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Welcome to “Love Being Catholic!”

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Dear Love Being Catholic Friends,

WELCOME to “Love Being Catholic!”

Thank you all for following this page! I just wanted to introduce myself for anyone who is new to this page, say hello, and thank you for joining “Love Being Catholic!”

My name is Liz and I am the admin for “Love Being Catholic.” I am passionate about my faith, and this page is my little way of spreading the joy and beauty of our Catholic faith. This page is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, and I pray is under her guidance and protection. It recently reached 280,000 followers, and is currently reaching several million people around the world each month.

I started “Love Being Catholic” nine years ago and post on it every day, beginning with the Morning Offering prayer and an image of our Blessed Mother and Baby Jesus. At 3:00 each day (EST) I post the Divine Mercy Image with the words, “Jesus I trust in You!” I thought it would just help you take a moment out of your day to focus on Christ and remember to TRUST in God’s divine Holy Will. Trust is so important! 

This page is for Catholics, fallen away Catholics who might be interested in re-discovering their faith, or for anyone interested in learning more about what Catholics believe and why we believe it. This page was not set up to bash other religions or Protestant denominations, or to try to convert anyone to Catholicism. (That’s the Holy Spirit’s job.)My mission is to spread the truth, joy and beauty of our faith and hopefully clear up some misconceptions that we all have come across from time to time about our Catholic faith.

I wasn’t always this “into” my faith, but by the grace of God, while watching Saint John Paul II’s funeral several years ago, it struck me that I really did not really understand, or appreciate my Catholic faith. I remember watching the funeral on TV, and thinking about how many people loved this pope, his holiness, and his love for Christ and our Blessed Mother. Saint John Paul II’s death actually started me on my journey back to re-discovering my faith. I realized at the time that I could not answer basic questions that my children asked me about what Catholics believed, and why we believed it. I went through the motions and considered myself Catholic, but really didn’t know or understand, let alone agree with many of the actual teachings of the Catholic Church.

I remember asking a woman, who is now a dear friend of mine, why she was converting to Catholicism. I saw the love and joy that she had for Christ and the Catholic Church, and I wanted that same joy. This same woman prior to becoming Catholic was a member of a mega church down the street where she was very active and led several Bible studies, and yet she converted to Catholicism. I was used to hearing stories of people who had left the Church, so it was refreshing to learn why someone would want to become Catholic.

I asked her why she was converting, and she told me that the Catholic Church contained the “fullness of truth.” At the time I did not understand what she meant by this “fullness of truth”, but these words stuck with me. She told me that the issue of authority and studying church history played a big part in her conversion. She started studying the early church fathers, and discovered what the church was like right after Jesus was crucified.(It was totally Catholic.) She recommended a book to me called “Four Witnesses” by Rod Bennett. I bought the book and loved it. I had never even thought about where the Bible came from, or what the early church was like. She also told me that the movie “The Passion of the Christ” had a profound impact on her conversion to the Catholic faith. (Be sure to watch this movie if you can – it’s very hard to watch, yet very moving!)

I started reading a lot of conversion stories and two books in particular that I really enjoyed were “Surprised by Truth” by Patrick Madrid, and “Rome Sweet Home” by Scott Hahn. These books contained stories of different people from other faiths and religions who converted to Catholicism, and why they converted. They all told their stories honestly, truthfully, and with charity, without bashing their previous religion or christian denomination. Another show I started watching was Marcus Grodi’s show on EWTN called “The Journey Home” which was a show on conversion stories, also done honestly and charitably. I started attending Bible studies, reading the Bible more, and attended talks by Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins, Peter Kreeft, Allen Hunt, Patrick Madrid, and Matthew Kelly. I loved listening to others who were passionate about their Catholic faith, and hearing about why they loved being Catholic. I loved how so many people who converted to Catholicism used both faith and reason in their journeys. Each story I heard just logically made sense to me, as I searched for this “truth.”

Though I am a cradle Catholic, and have always attended Mass, I would often sit in the back and leave right after communion. I didn’t get it. I did not appreciate the beauty of the Mass, and definitely took it for granted. By the grace of God, my husband decided to convert and became a Catholic in 2007. I attended his RCIA classes with him to re-learn my faith, and loved every minute of it. His conversion to Catholicism actually helped to make me a better Catholic. My husband, a former Lutheran, is now very devoted to our Blessed Mother, and is the one who got us praying the rosary together every night. (Mary has a way of drawing her children back to the Catholic faith. Just a piece of advice -the rosary is a very powerful weapon!)

I attended a Catholic high school in Atlanta, and graduated from the University of Georgia. (Go Dawgs!) I currently work planning events for a private Catholic school. I have three children, ages 23, 19, and 16, ten brothers and sisters, tons of brother & sister-in-laws, a thousand or so nieces and nephews, and am blessed with the best parents and in-laws a girl could ask for. ) I am also a 20 year breast cancer survivor. (Yay!)

I also want to personally thank so many of you for praying for my husband when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure a few years ago, and most recently for my mom who recently had hip replacement surgery at age 85. Your prayers have truly been amazing – and I am so thankful for you all!

I also have a blog at www.lovebeingcatholic.com that I post on in case you have family and friends who are not on Facebook. From this site you can easily print out, email, or share the posts and prayers.

Many of you have asked if there is a way to donate to my online ministry. You can donate securely online at https://lovebeingcatholic.com/donate/ Anything you can do is greatly appreciated! Your donations help pay for my husband’s medical bills and monthly prescriptions – thank you all for your prayers and support!

I am truly grateful to be given the gift of my Catholic faith, have a deep love for Christ and His Blessed Mother, and am so happy and humbled to be a member of His “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” – though I fail miserably all the time. (Thank goodness for God’s mercy!) I am still learning and re-discovering my faith, enjoy sharing it with others, and hope you enjoy it too.

That’s all (sorry this was so long!) – I just wanted to say hello and thank you for joining this page! Please know I am praying for you all and wanted to thank you again for following this page!

And one more thing, if you couldn’t tell, I Love Being Catholic! 

In Christ, 

Liz

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Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue

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Lovely Lady dressed in blue
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
Tell me what to say!

Did you lift Him up, sometimes,
Gently on your knee?
Did you sing to Him the way
Mother does to me?

Did you hold His hand at night?
Did you ever try
Telling stories of the world?
O! And did He cry?

Do you really think He cares
If I tell Him things
Little things that happen? And
Do the Angels’ wings

Make a noise? And can He hear
Me if I speak low?
Does He understand me now?
Tell me, for you know.

Lovely Lady dressed in blue
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
And you know the way.

Mary Dixon Thayer who wrote more than one poem for Our Lady, is the author. This prayer-poem was popularized in the 1950s by Archbishop Fulton Sheen. 

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Today is Divine Mercy Sunday!

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Today is Divine Mercy Sunday!

It is based on the private revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, which recommended a particular devotion to the Divine Mercy. In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and, during the ceremony, he declared: It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday”.

To ensure that the faithful would observe this day with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff [John Paul II] himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence, so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit.

To observe the Feast of Mercy well, which is the Sunday after Easter, and to gain a plenary indulgence, we should:

1) Celebrate the Feast on Divine Mercy Sunday,

2) venerate the Image of the Divine Mercy [perform some act or make some gesture of deep religious respect toward it, because it represents our Most Merciful Savior],

3) be merciful to others, through our actions, words, and prayers on their behalf,

4) place our complete trust in Jesus,

5) have the intention of gaining a plenary indulgence,

6) pray the Divine Mercy novena,

7) detach ourselves from all sin,

8) go to Confession, preferably before the Feast [we may go within 20 days before or after the Feast, according to previously issued norms for plenary indulgences],

9) pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the intentions of Pope Francis, and

10) receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast.

The Divine Mercy image is a depiction of Jesus based on a vision that St. Faustina had in 1931. This image shows Jesus raising his right hand in blessing, and pointing with his left hand on his chest from which flow forth two rays: one red and one (pale) white.
The depictions often contains the message “Jesus, I trust in You!” (Polish: Jezu ufam Tobie). The rays streaming out have symbolic meaning: red for the blood of Jesus (which is the Life of Souls), and pale for the water (which justify souls) (from Diary – 299). The whole image is symbolic of charity, forgiveness and love of God, referred to as the “Fountain of Mercy”.

Jesus I trust in You. 

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Prayers for all who have lost a child

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Prayers go out to all who have lost a child – whether it be to an illness, accident, murder, suicide, in war, natural disaster, drugs, miscarriage, child trafficking, or abortion. And, in a very special way, prayers go out to all who have lost a child through adoption, which can feel like a death when you say goodbye to your baby, even though you made a beautiful decision by choosing life for your child.

May God hold you all in the palm of His hand, and give you His love, grace, peace, forgiveness (for abortion) and comfort. And may our Blessed Mother, who very well knows the pain of losing a Child, wrap you in her mantle and surround you in her comfort and love. 

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Why does it matter if you leave the Catholic Church?

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Why does it matter if you leave the Catholic Church?

It matters because as Catholics we think it is important to belong to the Church that Christ founded 2000 years ago. It matters because when you leave the Catholic Church, you leave the Eucharist – and all the sacraments that Christ Himself instituted. It matters because as Catholics we believe the Church contains the fullness of the truth because it was founded by Christ Himself.

What is the “pillar and foundation of truth”? According to the Bible, it is the Church:

1 Timothy 3: 14-15 “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.”

Jesus left us a Church to guide us in Truth. He chose Peter as the first Pope when He said, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). And then, this Church – the Catholic Church, decided what books belonged in the Bible in the 4th century. It was the authority of the Catholic Church that decided what books were inspired and belonged in the Bible. (Think about this – something “outside” the Bible determined what books belonged in the Bible.) The Catholic Church came before the Bible.

This does not mean that we think other religions and Christian denominations do not contain any truth, for they do. But the Catholic Church, since it was founded by Jesus, contains the fullness of truth, so we think it is very important to belong to the church that Christ founded, and share our faith with our children, grandchildren, and others.

There are many things Christians have in common that we should celebrate – mainly our belief in Jesus Christ. Many say as long as we agree on the essentials it’s all good, and that it doesn’t matter what church you go to.

But who decides what is “essential”?

To a Catholic, the Eucharist is essential. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. To many non-Catholics, it is merely a symbol.

To a Catholic, baptizing our children is essential. To many others, it doesn’t matter if you wait until the teenage years.

To a Catholic, our love and devotion to our Blessed Mother is essential. To many non-Catholics, our Blessed Mother is only thought about (if at all), during Christmas.

To a Catholic, the belief that all life is to be protected from conception to natural death is essential. To many others faiths, abortion and euthanasia are justified.

To a Catholic marriage is a sacrament, and is the belief that it is between one man and one woman is essential. To many others, marriage can easily be re-defined, and living together before marriage is no big deal because everybody is doing it.

To a Catholic, being required to go to Mass every Sunday is essential. To many others, its no big deal to miss Mass if you’re on vacation, want to sleep in, or think you can just watch it on TV.

To a Catholic, praying for the souls in purgatory is essential. Other Christian faiths think purgatory doesn’t exist and is something they think Catholics made up. (Even though purgatory has been part of the church history for 2000 years. – Actually, the Jews prayed for the dead before Christ was born so there is both scripture and tradition to support it centuries before this.)

All of these “essentials” matter to a Catholic.

Does this mean that Catholics are holier than non-Catholics? Absolutely not. Some of the holiest people I know are Catholic, and some of the most unholiest people I know are Catholic. We’ve been given this beautiful gift of our Catholic faith, and yet too many of us have taken it for granted, pick and choose what we want to believe, or have not appreciated what we have.

The Catholic Church is both human and divine. Because it is divine, it will last forever. Because it is human, it will have scandals, and sinful people in it, just like what you will find in all denominations and religions. Scandals do not prove that the Catholic Church is false. They only prove what is obvious: that the Church contains sinners as well as saints.

There is evil everywhere. Evil and abuse exists in Protestant denominations, organizations, public and private schools, companies, nursing homes, seminaries, Hollywood, and inside so many families today. Child abuse, abortion and human trafficking are horrific evils, and are rampant in today’s world. Evil exists in our beautiful Catholic Church and none of it should tolerated. God sees it all.

Remember Judas? Jesus picked him to be one of His original twelve disciples. Despite Judas’ betrayal, 2000 year later the Church that Jesus founded still exists.
Despite humans messing things up at times, the Catholic Church was founded by Christ, and will FOREVER be guided by the Holy Spirit until the end of time, as quoted in scripture:

“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:12-13

“I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Among all the Christian churches, only the Catholic Church has existed since the time of Jesus. Every other Christian church is an offshoot of the Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox churches broke away from unity with the pope in 1054. The Protestant churches were established during the Reformation, which began in 1517. Most of today’s Protestant churches are actually offshoots of the original Protestant offshoots, each with their own man made traditions.

Only the Catholic Church existed in the tenth century, in the fifth century, and in the first century, faithfully teaching the doctrines given by Christ to the apostles, omitting nothing. The line of popes can be traced back, in unbroken succession, to Peter himself. This is unequaled by any institution in history.

Even the oldest government is new compared to the papacy, and the churches to which door-to-door missionaries belong are young compared to the Catholic Church. Many of these churches began as recently as the nineteenth or twentieth centuries. None of them can claim to be the Church Jesus established.

The Catholic Church has existed for 2,000 years, despite constant opposition from the world. This is testimony to the Church’s divine origin. It must be more than a merely human organization, especially considering that its human members—even some of its leaders (popes, cardinals, bishops and priests)—have been unwise, corrupt, abusive, or prone to heresy. Any merely human organization with such members would have collapsed early on. The fact that the Catholic Church is today the most vigorous church is testimony not to the cleverness of the Church’s leaders, but to the protection of the Holy Spirit.

If you have never studied Church history, study it now and see what the early Church was really like, what Catholics believed, and what they practiced. If you study it you will see that the early Church was totally Catholic. The early Church believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist; Early Christians did pray for their dead; Christ did give the apostles the power to forgive sins; Peter was clearly chosen by Christ as the leader of His Church; Mary was loved and honored by the early Christians; Whole households (including babies) were baptized. Think about it – if you are looking for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can’t get more personal than when you receive His body, blood, soul, and divinity in the holy Eucharist, and are a part of the actual Church that Christ founded.

It’s important to know history, know why we are Catholic, and embrace the beauty and truth of our faith. So many people, including many protestant pastors, converted to the Catholic Church after studying Church history, particularly regarding the issue of authority. Two great books to read on church history are: “Four Witnesses”, by Rod Bennett, and “Where we got the Bible: Our debt to the Catholic Church” by Henry Graham. Two great sites that have helped many people on their journey to the Catholic faith are Catholics Come Home –www.catholicscomehome.org. and The Coming Home Network – http://www.chnetwork.org/

The Catholic Church, founded by Christ, contains the fullness of Truth.

Yes, evil exists, but light will win over darkness. Never tolerate evil, never stop praying, and never give up hope on our beautiful Catholic Church. God needs soldiers to be holy, strong, faithful catholics who fight the good fight, look evil in the eye and stand up for truth. Be holy, humble and grateful as you embrace the beautiful gift of our Catholic faith. Never stop seeking truth. Be thankful for all seven of our sacraments. Pray every day and develop a personal relationship with Jesus and our dear Blessed Mother. Do what you can to pass on your Catholic faith with all our beautiful traditions to your children and grandchildren.

Let us all spread the beauty and truth of our Catholic faith!

If we don’t, who will? 

In Christ,
Liz

 

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Dear Love Being Catholic Friends,

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Dear Love Being Catholic Friends,

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.

If you’re enjoying this blog, or my Love Being Catholic Facebook page, and it has been a blessing to you, please consider supporting it with even a modest donation. If you have donated already, I thank you wholeheartedly for helping to allow me to keep running this page as I have for the past several years.

Please also keep me in your prayers – you are all in my prayers as well!

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

In Christ, 

Liz