Category: Catholic Articles

Do Not Hinder The Children: Let Them Come To Jesus 

Do Not Hinder The Children: Let Them Come To Jesus 


​*Do not Hinder the Children; Let them Come to Jesus*

(Homily for August 18, 2018)
_“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. And he laid His hands on them and went away” *(Matthew 19:14-15).*_
Once upon a time, a parent asked a priest, “when is the right time to start teaching my child about God?” In response, the priest asked, “How old is your child?” And the child’s father said, “He is just two years old.” The priest said, “You are two years late.” 
Dear friends in Christ, one very common mistake we often make as parents is to assume children are too young to know or understand the things of God and by so doing, we indirectly hinder them from coming to Jesus. 
It is such an irony that we do not think twice before playing the latest secular music for a child on his/her first birthday but when it comes to prayer, the child is completely left out. Some children never get to know the meaning of prayer or develop a relationship with God even after learning all the alphabets. 
Jesus was not happy with the disciples because they were trying to prevent children from coming to him. A few days ago, we read of how Jesus said: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).
As a nation, the greatest injury we suffered was the forceful take-over of schools from the Christian missionaries. When learning became devoid of the God-aspect, we produced a generation of persons whose religiosity could not go beyond the skin, a generation of church/mosque-goers who draw a demarcation between the dictates of God and their everyday choices.
In our first reading, God explains to prophet Ezekiel that He shall not judge a person based on his/her parents’ righteousness rather everyone shall answer for his or her own deeds. This implies that no matter how good we are, our goodness will not benefit our children if they themselves are not good. We must, therefore, make every effort to bring our children up to know God, to love God and serve God.
If the only reason your child remembers to pray or read the Bible is that you told him so, then know that you have not done a good job. This is because such shallow spirituality is done only to please you. The moment that child steps out of the house, he or she quickly drops any religious attachment. 
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may I be a bridge connecting my children with you. Amen

 

*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time: Bible Study: Ezekiel 18:1-32, Psalm 51:12-19, Matthew 19:13-15).*
Fr. Abu.  
*Say a little prayer for me as i clock 6years in the priesthood today August 18th, 2018. Pray that God sustains me and contines to speak His word through this platform. Amen*🙏🏻

Forgiveness Sustains Marriage 

Forgiveness Sustains Marriage 

*Forgiveness Sustains Marriage*

(Homily for August 17, 2018)
_“I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I forgive you all that you have done, says the Lord GOD” *(Ezekiel 16:62-63).*_
Our first reading today from the book of Ezekiel chapter 16 is a rather moving and very graphic description of mankind in its relationship with God. Even though it was addressed to Jerusalem as a city, this passage perfectly mirrors our situation even as Christians. We have been very unfaithful to God; our religiosity is shallow and we have often prostituted ourselves with other gods. Yet, this passage concludes with a line of God’s assurance of forgiveness. 
That as a human race, we are not yet extinct is a sign that God hasn’t given up on us yet; a sign that God hasn’t divorced the human race yet; a sign that God hasn’t stopped loving us.
Our Gospel passage contains what I may call the hardest teaching of Jesus Christ and coincidentally it comes after Jesus taught another very hard topic; forgiveness. Jesus explained that in God’s mind, there is no room for divorce. Moses’ law was a mere reflection of the people’s hardness of heart. Divorce, according to Jesus is equal to adultery, and the only exception for divorce is “unchastity.” Biblical scholars have researched the original Greek word which is translated here as “unchastity” and they discovered Jesus was referring to an illegal marriage not necessarily “fornication.”
Just as Jesus’ teaching appears very hard to accept today, it was not an easy pill for His listeners to accept. In fact, His own disciples exclaimed: “if that is the case, then isn’t it better not to marry at all?” In other words, if marriage will trap me for life, why don’t I stay away from it completely by opting for celibacy? To this Jesus responded, “not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given” (Matthew 19:11).
Celibacy is a gift, it is a calling not meant for everyone. Celibacy is not an escape route from the commitment of marriage. Those who lack the gift of celibacy or misunderstand the celibate lifestyle as a ticket to freedom (moral irresponsibility) end up extremely frustrated, unhappy, never satisfied and most often drop out later in life. One who cannot be committed to just one person is not likely capable of being committed to the demands of celibacy.
So if celibacy is not a better option to marriage, how then are we to remain committed and happy in marriage for the rest of our lives? The answer is forgiveness. Before you consider divorce before you call your lawyer or even your priest to end what began in love, think of this passage in our first reading today; the fact that God is still there for us despite our imperfections. Be to your spouse what God is to the human race. Develop in your heart a kind of love that no fire can quench, a love that remains steadfast despite the hurts and pains which constantly come from your spouse.
The truth is that this love is not limited to married couples; even celibates must have this kind of love for the church and the people in other to remain true to their calling and their vows. A celibate who constantly nags and complains about his Bishop/Superior or his parishioners is not so different from a man or woman who constantly nags about their spouses. As forgiveness sustains a marriage, the celibate who cannot forgive ends up dropping the habit someday.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, bless my vocation (marriage or celibate), fill my days with constant joy that I may never think of giving up on my commitments. Amen.

 

*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time: Bible Study: Ezekiel 16:1-63, Isaiah 12:2-6, Matthew 19:3-12).*
Fr. Abu.

Watch Video! “Miracle Of The Snakes” A Marian Feast’s Day’s Strange Unusual Miracle 

Watch Video! “Miracle Of The Snakes” A Marian Feast’s Day’s Strange Unusual Miracle 


Every year, on the Orthodox feast of the *Dormition of the Theotokos, a monastery on a Greek island experiences a miracle – dozens of snakes come to ‘venerate‘ an icon of Mary.

In a phenomenon that has reportedly been happening for hundreds of years, black snakes begin appearing on the Greek island of Kefalonia between Aug. 5 and Aug. 15, the days when the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the dormition of the Theotokos (celebrated in the Western Church as the Assumption of Mary).

According to tradition, the miracle of the snakes began in 1705, when nuns of the monastery were about to be attacked by pirates.

Legend has it that the nuns prayed fervently to the Virgin Mary, asking her that she turn them into snakes to avoid capture. Other versions say that the nuns prayed that the monastery be infested with snakes so as to scare away the pirates. Either way it happened, they were spared.

Since then, the small black snakes, known as European Cat Snakes, appear every year just before the feast, and make their way to the walls and entryways of the Church to ‘venerate’ the silver icon of Mary known as the Panagia Fidoussa, or the Virgin of the Snakes.

The snakes’ patterning can produce a small black cross on their head, and they have a forked tongue, adding to the legend that these snakes are marked by the sign of the Cross.  

In recent years, the faithful have taken to transporting snakes to the church in jars and bags, to protect them from being run over by unwitting motorists.

The usually-aggressive snakes are reportedly docile and calm during these days, when they are welcome in the church for Mass and prayers, and disappear from the island completely after the feast until the next year.

Reportedly, the only years the snakes have not appeared on the island were during World War II, and in 1953 – the year of a massive earthquake. Locals now take the lack of the snake’s appearance as a bad sign.

Every year, the island celebrates the Theotokos and the miracle with a Snake Festival. 

Every year, on the Orthodox feast of the *Dormition of the Theotokos, a monastery on a Greek island experiences a miracle – dozens of snakes come to ‘venerate‘ an icon of Mary.

In a phenomenon that has reportedly been happening for hundreds of years, black snakes begin appearing on the Greek island of Kefalonia between Aug. 5 and Aug. 15, the days when the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the dormition of the Theotokos (celebrated in the Western Church as the Assumption of Mary).

According to tradition, the miracle of the snakes began in 1705, when nuns of the monastery were about to be attacked by pirates.

Legend has it that the nuns prayed fervently to the Virgin Mary, asking her that she turn them into snakes to avoid capture. Other versions say that the nuns prayed that the monastery be infested with snakes so as to scare away the pirates. Either way it happened, they were spared.

Since then, the small black snakes, known as European Cat Snakes, appear every year just before the feast, and make their way to the walls and entryways of the Church to ‘venerate’ the silver icon of Mary known as the Panagia Fidoussa, or the Virgin of the Snakes.

The snakes’ patterning can produce a small black cross on their head, and they have a forked tongue, adding to the legend that these snakes are marked by the sign of the Cross.  

In recent years, the faithful have taken to transporting snakes to the church in jars and bags, to protect them from being run over by unwitting motorists.

The usually-aggressive snakes are reportedly docile and calm during these days, when they are welcome in the church for Mass and prayers, and disappear from the island completely after the feast until the next year.

Reportedly, the only years the snakes have not appeared on the island were during World War II, and in 1953 – the year of a massive earthquake. Locals now take the lack of the snake’s appearance as a bad sign.

Every year, the island celebrates the Theotokos and the miracle with a Snake Festival. 

Every year, on the Orthodox feast of the *Dormition of the Theotokos, a monastery on a Greek island experiences a miracle – dozens of snakes come to ‘venerate‘ an icon of Mary.

In a phenomenon that has reportedly been happening for hundreds of years, black snakes begin appearing on the Greek island of Kefalonia between Aug. 5 and Aug. 15, the days when the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the dormition of the Theotokos (celebrated in the Western Church as the Assumption of Mary).

According to tradition, the miracle of the snakes began in 1705, when nuns of the monastery were about to be attacked by pirates.

Legend has it that the nuns prayed fervently to the Virgin Mary, asking her that she turn them into snakes to avoid capture. Other versions say that the nuns prayed that the monastery be infested with snakes so as to scare away the pirates. Either way it happened, they were spared.

Since then, the small black snakes, known as European Cat Snakes, appear every year just before the feast, and make their way to the walls and entryways of the Church to ‘venerate’ the silver icon of Mary known as the Panagia Fidoussa, or the Virgin of the Snakes.

The snakes’ patterning can produce a small black cross on their head, and they have a forked tongue, adding to the legend that these snakes are marked by the sign of the Cross.  

In recent years, the faithful have taken to transporting snakes to the church in jars and bags, to protect them from being run over by unwitting motorists.

The usually-aggressive snakes are reportedly docile and calm during these days, when they are welcome in the church for Mass and prayers, and disappear from the island completely after the feast until the next year.

Reportedly, the only years the snakes have not appeared on the island were during World War II, and in 1953 – the year of a massive earthquake. Locals now take the lack of the snake’s appearance as a bad sign.

Every year, the island celebrates the Theotokos and the miracle with a Snake Festival. 

Source:

Catholic News Agency (CNA). 

*The term Dormition is an OrthodoxChurch teaching which expresses the belief that the Virgin died without suffering, in a state of spiritual peace. The Dormition Is actually sometimes called the Assumption Of Mary, and is celebrated on the 15th day of August, yearly. The Orthodox Church also teaches that Mary is without personal sins. The belief does not rest on any scriptural basis, but is based on apocryphal writings. In PseudoJohn the Evangelist’s Liber de Dormitione Mariae, lit. “Book of the Dormition of Mary”, known in English as “The Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God”, Mary’s soul is carried to heaven, while her body is carried away by angels to be preserved until the ultimate resurrection.

The Nun Who Had Visions Of The Passion Of Christ, Heaven And The Holy Family 

The Nun Who Had Visions Of The Passion Of Christ, Heaven And The Holy Family 

The Venerable MarieMartha Chambon was a lay Roman Catholic Nun of the Visitation Order, known for promoting The Rosary Of The Holy Wounds. She was gifted with the ability to see how nuns praying the Rosary brought many graces to their families back home.

It was the Good Friday of 1850, when Francoise Chambon reported her first vision of Jesus. She was with her godmother at Good Friday services when the vision occurred. She reported that she saw Jesus, on the cross, covered in blood and His body having many wounds. She was nine years old. 


Later on during that year, upon receiving her first Holy Communion, she again saw Jesus, who told her, “My child, so it will be every time you go to Holy Communion.”


Francoise Chambon was born in Davoy, France, on March 6, 1841. Her parents were poor farmers, and life was not easy. Francoise, for the most part, kept her visions to herself. She bided her time and when she was 20 years old, she entered the Monastery of the Visitation Order in nearby Chambery. This was when she was given the name MarieMartha.  


Marie-Martha was favored with many supernatural visions during her life. One of these was actually of heaven. While on a retreat in 1870, during a recreation break the Sisters would pray the Rosary. Marie-Martha gave them a message from Our Lady


“The Sisters who endeavor to be present and attend the Rosary give me much delight; those who say it with much fervor will one day be in my entourage.”


Marie-Martha then witnessed the graces and many blessings that Jesus poured out on the families of these sisters because of their prayers in honor of His Mother.


There were times when Marie-Martha was allowed to see the Holy Family. After a long vision, she told Mother Superior


“My Mother, I return from Paradise! I cannot say that which I saw! I can only say that I prostrated myself in front of the Holy Family and I said to Saint Joseph: My good Father, I thank you that while you were on the earth, you took care of my sweet Mother Mary.”


She said that St. Joseph was very happy and told her to say this short prayer often, Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, I give you my heart and my soul.”


Marie-Martha began to have visions of Jesus when He would ask her to contemplate the Holy Wounds. Jesus would teach her specific prayers and meditations. Her Mother Superior began to chronicle Marie’s life, and this was published in 1923 and sold worldwide. The following year the Vatican granted an indulgence to those who said the following prayer, which was based on her reported visions: “Eternal Father I offer the wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to heal those of our souls.”


Jesus wanted her to unite her sufferings with His in the Rosary of the Holy Wounds. This would be done as an act of reparation for the sins of the world and the souls in purgatory. He told Marie-Marthe that the Holy Wounds were a true treasure for the souls in Purgatory.


Marie-Martha foresaw the death of Pope Pius IX whose soul appeared to her. He thanked her for her prayers, which helped open the doors of paradise to him. She had a clear vision of her 25-year-old sister’s death. Her younger brother passed away in 1878, and he appeared to his big sister to tell her he was in Paradise.


On March 21, 1907,  Marie-Martha Chambon passed away. She was 66 years old. Her cause for beatification began in 1937.


Venerable Servant of God, Marie-Martha Chambon, please pray for us.

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