Articles and Inspiration for your Lenten journey


Well, we’re over one week into Lent! Here at the CUF office the days seems to reflect the liturgical season, as rain falls steadily outside the windows and even turning on the light can’t drive away the grayness of the day. Somber and dark.

Yet, the rain brings promise of growth, and even the absence of the sun helps us appreciate just a little bit more when he does finally show his luminous face again.

So too in this time of Lent, we can be with our Lord in the silence and dark of the desert…waiting, hoping, praying, loving so that our hearts may be transformed and watered by prayer, sacrifice, and service; and we will welcome the radiance and joy of the new life that bursts forth from the tomb on Easter Sunday!

To help us all on this Lenten journey, we’ve prepared a Lenten resource page on CUF’s website. There you will find articles, Pope Francis’ Lenten message for 2014 and other resources to help you grow closer to our Lord this holy season!

Lenten Resources

Today Is the Day to Begin Your Novena!

st. joseph and babySt. Joseph’s feast day is March 19. There are several novenas to St. Joseph out there; here’s a good one:

An Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph

O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me all spiritual blessings through thy foster Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer thee my thanksgiving and homage.

O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thine arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.

St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.

March 9 – Feast of St. Dominic Savio

Dominic was always full of fun at recreation (Thanks, in part, to John Bosco’s good advice). When the boys began to complain about school or talk about indecent things, he would tell a joke that would distract them and get their minds off what they had been discussing. Since he was full of fun all his fellow students enjoyed being with him, even the ones who were not religious.

Some of the more spiritual boys formed a group in the school to help the troublemakers with their faith. Dominic was a key member of this club. One of his tactics was to hold up candy or fruit in the schoolyard and ask who wanted it. When a number of boys responded, he would say, “Alright, I’ll give it to the one who answers this catechism question correctly.” Then he would call on one of the troublesome boys and if he came reasonably close to the right answer, Dominic would give him the prize. Thus he would begin to influence the boy in the right direction.

Sometimes Dominic would begin playing with a boy and suddenly stop to say, “Will you come to confession with me Saturday?” Since Saturday was several days away and he wanted to keep playing, the boy usually said yes. On Saturday Dominic would take the boy to church, and go to Confession himself (Which he did weekly anyway), to set the example. The boy would follow.

Excerpted from Fr. T. G. Morrow’s book Who’s Who in Heaven. For ordering information, visit our website.

“Let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ”

The January/February issue of Lay Witness magazine has arrived! This issue features articles by Mark Shea, Michael J. Miller, Dan Burke, and Ted Sri. We take a special look at Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium and feature articles on the various aspects of the pro-life movement.

For more information on subscribing to Lay Witness magazine or becoming a member of Catholics United for the Faith, please visit our website.

Aritist James Langley Studio Sale Handmade for the Home: Fine and Decorative art from a Catholic Perspective

James Langley is a contemporary visual artist working in the Catholic tradition; lending first person witness to the incarnate goodness of the world that we daily look upon. The tangible qualities of his work seek to articulate the “inscape” of nature; such that paint and the material character of light and form mediate a dialogue with the invisible world of enduring value.  Based in a respect that borders upon reverence for ordinary things, Langley art opens into a conversation between the existential and the essential, the ancient and the modern, the temporal and the eternal, the profane and the sacred.

To view more artwork or seek further information, follow the links below.

The Boldness of a Stranger

In addition to writing the classic series  Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis is known for the many books he wrote on Christianity. With works such as The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, Lewis was one of the most well-known Christian thinkers of his day. He was remarkably close to Catholic thought in many ways, but chose to remain Anglican. It was because of this reputation that H. Lyman Stebbins (who later founded Catholics United for the Faith) wrote to C.S. Lewis.

In November of 1998, Lay Witness published the original letters written between the two men with commentary by Madeleine Stebbins, widow of H. Lyman Stebbins.

To read the letters, click here.

CDF Reminder on Medjugorje

Today, the Catholic News Agency published a letter written by the US apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Vigano, on behalf of Arch. Gerhard Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The letter referred to the ongoing investigation of the alleged Marian apparitions in Bosnia. In it, Archbishop Vigano makes reference to the official decree made by the local church and  reminds the US bishops

The Congregation (for the Doctrine of the Faith) has affirmed that, with regard to the credibility of the ‘apparitions’ in question, all should accept the declaration … which asserts: ‘On the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations,’

Reiterating what the Church has already declared, Archbishop Vigano added

It follows, therefore, that clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ would be taken for granted.

The letter and accompanying article can be found here. While it is curious that the CDF would issue this reminder, the faithful should be cautious of media presentations referring to this letter as a “bombshell.” Archbishop Vigano, on behalf of the Prefect of the CDF, is simply reiterating what the Church has already stated in the past (in the 1991 “Zadar Declaration” asserting that the apparitions were “non constat de supernaturalitate” [not established as supernatural]and via Bishop Ratko Peric in 1997). A formal investigation by the Vatican began in 2010, and it is expected that a decision regarding the alleged apparitions will be made and published in the near future.

Requiescat en Pace

On Friday, October 18, Eric Stoutz, former director of CUF’s Catholic Responses Department passed from this life to the next.

Eric’s heroic suffering throughout his battle with pancreatic cancer was a witness to his family and friends, and he submitted himself to God’s perfect will in order that a greater good might be brought about from his trial. In the midst of our sadness, we cannot help but rejoice that while Eric has shared in Christ’s Cross, we believe he will also share in His Resurrection.

Please join us in praying for the repose of Eric’s soul and all the souls of the faithful departed.