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PRAYER FOR HEALING THE FAMILY TREE

tree
“Heavenly Father, I come before you as your child, in great need of your help; I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord. But I also ask you to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit.Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders.

With your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. In the name of your divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of his Holy Spirit, I ask you, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your precious Son, Jesus, I beg you to extend your blessing to me and to all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree.

I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask you to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage. Set your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members’ guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as your sovereignty permits.

In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with you, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to your Son, Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.”
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St. Joseph, Patron of family life, pray for us.

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Dear Love Being Catholic Friends

Dear Love Being Catholic Friends,

I have loved writing and maintaining this online ministry over the last four years. I have learned so much from all of you through your comments and messages on my posts and truly appreciate each one of you. Thank you so much for being a part of this page, and for all of your many prayers over the years.

My mission is to help you grow deeper in your love for Christ, His Church, and our Blessed Mother, while at the same time give you some easy-to-understand answers to questions you might have been asked by others about our faith. Through the grace of God, this page now has over 83,000 friends and is reaching almost a million people around the world each month.

It takes many hours to research, write and maintain this site, which I love doing. Any support is appreciated as it would allow me to continue running Love Being Catholic like I have been for the last several years. If you’re enjoying this page, or my blog at LoveBeingCatholic.com, and it has been a blessing to you, please consider supporting it with even a modest donation of $5.00-$10.00 – every little bit helps.

If you have donated already, I thank you wholeheartedly for making all of this possible. If you find any joy and value in Love Being Catholic, please consider supporting me in my efforts. Please also keep me in your prayers – you are all in my prayers as well!

To make a secure online donation visit: https://lovebeingcatholic.com/donate/

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

In Christ,

Liz

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Catholic gift idea – Shining Light Dolls

Shining Light Dolls

Hi Love Being Catholic Friends,

A friend of this page shared with me another great Catholic Christmas gift idea! Check out these Catholic dolls – perfect for Christmas, Confirmation, Holy Communion or Baptism gifts. Each of these precious dolls come with a little card telling a little bit about the saint and a beautiful prayer.  They are so unique – and precious. What a cute way to teach your children, grandchildren (and yourself!) about the Virgin Mary and saints!  They sell these at many Catholic bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. You can find more information at: http://shininglightdolls.com/Shining_Light_Dolls/Home.html

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Christmas Gift Ideas from Love Being Catholic

Happy Holidays

Hi Love Being Catholic Friends!

I wanted to share with you a little side business I do that allows me to continue posting on this Love Being Catholic page, while helping to support my family. I’ve been making gift baskets around the holidays for 15 years, and happy to assist you with any of your gift-giving needs this Christmas season.

If you are not sure yet what to give to your family, friends, co-workers, employees and clients this year, please check out The Mint Tulip Gift Baskets! (We also have a Facebook page, – The Mint Tulip Gift Baskets.) We specialize in beautiful Christmas and Holiday gift baskets, deliver locally in the north Atlanta and surrounding areas, and ship nationwide in the United States.

You can check out our 2014 Christmas & Holiday Collection atwww.TheMintTulip.com, email us at theminttulip@earthlink.net, or order online. Thank you to all who ordered from us last Christmas. We truly appreciate the business! Happy Thanksgiving next week to all of you too!
In Christ,

Liz

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Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest, and not directly to God?

Confession

Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest, and not directly to Jesus? Why is it so important to go to Confession?

Catholics always confess their sins to God. We do it directly as well as through His ministers because that is what God requires, as clearly taught in Scripture.

The Sacrament of Penance is one of the seven sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ Himself on Easter Sunday, when He first appeared to the apostles after his Resurrection. Breathing on them, he said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23). Jesus is clearly giving the disciples the authority to forgive, and not to forgive sins.

Think about it . . . the only other time that God breathed on anyone was when He breathed life into the first human being. (Genesis 2:7.) Both breathing instances were that of an intimate and very powerful moment between God and man.

Sacraments are an outward sign of an inward grace. In this case, the outward sign is the absolution, or forgiveness of sins, that the priest grants to the penitent (the person confessing his sins); the inward grace is the reconciliation of the penitent to God.

But how would His priests” forgive or retain” unless they actually “hear” the sins? If Jesus intended for everyone to confess their sins directly to God, why would Jesus need to give His apostles the authority to forgive? In Matthew 18:18, Jesus again gives the apostles authority to forgive sins by stating: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever y shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” Powerful stuff here.

There are many non-Catholic Christians who believe that sins are wiped away in Baptism. This means they believe that their ministers or pastors are used by God as His instruments in the forgiveness of sins through a sacrament, Baptism, which they administer. Catholics also believe this about Baptism, but we also believe that priests are used by God as His instruments for the forgiveness of sins in three sacraments: Confession, Anointing of the Sick, and Baptism. Many Christians believe God can use their ministers and pastors as instruments in His physical healing, so why wouldn’t God do the same with spiritual healing?

Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily: You must be sorry for your sins; you must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number to the best of your knowledge, and you must be willing to do penance and make amends for your sins. Since it was instituted by Christ as the proper form for the forgiveness of sins, the Catholic Church requires us to receive it at least once per year, and whenever we have committed a mortal sin. The Church strongly recommends that we take advantage of the sacrament often, since it confers graces that help us to live a Christian life. It is a beautiful gift that we should embrace and use frequently. Many people go once a month, some every week. We all need more grace in our lives.

Remember, to receive Holy Communion worthily, you must be in a state of grace. “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor. 11:27–28). To receive the Eucharist without sanctifying grace in your soul profanes the Eucharist in the most grievous manner.

As Christ well knew, to confess your sins to a priest, whom God has given the authority to be His stand-in, and actually state aloud the sin is not an easy thing to do. It requires humility, a heart-felt examination of conscience, trust in God and His Church, and a true contrition of heart. It can often seem like a frightening, humiliating act, especially if you have been away from it for years. But once you do, it is guaranteed that a relief and cleansing will immediately follow, as well as a strong sense of forgiveness. There is no doubt that you are forgiven when you hear the words of absolution spoken from Jesus’ representatives on earth, His priests.

Nothing in the world can compare to the joy of the soul after a good confession. The veil of sin falls away and the light of grace fills the soul. If you have not been to confession in a while – just go. God knows we all need it. If you’re nervous, pray for peace in your heart, and that you will make a good confession.

Don’t be afraid – just go – and keep going back. What a great way to start off the Advent season. This Christmas try to step back a bit from the focus on gifts and the commercialization of this holy season. Instead perhaps take some time to turn your focus on the real meaning of Christmas – the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have fun, celebrate with family and friends, but take time to pray, serve others, and really think about the impact that the birth of Christ has made on our world. Confession is a beautiful way to prepare your hearts for his arrival, and will give you true joy and peace.

God loves you and can’t wait to see you at Confession. Trust in His mercy. Just go. How about today?

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All Souls’ Day

Today is All Souls Day, a solemn feast in the Roman Catholic Church commemorating all of those who have died and now are in Purgatory.

The Catholic Church has always taught that Purgatory does exist. It is not a second chance to be saved, but rather, a place of cleansing for the already saved before entering into heaven. Once you die you are either saved or not saved. People who die with unexpiated sins or the attachment to sin on their souls go there, and are cleansed in the purifying fire of Purgatory for a period of time. Once they are purified, they go to heaven and enjoy the Beatific Vision forever.

We can help those in Purgatory by praying for them, saying rosaries for them, offering up our sufferings here on earth for them, and most powerfully of all, having Holy Masses said for them. If you have a love one who has passed away, or know someone who has, please never assume that when they died they went straight to Heaven. There is a very good chance they are in Purgatory. Please pray for their souls every day. Please also pray for the souls who have nobody to pray for them. Your prayers for the souls in purgatory can help them.

The Prayer of St. Gertrude is one of the most famous of the prayers for the souls in purgatory. St. Gertrude was a Benedictine nun and mystic who lived in the 13th century. According to tradition, our Lord promised her that 1000 souls would be released from purgatory and allowed into God’s Presence each time this prayer is said devoutly:

“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”

There is great joy as well as pain for the souls in purgatory. Joy for they know for certain they are bound for heaven, but pain because they are not there yet, and must undergo purification. Purgatory has been described as a “cleansing fire” that burns away the sins on our souls. St. Paul wrote those of being saved “yet so as through fire” (1 Cor 3:15), and whether or not the soul endures a literal fire, its purification does involve suffering. In purgatory, the souls of many of those who have died in God’s grace undergo purification so that they may enter heaven.

Some will try to tell you that the word “Purgatory” is not mentioned in the Bible. This is true, and yet it does not disprove the existence of purgatory or the fact that belief in it has always been part of Church teaching. The words Trinity and Incarnation are not in Scripture either, yet those doctrines are obviously taught in the Bible.

Scripture clearly teaches that purgatory exists. Prayers for the dead and the doctrine of purgatory have been part of the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ, for over 2000 years.

The most famous scriptural reference concerning these prayers comes from the Old Testament where it is called “a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Macabees 12:46). If everyone who dies goes immediately to Heaven or to Hell, then this verse would be nonsense. Those who are in Heaven have no need of prayer, “that they may be loosed from sins”; those who are in Hell are unable to benefit from such prayers, because there is no escape from Hell, since damnation is eternal. Thus, there must be a third place or state, in which some of the dead are currently in the process of being “loosed from sins.”

In the First Book of Samuel 31:13, the survivors fasted for the dead, which makes no sense if the deceased were not in a place where that penance (fasting) could do some good for them. In Matthew 12:31, Jesus told the parable about blaspheming the Holy Spirit (not believing that the Holy Spirit can save you, no matter what – the sin of despair), and said that anyone who does blaspheme the Holy Spirit “will not be forgiven in this age or the age to come” (Matthew 12:32). Since sins aren’t forgiven in Hell, and those in Heaven are already forgiven for their sins, then this one statement indicates another place after death where sins can indeed be forgiven.

Many of the Fathers of the Church, such as St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom, considered prayers for souls in purgatory to be essential.

Once you die you are either saved or not saved. If you have suffered greatly in this life, or during your death, that pain and suffering alleviates your purgatory time, if it was done for Christ, and not wasted in anger at God. All purgatory does is to detach you from your love of sin, and to pay your debt to God for all of the sins that you have committed while alive on earth. This is directly analogous to someone who robs a bank and then asks for forgiveness. While the bank president will probably forgive him, the thief still has to give back the money and pay his debt to society through prison time. Remember – nothing unclean or defiled shall enter Heaven (Revelation 21:27).

There are two plenary indulgences attached to All Souls Day, one for visiting a church and another for visiting a cemetery.(The plenary indulgence for visiting a cemetery can also be obtained every day from November 1-8, and, as a partial indulgence, on any day of the year.) While the actions are performed by the living, the merits of the indulgences are applicable only to the souls in Purgatory.

Praying for the dead is a Christian obligation. The Church devotes the month of November to prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. So please always remember to pray for the holy souls in purgatory every day. What a beautiful gift for these very special souls!

purgatory

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If we don’t stand up for life, who will?

As a Catholic, when you say you are against abortion, but respect a woman’s right to choose to have one, think about what you are really saying. You are saying that you personally wouldn’t abort your own child, but it’s fine if someone else does. In other words, the life of the child really doesn’t matter to you. This is not being Catholic. If you are a Catholic, and not in name only, you are for all life – from conception to natural death. You certainly are free to believe other wise, but if you think abortion is okay, you are going against the church that Jesus Christ Himself founded – the Catholic Church. Abortion is not of God, thought the secular world is very good at convincing you otherwise.

We don’t get to pick and choose who lives and who dies. God is the author of all life. By being okay with abortion, this is exactly what you are doing. We are not God, as much as many in the world would like to think that we are. Science has proven that life begins at conception. Even atheist acknowledge this. When Jesus was in His mother’s womb, He was an embryo. Think about this and how valued the life inside the womb must be to God. God, being God, could have chosen a different way to come down from Heaven and dwell among us. But he didn’t. He could have come to us already full-grown, with no family. But He didn’t. Instead he chose to come to us through the womb of a woman, as a vulnerable baby. Pretty powerful example to the preciousness of life in the womb, of babies and of families.

Do not believe the lies the secular world tells you. Do not believe everything you hear on television, or read in the paper. There is a powerful agenda out there and they do not have your best interest at heart. God does. Many, many young women are vulnerable to these lies. Help them, protect them and encourage them to give life to their child. They need your support. They need your help. Don’t abandon them. Catholics need to step up to the plate, help the mothers, protect the little ones, and stop falling for the “It’s my body I can do with it what I want to” lies. With this logic, why don’t you go out and support women being prostitutes? It’s their body – why not? Go ahead and encourage drug use – it’s their body – shouldn’t they be able to use drugs and do whatever they want to with it? Abortion is big business and makes a lot of money for the abortionist and Planned Parenthood. You’ve been sold a huge lie, and by buying into it millions of children have been dismembered and destroyed. Dismembered. This is reality and the truth of abortion. Human children are being destroyed every day in our world, and yet we listen to the lies rather than God. Your children and grandchildren and great grandchildren will never exist because of a lie. We are all better than this.

Do the right thing and truly live your Catholic faith. If you don’t understand a hard teaching, pray for understanding and then read, study and find out why the Church that was Jesus Christ founded 2000 years ago teaches and believe what it does. These teachings aren’t mean or old-fashioned. They are of God, who has our best interest and our eternal souls at heart. Jesus founded our Church and left us the Holy Spirit to always guide us in truth. Know your faith and stand up for life. Be Bold. Be Catholic. Be good, holy, moral people. Stand up for truth. Stand up for life. If we don’t, who will?

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