Apostle’s Scroll

pentecost

This new devotional will provide you with bits of wisdom in honor of your birth Apostle. For future posts from this article, see link: Apostle’s Scroll

Timothy and Titus (January)

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)

Matthias (February)

then he must confess his sin that he has committed and must make full reparation, add one fifth to it, and give it to whomever he wronged. (Numbers 5:7)

Epaphroditus (March)

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)

Mark (April)

And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

 Philip and James (May)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

Peter and Paul (June)

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Thomas and James (July)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Bartholomew (August)

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. (Matthew 5:37)

Matthew (September)

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)

Simon and Jude (October)

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”  (Matthew 21:22)

Andrew (November)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

John (December)

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16)

May God bless you through the intercession of His holy apostles, especially the one watching over you!

 

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8 Steps To A Tougher Immune System

photo of person squeezing lemon

 

  1.  Vitamin A:  good sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and cantaloupe.  (Vitamin A gives Vitamin C the power to do its job.)
  2.   Vitamin C:  good sources include lemons, oranges, and potatoes.  
  3.   Garlic  (A natural antibiotic.)
  4.   No dieting.  (Your immune relies on fat to fight illness, and dieting also puts strain on the body.)
  5.  Healthy fats:  good sources include eggs, mayonnaise, avocado, olive oil, cream cheese, and sour cream. 
  6.   No sugar.  (Each tablespoon of white sugar knocks out your immune system for ten minutes.)
  7.   Drink lots of water. 
  8.   Get lots of sleep.  (Your immune system works twice as well when you’re sleeping as when you’re awake.)

orange carrots on table

 

The Passing of a Prince

Today I had to say goodbye to the truest friend I ever had.

Friends have left, family can turn sour if the moods aren’t right, and when my soul isn’t as strong even God can seem far away, but this furry little angel was always there for me and always loved me unmistakably.

He put up with my teasing and photo shoots, snuggled me every morning and night, celebrated my return from work or Mass, and was always a perfectly groomed and behaved. He was much more to me than just a pet, he was my baby, and I still can’t believe he’s gone.

I hope I’ll see you again in Heaven someday, sweet Prince, because only then will my broken heart be whole again! XOXOXOXO

 

princeandpony

The Pros & Cons of Harry Potter

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Why people say it’s OK….          & why the experts know it’s not.

“It’s just a story. The witchcraft isn’t real.”….          The author, in her own words, used real spells and spell books in her books for “authenticity”. Those same spells are the ones in the movies too. “Slytherin” is the name of a real demon in wiccan/witchcraft teaching.

“It’s just a story. No one will get hurt by just enjoying the movies.”….          Ex-witch converts admit the movies are a recruiting tactic. Many possession and demonic harassment cases were found to be Harry Potter related upon investigation by deliverance teams and exorcists.

“The author was a Christian.”….       Not everyone who calls herself Christian is actually following the will of Christ. She admits, in her own words, that strange voices spoke the story to her and she wrote according to their dictation. Later, during the exorcism of a possession, the demon identified itself as “one of the six” when interrogated. Upon further interrogation, the exorcist got the demon to clarify that it was one of the six demons that dictated the Harry Potter stories.

“It’s a story of good magic versus bad magic, so these witches aren’t actually working for satan.”….          This is actually a wiccan/witchcraft teaching. High level witches teach that there are seven satanic princes and the one in charge of Christianity is known as “Voldemort”, translated “he who must not be named”. In the Harry Potter movies, Christianity is the bad guy, implying satan is the good guy. Not only is it wrong anyway to suggest witchcraft can ever be good, but the “good force” in this story is satan against the “bad force” of Christianity.

“The movies are OK, just not the books.”….          The harmful content from the books was not withheld from the movies at all. The same teachings, spells, and demon-characters are all there in the movies, and don’t forget the story itself was inspired by demons. Whether it’s the books or the movies, the source of the story is the same in both cases.

“My pastor/priest says it’s OK.”….          The general, uninformed, uneducated population will be split 50/50, so you can’t take just anyone’s word for it. You must talk to someone who’s an expert by experience or authority. Exorcists, the recently deceased Chief Exorcist of Rome, the previous pope, ex-witch converts, and all other qualified experts on witchcraft and spiritual warfare agree that Harry Potter is dangerous — not just bad, but dangerous — for the reasons given above.

“But my kids are really attached to those movies, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting them.”….          Kids get attached to dangerous things, like smoking and drugs, all the time. That’s why parents have to take charge for their kids and protect them. There are plenty of other movies and fandoms out there for your kid to get involved in that aren’t dangerous or satanic. Smoking might not kill you today, and it’s possible it might not kill you ever, but should you really take that chance? It’s the same principle. Just because you’re kids aren’t possessed or becoming real witches YET, doesn’t mean you should take chances with things you know are dangerous just because their friends like it. It’s OK to want to be your kid’s friend, but you are their protector first. Admitting and amending your mistakes will build character in your kids, so it’s worth the embarrassment to let yourself realize you were wrong or misinformed.

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St. Michael, pray for us!

st michael

JMJ

The “Marvel of God’s Grace” Series

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Yes there is wordplay going on here. “Marvel” is referring to Marvel Universe and “Grace” is referring to my name.

AGENT NUNJA OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

Team Awesome-Nunja and Heroes Inc. versus Villains Inc.

Lady-Knight America

Zhen

Agent Catholic of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Dr. Prophet: The Exile

Dr. Prophet and the Marian Alliance vs. the Coven of the Beast

Agent DARK of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Fellowship of the Iron Maid

The Rogers Family vs. the Shmidt Family

agent nunja

Thumbelina

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Thumbelina is a phenomenal movie (the only really Disney quality animated movie I’ve found outside the Disney universe), and one I think St. Therese would have enjoyed watching as well. It’s all about loving your littleness and letting Jesus “be your wings” instead of wishing to be big. It also happens to be set in France.

Cornelius comes to her in her loneliness, from a heavenly kingdom far away, and invites her to join his family and become his bride. He gives her his royal ring, which reminds me of the Prodigal Son story, and promises to return to her soon.

Her faith in him does not go untested, though. First she is kidnapped by the toads, who represent the seduction of fame and popularity. She is attracted to this life, but upon learning that it would mean breaking her promise to Cornelius, she ultimately chooses Cornelius and escapes to find her home and her mother (Mary).

Then she is kidnapped by the beetles, representing sexual seduction. They entice her by telling her she is beautiful, but after they have used her she is rejected and feels “ugly”. Healing comes to her when the swallow (the Holy Spirit) reminds her that only Cornelius’s opinion of her matters, and he thinks she is beautiful.

Lastly she is taken captive by the mole, representing excessive preoccupation with wealth and security, and she almost goes with it — especially after being told Cornelius is dead (Good Friday) — but backs out as she realizes nothing should cause her to compromise Love. The brave prince who died seeking to rescue her, who has had nothing else on his mind the whole movie except saving her at all costs, fights off all three rejected suitors as she makes her escape to the warmth of the sun/Son.

The swallow swoops her away to a frozen wasteland that her song of faith reveals to be the Vale of Fairies, and she finally sees Cornelius is alive after all (Easter), then the beauty of spring sets the stage for their royal wedding and the gift of her very own wings (heaven).

This moving story of confidence in the love of our dear Jesus is a must-see, and if you haven’t considered this perspective of the story before, I hope this post enriches your future viewings. Let Jesus be your divine elevator, your “wings”, to the glorious heights of heaven!

16-9

Catholics DON’T Worship Mary!

fatima

Probably the oldest and most common protest against Catholicism is the accusation of Mary worship. The accusation ranges from deliberate idolatry to unintentional excess of devotion.

First of all, the disputing of such an accusation requires clarifying the definition of what worship actually means biblically and historically. The reason that this is important is that in the protestant’s experience, worship means something totally different than what was originally called worship by the first Christians. Terms likes “worship music” and the way the word “worship” is used in the evangelical culture show the idea that worship in their vocabulary consists simply of singing and praying to God and loving Him a lot. This is not actually worship though, but devotion, which even protestants practice toward other living — and sometimes deceased — persons. Spouses love each other very much, and the love between parents and children soars even higher than that. We sing to each other all the time: love songs, birthday songs, tribute songs…. We “pray” to each other too.

The Latin word used for prayer, “ora”, simply means to talk. For example, an oral exam is a test administered verbally rather than in writing. The English word “pray” simply means to ask for something and in the old English the word was used the same way we use the word “please” today. I remember when I was a young evangelical girl, about ten perhaps, and I was reading an illustrated book for children on the childhood of John Wesley (a renowned hero in protestant culture): I was quite surprised when I saw a picture of young Wesley sitting with his family around the dinner table and asking in the caption “Sister, pray pass the potatoes.” This was my first exposure to the original meaning of the word because I had been told my whole life that prayer was equivalent to worship, but here was a little protestant boy “praying” to his sister whom he clearly didn’t regard as divine. This makes sense, though, when you think about it. All the typical postures used in prayer, such as kneeling and clasping hands, have their roots in asking or begging. When a slave in ancient culture would beseech his or her master or mistress for a favor, such postures were employed in gaining the favor desired but were not necessarily a declaration of divinity.

So anytime you talk to someone or ask them for something, you are “praying” to that person. An interesting vocabulary enlightenment, huh?

So now that we’ve established what worship isn’t, let’s take a look at what it is. Firstly, worship as an attitude rather than an action: The Catholic Church recognizes two attitudes dulia (veneration) and latria (worship). Adoration has always been only for the one triune God: Father, Son, and Spirit. It is described in the Hebrew shema and Jesus’ words in Revelation “I am the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end….” Worship is to recognize God as the only and ultimate source and end of all things, and the possessor of our whole self. We recognize God alone as our Creator and the one who provides all that is good. Even products of nature, and things done for us and given to us by other people, are to be recognized as coming ultimately from God. My brothers and sisters will sometimes look at me funny when they hear me thanking God for the YouTube or the internet, and I’ll explain to them that even products of human genius are to be accredited ultimately to God as the Creator of human genius. Just like it says in James 1:17 — “all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.” When someone prays for us, we may thank the person who prayed for praying, but the ultimate thanks for the answer to our prayer goes only to God. Even when the Apostles healed people in Jesus’ name, it was God who received credit for the healing, not the Apostles. Mary and the Apostles and the angels and saints have no power of their own, only God’s power, so only God can receive our ultimate thanks and worship. Veneration simply indicates reverence, honor, devotion, and admiration. We venerate many people: role models, historical figures, the dead, heroes, superheroes and book characters, and saints, but only God is to be adored. Mary is the greatest of the saints, but she is just a saint — a sister in the Faith — and even our mother, but not God. If errors in human language or human understanding throughout our culture sometimes give a different impression, do not take this as authentic Catholicism, but only the official teaching of the Church contained in her catechism and ecumenical documents. *

Secondly, worship as an action: When Moses demands freedom of worship for the Israelites from Pharaoh, he speaks primarily of sacrifice. Sacrifice is the theme of worship you will find in Scripture, and the entire Torah or Pentateuch is dedicated to this subject. It is not a feeling book or a song book or a prayer book, but a sacrifice book.  Prayer and singing and feelings of devotion often accompany the sacrifice, but the sacrifice is what makes it worship and not just devotion. When God complains about idolatry over and over and over throughout the old testament, you will see again that the focus is on sacrifice. He complains about child sacrifice to moloch or sacrifice to baal, not so much about songs and prayers. The idea of sacrifice may be kind of lost to the more modern protestant denominations because they do not celebrate the Mass, but for Catholics and older protestant denominations like Anglicans and Lutherans our monotheism becomes pretty clear. There is only ONE Sacrifice offered in the Catholic Church and that is the sacrifice of Jesus to the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Jesus is NOT re-sacrificed, rather the sacrifice He has already made is made present to us so we may we unite ourselves with Jesus in offering His sacrifice as a “kingdom of priests” united with the Great High Priest. See Revelation 1:6.) Never will the One Sacrifice or any other sacrifice be offered to anyone other than God within the Church. There was a heresy a long time ago known as Collyridianism, where female priestesses would sacrifice cakes to Mary as a goddess, but the Catholic Church very quickly condemned and eliminated that heresy because that’s how much against worship being offered to anyone other than God the Catholic Church is. The only actual “Mary-worshipers” to have ever existed are now extinct, thanks to the Catholic Church. You’re welcome!

So it should be clear at this point that Catholics DO NOT worship Mary and that any such idolatry would be considered a mortal sin in need of immediate Confession in order to avoid hellfire. With that out of the way, we can now consider the subject of “excessive devotion” and whether there is such a thing. It really comes down to the question: “Is it possible to love someone too much?” Most logically and theologically minded persons would say no, as long as proper worship is in place. If the credit for answers to prayer and all the good and beautiful things about Mary is going ultimately to God, and if Mary is a means to our ultimate end which is God, then there’s no reason to consider her in competition with God but rather a path to God. Just like you ask for your pastor’s prayers, there is nothing wrong with asking for Mary to pray for us also. Jesus Christ is the one Mediator and Intercessor, and all of us members of His Body in heaven and earth share in His one intercession as His disciples and imitators. To ask Mary or anyone else to pray for us is to acknowledge that God is the only answerer of our prayers and all the rest of us must go to HIM together as a family. To ask Mary to pray for us is actually a statement that Mary cannot help us of her own power, but she must go to God with us.

[an interesting fact: you will never really even find a prayer to anyone other than God in public or liturgical prayer like the Mass or Liturgy of the Hours, only prayers about Mary and the saints. For example, you will see prayers like “We thank you, God, for the life and intercession of the Virgin Mary.” but not many prayers like “Pray for us, Holy Mother of God.” Prayers to the saints mostly occur in private prayer like the Rosary.] come holy ghost * Regarding the word “adore”: in modern English language it is often considered equivalent to worship, but in old English it was also sometimes used to describe veneration, so if you see in an old book or an old hymn the word “adore” used in relation to Mary or the Cross or something, don’t freak out. If you see the word “adore” used for anyone other than God in modern literature, however, you might want to have a word with the author to clarify what was meant.