Saturday, 26 January 2013

Our Lady

 Our Lady, the Mother of the Almighty, has been a very important and helpful person to us here on earth, but people are confused with a few important details. Do you worship Mary? Is she without original sin? Let me then try my best to explain these questions concerning Our Lady.

  Firstly, Catholics don't worship Our Lady, rather we venerate her and pray to her as our intercessor. If Jesus had a mother, she must have some kind of significance as well, simply because she brought Him into this world. She is also a loving mother who will always love and protect us. For example, when you want to ask your father something, but you're not sure what he'll say, or how to word what you're saying, you can go to your mother, and ask her to ask Dad for you. So it is with Our Lady as well. Take also for example the wedding feast at Cana. Our Lady was the one who told Jesus to make wine, and since she was His loving mother, He obeyed. And so you see how beneficial it is to have a devotion to Mary, so that through her, we may worship God more easily.

  Secondly, who was she? Well in definition, Catholics believe that Our Lady was conceived without original sin. She conceived Our Lord through the Holy Ghost and stayed a virgin all throughout her life. Now, one may ask, how can you prove this? Well, like any history, we cannot go back in time to ask the people if this really happened, but perhaps a few points could prove this definition to be true. It is very possible that she never had original sin, simply because the Son of God would want a perfect and pure mother to be His vessel. It is also possible for God to make someone without original sin, because he did it with Adam and Eve, but they chose to stain their perfect souls, though Our Lady did not. As for her conception by the Holy Ghost and staying a virgin all throughout her life, we shall see is very logical to believe. If Jesus was in fact the Son of God, He would need to be conceived by God. We can see this event at the Incarnation. 

Thirdly, she did stay a virgin because the pains of childbirth came along with the punishment due to original sin, and since she didn't have it, Our Lord came into this world like glass through light, as the Catechism of the Council of Trent says:

"Besides, what is admirable beyond the power of thoughts or words to express, He is born of His Mother without any diminution of her maternal virginity, just as He afterwards went forth from the sepulchre while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which His disciples were assembled, the doors being shut; or, not to depart from every-day examples, just as the rays of the sun penetrate without breaking or injuring in the least the solid substance of glass, so after a like but more exalted manner did Jesus Christ come forth from His mother's womb without injury to her maternal virginity. This immaculate and perpetual virginity forms, therefore, the just theme of our eulogy. Such was the work of the Holy Ghost, who at the Conception and birth of the Son so favoured the Virgin Mother as to impart to her fecundity while preserving inviolate her perpetual virginity…."

   Finally, why not venerate Our Lady as your own mother? She was right beside Our Lord when He suffered His Passion, and has appeared to the world many times to help us with our salvation. She has given us her whole life, so let us then look up to her as a model, so that we may become more perfect in the eyes of God.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Family Life

  In our society today, family life has been attacked the most. With divorce, disobedience and rebellion of the children, and single parent homes, the family unit is no longer of importance. The problem with this is that without the family, you no longer have the building blocks of the country.

   In having a structured, ordered family, you make strong people for the next generation. Add Catholicism to this, and you have strong souls that will keep their Faith until the day they die. If order is in the family, the children can grow, the parents can grow in love, and the benefits are endless.

  With many of these strong united families, you have the foundation of the population, and the foundation of the Faith. The reason this has been so attacked in this day and age is simply because the world no longer wants religion. Of course they can keep the things that make them feel good, but Catholicism as a whole
, the world wants to see destroyed. Why? Because it does not suit the feelings of everyone. And so the future generations of our society have broken homes, and no foundation of the Faith. And so since there are many with similar backgrounds, it is labeled "uncool" to follow a set religion, and the idea begins to disappear.

   I encourage you all to go against the trend of a "do what you want" family, and structure it. In the end it will be infinitely worth it, and you can make new leaders for the generations to come.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Stages to Sanctification

In the journey to heaven, there are three stages to sanctification. Many are unaware of these stages and when they do make it to the second stage, they often fall away. I think it's important for everyone to know these stages, and so I will be covering them today.
   The first stage of sanctification is the sweetness of the soul. In order that God might attract us to Him, He fills us with a continuous joy, and a thirst to know more of the Faith. This is the part of a person's path towards sanctity which enables us to see in the Faith more than just going to Mass, and where Catholicism begins to consumes one’s life. This is essential because if this did not happen, we would not find the profound depths of our religion. If the reader is wondering how to enter into this first step, ask God to lead your mind into the depths of the Truth, and your journey will begin. Now, although this joy rejuvenates the soul, it cannot last forever and is similar to how a person cannot live on candy forever.
   The second stage is the growth of our souls and the breaking down of boundaries. This stage includes many trials and temptations, in order that our soul may become purified and so that we may break all of our bad habits and tendencies. Unfortunately, this is the stage that many cannot take, because it is where God tests you the most. You may say that you cannot take it anymore, but think of it like this: Christ, throughout the ages, has been mocked and looked at with indifference, and so, He simply wants to see if we are the same. He sends us sweetness at first, but when the suffering comes, He's simply saying, "If you suffer a bit of my Passion as I have done for you, will you still love Me?" Therefore, when this stage comes, no matter how hard it is, ask for strength, unite your suffering to the Passion, and hope to see that joyful light at the end of the tunnel.
   The third stage, which takes a bit longer to get to, is perfection. This is when a soul has overcome its faults and bad habits, and has a heart completely conformed to the will of God. This is where the deepest and truest happiness is found, because this is where our human nature is fulfilled. Many want the Garden of Eden without the Calvary, as Archbishop Fulton Sheen says. So we must strive and show our most loving Saviour that we are serious about the Truth. 
    Imagine it like this: when you die, and Jesus comes to judge your life, He will look you in the eyes, and say "What have you done for Me?" What will you say when the time comes? It is up to you now. God bless you all.