We wouldn't have a reason to spend time writing if you were not faithfully reading - thanks!
May you invite Jesus into your heart once again this holy season.
Well, it is that time of year when some of you leave St. Mary's for winter break and others graduate to become Apostles for the Church and world as we say here at St. Mary's.
I must tell you that I am terribly proud of all of you and it is one of the singular pleasures of being a priest at St. Mary's Catholic Center, Texas A&M, and Blinn College; to see what fine young men and women you turn into after four, six, or seven or so years. May God bless you and keep you safe as you follow his love wherever it leads. Please give us your address so we can keep up with you and come and visit when you can.
“In this oasis of quiet, before the wonderful spectacle of nature, one easily experiences how profitable silence is, a good that today is ever rarer. The many opportunities of relation and information that modern society offers sometimes run the risk of robbing time for recollection, to the point of rendering persons incapable of reflecting and praying. In reality, only in silence does man succeed in hearing in the depth of his conscience the voice of God, which really makes him free. And vacations can help us rediscover and cultivate this indispensable interior dimension of human life” --JPII ,Angelus, July 11, 2004.It is important to enter Christmas break with a “plan” for your spiritual life. Otherwise it is so easy to drift away even from the prayer commitment that you had during the semester.
PRAYER OF ST. THOMASIneffable Creator, Who out of the treasures of Thy wisdom has appointed three hierarchies of Angels and set them in admirable order high above the heavens and hast disposed the divers portions of the universe in such marvellous array, Thou Who art called the True Source of Light and supereminent Principle of Wisdom, be pleased to cast a beam of Thy radiance upon the darkness of my mind and dispel from me the double darkness of sin and ignorance in which I have been born.
Thou Who makest eloquent the tongues of little children, fashion my words and pour upon my lips the grace of Thy benediction. Grant me penetration to understand, capacity to retain, method and facility in study, subtlety in interpretation and abundant grace of expression.Order the beginning, direct the progress and perfect the achievement of my work, Thou Who art true God and true Man and livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
Grant, O merciful God, that I mayardently desire,prudently examine,truthfully acknowledge,and perfectly accomplishwhat is pleasing to You,for the praise and glory of Your Name. Amen.
A Prayer before studying for exams.“God of Wisdom, I thank you for the knowledge gained and the learning experiences of the semester. I come to you this day and ask you to illuminate my mind and heart. Let your Spirit be with me as I prepare for exams, guiding my studies, and giving me insight so that I can perform to the best of my ability. Please grant me the strength to handle the pressure during these final days of the semester, the confidence to feel secure in my knowledge, and the ability to keep an appropriate perspective through it all. Help me to keep in mind what is truly important, even as I focus my time and energy on these tests in the immediate future. Finally, may I sense your peace in knowing that I applied myself to the challenges of this day.”-Amen-
1 - O Great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
Through Christ our Lord.
St. Joseph of Cupertino, Pray for us.
2 - O St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayer obtained from God to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. Grant that I may like you succeed in the (here mention the name of Examination) examination.**Finally, here are two prayers from Catholic.org:
In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me
O Holy Ghost enlighten me
Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me
Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me.
Under thy patronage, dear Mother, and calling on the mystery of thine Immaculate Conception, I desire to pursue my studies and my literary labors: I hereby solemnly declare that I am giving myself to these studies chiefly to the following end: that I may the better contribute to the glory of God and to the promotion of thy veneration among men. I pray thee, therefore, most loving Mother, who art the Seat of Wisdom, to bless my labors in thy loving-kindness. Moreover I promise with true affection and a willing spirit, as it is right that I should do, to ascribe all the good that shall come to me therefrom, wholly to thine intercession for me in God's holy presence. Amen.
Incomprehensible Creator, the true Fountain of light and only Author of all knowledge: deign, we beseech Thee, to enlighten our understanding, and to remove from us all darkness of sin and ignorance. Thou, who makest eloquent the tongues of those who lack utterance, direct our tongues, and pour on our lips the grace of thy blessing. Give us a diligent and obedient spirit, quickness of apprehension, capacity of retaining, and the powerful assistance of Thy holy grace; that what we hear or learn we may apply to Thy honor and the eternal salvation of our own souls. Amen.
Over thirty years have passed since same-sex attraction rushed up from deep within my twelve-year-old frame. This attraction was unbidden and unwanted, yet simultaneously forceful and compelling.This article describes well the goals and path of the Courage ministry. If you are a student at Texas A&M or Blinne and want to learn more about the Courage ministry at St. Marys Catholic Center, contact Fr. David Konderla via our website.
As a Christian, the conflict between my sexuality and my faith would become the deepest and most intense of my life. Now in my forties, I’ve gone from being closeted to openly lesbian to celibate to heterosexually married. The fact that I need to qualify my marital union as a heterosexual one reveals how much the cultural landscape has changed in that time—just as much as my own personal landscape has, though in very different ways.
During my upbringing, I heard a few fiery sermons on homosexuality. These days, I hear declarations of love instead. They make me shout for joy. Amen! It always should have been so! At the same time, however, many pastors have begun accompanying this love with an eschewal of Biblical sexual morality as oppressive, unreasonable, or unkind. Hence, loving homosexual persons also comes to entail affirming and encouraging them in same-sex sexual relationships and behaviors.
Although I appreciate the desire to act in love, this isn’t the genuine love that people like me need. Love me better than that!
2297 Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.It goes on to say:
2298 In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.Benedict XVI - says this about torture:
Public authorities must be ever vigilant in this task, eschewing any means of punishment or correction that either undermine or debase the human dignity of prisoners. In this regard, I reiterate that the prohibition against torture “cannot be contravened under any circumstances”The Pope was quoting the Compendium of Social Doctrine when he gave the quote above. Here is what the fuller quote says, in context:
In carrying out investigations, the regulation against the use of torture, even in the case of serious crimes, must be strictly observed: “Christ's disciple refuses every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify and in which the dignity of man is as much debased in his torturer as in the torturer's victim”. International juridical instruments concerning human rights correctly indicate a prohibition against torture as a principle which cannot be contravened under any circumstances.Now, I know that there are several Catholic writers, theologians and others who blur the distinctions between what constitutes torture and what doesn't. Violence (moral or physical) is the key here, as the Catechism defines torture. This is a moral absolute and the game of "what if" doesn't do justice to the situation, because we cannot justify the means by the ends. If we are truly pro-life, then we must be so in all cases, not just abortion and related issues.
"Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable." - G.K. ChestertonFor a longer study on the issue, I recommend this link from the USCCB.
"We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."Here is what the Church teaches about the I.C. - Mary was conceived in the womb of her mother without original sin. This grace is the same supernatural grace we receive in baptism, but is given at the moment of her creation, thus freeing Mary from the affects of original sin - in her soul. Humans, after the fall, are not created in the state of grace, but in a fallen state and in need of grace. Mary is the one special exception, chosen not for her own sake to do this, but for the sake of being the Mother of God.
"Every personal sin must be excluded from the Blessed Virgin Mary for the sake of the honor of God." - St. Augustine, 390ADRemember that the Angel in Luke 1:38 says that Mary is "full of grace". This is more of a title than a statement. If she had sinned, she would not be full of grace, nor would she have been a worthy tabernacle to carry our Lord in. God predestined Mary for a special honor. This teaching is important because it teaches several things:
"Mary, a virgin not only undefiled but a virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free from every stain." - St. Ambrose of Milan, 340AD
"You, and your Mother are alone in this. You are wholly beautiful in every respect. There is in you, Lord, no stain, nor any spot in your Mother." - St. Ephraem, 350AD
November 26, 2014
St. Joseph, Minnesota
The U.S District Court for the District of Minnesota issued a permanent injunction in the case of Rev. Mr. (Deacon) Gregory E. Hall and American Mfg Company v. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al. This is the first Minnesota federal decision that grants a permanent injunction to a for-profit company that challenged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandated insurance coverage for abortifacients, sterilization, birth control, and related counseling.
In April 2013, Deacon Hall and the company obtained a preliminary injunction that remained in place until the permanent injunction was issued. On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, in the matter of Hobby Lobby Stores, held that small closely held companies may assert rights under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA). In light of the Hobby Lobby decision, the Department of Justice stipulated to the order that prohibits the HHS from enforcing the mandate insurance coverage against Deacon Hall and AMC.
Deacon Hall is the sole owner of AMC, which is located in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and currently has less than 50 employees. The company manufactures pumps and equipment used world-wide in the drilling and mining industries.
Deacon Hall is an ordained deacon for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. Hall commenced his lawsuit to prevent the federal government from forcing the company’s group health insurance plan to provide cost-free coverage for products and services that violate his deeply held religious beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church. The permanent injunction will allow AMC to continue to provide health insurance without the threat of penalties for non-compliance.
In early 2013, Deacon Hall was among the early parties to challenge the government’s federal requirements. There are now over 100 lawsuits nationwide, and the courts are beginning to issue permanent injunctions. Deacon Hall’s case is unique in being the only one brought by an ordained minister who owns and manages a secular company. The other parties challenging the government are religious entities, such as the Archdiocese of Washington, religious-affiliated entities, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, and lay business persons with seriously held religious beliefs, such Hobby Lobby Stores.
Deacon Hall responds: “I hope that the results that we were able to achieve will encourage others to follow the dictates of their religious beliefs and stand up and assert their fundamental and legal rights.”
The case is Rev. Mr. (Deacon) Gregory E. Hall, et al, V. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al., Case No. 13-CV-00295 (JRT/LIB). The Order was signed by U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim. Deacon Hall was represented by Erick Kaardal with Mohrman, Kaardal and Erickson, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and by Thomas E. Mathews with Hughes Mathews Greer, St. Cloud, Minnesota.
I was able to purchase this amazing television with an FHA loan (30 year fixed-rate w/ 4.25% APR) and only 3.5% down. This is, hands down, the best decision I've ever made. And the box it came in is incredibly roomy too, which is a huge bonus, because I live in it now.
I measured the TV and it was actually 104.6 inches not 105 so I returned it.
This TV is great! It looks so much like real life that I almost feel like I have one! Before I bought this I would sit at home all alone wiping my tears with $100 bills and leopard fur for hours on end. Now I can trick myself into thinking that the people on the screen are actually my friends. Thanks Samsung!
I had the opportunity to save 24,000 lives in Africa. I decided this curved TV would be better for the world. Thank you Samsung. You are a savior.
For $1 more you can buy the city of Detroit.
Picked up one these little beauties this morning, with only 1 issue. 50 bucks for the mini wall mount speakers that accompany it? Does it look like I'm made of money, Samsung?