My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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St. Thomas The Apostle Feast Day

My second son Samuel was given the second name of Thomas after his Uncle Tom. We have celebrated The Feast of St. Thomas since he was little.

My Lord and my God
Father Lawrence Lew, OP via Flickr, licensed cc
For this is what the interaction between the risen Lord and St Thomas shows. Christ offers him his forgiveness, his friendship, and his love by inviting him to touch his wounds. And it is this divine initiative that elicits St Thomas’ faith, so that he can say: “My Lord and my God”. Moreover, by placing his hand in Christ’s wounded side – wounds which speak so eloquently of God’s love for humanity – Thomas’ fears and doubts are cast out by this experience of, this contact with, God’s perfect love (cf 1 Jn 4:18b).  

Read the rest of Father Lew's Homily here.

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St. Thomas(Didymus - the twin)  was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ.
Last supper peg saints

His name appears in all of the gospels and in Acts of the Apostles. See Matthew 10:3Mark 3:18Luke 6, cf. Acts 1:13).  He is singled out in several parts of the Gospel of John. 

In John 11:16 he says, "Let us also go that we may die with him."
John 14:5 during the last supper, "Thomas saith to him, Lord we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?"

But he is perhaps best known for doubting the resurrection of the Lord and saying so in John 20:25:
"Except I shall see in his hands the prints of the prints of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict the XVI said of Saint Thomas:

 "The Apostle Thomas' case is important to us for at least three reasons:
first, because it comforts us in our insecurity;

second, because it shows us that every doubt can lead to an outcome brighter than any uncertainty; and,

lastly, because the words that Jesus addressed to him remind us of the true meaning of mature faith and encourage us to persevere, despite the difficulty, along our journey of adhesion to him.

Thomas is present at the Sea of Tiberias and mentioned immediately after Simon Peter, which Pope Benedict said was a sign of considerable importance in the early Christian Communities.  He is mentioned by Origen and Eusibius of Caesarea Ecclesiastical History.

Thomas's life after Acts, is filled with travel and legend. It's an interesting read. There is also an old book written about St. Thomas in India.  Also this. He is said to have traveled to Southern India and was martyred there.

There is also this story:

Our Lady fell asleep at last after the years of living with St. John and waiting for Heaven, and all the Apostles were gathered about her bed. Except St. Thomas. He was off in India preaching the Gospel and couldn't get back in time although an angel is supposed to have told him to hurry. The Apostles carried her body to the tomb and laid it there and some time afterward they discovered that it was gone. They naturally concluded that it had been taken to Heaven (as indeed it had). Then St. Thomas came home, and when they went out to meet him and to explain, he would not believe. He would not believe, the legend says, until he had seen for himself. So they took him to see where they had laid Our Lady's body and in its place were flowers. Looking up, St. Thomas saw her going up to Heaven; and to convince him at least, an angel brought the girdle she had fastened about her rob, and dropped it to Thomas.

From The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland.

and of course the Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas  - free on Kindle. 

My pastor,  Father V., had a unique view on the St. Thomas story, focusing on the OTHER apostles - his friends! Father pointed out the loyalty and love of the apostles in putting up with Thomas, the doubter! And how all of us need to keep the doubters, the disbelievers, and the the lukewarm, in our prayers and offer them help as much as we can, every day.

St Thomas touches the Risen Lord
Father Lawrence Lew, OP, via Flickr, licensed cc.

Our favorite and easiest way to celebrate has been to make St. Thomas Day Cookies, or cupcakes or cake - whatever.  The point is that the item has to have five red marks on it - one for every wound of Christ that St. Thomas touched.

Readers might remember the bowl I decorated for Pentecost.  I thought it might be fun to pull that out for every apostle's feast day and fill it with something!  I guess today I can fill it with the cookies!!

may 2013 279

The St. Thomas Day Cookies in the "apostles bowl" on July 3
July 2013 004

July 2013 003

July 2013 002

MDC blogging on St. Thomas 2006

What we learn from St. Thomas via the Curt Jester

St. Thomas feast day MDC 2004

More on St. Thomas from Catholic Culture

St. Thomas links on Diigo

Sam and his St. Thomas Day Chocolate Crumb Cake from 2004

Birthday cakes, Cake Delivery, Bake Me A Wish