Thursday, January 31, 2013
Heb 10:32-39; Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40; Mk 4:26-34
Younger saints: Who will always help us when we are in trouble? (God.) How do we ask Him for help? (Through prayer.)
Older saints: Have you encountered people who are unkind or hurtful to you because you are Catholic and are living your life for God? How do you react to those people? Do you shrink and follow their ways? Or do you stand tall and follow God? Sometimes it can be hard to stand up to a crowd who is gathered against you. We have to always remember that if we are living our life for Christ, He is always on our side. Seek God in prayer and find strength in Him in those difficult times.
Name: St. Brigid of Kildare
What they are remembered for: St. Brigid was a nun who founded the Abbey of Kildare. The Abbey of Kildare contributed to the spread of Christianity in Ireland. St. Brigid was especially known for her generosity to the poor.
Feast day: February 1
Patron saint of: Ireland, dairy workers, nuns, scholars
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Younger saints: What is evangelization? Do you or your family do this in your daily lives? Who do you know that you could tell about God?
Older saints: Is the thought of evangelization through words still scary to you? Do you find it easier to do good works for others than to talk to others about God? Strive to focus more fully on doing good works and others will see God’s light in you. Educate yourself on the teachings of the Church and prepare for questions from those who see you living your life for God. They will see your good works and God’s light in you and they will seek to learn more about God from you.
Name: St. John Bosco
What they are remembered for: St. John Bosco was blessed by numerous vivid dreams that guided his life. He devoted his life to caring for neglected young boys. He later founded the Salesian order.
Feast day: January 31
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Younger saints: What does it mean to be perfect? (We are free from sin.) What does it mean that our sins will be remembered no more? (That as long as we seek forgiveness for our sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God will forgive us. We will not be punished for our sins.) How do we seek forgiveness for our sins? (Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.)
Older saints: The idea that our sins will be remembered no more can be hard to comprehend. Because of our human nature we struggle to forgive others and to forgive ourselves. What does it mean to you to know that God has forgiven your sins? Have you forgiven yourself for your sins? Have you forgiven others for their sins against you? How can you work toward forgiveness?
Name: St. Aldegunais
What they are remembered for: St. Aldegunais was the daughter of Sts. Walbert and Bertila, and the sister of St. Waldetrudis. She was accepted into the religious life and later founded a convent near the Sambre River.
Feast day: January 30
Patron saint of: cancer, wounds
Monday, January 28, 2013
Younger saints: What does God want from us? (To do God’s will.) What does that mean? (Instead of always doing what we want, we pray and ask God what He wants us to do. We listen to God and do what He asks.) How do we know God’s will? (We pray and ask God to guide us.)
Older saints: How do we become united with Jesus and become His mother and His brother? (By obeying God and doing His will.) Is it enough to do God’s will sometimes, or do we have to trust God and seek His will all the time? (All the time.) Father Lorenzo Suupoli reminds us it is not enough to desire God’s will, we “must desire it how He wishes it, when He wishes it, and for the reason and purpose He wishes it.” What does that mean to you?
Name: Sts. Sarbelius and Barbea
What they are remembered for: Sts. Sarbelius and Barbea were brother and sister. They were martyred during the persecution that occurred under the reign of Emperor Trajan.
Feast day: January 29
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Younger saints: What is a covenant? (A promise made between God and His people. God promises to look after His people, and they promise to listen to and obey God.) Do you know why Jesus died on the cross? (Our sins made it so that we could not go to heaven. He suffered for our sins to make it so we can go to heaven.) Why did Jesus do this for us? (Because He loves us and wants us to go to heaven to be with Him forever.)
Older saints: What does it mean to you that Jesus took your place and died instead of you? How will you repay Him?
Name: St. Thomas Aquinas
What they are remembered for: When St. Thomas was only five years old his father placed him under the care of the Benedictines of Monte Casino. His teachers were surprised at how he surpassed other students in academics and in virtue. St. Thomas was a great author, priest, and theologian. He was offered numerous high position in his time but always sought to humbly serve our Lord through his every day work.
Feast day: January 28
Patron saint of: Universities and students
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Friday, January 25, 2013
Younger saints: Do you know who wrote today’s first reading, which was a letter to St. Timothy? (St. Paul.) Who is St. Paul? (At first St. Paul didn’t believe in Jesus. Once He understood all the great things Jesus did and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, St. Paul wanted everyone to know about the good news of Jesus. He spent the rest of his life teaching others about Jesus.) Has he written any other books in the Bible? (St. Paul wrote 13 books in the Bible. All of his writings were in the form of letters to communities or individual people.)
Older saints: Are you sometimes scared to tell others about God? Did you find St. Paul’s letter to Timothy to be a good reminder that you aren’t the only one to feel this way? What do you think about the fact that even Jesus’ family thought He had lost His mind in the way He had devoted His life to serving and teaching others? Do you ever feel like others will think the same thing about you if you devote your life in service to God?
Name: St. Timothy
Key aspect of their life: St. Timothy joined St Paul on his second missionary journey while St. Paul was preaching in Lystra, and became a close friend to St. Paul. Following his time with St. Paul, St. Timothy travel to Ephesus and became their first bishop. He was later stoned to death due to his opposition to the pagan festival of Katagogian.
Feast day: January 26
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Younger saints: What is a missionary? (Someone who shares the good news of Jesus with others.) Why do we do this? (Because Jesus tells us that anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. We want everyone to be able to go to heaven and be with Jesus, so we must teach them about Jesus.) Who were the first missionaries? (The apostles. Jesus sent them out to teach others about God.)
Older saints: Paul was a great persecutor of Christians. We see this in how his treatment and persecution was well known by Ananias. In spite of his persecution of Christians, and therefore his great sins against God, God still loved Paul and wanted Paul to know and serve Him. What does this make you think and feel about your own life? How has God called you from your sinfulness to serve Him? How can you more fully serve God by bringing the good news of Christ to others?
Name: St. Apollo
Key aspect of their life: St. Apollo was born in Egypt and spent forty years in the desert around Thebes. He founded a community of monks in Egypt and became their abbot.
Feast day: January 25
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Younger saints: Is there more than one God? (No, there is only one God, but God is made of three persons.) Who are the three persons that make up God? (God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit). What is another name that we give the three persons of God? (The Blessed Trinity).
Older saints: The letter to the Hebrews tells us that we can approach God through Jesus’ intercession. What does this mean to you? If Jesus is God and a member of the blessed Trinity, then what does it mean that we can approach God through Jesus? (The idea of God and the blessed Trinity is a very abstract idea, and can be hard to visualize and understand. However, scripture makes it easier for us to grasp who Jesus is because of the stories and examples of His life. Because of this it is easier for us to relate to Jesus, communicate with Him, and strive to live like Him. As we strive to relate to, to live like, and to pray to Jesus, He brings our prayers to God the Father in heaven.)
Name: St. Francis de Sales
Key aspect of their life: St. Francis set out to convert over 60,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism with only his cousin by his side. After three years of bitter cold winters and no conversions, his cousin left him. St. Francis was a very patient man and he continued to seek to convert souls back to Catholicism by writing his sermons on paper and slipping them under people’s doors. By the time St. Francis left to go home it is believed he converted 40,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism. How can you be like St. Francis de Sales and bring more people to Catholicism?
Feast day: January 24
Patron saint of: journalists, writers
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
HEB 7:1-3, 15-17; PS 110:1, 2, 3, 4; MK 3:1-6
Reflection: In our Gospel reading today we see Jesus seeking to soften the hearts of the Pharisees. Jesus gives them an opportunity to see the good He is doing and to turn toward Him, rather than turning against Him. Much to Jesus’ disappointment, they chose evil and sought to put Him to death. Jesus offers us this same opportunity to turn toward Him in our life. In those moments when our conscience says we should choose a better path, it is Jesus tugging at our heart and asking us to choose to follow Him. Follow Jesus and do good.
Big Picture: Follow Jesus
Younger saints: What does it mean to follow Jesus? (To obey His commandments and to always work to be kind and to care for others.) Is this always easy to do? (No, sometimes it means that we don’t get to do what we want or to have all that we want.) What is our reward for following Jesus? (We get to go to heaven).
Older saints: Could Jesus have performed this miracle in private so He would not risk angering the Pharisees and putting His life at risk? Why did Jesus perform this miracle in front of the Pharisees instead of doing it in private? (He wanted to give them an opportunity to turn and follow Him. He is always seeking to give us chances to choose to serve Him.) At what times in your life have you experienced Jesus tugging on your heart and giving you a second chance to choose Him?
Fun Fact: Mass is celebrated worldwide every day of the year except one, Good Friday.
Saint of the day:
Name: St. Marianne Cope
Key aspect of their life: When she was in 8th grade her father became unable to provide for the family and she took a position in a factory to support her family. Once her siblings were older in age, she pursued religious life in the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis. She later became a teacher and directed the opening of the first two Catholic hospitals in New York. In 1883 she left New York with six other members of her Order to provide aid to lepers in Hawaii. Care of these lepers had already been refused by 50 other Orders.
Feast day: January 23
Patron saint of: lepers, outcasts, those with HIV/AIDS, Hawaii
Now to those who are already embracing Natural Family Planning within their own homes. We ask that you would prayerfully discern becoming a spokesperson for Natural Family Planning. Whatever the method is that you practice, we can always use more families to share their story and their testament to Natural Family Planning. Even if it is just taking a more active role in your own parish and giving a name and face to the beauty of Natural Family Planning, we would love to have you on board. Jesus calls us all to be fishers of men and to seek to draw others to the faith. What better way to do that than by bringing other families in your parish your testament and the truth and beauty of Natural Family Planning?
Monday, January 21, 2013
Younger saints: What does the word sluggish mean? (To be inactive and lacking energy.) What would it mean to be sluggish in our faith? (To not work every day to pray, to serve God, to serve others, and to learn more about the Catholic faith.) Why is it important to pray every day? (This is how we talk to God and God talks to us, so this is the most important thing that we can do in our day.)
Older saints: Should we be seeking honor and praise from others for all of our accomplishments? Do you spend time every day in prayer and reflection with God? Do you think you should receive honors and rewards from God for doing this? (Our reward will come when we get to spend all of eternity with God in heaven. Until then, this behavior is simply expected so that we may grow in our faith and in our understanding of the teachings of the Catholic Church.)
Name: St. Vincent Pallottiano
Key aspect of their life: St. Vincent struggled for a time with his studies. His mother sought the advice of a local priest who suggested they pray a Novena for Vincent. Once the Novena was completed he became the brightest student in his class. St. Vincent was also filled with a deep desire to care for and do penance for the poor and those less fortunate than himself.
Feast day: January 22
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Younger saints: What is a vocation? (A vocation is how God wants you to serve Him in your life. This is different from a job because it affects everything about your life. The different vocations are: Priest, religious sister or brother, married, single.) Who is a priest? (A priest is a man that God asks to serve Him by helping to lead His Church here on earth. A priest doesn’t get married because their vocation is to devote their whole life to God and His Church.) Is a priest perfect? (No. Priests are people, just like us. They make mistakes just like we do, but they are always trying to serve God just like us.)
Older saints: What does is mean to discern something? (To ask God for guidance and listen in prayer for what God wants you to do in your life.) What are the different vocations? (Priest, religious sister or brother, married, single) Have you prayerfully discerned what you think your vocation will be?
Key aspect of their life: She was very beautiful and many young men wanted to marry her. They brought her many gifts and promises in an attempt to win her over. She would always say “Jesus Christ is my only spouse.” St. Agnes was only 13 years old when she suffered martyrdom for her faith.
Feast day: January 21
Patron saint of: The children of Mary