Five Faith Friday

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 Video(s) I Regularly Watch --
Catholic Kids Media! Each week I sit down with my boys and watch the readings for Mass on Sunday (click here for this Sunday's 7 minute long video). The video goes through each of the readings (1st, 2nd, Psalm, Gospel) and then there is a reflection provided as well. There are animations that go along to the narration which help it really sink in and ensure that you aren't hearing the readings for the first time when going to Mass. And it is not just for kids! Any aged individual can better prepare for Mass by going through the videos. Catholic Kids Media is the production of 22 year old Isabella D'Angelo, a Belgian-American currently residing in Milan, Italy. She graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2019 and has been producing amazingly high quality content now as her ministry. There was also a fantastic article that came out about Isabella and her work that you should check out. And there are more than just the weekly readings. Isabella has prayers, devotions, and more across English, Spanish, Portuguese and Maltese on her channel.

Which Document Was Interesting to Read --
"Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines" from the Vatican. The summary falls right in line with what I've shared in the past: If you want to take the vaccine and if you have the ability to take the vaccine with a high ethical profile, you should. If you don't have any option and still want to take the vaccine, it is morally acceptable to receive it from a low ethical profile. There was a really good episode of Pints With Aquinas on this topic if you'd rather watch and hear some FAQs with Senior Apologetics Lead Jimmy Akin: "Vatican on Covid Vaccines: Can They Be Used? W/ Jimmy Akin."

What I'm Going Through --
The Baltimore Catechism (1). Click the hyperlink there because it is available free online! If you've never picked up the Baltimore Catechism, you need to. It is very digestible and runs through a question and answer format for easy catechesis. I'm currently going through it with my oldest as we prepare for first Penance and first Holy Communion. Here are two for you:

  • Q: Is original sin the only kind of sin?
  • A. Original sin is not the only kind of sin; there is another kind of sin, which we commit ourselves, called actual sin
  • Q: What is actual sin?
  • A. Actual sin is any willful thought, word, deed or omission contrary to the law of God

That is why things such as lust, although "only" a thought, is a sin. See! Now you know. Here's the other thing that I will say. The first spiritual director of children is their parents. The vast majority, if not all, of what they know about the faith should come from home and be reinforced and supplemented by others (e.g., Catholic school, Sunday school, CCD, PREP, etc.), not the other way around.

What Announcement Was Interesting --
"Vatican modifies distribution of ashes for Ash Wednesday" It's sad for me to see our sacraments and sacramentals (e.g., holy water, ashes, etc.) not being used like in the past. It's also comical to think that the intention of the day is to remember that we are all going to die (see: "remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return") yet we can't touch each other out of the fear of death. But hey, my faith is in the Church and I really respect Cardinal Sarah who is in charge of the committee which provided the guidance. The use of ashes dates back to the Old Testament times when sackcloth and ashes were worn as signs of penance. The Church incorporated this practice in the eighth century when those who committed mortal sins known to the public had to do public penitence, sprinkled with ashes. But by the Middle Ages, the practice of penance and marking of ashes became something for the whole Church. Here's the full history and origin. I also learned that it's really an American thing to spread ashes on the forehead in the shape of a cross. Throughout Europe, ashes are oftentimes sprinkled on your head. Here is another good article for those interested. So I'll put covid aside and pretend this is to be better united with our brothers and sisters around the globe.

What I'm Reading --
"How to Be Somebody: Cultivating the Interior Garden" by M.V. Mendes. Jonathan Roumie, the guy that plays Jesus in the hit show "The Chosen" said it was one of his favorite books on a Pints With Aquinas episode with Matt Fradd where he was a guest. Here is a fantastic snip-it from the chapter I'm currently reading that was too good not to share:

"The highest level of humility, the humility of the saints, is called superabundant humility. The Holy Father lived this level of humility. A story is told of a priest from the U.S. who was visiting Rome. During his visit he received an invitation to have lunch with Pope John Paul II. Before the luncheon he stopped at a church to make a visit. Going into the church he was shocked to find a priest from his seminary class begging for food. His classmate, who had left the priesthood, was now nothing more than a common beggar in Rome. Upset by the encounter, the priest blurted out his sad experience over lunch with the Holy Father. The pope told him to bring that priest for dinner the next day. The next day the priest spent the morning searching for the beggar who at first, refused to have dinner with the Pope but finally agreed. The priest cleaned him up, lent him clothing, and then the two kept their dinner date with the Pope. After dinner John Paul II motioned for the U.S. priest to excuse the two of them. Turning to the beggar, the Pope asked him to hear his confession. Dumbfounded the beggar refused saying, Holy Father, I’m no longer a priest. I cannot hear your confession. The Pope kindly reassured him, You are a priest forever. I tell you, you can hear my confession. So he did. Then the beggar sank to his knees asking the Holy Father to hear his confession. The former priest was restored to good standing and appointed an assistant at the Roman parish where he formerly begged for food. Now he begs God for souls."

Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and your family!

David Yingling started his weekly “Five Faith Friday” emails when the Coronavirus forced an end to his in-person “Pints & Prayers” gatherings, which he describes as “Men striving to deepen their faith over a cold one.” He’s a member of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Easton.


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