Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Be praised


Be praised, my God, by butterfly and dragonfly wings exercising
for their first flight.

Be praised by lightning and thunder causing spring showers.

Be praised by the silent voice of grass growing and trees budding.

Be praised by all the colorful flower trumpets of spring.

Be praised by downy feathers freshly dried on newly hatched
ducklings and chicks.

Be praised by the songs of birds, crickets, and frogs.

Be praised, my God, by all your creation which tells of new life.

Isaiah 64


As when brushwood is set ablaze, or fire makes the water boil! Thus your name would be made known to your enemies and the nations would tremble before you,

While you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for,

such as they had not heard of from of old. No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for him.

Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways! Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful;

all of us have become like unclean men, all our good deeds are like polluted rags; We have all withered like leaves, and our guilt carries us away like the wind.

There is none who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to cling to you; For you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt.


Yet, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands.

Be not so very angry, LORD, keep not our guilt forever in mind; look upon us, who are all your people.

Your holy cities have become a desert, Zion is a desert, Jerusalem a waste.

Our holy and glorious temple in which our fathers praised you Has been burned with fire; all that was dear to us is laid waste.

Can you hold back, O LORD, after all this? Can you remain silent, and afflict us so severely?

An act of Spiritual Communion



My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament.

I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart as though You have already come.

I embrace You and unite myself entirely to you;

permit me to be separated from You!


Amen

Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Peace of Christ to ALL

Psalm 84


How lovely your dwelling, O LORD of hosts!

My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and flesh cry out for the living God.

As the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest to settle her young, My home is by your altars, LORD of hosts, my king and my God!

Happy are those who dwell in your house! They never cease to praise you.


Happy are those who find refuge in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrim roads.

As they pass through the Baca valley, they find spring water to drink. Also from pools the Lord provides water for those who lose their way.

They pass through outer and inner wall and see the God of gods on Zion.

LORD of hosts, hear my prayer; listen, God of Jacob.


O God, look kindly on our shield; look upon the face of your anointed.

Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Better the threshold of the house of my God than a home in the tents of the wicked.

For a sun and shield is the LORD God, bestowing all grace and glory. The LORD withholds no good thing from those who walk without reproach.

O LORD of hosts, happy are those who trust in you!

Monday, February 27, 2006

I Said a Prayer for You Today


I said a prayer for you today
And know God must have heard.
I felt the answer in my heart
Although He spoke no word!
I didn't ask for wealth of fame
(I knew you wouldn't mind).
I asked Him to send treasures
Of a far more lasting kind!
I asked that He'd be near you
At the start of each new day;
To grant your health and blessings
And friends to share your way!
I asked for happiness for you
In all things great and small.
But it was for His loving care
I prayed the most of all!
Amen.

Peace of Christ to ALL.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.

Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea,

Though its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging. The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Streams of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High.

God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken; God will help it at break of day.

Though nations rage and kingdoms totter, God's voice thunders and the earth trembles.

The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come and see the works of the LORD, who has done fearsome deeds on earth;

Who stops wars to the ends of the earth, breaks the bow, splinters the spear, and burns the shields with fire;

Who says: "Be still and confess that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth."

The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

Psalm 24


For God founded it on the seas, established it over the rivers.

Who may go up the mountain of the LORD? Who can stand in his holy place?

"The clean of hand and pure of heart, who are not devoted to idols, who have not sworn falsely.

They will receive blessings from the LORD, and justice from their saving God.

Such are the people that love the LORD, that seek the face of the God of Jacob."


Lift up your heads, O gates; rise up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may enter.

Who is this king of glory? The LORD, a mighty warrior, the LORD, mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O gates; rise up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may enter.

Who is this king of glory? The LORD of hosts is the king of glory.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Habakkuk 3


O LORD, I have heard your renown, and feared, O LORD, your work. In the course of the years revive it, in the course of the years make it known; in your wrath remember compassion!

God comes from Teman , the Holy One from Mount Paran. Covered are the heavens with his glory, and with his praise the earth is filled.

His splendor spreads like the light; rays shine forth from beside him, where his power is concealed.

Before him goes pestilence, and the plague follows in his steps.

He pauses to survey the earth; his look makes the nations tremble. The eternal mountains are shattered, the age-old hills bow low along his ancient ways.

I see the tents of Cushan collapse; trembling are the pavilions of the land of Midian.

Is your anger against the streams, O LORD? Is your wrath against the streams, your rage against the sea, That you drive the steeds of your victorious chariot?

Bared and ready is your bow, filled with arrows is your quiver. Into streams you split the earth;

at sight of you the mountains tremble. A torrent of rain descends; the ocean gives forth its roar. The sun forgets to rise,

the moon remains in its shelter, At the light of your flying arrows, at the gleam of your flashing spear.

In wrath you bestride the earth, in fury you trample the nations.

You come forth to save your people, to save your anointed one. You crush the heads of the wicked, you lay bare their bases at the neck.

You pierce with your shafts the heads of their princes whose boast would be of devouring the wretched in their lair.

You tread the sea with your steeds amid the churning of the deep waters.

I hear, and my body trembles; at the sound, my lips quiver. Decay invades my bones, my legs tremble beneath me. I await the day of distress that will come upon the people who attack us.

For though the fig tree blossom not nor fruit be on the vines, Though the yield of the olive fail and the terraces produce no nourishment, Though the flocks disappear from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,

Yet will I rejoice in the LORD and exult in my saving God.

GOD, my Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet swift as those of hinds and enables me to go upon the heights. For the leader; with stringed instruments.

Psalm 73


How good God is to the upright, the Lord, to those who are clean of heart!
I But, as for me, I lost my balance; my feet all but slipped,

Because I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they suffer no pain; their bodies are healthy and sleek.

They are free of the burdens of life; they are not afflicted like others.

Thus pride adorns them as a necklace; violence clothes them as a robe.

Out of their stupidity comes sin; evil thoughts flood their hearts.

They scoff and spout their malice; from on high they utter threats.

They set their mouths against the heavens, their tongues roam the earth.

So my people turn to them and drink deeply of their words.

They say, "Does God really know?" "Does the Most High have any knowledge?"

Such, then, are the wicked, always carefree, increasing their wealth.

Is it in vain that I have kept my heart clean, washed my hands in innocence?

For I am afflicted day after day, chastised every morning.

Had I thought, "I will speak as they do," I would have betrayed your people.

Though I tried to understand all this, it was too difficult for me,

Till I entered the sanctuary of God and came to understand their end


You set them, indeed, on a slippery road; you hurl them down to ruin.

How suddenly they are devastated; undone by disasters forever!

They are like a dream after waking, Lord, dismissed like shadows when you arise.

Since my heart was embittered and my soul deeply wounded,

I was stupid and could not understand; I was like a brute beast in your presence.

Yet I am always with you; you take hold of my right hand.

With your counsel you guide me, and at the end receive me with honor.

Whom else have I in the heavens? None beside you delights me on earth.

Though my flesh and my heart fail, God is the rock of my heart, my portion forever.

But those who are far from you perish; you destroy those unfaithful to you.

As for me, to be near God is my good, to make the Lord GOD my refuge. I shall declare all your works in the gates of daughter Zion.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sequence To The Holy Spirit


Come, O Holy Spirit, come!
From Thy bright and blissful Home
Rays of healing light impart.
Come Thou Father of the poor,
Source of gifts that will endure
Light of ev'ry human heart.
Thou of all consolers best,
Of the soul most kindly Guest,
Quick'ning courage dost bestow.
In hard labor Thou art rest,
In the heat refreshest best,
Solace givest in our woe.
Amen.
Peace of Christ to ALL

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder's craft.

One day to the next conveys that message; one night to the next imparts that knowledge.

There is no word or sound; no voice is heard; Yet their report goes forth through all the earth, their message, to the ends of the world. God has pitched there a tent for the sun;

it comes forth like a bridegroom from his chamber, and like an athlete joyfully running his course.


From one end of the heavens it comes forth; its course runs through to the other; nothing escapes its heat.

The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye.

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The statutes of the LORD are true, all of them just;

More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.


By them your servant is instructed; obeying them brings much reward.

Who can detect heedless failings? Cleanse me from my unknown faults.

But from willful sins keep your servant; let them never control me. Then shall I be blameless, innocent of grave sin.

Let the words of my mouth meet with your favor, keep the thoughts of my heart before you, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Psalm 31

In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.

Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me.

For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me.

You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.

Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.

You hate those who regard vain idols,
But I trust in the LORD.

I will rejoice and be glad in Your loving kindness,
Because You have seen my affliction;
You have known the troubles of my soul,

And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a large place.

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.

For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And my body has wasted away.

Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.

I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.

For I have heard the slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.

But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD,
I say, "You are my God."

My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.

Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your loving kindness.


Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You;
Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.

Let the lying lips be mute,
Which speak arrogantly against the righteous
With pride and contempt.

How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!

You hide them in the secret place of Your presence
from the conspiracies of man;
You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.

Blessed be the LORD,
For He has made marvelous
His loving kindness to me in a besieged city.

As for me, I said in my alarm,
"I am cut off from before Your eyes";
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried to You.

O love the LORD, all you His godly ones!
The LORD preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the LORD.

I wish you God's peace


The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Psalm 29:11

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

God's Love Is Real



Look around, look around you and you will see
All the sunshine, the sky so blue, and feel the breeze
They are saying, God’s love is real

Take a walk through the countryside and watch the trees
Hear the birds singing sweetly and you will feel
Peace and joy you’ve never known

For if you doubt our Father loves you
Stop and think for just a while
Is it need or greed that drives you
To be crying all the time?

Cleanse your mind, open wide your heart
And call to Him
And He will fill you with wisdom so that you will begin
To realize that God’s love is real.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

First Epistle of Saint John, Chapter 1:6-10


6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Prayer for Single Mothers


Eternal Father, Bless and Protect all over the world the countless Single Mothers.
Fill their hearts with Peace, Wisdom, Strength, Courage and Faith.
Instill in them the Fruits of the Holy Spirit and may they always bear in mind
to remember that YOU are always with them and are never far from reach.

Amen.
Peace of Christ to ALL

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Canticle of Brother Sun


Most high, all-powerful, all good, Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor
And all blessing.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy
To pronounce your name.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made,
And first my lord Brother Sun,
Who brings the day; and light you give to us through him.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them, bright
And precious and fair.
All praise be yours, My Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all the weather's moods,
By which you cherish all that you have made.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
So useful, lowly, precious and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Through whom you brighten up the night.
How beautiful is he, how gay! Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our mother,
Who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
Various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon
For love of you; through those who endure
Sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
By you, Most High, they will be crowned.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those She finds doing your will!
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks,
And serve him with great humility.
Amen.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Monday, February 13, 2006

I have carried you

I carried you on eagle’s wings
I have lifted you high above the heaven
I have made you pierce through the sky far and beyond

I have touched your life and touched you
I have filled you with my presence
I am your God
Waiting now on your response

I have lifted you close to My cheeks
I have played with you sitting down on My knees
I have held your hand and taught you how to walk

I have chosen you before you were born
I have carved your name on the palm of My hand
I have given you all that you can and ought to be


I have come to you revealed through My Son
He has made known My will which was there before time began
He is the way and you re called to follow Him

You are my God, my Father, my Friend
You have fashioned me and filled my whole being
You want me to be Your own beloved one
For all the things You gave me
For all that You will give me
For all that ever will be: I say YES.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Come My Beloved


Come my beloved, come harken anew
Give ear to my pleading, my heart yearns for you
Come now, my beloved, I’ve called you by name
Formed you and shaped you to build me a home

Come now, my beloved, the hour draws high
The dark clouds are lifted, bright rays pierce your sky
No more shall the shadows of life dim your way
My Spirit will guide you and brighten each day

Come follow, beloved, the path I have traced
For you who are called to walk in my grace
Fear not, when the moments of dying appear
Unless you with me die, no fruit will you bear

So come my beloved, let love lead you on
Through suffering and death
Abba’s glory I won
So you too beloved, My glory will be
Surrender your weakness and live now in me

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mother of the Living


Hail Mary,
poor and humble Woman.
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope,
dawn of a new era,
we join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the coming of
the Kingdom
and the full liberation
of humanity.

Hail Mary,
handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin,
holy dwelling of the Word,
Teach us to persevere
in listening to the word
and to be docile
to the voice of the Spirit
attentive to his promptings
in the depths of our conscience
and to his manifestations
in the events of history.

Hail Mary,
Woman of Sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross,
the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to
spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before
the innumerable crosses
on which your Son
was crucified.

Hail Mary,
Woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church,
help us always to account for the hope
that is in us,with trust in human goodness
and the Father's love.
Teach us to build up the world
beginning from within
in the depths of silence
and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfullness
of the Cross.

Amen

God is your light


The Lord is my light and my salvation
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life
of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

When I sit in darkness,
the Lord shall be a light unto me.

Micah 7:8

God's Love Is Like A Fire For You


“Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:10

And I pray that you,
being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep
is the love of Christ.

Ephesians 3:17, 18

Creed For Those Who Have Suffered


I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey...
I asked for health, that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things...
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise...
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God...
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things...
I got nothing I asked for - but everthing I had hoped for;
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among men, most richly blessed!
Peace of Christ to ALL

Living The Beatitudes- Saint Josephine Bakhita


Blessed are the poor in spirit ...

A child of the Daju tribe of south-western Sudan, Bakhita came from a well-to-do family. Her father was the brother of the village Chief. He owned much land, with "plantations and cattle", and had hired servants working for him.

Home was a simple hut, mud-walled and millet stalk-thatched, but happy and loving, with parents, three brothers and four sisters, one of whom was Bakhita's own twin.

All was lost to her when the slave traders kidnapped her when she was seven years old. Stripped of the most fundamental human right - personal freedom and dignity - Bakhita endured physical, emotional and spiritual deprivation. There were long forced marches in slave caravans from Olgossa, her village, to El Obied and the slave markets there, then on to Khartoum, changing hands four times over a period of ten years.

Blessed are those who mourn ...

The little one, mockingly re-named Bakhita, "The Lucky One", suffered loneliness and torture ...

Yet, even reduced to conditions inhuman, Bakhita always knew a certain sense of hope ... in what or whom she could not say ... then. But somewhere, she knew not how then, she found the strength to live each fearful, miserable, terror-filled day with courage.

Blessed are the gentle ...

Not even slavery, however, could destroy her natural sensitivity and gentleness, that quality of heart that knows compassion. In the midst of her own pain and suffering, and impotent as she was, she could still care about others, commiserate with them, be with them.

This trait she carried with her even when her path led her out of Africa to Italy, where by Divine Providence, she was baptized into the Catholic faith and later took her vows as a Canossian Daughter of Charity.

Whether it was simply offering a drink to a sister in community or a bowl of hot soup to the poor, watching over kindergarten children or tending the wounded during the war, every action was done with love, serenity and gentleness.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness ...

The one who considered herself "a slave, and an object owned by her masters", never took advantage of her masters' property, even under the worst circumstances and the greatest need. Slave duties were executed with responsibility and an innate sense of justice.

Even before she came to know "the good of God", she also sensed that there was a higher Power who was in control of every matter under heaven. Because she lived continually in the search of events unfolding around so as to find the key to encountering this Power, her heart was open and ready when God revealed Himself to her.



Blessed are the merciful ...

One would expect that with all that she had undergone, Bakhita would have suffered severe emotional or psychological scarring. But the Madre Moreta, the "Brunette Mother" as she was affectionately called, was able to see in each painful wound, each traumatic memory, stepping stones in the path that led to God - hidden blessings every one. Hers was the gift of a "purified memory", transformed and transfigured, experienced as a blessing.

This is why she was able to forgive her kidnappers and those who tortured her. She bore no resentment towards them and prayed with great passion for their well-being.

Blessed are the pure in heart ...

As her relationship with the unseen God grew, so too did her capacity to enter into communion with God. She was able to see the hand of God in all the events of daily life and neither illness.

Even as her physical health failed, her spirit grew brighter and stronger. Prayer was spent in the company of One "who had waited so long for me". A characteristic topic of her meditation was "Jesus: to know Him better, so as to love Him more and more".

Blessed are the peacemakers ...

At the Canossian Convent in Schio, she was engaged in simple tasks in the kitchen, the needlework classroom, sacristy and as portress at the door. Enclosed, though she was, Bakhita's ready availability and her welcoming ways to all endeared her to the people.

She was ready to interpret actions of others in the beat of light possible and took reproaches of others respectfully.

Above all, she had made peace with her past.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted ...

For all who have been tried by conflict, war and oppression, Bakhita left us the legacy of comfort and hope in a providential Father. She joins those who, from generation to generation, have followed Christ through trial and tribulation, and who now take their place in the Kingdom of God.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Be Still


Be Still

I've not only seen the Light,
I have reached into Him.
His brightness shone upon me,
And touched the depths of my soul.

I've struggled
And fought
Angry and frustrated,
And to me He taught:

Be still and
Know that I AM God.

But my Lord, I frantically raged on,
I desire to follow Thee.
O Lord,
I am so forlorn and tired.

He turned to me
The Light shone brightly
I tried to cover my eyes
And yet I felt His warmth surrounding me.

"Why do you struggle?
Why do you fight against me?
Be still
And know that I AM God."

Prayer of him who suffers


Saint Barbara, many people around me lie. Teach me to resemble you by hating falsehood and treachery, and preferring everything to them – even humiliation, even poverty, even social failure.

Saint Barbara, many people around me hate. Teach me to be like you by returning good for evil and by praying for those who hate me, remembering that Christ said: “If you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven”, and “The measure you use will be the measure used for you”.

Saint Barbara, I am crushed with suffering, and cannot bear any more. Teach me that suffering offered with love is alms, and that it can save a soul. Christ offered me such alms on the cross, and you imitated him in the torture chamber. This is how he saved the world, and how you converted your country.

Help me to remember under what conditions you lived: It will give me courage. Then I will see that I too, can achieve great things with that I have, and that if I do not like what is happening. I can change it by my hidden acts – even though I am small, even though I am alone.

Amen.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

PRAYER OF ST. HILARY OF POITIERS


For Perseverance In Faith

Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!
Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed when we were baptized
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have Thee for our Father,
that we may abide in Thy Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Amen.

Monday, February 06, 2006

For an End to Abortion



Oh God, who is the Beginning and the End, hear our prayers as we cry out to you to end the merciless shedding of innocent blood in our nation and throughout the world. Through death you have conquered death and through your life we experience eternal and everlasting life. Cause life to spring forth in the hearts of all people and bring forth a love and respect for life that will dominate our culture. May your kingdom and church apprehend and overtake the culture of death that has prevailed through deceit and selfishness; may the Seed of the woman crush the head of the serpent through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.
Peace of Christ to ALL

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord



February 2
commonly called Candlemas Day and Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary

On this day the Church solemnly celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the temple, and the obedience and humility both of Mary and her divine Son, who, though not subject to the law in regard to purification and presentation, yet subjected themselves to it. Hence this feast is called the Purification of the Virgin Mary. In common speech we call it also Candlemas, because on this day the candles required for the divine service are blessed and carried in procession.

What is the design of this custom?

1. It is to remind us that Jesus, the light of the world, was offered up to His heavenly Father, by Mary, in the temple at Jerusalem, where He was called by Simeon a light for the revelation of the gentiles, and the glory of the people of Israel.

2. To remind us, also, of several important truths, to which the priest refers in the prayers at the blessings. Thus he prays that as the earthly light dispels the darkness of night, so Jesus, with the light of His divine doctrine, may clear away our spiritual blindness and ignorance, and lead us in the way of virtue; that as the Holy Ghost enlightened Simeon, so He may also enlighten us to acknowledge Jesus as the true light, to love Him and follow Him, to keep our hearts from the way of sin, and to guide them in the way of virtue, and to kindle them with the fire of holy love; finally, that God may preserve, in soul and body, those who use blessed candles with devotion, may hear their prayers, and grant them entrance into the kingdom of the eternal and ever-blessed light.

In the Introit of the Mass the Chnrch sings:
"We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple; according to Thy name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth; Thy right hand is full of justice. Great is the Lord and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain."
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

Almighty, everlasting God, we suppliantly beseech Thy majesty that, as Thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so Thou wouldst grant us to be presented to Thee with purified souls, Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

Epistle: Malachi 3:1-4

Thus saith the Lord: Behold I send My angel, and he shall prepare the way before My face. And presently the Lord Whom you seek, and the angel of the testament whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts: and who shall be able to think of the day of his coming? and who shall stand to see him? for he is like a refining fire, and like the fullers' herb: and he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice. And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years, saith the Lord Almighty.

Gospel: Luke 2:22-32

At that time: After the days of Mary's purification according to the law of Mostls were accomplished, they carried Jesus to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord; and to offer a sacrifice according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons. And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law: he also took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, in peace; because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to the revelation of the gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.

Explanation

The Blessed Virgin presented herself and her divine Son at the temple so as not to give scandal to such as were ignorant of their being exempt from the law, to show from the first that Jesus was come to redeem sinners, and to leave us an example of humility and obedience. Mary offered the gift of a pair of doves, like the poor, because she was poor, and was not ashamed to acknowledge it before the world.

Instruction for Women after Childbirth

The law of purification in the Old Testament, it is true, no longer applies to Christian women, because the Church has done away with Jewish ceremonies. But the spirit and intention of that law the Church would yet have complied with. She permits women, therefore, to remain at home, with a good conscience, for six weeks after childbirth, or so long as circumstances may require, without attending divine service, in order to care for their health. This permission is, at the same time, an excellent admonition to women, that, in order to their recovery, they should refrain from anger, from exposure, from hard labor, from injurious food; to men, not to refuse their wives during this period, set apart by God Himself under the Old Law, the rest and attention which their nature requires.

But when this time is past the Church desires that women should, after the example of Mary, repair to the church with their children, to procure the blessing of the priest, to give thanks to God for their safe delivery, to dedicate their children to Him, and to implore of Him, with the priest, grace to bring up their offspring in piety and holiness. In this consists the so-called "churching of women"; and, from what has been said, it is evident, not only that it contains nothing to be ashamed of, but that it should by no means be omitted by such as desire God's blessing.

The feeble health of both women and children after child-birth is almost always owing to their having injured themselves by want of care.

Prayer for Women after Childbirth

Almighty and merciful God, Who didst lay upon our mother Eve the fit punishment for her disobedience that she should bear children in sorrow, I offer to Thee all the pains of my child-bearing in propitiation for my sins; and I thank Thee that, through Thy help, the fruit of my womb has been safely brought forth into the world, and new-born in Baptism. According to the example of the Mother of Thy only-begotten Son, I also offer to Thee my child for Thy holy service, and will earnestly strive to bring it up to Thy honor. To this end give me, through the intercession of the most blessed Virgin, Thy grace; bless me and my child, and grant that we may live according to Thy will here, and hereafter may obtain everlasting happiness. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, etc. Amen.

From Goffine's Devout Instructions

The Our Father- An Interpretation


"This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one." (Matthew 6:9-13).

Christian Prayer: An Interpretation For All Of Us

The model for Christian prayer in Matthew 6 is known as the Lord's Prayer. Many of us have recited this prayer for years, but have never truly meditated on its meaning. The following are spiritual snippets based on the Lord's Prayer.

"Our Father" - God wants us to approach Him as "Daddy" (Aramaic: Abba). He wants to take care of us and protect us. God desires intimacy. Remember, He has infinite love and grace. God wants us to be secure in His family as children and heirs.

"Who Art in Heaven" -- Look up to God. Revere Him. He is all-powerful and can deal with all our problems, even the big ones. But He loves us so much that He doesn't stay up there.

"Hallowed be Thy Name" -- Holy, holy, holy. Approach God with awe and wonder. Save the word "awesome" for God. Live a life that honors Him.

"Thy Kingdom Come" - "Take this job and love it!" Working on behalf of God's kingdom is the ultimate joy. Bloom where you're planted. Do everything as unto the Lord. Find your gifts and use them. Be open to God's leading each day.

"Thy Will Be Done" - God is the potter; we are the clay. God keeps us spinning on His potter's wheel, shaping and reshaping us as He bathes our lives in tears to make us more Christ-like so He can use us for His will. Surrender daily. Keep your clay moist through daily prayer.

"On Earth as it is in Heaven" - Thy will be done - not my will be done!

"Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" - Trust! God will provide for our needs. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He cares for me.

"Forgive Us Our Trespasses as We Forgive Those who Trespass Against Us" -Forgiveness = Surrender. Don't carry your own backpack - surrender it to Him. Revealing the feeling is the beginning of healing. Act as if you have forgiven and the feeling will follow. In our weakness, God sends His strength and peace.

"Lead Us Not Into Temptation" - Watch for unrecognized temptation. Pray, so you won't fall. We are tempted every day. It deepens our walk and strengthens our faith - but be careful of spiritual blindness. Open my eyes, Lord, to my blind spots - use honest friends and family.

"Deliver Us From Evil" - The Evil One, Satan. We are saved from death to life. Jesus is more powerful than Satan - God is greater!

"For Thine Is the Kingdom (obedience), and the Power (confidence) and the Glory (joy), Forever And Ever" -- This is our Father's world. Everything we have is His. He is the ruler!

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