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Looking For A Better Appreciation Of The Mass? Here’s Your Answer!


 

I’ve always been a fan of the products offered by Midwest Theological Forum. Their Didache Series of books is one of the best Catechetical resources that I’ve seen. Among the topics covered are the Sacraments, the Church and the Bible and I highly recommend them for private or group study.

Today, however, I’m writing about their brand new DVD, Remain With Us, Lord. The 33 minute explanation of the Mass features interviews with Fr. Robert Barron, Archbishop Jose Gomez and several parishioners who share some personal observations about the Mass. As each part of the Mass is discussed, you’ll find yourself gaining a greater appreciation and understanding for this tremendous gift. Perfect for new and returning Catholics, teachers or students of RCIA and small faith sharing groups, this video presentation will explain the Mass in an entertaining and memorable way. For more information or to purchase the DVD, please visit the Remain With Us, Lord website.

Want To Help Your Kids Learn About The Sacraments?


 

One of our main duties as Catholics parents is to teach our children about our wonderful Faith. I’ve always found it a challenge, however, to find good resources that truly represent the teachings of the Church in a way that can be understood by children. A little over a year ago, I discovered the Holy Heroes line of audio recordings. A obtained a few of their CDs and, not only did I love them, but my kids loved them! I am now proud to carry advertising for this great company on my website.

Now, here’s some exciting news. Holy Heroes in now offering their FIRST DVD series, Inside The Sacraments! Targeting children between the age of 4-12, this series explains the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, in a way that can be readily understood by children.

Here’s the best news of all…for a LIMITED time, you can order a pre-release version of Inside The Sacraments: The Holy Eucharist for only $10! After watching the DVD, you’ll be asked to complete a short online survey. Once you complete the survey…

You’ll get a $10 off coupon code for a future order when you complete the survey.

You’ll receive a deep discount on the final version of the DVD — which will incorporate your suggestions and have lots of bonus materials…including BLOOPERS which are very funny!

Your family name will appear in the credits because you’ll have helped us make it! Think of it: your family’s name up on the screen with the Adventure Guides!

If you’re interested, you have to act NOW! These DVDs are being offered while supplies last. In order to get your name in the credits, your survey must be completed by October 15. You can take advantage of this special offering by clicking here.

A Story Of Courage And An Urgent Prayer Request

 

It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord works in my life. I often think that I’m doing something for one reason, only to realize that the Lord was attempting to accomplish something completely different by my actions. As many of you know, I’m a full time Catholic lay evangelist. As you can imagine, it’s not easy to earn a living in this line of work. It requires a great deal of trust in God’s Providence (I’m still working on that!) and a close relationship with the Lord (working on that too!). In order to earn some additional income, I’ve been exploring various affiliate programs, which will allow me to earn a percentage of all sales referred by my website. Yesterday, I signed up with ChristianShirts.net and put their link on my website.

I started browsing their site more closely (in order to make sure nothing conflicted with Catholic teaching) and I was startled to see the following message:

Due to the loss of our baby, orders placed recently, today, and in the near future will be delayed. I appreciate your patience. Please pray for us at this difficult time. -Rachelle

I said a prayer and then I followed a link which explained the entire story of Rachelle’s pregnancy and subsequent loss of her child. You can read the full story here (and I recommend that you do because it’s powerful), but in summary:

Rachelle had chemotherapy in her teens, which put her at risk for heart complications during pregnancy. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened during her pregnancy. She went to a high risk obstetrician, who informed Rachelle that there was a 50 percent chance of her dying if she continued on with the pregnancy. Devastated by the news, this young woman was not prepared for what she heard next. In her words…

She began by holding my hand and asking what religion I was. I replied Catholic, and she said “Let me tell you what I know about God. God is loving and forgiving, and He will understand if you have an abortion.” She added that she had worked in a cardiac clinic and had seen many Catholic women die for the decision to continue with a pregnancy. We had already mentioned that we did not want to terminate, yet she pressed on, even reminding me that I would not want to leave my 18-month-old son without a mother. She made it clear that I would most likely end up in the hospital for several weeks – maybe months – and we had to prepare for that. There was no compassion, no caring about my unborn child that was already loved and very much wanted. When we continued to explain to her that we were not going to have an abortion, she mocked our beliefs and told me that I had better start praying. I left that appointment distraught and beside myself. It was enough to take in that I had a 50% chance of survival, yet to be coerced to try to get me to have an abortion on top of that was just too much.

As if hearing this from her doctor wasn’t bad enough, Rachelle was also encouraged by some family members to abort her child. She refused, stating “I was willing to risk my life for my unborn child. In my eyes, it was no different than risking my life for my born child.” One week later, an ultrasound revealed that her baby had died. Rachelle is currently undergoing further testing on her heart to determine the prognosis for future pregnancies.

In the First Reading from today’s Mass, God used the unaware Assyrians to punish his disobedient people. In a similar way I think he used me as I searched for new funding sources for my work. I thought that I was simply entering into an agreement with a great Catholic company struggling to do the Lord’s work, but more importantly, I experienced a powerful witness of trust in God’s Providence (which I really needed!) and I discovered a woman desperately in need of prayer. I’d ask you to kindly keep Rachelle and her family in your prayers and please consider making a donation for travel and burial expenses. I’ll close with Rachelle’s powerful words…

We think of our business more as a ministry – spreading Pro-life and Christian messages through affordable clothing which will spark conversation – and we make barely enough to pay our bills. It is not about the money. However, we are planning on traveling out of state at some point to bury our baby in the same cemetery where all of our relatives are buried. This will leave us behind in a lot of ways, but we believe it is well worth it for our spiritual and emotional healing. If you find it in your heart to donate for travel and burial expenses, we greatly appreciate it. If you would prefer to donate to a pro-life organization in our baby’s name (which we will announce when we decide on a name), please let us know so we can send a thank you.

More than donations, please keep us in your prayers. I have a long road ahead of me with my heart condition, and we are still praying that testing might reveal that my heart is strong enough to withstand another pregnancy.

Welcome To Aquinas & More Catholic Goods!

 

I’m pleased to announce that Following The Truth has become an official affiliate of Aquinas & More Catholic Goods! This means that every time you visit their site (by using the link from Following The Truth), I will earn a commission from your purchases. This will help to ensure that my full time work spreading the “Good News” of the Catholic Faith will continue!

When I originally founded Following The Truth, one of my goals was to recommend AUTHENTIC Catholic resources (books, websites, religious items) to help people learn more about the Catholic Faith and enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As a result, I carefully screen each recommended vendor or product to ensure that they are not in conflict with Catholic teaching. In addition to the fact that your purchases will help keep Following The Truth and Aquinas & More alive, here are a few reasons (taken directly from their website) why I’m so pleased to be associated with Aquinas & More and why I’d encourage you to purchase your Catholic goods from them:

About Aquinas and More
Aquinas and More Catholic Goods is centrally located in Colorado Springs, CO. We carry thousands of products ranging from books and videos to chalices and church furnishings. The store was started by Ian Rutherford in 2002 and is owned and run by his family and friends. The store name comes from two famous Catholic saints, Thomas Aquinas and Thomas More. The ox head in our logo is a symbol of St. Thomas Aquinas who was called “The Dumb Ox” because he was a very quiet student, and rather large.

Their Mission
Our mission is to provide the tools necessary for Catholics and non-Catholics to learn more about the Faith and for Catholics to deepen their Faith. This goal will be achieved by providing a clear, unapologetic presentation of the faith and quality Catholic products that are beautiful, fairly priced and helpful to those who want to get to Heaven.

Good Faith Guarantee
Our Good Faith Guarantee is our latest way to help you, our customers, feel secure when shopping on our website. We always want you to rest assured that we are carefully screening the material we carry so you don’t have to. Any item that carries this logo on its details page next to the item’s picture is guaranteed to be in conformity with official Church teaching. We believe that as a Catholic store our mission is to clearly present the Faith, not to confuse people or promote material just because it is popular. When you see this logo next to a vestment or liturgical vessel, it means that the item conforms to current liturgical norms.

We will not carry products that:

Are written by dissident authors
Concern unapproved apparitions
Concern visions and locutions by people who have not been declared at least Venerable by the Church
Promote heretical theology

Examples of authors, subjects and titles we will not carry:

Fr. Richard Rohr
Fr. Charles Curran
Sr. Chittister
Fr. Richard McBrien
Poem of the Man God
Mejugorje
Bayside

If you’d like some more reasons to shop at Aquinas & More, you can read them here. I have never seen a Catholic goods store so careful about the products that they carry. I’d kindly ask you to use them as your source of Catholic goods and please remember to access their site from the Following The Truth website. By doing so, you’ll help keep us both afloat as we continue to proclaim the Gospel message. THANK YOU!!!

Hearing God Speak Is Easier Than You Think!

 

One of the biggest mistakes many Catholics make is to treat the Bible as “just another book”. We sometimes (and I have been guilty of this for many years) ignore the fact that God does actually speak to us through the pages of Sacred Scripture. Furthermore, many people are unaware that the Bible can be used to speak with God. We can actually enter into a conversation with the Lord simply by opening up the pages of the Bible!

As many of you know, I’ve written a book A Worrier’s Guide to the Bible: 50 Verses to Ease Anxieties which provides an alternative to worry. I’ve been a worrier for many years and I wanted to provide some relief to my fellow worriers. More importantly, I want the book to be a reminder that God is waiting to speak to us in the Bible. When we open its pages and read the inspired words, the Lord is speaking directly to us and that’s powerful!

Listening to God speak through the Bible was not something that I always understood. There are 2 books, however, which helped me to first understand the idea of God speaking through Scripture. Both of these books are very easy to read and contain information that will change the way you view the Bible.

Conversing with God in Scripture: A Contemporary Approach to Lectio Divina – The title says it all! In this 150 page book, Stephen Binz presents a step by step plan for learning to converse with God using the pages of the Bible. He discusses the ancient practice of “Lectio Divina” (Latin for “Sacred Reading”), which not only allows us the hear God speak, but enables us to speak with Him using the inspired words of His Book! Some time ago, I used the concepts presented in this book in an adult faith formation class and the students were astounded. In less than an hour, they learned how God truly does speak to each one of us in the Bible and how they could use the Sacred words to speak with Him.

Praying Scripture for a Change: An Introduction to Lectio Divina – On the back cover of this book by Dr. Tim Gray, we’re told that this book will teach us:

How God speaks directly to each of us in His Word.

How to overcome the obstacles to a consistent and fruitful prayer life.

Strategies for reading and praying the Bible fruitfully.

What Christian meditation is and how it differs from non-Christian approaches.

This book promises a lot and it DOES deliver! This book is short (127 pages) and easy to read, but provides a wealth of information that will help you in your relationship with the Lord. In Chapter One (The Secret of the Saints), Dr. Gray starts off with a bang as he reveals, “the great – and simple – secret of the saints is that they realized that God’s word was addressed to them“. That simple, but profound, statement is the secret to unlocking the power of the Bible. Understanding that fact will completely transform your spiritual life and bring you closer to the Lord.

Learning to converse with God by using the Bible is a valuable practice that will help you every day of your life. These books have helped me and can quickly help you to master this important technique. When faced with decisions, problems and temptations, why not turn to God and ask for advice? Hearing His voice can be as simple as opening up the pages of your Bible!

Thank You, Catholic Marketing Network!

Over the past few days, I had the pleasure of attending the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN) trade show in Valley Forge, PA.  Even though this was the 15th annual CMN trade show, it was the first time that I’ve attended.  Alan Napleton, the president and founder of the CMN was kind enough to invite me to the show and I am extremely glad that I took him up on the offer!

While there is the obvious benefit of networking and sharing what I do with Following The Truth, there were many other unexpected blessings that I received at the show.  I got to spend some time with Teresa Tomeo, whose passion for the Catholic Faith and love of people becomes obvious after being in her presence for a few minutes!  I’m a regular guest on her program, but I rarely have the pleasure of chatting with her in person.  I was also privileged to finally meet Al Kresta ( just as nice in person as he is on the radio), chat with Thom Price (the director of radio programming for EWTN, who treated me like an old friend) and catch up with my friend (and incredible person) Lizanne Pando, the Director of Communications for the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia.  I also made many new friends and discovered a wealth of Catholic material that I’ll be blogging about over the next few months…

Things that will help you learn more about the Catholic Faith and bring you closer to Jesus Christ!

Today, I brought my wife and daughters to the show and they had a ball.  They felt, as did I, like they were part of the CMN family.  When you attend an event such as this, you see a great example of how people put their unique talents to good use by serving the Lord and His Catholic Church.  This was my first CMN trade show, but it certainly won’t be my last.  My special thanks go out to Alan Napleton, Anne Alvarez and the entire CMN staff for making this a fantastic and inspirational experience for my family and I.

Here’s a nice video that explains a little bit more about CMN and what they do: