New Catholic Articles Update

March 10, 2008

This week we added several new articles to our Catholic Article Section of the site:

And if you haven’t read our Saint making guide, now is the time.

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Tradition and the Meaning of First Holy Communion

March 5, 2008

 

Following the ancient tradition and practice of the Church, the season of the First Sacraments is approaching. It corresponds to the Paschal (Easter) season in the life of the Church although some parishes will continue to celebrate First Sacraments well into the Pentecost season.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us “The sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist – lay the foundations of every Christian life. The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.” Catechism of the Catholic Church #1212.

Read the rest…

 


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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 Author: Angela Burrin
 The King, Crucified and Risen: Mediations on the Passion and Glory of Christ
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Author: Fr. B. Groeschel
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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?
To browse the complete selection in our Children’s book department please click here.
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


First Holy Communion and Confirmation Gifts at Aquinas and More

February 8, 2008

” This is the season of First Sacraments “

Smith’s “After the First Holy Communion”

The season for celebrating Confirmation and First Holy Communion, two of the three sacraments of Christian initiation, is approaching. These, and all seven sacraments, are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification. While God can give man grace without external signs, without the use of ceremonies and symbols, it has pleased Him to do so. The necessity of the sacraments is the necessitas convenientiae, or the necessity of convenience. The Sacramental system does not exist because God is bound to it- He is not- but because it is the most appropriate when dealing with humans, who are both spiritual and material. The redemption of man was not invisible; the incarnation took place because God dealt with man in the way most suitable to his nature. And following, the Catholic Church was established by Christ to be a visible institution, therefore it should have external ceremonies and symbols of what is sacred. According to St. Thomas, it is the nature of man to be led by things physical and sense-perceivable to things spiritual and intelligible; that Divine Providence provides for everything in accordance with it’s nature, and therefore it is fitting that Divine Wisdom should provide means of salvation for man in the form of certain corporeal and sensible signs which are called sacraments.

– adapted from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The holy season of Lent is here – are you spiritually prepared?

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
Selected gifts for those receiving or preparing to receive their First Holy Communion:

Only $27.75
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Made in Italy
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Made in Italy
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Made in Italy
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Made in Italy
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Marian Children’s Mass Book – Remembrance of My First Holy Communion
Black Pearlized Cover
Only $14.75
Marian Children’s Mass Book – Remembrance of My First Holy Communion
White Pearlized Cover
Only $14.75

Are you looking for a special gift for a First Holy Communion? Do you need some ideas to find the right, unique item?

We carry a wonderful selection of First Holy Communion missals, Bibles, rosaries, crucifixes, gift sets and First Holy Communion dresses.

To browse the complete selection in our First Holy Communion specialty store please click here.

We carry a large and wonderful selection of art, like the painting “After the First Holy Communion” which is shown at the beginning of our newsletter today.To browse our complete selection of beautiful Catholic paintings, prints, Florentine plaques and icons, please click here

  

 

“Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the “sacraments of Christian initiation,” whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For “by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.”
In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah for his saving mission. The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him “without measure.”
This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people. On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit, a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost. Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim “the mighty works of God,” and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age. Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn.”

 – from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1285-1287

Selected gift items for those receiving the sacrament of Confirmation or for those going through the RCIA program:

Cherry cross with pewter overlay
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Cherry cross with pewter overlay
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A Young Catholic’s
Sacrament Book
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A Summary of Beliefs, Practices and Prayers
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Are you looking for a special gift for a Confirmation or for someone going through RCIA? Do you need some ideas to find the right, unique item?

We carry a wonderful gift selection in our Confirmation department.
 A Prayer to the Holy Spirit –

“I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Everyday for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to all the things of sense and your ears to all the noises of the world, in order to enter into yourself. Then in the sanctity of your baptized soul (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit) speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him:”

Oh Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul,…I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do…give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your will.

“If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely and full of consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the trial, giving you the strength to carry it and you will arrive at the gates of Paradise, laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity.”

– words of  Joseph Cardinal Mercier

We hope your Lenten season 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!
An assortment of beautiful Paschal candles and Easter Vigil candles for your parish is available now at Catholic Church Supply.