12.24.2009

Buon Natale! Merry Christmas!

. . reprinted with permission from "Holy Cards For Your Inspiration" blog
(link is listed for you on my sidebar below)
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Buon Natale Amici!
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Merry Christmas Friends!

Wishing You Beautiful Christmas Blessings,
~ bella

10.03.2009

The Catholic Practice of "First Saturday" Devotion to Mary's Immaculate Heart

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On the first Saturday of every month, Catholics are called by the Blessed Mother (as relayed to us through many of her visitations, including Fatima), to honor her. We believe that on Holy Saturday, the eve of Easter, Mary, the mother of Christ, suffered terribly, yet had great faith.

Catholics believe that on these first Saturdays of each month, we help to console the sorrows of our heavenly father, our Lord, Jesus Christ and our Lady, Christ's mother . . . because we have sinned against
Mary's Immaculate Heart. The First Saturdays devotion had already been an established custom in the Catholic Church. In 1905, Pope Pius X approved the devotion and granted indulgences for its practice of the First Saturdays of twelve consecutive months in honor of the Immaculate Conception.
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For this devotion, whether alone or in a group, one can select any five success months, and engage in each of the following four (4) activities, each of which must be done with the sincere intention (in their minds and hearts) to honor Mary and for the reparation of the damage done to her Immaculate Heart:

1. Go to confession: This can be done one week earlier, however, the intention of reparation to the Immaculate Heart must be in one's mind and heart prior and during confession.
2. Attend Saturday Mass.
3. Receive the Eucharist with the necessity of offering it in reparation to Our Lady, and finally,
4. Pray the Rosary with a minimum of 15 minutes spent in the company of Mary while properly meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary (which represent Christ's life). One or more decades of the Rosary can be said. Our Lady promises us that she will be present to those who keep her company.

All of these spiritual elements of the five "First Saturday" devotions are unique in that the primary intention within the hearts of devotees is to repair the damages caused to her for blasphemies and offenses against her, her name and her holy initiatives.
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In 1925, Sister Lúcia, the only Fátima visionary to survive into adulthood reported that the Blessed Mother came to her in her convent at Pontevedra, Spain with the following statement:
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"Look, my daughter, at my Heart encircled by these thorns with which men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, strive to console me, and so I announce: I promise to assist at the hour of death with the grace necessary for salvation all those who, with the intention of making reparation to me, will, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the beads, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary."

"You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace... I shall come to ask for... the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays..."

Five ways in which people offend the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

1.attacks upon Mary's Immaculate Conception

2.attacks against her Perpetual Virginity

3.attacks upon her Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind

4.for those who try to publicly implant in children's hearts indifference, contempt and even hatred of this Immaculate Mother

5.for those who insult her directly in her sacred images.

Our Lady said to Lucia:

“I shall come to ask... that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.”

It was there Our Lady completed her request for the Five First Saturdays and gave her great promise. Appearing with the Queen of Heaven in that apparition was the Infant Jesus, Who said to Lucia:

“Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”

Our Lady then spoke:

“See, my daughter, my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, strive to console me. Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.”

To those who faithfully follow Our Lady’s requests for the Five First Saturdays, she has made a wonderful promise which she will certainly fulfill:

“I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation.”

Her presence at the hour of our death and giving us the final grace of perseverance is of paramount importance (the final gift of the grace of perserverance is second only to the gift/grace of Faith). After completing the Five First Saturdays, one may continue the devotion simply to console the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady and to atone for the sins of the world.

Blessings and a beautiful First Saturday of September, 2009,

~ bella

10.02.2009

First Fridays Devotion: What Catholics Believe

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Hello to My Dear Friends in Christ,

Today is the first Friday in the month of October, 2009. Catholics have a tradition known as the Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Sacred Heart.
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Well, what is that some you may be asking? Here is quoted information provided by Catholic Culture.com and a direct link is provided for you below.
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From the writings of St. Margaret Mary:
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"On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to His unworthy slave, if I mistake not: I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment."

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With regard to this promise it may be remarked:

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(1) that our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by Him;
(2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive;
(3) that they must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord;
(4) that our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather He implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end;
(5) that perseverance in receiving Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Firdays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which our Lord eagerly desires; and
(6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to our Lord since He promises such great reward, and that all Catholics should endeavor to make the nine Fridays.
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Prayer Source: Enthronment of the Sacred Heart by Rev. Francis Larkin, SS.CC., St. Paul Editions.
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=876

and here ia another link to The Devotion To The Sacred Heart of Jesus:

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http://www.catholictradition.org/Two-Hearts/devotion12.htm

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Where your treasure lies there will you find your heart.
O most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
in your wounds I find my consolation,
in your pierced heart I find a companion for my sorrows.
O most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
in your heart's joy I find my contentment,
in your purity I find my hope.
O most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
in the radiant light streaming from your heart my blindness disappears,
in your fiery love I am ablaze with awe.
O most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
in your humiliation I can bear scorn from others,
in your longings I am fulfilled.
O most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
in the blood and water which gushed forth from your lanced heart I am reborn in you,
you refresh my very being.
Forever beating in the love of the Holy Trinity is found your human heart,
authoring life and radiating eternal affection.
Would that I could find God's treasure,
it would be found in a humble and contrite heart.
You by your divinity know all things divine and
by your humanity you feel all things human.
By the mystery of your Sacred Heart,
you have united man to yourself forever.
Hold back nothing from me that could draw me
more completely into the deepest recesses of your heart.
Whether peace or distress, bliss or grief,
I accept all as an invitation to know you and love you more profoundly.
O Lord perfect me in your love, confirm me in your grace
and take delight in the richness of my surrender.
Where your treasure lies there will you find my heart.

Amen.

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"I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment."
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The Twelve Promises for the Devotion to the Sacred Heart.for

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.
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Blessings,

~ bella

9.29.2009

Thanks and Welcome!

Lately I've had a lot of new followers that want to chat or learn more about our Catholic faith. Lola, Claudia (from Brazil!), Karen Louise, Agnes, Jean, Dawn, Becca, Cam, Heidi, SAHM, Jackie and Rachel are just a few of my new friends!
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What an honor and a blessing....each new person leads me to his/her blog and it goes on and on from there. What a community of faithful that continually help me and give me strength in my journey of learning more about this gift of the Church from our Heavenly Father and His Son on earth!
Here's what Lola said recently on her blog, "What Lola Wants"

"Adrienne, who has my attention daily, had a link to La Bella Vita, a fabulous Foodie Blog, and it really has some mouthwatering photos... Well by googling chance I found, it's blogger also has another blog Beautiful Catholic Faith that has the above video! And now I am a FOLLOWER! Why is it that when I google and find a wonderful blog, that it is no surprise that their blogroll also has some of my favorite blogger's listed?"

Lola's blog link is: http://lolawantsunsoclicited.blogspot.com/

Do stop by and learn more about current events and Catholicism from Lola and Adrienne (Adrienne's Catholic Corner..... the link is on my sidebar on the right)

Blessings to both of you for all that you write about for your readers,

~ bella

9.28.2009

Catholic Videos from "Real Catholic TV" -- Very Educational About Our Faith!

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Hello dear friends,
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I just want to give a big shout out of recognition to the web-site "RealCatholicTV.com" for developing so many, many, MANY helpful and informative videos about our beautiful Catholic faith AND current events that keep every Catholic and non-Catholic IN THE KNOW of current events!

Many of us learn better visually (especially our younger generations) and some of us don't have time to read every sound bite of every blog (like me!), so therefore, with credit given to where credit is due, I've embedded some videos from this awesome website.....please visit and donate if you can so that they can keep producing such valuable materials.
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I hope that your faith is increased by the videos' messages.
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Blessings,
~ bella

9.26.2009

9.21.2009

Why I Am Catholic

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I found this wonderful video over on "Doing All Things Graciously" blog:



Blessings,

~ bella

9.19.2009

Blessing of My New Rosary


(Photos above and below were taken from my own camera in my home.)

This week I bought a new rosary, one that has a little bit of water from Lourdes contained in a glass centerpiece. It is simply so beautiful, with a lovely crucifix and clear, shimmery glass beads. So this evening I took it with me to have our pastor bless it after Mass.
You can see the bubble in the water from Lourdes in the rosary's centerpiece above.
So I decided that it would be a good thing to chat about regarding our Catholic faith. So I went to the Catholic Answers web-site and found the following information regarding the Catholic practice of blessing our rosaries:

"The Rosary, like a cross or Crucifix, Holy Water, Blessed Palm is a sacramental.

A sacramental stems from the Church's Sacraments, which are instruments of God's Grace. When you get a
sacramental blessed, this holy object now becomes an instrument of blessing.

As Fr. John Corapi says, the prayers said over a blessed object are applied to every situation where that object is used. So, when a priest blesses your Rosary, you receive the blessing of the Rosary, each time you pray with it. You should therefore get your scapula, Crucifixes and other objects blessed.

If you look up the link you will see how the Church has wisely given blessings to many objects of daily use.
http://www.catholicdoors.com/prayers/blessings.html

This is so that we live our lives in such a way that we are already living as we would in Heaven - because in Heaven everything we use and every corner of our Heavenly home will be blessed. I got my guitar blessed, so that I can praise God with my music. You can get some salt blessed, to remind you of how you have to be salt of the earth, use the salt to bless your food or add some to clean water and then bless your house with it.
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Sacramentals stem from the Sacraments, they need to be blessed before they are used so that the prayers of the Universal Church can be applied to the person using that Sacramental.

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From the Cathechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)
Chapter 4: OTHER LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS ARTICLE
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1 SACRAMENTALS 1667 "Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy."
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The characteristics of sacramentals1668 Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful to man. In accordance with bishops' pastoral decisions, they can also respond to the needs, culture, and special history of the Christian people of a particular region or time. They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on of hands, the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water (which recalls Baptism).
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1669 Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a "blessing," and to bless.
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Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).
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1670 Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. "For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows from the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God."
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Various forms of sacramentals
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1671 Among sacramentals blessings (of persons, meals, objects, and places) come first. Every blessing praises God and prays for his gifts. In Christ, Christians are blessed by God the Father "with every spiritual blessing."
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This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ.
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1672 Certain blessings have a lasting importance because they consecrate persons to God, or reserve objects and places for liturgical use. Among those blessings which are intended for persons - not to be confused with sacramental ordination - are the blessing of the abbot or abbess of a monastery, the consecration of virgins and widows, the rite of religious profession and the blessing of certain ministries of the Church (readers, acolytes, catechists, etc.). The dedication or blessing of a church or an altar, the blessing of holy oils, vessels, and vestments, bells, etc., can be mentioned as examples of blessings that concern objects.

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9.15.2009

Tony Blair, His Catholic Conversion, and Anti-Catholicism in England

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Who says Anti-Catholicism doesn't exist?

"Granny told me not to marry a Catholic, Tony Blair tells paper"
(from http://www.guardian.co.uk/)

Tony Blair has revealed that after ignoring a stern warning from his great-grandmother about marrying a Catholic, he now finds his new-found faith has become the driving force in his life as he seeks to clear up the world's religious conflicts.
Speaking to L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's daily newspaper, Blair said today he considers Pope Benedict's belief that God is central to politics, society, economics and culture "brilliant".
Weeks after a packed Catholic conference in Italy gave Blair an ovation for his words about the universality of Catholicism, the pope's newspaper was equally effusive, calling the convert "a gentleman, educated, smiley, courteous in a way few know how to be".
Letting slip the Vatican's possible ambition for Blair, the paper also described him as "a probable future president of the European Union".
With a double page spread at his disposal, Blair served up a mix of anecdotes about his conversion and strong indications of how faith is at the heart of every step he takes.
Starting with his childhood, he recalled how "in one of her rare moments of lucidity, during an illness, my great-grandmother – who was in many ways fantastic – told me,
'Do whatever you want but don't marry a Catholic.' Which is exactly what I did."
Despite ambitions to be a rock star or a footballer when he arrived at university,
Blair said he was soon taken by his future wife, Cherie Booth, who was already an active Catholic on campus.
During his recent speech, Blair said she had been the driving force behind his conversion shortly after leaving office two years ago. Today
he added that conversion was "a path I have followed for 25 years," helped, he added, by a crucial private mass held by Pope John Paul II in 2003.
"It was an episode which really struck me," he said.
Catholicism's universality was its appeal, he added.
"If you are Catholic you can go anywhere in the world and take part in mass in any country."
The last people to understand this, he complained, are British journalists, who are still unprepared for religious, let alone Catholic, politicians.
"It's a shame but that is how it is.
However, I can say that for normal people, as opposed to those who speak on TV or write in newspapers, it was never a problem."
Faith, he added, would help him tackle "the Christian responsibility" of fighting climate change, creating dialogue with China ("They are talking a lot about Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism"), understanding what makes a family strong, and even how to fight poverty.


Going beyond Mr. Blair's grandmother's anti-Catholocism, I highly recommend that you click on the news link above (under the title of the article) and search under 'politics', 'religion' and "Tony Blair' to read the ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIC ANTI-CATHOLIC comments left by British commentors on this article. Ignorance.....sheer and utter ignorance about the Catholic Church prevail in England!

9.08.2009

Catholics Against Obama Care -- Sept. 11 Day of Prayer & Fasting

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Thank you Esther, for posting this important notice on your blog; I am pleased to share it with my readers as well.
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Press Release: Catholics Against Obama Care set September 11 as Day of Prayer and Fasting for defeat of Health Care Reform
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For Immediate Release(September 8, 2009)
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Catholics Against Obama Care is calling Catholics as well as those of other denominations to participate in a day of prayer and fasting on September 11, 2009, for the special intention that Obama health care reform be defeated.Catholics Against Obama Care acknowledges that Catholic Church has always advocated health care reform; but Obamacare, as delineated in the

HR-3200 Bill, is not health care -- it is death care. Mandated abortion, health care rationing, and euthanasia are not health care. Obamacare is government control over people's lives and, as Jon Voight points out the removal of a person's free will. Voight said in an interview on Fox News with Mike Huckabee, "They're taking away God's first gift to man -- our free will and no man no matter what his title, even if he's president of the United States, has the consent of God to decide he's God."Jean M. Heimann, the founder of Catholics Against Obama Care, is a Catholic freelance writer and also the author and administrator of the award-winning weblog Catholic Fire.
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Catholics Against Obama Care, a grassroots movement, which began on August 22, the feast day of the Queenship of Mary, has selected the Mother of God to be the group’s special intercessor in their efforts to defeat this anti-Catholic, anti-life bill. Heimann explains how Catholics Against Obama Care began: “I had been praying for Obama's conversion at daily Mass and for the truth to be revealed about this administration's deceptive health care reform bill. One day, I felt that I needed to do more than just sign petitions and contact my congressmen. I felt that God was calling me to do something more to stop this evil bill which mandates abortion, rations health care to the disabled and the seriously ill, and encourages euthanasia for the elderly. So, I selected several talented pro-life Catholic writers/bloggers from different areas of the country -- CT, Idaho, Hawaii, Florida, Wisconsin, and Kansas -- who agreed to use their gifts to share the truth with others about this so-called health reform bill. In addition to educating and enlightening others about what the bill is really all about, we also want to encourage other Catholics to become pro-active by praying and fasting that this bill does not become law.”
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For more information, contact Jean M. Heimann at jean.heimann@gmail.com
Catholics Against Obama Weblog Site: Catholics Against ObamaCare
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NOBOCare
Catholic Fire Weblog Site: Jean M. Heimann
Catholic Fire
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Let us pray together,
Blessings,
~ bella

9.07.2009

What We Lose When We Don't Receive the Eucharist

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Holy card image from Holy Cards for Your Inspiration
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This was posted by Esther over on her "Catholic Mom in Hawaii" blog and I wanted to pass it along. I agree with her and the Church that it is so important to receive Our Lord through receiving His body in the Eucharist, especially in these times when many Americans fail to go to Mass, and then fail to go to Confession to confess the failure to attend Mass, and then they either don't go to Communion or they do go to Communion with sin on their souls for failing to make a good confession for missing Mass.
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It is well for you to consider what you lose every time that you pass up Holy Communion.


  • You miss a personal visit with Jesus, Author of all spiritual energy and of all holiness;
  • You lose a special increase of sanctifying grace, which makes your soul more pleasing to God;
  • You lose a quota of sacramental grace which entitles you to special help in times of temptation and in the discharge of your daily duties;
  • You lose a precious opportunity of having all of your venial sins wiped away;
  • You miss the special preserving influence which each Holy Communion confers against the fires of passion;
  • You miss the opportunity of having remitted a part, or all, of the temporal punishments due to your sins;
  • You lose the spiritual joy, the sweetness and particular comfort that comes from a fervent Holy Communion;
  • You lose a part of the glory that your body might enjoy at its resurrection on the Last Day;
  • You lose the greater degree of glory you would possess in Heaven for all eternity;
  • You may lose: a) complete victory over some fault or passion;b) some particular grace long prayed for;c) the conversion or salvation of some soul;d) deliverance of a relative or friend from Purgatory;e) many graces for others, both the living and the dead.

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Will a few extra minutes of sleep repay you for all these losses?
At the hour of death our greatest consolation will be the Masses we have heard and the Holy Communions received. What riches hundreds of thousands of Catholics deprive themselves daily by neglecting Mass.

.With Ecclesiastical ApprovalChicago, December 6, 1940

~ bella

9.04.2009

Remember to Pray to Our Blessed Mother

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Here is a beautiful poster from Resources from Catholic Educators web-site (you can download the larger poster from the site) that I wanted to share. It is so important that we, Catholics, continuously pray to our Blessed Mother for her intercession to her Son, Jesus. For those who don't know the Hail Mary, here are the words within the poster:
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Hail Mary, full of grace,
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death.
Amen
~ bella

9.03.2009

The 4 Marks of the Catholic Churh: How Jesus Said His One, True Church Was, Is, and Always Will Be

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Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, said that His true Church would be identified by the following 4 MARKS:

One (unified)
Holy
Catholic (universal)
Apostolic

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Truth is truth . . . and ONLY the Holy Roman Catholic Church possesses those 4 marks/qualities/characteristics.

As thoroughly explained in the video (below), this is not being arrogant, but TRUTHFUL!

Seek the Truth....and the Truth shall set you free!



http://www.tangle.com: search for "No Apologies"


Blessings,
~ bella

8.23.2009

My Name-Patron Saint, St. Rose of Lima, Peru

St. Rose of Lima, Peru

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5rBjmwP27s

Hello my dear friends in Christ!

I found this lovely Holy Card illustration (from Holy Cards for your Inspiration blog) because I had been searching for my Name Saint. My real name is not Bella, but is Rosalind (Roz) and when I looked up names for Catholic children and their corresponding saints, St. Rose of Lima, Peru popped up for my name. I think that this is so wonderful because I have wanted to visit Peru for the longest time. Has St. Rose been calling me gently to visit her country and continent? We'll see and I'll let you know if I am ever fortunate enough to visit!

It is also very interesting to me because the rose is my absolute favorite flower, of which I post numerous photos of my garden on my other blog: La Bella Vita (listed on the side bar on the right). St. Rose is also of Latin (Spanish) descent and I am as well (Italian). And lastly, she was born in April and so was I!

Here is a little more on St. Rose of Lima (source: American Catholic Saint of the Day and a simple yahoo.com inquiry)

St. Rose of Lima, Patron Saint Day: August 23rd
(1586-1617)


The first canonized saint of the New World has one characteristic of all saints—the suffering of opposition—and another characteristic which is more for admiration than for imitation—excessive practice of mortification.

She was born to parents of Spanish descent in Lima, Peru, at a time when South America was in its first century of evangelization. She seems to have taken Catherine of Siena as a model, in spite of the objections and ridicule of parents and friends.

The saints have so great a love of God that what seems bizarre to us, and is indeed sometimes imprudent, is simply a logical carrying out of a conviction that anything that might endanger a loving relationship with God must be rooted out. So, because her beauty was so often admired, Rose used to rub her face with pepper to produce disfiguring blotches. Later, she wore a thick circlet of silver on her head, studded on the inside, like a crown of thorns.

When her parents fell into financial trouble, she worked in the garden all day and sewed at night. Ten years of struggle against her parents began when they tried to make Rose marry. They refused to let her enter a convent, and out of obedience she continued her life of penance and solitude at home as a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. So deep was her desire to live the life of Christ that she spent most of her time at home in solitude.
During the last few years of her life, Rose set up a room in the house where she cared for homeless children, the elderly and the sick. This was a beginning of social services in Peru. Though secluded in life and activity, she was brought to the attention of Inquisition interrogators, who could only say that she was influenced by grace.

What might have been a merely eccentric life was transfigured from the inside. If we remember some unusual penances, we should also remember the greatest thing about Rose: a love of God so ardent that it withstood ridicule from without, violent temptation and lengthy periods of sickness. When she died at 31, the city turned out for her funeral. Prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.

Virgin, born at Lima, Peru 20 April, 1586; died there 30 August, 1617.St. Rose of Lima is the patroness of Latin America and the Philippines. This South American Saint's real name was Isabel, but she was such a beautiful baby that she was called Rose, and that name remained.

As she grew older, she became more and more beautiful, and one day, her mother put a wreath of flowers on her head to show off her loveliness to friends. But Rose had no desire to be admired, for her heart had been given to Jesus. So she put a long pin into that wreath and it pierced her so deeply, that she had a hard time getting the wreath off afterward. Another time she became afraid that her beauty might be a temptation to someone, since people could not take their eyes off her. Therefore, she rubbed her face with pepper until it was all red and blistered.

St. Rose worked hard to support her poor parents and she humbly obeyed them, except when they tried to get her to marry. That she would not do. Her love of Jesus was so great that when she talked about Him, her face glowed and her eyes sparkled.

Rose had many temptations from the devil, and there were also many times when she had to suffer a feeling of terrible loneliness and sadness, for God

seemed far away. Yet she cheerfully offered all these troubles to Him. In fact, in her last long, painful sickness, this heroic young woman use to pray:

"Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart."

Many miracles followed her death. She was beatified by Clement IX, in 1667, and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, the first American to be so honoured. Her feast is celebrated 30 August. She is represented wearing a crown of roses.
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~ bella

8.16.2009

Thank You For This Blog Award . . . I Am Truly Honored!

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To one of the most spiritual Catholic bloggers on the web, Esther, of "Catholic Mom in Hawaii", I extend my humble gratitude for your kindness and acknowledgement in honoring me through this blog award . . . what can I say, but "WOW"! Mahalo, dear Aloha friend.
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Now I realize that there are a few rules that one must adhere to in their acceptance of a blog award, and so here are a few simple rules for this particular blog award in order to pass on the love to others!

1. Copy the picture above and post it on your blog.
2. Pass it on to who you think who is/are deserving.
3. Leave a message to them.
4. Pass as many as you want.
5. Message back or leave a comment to the owner.

With love and encouragement to carry on the good Word of and works for the Lord, I joyfully pass this award on to the following Catholic blogging friends:

1. Adrienne, of Adrienne's Catholic Corner
2. Squelly in England, of A Dreamer's Day
3. Cam, from A Catholic Harvest

Adrienne said on her blog, " Lovely Bella from La Bella Vita, a fellow Italian, awarded me this from one of her other blogs, Our Beautiful Catholic faith. My only excuse (I'm digging deep here for justification) is I am always so busy copying her wonderful recipes on La Bella, I sometimes miss her other posts.Roz, also known as Bella, has posted her picture on La Bella Vita and we could be sisters. I, of course, hold the title of older and wiser, while Roz would be the younger and prettier. We'll have to draw straws for best cook.Take a moment to stop over and say congrats on her blogoversary today..."

Thanks for the kind comments, Adrienne! You've got a heck of blog too!

Blessings to all,
~ roz

8.14.2009

Blue Ridge Mountains are Truly One of God's Beautiful Masterpieces!

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Our brief trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina has sadly come to a close. I am in continual AWE over the incredible beauty of this great land that we live in. What a blessing to have experienced God's incredible creation! One is truly humbled in the grandeur of these 'blue' mountains! We were in the very northwestern corner of N.C. where Christmas tree farms permeate the landscape, tiny bed and breakfasts and eateries dot the roads, and even fledgling wineries can be seen.
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The temperatures were between 10 to 15 degrees cooler in the mountains than down in the foothills where we have our little acreage. It's so interesting to see how the vegetation, trees, and plants change as the altitude increases. I loved all of the different kinds of evergreen trees. The residents, whether rich, poor, or somewhere in between, all take great pride in their landscaping with so many flower gardens! Landscaping, stone businesses, and nurseries are big business up there! All which keep the area so quaint and inviting for an escape from daily mania. Now I understand why so MANY folks from Florida have second homes there.
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It really was a clear day when we hiked this enormous mountain, but part of the intrigue of the Blue Ridge mountains is the constant levels of 'haze'. A super camera, I do not own, so the pictures from my trusty little digital will have to suffice to capture the scenery. Truly, no camera can do justice this natural beauty anyway!
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Blue grass music being picked and sung on the back porch of the Old Mast General Store.
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On the way back down the mountains into South Carolina we bought a couple of baskets of Carolina peaches that are so sweet and perfect right now, that when you bite into one, the juice just pours down your chin and neck....napkins are required! So that's where I'm going to pick back up again in the kitchen. . .
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that is . . . AFTER I prep enough for my classes which resume next week (advising and meetings are first in order).
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It's so nice to be back blogging and chatting again with you! I'm really looking foward to getting a good discussion going again on our beautiful Catholic Faith!
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Blessings,
~ roz

7.10.2009

I Have Not Posted In A While, But Am Thinking And Praying For Each Of You!

Hello My Dear Friends In Christ,

I am so sorry that I have not posted in nearly one month; I've been teaching summer school and then just simply catching up with everything on the acreage now that I have been out of school on July 1st. So I promise you that I have not forgotten my Catholic blog, nor any of you, and I just wanted you to know that I ask our Lord to bless each of you this summer season!

Blessings to each of you,

~ bella

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6.12.2009

Prayers for Catholics Who Love Nature, Gardening & Rural Life!




Dear Friends In Christ,



Here are a few more prayers that I found on ConservationCatholic on the web for those of you like-minded/soul folks who, like me, believe that God's natural creation is a blessing given to us and who also believe in being 'stewards' who care for God's beautiful natural creation for us! Please know that the source that I found these beautiful Catholic prayers is ConservationCatholic.org.


Prayer on Contemplating Nature

You, O God, Majestic Creator, are the origin of all life.
Nothing can exclude itself from your creative influence.
You are wonderful in your words and in your sovereignty.
Amazed, I contemplate the perfection of the world
you created for human beings.
You are unmatched in your power and in your goodness.
O Lord, you direct like a conductor the orchestration of a storm,
and you shape like a sculptor the petals of a flower.
You are prodigious in your majesty and in your wisdom.
Lord, you have fashioned human beings to accept

the challenges of nature and to be your voice in creation.
O Lord and King, Majestic Creator,

you have made your mystery transparent,
in the world you have created.
I worship you in your creation and in your providence.
Amen.


.From Prayers of Blessing and Praise for All Occasions, 1987, Hugo Schlesinger & Humberto Porto.



Blessings of Fields and Gardens

Let us together praise the Lord,
from whom we have rain from the heavens
and abundance from the earth.
Blessed be God now and for ever.

Let us bless God,

whose might has created the earth
and whose providence has enriched it.
God has given us the earth to cultivate,
so that we may gather its fruits to sustain life.
As we thank God for this bounty,
let us learn also, as the Gospel teaches,
to seek first God's way of holiness:
then all we need will be given us besides.
O God,
from the very beginning of time
you commanded the earth to bring forth vegetation
and every fruit of every kind.
You provide the sower with seed and give bread to eat.
Grant, we pray, that this land,
enriched by your bounty and cultivated by human hands,
may be fertile with abundant crops.
Then your people, enriched by the gifts of your goodness,
will praise you unceasingly now and for all ages unending.

From Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers. Contains excerpts from the English translation of Book of Blessings, 1988, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc.

The Lord has bestowed the fruits of the earth
for the benefit of all the world's people.
May we share with all in need
and so be good stewards of God's earth and its abundance.
We remember the words Mary speaks
in the Gospel story of the visitation:
"The hungry He has filled with good things."


Praise in Creation
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things --
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced -- fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

To Christ, King of the Universe
O Christ Jesus, I acknowledge You King of the Universe.
All that has been created has been made for You.
Exercise upon me all Your rights.
I renew my baptismal promises renouncing Satan and all his works.
I promise to lead a good Christian life and to do all in my power to procure the triumph of the rights of God and Your Church.
Divine Heart of Jesus,
I offer You my poor actions
in order to obtain that all hearts may acknowledge
Your sacred royalty
and that thus the reign of Your peace
may be established throughout the universe.
Amen.

Blessings on your gardens, rural acreages and/or farmlands!

~ bella


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6.11.2009

It's Gardening Time: Catholic Prayers for Gardeners!

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My Dear Friends in Christ,
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Gardening is simply one of my greatest passions in life. I feel so grateful to our Lord for the simple blessings of beauty in both my flower and vegetable gardens and the ability to live out our dream of living on a country acreage . . . for His little piece of paradise that we lovingly call "La Bella Vita", the beautiful life (in Italian). Each and every time I am in the gardens, I feel so happy and so grateful. Besides being next to the horses, it is when I feel the most taken away from the stresses and worries of every day life.

I found the following beautiful Catholic prayers for gardeners and those who live a rural, country life on the Web today and wanted to share them with you. The e-source that I found these prayers is ConservationCatholic.com for your perusal.

The photos are all from my flower garden beds.

May God bless you and your gardens this year!
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Mother Earth
by St. Francis of Assisi

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfolds rich blessing on our way,
O praise God! Alleluia!
The fruits and flowers that verdant grow,
Let them his praise abundant show.
O praise God, O praise God,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
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Prayer of the Christian Farmer (or Gardener)

O God, Source and Giver of all things,
Who manifests Your infinite majesty, power and goodness
in the earth about us, we give You honor and glory.
For the sun and rain, for the manifold fruits of our fields,
for the increase of our herds and flocks we thank You.
For the enrichment of our souls with divine grace,
we are grateful.
Supreme Lord of the harvest,
graciously accept us and the fruits of our toil,
in union with Christ Your Son, as atonement for our sins,
for the growth of Your Church,
for peace and charity in our homes,
for salvation to all.
Amen.

Prayer Source: Novena in Honor of St. Isidore: Patron of Farmers by National Catholic Rural Life Conference, National Catholic Rural Life Conference.
Any farmer or city gardener will find this a beautiful prayer.

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Prayer of a Rural Family

Wise and compassionate God, accept this our prayer;

Sheltered from storm and darkness, under this roof,

This family kneels to adore You.

For the day just past,

For keeping us safely, body and soul,

Now we most humbly Thank You.

For hilltops and verdure,

For sunlight and wind and boundless space,

For rain and sky's rich color,

For boughs and blossoms and cold clean snow,

We are eternally grateful.

For birds and beasts,

For the good black earth and the seeds producing

The plenteous harvest; for times without number

When we have eaten of that same harvest,

We thank You and bless You forever.

Deliver us safely, if such be Your will,

From deluge and drought,

From famine and war and disaster.

Give us tomorrow, as yesterday and today.

All things most needed for rightful living;

And move our hearts that we may have sorrow

For sinning against You.

God of the hearth and the harvest,

Your children, here kneeling, adore You.

Bless now our rest

And cherish us safe till the morrow.

Amen.

Prayer Source: Novena in Honor of St. Isidore: Patron of Farmers by National Catholic Rural Life Conference, National Catholic Rural Life Conference
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Blessings to you this beautiful springtime of year!

~ bella
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6.07.2009

Praying Rosary For My Father's Cancer Radiation Treatments

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My Dear Friends in Christ,

I apologize if I have not blogged for a week or so, but I have begun teaching summer school classes, adopted two new horses, have been gardening and harvesting, and have had my father's health on mind as well. After his first two weeks of radiation, he is in much less pain and the treatment appears to be working positively! Praise Our Lord!
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I have added his health to my rosary petitions and if you are reading this, I humbly ask that you add just a second of a thought in your rosary petitions for him as well. We all know the tremendous power of PRAYER!
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I hope that you are having a blessed day!
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Blessings,
~ bella

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5.25.2009

Prayers for the Dead on Memorial Day - Honoring our Loved Ones Who Have Passed Away &/Or Died For America

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My Dear Friends in Christ,

Today is a special day in that we, Americans, remember, recall, honor, and pray for our loved ones who have passed away, and for those who have sacrificed their lives for America and her values.

I am unable to visit any of the graves of my deceased relatives because I simply live so far away from the Midwestern state of Iowa where I was born and raised and where both my husband's and my relatives are laid to rest. I am very sad about this reality, but I know that prayer is powerful no matter WHERE it takes place.

Who do you remember today? Do you remember who died for us in WWI? in WWII? in any other war, including the devastating war that we are currently engaged in?

There was no one who died in any war in my immediate family, however, I do know that one of my relatives in Italy stood up to Mussolini's Fascist soldiers in his tiny village, REFUSING TO MAKE AN ALLEGIANCE TO FASCISM and NAZISM. He was placed along a wall and SHOT TO DEATH for his position on democracy and freedom in Italy. What an incredible level of strength in the face of extreme adversity! His Catholic faith and love of our Lord will hopefully redeem him in his ultimate sacrifice of personal life!

Let us always remember: FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!


I googled the web to find some Catholic prayers for the deceased for today's post for Memorial Day. I have found the following on Catholic Evangelism.com

Catholic Prayers for the Dead

O loving God . . .
I pray you to welcome my deceased family,friends, loved ones into heaven with you. Forgive them their sins and reward them their goodness.
Grant that I may be with them again in your Peaceful presence.
Amen.

O God our Father,Creator of all the living,
we entrust to Your gentle care all those we love who have gone before us;
and have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

O God, Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful,
grant to the souls of our departed loved ones,
the remission of all their sins,
that by means of our pious supplications,
they may obtain the joy of heaven which they have earnestly desired.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Let us Pray:

Merciful Father, hear our prayer and console us.
As we renew our faith in your Son,whom you raised from the dead,
strengthen our hope that all of our departed brothers and sisters
will share in his resurrection,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

blessings today and always,
~ bella

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5.24.2009

God's Glory in Springtime!

Hello my Dear Friends in Christ,
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God's gift of beauty in nature is popping up all around me here on the acreage this Spring. We have been so blessed with weekly rains this year and there is hope that the 3-year long drought that has gripped the area is ending (at least for this spring anyway). I just had to go outside with my camera and capture some of the glory of spring. I hope you enjoy what I photographed on my nature walk:
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azaleas and hostas shimmering in the sun

sun dappled shade on this lime-colored hosta


mama bird lovingly protecting her babies in her nest

tender bleeding hearts growing in the shade

a magnificent throat of a stargazer lily

the beauty of dogwoods

brilliant blue columbine

brilliant azaleas

the birdbath to welcome our feathery friends among the hostas

proud and stately foxglove

. . . and finally, a perfect old fashioned rose for all of my blogging friends!
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Blessings, and wishes for a lovely spring for you too,
~ bella
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First Holy Communion for My God Daughter

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Holy Card Image from Holy Reflections
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Hello my dear friends in Christ,
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This month my family and I celebrated a most holy and special occasion: The First Holy Communion of Ashleigh, my Godchild. It was a most beautiful and sacred event in our lives and we are so delighted for her ability to now receive the Eucharist - "the source and summit" of the Catholic Church.
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Thank you Lord for the precious gift of Yourself that we are invited to receive each and every day of our lives as Catholics.
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Holy Card Image from Holy Reflections
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I found this lovely prayer on CatholicOnline.com:

A Prayer for those who are preparing Children for their First Holy Communion


O Jesus,
who hast loved us with such exceeding great love
as to give us the ineffable gift of the Holy Eucharist,
inflame us with a burning zeal to promote Thy glory
by preparing worthily the little children
who are to approach Thy holy table for the first time.
Protect, O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
these young souls from the assaults of evil,
strengthen their faith,
increase their love and
endow them with all the virtues that will make them worthy to receive Thee.
Amen.

Blessings,
~ bella
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