Write In Between

Friday, September 28, 2007

Loving the Bride -- vol. 41

Something old...
Now we see that the human body is given the proper means to provide for its own life, health and growth, and for that of all its members. Similarly, the Savior of mankind out of His infinite goodness has provided in a wonderful way for His Mystical Body, endowing it with the Sacraments, so that, as though by an uninterrupted series of graces, its members should be sustained from birth to death, and that generous provision might be made for the social needs of the Church. Through the waters of Baptism those who are born into this world dead in sin are not only born again and made members of the Church, but being stamped with a spiritual seal they become able and fit to receive the other Sacraments. By the chrism of Confirmation, the faithful are given added strength to protect and defend the Church, their Mother, and the faith she has given them. In the Sacrament of Penance a saving medicine is offered for the members of the Church who have fallen into sin, not only to provide for their own health, but to remove from other members of the Mystical Body all danger of contagion, or rather to afford them an incentive to virtue, and the example of a virtuous act.

Nor is that all; for in the Holy Eucharist the faithful are nourished and strengthened at the same banquet and by a divine, ineffable bond are united with each other and with the Divine Head of the whole Body. Finally, like a devoted mother, the Church is at the bedside of those who are sick unto death; and if it be not always God's will that by the holy anointing she restore health to the mortal body, nevertheless she administers spiritual medicine to the wounded soul and sends new citizens to heaven - to be her new advocates - who will enjoy forever the happiness of God.

For the social needs of the Church Christ has provided in a particular way by the institution of two other Sacraments. Through Matrimony, in which the contracting parties are ministers of grace to each other, provision is made for the external and duly regulated increase of Christian society, and, what is of greater importance, for the correct religious education of the children, without which this Mystical Body would be in grave danger. Through Holy Orders men are set aside and consecrated to God, to offer the Sacrifice of the Eucharistic Victim, to nourish the flock of the faithful with the Bread of Angels and the food of doctrine, to guide them in the way of God's commandments and counsels and to strengthen them with all other supernatural helps.

---- Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi, 1943.

Something new...

40 Days for Life begins!


Cardinal Sean O'Malley, from the Archdiocese of Boston leads Catholic and Orthodox pilgrims to Rome, and continues ecumenical dialogue with members of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Congress for Women in Rome! Can't get to Rome? Here's more about it, here in the US. Say a prayer that this initiative can be implemented locally.


Conservative talk show host, Laura Ingraham, talks with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN about her conversion to the Catholic faith, among other topics covered in her new book, Power to the People.

Something borrowed...
Mary in space... orbiting the earth!


Just for fun... from our pal, Fr Guy over at Shouts in the Piazza, this captioned photo of His holiness BXVI singing, er, well, you guess!


This is not necessarily a Catholic item, but it is a great music video that illustrates the greatness of God and plays a great tune.

Something blue....
Remember the term "minimum daily requirements"? When I was growing up, it was largely associated with healthy nutrition and vitamin supplements. Well, for me, there is a "Marian Daily Requirement." It is my daily reliance on my Mother Mary. But truly, there are days when I struggle to find the few minutes I need to pray the Rosary with devotion. Just in case you've forgotten, (and I need the extra incentive as well) there are 15 Promises associated with praying the Rosary. Sometimes, it's the healthiest part of my day!

So, let us pray for one another.

Copyright 2007 Patricia W. Gohn

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- Dietrich von Hildebrand

It is perhaps in the adoration of the Sacred Heart that the mystery of the Incarnation and of God's infinite charity manifest itself in the deepest manner. In the invocation, Cor Jesu, in quo habitat onmis plenitudo divinatatis, "Heart of Jesus, wherein abides the fullness of the Godhead," we find the tension that is immanent in the mystery of the Incarnation in its full, ineffable glory. In saying Cor Jesu, we are touching on the deepest and noblest mark of human nature: to have a heart capable of love, a heart which can know anxiety and sorrow, which can be affected and moved, is the most specific characteristic of the human person. The heart is the most tender, the most inner, the most secret center in man, and it is in the heart of Jesus that the plenitude of Divinity dwells.

And what an extraordinary emphasis on the infinite love of Christ in the Sacred Heart, on this mystery which is the deepest source of our joy! That Christ loves us is the great secret, the most intimate secret of every soul. It is the most inconceivable reality; it is a reality which would completely change the life of every man if he could but realize it fully.

----Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Heart.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Loving the Bride, vol. 40

Something old...
"Be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you."

----C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Something new...

Still the plans continue for BXVI's US visit!

Something borrowed...

If you were ever a fan of the book A Severe Mercy, you might be interested in the forthcoming movie that features the creative work of Barbara Nicolosi.

Something blue...
Interesting new piece from Sri Lanka about a lost statue of Our Lady 'miraculously' found.

Copyright 2007 Patricia W. Gohn

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- St Maximilian Kolbe

The Father begets the Son; the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son. These few words sum up the mystery of the life of the Most Blessed Trinity and of all the perfection in creatiure which are nothing else but echoes, a hymn of praise, a many-hued tableau, of this primary and most wondrous of all mysteries.

We must perforce use our customary vocabulary, since it is all we have; but we must never forget that our vocabulary is very inadequate.

Who is the Father? What is his personal life like? It consists in begetting, eternally; because he begets his Son from the beginning, and forever.

Who is the Son? He is the Begotten-One, because from the beginning and for all eternity he is begotten by the Father.

And who is the Holy Spirit? The flowering of love of the Father and Son. If the fruit of created love is a created conception, then the fruit of divine love, the prototype of all created love, is necessarily a divine "conception." The Holy Spirit is, therefore, the "uncreated, eternal conception," the prototype of all the conceptions that multiply life throughout the whole universe.

The Father begets; the Son is begotten; the Spirit is the "conception" that springs from their love; there we have the intimate life of the three Persons by which they can be distinguished from one another. But they are united in the oneness of their Nature, of their divine existance.

The Spirit is, then, this thrice holy "conception," this infinitely holy, Immaculate Conception.


The creature most completely filled with this love, filled with God himself, was the Immaculata, who never contracted the slightest stain of sin, who never departed in the least from God's will. United to the Holy Spirit as his spouse, she is one with God in an incomparably more perfect way than can be predicated of any other creature.

What sort of union is this? It is above all an interior union, a union of her essence with the "essence" of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in her, lives in her. This was true from the first instance of her existance. It was always true; it will always be true.

In what does this life of the Spirit in Mary exist? He himself is uncreated Love in her; the Love of the Father and of the Son, the Love by which God loves himself, the very love of the Most Holy Trinity. He is a fruitful Love, a "Conception." Among creatures made in God's image the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all (cf Mt. 19:6). In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being. He makes her fruitful, from the very instant of her existence, all during her life, and for all eternity.

The eternal "Immaculate Conception" (which is the Holy Spirit) produces in an immaculate manner diving life itself in the womb (or depths) of Mary's soul, making her the Immaculate Conception, the human Immaculate Conception. And the virginal womb of Mary's body is kept sacred for him; he conceives in time--because everything that is material occurs in time--the human life of the Man-God.


At Lourdes, the Immaculata did not say of herself that she had been conceived immaculately, but, as St. Bernadette repeated it: "I am the Immaculate Conception."

If among human beings the wife takes the name of her husband because she belongs to him, is one with him, becomes equal to him and is, with him, the source of new life, how much great reason should the name of the Holy Spirit, who is the divine Immaculate Conception, be used in the name of her in whom he lives as uncreated Love, the principle of life in the whole supernatural order of grace?

-----Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit, the Marian Teachings of St. Maximilian Kolbe, by Fr. H.M. Manteau-Bonamy, op

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Got Books?

Okay, I am a book-a-holic. I buy books. I read books. I am a highlighter-notes-in-the-margin kind of reader. Mind you, the genre of books that I tend to read most these last few years are in the non-fiction/Catholic/spirituality/theology category. I read them and I buy them. My current "to be read shelf" has about 50 volumes awaiting my attention. While I have yet to write a book myself (aside from the research and reflection papers that I write for school and the articles I write for publication), chances are, if you are in my family or circle of friends, I have given you a book or two as gifts or opened up my library for loan.

But enough about me. This is about books, and specifically, Books About Catholic Life And Belief. And the need to support the Catholic booksellers out there.

Sophia Press Institute has some great books! Click here and buy a few on-line today.

Honestly, I'm giving them a plug today because they are needed in the marketplace of ideas and they are trying to keep the doors open. I'm sure you might be able to find a title or two to interest you. Check them out and find a book to read or give away today.

Here's what I just bought and adding to my "to be read" stack:
  • Temperament God Gave You, by Art Bennett (self-help/spirituality)
  • The Art of Loving God, by St. Francis De Sales (spirituality)
  • The Church on Earth, by Ronald A. Knox (church history)

Just remember, the titles this bookseller carries may forever go away if they go out of business. Don't miss a chance to be blest by a good book, and to be a blessing to the authors, publishers and distributors of Catholic works!

Copyright 2007 Patricia W. Gohn

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Loving the Bride, vol. 39

Something old.... Everything you always wanted to know about The Real Presence but were afraid to ask...

Something new.... Relics of John Paul II are available by writing to the Vatican.


Vatican says food and water must be provided to vegetative patients. Click here.

Something borrowed....Great little summary on HOW to go to Confession (Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation). Hat tip to Danielle Bean for the link. And don't miss That Catholic Show's newest episodeon the topic of confession!

Something blue.... Mary's motherhood, completely pervaded by her spousal attitude as the "handmaid of the Lord," constitutes the first and fundamental dimension of that mediation which the Church confesses and proclaims in her regard and continually "commends to the hearts of the faithful," since the Church has great trust in her. For it must be recognized that before anyone else it was God himself, the Eternal Father, who entrusted himself to the Virgin of Nazareth, giving her his own Son in the mystery of the Incarnation. Her election to the supreme office and dignity of Mother of the Son of God refers, on the ontological level, to the very reality of the union of the two natures in the person of the Word (hypostatic union). This basic fact of being the Mother of the Son of God is from the very beginning a complete openness to the person of Christ, to his whole work, to his whole mission. The words "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord" testify to Mary's openness of spirit: she perfectly unites in herself the love proper to virginity and the love characteristic of motherhood, which are joined and, as it were, fused together.

For this reason Mary became not only the "nursing mother" of the Son of Man but also the "associate of unique nobility" of the Messiah and Redeemer. As I have already said, she advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and in this pilgrimage to the foot of the Cross there was simultaneously accomplished her maternal cooperation with the Savior's whole mission through her actions and sufferings. Along the path of this collaboration with the work of her Son, the Redeemer, Mary's motherhood itself underwent a singular transformation, becoming ever more imbued with "burning charity" towards all those to whom Christ's mission was directed. Through this "burning charity," which sought to achieve, in union with Christ, the restoration of "supernatural life to souls," Mary entered, in a way all her own, into the one mediation "between God and men" which is the mediation of the man Christ Jesus. If she was the first to experience within herself the supernatural consequences of this one mediation-in the Annunciation she had been greeted as "full of grace"-then we must say that through this fullness of grace and supernatural life she was especially predisposed to cooperation with Christ, the one Mediator of human salvation. And such cooperation is precisely this mediation subordinated to the mediation of Christ.

In Mary's case we have a special and exceptional mediation, based upon her "fullness of grace," which was expressed in the complete willingness of the "handmaid of the Lord." In response to this interior willingness of his Mother, Jesus Christ prepared her ever more completely to become for all people their "mother in the order of grace."
[Emphasis mine.]

-----John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater 1987.

Copyright 2007 Patricia W. Gohn

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- Benedict XVI

Just had to give you another nugget from Benedict's book...

Before there can be bread, the seed--the grain of wheat--first has to be placed in the earth, it has to "die", and then the new ear can grow out of this death. Earthly bread can become the bearer of Christ's presence because it contains in itself the mystery of the Passion, because it unites in itself death and resurrection.

-----Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, 2007.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

May We Never Forget

You are a true Christian when you can never forget the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

You are a true Catholic when you can never forget the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

You are a true husband or wife when you never forget that marriage requires a faithful and complete gift of self to another.

You are a true mother or father because, despite all, you can never forget your child.

You are a true teacher when you never forget the humility it takes to learn.

You are a true leader when you never forget the willingness to to serve.

You are a true servant when you never forget that all tasks can be carried out with love.

You are a true friend when you never forget to forgive.

You are a true American when you never forget the costs of our freedoms and are willing to pay them yourself.

Copyright 2007 Patricia W. Gohn

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Loving The Bride, vol. 38

Something old.... I am the least, the weakest, the most common person on earth, Lord, and I beg You, my heavenly Father, Christ, Spirit, Holy Trinity, to forgive me today of all my sins of omission, committed in Your holy service. Forgive not only those sins I committed while seeking to improve my life, or out of necessity, but also those that I committed because of sinful spite, which I could have easily stopped if I'd just felt like it.

Please accept, Lord, this tiny improvement in my will, and help me change what in me is spiritually stupid because I want to lead a holy life and have community with Your saints on earth.

-----Mechthild of Magedburg, (German mystic, 13th century) The Flowing Light of the Godhead.

Something new.... Been thinking about learning about "theology of the body" but not sure where to start? I usually recommend people try one of Christopher West's books or talks on CD/DVD. Christopher West's latest book The Love That Satisfies is the subject of this podcast from Catholic Spotlight.


A new Jesuit video series on The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius can be found here through Jesuit Review.

Something borrowed.... Amy Welborn, a Catholic writer I admire, is scaling back on blogging, by introducing a new, er, blog. Find it here.


You Tube video: young people taking the pro-life message to the streets. Hat tip to Nolan over at Rise of the TOB (Theology of the Body.)


Marcellino D'Ambrosio has a good article on humility.

Something blue.... The most complete ancient Marian prayer we have, dated by to 250AD:

Sub Tuum Praesidium ("Under Your Patronage")

We fly to your patronage,

O holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions,

in our necessities,

but deliver us from all dangers.

O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.

Copyright 2007 Patricia W. Gohn

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- Fr. Michael Scanlon TOR

"The difference the [baptism of the] Spirit makes is the difference between willpower Christianity and Christianity lived in the Spirit. Most of us know what willpower Christianity is. We make a conscious decision to pattern our lives on that of Jesus Christ and to be faithful to his teachings in the midst of sufferings and temptations and difficulty. In short, willpower Christianity means using our wills to achieve our ideal of holiness. The Lord wants us to have a disciplined will, but he also wants..to do things for us. He wants us to enjoy the abundance of his mercy. He wants to use us to do miracles. He wants us to know him intimately."

-----Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR, Let the Fire Fall, Franciscan University Press

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Happy New Year!

Usually, right around now, we moms of school-age children are deep in the new school year, or just about ready to launch into it.

Who or what are you launching this year? Maybe it's even yourself--into a new role, or new job, or new activity or interest. I write about that very thing, here--at Catholic.Mom.

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