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, May 31, 2016

Imagine You're Stuck...

No matter how hard you try,
you can't move.
You cry out for help,
but no one can see you or hear you.
You are securely wedged in a place that can neither be seen nor, your cries for help, heard.
The pain is great.
You hurt all over.
It's either too hot or too cold.
You feel like death is near,
but, you realize, all you have to do is to relax and wait.
Someone, somewhere, will hear your cries for help.
They will either come themselves to help you or send someone to help you.
You pray for help for yourself, but you realize that's not the way to pray.

You pray for the person who will come to set you free, you cannot pray for yourself.

This is how the souls in Purgatory feel.
Their time of merit is over.
They cannot pray for themselves.
They cannot pray for themselves.
They are stuck, wedged into the saving graces and purgugation of Purgatory, but they cannot help themselves.

Yesterday was Memorial Day in the United States.  We remembered our fallen heroes who gave their lives that we might live in freedom.
Did you pray for the souls of our warriors?  Did you pray for your loved ones who fell in battle?
Did you pray for members of your family tree, even though they might have died over 100 years ago?
Purgatory can take a long time.
The sufferings are intense.
There are those who have no one to pray for them.
There are those whose family has forgotten to pray for them, assuming they are in heaven.
There are those who have been in Purgatory for centuries.

Pray for all souls in Purgatory daily.
Pray for all the forgotten and abandoned souls daily.
Pray for members of your family who have died.
Pray for members of your family who are still alive.
Pray for yourself because while you are alive you can still earn merit.
Pray for the grace of a holy death for all of your loved ones, even if they have already died.
Pray for your death that it might be holy.
Pray for your soul in Purgatory.

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, in reparation for sin, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those within my own home and within my family. Amen.
Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great, said to release 1,000 souls each time that it's prayed. 
God be with you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Most Powerful Prayer in Heaven and on Earth

Call upon His Holy Name often.
Pray His Name often.
In Times of Sorrow.
In Time of Joy.
May His Holy Name be Praised forever!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Guest Blogger: Michelle Buckman

Death Panels:  A Novel of Life , Liberty and Faith
He turned to the newborn, his fingers almost touching the dark fluff of hair, but he resisted, and busied himself with removing his protective wear.  "As long as you're sticking around, you can dispose of it."

      The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
                  -Edmund Burke
Evil is triumphing because good men didn’t do anything. No one would listen in 1994.
Government controlled healthcare has resulted in almost all healthcare providers being hooked into huge corporate conglomerates. Homosexual marriage is not only valid, but forcing Christians to participate through their businesses. Baby parts are being sold for big profit. Transgenderism—where is that headed? And at the root of it all, Christianity being attacked and systematically destroyed, or at the very least, stymied. Anything Christians speak against is railed at as being racism or bigotry, while every other religion is given free reign. Tolerance is only for the immoral.
The pathway to this free-for-all was visible in the ’90s for those willing to stop, look, and listen.
Back then (1996), there was a push for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). People acted like it was no big deal. Why, they asked, do we need to defend marriage? It’s been around since the beginning of time? What’s to defend?
Back then, no one was challenged for being Christian. Transgenderism was an odd mental condition that few people even pondered; the actual physical condition of people being born with more than one set of genitals so rare that it was an anomaly, and certain not something discussed in daily conversations.
Back then, the one issue that was being discussed was abortion, legalized twenty years earlier and growing in numbers as the agenda was pushed in schools and every forum possible as being for the safety and benefit of women, to protect girls from suffering back-alley procedures and from the mental stress of raising unwanted children.
I was a young mother at the time, very attuned to the political ramifications of issues at hand and appalled that no one could see what was coming. So, I wrote a book about where we were headed: Death Panels.
Back then, the book was titled Liberty because that’s what it is about—people remembering that the value of our country lies in our extraordinary liberty, and how political agenda was bent on first restricting and then destroying the fantastic liberty on which our nation was founded because the plan to thwart the domination of Christianity was already underway.
When I wrote Death Panels, I did my best to make everything as farfetched as possible. I wanted to shake people up enough that they would consider where the various pushes against Christianity could lead. Unfortunately, I was a new author and after one publisher’s acceptance that ended up falling to rejection in favor of another book, I abandoned the manuscript until 2008, when Obama was elected. I presented it to Tan Books / St. Benedict Press and it was bought and published in 2010.
Now, six years later, many aspects of the story have come true, or can more clearly seen as the end result of our current path. You’ll see, this isn’t about hating anyone. It’s about loving people, but not embracing their sins as normal, acceptable behavior.
Read it. Think it through. Pass it on.
Stand firm in your beliefs.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Worth Repeating: Finding Your Prayer Voice

When we pray, we are in direct communication with our Living God.  What an amazing gift to us, His Beloved Children!   *(CCC 2559-2561) Whether in words, thought,  or song, God hears our prayer.  He listens as we chant or rest in the silence of His Heart.  Each  of us, as a child of God, has a  prayer voice that is as unique as a finger print.

The patriarchs of the Old Testament prayed to God in the open air, in nature.   They passed on the stories  of their fathers’ experiences with God, and they danced and sang the praises of God around the campfires.  God heard their prayers as they tended their sheep and raised their children.  Sometimes,  God would send heavenly messengers to  visit these men and women of old, and their lives would be changed forever.   When these women and men spoke to God in prayer, they spoke from the heart, which is where prayer is born.  *(CCC2562-2564).

Today, we are bombarded with stiumli. We are a society of distractions, multiple activities and short thought processes.  Aren’t you, like me, often challenged in finding time to pray? When we find the time, how do we pray? I ask myself that question often. Do I attend Mass, the greatest prayer of all? Do I pray a Rosary?  (Always a good option in my eyes.)  Do I sit in silence with God?  Do I pull out an old prayer book and recite those prayers?  Am I close to a church where I can sit in adoration of our Risen Lord? How do we find and use our prayer voice? 

God blesses us with so many ways to communicate with Him.  As always, my recommendation is to begin your search for your prayer voice with a simple prayer.

Lord, God, I want to communicate with You in the best way I can.  Please show me how You want me to talk with You.
The answer to your prayer might be given immediately or it might take a while.  No matter, practice the virtue of patience as you seek to find.  Remember, God will open that door for you.  Ask for this gift in Faith. 

 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  Matthew 7: 7-8
I pray in many different ways, however, I found my prayer voice in writing.  I have journaled for years, since I was a teenager caught up in the angst of my raging hormones.  I have kept gratitude journals, negativity dump journals, journals of being in love, journals of my children’s lives, journals of my hopes and dreams, journals of ways to decorate my home, photo journals, blogs.  Well, you get the picture.  I have journaled for years. 

One day, many years ago, as I prayed, I fought distraction after distraction.  Frustrated, I stopped praying.  When I stopped my prayer,  I saw my gratitude journal out of the corner of my eye.  (The Holy Spirit was working here! ) Suddenly, I realized, my attention was always focused when I wrote.  I found a new notebook, labeled it “Prayer Journal,” and I began to write.  I felt God smile on me that day.   I found my prayer voice!  

Now, I use my prayer journal almost everyday.  I also pray in other ways, too.  Yet, I know, my  true prayer voice, a gift from our Loving God, is in the gift of writing. 

Thank You, Lord, for this gift!  Amen.

* CCC = Catechism of the Catholic Church

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

So, How Are You Blessed Today? Where did You Find God In Your Life?

Today, I am blessed.

I found God in the flowers in my yard.  He made flowers for us to enjoy.

I found God in the fragrance of a lilac bush in my neighbor's garden.
The fragrance drifts into my garage filling it with a bit of heaven.

Today, I found God in the little birds as they build their nests.
I was chased away by a protective parent who had built their nest in a bush.   She made it clear to me that I was too close to her babies.

Today, I found God in a robin that flew into my garage as I worked on this blog.

Today, I found God in the lunch I made.  God gave us this food to eat.  I'm grateful that we can eat such deliciousness.

Today, I found God when I pried the colander from the Dollar Store out of the ground and saw that my morning glories were starting to sprout!  I can hardly wait for them to grow into a vine.

Today, I found God in the gift of my "Woman Cave," where neighbor's have begun to gather for friendship, wine, and crafts.

Today, I found God as I laughed with a Facebook Friend when we chatted.  I've never met her in person, but we are friends.

Today, I found God in memories as I cleaned shelves.  I found OLD pictures as we all grew up.

Most importantly, today I found God at Church, during Mass, in the Eucharist.
I felt His Love.  My tongue held the host until it melted.  I eyes saw our Brother in my heart.
What could be more important than this?

Where did you find God today?

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Monday after Easter, and We're back in Ordinary Time: 10 ways to keep the Spirit alive in Your Hearts after Pentecost

We've completed one of the extraordinary times of the liturgical calendar:
the Easter Season
which takes us from Lent through the shortest season of the liturgical year,
the Triduum
to the celebration of 
culminating in the feast of 

As intense as the time is from Lent to Pentecost,
we enter a time of refreshment,
a time when we learn about
and are given the opportunity of conversion,
of imitating the life of Jesus.

Once in ordinary time, it's easy to forget the sacrifices of Lent and the glory of Easter.
The gospels and other readings tell the story of Jesus when He walked the earth, the prophesies of the ancients of Isreal, and the covenant God made with His people.
Lest we forget.  We need to find ways to keep the Spirit of God alive in our hearts.

1) Invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts daily.  Open your heart to Him.  Ask Him to love you, to teach you, to guide you. 

2) Ask the Holy Spirit to help you learn about Him.  He is a person of the Trinity.  Each of the Persons has a different personality.  Ask the Holy Spirit to let you get to know Him.

3) Pray each day to the Holy Spirit for others.  Ask the Holy Spirit to bless them and convert them.

4) Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see other persons the way He sees them.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you love them in the same way He does.

5) Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to bless other people.  Ask Him to remind you to say, "God bless you," when you greet others or when you leave them.

6) Ask the Holy Spirit to light a fire in your heart that cannot be quenched, no matter what.

7) Ask the Holy Spirit for His gifts.  He will give you the ones you need to complete your mission in life.

8) Thank the Holy Spirit for working in your life.  Ask Him to help you better recognize your encounters with Him, then praise Him for His work in you and in your life.

9) As you get ready for bed, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through your day.  Ask Him to help you remember where you could have done better and ask Him to show you where He was pleased with your actions.

10) Right before you go to sleep, invite the Holy Spirit into your soul as you sleep. Ask Him to heal the hurts that need healing, and ask Him to forgive the attachments you cling to in your soul, especially those which nurture anger and resentment.

The Holy Spirit loves you and wants to get to know you, but He waits for your invitation.
Don't delay.  Ask Him now.

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Renew my soul.
My life is in your hands.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Happy Feast of Pentecost!

Come, Holy Spirit,
Fill the hearts of Your faithful,
Kindle in them the fire of Your Love,
Send forth Your Spirit,
we shall be created,
You will renew the face of the earth.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

It's the MIddle of May, and it's Still the month in which we Honor Mary

Yesterday was the Feast of
Our Lady of Fatima.

Let us renew our Consecration to Mary,
the Mother of God.  
If you haven't consecrated yourself and your family yet, 
pray this prayer and consecrate yourself to her daily.

O most pure heart of Mary, full of goodness, show your love towards us. Let the flame of your heart, O Mary, descend on all people. We love you im- mensely. Impress on our hearts true love so that we may long for you. O Mary, gentle and humble of heart, remember us when we sin. You know that all people sin. Grant that through your most pure and motherly heart, we may be healed from every spiritual sickness. Grant that we may always experience the goodness of your motherly heart, and that through the flame of your heart we may be converted. Amen.

(Dictated by Our Lady to Jelena Vasilj of Medurgorje, 18 November 1983.)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Ending the Week in Thanksgiving and Praise!

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

1) I have returned to the recitation of the Rosary on a daily basis, and for that grace, I am so grateful!  Our Lady is a wonderful Mother to all her children, and praying the Rosary has given me strength and Peace!

2) I was lucky at the thrift store yesterday.  I found some used bibles that I can use for my bible journaling group!  It's so much fun, and I'm learning so much!

3) Pixie is doing well now with her pain medication!  I do thank God for the gift of "The Girl."
Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above the Heavenly Host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Memories and a Rosary

This Rosary was made for me by my Aunt Peggy.  Her real name was Margaret, but everyone called her Peggy.
I found this Rosary last night when I cleaned out a drawer last night.
Peggy crocheted with beautiful Rosary.
I had forgotten I had it!
I love it!
This Rosary was made with great love.
I won't go into details, but Peggy was married to an abusive man who, as part of our military,
kept her away from the family through his voluntary assignments overseas.
The family didn't know about the relationship because, even on visits,
the surface is what we saw.
My heart breaks when I think of her, but I know she's in heaven now for all she endured.
The mask she wore was a smile, but the love she had for us was real.
She had very little access to money or the telephone,
but she managed to call home to tell us she loved us and send my children money on their birthdays and Christmas.
As Peggy lay dying from breast cancer, she began to reveal bits of her life 
Police reports confirmed what she said, and her husband's absence from her bedside and funeral spoke volumes.
If Peggy spent any time in Purgatory, I would be surprised.
I do know she prayed for her husband.  This was important to her.
I know she's in heaven.
I also know that I must pray for the man who was her husband.
Forgiveness is a challenge, but it must be.
I do pray for his soul, so, maybe now, I should use this Rosary to pray for him.
Remember, we must never give up on souls.
Like Padre Pio did, we can pray now for anyone who has already died, that they might have the grace of a holy death.
So, I will pray for her and for him.  I wasn't there when Peggy died, but I wish I had been.
St. Gertrude's Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory
said to release 1,000 souls each time it is prayed.
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, in reparation for sin, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those within my own home, and within my family.
Peggy, we love you!
May you rest in the love of God and in the arms of Jesus!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Worth Repeating: Letter to Our Mother

Dearest Mother,

It's May, and it's your month.  We honor you as the Mother of God!  Thank you for listening to the angel's words and saying yes.  You are our advocate before Your Son, Jesus, our God and our brother.  For this, we thank you, and we praise God. 

St. Therese said that we, your children, are like flowers in a garden.  Each one is special and unique.  Each one of us has a purpose in life.  Each one of us was born with a mission that will glorify God.  How do you keep track of all your children dearest Mother?  It must have been easier with only one Son.

Dearest Mother, I often wonder about your life.  What was it like raising the King of Kings?  Did you and Joseph stand by His cradle and look at Him as He slept?  Did you wonder if He would fit in with the other children in your village?  Did you wonder how The Father would accomplish His gift of salvation through your Son?  Did you talk about this in your family as Jesus grew? 

Did Jesus help you in the kitchen when He was too young to work with Joseph?  Did you teach Him to cook and to clean?  When Joseph died, did you hold Jesus close and tell Him that all would be well? 

When Jesus grew into manhood, did you worry about Him?  You knew His mission of salvation would begin as Jesus left to find John and be baptized by Him.  You knew that He would do as you asked at the wedding in Cana even when He bantered with you.  We all know He couldn't resist your smile and love.  All you had to do was to tell the servants, "Do whatever He tells you." Jesus couldn't say no.  You pushed your little bird out of the nest and into His public life.  You had your mission, too. 

Dearest Mother, how your heart must have broken when you saw Jesus beaten, bruised and near death on His way to the cross.  How could you stand the pain? When Jesus gave you to John as his mother, he took care of you and gifted us with His Mother.  When Love died on the cross, your heart was pierced.  Your heart was shattered and broken.  You understood undying pain in the death of Love, but you accepted the sacrifice of the Lamb to the Father for the redemption of sin. 

Mother, how great was your joy, then, on Easter morning when you saw your Risen Son?  You, who gave birth to the Messiah, the great High Priest, saw your Son as God!  Mother, dear, how you must have rejoiced with the Apostles and disciples at the news of His resurrection.  How you must have rejoiced when His chosen ones saw Him for the first time.  The Promise of the Father was fulfilled.  Heaven was opened for mankind! 

Now, Mother of God, your mission continues.  Your job is to lead your children to your Son.  You work hard at this job.  You ask us to pray for peace, to pray for the conversion of sinners.  You ask us to pray the rosary daily.  You ask us to pray and fast. 

Our world is a difficult world in which to live.  You know that.  You try to teach us, but like naughty children, we forget.  Dearest Mother, pray for us.  We are your children.  Hold us close to your Immaculate  Heart.  Never stop trying. We will hear you.  Thank you, Mother.  Thank you.

We love you,
Your children

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

To Love the Unlovable; To forgive the Unforgivable

Not easy and not for whimps.
Loving those how have dealt us deadly blows that wounded our souls.

Can we?
Should we?


"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Matthew 5: 46-48 

Jesus forgave those who took away His life as He hung on the cross.
He begged His Father to forgive them because they didn't know what they were doing.
His life was taken, but freely given, for love of us.

We carry our wounds within us, in our souls and in our hearts.  These wound can fester, and we can become attached to them, so we nurture the hurt and pain.  True love requires that we let go of this pain and give it to God.  True love requires that we die to ourselves and give all we are to God. 
True love requires that we FORGIVE.

The hurt and pain that is deep in our souls can be released, and often, to release it, we must experience it again.  Each action of forgiveness is unique to the soul in which the pain lies.
God, like one who peels the skin of the onion away, often peels one layer at a time.  This might be all the pain we can tolerate at this moment.
It hurts to feel this pain again, but when we give our pain to Jesus, He carries this part of our cross for us.

I had a dream a few weeks ago, about an experience in my life that was excruciatingly painful and pain filled.
I thought I had dealt with this, and I had, but there were still roots of the pain in my soul.
God opened that wound again in a dream, and even though I rarely remember my dreams anymore, I remembered this dream in painful detail.  I realized that I had not yet completely forgiven, therefore, my love was imperfect towards the person who hurt me so dreadfully.
Even as I write, I want to run upstairs and pull out my art work where I can express my pain without anyone knowing it's there. 
As I write this, I realize that my love is still imperfect because my forgiveness is also imperfect.
I must acknowledge the pain.  I must feel the open wound.
I forgive and give this to God again.

I want to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect, but that journey requires pain and suffering and 
No, it's not easy to forgive, and no, it's not easy to love,
but we were commanded to do this by our Loving God who only wants the best for us.

The symbolism of my dream is lost now.  It doesn't matter, anyway.  What matters is that God felt welcomed enough to come into my soul and help me to forgive.
He soothed my soul with His heavenly balm.
He gave me His gift of love,
the pain, rejection, and abandonment that I felt was eased by removing this layer of skin.

  God wants us all to forgive.
God wants us all to love.
He never said it would be easy.
His only begotten Son gave His life that we might be saved
His only begotten Son prayed for those who killed Him.
God the Father had to watch His Son die for those whom He loved.

We live in Him. 
We live through Him.
We live for Him.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Getting to Know Jesus Through Mental Prayer

Is it possible?

Begin by reading Sacred Scripture.
Choose a passage in your Bible. Read the passage, slowly, once, twice, or as many times as you need to read the passage to see it in your mind.
Once you begin to see the passage in your mind, and this might only take one reading.  I usually read the passage from Sacred Scripture twice, but everyone is different.

Keep a notebook or journal handy.
Be prepared to write down thoughts that will quickly fill your mind.
Do you have questions?
Jot them down in your journal and ask God to help you find the answers you seek.

Let's use this passage where Jesus walks on the water.
Remember, read it slowly and thoughtfully.  Feel free to write down your thoughts, reactions and question as you ponder the passage.

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,  but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea.  But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, 
“Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”  Matthew14:  22-23

What is the weather like when Jesus sends the Apostles off in the boat?  Is the sea calm?  Do you feel a breeze coming off the water?  Does the water smell of fish?  Are there other boats in the area?

What do you see when you look at the Apostles?  Are they puzzled?  Are the wondering how Jesus will get to the other side of the water?  As they pull away, do they see Jesus walking up the mountain and know that He is going to pray?

How did Jesus know that the boat was being battered by a storm, or did He know?  What were the Apostles thinking as they tried to survive the storm in their boat?  Were they afraid that they would die in the storm?  Did they suspect that Jesus was going to walk on the water and rescue them?

Why did the Apostles think that Jesus was a ghost?  Why were they afraid of Him being a ghost?

Why did Peter want proof that the person walking on the water was Jesus?  Why did he insist that Jesus give Him proof?  What frightened Peter when he walked toward Jesus?  What do you think Jesus was thinking as he saw Peter step out on to the water?  Do you think Jesus knew what Peter would do?  Why did Jesus reprimand all the apostles?  Why was it important for Jesus to correct His followers?  What convinced the apostles to worship Jesus?  How do you think Jesus felt when they finally believed and worshiped Him?

Now, focus only on Jesus.  Remember that Jesus was both true God and true Man.  As God, would Jesus have known what was going to happen on the boat that night?  Did Jesus, as God, plan this storm to challenge the faith of His Apostles?  Does Jesus challenge our faith?  Does Jesus feel sad that His apostles have so little faith?  When He walks on the water, does Jesus feel the water on His feet and on His face?

Think about Jesus.  Put yourself on the boat.  Is Jesus calling you to walk on the water?  Are you afraid?  Are you wondering if the person you see is Jesus?  How do you feel when you step out of the boat, or do you?  Do you choose to stay in the boat?  Do you feel safer in the boat than on the water?
Why do you feel the way you feel?  Do you trust that no matter what your decision is, that you will be safe?  

Hear Jesus say your name.  What does He want you to do?  Will you do it?  Are you afraid?  Do you step out in trust or fear?

Use these questions as a start for you.  Think about Jesus.  Welcome Him into your heart.  Do this daily.  You will learn more about Him and the way He loves YOU!  Don't wait.  Get started now.
He's waiting for you.