Saints Alive! | St. Catherine of Alexandria

Her story has captured the imagination of famed artists like Raphael, Caravaggio, Guido Reni and others. Legends coming from a number of sources say that St Catherine was very outspoken at the time of the persecutions of Christians. She even protested openly to the emperor Maxentius who had her arrested, tortured on the wheel and decapitated in 305 A.D. St Catherine’s courage is a great challenge to all African Christians in their struggle for justice and peace. The witness of her life and her readiness to die for the faith encourages us to be brave witnesses to the Lord and to speak out on behalf of all those who suffer. For more about this saint, please click on the image. Peace be with you!

The Rosary | The Sorrowful Mysteries

The Rosary is one of the most beautiful prayers in the Catholic tradition. It's also one of the most commonly misunderstood, which is often the case for many of our Protestant brothers and sisters. Yet, it doesn't have to be. Put simply, the Rosary is a prayerful meditation on the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of his mother. I invite you, whether you are Catholic, Protestant, or other, to watch this beautiful video by our friends at Word on Fire.  Today we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries.  We meditate on five key events in the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of his mother, the Virgin Mary. For more, please click on the image. Peace be with you!

Divine Office | Let us shut out the fear of death and meditate upon immortality

In today's Office of Readings we encounter a reading from the treatise of St Cyprian (210-258 A.D.) on mortality.

Cyprian was born in Carthage (North Africa) and spent most of his life in the practice of the law. He was converted to Christianity, and was made bishop of Carthage in 249. He steered the church through troubled times, including the persecution of the emperor Decius, when he went into hiding so as to be able to continue looking after the church. In 258 the persecution of the emperor Valerian began. Cyprian was first exiled and then, on the 14th of September, executed, after a trial notable for the calm and courtesy shown by both sides.

Cyprian’s many letters and treatises shed much light on a formative period in the Church’s history, and are valuable both for their doctrine and for the picture they paint of a group of people in constant peril of their lives but still determined to keep the faith.

For a reflection, "Let us shut out the fear of death and meditate upon immortality," please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Saints Alive! | Sts. Andrew Dũng-Lạc and his Companions

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac, priest and martyr, and companions, martyrs. St. Andrew was one of 117 people who were martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862.

For more about these saints, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Wit & Wisdom | A Day of Thanksgiving

Today, in the United States on this last Thursday of November, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a day reserved for the people of our nation to give thanks to Almighty God for his providence and for the many blessings bestowed on our great nation and people.

Though not a Catholic holiday, we Catholics know it is our duty and our salvation "always and everywhere" to humbly give thanks to God. We "lift up our hearts" to the Lord, for it is "right and just."

We wish also to give thanks to our readers. We know there are 149 countries represented to-date from all of you who follow My Daily Bread: A Reason2bCatholic blog. The top 10 nations represented are: United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Philippines, South Africa, Poland, China, Brazil, and Australia. For all of you, spread throughout the globe, we're very grateful. We will continue to pray for you each day.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil, and bring you to everlasting life. Amen.

Spread the Word! Spread the faith.

For words of Wit & Wisdom from the Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1877, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

The Rosary | The Luminous Mysteries

The Rosary is one of the most beautiful prayers in the Catholic tradition. It's also one of the most commonly misunderstood, which is often the case for many of our Protestant brothers and sisters. Yet, it doesn't have to be. Put simply, the Rosary is a prayerful meditation on the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of his mother.

I invite you, whether you are Catholic, Protestant, or other, to watch this beautiful video by our friends at Word on Fire.  Today we pray the Luminous Mysteries.  We meditate on five key events in the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of his mother, the Virgin Mary.

For more, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Divine Office | I am not alone: Christ is with me

In today's Office of Readings we encounter a reading from a letter of Saint Paul Le-Bao-Tinh (1793-1857).

Phaolô Lê Bảo Tịnh was a Vietnamese priest. He wrote a letter to the seminary of Ke Vinh in 1843 detailing the sufferings of Christian prisoners. He himself was martyred on 6 April 1857. He was canonised in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.

For a reflection, "I am not alone: Christ is with me," please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Divine Office | If we are sheep, we overcome; if wolves, we are overcome

In today's Office of Readings we encounter a reading from a homily by St John Chrysostom, bishop (349-407 A.D.).

He was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 397. His sermons and writings did much to explain the Catholic faith and to encourage the living of the Christian life, and his eloquence earned him the surname “Chrysostom” (the Greek for “golden mouth”).

For a reflection, "If we are sheep, we overcome; if wolves, we are overcome," please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Saints Alive! | St. Columbanus (Columban), Abbot

He was born in Ireland before the middle of the sixth century. He was a monk from his youth and was learned in both sacred and secular literature. At the age of 45 he left Ireland and went to Europe, where he founded three monasteries in what is now France. His monastic rule was strict, based on Irish practice.

For more about this saint, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Saints Alive! | Bl. Miguel Agustín Pro

Miguel was born in 1891 in Guadalupe. He was the oldest living boy of eleven children, and his family was deeply Catholic. By the time he was twenty years old, he knew he was called to the priesthood and entered the Jesuit order.
After years of trying to find a reason to imprison him, Miguel Pro was arrested by the Mexican government under the false charge he attempted to assassinate the former Mexican President. The government skipped the trial process and quickly sentenced him to death by firing squad. On his walk from his prison cell to the courtyard where he was to be shot, Miguel blessed the soldiers. His last request was to be allowed a moment to kneel and pray. Then he stood bravely, refusing a blindfold, and faced his executioners. Before they shot him, he forgave them aloud. He raised his arms out like Christ on the Cross. As the soldiers shot him, Miguel cried out, “Viva Cristo Rey!” which means, “Long live Christ the King!”
The Mexican authorities, in an effort to intimidate the Mexican people from their religious practices, placed photos of the assassinations in the local papers. Instead, the Mexican people used the photos as holy cards, which was a sign that their faith only strengthened as they witnessed such Christian courage in the face of brutal atheism from their own government.
Miguel Pro and his companions, 20th Century martyrs, are a reminder, again, that everywhere where Atheism has spread, when it seeps into totalitarian governmental regimes, as we've seen throughout history, Christian persecutions follow; and persecuted finally to the end of a barrel of a gun. The empty philosophy of atheism down through the ages, and such anti-Christian sentiment of Miguel Pro's day and today, will never understand Tertullian (160-220 A.D.): "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church."

For more about this saint, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Saints Alive! | St. Clement of Rome

St. Clement of Rome, also known as Pope St. Clement I, is considered the first Apostolic Father of the Church. He was Bishop of Rome after Peter, Linus and Cletus. He lived towards the end of the first century, but nothing is known for certain about his life. He is mentioned by name in the Bible by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:3. St. Clement is also said to be one of the band of seventy followers of Jesus' ministry as described in the Gospels. Clement was a disciple of St. Peter and was ordained by him, and later became the fourth Bishop of Rome. Of his life and death little is known, but he has left one definite writing that has survived: a letter to the Church in Corinth, Greece. It is the first known Patristic document, and exhorts them to peace and brotherly harmony. The Basilica of St. Clement is one of the earliest parish churches of Rome and was built on the site of his home. Pope St. Clement I is the patron saint of mariners, sailors, marble-workers, stone-cutters, and sick children.

For more about this saint, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Articles of Faith | The Scandal of the Eucharist

The Catholic belief in The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a hard saying, no doubt.  Yet, it's no harder a saying as was said by Jesus himself as he begins his colloquy with his disciples in the synagogue at Capernaum (see Jn 6:30). This teaching, the Catholic Church defends as the definitive and apostolic origins of the Eucharist, points to the Eucharist (from the Greek for "thanksgiving") as the "source and summit of the Christian life".

For a beautiful summation of the scandal of such a saying - and the recognition of how hard it is to believe - enjoy this brief writing from Fr. Richard Veras of Saint Joseph's Seminary; and for a Catholic answer addressing common Evangelical Fundamentalist challenges to the Catholic understanding of the Real Presence, please also see more of this post by clicking on the image.

Peace be with you!

Do you reject Satan?

This Sunday following the Epiphany the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord.  It is here we recall in a special way Jesus' baptism in the river Jordan by John the Baptist.  In it we are also reminded of a great mystery revealed.  God the Father reveals Jesus as his "beloved Son" and the Holy Spirit comes down from heaven in the form of a dove. Here, we reject Satan and all his empty promises.

For my reflection, "Do you reject Satan?" please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Thomas
Disciple of Christ | Son of the Church

Articles of Faith | The Eucharist: In the Words of the Church Fathers

Today we explore some of the early Church Fathers sayings about the Eucharist.  Many of our mainline Protestant brothers and sisters, who know their history, will agree who these early Church Fathers were.

Catholic brothers and sisters, though not a Holy Day of Obligation, Holy Thursday has rich and historical significance for each of us:  for before departing the Upper Room to begin his Passion, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, giving thanks to his Father, and commanding his Apostles to love one another, as He has loved them (cf Jn 13:34); and he commanded them, "Do this in memory of me" (Mk 14:22-24; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 10:16; Jn 6:53-57, 1 Cor 11:23-30).

For more on this great Mystery of Faith, from the Church Fathers in their own words, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Articles of Faith | On Being Catholic & the Bride of Christ

It's been a challenge for faithful Catholics in these last decades, maybe longer.  The sexual abuse that has occurred is such an abhorrent episode in the Church's history that has brought such pain to the victims and their families, and has deeply wounded the Catholic faithful.

Yet, as Catholics, we don't turn our back to Jesus because of Judas.

Brothers and Sisters, be not afraid!

A purely human institution would have fallen because, in our sinful humanity, no human institution could survive for these 2,000 years.

All power in heaven and earth has been given to Him, and Jesus will be with his Church, always, through the end of the age (Mt 28:19-20) - thanks be to God!

For more about what it means to be Catholic in this time in history, and for wit and wisdom from Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC, on the Bride of Christ, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!

Catholics Come Home | Fallen Away Catholics

The story of the Prodigal Son, as we encounter in the Gospel of Luke (15:11-32), is one of the most poignant in all of literature. Sadly, there are many Catholics today who have fallen away from their baptismal faith. Each has a story of his own. Yet, by the sacramental power of one's baptism there remains a call unanswered - the yearning of a Father desiring the return of his child to the home of his baptismal birth. For more about this post, and for a 2 min video expressing the tender mercy that awaits at home in love's embrace, click on the image. Our father in heaven wants us home. He wants you home. If you’ve been away from the Church for one day, or for a lifetime, come home. Your family misses you.

For more, please click on the image.

Peace be with you!