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  • “From the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to me a dream and a mockery.” Blessed John Henry Newman.
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Guess what I’ve been reading about…

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0406689aa02ad7acc27b8e77475f372c

……Discipleship with a capital D. I know I’m stating the obvious, but I’ve never really understood the real teaching in the above quotes until very recently. I am burning to make a difference. For and in Christ. My sights are moving further than the parameters of Church. Yes, I need to be fed at Mass at least once a week, but how am I going to share with others the beauty of Christianity? How am I going to encourage them into the fold of the Shepherd? I don’t know. I do know that God will use my unique gifts to reach out to others. Perhaps the gifts I’m yet to grow into.

I have to ‘be church’, be a Disciple of the Lord God in all that I am and do. I need to be the change that others will respond to when it is the time for them to hear the Message. The Call. Only in the Lord’s time though. Only in the Lord’s time. I may just be the little whisper that someone needs or the nudge for another in order for them to make an effort to get to know Jesus and the Hope He has to offer everyone.

I am reading Sherry Wedell’s ‘Forming Intentional Desciples’. The path to knowing and following Jesus. Makes for interesting reading.

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Awards share and connect.

On first receipt of the traditional WordPress awards from fellow bloggers, I was dubious. On the flip-side though, I appreciated/appreciate the recognition for my intentional work in the Vineyard, and through these awards have been exposed to excellent blogs that I would not have found without specific mention from fellow bloggers.

For this particular award, I graciously thank To Love and Truth, as Michael’s blog provides an inspirational and educational read each time I visit.  I am honoured.

It’s been a while since awards have been doing the rounds, and I would like to thank the readers of my blog for  support and contributions over the past year. Thank you…many blogs are deserving of these awards.

I’m particularly grateful for consideration of this award as I do endeavour to share special moments and thoughts with the readers of 1catholicsalmon.

best-moment-award

The Rules:

1.  Use the award logo in the post.

2.  Link to whoever nominated you.

3.   Write 10 pieces of information about yourself.

4.   Nominate fellow bloggers who meet the indicated criteria.

5.   Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.

1. I am an avid reader, especially of all things regarding Catholicism, and at the moment I’m reading an e-book called ‘Catholic Christianity’ by philosopher Peter Kreeft. Highly recommendable.

2. I was born in South Africa, and I am currently hankering after the warm sun and sunny skies that abound there.

3. I belong to the wonderful parish of St. Joseph New Malden, where the Truth of our faith is promoted daily, and where I receive my Spiritual Food.

4. I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting a man who radiates the love of God: Rev Stuart Windsor.

While  I was shopping in a Christian bookstore, he walked in and began chatting with those around him as if he were acquainted with everyone. He possesses a sort of magnetism that cannot be ignored and I was intrigued by this elderly gentleman’s’ confidence, and sense of authority. His demeanour and obvious  joy set him apart from the rest of us in that shop, and I wanted to know more about him.

I walked over to pay for my books when he began chatting with me also. He asked me which church I belong to and proceeded to make a positive remark about St. Joe’s, telling me of a fine young priest he knew from there.

He  handed me a business card. On it, was the logo of the CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide organisation –  www.csw.org.uk ) and his name:

Rev Stuart Windsor – underscored  with the title , ‘Special Ambassador‘.This title would’ve meant nothing had I just been handed the card and not met him personally. Meeting this man changed me in a way that I cannot explain, and I understood for the first time what it’s like to meet someone really close to God. Don’t ask me how I knew this, I just did. I proceeded to look up information about him, and it made for some very interesting reading. Click the link above for interesting facts about him.

5. My beloved and I have been married for 28 years this year. It still feels so right.

6. The older I get the deeper my love for Jesus grows.

7. I love praying the Rosary. I have a collection of Rosaries.

8. Reconciliation is part of a monthly routine, and is one of my favourite Sacraments.

9. I have a picture of Mary Magdalene (Jesus’ friend) at His feet. I want to have it printed on a canvas to place at the side of my bed.541611_10152642400455584_1973326944_n

10. I prefer attending Mass that is Ad Orientem

So, I nominate these chosen blogs for the following awards:-

Best Moment Award (to person/blog that brought a special moment): 

  1. Art in Faith
  2. Reinkat
  3. 8 kids and a business
  4. Catholic alchoholic
  5. 365 Missional practice
  6. Wonder and Beauty

     Semper Fidelis Award (Semper Fidelis for always faithful):semper-fidelis-awardBridges and tangents

Biltrix

God and politics UK

Dominus mihi adjutor

Jericho tree

Catechesis in the third millenium

Sunshine Award (to to person/blog that brought sunshine):

sunshineawardCatholic Cravings

Catholic teen apologetics

Catholic working mom

Biltrix

Reader Appreciation Award:reader-app-award

 Along the watchtower

An introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:Do you know why there is a Catechism?

I came across this video here. The CCC is such an important document, that all Catholics should own one. This comprehensive video gives you the reasons why it’s a good idea and is explicit in its content with regard to why and how it was put together.

The Catholic Faith is explained in detail in the CCC, and warrants further discussion within a parish group context.

 

 

100 Catholic books to read during the Year of Faith.

I came across this list of books via Luke Coppen (editor of the Catholic Herald) on Twitter. Some excellent reading methinks.

1. The Bible (Revised Standard Version translation)                                                 
2. The Lord. Romano Guardini
3. To Know Christ Jesus. Frank Sheed
4. The Life of Christ. Fulton Sheen
5. Jesus of Nazareth. Joseph Ratzinger
6. The Four Cardinal Virtues. Josef Pieper
7. What Happens at Mass. Jeremy Driscoll
8. The Confessions. Augustine
9. Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word. Erasmo Leiva Merikakis (2 Volumes)
10. Fundamentals of the Faith. Peter Kreeft
11. Mere Christianity. C.S. Lewis
12. The Screwtape Letters. C.S. Lewis
13. The Essential Pope Benedict. John Thornton and Susan Varenne, eds
14. The Theology of the Body. Pope John Paul II
15. The Fulfillment of All Desire. Ralph Martin
16. A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist. Abbot Vonier
17. I Believe in Love. D’Elbee
18. Heart of the World. Hans Urs von Balthasar
19. The Birth of the Church: John: Volume IV. Adrienne von Speyr
20. Crossing the Threshold of Hope. Pope John Paul II
21. Life on the Lordship of Christ. Raniero Cantalamessa
22. The Eucharist: Our Sanctification. Raniero Cantalamessa
23. On Being Catholic. Thomas Howard
24. By What Authority? Mark Shea
25. Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic. David Currie
26. Crossing the Tiber: Stephen Ray
27. The Handbook of Christian Apologetics. Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli.
28. The Lord of the Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien
29. The Cost of Discipleship. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
30. Where We Got the Bible. Henry Graham
31. Called to Communion. Joseph Ratzinger
32. The Spirit of the Liturgy. Joseph Ratzinger
33. The Seven Storey Mountain. Thomas Merton
34. The Dialogues. Catherine of Siena
35. The Lamb’s Supper. Scott Hahn
36. The Handmaid of the Lord. Adrienne von Speyr
37. The World’s First Love. Fulton Sheen
38. Love and Responsibility. Karol Wojtyla
39. The Splendor of Love. Walter Schu
40. Witness to Hope: George Weigel
41. The Feminist Question. Francis Martin
42. Healing the Original Wound. Benedict Groeschel
43. A Refutation of Moral Relativism. Peter Kreeft
44. In Search of Wisdom. Leon Kass45. The Problem of Pain. C.S. Lewis
46. The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis
47. Making Sense Out of Suffering. Peter Kreeft
48. God Is Near Us. Joseph Ratzinger
49. Confession. Adrienne von Speyr
50. Parochial and Plain Sermons. John Henry Newman
51. Triumph. David Crocker III
52. The Evidential Power of Beauty. Thomas Dubay
53. The Lord’s Prayer. Romano Guardini
54. Saints for Sinners. Alban Goodier
55. Love’s Sacred Order. Erasmo Leiva Merikakis
56. The Four Loves. C.S. Lewis
57. The Weight of Glory. C.S. Lewis
58. Flannery O’Connor. Collected Works
59. The Return of the Prodigal Son. Henri Nouwen
60. The Ecumenical Jihad. Peter Kreeft
61. The Unseriousness of Human Affairs. Lames Schall
62. Evangelium Vitae. Pope John Paul II
63. Fides et Ratio. Pope John Paul II
64. Woman in the Church. Louis Bouyer, ed
65. Catholic Bio-Ethics and the Gift of Human life. William E. May
66. Marriage: The Bedrock on Which Civilization Is Built. William E. May
67. The Clash of Orthodoxies. Robert George
68. Letters to a Young Catholic. George Weigel
69. Death on a Friday Afternoon. Richard John Neuhaus
70. Why Humanae Vitae Was Right. Janet Smith, ed
71. 20thCentury Martyrs. Robert Royal
72. Testimony to Hope. Xavier Nguyen
73. The Divine Comedy. Dante (Sayers translation)
74. Arise From This Darkness. Benedict Groeschel
75. Orthodoxy. G.K. Chesterton
76. Thomas Aquinas. G.K. Chesterton
77. Saint Francis. G.K. Chesterton
78. Edmund Campion. Evelyn Waugh
79. Brideshead Revisited. Evelyn Waugh
80. A Simple Path. Mother Teresa
81. The Rise of Christianity. Rodney Stark
82. The Manuel of Prayer
83. Fire Within. Thomas Dubay
84. Architects of the Culture of Death. Donald Demarco and Benjamin Wiker
85. Transformation in Christ. Dietrich von Hildebrand
86. The Hidden Manna. James O’Connor
87. Introduction to the Devout Life. Francis DeSales
88. Perelandra. C.S. Lewis
89. The Chronicles of Narnia. C.S. Lewis
90. Back to Virtue. Peter Kreeft91. The Crisis of Islam. Bernard Lewis
91. What Went Wrong? Bernard Lewis
92. The Bible and the Quran. Jacques Jomier
93. What Difference Does Jesus Make? Frank Sheed

Essential Catholic Reference Books:

1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
2. The Documents of Vatican II
3. The Faith of the Early Fathers. William Jurgens, ed (3 Volumes)
4. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
5. Butler’s Lives of the Saints (4 Volumes)
6. United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
7. The Encyclicals of Pope John Paul II

 

A bit of reading to do during the Year of Faith.

Papa Bene has asked that the faithful read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

 

  • Everything that the Church believes is  contained in this impressive publication. If you’d prefer to receive bite-size chunks at a time, click on the link on the left of this block and sign up for daily mails from flocknote. Not an easy read, but amazing just the same.
  • YOUCAT is a new publication aimed at teenagers. Both available at any reputable bookshop. Click on the link and take a look at the resources available on-line.  Hip, happening and user-friendly! Irresistible ..This is how our Pope introduced this publication to the youth: (my emphasis)

Today I recommend for your reading an unusual book. It is unusual both because of its content and because of the way it came to be. I would like to tell you a little about how it was written, because then it will be clear why it is so unusual.

You could say that it came to be from another work, whose origins go back to the 1980’s. It was a difficult time for the Church and for society worldwide. New guidance was needed to find the path to the future. After the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and in a changed cultural situation, many people were confused about what Christians actually believe, what the Church teaches, whether in fact she can teach anything at all, and how everything can find its place in a culture that had changed from its very foundations. Is it still reasonable today to be a believer? These were the questions that even good Christians were asking.

At that time Pope John Paul II made a bold decision. He decided that bishops from all over the world should together write a book in which they would answer these questions. He gave me the task of coordinating the work of the bishops and seeing to it that from the contributions of the bishops a book would result—a real book, not just a haphazard collection of all sorts of documents. This book would have the old-fashioned title Catechism of the Catholic Church but would be something entirely new and exciting. It would show what the Catholic Church believes today and how one can with good reason believe.

I was alarmed by this task. I must admit that I doubted whether something like this could succeed. For how was it possible that authors scattered all over the world could together produce a readable book? How could men who not only geographically but also intellectually and spiritually lived on different continents create a text with an inner unity, one that would also be understandable throughout all those continents? And there was the further difficulty that these bishops would not be writing as individual authors but would be in contact with their brother bishops and with the people in their dioceses.

I must admit that even today it still seems to me to be a miracle that this project finally succeeded.’
Furthermore…he expounds after discussing the process by which he and Pope John Paul worked on the Catechism : (my emphasis)

So I invite you: Study this Catechism! That is my heartfelt desire.

This Catechism was not written to please you. It will not make life easy for you, because it demands of you a new life. It places before you the Gospel message as the “pearl of great value” (Mt 13:46) for which you must give everything. So I beg you: Study this Catechism with passion and perseverance. Make a sacrifice of your time for it! Study it in the quiet of your room; read it with a friend; form study groups and networks; share with each other on the Internet. By all means continue to talk with each other about your faith.

You need to know what you believe. You need to know your faith with that same precision with which an IT specialist knows the inner workings of a computer. You need to understand it like a good musician knows the piece he is playing. Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination. You need God’s help if your faith is not going to dry up like a dewdrop in the sun, if you want to resist the blandishments of consumerism, if your love is not to drown in pornography, if you are not going to betray the weak and leave the vulnerable helpless.
If you are now going to apply yourselves zealously to the study of the Catechism, I want to give you one last thing to accompany you: You all know how deeply the community of faith has been wounded recently through the attacks of the evil one, through the penetration of sin itself into the interior, yes, into the heart of the Church. Do not make that an excuse to flee from the face of God! You yourselves are the Body of Christ, the Church! Bring the undiminished fire of your love into this Church whose countenance has so often been disfigured by man. “Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord!” (Rom 12:11). When Israel was at the lowest point in her history, God called for help, not from the great and honored ones of Israel, but from a young man by the name of Jeremiah. Jeremiah felt overwhelmed: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth” (Jer 1:6). But God was not to be deterred : “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak” (Jer 1:7).
I bless you and pray each day for all of you.

Benedictus P.P. XVI

 Youcat website

 

THIS IS AN EXCERPT OF THE INTRODUCTION TO THE COMPENDIUM ON THE VATICAN WEBSITE:

”The Compendium is not a work that stands alone, nor is it intended in any way to replace the Catechism of the Catholic Church: instead, it refers constantly to theCatechism by means of reference numbers printed in the margins, as well as by consistent reliance on its structure, development and contents. In fact, theCompendium is meant to reawaken interest in and enthusiasm for the Catechism,which, in the wisdom of its presentation and the depth of its spirituality, always remains the basic text for catechesis in the Church today.

Like the Catechism, the Compendium has four parts, corresponding to the fundamental laws of life in Christ.

The first part, entitled “The Profession of Faith”, contains a synthesis of the lex credendi, the faith professed by the Catholic Church, as expressed in the Apostles’ Creed which is further elaborated by the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. In the liturgical profession of the Creed, the Christian assembly keeps the principal truths of the faith alive in memory.

The second part, entitled “The Celebration of the Christian Mystery”, presents the essential elements of the lex celebrandi. The proclamation of the Gospel finds its authentic response in the sacramental life, through which Christians experience and witness, in every moment of their existence, the saving power of the paschal mystery by which Christ has accomplished our redemption.

The third part, entitled “Life in Christ”, recalls the lex vivendi, through which the baptized manifest their commitment to the faith they have professed and celebrated, through their actions and ethical choices. The Christian faithful are called by the Lord Jesus to act in a way which befits their dignity as children of the Father in the charity of the Holy Spirit.

The fourth part, entitled “Christian Prayer”, summarizes the lex orandi, the life of prayer. Following the example of Jesus, the perfect model of one who prays, the Christian too is called to the dialogue with God in prayer. A privileged expression of prayer is the Our Father, the prayer that Jesus has taught us.”

‘Grow in Grace’. Is this simple, straightforward gardening?

I have just read a book called ‘What’s so amazing about Grace?’  I was disappointed to say the least. I am no more literate in my understanding of  Grace than I was before I started reading this book and in fact I disagreed with the author within the first few chapters of the book so much so that I started speed reading through the rest of the book.

Perhaps my perspective on Grace remains infantile but I realise that it’s an area of my Journey with the Lord that I need to investigate further, pray about and unwrap. I then came across the poster telling me to ‘grow in grace’…???

As I understand it, I receive Grace ( a sanctifying/Holy spiritual gift from God) through the Sacraments of the Church, namely Baptism, Reconciliation , Holy Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and the Sacrament of the Sick. Through these Sacraments, my eyes and ears are opened to God’s messages and communication with me through His Living Word, the people around me and through prayer and fasting. Through this precious gift of Grace my soul is open to receive and understand Revelation. I realise that I have to be ‘in tune’ with the Lord in order to recognise this precious gift of Grace thorough the Sacraments.

Some questions about Grace I need to investigate further: (lots of reading to be done!!)

  1. Is Grace something I just get because I say I am Christian?
  2. Is Grace different from a Blessing
  3. Is Grace free to us because Jesus died on the Cross?
  4. Do I need the Sacraments of the Church to receive Grace?
  5. What does a Blessing bestow as opposed to Grace?

Easy to read apologetics.

Image from Amazon

I ordered this book last year sometime and received it past week-end. It’s been well worth the wait! The write-ups have been excellent, and deservedly so. Easy to read, understand and learn from. The usual arguments are dealt with in a balanced and objective way and got me nodding and ‘ahhhing’ as the actual history about the Crusades and the Inquisition is examined clearly.

Coren examines four main aspects of Catholicism as they are encountered, understood and more importantly, misunderstood. Astutely examining the tragedy of the abuse scandal, Coren addresses some of the most common attacks on Catholics and Catholicism.Tracing Catholic history, he de-constructs popular anti-Catholic arguments regarding the Crusades, the Inquisition, Galileo, and the Holocaust. Finally he explains why Catholics believe what they do: papal infallibility, the Church rather than the Bible alone, and the dignity of life argument.In this thought-provoking book, Michael Coren explores Catholicism’s essential questions, arguing that Catholicism ”is as important now as it ever was and perhaps even more necessary.” Fascinating and challenging . Why Catholics are right is a passionate response to current anti-Catholic opinion.

Book, Books and more Books…!

Reading is most definitely a passion of mine. There is always one more page to read or a chapter to finish and nothing is more satisfying than having hours to oneself  and spending that time on reading to your heart’s content.  Please peruse my bookshelves and make recommendations of your own.

The books listed are by no means the one genre that I read, but it most definitely is the information that continues to mould me as a Catholic Christian, and that which is leading on my journey of discovery.