Thursday, August 23, 2007

The one thing that you seem to have difficulty in surrendering to Jesus

Emailed August 24, 2007


This week we launch VOCATION NEWS - a new section in Here you will find stories about the priesthood, priests and religious, and the many joys and challenges they face in their lives. We debut this section with the story of a would-be Harvard lawyer whose paper chase ended up in the priesthood. We also have the remarkable story of three brothers - all priests - who concelebrated Mass just recently. And we have the story of a widower, a father and military veteran. And now, he is a priest.

We also launch this week new websites for the following parishes: Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pomona, CA, St. Joseph the Worker in Loma Linda, CA and St. George Catholic Church in Fontana, CA. Welcome aboard!

PRAYER takes center stage in this week's issue. Often, we wait for the right environment or the right prayer book or the right prayer partners. When really God just wants us in our simplest form - our heart and soul. "Just P-R-A-Y: A Simple Formula for Prayer" tells this story. "Our search for order in the darkness" deals with prayers spoken at moments of darkness or chaos and how at times they can mean more than the ones we say in our prayer groups.

In "Grace," Mark Shea and his wife somehow find that in prayer we are able to put things in perspective, remembering that God remains God and that, in the grand scheme of things, financial hiccups are pretty small. And Pope Benedict sums it up well by declaring that prayer is the encounter of God's thirst for us and our thirst for Him.

"Where do you stand right now?" Do you stand with Jesus or not? It's a choice that must be made every day up till that last and final day - and no one know when that is. And "There is always that one thing more!" If you reflect long enough, you will discover the one thing that you seem to have difficulty in surrendering to Jesus - think about it. And when you stand before the Lord in judgment, I am certain of at least one thing and that is you do not want to be saying to yourself, "If only I had taken that opportunity when it came to me..."

Do you believe in Astrology, palm reading and tarot cards? Archbishop Sean Brady say they are superstitions that conceal a lack of trust in God's providence. And if you've found yourself saying this to yourself, "I thought they knew the Lord... why do those things still happen to them?" then "Never Alone" is an article you must read. What is the peace of Christ? Pope Benedict explains this quite profoundly saying it is not "the absence of conflict" but the "struggle against evil."

The Church challenges the youth this week beginning with a Bishop's answer to letters from teens about pornography. And "In the Name of Freedom," the youth is reminded that Freedom is capacity to greatness, the ability to say “yes” to what is noble and right when you could just as easily say “no”. And as a followup to our "back-to-school" series, Ben Stein delivers a winner: "Old-School Lessons for the College-Bound"

Finally, we have LIFESTYLE NEWS. "How Does a Catholic Invest His Money Morally?" And now it also seems that the safe place for Catholics to meet Catholics is no longer just in church. An archbishop frecently gave his blessings to an online dating service. And if you've ever had the hiccups, here's how they work, what causes it and how to stop it.

And how was your week? Have a great and blessed coming week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Is gossip a sin? is it reason to go to Confession?"

Emailed to readers on Aug. 17, 2007

BURNING QUESTION OF THE WEEK: "What is a Sacrament? How many are there?" By Paul Dion, STL

FEATURED BLOG THIS WEEK: "THE BIBLE IS NOT A JIGSAW PUZZLE" - A Protestant corrects the way many evangelicals read the Bible"

El Papa se solidariza con víctimas del terremoto en el Perú, 8/15/07
New Age y supersticiones pueden causar posesiones diabólicas, dice exorcista, 8/15/07

Dear friends,

If they are not in school yet, millions of students head to campuses nationwide in the next few weeks. We thought we should prepare them with a few Catholic-inspired articles beginning with "25 Things Every College Freshman Should Know Before Classes Start." This is a must read for all college students and parents. We also suggest students download "The Freshman Survival Study Budget," a formula for success in College.

College is a very trying time for students and parents. It's the time when the young tend to stray from the faith. "Why don't teens pray more?" will help them keep things in perspective. And if you go to a Catholic school, welcome back to the structured world of school uniforms.

August is the month of the Eucharist. "The Truth about Eucharistic Adoration" is an honest plea for Catholics to regain their veneration and love for the Eucharist. And Mark Shea explains his faith again to his Protestant friends by proclaiming, "One More Time: It's All About the Eucharist!"

In CATHOLIC Q&A WITH FR. MIKE, a reader asks, "Why should I have to go to Church? when I can experience God so much better on a trip to the mountains or the beach?" See Fr. Mike's great response. And since you've been hearing all about the Latin Mass lately, we thought we should give you a "Tutorial on the Tridentine Mass" your resource for the Latin Mass according to the Missale Romanum of 1962.

While some say there seems to be a decline of priests and church attendance across the nation, the Archdiocese of Atlanta is bucking both trends, with packed churches and more than 50 seminarians in training. But this pales compare to the evangelization that's going on in china where a reported 10,000 Chinese become Christians each day. In the next generation, China will be the largest Christian and missionary force in the world.

However, all is not well in China. We have a five-minute-long film that has popped up in several places on the internet. If you've wondered what it is like to be Catholic in China, watch this. Now. And then, if you are free to pray, pray for all those who are not. The other video we bring you is one of the most powerful videos we've seen. It starts with a painting of the Last Supper with Jesus surrounded - not by his apostles - but by twelve homeless children. The plight of the poor will move you.

Where can you find God? How about at the airports and at the subway trains. See how Catholic chaplains at our busiest airports minister to the needs of bustling travellers. And marvel at how a Jesuit manages to find God every day during his commute in Washington DC.

Pope Benedict was busy this week. On Assumption Day, he reminded all that “The protection of Mary accompanies you throughout your life.” In sponse to last Sunday's homily, he urged all to "Detach from material goods and prepare interiorly for Christ's return." And we received word that his second planned encyclical is said to condemn tax evasion by the wealthy as 'socially unjust.'

Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez is the retired prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. He defined the good priest this week in "Guide for Priests: Spiritual Recommendations." He said, "In him one finds Gospel and Christian virtues, and the behavior of one who is a priest of God and pastor of the Church."

Finally, if you've ever wondered if gossip is a sin, a moral theologian explains it in detail. You may be in for a surprise.

And how was your week? May you have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor in chief

Friday, August 10, 2007

"If the heart is not praying, the tongue is labouring in vain."

By Wally Arida
Emailed to readers July 9, 2007

Dear Friends:

On Wednesday, August 15, Catholics all over the world will celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. To help us better understand the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our Christian lives, we begin this issue with an explanation of the "Doctrine of the Assumption." Then we have an article about "The Original Mary: Our Lady's Life Before the Annunciation." Our Burning Question this week will challenge how much you know about our Blessed mother, "What did Pope Pius XII define about the mystery of the Assumption in 1950?" Give this question a shot.

“Proof-texting" is a practice Protestants use to prove certain Protestant doctrines or to disprove certain Catholic doctrines. Recently ParishWorld blogger Aimee Milburn found herself in this kind of a dialogue with a Protestant friend. She talks about the encounter and explains how the Holy Spirit teaches and through whom. Check out this wonderful article. Also this one: "Mass with 2 Protestants and 1 Crucifix." It's a first person account by Catholic apologist Steve Ray. The title says it, now go and read the story.

"Christ's Teachings Are The Light Of The World." However, the secular world today sees Christianity differently - as immensely complex with everyone going to Heaven, everyone saved, no matter how they behave. Sadly, U.S. Catholics seem to be wallowing in this mainstream thinking. A recent study reported on this state of our Catholic populace today, “the trail of Catholicism in America is a clear example of culture influencing faith more often than faith influencing culture.”

Have you ever found yourself during conversation with old friends having the tendency to glory in your past sins rather than dismissing them? Fr. Steve T. warns us about it in "Putting on the new self." And "The Gift of Prayer" points out that the organ God gave us with which to pray is the heart - not the tongue. "If the heart is not praying, the tongue is labouring in vain."

Here's a question from a reader that Paul Dion has not heard in over 45 years. The answer remains unchanged over the decades - both for the youth of his time and the youth of today. Should unmarried dating couples kiss? Read the answer here.

We have more stories waiting for you online and we also have Lifestyle Stories. Do you have a hidden addiction that is stealing your life away? Catholic preacher Bo Sanchez talks about "How To Get Rid Of Bad Habits Now!" If you're like me, your email's inbox is being hammered with a new kind of spam - attachment spam. We explain it and give you ideas how to deal with it. And you know that cellular plan you've contracted with your phone company? There's no escape from its early termination fees. So beware before you switch carriers.

And how was your week? Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida

Publisher & Editor in chief

Friday, August 3, 2007

Papal Infallibility: "It is God's infallibility at work in the Church, not man's"

Posted by Wallly Arida
Emailed to subscribers on August 2, 2007

Dear Friends,
This week we are happy to welcome Fr. Mike Manning, SVD and his new weekly column called "Catholic Q&A by Fr. Mike." Fr. Manning is a reknowned TV evangelist who is the host of Wordnet TV's "The Power of Love." His show airs every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. on TBN. His debut article this week is titled "Is there any value in suffering?"

Also making her debut this week is Catholic blogger, Aimee Milburn, a former Protestant who takes on one of the two biggest topics non-Catholics ask about our faith: Papal Infallibility. In this article, she makes the strong point that "It is God's infallibility at work in the Church, not man's." And ParishWorld Theology editor Paul Dion, STL handles the second top question asked of Catholics: "Why do we baptize infants?"

And we have stories about salvation and the role of the Church. When asked why the Church doesn't discpline Catholics who openly disagree with its teachings, writer Mark Shea described the Church as the "Great Net" and not a reducing valve. The fish don't get sorted till the end. And this is the related point Fr. Steve T. explains in "WE HAVE UNTIL THE DAY OF HARVEST."

Here's an insightful look on the reasons behind the decline over the last 40 years in the number of priests in religious orders. Check out "The Life and Death of Religious Life." And we ask you to read "REVERENDI DOMINI - An Open Letter to Priests (Mostly in English)." It's an interesting look at the way our liturgical celebration has changed over the years.

From the war in Iraq comes "One Day in the Life of a Priest in Iraq," a gripping first-person account of faith in the combat zones. And another one about a Catholic U.S. Army Chaplain who was recently awarded the Purple Heart.

Pope Benedict called for the protection of the environment saying the creation-evolution debate is an "absurdity." He added that Evolution does not exclude a Creator.

"We Are All Called To Be Evangelizers" is the chance encounter and candid conversation on a 9-hour trans-Atlantic flight between a devout Catholic man, a young Protestant woman and a young man struggling with his Catholicism. And "Life is short, but eternity is forever" tells of the story of CNN news commentator Robert Novak's conversion to Catholicism at age 67.

And we have LIFESTYLE STORIES starting with bottled water. Did you know most water bottle brands are made from plain tap water? We show you how to sort them out by reading the labels. Plus five surgical operations you don't want to get -- and what to do instead. And "Fat or fiction? Five common diet & exercise myths."

And how was your week? Have a great and blessed coming week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief