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One Who Blesses

Posted: May 11, 2015 in Uncategorized
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ONE WHO BLESSES

As fathers, we must also be men who bless.  We bless everything.  We bless our wives, our children.  Why?  Because this shows that we care for them, that we love them.

Make the sign of the cross on the foreheads of your wife, your children before they leave the house, when they return, when they go to bed.  For the older children in whom you have not done this since they were kids you can give the blessing silently in your heart.   You don’t even have to touch them.  Although, it is not too late to start.

As a man who blesses; you also protect and ask for God’s protection on those you bless.

These little signs say, “I Love You!”  Make it a habit.  Incorporate this into your daily program.  At night bless your children with holy water and have them bless each other.  God’s protection is with them.

Also, bless whatever endeavor you undertake – projects at work, at home, your travels; everything.  If you know you are going into a tough meeting, silently bless each member as they walk in the door.  You’ll be amazed at the results.

A man, who blesses, is also a man who builds.  If at work, someone curses God’s name, silently offer a blessing for God’s name.  If someone tears down, then you build up.  If some destroys, then you should create.

“Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belong to such as these.” “Then He embraced them and blessed them, placing His hands on them.” ( Mark 10:14,16)

Fathers-to-be, daily, lay your hands upon your unborn child (or children) and pray that the Holy Spirit fill your child (or children) with light, love and wholeness.

TOUCH MY UNBORN CHILD

Heavenly Father, I praise You and thank You for deeming this life to be and for forming this child in your image and likeness.  Send forth Your Holy Spirit and illuminate her womb.  Fill it with Your light, power, majesty, and glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, come with Your love, and in Your infinite mercy pour forth Your healing into this child.  Remove any negativity that may have been conveyed knowingly or unknowingly.  Bathe this child in Your Precious Blood and fill it with Your Light and Truth.

Dear sweet Mother Mary, come and be with this child.  Come with your angels and saints and intercede on this tiny child’s behalf before each person of the Holy Trinity.

Thank You, Father for this beautiful child.  Thank You, Holy Spirit for filling this child with grace. Thank You, Jesus for healing this child.  Thank You, Mary, the angels and the saints for interceding on this child’s behalf.  To all of you this child is given.  May all honor and glory be given to God by this Child in time and in eternity.  Amen.  Alleluia.  Amen.

Author Unknown

 

Actions to Live By

  • Read a Christian/Catholic book on Fatherhood – make it a weekly habit year after year until what you think becomes who you are.
  • With your kids take a trip to the library to find “The Stone Face” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and then read it with your children.  Ask them what the story means to them and tell them what it means to you.  Bring in the spiritual side and illustrate how we can be changed step-by-step through reading the Bible.
  • Ask your children to think of one thing they want to change about themselves.  You need to come up with one too, as well as having a few suggestions for each child (i.e., yelling in the house, teasing a sibling, etc.) Tell them yours and ask for some suggestions on how to make some changes.  Do the same with their change areas.

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Hearts Set on Children

Posted: September 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

As fathers, we must let our children know that we love them.  We must carry our entire family in our hearts.  Not only do we need to demonstrate this love to them, but we must also SAY IT.  Say, “I Love You!”.  Then be quiet.  Nothing more needs to be said.   Too often we say too much and soon find ourselves criticizing. 

Our children need to hear that they are loved.  They need to hear it, see it, and feel it.  How did you feel when your child without any prompting, comes to you, hugs you and tells you that they love you, daddy.  Any father will tell you that no money on earth can buy it.

We must also demonstrate our love to our children.  Children see how we walk, what is important to us.  If your faith is important to you, they notice.  Be a teacher through example.  Your children will not become men of God unless they see and witness a man of God.  Don’t nag thus they become hard-hearted. 

Spend time with your children.  Time is the great treasure because it is the gift of our self.  Children have a right to expect their fathers to be involved in their lives.  Discuss their joys, sorrows, experiences.  Raising your children just doesn’t mean existing as a father, it means to participate in their life.  It means to listen to them.  Make sure they know how important they are; how special they are.  Have fun!  Relax!  But it is also important that we instill discipline and high morals more than money and expensive toys. As a father our heart is set on our children, we carry our family in our heart.

As a father, if your heart is not set on your children, then they will be lost.  And, you will be lost.  Your greatest hope and prayer as a father is the salvation of your children, the souls that God has put in your care.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.” ( Eph 6:4)

 Actions to Live By

  • This weekend – set aside the lawn care, the paperwork, the to-do lists and even the “honey-do” list.  Grab your kids and head to the park.  Play a game that everyone can take part in.  When you’re done, go get some ice cream.     Sit around the table and look each one in the eyes and say “I love you!”
  • Ask your teenage child to go for a walk. Go to lunch or out for coffee.   Just talk.

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Dress Up for Mass!

Posted: March 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

A great article for men on why we should dress for Mass. As my daughter, Ariana, would say, “Looking FIERCE for Jesus!”

The Catholic Gentleman

Advisory Board 1943 Dapper gents from Our Lady of Victory Catholic Parish, Cincinnati, OH. (1943)

Society is growing more and more casual. I have seen people shopping for groceries in their pajama pants and fuzzy slippers. I’ve been to world-class classical concerts where people are dressed in Hawaiian shirts and jeans.  In fact, it’s hard to think of anything people will dress up for anymore. Even weddings and funerals are getting more and more casual.

This bothers me because how we dress is a sign of how much respect we have for ourselves and for other people. If we don’t dress up for anyone or anything, it’s a sure sign that we don’t respect anyone or anything.

Dressing up is a small sacrifice

Looking sharp takes effort. Putting on a well pressed suit and tie, rather than a wrinkled t-shirt, takes time. Shaving, rather than sporting a scruffy five-o-clock shadow, takes a little…

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The Lord said come to the fountain all of you who are thirsty, and when His heart was pierced there flowed blood and water.  Water is used for washing and for purifying, when it is blessed it works likewise but also in a spiritual manner.

Holy Water may be obtained at your local parish. It has been used from the earliest centuries in Church history. This sacramental can be used daily to bless oneself, by making the sign of the cross, or objects and dwelling places.  Holy Water is very powerful when used to bless the sick or those who suffer from depression.  The priest blessing of  the water is what makes it “holy” and gives it the powerful properties for such rites of use, like the sacrament of Baptism.  Adding exorcised salt to the water, increases the ability to combat evil.

Ordinary holy water is blessed with a small mixture of salt as a preservative.  Baptismal water is blessed with a slight mixture of “chrism” (a mixture of olive oil and balsam) and “oil of catechumens” (typically olive oil) that has been blessed by a bishop at a Chrism Mass during the most recent Passion Week.  Holy water may be used to sanctify a variety of objects or activities.  However, whether used to bless objects employed to promote prayer, to baptize, or to remind ourselves of our baptismal promises as we dip our finger in holy water and make the sign of the cross when entering a church, the implied petition is the same – a prayer to be spiritually cleansed – a plea to be washed clean by Christ Jesus.

Holy water is a sacramental that remits venial sin. Because of the blessing attached to it, Holy Church strongly urges it’s use upon Her children, especially when dangers threaten, such as fire, storms, sickness, discord and other calamities. Every Catholic home should always have a supply of Holy Water. Did we realize now, as we shall after death, the many benefits which may be derived from Holy Water, we would use it far more frequently, and with greater faith and reverence.

Holy Water has its great power and efficacy from the prayers of the Church. Following, are some of the petitions the priest makes to God when he blesses water: “O God… grant that this creature of Thine (water) may be endowed with divine grace to drive away devils and to cast out diseases, that whatever in the houses or possessions of the faithful may be sprinkled by this water, so that health which they seek by calling upon Thy Holy Name may be guarded from all assaults.”

The devil hates holy water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide in a place or near a person that is often sprinkled with blessed water.

Holy Water, sprinkled with faith and piety, can move the Sacred Heart to bless your loved ones, present or absent, and protect them from all harm of soul and body. When worry and fear take possession of you, give your dear ones the benefit of the Church’s prayer.

Only in Purgatory can one understand how ardently a poor soul longs for Holy Water. If we desire to make a host or intercessors for ourselves, let us never forget them at the Holy Water font. The holy souls nearest to Heaven may need the sprinkling of only one drop to release them.

Prayer when blessing oneself with Holy Water:

“By this Holy Water and by Thy Precious Blood, wash away all my sins, O Lord!”

St. Benedict Medal

St. Benedict was a monk living in Italy during the 6th century. He founded 12 religious communities in his lifetime, and has the honor of being the patron saint of Europe and students.

The St. Benedict of Nursia Medal, made in his name, is one of the most powerful Catholic Sacramental’s in existence. It’s purpose is to ward off evil and grant protection, but not in a superstitious way. Since the 17th century, wearers of this medal have sought and gained protection in spiritual warfare and in times of temptation. It may be attached to your Scapular or Rosary. Placing it above the entry doors to the house, also serves as protection. The medal has been known to convert sinners, alleviate bodily suffering and grant domesticated animals healing from illness.

On the face of the medal is the image of Saint Benedict. In his right hand he holds the cross, the Christian’s symbol of salvation. The cross reminds us of the zealous work of evangelizing and civilizing England and Europe carried out mainly by the Benedictine monks and nuns, especially for the sixth to the ninth/tenth centuries.

Rule and Raven

In St. Benedict’s left hand is his Rule for Monasteries that could well be summed up in the words of the Prolog exhorting us to “walk in God’s ways, with the Gospel as our guide.”

On a pedestal to the right of St. Benedict is the poisoned cup, shattered when he made the sign of the cross over it. On a pedestal to the left is a raven about to carry away a loaf of poisoned bread that a jealous enemy had sent to St. Benedict.

C. S. P. B.

Above the cup and the raven are the Latin words: Crux s. patris Benedicti (The Cross of our holy father Benedict). On the margin of the medal, encircling the figure of Benedict, are the Latin words: Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur! (May we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death!). Benedictines have always regarded St. Benedict as a special patron of a happy death. He himself died in the chapel at Montecassino while standing with his arms raised up to heaven, supported by the brothers of the monastery, shortly after St. Benedict had received Holy Communion.

Monte Cassino

Below Benedict we read: ex SM Casino MDCCCLXXX (from holy Monte Cassino, 1880). This is the medal struck to commemorate the 1400th anniversaryof the birth of Saint Benedict.

Reverse Side of the Medal

Crux mihi lux

On the back of the medal, the cross is dominant. On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light! May the dragon never be my guide!).

In the angles of the cross, the letters C S P B stand for Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The cross of our holy father Benedict).

Peace

Above the cross is the word pax (peace), that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V – S M Q L I V B are the initial letters, as mentioned above, of a Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan: Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas! (Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!)

Use of the Medal

There is no special way prescribed for carrying or wearing the Medal of St. Benedict. It can be worn on a chain around the neck, attached to one’s rosary, kept in one’s pocket or purse, or placed in one’s car or home. The medal is often put into the foundations of houses and building, on the walls of barns and sheds, or in one’s place of business.

The purpose of using the medal in any of the above ways is to call down God’s blessing and protection upon us, wherever we are, and upon our homes and possessions, especially through the intercession of St. Benedict. By the conscious and devout use of the medal, it becomes, as it were, a constant silent prayer and reminder to us of our dignity as followers of Christ.

The medal is a prayer of exorcism against Satan, a prayer for strength in time of temptation, a prayer for peace among ourselves and among the nations of the world, a prayer that the Cross of Christ be our light and guide, a prayer of firm rejection of all that is evil, a prayer of petition that we may with Christian courage “walk in God’s ways, with the Gospel as our guide,” as St. Benedict urges us.

A profitable spiritual experience can be ours if we but take the time to study the array of inscriptions and representations found on the two sides of the medal. The lessons found there can be pondered over and over to bring true peace of mind and heart into our lives as we struggle to overcome the weaknesses of our human nature and realize that our human condition is not perfect, but that with the help of God and the intercession of the saints our condition can become better.

The Medal of St. Benedict can serve as a constant reminder of the need for us to take up our cross daily and “follow the true King, Christ our Lord,” and thus learn “to share in his heavenly kingdom,” as St. Benedict urges us in the Prolog of his Rule.

St. Benedict Medal

Expansive

Posted: September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Work in your Fatherhood should not to be too narrow in focus where your focus is only on yourself, or just your family.  By being limited in view we become small and miss opportunities to teach and share with others.

Do we “fear the crowd” to be expansive in the opportunity that God puts before us?  If God gives us a job to do, a job to share the Word through our actions, our compassion, our talents, do we refuse because we are afraid.  Our Holy Father tells us today the words of Jesus, “Do not be afraid”.  John Paul II also tells us that “love drawn from God’s heart spurs the whole family to find the time to attend to the elderly, to devote themselves to the sick, to be involved in the difficult situations around them, including regional problems and the more general problems of the nation.  The family does not live its vocation to the full if it is not open to the needs of the community”.

 Expand your gifts outside to your larger family; maybe the less fortunate, poor, outcasts.  Volunteer for parish ministries, community programs.  When you’re involved, your children are involved.  Your children watch you closely and study your actions.  Your children will never be men of God if they don’t see a man of God in you.  They will never stay and be Catholic if you are not Catholic.  Catholic everyday in your daily life, your words, your actions, your love of the church, love of your wife, your children, your care for the poor.

Open your heart – THAT is where your richness lies.  Allow God to stretch and form you.  We do not know where our ‘yes’ will lead us.  We need to make a conscious decision to grow in the use of the talents and skills God has given us.  Often times in an expansive mode we can find ourselves in times of doubt and former ways can become especially tempting.  We must tell ourselves in times like this that “I have decided that I am not turning back.”

Jesus tells us to give of ourselves in Luke 6:38.  What a reward He has for us. “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap”.

Consider this:

1)  What are ways in our lives that we teach our families the importance of service to the under privileged? 

2) What parish ministries are you involved in?  Your children notice your involvement or lack of it.

3)  Expand yourself into the community activities of your children.  Take interest.  Do you attend ball games, help sell candy, go to museums, and attend their shows?

4)  Traditions as a family can be a good path and growth in being expansive.  Examples are wrapping and handing out gloves to the homeless at Christmas time.  Picking tags off a gift tree for under privileged children.  Have your family or group sponsor another family for the Holidays, perhaps prepare a turkey dinner for them.

Actions to Live By

  • Think back to your childhood.  What was the one thing that you really enjoyed doing?  Then do it with your children and bring them into your life; and with your friends and those around you.  You won’t believe how much they’ll enjoy discovering who dad was as a kid.

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“Every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character.”

– Oscar Wilde

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