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5****All Hallows Eve costumes – Let’s set a new precedent!

Image@https://www.facebook.com/CatholicMemebase

Celebrating your values on All Hallows Eve:

Catholics believe that God is present in all things and in all times. That means that every day on the calendar presents another opportunity to encounter and celebrate the presence of God in our lives. Holidays, whether specifically religious or not, are excellent times to engage in special activities and rituals that help us not only to observe the spirit of the day but also to make a connection between the holiday and our faith.

A Quick History
Halloween as we know it is a mixture of pagan, Christian, civic, and cultural influences. Various cultures have associated the day with witches, ghosts, and goblins. Many people trace its roots to an old Celtic festival when the Celts believed the veil between the living and the dead was particularly thin. It was thought that, on this night, the souls of those who had died could cross over into our mortal world once again. When Christian missionaries won over the hearts of the Celts, this popular feast was moved from spring to fall and celebrated as the feast of the Eve of All Saints Day. Halloween comes from the word hallowed meaning “blessed” or “holy.” So Halloween is the night that eagerly anticipates the celebration of our living connection with all the faithful who have lived and died before us. It is fitting, then, that on the night before All Saints Day, our families remember and celebrate in a special way our belief in the Communion (close connection) of Saints to our own lives.

Why “Trick or Treat”?
In the late 1800s in the United States, youngsters would go around their neighborhoods on Halloween night pulling pranks and doing mischief like soaping windows and toppling outhouses. In the 1920s, various civic groups encouraged the practice of children dressed in costumes going from house to house seeking peace offerings from the householders with the gentle threat: “Your choice, either a trick by us or a treat from you.”

Ways to Celebrate Your Values on Halloween

  1. Your kids can research their favourite saint or the saint they’re named after. They could also dress up as their favourite saint for Halloween.
  2. Tell your children that Halloween can be a festive day to kick off the celebration of All Saints Day. We ask the saints—our spiritual ancestors—to pray for us on our own journey to holiness.
  3. At breakfast, recite a short litany of family members who have died and whom you remember in your prayers. After each name, have everyone say, “Pray for us.”
  4. Have fun! Make a special meal for dinner. Here’s a quick idea for a healthy meal to offset the abundance of sweets treats. Give each child a paper plate. Put out bowls of olives, cucumbers, radishes, raisins, dried apricots or cranberries, cheese sticks, and cold cuts. Have the kids make faces on their plates with the food. They can make scary faces or funny faces or both. Then everyone gets to eat what they created.

Information from Loyola Press.

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A belated acceptance of a lovely award.

The Lonely Pilgrim nominated 1catholicsalmon for the Liebster Blog Award some time ago. (I apologise Lonely Pilgrim for my tardiness at getting back to you on this privileged nomination.)

Liebster is German for “dearest.” And today I wanted to dedicate this award to you, mein liebster Leser (my dearest readers).

This award is accepted  with humility as an honour for 1catholicsalmon as an  up-and-coming blog with fewer than 200 readers. Having received this award from the Lonely Pilgrim, the acceptance of this award is truly an honour!! Spend some quality time reading informative and factual posts on Catholicism over the waters at the Lonely Pilgrim.

I am making the choice not to follow the rules to the letter on this one, (using a blogger’s licence here) and promise to return to these prerequisites, to answer them in future, for fear of boring 1catholicsalmon readers with further personal information after the prior posting of  different award prerequisites today.

 

On fire in the Year of Faith!

Image@cyber-missionary@facebook.com

Blogathon!

I include an illustration of what my desk usually/can/sometimes looks like, to emphasize that I am certainly not one to wing-it. I have taken a while to respond to the BILTRIX nudging from afar. I needed time to digest this notion of a blogAthon, being careful to include all the necessary components meticulously.

Last week 1catholicsalmon was tagged by the Catholic blogging champion BILTRIX  (THANK YOU!),  and was thereby convinced to take part in this blogaThon: All in the interest of spreading the Faith! How could I refuse to participate?

I am attempting to carry on this honour by participating in said ‘blogAthon.’ The rules (which are not obligatory, by any stretch of the imagination…in other words, please don’t feel obligated to do this if you have been tagged here) are as follows:

1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the “tagger” has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers and tag them in their post.
5. These “lucky” bloggers must then be told.
6. No tag backs.

So here goes:

11 things about myself:

  1. For the first few days on holiday I usually sleep.
  2. My first thought every day is to make it to Mass.
  3. I make conscious Christian choices during the day.
  4. I treasure the Sacrament of Confession. I have learned much through it.
  5. I wear a crucifix as a statement of my faith  and also to show my devotion to the Lord.
  6. I am aware of my responsibilities as a ‘wearer of the Cross’.
  7. I try to hear the Lord through all my dealings with others throughout the day.
  8. I have a brand new daily Missal. Everything’s in there. Everything!
  9. I have downloaded loads of Catholic books onto my Kindle.
  10. Spending an afternoon browsing around the St. Paul’s bookshop in London is my idea of a great afternoon.
  11. I am keen  to ponder the fruits of this year of Faith in a few years time.

Here are the questions for Me to answer:

  1. Have you ever read a dialogue by Plato? I have read some quotes and touched on Greek history at Uni.
  2. Do you know any foreign languages? YES!- Afrikaans and  Portuguese
  3. How good are you at math? Better than I was 5 years ago.
  4. Are you a convert? No, I’m a cradle-Catholic, and I’m still discovering the beauty and depth of the Faith.
  5. Would you like to renew your baptismal promises? Yes
  6. Do you reject Satan? Yes!
  7. And all his works? Yes!
  8. And all his empty promises? Yes!
  9. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth? Yes!
  10. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Yes!
  11. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? Yes!

If your name is mentioned below, that means I TAGGED you (that means YOU’RE IT, get it?).

AND THE 6  BLOGGERS I TAG ARE:

  1. Conversion Diary : A Catholic convert share’s her life.
  2. Gracie’s Quest : Good Christian reading here.
  3. Catholic1 : Just one in a billion!
  4. Daniel Undum : Author of a new book called, ‘The offensive Catholic’. 
  5. My Hope Box : Friendly Catholic blogging, including good Catechesis.
  6. Transformed in Christ : A Catechist from London.

Now… If your name is one of the names listed above, you got TAGGED, and you may be asking yourself Why did I get tagged? So that you can tag someone else. C’mon! Spread the faith!

Here are the 11 questions the tagged bloggers are to answer about themselves:

  1. What’s the first memory about Church?
  2. Are you invited to speak to your priest as you would speak to a friend?. (Do you know him well enough to feel relaxed in his company?)
  3. Have you ever imagined something funny happening up on the Altar during Mass?
  4. Which character trait makes your parish priest human?
  5. What stays with you after Mass and into the week?
  6. Please recommend a good Christian movie:
  7. Which do you prefer: Gregorian Chant or singing from the hymn book?
  8. Have you experienced a pilgrimage?
  9. Which is your favoured character in the Bible?
  10. Has Confession changed the way you think about your actions?
  11. Which is your chosen Mass time on Sunday: 9:30 am, 11:30 am  or 5:30pm, or do you attend the 6:00 on Saturday evenings?

The Pax Christi Icon is off to Brazil.

O Risen Christ,

You breathe your Holy Spirit on us and you tell us: ‘Peace be yours’.

Opening ourselves to your peace -letting it penetrate the harsh and rocky ground of our hearts -means preparing ourselves to be bearers of reconciliation wherever you may place us. But you know that at times we are at a loss. So come and lead us to wait in silence, to let a ray of hope shine forth in our world.

Brother Roger, Taizé

For further information and excellent reading on Icons follow this linkhttp://reinkat.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/what-is-an-icon/

Fifty days before the Olympics 2012, I received this prayer card with the above prayer on the back.  Why do I mention the Olympics? The ancient 9th Century BC Greek tradition of Ekecheiria (“Olympic Truce”), calls for a truce during the Olympic Games to encourage a peaceful environment and ensure safe passage and participation of athletes and relevant persons at the Games.

Pax Christi is an international Catholic movement that promotes peace and they decided to use it over the 100 Days of Peace to promote their cause for peace. The idea of the Pax Christi International Icon comes from the work for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.

A little background to the paining of Icons: In the Eastern Christian tradition an icon is the visible image of the Divine. The iconographer, who creates the icon, is instrumental in bringing about the spiritual process. The icon is the meeting of heaven and earth.

The Peace Icon is a sacred painting made at the Monastery of St John in the Desert, near Jerusalem, and given to the Pax Christi movement in 1999. Its panels represent scenes of reconciliation and figures associated with peace. Each aspect leads to meditation on the ‘deep movements of the heart necessary for peace and reconciliation’.  As part of a Pax Christi initiative, this Icon travelled to seven parishes in the Diocese of Southwark over the 100 days of Peace, and I am lucky enough to work in close proximity to one of the parishes who played host to the Icon. And what a spectacular Icon it is to see up close! Meditating on the stories chosen for this Icon I found my self ‘warmed’right-through and felt a sense of assuredness in the Bible that promoting Peace is the way to live.

It has two central pictures. At the top Esau and Jacob who are seen embracing and standing on a sword at the time of their reconciliation. (See Genesis: chapters 27,32,33) At the foot of the picture the title of the Icon, “ Christ our Reconciliation” is written in Greek. Latin and Hebrew.

Underneath, the risen Jesus is teaching the Our Father to the disciples in the heavenly Jerusalem. (See Revelation: chapter 21 and Joel: chapter 4:16-17)At the foot of this, the words of the Our Father are written in Aramaic the language which Jesus is thought to have spoken.

 Other pictures show the biblical stories of Sarah and Isaac, Hagar and Ishmael (See Genesis: chapters 16 to 21.), the woman at the well (See John 4: 1-42) and the Syro-Phoenician woman (See Mark: chapter 7: 24-30.).

The saints include: Mary Magdalene (See Luke: chapter 8: 2 and Mark chapter 16:9), St Sophia, St Clare, St Boris and Gleb, St Stephen (See Acts: chapter 7) and St Francis.

(I use this site to read the Bible when workng online: http://biblia.com/books/esv/article/TITLE. Easy to use.)

This Icon of of beauty, was handed over to the Brazilian community at a Mass this past Saturday at St. Georges Cathedral, as their home country begins preparations to host the Rio Olympics in 2016. Brazil. What a beautiful idea to pass on.

Image @http://www.rcsouthwark.co.uk/

Prayer for the month of November.

Dear Lord,

Help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go. Flood my soul with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul.

Let them look up and see no longer me, but only you, O Lord! Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as you do; so to shine as to be a light to others. The light, O Lord, will be all from you; none of it will be mine. It will be you shining on others through me.

Let me thus praise you in the way which you love best, by shining on those around me. Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you.

Amen.

(St. John Henry Newman)

A cartoon that gets the juices flowing.

Image @http://www.swordofpeter.blogspot.co.uk/

Benedict XVI: Defender and Protector of Faith.

“If you follow the will of God, you know that in spite of all the terrible things that happen to you, you will never lose a final refuge. You know that the foundation of the world is love, so that even when no human being can or will help you, you may go on, trusting in the One that loves you.” Pope Benedict XVI

CSW is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

I have had knowledge of the organisation called Christian Solidarity Worldwide for four years now. I was told about it by our parish priest. I’m so glad that he did. Please take a closer look at their website. They do amazing work with and for those Christians who are marginalized, imprisoned and tortured.

The thought of not being able to worship God wherever and whenever I want to seems outrageous when I am able to do just that, but sadly, there are many  fellow Christians suffering all over the globe for the freedom to worship Christ in public place or to live a Christian life openly without fear of reprieve.

Here is a taster of the important work CSW undertake:

Here are a few highlights from our work in the past year:

  • Influencing the reporting of religious violence in Nigeria to ensure the truth was reported.
  • Breakthroughs in our Burma work when fourteen governments supported recommendations for a UN Commission of Inquiry.
  • CSW’s unique analysis of Nepal’s draft constitution was used to brief politicians to ensure that it enshrines religious freedom. 
  • Providing evidence-based reports to the UN human rights reviews of some of the world’s worst abusers of religious freedom.

CSW also aims to mobilise the general public to pray, protest and provide on behalf of persecuted Christians. By doing so, we provide solidarity and support to those in need. (Quoted from the CSW website)

God’s love in action.

Quote from yesterday’s Gospel: Mk 10:35-45

”Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

If we are to be true followers of Christ, this is what we’re to do. Be the servant of the servant. Give all of ourselves to God through our love and service of others. A pretty daunting task if thought about for too long. But that’s hat Jesus’ message is all about. Love. Service. Humility.

Yesterday was Missionary Sunday, and I came across this video clip which shares the work of  those in service of others. They are Missionaries. For me, when thinking about thinking about Missionaries  I conjure up pictures of the Jesuits portrayed in the movie,’The Mission’, and those images so starkly portrayed in Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘ The Poisonwood Bible’. After watching this clip, I now see Missionaries as real people. Not distant or unreachable. What wonderful examples of God’s love here on earth.