Praying in These Uncertain Times

For the past several days in Florida we have been cautiously watching the reports, and now, as we are watching the videos that show the absolute devastation that has been wrought on the Bahamas we are feeling uncertain and fearful at what may lie ahead. But before we allow ourselves to become afraid, let us turn to Our Dear Blessed Mother . Let us once again pray for the intercession of Our Lady of the Storm. Asking that God watch over each of us, especially those who are staring into the darkness of the approaching storm. God bless.

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Way back in the late 1800’s off the coast of Florida, near the nation’s oldest city of St. Augustine, a ship had come under fire form a terrible storm. The captain of the ship ordered that all of the extra cargo be dispersed from the ship as to balance out the weight, and prevent the ship from being toppled in the high waves of the storm. As the crew members searched through the cargo area of the ship, a large statue of the Blessed Mother was found. No one knew where it had come from, immediately the captain had everyone aboard pray for the intercession the the Madonna. Leading the prayer he said, “Dear Lady, if this storm passes,and we arrive safely in port, we will place your statue with the first Christian family we meet.

The storm passed and the crew and the ship made it to land unharmed, and the captain kept his promise, giving the statue to a family in St. Augustine. The statue is still enshrined in a wooden cabinet, placed behind a pane of glass. Through the years, when storms have threatened the coast, families have prayed for the Blessed Mother’s intercession, and through the years, St. Augustine has been spared from the blunt force of a hurricane’s blows. Last year, even with hurricane Matthew, the storm was projected to come further inland and was diverted further out to sea. And even though damage was done, and buildings were flooded…the damage could have been so much worse….

So as we watch  as hurricane Dorian pounds the Bahama Islands, churning the waters and bringing high winds dangerously close to south Florida, let us invoke the intercession of the Blessed Mother, under the title of Our Lady of the Hurricane and ask for God’s mercy for all of those affected… We pray for peace and calm for all of those who are wrought with fear of the unknown…

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Prayer for Safety in Hurricane Season

O God, Master of this passing world, Hear the humble
voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed Your
order and returned to its former quietude. You are still
the Master of the land and sea. We live in the shadow of
a danger over which we have no control: the Gulf, like a
provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming
lethargy and overstep its conventional boundaries, invade
our land and spread chaos and disaster.
During this hurricane season, we turn to You, O loving
Father. Spare us from past tragedies whose memories
are still so vivid and whose wounds seem
to refuse to heal with the passing of time. O Virgin, Star of
the Sea, Our Beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with
your Son in our behalf, so that spared from the calamities
common to this area and animated with a true spirit of
gratitude, we walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to
reach the heavenly Jerusalem where storm-less eternity
awaits us. Amen

+The Most Reverend Maurice Schexnayder
2nd Bishop of Lafayette

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The Great Sin of Complaining — HOPE IN THE STORM

This post was submitted by our friend Supertradmum. Please pray for her as she faces her final days on earth. As some of you know, I am dying of cancer. Now, most of us who are chronically ill may be tempted to complain. Although I do not have a habit of complaining, this past week, […]

via The Great Sin of Complaining — HOPE IN THE STORM

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Small Wonder of Feet

Looking down,

my feet seem small…

      Well, almost …

just not quite big enough

for proper balance and stance.

But they have kept me

       ‘on my toes’

as the saying goes.

They have run ahead

and fallen back.

They have chased after others,

and been chased after, by a few.

Quite often, they have

revealed my mood…

      an attitude,

that was better off  hid.

Reliably, they have both betrayed me,

     and saved me…

sometimes in the same day.

They carried me up steep mountain paths

i thought would surely do me in,

and across great white deserts,

where i hid them in burning grains of sand

wishing to be somewhere else.

As a child, my feet were my means

for jumping ropes and sticks…

and creeks, and cliffs

which overflowed into wide rivers…

coaxing me...

expanding my world…

      stretching it

to the end of the street and back…

i used my feet to stomp

crayfish from the mud…

and  splash in puddles after it rained…

And dance….oh how they loved to dance…

         to songs, both slow and fast.

Looking back,

i realize that my feet

have gotten me where i am

          right now…

And with age….comes wisdom…

(Hah!)

On the back side of this hill of life,

i have just begun to realize…

     just begun to understand...

there is a difference…

     a big… big… difference…

in simply stumbling…

and in falling down.

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Cleansing My Soul, He Saves Me

Even in my suffering and agony…

these drops of Precious Blood….

have the power…

have the ability….

to wash and inebriate me…

to cleanse me of my sin

so that once again, my soul

is reminded of it’s worth

and there is peace,

in my unbalanced mess.

With grace, He reaches

through the depths…

reaches through the ages

of pains and hurts,

forcing me from

my prideful stance.

In struggles of humility

I stumble and fall.

i am lonely and alone…

            i have nothing of my own.

my cup; once full;

is emptied in this fall from grace.

i have no right to drink… to quench

this unquenchable Thirst…

                     and yet

Christ’s Mercy flows…

              freely

deep into this darkest place…

where  footsteps fade into echoes,

and echoes fade into silence.

        His Mercy finds me.

even when,

I have no reason to be found…

            no reason to be saved

from this black abyss

I have fallen into on my own.

He is there….

giving the unthinkable…

        doing the undeservable

springing Life

and hope

and Love.

Embracing me with His forgiveness….

                   He washes me….

simply, with His Grace.

         Oh Jesus… My Lord!

Encompassed in Your Mercy,

i am forgiven all my debt…

i am saved from the only thing I have ever

warranted on my own…

my own agonizing death.

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Ask and It Will Be Given You

Dear friends, as we come to the end of this first week of Lent, we find the eternal wisdom of the Holy Mother Church evident once again, as we are reminded with the Mass  readings of today, that as we go through this life with all of it’s hardships and struggles, we are to look no farther than to Our Heavenly Father for all of our needs. Whether these needs be physical or spiritual… God is the answer for all of our needs. In the first reading from the Book of Esther we read:

Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

We find Esther calling out to the Lord from her agony and her troubles. She has come to realize that her salvation comes from God. And then as we go further into the Mass, we hear from the Gospel of  Matthew 7, that Jesus tells His disciples:

Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

What a perfect timing. This is just the message that we the faithful need as we head towards the second week of Lent. Last week, many of us began our Lenten journey with giving up things, or with ‘doing without’ for Lent. According to the Church rules we are called to abstain and fast these forty days, and being so inclined, many of us add other sacrifices to our daily routine. As a whole, we are good at giving up things for Lent, but few of us are willing to take that leap of faith and put all of our trust into the Lord.

We give up our sweets and do our penances, but we don’t give ourselves over to God. And the Church, being the good Mother that She is… reminds us that instead of giving up, we should be more focused on looking up…on looking towards the Lord and instead of looking horizontal, or just focusing at our place here on earth, we should be drawing closer to the Lord. We should be uniting ourselves with the Lord, by placing all of our cares, all of our worries… all of our everything with God.

We have got to stop doubting what we have been taught. We have have to stop distrusting the Truth that Jesus Christ revealed to us through His disciples. Instead of living this Lent with the mindset of ‘what can I sacrifice?’ …or ‘what can I give up?’… Let’s take a moment today and ask God to help us to be who He created us to be. Let’s stop pretending that we can do it on our own, because we can’t… and we shouldn’t … God wants to help us. We are His children and He is more loving than the most loving Father here on earth. He wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to ask Him for everything. He wants us to be bold and ask for all of these things and more. After all, He wants us to submit ourselves to His Holy Will which is Love and Mercy Itself. Can you say ‘Jesus I Trust in You,’ and mean it. Really mean it ? Make that your goal for Lent. Let’s all make that our goal. We may just be surprised where we wind up. We never know where God will lead us, but we can be sure that it will always be what is best for us… even if at first, it doesn’t feel like it. Happy first Thursday of Lent. God bless.

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Transformed in the Quiet of God

There have been a great many stories of conversion throughout the history of the Catholic Church. In fact, just recently we listened in Mass to the reading of the conversion of St. Paul. The entire reading can be found in the Acts of the Apostles 9: 1-22. And although it is quite dramatic, the kind of earth-shaking conversion that rocked St. Paul, isn’t the kind that most of us will experience … but  our conversion towards God will be grande none the less. And in order to ensure that we don’t get knocked flat on our backs, we need an openness to His Will  and an ear for His voice…. in every circumstance of our lives.

What exactly is an ear for the voice of God, you might ask. Well, it is the quieting of your soul. It is the pause that listens for the breath of God in your heart. It is the moment of stillness in which you hear your conscience speak. It is the hush in the busy-ness of your day.  So much of our days are anything but quiet, and to set aside God time will take an effort… but it can be done… rather… it must be done. No one ever made it to heaven by listening for the voice of God… and then disobeying It… we are called to listen…and we are called to obedience…

Maybe you have just a few moments… maybe, it’s just those few moments as you get your shower… or wait for the coffee to drip…whenever it is… find your quiet. Even though seeking out God in a quite chapel would be most ideal… God can talk to us anywhere. We just have to be sure to lose the distractions.

The cell phone and the t.v. are the two main culprits that we allow to rob of us our silence. It is quite hard to know that you are doing all that you can for the Lord if all you give Him is one hour on Sunday. God deserves the beginning and the end of our everyday. He deserves our prayers. Of course,  He doesn’t need them…. but He wants them. why? Because they help us. As Catholics we know that God created us to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him, so that we could be happy with Him in this world and the next.

Unfortunately, many Catholics only pray when they need something. Praying to God for help is fine… it is good, but we ned to pray so that we can listen to what God wants from us. It will surprise you. It is more than you think. It is beyond our simple grasp. Most of us don’t even have a clue about the greatness that the Lord is calling us to. It will take your breath away… God will take your breath away. And He will replace it with His breath. His strength. His resolve and firm understanding. He will move mountains with your tiny little hands. He will cross vast lands with your legs and your feet. He will use you to stir the world into seeking Him. He will use you… yes… tiny little you… to shed His Light into the world…

Your conversion will more than likely begin in the quiet. It will be a gnawing in your soul… a feeling of something undone… it is God. He is calling you… whispering you into conversion. There may not be thunderbolts and lighting. There may not be horses galloping at full speed… There may not be all that grande display and hoopla, but you must listen… because when all is said and done and you have lived your life totally, and completely for the Lord, giving Him whatever He asks… you just may feel like it is all that and more. God bless.

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Marching For Life

March for Life 2019 live: Thousands say 'all life matters'

This is just one of the many pictures that are online of the March for Life that took place yesterday in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, like in years past, E.W.T.N. was really the only television station to provide full day coverage of the event. Most of the news channels avoided it, and the others that did mention it failed to point out the huge number of people that had gathered in the snow covered streets of D.C. to once again stand and “march’ for life. Some reports are going as high as 700,000!

January 22nd marks the 46th year since the grande courts of America turned their heads… their hearts, and their votes against the most vulnerable in society… the unborn. So many people today can’t even imagine a world where the killing of an innocent pre born child would not be considered a ‘choice’. And yet, even in this culture of death, there is hope.

So many of those who march are from this same age group. They have never known a world without abortion and yet they hang onto the hope of such a world. They are able to discern the truth of life from the lies of the world and they are marching. Marching in record numbers to be a voice for the voiceless. Gathering in the cold to show the world that they will not sit by and watch these atrocities occur without doing something.

As faithful Catholics we need to take up this march. Not just in D.C. but where we live. Where we work and raise our families. I’m not just talking about standing for the unborn. I am talking about standing for those who are born. Those who are struggling with just getting by. Standing for life. In all circumstances. The unborn. The old and infirm. Those that the rest of society has forgotten. Those who are without hope. We have to march for ‘life’ for them as well.

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Washington post

Looking at these pictures of the March brings me a sense of hope, a sense of Happiness, to see so many young people aligning  themselves with the pro-life movement, it means we have got a chance. It means that maybe…just maybe…things can change for the better. But not without us… we have got to be the change we want to see in the world. We have got to be pro-life. Pro-God. Pro-love. A true kind of Love. (Not the kind of love they scream about on t.v.)

We have got to be the hands and feet of Christ. We have got to be pro-life for the sick and those who are suffering. We have got to be pro-life for them as well. How?  We have got to give them hope. We have gt to share the word of God with those who are marginalized, those who suffer. Those who are alone.

We have got to do more. Be more. Pro-life. It is more than just a slogan. It is a way of life. “Do you have what it takes to pick up this cross and follow me?”

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