Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


May 31

This day is called the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary because on it Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, whom, as the angel had told her, God had blessed with a son in her old age.

In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings:

"Hail, holy parent, who didst bring trth the King Who rules heaven and earth forever. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak of my works for the King."

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

Vouchsafe, O Lord, we beseech Thee, unto us Thy servants the gift of Thy heavenly grace, that, as in the childbirth of the Blessed Virgin our salvation began, so from the votive solemnity of her visitation we may obtain an increase of peace. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, etc. Amen.

Epistle: Canticle 2:8-14

Behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart; behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the tune of pruning is come; the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig-tree hath put forth her green figs; the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come; my dove in the clifts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, show me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears; for thy. voice is sweet, and thy face comely.

Gospel: Luke 1:39-47

At that time: Mary rising up went unto the hill-country with haste, into a city of Juda; and she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost; and she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. And Mary saId: My soul doth magnify the Lord; and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

1. As soon as Mary heard that Elizabeth was with child she hastened to her. The alacrity of the Blessed Virgin teaches us that we should take part with gladness in the happiness of our fellow-men, and quickly make ourselves ready to discharge our duties, sacrificing for that object, if necessary, even our own much-loved retirement, our devotions and other exercises of piety.

2. Mary visited her cousin out of real love, not out of unmeaning ceremony. Would that her example were followed in our visits!

3. By the visit of the Blessed Virgin John was sanctified in his mother's womb, and Elizabeth, enlightened by the Holy Ghost, knew, by the miraculous movements of her child, that Mary was the Mother of the Lord. Such effects did this visit produce. What would Jesus effect in us if we received Him with due preparation!

Explanation of the Canticle "Magnificat," Or "My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord"

In this hymn Mary with joy praises God, the Lord, that He has regarded her humility, aud made her to be the Mother of His only-begotten Son, wherefore she should be called blessed by all generations; and she declares the truths and mysteries which the incarnation brought to light. The mercy of God, namely, reaches from generation to generation to them that fear Him. He scatters the thoughts of the proud, and puts down from their seats the mighty; but He exalts the humble. He fills those who hunger for justice with good things, but those who think themselves rich He sends away empty. He receives all true Israelites, and performs in them the promises which He gave to the fathers. This hymn is repeated by the Church every day at Vespers, in praise of the work of redemption, begun by the incarnation of the Son of God in Mary. Would that every Christian, since he becomes one only by Christ being, as it were, born in him, might share those feelings which the Blessed Virgin and Mother has expressed in this hymn of praise, and, with the Church, daily praise God for the mystery of the incarnation!

Aspiration

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who didst descend from the highest heavens io the womb of the Virgin Mary, didst therein rest for rune months, and with her didst condescend to visit and sanctify Saint John, grant that we, by the practice of good works, particularly of humility, may become partakers of the fruits of Thy incarnation.

--Goffine's Devout Instructions








Selflessness-A Prayer


O Dearly beloved Word of God,
teach me to be generous,
to serve Thee as Thou dost deserve,
to give without counting the cost,
to fight without fretting at my wounds,
to labor without seeking rest,
to spend myself without looking for any reward
other than that of knowing that I do Thy holy will.

Amen.
Peace of Christ to ALL

Friday, May 26, 2006

Prayer for Courage To Polycarp



God of all creation,

you gave your bishop Polycarp

the privilege of being counted among the saints

who gave their lives in faithful witness to the gospel.

May his prayers give us the courage

to share with him the cup of suffering

and to rise to eternal glory.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,

your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the

Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen

Peace of Christ to ALL

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Ascension of the Lord


INSTRUCTION ON THE FESTIVAL OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD



At the Introit the Church sings the words which were spoken by the angels to the apostles and disciples, after the Ascension of our Lord:

INTROIT Ye men of Galilee, why wonder you, looking up to heaven? allel.: He shall so come as you have seen him going up into heaven. Allel., allel., allel. (Acts I. 11.), Oh, clap your hands, all ye nations; shout unto God with the voice of joy. (Ps. XLVI. 2.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that we who believe Thy only‑begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have this day ascended into the heavens, may ourselves also in, mind dwell amid heavenly things. Through the same etc.

LESSON (Acts I. 1-11.) The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach , until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles ,whom he had chosen, he was taken up: to whom also he showed himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And eating together with them, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the prom­ise of the Father, which you have heard (saith he) by my mouth: for John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence. They, therefore, who were come together, asked him, saying: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? But he said to diem: It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father hath put in his own power; but you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold, two men stood by them in white garments, who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand yon looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven.

EXPLANATION This gospel of St. Luke addressed to Theophilus, a Christian of note in Antioch, contains an account of the life, sufferings, and death of Jesus up to the time of His ascension into heaven. The Evangelist con­tinues his account in the Acts of the apostles, in which he describes in simple words that which Jesus did during the forty days following His Resurrection, and the manner in which He ascended into heaven in the presence of His apostles. Rejoice that Christ today has entered into the glory gained by His sufferings and death, and pray: I rejoice, O King of heaven and earth, in the glory Thou bast this day attained in heaven. Sing to God, ye kingdoms of the earth: sing ye to the Lord: sing ye to God, who mounteth above the heaven of heavens to the east. Give ye glory to God for Israel, his magnificence and his power is in the clouds. God is wonderful in his saints, the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people, blessed be God. (Ps.LXVII. 33‑36.)

GOSPEL (Mark. XVI. 14-20.) At that time, Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. (And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned: And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick; and they shall recover.) And the Lord Jesus after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. But they going forth preached everywhere, the Lord work­ing withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

The part of this gospel which is within the marks of parenthesis, is the gospel for the feast of St: Francis Xavier.

Why did Christ say to His apostles: Go ye into the whale world and preach the gospel to all creatures?

To show that no one is to assume the office of preach­ing, but must look for his mission from the lawful pastors of the Church. And when Christ sends His apostles into the whole worlds to all nations without exception, He shows His willingness to save all men. If the designs of God are not fulfilled, the blame is not to be attributed to God, but to man, who either does not accept the doctrine of the gospel, or accepting, does not live in accordance with it, or else renders himself by his obduracy in vice, unworthy of the gospel.
Is faith without good works sufficient for salvation?

No, faith that is not active in love, not fruitful in good works, and therefore not meritorious, (Gal. V. 6.) is not suf­ficient for salvation. "Such faith," says St. Anselm, "is not the faith of a Christian, but the faith of the devil." Only he who truly believes in Christ and His doctrine, and lives in accordance with it, will be saved.
Is ours then the true faith since all the faithful do not work miracles; as Christ has predicted?

St. Gregory very beautifully replies to this question: "Because the Redeemer said that true faith would be ac­companied by miracles, you must not think that you have not the faith, because these signs do not follow; these miracles had to be wrought in the beginning of the Church, because faith in her had to be increased by these visible signs of divine power." And even now when such signs are necessary for the propagation of the faith, and victory over unbelief, God gives His faithful power to work them.

Are miracles wrought now in the Catholic Church?

Yes, for there have been at all times saints in the Church, who, as seen from their lives, have wrought miracles, on account of their faith, which even the heretics cannot deny; for instance St. Francis Xavier, who in the sight of the heathens, raised several dead persons to life. In a spiritual manner all pious Catholics still work such miracles; for, as St. Chrysostom says, "they expel devils when they banish sin, which is worse than the devil; they speak new tongues when they converse no longer on vain and sinful things, but on those which are spiritual and heavenly." "They take up serpents," says St. Gregory, "when by zealous exhortations they lift others from the shame of vice, without being themselves poisoned; they drink deadly things without being hurt by them, when they hear improper conversation without being corrupted or led to evil; they lay their hands upon the sick and heal them, when they teach the ignorant, strengthen by their good example those who are wavering in virtue, keep the sinner from evil, and similar things." Strive to do this upon all occasions, O Christian, for God willingly gives you His grace and you will thus be of more use to yourself and others, and honor God more than by working the greatest miracles.

Where and how did Christ ascend into heaven?

From Mount Olivet where His sufferings began, by which we learn, that where our crosses and afflictions begin which we endure with patience and resignation, there begins our reward. Christ ascended into heaven by His own power, because He is God, and now in His glorified humanity He sits at the right hand of His Father, as our continual Mediator.

In whose presence did Christ ascend into heaven?

In the presence of His apostles, and many of His dis­ciples, whom He had previously blessed, (Luke XXIV. 51.) and who, as St. Leo says, derived consoling joy from His ascension. Rejoice, also, O Christian foul, for Christ has today opened heaven for you, and you may enter it, if you believe in Christ, and live in accordance with that faith. St. Augustine says: "Let us ascend in spirit with Christ, that when His day comes, we may follow with our body.

Yet you must know, beloved brethren, that not pride, nor avarice, nor impurity, nor any other vice ascends with Christ; for with the teacher of humility pride ascends not, nor with the author of goodness, malice, nor with the Son of the Virgin, impurity. Let us then ascend with Him by trampling upon our vices and evil inclinations, thus build­ing a ladder by which we can ascend; for we make a ladder of our sins to heaven when we tread them down in combating them:"

ASPIRATION O King of glory! O powerful Lord! who hast this day ascended victoriously, above all heaven, leave us not as poor orphans; but send us, from the Father, the Spirit of truth whom Thou hast promised. Alleluia.

Why is the paschal candle extinguished after the gospel on this day?

To signify that Christ, of whom the candle is a figure, has gone from His disciples.


INSTRUCTION ON MIRACLES

And these signs shall follow them that believe.(Mark XVI. 17.)

What is a miracle?

A miracle, as defined by St. Thomas of Aquin, is any­thing beyond the ordinary, fixed state of things that is done through God. Thus when the sun stands still in his course, when thousands are fed with five loaves and two small fishes, when by a word or simple touch the dead are raised to life, the blind see, and the deaf hear, these are things contrary to nature, and are miracles which can only be performed by God or those persons to whom God has given the power.

That God can work miracles, cannot be denied. God has made the laws of nature, and at any time it pleases Him, He can suddenly suspend them, and that God has at times done so, we have more solid and undeniable proofs, than we have for the most renowned and best authenticated facts of history, far more witnesses testify to miracles, the whole world has believed them, and been converted by them; more than eleven millions of martyrs have died to confirm and maintain their truth; no one gives up his life for lies and deceptions; the Jews and pagans have admitted them, but ascribed them to witchcraft and the power of demons rather than to God; by this they proved and acknowledged the truth of miracles, because in order to deny them, they were driven to false and absurd explanation of them.

Can men work miracles?

No; only God works miracles through man to whom He gives the power. The history of the Christian Church in all ages bears testimony, that men have wrought miracles in the name of Jesus, as, for example, the apostles and the saints.

Can miracles be worked by the relics of saints, pictures, &e.?

The Church, in the Council of Trent, solemnly declares, that we are never to believe that there is in any picture or relic any hidden power by which a miracle can, be worked, and that we are not to honor or ask any such thing of them. Therefore no miracle can ever be worked by them, but God can perform miracles through them, and He has done so, as the holy Scriptures and the history of the Church of Christ both prove. But when through certain pictures (usually called miraculous pictures) miracles do take place, that no deception may occur, the Church commands that such a picture shall not be exposed for the veneration of the faithful, until the truth of the miracles performed is by a rigorous examination established beyond doubt; she then causes such pictures to be respectfully preserved as monu­ments of the goodness and omnipotence of God.

Why are there not so many miracles in our ties as there were in the first days of the Church?

Because the Church is no longer in need of such extra­ordinary testimony to the truth of her teachings. Thus St. Augustine writes: "He who in the face of the conversion of the world to Christianity demands miracles, and strives to doubt those which have been wrought in favor of this most wonderful change, is himself an astonishing miracle of irrationality and stupidity;" and St. Chrysostom says: "The question is sometimes asked: How happens it there are not so many miracles now‑a‑days? The answer is, because the knowledge of Christ is propagated all over the earth, and the Church is like a tree which, having once taken deep root and grown to a certain height, no longer needs to be carefully watered and supported."

--Goffine's Devout Instructions








Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Psalm 23- Living this everyday


The Lord is my Shepherd

It becomes critical for every believer to begin to embrace the concept that “the Lord is my shepherd”. Not only does He love the other members of the congregation; He is also deeply concerned with, and in love with me! Sometimes we are so aware of our own personal struggles (and also unaware of the struggles of others) that we feel ourselves very unworthy of the attention and love of God. The good news is that you are not worthy of the love of God in and of yourself! None of us are! However the sacrifice which Jesus paid on the cross has made you worthy! Therefore we can boldly say that the Lord is my shepherd!

I shall not want.

We live in a culture very much influenced by material things We buy things from one another that we do not want, at prices we cannot afford, on terms we cannot meet because of advertising we do not believe. How often have you heard Christians complaining about what they “don’t” have, instead thanking and praising God for what they “do” have? Some would interpret this portion of Psalm 23 to mean that because the Lord is my Shepherd, I will not be left wanting because he will provide everything. Others would say that because the Lord is my Shepherd I should refrain from wanting. No matter how you choose to interpret this passage we find that there is one common denominator in both interpretations … the word “want”! Maybe it is time for you to begin to recognize the wonderful provision the Lord has already supplied. Or maybe it is time for you to reign in your desire for “stuff” … but either way; the control of “want” is up to you!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures

This text is made up of two key Hebrew words. The first portion of the verse, “he maketh me to lie down” is translated from the Hebrew word rabats, which means to recline, to lie down, to make to rest or sit. The last portion of this verse, “pastures”, is the Hebrew word na’ah which literally means a pasture, a home, a habitation or a pleasant place. If we translate that into modern terms the verse could read, “He makes me sit or lie down at home!” The Lord created the earth in six days and then rested on the seventh. Not only does the Bible plainly state that the Lord rested, we also see that the Lord instituted a Sabbath day so that God’s people would also rest one day out of the week. Obviously God believed it was important for all of mankind to have a day of rest, or in modern terms “down time”. With work schedules, family schedules, social schedules and even church schedules we are often to busy to take advantage of what David felt when he said, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” Maybe it is time to make some adjustments in our schedules so that we can enjoy the very thing the Lord desires us to have.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

One of the most important resources for a shepherd was water. Water provided the sustenance and life required for the well-being of the flock. Just as God provided for David, he provides for us as well. Jesus said that he was the living water, and that if we drink of him we shall never thirst again. It is the Lord who is our provider, our comforter, our healer, our deliverer … our everything, however, one of the greatest struggles as a Christian is to allow ourselves to be consistently led by him! If we will allow him to lead us on a daily basis then we will never thirst.



He restores my soul

There is nothing so prone to go astray like lost sheep. Lost sheep may panic or wander looking to find their way back to the flock … all the while finding themselves farther and farther away from the shepherd and the rest of the sheep. We often read about the struggles of the children of Israel when they left Egypt. Time and time again they saw the mighty Hand of God perform wonderful miracles on their behalf; yet time and time again they also found themselves wandering away from that very same miraculous God! Oh how easy it would be to criticize their waffling walk with the Lord … were it not for our own inconsistencies! One of the many wonderful things about our God is that no matter how much we struggle, God always knows how to pull us back on track and restore our soul and the joy of our salvation! Just when you think you can’t take anymore, when you think that all hope is lost and that life will never be what it should, that is when the Shepherd of our soul always seems to reach down and pick us back up, get us back on track and restore us to a vibrant walk with Him!

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

This is one of the Old Testament verses which reveal and prophesy of the powerful work which Christ did for us on the cross … thousands of years before it even happened!

God’s desire all through the Old Testament was that he might change his people from a “have to” people to a “want to” people. Not just performing acts of righteousness because the law said they had to, but honoring His Word because they wanted to! The only way he could accomplish that goal was to get His word from tablets of stone into the hearts of men and women. (Jeremiah 33:31) God overwhelmingly accomplished this very desire when His son gave his life on the cross for us! Now we are not only given life instructions from God’s Word alone, but that Word is also confirmed within our hearts as he “guides us in paths of righteousness”.

Now here comes the best part … he doesn’t do it just because He wants us to live holy, or even because he loves us … but He does it for “his name’s sake”! What a powerful and relieving thought. God doesn’t tolerate my mistakes, shortcomings and failures because of something I have done (or need to do), He does it because of something His Son has done. Our righteousness could never hold God’s attention for one second of time. No matter how good we are we are never good enough to impress Him, or to be worthy of His attention; but He is incredibly impressed with and mindful of His Son! His Son is spotless, blameless, worthy, holy, pure … and the list goes on and on. It is because of the sacrifice that Jesus paid on the cross that God “leads us in righteousness”. It is for “His name sake” and not ours. Every time we think that God gives up on leading us in righteousness, remember that He does it because of Jesus, not because of you … so His mercies will never end.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

How may times have you heard someone share the gospel with a pre-believer only to hear them say those dangerously misleading words, “come to Jesus and all your problems will go away.” Nothing could be further from the truth! Does Jesus have the power to take all your problems away, sure he does, but in his infinite wisdom he realizes that it is not for your long term good for him to remove all of your difficulties.

Have you ever noticed that going to a weight room and watching people lift weights does absolutely nothing for your body? What is it that builds muscle and strength in your physical body? It is the resistance of the weight in your hands that actually makes your muscles grow stronger. Without the resistance your natural muscles would never have a chance to grow. Unfortunately that same principle exists in the spirit realm. Rather than God take the weight away from us, He provides us with the strength to lift the weight. This is one of the most fatherly ways that God helps us to grow. Rather than taking away our problems He often just helps us through them.

The term “shadow of death” was a Hebrew idiom which meant “the blackest darkness”. David was talking about times when he seemed to have to walk through the greatest struggles, the darkest times, the hardest battles he had ever faced. Although we would prefer to avoid those difficulties altogether, God often allows “hard times” so that he can make us a strong people.
If the thought of this discourages you, then realize this, you are in good company! The Bible says that Jesus himself was perfected by the things he suffered. (Hebrews 2:18; 5:8)

Difficult times can be trying, however there is nothing more rewarding than to see our faithful God come through when all hope is gone, faith is at it’s weakest point, and all reports predict the worst. That seems to be when God chooses to shine the brightest in our lives … in the valley of the shadow of death!


I will fear no evil for thou art with me

What an empowering statement. I will not fear … not because I am strong, not because I am full of faith, not because I have spiritual authority … but because you are with me! Now here is the interesting part … I am strong, I am full of faith and I have spiritual authority … once again, because You are with me!

Fear is one of the most powerful and frequently used weapons in the enemy’s arsenal. If the enemy can make us afraid then he has successfully created a self-imposed jail for us. It is like wrapping a rope around a person and instead of tying up the loose end, you ask the bound person just to hold it. Think of how silly that is, but that is what happens to us anytime we allow ourselves to be gripped by fear. All that is required to be free is to let go. Just let go of the thoughts, let go of the anxiety, let go of the lies, let go of the unknown … let go of the rope! The wonderful thing is that you can confidently step out in faith and let go of the rope because He is with you! “What if I am not strong enough, have enough faith, or have enough spiritual authority?” … you don’t have to, because He is with you!! BUT … because He is with you, you will have the strength, faith and spiritual authority that you need when you need it.

Thy rod and they staff they comfort me

Many people believe that David is talking about the rod of correction in this verse, but that is not the only function a shepherd had for his rod. Whenever a shepherd wanted to keep track of his sheep, to make sure that all were accounted for and safe, the shepherd would pass his rod over each one and count them. The staff in the Bible is the representation of the support of the weak. With this image of God’s rod and staff comforting us we know that he will helps us through our weaknesses and that He counts us as His own.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies

The word “table” in this verse comes from the Hebrew word shulchan, which means “a table as spread out with a meal.” This speaks of the provision of God in our lives. God wants us to see Him as our provider and our source. Your job is not your source, nor your spouse, nor the government, nor any earthly being or organization, but God alone. This does not free us of the responsibility of stewardship in holding a good job and being faithful in work as the Lord requires us to, but it simply means that God’s ability to provide for us is not limited to natural sources of provision. God is completely capable of calling the ravens (1 Kings 17:4), the poor (1 Kings 17:9), or even a rock (Numbers 20:8) to provide for you all that you need if He so desires, and you can trust that He very much desires to take care of you!

Another amazing point in this verse is where God placed this table of provision, “in the presence of mine enemies.” Why is this so important? It is obvious that God wants it to be clear to us that when He wants something done no man can stop Him or keep him from doing it, even your enemies! “What if my boss hates me and refuses to give me a promotion, what if my spouse is mad at me and refuses to allow me access to our money, what if the market doesn’t do well and my retirement fund isn’t growing, what if, what if.” Once again, no man can stop or slow the hand and provision of God when He is ready to move … not even your worst enemies!

Thou anointest my head with oil

There are many anointings recorded in the bible, and this verse probably is inclusive of all of God’s anointing and promises; however there is one specific area of anointing which seems to coincide with the remainder of this chapter and that is the anointing of joy. (Psalm 45:7)
There is a major difference between happiness and joy, and many Christians confuse the two quite often. Happiness is conditional upon our circumstances and seems to come and go as frequently as the changing of the wind. You get a promotion (happy), you find out that it is going to require more work hours (sad), but you realize that you will make more money (happy), but you also realize that you are required to pay more taxes as well (sad) … and this list could go on and on. Joy is something quite different. Joy is that state of peace, rest, gladness and cheerfulness that the Lord provides in spite of the circumstances. Nothing is more confusing to people who do not yet know the Lord than Christians who are able to walk in joy in spite of the circumstances around them. It is something only the Lord can provide, and He gladly anoints our head with the oil of joy.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

The word “surely” is translated from the Hebrew word ‘ak which means, “certainly or only”. We have a guarantee from God’s Word that He will always be with us, always lead us and always guide us. The Bible says that He will never leave or forsake us. What a wonderful and powerful God we serve! Not just with us on the days when we are “good”, but a friend who sticks closer than a brother!


Dear Lord, help me to begin to walk in the promises of the 23rd Psalm. Help me to understand and accept what Your Word says over me, and help me to demonstrate your Kingdom to the world around me as I reflect more of You in my life! Amen! Amen! Amen!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Galatians-1:6-12


I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by (the) grace (of Christ) for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed! Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ. Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin. For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Light of Love



In these hours of anguish, therefore,
Your children come to you as their hope.
We recognize your Queenship,
and we ardently desire your triumph.
We need a Mother, and a Mother's heart.
You are for us the bright dawn
which scatters the darkness
And points out the way to life.
In your mercy, obtain for us the courage
and confidence of which we have such need.
Most holy and adorable Trinity,
You have crowned with glory in Heaven
the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of the Savior.
Grant that all her children on earth
may acknowledge her as their sovereign Queen,
That all hearts, homes and nations
May recognise her rights as Mother and Queen.


Amen.
Peace of Christ to ALL

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Prayer for the Salvation of the World


Father, hear our prayers for the salvation of the world. Grant Mercy to all souls that turned away from you. Open their hearts and minds with your light.
Gather your children from the east and the west, from the north and the south.
Have mercy O God on those who do not know you. Bring them out of darkness into your light. You are our saving God who leads us in our salvation. Protect us from evil.
Bless and praise you O Lord, hear our prayers and answer us. You, our Savior, are the hope of all the ends of the Earth and the distant seas. May your way be known upon Earth; among all nations your salvation.
We put the world in your hands; fill us with your love. Grant us peace through Christ, our Lord.

Amen
Peace of Christ to ALL

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Prayer For Families


Lord, Jesus, our families need your help today.
We are searching for tranquility and peace
and an end to the discord that keeps us apart.
Give us strength and compassion to
understand each other, wisdom and
love to help one another.
And the trust and patience we need
to live peacefully together.
We pray that our families might become
a holy family-A family that works, prays
and plays together, a family that embraces
peace and love, a family whose members
are dedicated in love to each other and to God.

Amen.
Peace of Christ to ALL

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother's Day Prayer


Happy Mother's Day!
Lord, protect and guide mothers everywhere
to look out for their children.
Help them teach and love their children
as You love and teach us.
Mothers are very important and help them
do their vocation in a loving way.

Amen.
Peace of Christ to ALL

Prayer for a Mother who has died




Dear Lord, relying on your promises to us, I turn to you in trust that my mother is with you and that she is enjoying your loving embrace. You alone know how she loved the best she could and how she faithfully endured the struggles that she faced. You know the graces you gave her and you know the grace she was for me and for so many. For all the ways she truly loved the way you loved her, please reward her, Lord. May she enjoy the communion of all her family and friends who are with you.


Lord, I know my mother still loves us who are still here on earth. I ask you that you might listen to her fervent prayers for us. Help me to grow into a new and deeper relationship with my mother now, as I long for the day when we will both meet in your embrace - freed from all that might have hindered our relationship on earth, knowing and understanding everything we did not know or understand on this earth.

Amen.




Friday, May 12, 2006

PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF FATIMA


Favourite prayers


O Most Holy Virgin Mary,

Queen of the most holy Rosary,

you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima

and reveal a glorious message.

We implore you,

inspire in our hearts a fervent love

for the recitation of the Rosary.

By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption

that are recalled therein

may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask,

through the merits of Jesus Christ,

our Lord and Redeemer.
Amen.

Peace of Christ to ALL








Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Philippians 4:4-8


Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!

Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.

Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Come Follow Me


Come follow me
Oh come and follow me
You’ll never go astray
Holding on to Me
And no one gets lost
On the straight and narrow road .

Can you hear me calling, calling
I am the Good Shepherd
Come and follow Me.
Come follow Me.

There is a way that leads to destruction
The end you cannot see
It’s waiting there to deceive you
Put your trust in Me .

Can you hear me calling, calling
I am the Good Shepherd
Come and follow Me.
Come follow Me.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Good Shepherd


The Good Shepherd always walks in front
Gently leading the way,
Never behind driving or pushing,
But lovingly guiding each day;
And when a sheep wanders away
From the security of this place,
The Shepherd corrects the wayward one
In love, mercy, and grace.
He protects from harm and fear
All that follow His lead,
His rod and staff guard and comfort,
And His hand meets every need;
He provides beautiful green pastures
Rest for the weary and weak,
Revival, strength and vigor...
Peace and joy to reap.
He sets a table in the wilderness
With manna from on high,
And leads beside the still waters
That refresh and satisfy.
Oh, what love and tender care,
Such blessings God bestows
Upon the sheep that closely follow
The way The Shepherd goes.

Friday, May 05, 2006

God is with you


“And surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20

There, in the presence of the Lord your God,
you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice
in everything you have put your hand to,
because the Lord your God has blessed you.

Deuteronomy 12:7

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

Psalm 139:7

Prayer for Healing


Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to You.
Allow your healing hand to heal me.
Touch my soul with Your compassion for others.
Touch my heart with Your courage and infinite love for all.
Touch my mind with Your wisdom, that my mouth may always proclaim Your praise.
Teach me to reach out to You in my need,
and help me to lead others to You by my example.
Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit
that I may serve You with all my strength.
Touch gently this life which You have created, now and forever.

Amen.
Peace of Christ to ALL

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Prayers Before And After Reading Holy Scripture


Before Reading the Holy Scriptures

COME, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful

and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.


Send forth Thy spirit and they shall be created.


And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.


Let Us Pray.


O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


After Reading the Holy Scriptures

LET me not, 0 Lord, be puffed up with worldly wisdom, which passes away, but grant me that love which never abates, that I may not choose to know anything among men but Jesus, and Him crucified. (1 Cor. 13:8; 2:2.)

I pray Thee, loving Jesus that as Thou hast graciously given me to drink in with delight the words of Thy knowledge, so Thou would mercifully grant me to attain one day to Thee, the fountain of all Wisdom and to appear forever before Thy face. Amen. 
(Prayer of St. Bede the Venerable.)




Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Holy Are Your Ways


Help me to understand, Lord,
that what counts is not the road traveled,
but simply putting my hand in yours
and journeying side by side with you, Lord Jesus
0 you who are the joy of my journey
and also the repose in the Father's home!
Holy, holy is the Lord, for eternal is his love.

Amen.
Peace of Christ to ALL

Monday, May 01, 2006

Saint Joseph the Worker


What emanates from the figure of Saint Joseph is faith. Joseph of Nazareth is a "just man" because he totally "lives by faith." He is holy because his faith is truly heroic.

Sacred Scripture says little of him. It does not record even one word spoken by Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth. And yet, even without words, he shows the depth of his faith, his greatness.

Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God.

We see how the word of the Living God penetrates deeply into the soul of that man, that just man. And we, do we know how to listen to the word of God? Do we know how to absorb it into the depths of our human personalities? Do we open our conscience in the presence of this word?

Pope John Paul II from Daily Meditations

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Prayer to Saint Joseph for the Spirit of Work

Glorious Saint Joseph,
model of all who pass their life in labor,
obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit
of penance to atone for my many sins;
to work conscientiously,
putting the call of duty above my own inclinations;
to work with gratitude and joy,
considering it an honor to use and develop by my labor
the gifts I have received from God;
to work with order,
peace, moderation and patience,
without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties.

Help me to work, above all,
with purity of intention
and with detachment from self,
having always before my eyes
the hour of death and the accounting
which I must render of time lost,
talents wasted, good omitted,
and vain complacency in success,
which is so fatal to the work of God.
All for Jesus, all for Mary,
all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph!
This shall be my watchword in life and in death.

Amen







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