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Come back to the Catholic Church at Christmas

1catholicsalmon:

Take a little while to think about this invitation….

Originally posted on Michael Dubruiel: Annunciations:

Perhaps you’ve been away for a while….would you like to familiarize yourself with the Catholic Mass before returning?

The How to Book of the Mass  by Michael Dubruiel might be a good start.

Michael DubruielThe How-To Book of the Mass is the only book that not only provides the who, what, where, when, and why of themost time-honored tradition of the Catholic Church but also the how.

In this complete guide you get:

  • step-by-step guidelines to walk you through the Mass
  • the Biblical roots of the various parts of the Mass and the very prayers themselves
  • helpful hints and insights from the Tradition of the Church
  • aids in overcoming distractions at Mass
  • ways to make every Mass a way to grow in your relationship with Jesus

If you want to learn what the Mass means to a truly Catholic life—and share this practice with others—you can’t be without The How-To Book…

View original 127 more words

So many Christmases.

It is hard to believe we are already well into Advent. Advent is a time of prayer and preparation as we wait to celebrate the joyous birth of Christ.

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As people of the 21st century we are not very good at waiting. Our internet speeds have to be ever faster. The average teenager will only spend seven seconds on a web page. We expect parcels ordered online yesterday to be delivered today. Waiting in supermarket queues annoys us. We get angry at waiting times in GP surgeries. We are not very patient.

The children of today often have so many ‘Christmases’ and so many Christmas treats, before December 25th that the concept of waiting for something special sometimes seems to have almost disappeared.

But there is great peace in taking time, creating space in your lives and just waiting. Waiting allows us time to anticipate, time to reflect and time to prepare. During this Advent, we pray that we can all find the time and the patience to discover the joys of waiting.

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It is also a time to avoid the temptation to fill our lives with complications but instead to focus on simplifying our days. Jesus was born of Mary, a Jewish teenager who was probably illiterate.  This simple Jewish girl was central to the greatest happening since Creation – the Incarnation, the coming to Earth by God, in the person of Jesus.  Through Mary, God became human in order to save us.

During these days of Advent, we recall this simple, yet remarkable event and look forward in hope.

hope

As we give each other gifts in Christ’s name, we remember that He has given us so much. The essence of Christmas is Christ among us.  While ‘black Friday’ saw the emergence of retail mania, it is worth pausing to remember that the greatest gift we can give our family and friends is the gift of time and love at Christmas.

Our Lady Immaculate

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The Promise is fulfilled.

‘The days are coming’, says the Lord, when I will fulfil the promise I made…’ Jeremiah 33:14

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Commentary:

A promise, kept or broken, is a very important piece in the mosaic of relationships.

It evokes expectation in the heart of the one who receives it, because a promise is grounded in trust.

Trust, hope, expectancy, are the foundation and bedrock of the lives of a pilgrim people. In setting out on our journey to the Kingdom, we commit ourselves to a lifetime Advent, for on the way, we will meet our own hungers and thirst…our own deserts. We will come face-to-face with desire and disappointment. But, with promise in our ‘travel bag’, we have the courage to strain forward toward fulfilment, the Journey’s end.

Jeremiah is a man of promise. He is an instrument of hope and fulfilment. Reluctant to speak the name of the Lord, it was his trust in the promise of God that enabled him to loosen his grasp on self-concern and become the utterance of God.

We too, can trust in the Promise – the faithful love of God. We too, can become prophets and instruments of love, hope and justice in the world. The days are here. The time is now. The promise is fulfilled.

(Commentary is from an unknown source. This reflection was part of an Advent service we attended)

Postage stamps at Christmas time.

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Each year, parishioners at St Joseph’s are reminded to purchase ‘Christian Religious postage stamps…’ as soon as the stamps are on sale. Below is a direct quote from the Bulletin:-

‘CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS CHRISTMAS POSTAGE STAMPS are on sale at Post Offices, but you have to ask… Be clear and insistent in asking for the distinctly Christian Religious Christmas stamps (as there are other Christmas stamps which are not Christian). This is something important in which Christians should unite, to thwart the ‘creeping secularism” which will otherwise soon state that “there is no call for them”. Bring this to the attention  of your Christian friends, neighbours and work colleagues. Buy more than you need for your Christmas cards, and keep using them into the New Year as a small but demonstrative part of the New Evangelization.’
Image@http://blog.norphil.co.uk/2014_11_01_archive.html

Below, are the two images produced for Christian Religious stamps at Christmas in the UK.

Christmas_reprint_2014_1st.

Below,  the Australian version of the Christian postage stamp 2014

thRRX8I5CP (2) http://123greetingsquotes.com/latest-christmas-postage-stamps-australia-uk-usps-royal-mail-xmas-post-stamps/

….and stamps from Canada 2014

canada-christmas-stamps

Have you seen the 2014 Religious Christian postage stamps where you come from?

Seek God in Prayer and the Sacraments.

pra

sacraments

Seven Sacraments

Quiet consideration of the Mother of God and her Son, Jesus.

One perfect gift for Christmas sorted…

This version of ‘Mary did you know’ is so uplifting. I’m definitely buying this one to add to my collection of this song.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will make a blind man see?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the mute will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.

‘It makes my heart sing, to see you out and about’.

IMG_3191

image@1catholicsalmon

On a regular visit to the local Poundland on the  High Street in New Malden, I had the good fortune to bump into about 10-12 of these special ladies who were there doing what seemed to a big shop for a very specific reason.

As always I readily walked over and introduced myself as a parishioner of St Joseph’s New Malden, and promptly found out that they too reside in New Malden. Imagine my glee at finding out this ‘little’ tidbit of information. I have lived here for many years and didn’t know they lived in our community too.

To Religious everywhere, but especially to those who reside in New Malden, ‘I’d love to bump into you more often on the High Street or at Mass.  It makes my heart sing to see you out and about’.

I always I get really excited when I see a Religious, as they wear their faith on ‘their sleeves’ so to speak.There can be no doubt as to Who they live for, serve and adore. Not only do they stand out in the crowd as having made the decision to respond to God’s call, but they live out their vocation with a tangible sense of joy. It’s impossible to chat with a Nun and ignore the Joy that exudes from her every pore.

While these young Sisters were vibrantly chatting away about the purchases, my heart swelled with pride at the knowledge that they represent the reality of the Lord tangibly, within our over-shadowed and grey culture. I feel an immediate sense of camaraderie in that we belong to the same family: The Universal Catholic Family of Jesus himself.

We must pray for those who are called to this vocation to remain faithful to God’s calling, always. Their presence in our midst is too important not to.

I did ask to which Denomination they belong, but in all the excitement I didn’t write it down, and that’s fatal.

They wear a wooden Cross with ‘Jesu’ carved into it.  Does anyone know which Denomination they may belong to?

It’s all about understanding dignity, really. Five Great Pope Francis Quotes about Marriage and the Family

2fb0eb75773d8e2e0c1edb2877a4823aFive Great Pope Francis Quotes about Marriage and the Family from World Youth Day (2013)

Number 1: Thursday, July 25, Address to Community of Varginha (Manguinhos): “Dear friends, it is certainly necessary to give bread to the hungry – this is an act of justice. But there is also a deeper hunger, the hunger for a happiness that only God can satisfy, the hunger for dignity. There is neither real promotion of the common good nor real human development when there is ignorance of the fundamental pillars that govern a nation, its non-material goods: life, which is a gift of God, a value always to be protected and promoted; the family, the foundation of coexistence and a remedy against social fragmentation; integral education, which cannot be reduced to the mere transmission of information for the purposes of generating profit; health, which must seek the integral well-being of the person, including the spiritual dimension, essential for human balance and healthy coexistence; security, in the conviction that violence can be overcome only by changing human hearts.”

Number 2: Friday, July 26, Angelus:How precious is the family as the privileged place for transmitting the faith! Speaking about family life, I would like to say one thing: today, as Brazil and the Church around the world celebrate this feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Grandparents Day is also being celebrated. How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society! How important it is to have intergenerational exchanges and dialogues, especially within the context of the family.”

Number 3: Saturday, July 27, Interview on Radio Catedral (radio broadcasting station of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro): “Not only would I say that the family is important for the evangelization of the new world. The family is important, and it is necessary for the survival of humanity. Without the family, the cultural survival of the human race would be at risk. The family, whether we like it or not, is the foundation.

Number 4: Sunday, July 28, Address to the World Youth Day Volunteers: “God calls you to make definitive choices, and he has a plan for each of you: to discover that plan and to respond to your vocation is to move forward toward personal fulfillment. God calls each of us to be holy, to live his life, but he has a particular path for each one of us. Some are called to holiness through family life in the sacrament of Marriage. Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion. Is it out of fashion? In a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘for ever’, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage ‘to swim against the tide’. And also have the courage to be happy.”

Number 5: Sunday, July 28, Address to the Bishops of Brazil: “In mission, also on a continental level, it is very important to reaffirm the family, which remains the essential cell of society and the Church; young people, who are the face of the Church’s future; women, who play a fundamental role in passing on the faith and who are a daily source of strength in a society that carries this faith forward and renews it.”

Quoted from :http://www.marriageuniqueforareason.org/2013/08/02/five-great-pope-francis-quotes-about-marriage-and-the-family-from-world-youth-day/

The quintessential SALMON….

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