XT3 ADVENT CALENDAR 2012
Xt3’s exciting, annual Advent Calendar has now been launched – check it out online at: www.xt3.com/advent. What a great resource to pass on and share with your friends this Advent … this is what we have been asked to do during the Year of Faith – promote Christ in new and exciting ways!
What is a Sister? A religious sister is a woman who has been consecrated to God through the Church, responding to His invitation of love through vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Each religious sister belongs to a particular religious community, serving God and the Church and world in a distinct way. A religious sister is truly a bride of Jesus Christ the greatest Lover and a spiritual mother of an enormous family–over 6.8 billion worldwide!
Do young women still become sisters? The answer is yes . . . but, why? Simple: they have fallen in love! A religious sister is a bride and a mother who has uncovered the deepest desire of her heart: to follow Christ in a life-long adventure for the Glory of God and the Salvation of Souls!
Because if we love someone, we should honor him with both our souls and our bodies.
Why do we dress up for weddings, funerals, and certain jobs? To honor those whom we love or those whom we serve. In the Scriptures we read: “Worship the Lord in holy attire” 1 Chronicles 16:29, Psalms 29:2, 96:9. And, the Catholic Catechism teaches that our gestures and our clothing “ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest” in Holy Communion CCC 1387.
Clothes say something about what we think, what we value. They also influence how we behave and feel. Sunday is special, and God’s House is special. Some things are really important, and our clothing and demeanor ought to reflect this truth.
The exterior reflects the interior, and God definitely deserves the best we have inside and out! This is also why altar dressings, items for the Mass, vestments the priests wear etc., are normally the best we can manage – made from expensive materials and adorned with gold, silver and jewels. However, we have to remember that our fancy dress clothes should be reflecting that our soul is just as dressed up.
Dressing properly for Mass means nothing if we have no love in our hearts.
Friday March 30, 2012
It was a fantastic day to visit the Stations of the Cross near Bacchus Marsh Melways ref: Map 334 H8. Each station has a beautiful large stone depiction of Christ’s suffering. There is also a chapel at the top of the hill. On the way back down to the car park we could view the numerous shrines that have been erected from different countries around the world.
Afterwards, we visited Maddingley Park in Bacchus Marsh for a picnic — there is a fantastic wooden adventure playground at the park! Melways ref: Map 333 H9. Everyone had a great day.
This is an article from the Catholic Home Educators of Victoria Newsletter Term 1 for 2012.
By Samuel Rebbechi
Last August I was privileged to attend the 2011 World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid, Spain. The event was made all the more special for the great privilege I was given, along with another Australian, Ben Winkels, to personally welcome Pope Benedict XVI on behalf of Australia and walk with the Holy Father through the Puerta De Alcala, the traditional gateway to the city of Madrid.
Blessed John Paul II initiated WYD in 1985 to bring young people together to share and strengthen their faith and through this to strengthen the Church. He saw the urgency of preparing young people for the challenges that would be presented to their faith in a modern world, by an antagonistic culture.
“Young people … of the world, listen to what Christ the Redeemer is saying to you! ‘To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.’ The World Youth Day challenges you to be fully conscious of who you are as God’s dearly beloved sons and daughters” (John Paul II, Denver, 1993).
Since 1987 every WYD has had a motto taken from the Gospels. The motto of WYD 2011 was, “Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” (Col 12:7).
On the evening of the Papal arrival for WYD Pope Benedict spoke to us on this Gospel: “There are words which serve only to amuse, as fleeting as an empty breeze, while others to an extent inform us. Those of Jesus, on the other hand, must reach our hearts, take root and bloom there all our lives. If not they remain empty and become ephemeral.”
Through these words the Pope had given us a challenge: we must resist becoming absorbed in the temporal needs and distractions of this world and rather fix our gaze on the eternal, opening our hearts to Christ, and building our lives on Him.
It is always surprising how WYD transforms a city. Local families with whom we stayed remarked that the feeling of the city was almost unrecognisable with the spirit the youth brought to Madrid. Their solidarity and happiness brought out an air of generosity of which every local seemed to want to be a part. In stark contrast with the scenes of the London riots, where young people, whose contempt and disregard for authority was the big news topic of the day, Madrid was a city filled by youth with a positive, edifying direction and purpose in their lives.
Many pilgrims, one way or another, experience a conversion at WYD. Yet the question always is whether these conversions will transfer back to the spiritual health of a parish, a diocese or the Church as a whole. One indicator has been that after each WYD there has always been a rise in priestly and religious vocations, such as occurred in Australia after WYD Sydney in 2008. The pilgrims’ experiences build up their faith and, for some, open their eyes to Christ’s message for the first time in their lives.
WYD is an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. It has strengthened my faith and, in line with Blessed John Paul II’s challenge, has enabled me to become more conscious of who I am as one of God’s children to take up the daily challenge, not only of practising, but also spreading the faith of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.
A photo from the newsletter: Australian pilgrim Samuel Rebbechi welcomes Pope Benedict WI to Madrid.
Samuel Rebbechi has been home-educated for 12 years and will commence his Yr 12 studies in 2012. This article frst appeared in AD2000 via World Youth Day: Becoming sons and daughters of Christ.
If you would like to subscribe to Catholic Home Educators of Victoria Newsletter Contact Us for details.
This story fits perfectly with this post from last year What do the Catholic Youth of Today want?
Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
It’s important to understand what the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is and what it is not. Some people think the term refers to Christ’s conception in Mary’s womb without the intervention of a human father; but that is the Virgin Birth. Others think the Immaculate Conception means Mary was conceived “by the power of the Holy Spirit,” in the way Jesus was, but that, too, is incorrect. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain—that’s what “immaculate” means: without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace, and its stain is a corrupt nature. Mary was preserved from these defects by God’s grace; from the first instant of her existence she was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings.
When discussing the Immaculate Conception, an implicit reference may be found in the angel’s greeting to Mary. The angel Gabriel said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). The phrase “full of grace” is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary.
The traditional translation, “full of grace,” is better than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of “highly favored daughter.” Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that (and it never mentions the word for “daughter”). The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind.Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning “to fill or endow with grace.” Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence.
Many people will say that the word Transubstantiation is just too difficult for children to understand or even pronounce. And so they often don’t mention or discuss it at all.
It is interesting that children of all ages have never had any trouble saying the word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from the movie Mary Poppins.
The word tran·sub·stan·ti·a·tion has 6 syllables.
Where as su·per·cal·i·frag·i·lis·tic·ex·pi·al·i·do·cious has 14!
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious defined means – adjective (used as a nonsense word by children to express approval or to represent the longest word in English.) via Dictionary.com
Which really means nothing.
Transubstantiation defined means –
1. the changing of one substance into another.
2. Theology. the changing of the elements of the bread and wine, when they are consecrated in the Eucharist, into the body and blood of Christ (a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church). Dictionary.com
Which means everything.
Please watch watch this fantastic 1:18 second video from RealcatholicTV.com with your children to help them understand that this is what going to Mass is really all about.