Archive for the ‘Catholic’ Category

A SONG FOR NAGASAKI   Leave a comment

I recently read a book entitled A Song for Nagasaki by Fr. Paul Glynn, SM. It is the story of Takashi Nagai. Nagai was a devout Catholic convert, husband, father, teacher, doctor, and writer. Nagai lived in Nagasaki, in Japan, when the United States dropped the A bomb on August 9, 1945.

When the A bomb dropped on August 9th, Nagasaki suffered a direct hit in its Urakami district, the historic Catholic area, and 8500 Catholics were killed (including Nagai’s wife) and more suffered and later died from the effects of atomic radiation. St. Mary’s Cathedral was totally destroyed.

St. Mary’s construction began in 1895 and was completed in 1917, twenty-two years later. The work began under the direction of an amateur architect priest, and it was a colossal effort, all done by poor people. The Cathedral was 230 feet long and accommodated five thousand worshippers. It was largest cathedral in the Far East, with two bell towers more than one hundred feet high.

Intercessions of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, OFM Conv.

When the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Dr. Nagai was working at the hospital, about one-half mile away from the center. Soon he and others in the hospital began showing signs of radiation sickness. Nagai was thought to be dying, and in his coma, he heard a voice telling him to pray to the Franciscan friar, Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, OFM Conv. Nagai had known Fr. Kolbe well in the early 1930s and had x-rayed him concerning Fr. Kolbe’s chronic tuberculosis.

Nagai recovered by October 5th, and he attributed his remission for six years to the intercessions of Fr. Kolbe. Not known to Nagai, Fr. Kolbe had died on August 14, 1941, in the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz in Poland. He was canonized Saint Maximilian Kolbe on October 10, 1982 by Pope John Paul II.

Fr. Kolbe had a history in Nagasaki between 1930 and 1936 when he undertook a series of missions to Japan and founded a monastery, Japanese paper and seminary. He established Mugenzai no Sono (the Garden of the Immaculate), built on the slopes of Mount Hikosan. It was saved when the bomb dropped because it was built on the opposite side of the mountain from the Nagasaki center.

Religious Persecution

A Song for Nagasaki describes the persecution of Japanese Catholics down through time and how they suffered and died for their faith. Truly, we in the United States do not know what religious persecution is compared to the people of Japan and other countries. We have not suffered physical torture or martyrdom at the hands of our government yet.

I have reflected on all the books I have read concerning torture and death of Christians, through actions or sanctions of the government, beginning in the New Testament. Consider all the persecution and deaths of Catholics and Protestants from the 1500’s, down through time, especially in England, beginning with Henry VIII. Consider de-christianization of France during the French Revolution. Consider events in Mexico in the 1900’s, especially in the 1920’s, depicted in the recent movie, For Greater Glory, and the book, Mexican Martyrdom by Wilfrid Parsons, S.J. Consider Nazi Germany (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Shirer). Consider the history of Christian persecution, tortures, and deaths in countries throughout the world on this single website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians.

On the internet, Open Doors provides the World Wide Watch List of the 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted. The countries where persecution is most severe are North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Maldives, Mali, Iran, Yemen, Eritrea, and Syria. http://www.worldwatchlist.us/

Certain Unalienable Rights

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . . .” Declaration of Independence.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We must guard our religious freedom and keep the government from unconstitutional domination and restrictions. Learn from the history of other countries. Seek the truth and study the founding documents and history of our country, especially the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Understand that the First Amendment to the Constitution, in the Establishment Clause, limits the power of our government but does not limit the religious freedom and power of the citizens, contrary to what is being indicated by the government, the media and others. Help to eliminate ignorance, apathy and the low information voter who may rely on Twitter and social media for their news.

Religious persecution often starts slowly, growing into a hideous, evil monster, ending in the suffering and deaths of many. Yes, it can happen to us here in the United States.

Let Us Follow the Poor and Crucified Christ

As Christians, we must fight against loss of religious freedom through prayer and fasting, through being a light to the world, and through standing for respect for life from conception to natural death. Most important of all, remember the Lord says, “ if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. Is this not what Saint Francis also would say to us? Did he not put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17)?

All Christians are called to holiness and to live in the spirit of the Beatitudes on this journey home to the Father. Secular Franciscans must follow our Rule and the lead of our Holy Father Francis to live in simplicity and care for the poor.

It is not the duty of the government to care for the poor but the duty of the Church to assist and care for the poor, sick, orphans, widowed, the homeless and all the marginalized. We must not allow the government to usurp our duties to those in need in our country and the world. The Church restores dignity to peoples and leads to salvation for the many. It assists and cares but does not enable. The government creates dependency and powerlessness among the people in its drive for power.

In March 22, 2013, Pope Francis, in the audience with the Diplomatic Corps, spoke of “fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges.” He spoke of respect for the whole of creation and the protection of our environment. He is the Pope for our times, showing a true Franciscan spirit by his life and teachings. He points the way to the Way, and for Secular Franciscans, our Rule guides and instructs us.

The Twenty-Six Martyrs of Nagasaki in 1597
The Twenty-Six Martyrs of Nagasaki in 1597

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Sources and recommended readings on the World Wide Web

1. “The Catholic Holocaust of Nagasaki – ‘Why, Lord?’” Brother Anthony Josemaria, August 1, 2010.

http://www.hprweb.com/2010/08/the-catholic-holocaust-of-nagasaki-why-lord/

2. “Takashi Nagai’s Life and Message of Peace,” Cecilia Bryan, June 23, 2012.

http://catholicism.org/takashi-nagais-life-and-message-of-peace.html

3. Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum. http://www.26martyrs.com/

4. “The Conversion of Takashi Nagai, And His Vocation of Life,” Frank Weathers, April 28, 2013. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yimcatholic/2013/04/the-conversion-of-takashi-nagai-and-his-vocation-of-love.html

Ephesians 6 – Battle against Evil.

10 Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. 11 Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. 13 Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. 14 So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, 15 and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Source: http://www.usccb.org/bible/ephesians/6

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“A Huge Percent of Catholic Woman Use Birth Control, You Know”   Leave a comment

My friend says: “A huge percent of catholic women use birth control, you know, and it is considered a health matter.”

So being pregnant is a health issue, to be avoided for good health? (I would say that using artificial contraceptions cause health issues – I could name a few I experienced during my Protestant, contraception-using days.) And a huge percent of Catholic women use birth control? I have a couple of questions and some comments concerning this alleged, huge percent of Catholic women using birth control.

1. What percentage of Catholic women who attend Mass weekly and who are married use artificial contraception?

2. What percentage of converts to the Catholic faith use artificial contraception?

The point of the first questions being that the devout Catholic wife, practicing her faith (weekly or daily Mass and observing other sacraments of the Church), daily, quality time in prayer, who knows, respects and follows the teachings of the Church, will not use artificial contraception.

The point of the second question is that converts have embraced the Catholic faith by choice, after receiving much teaching and doing much study, often converting at great personal sacrifice. Often they know much more about the Catholic faith than do cradle Catholics who were poorly catechized, especially if they came along from about 1960 on. Converts have a great love, loyalty and gratitude towards the Catholic Church and are often more scrupulous in trying always to adhere to the teachings and beliefs of the Church, including not using artificial contraception.

I suspect that a large percentage of Catholics using birth control are cradle Catholics, who are Catholic in name only and do not fit the descriptions under the last two paragraphs above.

As to that ridiculous statistic floating around that 98% of Catholic woman use birth control, start with this as far as debunking (there are many, many more on internet): http://www.lifenews.com/2012/02/13/figure-that-98-of-catholic-women-use-birth-control-debunked/

Here’s a bit of history on the use of artificial contraceptions:

“Few realize that up until 1930, all Protestant denominations agreed with the Catholic Church’s teaching condemning contraception as sinful. At its 1930 Lambeth Conference, the Anglican church, swayed by growing social pressure, announced that contraception would be allowed in some circumstances. Soon the Anglican church completely caved in, allowing contraception across the board. Since then, all other Protestant denominations have followed suit. Today, the Catholic Church alone proclaims the historic Christian position on contraception.” http://www.catholic.com/tracts/birth-control

In a related (yes, related) subject, here is a good booklet on abortion:
http://www.catholic.com/sites/default/files/straight_talk_about_abortion.pdf

Easter Vigil Mass (Rome 2012)   Leave a comment

Posted April 8, 2012 by ouidaofs in Catholic, Easter, Mass, Prayer

The Chaplet of St. Colette

A NOTE FROM THE POOR CLARE COLETTINES TMD:

Saturday February 4 2012 was a bitterly cold day with sub-zero temperatures and black ice on the roads here in North Wales. Those who came to the Mass and blessing of St Colette were either local enough to walk or suicidal enthusiasts!

We could have re-filmed the blessing with an invited audience and a packed chapel on a road-worthy day, but this, in its simplicity, is what the Lord gave us, and – as God pleases as God wills!

Mother is blessing those present with two threads from the mantle of St Colette given to us by our Sisters at Bruges. They are mounted on a decorated Poor Clare veil. The Community is singing the Colette Chaplet.

If you would like to know more about St Colette and her blessing please visit the section on St Colette on our website  http://poorclarestmd.org/

Posted February 26, 2012 by ouidaofs in Catholic, Franciscan, Prayer

Prayer of Blessed John Paul II

I leave you now with this prayer:
that the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to each one of you,
that He will give you the strength to go out
and profess that you are Christian,
that He will show you that He alone can fill your hearts.
Accept His freedom and embrace His truth,
and be messengers of the certainty
that you have been truly liberated
through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
This will be the new experience,
the powerful experience, that will generate,
through you, a more just society and a better world.
God bless you and may the joy of Jesus be always with you!
(Blessed John Paul II)

Posted February 26, 2012 by ouidaofs in Blessed John Paul II, Catholic, Prayer

Joy

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“The sure sign that God is alive in you is joy.” Fr. Robert Barron.

Catholicism Series

Posted February 21, 2012 by ouidaofs in Catholic, Joy

The Soul’s Desire

“I have shown you, dearest daughter, that in this life guilt is not atoned for by any suffering simply as suffering, but rather by suffering borne with desire, love, and contrition of heart.  The value is not in the suffering but in the soul’s desire. Likewise, neither desire nor any other virtue has value or life except through my only-begotten Son, Christ crucified, since the soul has drawn love from him and in virtue follows his footsteps.  In this way and in no other is suffering of value. “

Source:  Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue

“Paradise regained – to walk in the garden, naked, unashamed, hand and hand with God just as He intended.”  Source:  Patty Palmer, OFS

Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you and with true sorrow for my sins, I offer You this poor heart of mine.  Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Your will.  Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in You and for You.

Protect me in the midst of danger, comfort me in my afflictions, give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.  Amen.

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