St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

St. Joseph, Pray for Us

" Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.  But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 
Matthew 1: 18-21 

" Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 
Matthew 2:13 

I first saw this statue in a photo shoot of the new Pope Francis.  
When Pope Francis invoked the help of St. Joseph, he would write his prayer intention on a small piece of paper.  Next, he would place the paper under the sleeping St. Joseph.
And St. Joseph would help our beloved Pontiff.

Every Wednesday is devoted to St. Joseph.
Have a problem at work?
Discuss it with St. Joseph any time, but honor him on Wednesdays.
Need help with your family?
Discuss it with St. Joseph at any time, but honor him on Wednesdays.
 St. Joseph is available any time and any where, 
he listens especially hard on Wednesday.
Honor him on that day.

There is also a special devotion to St. Joseph on the first Wednesday of every month.
This devotion is similar to the First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart and the First Saturday devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
explains the tradition and presents prayers for you to use that day.
Wednesday is day after tomorrow.
Begin and end your day honoring the earthly father of Jesus.

St. Joseph, Pray for us!

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Blessing of Dealing with Difficult People

We all know them.
They will argue with anything you say.
They will disagree with you for the sake of disagreement.
They will make life difficult for you no matter how hard you try.
We all know them.
Perhaps we are one of them.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."

They aren't easy to live with, work with, deal with no matter where we encounter them.

Can you imagine how Jesus felt when He began His public ministry?
There were those who didn't believe or understand.
I'm sure they ran to the Temple guards and reported Jesus and His followers for His outrageous beliefs.

"He just said He was the Son of God!"
"How dare He cure on the Sabbath?"
"He eats with sinners."
"I saw Him wash the feet of a sinner!"
"He said He forgives sins!"

I'm sure He was refused entry into some houses because they feared the Temple Guards and because they were just difficult people.

Did Jesus give up on these people?
No,  He left Himself available for them, and some came in the darkness of night to see Him and learn.
Did He refuse to pray for these people?
No, He prayed for all His Children, His brothers and sisters.
Did Jesus strike back at them when they hurt His feelings by calling Him names or spitting at Him?
No, He worked in their lives to bring them to eternal life.

When Jesus was being tortured, did He curse His oppressors?
No, He prayed for them.
When the soldiers whipped Him at the pillar, did Jesus refuse to love them?
No, His love is unending.
When the soldiers nailed Him to His cross, did Jesus extend His Mercy to them?
Yes, He forgave them and the Father poured down graces of love and forgiveness.
 How can we do less?

A mother who lost her second daughter to gun violence showed her grace filled soul when she forgave her daughter's killers and prayed that they would seek God's grace of forgiveness for themselves.
How can we do less?

Difficult people are, at best, difficult, and, at times, dangerous,
but how can we do less than forgive them and offer God's love?
 Yet, they are a blessing.
From them we can develop our gifts of Mercy and Love.
From difficult people we can learn patience and extend that patience to others.
From difficult people we can grow spiritually by practicing the virtues.
From difficult people we can learn to become less judgmental.
From difficult people we can learn to show the love of God to our fellow man.

When we behave as a Child of God, we grow in grace.
When we behave as a Child of God, we please the Father.
When we behave as a Child of God, we are blessed.

The blessing we have passed on to a difficult person returns to us in fullness.
By blessing we are blessed.
"God bless us all," said Tiny Tim. 
He will.  He does.  



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Acts of Mercy 12 Years Ago

The 8 works of Corporal Mercy Are:

Feed the Hungry
Give Drink to the Thirsty
Shelter the Homeless
Visit the Sick
Visit the Prisoners
Bury the Dead
Give Alms to the Poor

Today marks the 12th anniversary of my husband's death.
As he lay in hospice, 
we were given the gifts of these 
Corporal Works of Mercy.

1) We were fed by friends and neighbors.
2) The brought us whatever we needed to feed those who visited us including bottles of water.

3) They offered their homes to those who came to say goodbye.
4) They visited my husband.
5) They came to give us time off to rest.
6) They helped us through the sadness of death.
7) They helped us financially.
For this we are eternally grateful.
My son, though, reminded us of the most beautiful act of Mercy we were shown in his Facebook post yesterday.
He gave me permission to use his post.
To understand it, please read to the end.

As I said earlier I've been going through a lot of photos this week. Not going to lie, it's a tough week for me. Around this time 12 years ago my dad was ailing in hospice care. I'm not posting this to be a Debbie Downer. Maybe it's because I'm usually closed up and private, and sharing this is somehow oddly therapeutic for me. I think mostly it's because of going through the tough times I've found that if you look hard enough, there is good to be found in even the worst of times; sometimes you have to look very hard for it, sometimes it's right in front of you. Trust me, I've seen it. Not just in this story I'm about to tell you but in many other instances too.
The small paper lanterns you see in all of these photos are called luminarias. Consulting Wikipedia (yeah, I know how that sounds), luminarias are traditionally used in New Mexico and the southwest United States at Christmas Eve, lining driveways and walkways. The Roman Catholic tradition is used to symbolize a walkway that will guide the Christ child into your home. The luminarias are simple to make, consisting of a brown paper bag, sand at the bottom, and a candle. (There are other traditions and uses for them but you can Google that if you want to read about them further). Every Christmas Eve, my mom, and most recently my mom and sister would line the driveway with these luminarias.
As my dad's health began to fail, my mom began to line our driveway with the luminarias at night. Being that Minnesota is quite aways away from the SW part of the US, our neighbor asked about the luminarias in our driveway. Everyone in the neighborhood knew of my dad's failing health but no one had heard of a luminaria before. They were told the story you just read above (if you're still with me at this point). The next thing we knew, all of our neighbors began to set out luminarias too.
I don't have words to describe the overwhelming feeling of support, love, solidarity, and community, that came along with this simple gesture by the neighborhood.
Even in this dark time for my family, our neighbor's literally provided a shining light for us.

The photos above are the photos to which he was referring.

I am forever grateful for these acts of Mercy.  
My husband left this earth surrounded by love.

More than anything else, 
I am grateful! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Worth Repeating: He's Been Busy, A New Saint, Weeping for Joy!

He has been on American soil less than 24 hours, and, 
Pope Francis has been greeted by the President and his family,
the Vice President and his family,
they looked as happy as little kids in a candy store.
He was also greeted by a retinue of Church Princes and Bishops.
The Pope has also been welcomed by the President and a few thousand of his other close friends, 
in the backyard of the White House.
The Pope has ridden in the Pope Mobile, causing the Secret Service and his security guard to sweat bullets as those who have lined the way for hours, wanted to reach out and touch the Pope.
Pope Francis grinned from ear to ear as he was riding along.
He seems happiest when he is with the people, ministering to them with his love.
Running late, he conducted a mid day prayer service for bishops.
He wanted to greet all of them, but due to time, he could not.
Pope Francis didn't say a word, he simply lifted his sleeve and pointed to his watch.
Everyone knew what that meant. 
I'm already tired!
At this point, I love track of Pope Francis.
I'm glad I'm not on his security team!
He had one more appointment, then it was off to canonize a new saint.
Blessed Junipero Serra is now
Saint Junipero Serra.
He was an 18th century missionary who dedicated his life to converting the native American population to Catholicism.
I did a report on him once when I was 8.
I carved a mission out of a block of soap and used toothpicks for the crosses.  You can read more about that
If you want to read the Homily of Pope Francis at the canonization Mass, click
I don't know what else the Pope has on his schedule today, but I'm tired.
The only thing I wish is that the Raymond Arroyo, of EWTN, had practiced the pronunciation of 
Saint Junipero's name.
I felt that was negligent of him.
Throughout all of this,
I wept.  
I don't know why, but it had to be sheer joy that God saw fit to bring our 
Beloved Pontiff to the United States.
Praise God!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Being a Catholic Today

I look at the crucifix, and I see a Man, a God-Man,
named Jesus, called the Christ,  who lived for us and died for us.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."
John 3:16 

The Church He established on earth, and this is the only Church established by Jesus and carried on by the Apostles, is the only Church established by the 
Son of God.
The Catholic Church is ancient.
It's over 2,000 years old.
The world was very different then.
The Jews were waiting for the Messiah.
The problem was that, at that time, they did not recognize Him.
They expected Him to come and save them from the Romans.
He didn't, but He did come to challenge them.

Today, we are still challenged by Jesus.
Our world is heavy with sin.
We live in a culture where there is no wrong, where everything is right. 
Morality is what you decide it should be.

Being Catholic is not easy today.
As Catholics, we must follow the Truth because the Truth cannot contradict itself.
The Truth is always right.
The Truth is never wrong.
 We must show, by our actions, that we are loving and merciful to others.
We must follow the Commandments that Moses brought down from the mountains.
We must live an upright and moral life in a world where we will be scorned and disdaned.
We must be the light.
We must be the salt,
even when we are rejected.

Being a Catholic today is not easy,
we have not been promised that life would be easy,
we have only been promised that when we die, a  moral life would be worth it.

Lord, help me to remain true to You.
You gave me the gift of our faith, help me to be strong.
When the world calls me to break your commandments,
I know that I will fall at times, but I ask for Your Strength and Courage to return to the grace of Your love.
Help me, Lord. 
Help me. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

I started Reading A New Book

My Heart Will Triumph
written by
Miriana Soldo,
one of the six visionaires of Medjugorje.
This book tells Mirjana's story, in her own words, of the apparitions of Medjugorje.

I am just beginning Chapter 7 in the book, so this cannot be a review, but I can say this about the book, 
I am learning a great deal about the early days of the apparitions.
The visionairies all suffered greatly at the hands of the Communist government.
The goal of the government was to stop the apparitions.
Little did they realize that the Blessed Mother cannot be stopped.
In her kindness and patience, she helped the 6 visionaries work through the sufferings and challenges of being a visionary  in this modern age.

If you want to get to know the Mother of God better, this book will bring you closer to her.
If you want to understand the visionaries more fully, this book will bring you a greater understanding of their lives and challenges.

So far, I highly recommend this book.
If you would like to comment on this book, feel free to do so.  
I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Worth Repeating: A Letter From Your Guardian Angel

My Dearest Child,
You are not my child, but you were given to me by God the moment you were conceived in your mother's womb, not a second later, not a month later, but at that moment when you became a human being.
From that moment on, you were the person I was to love without condition, and the person whom I was to guide through your life.
God also charged me with protecting you throughout your life.
I love you beyond anything you can imagine.
I can't love you as much as God loves you, but I am a reflection of His love for you.
Although I am in the third choir of angels, I am very powerful.
I will protect and defend you unless God chooses to bring you closer to Him through adversity and challenges in your life.  Then, I can only do His Most Holy Will.
Do not be bitter if God allows challenges and tribulations in your life.  He is testing you, and He is using these trials and tribulations to bring you closer to Him.  When these challenges come to you, keep your eyes on Jesus.  He will send you the strength and courage that you need.  
I long for the time when we meet.  You have free will, and I cannot interfere if you choose to sin.  I try to direct you to God.  You will know when I am there.  If you have sinned, you will feel ashamed.  I am helping you return to God.  I am a part of your conscience.  Never feel ashamed to confess your sins.  I will be there loving you and rejoicing with heaven at your return to the Lord. Because God gave you the gift of free will, I cannot force you to choose God.  There are so many people who do not choose God!  Their angels are broken when they die.  Hell is a place I do not like to see.  There is no hope in Hell.  There is no God in hell.  The demons torture the souls there.  There is no relief from the suffering.  This is why you must pray for all souls, daily.

"Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins.  Save us from the fires of hell.  Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of thy mercy."

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you.  Save souls.

You will help to save souls.  Pray for those who have no respect for human life.  Pray for those who murder and kill in the name of religion.  Pray for those have abortions.  Pray for those who perform abortions.  Pray for those who violate the untimely death of children.  Pray for those who forsake God in favor of evil.

Evil comes in many forms.  You might not even recognize it when you see it.  Evil might look beautiful.  Evil might look like the fulfillment of everything you have ever wanted.  Evil might be calling you right now.  Just know that I am by your side at all times.  You are never alone.  I am invisible, but I am here.  Invoke my help and protection.  I will help you with great joy!

You are mine to serve on this earth.  
Ask me.  Invoke my help.  As me to bring other angels to help.
Call upon the Mother of God for help with angels.
She is our Queen.  We seek to serve her.  She, like no other, always does the Will of God.
Love her, too.
She is your mother.

My precious human,
I will close now with this thought.
I love you.
When you die, I will be with you.  I will be with you through your judgment.  I will escort you to Purgatory.   I will wait until you are purified, then I will escort you to the Throne of God where you will behold the
Beatific Vision for all eternity.

You are not alone, and you are loved.

Your Guardian Angel