Happy New Year!

Happy New Year y’all! Did you stay up till Midnight last night? I did. I actually stayed up till about 2am…hey, it’s the Holidays. It’s cool. 😉

Today is awesome in so many ways.  But first – we can’t forget that not only is today the New Year (!!!!) it’s also a solemnity in the Church! The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

What is this solemnity about? Celebrating how Awesome God is. He allowed Mary to become the mother of His only Son – Jesus Christ our savior.

Just take a closer look at the “Hail Mary” with me:

When we say “Hail Mary” we are praising her for the awesome things God has allowed to come through her.

When we say “Full of Grace” like the Angel Gabriel did, we are recognizing that God even let Mary be free from sin! She was full of Grace! So that she would be prepared to receive into her womb the King of Kings – the Second Person in the Holy Trinity – Jesus who is God.

When we say “The Lord is with thee” we realize that God is/was with Mary the whole time. He had set her apart from women, as we see in the next line:

“Blessed art thou among women!” She is the New Eve, chosen by God to bring our Savoir into the world. She is blessed! And we rightly call her so!

“Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus” This is pretty obvious. The fruit of Mary’s womb is Jesus. 😉 We are calling Jesus Blessed, as His is.

When we say, “Holy Mary” we are glorifying Mary for how God has sanctified her and made her Holy!

“Mother of God” – this is simple. Mary is the Mother of Jesus. Jesus is God. Therefore Mary is the Mother of God!

“Pray for us sinners” Mary can pray for us. The saints in Heaven can pray for us. We are simply asking that Mary will intercede for us, pray for us, help us out.

“Now and at the hour of our death” we want the prayers of Mary now and until we die. Because Jesus gave Mary to us as our Mother when he was on the cross. I want my earthly mother to pray for me – just like I want my Heavenly Mother to pray for me.

Amen. I believe.

We honor Mary because God saw fit to honor her, and Jesus honored her here on Earth.

So that’s your religion lesson from me for today 😉

BUT before I move on, a couple quotes from the early Church Fathers on Mary:

“Even though Eve had Adam for a husband, she was still a virgin…. By disobeying, she became the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race. IN the same way, Mary, though she also had a husband, was still a virgin, and by obeying, she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race…. The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience. What eve bound through her unbelief, Mary loosed by her faith.” – St. Irenaeus of Lyons (born ~150 A.D.)

“Christ, being God, became man for our sake and was born of Mary, Mother of God, to free us from the devil’s power” – St. Athanasius (On Virginity 3 [Mid 300’s] )

“If anyone does not agree that Holy Mary is Mother of God, he is at odds with the Godhead.” [Letters to Cledonius the Priest 101 (A.D. 382)] – St. Gregory of Nazianz

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

~~~~

 Now, onto other matters.

I found out something really neat today! One of the author groups I’m part of on Facebook posted a challenge today: Find the 2,015th word in your book.  So I looked up my 2,015th word. Guess what it is?

“Jesus”.

That’s awesome, isn’t it? A little sign, in my  mind, that I’m doing the right thing.

Guess what last year’s word was? “When”. And you know what most of last year was about? Wondering “When” this book would be done and published!

The year before that? “Now.” in 2013 I started writing this book. And my 2,013th word was “Now”.  The time for me to begin it was “Now”. How cool? 😀

God is so awesome! I love these little neat signs He leaves.

Also, I don’t know if you saw my facebook post or not – but two weekends ago I had the opportunity to talk about me and my book after all Masses at my parish.  After Mass, people had the opportunity to purchase the book as well. I sold out completely. We had 415 books on hand. Counting all the ones we found under seats in the car, in purses and bags, etc. Every single one of them was sold. That’s 415 people, at least, who will be able to learn something about their Faith through my words! That’s incredible!

It’s all through Him. God is allowing these awesome things to happen. I love it.

Only bad thing about running out of books is it takes almost 2 weeks to get more in stock! But that’s a good problem to have 😉 Very good problem.

I wish y’all a happy New Year. May it be filled with blessings, learning, Faith, hope, charity, and love. Keep God at your center and He’ll guide your way. I know it.  God is working amazing things.

Love y’all, praying for y’all! Please continue to keep me in your prayers as well. This New Year will bring lots of good things.

~

Catherine

Sneak Peek #1

Guess what! 11 days till release! 😀 Lots of good things happening!  My editor is about 1/4 way through the proof copy as of today, not many changes to make! Working on hardcover covers (formatting those is fun.), editing, and planning more blog posts today.

But all the boring update stuff aside, it’s sneak peek time!

Here’s the first part of Chapter 1!

Catholics by Conviction

 

“The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of

Heroic Catholicism has begun.

We can no longer be Catholics by accident but instead we must be

Catholics by conviction.”

-Fr. Terrence Henry, TOR,

Franciscan University of Steubenville

Fr. Terrence Henry is right. There’s no time to be casual in our Catholicism. We must be heroic in our faith! We (Catholics) need to be filled with our faith, fully immersed in it, ready to show the world what it truly means to be Catholic in today’s society.  In order to do that we must be confident in what we believe. We must know all of the who, what, where, when, why, and how of our beliefs. These facts will be questioned and they will be twisted…which is why we must know the Truth.

We can’t be Catholic only when it is convenient. We can’t be Catholic only when the world says it’s okay.  We have to be Catholic because it is who we are. I don’t know about you, but my faith is my life.  My schedule every week is configured around Mass on Sunday. I spend time studying our faith; you’d be likely to catch me reading in my room from either St. Thomas’s Summa Theologica, or the Catechism or one of the many apologetics books that my mom has.  I realize that this not typical though. It’s countercultural. People aren’t likely to support it. This is the reason why we have to be that much more solid in our beliefs; so we can keep our beliefs throughout our life and not be led astray by what seems “cool” or “popular,” but rather stay rooted in our faith.

God calls each of us to be His ambassador and to spread His word. We are all charged with the command of spreading the Gospel and teaching those who know not Truth. This means we have to actually talk about our faith. It’s easy to sit back and not let faith be a big part of your life. It’s easy to leave it to other people. But that’s not what we’re called to do. We’re called to learn about our faith so we may teach others.

I’m always surprised, and not in a good way, by the lack of people who really know what their Faith is about.  Too many are simply Catholic because their families are. No. We must be Catholic because it is Truth.  To know Truth we have to first know the basics of defending it ourselves.  To do that we have to learn about not only what we believe, but why we believe it.

We have to be heroic Catholics. Why do I say that? Because look at the heroes in the world. From the Knights who went on the Crusades, to the Apostles who risked everything to spread Catholicism, to even people like the pilot who landed the plane in the Hudson River a few years ago.

What do all those people have in common? They are heroes.

End sneak peek. 😉

What do you think?

If you like what you read, can you do me a favor?

Share this website with your friends! It’s easy, and I’d be extremely grateful.

Or, do you have a blog/website of your own? And are you interested in reading How To Become a Heroic Catholic before the release date? Tell me! One way that works very well to build up a good following for a book is to have reviews written and spread out on the internet before the release date. That’s what I’m looking for.

So if you’re interested in reading it and writing a review for me, posting it on your blog/website and possibly my Facebook page…comment here or send me a message on Facebook. I’ll be happy to talk to you about it.

Keep up the prayers! I’m praying for y’all too.

In Christ,

Catherine