Skateboarding Friars

We can and must be witnesses of Christ, even in the most unexpected places. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed listening to these two Franciscan friars who happen to be skateboardersThe sense of obedience, peace and love of God that they emanate is truly a great witness to the Christian faith. A witness that cannot help itself but to be contagious to others.

I hope I can do the same every time I go to the skatepark!

Links:

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

My thoughts on Skateboarding

A Heart for Skateboarding

St. Jude: The Patron Saint of the Impossible.

SaintJudeThaddeus

 

Today is the feast day of St. Jude, apostle of Christ and  patron saint of impossible causes.  He authored the Letter of Jude and according to tradition traveled as far as Persia, to the east, and as far as Libya to the west. He was martyred in Syria with an axe.

His letter is a powerful testament of his faith and fortitude in Christ against heresy and the dominions of the world.  Many miracles have been attributed to his powerful interception hence tradition holds him to be the patron saint of impossible causes.

In honor of his feast day and the wonderful gift of his faith in Christ I hope you can read the following excerpt from his only recorded letter in scripture:

Jude 1:17-25

Exhortations

But you, beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,

for they told you, “In [the] last time there will be scoffers who will live according to their own godless desires.”

These are the ones who cause divisions; they live on the natural plane, devoid of the Spirit.

But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the holy Spirit.

Keep yourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

On those who waver, have mercy;

save others by snatching them out of the fire; on others have mercy with fear, abhorring even the outer garment stained by the flesh.

Doxology

To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory,

to the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen.

St. Jude pray for us!

For the complete Letter of Jude visit: Letter of Jude

For more information about St. Jude visit: The Powerful Faith and Intercession of St. Jude

Excerpt taken from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop

 

Beneath Thy Protection

Beneath your compassion,
We take refuge, O Mother of God:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble:
but rescue us from dangers,
only pure, only blessed one.

Beneath Thy Protection is one of the earliest Christian prayers of our Blessed Virgin Mary. It dates to approximately the year ~250 AD a century before the Church established for the first time the canon of scripture in the Synod of Hippo in 393 AD. It was part of the Christmas liturgy celebration and it is still used in the liturgies of the Coptic, Byzantine, Armenian and Roman rites of the Church.

mariejesus

This very early Christian devotion to our Lady embraces the words of Christ when He said to John at the foot of the Cross:

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”

Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home”.

John 19:26-27

John his beloved disciple stands right there for all of us: “Behold, your mother”, Christ gave us his mother to us; the Blessed Virgin Mary is our mama! Christians throughout the centuries have understood it clearly. That is why Beneath Thy Protection is such a beautiful intercessory prayer to our Lady.


 

Battle of Lepanto

1280px-Battle_of_Lepanto_1571

Centuries later Christians in Europe fled to the Blessed Virgin for protection against the invasion of the Muslim forces of the Ottoman Empire. The Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571 stand as one of those defining days in Western history. Many historians argue that a defeat of the Christian forces opposing the Muslim invasion would have been a catastrophe for Christendom in Europe, allowing the Turks to overrun most if not all of Europe.

As the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic states, including Genoa, Spain and Papal States fought the invading forces many cities throughout Europe prayed the Holy Rosary asking for the intersection of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her Son. It is easy to imagine people gather in Churches chanting in Latin:

Sub tuum praesidium
confugimus,
Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias
in necessitatibus nostris,
sed a periculis cunctis
libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.

We fly to thy protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

At the end of the five hour battle only about 210 Ottoman ships were destroyed compared to about 60 from the Christian fleet. The battle signified the last great maritime battle fought with galleys and a major victory against Islamic invading forces. As the result, Pope Pius V instituted October 7 as the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.

GK Chesterton brilliant Poem Lepanto:

Lepanto

(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still–hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships…

Viva Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Excerpts taken from Lepanto by GK Chesterton

Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for us!

For GK Chesterton complete Poem click here.

For my thoughts on Islamic persecution of  Christians persecution in the Middle East click here.

Father Benedict J. Groeschel

I just learned that Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel passed away last Friday. I never met him but I feel like a great mentor just left me. He introduced me to the writings of St. Augustine and through his talks I deepen in my relationship with Christ, his Church and the poor.

For more information please visit the Fransciscan Friars of the Renewal webstie. 

frben03

Fr. Benedict J Groachel:

“Fr. Benedict was a founder of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR), a reform community started in 1987 by eight Capuchin Friars based in New York City. A priest and psychologist, he was director of Trinity Retreat House in Larchmont, New York, and also taught Pastoral Psychology for many years at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie. Fr. Benedict was a popular writer, preacher, retreat master, and evangelist on Catholic television. His greatest joy was serving the poor and underprivileged. Founder of St. Francis House and Good Counsel Homes, he also served as chaplain at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry for 14 years. Always deeply concerned with the welfare of others, he tirelessly provided food, clothing, and assistance to people in need—people he always considered his friends”.

Christian Devotion to Jesus Christ talk:

A Prayer by St. Therese’ on Her Feast Day

A Little Flower…In the Catholic Church Saints are those holy people that with their life glorify God by always pointing toward Christ our King! What a blessing to be sorrounded by the communion of saints!

St. Therese of Lisieux pray for us!

Catholic Working Mom

Happy Feast Day, St. Therese’ !  I love you.  Help me to love Jesus more perfectly and to make Him more loved!

A MORNING PRAYER WRITTEN BY ST. THERESE
O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.

Amen.

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