Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Making a good intention

Here is a meditation and prayer from my Purgatorian Manual:

As rational beings we should have a distinct object in view in all our actions. By performing even the most trivial act from the motive, thereby to please our dear Lord, and to do His holy will, they may become meritorious. It is understood that these acts are not contrary to the commandments of God and His holy Church, and that the person be in a state of grace. People who are working from early in the morning till late at night can assist the suffering souls in an efficacious manner by offering their toil and fatigue in union with the merits of Jesus and Mary for the relief of the suffering souls. Sick persons, and those enduring mental sufferings, such as temptations, scruples, contempt, slander, unjust treatment; those who mourn the loss of a near relative or a dear friend, etc., may make the same intention in regard to their particular suffering.

Prayer: My dear Redeemer, how many occasions have I lost to gain merits by a good intention, and thus to assist Thy holy spouses! Pardon my negligence, and graciously assist me to turn every precious moment of time to advantage by a good intention, and to make up for the past. In union with Thy merits, and those of Thy holy Mother Mary and all the saints, I unite all my thoughts, words, deeds, and spiritual and bodily suffering for the future, till my last breath, and offer them for the suffering souls. In return I beseech the holy souls to obtain for me, and all those for whom I am in duty and love bound to pray, spiritual and temporal favors, and abundant grace to lead a holy life and persevere to the end of their life. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Practice: When rising in the morning I shall never omit to make my good intention for the coming day, and to renew the same at least every hour, by saying: For the love of Jesus and Mary, and the relief of the Suffering souls.
My Jesus, mercy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The new Roman Missal changes

Here is a link to some of the changes to come in the new Roman Missal. It is a return to traditional responses, for which I am grateful. Anything which helps us to focus on our Lord rather than ourselves during Mass is a blessing. I'm using most of these responses already, but it'll probably take some time before the Sunday crowd get the hang of it. I'd sure like to see some changes made in instructions for the music ministry; a return to performing and preserving the old sacred hymns. Most young people haven't heard the majority of them so it would seem new to them. Also would like to have the choirs at the back of the church again. Our church has an unused choir loft; how beautiful it would be to have hymns that praise God soaring above us during Mass, instead of songs about us as God's people, in our face at the front of the church. Oh well, one thing at a time, I guess.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Journey, Continued

It's no secret that I think that each and every one of us, as Catholics, are called to live our faith in all aspects of our lives. Use words, if necessary. It isn't always easy to publically stand up for what you believe. I like this quote from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen:

Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A prayer to Mary Immaculate

To honour our Blessed Mother on the Feast of the Assumption, I'd like to share this prayer with you. It was given to St. Catherine Laboure, for all the children who consecrate themselves to her through the Miraculous Medal. (Good for adults too!)

O Mary Immaculate, cover me with your virginal mantle, that I may come forth from it purified, and present me to Jesus, your beloved Son.
O Mary Immaculate, the most pure, the most holy, and the most perfect of creatures, lead all your children to heaven!

It is beautiful in it's simplicity, and a good one to teach the little ones.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Prayer after Confession

After you go to Confession, do you just say your allotted penance, or do you give thanks for the great grace you have just received?
Non Catholics think that Catholics are a bunch of hypocrites that go to Confession and then go right out and sin again. They don't understand the great grace we receive in this holy Sacrament. I always find it overwhelming to confess, even if it's just some venial sin, because I know that I am receiving God's Mercy and forgiveness, and that even someone as little and insignificant as I am can feel the healing power of God's love, just for me, there in the confessional; can know that through the priest He hears our cry of contrition and our need for forgiveness and guidance. If I fall into sin again, it is not because I know that I can go to Confession and be forgiven, but it's only because of my human weakness that I fall again. I detest sin, which draws me away from God; I strive to remember Him every moment of the day, and to live my faith.
My favourite little prayer book, the Purgatorian Manual, has this prayer for after Confession, that I'd like to share with you:
O God and Father of Heaven, prostrate on my knees before Thee,
I render Thee thanks for the great grace Thou hast granted me without any merit of mine.
I now again possess Thy grace and favour. Through the holy sacrament of Penance, in the name of Jesus, all my sins have been forgiven. I am again become a child of God, through Jesus Christ, converted from the state of sin to the state of grace.
Praise and thanks be to Thee O God, for the sweet consolation I now experience within myself! Strengthen me that I may sin no more, and never again lose this consolation and peace of conscience, and may shun the occasion of sin.
Most Holy Virgin Mary, assist me. Thou art the Mother of Perseverance, and my hope is in thee.
My Queen! My Mother! I give myself entirely to thee, and to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being, without reserve. Wherefore, good Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, guard me, as thy property and possession.
Hail Mary, etc.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

On Devotion to Mary

One of my sisters , who was raised as a Catholic and has become a Christian who has accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour, made a statement to me recently, that Christians (as she calls her self) go directly to Jesus in prayer, and that Catholics have to pray to Mary and the saints. I gently corrected her by saying that we don't have to go to them, that we also go directly to our Lord in prayer, but we choose to pray to them also. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to elaborate over the phone, about the richness of the spiritual treasury of praying to Mary and the saints.
I have been praying to St. Joseph and to Jesus to increase my devotion to Mary for a couple of years now, and have found numerous spiritual writings that have helped me on my journey, the latest being a little book called "Saints who saw Mary" . Reading their stories brings to light the depth of Our Lady's love for us, her spiritual children. One of the stories is that of St. Mechtilde, in which she asks Our Lord how to greet the Blessed Virgin. Amongst other things, Jesus said to her, "hail her virginal her continuous prayers by which, through her merits, she obtains for human beings all the graces which are given to them."
It rather saddens me to think of all the Christians in the world, Protestants and Catholics alike, who don't avail themselves of the spiritual treasury of Mary and the saints. Think of it this way: Your voice can be heard by Jesus, as a trickling stream of prayer, but when your voice is added to that of Mary and the saints, it becomes a raging torrent that storms heaven.
Our Lord, who was ever obedient to his Mother on earth, surely listens to her in Heaven and will not deny her requests, which are always in perfect union with the Will of God.
Jesus gave Our Lady to us on the Cross when he said "Behold your Mother!" To all those who take Scripture literally only, this should be clear that we, as her children can turn to her for help, for guidance, and that she will love us and help us.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.