An image of a mother pelican with her chicks is carved into the capital on top of a pillar at the Cenacle, the upper room on Mount Zion in Jerusalem where tradition holds that Jesus shared the Last Supper with his apostles and instituted the Eucharist. It is the only artwork in the entire room, and it is singularly appropriate because it is a symbol for Jesus and the Eucharist.READ MORE
In previous meditations we have addressed the fascinating topic of the fruits of the Eucharist, although not in an exhaustive form because, how can we cover something so unspeakable? However, we can outline some basic concepts that may be helpful for the faithful. We will only address this vast subject of the Eucharistic mystery in what the fruits of sacramental communion is concern.READ MORE
For me, there is something about the smell of freshly burned incense filling the church that is spiritually uplifting. But where did it come from and why do we use it? The use of incense in religious worship started more than 2,000 years before Christianity even began. The use of incense in China is documented before 2000 BC. Trade in incense and spices was a major economic factor between east and west when caravans traveled the Middle Eastern Incense Route from Yemen through Saudi Arabia. The route ended in Israel and it was here that it was introduced to the Roman Empire.READ MORE
Fast: It doesn't even really feel like a fast anymore since its just an hour. The Church requires every communicant to begin preparing to receive Jesus by observing an hour fast (from food) unless they're aged or sick. Won't really cost much to give this little to receive God into your soul would it?
Come early, recollect yourself: Sometime ago I asked on our Facebook page "When is one late for Mass" some said with confidence "When they come later than the Sign of the Cross". I disappointed them by reminding them that the Mass actually begins with the procession. I usually advise people to make effort to be in Church at least 10-15 minutes before the actual time in order to have some time to pray and recollect; to begin the Mass in the right spirit. When it becomes a habit to arrive late, it ceases to be a real celebration for the person, and if it becomes a habit (especially Sundays) it begins to become sinful.READ MORE
Advent wreaths are a Christian tradition with roots in 16th-century Ger-many. They are seen both in churches and in homes and are an excellent way to prepare for the celebration of Christmas. Here is a step-by-step introduction to the practice and how to implement it in your home.READ MORE
According to tradition, St. Gertrude the Great was told by Our Lord that the following prayer, each time she piously recited it, would release 1,000 souls from their suffering in purgatory:READ MORE
These are the highest, holiest days celebrated each year by the Church beginning with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday. It is called the "Easter Triduum" or Paschal Triduum". We celebrate the great Paschal mystery of Christ's crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.READ MORE
It seems strange that during the most sacred time of year we cover everything that is beautiful in our churches, even the crucifix. Shouldn't we be looking at the painful scene at Calvary while we listen to the Passion narrative on Palm Sunday?
While it may appear counter-intuitive to veil statues and images during the final weeks of Lent, the Church recommends this practice to heighten our senses and build within us a longing for Easter Sunday. It is a tradition that should not only be carried out in our local parish, but can also be a fruitful activity for the "domestic church" to practice.READ MORE