I Will Make You Fishers of Men

March 29, 2008
The Feast of St. Mark – the Evangelist – is April 25 – “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature”

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas Fine Art Print
Thomas said [to the other Twelve] “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Both [Mark and Matthew] designate Jesus’ preaching with the Greek term evangelion– but what does this actually mean? The term has recently been translated as “good news.” That sounds attractive but it falls far short of the order of the magnitude of what is actually meant by the word evangelion. This term figures in the vocabulary of the Roman emperors, who understood themselves as lords, saviors, and redeemers of the world. The messages issued by the emperor were called in Latin evangelium, regardless of whether or not their content was particularly cheerful and pleasant. The idea was that what comes from the emperor is a saving message, that it is not just a piece of news, but a change of the world for the better. . .The evangelium, the Gospel, is not just informative speech but performative speech– not just the imparting of information, but action, efficacious power that enters into the world to save and transform. Mark speaks of the “Gospel of God,” the point being that it is not the emperors who can save the world but God. And it is here that God’s word, which is at once word and deed, appears; it is here that what the emperors merely assert, but cannot actually perform, truly takes place. For here it is the real Lord of the world– the living God– who goes into action.

– from “Jesus of Nazareth” by Pope Benedict XVI
Christ is Risen!
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Christ sent his apostles so that “repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations.” “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The mission to baptize, and so the sacramental mission, is implied in the mission to evangelize, because the sacrament is prepared for by the word of God and by the faith which is assent to this word:

The People of God is formed into one in the first place by the Word of the living God . . . . The preaching of the Word is required for the sacramental ministry itself, since the sacraments are sacraments of faith, drawing their origin and nourishment from the Word.

“The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it. That is why they are called ‘sacraments of faith.'”

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1122 – 1123

 

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“But in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence”

-1st Letter of St. Peter 3:15

Reasons for Apologetics

“The first reason, for the Christian, is out of obedience to God’s will, announced in his Word. Refusal to give a reason for faith is disobedience to God. There are also at least two practical reasons for doing apologetics; to convince unbelievers and to instruct and build up believers. Evan if there were no unbelievers to persuade, we should still give reasons for faith, for faith does not remain alone but produces reasons just as it produces good works. Faith educates reason and reason explores the treasure of the “faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”

Furthermore, faith for a Christian is faith in a God who is himself love, our lover and beloved; and the more our hearts love someone, the more our minds want to know about our beloved. Faith naturally leads to reason through the agency of love. So faith leads to reason, and reason leads to faith…Thus reason and faith are friends, companions, wedded partners, allies.”

– from the Handbook of Christian Apologetics

 

First Holy Communion season is here!
To browse our complete selection of First Holy Communion resources and gift ideas, visit the Aquinas and More First Holy Communion Specialty Store
To read our recently posted article about First Holy Communion traditions and practices, please click here
We hope your Easter season, the season our Our Salvation, is an especially blessed and faith-filled one.
– the staff at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods
Shop online at www.catholicchurchsupply.com for all your parish’s church supply needs – including clergy shirts, vestments, altar linens, censers and boats, incense, candles, chalices, sanctuary lamps, altar breads, official liturgical books, lavabo sets, altar bells, and so much more!
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The Life of Our Lord and Saviour

March 18, 2008

“The Life of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ”

The Transfiguration of Our Lord Fine Art Print 
“The Apostle’s creed speaks of Jesus’ descent “into hell.” This descent not only took place in and after His death, but accompanies him along his entire journey. He must recapitulate the whole of history from it’s beginnings — from Adam on; He must go through, suffer through, the whole of it, in order to transform it. The letter to the Hebrews is particularly eloquent in stressing that Jesus’ mission, the solidarity with all of us he manifested beforehand in His baptism, includes exposure to the risks and perils of human existence: “Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted” (Heb 2:17-18). “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:15). The story of the temptations is thus intimately connected with the story of the baptism, for it is there that Jesus enters into solidarity with sinners. . .In his short account of the temptations, Mark brings into relief the parallels between Adam and Jesus, stressing how Jesus “suffers through” the quintessential human drama. Jesus, we read, “was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.” The desert — the opposite image of the garden — becomes the place of reconciliation and healing.”
– from “Jesus of Nazareth” by Pope Benedict XVI
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Pope Benedict XVI’s “Apostolic Journey to the United States” begins next month! The theme of his visit is “Christ Our Hope.”
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Why Did the Word Become Flesh?

“With the Nicene Creed, we answer by confessing: “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins”: “the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world”, and “he was revealed to take away sins”:

Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?

The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God’s love: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

 – Catechism of the Catholic Church, 456 – 485

 

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The Resurrection of Christ: a faith approach

“The resurrection of Christ is like a mountain peak that acts as a watershed; in one direction it faces toward history and leads to history; in the other, it faces toward faith and leads to faith. Let us now come down in the opposite direction from the one in whcih we came; let us follow the crest of faith. By passing from history to faith, our way of talking about the resurrection changes too; our tone, our language. We do not adduce proofs and confirmations; there is no need for them, for the voice of the Holy Spirit creates conviction directly within the heart. It is an assertive, apodictic language. ‘But now Christ has been raised from the dead’ (1 Corinthians 15:20), says St. Paul. Now we are on the plane of faith, no longer on that of demonstration. It is the kerygma: ‘Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere’ runs the liturgy for Easter Day: ‘We know that Christ has really risen.’ This too is the language of faith. Not only do we believe but, having believed, we know that it is so, we are sure of it. We are talking about a certainty different in nature from the historical kind, yet stronger since founded on God. Only the unbeliever or the agnostic can regard this as an arrogant claim of people who believe themselves to be in possession of truth and refuse all further discussion. In fact, it is the language of those who are totally submitted, as a result of practicing what St. Paul calls ‘the obedience of faith. (Romans 1:5)”
– from “The Mystery of Easter” by Fr. Raneiro Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., Preacher to the Papal Household.
First Holy Communion season is almost here!
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A Prayer for Easter:

O Jesus! Who art the beginning and end of all things, life and virtue, remember that for our sakes Thou wast plunged into an abyss of suffering, from the soles of They feet to the crown of Thy head. In consideration of the enormity of Thy wounds, teach me to keep, through pure love, Thy commandments, which are a wide and easy path for those who love Thee. Amen.
– from the Magnificent Prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden
We hope your Easter season is an especially blessed and faith-filled one.
 – the staff at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods

Spiritual Reading and Gift-giving Ideas for the Easter Season

March 15, 2008


“He is not here. He is risen . . .”

 

St. Mary Magdalene Announces the Resurrection Icon
 “. . .  And on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, (the women) came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled back from the sepulchre. And going in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were astonished in their mind at this, behold, two men stood by them, in shining apparel. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their countenance towards the ground, they said unto them: Why seek you the living with the dead?He is not here, but is risen. Remember how he spoke unto you, when he was in Galilee, Saying: The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words. And going back from the sepulchre, they told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. And it was Mary Magdalen, and Joanna, and Mary of James, and the other women that were with them, who told these things to the apostles.”

– The Holy Gospel According to St. Luke, 24: 1-10

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 The Meaning and Saving Significance of the Resurrection

“If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christ’s works and teachings. All truths, even those most inaccessible to human reason, find their justification if Christ by his Resurrection has given the definitive proof of his divine authority, which he had promised.

Christ’s Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life. The phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures” indicates that Christ’s Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.

The truth of Jesus’ divinity is confirmed by his Resurrection. He had said: “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he.” The Resurrection of the crucified one shows that he was truly “I AM”, the Son of God and God himself. So St. Paul could declare to the Jews: “What God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.'” Christ’s Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of God’s Son, and is its fulfillment in accordance with God’s eternal plan.

The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God’s grace, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace. It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ’s brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: “Go and tell my brethren.” We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection.

Finally, Christ’s Resurrection – and the risen Christ himself is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep… For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” The risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfillment . In Christ, Christians “have tasted…the powers of the age to come”and their lives are swept up by Christ into the heart of divine life, so that they may “live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

 – Catechism of the Catholic Church, 651 – 655

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The Hope of Easter

“The Cross had asked the questions; the Resurrection had answered them…The Cross had asked: “Why does God permit evil and sin to nail justice to a tree?” The Resurrection answered: “That sin, having done its worst, might exhaust itself and thus be overcome by Love that is stronger than either sin or death.”

Thus there emerges the Easter lesson that the power of evil and the chaos of any one moment can be defied and conquered, for the basis of our hope is not in any construct of human power but in the power of God, who has given the evil of this earth its one mortal wound – an open tomb, a gaping sepulcher, an empty grave.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

 – from  Lent and Easter Wisdom from Fulton J. Sheen

First Holy Communion season is approaching quickly.
 To browse our complete selection of First Holy Communion resources and gift ideas, visit the Aquinas and More  First Holy Communion Specialty Store
To read our recently posted article about First Holy Communion traditions and practices, please click here
This Lenten season, why not deepen your prayer life by praying the Rosary or praying it more often? To browse our complete selection of rosaries and chaplets, please  click here
To browse our Catholic art selection, including icons, pictures and prints, please click here
 

A Novena Prayer for Easter:

“O Divine Saviour, who rose from the dead on that first glorious Easter morn, grant that I may rise from my sins and so live as to see You, glorious and immortal, in heaven. Lord, I am nothing, but, although nothing, I adore You. Amen.”

We hope your Easter season is an especially blessed and faith-filled one.
 – the staff at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods
 
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Strengthen and Deepen Your Faith this Lent and Easter Season

March 9, 2008

The Aquinas and More Newsletter – your Trusted Source for the Best in Catholic Resources and Gifts

 

” . . . you will draw water from the fountain of Salvation . . . “
– Isaiah 12:3
  
“Compassion” print by William Bouguereau

“. . . in this sense it is true that anyone who does not know God, even though he may entertain all kinds of hopes, is ultimately without hope, without the great hope that sustains all of life. (Ephesians 2:12) Man’s great, true hope which holds firm in spite of all disappointments can only be God – God who has loved us and who continues to love us ‘to the end,’ until all ‘is accomplished.’ (John 13:1 and 19:30) Whoever is moved by love begins to perceive what ‘life’ really is. He begins to perceive the meaning of the word of hope that we encountered in the Baptismal rite: from faith I await ‘eternal life’ – the true life which, whole and unthreatened, in all its fullness, is simply life. Jesus, who said he had come that we might have life and have it in its fullness, in abundance, has also explained to us what “life” means: ‘this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ (John 17:3) Life in its true sense is not something we have exclusively in or from ourselves: it is a relationship. And life in its totality is a relationship with him who is the source of life. If we are in relation with him who does not die, who is Life itself and Love itself, then we are in life. Then we “live.”

 – Pope Benedict XVI in “Spe Salvi – Saved In Hope” his Encyclical Letter.
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The Divine Mercy novena begins on Good Friday, March 21, the nine days concluding on Divine Mercy Sunday, March 30. We carry a large selection of Divine Mercy resources, gift items and devotional items. To browse the complete selection in our Divine Mercy specialty store, please click here.
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 “Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he ‘has come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.’ The Christian is not to ‘be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord.’ In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St. Paul before his judges. We must keep ‘a clear conscience toward God and toward men.’
The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known.
All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which they have put on it Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by whom they were strengthened at Confirmation.”
 – Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2471 – 2472

 

“Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”
 – St. Jerome, 4th century.

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This Lenten season, why not deepen your prayer life by praying the Rosary or praying it more often? To browse our complete selection of rosaries and chaplets, please  click here
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Antique Brass Crucifix

Prayer of Acclaim to the Suffering Christ

“O Lord, you received affronts without number from your blasphemers, yet each day you free captive souls from the grip of the ancient enemy.

You did not avert your face from the spittle of perfidy, yet you wash souls in saving waters.

You accepted your scourging without murmur, yet through your meditation you deliver us from endless chastisements.

You endured ill-treatment of all kinds, yet you want to give us a share in the choirs of angels in glory everlasting.

You did not refuse to be crowned with thorns, yet you save us from the wounds of sin.

In your thirst you accepted the bitterness of gall, yet you prepare yourself to fill us with eternal delights.

You kept silence under the derisive homage rendered you by your executioners, yet you petition the Father for us although you are his equal in divinity.

You came to taste death, yet you were the Life and had come to bring it to the dead.

Amen. ”

– composed by Pope St. Gregory the Great, 6th century


Divine Mercy – the Message and Devotion

March 2, 2008

” Divine Mercy – the Message and the Devotion “

“There is nothing a man needs more than Divine Mercy – that love which is benevolent, which is compassionate, which raises man above his weakness to the infinite heights of the holiness of God. In this place, we become particularly aware of this. From here, in fact, went out the message of Divine Mercy that Christ Himself chose to pass on to our generation through St. Faustina.

And it is a message clear and understandable for everyone. Anyone can come here, look at this image of the merciful Jesus, His Heart radiating peace, and hear in the depths of his own soul what St. Faustina heard: Fear nothing; I am always with you. And if this person responds with a sincere heart, “Jesus I trust in You,” he will find comfort in all his anxieties and fears….

I come here to commend the concerns of the Church and of humanity to the merciful Christ. On the threshold of the third millennium, I come to entrust to Him once more my Petrine ministry – “Jesus, I trust in You!”

– Pope John Paul II at the tomb of St. Faustina in Poland, June 7, 1997

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“Divine Mercy Sunday is now the title of the second Sunday of the Easter season. It was named by Pope John Paul II at the canonization of St. Maria Faustina on April 30, 2000, and then officially decreed by the Vatican. Pope John Paul II described Mercy Sunday “ “In a special way, it is the Sunday of Thanksgiving for all goodness that God has shown us in the whole Easter mystery.” Here he is underscoring the Church’s understanding that Divine Mercy Sunday as the Octave Day of Easter brings us the fullness of Christ’s resurrection- pointing back to the first day of our celebration on Easter Sunday, and now to it’s fullness on the eight day, the Octave.

Mercy Sunday brings us Our Lord’s promise an “ocean of graces” for souls, “especially for poor sinners.” And each one of us, as a sinner, sorely needs these graces of the Risen Christ to wash away the misery of our sins. Even those who are striving for holiness need deeper conversion and renewal. “

– from Why Mercy Sunday? A Q&A Guide to Celebrating Mercy Sunday

 

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First Holy Communion season is approaching quickly.
To browse our complete selection of First Holy Communion resources and gift ideas, visit the Aquinas and More First Holy Communion Specialty Store. You will definitely want to take a look at the . we offer – a unique gift to commemorate this special occasion.
To browse our complete selection of Divine Mercy images – framed prints and pictures – please click here
To browse our complete selection of Divine Mercy rosaries and chaplets, please click here.
To browse our Divine Mercy jewelry selection, including medals and rings, please click here.
This Lenten season, why not deepen your prayer life by praying the Rosary or praying it more often? To browse our complete selection of rosaries and chaplets, please click here.
Sterling Silver Rosary with Genuine Tigereye

 

The Divine Mercy Novena

On Good Friday, 1937, Jesus requested that St. Faustina make a special novena before the Feast of Mercy, from Good Friday through the next Saturday, and dictated the intentions for each day:

First day – all mankind, especially sinners;

Second day – the souls of priests and religious;

Third day – all devout and faithful souls;

Fourth day – those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know Jesus;

Fifth day – the souls who have separated themselves from the Church;

Sixth day – the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children;

Seventh day – the souls who especially venerate and glorify His mercy;

Eighth day – the souls detained in purgatory; and

Ninth day – souls who have become lukewarm.

 

I fly to Your Mercy, Compassionate God, Who alone are good. Although my misery is great and my offenses are many, I trust in Your Mercy because You are the God of Mercy, and it has never been heard of in all ages, nor do Heaven or Earth remember, that a soul trusting in Your Mercy has been disappointed.- – –
Jesus, Friend of a lonely heart, You are my haven. You are my peace. You are my salvation.

You are my serenity in moments of struggle and amidst an ocean of doubts.

Amen
We hope your Lenten season is an especially blessed and faith-filled one.
– the staff at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods

Christ Died That You Might Have Life

February 24, 2008
” The Passion and Death of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “
La Pieta Fine Art Print

“Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.’ The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, ‘Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied to him, ‘Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’ It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit’; and when he had said this he breathed his last.”

– from the Gospel of Saint Luke, 23: 39-46
Are you looking for resources or devotional items for Lent?
To browse the complete selection of items in our Lenten Specialty Store, please click here.

Prayers and Meditations
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Author: Pope Benedict XVI
Step By Step To Calvary: Praying the Stations of the Cross
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 The King, Crucified and Risen: Mediations on the Passion and Glory of Christ
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DVD Presentation
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We carry a large and wonderful selection of Catholic devotional art, like the painting “La Pieta” by William Bourguereau which is featured at the beginning of our newsletter today.
To browse our complete selection of beautiful Catholic paintings, prints, Florentine plaques and icons, please click here.
  

 

“It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.

Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life:

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.”

 – from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1851, 1992

Selected Lenten items for Children:
A Bi-lingual Coloring Book
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A Coloring Activity Book
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A DVD Presentation
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A DVD Presentation
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Are you looking for additional Children’s items?
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To browse the complete selection in our Children’s DVD/video department please click here.

First Holy Communion season is right around the corner.

 To browse our complete selection of First Holy Communion resources and gift ideas, visit the Aquinas and More  First Holy Communion Specialty Store.
To browse our complete selection of crucifixes and wall crosses, the constant reminder of the price paid for our salvation, please click here.
To browse our complete selection of icons, the ancient and beautiful devotional art of the Christian East,
Psalm 96 exhorts us to “Sing a new song unto the Lord. Sing to the Lord, all the earth!”  To browse our complete selection of music CDs, please click here.
This Lenten season, why not deepen your prayer life by praying the Rosary or praying it more often? To browse our complete selection of rosaries and chaplets, please click here.
Sterling Silver Rosary with Genuine Tigereye

A meditation for this season:

“Being then in the flesh like others, He was crucified, but not for the like sins. For He was not led to death for covetousness, since He was a Teacher of poverty; nor was He condemned for concupiscence, for He Himself says plainly, Whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already; not for smiting or striking hastily, for He turned the other cheek also to the stutter: not for despising the Law, for He was the fulfiller of the Law; not for reviling a prophet, for it was Himself who was proclaimed by the Prophets; not for defrauding any of their hire, for He ministered without reward and freely; not for sinning in words, or deeds, or thoughts, He who did no sins, neither was ,guile found in His mouth; who when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, threatened not; who came to His passion, not unwillingly, but willing; yea, if any dissuading Him say even now, Be it far from Thee, Lord, He will say again, Get thee behind Me, Satan.”

 – from Catechetical Lecture 13 of St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315 – 386 A.D.)

A prayer for this holy season:

“Immortal God,

We contemplate the most profound experience of Your selfless love, the acceptance of death, the last and most formidable enemy of humankind. Yet “Through the hollow eyes of death, I see life peeping.” On the hideous deathbed, You extend to us the “right hand of fellowship,” the richest element of hope, incomparable intimacy with You. Through this, Your demise, teach us that death is but the crucible where all the Spirit’s gifts are finally refined, that it is the womb that, with the ecstasy of love, births the newborn into the light of endless day. Amen.”

We hope your Lenten season is an especially blessed and faith-filled one.

 – the staff at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods


The Feasts of St. Joseph and St. Patrick

February 14, 2008

“We celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph on March 15 and of St. Patrick on March 17 – Great Men who lived only for Christ”

St. Joseph with Christ Child Icon

“What emanates from the figure of Saint Joseph is faith. Joseph of Nazareth is a “just man” because he totally “lives by faith.” He is holy because his faith is truly heroic.

Sacred Scripture says little of him. It does not record even one word spoken by Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth. And yet, even without words, he shows the depth of his faith, his greatness.

Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God.

We see how the word of the Living God penetrates deeply into the soul of that man, that just man. And we, do we know how to listen to the word of God? Do we know how to absorb it into the depths of our human personalities? Do we open our conscience in the presence of this word?”

– excerpted from Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos: “On the Person and Mission of Saint Joseph in the Life of Christ and in the Church”

 

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Compiled from Traditional Sources
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Tools From Joseph’s Workshop – A 30 Day Apprenticeship with the Man Closest to Christ.
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A Patron Saint Medal
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A Patron Saint Medal
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To browse all the items in our St. Joseph’s Day Specialty Store, please click here.
Are you looking for resources or devotional items for Lent? To browse the complete selection of items in our Lenten Specialty Store, please click here.
We carry an extensive selection of beautiful crucifixes and wall crosses, many hand-made in Italy. These act as a constant reminder to us of what Our Lord did for love. To browse our complete selection of wall crosses and crucifixes, please click here.
Black Wood and Pewter Crucifix
To browse our complete selection of beautiful Catholic art -paintings, prints and icons, please click here.
In 1870 Pope Pius IX solemnly declared Saint Joseph to be the “Patron of the Universal Church” and established his feast day on the day we now celebrate it. His successor, Pope Leo, later explained the foundations of this declaration. The Church’s devotion to St Joseph, Pope Leo observed, arises from the saint’s “two-fold dignity”. He was both the true and chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the foster-father of the Word Incarnate. For these two reasons, says Pope Leo, St Joseph “shines among all mankind” and approaches nearer than any other saint to the holiness of the Mother of God.
– adapted from the book –
“Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers “together with all [their] household.” When they were converted, they desired that “their whole household” should also be saved. These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world.”
– from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1655
Saint Patrick the Enlightener Icon
Selected items to celebrate the Feast of “the Apostle to Ireland” St. Patrick:
Stunning documentary film.
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An Illustrated Guide
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6 inches high
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Framed Print
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To browse the complete selection of items in our St. Patrick’s Day Specialty Store, please click here.
Green Glass Irish Pewter Rosary

A very short biography of St. Patrick:

St. Patrick, most likely a British Celt, is said to have been born Maewyn Succat in Scotland around the year 390. He was kidnapped as a youth and taken to Ireland as a slave. He worked in the mountains as a shepherd and spent much of his time in prayer. After 6 years there, he received a dream in which he was commanded to return to Britain, and so Patrick escaped and made his return. He studied in several monasteries, eventually becoming a bishop. He was then sent by Pope Celestine to evangelize parts of Britain and then Ireland. St. Odran was his chariot driver and St. Jarlath one of his spiritual students. Over the course of 33 years, Patrick converted much of Ireland, and Ireland eventually became known as the Land of Saints. During the so-called dark ages Ireland’s monasteries were considered the great repositories of learning in Europe.
– adapted from OSV’s Encyclopedia of Saints
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A Prayer for the Church:

“O Glorious Saint Joseph, you were chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, and the head of the Holy Family. You have been chosen by Christ’s Vicar as the heavenly Patron and Protector of the Church founded by Christ.

Protect the Sovereign Pontiff and all bishops and priests united with him. Be the protector of all who labor for souls amid the trials and tribulations of this life; and grant that all peoples of the world may be docile to the Church without which there is no salvation.

Dear Saint Joseph, accept the offering I make to you. Be my father, protector, and guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me purity of heart and a love for the spiritual life. After you example, let all my actions be directed to the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and your own paternal heart. Finally, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death. Amen.”

We hope your Lenten season is an especially blessed and faith-filled one!
– the staff at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods