"Without Christ we are condemned to be dominated by everyday weariness, with its worries, and by fear of the future. The Sunday encounter with the Lord gives us the strength to experience the present with confidence and courage, and to go forth with hope. For this reason we Christians go to encounter the Lord on Sunday, in the Eucharistic celebration..." Read the whole talk: General Audience, Wednesday, 13 December 2017
.....been wanting to know your faith better for a while?
If you have not already explored the resources you'll see below, we hope you will find them helpful in developing a deeper appreciation and understanding of the beauty and richness of our Catholic Faith. This is just a tiny but important sampling of the many great websites, books and materials available now!
Bishop Robert Barron is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, offering a wealth of inspiring videos and materials on the Catholic Faith. "Catholicism" and "The Pivotal Players" are two great resources from Word on Fire. Many of Bishop's videos are free on YouTube although some are only available to members of Word On Fire Institute.
the real presence
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. CCC1324. The whole Christ is truly present in the consecrated Eucharist, body, blood, soul, and divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine. It is not just a symbol!
Bishop Robert Barron gave this most compelling talk in February, 2020 on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Every Catholic would benefit from listening:
The Real Presence in the Eucharist
The Spirit and the Eucharist
Do take the time to enjoy this beautiful video with your family. It is part of Fr. Dave Pivonka, President of Franciscan University, Stubenville, Wild Goose series on the "The Spirit and the Eucharist" It will inspire you to a greater love and appreciation for the Mass and the Eucharist! Share it with others!
The Catholic Mass Revealed
"The Catholic Mass...Revealed" has been around for some time but is available free of charge. It is a 37 minute video produced by Thy Kingdom Come, Inc, and is helpful to draw our attention to the beauty and meaning of the different parts of the Mass that many of us take for granted!
A Scriptural walk
through the mass
The readings in the Mass during the Liturgy of the Word are of course from Sacred Scripture (the Bible), but what is the Bible? This USCCB webpage has helpful information on "Understanding the Bible." You will also find a convenient list of all the books of the Bible at your fingertips, and you can sign up to receive the daily Mass readings sent to your email address, each day.
A guided Bible study is helpful to understanding Scripture and how we might apply it to our lives. Check with your parish religious education ministry to see if they have a current Bible study being offered.
In The Bible in a Year podcast, Fr. Mike Schmitz walks you through the entire Bible in 365 episodes, providing commentary, reflection, and prayer along the way.
Jeff Cavins is a respected Bible scholar, whose popular series, “The Bible Timeline" (see the intro below) is available through ascensionpress.com. He also hosts a weekly Scripture Podcast relating Scripture to everyday living.
The Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible
The Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible is a wonderful 18 CD, 22 hour audio production of the RSV-CE New Testament, brought to life with the voices of renowned actors - complete with movie quality sound effects and an original movie score. It is an award-winning production, Imprimatur endorsed by the Vatican, and includes a foreword by Pope Benedict XVI. If your time for reading is limited, this beautiful audio version of the New Testament will allow you to learn on your commute hour. It is available on CD or through the App. Click on Truth and Life below to go to their YouTube Trailer.
The Gospels - Word on Fire
Looking for a Bible for yourself or as a gift?
"By surrounding the biblical text with commentary and explanations from Bishop Robert Barron, the Church Fathers, and many of the greatest saints, mystics, and scholars throughout Christian history, The Word on Fire Bible illuminates the biblical text in light of the great tradition." Word on Fire.org
Consider going on A Retreat
"There is nothing in this world so valuable as spending several days peacefully occupied only with the great matters in life: God, the soul, and eternity.” —Venerable Bruno Lanteri
Venerale Bruno Lanteri gives us a great description of a retreat - a beautiful time away from our busy routines to spend time just with matters of God. Retreats can help us learn how to pray and to listen. In this silence, we are better able to hear God speak to us. Retreats can be life changing experiences.
In the Sacramento area we have two retreat centers, Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Sacramento, pictured on the right and Mercy Center Auburn offering a variety of retreats in normal times. Visit their websites for availability at such time they are able to reopen. Check with your parish or diocese for other retreat centers near you.
The interview below with Fr. James Strommer, CP, delves into the benefits of a spiritual retreat and what is offered by Christ the King, Passionist Retreat Center, Sacramento. Click on the picture above for their website.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Within the pages of the Catechism of the Catholic Church you will find the teachings of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition in the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers, Doctors and saints of the Church. Pope John Paul II said, "In reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church we can perceive the wonderful unity of the mystery of God..." & "...deepen your knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation...."
There is also YOUCAT for Kids and The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults which includes American saints and history.
Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition
This Dogmatic Constitution on
Divine Revelation by Pope Paul VI, DEI VERBUM, 1965, is a beautiful Papal teaching on the relationship between Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. You can find and read all the documents of the Popes at the Vatican website as well.
A Lesson on Prayer from Bishop Robert Barron. What is the one thing you should do in regard to prayer? Take the Time to converse with God! Speak with honesty about what's troubling you....
Prayer is essential for growing in our spiritual life. There are many good resources to set us on the path to a good prayer life, but Fr. Jacques Philippe's reflections in his books on prayer "guide us with simplicity on the path to intimacy with God, helping us to develop an actual taste for personal prayer. This 'school of prayer' opens us up to the encounter with God that transforms us from within," a quote from: Thirsting for Prayer. You'll find other books by him - Nine Days to Rediscover the Joy of Prayer and Time for God to name a few. They are small books, but full of simple and uplifting guidance for those new to prayer and the seasoned.
The Magnificat is a wonderful guide to daily Mass and prayer and is available in a larger print edition with special prices during this time of Covid.
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
Not Catholic but curious? Learn more about the RCIA which is the process of Christian initiation - the journey to becoming Catholic. Then inquire about RCIA programs offered at a Catholic church convenient to where you live. If you have been Baptized Catholic, but have not been Confirmed, some parishes offer Adult Confirmation classes, that prepare you for the reception of this important Sacrament, so that you can be blessed with the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit.
You'll find more by this joyous young Franciscan at 'Changing the Habit.'
Catholics Come Home
Been away from your faith? Besides all the other suggestions on this page you may want to check out Catholics Come Home webpage.
The Augustine Institute has produced a 20 part series called Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained which seeks to give those with little catechesis a better understanding of the faith.
refreshment for the soul
"When fear increases in my heart, your consolation calms my soul..." The Poor Clare Nuns in Galway, Ireland have released a beautiful song on the healing powers of God - enjoy it here - called "Calm the Soul." Continue listening for their story.
Confession - Here is a refresher on the healing powers of the Sacrament of Pennance and Reconciliation. Don't neglect the wonderful gift of this Sacrament. An opportunity to grow in Grace. Check with your parish about hours for confessions during this time of coronavirus.
Summary of useful website Links: