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 18, 2015

Who would Have Ever Dreamed?


This year, I was stunned when my cousin died in her sleep.  She was 8 years younger than me.  She had divorced herself from our large family when she moved to Texas with her family.  We didn’t know why then.  We don’t know why now.   No one seems to understand.  The only person with whom she kept in touch was me.  Our conversations were only about once a year, but they were fruitful, enjoyable, and long. 

On the morning she died, I received a text from her son telling me that she had “passed.”  It was a shock to everyone, but the biggest shock came when I asked when her Mass of Christian burial would be.  No one would answer me until I saw on Facebook that a chaplain from the united unitarian church of paganism would preside at her memorial service.  There were no plans for a Mass of Christian Burial, and no one explained why.  My heart broke for her.  I had Masses said in my parish, but they are not the same as the Mass of Christian burial which she would never have.

This was very difficult to accept, but as my 80 year old cousin, who is also like a sister to me, said, “Let. It. Go.  You’ll never know.”  She was right, but difficult only speaks lightly of what I felt.

The second shock of the year came, when I asked my dear 80 year old cousin what she had planned for her funeral.  She said, “Nothing. I don’t want anything.  No Mass. No Rosary.  Nothing.”  No explanation was forth coming, so, I had to let it go.  Stunned, I was on my knees again in prayer.  God has His way of doing that.

When I die, I want a priest with me holding my hands, after he has anointed my palms with the holy oils of the church.  I want every priest I have ever known to preside at my Mass of Christian burial.  I want rosaries and Masses said for my soul.  I want the whole thing plus more, just to be on the safe side!  I want everyone to know that I was a Catholic woman who tried to live her faith, not always successfully, but she tried.  I want the homily at my Mass of Christian burial to one of praise to God. 

All right, maybe those wishes are overkill, but I want to be buried not just as a Christian, but as a Catholic.  This label is very important to me.  As we go through life, into the valleys and up the hills, we show the world our faith.  If we are unkind to our sisters and brothers and we fail the teachings of Jesus, what would be reasonable for them to think of our Catholic faith?  Is our faith a religion that teaches others how to live and love and serve God by the way we treat them?

So many children of God consider themselves to be spiritual but they don’t like “organized religion.”  How do we teach these daughters and sons of God, that God is there, alive in our churches, because He has taught us this is His Truth Himself?  How we behave affects what others believe. Religion is not bad. Like the Ark of the Covenant, it is where the Word of God is kept.

 Do we always set the best example?  No, we do not.  I am a grievous sinner, but when I fall, I get up, walk into the confessional, and through the priests’ ministry, I am forgiven my sins.  I can change and start again.  I pray that a priest will be with me for this purpose when I die.  I want to be reconciled to God and my fellow man.

When the last hymn is sung, and my body is taken out of the church to be buried, my hope is that, even though I was not perfect, I will be remembered as a Catholic woman who gave her all to Jesus through the Catholic Church.  I repeat, religion is not bad.

Yes, these are the ramblings of an old woman with wrinkled hands and fingers that are becoming bent and crooked as I age.  Once I had great dreams, but life interfered, and my reality changed.  These were God’s plans for me.  He’s brought me here and to my knees.  How can I thank Him for His love and compassion? 

I am blessed to be able to  live the rest of my life as a Catholic woman. In this capacity,  I can witness our faith for Him, Who is Love.  I can be His Hands, His Feet, His Mouth, His Eyes, and His Heart to His other children.  I can offer my sufferings to Him as an oblation of love for peace.  My heart is still young, and, life will not be easy as I age, but I am a Catholic woman, and I love that title!  I pray that people see the Catholic religion positively through me. 

Jesus said, “Follow me.”  He didn’t just mean Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook.  He meant, “Follow Me.”

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!

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