Catholic Thought for the Day

 Prayers for World Peace.

Peace for the World.

For the peace of the world we pray
When the Lord himself
Will settle disputes between nations,
And they will turn their swords into ploughshares,
And not train for war anymore.
Creation will be in harmony
And the wolf and the lamb will live together
And the leopard will rest with the goat
And the cow and the bear will share
The same food trough
And a little child will lead them.
O pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Bind Up and Heal.
Living Lord, pour the myrrh of your Passion
On the world’s suffering
Bind up its brokenness
And heal its divisions.

Source: Celtic Prayers & Reflections by Jenny Child.

The Lost Meaning of the Sacrament of Confirmation

It is sometimes said that Confirmation is a sacrament in search of a theology.

It is indeed true that most Catholics could probably give at least a decent account of the significance of Baptism, Eucharist, Confession, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick, but they might balk when asked to explain the meaning of Confirmation. Perhaps they would be tempted to say it is the Catholic version of a Bar Mitzvah, but this would not even come close to an accurate theological description.

A survey of the most recent theologizing about Confirmation—the Documents of Vatican II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the 1983 Code of Canon Law, etc.—reveals that this is the sacrament of strengthening, as the term itself (“confirmare” in Latin) suggests.

Continue reading The Lost Meaning of the Sacrament of Confirmation

Why Do Catholics Make the Sign of the Cross

Why Do Catholics Make the Sign of the Cross

Why do Roman Catholics make the Sign of the Cross when they say, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”?

Making the Sign of the Cross may be the most common of all actions that Catholics do. We make it when we begin and end our prayers; we make it when we enter and leave a church; we start each Mass with it; we may even make it when we hear the Holy Name taken in vain and when we pass a church where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.

But do you know why we make the Sign of the Cross? The answer is both simple and profound.

In the Sign of the Cross, we profess the deepest mysteries of the Christian Faith: the Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–and the saving work of Christ on the Cross. The combination of the words and the action are a creed–a statement of belief. We mark ourselves as Christians through the Sign of the Cross.

And yet, because we make the Sign of the Cross so often, we may be tempted to rush through it, to say the words without listening to them, to ignore the symbolism of tracing the shape of the Cross on our own bodies. A creed is not simply a statement of belief–it is a vow to defend that belief, even if it means following Our Lord and Savior to our own cross.

Roman Catholics aren’t the only Christians to make the Sign of the Cross. All Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do as well, along with many high-church Anglicans and Lutherans.

“the fifteen most powerful words in the English Language- In the Name of the Father, and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.” St. Francis De Sales