do not store up treasure

Another joy-filled and sunny “good morning” to you from the Marian Center in Joy Valley! Every week when we sit down to write this little email, we do the same thing: we look at the feast days coming, the Sunday readings, and some of the headlines from major Catholic news sources. (And of course, some family-friendly links for our parents and grandparents out there!) 

We have to admit, this week’s focus was handed to us without hesitation. As we read the readings for this coming Sunday, we were struck with a definite theme for The Cause of Our Joy, but it’s a stark one. A sobering one. 

Simply put: we are all going to die. 

We’ve seen a saying passed around social media a lot in the last few weeks, and it pretty much sums up our focus for this Saturday. Here it is:

So, without further ado, let’s get into this! 

Sunday’s Readings
As we mentioned above, the readings for this Sunday’s Mass don’t leave much to the imagination. The book of Ecclesiates, St. Paul, and Our Lord are all speaking about the same thing, namely, do not store up treasure for this temporal life, but keep a laser-like focus on the eternal picture. 

With this in mind, we found some gems that will shake us up! First, we found a homily preached by Fr. Peter Stravinskas titled “All the Way to Heaven is Heaven – 7 Basic Steps to Holiness.”   It does a fantastic job of spelling out how to do the most important things well. 

Next, we found a short piece by Fr. Dwight Longenecker called “Wake Up, Sleepy Catholics!” in which he warns against a lukewarm and lazy faithlife. Definitely a well-timed reminder and easy enough to read in a minute or two! 

Change It Up!
If you are currently experiencing a rut in your prayer life, know that we’re right there with you. Daily circumstances, routine, and laziness can all make prayer more of a chore than a loving dialogue with a God who cares for us. So, if you’re needing a “shot in the arm” in this area, check out “Forgotten Traditional Devotions and Prayers to Liven Up Your Spiritual Life.” We once heard the advice to “pray as you can, not as you can’t,” and this article has some good ideas for just that! 

Saint Spotlight
Tomorrow, August 4, is the feast day of Saint John Vianney. Although he met many trials and difficulties on his way to being ordained, he became a tremendous priest and confessor. It was said that he would spend 16-18 hours every single day administering the Sacrament of Confession and would fast on only potatoes. People would come from all over France and Europe to go to confession and receive his spiritual guidance. To learn more about the life of this humble and holy man who is the patron saint of parish priests, follow this link

We Must Pray for Our Priests
With St. John Vianney’s feast day this week, it seems only appropriate that we should renew our prayers and sacrifices for our priests. In keeping with the theme of training our eyes on Jesus and the things of Heaven, we’d be silly to think we can do this without good, holy priests! 

Pope St. John Paul II prayed this litany for priests during his seminary years and later in life. The words of the litany are beautiful and so encouraging! We also found an article about the renewal of the Church and the priesthood, it’s called Renewing the Priesthood Involves Spiritual Warfare. It’s a little longer but worth the time if you have a few minutes. 

Nifty Stuff in the News
Recently, the youngest person to ever win the Tour de France, a 2,200 mile, 23 day bicycle race, celebrated by hugging his younger brother. The two brothers also made the sign of the cross on each other in a beautiful symbol of the Faith. To learn more and watch the video, follow this link

The Sign of the Cross
The Sign of the Cross is more than just a simple gesture, it’s a proclamation of our Faith. We do it when we enter a church, when we pray, and when we bless our children. This article, which goes deeper into the Sign of the Cross, has a good explanation of 21 Things We Do When We Make the Sign of the Cross

Marian Minute
Do you or someone you know struggle with praying the Rosary? Is praying the Rosary blasphemous? This article, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rosary, is written by a convert from Calvinism, telling of her struggle to accept the Church’s teachings on Mary and pray the Rosary. Truly, as St. John Paul II once said, “How beautiful is the family that recites the Rosary every evening!”

Family Activities
We found this great list of things you can do as a family to celebrate Saint feast days and special days in the month of August. There are some really cool ideas here.

Marian Center Update
The Marian Center is hosting the Eucharistic Miracles of the World exhibit until the end of the summer. Find out more here!

SAVE THE DATE: Marian Center Kids Camp will be held Aug 20-22 from 9 to Noon each day. K-5. More details to come! 

September 28 – Mass and celebration of the Archangels along with dedication of St Juan Diego 

To Christ Through Mary, 

Katie Moe and Lori Mercer

P.S. Please forward this email to friends and encourage them to sign up for our email newsletter.  

P.P.S. Lori and Josh Mercer visited Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Saint Paul-Minneapolis this week and gave him a Cause of Our Joy coffee mug. Archbishop Hebda promised his prayers for the Marian Center and we pledged to pray for him!  

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