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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To read our recently posted article about First Holy Communion traditions and practices, please click 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
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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 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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 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.
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. If you are looking for last minute gift ideas, visit our St. Patrick’s Day specialty store by clicking here.
  

 

 “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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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
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
 
 We offer a large selection of beautiful crucifixes and wall crosses. To browse our complete selection,
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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