Hi my friends!  I am joyful today because my baby is coming home from college!  He has just finished his sophomore year.  For security, I would rather not say where he attends, but its a good school in a beautiful place.  Please pray for his safe flight home. 

I've been a little bit sick and scrambling to spiff up the house for my son's return, so I'm running behind on stuff.  If you have been following me for the past 7 years, you know I often disappoint my peeps.....I'M A FLAKE, OKAY???  But I'm a nice flake.  (At least I try to be.)  I'll get to the Ascension Meditation....eventually.  Things are always a whirlwind when my son gets home, so you'll hear from me again when I can catch my breath, okay?  Please say "okay!" 

Wishing you Pentecost blessings and you are all in my prayers....CFM

Ascension Thursday

Yes, I proclaim the joyful news that "Ascension Thursday" is still celebrated in the province under Cardinal Dolan of New York!  It remains a Holy Day of Obligation here, along with many of the surrounding provinces.  Sadly, for most of the US, this is not the case.  Ascension Thursday is an endangered holyday and may eventually be altogether extinct, unless we fight for it by contacting our archbishops to express our concern.  In an age when people have no problem texting for an entire hour every day, it is considered too difficult to spend one hour at Mass to celebrate one of the most important events in human history.....a key event in the Gospels, one of the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, an article of the Creed.....

"And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures.  And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father."

Why is Ascension Thursday so important to me?  Because my only child was born on that day.  I went in the hospital the day before to deliver him, but the labor was unproductive and he came the next day as I was strapped down, my arms extended like Christ's on the Cross, praying the rosary on purple plastic rosary beads, fully-conscious, bringing life into the world through the shedding of my own blood....Check out my thread on this topic at "Catholic Answers Forums:"  Ascension Thurs:  Is it a Holy Day of Obligation in your Diocese?

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I know I said I was off for a few weeks, but I felt inspired to write today.....I have this crazy idea to write a litany.....my first one, so please don't be too harsh on me.....this litany is based on the format of the Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Nomen Christi) and the traditional Mass for the Ascension.

A New Litany for an Endangered Holyday......

Litany of the Ascension of Our Lord

Lord, have mercy on us.  Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.  Lord, hear us.  Lord, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

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Lord, Ascended to the right Hand of the Father, have mercy on us.

Lord, Ascended forty days after Thy Resurrection, etc.

Lord, Ascended in the company of angels,

Lord, Ascended in the company of Thy Holy Mother,

Lord, Ascended in the company of Thine Apostles,

Lord, Ascended before us, where we are to follow,

Lord, Ascended with a shout and the sound of a trumpet,

Lord, Ascended with great song,

Lord, Who shall so come as we have seen Thee going up,

Lord, Who calls us to mindfulness of heavenly things,

Lord, Who sent Thine Apostles to the uttermost part of the earth,

Lord, Who was raised up into a cloud,

Lord, Who led captivity captive,

Lord, Who saves the believer and the baptized,

Lord, Who condemns the unbeliever,

Lord, Who glorifies Thy children,

Lord, Who protects Thy children,

Lord, Who mercifully grants Everlasting Life,

Lord, Who mounts above the Heaven of Heavens to the east,

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Be merciful, spare us, O lord.

Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.

Lord, hear us.  Lord, graciously hear us.

Let Us Pray

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said:  "Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature," grant we beseech Thee, to wage a fearless war for souls, ever defending the truth of the Good News, that we may one day follow Thee to the place of Thine Ascension, beyond the clouds.  May we keep this vision before us always, making all our burdens light, all the darkness of this present life bearable.

Make us, O Lord, to reverence and keep pure, our sacred bodies, a reflection of which ascended in glorified form to the Father, Who lives and reigns, world without end.  Amen.


Saint Joseph the Workman, pray for us!

I have been taking a break from blogging due to temporary personal circumstances.  I will resume in about 2 weeks.  Thanks for your support and spread the word!  CFM

PS    Please review the feastdays of May (below) and many blessings in this month dedicated to the Mother of God!

May-Month of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima is May 13th, the date she first appeared to the three children in 1917....next year is the 100th anniversary of this historic event!  Nomen Christi Apostolate is dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima.  Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima is May 13th, the date she first appeared to the three children in 1917....next year is the 100th anniversary of this historic event!  Nomen Christi Apostolate is dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima.  Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Probably the most common celebration of May as the Month of Our Lady, is the May Crowning, which is done in many parishes and Catholic schools.  A wreath of flowers is placed upon the head of a statue of Our Lady and is accompanied by prayer and song.  If your parish or school is not doing this, why not be the first to initiate it?  It does not matter which day in May you choose and the format of the Crowning does not matter either, as long as you are expressing love and reverence for the Mother of God.  It is also a wonderful activity to do at home with your children, either indoors or outdoors.  There are many other ways to give Our Lady special honor during the month of May....your imagination is the limit...learning more about the extraordinary events at Fatima, Portugal and Our Lady's requests would be a great benefit to us all.  Please see prayer in honor of the Holy Name of Mary, on our Home Page.

Some features of the coming month....we have the Rogation AND the Ember Days, similar days of fasting and prayer for God's mercy and blessings upon the coming season....each Sunday is a special and wonderful feast...please take note!

5/1-Saint Joseph the Workman-invoked for employment under this title

5/2 to 4-Rogation Days

5/4-Vigil of the Ascension/Feast of the Holy Shroud (non-standard feast)

5/5-Ascension Thursday-Holy Day of Obligation in some dioceses

5/8-Ascension of Our Lord (new)

5/10-Saint Solange, Virgin & Martyr-invoked for drought

5/13-Our Lady of Fatima

5/14-Vigil of Pentecost-trad meat at one meal

5/15-Pentecost Sunday/Saint Isidore the Farmer-patron of farmers

5/16-Saint Simon Stock-seer of Our Lady of Mount Carmel & the Brown Scapular (one of the requests of Our Lady of Fatima is to wear the Brown Scapular)

5/18, 20, 21-Ember Days after Pentecost (trad Sat meat at one meal)

5/22-Trinity Sunday

5/24-Our Lady Help of Christians (non-standard feast)

5/26-Corpus Christi (trad)

5/29-Corpus Christi (new)

5/31-The Visitation/Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Image courtesy https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/five-prayers-taught-at-fatima-by-mary-the-angels/

Meditations on the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary


On Good Friday, we completed the meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries.  Now that it is Eastertide, we will begin the Glorious Mysteries.  As I previously said, these meditations were originally published two years ago and are undergoing some editing during this re-publication.  I completed the Sorrowful and the first two Glorious Mysteries and then the project fell by the wayside.  During Eastertide (which traditionally ends the Saturday after Pentecost), I will be re-publishing these.  After this, I will be writing the remaining meditations from scratch, which will take some time.  Even though these are short pieces, I will be doing a painstaking study of Scripture, prayer and deep thought, not to mention a very meticulous writing process.  I cannot feel rushed in this process, so they will be posted as God wills that I finish them.  It is also my hope that this will eventually become a book.  I thank you in advance for your patience.....

The Resurrection of Our Lord

To reiterate the words of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, "Never think about death without thinking about the Resurrection."  The Passion has ended.  "It is finished."  Faith, Hope and Charity have prevailed.  The Three Theological Virtues were displayed by Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Faith when He said, "Thy will be done."  Hope in looking to the Kingdom of Heaven, the completion of His mission.  And Charity for the Father in desiring to accomplish His will, and consequently for us.  Now He enters into His Glory, the true and final End.  If this is what its all about, what does that say about life?  What does the Resurrection of Christ, Our Lord, demand of us?

If Christ is important, we are important.  After all, He only came here for us, for the Redemption of our poor souls.  People reject Him because they do not want to be important.  They love sin so much, they would rather think themselves not much more than the animals, with no eternal destiny.  In meaning, there must be restraint.  Therein lies the Cross, but also the Resurrection.  The alternative is a life of mediocrity or worse.  There is less feeling, less responsibility.....less joy.  We reap what we sow.  If meaninglessness is what we want, that is exactly what we will get.  The tragedy is that if we ever wake up from this dream of vagueness and delusion, we will find a precious crystal has been broken.  But this does not have to be the end of the story.  We can still write a different ending.  Through repentance we enter into Our Lord's Resurrection and Glory.  He walks before us always.  Where He goes, we are meant to follow.  We cannot fail.  We have all the assistance of Heaven at our disposal.  The same God Who catapulted the universe into existence can do no less than give us everything we ask for.

Christ calls us to a Heavenly Resurrection, but also an earthly one.  This transformation is not merely the cessation of sin, but reaching our full potential as members of the Body of Christ, one with Him in thought, word and deed.  We are powerful and power can be frightening.  Fulfilling the saintly vocation for which we were created has consequences.  Our Lord's greatest power was executed on the Cross as He stretched out His arms in yielding.  In that moment of weakness, the axis of the universe shifts and the tables are turned.  A world appears that we could not see before...."and the darkness could not comprehend it."  The caterpillar becomes the butterfly.

Being resurrected with Christ is a process of becoming.  The Father has written this message for us in all of nature, the butterfly being one of the most beautiful examples.  The snake sheds its old skin, the fragile sprout becomes a great tree, bearing fruit....the oyster patiently builds its pearl.  No matter how long it takes, no matter how many setbacks occur, no matter how hopeless it seems....if we cling to the Three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity....we will see our Resurrection.  O Jesus, Whose Resurrected, Glorified Body walked upon this very earth, bring me back from my own countless deaths, that I may follow Thee to our Eternal Home.  Amen. 


Image courtesy http://ajpm.weebly.com/glorious-mysteries.html

I Met Buzz Aldrin! Really!



The Apollo 11 Mission landed on the Moon on my 2nd birthday, July 20th 1969.  I was told the story countless times of how my family were all huddled around the TV watching this historic event on my birthday.  Because of this, I always felt some connection to the Moon Landing.  My mother bought some memorabilia for me at the time and many years later I bought myself an original newspaper with the story on the cover-I found it on a NYC street and paid something like 20 bucks for it (its somewhere in my basement now....or maybe my attic).  In recent years, I became a skeptic about the whole thing.  I watched some YouTube videos and....well, that never ends well, does it?  I've reconsidered and now I'm becoming a believer again.

There is a unique, large bookstore in Huntington, Long Island called "Book Revue."  They frequently host famous people for book signings.  I'm always on the lookout for interesting people.  When I saw Buzz Aldrin was going to be there, I knew I had to go.  I thought, "How often do you get to meet someone who...might have....walked on the Moon?  And anyway, it happened on my birthday-I have to go!"  I also thought maybe I could "read" him and get some sense of what the truth might have been.  I imagine, if you've lived a lie your whole life, it would wear on you and somehow it would show.  I also imagine, if you really did something that extraordinary, that would show too.  You couldn't be normal after walking on the Moon, could you?  It is difficult to even comprehend.   I actually can't imagine anything more terrifying (talk about a panic attack...."I'm....like.....ON THE MOON.....AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!).  I don't think there is any way to understand it without experiencing it.  Once you do something like that (I mean once you walk on the Moon!), life must become very lonely and your sense of comradery with those who were with you, must be intense.  Buzz Aldrin's dedication in his new book, No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man who Walked on the Moon, reads:

"I dedicate this book to the dreamers, the out-of-the-box thinkers and seat-of-the-pants innovators....But I dedicate this especially to my dear friends and Apollo 11 crewmates, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins.  [Armstrong died in 2012, but Aldrin seems to still think of him in the present tense.  BTW, this quote sounds a lot like the Steve Jobs quote on our Home page.]"

Since planning to meet Buzz, I've learned a lot more about him and about the Apollo 11 Mission.  One amazing thing I learned is that he received the Presbyterian form of "Communion" while on the Moon.  He also once punched a guy for harassing him about the Moon Landing being a "hoax"...the guy was asking for it (there are numerous videos of this available on the web).  Aldrin is greatly accomplished and has lived a very full life-and continues to at the age of 86! 

So...on to the bookstore....there was a great turnout for Buzz-I would say at least 500 people of all ages.  Buzz was quickly signing each book while the store staff was taking candid photos with people's phones.  It was an assembly-line operation with little opportunity to connect.  As I stood on line, there was a heartfelt sense of community and friendly conversation going on around me.  The man in front of me remembered, like so many others, watching the Moon Landing on TV as a child.  As we drew close to Buzz, things suddenly became rushed and slightly confusing as the staff scrambled to get everyone into place and take the pictures.  There were several things I wanted to say to him, but when push came to shove, I blurted out, "The Moon Landing was on my 2nd birthday but I don't remember it!"  He smiled and said, "That's okay!"  And in one brief moment, I looked into a pair of eyes which once beheld the "magnificent desolation" of the lunar surface and....Mother Earth...."four times the size of a full moon....a brilliant jewel in the black velvet sky. [Aldrin's words.]"  What I felt was warmth, humanity and genuineness.  They gave me back my phone and I was bustled down the stairs, passed a guard. 

In my headiness, I looked at my phone, pressed a button and saw the words, "PICTURE ERASED."  "What?  No.  What?  No.  This isn't happening....a once-in-a-lifetime thing!  I couldn't be THAT stupid, could I?  Yes, I could.  NOOOOOOOOOO!  What now???"  If you know me at all, you know I am extremely stubborn when I want to be.  I went up to the guard and explained my situation.  "No!  Can't go back!"  Went up to the guard at the other end of the stairs.  "No!"  I tucked my dejected tail between my legs and figured the only thing to do was to break my strict diet and get a horrible treat at the cafe.  I said to the cashier, "A chocolate croissant," and like a jilted lover at a bar I broke down...."You won't believe what I just did."  He said, "Just stay till the end...you'll get another picture!"  "REALLY?"  For a moment I was elated, until I decided I didn't trust him.  I thought...."What if I buy another book?"  As you can see above, it all worked out!  I do have to thank the manager of Book Revue for her kindness.  And the chocolate croissant was amazing.

This was an altogether worth-it experience.  Worth the unseasonably frigid weather, the crowds, the expense of 2 books, a little panic....for a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Buzz is constantly traveling the world doing signings, speeches and all kinds of things (you can check out his itinerary on his website-link above), but who knows when he'll be in New York again?  Who knows when he'll finally say, "I've done enough."  Knowing him, probably never.  I feel privileged to have met and spoken to the second person to walk on the Moon, one of a few select humans from all history to be granted a most extraordinary experience....an experience which ultimately gives glory to the One Who made it all! 

Stay tuned for my follow-up post on Aldrin's "Communion" on the Moon-an incredible little-known story which I am currently researching-I will post when my research is done.

Divine Mercy at My Church....

I would like to share my experience yesterday celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday at my church in Suffolk County, Long Island.  We had a bi-lingual (English/Spanish) celebration of the Mass with the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Exposition.  The whole celebration took 3 1/2 hours.  The turnout was great-a full church, about 90% Latino of all ages.  A bishop presided.  It was one of the most moving spiritual experiences of my life. 

As we sung the Divine Mercy Chaplet-half in English, half in Spanish-I began to feel a great unity.....first, with the wonderful devout Latino people present and gradually, I became aware of the entire world on this day raising a unified chorus to the Father...."For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!"  I thought of the recent terror attacks and murders, some specifically against Christians.  I thought of September 11th.  I thought of the abortion holocaust.  All the immorality.  The whole ailing world raising this prayer to God together on one day.  I felt Saint Faustina's presence with us-what an extraordinary accomplishment to secure this great and most necessary feast for the world.

During Exposition, many people crowded around the altar and knelt.  I decided to join them.  The whole church was praying with all their hearts, some shouting out, "Jesus, I trust in You!  Jesus, I love You!"  It reminded me of great paintings of the saints in Heaven, like the one above.  I felt as if I were standing with all of them at the end of time, as Saint John describes:

"After this I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands:  And they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb."  Apocalypse 7:9

Suddenly a young women who was kneeling in front me fainted.  I have heard of such things, but have never actually seen it before.  I know this is a point of controversy....I have no specific opinion because I do not know enough about these things-I do have a certain reserve in these matters, as most traditional-minded Catholics do.  But I don't wish to get into any of that right now.  I will say, her face, as she lay unconscious, looked utterly peaceful-it even seemed she had a slight smile.  No one was concerned about her, except me (probably because they were familiar with this sort of thing).  I went up to her, stroked her forehead and prayed for her.  After a few minutes, she awoke, seemed dazed but peaceful, and carried on.

I thank the Most Holy Trinity for these blessings yesterday and also, I thank Saint Faustina for giving us the message of Our Lord's great mercy.  It just goes to show you how important each and every life is.  How important it is that we do the work God has uniquely given each one of us.  Whether we reach a few, or millions....it matters.  That is why we must always strive to be the best we can be...spiritually, mentally and physically...because someone....somewhere....is counting on us.


Image courtesy http://mute-the-silence.blogspot.com/2013/11/all-saints-day-in-greece-and-more.html

Divine Mercy Sunday

Many blessings on this Divine Mercy Sunday!  Saint Faustina, pray for us!

As I noted previously, we will begin meditations on the Glorious Mysteries during this Season of Eastertide.  This past week has been very busy, but I will post "The Resurrection" during the coming week.  Please come back!


Image courtesy http://stviator.azurewebsites.net/?s=%3Fpage+id%3D1829&search_404=1

April: Month of the Holy Eucharist!

Traditionally, as of Easter Sunday, we are in "Eastertide," "Easter Time," or "Paschal Time."  This extends to the Saturday after Pentecost.  In the New, "Easter Time" begins Easter Sunday and ends on Pentecost.  We continue to contemplate the Mystery of the Redemption.

April is dedicated to the Holy Eucharist (see prayer on Home page).  It is a great time, as the earth comes back to life, to celebrate the Bread of Life.  There are innumerable ways to do this-your imagination is the only limit!  More frequent reception of Holy Communion, Eucharistic prayers and devotions, spiritual reading, a Eucharistic emphasis in catechesis, exercises in reparation to the Real Presence, etc.  Here are some notable feasts of this month (preppers take note that Saint Catherine of Siena in invoked for fire protection!):

4/1-Easter Friday, Solemnity-no penance

4/3-Divine Mercy Sunday/Quasimodo Sunday

4/4-The Annunciation (moved from 3/25 this year)

4/5-Saint Vincent Ferrer, Angel of the Apocalypse

4/10-Saint Ezechiel, Old Testament Patriarch

4/16-Saint Bernadette, Seer of Lourdes

4/25-Saint Mark, Evangelist/The Greater Litanies

4/26-Our Lady of Good Counsel

4/28-Saint Louis de Montfort, Founder Sisters of Divine Wisdom & Missionaries of the Company of Mary

4/29-Saint Catherine of Siena, Patroness of Italy and Fire Protection (New)

4/30-Saint Catherine of Siena (Trad)