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Archive for May, 2008

Blessed Caspar Koteda, Francis Takeya, and Peter Shichiyemon

September 10, 1622 was a day of tremendous suffering for the Catholics of Nagasaski, Japan, with over fifty of the clergy and laity put to death for their faith by the country’s pagan imperial regime. The following day, three more were added to their number. Caspar Koteda, twenty-one years old, had served as a lay catechist with the Jesuit priest (Blessed) Camillo Costanzo. Francis Takeya was the twelve-year-old son of one of the women executed the day before, Cosmas Takeya Sozaburo, a Catholic of Korean lier. Peter Shichiyemon, a boy of seven, was hte son of another victim of the “Great Martyrdom” of September 10, (Blessed) Bartholomew Kawano Shichiyemon. Having refused to deny his faith, Peter was carried to the execution site by a pagan soldier. THe other boy Francis had likewise paid no heed to the judge who was pressing him to apostatize. The two boys suffered beheading together with the catechrist Caspar Koteda.

(Hat tip; Magnificat)

-Ivy

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No one simply finds [Christianity] there as his possession. It never comes out of what we have ourselves. It breaks in from outside. That is still always the way.

– Pope Benedict XVI, Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions

This quote, taken from a book by Pope Benedict that I have been reading lately, is an answer to those who would insist that, as Catholics, we are merely products of our own environment. I was told a number of years ago that, if I had only had different experiences in my life, I would not have been a Catholic. Not surprisingly, I disagreed with this assessment of my faith.

The idea that faith, primarily the Catholic faith, is something powerful and dynamic that breaks in from the outside and must be constantly reaffirmed by us is a theme throughout Pope Benedict’s thought. In Jesus of Nazareth, he addresses the importance of saying “Amen” daily, hourly, to our Christian mission when he writes about the Baptism in the Jordan. The same idea is central to Truth and Tolerance, where the then Cardinal Ratzinger contrasts Eastern and Western religions and discusses the difference between faith and religion.

But one forgets so quickly to always “reaffirm” faith. I am ashamed to think how often I simply neglect to make the Sign of the Cross before I pray, or before I eat a meal. Compared to the Mass or the rosary, the humble Sign seems insignificant. Not so! It is an affirmation of all the faith entails. According to the Church Fathers, even the motion had significance: touching the head was a reminder of Heaven, touching the stomach reminded one of earth and one’s bodily human nature, the shoulders as the place and sign of power. The Pope’s discussion of dynamic faith gave me a new appreciation for this easy prayer.

So, next time you make the Sign of the Cross, make it a big one in proud affirmation of your one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

+Lily

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Good morning, all! I was poking around the internet, looking at clothes (as I am very fond of doing) and found this designer website. Not only are the clothing collections absolutely gorgeous, but there are many examples on the site of a kind of layering I had not seen before: layering skirts. What a great, stylish way to make what would be a very short dress more modest! Check out some the examples on the site, and please do browse Rebe’s clothing. I think I will have to save up for a sale item or two…I love the “Veronica Dress Too”.

+Lily

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Little by little as we go through life, following with a hundred infidelities and a thousand blunders, with open defiances and secret sins, yet following, as Peter followed through the gloom of penitance where Christ’s eyes could shine…little by little we find that there are is no garden where He does not walk, no doors that can shut Him out, no country road where our hearts cannot burn in His company.

– Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson

+Lily

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St. Accidia

African, martyred with Primus.

Sadly that seems to be the only thing I can tell you about them; the world of internet is not all-knowing. Of Primus, whose feast day is also on the 28th, there is less to be said. Hopefully in future we can find more on the people that keep the faith alive with their deaths.

-Ivy

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I have found many comforts in the excerpt below. Oftentimes I have questioned God whether I could be truly in darkness and not know of it. If any soul knew what it was to fear the trickery of Satan, it would be the great St. Pio. The saint reports the words of Jesus to him in prayer on the difference between a darkness allowed by Christ for the soul’s welfare, and the true darkness of evil.

I am loyal; no creature will be lost without knowing it. Very different is light from darkness. I always draw to myself the soul with whom I am accustomed to speaking. Instead, the demon’s art is to distance the soul from Me. I never raise dread in the soul that has distanced itself from me; the demon never places a fear in the soul that moves it closer to Me.

When I am the author of the fear, the soul feels for its eternal health at some moments of life. It is recognizable by the peace and serenity it leaves in the soul.

– St. Pio, Secrets of a Soul: Padre Pio’s Letters to His Spiritual Director

+Lily

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These little dishes, the perfect size for holding rings and small trinkets, would make wonderful gifts for the soon-to-be bride. My favorite is shown above in the photograph. My friends and family are all starting to get married now, so it is time to start thinking about nice little gifts to give.

+Lily

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