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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Grotto

Our church has a grotto. In it is a statue of Mary and St. Bernadette.
Our new priest will be doing first Saturday Masses for us- finally! I can do the 5 first Saturday devotion! He plans on leading us into the grotto after Mass to say a prayer in the grotto. I hope he does, although in winter we may not get many people following him outside to pray. But the hardy souls who love Our Lady will do it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Novena to St Michael

There is a good post over on Smiley's blog, Dies Irae, about Pope Leo XIII and the vision he had which led to the prayer to St. Michael. It's 9 days to the feast day of St. Michael, which means that today is the day to start a novena to him. I intend to pray the chaplet of St. Michael, which can be found in the Pieta prayer book. If you don't have it, here is another prayer that can be used as a novena:

O glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the fearful warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come thou to the assistance of men, whom Almighty God created immortal, making them in his own image and likeness and redeeming them at a great price from the tyranny of Satan. Fight this day the battle of the Lord with thy legions of holy Angels, even as of old thou didst fight against Lucifer, the leader of all the proud spirits and all his rebel angels, who were powerless to stand against thee, neither was their place found anymore in heaven. And that apostate angel, transformed into an angel of darkness who still creeps about the earth to encompass our ruin, was cast headlong into the abyss together with his followers. But behold, that first enemy of mankind, and a murderer from the beginning, has regained his confidence. Changing himself into an angel of light, he goes about with the whole multitude of the wicked spirits to invade the earth and blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to plunder, to slay and to consign to eternal damnation the souls that have been destined for a crown of everlasting life. This wicked serpent, like an unclean torrent, pours into men of depraved minds and corrupt hearts the poison of his malice, the spirit of lying, impiety and blasphemy, and the deadly breath of impurity and every form of vice and iniquity. These crafty enemies of mankind have filled to overflowing with gall and wormwood te Church, which is the Bride of the Lamb without spot; they have laid profane hands upon her most sacred treasures. Make haste, therefore, O invincible Prince, to help the people of God against the inroads of the lost spirits and grant us the victory. Amen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Sorrowful Mother

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew,
Of my Saviour crucified.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Journey, Continued

Several things lately have me contemplating the value and desirability of silence. As a child, I remember my dad saying, "you don't learn anything when you are speaking!" Aside from teachers, who must speak that we may learn, many of us talk too much. In my reading of The Imitation of Mary, (who is only quoted four times in the Bible and is a perfect example to follow), there is a chapter on silence. Here Mary is speaking:

My child, my silence itself speaks to you, and all devout souls understand its language well.
We should speak only when circumstances or the glory of God or love for our neighbor requires it. Apart from these cases it is better to be silent. In silence we find the spirit of recollection and the grace of God which is its source. We learn that to be recollected and interior people we must speak but little, and then to say what the Spirit tells us in our heart we ought to say.
Readiness to speak too much is the sign of a distracted heart and mind, and such distraction is already a great evil.
Sentiments of piety easily vanish in the course of conversation; silence on the contrary preserves and strengthens them.
You will find few people who repent of having kept silence, but many who regret having said too much.
The wise man speaks only when the right moment comes (Sir 20:6), that is, when silence would be wrong or unfitting.
The man who cannot guard his tongue is like a city whose walls are broken down (Prov 25:28), exposed on all sides to the surprise attacks of the enemy.
Wherever many words are spoken, sin is not lacking (Prov 10:19). The man who speaks less is always the more prudent.
Constant experience tells us that where there is greater silence, there is greater innocence. Remember the principle that it is always better to remain silent when there is no need to speak. It is a great art to be able deliberately to speak or remain silent, and men can be quite expert in everything else but ignorant here. Grace gives us better instruction than all the teachings of man.
My child, the less you speak to creatures, the more God will speak to your heart. Think of the countless useless things that ordinarily are the subject of the world's conversation as being an obstacle to the holy relationship God wishes to have with you. Above all, say little to men about your afflictions and difficulties, for they are not as interested in them as you may think. Rather, speak much of them to God Who is always ready to console you. If your crosses have been caused by men, do not tell them to anyone unnecessarily. You will often have cause for regret if you say too much.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Remembering family

Mom would have been 80 years old today, none of her family lived to be 80; she came the closest. In her honour, I am having Mass said today for the deceased members of my family. I thought I'd share some photos from her life.

This is mom and my sister Sharron, who died at the age of 16.

Mom, holding my sister Georgia, in the back row are her sisters Pat and Lora, and sister in law Ruth. In the front row are me, my brothers Tony and Joe, and Sharron. Georgia, myself, and Tony are the only ones left now.

Aunt Pat, mom, and aunt Zelda. May they all rest in peace.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Love lies hidden

One of my favorite books is The Way Of Divine Love, and I picked up a little booklet called I Wait For You, which is excerpts dealing with the Eucharist. I love Our Lord in the Eucharist; every time I go into the Church while I am at work as Parish Secretary, and the silence of the Church surrounds me, my heart leaps for joy at being in His Presence. I am blessed to have this job just for the opportunities it gives me to be closer to Him.. Here are the words of Our Lord as dictated to Sister Josefa:

I am Love! My Heart can no longer contain its devouring flames. I love souls so dearly that I have sacrificed My life for them.
It is this love that keeps me prisoner in the tabernacle. For nearly twenty centuries I have dwelt there, night and day, veiled under the species of Bread and concealed in the small white Host, bearing through love, neglect, contempt, blasphemies, outrages, sacrileges....
For love of souls, I instituted the Sacrament of Penance, that I might forgive them, not once or twice, but as often as they need to recover grace. There I wait for them, longing to wash away their sins, not in water, but in My Blood.
How often in the course of ages have I, in one way or another, made known My love for men: I have shown them how ardently I desire their salvation. I have revealed My Heart to them. This devotion has been as light cast over the whole earth, and today is a powerful means of gaining souls, and so of extending My Kingdom.
Now, I want something more, for if I long for love in response to My own, this is not the only return I desire from souls: I want them to all have confidence in My mercy, to expect all from My clemency, and to never doubt My readiness to forgive.
I am God, but a God of Love! I am a Father, but a Father full of compassion and never harsh. My Heart is infinitely holy but also infinitely wise, and, knowing human frailty and infirmity, stoops to poor sinners with infinite mercy.
I love those who after a fall come first to Me for pardon.... I love them still more when they beg pardon for their second sin, and should this happen again, I do not say a million times but a million million times, I still love them and pardon them, and I will wash in My Blood their last as fully as their first sin.
Never shall I weary of repentant sinners, nor cease from hoping for their return, and the greater their distress, the greater My welcome. Does not a father love a sick child with special affection? Are not his care and solicitude greater? So is the tenderness and compassion of My Heart more abundant for sinners than for the just.
This is what I wish all to know. I will teach sinners that the mercy of My Heart is inexhaustible. Let the callous and indifferent know that My Heart is a fire which will enkindle them, because I love them. To devout and saintly souls I would be their Way, that making great strides in perfection, they may safely reach the harbour of eternal beatitude. Lastly, of consecrated souls, priests and religious, My elect and chosen ones, I ask, once more, all their love and that they should not doubt Mine, but above all that they should trust Me and never doubt My mercy. It is so easy to trust completely in My Heart!

So, knowing that our loving and merciful Lord lies awaiting us in the Tabernacle, hidden there for love of us, my heart is filled with joy in His presence, for He loves even me, a sinner.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Journey Continued

Lately I have been considering the great number of people I know who have fallen away from the church, who live in the moment and give no thought to the salvation of their souls. I was saddened to hear recently that someone I know, who had died of a brain tumour, had fallen away from the church and died without the Sacraments.Two more of her family members do not attend Mass even though they come from a practicing Catholic family. In my own family only half of us attend Mass, and only 3 of us try to live our faith- I come from a large family; my mother's family was Catholic; my dad is an only child.
A case in point is our family reunion; with over 40 people there, only two of us attended Sunday Mass. How wonderful it would have been if we could have filled the pews at that church with our extended family!
I think that people don't contemplate eternity. It's too foreign a concept for our human minds which are fashioned in time to consider time unending. Many don't even believe in Heaven or Hell.
All our actions, thoughts, words, deeds, and prayers are known to God. Even if we don't think of God, or even believe in Him, He sees us, in all our miserable weakness, and desires us to be with Him in Heaven for all eternity! (O glorious thought!) Everything we do weighs on the scale of His Justice; every charitable thing we do is offset by every self indulgent thing we do; every prayerful moment offset by every little sin; every time we turn to Him offset by every time we turn away from Him. We are given free will; we can do our own will, or strive to do His Will. We can choose the path to Heaven or to Hell.
Who would deliberately choose to spend eternity in Hell? Who would choose eternal pain, horror, and agony? Apparently, most of the world. Just as Jesus was scorned, mocked, beaten, spat upon and tortured, so now He is suffering in the same way every time we sin. And it's not just the big sins, it is in every little thing we do too. Every moment of every day counts for eternity! Here is an excerpt from some writings of St. Alphonsus de Ligouri:
" Eternity depends on death, death on life, life on a moment, and on that moment depends ETERNITY!"
The road to Heaven is not an easy one, but we have a merciful and loving God who will help us to get there if only we ask Him.
Prayer (St. Alphonsus)

O my God, I present myself before Thee, with a heartfelt sorrow for my sins. I humbly adore Thee; I believe in Thee and Thy Holy Catholic Church, and in Eternity. I hope in Thee, and through Thy goodness, I hope for a happy Eternity. I love Thee with my whole heart, and for Eternity. I submit myself to what Thou shalt ordain concerning me; "here cut, here burn, but spare me in Eternity." Grant me, O Almighty and merciful God, the grace I stand in need of to serve Thee faithfully during life, and to possess Thee in Eternity, through Christ our Lord. Amen
In Thee O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.
Sorrowful Mother Mary, pray for me now and at the hour of my death. Amen.