Prayers to Saint Raphael

Saint Raphael

Saint Raphael is known as the patron saint of medical workers and matchmakers. He is one of seven Archangels who stand before the throne of the Lord and is often given credit for seeing the light of heaven and for receiving all good things through his intercession.

Saint Raphael the Archangel

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, 
great prince of the heavenly court, 
you are illustrious for your gifts of 
wisdom and grace. You are a 
guide of those who journey by land 
or sea or air, consoler of the 
afflicted, and refuge of sinners. 
I beg you, assist me in all my
needs and in all the sufferings of 
this life, as once you helped the
young Tobias on his travels. 
Because you are the "medicine of
God," I humbly pray you to heal the
many infirmities of my soul and the
ills that afflict my body. I especially
ask of you the favor of (here name
your favor), and the great grace of
purity to prepare me to be the
temple of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

If you like this prayer, check out these lovely prayer cards!

Saint Raphael
Saint Raphael

Prayer to Saint Raphael the Archangel

Most glorious Prince,
Archangel Raphael,
be mindful of us
and pray for us,
here and in every place,
to the Son of God.
O God, who gave
your servant Tobias
the holy archangel Raphael
for a companion on his journey,
grant that during our
earthly pilgrimage
we may always be protected
by his watchful care and
strengthened by his help.
Through Christ Our Lord.
Amen. 

If you like this prayer, take a look at this beautiful prayer card!

Saint Raphael

The Key Differences Between Salvation and Redemption

Salvation and Redemption | Catholic Faith Store

Salvation and redemption are at the core of our Catholic Faith. You have probably read about salvation in the bible or heard the word redemption during mass. Are these two concepts interchangeable? What are the key differences between salvation and redemption?

Salvation and Redemption | Catholic Faith Store

What is the Difference Between Salvation and Redemption?

Salvation and redemption are both important concepts in the Catholic Faith and there are key differences that exist between the two. Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross is the act of redemption that forgave us from our sins and spared us from a life of eternal damnation. Redemption is just the first step of salvation and the first part of our life as a child of God.

What Redemption Means in the Catholic Faith

Redemption is defined as the process of restoring man from the bondage of sin to the liberty of the children of God through the satisfactions and merits of Christ. The word redemption is derived from the Latin Vulgate word “redemptio,” is a rendering of the Hebrew word “kopher” and the Greek word “lytron” which means ransom price in the Old Testament. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23

Click to Tweet

Redemption involves both God and man. On God’s part, divine honour has been repaired and divine wrath has been appeased. On our part as sinners redemption means deliverance from the bondage of sin and the restoration of our relationship with God. 

In our natural human states we are all sinful and unworthy of a life in heaven. Regardless of the good works we do on earth, we are unable to meet God’s divine standards and we are fated to face a final judgment that will determine where we will spend eternity, either in heaven or hell.


In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace. - Ephesians 1:7

Click to Tweet

However, Our Heavenly Father is a merciful and loving God and He wants us to be redeemed from a life of eternal damnation. He overlooked our faults and sinfulness and saved us through grace.

The meaning of redemption in the Catholic Faith is the act by which Jesus saved us from the slavery of sin, this act is his sacrificial death on the cross.

Redemption involves going from one state to another. In the Catholic context, it is Christ liberating us from an old life of sin to freedom of a new life in him.

What is The Process of Salvation?

Our lives as children of God does not begin and end in redemption. After we are redeemed from our sins and reconciled with God, we begin the process of salvation. In the Council of Trent, salvation from sin begins with the grace of God touching a sinner’s heart and calling him to repent.

This grace is a product of the love and mercy of God and it is our choice whether to receive this grace or reject it. If we choose to receive grace, we choose a life aligned with the will of God but it we don’t receive it, we remain in a life of sin. 

After receiving grace, we as sinners are disposed for salvation from sin. From this, we believe in the revelation and promises of God, we fear God’s justice, we hope in His mercy, we trust that God will be merciful to us for Christ’s sake, we begin to love God as the source of all justice and we begin to hate sin. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. – John 3:16

Click to Tweet

Justification comes after our disposition for salvation and this is not just simply the remission of our sins but the sanctification and renewal of our inner selves through our voluntary reception of God’s grace and gifts. This inner transformation will manifest in the way we live our lives and how we treat others.

How Do We Maintain Our Salvation?

Salvation and Redemption | Catholic Faith Store

Salvation therefore is not a one-time event. It is not simply accepting the grace of God, it involves constantly choosing a Christian way of life and following the teachings of the church. 

When Christ died on the cross he did this to redeem ALL of mankind. To be redeemed by Christ is an invitation to salvation. Salvation is for each INDIVIDUAL to either accept of reject God's gifts. Salvation and redemption are beautiful gifts that we are all very blessed to receive.

Important Principles to Maintain Salvation:

  • Love God: Loving God is said to be the first and greatest commandment. We should not allow anything to get in the way of our devotion to our Heavenly Father. We demonstrate our love for God by following His commands and by acknowledging Him as the source of everything.
  • Love your neighbors: Our neighbors are the people around us, our family, friends and even people we don’t know. To love our neighbors means showing them respect, compassion and forgiveness regardless of their race and religion. God loves us all equally as His children.
  • Live a righteous life: The Bible is a good source of wisdom as to how we should live a morally upright life. God wants us to experience lasting peace and this can only be achieved if we live according to His ways.
  • Repent: When we choose the path of sin, we are isolated from God and we begin to feel a lack of peace and a sense of guilt. We can only return to our former state of grace if we repent and ask for forgiveness. Repentance is not simply confessing our sins, though. It is genuinely resolving not to commit the same mistakes.


How did you experience salvation and redemption in your life? 

Did you notice any changes in your life since becoming redeemed and saved?

The Real Meaning Of Pilgrimage For Catholics

The Holy Land - Israel | The Real Meaning Of Pilgrimage For Catholics | Catholic Faith Store

What is a Pilgrimage?

A pilgrimage is a journey that pilgrims make to a place that is considered holy. To us Catholics, a pilgrimage is more than just traveling to historic sites and viewing religious relics. It is a journey with a deeper and more spiritual meaning.

The-Holy-Land-Israel (1)

The word pilgrim comes from the Latin word “peregrinum” which conveys the idea of wandering over a distance. A pilgrimage is not purposeless wandering. It is a journey with a higher purpose and that purpose is to honor God.

One of the earliest use of the word can be found in works of Saint Augustine of Hippo. In his text, “Peregrinatio,” he described a Christian spiritual journey as a self-imposed exile of the pilgrim in which he searched for God’s truth

Pilgrimages are steeped in religious history. It all started around 957 BC when the temple was built at Jerusalem and because of this all Jewish men were obliged to present themselves there for three major feasts. Today the Jews call these feasts the “Pilgrimage Festivals.” These feasts include:

  • Pesach - The Feast of the Unleavened Bread
  • Shavu’ot - The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost
  • Sukkot - The Feast of Tabernacles or Festival of Ingathering

After the death and resurrection of Jesus and the spread of Christianity, Christians were inspired to follow the footsteps of their Savior, the Holy Mother and the Apostles. Pilgrimages became a significant part of the Catholic tradition in the 4th century when Christians traveled to different places that were part of Jesus’ life or in the tombs of martyrs and saints.

Many devotees would visit these sites and tombs even during a time of religious persecution. This act served as a deep expression of their reverence for God. By honoring the saints, the pilgrims honored God, too.

An Act of Sacrifice and Penitence

Christian pilgrimages became very popular in the Middle Ages. The pilgrims in the Middle Ages carried symbols with them like a scallop shell or a special scarf which marked them as pilgrims. The most sought after pilgrimage were those that took place in the Holy Land. Embarking on a pilgrimage outside familiar areas in Europe was not only financially challenging, it was potentially life threatening. Many robbers waited to ambush travelers in order to steal from them and there were many dangerous deserts to cross. Many pilgrims were injured or killed because of this.

From time to time, pilgrimages were required as an act of penance when someone committed a grave sin. Going on a pilgrimage involved great hardship because the sinners were asked to walk barefoot and in tattered clothing. He also had to beg for his food throughout the journey. This was definitely the stark opposite of what we imagine pilgrimages are in the modern day. There were no luxury hotels and guided tours. In fact, a pilgrimage was every bit an act of great sacrifice.

A Transformative Inner Journey

St. Peter Cathedral | The Real Meaning Of Pilgrimage For Catholics | Catholic Faith Store

A pilgrimage has moral and spiritual significance to the pilgrim. Generally, it involves embarking on a journey to a shrine or site that the pilgrim considers important in light of his faith and religious convictions. There is much to see, discover and learn from visits to these religious locations. There is also a rich, inner transformation that can be had from a pilgrimage.

 A pilgrimage lets us plan and immerse ourselves in the cultural, historical and spiritual aspects of the life of Jesus and the saints.

Investing time on our spiritual health and growth is important to our lives as Catholics.

Click to Tweet

Since some pilgrimages can be done in groups it is a great opportunity for us to bond with people who share in our beliefs. We can grow stronger together as one spiritual family as we deepen our understanding of the lives of different religious figures.

The Importance of Prayer

A pilgrimage is not a vacation or holiday trip. It is a beautiful opportunity for us Catholics to grow in our faith and see the life of Jesus and the saints in a new light. There are important preparations to be made such as finances and logistics. However, we must not forget that a pilgrimage is a spiritual experience so we must prepare for it spiritually as well.

Prayer Cross Pray Faith Beautiful Architecture

Prayer is the most basic yet most important act of preparation we can do prior to the pilgrimage. Before you select your destination, pray and ask God to guide you to make the best place and sites for you to go.

After God has revealed a destination, start praying every day. Pour out whatever concerns you have about the journey and ask God to give you a humble and receptive heart and spirit.

When you arrive at the site, be in a prayerful and reflective mindset. This is a rare and important time for you to witness and feel what God has to say to you through the lives and legacies of his followers.

7 Beautiful Pilgrimage Sites

The Holy Land

The Holy Land, Israel

Our lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes, France

The vatican

The Vatican, Italy

Assisi, Italy

Assisi, Italy

Our Lady of Guadalupe


Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico

Divine Mercy Sanctuary

Divine Mercy Sanctuary, Poland


If you have been to a pilgrimage, what spiritual insights transformed you after the trip?

If you haven't, are you planning to embark on a pilgrimage any time soon?

What places and sites do you dream of visiting? 

Prayers to Saint Padre Pio

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, better known as Saint Padre Pio, gained fame and a following due to his stigmata. To this day Padre Pio is one of the most popular saints and many make the pilgrimage to the church in San Giovanni Rotondo.

Prayer to Saint Padre Pio

O God,
You gave Saint Pio of Pietrelcina,
capuchin priest,
the great privilege
of participating
in a unique way
in the passion of Your Son,
grant me,
through his intercession
the grace of ....
which I ardently desire;
and above all grant me
the grace of living in conformity
with the death of Jesus,
to arrive at the glory
of the resurrection. ​

If you like this prayer, you'll love this prayer card!

Saint Padre Pio

Saint Pio

O Glorious Saint Pio,
bearing the wounds of Christ you 
generously accepted your 
sufferings, and labored faithfully
for the good of all souls.
Help me to embrace that same
attitude of acceptance in my life.
With confidence, I ask for your
intercession to obtain the grace of
(make your request),
which I ardently desire.
If it is not, however, God's will that
this should come to pass,
then help me to find serenity and
joy in God's choice for me.
Amen.

This beautiful medal and prayer card set comes included with this intercessory prayer


Prayers to Saint Matthew

Saint Matthew

Saint Matthew is the patron saint of accountants and bankers. Matthew was a Galilean tax collector in 63BC. He invited Jesus home for a feast. He was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.

Prayer to Saint Matthew

O Glorious St. Matthew,
in your Gospel you portray Jesus
as the longed-for Messiah
who fulfilled the Prophets
of the Old Covenant and
as the Lawgiver who founded
a Church of the New Covenant.
Obtain for us the grace to see
Jesus living in His Church and
to follow His teaching in our lives
on Earth so that we may live forever
with Him in heaven.
Amen.

Like this Prayer? Check out these beautiful Prayer Cards!

Saint Matthew

Prayer to Saint Matthew

O Glorious St. Matthew
through the grace of God 
Our Father you gave us the Holy Gospel,

which brings us joy and life.
Inspired by your example,

I ask for your assistance

in all my needs. 

Help me to follow Christ

and remain faithful to His service.

Amen.

Check out this prayer card that comes included with a pendant!

Saint Matthew

Saint Matthew​

God of Mercy
You chose a tax collector,
Saint Matthew, to share
the dignity of the apostles. 
By his example 
and prayers help us follow 
Christ and remain faithful in 
Your service.
We ask this through 
Our Lord Jesus Christ, 
Your Son, who lives
and reigns with You 
and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, forever and ever.

If you like this prayer, take a look at this beautiful prayer card!


What are the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit?

As Christians, we are expected to manifest the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives. These twelve fruits are different from the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. They are granted to us during our baptism and perfected through the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The seven gifts serve as virtues for us to follow while the twelve fruits are the actions that those virtues produce. We are expected to manifest these fruits in our lives as Christians.

What are the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit?

Saint Paul lists down the fruits of the Holy Spirit in his letter to the Galatians. There are two versions of this text and first version features only nine traditional fruits. The longer text which Saint Jerome used in his Latin translation of the Bible includes three more.

The Latin translation of the Bible is known as the Vulgate and it is the official Biblical text that the Catholic Church uses. This is why we are taught that there are 12 fruits and not nine.

In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23

Click to Tweet

The following are the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit and what they mean:

1. Charity (or Love)

Charity encompasses our love for God and of our neighbors. This kind of love is not simply a passing feeling or infatuation. It is an unconditional kind of love that expects nothing in return. It puts the needs of others before our own and it manifests in concrete actions toward God and other people.

2. Joy

We all want to be happy but the happiness found in earthly things is fleeting. The joy that is part of the 12 fruits is not an emotional state. Rather, it is a lasting kind of happiness that can only be realized when we put God at the center of our lives and if we believe that we will live our eternal life with Him.

Fruits of the Holy Spirit | Catholic Faith Store

3. Peace

Peace is tranquility that can be experienced when we put our complete trust in God. When we rely on God, we believe that he will provide for our needs and this relieves us from any anxious thoughts about the future.

4. Patience

Patience allows us to have compassion over people in spite of their flaws and weaknesses. This fruit comes from an understanding of our own imperfect state and how God has given us His unconditional love and mercy so we should do the same for others.

5. Kindness

Kindness or benignity is more than being kind to others. It is having a heart that is willing to do acts of compassion and give to others above and beyond what we owe to them.

6. Goodness

Being good involves constant renouncing of evil in our day to day actions. When we are good, we are constantly seeking the path of righteousness and strive to do God’s will even at the expense of earthly success.

7. Longanimity

Longanimity is being patient even when being provoked. While patience involves tolerance, longanimity means enduring quietly and remaining steadfast in the midst of attacks of others.

The world will certainly become a much more peaceful and happier place if we all worked on becoming more Christ-like everyday.

Click to Tweet

8. Mildness

To be mild in behavior means having a heart of forgiveness and grace. It means not being easily provoked and choosing a response of meekness and peace rather than one that leads to revenge.

9. Faith

Faith is at the core of our Christianity. To have faith means living according to the will of God and believing that He is the master of our life.

Faith Rocks

10. Modesty

Being modest means being humble. It is believing that any of our successes, blessings and talents are gifts from God. It also means being content with what we have and not harbor any selfish ambitions.

11. Continence

Continence means having temperance and self-control. It does not mean denying ourselves from what we need or want, it is the ability to exercise moderation in everything we do.

12. Chastity

Chastity means giving ourselves to Christ completely whether as a priest, religious or layman. All vocations are called to have chaste in their way of living. Chastity also means indulging our physical desires within the right context such as being sexually pure before marriage and by remaining faithful to one’s spouse.

As a member of the Catholic Faith we are expected to manifest these twelve fruits in our day to day actions. It can be a struggle to remain steadfast and live a Christian way of life especially with all the mixed messages and negative influences that we receive from our culture. However this should only challenge us even more to cultivate our character.


Let the Holy Spirit guide you with these beautiful gifts!


How do you demonstrate the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit in your day to day actions?

What is the Catholic Position on Assisted Suicide?

Did you know Physician-assisted suicide is legal in five US states? Although it may seem like a viable option if we think about the painful effects of the patient’s degenerative disease, it is not reason enough to consider ending a life.

The Church’s Perspective on Human Life

Assisted suicide, euthanasia or mercy killing is defined by the 1980 declaration from the Vatican as an action or omission which of itself or by intention causes death in order to eliminate suffering that could be caused by a degenerative disease.

When discussing subjects involving human life, we must first remember the church’s views on human life. First and foremost we must keep in mind that the church considers both human life and human dignity sacred.

Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.God created mankind in his image;in the image of God he created them;male and female* he created them.  Genesis 1:26-27

The Bible teaches us that we are all created in the image and likeness of God therefore anything that harms the life and dignity of an individual is considered an offense against God. Atrocious acts like murder, genocide, rape and abortion should be condemned as immoral and evil.

Second, as members of God’s family we are expected to live life according to God’s purpose and plan. We must be humble and open to accept the will of our Heavenly Father for our lives. These principles remind us that our life is God’s gift to us and that we must not take it for granted.

What the Church Says About Assisted Suicide

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:30-31

One of the most common reasons why people consider assisted suicide is because they suffer from a degenerative disease. Some illnesses become so debilitating that people would rather choose to end their life and thus end their suffering.

The Catholic Church condemns assisted suicide as morally unacceptable regardless of the motives and means. First because assisted suicide goes against the core belief of Christianity that all human life is sacred. This principle applies not just to the lives of people who are healthy but also to the lives of people who are weak and ill.

Second, God commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves so we have a moral and spiritual responsibility to look after our fellow men and women and more so if they are elderly, sick or dying. Assisted suicide goes against our natural inclination as human beings to preserve life. There is more than one solution to suffering than totally eliminating life and the chance of a person to survive. We must do all that we can to help the ill or physically challenged people to live life as normal as possible.

He said,“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb,and naked shall I go back there.The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;blessed be the name of the LORD!”  Job 1:21

Last but not the least, although we do not wish to suffer and be in pain, these negative circumstances are an opportune time for us to grow in wisdom and faith. It may be difficult to accept but it is during times of great turmoil and tribulation that we can truly see the indescribable power of God.

Stewards of Life

Euthanasia - Degenerative Diseases - Catholic Faith Store

One of the things that make assisted suicide ungodly is that it empowers people to decide which kind of life is worth living and which one should be terminated. This central philosophy goes against the very foundation of our faith. Our faith teaches us to love our God and to surrender to His will.

Each one of us is responsible for the life that our Heavenly Father gave to us. We are stewards of this precious gift and must accept and live it gratefully. However, it is God who remains the sovereign master of life so we are not entitled to choose when and how to end it.

Life and death are both gifts from God. Death marks the end of our existence here on earth but in a spiritual perspective, it is the beginning of our new life in eternity. Our lives on earth is but a temporary journey that prepares us for our eternal life with our Father so we must do our best to live our journey in the most Christian way possible.

There are countless stories of men and women in the Bible whose lives were transformed after they underwent indescribable suffering. Their testimonies teach us that we must not underestimate the power of God to redeem us and offer us healing even from an incurable degenerative disease.

Prayers for the Sick and Dying

Prayer of the Elderly, Bl. Pope John Paul II, 1999 
Grant, O Lord of life, That we may savor every season of our lives as a gift filled with promise for the future. Grant that we may lovingly accept your will, and place ourselves each day in your merciful hands. And when the moment of our definitive “passage” comes, grant that we may face it with serenity, without regret for what we shall leave behind. For in meeting you, after having sought you for so long, we shall find once more every authentic good which we have known here on earth, in the company of all who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and hope. Mary, Mother of pilgrim humanity, pray for us “now and at the hour of our death.” Keep us ever close to Jesus, your beloved Son and our bother, the Lord of life and glory. Amen! 

Prayer For Renewed Strength 

O Lord, my God, Please give me the grace to maintain my hope in you through all of life’s changes and to taste and see your goodness. I praise you for the gifts you have showered on me for so many years. Help me find joy in a renewed strength of spirit. Please bless me with good health, and inspire me to be a good example to others. For you are Lord, forever and ever. Amen. 

Prayers to Saint Gregory

Saint Gregory is the patron saint of Educators, Musicians and Singers. He was born into a wealthy family. He sold his possessions and built monasteries in Rome and Sicily with the money he made. Gregory was elected Pope and sent Saint Austin to convert Anglo-Saxons to Christianity.

Saint Gregory the Great's Easter Prayer

It is only right
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father
and your Only-begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Dear Father, by Your wondrous
condescension of loving-kindness toward us,
Your servants, You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus, You paid the debt of Adam
for us to the Eternal Father by
Your blood poured
forth in loving-kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
By Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection. 
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled heaven and earth. 
Our life had no hope of eternal happiness
before You redeemed us. 
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimbale is the tenderness 
of Your love!

Check out these beautiful prayer cards!

Saint Gregory
Saint Gregory

Prayer to Saint Gregory the Great

Father, you guide your people
with kindness and govern
us with love.

By the prayers of Saint Gregory
give the spirit of wisdom
to those you have called to lead
your Church.

May growth of your people
in holiness be the eternal joy of
your shepherds.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns
with you in the unity of the
Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

If you like this prayer, you'll love this prayer card!


Fighting Temptations : A Practical Guide for Catholics

​Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him.  James 1:12


The Bible is filled with stories of people fighting temptations in their day to day lives. In the book of Genesis, we read about the serpent tempting Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit. Even Jesus was tempted and put to the test during his time on earth.

In Matthew 4, the Devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if he would bow down to him but Jesus resisted and he was delivered from sin.

Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written:‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.’”Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.  Matthew 4:5-11

Temptation is something that entices us to act against reason and the commandments of God. They come in different forms and leads to different kinds of sin, some as small and seemingly harmless as gossiping or something as grave and atrocious as murder. All of these situations began with us being confronted with a choice of either succumbing to temptation or resisting it.

Fighting temptations is all part of our lives as Christians. Every day there is an ongoing battle between our spiritual nature, the part that unites us with God, and our human nature which is weak and vulnerable to sin. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to stand fast in our faith and overcome temptation.

Some temptations are easier to overcome than others and we often hear people use the phrase, “I am only human and humans are bound to sin” in order to justify falling into temptation. But is this argument valid?

The Gift of Free Will and the Armor of God

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Ephesians 6:12

God gave us the gift of free will and it is through this gift that we are able to make choices that will either bring us lasting peace or destruction. We must remember that as Christians we are caught in the middle of a spiritual battle for our souls.

There is a spiritual aspect to everything in life and every choice we make prepares us for our life in eternity with our Heavenly Father. By choosing the righteous path, we grow in wisdom and build our faith. We become more confident when going through life’s difficulties.

On the other hand, when we let go of our better judgment and give in to temptation, we isolate ourselves from God and our fellow Christians. We become wracked with guilt and are unable to reconcile our spiritual and righteous side with our human side.

Types of Temptations

Our lives are filled with temptations that can be hostile and opposed to God. Some examples of the most common temptations are:

  • Money and Greed 
  • Corrupt Power
  • Lust (sexual immorality)
  • Gossip and Lies
  • To do another harm
  • Pride
  • Envy
  • Anger
  • Gluttony (i.e. eating too much, overuse of your phone / internet)
  • Sloth (procrastination, laziness)

Practical Steps for Resisting Temptation

No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.   1 Corinthians 10:13


Here are 4 practical strategies to overcome difficult situations:

1. Recognize your tendency to sin

Tempatation of Christ - Fighting Temptations - Catholic Faith Store

First, we need to realize that we are sinful and in need of God’s grace in order to be redeemed from the clutches of temptation. It is true that our human nature is weak and susceptible to sin but we must remember that we have a choice not to be enslaved by our flesh.

List down the bad habits and negative behavioral patterns that you constantly struggle to overcome and acknowledge that these are wrong. Identify your trigger areas (things, situations or people) that cause you to fall and find ways to avoid these.

2. Equip yourself with God’s Word

God’s Word is our beacon of light for navigating through today’s world. Read and reflect over the Bible and find practical applications for what you learn. There are also many devotional and spiritual books that can help supplement our Bible readings. Use these books as positive influences for making decisions and confronting your struggles.

3. Find a healthy support group

A positive support group can help you face even the hardest trials. Find a support group that share your Christian values and with whom you can be accountable to. Your support group can include your parish priest and other people who you are comfortable sharing your struggles with.

Be honest with what you are going through so they can help pray for you and and guide you.

4. Repent immediately

Fighting temptations is a daily struggle and there will be times when you will fall. Instead of wallowing in despair, immediately repent. Go to confession and tell your support group about your struggles. Be sincere when you confess and ask for guidance from your parish priest or support group.


We live in a world that has increasingly blurred the lines between what is right and wrong. It’s no longer as easy to tell apart good from evil. However, we must take comfort in the fact that God is faithful and will never abandon us. He will always offer us a way out of any predicament no matter how serious.

Why Do We Sit, Stand and Kneel at Catholic Mass?

Catholic Mass Order: The act of Sitting, Standing and Kneeling at Mass. Why do we do that? | Catholic Faith Store

The Basics of the Catholic Mass Order

The Catholic Faith liturgy follows its own unique set of religious rituals and traditions which are part of the Catholic Mass Order. As a member of the Catholic Faith, you probably observed some of these practices which include sitting, standing and kneeling during mass. So why do we do these things and what do they signify?

To better understand the meaning behind the physical gestures that we perform during the Catholic Mass, we need to keep in mind two basic elements of the Catholic Mass Order.

The priest acts as Jesus

During the mass, the priest is not just leading the celebration of the Eucharist, he is acting the role of Jesus.

Click to Tweet

As Jesus, he leads us to do the different gestures, traditions and rituals that are part of the Catholic Mass Order. This is why we sit and stand when the priest sits and stands. This is also the reason why altar servers and other priests bow when they approach the celebrating priest. In this way they are showing reverence to Christ who is represented by the priest.

Jesus is present in the Eucharist

Another important thing that we should understand about the Catholic Mass is that Jesus is present in the consecrated Eucharist. This is in accordance to the doctrine of transubstantiation which states that the bread and wine become Jesus at a certain point during the Mass. The bread and wine retain their appearance but are actually transformed into the body and blood of Christ.

Why We Sit During the Mass

At the beginning of every mass, we start in a sitting position. Sitting is considered the base position of worship. This is the position from which we can stand and kneel. We sit when we are listening to the first two readings during Mass which is based on the Lectionary.

We also sit down after the Gospel reading, focused and attentively taking in the homily. We remain while waiting for the Eucharistic elements to be prepared, a very meaningful gesture because we expectantly wait and rise when the priest is ready.

Why We Stand During the Mass

The Catholic Mass starts with the Penitential Act which happens right after the priest walks down to the sanctuary. During this part of the Catholic Mass Order, we acclaim the Kyrie Eleison by saying “Lord, have mercy.”

The Kyrie Eleison is an ancient Christian tradition in which we confess our sinfulness to our Almighty Father and to our fellow Christians. This is in compliance to the New Testament command for us to admit our sins to one another.

During the Kyrie Eleison and most prayers during Mass, Catholics stand up. Standing has been considered the appropriate position for prayer since before Christ’s time. When we stand, we are following this centuries old tradition.

Standing is also a simple but profound way of honoring and respecting Jesus who is represented by the priest during Mass. During the first two readings of the Bible, we are seated and listening but during the Gospel reading, we stand up.

The Gospel is the Word of God and to hear these is a great honor which is why we ascend from our base position of worship. We stand to acknowledge the significance of hearing God’s very own words.

During the reading of the gospel, we make a small sign of the cross using our thumb on our forehead, lips and over our hearts. This simple act is a symbolic request for God to impress His Word upon our minds, lips and heart.

When the priest is done reading the Gospel, he will show respect to the Words of God by kissing the Gospel and then start his homily. After the homily, we stand up to recite our either the Nicene Creed or Apostle’s Creed as a Profession of Faith.

Why We Kneel During the Mass

Kneeling is the most humble way of worshipping God during Mass. When we kneel, we completely submit and surrender ourselves to our Heavenly Father. We kneel during several parts of the Mass.

After the Profession of Faith, we spend the rest of the Mass on our knees. This is an incredible act of faith and devotion because when we kneel, we acknowledge that Jesus is really coming. In light of the doctrine of transubstantiation, we kneel to recognize Jesus’ presence in the Eucharistic elements after the priest says the Eucharistic Prayers.


As we kneel during the rest of the Mass, the priest will perform a number of meaningful gestures. One gesture is the sign of the cross which the priest will do at different parts of the Mass, a prayer request for Christ to come and help strengthen us with His gifts. He will make the sign of the cross over the elements and proclaim “This is my body,” and “This is my blood” over the bread and wine.

Once the bread and wine are consecrated, the priest and the people celebrating with him will kneel in front of the elements to express reverence. The rest of us will rise again when the Lord’s Prayer and the Sign of Peace are said.

The Mass is rich with meaning, every element and gesture represents something profound and beautiful. When we understand these different meanings and take them to heart, each moment we spend during Mass will certainly become more transformative and nourishing to our souls.

General Guide for Catholic Mass

Action

Description

Stand

Start of Mass until the first reading

Sit

First reading until the beginning of the Gospel Acclamation

Stand

Beginning of the Gospel Acclamation until the end of the Gospel Reading

Sit

For the homily

Stand

Beginning of the Creed to the end of the general intercessions

Sit

Preparation of the gifts until the end of "Pray, brothers and sisters . . ." 

Stand

From the beginning of "May the Lord accept this sacrifice . . ." until the end of the Holy, Holy

Kneel

Eucharistic Prayer

Stand

The Our Father until the beginning of the Lamb of God

Kneel / Stand

End of the Lamb of God until distribution of Holy Communion

Stand

Receiving Holy Communion

Kneel / Sit

Silence after Holy Communion

Stand

Prayer after Communion until the end of Mass

The Importance of Charity Work for Catholics

The Importance of Charity Work for Catholics - Catholic Faith Store
The Importance of Charity Work for Catholics - Catholic Faith Store
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites* do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.  Matthew 6:2

As Catholics we have been taught about charity work through the gospels and various practices like outreaches. Thomas Aquinas esteems charity as “the most excellent of the virtues.” What does charity mean in the context of the Catholic Faith and why is charity work important to us as Catholics?

What is Charity?

So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13

Most people think of charity simply as a benevolent act of giving. The most general definition of charity, however, means so much more than that. Charity in its purest sense means love and encompasses our love for God and our love for our fellow people. Thomas Aquinas said, “the habit of charity extends not only to the love of god but also the love of our neighbor.” These two kinds of love are closely tied to one another.

​Christian theology upholds charity as the greatest of the three theological virtues which includes faith and hope. According to moral theology, charity is a divinely infused virtue which lets us focus our will to cherish God above all things for His own sake and to cherish man for the sake of God.

​Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.  Colossians 3:12-14

Charity is the ultimate perfection of the human spirit since it is a reflection and glorification of God’s nature. It binds all virtues together in perfect harmony. It also purifies and uplifts human love to the perfection of God’s love.

Why is Charity Work Important to Catholics?

In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  Acts 20:35

As members of the Catholic Faith we are encouraged to practice charity in different ways. Since the apostolic age, Christians were taught to not just give but to give from the heart to everyone in need regardless of their race or religion because “Christ is all and in all.”

Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.  Colossians 3:11

Although many world religions uphold charity work, it is specially emphasized in the Christian faith and is a central message in the gospels. For example, in Colossians 3:11 we are instructed to love our neighbors because they are the children of God. We are all part of the same human family and share the same nature, needs and dignity. Because of our kinship and unity as God’s people, we must have compassion and understanding for one another.

Charity teaches us to have a Christ-like love for our neighbors. This kind of love is unconditional and by it we are able to reach out to our brothers and sisters and help relieve any physical, mental, moral or spiritual needs they may have.

Charity is also about stewardship. A steward is a person who is tasked with caring for another person’s valuables. The steward is accountable to the “owner” for how well he manages the property he oversees. As followers of Christ, we are stewards of our lives. We are accountable for how well we live it and how well we manage the blessings, resources, capabilities and gifts that we have. We must therefore share what we have to the other members of Christ’s family through charity work.

How to Develop the Virtue of Charity?

Charity is integral to our faith as Catholics so how do we develop it? Here are three practical ways for living out this virtue in our everyday lives.

Treat others with love

The simplest way we can express charity is to speak, act and think with love. We must keep in mind that charity is all about love and as it says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.”

With this Bible verse in mind, let us remember to always treat others with compassion. When we have love in our hearts and minds, it is easy for us to put the needs of others first. We act without self-interest and always with the goal of helping others out.

Support charitable institutions

The Importance of Charity Work for Catholics - Catholic Faith Store

There are many charitable institutions that consider it their mission to help people in need and these groups usually get by with donations from people who share their advocacy. You can develop your charitable spirit by supporting these organizations. Start by praying to God for guidance in finding the charities that are fit for you.

We should also consider which causes burden our heart. There is no shortage of people and places that are in need of our help. As we reach out to them, we can see our own lives and hearts transformed by the spirit of giving.

Volunteer in your parish

We don’t need to look very far to find a group or people to help out. Our own churches are a great place to offer our help. Let’s remember that a church is not simply a building, it is a gathering of people who share the same love for God. We must all stand united in helping our parishes grow stronger. You can start by contacting your parish priest and asking which parts of the ministry you can assist in.

Each one of us has a special gift that can be of use in God’s work. For example, if you love children and enjoy teaching, you may help out in the children’s catechism of your church. Or if you have good management and accounting skills, you may help out in the administrative work of your parish.

How do you practice charity in your life? What charity work do you plan to do?

Prayers to Saint Clare

Saint Clare is known for warding off invading soldiers while kneeling in prayer holding a monstrance. She was an avid follower of St. Francis of Assisi and started the Order of Poor Ladies which is now known as the Order of Saint Clare. She is the patron saint of eyes and Television.

Prayer to St. Clare

God of Mercy,
You inspired Saint Clare
with the love of poverty.
By the help of her prayers
may we follow Christ
in poverty of spirit
and come to the joyful vision
of your glory
in the kingdom of Heaven.
We ask this through
our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with
You and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, forever and ever. 
Amen.

If you like this prayer, you'll love these prayer cards!

Saint Clare

Role of Religion: How Religion Affects Family Relationships

Role of Religion: How Religion Affects Family Relationships | Catholic Faith Store

Some people put religion at the center of their family relationships and traditions while others do not put as much importance on it. Let’s look into the differences between religious and nonreligious families to better understand how religion affects their relationships.​​​​

Role of Religion: How Religion Affects Family Relationships | Catholic Faith Store

Religion has played an important role in human society for many years. As a result, families have helped promote and preserve religious beliefs and traditions. For many years, studies have examined the way religion has affected human relationships, particularly families.

Here are some of the positive effects that religion has on family relationships:

More Harmonious

A study published in the Journal Developmental Psychology, found that more religious parents had more cohesive family relationships. The research also showed that religious parents had fewer conflicts in their marriage. This study also found that adolescent children of religious families managed their emotions and actions better.

One possible reason why religion promotes familial harmony is that it encourages members to follow a common set of values. For example, the Catholic Faith teaches us to live out virtues of love, patience and humility and these are useful for dealing with tricky relationship issues.

Less Chances of Divorce

An article in the Journal of Family Psychology examined 94 different studies on family and religion found that religion had a small but distinct positive influence in preventing divorce among couples.

We live in a rapidly changing world that has significantly altered the way people view relationships. Religion gives us a solid foundation to build relationships upon like marriage. When couples share a common religious background or faith, they have a common middle ground to sort out relational troubles. They can view problems from a shared perspective and hopefully come up with a resolution that is mutually beneficial.

Emotional and Spiritual Support

Being part of a religious group offers families emotional stability and spiritual guidance. Having a community that makes us feel welcome and supported is important. We live in an increasingly complex world and some families may not be equipped to handle the issues of their family members. A religious community is a good place to seek advice and emotional support during difficult times.

Stronger Family Ties

Families that are part of religious communities are found to have stronger ties among members. This is according to the Journal Family Relations that examined 200 married men and women of 20 different religions. Researchers believe that this might be due to the community support that has been made available by organized religion.

Additionally, being part of a religious faith offers opportunities for enjoying activities together which in turn could strengthen family relationships. These activities include going to church, praying and studying religious texts.

Solid Set of Values

Religion offers an excellent avenue for parents to teach children important values like being humble, God-fearing, compassionate and kind. These values can prove crucial for navigating the world and relating with other people.

Religious organizations also offer resources that can help families strengthen their value system. A family that is part of an organized faith will also experience solid community support and guidance, as the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Religion can also cause negative effects as well such as:

Intolerance

When taken to the extreme, religion can cause followers to be intolerant toward those who they perceive to be different from them. We see many incidents of this in the news. An extreme example would be religious discrimination and terrorism. This negative mentality also manifests in more subtle ways within the family.

In a study published in the Review of Religious Research, gay and lesbian family members related that they felt like outsiders whenever they attended a religious family wedding. The researchers of the study propose that conservative religious faith may negatively affect family cohesion when family members do not fit the standards of their religion.

Lack of Autonomy

Very conservative religious parents usually have a distinct way of defining the behavior of their children. An article in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion argues that conservative Christian parents define well behaved children as obedient and they discouraged autonomy. This suggests that while religious families had more harmonious relationships, they were not necessarily healthy for their children.

Undeniably, being part of a religious community has many benefits but can be twisted in a way that becomes detrimental to our family ties. We should therefore be aware of the dangers of taking religion to the extreme so we can prevent it from becoming harmful to our relationships.


The role that religion plays in our family life is a deeply personal choice. Whether good or bad, religion’s effects on our family relationship will depend on how we apply its teachings.


How do you apply religion's teachings to your family relationships?


Do you feel that religion plays a positive role in your family?

Is it ok for Catholics to be cremated and have their ashes scattered?

Is it ok for Catholics to be cremated and have their ashes scattered? | Catholic Faith Store
Is it ok for Catholics to be cremated and have their ashes scattered? | Catholic Faith Store

Catholic cremation is a divisive topic within the Catholic Faith community because not many people understand the Church’s teachings on it. When a loved one passes away, it is up to surviving family members to make arrangements regarding what to do with the remains and cremation may come up as a possible option.

Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of Catholic cremation and what the Church says about it.

Why Do People Choose Cremation?

There are different reasons why people prefer cremation over traditional burials. The following are the most common reasons:

More economical

Some people choose cremation because it is more economical compared to the traditional burial. Unlike traditional burials, cremation does not require a coffin or burial plot. In the United States, the average traditional funeral can cost between $8,000 to $15,000 and sometimes even more whereas cremation costs only from $1,000 to $2,000.

Less time-pressured

A burial requires a more urgent time frame because the remains of the deceased might decompose if the funeral arrangements are not made on time. Cremation, on the other hand, is a less time-pressured option and the memorial services are more flexible and may be planned after the process is completed without an urgent time frame.

Better portability

Cremation is a practical option if ever the deceased lived away from his loved ones. If this is the case, the surviving family members will need to transport the remains and cremation is a more convenient and economical choice in terms of portability.

More eco-friendly

While cremation is not totally safe for the environment (because it still requires burning fossil fuels), it is relatively more eco-friendly compared to burials. Traditional burials require permanent plots of land and some of the hazardous chemicals used for embalming are at risk of contaminating the water table.

What the Catholic Church Says About Cremation

Since 1963, the Catholic Church has allowed cremation as a means of laying a departed loved one to rest but this was not always the case. Historically, the Church prefered a traditional burial over cremation because of the fundamental Christian belief in the resurrection of the dead and the dignity of our bodies. For these reasons, burning was not considered acceptable treatment of the human body.

In recent times, however, a number of practical concerns began to arise regarding traditional burials. One major consideration was money. In certain places in the world, buying a plot of land costed exorbitant amounts of money which made it nearly impossible for some Catholics to buy burial plots. The Catholic Church has modified its stance to accommodate the changing needs of the people. The Vatican’s Decree on Popular Piety and the Liturgy in 2001 describes cremation as “a contemporary phenomenon in virtue of the changed circumstances of life.”

Catholic cremation is mentioned twice in the current Code of Canon Law. Canon 1176.3 emphasizes that the Church recommends traditional burials but that that it does not forbid cremation unless the reasons behind it goes against Christian doctrine. Canon 1184.1 no. 2 mentions that ecclesiastical funerals cannot be granted to those whose reasons for cremation goes against Catholic Faith teachings.

Can Ashes of the Deceased Be Scattered? NO.

Although the Catholic Church allows us to choose cremation, we must be aware of the things that we can and cannot do especially regarding the ashes of our departed loved one. For example, it has become increasingly common for people to scatter the ashes in the sea or some place that holds sentimental significance to the family. Is this acceptable in the Catholic Faith? The simple answer is no.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently issued updated guidelines regarding what can and cannot be done to the ashes of deceased loved ones. One of the guidelines include keeping the ashes intact after cremation.

Simply put, ashes should not be separated or scattered and they must be contained in an appropriate vessel in an appropriate place like a church or cemetery. Only a bishop is allowed to authorize exceptions to this storage requirement.

This guideline goes back to the fundamental Catholic doctrine of resurrection and that we must treat our bodies with utmost respect. Scattering ashes promote heretical ideas that are dangerous especially from a faith context. Some people think scattering of ashes allow departed loved ones to “fuse” with nature or as a form of liberation. This outlook overlaps with pagan ideals and are far from Catholic.

By choosing cremation the deceased's body is physically altered but it does not prevent the person's soul from entering heaven and it does not prevent the Lord from raising up the deceased body to new life.

Key Point​s to Remember

  • The ashes must be contained in a vessel.
  • The remains must be laid to rest in a cemetery or sacred place. They cannot remain at your home.
  • The remains must stay intact and not scattered.
  • The remains cannot be used as memento such as used in jewelry. ​

The Catholic Church certainly allows us to choose cremation over a traditional burial and having this freedom is important given today’s changing norms and especially with regards to practical concerns. However, as in all things, we must exercise this freedom responsibly by keeping our faith at the heart of our decision and always upholding our basic religious convictions.

Grieving Angel Memorial Statue

Memorial Angel Statue 9.25 inches

Memorial Angel Monument

Guardian Angel Dog Statue 17 Inches

Jesus' Embrace at Heaven's Gate Framed Print

Guardian Angel Cat Statue 9.5 Inches

Prayers to Saint Ignatius

Saint Ignatius was a soldier who was injured in battle and was limited to resting in bed. A family member lent him a book about Saints to read while in bed. Upon recovery, he devoted himself to the Faith. He is the founder of the Society of Jesus and is the Patron Saint of Educators and Soldiers.

Prayer to Saint Ignatius Loyola

O Glorious Patriarch,
St. Ignatius, we humbly
beseech you to obtain for us
from God above all the things,
freedom from sin, the
greatest of evils. May your
example inflame our hearts
with an efficacious glory to
God and the good of our
neighbor; and obtain from
the loving Heart of Jesus,
our Lord, the crown of all
other graces, the gift of
final perseverance, and
eternal beatitude. Amen.

Keep your faith close with these beautiful prayer cards!

Saint Ignatius
Saint Ignatius

Saint Ignatius Loyola

Dearest Lord, teach me to be
generous; teach to serve You as
You deserve: to give, and not count
the cost; to fight, and not to heed
the wounds; to toil, and not to ask for
reward, except that knowing that
I am doing Your Will.
Amen.

If you like this prayer, you'll love this prayer card!

Saint Ignatius

Embrace the Crucifix instead of a plain cross? What’s a Catholic to do?

Both the cross and the crucifix are important symbols in the Catholic Faith. To non-Catholics these two may look similar but certain meaningful differences exist between them and these differences can mean a lot to Catholic devotees.

As a result, some Catholics may struggle in deciding whether to embrace a crucifix or just stick to a plain cross for use in their daily spiritual devotion.

What are the differences between a crucifix and a plain cross?

The cross is perhaps the most famous and widespread symbol in Christianity. It is used in Christian gatherings and messages. In Roman times, the cross was an instrument of torture and public humiliation. It is the equivalent of today’s death penalty in that hardened criminals were put to death by crucifixion.

Today, the cross has been adopted as a symbol of the ultimate sacrifice. It evokes Jesus’ death and, more importantly, His resurrection.

In the Catholic Faith, the crucifix is a very common symbol which is a cross with the figure of Jesus Christ attached to it. It often has the word “INRI” written across the top. These letters are a shortened version of a phrase that translates to “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” These were the words which Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, ordered to have written on the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.

Crucifix is derived from the Latin word cruci fixus which means “fixed to a cross.” It thus refers to an image of Jesus fixed to a cross which is distinct from a plain cross. The image of Jesus on the cross is referred to as the corpus which is the Latin word for body.

The Crucifix as a Sacramental

According to the Catholic catechism, the crucifix is a sacramental or a sacred symbol that the church instituted to prepare Catholics to receive God’s grace. A sacramental finds its power in the Paschal Mystery which is at the heart of the Catholic Faith.

The Paschal Mystery is closely tied to the history of salvation and is centered on the mission of Jesus Christ on earth which is His passion, death and eventual resurrection. Many Catholic devotees gaze reverently upon the crucifix while praying in order to remember Jesus’ great sacrifice and evoke feelings of love, trust, faith and devotion.

For Catholics, the crucifix captures the great sacrifice that Jesus made for humanity. It is a symbol of salvation and Christ’s ultimate act to atone for the sins of the world. The crucifix also represents Jesus’ mission to reconcile our relationship with God. It is a very profound emblem that demonstrates God’s ultimate power to overcome sin and death.

With the crucifix, we are reminded of the Lord’s promise of salvation and grace which we can receive by turning to him. We would not have the gift of salvation without Christ’s crucifixion and we would not have the miracle of resurrection if Jesus had not died on the cross.

The Crucifix vs. the Plain Cross

According to Catholic author Patrick Madrid, Catholics use the crucifix instead of the plain cross because the cross only has meaning because Jesus Christ died on it to save us. The crucifix is an important symbol used in many Catholic traditions. It is prominently used during Mass which is a profound celebration in the Catholic Faith.

We can also see the crucifix used in Mass processions. It is often affixed to a staff and put at the center of the altar. Crucifixes are also featured during Holy Week. Aside from the church and public places, we can also see and use the crucifix in our daily lives. We put them in our homes and wear them as necklaces as a symbol of our faith and devotion.

Embrace the Crucifix instead of a plain cross? What’s a Catholic to do? | Catholic Faith Store

Pope Francis reminds us not to simply wear or use crucifix to show our religious affiliation. It is so much more than that. We should look beyond the symbol and remember the meaning behind it which is Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross for our salvation.

At the end of the day, it’s not really about choosing which is better. This is not about whether the crucifix or the cross is more meaningful or powerful. These things are just representations of our faith and reminders of what is at the core of our faith.

We are not simply embracing the crucifix or the cross, we are embracing God as the king of our lives. When we accept God’s sovereignty, we repent and acknowledge our sinfulness but more importantly we embrace the fact that Jesus died so that we may live for Him. These are the things to keep in mind when wearing and using Catholic symbols.

How do you use the crucifix or cross in your spiritual walk? What meaning does it have in your life?

Tomaso Wall Crucifix, Resin, 7 1/2"H

Resin Wall Crucifix - 20 3/4"

Cherry Stained Celtic Wall Crucifix - 5.75"H

Italian Standing Wood Crucifix - 7 inch

Standing Crucifix with Base, Hand Painted, Marble Composite - 14.5"H

Standing Crucifix in Brass - 13 Inches

Prayers to Saint Anne

We ask for Saint Anne's intercession in all things regarding motherhood and household as she is the patron saint of housekeepers and mothers. Ann is the mother of Our Blessed Mother Mary and the grandmother of Jesus Christ.

Prayer to Saint Anne

Glorious St. Anne, Filled with
Compassion for those who invoke thee,
and with love for those who suffer, 
heavily laden with the weight of my 
troubles, I cast myself at they feet and 
humbly beg of thee to take the present 
affair which I recommend to thee under 
thy special protection.
Vouchsafe to recommend it to thy 
Daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and 
lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that 
He may bring it to a happy issue. Cease
not to intercede for me until my request is
granted. Above all obtain for me the 
grace of one day beholding my God face 
to face, and with thee and Mary and all
the Saints, praising and blessing Him for 
all eternity. 
Good St. Anne, mother of Her who is
our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope, 
pray to her for us, and obtain our request. 
(3 times)

If you like this prayer, you'll love these prayer cards!

Saint Anne
Saint Anne

Prayer to St. Anne and St. Joachim

Dear St. Anne and St. Joachim,
parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and grandparents of Jesus, our Divine
Lord, listen with pity to the petition
which your loving and trustful client
humbly presents before you.
     Surely dear Saints, you are both
very dear to the Heart of Him Whose
beloved Mother was your tender and
devoted child! Can He refuse anything to you, in whose veins the same
blood flowed which afterwards furished the precious price of our Redemption? 

Great Saints, nothing can
be impossible to your power and in-
fluence over the little Jesus, "who
grew strong in grace and wisdom"
under the maternal care and direction
of your glorious Daughter, the Queen
of Heaven and Earth. In mercy and
compassion, be like Him "Who went
about doing good," and come to the
assistance of your servant in this great
necessity!
     St. Anne, St. Joachim, dear parents
of her who is our life, our sweetness
and our hope, pray to her for us and
obtain our request! Amen.

Check out this beautiful prayer card!

Saint Anne
Saint Anne

Prayer to St. Anne

O God, You bestowed
on St. Anne such
grace that she was
found worthy to
become the mother of
Mary, who brought
forth Your only
begotten Son.

Grant that we may be
helped by her
intercession.

This short and sweet intercessory prayer is a perfect daily reminder of your faith!

Saint Anne

Prayers to Saint Christopher

Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. Christopher was a well-built man who came about a hermit who guided travelers to safe points to cross a dangerous river. Christopher took the place of the hermit but instead of guiding travelers to safe places, he would carry them across the river. He once carried a small child who later revealed himself as Christ and baptized Christopher.

The Motorists Prayer

Grant me O Lord a steady hand and watchful eye.
That no one shall be hurt as I pass by.
Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of Thine.
Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company
From the evils of fire and all calamity.
Teach me to use my car for others need;
Nor miss through love of undue speed
The beauty of the world; that thus I may
With joy and courtesy go on my way.
St. Christopher, holy patron saint of travelers, Protect me.
And lead me safely to my destiny.

Keep the blessings of our Lord and Saint Christopher with you when you travel.

Saint Christopher

Prayer to Saint Christopher

Dear Saint,
you have inherited

a beautiful name Christopher
as a result of a wonderful legend
that while carrying people
across a raging stream you
also carried the Child Jesus.
Teach us to be true Christbearers
to those who do not know Him. 
Protect all drivers 
who often transport those
who bear Christ within them.
Amen.

This prayer card and necklace will be the perfect devotional to take with you as you travel.

Saint Christopher

A Driver's Prayer

Dear Lord, before I take my
place today behind the wheel,
please let me come with humble
heart before Thy throne to kneel
and pray that I am fit to drive
each busy thoroughfare, and
that I keep a watchful eye, lest
some small child be there.

And keep me thinking
constantly about the Golden
Rule, when driving past the
playground zones or by some
busy school. Then when I stop to
give someone his right to cross
the street, let me by brother's
keeper be and spare a life that's
sweet.

Please make me feel this car I
drive, You gave me to enjoy, and
that its purpose is to serve
mankind not to destroy.

Amen.

This prayer card serves as a beautiful daily reminder to pray before you drive.

Saint Christopher
Saint Christopher

Prayers to Saint James

Saint James the Greater is said to be the first apostle to join Jesus. He is the patron saint against arthritis and Spain. We see St. James holding a bible and sword. The title "the Greater" was added to St. James' name to help distinguish him from the Apostle James "the Less," who is believed to have been shorter than James "the Greater." Saint James the Greater was martyred for his faith by King Herod, who decapitated him.

As he was not allowed to be buried following his martyrdom, his remains were taken to Compostela, Spain, by some of his followers, who buried him. Today, his remains can still be found in the Cathedral of Santiago.

Prayer to Saint James the Apostle

O glorious Apostle, Saint James,
who by reason of thy fervent
and generous heart
was chosen by Jesus to be witness
of His glory on Mount Tabor,
and of His agony in Gethsemane;
thou, whose very name is a symbol
of warfare and victory:
obtain for us strength and
consolation in the unending
warfare of this life,
that, having constantly
and generously followed Jesus,
we may be victors in the strife
and deserve to receive
the victor's crown in heaven.
Amen.

If you like this prayer, you'll love these prayer cards!

Saint James
Saint James

Saint James the Greater

O Glorious St. James,
because of your fervor and
generosity, Jesus chose you to 
witness His glory on the Mount
and His agony in the garden.
Obtain for us strength and
consolation in the upending 
struggles of this life. Help us to
follow Christ constantly and
generously, to be victors over
all our difficulties, and to
receive the crown of glory in heaven.
Amen.

Use this prayer card to pray for strength and comfort.

Saint James

Are Catholics Called to Protect the Environment? Catholic Social Teaching: The Catholic Perspective On The Environment

Catholic Social Teaching: The Catholic Perspective On The Environment | Catholic Faith Store

​We as stewards of God’s creation must look into the Catholic social teaching on the environment so that we can understand the role we play in addressing its issues. Now more than ever we are confronted by many pressing environmental problems. We hear about global temperatures rising, with the year 2016 said to be the warmest year on record, ice sheets melting and many species of animals going extinct.

To know what the Catholic perspective on the environment is all about, we must first learn about Catholic social teaching.

What is Catholic Social Teaching?

Being a part of the Catholic Faith is not just limited to our spiritual journeys as individuals. It also includes being aware and responsible of the needs of the other members of our community. This is where Catholic social teaching comes in.

Catholic social teaching is an important part of the Catholic Faith. At the heart of it is the essential truth that the Triune God is communal and social. Our Heavenly Father gave us His only son Jesus Christ and He lets the Holy Spirit touch our lives. Those of us who claim to be God’s children must therefore embody this community-centered outlook and look at the bigger picture when making decisions.

In Biblical times, Hebrew prophets spread the message of God’s love especially to those who are needy. The prophets also encouraged people to unite in a covenant of love and justice. It should not be any different today. We must ignite in our hearts a deep love for our neighbors and the community in which we belong. Our outlook must always be that of love and justice.

What is the Catholic perspective on the environment?

“A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. . . Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.” - Pope Francis, On Care for Our Common Home

The Catholic Church teaches us that nature is a gift.

We have a responsibility to care for that gift not just for our own good but for the good of future generations.

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly selfish and shortsighted. Individuals and organizations are driven toward progress and advancement without consideration of the common good.

In many ways, this is the reason why our environment has been significantly destroyed and the consequences of climate change loom before us. We have lost sight of our social nature and become obsessed with pursuing our individual needs even if it makes others suffer. This kind of mentality goes against the very core of what it means to be a child of God.

and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these. Mark 12:30-31

We need to remember that we are made in the image and likeness of our Heavenly Father. Because of this we have a responsibility to follow His commands, chief of which is loving our neighbors.

When we put love and compassion at the core of what we do, we take a more social approach in our every decision and this includes choices pertaining to the environment. If we truly love our neighbors it should follow that we exert utmost care for our planet because it is our shared home.

The environmental crisis we face today is just one of the many manifestations of our disregard for the needs of others. We need to be more conscious and careful of every decision we make and keep in mind its possible effects on the future generation. Every choice we make impacts not only ourselves but every person we share our home with.

Practical Ways We Can Protect the Environment

The global environmental crisis we face today is a complex one that does not have one single solution. Ultimately, we as stewards of creation have a part to play in caring for the environment.

Each and every one of us must do our part in protecting our planet. There are many things we can do to make this possible. Here are 5 practical suggestions to get you started:

1. Use energy efficient appliances

Consider upgrading your fridge and air-conditioner if they are more than five years old. Newer ones are more efficient than old models. When shopping for new appliances like freezers, heaters and furnaces, be on the lookout for the Energy Star label.

2. Choose your car wisely

The car you drive is perhaps the most impactful climate-related decision you will make. For every gallon of gasoline, you use 25 pounds of heat-trapping gases is released into the atmosphere. So, when purchasing a car, go for the one that is most fuel efficient model. Better fuel mileage will not only help address the issue of global warming, it will save you thousands of dollars.

3. Invest in an electricity monitor

An electricity monitor is useful for identifying which appliances and devices in your house consumes the most energy. From there you can decide to whether minimize usage, upgrade to more energy efficient models or discard the item. You may buy an electricity monitor from hardware stores.

4. Watch what you eat

A big part of the world’s emissions is caused by the food industry. To be more ecologically conscious eaters, we can start by cutting down on our meat intake. Livestock uses up 30 percent of our world’s land area and another 33 percent is used to produce animal feed.Another solution is to buy food produced by local organic farmers and food shops. This is not only healthy, it will also help decrease the pollution caused by

5. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Become a more conscious shopper. Instead of buying and hoarding new things, look for ways to use old things you have. Recycling is a simple yet effective way of decreasing wastes we send to landfills and combustion facilities.

As Christian stewards, we must let our love for others and our concern for the planet transform us from the inside.

In what ways do you protect the environment?

1 4 5 6 7 8 17
Page 6 of 17
>