Here is this week's installment of "Five Faith Friday" which contains five, faith-based things I found interesting and am sharing on Friday.
What You Need to Know (Or Refresh Your Memory On) --
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception which occurred this past Tuesday pertains to the conception of the Virgin Mary in the womb of Her mother St. Anne, wherein she was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin by God's grace in view of the merits of Jesus Christ. Pope Pius IX formally and infallibly promulgated this as dogma meaning that it is heresy (i.e., extremely bad) to deny this fact. The Immaculate Conception does NOT pertain to the Nativity (birth) of the Blessed Virgin Mary nor does it pertain to Jesus's conception in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A few years ago I ran a Facebook poll asking: "Who does the Immaculate Conception refer to?" and the options were Mary or Jesus. I had 84 votes and only 61% said Mary. I went through name by name and it was scary if I'm being honest. I had very senior members in the Knights of Columbus, active Church goers, Catholic school teachers, etc. who were swinging and missing. We need better catechesis in the Church and we ourselves need to take the responsibility of learning our faith.
What Article I Read --
"Mr. Biden and the Matter of Scandal" by Archbishop Chaput (former Archbishop of Philadelphia). Some Catholics are excited that Mr. Biden seems to be on his way to the White House to be the 2nd Catholic President ever while other Catholics are disappointed that Mr. Biden calls himself a Catholic given his strong stance on being pro-abortion (obviously, something no Catholic can support) and the fact that he officiated a "wedding" between a same sex couple (also blatantly goes against Church teaching).
What Pilgrimage I Went On --
To see the tomb of Father Walter Ciszek. I had off work on Wednesday and decided to make the drive to visit his tomb. It was an extremely peaceful cemetery. I would encourage everyone to seek out a local shrine, a new church, or even a tomb of someone you admire (it could be that of a Saint or someone you deem is very holy!) and exposure yourselves to the beauties of the Church.
Which Declaration I'm Excited About --
The year of Saint Joseph!!!! There has never been a year in the 2,000 year history of the Church where it has focused its attention and asked for the intercession of the Terror of Demons (my favorite title for St. Joe). St. Joseph is already the Patron of the Universal Church but now we will see a year focused on him. Did you know that there are also plenary indulgences available for this year? I encourage everyone to consecrate yourself to St. Joseph this year using this book. Yes, you can buy the book from Amazon, but I suggest calling your local Catholic Bookstore (Abundant Graces for those in the Lehigh Valley) and ordering from them.
What Book I Read --
"Hungry Souls: Supernatural Visits, Messages, and Warnings from Purgatory" by Gerard J.M. Van Den Aardweg. This book definitely flies under the radar and most have never heard of it, but it does receive a 4.7 out of 5 star rating over 601 reviews on Amazon. If you have any interest in purgatory, souls, ghosts, etc., this is the book for you. Did you know that there is a place called the Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory? It contains an exhibit of items that have been signed (think: burned hand prints) by souls from purgatory.
Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and your family!