Friday, November 28, 2008

Cardinal Newman's Prayer for the Poor Souls

Newman Reader - Verses on Various Occasions - Verse 173

Arme Seelen, PurgatoriumHELP, Lord, the souls which Thou hast made,
The souls to Thee so dear,
In prison for the debt unpaid
Of sins committed here.

Those holy souls, they suffer on,
Resign'd in heart and will,
Until Thy high behest is done,
And justice has its fill.
For daily falls, for pardon'd crime,
They joy to undergo
The shadow of Thy cross sublime,
The remnant of Thy woe.

Help, Lord, the souls which Thou hast made,
The souls to Thee so dear,
In prison for the debt unpaid
Of sins committed here.

Oh, by their patience of delay,
Their hope amid their pain,
Their sacred zeal to burn away
Disfigurement and stain;
Oh, by their fire of love, not less
In keenness than the flame,
Oh, by their very helplessness,
Oh, by Thy own great Name,

Good Jesu, help! sweet Jesu, aid
The souls to Thee most dear,
In prison for the debt unpaid
Of sins committed here.

The Oratory. 1857. (From:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Novena in Honor of The Holy Spirit


V. Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.


O God, Who by the Light of the Holy Spirit, didst instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that in the same Spirit we may be truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Act of Contrition

"O God be merciful to me as sinner." I am sincerely sorry for all the sins, faults, and infidelities of my life because they offend thee, my chief Benefactor and sovereign Good. I firmly resolve by the grace of the Holy Spirit to sin no more. Amen.

Prayer of Humility

O God, Who resisteth the proud and bestoweth Thy grace on the humble, grant us the virtue of true humility of which Thine only begotten Son showed to the faithful an example in Himself; that we may never provoke Thee to anger by our pride, but rather receive through humility the gift of Thy grace. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Roman Missal)


The Blessed Virgin Mary taught us how to respond to the inspiration of divine grace. When the Angel Gabriel announced to her: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee, and therefore, also, the Holy, which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" (1 Luke 1:35) Mary answered: "Be it done unto me according to Thy word" (2 Luke 1:36)


PfingstenO Divine Redeemer, Who said: "I will ask the Father, and He will grant you another Advocate to be with you for all time, the Spirit of Truth" (1 John 14:16) I consecrate myself to the eternal Spirit of God.
Aspiration of love, proceeding from the Father and the Son, alert me to be ever aware of Thy indwelling; stimulate the eyesight of my soul to discern the unfailing light of divine grace. Adorable Holy Spirit, have compassion on the dullness of my mind and the weakness of my will. Illuminate and strengthen me to trample on temptation.
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, the prevision to look to my last end by cooperating now with Thy holy inspirations - all for the greater honor and glory of God; the Spirit of Understanding to deepen my grasp of eternal truths; the Spirit of Counsel to prudently choose the best way of pleasing God; the Spirit of Fortitude to stand up fearlessly in opposition to evil; the Spirit of Knowledge - self-Inspection regarding my fidelity to God's laws and the duties of my state in life; the Spirit of Piety to enable me to prefer my Divine Lover and His Will to earthly creatures; the Spirit of Fear of the Lord to realize the folly and ingratitude of defying my Lord and my God.
Kneeling before Thee, O Divine Consoler, let me press to my heart the pierced feet of Jesus, look into His open side and trust in His Precious Blood channeled to my soul through the Sacraments.
O Holy Spirit enfold all mankind with Thy Sevenfold Gifts. Keep me faithful unto death that I may win the crown of life. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be, etc.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit; Act of Contrition; Prayer for Humility.


"... Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for the space of forty days; and was tempted by the devil." (1 Luke 4:1,2) The loving solicitude of our Father in heaven assures us: "My grace is sufficient for thee." We are never tempted beyond our strength; on the contrary, God permits us to grow stronger by resisting temptation. "... for power is made perfect in infirmity" (St. Paul, Cor. 12:9) When tempted say: "My Jesus mercy!" (300 Days Indulgence) "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." (300 days indulgence) "Mother of Mercy, pray for us." (300 days indulgence)

Act of Concecration


Prayer to the Holy Spirit; Act of Contrition; Prayer for Humility.


To resist the first advances of temptation, recall to mind the warning of the Holy Spirit: "Know you not, that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? But if any man violate the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which you are." (1 Cor. 3:16) "In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin." Praise, adoration, thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit of God for His sublime act of love manifested in the Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Act of Consecration


Prayer to the Holy Spirit; Act of Contrition; Prayer for Humility.


"The Spirit of God made me and the breath of the Almighty gave me life." (Job 33:4) We owe every good thought and deed to His loving care. St. Paul teaches us that we are not capable of thinking, willing of doing anything profitable for salvation without a divine and supernatural influence. Often reflect that we are not "sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as ourselves; but our sufficiency if from God." (2 Cor. 3:5)

Act of Consecration.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit; Act of Contrition; Prayer for Humility.


Keep in mind that this same Holy Spirit knocks at the door of your heart. How will you respond? "Today if you hear His Voice harden not your hearts." Ponder well that the author of sanctifying grace, which renders you pleasing to God, is the Holy Spirit. In fact, He Himself is communicated to the soul in justification. "The Charity of God is poured forth in our souls by the Holy Spirit, Who is given to us." (Rom. 5:5) Praise, adoration and thanksgiving be to the Holy Spirit of God who sanctifies us to produce from His seven gifts the divine fruits of charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity.

Act of Consecration.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit; Act of Contrition; Prayer for Humility.


St. Paul teaches: "No man can say the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Spirit." (1 Cor. 12:3) If you cannot even pronounce the Holy Name without the inspiration of the Spirit of love, how can we make any progress in the spiritual life without His constant aid? "He saved us by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5) What deep consolation our Saviour gave to his disciples shortly before ascending to heaven: "It is expedient to you that I go: for it I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7) Praise, adoration and thanksgiving be to the Holy Spirit, who by descending upon the apostles and disciples created Pentecostal fires, vitalized the infallible Church, by whose teaching we learn eternal truths, by whose sacraments we receive grace to guide us to heaven.

Act of Consecration.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit; Act of Contrition; Prayer for Humility.


Conviction comes from thinking; - beg the Holy Spirit to enlighten, fortify, and guide you. "Whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God." (Rom. 8:14) To reach our goal, we must clearly know our goal. This knowledge comes to us by humbly invoking the Holy Spirit to firmly believe what God has revealed and promised: "He that cometh to God, must believe that He is, and is a rewarder to them that seek Him." (Heb. 11:6) Praise, adoration and thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit for the priceless gift of faith bestowed on me in Baptism whereby He made me an adopted child of God, filled my soul with sanctifying grace and imparted to me the supernatural virtues of faith, hope and charity.

Act of Consecration.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit; Act of Contrition; Prayer for Humility.


Even though blinded by pride; often depressed and confused by dark clouds of trial and suffering; or carried away by flashes of joy, be recollected and invoke the Holy Spirit of Divine Love to hear our prayer. "The Spirit breatheth where He will; and thou hearest His voice, but thou knowest not whence He cometh and wither He goeth." (John 3:8) "Be penitent, therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out." (Acts 3:19) "Create a clean heart in me, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy face; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and strengthen me with a perfect spirit." (Ps. 12, 13, 14)

Act of Consecration.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit; Act of Contrition; Prayer for Humility.


In His boundless love for me, the Holy Spirit has created me a rational creature and by Baptism He made me a child of God and give me a title to heaven. "The Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the children of God." (Rom 8:16) May we never lose sight of our sublime destiny and its corresponding obligations.
No matter how heavy our cross, the yoke becomes sweet, the burden light, the outlook happy and consoling if we appreciate the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but justice, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 14:17) Sweet Mother of God, spouse of the Spirit of divine love, pray for me. Praise, adoration and thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit Who in the sacrament of confirmation imparted a character on my soul and made me a soldier of Jesus Christ.

Act of Consecration.

Nihil Obstat: Vincent Bartuska, J.C.D. - Imprimatur: Charles F. Buddy, Bishop of San Diego - March 25, 1965. - Apostolate of Christian Action, P.O. Box 24, Fresno, California 93707

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Te Deum laudámus

Sanctissima TrinitasTo thee, our God, be praise! We acknowledge thee as Lord. In thee the whole earth worships its ever-living Father. All the angels cry to thee, and heaven and all its mighty Powers; the Cherubim and Seraphim continually cry aloud: Holy, holy, holy art thou, Lord God of hosts; Thy sovereign glory fills all heaven and earth. The triumphant band of the Apostles, the prophets, that noble company, the while-robed throng of Martyrs, all sing thy praise. Throughout the world holy Church proclaims thee, the Father, of majesty unbounded; Thy worshipful, true, and only Son; and the Holy Spirit who befriends us. Thou, Christ, art king of glory, Thou, the Father's everliving Son, to set man free thou tookest our flesh, not shrinking from the Virgin's womb. Thou hast conquered the pangs of death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Thou sittest at the right hand of God, amid thy Father's glory. We believe that thou wilt come and judge the world. Help us, then, we entreat thee; help thy servants whom thou hast ransomed with thy precious blood. Cause them to be numbered with thy saints in everlasting glory. Save thy people, Lord, and bless thy heritage, and govern them, and evermore uphold them. Day by day we bless thee, and praise thy name for ever, world without end. Lord, be pleased to keep us this day from all sin. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. Lord, let thy mercy rest upon us, who put all our trust in thee. In thee, Lord, is my hope; let me never be put to confusion. Amen.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Main Obstacle to Great Sanctity and How to Overcome It

The Crucified and Humanity ReconciledThe words of Christ, "Without Me you can do nothing", imply that all the work is done by Him. What then, prevents you from 'tying up' with this tremendous power, from being an effective instrument in the competent hands of such omnipotence? It is your own will!
God gives the grace necessary for doing all He asks of us. Due to unwillingness to cooperate on our part, many graces are merely sufficient. God will not sanctify me against my will, but He can change my stubborn resistance, if I let Him. He can change my subjective thinking - this is the way I feel about it, therefore that's the way it is - into a desire to listen to Him. Subjective thinking can keep God from reaching me with simple truths about my obstructions to grace. By giving God permission I can be stripped of my objections to His taking over, and clothed with a dynamic desire to reach Him.
God has a plan to sanctify us through the action of grace in our souls. He can make us great saints, if we let Him. We know that He loves us and wants to give us eternal life, yet we do not seem to act that way. On taking thought, we should come to the conclusion that the way out of the dilemma is to give Him permission and then determine to accept everything that happens to me. Pius XII said (in Mediator Dei) that all Christians are victim souls, and he suggests that we offer ourselves to God at the offertory of the Mass. Or, we can make a deep commitment to this permission in the privacy of our heart.
Compose a short prayer giving God permission to change you, so that you will more readily respond to grace in accepting what each moment brings.
Compose a short prayer giving God permission so to purify you that you can become an effective channel of grace by fully accepting His plan for you and for the world. (Do not use words like martyr, victim, etc.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Prayer for Holy Mother Church

Lourdes - La GrotteIN UNION with the SORROWFUL and Immaculate Heart of Mary we hail and adore the Holy Wound of Thy right Hand, O Dearest Jesus, and in this wound we place The Poor SOULS IN PURGATORY AND all the Priests of Thy Holy Church. Each time they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass give them the Fire of Thy Divine LOVE that they may give it, in turn, to the souls entrusted to them. GLORY be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit! Amen!

We hail and adore the Holy Wound of Thy left Hand, and in this Wound we give to Thee THE POOR SOULS IN PURGATORY AND all those in error and nonbelievers, those poorest of the poor who don't know Thee. For the sake of these souls, O Dearest Jesus, send many good workers to Thy vineyards, that they all may find their way to Thy Most Sacred Heart. GLORY be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit! Amen!

We hail and adore the Holy Wounds of Thy Holy Feet, and in these wounds we give Thee the hardened sinners, who love the world more than Thee, especially those who must die today. O Dearest Jesus, don't let Thy Precious BLOOD be lost to them. GLORY be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit Amen.

We hail and adore the Holy Wounds of Thy Most Sacred HEAD, and in these Wounds we give Thee THE POOR SOULS IN PURGATORY AND the enemies of Holy Mother Church, all those who today still make bloody persecutions on Thy Mystical Body. We PRAY Thee, O Dearest Jesus, convert them, summon them, as Thou didst summon Saul to Paul, that there may soon be one Flock and one Shepherd. GLORY be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit! Amen!

We hail and adore the Wound of Thy Most Sacred Heart, and in this Wound we give Thee THE POOR SOULS IN PURGATORY, our souls and all for whom Thou wishest us to pray, especially all the suffering and oppressed, all the persecuted and abandoned. Grant to them all, O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Light and Thy Grace. Fill all of us with Thy LOVE and Thy true PEACE. GLORY be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit! Amen. Heavenly Father, through the SORROWFUL and Immaculate Heart of Mary we offer Thee Thy most-LOVED Son and ourselves with Him, in Him, and through Him completely according to His intentions and in the name of, for and from all creatures from the beginning to the end of the world. Amen!

The Healing Flame of Love - Acceptance

Via Crucis - GolgothaIn these modern times many people are suffering from severe spiritual malnutrition. Disquiet, unrest and anxiety are the background of our every day problems. Everyone searches for a solution but finds it difficult to get proper answers. The great lacuna of our age is the inability of people in trouble - moral, psychological and spiritual - to find someone who can give answers, compassion, understanding and proper love (giving Christ). In this great dilemma a natural approach can give significant results. Because it is a simple remedy, because it does not preach yet can give a satisfactory result, "acceptance" can be the answer to the universal cry of distress - "Why is this happening to me?"
What is acceptance? It is simply accepting what is happening to me or what has happened to me. Note that it is not accepting what I am afraid is going to happen. Just plain ordinary acceptance of all life's difficulties, frustrations and heartaches can bring peace of mind to anyone who will try it. Though it sounds simple, it has a very firm and deep foundation consisting of three parts. If a person accepts what is happening to him he is living in reality. Psychologically, this is good. Through this acceptance he is to that extent cooperating with God's plan for him. This too is good, spiritually. Thirdly, suffering willingly accepted purifies the soul, bringing it closer to God. Hence, the 'magic' of acceptance is available to every traveler to eternity - believer and non-believer, alike.
There are many things that acceptance can mean or do. It can reorient our life by changing our viewpoint. After terminating our endless worrying over what might happen, it can be a great tranquilizer. It can clear our minds of much useless pondering, allowing more constructive ideas to occupy our mind. If we have been resisting God, acceptance can pull greater help from Him. My acceptance of another person in all his unlovableness can be the first step in loving him properly as my neighbor and enabling God to reach him. Acceptance can strengthen the person, if there is weakness in carrying everyday burdens.
But now the question of accepting evil arises. What to do about my alcoholic or unfaithful husband, the defection of a member of my family, evil situations that are constantly coming to my attention? We must believe that evil would not be allowed by God if He could not get good from it. So we accept the fact of evil in our particular situation but not the evil itself. God posits each situation to obtain a particular result. If there is complete non-acceptance this result is not forth coming, hence a continuation of the situation. It is important to understand therefore, that the good obtainable - the result desired by God - is in great measure dependent on the degree of acceptance of the matter on someone's part.
As I gain the ability to accept my own trials and the trials and sins of others I will obtain the grace to accept the great unrest, injustice and suffering in the world. To the extent that I am accepting the world just as it is, I am cooperating with God in His plan for the world. This will help to change the world's suffering into purification, which will help bring peace to the world.
We marvel at Satan's power over the mind and body of Christ in His passion. Christ allowed the evil of the whole world to inundate Him. He accepted it. This was part of His passion necessary to overcome the world, to redeem it from sin. Should we be surprised if, following Christ, the mystical body is almost overwhelmed by the satanic power of evil temptation? There will be many, realizing that it is Christ Who is suffering in us, who will resist to an heroic degree the pressure of evil in these latter days. We can be so strongly oriented by the depth of our acceptance of almost unreasonable psychological suffering that we may be allowed to participate in God's overthrow of this worlds' evil. Probably never again in time will there be such a great opportunity to do so much for the world with God's help and direction. Not by my own feeble efforts, but by giving myself completely to God's will by acceptance and circumstance, through docility to the Holy Spirit. The stakes are high - .

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Challenge of Curcifixion

Jesus Christ CrucifiedChrist has said that those who want to win heaven must deny themselves, must take up their cross daily and follow Him. This following of Christ - where does it lead? it leads to a crucifixion that can sanctify us very quickly and enable us to help others on the way to salvation. Pius XII has said very strongly "... we (the faithful) must undergo with Christ a mystical death on the cross so that we can apply to ourselves the words of St. Paul - 'With Christ I am nailed to the cross.'"
This crucifixion is not a station of the cross to be merely looked at or meditated upon - it mus be experiences. We know well enough what crucifixion meant for Christ. What can it be for us in this modern civilization? In this day and age if can mean that, believing in God's love, we allow ourselves to be willingly placed by providence in an arranged situation or trial, where we are as unable to help or defend ourselves or to remedy the situation as Christ allowed Himself to be on the cross. It can be having our heart broken, letting our own will and its plans vanish, so that it can be remade into a likeness of Christ's own Heart, through which life and love flow.
This rules out self-determination, the modern defense mechanism against God's persistent pursuit of us. If we are to be guided by the Holy Spirit we must present Him with a person willing to be guided. This is hard to come by unless we receive the grace necessary to humble ourselves to a real experience of our very nothingness.
Christ's victory of redemption was accomplished in most part by His passion in the garden. He had allowed Himself to be placed in such a situation that the psychological pressure an His human soul to adhere to His own divine Will was beyond our imaginings. This type of suffering can be ours in varying degrees. If the terminal work of our purification, usually reserved for Purgatory, is applied to us in this life, it can lead to a very potent encounter with Christ and strongly point us to the heights. To attain such a reorientation in such a relatively short time requires a special set-up. We are put under the extreme pressure of adverse circumstances specifically designed to make us accept freely what is happening to us. It can be a real wound of crucifixion. The process is somewhat similar to pressure applied to a glued wood joint, over a period of time, to form a solid bond. The suffering entailed can be so penetrating that it seems to destroy us, yet it an be the short cut that leads to His presence and ability to do redemptive work. When die pressure is removed you may be in the region of beginning contemplation.
St. Paul's conversion shows what can happen when there is full cooperation with grace - when God speaks to the soul in unmistakable accents, with a proper response. Before his conversion his spiritual activity was simply tremendous, but he was doing no supernatural work - in fact he was destroying God's work. During those few moments of God's special action he was almost inert physically, but his will's acceptance of God's desires was such a concatenation of grace that he was thoroughly reoriented. If he had qualified his acceptance by distracting thoughts about his future, the result would have been impaired. Note that he accepted the situation as it was presented and gave God full permission to act. This incident in his life merits deep study.
Let us now conjecture what might happen if a person were, in God's providence to cooperate with grace and desire to give himself very generously to the work of saving souls. (A total gift of self, a deep commitment in fully embracing God's will.) We have said that supernatural activity over a period of time is supernatural work, that is, it has supernatural value.His lifetime would provide a definite supernatural result. If God took hi at his word, He could arrange to have him produce this lifetime output in a few years. The remaining years would then be at an increased output which could be applied to others.Of course, the process would entail suffering - crucifixion probably - because the whole personality would be changed. (See what a different man Paul was from Saul.)
He wold probably be very conscious of God's power working in him, the psychological pressures effecting their end. With victory would come Christ's mind as his own. The great end result could be that he would be enabled to love God so much, do His will so perfectly, be so completely His instrument as a channel of grace that divine providential love would be able freely to flow over the whole world and so neutralize the prevalent hate and evil; that other persons would be affected by the leaven so such an extent that the Heart of Christ would be consoled an He would have pity on us poor sinners.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ways to Become a More Effective Instrument of God's Love in Redemptive Work

Continued from "The Healing Flame of Love", Part 1

Mary Magdalene with Christ1. The value of great desires.

Great desires to do things for Christ can be a great stimulant in letting us be molded into the person that can do those great things. There is great spiritual strength in collective desires. Desires can lead to increased cooperation with grace. Lack of these desires can limit our sanctity to mediocrity. If we desire great things we can say that we helped bring them about.
2. "Giving in" to God.
Increased union with God means progressive detachment from the things of this earth. This detachment can be accomplished by giving in to God every time He asks. He has a way He wants us to follow in order to do the special work assigned to our life. It may not coincide with our own idea of what is to be done or the preparation for it. We must realize that if the possession of God is so exalted, we may be asked to give up our most cherished ideas or possessions to attain it.
3. Giving God permission to sanctify us.
God has given each one of us a task; the work of attaining eternal salvation. He always gives the help, the grace necessary for any task He imposes. Due to our unwillingness to cooperate many graces are merely sufficient. If we give Him permission He can work more easily in us without forcing our free will.
4. Doing things with great love.
A perfect act of love of God has very great force - it can forgive mortal sin, subdue evil and insure future cooperation with grace. The love of neighbor, too, can be very powerful. If this is a proper love we give Christ, we give the Way, the Life, and the Truth. Therefore we give the means of salvation to others.
5. Knowing how grace acts. (See Section 2)
If we really believe that of ourselves we can do nothing to obtain eternal life, we must believe that a means to obtain it has been provided by God. This means is grace. If it is common sense to ascertain facts and then act on them, it is certainly wisdom to understand grace and to cooperate with it.
6. Habitual union of wills.
If there is an habitual union of our will with God's will, it is easier for Him to "lead us around", that is, cooperate with His grace and be led by His Spirit. If you have ever tried to make an animal do what it does not want to do you know how exasperating it can be. Likewise, in respecting our free will God has to use many and varied stratagems to get us to do the things He wants done. If we are docile and learn to take our cues from circumstances, from hints of various kinds, from needs and desires of others, etc. that God arranges He can get us sanctified and doing His work with lots less fuss, struggle and wasted energy.
7. Embracing the substance that is God's will in very circumstance.
Each moment of our life offers us a circumstance planned by God. The only worth it has is the importance He places on it. Therefore we should look beyond, or into, each situation, try to see its why and wherefore and understand its relation to God. In every event in our life we should see God's love that arranged it, His will that brought it into being and the grace that earns eternal life through it.
In any difficult or trying situation we should therefore not only accept, but embrace it. Suppose that you are confronted with such a seemingly intolerable situation that you are completely nonplussed. The usual reactions are to try to lessen the effect, to circumvent it, to change it, or to avert it entirely. But, if you immediately embrace the Will that is giving you this trial, you receive the physical help (positing continued cooperation) to accept or accomplish. Then God can either remove the difficulty or continue it. In this way there is no effort on your part to thwart God's designs.
8. The tremendous power of God that is available to me.
"I am nothing and can do nothing of myself", is one of the truths of the Catholic faith. Yet there is a tremendous reservoir of power available to me and dependent on only a relatively small action on my part (St. Paul calls it the part that is wanting). God has unheard of plans ready for the fulfillment of man's destiny. He is waiting, as it were, for man to take the initiative in helping himself and all mankind. The only necessary condition is that it be synchronized with the Will that is this power. A tremendous example is Moses, who in his weakness, could carry out the exodus.
Each moment posits a situation with a grace that has staggering possibilities. Cooperation with the Supreme Will can materialize plans beyond our fondest dreams.
9. Consecration to Our Lady.
In our natural growth God has given each of us a mother to bring us to manhood in the world of reality. In the spiritual realm He has seen fit to make available a woman preeminently capable to be our mother as she is the true spouse of the Holy Spirit. She always does her best for each one of us, contending with our spirit of worldly independence and self determination. If we choose, we can place ourselves more fully under her most wise guidance. This will enable her to more easily undertake her duties towards us, which our perverse will might otherwise resent, giving us lessons in humility, patience, love, etc., that might have remained unlearned. As we progress spiritually she will introduce us into heavenly society, especially arranging ways for us to become more fully acquainted with he divine Son.
A quotation from St. Louis de Montfort will suffice to explain our Blessed Mother's great power. "But the power of Mary over all the devils will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lay his snares against her heel; that is to say, her humble slaves and her poor children whom she will raise up to make war against him. They shall be little and poor in the world's esteem, and abased before all, like the heel trodden underfoot and persecuted as the heel is by the other members of the body. But in return for this, they shall be rich in the grace of God, which Mary shall distribute to them abundantly. They shall be great and exalted before God in sanctity, superior to all other creatures by their lively zeal, and so well sustained with god's assistance that, with the humility of their heel, in union with Mary, they shall crush the head of the devil and cause Jesus Christ to triumph." (from True Devotion to Mary).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Holy Water - A Means of Spiritual Wealth

Angel with Holy WaterHoly water is a sacramental that remits venial sin. Because of the blessing attached to it, Holy Church strongly urges its use upon her children, especially when dangers threaten, such as fire, storms, sickness and other calamities. Every Catholic home always should have in it a supply of holy water.
We do not take advantage of the benefits derived from holy water.
Let us cultivate its use.
Untold spiritual wealth is concentrated in a tiny drop of blessed water.
And we give it so little thought!
Did we realize now, as we shall realize after death, the many benefits which may be derived from holy water, we would use it far more frequently, and with greater faith and reverence.
Holy water has its great power and efficacy from the prayers of the Church, which its Divine Founder always accepts with complacency.

Following are some of the petitions the priest makes to God when he blesses water.

"O God, ... grant that this creature of Thine (water) may be endowed with divine grace to drive away devils and to cast out diseases, that whatever in the houses or possessions of the faithful may be sprinkled by this water, may be freed from everything unclean, and delivered from what is hurtful... Let everything that threatens the safety or peace of the dwellers therein be banished by the sprinkling of this water; so that the health which they seek by calling upon Thy Holy Name may be guarded from all assault."

Prayers Effective

These prayers ascend to heaven each time you take holy water and sprinkle a drop either for yourself or for another, whether he be present or absent; and God's blessing descend for soul and body.

Dispel the Devil

The devil hates holy water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide in a place or near a person that is often sprinkled with this blessed water.

Do Your Dear Ones Live At a Distance?

Holy water, sprinkled with faith and piety, can move the Sacred Heart to bless your loved ones and protect them from all harm of soul and body. When worry and fear take possession of your heart, hasten to your holy water font, and give your dear ones the benefit of the Church's prayers.

The Holy Souls Long For It

Only in Purgatory can one understand how ardently a poor soul longs for holy water. If we desire to make a host of intercessors for ourselves, let us try to realize now some of their yearnings, and never forget them at the holy water font. The holy souls nearest to Heaven may need the sprinkling of only one drop to relieve their pining souls.

Remits Venial Sins

Because holy water is one of the Church's sacramentals, it remits venial sin. Keep your soul beautifully pure in God's sight by making the Sign of the Cross carefully while saying;

"By this holy water and by Thy Precious Blood wash away my sins, O Lord."

Imprimatur: +Albert G. Meyer, Archbishop of Milwaukee, Jan. 13, 1958
Apostolate of Christian Action, P.O. Box 24, Fresno, California 93707

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mary Ward, Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1585-1645)

Mary WardMary Ward, Foundress of the Institute B.V.M. born in England 1585, forced to leave her beloved country because of her faith, repaired first to Flanders and then to Rome. She felt inspired to found a new type of religious life, without papal enclosure, governed by one Superior General, in which women consecrated to God by the three vows could pursue good works and promote the return of England to the faith. Mary founded houses in Flanders, England, Germany, Austria, Italy, Rome itself, under the eye of Pope Urban VIII. She laboured and suffered much for her congregation bearing all her sufferings with joy. She died in England in 1645.
His Eminence, Cardinal Bourne wrote in 1921: - "I feel it a duty of gratitude to recall continually to the Catholics of England, and indeed of the whole United Kingdom, as well as to all the teaching orders of Religious women throughout the world that the very existence of the modern educational and charitable congregations, such as we know them was made possible by the supernatural foresight, the heroic perseverance, and sufferings of Mary Ward. She waged the battle to the point of apparent defeat, of which they are reaping the victory. To no one after their own special founders do they owe greater gratitude than to Mary Ward."

Prayer for Beatification

O heavenly Father, Almighty God, I offer up to Thee this day all the holy Masses said throughout the whole Catholic world, to obtain the grace that the Servant of God, Mary Ward, may be publicly acknowledged worthy of Beatification. O Jesus, deign soon to glorify Thy humble servant. Amen.

We grant an indulgence of 200 days to be gained once a day by all who devoutly recite the above prayer. - Francis Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, May 22nd, 1928

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Healing Flame of Love

Herz Jesu IkoneHave you been disappointed in love? Alas, many people have. Even the great Saint Teresa complained that God had few friends because He treated them so roughly. (I'll bet she paid for this!) Many are frustrated in their hopes and dreams of an ideal love; disillusioned after a few years of married life; still unsatisfied after the endless pursuit of the pleasure they call love.
But, if God is love, our natural idea of love must of necessity be elevated if we are to be oriented to an eternal life of love. To many in religion, "vocation" was a story of falling in love with God. What dreams of peace and great conquests of souls! Alas, after many years of struggling, the heights look too chilly for climbing; the discomfort of the effort is seemingly out of proportion to what we are to get out of it.
We had fallen in love with God, I say, but now He does not seem to give us a feeling of being loved in return. He does not seem to speak to us to answer either our questions or our pleas for help. He must have forgotten all about us or there would be more communication between us. So we kind of sulk and miss the great significance of encountering God in the staggering possibilities that grace presents to us at each moment.
But, Christ has said "Behold this Heart which loves men so much". Do we really believe this? If we did, our eyes would sparkle, our hearts would be aflame and love would flow from our fingertips. God does speak to us but we must study and watch closely if we are to learn His language.
I must learn to understand what God wants of me by effects - what happens when I do this, when I ask for that. I must strive to penetrate the arrangement of circumstances, to see in each situation a setup for perfect success - or perfect failure. No, He does not seem to speak to me, but He does, though communication is below the level of consciousness - and this is where faith comes in. Many times He uses people to give answers - to push you when you need a push, a kind word when you need help. (You may be the instrument to bring someone into line, so take care that it is done with charity). Faith puts Him right near me when I am disposed to notice Him.
There are fabulous graces available to a person disappointed in love, for one of the wounds of crucifixion is to the heart. Crucifixion is following Christ and the short cut to sanctity.


God does have a plan - to save each one of us and to save th world. My life is not just a hit-or-miss business; there is a way planned out for me that will bring me to heaven. This is for everyone. He does not argue with us if we choose to deviate, but He gives us plenty of signals to make us stop and listen to Him. Just look around and see (in the various kinds of suffering) how hard He has to hit, yet people still will not listen.
Let us start with the fact that here is sufficient grace for all men to be saved (Christ redeemed all men). Therefore there is enough potential supernatural (not merely spiritual) energy available to save the world, if it is put to work. (Work is energy applied over a period of time.) Note that the activity must be supernatural, that is, directed by the will to God. The way to put it to work is to cooperate with God's will, God's plan to save the world. A reservoir can be a potential supply of water for a city. It is a supply, if there is a pipeline.
The Church is God's plan for the world. He works in an orderly way. Salvation is accomplished through the channels set up, that is, the Church. We can supply living water by willing to receive and transmit grace, and so give that extra something that St. Paul said was lacking. If there is not enough living water flowing - not enough supernatural work being done - we should endeavor to find out how we can increase our output.
The following sections endeavor to point out the possibilities.


a. Grace is completely available.
There is not just one thing to do at each moment, or I fail to do God's will; there are a multitude of actions presented to me by grace. Different ways to act are as available as different items in a supermarket - yet appointed for my needs with great care.
b. Grace gives physical ability to do the things necessary for salvation.
Example: You cannot put your hand in a fire and hold it there. St. Joan of Arc could put her whole body in a fire because God desired it. She was given the ability through grace.
c. Cooperation with grace puts me in touch with a tremendous power. If we believe that we are and can do nothing, we must believe that here is a power that can do everything. This power is, of course, God. Cooperation with His ideas, acceptance of His plans can make the power available.
Example: You cannot push a freight train, yet a small movement of the throttle and the whole train starts to move.
d. Grace operates below the level of consciousness.
Wonderful things - like the operation of grace, God speaking to us, the Spirit moving us, etc. - are continually causing changes in our soul. We are unaware either of their action or their significance.
Example: Consider what happens in baptism, etc., or what happened when the prodigal son said, "I will return..."
e. God will not sanctify me against my will, but He can change my will to make it agree with His desires.
f. Grace is a receiving.
The really important thing to understand about grace is that we receive it as a gift. We do not earn it or receive it because we seem to have done something to deserve it. If we are at all interested in arriving at a high degree of prayer (in order to increase our output) we must appreciate this function if grace, for in contemplation our activity is a receiving.


One of the great puzzles for anyone seeking to make progress in the spiritual life is in knowing God's will. "How do I know right now what God wants me to do?" In answer, I would say that 90% of your questions can be answered by your state in life. The other 10% are rather unpredictable, because it is in this area that God can arrange special circumstances that will orient you, reorient you, change your life etc. tc., in accordance with His plans, His providence. The way you accept, fight, or are indifferent to this orientation can be significant in your movement towards or away from God.
Let us take another view of it. In order to be saved, we have to follow God's will. In order to follow God's will we have to know what to do. He has to let us know what to do without forcing the action on me. (I have a will free to accept or reject). To do this He uses a vehicle. For example, He uses the vehicle of a hen to give us fresh eggs. The hen can be sick, well or lame, yet the egg can be a good. one. Sickness, failure, suffering can be a vehicle that brings the underlying, all-important will. Or, consider a broker scanning a ticker tape. Ordinary figures on a strip ofpaper being fed to him moment by moment engender all kinds of ideas about buying or selling, etc. So, too, God is showing us a multiplicity of things to do through grace, yet not forcing them on us.
One way of becoming more completely in accord with God and His will is to try often to put oneself in agreement with everything that is happening up to the ever-advancing 'now'. If there is anything in the world of events or in your interior thoughts that fails of a complete rapprochement with God - Who directly wills or permits these things - it is an indication that your will is not in accord with Divine Wisdom. Over a period of time obstacles to grace can thus be brought into spiritual focus and if there is willingness to remove them the ability will be forthcoming. This can be very effective in regard to acceptance of events of life that affect your personally.
Again, completely disassociate yourself from the work you do (teaching, selling, nursing etc.) insofar as it is your livelihood. Then, re assimilate it objectively as the means whereby God is sanctifying you. In this way when things occur that are difficult to reconcile with your work as a career, they can be associated with your sanctification and seen for what they are.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Be Kind !

Misericordiam voloBe kind - for oh! a kind word spoken
To those whose hearts are well-nigh broken
Shall never pass away.
That kind word is a secret treasure
Whose recompense, beyond all measure,
Waits the great reckoning day.

Be kind, be kind unto thy brother,
The love thou wouldst have from another
Do thou thyself impart.
The kind deed wrought shall pass oh! never,
Its blessed fruit remains for ever
Deep in the SACRED HEART.

Thy kindly word again shall greet thee,
When Jesus shall come forth to meet thee,
When thou His Face shalt see.
The HEART OF JESUS has remembered;
"The kindness", He will say, "thou'st rendered
Was rendered unto Me".

E. Aubry, Murray St., New York
From the Voice of the Sacred Heart

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

St. Philomena, Virgin, Martyr and Wonder Worker

Pray to St. Philomena, whatever you ask from Her She will obtain for you. (Pope Gregory XVI)

"To Philomena, nothing is refused" - Blessed Virgin Mary

Saint Philomena
O Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, whom God glorifies by so many miracles, whom the Vicar of Jesus Christ has named the Protectress of The Living Rosary and the Children of Mary, manifest, more and more plainly from the heights of Heaven, that a voice holy as thine cannot be denied and that we have the right to rely upon thine aid. Obtain for us the grace to be faithful to Jesus Christ, even to death. Amen.

After 15 hundred years of obscurity in the catacombs, the precious relics of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, were discovered on May 25th, feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, in 1802. Within 35 years of her discovery this young Grecian Princess was raised to the altars and proclaimed the Wonder-Worker of the 19th century, so numerous and striking were the miracles obtained through her powerful intercession. Shrines, altars and monuments were erected world wide in honor of St. Philomena, Powerful with God!

While to other Saints is granted the power of helping us in one or another necessity, Saint Philomena has been granted the power of helping us in every necessity, both spiritual and temporal. Let us turn to her with great confidence, love and faith. She is the 'beloved daughter' of Jesus and Mary to whom nothing is refused.
"My children, St. Philomena, has great power with God. Her virginity and generosity in embracing her heroic martyrdom has rendered her so agreeable to God that He will never refuse her anything that she asks for us." (St. John Vianney (Curé of Ars)
"Philomena is a great Saint." (Pope Leo XII)
"Have full confidence in this great Saint, she will obtain for you all that you ask." (Ven. Pauline Jaricot)
"Our accursed enemy is this great Virgin and Martyr, St. Philomena, Devotion to her is a new and terrible warfare to hell." (devils during exorcism)

Litany of St. Philomena
(Composed by St. John Vianney)

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins,
St. Philomena,
St. Philomena, filled with the most abundant graces from your very birth,
St. Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary,
St. Philomena, model of Virgins,
St. Philomena, temple of the most perfect humility,
St. Philomena, inflamed with zeal for the Glory of God,
St. Philomena, victim of the love of Jesus,
St. Philomena, example of strength and perseverance,
St. Philomena, invincible champion of chastity,
St. Philomena, mirror of the most heroic virtues,
St. Philomena, firm and intrepid in the face of torments,
St. Philomena, scourged like your Divine Spouse,
St. Philomena, pierced by a shower of arrows,
St. Philomena, consoled by the Mother of God, when in chains,
St. Philomena, cured miraculously in prison,
St. Philomena, comforted by angels in your torments,
St. Philomena, who preferred torments and death to the splendors of a throne,
St. Philomena, who converted the witnesses of your martyrdom,
St. Philomena, who wore out the fury of your executioners,
St. Philomena, protectress of the innocent,
St. Philomena, patron of youth,
St. Philomena, refuge of the unfortunate,
St. Philomena, health of the sick and the weak,
St. Philomena, new light of the church militant,
St. Philomena, who confounds the impiety of the world,
St. Philomena, who stimulates the faith and courage of the faithful,
St. Philomena, whose name is glorified in Heaven and feared in Hell,
St. Philomena, made illustrious by the most striking miracles,
St. Philomena, all powerful with God,
St. Philomena, who reigns in glory.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V.) Pray of us, Great St. Philomena,
R.) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

We implore Thee, O Lord, by the intercession of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, who was ever most pleasing to Thy eyes by reason of her eminent purity and the practice of all the virtues, pardon us our sins and grant us all the graces we need (and name any special grace you may require). Amen.

Novena to St. Philomena

O great St. Philomena, glorious Virgin and Martyr, wonder-worker of our age, I return most fervent thanks to God for the miraculous gifts bestowed on thee, and beseech thee to impart to me a share in the graces and blessings of which thou hast been the channel to so many souls. Through the heroic fortitude with which thou didst confront the fury of tyrants and brave the frowns of the mighty rather than swerve from thy allegiance to the King of Heaven, obtain for me purity of body and soul, purity of heart and desire, purity of thought and affection.
Through thy patience under multiplied sufferings, obtain for me a submissive acceptance of all the afflictions it may please God to send me and as thou didst miraculously escape unhurt from the waters of the Tiber, into which thou wert cast by order of thy persecutor, so may I pass through the waters of tribulation without detriment to my soul. In addition to these favors, obtain for me, O faithful spouse of Jesus, the particular intention I earnestly recommend to thee at this moment. O pure Virgin and holy Martyr, deign to cast a look of pity from Heaven on thy devoted servant, comfort me in affliction, assist me in danger, above all come to my aid in the hour of death. Watch over the interests of the Church of God, pray for its exaltation and prosperity, the extension of the faith, for the Sovereign Pontiff, for the clergy, for the perseverance of the just, the conversion of sinners, and the relief of the souls in purgatory, especially those dear to me. O great Saint, whose triumph we celebrate on earth, intercede for me, that I may one day behold the crown of glory bestowed on thee in Heaven, and eternally bless Him who so liberally rewards for all eternity the sufferings endured for His love during this short life. Amen.


O most pure Virgin, glorious Martyr, St. Philomena, whom God in His eternal power has revealed to the world in these unhappy days in order to revive the faith, sustain the hope and enkindle the charity of Christian souls, behold me prostate at thy feet. Deign, O Virgin, full of goodness and kindness, to receive my humble prayers and to obtain for me that purity for which thou didst sacrifice the most alluring pleasures of the world, that strength of soul which made thee resist the most terrible attacks and that ardent love for our Lord Jesus Christ, which the most frightful torments could not extinguish in thee. So, that waring thy holy cord and imitating thee in this life, I may one day be crowned with thee in heaven. Amen.

Saint Philomena Powerful with God!

In our love for St. Philomena, we follow well the direction and example of the Roman Pontiffs:

Pope Leo XII granted permission for erection of altars and churches in honor of St. Philomena.
Pope Gregory XVI on January 30th, 1837, solemnly raised her to the altar giving full authority to her cult in the whole Catholic world and for all eternity.
"... When the representatives of the Living Rosary were prostrate at the feet of His Holiness, the auguest Head of the Church, deigned to bestow a special blessing upon the Association, under the auspices of St. Philomena, pronouncing these words: 'Now all the Living Rosary is under the protection of St. Philomena! PRAY TO ST. PHILOMENA, WHATEVER YOU ASK FROM HER SHE WILL OBTAIN FOR YOU.' (1836... Ven. Pauline Jaricot to Associates)
Pope Pius IX granted to her the glorious title: Patroness of the Children of Mary.
Pope Leo XIII raised the Confraternity of St. Philomena to an Archconfraternity and approved the cord of St. Philomena giving special privileges and indulgences to all who wear it.
Pope Saint Pius X raised the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena to a Universal Archconfraternity and named St. John Vianney its Patron. This Pope and great Saint of Holy Mother the Church solemnly declared:
"... to discredit the present decisions and declarations concerning St. Philomena as not being permanent, stable, valid and effective, necessary of obedience, and in full-effect for all eternity, proceeds from an element that is null and void and without merit of authority." (1912)

Saint Philomena, Patroness of the Children of Mary, pray for us!

Pauline-Marie Jaricot, Virg.The Living Rosary Association was founded by Pauline Jaricot in 1826, approved and indulgenced by the Holy Fathers. This devotion is principally dedicated to Saint Philomena and is one of the most excellent ways to pay her honor and win her favor. The principle intentions of the Universal Living Rosary are: THE TRIUMPH OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY and the honor of our beloved Patroness. Saint Philomena keeps nothing for herself but leads us to the feet of her Rosary Queen.

The Universal Living Rosary Association. The National Confraternity of St. Philomena. P.O. Box 1303, Dickinson, Texas 77539, USA

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pope Paul VI's Homily on St. Joseph

Given at St. Peter's on March 19, 1969 - From L'Osservatore Romano, March 27, 1969.

Dearest brethren, sons and daughters!
Today's feast invites us to meditate on Saint Joseph, Our Lord Jesus' legal and foster father. Because of that function which he performed in regard to Christ during His childhood and youth, he has been declared Patron or Protector of the Church, which continues Christ's image and mission in time and reflects them in history.
Statue at St. Joseph's Oratory, MontrealAt first sight there seems to be no material for a meditation on Joseph, for what do we know of him, apart from his name and a few events that occurred in Our Lord's childhood? The Gospel does not record a single word from him; his language is silence. It was his attention to the angelic voices which spoke in his sleep; it was that prompt and geneous obedience which was demanded from him; it was manuel labor, in the most modest and fatiguing of forms, which earned Jesus the reputation of being "the son of the carpenter" (Mt. 13:55). There is nothing else known of him, and it might well be said that he lived an unknown life, the life of a simple artisan, with no sign of personal greatness.
But that humble figure which was so near to Jesus and Mary, Christ's Virgin Mother, he who was so intimately connected with their life and so closely linked with the genealogy of the Messias as to be the promised and final representative of the descendants of David (Mt. 1, 20), is revealed as being full of significance if we look at him attentively. He is seen truly to possess those qualities which the Church attributes to him in her liturgy, which the devotion of the faithful also attributes to him, and which gave rise to a series of invocations that have taken the form of a litany.
A celebrated modern shrine of the saint, erected through the efforts of a simple lay brother, Brother André of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, at Montreal in Canada, illustrates those qualities in a series of chapels arranged behind the high altar. All the chapels are dedicated to St. Joseph in honor of the many titles which have been offered to him, such as Protector of Childhood, Protector of Spouses, Protector of the Family, Protector of the Workers, Protector of Virgins, Protector of Fugitives, Protector of the Dying...
If we look carefully into this life that was apparently so unremarkable, we shall find that it was greater and more adventurous, more full of exciting events, than we are accustomed to assume in our hasty perusal of the Gospel story. The Gospal describes St. Joseph as a Just Man (Mt. 1:19). No greater praise of virtue and no higher tributes to merit could be appplied to a man of humble social condition who was apparently far from being equipped to perform great deeds. He was a poor, honest, hard-working, perhaps even timorous man, but one with an unfathomable interior life, from which very singular directions and consolations came, bringing him also the logic and strength that belong to simple and clear souls, and giving him the power of making great decisions, such as that decision to put his liberty at once at the disposition of the divine designs to make over to them also his legitimate human calling his conjugal happiness.
He accepted the conditions, the responsibility and the burden of a family, but through an imcomparable virginal love he renouced that natural conjugal love that is the foudation and the nourishment of the family. In this way he offered the whole of his existence in a total sacrifice to the imponderable demands raised by the extraordinary coming of the Messias, to whom he was to give the everlasting blessed name of Jesus (Mt. 1:21), whom he was to acknowledge as the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and his own son only in a juridical and domestic way.
So St. Joseph was a "committed" man, as we might say nowadays.
And what commitment! Total commitment to Mary, the elect of all the women of the earth and of history, always his virgin spouse, never his wife physically, and total commitment to Jesus, who was his offspring only by legal descendance, not by the flesh. His were the burdens, the responsibilites, the risks and the labors surrounding the Holy Family. His were the service, the work, the sacrifice, in the shadows of that Gospel picture in which we love to meditate on him; and we are certainly not mistaken, for we all know him now and call him Blessed.
This is the Gospel in which the values of human existence take on a different dimension from that with which we are accustomed to appreciate them. What is little becomes big, and in this connection we do well to remember Jesus' fervent words in the eleventh chapeter of St. Matthew: "I give thee praise, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things (the things of the kingdom of the Messias!) from the wise and learned, but hast revealed them to little ones".
In the Gospel's account, what is lowly becomes worthy to be the social condition of the Son of God made son of man; that which is elementary and the product of fatiguing and rudimentary handwork served to train the Maker and Continuator of the cosmos in the skills of human hands (cf. Jn. 1:3; 5:17), and to give humble bread to Him who was to describe Himself as "The Bread of Life" (Jn. 6:48; what was lost for love for Christ is here rediscoverd (cf. Mt. 10:39), and whoever seacrifices his own life for Him in whis world saves it for everlasting life (Jn. 12:25).
St. Joseph was the type of the message of that Gospel that Jesus was to announce as the program in the redemption of mankind, once he left the little workshop at Nazareth and began His mission as prophet and teacher. St. Joseph is the model of those humble ones that Christianity raises to great destinies, and he is the proof that in order to be good and genuine followers of Christ there is no need of "great things"; it is enough to have the common, simple, human virtues, but they need to be true and authentic.
Our meditation now shifts from the humble Saint to our own personal circumstances, as is usual in the practice of mental prayer. We now turn to make a comparison and a contrast between him and ourselves; we have no reason to feel proud of the comparison, but we can derive some good suggestion from it for imitating him in some way which our own life condition allows, in our spirit and in concrete practice of those virtues which are so vigorously depicted in the Saint, and one especially, poverty, of which there is so much talk nowadays. And let us not be upset by the difficulties which poverty brings with it today, in this world which is all devoted to conquest of economic wealth, as if poverty were in contradiction whith the line of progress which must be followed, a paradox, an unreality in a society of welfare and consumption.
Let us think again of St. Joseph in his poverty and hard work, all his energy engaged in the effort to earn something to live on, and let us then remember that economic goods are indeed worthy of our Christian interest, on condition that they do not become ends in themselves, but are understood and used as means to keep going life which is directed towards other and higher goods, on condition that economic goods are not sought after with greedy egoism, but be rather a source and stimulus of provident charity, on condition again that they be not used as authorization for soft and easy indulgence in the so-called pleasures of life, but rather be used for the broad and honest interests of the common good.
This Saint's laborious and dignified poverty, can still be an excellent guide for us to follow the path traced by Christ's footsteps in the modern world, and can also eloquently instrct us in positive and honest well-being, so that we may avoid losing Christ's path in the complicated and giddy world of economics, to avoid going too far on one side into tempting ambitions of conquest of temporal riches, and too far on the other side, into making use of poverty for ideological ends, as a power to rouse social hated and systematic subversion.
So St. Joseph is an exemple for us. Let us try to imitate him; and call upon him as our protector, as the Church has been wont to do in these recent times, for herself in the first place, for spontaneous theological reflection on the marriage of divine with human action in the great economy of the Redemption, in which economy the first, the divine one is wholly sufficient to itself, but the second, human action, which is ours, though capable of nothing (cf. Jn. 15:5), is never dispensed from humble but conditional and ennobling collaboration.
The Church also calls upon him as her Protector because of a profound and most present desire to reinvigorate her ancient life with true evangelical virtues, such as shine forth in St. Joseph. Finally, the Church invokes him as her Patron and Protector through her unshakable trust that he to whom Christ willed to confide the care and protection of His own frail human childhood, will continue from heaven to perform his protective task in order to guide and defend the Mystical Body of Christ Himself, which is always weak, always under attack, always in a state of peril. Fianally, we call upon St. Joseph for the world, trusting that the heart of the humble working man of Nazareth, now overflowing with immeasurable wisdom and power, still harbors and will always harbor a singular and precious fellow-feeling for the whole of mankind. So may it be.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Prayer To The Holy Spirit

PfingstenI am going to reveal to you a secret of sanctity and happiness; if every day during five minutes you will keep your imagination quiet, shut your eyes to all the things of sense and close your ears to all the sounds of earth, so as to be able to withdraw into the sanctuary of your baptized soul, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, speaking there to that Holy Sprit, saying:

O Holy Spirit, soul of my soul, I adore Thee, enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me; tell me what I ought to do and command me to do it. I promise to be submissive in everything that Thou shalt ask of me and to accept all that Thou permittest to happen to me, only show me what is Thy will.

If you do this, your life will pass happily and serenely, concolation will abound even in the midst of troubles; for grace will be given in proportion to the trial, as well as strength to bear it, bringing you to the gates of paradise full of merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity.
Cardinal Mercier

The Holy Spirit, the breath of God that unites the Father and the Son, is the giver of all gifts, the sanctifier of all graces. It is difficult to comprehend why His help is not involed more consistently by those who wish to be witnesses to Christ. The Holy Spriti helps us, despite opposition, to prove Christianity to a sinful world.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Litany of Humility

Madonna of HumilityO Jesus meek and humble of Heart, have mercy on me.
From the wish to be esteemed, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the wish to be loved, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the wish to be honored, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the wish to be praised, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the wish to be preferred to others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the wish to be asked for advice, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the wish to be approved, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear to be humiliated, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear to be despised, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear to be rebuked, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear to be maligned, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear to be forgotten, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear to be ridiculed, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear to be treated unfairly, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear to be suspected, deliver me, O Jesus.
That others be more loved than I, O Jesus, give me the grace of this holy desire.
That others grow in the esteem of the world,, and I decrease, O Jesus, give me the grace of this holy desire.
That others be entrusted with work and I be put aside, O Jesus, give me the grace of this holy desire.
That others be preferred to me in all things, O Jesus, give me the grace of this holy desire.
That others become holier than I, provided that I, too, become as holy as I can, O Jesus, give me the grace of this holy desire.

Imprimatur: + Samuel A. Stritch, D.D.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Precious Invocations

By Father Winfrid Herbst, S.D.S.

The 1968 Handbook of Indulgences has a section of pious invocations. Here it tells us:
  1. That as far as indulgences are concerned, an invocation is no longer a distinct and complete work in itself. Rather it is a help whereby the faithful in the performance of their duties and in bearing the burdens of life, raise their minds to God in humble confidence. Hence the pious invocation completes the raising of the mind to God. Both are as gems which are joined to our ordinary activities to adorn them; or, to change the figure of speech, they are as salt which gives savor to such activities.
  2. That invocation is to be preferred which is best suited to the activity engaged in and to one's disposition of mind, whether it springs spontaneously from the heart or is selected form such as have been approved by the long-standing use of the faithful. A brief list of such approved invocations is given below.
  3. The invocation may be of the briefest kind, expressed in one or two words or only thought of mentally.
Wachet und betetHere are some examples: My God -- Father -- Jesus -- Praised be Jesus Christ -- Lord, I believe in Thee -- I adore Thee -- I hope in Thee -- I love Thee -- All for Thee -- Thanks be to God -- Blessed be God -- Thy kingdom come -- Thy will be done -- As the Lord wills -- O God, help me -- Strengthen me -- Hear my prayer -- Save me -- Have mercy on me -- Spare me, O Lord -- Permit me not to be separated form Thee -- Do not abandon me -- Hail Mary -- Glory to God in the highest -- Great art Thou, o Lord.

The Handbook of Indulgences then lists the following invocations.
  1. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world (Roman Breviary).
  2. Blessed be the Holy Trinity (Roman Missal).
  3. Christ conquers! Christ reigns! Christ commands!
  4. Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us, inflame our hearts with love for Thee.
  5. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.
  6. All for Thee, O Heart of Jesus
  7. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
  8. My God and my all.
  9. O God, be merciful to me a sinner (Lk. 18, 13)
  10. Grant that I may praise you, O holy Virgin; give me strength against your enemies (Roman Breviary).
  11. Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God (Ps. 142, 10)
  12. O Lord, increase our faith (Lk. 17, 5)
  13. O Lord, may we be of one mind in the truth and of one heart in charity.
  14. Lord, save us, we perish (Mt. 8, 25).
  15. My Lord and my God! (Jn. 20, 28).
  16. Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
  17. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit (Roman Missal).
  18. Jesus, Mary, Joseph.
  19. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
    Jesus, Mary, Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
    Jesus, Mary, Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you (Roman Ritual).
  20. Jesus meek and humble of Heart, make our hearts like unto Thine (Roman Ritual).
  21. May the Most Blessed Sacrament be forever praised and adored.
  22. Stay with us, Lord (Lk. 24, 29).
  23. Mother of Sorrows, pray for us.
  24. My Mother, my Hope.
  25. Send, O Lord, laborers into Your harvest (see Mt. 9, 38).
  26. Mary Virgin mild, bless us with thy loving Child (Roman Breviary).
  27. Hail, O Cross, our only hope (Roman Breviary).
  28. All you holy men and women, saints of God, intercede for us (Roman Ritual).
  29. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ (Roman Ritual).
  30. Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit (Lk. 23, 46; see Ps. 30, 6)
  31. Dear Lord Jesus, grant them eternal rest (Roman Missal).
  32. Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us (Roman Ritual).
  33. Holy Mother of God, Mary ever Virgin, intercede for us (Roman Breviary).
  34. Holy Mary, pray for us.
  35. Thou art the Christ, the Son of the loving God (Mt. 16, 16).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

Immaculate Mary, our hearts are on fire!Immaculate Mary!
Our hearts are on fire,
That title so wondrous
Fills all our desire.
Ave, ave, ave, Maria! (2)
We pray for God's glory,
May His Kingdom come!
We pray for His Vicar,
Our Father, and Rome. Ave...

We pray for our Mother
The Church upon earth,
And bless, sweetest Lady,
The land of our birth. Ave...

For poor, sick, afflicted
thy mercy we crave;
and comfort the dying
thou light of the grave. Ave...

There is no need, Mary,
nor ever has been,
which thou canst not succour,
Immaculate Queen. Ave...

In grief and temptation,
in joy or in pain,
we'll ask thee, our Mother,
nor seek thee in vain. Ave...

O bless us, dear Lady,
With blessings from heaven.
And to our petitions
Let answer be given. Ave...

And crown thy sweet mercy
With this special grace,
To behold soon in heaven
God's ravishing face. Ave...

Now to God be all glory
And worship for aye,
And to God's virgin Mother
An endless Ave. Ave...

In death's solemn moment,
our Mother, be nigh;
as children of Mary
O teach us to die. Ave...

From: Catholic Church Conservation

Saturday, February 09, 2008

What is the Rosary?

What is the Rosary?
  1. A mandate from the Mother of God to this modern world
  2. Her peace plan which has never been tried.
  3. A radar screen against Satan's sneak attacks.
  4. An insurance policy against hellfire.
  5. A saving remedy for this sick world.
  6. A "Lazarus come forth!" for our dead and stinking civilization.
  7. A stumbling-block and scandal for the proud.
  8. A school of Mary Immaculate.
  9. The Queen of Heaven's earthly rose garden.
  10. A rich mineshaft of Mary's Immaculate Heart.
  11. A portable pocket-shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.
  12. A net which never breaks although enclosing 153 great fish.
  13. A safeguard against abortions*.

* One who says the Rosary daily will never submit to an abortion. The same holds for a Catholic couple who devoutly say the Rosary together earch day. They will not practice birth control. They will give up either the family sin or the family prayer, for both cannot go together. ("Fatima Findings")

O Jesus, living in Mary

'БожиейO Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in Your servants
  • in the spirit of Your holiness,
  • in the fullness of Your power,
  • in the perfection of Your ways,
  • in the truth of Your mysteries!

Reign in us:

  • over all adverse power
  • by Your Holy Spirit
  • and for the glory of the Father.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

From the Akatist Hymn

We see the most learned orators like fishes, voiceless concerning you, O Bogoroditsa*, for they are at a loss to say how You were able to bear and to remain a virgin: And we, wondering at the mystery, faithfully exclaim:

Hail, holder of God's wisdom,
Hail, storehouse of His providence,
Hail, showing lovers-of-wisdom unwise,
Hail, proving artful reasoners devoid of reason,
Hail, for clever disputants have been made foolish,
Hail, for myth-makers have withered away,
Hail, tearing apart the Sophist's webs of deceit,
Hail, filling fisherman's nets,
Hail, drawing out of ignorance's depth,
Hail, enlightening many in knowledge,
Hail, lighter for those wishing to be saved,
Hail, harbour for life's seamen,
Hail, Maiden Bride!...
Hail, tabernacle of God and word,
Hail, holier than the Holies,
Hail, ark gilded by the Spirit,
Hail, inexhaustible treasure of life,
Hail, precious diadem of pious emperors,
Hail, august boast of saintly priests,
Hail, unshakable tower of the Church,
Hail, impregnable rampart of the state,
Hail, through whom trophies are set up,
Hail, through whom enemies fall down,
Hail, healing of my body,
Hail, my soul's salvation,
Hail, Virgin Bride!

*Bogoroditsa means Mother of God

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Chaplet of the Twelve Stars

Immaculata(From "St. Vincent's Manual" published in the 19th century, and highly approved and recommended by Cardinal Gibbons.)

All praise and thanksgiving be to the ever-blessed Trinity who has manifested to us Mary, ever-Virgin, clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet and on her head a mystic crown of twelve stars.
Response: For ever and ever. Amen.
Let us praise and give thanks to God the Father, who elected her for His Daughter.
Response: Amen. Our Father...
Praise be to God the Father, who predestined her as the Mother of His Son.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary...
Praise be to God the Father, who saved her from all stain in her conception.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary...
Praise be to God the Father, who on her birthday decked her with His choicest gifts.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary...
Praise be to God the Father, who gave her Joseph for her pure Spouse and companion.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary... and Glory be...

Let us praise and give thanks to God the Son, who chose her vor His Mother.
Response: Amen. Our Father...
Praise be to God the Son who became incarnate in her bosom and abode in her nine months.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary...
Praise be to God the Son, who was born of her and gave her milk wherewith to nourish Him.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary...
Praise be to God the Son, who in His childhood willed that Mary should teach Him.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary...
Praise be to God the Son, who revealed to her the mysteries of the redemption of the world.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary... and Glory be...

Let us praise and give thanks to God the Holy Spirit, who made her His Spouse.
Response: Amen. Our Father...
Praise be to God the Holy Spirit, who first revealed to her His name of Holy Spirit.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary...
Praise be to God the Holy Spirit, through whose operation she bacame Virgin and Mother.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary...
Praise be to God the Holy Spirit, through whom she became the living Temple of the Most Holy Trinity.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary...
Praise be to God the Holy Spirit, by whom she was exalted in Heaven high above all creatures.
Response: Amen. Hail Mary... and Glory be...

For the Holy Catholic Church, for the propagation of the Faith, for world peace and for the uprooting of all heresy, we shall say the Hail Holy Queen.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Promises of Our Lord Jesus Christ to all those devout to His Sacred Face

Antlitz Christi

  1. Thanks to my Humanity imprinted in them, they will obtain a living reflection of my Divinity; they will be irradiated to the depth of the soul in such a way that, thanks to their resemblance to my Face, they will be more glorious in Eternity than many others.
  2. At the moment of death I will restore in them the image of God which has been disfigured by their sins.
  3. By venerating my Holy Face in a spirit of expiation, they will be as pleasing to Me a St. Veronica; they will render Me a service equal to hers, and I will engrave my divine Features in their souls.
  4. This adorable Face is like the Seal of the Divinity which has power to imprint on the souls who turn towards It, the image of God.
  5. The more they endeavour to restore my Face, disfigured by insults and profanity, the more I shall concern Myself with their souls disfigured by sin. I shall imprint my Image anew on them and make them as beautiful as they were at the moment of Baptism.
  6. By offering my Holy Face to my Father, they will appease his Divine Wrath and obtain the conversion of sinners, as if with heavenly money.
  7. My Heavenly Father will refuse them nothing when they offer Him my Holy Face. I Myself will speak to my Father, laying before Him all their needs.
  8. They will work great marvels by means of my Holy Face. I will enlighten them with my light, enfold them in my love and grant them perseverance in well-doing.
  9. I will never abandon them.
  10. Close to my Father, I will be the advocate of all those who by word, prayer or writintg, will uphold my cause in this work of reparation. At the hour of death, I shall purify their souls from all stain of sin and I will restore to them their original beauty.

Extracts from the life of St. Gertrude, St. Mechtilde and of the servant of God, Sister Mary of St. Peter, Carmelite of Tours.

Prayer of Saint Theresa of the Infant Jesus to the Holy Face

O Jesus, Who in your cruel passion became the 'opprobrium of men and the man of sorrows', I venerate your divine countenance, upon which once shone the beauty and gentleness of the Divinity, and which has now become for me the countenance of a 'leper'. But under these disfigured traits I recognize your infinite love, and I am consumed with the desire to love you and to make all men love you. The tears which flow so abundantly from your eyes appear to me as precious pearls, which I love to gather in order to redeem with their infinite value the souls of poor sinners.
O Jesus, whose countenance is the only beauty which ravishes my heart, I beseech you to impress in me your divine resemblance, to set me on fire with your love, in order that I may soon come to see your glorious countenance in heaven. Amen.

Nihil obstat: fr. M-St. Morard O.P., libr. cens. - Imprimatur: Friburgi Helv., die 2. III. 1956, L. Saeber, vic. gen. - Published by: Typografy St. Canisius, Fribourg, Switzerland

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A House Blessing

Saint Joseph Statue, Hall, TirolDear St. Joseph here preside
Our home with blessings fill,
Let peace and charity prevail
And deference to God's Will.

May fear of Him and His chaste law
Our path to Heaven guide.
Dwell with us, we most willingly
To you the key confide.

Bar out all harm and lock us all,
Me and my loved ones too,
In Jesus' and in Mary's Heart
At Nazareth like you.

(Adapted from a German folk prayer)