Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ranting Catholic Mom: Eucharistic Adoration for Children

Ranting Catholic Mom: Eucharistic Adoration for Children: "I recently started a new program for my parish called Coloring and Contemplation. this is a means for the youngest Catholics to be engaged ..."

Adult Eucharistic Adoration Newsletter, Saint Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha, NE

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions, August 2010
The Unemployed and the Homeless
General: That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties.

Victims of Discrimination, Hunger and Forced Emigration
Missionary: That the Church may be a “home” for all people, ready to open its doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger, or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries.

Thoughts on Adoration
"Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance!  And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation. So that you too may feel what His friends feel as they taste the hidden sweetness that God Himself has reserved from the beginningfor those who love Him." -St Clare, August 11

"You come to me and unite Yourself intimately to me under the form of nourishment. Your Blood now runs in mine, Your Soul, Incarnate God, compenetrates mine, giving courage and support. What miracles! Who would have ever imagined such!" - St. Maximilian Kolbe, August 14

"It was love that motivated His self-emptying, that led Him to become a little lower than angels, to be subject to parents, to bow His head beneath the Baptist's hands, to endure the weakness of the flesh, and to submit to death even upon the cross," - St. Bernard, August 20

"The unique glory of the sanctuary of Lourdes resides in this fact, that people are attracted there from everywhere by Mary for the adoration of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, so that this sanctuary—at once the center of Marian devotion and the throne of the Eucharistic Mystery—surpasses in glory, it seems, all others in the Catholic world," - St. Pius X, August 21

"Christ held Himself in His hands when He gave His Body to His disciples saying: 'This is My Body.' No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it." -St. Augustine, August 28

The Feast of the Assumption is also known as the Feast of the Dormition (falling asleep) of Mary. The feast commemorates Mary's assumption into heaven.

"We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory." With these words, Pope Pius XII officially and infallibly declared the Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God (theotokos), to be dogma in 1950. In this pronouncement, Pope Pius was simply stating dogmatically what the Church, East and West, had believed devotionally for many years.

Although probably not unknown in the early Church, the earliest references to the Assumption of Mary appear in the 4th (or possibly late 3rd) century in Liber Requiei Mariae (The Book of Mary's Repose), and in the writings of a Bishop Meliton. Some of the Church Fathers believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) was assumed while still alive, others that she was assumed after she had died. Both views are permitted under the infallible definition of Pius XII. St. John of Damascus relates a tradition where, during the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451), the emperor Marcian and his wife wished to find the body of Mary. He tells how all the apostles had seen her death, but her tomb was empty upon inspection.

Festivals commemorating the death of the Blessed Virgin Mary were common from the 5th century onwards, although the exact dates were never universally fixed. In AD 556 the patriarch of Alexandria, Theodosius, attests to two popular Marian feasts in Egypt: Mary's death (January 16) and Assumption (August 9).

Theodosius understood Mary to have died before being assumed, and according to the feast dates in Egypt at the time, she was assumed 206 days after her death. In AD 600, the emperor Mauricius decreed that the Assumption was to be celebrated on August 15. Soon, the Church in Ireland adopted this date, and it was later introduced in Rome. As the cult of Mary grew in the West, there was more pressure for the Catholic Church to define the exact nature of the Assumption. Pope Pius did this in 1950, in terms that are still rather general, and can be accepted by Western Catholics, Eastern Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox. (Source: Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church).

1. How Can the Assumption of Mary be True if it Was Not Made Dogma Until 1950?

First, recall that neither the Catholic Church nor the Orthodox Churches believe in the concept of sola scriptura, the 16th century Protestant concept that doctrines must be proved from Scripture alone. Second, just because a belief is made dogma in 1950 doesn't mean that the belief has not been true beforehand, or that is was invented in 1950. Truth unfolds, or rather, the implications and hows and whys of certain truths unfold. It took a hundred years after Jesus' birth for a gospel clearly outlining Jesus' divinity to appear, even though the earliest gospels hint at Jesus having the authority and attributes of God. Thus later enunciations of certain truths will be more complex than earlier explanations.

The tradition which comes from the apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. Thus, just because the Assumption was not made dogma until 1950 does not lessen the importance of the feast, or render the dogma unbelievable. The reason Pope Pius XII declared the Immaculate Conception to be dogma was because so many people believed in it and cherished it, not to invent something new.

These pages written by David Bennett and Jonathan Bennett. Last updated 06-16-2007.

Eucharistic Adoration for Children

I recently started a new program for my parish called Coloring and Contemplation. this is a means for the youngest Catholics to be engaged in Eucharistic Adoration while their parents pray or attend Mass. Below you will find the most recent newsletter followed by the July (2010) newsletter. These are the 'reading' sides. The other side are copied with a coloring page from open use websites or publishers who will allow copies to be made for educational purposes. If you would like to use these, please let me know. I'm not concerned about copyright issues. But I'd like to know if this information is useful.

Also look for the entire packet of Eucharistic Adoration Newsletters for Adults under a separate heading.

Coloring and Contemplation:

“Adoration means entering the depths of our hearts in communion with the Lord, who makes himself bodily present in the Eucharist. In the monstrance, he always entrusts himself to us and asks us to be united with his Presence, with his risen Body.” - Pope Benedict XVI

Meditation for the month of August:
“Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy? Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.” Isaiah 55: 2
Are the things you spend your money on things that feed your body and your soul? When you read books, do they help you to grow in the love of Jesus and his people? What feeds your body? What feeds your mind? What feeds your soul? Jesus wants to be the food for you in every way. Will you let him feed you?

Thought for the month from Saint Peter Julian Eymard (August 2):
He loves, He hopes, He waits. If He came down on our altars on certain days only, some sinner, on being moved to repentance, might have to look for Him, and not finding Him, might have to wait. Our Lord prefers to wait Himself for the sinner for years rather than keep him waiting one instant.

Prayer for the Month, From Saint Augustine:
O, God, Grant us in all our duties your help;
in all our perplexities, your guidance;
in all our dangers, your protection;
and in all our sorrows, your peace.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
our body, and our blood,
our life and our nourishment. Amen.

The following Saints have feast days in August and can be found in our Cathedral. See if you can find their depictions in the windows, paintings and statues of the Cathedral! St. Clare, August 11; St. Bernard August 20; St. Bartholomew, August 24; St. Augustine, August 28

Eucharistic Adoration for Children
At Saint Cecilia Cathedral
Omaha, Nebraska
July 2010

“Through Baptism each child is inserted into a gathering of friends who never abandon him in life or death, because these companions are God’s family, which in itself bears the promise of eternity.” - Pope Benedict XVI

How much time do you spend with your best friend? Jesus wants to be your best friend. You can talk to him any time, but in a special way, through spending time in adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like Jesus is really in the Eucharist, but we know He is, because He told us so.
Coloring and Contemplation is a way to spend time with Jesus, asking Him to open your heart to His friendship. While you are coloring in the pictures, imagine God having a great big refrigerator, just like the one you have at home. When you do something well at school, does someone display it on your fridge? God sees us all the time. He is with us in everything we do. He wants us to think of him in every minute of every day. He will see the love and care you put into doing something just for Him.

Thought for the month from Saint Martha (July 29):
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
- (Luke 10:38-42, New International Version)

Prayer for the Month, O sacrum convivium, :
O sacred banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us. (Do you know where this is in the Cathedral?)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Humor + Humility+ Hardship= ???

Alright, I'll start by saying that I think the above equation should equal heaven, but since I'm about to talk about recent experiences of all three, I am loathe to say that heaven is waiting. After all, I'm a sinner in need of purification like the next guy or gal. So let's start with the humor:

While I was trying to watch this video, I walked to my fridge to get a glass of water. That was when I discovered that water was shooting out of the bottom of the refrigerator. I have been taught by my mother and my grandmother (God rest her soul!) that when you have guests or host a big family dinner, expect that appliances will quit working. My brother's family (wife, five kids) just left after a 6 day stay. When I say, "just left," I mean left at 12, leak started at 12:05. The irony is that in order to make his wife's life easier, my brother secured a hotel for my sister-in-law 1/2 way to her destination. (The crabby me says, "Look, I've made that drive in one day a million times and you don't need to spend the money when you have all of these moving expenses to get from Indiana to Nebraska.") But she had to stop, even though she was only traveling with her two older children, H.S. sophomore and 7th grade, while the youngest, ages 4 to 10 were staying with me.

Well it turns out the hotel she stayed at had a water park. I get a flood in my house, she gets a water park. So here is the lesson:

Keep a sense of humor about feeling like you are being used by others. Your humility may keep you from incurring hardships.

Humor + Humility + Hardships = Heaven.

Otherwise, prepare to laugh at the divine irony!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Republicans: Popeye or Olive Oil? A Painfully Extended Metaphor

Roll Call (subscription only) reports that, upon returning to session, our redoubtable GOP senators reacted by taking to the floor to denounce the recess appointment in the harshest terms and to issue "stern warnings" that, as one staffer put it, all future Obama nominees would be viewed through the "prism of Berwick." They then bravely closed ranks to unanimously ... wait for it ... join with Democrats to approve, by an 86-0 vote, the nomination of Sharon Coleman, Obama's choice to serve as a district judge in his home state of Illinois.
--Andy McCarthy, National Review, The Corner, 7/13/2010

Every time I think the GOP has a chance to really take a stand and oppose the craziness coming out of Washington, they flop like Olive Oil into the arms of Bluto. Maybe you haven't watched a lot of Popeye. The old Popeye cartoons were almost all about Bluto trying to steal Olive from Popeye, and Olive being happy with either of the two.

Those cartoons always climaxed with Olive endangered by Bluto and ended with her safely in Popeye's arms. So here's the cast for the new Popeye series:

Bluto: Congressional Democrats and Obamaphiles
Olive Oil: Congressional Republicans
Popeye: Conservative American Voters

Now if you really know your Popeye, this scenario is not going to play out well. Sure in the end we'll get Olive Oil safely away from Bluto, but that will only last until he comes up with a new pick-up line, or strong-arm tactic. Like Olive, the GOP will ask conservatives for help on some issue they want to take on; a trip to the market (Wall Street), a doctor visit (Obamacare), fix-it jobs around the house (Fannie and Freddie). Popeye, because he loves Olive and trusts her, will agree to start the work, not knowing she's asked Bluto, too. Bluto will bash Popeye around. They will fight. In the end, Popeye always comes out battered, but he wins. He takes his spinach and grows strong.

Can we take our spinach and win? We better. Olive and Bluto should never have care for anything more serious than a sand box. Yes, I mean our current representatives. Pretty much all of them. Very few exceptions.

Go Popeye!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Parenting to encourage mediocrity

This is one bleak article about a bunch of bleak books. (Yes I know it's a joke, but it is an awfully dark one!!!) If you really want to find some joy in parenting children for a different future, enjoy cooking from scratch, repairs around the home, growing your own food...

These poor sad people must be worried they won't be able to afford to drop $15 a glass for wine with dinner, play video games, shop retail, buy organic, all of the luxuries we think are indispensable. I know I'm afraid of a future like that...

Oh wait. I live that way now!

Suck it up and get over it. Geez!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Toy Story 3 and the importance of Fidelity

Today is my 12th wedding anniversary. My husband, our son, and I celebrated by going to a newish movie theater where you can order from the bar and dinner menu while watching the movie. We only go to the movies about once a year, because we can always get anything we want through cable. Toy Story 3d is one of those exceptions. It is a true luxury to be waited on by a nice young man (Greg) while enjoying good food (nachos, pizza, cheese cake) and drinking (pinot grigio, Cabernet, root beer) and watching a movie that makes you laugh and cry and love the movie makers.

Toy Story 3 is about fidelity even in the dry wastelands of abandonment. Some of the toys feel betrayed. They don't believe Andy was putting them in the attic. But Woody knows, and believes. He cares for Andy and his friends in meaningful ways throughout the movie. He let's everyone understand that they have responsibilities to each other. His final self sacrificing act places him with his old toy pals in the hands of a child who will love and care for them as Andy has. That is love. He gives up 'his' boy for the good of all. And Andy understands that when he sees the child to whom he leaves his friends. He teaches her to be their friend and care giver just as he has.

This is a message lost on most educators in the US. Most student teachers are taught that it is best to discourage 'best friends' because they will bond in opposition to authority. I remember being told by a former child care director that my son was being discouraged from playing with certain friends because they had become best friends. That was 5 years ago.

15 years ago, I was teaching at a high school and had plan periods at the same time as a woman who became a 'best friend'. We were quickly separated by the administrators. She had parents who had met in kindergarten and married out of high school. My parents will this year celebrate 56 years of marriage with their 12 children and 34 grandchildren. We understand fidelity. It was one of those bonds that couldn't be broken.

Apparently the primary lesson of administrators and educators is that they should always divide and conquer. I ask you to take these disparate stories and make a little leap with me. If we allow educators and child care providers to undermine our children's attachments at early ages, are we only contributing to the culture of death, divorce and disintegration?

I think we are. My son has said since kindergarten that he will marry a girl named Claire. She calls him her 'future husband.' In some circles this would be discouraged. They are too young. Their feelings could lead to behaviors that would jeopardize their futures. Or maybe, they will learn to be faithful and sacrificial for the sake of the other through fidelity and love. I don't know what the future holds, but I know I prefer a child who is faithful, loving, considerate, and willing to sacrifice for others, to the child who is popular, unfeeling, disrespectful and selfish.

What do you want your children to learn?

"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed,each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."-- Pope Benedict XVI

Yes, even the people who make us most angry and frustrated are the result of a thought of God. Even you. How do you use that gift?

I know I don't use it as well as I should.