Catholic Beliefs About Sin: The Seven Deadly Sins PLUS The NEW Seven Deadly Sins

Holy Card Image re-printed with loving permission for "Holy Cards for Your Inspiration" blog

Hello Dear Friends,

A few days ago, I posted on Catholic's belief in living a virtuous life. And as we all know, we are imperfect human beings born with the original sin of our first parents. Despite our Baptism, we continue to sin and offend our Lord each and every day. We just do! Even St. Paul said that he does what he knows he should not do . . . it's the power of evil and of the flesh. There are some people who don't even know what is considered sin against God . . . so here are some basics. Thankfully, Catholics have a special Sacrament, a treasure of the Catholic Church, that we have that will help us return to a better state of grace with God. Catholics also believe that before receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist, we must have repented our sins to a priest. Catholics are not to be in a state of mortal sin when receiving Holy Communion.

Not only are we to obey The Ten Commandments (which include the serious sins that we should avoid, such as "Thou Shalt Not Kill"), these are considered to be mimimum requirements for our salvation.
The Catholic Church believes that sin is any willful thought, desire, word, action or ommission forbidden by the law of God.


PRIDE: Unrestrained appreciation of our own worth.
GREED: Immoderate desire for earthly goods.
LUST: Desiring for impure pleasures.
ANGER: Inordinate desire for revenge.
GLUTTONY: Unrestrained use of food and drink.
ENVY: Sorrow over another's good fortune.
SLOTH: Laxity in keeping the Faith and the practice of virtue, due to the effort involved.

Each of the 7 deadly sins have virtue that act as remedies against the deadly sins and helps us conquer them. Therefore we should do everything that we can to make the virtues an integral part of our life.

Pride is conquered by Humility and Modesty
Envy is overcome by Kindness and Charity
Lust is conquered by Chastity and Purity
Wrath is avoided by Patience and Meekness
Gluttony is overcome by Abstinence and Moderation
Greed is conquered by Generosity
Sloth is avoided by Diligence and Zeal


Willful murder (including abortion)
The sin of Sodom.
Oppression of the poor.
Defrauding laborers of their wages.


Presumption of God's mercy.
Impugning the known truth.
Envy at another's spiritual good.
Obstinacy in sin.
Final impenitence.


By counsel.
By command.
By consent.
By provocation.
By praise or flattery.
By concealment.
By partaking.
By silence.
By defense of the ill done

And here are the NEWLY declared Seven Deadly Sins recently proclaimed by Pope Benedict:

These sins makes Catholics consider more seriously than before the results and consequences of their actions on a GLOBAL scale, as our world has become globalized in interaction and connectivity, and as a result there is a global communal impact of our sins. These newly added sins do not eliminate the original seven deadly sins (made famous by Dante in the Purgatorial sufferings of the Divine Comeday) , but rather adds to them. These new sins are:

Genetic modification
Human experimentations
Polluting the environment
Social injustice
Causing poverty
Financial gluttony
Taking drugs

Acknowledgment and avoidance of committing these new deadly sins calls us to consider the communal effect of our sins on others in humanity. The recognition of these sins clearly demonstrates the development of our beautiful Catholic faith as we, Her sheep, practice and spread our Catholic spiritual, moral, and ethical principles into a society, global in scope, with global implications and consequences. One goal of Catholicism is unity and the return of all of our fallen away brothers and sisters; therefore, the avoidance of these sins will help us prevent further division among the world's peoples.

I don't know about you, my friends, but I think that today is a perfect day to conduct an examination of conscience and get to Confession!


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Catholics Believe in VIRTUOUS Living: What Are The Virtues?

Hello My Dear Friends in Christ,

The following verse from the Bible is always recited in my college women's fraternity pledge:

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phil 4:8.63

And that verse should always lead us to think about The Virtues and how to live a virtuous life as a Catholic. The Catholic Catechism states that:

"A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions. The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God."

If you have been with me since I began this little blog of a blog, you'd know that I started it for numerous reasons, one of which is to strengthen my Catholic faith and in so doing, share my thoughts and insights with fellow like-minded and -souled sojourners on their pathes as well.

Lately, I have been thinking about the Virtues and found a lot of valuable information to help me and each of us. The source is the Catechism of The Catholic Church and is summized as follows:



Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good. The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.

The Cardinal Virtues

Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called "cardinal"; all the others are grouped around them. They are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. "If anyone loves righteousness, [Wisdom's] labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice, and courage." 64
These virtues are praised under other names in many passages of Scripture.

Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; "the prudent man looks where he is going."65
"Keep sane and sober for your prayers."66
Prudence is "right reason in action," writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle.67
It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid.

Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. "You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor."68
"Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven."69
Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. "The Lord is my strength and my song."70
"In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."71

Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: "Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart."72
Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: "Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites."73
In the New Testament it is called "moderation" or "sobriety." We ought "to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world."74
To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul and with all one's efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude). It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).75

The Virtues and Grace

Human virtues acquired by education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever-renewed in repeated efforts are purified and elevated by divine grace. With God's help, they forge character and give facility in the practice of the good. The virtuous man is happy to practice them.

It is not easy for man, wounded by sin, to maintain moral balance. Christ's gift of salvation offers us the grace necessary to persevere in the pursuit of the virtues. Everyone should always ask for this grace of light and strength, frequent the sacraments, cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and follow his calls to love what is good and shun evil.


The human virtues are rooted in the theological virtues, which adapt man's faculties for participation in the divine nature:76
for the theological virtues relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have the One and Triune God for their origin, motive, and object.

The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.77


Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God."78
For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will. "The righteous shall live by faith." Living faith "work[s] through charity."79
1815 The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it.80
But "faith apart from works is dead":81
when it is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.

The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it: "All however must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way of the Cross, amidst the persecutions which the Church never lacks."82
Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation: "So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."83


Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."84
"The Holy Spirit . . . he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life."85

The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men's activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.

Christian hope takes up and fulfills the hope of the chosen people which has its origin and model in the hope of Abraham, who was blessed abundantly by the promises of God fulfilled in Isaac, and who was purified by the test of the sacrifice.86
"Hoping against hope, he believed, and thus became the father of many nations."87

Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus' preaching in the proclamation of the beatitudes. The beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the disciples of Jesus. But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion, God keeps us in the "hope that does not disappoint."88
Hope is the "sure and steadfast anchor of the soul . . . that enters . . . where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf."89
Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation: "Let us . . . put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation."90
It affords us joy even under trial: "Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation."91
Hope is expressed and nourished in prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything that hope leads us to desire.

We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will.92
In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere "to the end"93
and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for "all men to be saved."94
She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:
Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.95


Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

Jesus makes charity the new commandment.96 By loving his own "to the end,"97
he makes manifest the Father's love which he receives. By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus which they themselves receive. Whence Jesus says: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love." And again: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."98

Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and his Christ: "Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love."99

Christ died out of love for us, while we were still "enemies."100
The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself.101
The Apostle Paul has given an incomparable depiction of charity: "charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."102
"If I . . . have not charity," says the Apostle, "I am nothing." Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, "if I . . . have not charity, I gain nothing."103
Charity is superior to all the virtues. It is the first of the theological virtues: "So faith, hope, charity abide, these three. But the greatest of these is charity."104

The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which "binds everything together in perfect harmony";105
it is the form of the virtues; it articulates and orders them among themselves; it is the source and the goal of their Christian practice. Charity upholds and purifies our human ability to love, and raises it to the supernatural perfection of divine love.

The practice of the moral life animated by charity gives to the Christian the spiritual freedom of the children of God. He no longer stands before God as a slave, in servile fear, or as a mercenary looking for wages, but as a son responding to the love of him who "first loved us":106
If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves. If we pursue the enticement of wages, . . . we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for the sake of the good itself and out of love for him who commands . . . we are in the position of children.107

The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion: Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.108


The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David.109
They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.
Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.110
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.111

The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity."112

In Summary:
  • Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good.
  • The human virtues are stable dispositions of the intellect and the will that govern our acts, order our passions, and guide our conduct in accordance with reason and faith.
  • They can be grouped around the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.
  • Prudence disposes the practical reason to discern, in every circumstance, our true good and to choose the right means for achieving it.
  • Justice consists in the firm and constant will to give God and neighbor their due.
  • Fortitude ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.
  • Temperance moderates the attraction of the pleasures of the senses and provides balance in the use of created goods.
  • The moral virtues grow through education, deliberate acts, and perseverance in struggle. Divine grace purifies and elevates them.
  • The theological virtues dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have God for their origin, their motive, and their object - God known by faith, God hoped in and loved for his own sake.
  • There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. They inform all the moral virtues and give life to them.
  • By faith, we believe in God and believe all that he has revealed to us and that Holy Church proposes for our belief.
  • By hope we desire, and with steadfast trust await from God, eternal life and the graces to merit it.
  • By charity, we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for love of God. Charity, the form of all the virtues, "binds everything together in perfect harmony" (Col 3:14).
  • The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon Christians are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

References from the C.C.C.:

St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus, 1:PG 44,1200D.64 Wis 8:7.65 Prov 14:15.66 1 Pet 4:7.67 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,47,2.68 Lev 19:15.69 Col 4:1.70 Ps 118:14.71 Jn 16:33.72 Sir 5:2; cf. 37:27-31.73 Sir 18:30.74 Titus 2:12.75 St. Augustine, De moribus eccl. 1,25,46:PL 32,1330-1331.76 Cf. 2 Pet 1:4.77 Cf. 1 Cor 13:13.78 DV 5.79 Rom 1:17; Gal 5:6.80 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545.81 Jas 2:26.82 LG 42; cf. DH 14.83 Mt 10:32-33.84 Heb 10:23.85 Titus 3:6-7.86 Cf. Gen 17:4-8; 22:1-18.87 Rom 4:18.88 Rom 5:5.89 Heb 6:19-20.90 1 Thess 5:8.91 Rom 12:12.92 Cf. Rom 8:28-30; Mt 7:21.93 Mt 10:22; cf. Council of Trent: DS 1541.94 1 Tim 2:4.95 St. Teresa of Avila, Excl. 15:3.96 Cf. Jn 13:34.97 Jn 13:1.98 Jn 15:9,12.99 Jn 15:9-10; cf. Mt 22:40; Rom 13:8-10.100 Rom 5:10.101 Cf. Mt 5:44; Lk 10:27-37; Mk 9:37; Mt 25:40, 45.102 1 Cor 13:4-7.103 1 Cor 13:1-4.104 1 Cor 13:13.105 Col 3:14.106 Cf. 1 Jn 4:19.107 St. Basil, Reg. fus. tract., prol. 3:PG 31,896B.108 St. Augustine, In ep. Jo. 10,4:PL 35,2057.109 Cf. Isa 11:1-2.110 Ps 143:10.111 Rom 8:14,17.112 Gal 5:22-23 (Vulg.).


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Father Corapi on EWTN @ 1:00 PM Today, January 26th

Hello My Dear Friends in Christ,

Just a quick note to remind others that Father Corapi's show is at 1:00 PM today. Many of you have written to me that you enjoy his messages and so I just wanted to remind those who might be reading that his program on EWTN is on soon.

I am anxious to learn more about our beautiful Catholic faith from Father Corapi today.

~ Bella

(photo from www.fathercorapi.com)

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Pope Benedict ENDORSES Use of Internet for Apostolic Spreading of the Gospel and Communion & Friendship with Others

Hello Dear Friends in Christ,

Along with the wonderful announcement that this beautiful Southern state will receive a new bishop, the Holy Father announced yesterday that he fully approves of social networks and the Internet to spread the Gospel of the Lord. Yet, our Holy Father warns us against ignoring of the presence of human beings in our midst for the sake of use in the Internet forum for communication.

Our Holy Pontiff states that we use this modern means, for the sake of Christ's LOVE, that we witness with enthusiasm, the Good News of our Catholic Faith and God's LOVE with our friends and family. This is so incredibly AWESOME!!!

Please click on the following link to read further information from Catholic Culture.org:


To me, this is WONDERFUL and WELCOME news, because I believe, as does the Catholic Church, that God blessed humankind with tremendous mental abilities to develop the means to improve our human lives in a postive way (and with Free Will, there are far too many humans who use their mental abilities to HARM our lives)! These human mental abilities have now included the development and refinement of the World Wide Web (www), the Internet, the Web, whatever you choose to call this modern day contemporary technology.

And dear friends for your new information and to add to your "Web-Site Favorites" on the Web, here is the Vatican's new web-site on YouTube which will surely provide us with inspirational, educational, and evangelical visual information for the Holy Roman Catholic Church, directly FROM ROME and from the HOLY FATHER, Pope Benedict!

Please click on the following link to watch the videos from the Vatican in Rome, Italy:


The beauty of this medium, that I personally have found, is a simple, yet INSTANTANEOUS and recent connection that I have made with two faithful Catholics in ENGLAND!!! Over the last two years, I have developed such a concern for the re-conversion of the Anglican English people to return back home to Catholicism after the heresy of Henry the VIII, Martin Luther and the simultaneous Protestant Reformation of parts of Europe . . . and ALSO for the continuing strength of British Catholics who have undergone so much persecution since the realm of Henry VIII. I have prayed and continue to pray for God's people in England AND Europe as a whole . . . and this medium of the Internet has miraculously helped me connect to those overseas to understand their position and their Faith journey's progress.

God Bless You All no matter where you live on this planet!

~ Bella

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NEW BISHOP for South Carolina and The Diocese of Charleston

Bishop - elect for the Diocese of Charleston, SC, Robert Guglielmone

Dear Friends in Christ!

I know that FOR CERTAIN that God's Hand is ON THIS BLOG! WHY? Because all day long, I have been wondering about what Catholic faith-based topic to chat about today with you. I chose to blog on my foodie blog for awhile and to do most of my weekend household chores while I thought about it.

Then after getting dinner ready, I sat down to watch the nightly news with W.D. and God gave us this awesome news! THIS IS WHAT HE WANTED ME TO POST!!!

This news was just announced on our local nightly news moments ago!

The statewide Diocese of Charleston (the one and only Diocese) in South Carolina and the Vatican in Rome, Italy have just announced our NEW BISHOP! Our former bishop, Robert Baker, who officiated both of my children's Confirmations, was transferred to Alabama in October, 2007, so I have been anxiously awaiting to learn of his replacement.

Robert E. Guglielmone, from Rockville Center, New York will be ordained as our one and only S.C. bishop on March 25th in Charleston, S.C. at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. He will lead approximately 183,000 Roman Catholics in the state of South Carolina.

Guglielmone is a 63 year old native of New York. I would say that from his name, it sounds like he is also Italian! We need more Italians in South Carolina!!

“I must admit that I am a bit anxious about leaving Long Island where I have spent almost my whole life,” Guglielmone said as he was introduced in Charleston. “However, I do trust in the Lord and am very encouraged by the wonderful sense of Southern hospitality I have already experienced.”

He will be the 13th bishop for the Diocese of Charleston since it was established in 1820.

“I am both humbled and grateful that his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI would entrust this awesome ministry to me,” Guglielmone said.

A diocese representative stated that “For a year and a half, we have been praying for you as we awaited news of the appointment of a new shepherd for the Church of Charleston. As the Good Shepherd cares for his sheep, so we know you will care for the church God has entrusted to you.”

For more information please click on the following link:


More on this wonderful news later!

Blessings & a very sincere BENVENUTO ("welcome" in Italian) to SOUTH CAROLINA!

~ Bella

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Another Catholic Blogger's Thoughts on The Inauguration

Holy Card Image from "Holy Cards for Your Inspiration" blog

Hello my dear friends in Christ,

I am always amazed and impressed with the wonderful and insightful thoughts of my fellow Catholic bloggers. I found a new blog "Momopoly" on the day of the Inauguration and I've added to my side bar due to her interesting writing. With that said and with her permission to re-post here on my blog, I share with you her thoughts on the Inauguration, which I so agree with. Thanks and blessings to Kate for her generosity in sharing. ~ Bella

" . . . I'll share a few thoughts on my overall impression. . . .The speech was inspiring. President Obama has always been eloquent. I'm not ever going to argue with that. He comes off as intelligent, propitious, and presidential. Of course, he promised a utopia. But I'm not going to fault him on that. That's what politicians do, especially during fluff speeches like an inauguration address. It's part of the job description - to give Americans something to believe in, a leader to believe in.And I do still believe in America, even though I don't agree with many of the changes the President and the new administration want to push forward as we begin this new chapter in our country.

Yet, as the cameras panned over a series of red-white-and-blue flags blowing in what I imagine was a bitter wind, a lump grew in my throat and it wasn't the result of the hormonal cocktail pregnancy serves up inside of me. It's cliche; it's sappy, but I'm proud to be an American. Very proud. And I feel more than a little blessed to be a citizen of this great nation. I certainly agreed with President Obama when he said we must return to the truths of our founding fathers, that we must remember the God-given promises that all are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. . . .

As President Obama encouraged, "The world is changing, and we must change with it." I hope the administration will heed these words of wisdom. What rang the most true to me is when the President said in the beginning of his speech that, "We have chosen hope instead of fear."
Whether you agree with President Obama or not, he is our 44th president. The torch has been passed.
We have a new administration.

Our government and individual citizens face new challenges. A lot of Americans are coping with uncertain economic times. We have troops defending our freedom and the freedom of all peoples overseas. There's a lot happening in our homeland and abroad. There's also something big happening this Thursday, and I couldn't help but be reminded of it during our new President's speech. Two days from now a much smaller crowd than the 1.5 million gathered today will be hitting the pavement, bearing the cold, and preparing to defend the life of the unborn. These people come from all walks of life - old and young, men and women. Some are religious; others are not (I've always believed that abortion is at its core a human rights issue, not a religious one). But they all will be joined together in mourning the "slaughtering of innocents" . . . . These people will come together at our nation's capital to
March for Life, to fix their eyes on hope rather than the fear that President Obama will move forward with his promises to broaden abortion rights. . . I can't be there on Thursday, but my prayers will be marching heavenward. On all fronts - from pro-life issues to war and peace - I believe we must all do as President Obama urges Americans to do: We must choose hope over fear.God bless America."

A Prayer for Government
a handful of courageous men in a moment of danger
pledged their lives, fortunes and honor to proclaim a nation
whose citizens’ rights were based, not upon the nod of kingor ruler,
but upon creation at Your hands.
Grant to our administration a ministry of service to all, not the few.
To our Congress, the upholding of public interest
not merely a welter of competingprivate claims.
To our judiciary, a wisdom in interpreting law
grounded in principle, not expediency.
Pour Your Spirit out upon our people
so that they may become active in the affairs of government
that they may not confuse dissent for disloyalty
that they may use their mighty power for
the healing of differences among nations with justice and mercy and love.

Source: American Catholic; excerpted from: Catholic Prayers for Every Day and All Day, St. Anthony Messenger Press

Until our next visit, have a blessed day focused on our Lord!

~ Bella

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May God Bless America!

Greetings to my friends in Christ,

What an outstanding day we have experienced today in the United States of America! What an awesome country we live in! What an incredible display of grace and elegance in pageantry; a dignified and peaceful transfer of power witnessed throughout the entire world.

I know that today my prayers are fervently focused on asking for God's grace in divinely guiding the development of successful policies by our new President Obama and his administration for helping our great country and the American people: primarily to understand the extreme atrocity of abortion and the Culture of Death in today's society, to stimulate and strengthen this weak economy for the sake of those people who have and are losing their homes, who are unable to pay for their necessary medications, nutritious food, and utilities, who are unable to have proper health care, to purchase simple basic needs, and last, but certainly not least in this huge list of issues, to engage in diplomatic measures to bring peace in our world. A tall order, yes, but with God all things are possible.

No matter how you voted, please pray for President Obama and ALL of our local, state, and nationally elected representatives. Please begin, if you have not already done so, to start writing to your representatives about the key issues, rather than passively watching the results of their decisions in policy-making.

One other thought: Let's all collectively join in taking continual responsibility for making this such a great country to live in, let's give more, serve more, be less selfish and self-centered. This is the way our Lord lived and that which we should emulate as Catholics, Christians, Americans, and as human beings. Let's encourage people to stop whining and to engage, rather, in helping to bring about solutions and not more problems. Let's mature more deeply in our Catholic faith and as a result we'll naturally 'grow up' in our everyday lives, including our civic responsibilities.

~ Bella
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Prayer to My Guardian Angel

(Holy Card image re-printed with LOVING permission from "Holy Cards for Your Inspiration" blog http://thewindowshowsitall.blogspot.com)

Hello my dear friends in Christ,

How many of you remember this precious prayer that we were taught as children and that we used to pray in our bedtime prayers. With last week's "Miracle on the Hudson" plane accident and all passengers on board's survival, I think that there just might have been not only God's miraculous hand at work, but quite possibly there was a grand assistance of loving guardian angels. I know that I need to thank my guardian angel constantly for his/her protection!

Prayer to My Guardian Angel
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this day, be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
I hope that you have a pleasant evening wherever you are!
~ Bella
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Beginning a New Semester of Teaching: In Honor of St. Thomas Acquinas - Patron Saint of Universities & Students

My dear friends in Christ,

I have just completed the first week of the spring semester at the university where I teach and I felt compelled to re-publish a previous post of mine regarding the upcoming celebratory day in which we honor St. Thomas Aquinas, one of our patron saints of universities, teachers, and education. I pray that he and all the saints intercede to our Lord to help me and all educators in our efforts and endeavors of our vocation to educate and help His children here on earth.

January 28th - Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas

Priest, doctor of the Church, patron saint of all universities and students.
Author of Summa Theologica (unfinished).

St Thomas Aquinas: Prayer for Guidance

O creator past all telling,
you have appointed from the treasures of your wisdom
the hierarchies of angels,
disposing them in wondrous order above the bright heavens,
and have so beautifully set out all parts of the universe.
You we call the true fount of wisdom and the noble origin of all things.
Be pleased to shed on the darkness of mind in which I was born,
The twofold beam of your light and warmth to dispel my ignorance and sin.
You make eloquent the tongues of children.
Then instruct my speech and touch my lips with graciousness.
Make me keen to understand, quick to learn,able to remember;
make me delicate to interpret and ready to speak.
Guide my going in and going forward,
lead home my going forth.
You are true God and true man,
and live for ever and ever.

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5

A Student's Prayer

Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.
Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.
Give me a keen understanding,a retentive memory,
and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally.
Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations
and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm.
Point out the beginning,direct the progress,and help in the completion.
I ask this through Christ our Lord.


St. Thomas Aquinas 1225 - 1274


Humility is Our Weapon in Spiritual Warfare


(Holy Card image re-printed with LOVING permission from "Holy Cards for Your Inspiration" blog http://thewindowshowsitall.blogspot.com)

Hello Dear Friends in Christ,
Today I was so inspired by the message on EWTN by Father Corapi on "HUMILITY", which I know with certainty that I need to remember to try and live by each and every day, as do all children of God.
Father Corapi said that "Humility leads to Holiness which leads to Heaven".
Humility is the opposite of the sin of pride and as Father Corapi said, it leaves the evil one just defenseless when we are humble; he has no way to fight back over our souls when we practice HUMILITY!
I know that for me, at my place of work there is a female colleague who simply degrades me each and every opportunity that she can get, by trying to convince others that she is better than me in 'whatever' is being discussed. Whenever possible, she tries to prove her need to be recognized for work before I get recognized. Her pride is so evident.

So I decided that I would just simply wish her a Happy New Year (the other day) and a great day from there on each and every time I encounter her, rather than debate on the errors of her ways based on her own self pride. It is true, that when I engage in this humble attitude approach, as Father Corapi stated, that the evil one influencing whomever you are encountering is simply at a loss for words or comeback.
Father Corapi also discussed the importance of SERVICE and serving others, rather than the desire for others to serve us! He reminded us that Christ said that HE came to serve and not to be served.

As children of God, we are CALLED to serve our spouses, our children, our Church parish and parishioners, our community, our students (as in my vocation of education), our patients, the poor and the needy, etc. . . . the list is endless regarding the numerous ways in which each of us can SERVE!
Finally, Father Corapi reminded us to NEVER forget that in the end, the LAST will be FIRST and the first will be last! We are going to suffer in our service here on this plane, but oh the reward that our Heavenly Father has for us in Heaven for our loving and HUMBLE service in HIS NAME! And when we meet our Lord at that glorious time, He promises us in His Word in Sacred Scripture that He will be grateful for our work well done . . . oh faithful servants!
Thank you Father Corapi on EWTN for such inspirational and wise words of wisdom that I know that I need to practice in my faith Journey.

How are you serving God first, others next and you last?


Jesus - FIRST
Others - second
You - last

Will give us eternal JOY in paradise with our Lord and Father!
~ Bella
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Prayer for Educators and Students

Patron Saints of Professors, Teachers, and Students

St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas, a doctor of the Catholic Church, is patron saint of all universities and students. His feast day is January 28th. St. Thomas was a highly intelligent student and began teaching and publishing his works at the age of 22. He received his doctorate at age 31 and wrote extensively and brilliantly. St. Thomas wrote his seminary work, "Summa Theologica", but it was left unfinished due to his death. Considered to one of the greatest and most influential theologians of all time, he was canonized in 1323. (reference: CatholicOnline.com)

St. John Cantius

St. John Cantius is a saint from Poland who is not well known among Americans, but after researching him, I discovered that Pope John Paul the Great had a life-long devotion to him. A 'professor' saint, he held a doctorate and was highly dedicated to his students. St. John Cantius always practiced piety with academics and combined religious life with teaching. (http://www.canons-regular.org)

Hello my dear friends in Christ,

Although I realize (and many of you know too) that K through 12th grade's spring semester session began last week, those of us in the university system begin NEXT week. With that said, I just want to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY to our Lord, our Father, and our Lady, and to the Patron Saint of Educators and Students for success for all involved.
A Prayer for Professors, Teachers, and Students

(written by author of "Our Beautiful Catholic Faith" blog -- permission to
copy, reprint, distribute, or use electronically on the Internet is required).

Lord, I ask you in your precious and holy name,
to be an exceptional educator, mentor, and role model to all my students in which I am humbly blessed with this noble and honorable vocation of service of education.

I pray that my students are eager to learn in a respectful
and peaceful manner towards all educators and other students.

I pray that I am able to discern Your will regarding
the development of assignments and exams
that are best for the learning process of my students
and for the fair and accurate assessment of student performance.

Lord, help me to diligently and conscientiously
prepare relevant, challenging, yet interesting lectures
and classroom activities that engage students
in active participation.

I pray most fervently for the ability
to know when to be merciful,
for the ability to provide positive and constructive criticism,
and when to use gentle, but firm discipline when necessary.

Help me, Lord, to continue to use the gift
that you blessed me with to teach, guide, prepare,
and help develop young adult students
in a positive, student-focused environment
in which students can feel safe
to express their diverse thoughts
and opinions for their own educational, personal,
and professional development.


~ Bella

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The Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina)

(Graphic images re-print permission from CatholicTradition.org)

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy.

Hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope!

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve,

To thee do we send our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.

Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us.

And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of they womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God (V).

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ (R).

Amen Amore',


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An Answered Prayer

Hello my dear friends in Christ,
I have wonderful news about my prayers to our Lady that have been partially answered (pain takes time to heal, doesn't it?) If you read my blog post yesterday, you know that my husband and I have been dealing with some painful issues with our two youngest children. I turned to the Blessed Mother for her intercession and prayed the Memorare as well as the Prayer to St. Michael for his intercession. Well, last night our youngest daughter called us. I told her that we loved her and she returned the sentiment. This was a nice start to a little cold war going on in our family.
Rather appropriately, I turned on EWTN yesterday afternoon after doing some housecleaning and Father Corapi's hour was airing. His message was on the reality of the evil one and how spiritual warfare primarily takes place in the family at home. He said if you can win the battles that take place in your home, you can win the war! Wow, did I ever need to hear his messages yesterday. What perfect timing.
So at this time, I just wanted to acknowledge my answered prayers!
Pray, pray, pray! Prayer works!
In His Love,
~ Bella
(graphic images from Catholic Mom in Hawaii blog)
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The Devil is WORKING HARDER to Destroy My Joy - Prayers for Help and Protection

Hello to my dear friends in Christ,

Although it is only the 5th of January, 2009, I have to admit that the Evil One is starting off with a bang in its fight for my soul as I continue on my Catholic spiritual journey of loving Jesus more each day. So many negative things have happened in the last week between Christmas Day and today, that I am simply overwhelmed with tremendous sadness. But isn't that what Satan wants? By blogging today, I hope to get some thoughts out of my human chest and off of my human mind.

First, we are having difficulties with our two youngest children . . . what these difficulties are, I don't think is wise for me to share publicly in the blogosphere, but it is causing extreme pain and even worse, this is what our children want to inflict on us. Satan is winning over their souls at this time. Yet, they have free will to turn away from their behavior and act as our Lord taught us or to continue in their negative path. I will continue to pray for them and offer my suffering up.

Secondly, after our lovely, restful time in Florida for our break from teaching, we returned home to a water-flooded house. The floor and ground-level cabinets are destroyed. Thankfully, we know that these are just material things that can be fixed and/or replaced (with no extra money to do so). They're just going to have to go on the "waiting to do" list! But it still hurts to see what damage the evil one can bring upon you to destroy your Joy. He still does not have mine!

And thirdly, just when I thought that not all was lost, we found our food freezer door open and all of our food was spoiled during our absence. My husband and I prepare much of our food in large batches in order to freeze into smaller portions. What a waste of God's prescious resources that Satan is laughing at us for. Thankfully, we realize that our true nourishment is from our Father and His Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Once again, Satan has lost.

Negative things just seem to be piling on higher and higher lately. Interestinly, I have been doing a lot of listening to Catholic podcasts regarding 'redemptive suffering', and it sure seems that I may be going through some of this at this time. Since good is certainly the outcome of redemptive suffering, then my soul is truly the winner here in this Spiritual Warfare now taking place.

One sure method of strong defense at this time is to turn to the Blessed Mother for comfort. With that said, I will leave you with a beautiful Catholic Marion prayer to Our Lady, that I encourage you to read as well in your own times of trouble:

The Memorare

Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary!
That never was it known

That anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help or sought thy intercession
Was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,

I fly unto Thee!
O Virgin of virgins, My Mother!
To Thee I come before Thee I stand,

Sinful and Sorrowful,
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy,
Hear and answer me.

(The image of Mary above, is from a web-site granting permission to use)
and finally one more powerful Catholic prayer for protection:
Prayer to St. Michael:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;

and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -

by the Divine Power of God -

cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,

who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.


~ Bella

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Epiphany - The Three Wise Men Find & Adore Jesus

Holy Card Image re-printed with loving permission from "Holy Cards for Your Inspiration" blogspot


Hello my dear friends in Christ!
What another beautiful day we celebrate today in our Catholic faith! I keep telling people: Christmas is NOT just a day, but a SEASON and it does not end until Epiphany. But look around and see how many people take down their Christmas wreathes, decorations and Nativity scenes almost the day after Christmas! What a blessing to attend Mass and Christmas when it is still being celebrated!
Do you know that there are even denominations (not Catholic, of course) who do not even have a service on Christmas day? I find it unbelievable that there are people who claim to be Christians, and yet the only thing that they schedule on the day of our Lord's birthday celebration is breakfast/brunch and the opening of presents from each other. Isn't that sad? Well, we can certainly count on the Catholic faith to celebrate Mass, not only on Christmas, but each and every day of the year, and even more than once a day in some parishes. Praise God for this gift!

The baby Jesus that the Three Wise Men (Kings) adored is the SAME JESUS that we Catholics receive in the Eucharist . . . it is our Catholic belief that we are not receiving a simple little wafer of bread for communion, but rather that we are receiving Jesus HIMSELF into our bodies, minds, souls, and hearts. This is a KEY DIFFERENCE between Catholics and non-Catholics.

The Eucharist is not a symbol of Jesus, as it is to non-Catholics . . . the Eucharist IS JESUS, the very SOURCE and SUMMIT of the Holy Roman Catholic Faith. To receive Jesus in the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, a person MUST be Catholic, and be pure of mortal sin by confessing any of these grave sins to a Catholic priest. To receive Jesus in the Eucharist, one must not only be Catholic and free of mortal sin, but also who accepts the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Outside of that, a person is not to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO RECEIVE COMMUNION IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH! Without receiving the Eucharist, Jesus Christ, we are more separated from Him than ever.

The same baby Jesus in the arms of the Blessed Mother in Bethlehem that the Three Wise Men worshipped is the VERY SAME JESUS IN THE TABERNACLE ON THE ALTAR TODAY! Let us go and reverently worship and adore Him, Jesus Christ, when He is exposed in the monstrance during Eucharistic Adoration. Let us genuflect and bow our heads when we enter the Church, before approaching the altar, and before receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus. Come, let us ADORE HIM! Here is another gift of the Eucharist: Jesus, in the Eucharist, is NOT IN ANY OTHER CHURCH! There are no other altars and tabernacles! Why, because non-Catholics do not believe that Christ is present in a piece of bread that is passed around by members to each other once a month or so. In non-Catholic denominations, there is NO TRANSUBSTANTIATION by a priest who has had hands laid down upon him through apostolic succession all the way back to St. Peter!

When you stop and contemplate these fundamental, key differences for Catholics, it causes us to be in AWE, it causes us to be GRATEFUL, to be full of JOY that we alone are in the FULLNESS of Christ's Catholic Church!

In "In Conversation With God" Francis Fernandez states that Epiphany "reminds us that we should use every available means to bring our friends, relatives, and colleagues close to Jesus." Remember that the Three Wise Men returned to their own native countries to spread the Good News. How many people do you know that have left this beautiful Catholic faith due to ignorance and lack of full knowledge of the faith, and that need to be brought back to the faith that they lost? I know several in my family alone. My two adult children are not fully practicing Catholics. Partly because I did not know my faith well enough as a cradle Catholic myself . . . a product of the 60's and 70's. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and God's perfect grace, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that my Heavenly Father and my Lord have brought me back HOME TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH! Thus I continue to pray my rosary to Our Lady to intercede and present to her Son, my petitions for my childrens' full return to the practice of the Catholic faith and not simply the attendance of Mass on Christmas and Easter. These are some of my sufferings that I need to offer up also.

So my friends, let us follow the Magi in adoring our Savior and sing Him praise, "We adore you, O Jesus, and we worship you!"


~ Bella

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