Why be selfless? As Christians, we are called to imitate Christ to the best of our abilities. Christ was completely selfless, when He allowed Himself to be mocked, scourged and crucified – all for the love of humankind; obedient to the Father’s will to the end. Prior to His Passion and death, Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).
Now, He is not necessarily calling us to lay down our lives for our friends literally. He is however, calling us to imitate Him in how He obeyed His Father. “He emptied himself” (Phil 2:7) to become human and did not regard Himself in equality with the Father (Phil 2:6). Jesus submitted His will to that of the Father. He calls us to do the same. This means that we are… Read more…
Is selfish behavior harming you? The answer is yes, of course. But, do you know why it harms you? Selfish behavior robs you of becoming your true self, the person that God wants you to be. When we listen only to ourselves and do only what we want, we close ourselves off to blessings and lessons of life. Father Romano Guardini explains it well in his book, Learning the Virtues That Lead You to God:
“As soon as the person fixes his eye upon himself, he fills the mental space, so to speak, in which a portion of life is to take place; he gets in the way of his own realization” (p. 154).
Imagine what it would be like to meet Jesus at your own personal judgment, and hear Him say…Read more…
On March 25th, 1995 Pope John Paul II gave us the beautifully rich and prolife encyclical, Evangelium Vitae. This year we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary on the Feast of the Annunciation. What a fitting feast day to celebrate life, as we call the mind Mary’s ‘yes’ to becoming the Mother of God!
A special Novena has begun – with nine individual petitions, the Prayer to our Lady written by Pope John Paul II (now Saint John Paul II), and a relevant excerpt from Evangelium Vitae.
Won’t you join this worldwide effort and pray these simple Novena prayers with us? Participants range from the United States all the way to our friends ‘down under’ in Australia! For more information you can read a bit of history at Evangelium Vitae: 20th Anniversary Novena – Catholic Stand.
A daily post explaining the petition and including all of the relevant prayers can be found on Designs by Birgit. There is also a Facebook group for the Evangelium Vitae Anniversary Novena. I hope you’ll join us and invite your friends and family to pray for an increase in the respect for all life – from fertilization until natural death.
Humbling yourself for the glory of God is the goal. Yet how does a person get to that point with regularity? Once again, I draw on Fr. Jonathan Morris, from www.christophers.org to shed some light on the subject: Read more… to see a video from Father Jonathan Morris and to read Mother Teresa’s 15 Points of Humility.
Humility: How utterly misunderstood this virtue can be in the minds of humankind! I will be the first to admit that I fall into the camp of those who have truly misunderstood the value of the virtue of humility until I started to research this virtue in depth. Once I knew what humility was really all about, I began praying to Jesus for a clean and humble heart.
No good deed goes unrewarded! I know, I know – the real and often quoted phrase is “no good deed goes unpunished!” How cynical is that? I’m glad God doesn’t think like that. Rather, He rewards us for good and merciful deeds. We may not see the rewards instantaneously in this life, but the rewards for our good and merciful deeds will be received, if not on earth, then in Heaven. It is in the performance of good deeds, especially via the extension of mercy that we get where we need to be: virtuous and holy in God’s eyes! That’s where I want to be! So, how do we get there?
Merciful – me – why should I be merciful? Isn’t it enough that I forgive, I now need to be merciful? Serious gut check here – how many times have you secretly had these thoughts? If you are like me, you have had these thoughts more often than you would like to admit. Mercy is a tough virtue to “want” to grasp, from a “giving mercy” perspective because we naturally think it’s a one way proposition – the other guy gets the mercy, but “What’s in it for me?” As human beings, we always want a quid-pro-quo (I do something for you, you do something for me). However, that is contrary to how mercy works. When we provide that softer attitude toward a repentant sinner rather than the deserved punishment, we are in essence, giving a person a second chance. That is why many of us find it difficult to be merciful.
So, let me shed some light on what’s in it for you to be merciful:
Mercy – How elusive is this virtue from one’s grasp? Is it something only Christ can give, or can we give mercy to others? Are we expected to give mercy?
Mercy is as elusive as you want it to be – it’s that simple! Christ is at the ready, waiting to bestow His Mercy upon you. All you need to do is acknowledge that you need His Mercy, and that means acknowledging your sinfulness. For some, that is difficult to do; for others it is easy. Therein lays the answer to the elusiveness of Christ’s Mercy. The choice is yours.
Mercy is defined as a preference to provide a softer attitude toward a repentant sinner rather than the deserved punishment. Mercy was Jesus’ calling card throughout His ministry. He was…Read more…
Saint Valentines Day has come and gone but the betrayal of the virtue of Chastity continues. Not only has the feast day for this martyr saint been hijacked by commercialism, but now it has also been used as the springboard for encouraging sexual deviancy and perversion.
In 50 Shades of Chastity and Saint Valentine, the connection is made between the purported freedom of today’s popular culture and the moral decline of human sexuality. This perversion of the freedom has led to the bitter fruit of homosexual ‘marriage’ and promiscuity.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “So called moral permissiveness rests on an erroneous conception of human freedom; the necessary precondition for the development of true freedom is to let oneself be educated in the moral law. Those in charge of education can reasonably be expected to give young people instruction respectful of the truth, the qualities of the heart, and the moral and spiritual dignity of man.” (CCC #2526)
Find out what you and I can do to stem the tide by reading more here.
+ + +
Birgit Jones is a 50-something cradle Catholic who is passionate about the Church and the prolife movement. She has been married to her Catholic convert husband, Rick, for 40 years. They have four children and eight living grandchildren (all age eleven and under). Their frequent visits eliminate any fear of an empty nest!
Birgit is Graphics Editor and Columnist at Catholic Stand
. She can also be found on her personal blog Designs By Birgit
and Facebook fan page Designs By Birgit
, where she utilizes her Fine Arts training to promote Life through her prolife memes.