Sunday, September 23, 2007

Should we and, if so, why do we fast one hour before Communion?

Dear Friends,

The Gospel in this Sunday's Readings has Jesus making a distinct call to "Honesty." "What do you do when....?" is an audio podcast by Deacon Alex Jones of a homily for this Sunday presented from the perspective of Catholic male spirituality. Listen to this and be blessed. In the homily entitled "The Best of a Bad Situation," Jesus advises us to make the best of a difficult situation - like the dishonest steward in the Gospel did.

We also bring you "The Duck & the Devil," a heart-warming tale of a little boy who accidentally shot his grandma's pet duck and how he suffered when he tried to cover up for the deed. It illustrates the value of honesty and God's loving grace against the cunning nature of the devil. Check it out. Speaking of the devil, Fr. Martin Fox reflects about him in "I was thinking about hell the other night." It is a sobering reflection.

The Sacraments also comes up as a unifying theme this week starting with "Confirming Others," an article about the evolution of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and how they apply today. We also cover the Sacrament of Holy Communion with two interesting articles. First, Paul Dion, STL, asks us, "Why do Catholics call this wonderful divine mystery "COMMUNION?" And secondly, a reader asks, "Should we and, if so, why do we fast one hour before Communion?"

And the Sacrament of Matrimony was the topic of a talk by Pope Benedict who said, "Well prepared married couples close the door to divorce." And while most people put a lot of energy into preparing for a wedding, we need to remember that a Marriage is for a life time of wedding days. Read this great article.

This week, the Vatican upheld the moral necessity of administering food and drink – even artificially – to patients in a “persistent vegetative state.” Remember the Teri Schiavo case? From the Pope's visit to Loreto a few weeks back, Pope Benedict reminded the world that "Jesus Has a Fondness for Young People."

And as the Hispanic population continues to grow in the US, they are beginning to create major influences within the US Catholic Church. With this growth comes the need for more Hispanic priests. They are a hot commodity and the US Church is actively recruiting priests from Central and South America to serve the growing Hispanic ministry needs. Another influence is the seeming surge of participation in the energy-filled Catholic Charismatic movement which celebrates its 40th anniversary in the US this year. Read more about this movement here.

Also, when I make my rounds speaking about internet evangelization to different parish communities in the Southern California area, I commonly hear this mantra: "Spanish people are not using the internet." Well, now have I got some news for you! An AOL/Roper study has concluded that hispanics spend more time online per week compared to the national average! They also convert to broadband at rates higher than the national average. If your parish still believes that the hispanic Catholic community is not ripe for parish internet evangelization, you need to rethink matters because you are losing out on the perfect opportunity to reach them.

Five years ago, John Paul II gave us the gift of the luminous mysteries. It has since infused new life in the praying of the rosary. We have the story. And we bring you the conversion story of a Jew who says his spiritual journey follows much the same transition as Christianity’s development from the seeds of Judaism.

"When I Heal Her, I Will Change the Lives of Many." We bring you an update on Gloria Strauss, the 11 year old Catholic girl in Seattle who is currently hospitalized with neuroblastoma. Gloria and her remarkable, devout Catholic family continue to impact the lives of thousands with their story of love and faith. While "Do You Smell That?" brings you the story of a brave couple and their decision to deliver their perilously premature one pound nine ounce baby. You will be touched by their commitment to life.

And then we have Lifestyle News! Prepare to be amazed by this youtube video called "A Wonderful World." It's an unbelievable hand-shadow video played to the music of Louis Armstrong's classic song. And do you want to know "The dirty truth?" Mounting evidence suggests that child allergies are linked to sterile environments. You can be too clean! And if you've been missing out on a good night's sleep lately, "The Benefits of a Good Night's Rest" will make you quickly realize that sleep is as important as regular exercise and a good diet. We hope having this information will help you make sleep a priority.

It was another wonderful week in our Catholic World. May you have a great and blessed coming week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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