ST. BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS-BOOK LOVERS-ELVIS
2 Kings, Chapter 1, Verse 15
When God’s messenger comes you would be wise to listen. We are told that the messenger to Elijah was an angel. We are not told more but I would imagine that most likely it was his guardian angel. Listening to and asking your guardian angel to assist you in accomplishing God’s will is wise.
According to Saint Jerome, the concept of guardian angels is in the "mind of the Church". He stated: "how great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it".
The first Christian theologian to outline a specific scheme for guardian angels was Honorius of Autun in the 12th century. He said that every soul was assigned a guardian angel the moment it was put into a body. Scholastic theologians augmented and ordered the taxonomy of angelic guardians. Thomas Aquinas agreed with Honorius and believed that it was the lowest order of angels who served as guardians, and his view was most successful in popular thought, but Duns Scotus said that any angel is bound by duty and obedience to the Divine Authority to accept the mission to which that angel is assigned. In the 15th century, the Feast of the Guardian Angels was added to the official calendar of Catholic holidays.
In his March 31, 1997, Regina Caeli address, Pope Saint John Paul II referred to the concept of guardian angel and concluded the address with the statement: "Let us invoke the Queen of angels and saints, that she may grant us, supported by our guardian angels, to be authentic witnesses to the Lord's paschal mystery".
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was fourteen, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her Baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Born into a prominent Jewish family in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), Edith abandoned Judaism in her teens. As a student at the University of Gottingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology, an approach to philosophy. Excelling as a protege of Edmund Husserl, one of the leading phenomenologists, Edith earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1916. She continued as a university teacher until 1922 when she moved to a Dominican school in Speyer; her appointment as lecturer at the Educational Institute of Munich ended under pressure from the Nazis. After living in the Cologne Carmel (1934-1938), she moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands. The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.
Things to Do:
· In the month of August, we celebrate two martyrs of Auschwitz, St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Teresa Benedicta. We need to pray, hard and often that our world does not return to the inhumanity to man. The acceptance of euthanasia and abortion, embryonic stem cell research, IVF, are the first steps to deciding who can live or who can die. Offer a Mass, say a rosary, offer sacrifices, etc. to end abortion and other sins against mankind. Read about Auschwitz and ponder the modern gas chambers in every state of our Union and resolve to do all that you can to end the killing.
· Read more about Edith Stein at this site.
· To teach the children more about this saint, discuss topics such as these at age-appropriate levels:
1. Definition of a martyr.
2. Discussion of the Jews as our older brothers and sisters in the Faith. In the Eucharistic Prayer I (the Roman Canon) we refer to "Abraham, our father in faith."
3. Discussion of the call of Truth, its claim on us, despite the cost.
4. Edith Stein's reason for taking the name "Teresa."
5. Discussion of patron saints and what it means to our daily lives.
6. For younger children, discuss on simpler terms ideas such as complete love of God; our daily crosses; meaning of sacrifice; and how to make small but meaningful sacrifices for God.
· Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta) was a philosopher and prolific writer. Her writings are available from ICS Publications. Of special note is her Essays on Woman.
· For more about Edith Stein, see Catholic Culture's Search Engine and type "Edith Stein".
Book Lovers Day
· From the scent of a rare first edition book found in an old-time book collection, to a crisp, fresh book at the local supermarket, the very sight of a book can bring back memories. Reading as a child, enjoying the short stories, the long books and the ability to lose yourself in a story so powerful that at the end your asking yourself where to get the next book in the series. This is for the reader in all of us, the celebration of Book Lovers Day!
While the day’s origins may be shrouded in mystery and rumor, the books themselves are not. Started from carving on stone tablets, the book was designed to make portable the writings and drawings of those that could not carry around stone tablets. Originally it was parchment or vellum (calf skin, in case you were wondering) was bound tightly with a wooden cover. Often the wooden cover was tightly wrapped in leather to prevent the wood from getting wet and had clasps or straps to hold it shut. In the more modern age, printing capabilities made books cheaper, and easier, to print. The printing press, the typewriter, and the computer all had an effect on the market of books. But more so than most, is the upsurge in electronic devices that can be used to read on. Computers, tablets, and most cell phones now have the ability to read books, making it that much easier to carry around a small library to enjoy not matter where you are.
How to celebrate Book Lovers Day
In order to truly appreciate Book Lovers Day, one must only find a story and read it. Maybe you wish to dive into the unknown with a good mystery, or see magic in a high fantasy setting, or be enthralled in a steamy romance. The individual genre of your reading is not the big piece of this, just that you do read is. Maybe a visit to your local library is in order? After all public libraries existed even way back in the Middle Ages, but they didn’t really let many folks take books home. The librarians in those days chained books to shelves or desks in order to prevent theft of the carefully hand-written tomes. Many librarians will gladly help you find a title to read, giving a brief explanation on what it is about if they have read it, or giving it a little flip and reading about it quickly in the synopsis. But no matter your preference, if you read it at home with a cup of tea, share a book meeting with friends or go to the library and make use of the wonderful pieces on those shelves, just enjoy your reading, revel in the book and find a way to read during Book Lovers Day!
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION TWO-I. THE CREEDS
CHAPTER THREE-I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Article 10-"I BELIEVE IN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS"
976 The Apostle's Creed associates faith in the forgiveness of sins not only with faith in the Holy Spirit, but also with faith in the Church and in the communion of saints. It was when he gave the Holy Spirit to his apostles that the risen Christ conferred on them his own divine power to forgive sins: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
(Part Two of the catechism will deal explicitly with the forgiveness of sins through Baptism, the sacrament of Penance, and the other sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Here it will suffice to suggest some basic facts briefly.)
Elvis Week: "Elvis & Nixon"
Elvis and the Miracle of the Rosary (Elvis Week August 9-17)
Known by his fans as the “King of Rock n’ Roll,” Presley’s religious faith is often listed simply as being a follower of the Assembly of God. Although this was the Christian group that Presley attended as a boy, his religious adherence to any Christian denomination was at best vague, his faith being more private than public. Of course, Gospel-singing was close to his heart, and he is quoted as saying that it was his favorite form of music, but whether this was because of the folk and cultural influences of his youth rather than any deep religious sentiment is open to conjecture.
What is known is that Presley had a keen, if eclectic, interest in religion. While in Hollywood in the early 1960s he became fascinated by various esoteric beliefs and later was to construct his own belief system out of this. One biographer succinctly summed up Presley’s beliefs as “a personalized religion [made] out of what he’d read of Hinduism, Judaism, numerology, theosophy, mind control, positive thinking and Christianity.”
Among his Gospel songs, there is one that is curious to say the least. It is a song called Miracle of the Rosary. The writer of the sleeve notes on one collection of his Gospel music, while able to place Presley’s other Gospel songs in the religious and social context of the American South, is clearly at a loss as to how to categorize Miracle of the Rosary in that, or, indeed, any way. This is not surprising, as the song appears to be about the powerful intercession of Our Blessed Mother in the End Times. The track may be short, running for just over two minutes, but there is still time for Elvis to fully intone the Hail Mary.
The origins of Miracle of the Rosary are odd too. The song appeared on the 1972 album Elvis Now, but Presley had recorded it earlier in May 1971. The song was written by one of Elvis’s childhood friends, Lee Denson. Denson was the son of a Pentecostal minister. It remains unclear as to why a son of a Pentecostal minister should write a song about the power of the Rosary and then why a non-Catholic singer should choose to record it.
Only one female co-star appeared in two of Presley’s films: Dolores Hart. To the shock of the movie business, she left Hollywood to enter religious life. In 1970, the then-film star entered the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis, Connecticut, where she remains a cloistered nun to this day. The night before she entered the monastery, Presley unexpectedly called her to wish her well in her vocation. He was one of the few in her former Hollywood circle that did so. Later, long after his death in 1977, she was to say that she had never stopped praying for Elvis.
The name of the Benedictine monastery in Connecticut dedicated to Our Lady, Regina Laudis, in English means “the Queen of Praise.” Shortly after Hart’s entry there, mysteriously, a “king” was to praise that same Queen by singing Miracle of the Rosary.
· August 9-17-Elvis Week (Memphis, TN)
Shake, rattle and roll! Memphis, TN, marks its annual Elvis Week celebration each August. There's always something for Elvis fans, including the big draw each year, the annual Elvis Tribute Artists contest. Who will be crowned the King?
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Let Freedom Ring Day 33 Freedom from Irreverence
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus