September 13th – Feast of St.John Chrysostom


As we approach the mid point of this month of September, we meet St. John Chrysostom, bishop and Doctor of the Church. His name ‘Chrysostom’ was actually given to him after his death and it means ‘Golden mouthed.’ He was able to find God’s message in everything. He was able to apply the Scripture message to everyday circumstances. He had the ability to preach and to teach the people how to incorporate the Gospel into their everyday living. To make the ordinary extraordinary…

This is exactly the same message we need today. We need to incorporate the Gospel into every moment of everyday. We need to stop compartmentalizing our faith into those scattered moments of prayer or when we have the chance to go to Mass. Those are great, but we need to live the Gospel… live our faith every moment of every day.  I know... this is much easier said than done. Our days our busy and they are hectic.  Most of our waking moments are spent out in a secular world, and many days it takes all that we have, just trying to maintain an attitude of Christian love towards our families let alone everyone else.

It is an angry world. One that chews and spits Christians out on a regular basis. Just flip through any history book and the story is the same. There were pits of lions, vats of boiling oil, even dungeons that Christians have frequently been tossed into and forgotten about. The violence we are living in is nothing new.  Even though the violence is escalating around the world, most of us in America haven’t felt any sort of repercussions for practicing our faith, yet. But time will tell, and the world is constantly changing. Unfortunately the Truth is getting harder and harder to discern. The lips of both evil and ‘good’ men speak of lies, and we are to believe these words? … As Christians we must maintain an air of peace within our souls and pray to discern everything that comes from man. God will help us, but we must place our trust in Him. Do not be fooled by the cleverness of man. We have come upon that day when the lies will be more believed than the Truth…We have begun the descent.. and it is a slippery slope at that! So hang on! 

Remember, God has chosen each one of us to live in these times. We have been called to raise our families, and to live the Faith. Precisely at this moment in time. Do not delay for  we have much to do and much to protect. It is a struggle worth battling for. One we won’t be able to do alone. Only with God’s help (and of course Our Lady!) will we be able to stand firm when the evil one raises his head towards us. We have got to become familiar with what we are fighting for. We have got to learn our faith so that we can live that Faith…. God’s Words have got to be our way of life… Do you understand? We have got to find a way to live the Gospel message every moment…. of every day.

 God has plans for us that we cannot even begin to imagine. We have got to understand that there is more to us than what we see. Far more…. I am going to leave you with a couple of St. John Chrysostom’s quotes that you may read and meditate upon. Until next time my friend, may God bless you and keep you in His care. Viva Cristo Rey!

prayer-person-praying-hands - Diocese of Bridgeport

                                                            “We pray not to inform God or instruct Him, but to beseech Him closely, to be made intimate with Him, by continuance in supplication; to be humbled; to be reminded of our sins.”                           

My Apologies, But Your Manners Are Absolutely Appalling ...

 

 

“No matter how just your words may be, you ruin everything when you speak with anger.”

 

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“It is better to err by excess of mercy than excess of severity…wilt thou become a Saint? Be severe to thyself, but be kind to others.

“Prayer is the place for every worry, it is a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of happiness, a protection against unhappiness.”

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September 12, 2021- 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 8: 27- 35

Gospel of Mark 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.”   

Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him. He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” 

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”

As the assault from certain political leaders and ‘medical’ experts continues, we must not allow ourselves to be fooled by those who wish to destroy us and rob us of our God given rights. We must stand firm in the Truth. The Truth that was revealed to mankind through the teachings of Jesus Christ. When darkness descends upon the world, and everywhere we look, we are confronted with lies, we must not give up our hope in the true message that Jesus gave.

We must remember that we are no longer slaves of this world, for with His Sacrifice and Resurrection He freed us from death. He freed us from the threat of eternal darkness and damnation. He showered us with Light… cleansing us, He showered us with Truth.

Be not afraid. Jesus has told us that we are created for far greater things than this world can ever provide. We mustn’t allow our fear of death or disease allow us to be led away from the Gospel’s Truth. Do not allow your fear to rob you of your eternal life. ” For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” Stay true to the teachings of the Lord my friends, and don’t let the world persuade you to do anything less. God bless.  

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January 1st – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

As people around the world ring in the new year with parties, fireworks and perhaps a toast or two, we should not forget that there is something far more important to celebrate than the changing of the calendar year. January 1st is the Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God. The name Solemnity reminds us of the importance the Church puts upon this day. A solemnity is the highest rank of the liturgical celebrations. It is more important than a memorial, or even a feast day. It is a day set aside to remind us of the importance that Mary played in role of our salvation. Without her fiat…without her yes, God’s plan would not have been made possible.

We should not only be celebrating the new year which God is giving us, and all of the promises of a brighter future that are inspired in us, but we should celebrate the fact that Mary, the Mother of God is our mother as well. She is here to comfort each of us and help guide us on our daily path. She will intercede for us and seek out graces to shower upon us. She is an active Mother and loves each of us as She loved her Son. She never stopped saying yes to the Lord, and wishes only to help guide us to love Jesus more and more, so that imitating her, we might also give God our yes .This is not something made up, it has been handed down through the history and teachings of the Church:

“Mary, the all holy and ever virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time.” For the first time in the history of time, God had not only found a dwelling place, but He had prepared that dwelling place where His Son and His Spirit could dwell among men.” ( CCC 721)

So as the new year rings in and the fireworks fade, remember that this Solemnity is a holy day of obligation for most of us. And even if you are in an area where the obligation has been lifted, please spend some time in prayer contemplating this great title of Our Lady, and the importance of Her role in the salvation of all mankind. Happy New Year and Happy Solemnity…may God bless us all this coming New Year. Stay courageous my friends… God has plans for each of us.

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First Friday of November 2020

Catholic News World : What is 1st Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart -  Consecration to the #SacredHeart of Jesus - 1st Friday Promises and  Instructions - Prayers - Share!

As we head into this third day of vote harvesting and counting, we begin to understand that as a whole, the world has lost its collective mind. But it is not only here in America where we are witnessing an utter abuse of the electoral process, worldwide countries are going back into full lock-down due to the ‘second wave of the pandemic’. And on top of all of that, we are witnessing an increase in violence against Christians in nations that were once bedrocks of the Christian Faith. Unfortunately, with each passing day, I truly believe that we have entered into the time of which St. Anthony the Great spoke about when he said:

“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.”

Of course, I am mostly referring to the media and the onslaught of lies that are being fed to us every moment of every day. Their agenda is so painfully clear. There is a desire among evil men to destroy not only our country, but also to destroy the world, more specifically, a desire to destroy all that is good and holy. Yet, even with all that is going on, we mustn’t forget that this the time in which God has called each of us to live.

I know that there are many of you out there with stories of conversion similar or more dramatic than my own, I know that you understand that God has called you out of the clutches of the world. A world now drunk on the fermenting lies of the evil one. We are living in a world which has lost sight of its rightful Master. Still we mustn’t fret and lose sight of the Truth which is Jesus Christ. Besides, if we allow our gaze to shift from the Lord, we risk falling into despair… and that is not a risk we should be willing to chance. It is a very somber picture that awaits for us on the horizontal. We must keep our eyes on the vertical, we must look up to Christ. Not only must we gaze upon the Cross, we must muster up the courage to embrace the Cross. The very Cross from which Christ poured His blood on all the world to save us. Lastly, we mustn’t forget that we are not made for this world, it is an angry beast that wishes only to devour and destroy our peace… Remember… We were made for far greater things… we are children of the Lord… not of the world. When they stand and mock you, throwing insults and stones, remember, they hated Christ first.

199.) Luke 18 | DWELLING in the Word

During this continuation of difficult days that stretch before us, do not grow weary and lose hope. God is our Hope. Christ is our Salvation.We must pray. We must assist at the Sacrifice of the Mass while we still can. Who knows if another lock down is in our future. Regardless of the outcome of the vote. Regardless of the outcome of the virus, we must pray. Ask God for His Mercy, His guidance and His strength. We can not do this on our own, our strength will fail us… every time. We must rely on Him alone. He has called us, each one of us. So stand firm. Do not let your heart grow weary. Do not take your eyes off of the promise that Christ gave us from the Cross. It is the only Truth that matters when everything else is gone. It is the Truth that will set us free. Stay strong my friends, and May God bless each one of us.

Saints - Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko - Wattpad

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First Friday of August 2020

The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus « custodinosdormientes

On this first Friday of August as the world continues its downward spiral of chaos and despair, we mustn’t lose hope in God. Even amid all the continuous news of new ‘co-vid’ related deaths and erupting violence, we mustn’t lose faith … Even as we stare with heavy hearts at the devastating pictures of utter destruction coming out of Lebanon, we mustn’t lose hope in the Lord.

In fact, it is precisely at times like these that we need Him more. During these uncertain times, we should be making God the priority in our day. If we are to hope to get through what is coming around the bend, we mustn’t hesitate in our resolve… we must turn back to God… We cannot continue on this path of destruction, without God. What else is there?

As we watch the continuous cycle of news… with one bad story immediately after the next, what else will get you through? Where else will you gain your strength when everything around is crumbling? God is calling each of us. He is our peace, our hope and our strength. On this first Friday of August as the news of the world gets bleaker and bleaker…. look to the Lord. He is waiting there in the Eucharist. Waiting to touch your heart. Waiting to heal all the wounds the world has thrown at you. God is love. He is mercy. He is peace. Allow Him to heal your wounded soul. Make it a good first Friday my friends.

 

Litany of the Sacred Heart

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear 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.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints, have mercy on us.
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. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray

Almighty and Everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy Well-Beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.

AMEN.

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Good Friday of Lent

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On this Good Friday of Lent as we go through these final days of Lent towards Easter, I wanted to write a good post … but instead, I stumbled across a post from Father Bill Peckman that says everything I could hope to say on a day such as this, in such a beautiful and heartfelt way.  Anyway, it is a bit long but well worth the time. Have a blessed Good Friday my friends… Easter is drawing near.

From Father Bill:

I have been preparing my short homily for today and have found much I want to say given the current state of affairs. So I am going to give the long version here. The Church tells the clergy to keep the homily short on this day.

Homily for Good Friday (Long Form)
Imagine if you will the vantage point of Jesus on Good Friday

IN the last 24 hours you have not slept

IN the last 24 hours you have been stripped completely naked; the first time so Roman soldiers, known for the gleeful brutality, could whip you with cords with pieces of metal embedded in them. Your blood and pieces of your flesh are all over the floor. In their cruelty, the Roman soldier weave a crown of thorns and thrust the on your head. The second time you are stripped naked is when you are nailed to a cross for the amusement and ridicule of those around you. The humiliation of your nakedness that the Romans want you to feel is the same humiliation Adam and Eve felt in the garden after the fall when they knew they were naked. There will be no fig leaves for you…only derision.

In the last 24 hours you have seen your closest friends abandon you. One sold you for 30 pieces of silver. One denies even knowing you three times. Only the youngest is there at the foot of the Cross watching you die a horrific death. You knew this would happen; but you allow it to happen so that what needed to be done would be done.

In the last 24 hours you have experienced excruciating pain. Imagine walking with a heavy cross on your shoulders, digging into your already severely lacerated flesh. Your leg, back, and buttock muscles have been torn into by the scourging. Every step introduces a new wave of pain. You are continually yelled at and beaten as you struggle with every step. More of your blood strews the road between the place of condemnation and place of your execution.

Your every breath now causes pain. As your blood drains out of your body, your strength evaporates. To speak requires raising yourself on the nails in your hands and feet. For 6 hours you are humiliated and tortured for all the world to see. You endure ridicule and blasphemy.

Bonus: your mom gets to watch all this. She gets to watch you bleed to death. She gets to watch you struggle for every breath. She gets to hear every taunt, gloating, and cruelty thrown your way. She gets to watch you die. She gets to hold your lifeless body in her arms.

Your response? “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” The mercy, love, and forgiveness you have preached for the last three years will find their most perfect pulpit now.

You do this knowing that people will deny it happened, make little of it, fight over what it means, or treat it as if it is unimportant. You do this knowing people will kill in your name. You do this knowing that like your disciples who abandoned you, so will many who claim to follow you abandon you for the idols of wealth, power, pleasure, entertainment, worldly honor, sports, sexual pleasure, apathy, or sloth. You do this because you love every single one of those people as you also loved your disciples, the Sanhedrin, the Romans…indeed all of humanity. This love will be so overwhelming that many will not be able to believe such a love could even exist.

This is why you came. As the Second Person of the Trinity, you could experience none of this. Sharing in the Love of the Father and Holy Spirit , you are sent through the Incarnation into this world, taking flesh in the womb of the Blessed Mother so that you may share in that suffering and by doing so, reunite fallen humanity back to an eternal relationship to the Father. Your suffering and death accomplish this.

On this Good Friday, we remember the brutal suffering and death of Jesus and the boundless love with which He did so. Yet, at every Mass we directly participate in this as we receive His Flesh and Blood through the Eucharist. We are given the benefit of the sacrifice Christ made for us. We participate in the one sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

This is why is such an abomination that most Catholics do not go to Sunday Mass, do not believe in the Real Presence, do not confess their sins. It says that what Christ did for us is not enough for us to inconvenience our lives, our schedules, or transform us in the slightest. It says we trust in more of what our idols have to offer than what Jesus offered on the Cross. In says what I want is more important that what God was willing to do for us. It says the love of God isn’t enough to satisfy me. Imagine what it will feel like having to own up to this before the face of God when we die!

Let us understand then, that God still loves us. His Son’s death was done for each of us. That death is meant to change us to the better. That death is meant to transform our hearts to where we can love as He loves. So this Good Friday cast out your idols. Allow Mass to inconvenience you and your schedule. Allow confession to be the foot of the Cross at which you lay your sins. It is only through the Cross that you can have the eternal life promised by the Resurrection.

AS Jesus tells Thomas after the Resurrection, ” “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

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5th Sunday of Lent – Entering the Passion-tide

Stock Video Footage of sun rays illuminating a valley ...

Give me justice, O God,
and plead my cause against a nation that is faithless.
From the deceitful and cunning rescue me,
for you, O God, are my strength. (Psalm 43: 1-2)

As we ‘celebrate’ this 5th Sunday of Lent, we are just now entering the period of time in the Church’s’ liturgical calendar, referred to as Passion-tide. Normally, as we enter the Church for Mass on this Sunday, we find that all the holy water has been drained from the fonts and we see that all of the statues are covered with purple veils, from the looks of it, something has changed… Normally, with the images covered, our hearts and minds are prompted to meditate on what is coming next. That time in the world’s history in which Christ went off to the Garden to pray before He was to bear the weight of the world’s sins. It was a time of intense suffering and desolation as He went off alone to prepare for the  Sacrifice that was soon to be made. The Sacrifice He made out of love for man, by allowing for Himself to be condemned for something He did not do and by dying for us so that our sins might be forgiven.

Normally, it is during these days of Passion-tide, that we are called to walk the road with Christ as He made His way to Calvary. It is a brutal walk…. not for the faint of heart… Yet, as Christians, we are called to participate, somehow, even in our meagerness, to try and ease the burden of the Cross He carried for us and our salvation. He calls each of us to this road. We are each called to ponder and meditate on that fateful day. These stark disciplines of veiling the statues are to help us to remove all the distractions of the world and allow ourselves to be veiled in the same darkness that had shrouded the world… including His followers... of being ‘without‘ Christ, while they waited for His Promise to be fulfilled.

If your Church has remained open for private prayer, find the courage to go and spend some time with the Lord hidden in the tabernacle. If you are able, try to notice how empty and bare the altars with the veiled statuary make you feel.  In the quietness of God, let  your eyes rest upon Him in the tabernacle. Let your heart rest on His presence in the Eucharist. Let yourself meditate upon His Passion and how He suffered for each one of us. Blow by brutal blow... how He endured it all… patiently and without complaint. As we meditate upon His great love for us, let us unite our hearts with His and pray for those who suffer today.  Those who are suffering their own brutal blows. Those who will be forced to spend their last moments on this earth… separated from everyone… those who will not only suffer… but especially, those who will die alone… and pray for them.

This year, Lent has been different. We didn’t have to wait for this 5th Sunday of Lent, for our Passion-tide to begin… No, because of this virus and everything that it has taken with it, we have been physically separated from Christ in the Eucharist for fourteen days. Restrictions have been imposed upon us as a means of trying to contain the spread of this pandemic. Restrictions that teeter on the border of all out fear... This year, Catholics, the world over, have been called to sacrifice our religious obligations … Our ‘oneness‘ with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. We have been ‘convinced’ that our health security comes with a deep, deep price… We are being told that the Rock upon which Christ built His Church has been deemed by those in government authority to be ‘non essential’….

It has left many a hearts to ache, and I can honestly say,  it is a sacrifice that I would not have made on my own. .. it is a much more difficult Lent than the one I had chosen for myself. But I shouldn’t complain. God knows what we need. Especially now, as I hear about all of the faithful who are being left to die alone. Don’t kid yourself, with these new restrictions, many are dying without family and without the sacraments, it has become clear to me that God is calling for the rest of us to do more. He is calling us to do a small part in carrying His Cross of Redemption.

During these days of Passion-tide, let us not neglect our duty in serving and loving God just because Mass has been canceled. Many churches remain open for private prayer… but even if you are praying from home, there is much we can do. From right where we are. These ‘social distancing’ restrictions are forcing us to examine our faithfulness to the Lord. Are we going to allow ourselves to fall into the chaos of the world and leave Christ alone? This goes back to a message we have heard all of our lives … “we are to find Christ in everyone we meet”. Have we succeeded? Are we looking at our neighbors, or those we rush past in the stores as Christ? I ask, Are we even looking at them anymore? Dear Lord, help me in my littleness to have the courage to do Your Will….

At a time when the Church calls us to focus our attention on Christ’s suffering, are we recognizing the suffering in our neighbors? I am not trying to undermine the Lord’s suffering by any means… but we are Christians are we not? And in many places the churches are closed, and many have been ‘physically’ separated from Christ in the Eucharist. What are we doing? Are we living disciples of Christ and doing His work? I know we will never be “Christ”, but that is what we are called to do. To be Christ.

Have I lost my mind? No. We are called to follow Him. To do as He would do. Not just pray as He would pray. I don’t think it is just a cliche… something that sounds good. We are actually supposed to be Him in the world, to the world. Or have we abandoned the Lord and our Cross of redemption altogether? Christ died for us… freely giving of Himself so that we might live. Are we giving? Or are we so concerned with our own well being and safety that not only are we  neglecting  our duty to God but to our neighbors as well? Perhaps we might reexamine our own motives for how we live each day.  Just what am I getting at?

Well, for starters, everything has been stripped away. All those ‘normal’ distractions, that so often pull us away from our Christian duties. Isn’t it ironic that during this time of Lent when we are supposed to rid ourselves of worldly distraction, that God has allowed for this. He has allowed everything to be taken away. The good and the bad. The nonstop sporting events as well as everything that vies for our time… that vies for our hearts... Some might think there is another reason for all of this, and perhaps there might be. But as a faithful follower of Christ, I’d have to stake my life on the fact that God is indeed in control of all of this. He will not abandon us and He will get us through this, as He does everything else, to help us become the best He created us to be. Stay strong my friends and God bless.

Good Friday: On the Mystery of the Cross and of Human ...

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless

and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible

look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us 

so that in difficult moments we might not despair

nor become despondent

but with great confidence

submit ourselves to Your Holy Will

which is Love and Mercy Itself. Amen.

Jesus I trust in You.

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Prayer from Fr. Bill- During This Time of Pestilence

The following is from Father Bill Peckman on a post he wrote for facebook. It is beautiful, and there are plenty of things to think about as you pray and read through it. Enjoy….

As I am watching the Urbi and Orbi the following prayer has welled up in my heart:

My Precious Lord,

The world says, “If you are the Son God, accommodate and approve of my faithlessness and half-heartedness toward you. Accommodate and approve of my abandoning your altar and your house so that I may worship whatever idol I choose. Facilitate my abandonment of the Day of the Lord and may my idols bless me abundantly. “

Because you are the Son God, have mercy on me for my half-heartedness, faithlessness, abandonment of your House and your altar. Forgive me for my abandonment of the Day of the Lord as I pursued idols. By your grace, help me lay aside and destroy every idol I have allowed to control my life, energy, and time. Welcome me back into your House and to your Altar. Create a new heart in me O Lord.

The world says, “If you are the Son of God, accommodate and approve of my abuse of your gift of sexuality. Accommodate and approve of every denigration of my own flesh and the flesh of my neighbor. Ignore the consequences of our denigration, including the violent end of what children are conceived so that I may do as I please.”

Because you are the Son of God, have mercy on me for my recklessness, denigration, and abuse of the great gift of sexuality. Make me aware of the holiness of my body and body of others. By your grace help me to turn from all debasement of the flesh and so be fit as your disciple. Create a new heart in me O Lord.

The world says, “If you are the Son of God, accommodate and approve of my greed, wastefulness, gluttony. Accommodate and approve of my neglect of the welfare of my neighbor; facilitate my accrual of whatever I desire so that I may do as I please.

Because you are the Son of God, have mercy on me for the times I placed my wants before others needs. Forgive me of the neglect I have shown to those around me. Fill my heart, O lord, with your love, that I may love as you love. May that love be shown in my selflessness, charity, and mercy. Create a new heart in me O Lord.

The world says, “If you are the Son of God, overlook all my sins, and allow me into heaven; not because I wish to be with you, but so that I can be perpetually self indulgent. Facilitate my open rebellion of you and Your Father. Be pleased to have me as your rival and not your son or daughter. Accommodate and approve my disregard of you for now and eternity so that I may do as I please.

Because you are the Son of God, forgive me my sins, wash me in your waters of purification, feed me with Your Flesh and Blood so that I may have life now and for eternity. Draw me from presumption, disbelief, and all self-destructive behaviors that separate me from you so that I may come into your Kingdom as you Son or daughter. Create a clean heart in me O Lord.

O Lord, when this pestilence has passed, show me the way to you in all things. Guide me away from the deceit of the Devil and into your own truth. Welcome me again into your House and to Your altar, which I pledge to never abandon for another idol again.

Amen.

Jesus with Euchariistic Heart

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Laetare Sunday… We Are Supposed to Rejoice?- Sermon From Fr. Royce Gregerson

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.”

It would seem that Christ’s words in the Gospel are being fulfilled. Amidst a global pandemic and a prohibition of any public gathering that precludes the possibility of the faithful’s participation in the Eucharist, we seem to be in a spiritual night when the work of the Church cannot be accomplished. In this grave and unprecedented situation in the life of the Church, it would be easy to start assigning blame. Some would blame the iniquities of the world, or even sin within the Church – God’s just punishment for a world, and maybe even a Church, gone astray. There is definitely some truth here. We are in need of a big “wake up call.” But this idea is also insufficient.

Our Lord tells the disciples today that the man’s blindness is not because of his sin or his parents’ sin, but “that the works of God might be made visible.” And this, my brothers and sisters, is the point of departure for our own reflection today. What are the works of God that He wants to make visible, here and now?

It is deeply ironic that the first Sunday on which we are not able physically to gather as the Body of Christ is Laetare Sunday, when the Church bids us rejoice in the midst of Lent. Rejoice? Rejoice?

(To enjoy the rest of this brilliant sermon click on the following link.)

 What do we have to rejoice about? 

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A Reminder For the Faithful

 

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During this difficult time when it seems that every aspect of our faith is being tested, or worse yet, stripped away, we the faithful have got to stay firm. We have got to buckle down on our prayer life. Many of our wonderful priests are posting Masses and other liturgical devotions online … we must participate, just because the bishops have locked us out of our traditional Lenten devotions . God is Still calling us. We mustn’t slack in our prayer life. God is still calling us to holiness. He wants us to be strong. Never has He called anyone to cowardice… be courageous… be not afraid…Listen to what God is calling you to do… do not shriek in fear and hide!

On this Friday of Lent do not forget to walk the path of Calvary with Our Dear Lord. Even if there are no public acts of devotion, do not hesitate to make the way of the Cross at home. There are many websites that have the Stations of the Cross, and I know that some of the local parishes are streaming them online. It is absolutely necessary that we do not forget this is a day of penance and abstinence … as are all Fridays of Lent. Even when the bishops have issued dispensations for Mass, we are still encouraged to use this time, this ‘suffering’ as a means of growing closer to the Lord.

Remember, the Church has faced many difficult times in Her long history… we have had courageous priests… courageous bishops… and now dear faithful reader... He is calling us to show the same kind of courage that only God can ask. Don’t fear and fall into anger. Pray and be calm. Allow the Lord to put your miserable little self  into action. Don’t settle for ‘just enough‘…. do more… always strive for holiness… always strive to be a saint. God bless!

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