2013-03-31

Happy Easter!

Today we celebrate the most important day of Christianity, the day that gives testimony to the faith and the truth through Jesus' submission to God's divine will. I wish you and your family the joy of Easter!

God bless,

Peter's Bride

2013-03-26

For the Love of Martyrs

As I have mentioned before, I make mantillas. No mantilla is complete, however, without attaching to it the name of a female saint from Catholic Christian history.

You may think this rather odd. I do not and I'll tell you why.

Take Saint Blandina, for example. St. Blandina was a slave who lived in the second century, under the rule of Marcus Aurelius. In 177 AD, she and her master, also a Christian, were caught with fellow Christians, imprisoned and eventually put to death.

Although considered frail, Saint Blandina, was the last to die. She sustained hours upon hours of torture to the point of exhausting her torturors. In the end, Blandina was scourged, burned with red hot grates and placed in a net to be tossed around by wild steers in an amphitheatre.

In fact, the tortures Saint Blandina was subject to could easily be considered by today's standards, under the terms of the Hague, a crime against humanity. Marcus Aurelius would surely have been tried and found guilty.

As horrific as St. Blandina's death was, we must acknowledge that in the 21st century, little has changed in some parts of the world. Christians are still being put to death. Christians are still hated. Nowadays, even the media looks for every opportunity to belittle those who believe in Jesus Christ and all that he represents and in Holy Mother Church.

By telling the stories of the saints I hope to remind everyone that our Christian faith was built pain by pain, tear by tear, on the backs of those earlier Christians who testified to the truth by offering their lives, thus, building brick by brick, the foundation of Christ's church.
 
These stories deserve to be told. These saints deserve to be remembered.

In peace,

Peter's Bride

2013-03-22

Our Churches, Our Selves

When I had the good fortune of joining a parish that had a Latin mass, I was quickly converted. Although, at first, lost in the Latin language, I was enthralled by the beautiful simplicity that was the mass itself. The focus was, unmistakably, on the body and blood of Christ. A whole new world opened up and helped me to begin to understand the two thousand year old practices of my Catholic faith.


Fast forward three years later, my husband and I made a decision to relocate some seven hundred miles to a small community where, despite all my hopes, there was no Latin mass. It had, apparently, been forbidden some years earlier within the diocese by the then bishop.

We made the two hour trip once monthly to the only Latin mass offered in the province. But, two hours in the dead of winter across rural highways has its limitations.

After much discernment, my husband and I decided to attend the Novus Ordo mass at the local church, which happens to be the cathedral for the diocese.

Imagine my pain and sadness when I walked into this cathedral. Paint peeled away from above the arches like leaves falling from mighty oaks in an autumn wind.

My heart literally felt heavy.

This church was built with the love and devotion of artisans and craftsmen.

It was to be occupied by a people whose journey by ship to a new land in the harshest of conditions to live lives of great toil and uncertainty, but who lived filled with faith in God that they and their children would forge new and better lives.

Today, this church is rarely even half filled except during holidays. It has been wracked by the same burdens too painful to even mention that have left other churches in a similar state of disrepair.

I am reminded of the story of a great saint. God called upon Saint Francis to rebuild his church. Saint Francis answered this call. He first tried to repair the churches on the physical level.

But, this was not enough.

Saint Francis then repaired the churches on the spiritual level by spreading the good news of Jesus Christ through his missionaries. And, the people responded to this message. The churches were filled again.

What will it take to rebuild our churches today?


Peace,

Peter's Bride

2013-03-21

Eight isn't enough!

My husband and I have fourteen children. That's right, fourteen. Well, they are fourteen would be children.

Let me explain...

My husband and I each pray for seven children who are yet to be born. We have spiritually adopted them.

The Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen, wrote a simple prayer for the spiritual adoption of unborn children. It takes literally seconds to say, but the outcome of which results in saving a child from abortion. Can you imagine, a simple prayer for nine months will save a child from death!

I invite you today to spiritually adopt a child or two, or three... or seven unborn children and save them from a cruel demise that only can be described as horrific.

Spiritual Adoption

Jesus, Mary and Joseph
I love you very much.
I beg you to spare the life
of the unborn child that I
have spiritually adopted who is
in danger of abortion.

-Bishop Fulton Sheen

Baby's name:________________________
                             (choose a name)

Due date: __________________________
                        (9 months from today)

God bless you,

Peter's Bride


2013-03-18

Truth: A Commentary

Last night, I watched the TV series, The Bible. I had been looking forward to it all week since it was in this episode that the story moves from the Old Testament to the New Testament, marking the birth of Jesus.

It had bothered me somewhat after watching the previous episode that the movie was not portraying events in the bible accurately. For example, David was not discovered tending his sheep along a winding brook and anointed there on the spot. In actuality, the bible tells us, that he was the last of seven sons who was summoned home after the prophet, Samuel, asked for the son not presented by his father.

Last night, the inaccuracies continued when Jesus went to Galilee and recruited Peter to be a fisher of men. Peter was not the first to be recruited, although the movie would have you think otherwise. There were other inaccuracies too, but I use these only to illustrate a much larger issue.

When it comes to issues of faith and truth, information is often misrepresented. It seems this week, that no matter what I turn my attention to, I find myself recognizing yet another example of the truth being covered over, misrepresented, or just plain lied about.

One case in point has to do with the multitudinous references to evolution. For example, a recent reading of my gardening book on the botany of plants, I found the author presenting explanations based on evolution as though they are indisputable facts, when truly they are not.

Even Darwin's origin of species has more holes in it than Swiss cheese and, yet, Darwin's theory of evolution continues to be promoted as indisputable in the classrooms of elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, and across all disciplines of science.

A fascinating lecture presented by the Kolbe Center sheds even more light on the power of such theoretical assumptions to cast a kind of dark ages on the ability for science and research to arrive at truth that would actually benefit mankind. Ironically, this leads to exactly the opposite effect that evolutionists argue when they argue against creationism. Instead of promoting the wellbeing of mankind, evolutionists succeed in hurting mankind.

In closing, I hope you will continue to look, as I will, at various sources of media, be they books, movies, lectures, or what have you, and ask: Is this based on truth?

God bless,

Peter's Bride

2013-03-17

Inspired by Pope Francis

I make mantillas.

It started out as a way to overcome my fear of lace. After all, lace seems so delicate, so finite. One false snip of the scissors could spell ruin!  Or so it seemed.
 
I have been making mantillas for a couple of years now. They have adorned the heads of ladies all over the USA. Ladies from Japan, Sweden, Australia, South Korea and Puerto Rico have worn them, too.

To honor our new pope, Pope Francis, I have named a new mantilla after him. The proceeds from all three mantillas will go to Chalice, a highly reputable international aid and development organization, to purchase seeds and seedlings for families in order to contribute to Pope Francis' mission of serving those most in need.

Peace be with you,

Peter's Bride

2013-03-16

Are You Squeaky Clean?

There is something about going to confession that leaves me feeling, well, spiritually squeaky clean...

The examination of conscience is no small task.  I guess this is why I feel the build up of anxiety as I contemplate my sins.

I try to recall all that has happened since my last visit to confession and I am reminded that I am not as good as I like to think I am. I mean, I know there is a lot of room for improvement and I am reminded of it most especially just before I walk through the door of the confessional.

The beauty of confession is the insurmountable grace that God bestows upon us when we begin to truly understand the depths of our sins and the pains our Lord has suffered again and again for us.

Think about it.

Jesus suffered the most indignant acts imaginable, and he did so willingly, so that we could become spiritually clean and know the joy of heaven someday.


Remember the kindness of Pope Francis and obtain a plenary indulgence, as I mentioned in yesterday's post. This is an opportunity to bring enormous healing to yourself and to Christ's own beloved spouse, the church.

God bless,

Peter's Bride

2013-03-15

Pope Francis' Plenary Indulgence

When  Pope Francis stepped out onto the balcony to greet the crowd  at St. Peter's Square, he gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.

He said:

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.
Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon.
We will see one another soon.
Tomorrow I want to go to pray the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.
Good night and sleep well!

Pope Francis, in his kindness, has granted a plenary indulgence to us.
 What is a plenary indulgence, you might ask?


Plenary Indulgence ( Latin: indulgentia, from indilgeo, to be kind or tender) is a remission of temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven.

Quite simply, a plenary indulgence is an opportunity to heal the wounds placed on our souls through sin, particularly of the kind that we may have an attachment to and find it difficult to reform for this reason.

You may remember indulgences from movies portraying the church during the dark ages, where such indulgences were given a bad rap for being given too freely or without proper authority.

It is a great gift that Pope Francis has given to us and like any great deal, it comes with certain conditions.

To benefit from this plenary indulgence, within 8 days (before or after) of his ascension to the throne of St. Peter, we must:

  • Avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Confession
  • Pray for Pope Francis' intentions (say an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be)
  • Receive the Holy Eucharist with total detachment from all venial sins

The gift of plenary indulgence results in complete remission of temporal punishment for all our confessed sins. 

It is always a good idea to apply an indulgence to the souls in purgatory. Don't worry about losing the benefit of your indulgence. God cannot be outdone in his generosity!

In peace,

Peter's Bride

2013-03-13

Viva Il Papa!!!!

At 5:06 pm, Vatican City time, the 115 cardinals elected a new pontiff. God bless our new pope, Pope Francis, our church, and the church militant!

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.


Amen.

2013-03-05

Adopt a Cardinal?

You bet!

Some brilliant person came up with the idea of adopting a cardinal to pray for during this conclave. I am praying for Attilio Cardinal Nicora of Italy. Who will you pray for?

To adopt your own cardinal, visit: adoptacardinal.org

In addition, visit my earlier post, Prayer for a New Papa, where you can offer up a novena for the election of a good and just father of the church.

Peace,
Peter's Bride

2013-03-02

Reflections from RC: We Are What We Celebrate?

In Rediscovering Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion and Purpose, Matthew Kelly asks, What are we celebrating? It is a seemingly innocent question that needs some unpacking! Kelly is not asking about birthday parties or even holidays. He is asking, how do we spend out time?

You see, we live in an age of reality television and voyeuristic access to the goings on of other people's lives. We see hoarder's personal possessions being flung into trash bins, families torn apart by pain and disappointment. Sadly, these images would have you believe that life today is largely about pain and strife.

But, this need not be so.

"Our culture is hungry. Let your life speak." (p. 59) We have the ability deep within us to live authentic, meaningful lives. After all, this is what the saints did. They lived authentic, meaningful lives in their quest to be like Jesus. They got out of their comfort zones. They helped people. They loved, as Christ loves.

Isn't this what we are called to do too? To live authentic, meaningful lives? I think so.

That's something worth celebrating.

Peace,
Peter's Bride

2013-03-01

Prayer for a New Papa

Please join me in saying this novena for the election of next Holy Father who will take possession of the keys of St. Peter. As mentioned in a previous post, Holy Mother Church is in need of a strong, vigorous and righteous leader. Please pray for such a leader with me.


Conclave  Novena Prayer*

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the Father, send down your spirit over the conclave.
Let the Holy Spirit inspire the hearts of the cardinals,
that they may choose the man most pleasing to You,
as Successor of Peter and Your Vicar on Earth.
May Mary, Your Mother and Mother of the Church,
be our Advocate. Amen.
 
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
 
V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
 
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
 
Let us pray:
 
O, God,  by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations
 Through Christ Our Lord.
Amen.
 
Remember O, Most Gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee,
O Virgin of Virgins, My Mother,
to thee do I come,
before thee I kneel,
sinful and sorrowful,
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in thy clemency, hear and answer me.
Amen.

*Written by Dr. Mark Miravalle, Professor of Theology and Mariology, Franciscan University