Posts by: Stephanie

The Gaffigans’ Catholic Faith: ‘We Don’t Try to Hide It, It’s Just Who We Are’

The Gaffigans’ Catholic Faith: ‘We Don’t Try to Hide It, It’s Just Who We Are’

Jim Gaffigan, whose jokes about food and raising five kids have made him one of today’s top comedians, is premiering a TV show next month called The Jim Gaffigan Show. The show, co-written by Jim and his wife Jeannie, is about the Gaffigan family – practicing Catholics with five kids who live in a 2-bedroom New York City apartment. In a recent interview with First Things, Jim & Jeannie opened up about their Catholic faith and the role it plays in their lives and in their show.

FT: What would you say your Catholic faith provides you in a positive way, on a day-to-day basis?

Jim: My faith is very associated with the notion of mercy. I understand that there is something greater than myself that does not judge me in a negative manner—or forgives me I should say. For me, being in touch with the idea that I’m not in control of everything is important. When I find myself frustrated, I have some distance from that idea I’m not in charge, for instance in how this conference call is setup.

Jeannie: It’s just something that we are. We live in New York City where there’s all sorts of different attitudes and lifestyles. We don’t try to hide it . . . it’s just who we are, it’s our real life. We just had a headline, “The Gaffigan Show is not about religion, it’s about their real life.” You can’t really win sometimes.

As the conference call with Jim, Jeannie, and other religious news outlets went on, what came through very strongly was the everyday importance of the Gaffigans’ faith. As an example, after working with some major networks, they grew tired of dealing with the suffocating bureaucracy. The networks asked whether they could make the priest a non-denominational minister who could date, or whether they could reduce the number of Gaffigan kids from five to two. So the Gaffigans took their show to TV Land, on cable, where they can maintain creative control and keep their experience of Catholicism in the show.

Read the rest at First Things.

What is the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

What is the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – a feast day celebrated in the Catholic Church 19 days after the Feast of Pentecost. You may have heard of this feast, known a church called Sacred Heart, or seen an image of the Sacred Heart in someone’s home – but what does it mean? Why such a focus on Jesus’ heart? Here are a few things to know about the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

1. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began in the 16th century, when Jesus appeared to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun, and requested that the Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated on the Friday after the octave (or eighth day) of the Feast of Corpus Christi, in reparation for the ingratitude of men for the sacrifice that Christ had made for them.

2. The Sacred Heart represents not only Christ’s human heart of flesh, but also His love for all mankind. Love was at the center of His ministry, teaching, suffering, death, and resurrection; and the Sacred Heart represents this love that He has for all of humanity.

3. Because Jesus was both God and man, his human heart is also divine. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a devotion to the Heart of God.

4. When He appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus requested that people practice devotion to the Sacred Heart by acts of reparation (prayers or devotions with the intent to make amends for blasphemy and the sufferings of Christ), frequent Communion, the keeping of a Holy Hour, and Communion on the first Friday of the month.

5. The Sacred Heart of Jesus continues to love us in heaven. It sanctifies us through the sacraments and is the source of all grace and holiness. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is a devotion to how Christ showed His love while on earth, and how He continues to show His love each day through His graces and the sacraments of the Catholic Church.

You can celebrate this beautiful feast day by offering up this prayer to the Sacred Heart, and try to make it to Mass if you can!

O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.

10 Bible Verses to Give You Peace

10 Bible Verses to Give You Peace

There are so many things that can take away our peace each day. Whether it’s stress, discouragement, anxiety, or tragedy; it is so easy to feel as though the weight of the world is on our shoulders. It is at these times that we need to turn to the Prince of Peace, who alone can quiet our hearts and strengthen our faith.

Here are some verses from Scripture to turn to when you feel worried or burdened. You can even write one down and put it somewhere you see every day, as a reminder of the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding.

1. John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  

2. Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.

3. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

4. Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. 

5. Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?

6. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

7. Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

8. Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

9. Psalms 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain you: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” 

10. 1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.