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, November 29, 2013

A Love Letter From God

My Beloved Child,
Do you realize how much I love you?  You are precious in My eyes.  You are a jewel in the crown of My Mother.  You are a delicate flower moistened by gentle rain on a spring morning.  I hold you in my hand.  Your name really is carved in my palm and  is etched in the stars above heaven. 

    I love you, and I long to be with you.  I crave the moments when we are united in prayer.  I seek you out so that our hearts may be joined as one.  I long to hear about your day.  I long to hear you tell Me that you love Me!  I thirst for you.  I seek to envelope you in My joy, My Love, My Sacred Heart!

    I know you don't see Me, but I AM there with you as you go through your day.  My love only waits for you to open your heart to Me, even just a little, like a tiny violet in the grass on a spring day.  If you but whisper a word, whisper a prayer, I open My Heart to you.  I give you all that I AM. 

    Did you know that when I was hanging on the cross, I saw you?  I looked into your eyes, and I suffered with joy for you. I knew that My death would give you the gift of salvation.  How could I say no when My Father asked Me to die for you?  I love you!  I loved you before you were born.  I loved you on the cross.  I love you now.  That will never change.

    I long for your heart to be united with My Sacred Heart.  I long for the time when I hear you call out to Me, "Jesus, I love You!"  My heart fills with joy each time you whisper My Name.  My Father's Heart fills with joy when you honor Him in prayer.  The Holy Spirit is joy when you allow Him into your life to guide you and prompt you bringing you closer to us!  We love you.  We long for you! 

    My Sweetest Child, My Precious Sister, My Love, I AM yours.  I AM here.  Come to Me.  Reach out to Me with your prayer.  Touch My Sacred Heart.  My Heart is Yours.  Come and let me hear you.  All you need do is ask.  Be mine, My Love.  I AM here.  I wait for you.  I love you.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Personal Litany of Thanksgiving

Litany of Thanksgiving

Lord, have Mercy.           

R. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.          

R. Christ, have mercy

Lord, have mercy.          

R.Christ, have mercy.

Lord, we thank You for this day.             R. Lord, we thank You!
Lord, we thank You for your mercies.                               
Lord, we thank You for the rising sun.
Lord, we thank You for the for Your Unending Love.
Lord, we thank You for kindnesses.
Lord, we thank You for your consolations.
Lord, we thank You for Your gift of kindness to us.
Lord, we thank You for Your blessings.
Lord, we thank You for the happy times.
Lord, we thank You for the sad times.
Lord, we thank You for the food we eat.
Lord, we thank You for the joy we feel.
Lord, we thank You for the world around us.
Lord, we thank You for our neighbors, good or bad.
Lord, we thank You for bringing us closer to You.
Lord, we thank You for the gift of free will.
Lord, we thank You for sending us Your Holy Spirit.
Lord, we thank You for the gift of the Mass.
Lord, we thank You for our priests.
Lord, we thank You for the moon, the stars, the heavenly bodies.
Lord, we thank You for Your living Word in Sacred Scripture.
Lord, we thank You for the Eucharist.
Lord, we thank You for the annoyances in our lives.
Lord, we thank You for the people whom we love.
Lord, we thank You for our friends.
Lord, we thank You for our families.
Lord, we thank You for the gatherings of families and friends.
Lord, we thank You for technology.
Lord, we thank You for the gift of life.
Lord, we thank You for the babies who were born this year.
Lord, we thank You for the kindnesses we received.
Lord, we thank You for the blessings we received.
Lord, we thank You for the  sufferings.
Lord, we thank You for the cross.
Lord, we thank You for the gift of Your Mother to us.
Lord, we thank You for the wind, the  rain, the snow.
Lord, we thank You for Your protection.
Lord, we thank You for our pets.
Lord, we thank You for our extended families.
Lord, we thank You for the holidays.
Lord, we thank You for the love we are shown by our families and friends each day.
Lord, we thank You for our parents.
Lord, we thank You for our spouses.
Lord, we thank You for the angels and saints.
Lord, we thank You those who have gone before us.
Lord, we thank You for Your forgiveness.
Lord, we thank You for the sacraments.
Lord, we thank You for the Catholic Church.
Lord, we thank You for the talents You have given us.
Lord, we thank You for the warm days of spring and the hot days of summer.
Lord, we thank You for the cool days of autumn and the cold days of winter.
Lord, we thank You for our educations.
Lord, we thank You for each moment we breathe.
Lord, we thank You for the prospect of heaven.
Lord, we thank You for the prospect of Purgatory.
Lord, we thank You for those who are unkind to us.
Lord, we thank You for those who protect us.
Lord, we thank You for the sufferings we endure.
Lord, we thank You for dirty dishes.
Lord, we thank You!

Lord, have Mercy.        R. Lord, have Mercy.
Christ, have Mercy.        R. Christ, have Mercy.
Lord, have Mercy.`        R. Lord, have Mercy.
Amen.                R. Amen.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Prepare the Way of the Lord, Thinking Ahead to Advent

The month of November is generally associated with gratitude.  In a few days, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day, a day that still is associated with family, friends, and football.  We gather, we pray, and we eat.  

The season of gratitude leads us into the season of love, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. 
Throughout Advent, there are presents to buy and wrap, decorating to do in the house.  There are plans to make when it comes to family gatherings.  There is food to get ready and Christmas cards to address.  Added to this, there’s still homework for the kids, groceries to buy, a house to clean, laundry to do, dinner to make, and countless other tasks that fill the time and space of our lives.  Life never stops, yet, in 24 days, we will celebrate the birthday of our God,  our brother, Jesus, who is Love incarnate.

The first Sunday of Advent is this coming Sunday.  Our Church begins four weeks of preparation to help us prepare for the birth of Jesus.   During this time, the music at Mass is somewhat dolorous.  We sing about the coming of Jesus in almost sorrowful tones.  We don’t sing Christmas carols yet because the season of Christmas has not yet started.  (In our Church, the season of Christmas begins with the birth of Jesus.)  Our priests celebrate Mass dressed in purple vestments to indicate a time of penance and prayer.  (Advent used to be called “little Lent.”)  We hear readings about the coming of the Messiah.  Extra confessions are scheduled. Faith formation looks to the coming of Jesus.  “Prepare the way of the Lord.” There are also two major feast days in Advent, dedicated to the Blessed Mother - Our Lady of Guadalupe and The Immaculate Conception. These are just some of the opportunities that our Church gives us to bring us closer to Jesus as we wait for His birth.

Then we go home, and the dishes still need to be washed, the bathroom needs cleaning, the kids need new shoes, and the rounds of Christmas parties and open houses begin.  Life doesn’t allow much time for reflection on the true meaning of Christmas, unless we make time to prepare for the Birth of Our King.

So, in this busy world of ours, what can you do to truly prepare for Christmas?  This might take a little bit of scheduling, but it will be worth the effort when you feel the true joy of Christmas.

Buy an Advent wreath or drag the one you have out of storage.  Gather the family once a week to light a candle and pray together.  You can say a Rosary, if the kids are old enough, if not, maybe 3 Hail Mary’s to honor Our Mother who was the first tabernacle.
Read Sacred Scripture for 5-10 minutes a day.  Talk about these readings in your family, or, simply mediate on the reading yourself.
Begin a mini fast.  One day a week, skip a meal or eat 3 small meals that day. 
Use an Advent calendar, but, try to use one that does not give the little ones a gift each day.  Move away from the gift giving and emphasize Jesus.
Make time to pray for 5 minutes a day.  (You can pray more, but we need to start with small steps.)
Attend daily Mass.
Pray a Rosary daily.
Go to confession.  Being yourself back into reconciliation with God.
Set up a manger.  Give it a place of honor in your home.
Turn your thoughts to Mary.  Ask her to help you prepare for the coming of her Son.  She will.  Just wait and listen to her whisperings. 

There’s time to prepare.  Get started now.  Let the Light of God shine in your lives.  Prepare the Way of the Lord!

John 1: 1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God;
all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Brian Kapp, Guest Blogger, discusses Music in Our Liturgy and Faith

Sing With All Your Heart!

Today, November 22, is the feast day of St. Cecilia, the patroness of musicians. Concerts, recitals, festivals, prayer services, and masses have been held on this day for centuries, dating back to 1570 in Normandy. The celebration of God’s gift of music to us gives me an overwhelming sense of gratitude every day. This language of music gifts to us something that not many things do in this world… a chance to connect with our own feelings and faith, a chance to connect with others standing next to us, a chance to connect with our ancestors who sang the same songs and made the same music.

In a way, that is what we do in the Sacraments of Word and Eucharist every week at Mass. We partake in the reception of God’s Word and in the ‘Word Became Flesh.’ Our ancestors did the same thing… going back 2000 years!

One thing is different. We partake in Sacrament and make music in a different way than they did, from a different perspective. That is the gift of faith and of music. Every time we partake of Christ in the Mass and every time a song is sung or played, a new aspect appears. Each act of faith and each musical act is unique within itself. Just as in faith we are called to give everything we have, the language of music asks the same of us. Giving all we have at the Supper of the Lamb produces the healing presence of God’s Spirit in our lives.

Music, in many ways, offers a wonderful metaphor for the bigger picture of faith. I’ll end with a partial quote from the hymn text, His Eye Is on the Sparrow (text written by Civilla D. Martin):

“… I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free;
For his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”
Happy Solemnity of Christ the King!

Brian Kapp is Director of Music and Liturgy at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato, MN. He studied keyboard performance at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Liturgical Music at St. John's School of Theology-Seminary in Collegeville, MN. He has worked in music ministry in various capacities for the past 11 years.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

An attitude of Gratitude, #Finding God in the Ordinary

You get up late.  You pray as you get dressed, “Jesus, you must need this, so I give my day to You.  I love You.”  The kids miss the school bus.  The car pool goes on without you.  You drive to work and can’t find a parking space, and you’re late.  You forgot your umbrella and it’s raining like when the ark was floating.  You’re soaked to the bone and you have no dry clothes or shoes.  The school calls, and the kids are both throwing up.  Someone needs to pick them up.  You cancel your meeting and head home.  You get soaked again.  “Jesus,” you smile and say, “I asked for some time off,  so I guess I should thank You.”

You pick up the kids at school.  Your younger child looks at you and says in front of the school nurse, “I told you I was sick, but you made me come to school.”  You slink out of the nurse’s office with her glaring at you.  The rain is still pouring down.  You all get wet.  It’s now 11 AM and even though they have been throwing up, the kids are hungry.  You get home and make them some soup, and, yes, they both throw up.  You have a lot of cleaning to do. 

The kids are in bed, sleeping soundly.  It’s almost time to make dinner.  You can’t go to the store because you have to watch the kids.  Your sitters are still in school.  You kick off your shoes.  You pour a glass of wine.  Then you remember you haven’t gone to the bathroom since you left work.  You sigh.  You take care of yourself.  You light a candle.  Then you say, “Jesus, take care of this for me.  I can’t do anything without your help.” 

You close your eyes and rest.  You doze for a few minutes, and, when you wake, the shadows are long.  In the flickering candle light, you see your crucifix on the wall.  “Jesus, this was a tough day, but we made it through.  Thank you for taking care of us.” 

“Mom, I have to throw up again.”  You realize it’s too late as you run into the room.  You hug your child.  “I love you, Sweetie.” 

“I threw up, Mommy.” 

“Don’t worry, baby.  Jesus, is taking care of it for us.  Do you want to sleep in Mom and Dad’s bed for now?” 

“Uh, huh.” 

“Mom, I love you and daddy and sissy and Jesus.”   You smile at his precious faith.

From the other bedroom you hear, “Mom, I have to throw up!”  You hear it come up, and you run into your other baby’s room.”   “I love you, baby.”  And she throws up on your bare feet. 

You make a dry baked potato for the kids.  They want to watch TV.  They must be feeling better.  Daddy called and said he’ll be coming home later than he planned.  You showered and you put the kids to bed.  You’re starved too.  You see the box of cereal and pour yourself the last two circles of oats.  You check on the kids.  They’re sleeping.  “Thank you, Jesus, I know You’re taking care of them for me.” 

Daddy walks in the door.  You smile.  He’s soaked to the bone but he’s smiling at you.  He throws his ams around you and hands you flowers.  He says that he loves you, and that you’re a good mom.  He goes back to the car.  He brings in take out for the two of you. 

You eat with great joy.  “Thank you, Jesus,” you whisper, “You’re taking care of this for me.” 

Then you hear, “Mom, Sissy threw up on the dog and he wet the bed.  She scared him.”  You and Daddy look at each other and smile. 

“Sheets are in the drier,” you say. 

It’s finally bedtime.  The kids are sleeping.  You showered again.  You’re ready for bed.  Daddy is watching the news, but he’s really sleeping on the couch.  You cover him up with a blanket.  You fall to your knees next to your bed.

“Jesus, thank You for this day.  I am so grateful that I was able to take care of our children.  Thank you for taking care of all this for us.  I hope the children feel better tomorrow.  Jesus, take care of this for us.  Thank You.  I know You will.  Amen.  Good night” 

Ever had days like this?  Live them with gratitude, anyway.  Offer them up to God.  He’s taking care of things for you.  Thank God.  He’s God. Be grateful.  Let God be God.  He loves you.

#Finding God in the Everyday

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spiritually Adopt a Priest

Our priests need prayers.  Priests are challenged as satan seeks to tempt them and devour their souls. They are the first line of attack that satan wages on our church.  He knows that without our priests, we have no sacraments.  We have no Eucharist.   Evil seeks to destroy our church.  Without priests, we have no church.  They are the roots of the vine that Jesus planted when he chose Peter as our first Pope and the apostles as our first priests.  Without prayer, priests are unarmed in a world of sin.  We need to pray for our priests! 

I offer this suggestion when praying for priests.  Adopt a priest for a year or for a life time.  Pray for that priest.  Pray for him as if he were one of your family, one of your children.  Gather together as a family and pray a rosary for your priest.  When you cannot gather together, pray for this priest yourself.  Offer three Hail Mary's a day for him.  He is one of our Mother's beloved sons.  Offer up your sufferings for him.  Pray for his strength.  Pray that he have a burning love for souls.  Pray that he be given energy when he's tired.  Pray for him to see Jesus in every soul.

Spiritually adopt a priest you know, or, perhaps one you don't know.  There are always missionary priests to be adopted.  There are parish priests in other parts of the world who could use your prayer support.  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your choice.  Feel free to adopt more than one priest.  When you do find a priest to adopt, you can choose to tell this priest or not.  I chose to tell my priest that I adopted him.  He was happy to know this. 

Offer your Masses for him.  Have masses said for him.  Ask the Blessed Mother to stand by his side.  Pray for the gift of a happy death for him.  Pray for him to persevere even in danger.  Write his name down in your family bible.  Praise God for the gift of your priest.  Thank God for that gift.  Burn a candle for your adopted priest.  Sing songs of praise to God for him. 

No matter how you choose to handle it, pray everyday for your priest.  Hold him close to your heart.  You will be blessed. 

Always remember to pray for our Pope, too.  Our beloved Francis needs our prayers, too.  Adopt him along with your priest and pray for him daily.  Pray! Pray! Pray!  God will protect and strengthen our priests. 

Sweetest Lord, and Loving Jesus.
We thank you for the gift of Father _____________________ who is our spiritually adopted priest.  We ask that you bless and protect him.  We ask that you give him strength in difficult times.  We ask you to cover him with Your most precious Blood.  We ask that You anoint him with Your love and with your peace.  We ask that you send Your angels to protect him as he ministers to his flock.  We ask that you protect him from evil.  We ask that you give him energy when he must go on.  We ask that you give him rest when he needs it.  More than anything else, we ask that you give him the gift of a rich prayer life so that he may draw closer to You, our Father, to Your Son Jesus, our brother,  and be filled with the light and gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Light of Heaven, we thank You for your blessings.  Bless Father _______________________.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Priestly Prayer of Jesus

And Jesus Prayed
John 17

After Jesus had spoken these words, He looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come;  glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You, since You have given Him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  I glorified You on earth by finishing the work that You gave Me to do.  So now, Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory that I had in Your presence before the world existed.

I have made Your Name known to those whom You gave Me from the world.  They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.  Now they know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words that You gave to Me, I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 

I am asking on their behalf; I AM not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom You gave Me, because they are Yours.  All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.  And  now I AM no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I AM coming to You.  Holy Father, protect them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one, as We are One. 

While I was with them, I protected them in Your Name that You have given ME.  I guarded them, and not one of the was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.  But now, I AM coming to You, and I speak these things int he world so that they may have My joy made complete in themselves. 

I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world.  I AM not asking You to take them out of the world, but I ask You to protect them from the evil one.  They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.  As You have sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one.  As You, Father, are in Me, and I AM in You, may they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.  The glory that You have given Me I have given them, so that they may be One, as we are One, I in them and You in Me, that they may be completely one, so that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.  Father, I desire that those also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I AM, to see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

Righteous Father, the world does not know You, but I know You; and these know that You have sent Me.  I made Your name known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them. 

A Prayer for Priests

Lord, we ask that You bless and protect Your priests, 

For those priests who are tired and burnt out, please fill them, again, with Your Holy Spirit. 

For those priests who are full of the Holy Spirit, grant them Your Peace and a burning thirst for souls. 

For those priests who are attacked by evil, protect them.

For those priests who are tempted to sin, strengthen them.

For those priests who sin grievously against those who trust them, grant them true repentance  and salvation. 

For those priests who defy the magisterium of the Church,  grant them forgiveness.

For those priests who are unkind, treat them with kindness and mercy. 

For those priests who cannot forgive, forgive them. 

For those priests who empty themselves in Your service, fill them with Your love. 

For those priests, who have fallen away from You and Your church, guide them back to the right path. 

For those priests who suffer from illnesses of the mind and body, heal and cure them. 

For those priests who are martyrs, greet them with outstretched arms when they die. 

For those priests who die in sin, extend to them Your Mercy and Forgiveness. 

For those priests who are in Purgatory, expiate their sins so that they may rest in Your Glory. 

For those priests who stray into the New Age, bring them back to You. 

For those priests who have turned their backs on You, lead them back to You. 

For those priests who no longer want to serve, give them the burning love for souls that only You can satisfy. 

For those priests who have a fiery love for You and for souls, bless them.

For all your priests, cover them with Your most precious blood and anoint them in Your love. 

For all Your priests, I pray.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come.  Fill all Your Priests and bless them with the fruits and gifts of your grace.  Give them strength when they minister to those in need.  Give them health when they are exhausted and need rest.  Help them to see the Face of Jesus in all souls. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Would You Return?

     The road was dry and dusty.  You heard that the Rabbi, the Master, would be coming this way.  You could not get near Him because you were unclean.  You could not get near anyone because you were unclean.  You had a vile disease that kept you out of society.  You could only shout from a distance and hope that He would hear you.
      As he passed on the road, the ten of you shouted, “Heal us.  Heal us.”  He turned and told you to go and show yourselves to the priests.  In good faith, you left to find the priests in the temple. 
     As you walked, you realized that your skin was clean.  You were no longer sick.  You all look at each other in wonder and awe.  Nine in the group ran towards the priests.  One person returned to give thanks and to praise God.  Did you return?

Luke 17: 11-19

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee.  As He entered a village, ten lepers approached him.  Keeping their distance they called out, saying “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”  And as they went, they were made clean. 

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.  He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him.  And he was a Samaritan. 

Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean?  But the other nine, where are they?  Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Then He said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”

Friday, November 15, 2013

I Need to Pray More

Yes, I really do.  I need to bring myself closer to God.  He waits in the silence of my heart for me to speak.  He stands there as my Lord and Savior.  His arms outstretched on the tree. Yes, I really do need to pray more.  For He is My God.  I am His Child. 

I need to remember the patriarchs of old who worshiped God in the deserts, valleys and hills.  They followed his commands.  He was their God, and they were His people.  They were loved and cherished by the One Who created all.  He was their great I AM.

Through the prophets God spoke to the ancient world.  He showed them the burning bush.  He told them to remove their shoes for their place of worship was holy ground.  They wailed and moaned as he led them through the desert.  They were children of the living God.  God crushed their enemies but protected His chosen people in spite of their transgressions and sins.  When they bowed down to worship and followed His Commands, He forgave them their sins. 

The Father promised them a Savior.  They didn’t understand, and when Jesus was born, the humble were invited to his place of birth to worship Him.  The angels sang.  The Father protected the Son and His Parents.  The Child was subject to His parents.   He was guided and protected by His Mother and Joseph.  He was taught to pray, and He did.  Then He taught His Beloved followers to pray.

I need to pray more, for I wish to know my God and my Savior.  I need to walk His way of prayer into the desert where the prophets and chosen people danced and prayed as the campfires burned.  I need to walk up the mountain with Him to join Him in prayer.  I need to listen for His voice when He speaks to me, guiding and directing me in His Ways.

I need to feel the burning winds of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. The Apostles were directed to stay in Jerusalem until the Paraclete came.  When the Holy Spirit came, the Apostles were awakened.  He filled them with His Love and burning desire to bring Jesus to all.  Their prayers in tongues inflamed the hearts of those who heard.  They shouted in joy of the Risen Lord.  I need to pray more.   The time I spend is not enough. 

I am far away from my Loving God.  Yet, He whispers in my ear.  He loves me in spite of me.  He seeks to break the barriers of sin that keep me from His Most Sacred Heart.  He is my God and Savior.  He came to heal and set us free. 

I need to pray more.  I need to envelope myself in His Love which is free for all who seek Him.  He stands ready to embrace us with His loving arms and gentle healing hands.  I need to pray more.

Jesus, You are the Christ, Have Mercy on me a sinner!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Chaplet of the Holy Wounds

The Rosary of the Holy Wounds also known as The Chaplet of the Holy Wounds

This Chaplet is prayed using a Rosary.
It was given by Our Lord to Marie Martha Chambon (1842 –1907)

1. On the crucifix and first three beads: 

O JESUS, Divine Redeemer, be merciful to us and to the whole world. Amen.

Strong God, Holy God, Immortal God, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen

Grace and Mercy, O my Jesus, during present dangers; cover us with Your Precious Blood. Amen.

ETERNAL Father, grant us mercy through the Blood of Jesus Christ, Your only Son; grant us mercy we beseech You.

 Amen, Amen, Amen. 

2. Using the Rosary Beads

On the large beads (The "Our Father" beads) : Eternal Father, I offer You the Wounds of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to heal the wounds of our souls. 

3. On the small beads (The "Hail Mary" beads) :

My Jesus, pardon and mercy, through the merits of Your Holy Wounds.

This Chaplet/Rosary benefits our souls, as well as, the Souls in Purgatory.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

God Raked The Leaves This Year - Finding God in the Ordinary

God took care of the leaves this year.

     You get to that age when you are really concerned about falls, and, justifiably so.  Who wants a broken hip, arm, or any other body part?  I know I don’t, and I didn’t when it happened.   I missed a step at home fell, heard pop! pop! pop!  In that single motion, I managed to fracture a bone in my foot and sprain my ankle.  Ouch!  The result of this fall was that I had to slow down.  Hospice work is not an option for a while.  Then there’s the yard work.  I love doing our yard work, but this year, Ouch!  I couldn't.  So, it was time to find someone to take care of those beautiful leaves falling from the fire maples in our front yard. 
     Our city schedules a time to pick up the leaves in our yards that are raked to the curb, but our Monday was here, and I was in a boot with no way to get outside and blow the leaves to the curb.  Not only that, the leaves were clinging to the tree this year.  They just didn’t want to fall!    The fire maples were splattered with bright oranges, reds, and yellows! 
     I called a couple of places that mowed lawns in the summer.   No one called me back.  I finally decided the leaves would just have to remain on the lawn until next year.  I offered up the frustration, and  I moved on, sort of.  Later, I was still tapping the boot my foot was encased in to heal.   There was no way I could solve this problem. 
    Enter God.
    That night, the weatherman predicted a front moving into our area that would bring us much colder weather.  We'd have a windy night and a windy day the next day.  I was hoping, but I knew there were so many leaves on those trees...
     God smiled. 

    When I woke up the next morning, not only were there no leaves on the trees, the leaves in my yard had disappeared!  There were no leave left to rake.  I had to return God's smile.  I hoped my neighbors wouldn't be too upset to see their yards full of leaves, but when I looked around, I didn't see extra leaves in their yards either.
    Where did they go?  Only God knows.  I hope that the angels were able to bag the leaves before they were sent to be sources of grace for other people. 

Thank You, Heavenly Father!  You had mercy on me!  Thank you!  Please bless all those people who found those beautiful leaves in their yards,  then raked, and bagged them!  Praise You, Father!
#Finding God in the ordinary

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When we Die...

    Our hearts stop beating.  Our lungs no longer fill with air.  Our bodies cease to function.  Our immortal souls are released from our bodies.  We enter into eternal life, and our souls leave our physical bodies.  We only take with us, that which we are.
Reports from those who have returned include tunnels through which the soul flies at speeds unknown on earth.  Lights are brighter than any here.  Colors are vibrant and living.  Colors that have never been seen are visible to the soul who has left the body.
Family and friends who have died come to greet the newly dead.  Many times, souls are sent back because it’s not their time.  Others are given the choice to return to their bodies or not.  Visions of a “being of light” are often reported.  Many identify this being as Jesus, Love personified.
Life reviews, with the full knowledge of how one’s actions on earth affected ourselves and others, take place in front of Eternal Love.  Great sorrow or joy can be felt by the soul as the consequences of our actions are seen and felt.  All is truth, but truth with great love. 
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that when we die our souls are separated from our bodies and we stand in judgment by God.  We are then sent to Heaven, hell or purgatory.
    Yes, Heaven is real.
    Yes, hell is real.
    Yes, Purgatory is real.
Heaven or hell.  This is what we choose when we live.  God is Love, but the choices we make will affect our life after death.  The gift of free will is given to us by Our Loving God.  We either choose God or not.   Sin is grave, but with true repentance God will forgive even the most vile sinner. 
Since only the purified, the unblemished, can enter heaven, most need to spend time in Purgatory to cleanse the soul.  All will be known, and all will be truth.  As painful as it will be to know that we are not ready to be with God, we will also know that  God awaits us with open, loving arms. Our sins have consequences for us, and Purgatory is a place to purify our souls before we join the Great I AM in heaven. How great and painful is the longing for God by the soul in Purgatory!   What a blessing from our loving God! 
Once in Purgatory, the deceased cannot pray for themselves.  It is our duty, as members of our Church, to pray for all of our beloved, and not so beloved dead, that their time in Purgatory may be lessened.  How grateful are the souls who are released through our prayers!  When in heaven they become our intercessors!  They will come to greet us when we enter the Kingdom of God!  It is our duty to pray each day for these beloved souls of God!  How grateful is our Heavenly King when we do so. 
The St. Gertrude prayer is said to release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time that it is recited. 

Eternal Father, I offer you the most precious blood of your Divine Son, Jesus, in union with all of the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.  Amen.
    Sadly, beyond a divide through which no soul can cross, is hell.  Hell is eternal torment from which there is no escape.  Hell never ceases.  Once condemned to hell, the soul cannot leave.  The torment and pain continue through eternity.  Hell exists where God’s love cannot.  Hell is a choice.  The consequence of unrepentant sinner is hell.
    Our Lady, in all of her apparitions, asks us to pray for souls to be saved.  She gave this prayer to us at Fatima.  She has asked us to pray frequently so that more souls will come to God and be saved.

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.

This is the prayer recited between decades of the Rosary.  You will save souls, and these souls will love you for this gift!  We never know whom we will help to save.  The souls you save might be those people whom you love.  

Heaven is a choice.  God. Love.  Eternal joy.  The Hope of all Mankind.

“But it is as written:  What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
1 Corinthians: 9

Pray for the dead daily.
Pray for those you love and for those whom you don't love.
Pray for sinners daily.
We are all sinners.
Pray that all souls will enter into the joy of eternal life.
Jesus tells us,
"My grace is sufficient unto you."
Pray that those who reject His Graces and Love will be converted and souls will be saved.

Monday, November 11, 2013

St. Michael the Archangel! Warrior Angel!

St. Michael the Archangel
Warrior Angel
Chief Opponent of satan and his minions
Angel of Death
Guardian of the Church

The book of Revelation (12: 7-9) states:
"And there was war in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to earth, and his angels with him."
St. Michael, the warrior angel of our Church, is the main opponent of satan.  Throughout history,  he has fought the battle against evil in our world.  St. Michael who, through the power of God, hurled the fallen angels to earth, battles daily in our faithless world.  St. Michael symbolizes the victory of good over evil.  In the end, through the power of God, good will overcome evil, and St. Michael will lead the charge. 

Today, this mighty warrior angel is invoked in exorcisms where he continues to battle satan for the soul of the possessed.   Michael is also assumed present at the each death.  He is the patron of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.  Tradition teaches us that he accompanies and assists the souls to their judgments before the Throne of God.  For those souls who enter Purgatory, when their time of purgation is complete, Michael accompanies them to the Throne of God, where he presents them to God as they enter heaven. 

Michael is often portrayed with scales. Tradition teaches us that  he will weigh the merits of the souls of the dead.  At the final judgment, as portrayed by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, angels hold up two books.  One is smaller than the other.  In the smaller book, St. Michael records the names of those who will enter heaven.  The larger book holds the names of those who will be damned for all eternity to hell.  (Yes, hell is real and horrible.)  Which book would you like to see your name written in by Micha’el?

Catholic Tradition also tells us that St. Michael is also the Guardian of the Church and of the Blessed Sacrament.  Remember this the next time you are at adoration.  Remember that Michael is there adoring and protecting his King.  Tradition also teaches us that this mighty warrior angel guards our Pope, now, our beloved Pope Francis.  Praise God for this gift! 

St. Michael will also come to the aid of the faithful when called upon.

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 earth seeking the ruin of souls.  Amen. 
Micha’el, our great warrior and prince of angels battles satan and will defeat the Antichrist in the final battle of good and evil.  Mighty Micha’el, who is like God, but is not God, will hurl all evil powers into hell when the Virgin crushes the head of satan. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Do You Remember This Beautiful Catholic Humor Writer? I Miss Her!

May Your Beautiful Soul Rest in God's Loving Arms.
Well, done, His Good and Faithful Servant!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Learning to Pray with the Heart - Part 4

Even in our deepest pain, we must learn to forgive ourselves for not being perfect.  We must forgive ourselves when we sin.  We must seek a reunion with God through the sacrament of confession.  When reconciled with God, forgiveness of self opens the heart to God. God’s healing graces flow into the heart, opening that heart to a closer union with Him.  As we grow closer to God, we desire to be a  source of honor and glory for Him in our lives. Through prayer with heart, we find God.  With an open heart, God is able to work in our souls, molding us and changing us bringing us closer to sanctification.

When we sin, and never doubt that each of us will sin again, praise God for the gift of His Mercy.  God’s Infinite, Divine Mercy is another gift to mankind. Our God is a God of Love and Forgiveness, but we must seek this gift. Pray, ”Lord, forgive me."  Next, seek reconciliation in the confessional.  As difficult as confessing our sins might be, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the absolution of the priest, we are granted both pardon and peace.  Through the spiritual direction of the priest in the confessional, God speaks to us and sends healing graces as He speaks to us through the priest. Pardon and peace.  When our hearts are at  peace, God draws us deeper into His Most Sacred Heart.  Grace upon grace.  Blessing upon blessing.  Prayer opens the heart and gives us peace. 

For some, to pray with heart is simple.  Those blessed souls enter into God's Presence with great humility and love.   For most souls, the journey is challenging and filled with steep mountains to climb and deep valleys to navigate. Through the sacrament of confession, each fall from grace is forgiven, if we seek reconciliation with a sincere heart.  God, like the loving Father He is, gives us the chance to walk in His ways.  The final stop in our journey is heaven.  With God's infinite graces, and with the barriers that sin removed, our souls grow in prayer of the heart.  Prayer allows God’s mercies to flow freely.  Prayer of the heart is love.

My Lord, My God, My All!
I praise You and I thank You for all that You have given me.
I praise You and I thank You for all that You have not given me.
I praise You and I thank You for Your forgiveness.
I ask that You bless me and my family.
I ask that You bless those I love and those I don't love.
I ask You that You to heal me and heal those I love and those I don't love.
Bring us all into Your Mystical Body
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We are yours.  We open our hearts to You and Your healing.
Thank You, Father.
Thank You, Jesus, our Brother and King.
Thank You, Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
May Your Will be done.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Learning to Pray with the Heart - Part 3

We must bless and forgive those who have harmed us.  God will be their judge just as He will be our judge.  We must forgive.  When we feel that cannot bless those who have hurt us, then we must ask God to bless them. We must ask God to forgive us and bless our enemies.  When we do this, we entrust our hurt and pain and healing to God,  knowing He will work in our lives and in their lives, and we will all be closer to His Sacred Heart.  Your forgiveness will save souls.  In return, you will be blessed.

When we lift up forgiving hearts to God, our burdens are lessened. Our hearts are more open to God.  Our thoughts are not on our pain, our thoughts seek our God who is Love Eternal.  We begin to pray with our hearts.

 At last, God has the chance to work in our lives.  We are open to His Unending Love.  We seek God's Will in our lives.  No longer do we demand that God work in our lives according to our thoughts and desires.  We give God the opening in our hearts to fill them with His Love and wait for Him to heal that which needs healing. 

To demand that God do our will places God in a secondary position in our lives.  This is sin, but God's Love is everlasting and unending.  His forgiveness is Love.  Through the sacrament of confession, we can ask God for forgiveness, and this gift will be granted when our repentance is sincere.  Through the absolution of the priest in the confessional, we are once again reconciled to our Triune God.

Lord, this is harder than I thought it would be.  I want grow in Your Love and Graces.  Thank You for this chance.  I am having a hard time forgiving.  I can only say that I choose to forgive those who have hurt me.  I still hurt, but if this is Your Will for me, I accept the pain for Love of You and Love of Souls.  I ask You to bless those who have hurt me.  I ask You to give them the graces you give to Your most beloved souls.  Lord, I am yours.  I do forgive.  Give me the strength.  Thank you.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Learning to Pray with the Heart - Part 2

When we pray with the heart, God will be in your heart.  Open your heart to Him.  Listen for His silence.  Feel His Love envelope you.  Draw closer to His Sacred Heart.  Be an intercessor for those who need you. 

You know that lady that sings loudly and off key at church?  As others complain about the distractions she creates, intercede for her and them before the Throne of God.  You know that cousin you don't like, that neighbor who drives you insane, the child of your heart who causes you great anxiety?  Pray for them, opening your heart, so that you may be a source of grace for them.  By loving our sisters and brothers in Christ, forgiving them, and praying for them, God’s love pours down on humanity when we bring these souls to God.

Forgive them their faults.  Small things are easy to forgive.  We can overlook the unkind comment of our best friend who had a rough day.  We can forgive  the mom with 3 small children at the grocery store who is not able to control her small children when they crash their cart into yours.  These things are easy to forgive.  Say a quiet prayer asking Our Loving God to bless them and strengthen them.  Remember, forgiveness begins with a decision to forgive.  The emotions will follow later.

When the hurts are grievous, we must forgive.  When those we trusted with our love  and life cause us the greatest pain and sorrow, we must forgive.    We must forgive the deep, unspoken hurts.  There are no injuries beyond forgiveness, although many of these wounds feel this way.  When the pain is intense, we must forgive.  Forgiveness sets us free and brings us, and those who have injured us, to God.  Forgiveness begins with the decision to forgive.  Ask God for the grace to let go of the hurt and pain.  Invite the Holy Spirit into your heart to heal your soul.  When you do this, you open the door for God’s healing and mercy.

To pray with the heart, we must peel off the layers of pain and sorrow.  We must let go and let God heal these wounds.  When anger and bitterness eat at our souls, the loving, living waters of God's graces fall on dry soil.  When we forgive, and forgiveness begins with the words, "I forgive”… our hearts open and healing begins.  Even when the emotions are raw and painful, the soothing balm of God’s love fills the cracks and crevices in our souls.  God knows our hearts.  The emotions will be soothed, in time, with God's healing graces, but we must begin with the words, "I forgive..." 

Next, we must pray for and bless those who have hurt us grievously.  As unfair as this might seem, we must be intercessors for all of God’s children.  Forgiveness comes with time. You must forgive those who hurt you, often many times a day or many times an hour.  God’s unending love will envelope you in the loving graces you need to forgive.  He will soothe your aching heart.  He will pour His balm of love into your soul.  He is a God of love.  He is a God of healing.  He is the great I AM.

After forgiveness, healing begins.  As we are healed, our hearts are begin to open to God and His Ways.  His ways are not our ways.  His thoughts are not our thoughts.  He knows what is best for us.  When we acknowledge His greatness, we come to Him in humility, with an open heart.  This humility allows God to draw us closer into His Sacred Heart.

Lord, I am broken.  I am in pain.  Forgiveness is so difficult, but I choose to forgive.  I ask You for the graces to let go of the pain, to let go of the hurt, to let go of the anger.  Lord, I choose You.  I am Yours.  You shed Your blood for me.  I thank You for the gift of salvation. Lord, I am Yours.  Help me.  Thank You!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Learning to Pray with the Heart - Part 1

Ask God for the Gift of Prayer.  Ask God for the Gift of Prayer with the Heart.  Then become aware of what God is doing in your life.

Pray with your heart.  Begin with simple, vocal prayers, favorite prayers, perhaps prayers remembered from childhood.  As you vocalize these prayers, focus your total attention on God.

Put yourself in the presence of God knowing that He knows your thoughts before you think them.  He knows your heart, and He loves you.

Put yourself in the presence of God knowing God is madly in love with you.  Remember that He thirsts for souls.  He thirsts for your soul.

Put yourself in the presence of God and listen.   “Be still and know that I AM God.”  Be still.  Listen for that whisper that comes from the heart of God.  He loves you.  He loves you in silence.

Whisper in the silence.  Tell  God how much you love Him.

Praise Him with words.
Praise Him in song.
Praise Him and invite Him into your heart remembering that He is God and you are His child.  There is none greater than Him.

Allow yourself to begin to move more deeply into prayer.

Thank God.
Thank God for His greatness and glory.
Thank God for His Blessings, knowing that He works in our lives in ways we, often, don’t understand.
Thank God for the blessings that sometimes come as pain.
Thank God for the blessing of family and friends.
Thank God for your life.
Thank God.
In times of great stress and sorrow, thank God. 
When the storms arise, thank God. 
When our hearts are broken, thank God. 
No matter what, Thank God! 
Put God at the center of your prayer.  Focus only on Him.  Forget the world.  God is your world.  Love Him and Praise Him.

My God! My God!  You are the source of life, the balm of souls,
Teach me to pray.  I give myself to You.  I surrender myself to You.
I am yours, My God!  Teach me.  Mold Me.  I want to pray.  I ask You for the gift of prayer, but more than that, I ask you for the gift of prayer with the heart.  Thank You, Lord, may Your Holy Will be done.

Monday, November 4, 2013

So, How's Heaven?

I know you're there, waiting for me.  So, how's heaven, really?  Are the angels always flying around or do they stop and talk with you?  Do they walk with you?  Do you have a home where you live, or do you travel all over heaven walking with the angels or Our Loving Lord?
    I have a friend you've never met, and she's quickly nearing the day when she will fall into  the open arms of God.  She and I have decided that we will meet at the river that flows through heaven when we both cross over.  How big is that river?  Will I be able to see her across the river?  Do you ever walk the banks of that river?  Are the waters really living?
    Is there food in heaven?  I know the Heavenly Food, the Eucharist, will always be enthroned there, but do you gather for meals or prayer times?  Are there parties and celebrations?  What do you say when you see each other in heaven?  Do you have a heavenly name?
    Are you there waiting for me?  I miss you so much!  Do you plan to greet me at the threshold of heaven?  Will you take me to meet Jesus when I pass the boundaries of time and space?  What does it feel like to be in the absolute presence of God?
    You left me earlier than either of us had planned.   I long for the day when we see each other again.  I'm happy here, but I long for the joy of seeing the Risen Lord.  I long for the joy of seeing you and holding you again.  Will I be able to touch you?  Will I feel your hand in mine?  Will you be at the river waiting for me, too? 

 It's not my time yet, I know that.  One day, it will be.  My name is written somewhere in that Book of Life.  Until then, I love you, and I miss you. 

How's Heaven, really?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All Souls Day, November 2

Let the saints speak:

Padre Pio

"The souls in Purgatory repay the prayers that we say for them."

"When we pray for the souls in Purgatory we will always get something back."

“The souls in Purgatory pray for us, and their prayers are even more effective than ours,

because they are accompanied by their suffering.

So, let's pray for them, and let's pray for them to pray for us.”

St. John Vianney said:

"Consider then...the magnitude of these sufferings which the souls in Purgatory endure; and the means which we have of mitigating them: our prayers, our good works, and, above all, the holy sacrifice of the Mass."

"The fire of Purgatory is the same as the fire of Hell; the difference between them is that the fire of Purgatory is not everlasting.”

 "Yet how quickly we could empty purgatory if we but really wished to.”

Mother Theresa

“When you pray for the souls in purgatory God will be so pleased with your unselfish prayers for those you don’t even know, that he will grant you your dearest wish, without even asking and sometimes maybe without you even knowing what your dearest wish is.”

Regarding the rosary beads that were being used by Mother Theresa:  At the beginning were totally black but as the beads went on they got lighter until, at the end of the rosary, they were completely white. As she took out the rosary he ventured to ask about the differing colors of the beads.  She explained they were called Holy Souls Beads and the changing colors signify coming from darkness into light.  We know as we pray a Rosary for the holy souls, Jesus brings many of them out of darkness into the light.”

St Gertrude the Great:

Eternal Father, I offer you the most precious Blood of your Divine Son Jesus,
in union with the Masses said throughout the world today,
for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere,
for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.
1000 souls are released from Purgatory each time this prayer is recited!


Friday, November 1, 2013

All Saints Day!

Today, we celebrate the triumph of the souls in heaven, our saints.  All Saints Day honors those women and men who have joined the heavenly chorus of praise for God in the Heavens!  We celebrate those women and men who have triumphed over the curse of sin and have entered into everlasting life in the Beatific Vision of God!  We celebrate the sinners turned into saints by the grace of God.  We celebrate the souls who have been cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb.  Known or unknown, the souls we celebrate are visions of beauty and love in the light of God!  They run with joy through heaven past the rivers and streams of living waters, souls filled with the Spirit of God!  Yes, the saints have passed through the fire and were cleansed.  They triumph in the light of heaven!  They praise God and intercede for us.  We praise God and thank Him for the graces He gives us so that we might join Him in heaven.

Praise God!
Praise the Father!
Praise the Son!
Praise the Holy Spirit!
Glory Be for now and all eternity!