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Showing posts from August, 2016

Evangelization: Being Moved by What Christ Does

A Shepherd's Post: Evangelization: Being Moved by What Christ Does: Evangelization is not advertising. Evangelization is encountering the power of God and bearing witness to the joy that comes from that encounter.

Mama Antula Beatified

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Argentine laywoman who kept Ignatian spirituality alive beatified: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The life of Blessed Maria Antonia de Paz Figueroa, who continued to lead Ignatian spiritual exercises in Argentina after the expulsion of the Jesuits, remains an example of Christian witness and perseverance.

Meditation

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This is Christian meditation.  I think most people think of Buddhist meditation when one speaks of
"meditation," but that's not my personal experience.  I've found Christian meditation beneficial chiefly because I'm confident I'm aligning myself to God's will, in addition to the physical and mental benefits of meditation.

It consists of at least two daily periods of meditation, while also reciting a prayer word.  My prayer word is Jesus.  The meditation leads me to want to do other types of prayer, i.e., rosary, Lectio Divina, novenas, extemporaneous prayer ejaculations, pious reading, etc.

Think of a bicycle wheel.  The two periods of meditation are the hub and the tire rim.  All the spokes are all the other types of prayers your wheel may spin to bring you into the realities of your life.

The meditation is silent.  Difficult? At first it is, but give yourself a couple of months of 10 to 15 minutes of quiet and soon you will look forward to it.  It set…

No, Nay

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Discernment required.  As for me, I say, "No."  In the first place, chalices are made of precious
metals, i.e., gold or silver.  This chalice is glass.  So I doubt a priest would use a glass chalice for Jesus' Precious Blood.  A priest would need special permission because it's not permitted.

In the second place,  isn't it awfully convenient that the host in question just happened to be in this GLASS chalice.

Thirdly, it's just too, too, too coincidental.

Besides I don't see the face of Jesus, do you?

Labor Day statement ties lack of good jobs to decline in family life

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Labor Day statement ties lack of good jobs to decline in family life: WASHINGTON (CNS) Is it me?  Isn't this a no brainer?

Bishop Carroll's Letter to John Hancock

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Bishop Carroll's letter to John Hancock: A letter from Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore to Gov. John Hancock of Massachusetts, dated Aug. 28, 1791, is full of praise and thanks for Hancock, who hosted the bishop during his visit to Boston.  The Bishop was here to assess the situation of a pastor for Boston.  Believe it or not, a couple of priests were in contention over it.  Click on the link to read the details.

Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer

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This 19th C. Pro-Life Hero Quietly Saved Millions of Lives – Including Your Own     Click on this link to learn about Dr. Storer.  He noticed that most of the problems his female patients had were results of abortions.  Most of his adherents were Catholics.  He became convinced that life began at conception.

Deal with God

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Louisiana Floods called Worst U.S. Natural Disaster

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Louisiana floods called worst U.S. natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy: BATON ROUGE, La. (CNS) -- The line of destruction caused by historic flooding in southern Louisiana stretches for 25 miles, and according to Red Cross officials.



"We are fortunate we have each other and that's a blessing.

Rosary for Quake Victims

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Pope leads 11,000 pilgrims praying rosary for quake victims: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After a strong earthquake struck central Italy and with the early news reporting many deaths and serious damage, Pope Francis turned his weekly general audience Aug. 24 into a prayer group.While the pope and some 11,000 pilgrims and tourists recited the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary in St. Peter's Square, six Vatican firefighters were on their way to the town of Amatrice, about 85 miles east of Rome, to help search for victims under the rubble. The pope sent six Vatican police officers to join them the next day.

New Mexico's bishops reject governor's plan to reinstate death penalty

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New Mexico's bishops reject governor's plan to reinstate death penalty: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CNS) -- The Catholic bishops of New Mexico in an Aug. 18 statement said they oppose Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's plan to reinstate the death penalty.  The New Mexico bishops' quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church and St. John Paul II in saying that cases where it is "an absolute necessity" for the state to employ the death penalty to ensure the safety of the community "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."

In Confession, Forgive Others

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"All liturgy is a place where mercy is encountered and accepted in order to be given, the place where the great mystery of reconciliation is made present, proclaimed, celebrated and communicated," said the papal message, which was released by the Vatican Aug. 22.Receive forgiveness in confession, learn to forgive others, pope says: VATICAN CITY (CNS) --

My Catholic Bucket List

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10 Things To Do As A Catholic Before You're Dead by Mark Shea got me thinking.  Those things are Mark Shea's things, not mine.  I hate to travel.  I hate to drive.  I hate getting up off the couch.  Fortunately for me, nowadays, I don't have to; I've got TV and a computer and I know how to read (Thank You! Jesus!)

So here is my bucket list of things to do at home, on the couch.

(1)  Go on retreat.  Virtually.
(2)  Go to a shrine.  Virtually.                                                                            
(3)  Go to a Cathedral.  Virtually.
(4)  Go to a Basilica.  Virtually.
(5)  Go to Mass in Latin.  Virtually.
(6)  Go to Rome.  Virtually.
(7)  Go to the Holy Land.  Virtually
(8)  Watch Bishop Barron's Word on Fire.
(9)  Watch Catholic TV and/or listen to Catholic radio.
(10)  Get in the habit of praying a Daily Rosary.

More to do if you're more ambitious but you shouldn't have to leave your state.

(1)  Go to a Life in the Spirit Seminar.
(2)  G…

First Confession LOL

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LOL is internet slang for Laughing Out Loud or Lots of Laughs--either way, you get the idea. Well I LOL reading a short story of Frank O'Connor's, called First Confession.  I am working on points of view in writing.  First Confession is an excellent example of first person point of view.

The story is told through the narration of a little boy making his first confession.  He has a grandmother, whom he doesn't like and a sister who doesn't like him.  Listen to this video and enjoy.  Frank O'Connor is a master story teller.

Voting

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Aleteia has a poll about staying civil in this election time.  Take it by click here.

The Mystagogy of Mercy in the Mass

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The Mystagogy of Mercy in the Mass: As we continue to examine, throughout this Jubilee of Mercy, God's call to recognize our need for, receive, be transformed by and share the extraordinary gift of God's merciful love, it's key to turn to the best prayer there is, the Mass.

A Happy Death

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A Happy Death: In the Roman Catholic culture within which I grew up, we were taught to pray for a happy death. For many Catholics at the time, this was a standard petition within their daily prayer:  What's a happy death to you?



To me it's the confidence that I'm going to God.  Can't wait!

Lectio Divina for Matt. 19: 23-30

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Lectio Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will …

Do Your Best, God does the Rest

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Paige McPherson, 25-year-old Taekwondo phenom she says it’s God’s presence in her life that firmly cements her strength and success. “I’ve put in the work; I’ve done what I’m supposed to do. I’m learning, though, that there are certain things I just can’t control, and that’s when I give it up to Him.”  She's competing in the Olympics and tells the story of how she came to be there.  It's God's will.  She does her part, and depends on God for the rest.  Read about her faith and journey on Aleteia.

2016 Election Marked by Coarseness, Incivility

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Are you as turned off as I am, about the 2016 election marked by passionate electorate, coarseness, incivility: WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CNS)?  The Pilot talks about crude behavior from people we're supposed to elect as our president.

Pre-Cana Needs An Upgrade

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U.S. Catholic had an article about pre-cana classes, Pre-Cana needs an Upgrade by Annarose F. Steinke.  Yes, definitely!  Most couples know more than the facilitators, especially if they're older than the leaders, or have been cohabiting longer than their teachers have been married.  Read the article for yourself.

Parish Welcome Wagon

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All Catholics are responsible for building a community within our church. Parish coffee hour is the ideal place to start.  U.S. Catholic had an article by Molly Jo Rose about the value of coffee hour after Mass.  She's an advocate and she gives many good points.   However, being an old grouch, I would never go.  Well, maybe I would if I had a young family and the kids wanted to go, but I don't think we'd have had time.  Sundays we went to grandma's for breakfast and everyone enjoyed that and would have hated to miss it.   But if that weren't the case?  Nah!   They'd probably be hockey practice, or some other sport to go to.  IOW, Sundays were always family fun times.   I think post Mass coffee hour works in Protestant Churches because they only have one or two services on Sundays.  We have Masses Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.  We don't usually go to the same Mass, every Sunday, because one of the kids was an acolyte and we went to the Mass she was…

Lay Dominican Fun

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Our Lady of Mercy Chapter of Lay Dominicans roasted our chapter president, today.  We played a quiz type game of "How Well Does Our President Know His Chapter?"


Each person in our chapter filled out a 20 question paper, as did the president, Peter.  Then we took the chapter's answers and collated them.  Peter's answers should have corresponded with the majority of the chapter's.  They didn't.  He flunked.  So at the end, we all crumpled up our papers and threw that at him, like we were stoning him.

Some questions were serious: Out of the four Dominican pillars, which is the chapter's strongest?
                                                 Out of the four Dominican pillars, which is our weakest?
                                                 What is the Dominican Study Group reading?

Some questions were silly:  Who has the best singing voice?
                                              Who is the grouchiest in the chapter?
                       …

When a Franciscan is Invited to the Dominicans

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It is a tradition that on the Feast of Saint Dominic, a Franciscan is invited to preach, and visa versa.  This is what happened at Pius V, Providence Rhode Island.  The Franciscan who preached was none other than my Cardinal Archbishop Sean O'Malley.  Here is what he wrote in his blog.

In the Franciscan order, we have a tradition that on the Feast of St. Francis we invite a Dominican to come and preach and preside. In turn, the Dominicans, on the feast of St. Dominic, always invite a Franciscan. So, this year I was invited to celebrate the Mass and preach for the Feast of St. Dominic at St. Pius V Parish in Providence, Rhode Island. This is also the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Dominican order. So this celebration of St. Dominic’s day had a particular significance this year. The parish is right across the street from Providence College, and is named for Pope Pius V who was a Dominican. Pope Pius was pope in a very tumultuous time in the Church. He is actually the pope …

The Apostolic Penitentiary

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Unlocking forgiveness: Vatican tribunal promotes pardon: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Apostolic Penitentiary has nothing to do with a jail cell and everything to do with ensuring repentant sinners experience God's mercy. Click on the link for more.

Muslim-on-Muslim Violence

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Muslim-on-Muslim violence highlighted in new State Department report: WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The report said: "Societal passions associated with blasphemy -- deadly enough in and of themselves -- are abetted by a legal code that harshly penalizes blasphemy and apostasy. Such laws conflict with and undermine universally recognized human rights.  Please read the entire article.
While in past years the wave of Muslim violence against Christians has been prominent in the U.S. State Department's annual report on international religious freedom, now it is against Muslims, also.

People Need to Be Close to their Pastor

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WYD 2016: Source of Hope: When Bishop Barron arrived in Kraków for the 2016 World Youth Day, he was pretty exhausted, having left Los Angeles some fifteen hours earlier and having had to change planes in Munich. But he was excited to meet the very same group of people, (in the photo) that Pope John Paul II had ministered to--as a parish priest--as a pastor--as a bishop--as an archbishop--as a cardinal-- and YES, even as a pope.  He still kept in touch with them and met with them consistently, yearly, until he died.  Read the article, click on the link.

Personally, I don't know a single parish priest that comes close.  Although, I do know some religious order priests that keep in touch with their friends, like JPII.  Why?

Once, when I was in the abbey, alone in prayer, I was asking God for inspiration.  I needed a speaker for a women's club.  I listened for an answer.  I heard the door open.  I looked up and saw my favorite parish priest walk in.  THANK YOU JESUS!

We smiled at …

Novena for Our Nation

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I wholeheartedly endorse the Novena for Our Nation (Starting August 15) and the Rosary Rally on October 7th next, the 445th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto. I urge as many as are able to participate in these great spiritual works for the sake of our entire nation. In a special way, as the spiritual advisor to the Holy League, I urge everyone to give strong leadership in this great campaign of prayer for our nation.  For more information follow the day by day prayers, here.

Church of the Imperial Autonomous Self

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The Washington Post and the Church of Me: My (George Weigel) local paper, the Washington Post, is best read for its sports and op-ed pages and its often-sensible editorials on foreign policy. Alas, the Post editorial board's IQ drops...
George Weigel explains that the Washington Post, US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and Frank Sinatra--all pontificate their selfish, self-absorbed whims as "freedom" and even "rights" and worse--they dismiss everything else as wrongheaded.  And he's sick of it.  Click on the link.

High Court in Ireland Rules an Unborn Baby Has a Right to Life

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Bloody Sunday Bishop Died

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Irish bishop of Bloody Sunday fame remembered for his peaceful witness: Derry, Northern Ireland, Aug 8, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Daly died in the hospital Monday morning, Bishop Emeritus Edward Daly of Derry's ministry advocating for peace during the Troubles of Northern Ireland.  Please click on the link to read how Bishop Daly ministered to the wounded in spirit and body.  He is famous for waving a white flag--a blooded white flag -- to bring the wounded to be ministered.

Necklace Rosaries

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Aleteia this morning had an article by my favorite Kat.  That's Katrina Fernandez.  Her article is about a young girl who wears an heirloom rosary as a piece of jewelry.  Rosaries are sacred to Catholics, so understandably, this drives them nuts.  Kat advises us to cool it.  Rather than freak out, she suggests (very sensibly) to use it as an evangelization tool.

Carry pamphlets explaining how to pray the rosary.  Now when you meet someone wearing a rosary, ask them if they pray it.  If the response is in the negative, then express the idea that wearing something you don't understand is a pity.  Give them a pamphlet and say, "Read this and you'll appreciate what you're wearing and advertising and you'll be able to explain what it means. May God bless you with introducing His Mother Mary to you."

I have met hope ... in person

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I have met hope ... in person: In July I traveled to Serbia, Greece and Lebanon to review the refugee situation now that the borders to Northern Europe are closed. While the flow of people has diminished, it has not ceased. Migration is now largely dependent on traffickers who charge individuals 4,000 to 6,000 euros to facilitate illegal crossings..Please read the rest of the story.  Follow the link.








Impoverished without Contemplation

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Impoverished without Contemplation: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in one of his Gulag books tells of how he and other prisoners were kept in buildings without any windows, yet each day, when they were being marched from one prison bloc to another they slowly gazed at the sliver of light from outside...



I hear similar stories all the time from my "cloistered brothers," as they are transported to doctors or the hospital.  They hungrily soak in the views from the windows as they rush by, all too fast.



Read the article; it'll will inspire you to be grateful.

In Odium Fidei

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Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, a Dominican, said that Pere Jacques Hamel died in "hatred of the faith."  The Latin term is "in odium fidei."  IOW, he died a martyr for his faith.  Read more in this article from the Catholic Herald.

Orwell's Pro-Life Stance

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Much to my surprise, I came across George Orwell's epiphany on capital punishment.  I was reading his essay, A Hanging, where he was describing a prisoner walking to the gallows.  The setting is a prison camp in India.  Orwell is an English policeman.  At this time in history, India is a colony of England.  This story really isn't much of a political treatise, but rather an opinion on  capital punishment.

The condemned man doesn't resist.  I noticed how human, Orwell depicts him.  He never calls him inmate, convict, criminal, in fact we don't know what capital crime he committed to deserve the ultimate punishment.  He is named a man, or a Hindu.  He had a dog who loved him very much because the dog goes crazy when he sees him.  But it isn't that fact, that brings about Orwell's epiphany.  (But Orwell knows the reader will start to see a human being.)  Orwell describes the event.

It was about forty yards to the gallows.  I watched the bare brown back of the pris…

Stormy Seas

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Having seen and appreciated the Tall Ships, during our country’s bicentennial, I appreciated the locale of A Black Sail, by Rich Zahradnik.  The back and forth between the ships and the city arced the story from mob to tong and city to harbor.  The major protagonist, Coleridge Taylor is not only jumping and ducking locales, but the bad guys, too.  Taylor is an investigative reporter who isn’t assigned to investigate the murder of the poor woman who was dragged up from the harbor, but he wants to—needs to—is called to.  His assignment is to report on the Tall Ships and the ceremonies involved in New York Harbor, for the Bicentennial in 1976. 
Our story begins with Taylor cruising the harbor to report on the Tall Ships, when he sees the police pull up a dead woman from the water, with bags of drugs attached to her.  Taylor’s boss wants him to just write on the goings on for the Bicentennial.  You might as well ask the sun not to shine.  Taylor works on his Bicentennial assignment in be…

At Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue, cardinal blesses Olympic torch

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At Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue, cardinal blesses Olympic torch: RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- High above the city, beneath the statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio Cardinal Orani Tempesta blessed the Olympic torch, held by Brazil's former Olympic volleyball player, Maria Isabel Barroso Salgado.  Don't you just love the camera views with the statue reflecting above the games?


Support St. John's Seminary

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Next time you're buying something on Amazon, you can simultaneously be giving to St. John's Seminary in Brighton, MA.   Online shopping helps fundraise for local parishes and schools: BRAINTREE -- When you think about giving money to your local parish or Catholic school, the Catholic Appeal or the offertory at Sunday Mass probably comes to mind.But here's another way.  Once you register for the AmazonSmile Foundation, they will donate .5% of that item's cost to St. John's Seminary, or another charitable organization--at no additional cost to you.






A tale of two Catholic candidates -- looking at the 2016 vice president picks

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A tale of two Catholic candidates -- looking at the 2016 vice president picks: Washington D.C., Aug 4, 2016 CNA.- Although both major 2016 vice presidential nominees were raised Catholic and still profess to be Christians, their public policy records have drawn concern from some.



Just remember, whoever is elected president, it is for four years, but Jesus Christ is King, forever.

10 Priests to Pray For

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Good Idea!    10 Priests to Pray For: August 4th marks the feast day of St. John Vianney, the saintly priest of Ars, and patron saint of parish priests.  This day affords us the opportunity to pause and pray for our priests.  Here are ten priests from your life you should pray for.

and prayers especially for Father Gordon MacRae.

The Priest's Seal of Confession Rights

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Louisiana court upholds priest's 'seal of confession' rights: Baton Rouge, La., Aug 4, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- A state appeals court in Louisiana reaffirmed that Catholic priests cannot be forced by law to violate the seal of the confessional.  The role of the confessor is strictly confidential.  He can not tell anyone what was said in confession.  He can not tell anything, any time, any where.  The confessor can be put in jail; he still will not tell.

Blessed Romero an example of faith for youths, Panama bishops say

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Blessed Oscar Romero was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass in the chapel of a local hospital, one day after calling on the government to end its violation of human rights against the population. Pope Francis recognized his martyrdom; he was beatified May 23.Blessed Romero an example of faith for youths, Panama bishops say: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For the young people who will attend World Youth Day 2019 in Panama, the life and martyrdom of Blessed Oscar Romero is a shining example of Christian faith in the midst of struggle and is the perfect patron for World Youth Day in Panama in 2019.

Fast

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Wednesday is my day of fasting in reparation for a culture of violence.
Day of Fasting and Prayer in Reparation for a Culture of Violence 

My First Giveaway

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Digital Missionary:How to Evangelize in the Digital World hooked me.  I thought it was so useful, that I'm tempted, giving it to the first eight people who click:    https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/80d39695e22aae35
  I've never done a "giveaway" before, so if the link doesn't do what it's supposed to do, email me or tell me in the comments.  I'll fix it.
  BTW, this giveaway ends on the Feast of St. Dominic.  This beloved saint gave away his books, so I'm only emulating my holy father.
  Good luck and hope you will be blessed.

Blessing Yourself Before Swimming

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Back in the day, we all did it.  At least, all Catholics did this.  Before entering the water, not bath, but pools, lakes, ponds, and the ocean, we bent down to dip our fingers in the water and blessed ourselves--in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  A prayer to the Trinity to unite ourselves to God and protection from harm (drowning).  So I was not surprised that Katie Ledecky prays.  She's not being overly devotional, just smart.



World record-holder swimmer still says 'a prayer -- or two -- before any race': WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Four years ago, at age 15, swimmer Katie Ledecky won Olympic gold in the women's 800-meter freestyle. Since then Ledecky, who attended Catholic schools in Bethesda, Maryland, has

Je Suis Prêtre

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Slain French priest was attack on 'all of us,' imam said: WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Father Jacques Hamel's gruesome murder in northern France July 26 -- by men claiming allegiance to the Islamic State -- prompted sorrow and outrage from Muslim leaders around the world.  In fact, many French Muslims went to the funeral Mass of Pere Jacques Hamel, who was martyred by terrorists, in the name of their religion, in protest to the terrorists' false interpretation of Islam.  Also, these imams refused to bury the terrorists.  They cut off all association with the terrorists' twisting of their Islamic religion.



It is good to see something visibly noticeable, as a response to terrorists claiming to be Islamic.  We are descendants of Abraham.

It's not right to equate Islam with violence, pope says

It's not right to equate Islam with violence, pope says: ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- An economy that focuses on the God of money, not human beings, is the foundation of terrorism, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to journalists aboard