The "Heavenly Image": Our Lady of Guadalupe

The "Heavenly Image": Our Lady of Guadalupe
If anyone knows something about penance, it is our heavenly Mother, the Blessed Virgin is how she revealed herself to St. Juan Diego and to us, as our celestial Mother, our Redemptris (advocating for her Son, the Son of God, J.C.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Confession: Why?

Confession?  Why?   Joe shares his insight...
 Seminarian Joe Scolaro, from Glen Cove, New York

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tips for Lenten Practices

  1. Fasting- excellent for Fridays, and Tuesdays if you want to get serious!  What do we mean: bread and water only, the "catholic" fast of one full mean and two smaller ones?  Maybe.  If you are up for it (I wouldn't start here though).  Howsa bout this:  If you go to Starbucks every morning before work, then do not go on Fridays!  You will be surprised how good this will feel Friday night when your head hits the pillow (Grace, baby!)
  2. Mortification- Usually some form of prayer.  Saying the Rosary, or a decade (easy-one Our Father and ten Hail Marys).  Or time alone before the Blessed Sacrament (either in the tabernacle or even better, exposed at "Adoration").
  3. Family Prayer-- Even better!  Whether we say a common grace before meals, any meal- "Bless us O Lord for these thy gifts which we are about to receive through thy bounty of Christ our Lord, Amen".  This is a favorite "2nd Century" prayer (as told by Bishop Wm. Murphy, DRVC).
These are just some ideas.  Why not "google" Penitential practices, Lenten Practices, My Lenten Practice and such.

Also a great website is this one from Creighton Online Ministries, very Catholic and true!

Great Website for Spiritual Tips, Lenten Practices

A Word About Penance and Mortification

Penance and Mortification do not sound like very much fun at all.  They are not, per se.  However, consider that we are nearly always looking for some type of fulfillment, whether they are minuscule things like a chocolate chip cookie (one of my favorites) or deeper desires that reside in the heart.  Ultimately our fulfillment can only be satisfied by God who is Love!

Penance and mortification are types of self-disciplines that help us point to God, to deny ourselves out of love for Him, the Triune God (Father, Son and Spirit).  By doing so we can receive His grace.  St. Ignatius of Loyola lived only for His grace and love.  This 16th Century Mystic Saint is a great image for us to measure ourselves against our fallen selves.  Ignatius was a man of the world, much like St. Francis and St. Claire, only the Spaniard lived three centuries later.  Once all three of these great Saints of our Church reformed their lives, ordering themselves to God instead of this world, they then really lived their lives full of joy and full of love.  They were, in a word- FULFILLED!