Faith and Family is a weekly column by Lani Bogart, in which she provides practical ways to connect the Sunday readings, especially the Gospel, to the lives of families. Lani oversees all things catechetical at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and co-leads the Committee to Serve Wives and Widows of Deacons for the Diocese of Phoenix.

Events of Holy Week

03-25-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

On this Passion Sunday, may God give us a new understanding of his astounding love for us and our families. When we know how loved we are, we can hardly wait to share his love with others. Do you know how loved you are?

Please plan to bring your family, time? March 29, for our Holy Thursday Mass including washing of the feet and ending with a beautiful Eucharistic procession and Adoration.

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Easter Triduum Events

03-18-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

On this 5th Sunday of Lent the prophet Jeremiah announces that God will place his law within us and write it on our hearts. God wants us, from the greatest to the least, to KNOW him. That is why he forgives our evildoing and remembers our sins no more, so we can have knowledge of him and his ways. Sin keeps us trapped in laws, but when we receive forgiveness we freely love.

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Can you give more this Lent?

03-11-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Have you heard the myth that the Catholic Church is wealthy? It's not true. Everything the Church does is in service of others.

I used to wonder why the Catholic Church keeps valuable works of art and architecture instead of selling it and giving the money to the poor. I asked, "Didn't Jesus tell the rich young man to sell everything and give the money to the poor?" (Lk 18:22).

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The Domestic Church

03-11-2018Faith and Family

A Catholic home is called the domestic church, a mini church in which virtue is lived daily with Catholic art visible for reflection. Catholic parents are to live the gospel of love and life within the home as the family is a community of love just as the Blessed Trinity is a community of love. Sacred, blessed art is a sacramental to remind the family of their heavenly family. "By the church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it" (CCC 1670). Holy pictures, statues and crucifixes enable parents and children to reflect on the lives of the Holy Family and the gospel accounts of Jesus and the early Church.

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Importance of Godparents that faithfully live their Catholicism

03-04-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Please, please, please register in the parish and use your parish envelopes when you come to Mass and tell all your family and friends to do the same.

Children deserve godparents who faithfully live their Catholicism. Sadly, every single day parents tell us they cannot find a sponsor or godparent for their child because their family members are not living according to the Church’s teaching on Marriage, and/or they cannot show any evidence that they come to Mass on Sundays!

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Gratitude during Lent

02-18-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

As we think about Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the desert, let us pray that God will fill our hearts with gratitude this Lent. Because Jesus defeated every temptation of Satan, we can overcome sin’s temptation in our own lives.

Lent is the perfect time to put into practice the virtues we know will help build good habits. Then we will be truly free to choose good for ourselves and for our families.

Debido a que Jesús venció todas las tentaciones de Satanás, nosotros podemos vencer la tentación del pecado en nuestras propias vidas.

La Cuaresma es el momento perfecto para poner en práctica las virtudes que sabemos que ayudarán a construir buenos hábitos. Entonces seremos verdaderamente libres de elegir el bien para nosotros y para nuestras familias.

Resources for Lent

02-11-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

It's time for Lent! Bring your family, get your ashes, and make this the best Lent ever!

I hope families with smart phones or computers will take advantage of one of these three wonderful resources available for free to you this Lent.

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Remember the miracles God has done in your life

02-04-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Can you imagine yourself in the crowd at the door of Simon Peter's house? Jesus healed Simon and Andrew's mother-in-law and so many sick and demon possessed people the townspeople brought to him. Imagine being a witness to it all; blind people could see again, the deaf could hear, and the lame could jump and dance for joy! It must have been exhilarating. I wonder how long it took before the excitement began to fade? When did they return to "life as usual"? Did they knowingly ignore the longing that is in every heart to be near him, or did they just get distracted by other things?

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Harden not your Hearts

01-28-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Have we hardened our hearts? Catholic priests, deacons, religious and some lay people, pray today's Psalm every morning in the Liturgy of the Hours. To be honest, sometimes I wish we could skip the bit that says, "if today you hear his voice harden not your hearts as your fathers did in the wilderness . . ." Why drag up the disobedience of our spiritual ancestors every single day? We like to imagine we would have trusted if we'd seen the kind of miracles they saw; the parting of the Red Sea, a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night.

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"Come after me..."

01-21-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

In 1990 our family heard Jesus' call to become full time missionaries in Guatemala. We sold most of our possessions and left behind our friends and family to begin an unimaginable adventure not knowing that it would lead us to the Catholic Church. What grace we found there! And Jesus keeps calling. Daily he asks us to leave behind whatever we have become attached to, so we can freely answer his call and be fully his.

Jesus is calling you to follow him. His call is not just for a few. What will you leave behind to follow Jesus? Are you attached to a house? A job? A relationship? Your own dream of "the good life"? Your idea of the "perfect family"? A certain neighborhood or lifestyle?

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The Fast of the Holy Family

12-31-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

On this Feast of the Holy Family, Mary and Joseph show us how to obey. They don't ask for exceptions to the rules, they simply obey.

At the Temple, Mary and Joseph hear the prophetic words of Simeon and Anna about their beloved baby boy. First, Simeon describes seeing the "salvation" God has sent His people in this little Child. Simeon's words "amazed" Mary and Joseph. As parents, we dream of great things for our children. We want to see happiness in their future. We would not want to hear what Mary and Joseph heard next from Simeon: "this Child is destined...to be a sign that will be contradicted." They heard how the sword would pierce Mary's heart as her Child did the work God sent Him to do. Even God's own Son, born into the best possible loving, devout family, did not escape suffering in this world. Still, Joseph and Mary trusted in God's good plan.

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Rejoice!

12-17-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Rejoice! No matter how dark this world bec omes it can never overcome the Light of Christ within us!

As a child, I was both terrified of the dark, and ashamed of my fear. I would awaken my younger sister to go with me to the bathroom and make her promise not to tell anyone. My good sister never shared my secret. She was the light that kept fear and shame from stealing my joy.

During Advent, each week the light of our candles gets brighter and brighter. No matter how much darkness we experience, we can bring the Light of Christ to others who are bound by fear and shame, freeing them to rejoice. As we light the rose candle, let us pause to remember, with Mary, that Christ has already come into the world and his light has been growing in the Church and by the work of his Holy Spirit, in the world How are we bringing his Light to others? Our Savior is near! Rejoice!

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Make Ready the Way of the Lord

12-10-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Advent is about preparing for the coming of Jesus into our lives. According to the prophet Isaiah, we should "Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!" What is this wasteland if not the barren places of our souls? They are those places we have not yet received God's love for us. Do we have valleys in our hearts? Empty places where love and kindness are missing? We can fill in those valleys by being loving and kind to a family member who is especially difficult. What about the mountains or hills, the high places of pride that make us feel we're better than others? We can flatten those by choosing the hidden, humble tasks with joy. Are there rocky places of temptation that cause us to stumble or fall? We can remove them by confessing our sins. Then our souls will be ready to welcome our Lord when he comes. When we let Isaiah help us to "prepare the way of the LORD" in Advent, we will be "gathered into His arms and carried in His bosom."

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Be Alert; Watch!

12-03-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

The prophet Isaiah describes what we are like when we forget God. Does his description make us uncomfortable? We are, he says, sinful, unclean, withered like leaves, guilty. Even our good deeds, Isaiah warns, are like polluted rags without God. Then he prays, "Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are clay, you are the potter." This shift of focus from the guilt of our sin to pliable docility in the hands of a loving Father is what Advent is all about. Our hearts ought to cry with the Psalmist throughout this season, "Lord make us turn to you." The second reading brings another shift. In Christ is grace, peace, knowledge, and every spiritual gift. God is Faithful – He will keep us firm to the end!

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