It’s Friday – No Meat Today

No Meat

Remember, it’s Friday – No Meat Today! 

Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. Abstinence refers to the avoidance of certain foods. The most common form of abstinence is the avoidance of meat, a spiritual practice that goes back to the earliest days of the Church.

Catholics over the age of 14 are required to abstain from meat and from foods made with meat in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday.

According to the USCCB, “abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chicken, cows, sheep or pigs – all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat. Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consomme, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are technically not forbidden. However, moral theologians have traditionally taught that we should abstain from all animal-derived products (except foods such as gelatin, butter, cheese and eggs, which do not have any meat taste). Fish are a different category of animal. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted.”

Many Catholics do not realize that the Church still recommends abstinence on all Fridays of the year, not just during Lent. In fact, if we don’t abstain from meat on non-Lenten Fridays, we’re required to substitute some other form of penance.

Wishing you all a very holy Lent!




“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matt. 7:1-5)

To “judge” as it is used here does not mean that people cannot discern that an act is sinful, nor does it mean we can’t tell the sinner that he or she is sinning. If that were so, then parents could not ever tell their child that it is wrong to lie, to cheat, or to steal. And if the child were caught in the act, then no parent could tell him or her that they were wrong. And they could certainly not ever punish the child, because there could never be any wrongdoing. Carried to its logical conclusion, no one could ever tell anyone that anything is sinful or wrong, including adultery, stealing, murder, taking the Lord’s name in vain, etc. . . And we would have to fire every judge in every courtroom worldwide.

If you read this whole passage, it becomes clear that Jesus was not telling his disciples that they could not ever judge the behavior of others. Rather, he was cautioning them to live righteous lives themselves so that their judgment of others’ behavior would not be rash judgment and their efforts would be effective in admonishing their neighbors.

Jesus indeed expects his disciples to judge but he warns that they, too, will be judged in a like manner. The idea of rightly judging the behavior of others can be found throughout the New Testament: Jesus told the Jews, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24).

Having said all that, there is a big difference between judging another’s behavior and judging the eternal state of his soul. The latter judgment belongs only to God.

So, when faced with the immoral behavior of loved ones, how can we be sure to rightly judge behavior? In Jesus’ own words, we must start by taking the logs out of our own eyes by making sure we are doing the best we can to live lives of good example. We must also strive to form our consciences correctly so that we know sin when we see it.

Finally, we must not jump to conclusions about another’s culpability in sin. Doing all this will help to ensure that our admonitions are seen as the loving actions we intend them to be — meant to help our loved ones live their lives in ways that are pleasing to God. Only then can our efforts be effective in helping to take these ugly specks out of our brothers’ eyes.

God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. All sin. Remember – it was all of our sin – present, past and future, that put Jesus on the cross. The sin you are doing today is another lash, another scourging, another nail in His body.

Yes – Jesus loves us and forgives us when we are truly sorry and asks for forgiveness in Confession, but he also said – “Go and sin no more.”



Beautiful Prayer

Jesus reaching down in water

Eternal, Holy God, I come to You burdened with worries, fears, doubts and troubles. Calm and quiet me with peace of mind. Empty me of the anxiety that disturbs me, of the concerns that weary my spirit, and weight heavy on my heart. Loosen my grip on the disappointments and grievances I hold on to so tightly. Release me from the pain of past hurts, of present anger and tension, of future fears. Sometimes it’s too much for me Lord, too many demands and problems, too much sadness, suffering, and stress. Renew me spiritually and emotionally. Give me new strength, hope, and confidence. Prepare me to meet the constant struggles of daily life with a deeper faith and trust in You. Let your love set me free, for peace, for joy, for grace, for life, for others, forever. Amen.

The Holy Eucharist


“May our faith supply what our senses fail to grasp.”

Many people go to Mass, sit back and think “Okay God – this better be good or I’m not coming back.” It’s great if the music and homily are good. They definitely add to the beauty and reverence of the Mass. But remember – only at Mass can you receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

The top two reasons that people leave the Catholic Church are the preaching and music. These, of course, are important, but even if they are quite awful, offer it up, pray for your priest, and go to Mass.

If you’re looking for a personal relationship with Jesus, you can’t get any more personal than when you take the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. It is not just a symbol. If you leave the Catholic Church, you leave the Eucharist. This is a big deal, and this is why we want you back if you have left, or if you’ve stopped going, or only go every once in a while.

Think about it. At a Catholic Mass, what is front and center? It’s not the ambo, where the readings are read and the homily is preached. The ambo is off to the side. It is the altar that is front and center. Nothing this side of Heaven is more beautiful than what goes on at a Catholic Mass. Heaven is opened up, and the altar is surrounded by adoring angels during the consecration. We go to Mass to worship God, not to be entertained.

I love how the priests and deacons walk in and kiss the altar at the beginning and ending of every Mass. Really notice this next time – and know that despite good or bad homilies and good or bad music, Christ is truly present, no matter what. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Jesus is there – body, blood, soul and divinity in the consecrated host. Thank God for the beautiful gift of the Mass that Jesus left for us 2000 years ago. Please go, and keep going back. ❤


Are you saved?


Are you saved?

Have you ever been asked this question? Has anyone ever told you that Catholics think they can work their way into Heaven, or that we are not saved unless we say out loud that we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior? That, if we do this, our salvation is absolutely assured and we can know with certainty that we are going straight to Heaven, regardless of anything we may do ornot do in the future?

The Catholic Church does not now, nor has it ever, taught a doctrine of salvation by works – that we can “work” our way into Heaven. And, the Bible does not teach that we are saved by “faith alone.” The only place in all of Scripture where the phrase “Faith Alone” appears, is in James 2:24, where it says that we are not justified (or saved) by faith alone.

If works have nothing to do with our salvation, then how come every passage in the New Testament that talks about judgment says we will be judged by our works, not by whether or not we have faith alone? (See Rom 2, Matthew 15 and 16, 1 Ptr 1, Rev 20 and 22, 2 Cor 5, and many, many more verses). Scripture is crystal-clear that once saved does not mean always saved.

If we are saved by faith alone, why does 1 Cor 13:13 say that love is greater than faith? Should it not be the other way around?

As Catholics we believe that we are saved by God’s grace alone. We can do nothing, apart from God’s grace, to receive the free gift of salvation. We also believe, however, that we have to respond to God’s grace. Protestants believe that, too. However, many Protestants believe that the only response necessary is an act of faith; whereas, Catholics believe a response of “faith and works” is necessary, or, as the Bible puts it in Galatians 5:6, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love.” (Just as the Church teaches.)

St. Paul said he needed to work out his salvation with “fear and trembling.” If anyone professed their faith in Jesus it was Paul. If he felt so assured of his salvation because of his faith alone in Jesus, why then would he be trembling, and have to “work out” his salvation?

If you think about it, even the devil believes in God. Belief is not enough. St. James tells us, “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:17)

So, the next time someone asks you if you are saved, the Catholic should reply:

As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13).”


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Love Being Catholic

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