engage in premarital sex have, one is never sure what binds them together, two people who were never meant to be create unhealthy sexual bonds for themselves which they cannot let go and so end up entangled in a web of sexual slavery. Abstinence shows the level of maturity and commitment couples have and it shows that we are truly human because human beings are intelligent and do not act solely on instinct, we are capable of self control and discipline with the grace of God.
 A way we could help ourselves is instead of looking for "trouble" in particular places or with particular people we could make good use of our time by doing other things which will gain graces for us. A few years of ridicule and resistance to temptation is always better than loss of friendship with God for a wise man.

P.s: Every night one could say 3 Hail Mary's for Purity and trust me, it works!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gratitude, Forever and Ever

Sometimes the good things in life make one so happy. A loving family, good friends and good luck which can be interpreted as the grace of God. With so much happiness surrounding someone it is hard to remember that there are those who suffer and are deprived of such love and happiness.
When I was younger my mum always told me never to waste food. Sometimes I thought, 'isn't it my food? I can't finish it so why don't I throw the rest away? and then she would see my sulking face and say ' you have excess food to eat while there are those who do not have even a grain of rice to eat'. A grain of rice might sound far fetched but there actually are people in the world who experience terrible famine and have to scrape the dust of the earth to find food. I watched a news broadcast of  Ethiopia and I was moved to tears. I wished I could retrieve all the food I secretly disposed of when I was younger. It might look so long ago and one might think it doesn't happen anymore... well... it does.
Many of us do not realize how lucky we are. We wake up everyday with no inkling of what must have happened while we were asleep, we go about our everyday work with or without stress, we are ALIVE! and I think that is one of  the most precious things we have. Its not really easy to convince someone going through a hard time that he/she is lucky to be alive because it seems like nothing, especially if he/she is going through really tough times. But one can look at it this way, at least one still has the chance to change the bad situation into good. With the help of prayer nothing is impossible with God.
Some  say when bad things happen it means that God has forgotten His people or the grace of God has left someone. I don't think I agree, bad things happen for a reason just like good things. There are many cases where more good comes out of something bad or evil, the most common being Christ's death on the cross. I think when something terrible happens to someone it is a test or challenge for one to make the best out of it, to use it to gain merit and once that is done the reward is countless. One could be reminded of Job in the bible  who got a million fold what he lost all because of his perseverance and trust in God.
Sometimes life on earth is so wonderful and sweet that one might not want to leave it and I think that is why many are afraid of death, mainly because they love their lives too much and because they do not know what lies in store for them after this world. Well, that's why Christ keeps calling us to be like Him, that way we would not fear what lies beyond the passing shadows of this life.
Sometimes one might think he/she is heaven bound, more often than naught thoughts like how long eternity is might flood one's mind, how endless and infinite forever and ever is. If 20 billion years pass, eternity hasn't started, 50, 100 even 2000 billion years! it could be quite depressing thinking of eternity but I think what should make one depressed is where one would be! eternity in Heaven would know no bounds, it would be beautiful and ecstatic! however eternity in Hell would be terrible and horrible. So I think we should thank God for the life He has given us to be able to work out our salvation so that we spend eternity in the right place. Maybe if we think of that we would be grateful for  life at least.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dear Catholic Youth

Visiting one of the oldest cathedrals of all time as well as viewing ancient religious art, architecture and relics got me thinking; have we grown closer to God or far away?
 Over 2000 years ago Christ lived and died among us and over a thousand years after that Christians have died for our faith. Some were boiled or burnt alive, some  beheaded or roasted, some eaten by Lions and some left to starve- all because they believed in the one true God and held fast the faith which was brought from Heaven.
Can we do the same thing now?
It is very easy to say that if anyone should ask us " do you believe in Jesus Christ or the Catholic Faith?" we would say yes but let me ask you again. Imagine you are walking home one night and you are ambushed by a group of people who kidnap you and drag you to a room filled with torture instruments, even seeing this sight alone would make many tremble. One asks and you say "yes" another yanks your nail off, then you're asked again, feeling brave you say yes then this time your whole finger goes. How many would even say yes before the first torture? to be honest not many. Another scenario could be that you are in a bus and armed robbers come in, they circle you out of the multitude, place a bullet firmly on your head and ask you. To be honest many of us might deny the faith there and then!
what gave the early Christians strength to withstand terrible persecution was their love for Jesus Christ and the knowledge that they stand for Truth. Although we do not wish for misfortunes to harm us but even the slightest persecution we face we recoil. Once a group of people don't agree with our principles we try to change them because we want to be accepted in society or we do not want to be seen as prudish nor "uncivilized". Well, we all know what Christ said about those who reject Him in public.
I just had a slight argument with someone concerning Homosexuality. This has become a great topic in the world especially now that Gay marriages have been legalized in America. I explained to him that we do not hate people who are gay, we HATE their actions! such as God loves the sinner but HATES SIN!  The male and female anatomy are created in such a way that favors procreation and this is the only way such could be done, this is the way God sanctioned. As far as I am concerned it is society who tries to convince people that nothing can be done. Take away God from a country and you get all sorts of things. Very soon people will rise up and say they are in love with animals and decide to marry them! rallies from all over the world would state that animals have the same rights as human beings and should be treated as such. the unborn are slaughtered everyday, they do not have a right to live and yet people rally the world over for animal rights! Human nature brings about anarchy and that is why God, our Blessed Mother and the holy angels and saints are here to help us. God will never lower His standards for anybody. We water down our christian teachings to accommodate those who do not appreciate the precious thing we have all in the name of "moving forward"! well, on judgement day Christ will not ask us how much we "fit" in to society but how much we loved Him and stood by Him in the greatest of trials! I am proud to be Catholic and I have been ever since. If an armed robber should come to me and say "if you say you believe in God I'm going to pump two bullets into your head!" I pray to have the strength and courage to say with firmness "I believe" because that is the only way I would secure my salvation, by standing for the truth regardless of all the friends I lose and all the hate I receive.
Dear Catholic, it is not that hard, I don't think any of us would be having a bullet planted into our heads if it be  God's will but there are other ways you and I can stand for Him. with our actions, by learning about the church, our faith! getting to know Christ and understanding how much love he has for us. We also have to show our belief in our behavior and that is the only way we can be Christlike. Faith alone cannot save man and we are bound to Christ through the Precious Blood shed for our salvation.An act of kindness is a Christ like attribute. Whether we believe or not we are part of Christ, anytime we do good we are acting on our "perfect" nature and Christ is perfection.
So dear Catholic Youth, please try to stand up for your faith! and do not worry,you are not alone! we are all in this together!

Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.- Matthew 5:12-13.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Corpus Christi

As most Catholics should know, the feast of Corpus Christi was on Thursday but the procession is usually held on Sunday. Its a wonderful sight seeing Jesus Christ venerated in His true presence; yes! I said
Many of us have forgotten or stopped believing that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist and it is possible to say that that's the sole reason why the Mass is not as solemn as it used to be. Imagine if I believe that Jesus is truly present at church, at the altar, I would wear my best clothes to mass taking good care of decency. I would prostrate in front of the altar greeting Him with all humility, I would worship Him with so much reverence and awe, my behavior would be far more better than how I would comport myself while at the presence of the Queen of England or the President of the United States or any other dignitary!I would try my very best to pay attention at Mass and ask Him for all the things in this world while also thanking Him for all the things He has done for me!
This is the faith that has kept the world for so long, The greatest gift Jesus ever gave and still gives us is His true presence, He IS there, In the tabernacle, the Host, waiting for you and I to receive Him worthily, to venerate Him, to love and Honor Him.
Its time for us to remember or renew our belief of Jesus in the blessed Sacrament, only then would we have the proper disposition while attending mass and so increase in our Faith.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The shocking fact!!!

It is often said that when new ways of doing things do not work go back to old ways of doing things.
I could have started with the stats and all but I know we are very familiar with them that there is a high rate abortion the use of contraception and promiscuity. After years and years of thinking finally the solution is here! The solution is old and very effective; the solution is painless and often strengthens the bond between the couple…. Wait for it, you probably have already figured it out…yes! It’s ABSTINENCE.
For unmarried couples a man who can wait no matter how hard it isdefinitely loves the girl, the girl is sure that he does not just lust over her but that he really wants her, she does not feel insecure when he is talking to other girls, he does not suspect her unnecessarily because there is trust. He does not talk to her any how because there is respect.
Love, Respect and trust= happy married life!
Here I am not just talking about abstinence for unmarried but even married couples who want to space their children.
When a man is given the option of contraception he is being told that he has no self- control and just has to do it, he is being told that he should do it without worrying about the consequences. That is the same mentality behind a man cheating on his wife, ‘doing it without worrying about the consequences’, that is the same mentality behind abortion ‘doing it without worrying about the consequences’. We can see that no matter how they differ in definitions they are all saying the same thing. Its almost as if different words are used to mean the same thing.
When a man really loves his wife he should be able to abstain from her if she is sick or just recovering from the birth of a child, it is selfish for him to make sure he goes on using contraception. As much as sex is a drive, it is controllable, because man is not only a sexual being but a being that reasons! He has a cortex and a prefrontal lobe that is able to make decisions and decide that no matter how strong the drive is reason is superior to it. It is the reason that makes a man even when aroused by someone who is not his wife to say ‘I will not do it’ love makes him say ‘I have a wife’.
So what is lacking is the use of reason as intellectual beings and love. There you have it the shocking truth revealed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Son, behold thy Mother!

This is probably what brings much controversy in the world. Many accuse Catholics of "worshiping" The Virgin Mary, others say we attach too much importance to Her. I wonder how one treats his or her own mother, for the well brought up ones I am quite sure they are respectful and grateful for all the love, care and support their mother must have shown them and I am also sure they would show this gratitude with actions. How much more God? The Woman who brought God made man into the world HAS to be HONORED and Respected! she was NOT like any other woman and God could not have chosen just anybody to bear Jesus Christ the Son of God, same as God had  concrete reason for making your mother give birth to you, not just any woman could have given birth to you because they possibly would not have the same 100 percent characteristics your mother has, same as God. The Holy Bible also defends this claim of Mary Mother of God, it is in various parts of scripture as follows:
•His conception (Luke 1:2) 
•His development in the womb, including the fetal development of John the Baptist (Lk 1:43)
•His birth (Lk 2:7) 
•Offering Him to God (Lk 2:22) 
•Early childhood (Lk 2:22-38) 
•His confirmation at 12 years old (Lk 2:49) 
•His start in public ministry and the first of his miracles, which she instigated. (Wedding at Cana Jn 2:3) 
•His death on Calvary (Jn 19:26) 
•The birth of the Church at the Pentecost (Acts 1:14)
. Let us not forget that The Catholic Church was the church that collected and arranged the books of the bible so its interpretation should be accepted.
In order to understand better here is a video that all must watch.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Catholic Terms

What is an indulgence?

An Indulgence is a full or partial remission of temporal punishment due to sins that have already being forgiven. When a sin is committed against God the consequences that follow it remain even after confession an indulgence helps to wipe out the consequences which follow the sin, the indulgence can reduce the years one is to spend in Purgatory due to the sin or cleanse out the consequences entirely, in such a case such a soul will go straight to heaven.

The indulgence is granted by the Catholic Church from the merits Christ has obtained for us and the virtues and penances of the saints. They are granted for specific good works and prayers.

Actions for which indulgences are granted

There are four general grants of indulgence, which are meant to encourage the faithful to infuse a Christian spirit into the actions of their daily lives and to strive for perfection of charity. These indulgences are partial, and their worth therefore depends on the fervor with which the person performs the recommended actions:

1.     Raising the mind to God with humble trust when performing one's duties and bearing life's difficulty, and adding, at least mentally, some pious invocation.

2.     Devoting oneself or one's goods compassionately in a spirit of faith to the service of one's brothers and sisters in need.

3.     Freely abstaining in a spirit of penance from something licit and pleasant.

4.     Freely giving open witness to one's faith before others in particular circumstances of everyday life.

Among the particular grants, which, on closer inspection, will be seen to be included in one or more of the four general grants, especially the first, the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum draws special attention to four activities for which a plenary indulgence can be gained on any day, though only once a day:

1.     Piously reading or listening to Sacred Scripture for at least half an hour.

2.     Adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist for at least half an hour.

3.     The pious exercise of the Stations of the Cross .

4.     Recitation of the Rosary or the Akathist in a church or oratory, or in a family, a religious community, an association of the faithful and, in general, when several people come together for an honourable purpose.

A plenary indulgence may also be gained on some occasions, which are not everyday occurrences. They include:

Receiving, even by radio or television, the blessing given by the Pope Urbi et Orbi (to the city of Rome and to the world) or that which a bishop is authorized to give three times a year to the faithful of his diocese.
Taking part devoutly in the celebration of a day devoted on a world level to a particular religious purpose. Under this heading come the annual celebrations such as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and occasional celebrations such as World Youth Day.
Taking part for at least three full days in a spiritual retreat.
Taking part in some functions during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity including its conclusion.
The prayers specifically mentioned in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum are not of the Latin Rite tradition alone, but also from the traditions of the Eastern Catholic Churches, such as the Akathistos, Paraklesis, Evening Prayer, and Prayer for the Faithful Departed (Byzantine), Prayer of Thanksgiving (Armenian), Prayer of the Shrine and the Lakhu Mara (Chaldean), Prayer of Incense and Prayer to Glorify Mary the Mother of God (Coptic), Prayer for the Remission of Sins and Prayer to Follow Christ (Ethiopian), Prayer for the Church, and Prayer of Leave-taking from the Altar (Maronite), and Intercessions for the Faithful Departed (Syrian).

Apart from the recurrences listed in the Enchiridion, special indulgences are granted on occasions of special spiritual significance such as a Jubilee Year or the centenary or similar anniversary of an event such as the apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes or the celebration of a World Youth Day.

Of particular significance is the plenary indulgence attached to the Apostolic Blessing that a priest is to impart when giving the sacraments to a person in danger of death, and which, if no priest is available, the Church grants to any rightly disposed Christian at the moment of death, on condition that that person was accustomed to say some prayers during life. In this case the Church itself makes up for the three conditions normally required for a plenary indulgence: sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the Pope's intentions.

other means include:

whoever says 'Blessed be the holy and immaculate conception of the Blessed Mary Mother of God'. Leo XIII granted for each time an indulgence of three hundred days.

For those who recite the Litany of Loretto after the Rosary, three hundred days.

For those who mention the names Jesus, Mary and Joseph - seven years and seven quarantines.

 For hearing Mass when specially granted and for making an act of contrition- Benedict XV granted three hundred days, also for the act of love 'My God , I love Thee' - three hundred days.

 For those who say 'O Mary , Queen of light, enlighten sinners and bring them to your son.'- three hundred days.

For those who meditate at least 15 minutes every day- Benedict XIV granted a plenary indulgence once a month if one receives the Holy Eucharist and goes for confession.

There are so many prayers that one can obtain indulgences from here a few are mentioned but in prayer books like the 'Roman Catholic Missal', 'Simple prayer Book', 'Christain Devotions' and 'with God' some of these prayer can be found.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Back to The Roots

If you ask me if I am Catholic I would definitely say "yes I am!" its really easy to say but what I ponder within myself is " am I truly Catholic?"
There is this famous quote that is used in many occasions "actions speak louder than words" and it could also be related to this. The Catholic Church has strict Laws and Dogmas which make up the culture of the faith and the Creed is a standard summary of everything believed.
 Many people think Catholics are "too strict" because the church has so many "rules" and " guidelines" that probably must be obeyed in order to make heaven. I see them as such because they help to keep man on track and this is really necessary especially in this day and age where there are so many laws which contradict even our very human nature! sometimes people get so caught up in the world that they tend to bend the rules of the church to suit themselves while some just leave because they prefer to succumb than become "stiff" and "prudish". I believe the reason why many people are not Catholic is because they are quite overwhelmed by the extreme measures one must go through to become holy and also probably don't believe all that is necessary while some might want a religion where it is easy to compromise and suit their standard of living, one that is "stress free". We should not forget that Jesus Christ gave His WHOLE self to us, the love He had was immeasurable, He shed every drop of His Blood and this was because of His immense Love for Mankind. So if Jesus Christ God could give of Himself to mere creatures like us why should we deny Him ourselves? I am quite sure it all boils down to Love. I think if we love God we would not have to compromise anything  to serve Him.
Many issues the world faces today is possibly due to Godlessness and pride. Man has forgotten the price that was paid for his salvation, God-given intelligence is repaid by denying His existence and mockery, it is almost biblical. Let us not forget that most of civilization was brought by religion and this is probably the only way we can achieve a stable nation.
Catholics need to learn their faith thoroughly, many have formed new  teachings and misunderstood  the church. In this case I think it would be advisable to go way back to the original teachings especially on issues which contradict  human life, sexuality, papacy and beatification . One should study these objectively and try to live accordingly without compromise because Christ did not compromise when he decided to die for us.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Prayer of St Augustine

This is a prayer that could be found in probably every missal. I think It would be a wonderful thing to share with you. It helps us contemplate on the immense love and mercy Jesus has for us and our ingratitude towards Him.
 Before Thine eyes O Lord, we bring our sins and we compare them with the stripes we have received.
If we examine the evil we have wrought, what we suffer is little, what we deserve is great.
what we have committed is very grievous, what we have suffered is very slight.
We feel the punishment of sin, yet withdraw not from the obstinacy of sinning.
Under Thy lash our inconsistency is visited, but our sinfulness is not changed.
Our suffering soul is tormented, but our neck is not bent.
Our life groans under sorrow, yet mends not in deed.
If Thou spare us, we correct not our ways: if Thou punish, we cannot endure it.
In time of correction we confess our wrong doing: after Thy visitation we forget  that we have wept.
If Thou stretchest forth thy hand, we promise amendment, if  Thou witholdest the sword, we keep not our promise.
If Thou strikest, we cry out for mercy, if Thou sparest, we provoke Thee to strike.
Here we are before Thee, O Lord confessedly guilty: we know that unless Thou pardon we shall deservedly perish.
Grant then, O almighty Father, without our deserving it and the pardon we ask; Thou madest out of nothing those who ask Thee. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Love does it ALL

I'm sure some might think why all of a sudden some young person feels she can just wake up one morning and talk about God or her faith, advice people about what to do as if she knows it all or teach about the faith when she could be wrong! the truth is this is something we  are all meant to do!
I remember once how happy I was to receive my first holy communion and it was one of the happiest days of my life. I felt joy that I would receive Jesus for the first time and it was overwhelming to me. There are times in our lives where religion becomes common place, some people say it is mostly at old age because they believe one has to become 'holy' since he/she is approaching the grave. But then I wonder what one would say about those who die early, what then? anyone could die at any time? is there a time frame to be holy and when not to be?
I believe the easiest way to grow in holiness is to develop a genuine love for God. Most times we probably do things or try to keep the commandments consciously or unconsciously because of hell.  It is also like going for confession just because we don't want to go to hell, when it is meant to be because we are sorry for offending Him who loves us so much. Fear is a good motivator to get things done but it usually lacks love. I truly believe that if one gets to know God he/she would understand His ways and love Him. I also think that that's why God made it the greatest commandment because when you love someone you go through any pain, accept any form of ridicule or disapproval just to please that one person, you do not care about what people think and would do all in your power to please the person. once one has love for God I believe everything falls into place, things that we once thought we could never let go of become unnecessary because we have developed new priorities, we would not even care about most worldly things because there is already something filling the void which is  the love for Jesus, His Blessed Mother and heavenly beings. It is possible for some people to think that life would become boring once one becomes holy, even if I haven't reached that stage I do not agree. Yes it might look boring to those who are still caught up with things of the world that seem exciting to them but I think people have different priorities. some live for the world while some live for heaven and that's how life is.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Basic Tools for Building Prayer Life

I am  a young Catholic, filled with the spirit of eagerness to make Heaven, sometimes its easy, sometimes it seems impossible. My prayers are hard and difficult  to say because there is something always more interesting to do, something more "fun". I want to make It, but its hard! to give up the sweetness and excitement of extravagance, to moderate pleasure is depressing! to be disliked by most is torture! but wait! Jesus Christ did it? He Did!!! for love of me! I like fun but I am not heartless! I should be grateful, I should be thankful, I should show love! O the temptation is back, how do I walk the straight path? I'm not that brave, I cant do it on my own. I bet someday, I'll find a way, or better still I should struggle to go to church and let God speak to me. Ah yes! the basic tools of life! I could start from there:
  1. MASS
I could start from there.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Now is The Time

 Saint Chrysostom was walking through the dessert one day and he saw a skull. God permitted the skull to talk to him so he asked, ‘where are you’ the skull said ‘I am in hell’. Then Saint Chrysostom asked ‘why are you in hell?’ and the skull replied ‘I am in hell because I did not believe and respect the Blessed Trinity’. The skull also told Saint Chrysostom that he was in a very deep part of hell. Saint Chrysostom asked ‘is there any place worse than the part of hell you are in?’ the skull replied ‘yes’ then he asked ‘who are the people there?’ then the Skull said ‘LUKEWARM CATHOLICS’
Dear Catholic it is time for you to wake up, we cannot be lukewarm with our Faith, we have to take the sacraments more serious because they are our only way of making heaven, we should go for Confession often, pray(especially the Holy Rosary), attend Mass often especially on Sundays and engage in other Pious practices. We should ask God to give us the grace to do His will in every aspect of our Lives.
May God help us all Amen.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Self Denial

The season of lent is a perfect time to practice self denial. Not only does it help us spiritually but also on self improvement. there are a few things we might have liked not to do or do but due to our human nature we find it difficult to. For instance one might want to read a bit more but most times finds it difficult because he/she is always facebooking. this lent instead of thinking of how sad and boring life would be for the next couple of weeks one can see it as how he/she would become much smarter after the next couple of weeks. its all in the mind and it also depends on how you approach the situation. Another instance can be if one is always used to taking the train or bus to close distances and wants to give that up, one could think of it as exercise. 
Prayer is another thing most of us find difficult, it doesn't mean we are evil, its just because it is quite difficult kneeling in one position for a long time and the average attention span of an individual is probably about 30 mins. One thing I think can be done (which has helped me a lot) is to think of all the people who need our prayers; our loved ones, family, friends, the world at large. we could think of natural disasters and how prayer can help the inhabitants use them as a means for conversion. we could think of our own needs and how prayer would help us combat our sinful nature. I'm sure by the time these things run through our minds we wont find it difficult to pray. Besides if one looks at it, if we knew for certain the world was ending tomorrow we would not mind praying the whole day! (I wont, ha ha!)
Ultimately its all for the love of God and remember, your mindset determines if lent would be fruitful or fruitless.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It Takes Time

It is not an easy task to write about our faith, not that it is difficult, it is simply because there is so much to be written and it is hard to know where to start. from the time this blog was made till now, it has been difficult to think of what angle to start from. I think I would just talk about issues that are particular to the faith.
as lent is here, we all know it is the time of fasting and abstinence. most of us know this because our parents have told us this is what we do. the church also has declared  a sensible form of  self denial so that we can unite ourselves with Christ's sufferings and also make atonement for our sins. Now some might ask "why must we fast?" " is it necessary?" "Jesus has died for us, we do not need to suffer again". well, as a catholic youth this is how I understand it and think it is the same as the church's view .
when we want to get good grades, we work hard to get them. we do not play around because we have a goal; to pass our exams. when we need to be somewhere on time, sometimes we set an alarm or wake up earlier because we want to get to our destination. these and many more show instances where we practice self denial for wordly things. I think the same is for heaven, I believe there is no crown without a cross. Jesus Christ had to suffer and die for us in order to redeem us and He was rewarded with the Kingship of heaven and Earth, although He already had this because He is God, in order to set an example for us He did this. We all know that in order to enter heaven we have to be Christlike, in order to be Christlike we have to follow in the footsteps of our Lord hence prayer and fasting. Yes Jesus Christ has suffered and died for us BUT we do not have a "free" ticket to heaven. we have to work hard for it and prove that we are children of God. Let us always try to remember that nothing unclean can enter heaven and for us to stay "clean" we have to fast and pray like Jesus did. from the psychological aspect, man always has a sense of fulfillment when he has denied himself of something to achieve a greater goal. for instance when a man works hard to get promoted or a huge salary; he has sleepless nights, rarely eats sometimes and even gives up many luxuries till he reaches his destination!  he fulfills his   basic need to  continue to climb the ladder to self actualization.
this is not the only reason why we fast or abstain. when you love someone, you would do whatever the person asks, no strings attached, just because you love the person and that is how it is with Jesus Christ. if we love Him we would try to keep his commandments. also when someone we love has been hurt, we usually try to show compassion for that person. we might  visit the person and do things that inconvenience us just to make the person feel better. that is how its supposed to be. in order to show our love for Jesus we should try to do things that would please Him. Let us reflect on this during the week and discover the numerous amounts of graces we can heap this Lent.
May Our Blessed Mother Mary help us, Amen.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Profession of faith (the Apostles Creed)

The Apostles Creed is a profession of faith which was developed sometime in the 3rd century. it goes like this

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
This is the summary of our faith. If one meditates on it, one would truly understand the basis of what we believe in.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


welcome to the Catholic youth Blog.
This blog is one made to help young catholics know and understand their faith.
All over the world people especially non-catholics are radical, they openly express what they believe in and are ready to challenge whatever or whoever disagrees with their belief. why cant we catholics do this? why? BECAUSE WE EITHER DO NOT BELIEVE, WE ARE SCARED OR WE DO NOT KNOW! so this blog is to help us go through the history of our faith, understand it and know how beautiful it is. our hearts would not be at rest till it rests in the Lord!