A Journey of Faith

March 30, 2007

 The following is the 7th in a series of talks by one of our employees relating the amazing healing power and love of God in her life.

Dear Readers,

Over the years, I have accumulated quite a collection of rosaries…some very old and well prayed, some very pretty, some having sentimental value. Some have hung on the walls in my home, but, it wasn’t until about 2 ½ years ago that I actually felt “Our Lady’s Lasso” tugging at me from the dark recesses of the dresser drawer. I pulled one out, found a “How to” booklet, and began to pray. And I prayed the rosary each day for the next 2 ½ years and continue this practice to this day. I have come to understand that the Holy Rosary, given to us by Our Lady in the early 13th century, is one of the Catholic Church’s greatest treasures and a powerful weapon against evil, converting sinners and obtaining graces for the just. Praying the Rosary allowed my relationship with Christ to deepen as I meditated upon the mysteries of His incarnation, passion, death and resurrection, not to mention the prayers for others I could offer on each of the 59 beads. That covers a lot of intentions!

My prayer life was growing and deepening. Prayer became my language of love to the Lord. I began to count my blessings, rather than dwell on my sufferings. And He drew me closer and closer. I began to reach out from beyond myself to the needs of others. So many people need our prayers, yet we become so self focused in our day to day lives, we forget. God began to answer me in ways that made me so aware of the awesome power of prayer in my life. He was listening and answering, not always as I had hoped or expected, but He was answering, and I began trusting in Him, listening to Him and surrendering my will to His. This process certainly has not been easy for me.

The tug of war of my will vs. His will had just begun. I wanted to “let go and let God”, but my ego did not want to surrender to the unknown. I was holding on tight to that which was familiar and I needed to feel I was in control of my own life. I was too afraid of where God might lead me. What if I didn’t want to go there? The problem was, I wouldn’t find the peace and joy I was praying for as long as I held on to this need to control all the events of my life and I would continue to be weighed down by so much burden on a daily basis. I can be pretty strong willed, so God’s task was not an easy one with me. He tugged and I tugged back, for quite some time. Finally, I don’t know how it happened, I just let go, reached out for His hand and was consumed by an indescribable peace and joy and felt His infinite love envelop me. This was God’s gift to me on Christmas morning 2006. It was the most beautiful gift I had ever received. I was moving forward on my journey, but I would face many bumps in the road as I continued on.

May His Peace find you,

Aline

 


Don’t Ever Do Business With Catholic Online

March 30, 2007

After having to threaten legal action in order to get our Catholic Liturgical Library data released to us last month after they shut down the site without warning, Catholic Online (Catholic.org) has figured out a way to outdo themselves in the poor customer service realm.

Catholic Online created a company called Catholic Financial Services which is basically a Paypal knock-off. A couple of years ago we were in talks with them to use Catholic Financial Services as a payment option on our website. Fortunately, they broke all our agreements and we never implemented the integration. However, we did keep our account open for possible future testing.

When people give money to Catholic Online, they are given an option of giving money through Catholic Financial Services to a member business / charity. We have had a few people give us money in this manner. On the 17th of March we requested a withdrawal of funds from Catholic Financial Services. This last Wednesday our accountant said that the money never came through so I went on-line and found that the funds were “processing” – twelve days later.

I called CFS and left a voice message on Wednesday. I called and left a voice message on Thursday with both Catholic Financial Services and Catholic Online and sent CFS an email asking why the funds hadn’t been transferred. I also spoke to a rep at Catholic Online who said she would pass along the message. Today, still having not received a reply, I called CFS and actually got a live person. This is the first time in over a year that I have ever gotten a live person on the line there. I asked for a status on my funds and was put on hold. For HALF AN HOUR. I hung up and called Catholic Online again and was told to leave a message on the CFS voicemail. I asked to speak to Art Marquez, their director of IT and was put on hold for fifteen minutes before being dumped to voicemail.

Now all calls I make go directly to voicemail.

If anyone out there is considering doing business with either Catholic Online (catholic.org) or Catholic Financial Services (catholicfs.org), think twice. These people have no qualms in breaking their word and have a total disregard for customer service. They make honest Catholics look bad.


Can You Trust Alexa Rankings?

March 29, 2007

Alexa is an Amazon-owned company that ranks websites based on traffic and page views. The quality of these rankings has been greatly debated and the best that can be said about them is that the closer the ranking is to the top, the more accurate it is. (Yahoo, MSN and Google are the top three).

For the past couple of years our Alexa traffic rankings have hovered around 250,000 after being up around 30,000 in 2004. I have never understood this since our traffic and sales have been increasing, not decreasing. This past week our traffic rank skyrocketed up to 80,000. Did we experience a flood of new customers? Did we get linked to by some really big sites? Nope. The only thing we did was move our site to a new server. The site is much faster than before but we did not do anything that should have improved our traffic ranking by a multiple of three. Do I trust Alexa? Nope. Am I glad our “ranking” is improving? Yep. I just wish I could explain why.


An Advent Thought for Holy Week

March 29, 2007

It is Advent. All our answers remain fragmentary. The first thing we have to accept is, ever and again, this reality of an enduring Advent. If we do that, we shall begin to realize that the borderline between “before Christ” and “after Christ” does not run through historical time, in an outward sense, and cannot be drawn on any map; it runs through our own hearts. Insofar as we are living on a basis of selfishness, of egoism, then even today we are “before Christ”. But in this time of Advent, let us ask the Lord to grant that we may live less and less “before Christ”, and certainly not “after Christ”, but truly with Christ and in Christ: with Him who is indeed, Christ yesterday, today, and forever.

What it Means to Be a Christian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI


Easter, the Great Feast is April 8th

March 26, 2007

Easter, the Great Feast, is Sunday, April 8

“In the acute pain of the Suffering Servant we already hear the triumphant cry of the Risen Lord. Christ on the cross is King of the new people ransomed from the burden of sin and death. However twisted and confused the course of history may appear, we know that, by walking in the footsteps of the Crucified Nazarene, we shall attain the goal. Amid the conflicts of a world often dominated by selfishness and hatred, we, as believers, are called to proclaim the victory of Love. Today, Good Friday, we testify to the victory of Christ Crucified….

Yes, we adore you, Lord, lifted up upon the cross between heaven and earth, the sole Mediator of our salvation. Your cross is the banner of our victory!”

– words of Pope John Paul II in the Coliseum at Rome during the Way of the Cross, March 29, 2002, excerpt from the book Lent and Easter: Wisdom from Pope John Paul II

a selection of books on prayer for this Holy Season:

Fr. Gabriel Bunge, O.S.B.Earthen Vessels: The Practice Of Personal Prayer According To The Church Fathers

Author: Fr. Gabriel Bunge, O.S.B.

Dom Hubert Van ZellerHoliness: A Guide For Beginners

Author: Dom Hubert Van Zeller

Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.Prayer Primer: Igniting A Fire Within

Author: Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.

Ralph MartinHungry for God

Author: Ralph Martin

Bert GhezziSign Of The Cross: Recovering the Power of the Ancient Prayer

Author: Bert Ghezzi

Adrienne von SpeyrThe World Of Prayer

Author: Adrienne von Speyr

We feature and highly recommend the Navarre Study Bible for both personal study and devotional use:

The Navarre Bible, Gospels & Acts     Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts of the Apostles Gospels & Acts

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts of the Apostles

The Navarre Bible – Text and Commentaries

Navarre Bible - Texts and Commentaries
The Letters of Saint Paul
Navarre Bible – Texts and Commentaries
Revelation, Hebrews, And Catholic Epistles: Navarre Bible - Texts and CommentariesRevelation, Hebrews, And Catholic Epistles

Navarre Bible – Texts and Commentaries

The Navarre Bible - Text and CommentariesPentateuch

The Navarre Bible – Text and Commentaries

Navarre Bible - Texts and CommentariesMajor Prophets

Navarre Bible – Texts and Commentaries

Navarre Bible, Text and CommentariesThe Psalms And The Song Of Solomon

Navarre Bible, Text and Commentaries

 

 

For our complete selection of other volumes in the Navarre Study Bibles series and other recommended study Bible resources, please click here.


“Christ has become our Paschal Sacrifice; let us feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, alleluia.” – the Communion Antiphon from the Easter Vigil liturgy of the Roman Rite.


On April 2, 2005, our Holy Father of blessed memory, Pope John Paul II died. In honor of this anniversary, we feature the following selected items by and about the late and great Pope John Paul II:

Pope John Paul IIGo In Peace: A Gift of Enduring Love

Author: Pope John Paul II

Maker of the post-conciliar church     Author:  William Oddie John Paul the Great: Maker of the post-conciliar church

Author: William Oddie

Rev. George W Kosicki, CSBJohn Paul II: The Great Mercy Pope

Author: Rev. George W Kosicki, CSB

Pope John Paul II Tribute T-ShirtPope John Paul II Tribute T-Shirt

 

A Personal Guide Through the Life and Work of Pope John Paul II

The Teachings of Pope John Paull II: A Personal Guide Through the Life and Work of Pope John Paul II, CD

Still Waters The Gospel Rosary Of Pope John Paul II, CD

Author: Still Waters

Credo DVD     John Paul IICredo DVD John Paul II Pope John Paul II DVDPope John Paul II DVD Witness to Hope (DVD)  The Life of Karol Wojtyla - Pope John Paul IIWitness to Hope (DVD) The Life of Karol Wojtyla – Pope John Paul II
Brass Papal Crucifix Rosary Box Brass Papal Crucifix Rosary Box John Paul II Pewter Commemorative Rosary John Paul II Pewter Commemorative Rosary Silver Plated Pewter Papal Crucifix NecklaceSilver Plated Pewter Papal Crucifix Necklace

Browse our huge selection of beautiful rosaries by clicking here.

 

“The Bishops – successors of the Apostles”

“In order that the mission entrusted to them might be continued after their death, (the Apostles) consigned, by will and testament, as it were, to their immediate collaborators the duty of completing and consolidating the work they had begun, urging them to tend to the whole flock, in which the Holy Spirit had appointed them to shepherd the Church of God. They accordingly designated such men and then made the ruling that likewise on their death other proven men should take over their ministry.

Just as the office which the Lord confided to Peter alone, as first of the Apostles, destined to be transmitted to his successors, is a permanent one, so also endures the office, which the apostles received, of shepherding the Church, a charge destined to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops. Hence the Church teaches that ‘the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such ways that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ.”

– from the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 861, 862

We carry a large selection of Catechisms and catechetical resources, please click here to view.


Why We Don’t Carry Certain Books

March 21, 2007

Why we don’t (and won’t) carry certain authors: Its all about orthodoxy and being faithful to the teachings of the Church. Here’s a great website to get more information about authors whose works we simply won’t carry:

www.ourladyswarriors.org/dissent/disspeop.htm


A Journey of Faith

March 21, 2007

 This is the 6th in series of talks by one of our employees relating the amazing healing power and love of God in her life.

Dear Readers,

At home, I have a t-shirt that reads: Have you talked to your Mother lately? On the back, it reads:

Hail Mary, full of grace
the Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou amongst women
and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now, and at the hour of our death
Amen

I don’t really know how to explain to you what drew me to Mary as the means by which I could begin to develop a close relationship with Jesus without remembering Jesus’ words to John from the Cross and, likewise, His words to Mary:

Woman, there is your son.” In turn He said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” John 19:26-27

At that moment, we, as children of God, would never be left without a mother, a mother honored by God while on earth and exalted in Heaven after her death. The time had come to talk to my Mother.

I spent time thinking about the extraordinary love of the Blessed Mother for her Son, our Savior, and the example she set for all of humanity during her life, submitting herself entirely to the will of the Father, trusting Him in everything, no matter the personal cost to her. I imagined the tenderness and beauty of Mary, a mother not unlike any other expectant mother as she worked to prepare the nest for the Infant soon to enter her life. I imagined the humility and love she must have felt toward the unborn Child, Jesus. Within a short time, this mother would kiss the very Face of God. She, with St. Joseph, would nurture and raise to adulthood, the very Creator of the Universe!

I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and anguish Mary felt when the time came for Jesus to fulfill the will of the Father. Yet, she was so completely united with Him that she would desire to feel within her own mind and body His pain and suffering, to be one with Him during His Passion. Mary gathered the strength and courage out of such an intense love to follow her Son to the very end of His earthly life. Like Jesus, Mary would never stop praying for those who tortured and murdered her Son, perfectly imitating Christ by her example.

…”He is the life of my soul and the soul of my life…His suffering became my suffering, because His Heart was mine…And just as Adam and Eve sold the world for an apple, so in a certain sense my Son and I redeemed the world with one Heart.” Excerpt from The Life of Mary as seen by the Mystics

And so, as I meditated on the Passion of my Savior, His mother always close, contemplating the intimacy of this relationship, the profound love, grief, suffering and forgiveness displayed for all of mankind, my heart swelled with love and the closeness I felt to Christ was indescribable. I came to understand the intimate relationship He desires with each of His children whom He created in His own image. He truly was becoming for me the Light of the World, and His Light began to fill my soul.

God bless you,

Aline