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!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Give Thanks

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Thanksgiving is not the only time of the year in which we need to remember to give thanks and be joyful.  Paul reminds us that we must rejoice always. 

Really?  Rejoice always?  What about when things go wrong?  Yes, even when things go wrong.
 Pain is easier to bear when we focus on Jesus.  By focusing on our God, we are able to take the burden off of ourselves.  The pain is easier to bear when we know that Jesus, our Brother, is with us through each trial and storm.  Rejoice?  Yes, rejoice for God is at our side!  His Arms are outstretched ready to bear our pain and help us carry our cross.  Rejoice!  The Lord is with us!

Pray without ceasing!  Surely Paul is joking!  How can we pray without ceasing?  Why should we pray without ceasing? 

The easiest way to pray without ceasing is to begin each day with the morning offering. 

O  My Jesus,
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You all of my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass said
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.

By giving your day to Jesus, you are in a constant state of prayer.  Since prayer is the direct communication with God, we grow closer to Him.  By giving Jesus our day, we become aware of the virtues we need to develop and practice.  With this knowledge, we can choose to grow closer to God by growing in holiness.  To grow in holiness, we eliminate sin and the causes of sin in our lives.  We choose the ways of God over the ways of the world.  Yes, pray always.

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

When the sea is calm and the waves are gentle, giving thanks to God is easy.  We can praise and glorify Him with our entire being.  Our heart and soul joins easily to the heart of our Savior. Then, the storm surrounds us, and Paul reminds us that we must continue to give thanks to God in all circumstances.  When the waves throw us to the shore and threaten to swallow our boat, how can we give thanks?

We can learn to give thanks by saying,

Thank you, Lord, for being with me in this storm.  What happens at the end of this storm, I don't know, but I do know that You will be with me through it all.

Easier said than done?  Of course it is!  In the heart of the storm, the ability to thank God is a unique challenge.  However, Jesus has promised us that He will give us the graces we need each day.  

"My grace is sufficient for you." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Thanksgiving begins with the decision to thank God in spite of what is happening in our lives.  When you are tempted to run and hide or slide into a slippery web of self pity or doubt, you can choose to make the decision to thank God knowing that He is with you, and that He is allowing this storm to bring you closer to Him.  We all have the amazing gift of free will, and it is through this gift that we can choose to honor and glorify the great I AM with our gift of thanksgiving.

For what am I grateful?

1) The hot weather is easing up!  Fall is on the way!
2)  I made it through the day without gossiping today!
3) I had a delicious dinner yesterday!  

Yes, I am grateful!  Thank You, My Lord and My God!

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