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Sister Lucia On Our Lady of Fatima’s Request to Pray the Rosary Daily

She believes God is a Father who “adapts Himself to the needs and possibilities of his children. Now if God, through Our Lady, had asked us to go to Mass and receive Holy Communion every day, there would undoubtedly have been a great many people who would have said, quite rightly, that this was not possible. Some, on account of the distance separating them from the nearest Church where Mass was celebrated; others on account of the circumstances of their lives, their state in life, their job, the state of their health, etc.”

Yet, “On the other hand to pray the Rosary is something everybody can do, rich and poor, wise and ignorant, great and small.”

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Here’s why the call for the daily Rosary is also for everyone. She says, “Even for those people who do not know how, or who are not able to recollect themselves sufficiently to meditate, the simple act of taking the Rosary in their hands in order to pray is already to become mindful of God, and a mention in each decade of a mystery of the life of Christ recalls Him to their minds; this in turn will light in their souls a gentle light of faith which supports the still smoldering wick, preventing it from extinguishing itself altogether.”

So what can happen if we neglect this directive from our heavenly Mother at Fatima?

Sister Lucia gets right to the point. “On the other hand, those who give up saying the Rosary and who do not go to daily Mass, have nothing to sustain them, and so end up by losing themselves in the materialism of earthly life.”

All of which leads her to conclude for us, “Thus the Rosary is the prayer which God, through his Church and Our Lady, has recommended most insistently to us all, as a road to and a gate way of salvation: ‘Pray the Rosary every day.’”

—from the online article Fatima’s Sister Lucia Explains Why the Daily Rosary is a ‘Must’ by Joseph Pronechen

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A Religion That Is True

And as the new religions of the last century quickly bloomed and quickly withered, what replaced them? Did people return to the traditional faith? A few did. The sincere soul who seeks will find the truth. But for the most part, we have seen a movement away from religion altogether. We have moved from “It doesn’t matter what your religion is,” to “It doesn’t matter if you have a religion.” Because the false religions proved themselves to be false, people gave up on religion rather than seeking a religion that is true. They realized that a religion that more or less approved their sins was not genuine, but it was easier to get rid of the religion than to get rid of their sins.

A genuine religious revival begins with a call to repentance. This explains the popularity of John the Baptist. People flocked to hear an obviously holy man tell them turn from their sins. He paved the way to Christ who provided the redemption they knew they needed…. The Catholic Church is clear about sin, clear about the controversial questions, the “disputable matters.” That is why it has outlasted all the new religions.

—from the online article Where have all the new religions gone? by Dale Ahlquist

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A Real Religion

This is the true reason why so many churches are emptying. People are not abandoning the churches because they are too religious, but because they are not religious enough. People are not stupid. They understand that if a religion is about no more than mouthing spiritual platitudes and working at the soup kitchen, then they don’t need to get up early on a Sunday and troop off to church to hear bad music and a shallow sermon.

I call this religion without the supernatural neo-Pelagianism. Pelagianism is the heresy that good works are sufficient for salvation. Neo-Pelagianism is the ultimate form of salvation by good works. The modernist does not believe in the need for salvation because he does not believe a Heaven to be won or a Hell from which to be saved. Therefore all that remains is to save not himself, but others by his good works.

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I find it interesting that Pelagianism, when it first appeared, was most popular among the well-to-do, the well-educated and the well-connected. So it is today. It is always easier to believe a religion that requires no belief. Pelagianism’s blend of spirituality and good works is just the sort of religion you would invent if you were to invent a religion. It is the religion of the respectable, and it makes respectability a religion.

A religion, on the other hand, of a God who interrupts this realm first in earthquake, wind and fire, then by an angel who announces a miraculous birth and a child who is the world’s stranger and the world’s great danger, a burning babe of Bethlehem, who came to Palestine and lives today in bread and wine…

…now that is a real religion.

—from the online article Christmas Without Angels by Fr. Dwight Longenecker

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Dov’è Cristo?

Jesus came in the most unexpected of ways; the King of Kings was born in a manger as a baby. His coming was not shouted from the rooftops, nor did he come as a great warrior, like so many of the Jewish people expected. Since Jesus’s birth was concealed from most of the world, Italian crèches highlight this aspect of the Nativity. Unlike American Nativity scenes, they are extremely busy and showcase an entire village; Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are not the prominent or central figures. The Italian crèche allows us to really understand how Jesus came. He was hidden. His coming was humble, and it took a journey of faith and trust to find him.

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Allegorically, the gifts of the magi signify the mystery of Christ incarnate. Gold, a symbol of royalty, represents the kingship of Jesus. Frankincense, used in the worship of God, points to his divinity. Myrrh, a burial ointment, signifies the humanity of Christ, especially in his Passion and Death. Morally, the treasures signify the gifts we present to Christ in our daily lives. Gold is Christ’s wisdom, which shines in us, frankincense is the prayer and adoration we give him, and myrrh is our daily self-sacrifices (Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, 9).

—from the Opening the Word program for The Epiphany of the Lord – January 7, 2018, Year B on the Formed website.

PICTURES OF ITALIAN CRECHES: Can you find Jesus, Mary, and Joseph?
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Chesterton vs. Trends and Fads That Undermine the Family

Chesterton was so consistently right in his pronouncements and prophecies because he understood that anything that attacked the family was bad for society. That is why he spoke out against eugenics and contraception, against divorce and “free love” (another term he disliked because of its dishonesty), but also against wage slavery and compulsory state-sponsored education and mothers hiring other people to do what mothers were designed to do themselves. It is safe to say that Chesterton stood up against every trend and fad that plagues us today because every one of those trends and fads undermines the family. Big Government tries to replace the family’s authority, and Big Business tries to replace the family’s autonomy. There is a constant commercial and cultural pressure on father, mother, and child. They are minimized and marginalized and, yes, mocked. But as Chesterton says, “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”

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In 1926, he warned, “The next great heresy will be an attack on morality, especially sexual morality.” His warning has gone unheeded, and sexual morality has decayed progressively. But let us remember that it began with birth control, which is an attempt to create sex for sex’s sake, changing the act of love into an act of selfishness.

—from the online article G.K. Chesterton: It’s Not Gay, and It’s Not Marriage by Dale Ahlquist

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On The First Day of Christmas or: “When the world’s party has ended, ours has just begun.”

It all comes to an abrupt and undramatic end on Christmas Day. All the decorations in the stores magically disappear and the horrible music mercifully ceases.

That is when Christmas actually begins. Christmas Day is…the First Day of Christmas. We have twelve days of feasting and celebration. When the world’s party has ended, ours has just begun. The holidays—the holy days—can finally be observed in their fullness. And we can start listening to decent music.

The world is out of whack about most things, as epitomized by its getting Christmas totally wrong. It attempts to celebrate it before it happens and then without the actual reason for celebrating it. It partakes of Christmas pleasures throughout Advent, and then walks away just as the real event gets underway. The result is a pleasure that is unsatisfying. Abstinence is not a concept the world takes a liking to. It has the same problem with Advent that it has with sex and marriage. Celebrating too soon, and then not properly celebrating at the right time. Not feasting at the right time and then fasting at the wrong time.

—from the article Suffering Advent by Dale Ahlquist

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Grace, Beauty, Goodness, Truth, and Good Ol’ Charlie Brown

But why is [A Charlie Brown Christmas] still going strong after almost half a century? Revolutionary animation? The brilliance of its jazz soundtrack? An adorable beagle who sleeps on top of his house? Nope, nope and nope..though Snoopy is pretty cool. What keeps A Charlie Brown Christmas on the air year after year is because it speaks to the truth we all know in our hearts: the true meaning of Christmas is not about shopping, parties, Santa Claus and gift giving but that God the Father sent his only Son to save us all.

—from the online article The Truth of a Charlie Brown Christmas

Although at times Peanuts tipped too far, its painful moments were essential to its message and its appeal. Peanuts told us all the hard truths our parents and teachers never did: that life gives you lemons and you can’t always make lemonade; that unrequited love is misery; that one terrible mistake can haunt you forever. But it also told us that even when the worst happens, the world doesn’t end. And even in difficult or unpromising circumstances, there are moments of grace, beauty, and goodness—moments that offer a vision of hope, if we have the faith to see it.

—from the online article You’re an Institution, Charlie Brown