We send a big THANK YOU to Haley Stewart and Christy Isinger and the many fans of their wonderful Fountains of Carrots podcasts. We were blessed last month to sponsor episode 66: "Love Multiplied Four Times," which you can enjoy here: http://fountainsofcarrots.com/foc-066-love-multiplied-four-times-with-justina-kopp/. Haley and Christy host a great ongoing discussion of many aspects of Catholic family life. Thank you for the opportunity to share in your ministry, and thank you for the many kind comments on our products from your devoted listeners.
Saint Anthony, attentive to those who invoke thee, grant us the aid of thy powerful intercession for the grace of holy purity, meekness, humility, obedience, the spirit of poverty, and perfect abandonment to the will of God.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with all of you.”
-St. Paul to the Corinthians
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary,
Queen of the Rosary of Fatima!
Grant that we may follow the example of Blessed Francisco
and Blessed Jacinta, and of all who devote themselves to
proclaiming the Gospel. Thus we will follow all paths
and everywhere make our pilgrim way;
we will tear down all walls and cross every frontier,
as we go out to every periphery to make known
God's justice and peace.
-Part of the Prayer of Pope Francis in Fatima,
May 12, 2017
Where we live, all of nature is bursting with song and color in this most beautiful month in which we honor Mary, the Mother of God. Stepping outside in the warm pre-dawn, a few stars still left in the lightening sky, the chatter and chirping of birds lifts my heart beyond all reason. All creation sings your praise, O Lord, and its beauty turns our thoughts to your blessed Mother.
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up
our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then,
most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after
this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us,
O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.
I am excited to have scheduled a retreat this coming summer with my daughter at the Abbey of Our Lady of New Clairvaux, a Cistercian Trappist monastery in the tiny northern California town of Vina, not too far from Mount Shasta (at least not far by California freeway standards). We made a retreat there together earlier this year and it proved to be a very special time for us to share time and faith in a remarkably peaceful and spiritually nurturing environment. Retreatants are invited, though not required, to join the monks in every prayer service as they pray the Divine Office throughout the day and night and at morning Mass. Apart from that, one provides one's own structure to the retreat. The atmosphere of quiet contemplation, free from all our over-communicative media, can be intensely sanity-inducing, grounding and restorative. If you've never had the opportunity, or perhaps just never thought about making a retreat at a Catholic monastery, consider moving the experience to the top of your to-do list. You may return home not only to your never-ending to-do list, but perhaps a whole new "to-be" list as well.
I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me,
although he be dead, shall live.
-St. John 11:25
I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell.
Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.
-From an ancient Holy Saturday homily
quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Each of us has a story within us. So many crosses, so many sorrows, but we also have a heart open to brotherhood. May each one of us in our own religious language, beg the Lord that this brotherhood be contagious in the world, so that there are not 30 coins to kill our brother, so that there will always be brotherhood and goodness. So be it.
As we meditate on the Passion of the Lord, let us also feel Jesus´ pain at the way that we contradict his prayer, that we resist his love, that we oppose the unity which should bear witness before the world to his mission. At this hour, when the Lord in the most holy Eucharist gives himself, his body and his blood, into our hands and into our hearts, let us be moved by his prayer. Let us enter into his prayer and thus beseech him: Lord, grant us faith in you, who are one with the Father in the Holy Spirit. Grant that we may live in your love and thus become one, as you are one with the Father, so that the world may believe. Amen.
-Pope Benedict XVI, Mass of the Lord's Supper, 2010
"Let us ask for the grace to follow Jesus faithfully, not in words but in deeds. Let us also ask for the patience to carry our own cross, not to refuse it or set it aside, but rather, in looking to him, to take it up and to carry it daily."
Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017
This is a great year to begin a First Saturdays devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Next month, on May 13, 2017, we will celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the first apparition of our Blessed Mother to Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, three young children in Fatima, Portugal, as the first World War raged and ravaged Europe. What the children heard and saw seems like an old story, but it is still also a very new one because we have yet to properly respond. I have been very interested in reading about Our Lady if Fatima again, considering her message anew from our vantage point of one hundred years. The EWTN website at ewtn.com/fatima is a wonderful resource for information on the anniversary, history and meaning of Our Lady of Fatima.
Prayer of Reparation
In a First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this brief traditional prayer goes straight and simply to the "heart" of the matter for me.
My loving Jesus, out of the grateful love I bear for you, and to make reparation for my unfaithfulness to grace, I give You my heart, and I consecrate myself wholly to you,
and with your help, I purpose to sin no more. Amen.
If you haven't yet discovered Fr. Roderick from the Netherlands and his wonderful Trideo productions, you are in for a treat! Check him out at www.trideo.com.
No one is to be called an enemy,
all are your benefactors and
no one does you harm.
You have no enemy except yourselves.
--St. Francis of Assisi
As we all know, this month has marked the canonization of Mother Teresa, known forevermore as St. Teresa of Calcutta! Exciting and important as this has been, I still find it difficult to think of her as "St. Teresa." I want to call her "St. Mother Teresa," because can we really just drop the "Mother" part that is so integral to everything she was and means to us still?
Dear St. Mother Teresa, how fortunate we are to be among those living when you yourself walked on this earth serving Jesus daily in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor. We watched you on television and read about your deepest thoughts and prayers in books that were written about you when you were still here with us. Pray for us now, Mother, and guide us each day ever closer to Jesus.
We become what we love
and who we love shapes
who we become.
-St. Claire of Assisi
Happy to present this new design honoring Pope Francis! It will be available July 20. This is a well known quote from his 2013 meeting with a group of 500 young people on a pilgrimage in celebration of the Year of Faith. Pope Francis asked the gathered crowd, "Do you know why I like being with young people? Because you have in your heart a promise of hope. You are bearers of hope. You live in the present but are looking at the future." The Holy Father explained that young people have three desires: Beauty, Goodness and Truth. "Make the future with beauty, " he told them, "with goodness and truth.... Have courage. Go forward. Make noise." The "noise" Pope Francis spoke of is that of daring to go against modern conventions that would pull them down, a society in which drug and alcohol use are encouraged, and a civilization which often does much harm. Making noise, he said, means going against the tide.
This design can be sent to encourage anyone starting out on a new path in life. The greeting card version, which opens to say "Congratulations!" inside, is especially appropriate for graduation, confirmation, ordination, and other milestone events.
Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and Hallelujah
is our song.
-Pope John Paul II
We adore you and we bless you, Lord Jesus Christ,
here and in all the churches of the whole world,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
-St. Francis of Assisi