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Today is the feast day of St. Peter Chrysologus (c. 380–c. 450), Doctor of the Church and bishop of Ravenna.  He was known for his excellent sermons; Chrysologus means something like “golden word” or “golden-worded.”

I found a wonderful speech he gave about prayer, fasting, and mercy:

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to each other.

Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others you open God’s ear to yourself.

When you fast, see the fasting of others. If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.

Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy: show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.

Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defense, a threefold united prayer in our favor.

It’s a good reminder that fasting is not only for Lent!

Yesterday was the feast day of one of my dearest friends in Heaven, St. Martha.  She’s Patron Saint of homemakers, cooks, laundry workers, and other domestic kinds of people.  She’s also Patron Saint of single laywomen–which, of course, makes her very special to me!  As my Patron Saint for 2008, she did help me grow my own domestic skills.  Julie has written a wonderful post about St. Martha.

I just realized that I missed the feast day of my Patron Saint for 2009, St. Jason!  His feast day was 12 July.  *sigh*  I’m such a bad protegée!  But I think I have been learning a lot from him.

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Somebody recently mentioned indulgences to me.  I am very dedicated to seeking indulgences, especially for the poor souls in Purgatory.  I’ve actually been meaning to write about this topic for a while, and especially since I’ve been trying to write about the Rosary–there are special indulgences related to rosaries (the objects) and to the Rosary (the prayer).  I will highlight these below.  So here we go: indulgences!

“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church ¶1471)

I’ve heard temporal punishment explained very simply thus *: say that you drop a glass that has a drink in it and make a big mess.  You tell your mother that you are sorry, and she forgives you.  But the mess still needs to be cleaned up.  In justice you should be the one to clean it up.  Having to clean up the mess is your “temporal punishment.”  Every sin we commit makes a mess.  Contrition and forgiveness heal our relationships with God and others, but they don’t clean up the messes.  We each have to clean up our messes, either in this life or in Purgatory.  Indulgences are a divine gift by which we can be freed even from having to clean up our messes.

We can obtain indulgences for ourselves, or for souls in Purgatory.  We cannot apply them to other living persons, however.  Obtaining indulgences for the souls in Purgatory is a great and generous act of mercy.  Personally, I make that my focus.  I consider it a win-win situation; the souls get freed from Purgatory, and I get some new friends up in Heaven to pray for me!

Indulgences are granted via specified actions.  Here are a couple of examples of common indulgenced actions (including the rosary-related ones).  These and many, many more can be found in the Enchiridion of Indulgences along with all the other norms and regulations relating to indulgences.

35. Use of Articles of Devotion (Obiectorum pietatis usus)
The faithful, who devoutly use an article of devotion (crucifix or cross, rosary. scapular or medal) properly blessed by any priest, obtain a partial indulgence.

Get your rosaries (and other items) blessed by a priest!  It’s so quick and simple to do.  I’ve just gone up to my priest after Mass and asked him to bless rosaries.  It takes maybe 20 seconds, and he is always more than happy to oblige.  After it is blessed, you can receive a partial indulgence just by using it.  Partial indulgences, as their name suggests, remove part of the temporal punishment you’ve amassed.  But you can gain them again and again–they are unlimited!

But if you think that’s simple, check this out:

55. Sign of the Cross (Signum crucis)
A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who devoutly sign themselves with the sign of the cross, while saying the customary words: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The first time I read that, I was like, “Seriously?  Nah, an indulgence can’t be that easy!”  The thing to remember about partial indulgences is that the extent of the indulgence (whether “partial” means a little or a lot) depends on the devotion with which we perform the prescribed action.  It’s not the size of the action, but how well we do it.

But back to #35 above, rosaries can be used for a variety of prayers, such as the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  The above indulgence would apply to any devotional use of a rosary!  This next one, however, applies specifically to the “capital-r” Rosary, and it is an example of another kind of indulgence, a plenary indulgence:

48. Recitation of the Marian Rosary (Rosarii marialis recitatio)
A plenary indulgence is granted, if the Rosary is recited in a church or public oratory or in a family group, a religious Community or pious Association; a partial indulgence is granted in  other circumstances.

“Now the Rosary is a certain formula of prayer, which is made up of fifteen decades of “Hail Marys” with an “Our Father” before each decade, and in which the recitation of each decade is accompanied by pious meditation on a particular mystery of our Redemption.” (Roman Breviary) The name “Rosary,” however, is commonly used in reference to only a third part of the fifteen decades.

The gaining of the plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms:

1) The recitation of a third part only of the Rosary suffices; but the five decades must be recited continuously.

2) The vocal recitation must be accompanied by pious meditation on the mysteries.

3) In public recitation the mysteries must be announced in the manner customary in the place; for private recitation, however, it suffices if the vocal recitation is accompanied by meditation on the mysteries.

4) For those belonging to the Oriental rites, amongst whom this devotion is not practiced, the Patriarchs can determine some other prayers in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary (for those of
the Byzantine rite, for example, the Hymn “Akathistos” or the Office “Paraclisis”); to the prayers thus determined are accorded the same indulgences as for the Rosary.

Note that it specifies that one must meditate upon the Mysteries of the Rosary–just saying the vocal prayers is not enough.  Also, the 5 decades must be said “continuously”–you must pray them all in one sitting, as opposed to praying one Mystery then doing something else and coming back later to pray the others.  Not all plenary indulgences are specified at such length.  Here is another common universal one:

3. Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament (Adoratio Ss.mi Sacramenti)
A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who visit the Most Blessed Sacrament to adore it; a plenary indulgence is granted, if the visit lasts for at least one half an hour.

Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?  There are a number of indulgences which may generally be called partial, but in certain circumstances may be plenary.  For example, devoting a longer period of time to the action, or doing the action on a particular day or during a particular season (e.g. when the Tantum Ergo is recited on Holy Thursday or Corpus Christi)

A plenary indulgence such as this remits your entire temporal punishment, no matter how great it may be.  It’s a very powerful thing, and a very huge gift from God.  We are limited to receiving only one plenary indulgence per day.  The only exception is that plenary indulgences can be obtained at the point of death, even if one has already obtained a plenary indulgence earlier that day.

This brings me to the conditions that must be met in order to obtain any indulgence:

22. § 1. To be capable of gaining an indulgence for oneself, it is required that one be baptized, not excommunicated, in the state of grace at least at the completion of the prescribed works,  and a subject of the one granting the indulgence.

§ 2. In order that one who is capable may actually gain indulgences, one must have at least a general intention to gain them and must in accordance with the tenor of the grant perform the enjoined works at the time and in the manner prescribed.

Essentially, you need to be a Catholic in good standing and in a state of grace (no unconfessed mortal sins on your soul).  If there is an indulgence specified by a particular bishop for a particular diocese, you have to be part of that diocese and subject to that bishop.  The rosary-related indulgences are universal.  Also, you have to want and intend to obtain the indulgences.   This is why it is so important that we all be aware of indulgences–and believe in them!  If, after reading all this, you decide you just don’t believe what the Church teaches about indulgences, well, then you’re never going to obtain one.  And that would be very unfortunate.

To obtain plenary indulgences, additional conditions must be met:

26. To acquire a plenary indulgence it is necessary to perform the work to which the indulgence is attached and to fulfill the following three conditions: sacramental Confession, eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. It is further required that all attachment to sin, even venial sin, be absent.

If the latter disposition is in any way less than perfect or if the prescribed three conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence will be partial only, saving the provisions given below in Norm 34 and in Norm 35 concerning those who are “impeded.”

While to receive a partial indulgence you simply have to be in a state of grace, for the plenary indulgence, you must go to Confession, even if you have only venial sins to confess.  And note that requirement that “all attachment to sin, even venial sin, be absent”!  That’s a tall order.  I think the key word is “attachment.”  We may fall into venial sin, but that’s not the same as being attached to it.  We have to detach and reject sin–we have to be pure of heart and pure of intention.  We have to keep our eyes on our goal, which is to free ourself or some other poor soul from the results of sin.  We can’t very well do that if we ourselves give in to sin all too willingly and perhaps even eagerly.

Note that even if you don’t fully meet the conditions for obtaining a plenary indulgence, you can still obtain a partial indulgence.

27. The three conditions may be fulfilled several days before or after the performance of the prescribed work; it is, however, fitting that Communion be received and the prayer for the
intention of the Sovereign Pontiff be said on the same day the work is performed.

28. A single sacramental confession suffices for gaining several plenary indulgences; but Communion must be received and prayer for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff must be
recited for the gaining of each plenary indulgence.

29. The condition of praying for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary; nevertheless, each one is free to recite any other
prayer according to his piety and devotion.

More details about those conditions.  Regarding the first sentence in 27, “may be fulfilled several days before or after”: traditionally, the set time-frame was 8 days.  In 2000, the Great Jubilee Year, it was specified as “about 20 days.”  This longer time-frame remains in force, per the Apostolic Penitentiary.

I know this may all be a little overwhelming.  All these rules and regulations may seem burdensome.  Really, though, the rules basically come down to simply living out the faith.  If you go to Confession pretty frequently, you’re going to be in good shape to meet all the requirements.  And what Catholic wouldn’t want to offer prayers for the Holy Father’s intentions?  Or be detached from sin?

Furthermore, God is merciful.  There is nothing He would rather do than relieve us from troubles and suffering.  That’s the reason Christ died.  And it is only because Christ died that the Church can offer indulgences.  The graces we receive as indulgences were gained on Good Friday.  So if we approach His great mercy, if we seek out the graces of indulgences for ourselves, or especially for others, following the rules and regulations to the best of our ability, God isn’t going to say, “Oh, you didn’t do x perfectly, so no deal!”  God is not held to the rules and regulations of the Enchiridion.  We are bound to fulfill them the best we can.  They are the Church’s way of showing us what is the best way to follow, the Church’s way of saying, “If you abide by these, your success will be assured.”

So, whatever you do, don’t be discouraged by the rule book.  Of course, don’t toss the rule book aside, either.  Respect it for what it is and try to abide by it.  The rest will be taken care of by God’s mercy.  I think this is especially true when we seek indulgences for the souls in Purgatory.  I pray a little prayer that goes something like this:

Dear Lord, today I wish to obtain every possible grace and indulgence for the poor souls in Purgatory.  Please don’t look on my unworthiness to obtain such tremendous graces, but look in mercy upon those poor souls who are longing and suffering so greatly to be united with You at last! Thank You.  Amen.

If you want more information, take a look at the Enchiridion.  This is a PDF copy that you can search if you’re looking for something particular.  Definitely look at pages 19-40, where the various indulgenced actions are listed.  You might be surprised, as I was!

Really, there is no excuse for not seeking to obtain indulgences.

—————–

* I’m sorry I can’t remember exactly who gave this explanation.  I remember hearing it on the radio, and I’m almost positive it was a priest, so I’m thinking it must have been either Father Mitch Pacwa, SJ on EWTN Open Line, or Father Vincent Serpa, OP on Catholic Answers Live.  Many thanks to whomever it was!

Hiliaire Belloc

Also known as Hilaire Belloc, he was born on 27 July 1870.  Today would be his 139th birthday.

I don’t remember exactly when I first encountered Belloc.  It was pretty early on in my conversion process.  I think I saw his portrait first.  I thought he looked like a real bruiser.  Not at all what I would have pictured if you’d just told me his name and that he was a Catholic writer and a close friend of G.K. Chesterton.  I got the impression that if anybody could really hammer the faith into me, it would be Belloc.  I wasn’t wrong!

I remember reading his book, The Great Heresies and being shocked… shocked… by the “political incorrectness” of it.  Not only by the “political incorrectness” itself, but by the fact that it was completely forthright and unapologetic.  And not only was I shocked, but also very impressed and inspired.  Belloc came across as a man of true and consummate conviction and passion, who didn’t give a rat’s rear whether anybody liked it or not.

What Belloc did most for me was help me shake off the remnants of the indifferent, lukewarm, and non-committal attitudes that were clinging to me.  He helped me leave behind squishiness in favor of growing a backbone.  I couldn’t possibly remain a mere half-Catholic after reading Belloc!

Like or dislike him, agree or disagree with him, you just can’t have a half-hearted reaction to Belloc.  He got through to me as nobody else could.  Maybe there’s a weakness, or rather a too-hardness,  in my own character, so that I often require great force to get through to me.  As another example, it took photographs of aborted children’s bodies to fully turn me pro-life.  Or maybe we all have areas in which we need to be broken open as brutally as possible in order to “get it.”

That said, in subsequent years, I’ve also come to know and appreciate Belloc’s kinder, gentler, more congenial side.  :)

Let’s raise a glass to “Old Thunder”!

When many people think of Ephesians 5, they think of the part about women submitting to their husbands.  But men are called to an even greater, more demanding duty: to love and sacrifice themselves for their wives as Christ loved and sacrificed himself for the Church.  That is, completely, even to death.

This powerful exhortation to men is the focus of this wonderful apostolate I just learned about: e5 Men

From their site:

HUSBANDS FASTING FOR THEIR WIVES

The e5 Man fasts for his bride to imitate Jesus as described by Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5 (for which e5 is named). Fasting is eating only bread and water.

Jesus made a bodily sacrifice on the cross for His Bride the Church to present her to God the Father “without spot or wrinkle.” (Eph 5:27) By fasting for our earthly bride and joining our sufferings to Christ’s we intercede for grace for our brides. At the same time our act of bodily love in union with Christ accelerates our own conversion.

By making this sacrifice for the women in our lives we live out the essence of the gospel through a very particular act of self denial. To lay down one’s body out of love for another is the central message of the gospel.

Register as an e5 Man. Click here.

Click here to watch the e5 video.

NOT ONLY FOR MARRIED MEN

Membership is not limited to married men. For single men, their fast may be dedicated to their future bride. For widowers or those unlikely to get married, the beneficiary of their fasts may be for a deceased wife, a daughter, a sister, or a granddaughter, or any other women in great need. For the consecrated celibate man the benefit of their fast can be for the benefit of the community they serve or for consecrated celibate women.

REQUIREMENTS

Except for medical reasons, the minimum requirements to be an e5 Man are that you:

1. Be a baptized Christian man.

2. Register with e5. Register as an e5 Man. Click here.

3. Fast on plain bread and water at least one day a month for your bride for her spiritual growth and healing – preferably on the first Wednesday of the month.

Any woman can receive the graces obtained by the men’s fasting.  We are asked only to pray to receive these graces.  Attending Mass on the first Wednesday of each month is recommended, but not required.  Women may also join the men in fasting, but they are not bound by the same obligations as the men.

I think the whole idea is very beautiful and uplifting!  As a woman, few things in this world are as important and beneficial as the love, support, respect, and esteem of men.  And there’s no greater, more powerful man than one who prays and seeks to imitate Christ!

God bless all our e5 Men!  May many more join their ranks!

I’ve had a pretty busy morning, including some hurried pic-shootings.

Me in my veil:

Veil 2

My church library, where I volunteer:

St. Jude Library

Some others here.

I now need to eat some lunch, put some laundry in the washer, and relaaaax!  :)

As I mentioned, one of the things I commonly meditate on while praying the Rosary is “What is Christ saying to me in this Mystery?”  This is particularly true of the Sorrowful Mysteries in which we meditate upon His Passion.  It plays into the bigger questions, “Why did Christ suffer and die?  Why did He choose that painful, sorrowful, bloody and violent way?  What was the purpose?”

Crucifixion statue, Charles Bridge, PragueI find that Christ’s answer is quite simple: “You were my purpose.  I did it so that in all of your sufferings, you would know that I went before you, that I bore the brunt for you.  I did it so that you would not be discouraged and give up.  I did it so that you would have the hope and the freedom to persevere.”

A simple answer… but not an easy one.  For it does not provide us any denial of, nor escape from, suffering.  Rather, it exhorts us to suffer well.

Note: these little reflections are just some remembered examples of things that have passed through my mind in pondering these Mysteries.  Words do them only so much justice!  The communication between the soul and God is something much deeper than words.  So, these are not verbatim transcriptions.  Just… impressions, if you will.

I.  The Agony in the Garden. O My child, when all you see before you is darkness, when every course of action threatens to be in vain, when all appears empty and desolate, when even the will of the Father seems oppressive…  Know that I went before you.  When darkness falls over you, know that it is but the shadow of My Cross. Do not despair, but only raise your eyes to see Him who has loved you and given His all. Look also to those beyond, those who remain unmoved beyond the reach of My outstretched arms. Do not scorn them, nor keep them away, but love them as I do.  Bring them, and keep them, near to Me.  Let My Passion not be in vain for even one soul!

II.  The Scourging at the Pillar. O My child, when your body aches, when your flesh is weak, when temptations tear at it, when pain breaks it… Know that I went before you.  That you might be whole and that you might be free to surmount the trials of the flesh, that the edge of all your pains might be dulled, and so that you might not be enslaved to lust or any inordinate desire, I mortified my My own Body, delivered it to the tearing, bruising, bone-breaking flagrum.  And when you think of the cruelties that must yet be borne unjustly by poor souls, know that I am not distant nor indifferent, but that I am bound, defenseless and exposed, to the pillar.

III.  The Crowning with Thorns. O My child, when you are mocked and ridiculed, when you are looked upon with scorn by others who do not see or appreciate your great value and dignity, when others do not recognize you as being My child or the precious and unique person that you are… Know that I went before you.  They made of Me a mock king, when I was the only true King!  But so that you might not not be enslaved to pride, I submitted Myself silently to those humiliations.  I exchanged the crown of glory for a crown of torment.  Those who ridicule you are the ones who press it into My head.  And when you wish to mock or ridicule others, ask yourself whether that is the role you wish to play!

IV.  The Carrying of the Cross. O My child, when the world weighs so heavily upon you that you can barely take another step, when you feel on the verge of collapse, when you find very few familiar and loving faces around you, when you feel pursued to the very brink of death… Know that I went before you.  My head throbbing, blood and sweat burning My eyes, My garments sticking to My torn flesh, the wood of the Cross digging into My shoulder, and unable to break my falls–thus did I make my way to Calvary.  But I remember most My mother’s sorrowful but steadfast gaze, Simon’s strength, Veronica’s compassion, and the women’s tears.  If those humble souls reached out to Me, will I not also reach out to you?

V.  The Crucifixion. O My child, when you are at the moment of death, when you feel utterly forsaken, when your senses grow dim, and when you breathe your last breath… Know that I went before you.  I went before you in death so that you would not be consigned to the dark underworld, but rather would find your rest in My eternal light, forever close to Me and in My presence.  I went before you in death so that death would be destroyed by My eternal, unfailing life.  Do not turn your eyes from Me, nailed, pierced, and emptied, but look upon Me as the vessel broken so that life everlasting might be shed upon you.

(photo by Flickr user Christopher Chan)

You wouldn’t think I would need to be reminded of this so often, but…  Yeah. I do.  It’s been the theme of this entire year for me.  I just thank God that He never grows impatient.

This morning, around 4 AM, He got to witness a huge temper tantrum from me.  That’s how it always starts.  I break under stress, which has built up and been compounded by my trying to handle everything myself, without leaning on God.  So naturally, I cry and complain and curse and blame Him for not doing my will.

Shameful, I know.  And yet it plays out time and time again.  At least until I get too tired to shake my fist, and I crumple into a little broken heap.

And that’s when God comes and picks me up and puts me back together.  And that’s when I finally realize who I am and who He is.  I the little one, He the great one.  I the weak one, He the strong one.  I the dependent one, He the reliable one.  I wish I had the humility to always realize it, without having to go through all the hysterics.

I don’t know why He puts up with me.  But every time, I find His goodness and power surrounding me like a cocoon.  I never cease to be amazed by His magnanimity and tenderness.

Writing about the Rosary is still not coming as easily as I’d expected!  So again, I will start with the basics and share some simple things I’ve learned.  This time we’ll look at how to get into the habit of meditating on the Mysteries while praying the Rosary.

1.  Move your mouth. My first breakthrough, so simple it’s almost silly, was to move my mouth.  Part of the Rosary is verbal prayer (the cycle of Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, etc).  Let your mouth take charge of those.  Let your mind, your inner voice, your inner senses, be devoted to the Mysteries.  You might stumble over the words–or at least feel like you’re stumbling–but before long, it will be pretty automatic, just like moving the beads through your fingers.  That’s not to say that the verbal prayers are not important.  The verbal prayers provide a rhythm that helps bring your entire person into harmony and wholeness.  We are both body and soul.  The Rosary utilizes both.  Using your body fully helps you also use your mind fully at the same time.

Mary reading2.  Use a guide. At first, I couldn’t just “wing it.”  I couldn’t just dive into the Mysteries on my own.  Sometimes I still have trouble with it–sometimes I am easily distracted by other things.  So even now, I find it helpful to have a guide, something to focus on.  It could be a book or other written guide.  It could be images.  Usually, you can find both side by side.  I’ve already mentioned the Rosary Center’s how-to page.  Here are some other sources I’ve found helpful:

Father Peyton’s Rosary Prayer Book.  One of my very first Rosary books, and still a favorite.  Scores of meditations, each on a theme that can help you draw connections between the lives of Christ and Mary and your own.

The Rosary: a Journey to the Beloved by Gary Jensen.  This beautiful little book is an excellent introduction!  I really loved the artwork selections for each mystery.  They really spoke to me.  This book also seeks to make the Rosary accessible to non-Catholics, so if you are not Catholic, I recommend this one!

The Virtual Rosary.  This is a computer program you can download for free.  It provides meditations for each Hail Mary, along with illustrations.  You can choose from a few different sets of meditations and images.  It also provides the text for each verbal prayer, which is helpful if you’re just beginning.

3.  Don’t get discouraged by distractions. They’re going to pop up.  I don’t think anybody is immune to them.  Stay calm.  Don’t throw up your hands and give up.  If you find yourself thinking over your grocery list or what’s on TV tonight, then just take a few deep breaths and try to refocus on the divine Mysteries (this is where a guide can come in really handy).  But sometimes distractions can be a blessing in disguise.  Sometimes I find myself thinking about somebody or some situation that could actually use some prayers.  And so I lift them up and focus my prayers on them.  It is a great act of charity to pray for others… our Lord and Lady won’t mind!

4.  Simple is good. Meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary could bring about earth-shattering insights that could change the world forever.  You could find yourself dazzled and knocked off your horse like Saul on the road to Damascus.  But… probably not.  And that’s OK!  Oh, you will be changed, and, through you, the world too.  But it will happen gently, gradually, and from the inside out.  Simplicity is at the heart of the Rosary, just as it is at the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Let your meditations be simple too.

One of my usual strategies is just to ask myself, “What is Jesus saying to me in this Mystery?”  Or, “What is Mary saying to me in this Mystery?”  Sometimes I even think about what some of the other people involved might say to me.  Such as Elizabeth in The Visitation, Simeon or Anna in The Presentation in the Temple, St. Mary Magdalene in The Resurrection, Veronica in the Carrying of the Cross, St. Joseph in The Nativity of the Lord.  I just put myself right there in the Mystery and listen.  And I’m usually amazed at what I hear!

I hope these few little points help!  I’m sure others will offer their own advice and ideas–please chime in!

Thanks to a friend of mine for discovering and sharing this beautiful ancient gem:

“An intelligent, discreet, and pious young woman is worth more than all the money in the world. Tell her that you love her more than your own life, because this present life is nothing, and that your only hope is that the two of you pass through this life in such a way that, in the world to come, you will be united in perfect love.”

St. John Chrysostom

May its light shine throughout the Church and the world, to fortify and exhort boys and men to their natural nobility, and to comfort and affirm girls and women in their great dignity!

[UPDATE] This quotation is from the Saint’s homily “On Marriage and Family Life”  I’ve briefly scanned it, and there are many more gems where that one comes from! [/UPDATE]

Does anybody have any experience with this site?  Or know anybody who does?

I’m just curious.

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