Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

The life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, whom is known as the patron saint of youth, is a good example of virtue for young men. The following prayer acknowledges the trials and tribulations that young men face and asks the intercession of Saint Aloysius for them.

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A Prayer to Be Said by Young Men (to St. Aloysius Gonzaga)

O most glorious Saint Aloysius, who hast been honored by the Church with the fair title of “angelic youth,” because of the life of utmost purity thou didst lead here on earth, I come before thy presence this day with all the devotion of my mind and heart. O perfect exemplar, kind and powerful patron of young men, how great is my need of thee! The world and the devil are trying to ensnare me; I am conscious of that ardor of my passions; I know full well the weakness and inconstancy of my age. Who shall be able to keep me safe, if not thou, O saint of angelic purity, the glory and honor, the loving protector of youth? To thee, therefore, I have recourse with all my soul, to thee I commit myself with all my heart. I hereby resolve, promise, and desire to be especially devout toward thee, to glorify thee by imitating thy extraordinary virtues and in particular thy angelic purity, to copy thy example, and to promote devotion to thee among my companions. O dear Saint Aloysius, do thou guard and defend me always, in order that, under thy protection and following thy example, I may one day be able to join with thee in seeing and praising my God forever in heaven. Amen.

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Regaining Our Calm in the Lord

We all have those days…those moments that test our strength. Those moments that test our endurance, and our trust in the Lord. You know what I am talking about.

It can begin with a single thought or a single action…something not too big that explodes our calm…something that just grows…almost as if it has a will of it’s own. But most of the time it doesn’t. We give it the ‘will’…we give it the power to grow and over take the peace of our souls. Yes, sometimes there are things that we really cannot control. Bad things that happen… or things that happened many years ago… that refuse to let us go…

Maybe it is rumors about your character. Things that get uttered… gossips that spread… breathing life into this dragon… giving it the chance to grow and take on a life of its own. An ugly life… intent on ruining the peace of your soul. So often these lies wrapped in the distortion of darkness and doom… threaten to consume us… body and soul. What are we to do? Just how are we supposed to remain calm…and carry on…as it were? Just what kind of person can endure? How are we to manage and cope? Pray tell, what are we to do?

Trust in the Lord. Easy enough…right? Well, most of the time when we are faced with a violent storm…or chaos raging in wild rings about us…we forget this simple act…this simple action of praying and trusting in the Lord. Oh, we may say we are trusting…we may actually fall to our knees, lamenting in our anguish…pleading with God, but we are not really giving it over to the Lord… We are hanging onto the doom and destruction…for some reason we are not letting it go to God…

Why is that? He knows everything about us anyway….So perhaps it is because this chaos adds a bit of turmoil to our soul and helps us forget…numbs the pain?… Or perhaps we feel that God doesn’t really want all of our garbage… and in a bit of our pride, we only want to give Him what is good. Yes, this is understandable, but it is wrong.  And it is not the reason He came. It is not the reason He sent His Only Begotten Son.

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No, He came so that we might live. He came so that we might find peace. Not in this world. Not in all this crazy world we are orbiting in. No, He came to give us Himself as our peace. When all the world is falling in bits and pieces around us. When everything we have ever known or loved is gone…or falling away…we have to remember the Lord. We have to remember the Cross of Christ…we have to reach up to His most precious body…pulling ourselves in close…putting ourselves in the shadow of the One who saved us…We have to let go of our pride… And we have to close our eyes to the world…close our ears to the whispers of the evil one…and we have to trust...put all of our remaining strength in the Promise of the Lord…trusting that He is Who He said He was… letting everything else fall around us… but never letting go of the Crucifix...never letting go of the Lord…And if we remain firm, standing at the foot of the Cross long enough…He will pour out His mercyHe will pour out His grace... allowing our disquiet to be filled with peace. Christ’s peace. Bringing calm into our soul again.

 

 

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Forgiveness

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Gospel of Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
Forgiveness. It is a vital part of who we are as Catholics… of who we are as Christians. It is a vital part of those of us, who set ourselves apart from the adages of the world, which scream at us ‘there is no need for forgiveness’ … only a need for revenge. As Christians we are called to follow the narrow path.  We are called to not only follow but take the ‘high road’ as well.  And we are to forgive others as we would have others forgive us… but more importantly... we are called to forgive others as we would have God forgive us…
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”…. We pray these words every day…sometimes we pray them several times a day. After all, it is this common prayer… this most fundamental of all prayers, which links all Christians to one another… which links us all as brothers… And when asked by His disciples how to pray, it was these words….this prayer, that Jesus used to teach them about His Heavenly Father.
For many of us, it is the first prayer we learned as children. It is that important. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the ‘Our Father’ or the ‘Lord’s Prayer‘,  “is truly the summary of the whole gospel.” It tells us how to live… including the lesson on forgiveness.
As Christians we have an obligation to forgive. It is the remedy for the worlds ills. And the ill will that stems not only from us, but towards us as well. And our enemies. In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew, we are being called to be men of integrity. We are being called to be men who forgive. We must follow the command that Jesus gives us and we must pray. We must open our heart to those who have caused us injury… Those who have caused us pain. Whether it be physical or emotional. We are called to forgive. We are not called to judge.
We must practice virtue, in all things. For there is at the bottom of this act of forgiveness,  a soul that is called to charity. To receive an apology is often a very difficult step… a step that will take grace…God’s grace... But it is one that must be taken. There can be no peace in the soul of one who has hardened his heart to love…. of one who has hardened his heart to the Lord.
To follow Christ…to truly be a follower of the Lord, we must, of course, try to avoid any bad behaviors that would lead us into sin, but we must also love… and be open to the love of the Lord.
Sometimes the most difficult part of loving is forgiving. It often calls for a heroic sense of humility.  Which is difficult for those who struggle with pride. It calls for us to open our hearts, not only to those who have treated us well…those who have loved us in return… No, forgiveness calls for us to love those who have hurt us…those who we feel have betrayed us… betrayed our trust.
We are called to treat others with a gentleness that we may wish to reserve for those we feel deserve it...but Christ, He is calling us to do more...to be more…We need to pray for strength to do the right thing. We must also pray for courage and the necessary humility needed to not only accept an apology…but to seek forgiveness, and offer an apology in return.
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A great place to to find forgiveness is on our knees… As Catholics, we must begin this journey in front of the Lord, prostrate and praying for His mercy… praying for His Grace in our souls… and as we pray let us ask the Lord to help us … to heal our painful memories…. and to give us the grace needed to forgive. Let us pray that the Lord will walk back with each of us, to those times where we were hurt and help us to replace our hurt…our pain, with His love so that we may be free to forgive… free to find healing. It will be a difficult task, but the Lord will be there…each step of the way… if only you will let Him... cradling you and guiding you on the road to recovery… But we must rely on Him...rely on God alone…Placing our Trust in Him… in His Heart… His Sacred Heart…  For God truly is the Divine Physician… the Divine Healer… giving us… each of us… a heart that can be free from hurt… a heart that can be free to forgive… a heart that can be full of God’s mercy… full of His Grace…. Because only then, can we as men... maintain a heart that is full of forgiveness… full of Love. Let us pray.
Dear Lord, help me today to be a reflection of your love…especially towards my enemies….those whom I feel have hurt me in some way. Dear Lord, give me the strength and the courage I need to open my heart to forgiveness…and to let go of the pain… to let go of the anger I tend to cling to… Help me Dear Lord, to not only forgive others… but to seek forgiveness from those of whom I have caused harm…
Help me Dear Lord to replace my pains with Your Mercy…With Your Grace. I cannot do this alone…therefore I place my hope … my confidence, not in things of man…
but I place my trust in You. Amen.
 
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Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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In the tradition of the Holy Mother Church, the first Saturday that falls after the Feast of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is reserved as a day to honor the Most Immaculate Heart of Mary. It just makes sense that we should honor Mary … as She fills some very important roles… She was chosen by God from the beginning of time… She was the spouse of the Holy Spirit and She was the Mother of Jesus….She remained pure and holy…spotless from the stain of sin… Then She was assumed into heaven and now reigns there as Queen with Christ the King. This feast of Her Immaculate Heart is a celebration of all this and all that encompasses her life... both externally and internally. We should celebrate her in not only for her virginal love for God the Father and her maternal love for Jesus Christ her Son, but also for her ever compassionate love for us in her Immaculate Heart.

We should honor her for her role in our salvation. Yes, Her role in our salvation…It exists…it is not something that Catholics made up. God made Her as a response to the fall in the garden of Eden. To repair the damage done by our first parents. Mary was pure and holy from her beginning. She had to be. God made it so. She is not like us in sin. But she is like us in that she did not always understand exactly what God wanted from her.  But unlike us, she was Always obedient to Him and His Will for Her. And her heart… Her Immaculate Heart was pierced for it.

Today we remember Her pains and her sorrows…her triumphs and her joys… for they are ours as well, as long as we share in her love for the Lord… in His three Divine Persons as she did…with a love so pure and holy that in reality it would be hard for us to even come close…but with her intercession…with her help… we can try. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

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Act of Reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – June 8th

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Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thy altar eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their Baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.

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We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violation of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.

 

Would, O Divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy Divine honor, the satisfaction Thou didst once make to Thy eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continue to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make reparation, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

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O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

(prayer from catholictradition.org)

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Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, I Place My Trust In Thee

 

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With the sweet fires of June’s heat bearing down on us, we are drawn, like moths,  to the Eternal Flame… of Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart. It is a Flame of Love so powerful….that it literally reaches out to each of us…where ever we are… in whatever state our soul may be in… whether it be in a state of grace or even in a state of sin… and calls each of us by name… His Most Sacred Heart burns for us… Pretty Awesome stuff, right?? Well, that’s exactly what Jesus is : Awesome…

Jesus giving His Heart

In the Holy Mother Church we are called to honor and to pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus throughout the month of June. It is the source of love for all of mankind…It is the Heart from which all of mankind was born…and saved from eternal damnation. We love Thee Oh Lord… in Your Beating Heart… which is the Spring of all that is Good…all that is Holy. We Love Thee Oh Lord, and we praise Thee…For giving to us your beating Heart in the Eucharist…which is so often mistreated and abused...We love Thee Oh Lord...

During this month of June, let us take a  moment to dedicate our prayers…And if nothing more… perhaps just a portion of them…to the Sacred Heart of Jesus….which was bloodied, bruised and scourged on our account…and let us pray that we may never stray from the embrace of our Dear Lord… who spread out His loving arms on that Cross of Calvary…Giving to us... all of mankind... His Most Loving Sacred Heart….offered as a Sacrifice... a Most Complete Sacrifice for the sins of man... enduring suffering and immeasurable pain for our salvation.

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Let us remember, It is the same Heart that is now Glorious in Heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father…reigning on high…Never ceasing in His Love for us.

Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner.

 

Prayer to the Sacred Heart

Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, O my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things, be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.

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Feast of Corpus Christi – Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

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Breathren: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke and said: “Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me.” In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: “This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.”

As often as you shall eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, alleluia!

 

This Feast of the Corpus Christi… the Feast of the Body and Blood of Lord Jesus Christ...stretches all the way back to Holy Thursday and the Last Supper … and Christ’s institution of the Holy Eucharist. But is wasn’t until the 13th century that it actually became a celebrated feast. It is a celebration of Christ’s gift to us… His Actual body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Gift of the Eucharist! It is the source and summit of our Christian Faith. It is from the Eucharist that all the graces of the Christian Life flow. This celebration is to instill in us the magnitude of this gift. It reminds the Faithful of God’s unfathomably love for man…

Blessed SacramentAs we gather and celebrate Mass… celebrate the Eucharist, we are re-entering into the Paschal Mystery, opened by Christ Himself at the Last Supper with the institution of the Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood. It is the ultimate source of God’s grace in the world… Breathing the very life into the Holy Catholic Church. Ebbing and flowing... it is the Unifying factor of the Holy Faith. With this celebration we are recognizing that the Eucharist is the Summit of our Church … Christ’s Church… It is the Eternal Supper of the Lamb, being offered here on earth to remind us, that in the Mass…in the Eucharist…(The Body and Blood of Christ)... All that man longs for… all that man could ever hope for, is to be found. It is God Himself. And even though it is grande… it is but a foretaste of what awaits us in Heaven.

As we receive Christ in the Eucharist, the Church members  are continually being renewed as the Body of Christ… Sent forth to follow His command by proclaiming God’s message throughout the lands. This feast also serves to remind the rest of the world, that the Catholic Church is the symbol of God’s Love for us… for all of mankind…for all eternity…until the end of time….

As Catholics we are obligated to teach these Truths…to share these Truths with the world… (which is often bitter and hostile to His Holy Word)…that He exists… that He has Always existed and now reigns Supreme over His Holy Church…calling all to Him… Longing that all who are separated from His Body, that they  should be reconciled to Him in the Truth.

This celebration of the Corpus Christi stands in  contrast to the abject lies of the devil. It proves to man that God does exist… that He sent His Only Begotten Son… to redeem us from the chains of slavery…to redeem us from the chains of sin.

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Those who are not Catholics disapprove of every thing that we do today in honor of the blessed Sacrament, and accuse us of idolatry, as we according to them, worship bread. They say also that all that we do in this regard cannot be agreeable to God, because it was not ordained by Him. We, Catholics, are, however, not disturbed by this, for we know that we do not worship bread, but Him whom three wise men worshiped in the manger, namely, Jesus Christ, true God and Man. We know also that though what we do this day in honor of the blessed Sacrament is not especially and expressly ordained in Holy Writ, still we are assured that a voluntary worship of it is in accordance with reason and the laws of God, pleasing and agreeable to His Majesty. And this is made clear to us from the above-mentioned example of the three Wise Men, and from the acts with which King David honored the Most High, on the solemn return of the Ark of the Covenant; not to mention that Christ gave us a general command to worship God, in the words: “The Lord thy God shalt thou adore and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matth. iv.) This command we fulfil today by our actions, as they all aim at one end, namely, the honor of the Lord, who is concealed in the Blessed Sacrament. The more we are blamed and derided by the heretics for our adoration of the Holy Eucharist, the more fervent should we become in our zeal. When King David was derided by Michol, on account of his devotion at the return of the Ark of the Covenant, he said: “Before the Lord who chose me . . . . I will both play and make myself meaner than I have done, and I will be little in my own eyes.” (II. Kings vi.) by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1877

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Oh Sacrament Most Holy, Oh Sacrament Divine. All praise and all thanksgiving, be every moment Thine.

 

 

 

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