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Sanctification in Daily Work
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The Liturgical Dignity of Work

I love this passage from Supreme Knight Carl Anderson’s book Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. I think it corresponds nicely to Opus Dei’s focus on the sanctification of one’s work:
ordinarywork.png

The body enables man to respond creatively to the world and to God – and to respond is to be responsible. There is no true freedom without responsibility.

We learn to appreciate the link between freedom and responsibility through work. We can even define work as man’s way of giving the material world a share int he dignity of the human body. To work is to give the world a human shape.

Nevertheless, because we work in our bodies, our labor isn’t purely external to us. Nor is its value simply the sum total of what we produce. The quality of work is not measured only by the quantity of the objects our work may produce. John Paul II, who put in countless hours of manual labor in a Polish factory, was very sensitive to the impact of work on the worker himself and on the development of his character – and impact the pope called the “subjective” dimension of work (Laborem Exercens, 6) Because man works in his body, whenever he transforms the world through work, he is also transforming and molding himself. How, since man’s life is a journey toward God, the work by which he shapes his life is a kind of “liturgy” (which comes from the Greek work leitourgia, meaning “work of the people”). To work is to shape the world into a reflection of our relationship with God; it is to incorporate the world into our worship. Every human action, every work man performs, no matter how humble, has a liturgical dignity. (p.36-37)

Recommended:
Sanctifying ordinary work: quote from St. Josemaria
The Sanctification of Work
Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace

The Patron of the Hidden Life

Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

St. Joseph, husband of the Mother of God, pray for us!

My favorite prayer to St. Joseph:

    Oh, St. Joseph,
    I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
    St. Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for me. Amen.

“Opus Dei Makes Me a Better Mum”

Opus DeiRosemary Keenan writes in the UK Times Online:

What sets Opus Dei apart from the fickleness of the world is the ‘unity of life’ that members try to lead. “This is the real you, the person you are behind closed doors,” I often say to my children, “not the public image you portray when you’re outside with your friends.”

Likewise, living ‘unity of life’ is the essence of being a member of Opus Dei and why I love it so much. “May your behaviour and your conversation be such that everyone who sees or hears you can say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ,” writes St Josemaria in “The Way” – which just about sums it up. Living unity of life means remembering to be thankful for every minute of each day whatever the set-backs, instead of partitioning the day into times to please God and reserving the rest for ourselves. It’s about avoiding the stumbling block of becoming a “Sunday Catholic” who steps out of church feeling elated only to go weak with impatience at the sight of the car being blocked in or your husband blaming you for something that has gone wrong.

Read the whole article!

The “Tebow Ad”, Parts 1 and 2

In case you missed them. Here’s the first Focus on the Family that aired during the Super Bowl pre-game show – very classy:

And here is the ad that aired during the first quarter of the game. LOL, think N.O.W. will start complaining that the ad promotes violence against women? Well done!:

Both ads are also available on the Focus on the Family website, which features a more in-depth interview with Tim’s parents Bob and Pam and their choice for life.

You can read my final thoughts on the “controversial” commercial over at Reflections of a Paralytic.

Fatih is Like Falling in Love

In his critique of Bill Maher’s 2008 unintelligent, anti-God documentary Religulous, Fr. Robert Barron beautifully describes what it really means to have faith:

CatholicTV iPhone App

This is cool. I installed it today:

The FREE CatholicTV App provides you with video of this day’s Mass, a daily Rosary from around the nation and the world, a brief reflection to bolster your Faith and news about what’s happening and coming up at Your Catholic Broadband Network.

Get the app at CarryYourFaith.com

I Am a Roman Catholic – and I LOVE It!

All of it, no exceptions:

(h/t: Happy Catholic)

Beautiful Video Prayer for Priests!

“May they live the gift they have received with JOY!” (h/t Priest Year News):

St. Bernard of Clairvaux On Love

st. bernardI thought this was utterly beautiful. From today’s Office by St. Bernard of Clairvaux:

Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all He desires is to be loved in return…

It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given.

Read more

We Have a Mother in Heaven!

A reflection for the feast of the Assumption from the Apostleship of Prayer:

I Am All Thine, My Queen and My Mother, and All That I Have is Thine!

Blessed VirginHappy Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, body and soul, into Heaven! What a glorious feast – a reminder of our ultimate destiny! Today is also the day of consecration for those, like me, who have been following the 33 day Preparation for Total Consecration. Words of consecration, from St. Louis de Montfort

O Eternal and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.

I, N_____, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen.

Total Consecration is based on de Montfort’s True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, about which John Paul II said:

“St. Louis de Montfort! I have long studied his doctrine and I like it. Besides, it’s from Montfort that I have taken my motto, “Totus Tuus” (I am all thine). Some day I’ll have to tell you Monfortians how I discovered de Montfort’s treatise on TRUE DEVOTION to Mary and how often I had to reread it to understand it.”

Indeed, rereading it has helped me to gain greater insight into the richness of this devotion and how to live it out in my daily life. The next (suggested) Total Consecration preparation begins on Nov. 5 and ends on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Order the Total Consecration book, or use this website which offers a very thorough explanation of how to proceed and includes links to all readings and prayers so that ordering books is not necessary.

August 15 Total Consecration Prep Starts Today!

Total ConsecrationFor those who wish to make/renew their Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary on a Marian feast day, the next one coming up is the feast of the Assumption on August 15, which means the 33-day preparation begins today! This is the date of my own first Total Consecration (11 years ago) and when I try to renew it every year.

Total Consecration to Our Lady is, as St. Louis de Montfort says in his book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, the “easy, short, perfect and secure way of attaining union with our Lord.” This is the devotion consists in making oneself a slave of Mary, doing all our actions by Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary. We offer to the Blessed Mother every thought, word, deed and desire so that she might purify them and present them to our Lord to be distributed where they are most needed. It is a total abandonment to the Blessed Virgin Mary who will in turn lead us into a perfect union with Christ, her Son.

By Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ we can do all things; we can render all honor and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost; we can make ourselves perfect and be for our neighbor a fragrance of eternal life.

If, then, we are establishing sound devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only in order to establish devotion to our Lord more perfectly, by providing a smooth but certain way of reaching Jesus Christ. (True Devotion, n. 60-61)

If you don’t have the Preparation for Total Consecration book, this website offers a very thorough explanation of how to proceed. It includes links to all readings and prayers for every day so that ordering books is not necessary.

Obama’s “Catholic Plan”

See video here.

As soon as he reflected seriously and was struck by the conviction that immortality and God exist, he naturally said at once to himself: “I want to live for immortality, and I reject any halfway compromise.” In just the same way, if he had decided that immortality and God do not exist, he would immediately have joined the atheists and socialists (for socialism is not only the labor question or the question of the so-called fourth estate, but first of all the question of atheism, the question of the modern embodiment of atheism, the question of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) built precisely without God, not to go from earth to heaven but to bring heaven down to earth).

~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

I Pray the Rosary!!

Do you?

Catholic Apps Ad

Several months ago dad listed some of the Catholic applications available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Here SQPN highlights some Catholic apps in a spoof of the iPhone tv ads (h/t American Papist):

My favorite (since inheriting dad’s iPhone after he upgraded to the 3Gs) has been iBreviary which also includes the daily Mass readings. It’s nice, when traveling, not to have to carry my big Liturgy of the Hours book. Although, I’ve noticed that the app has been having some problems loading lately 🙁

Here’s another iPhone spoof from SQPN: