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.