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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Journey, continued

"Jesus came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her and she began to serve them."
Sometimes there is a line in the Gospel reading that really packs a wallop. Like this one, for example. This is about Simon Peter's mother in law, who was ill, and cured by Jesus. As with so many things in Catholicism, this passage has great depth of meaning. At face value, Jesus' healing touch  cures her, so that she can get up and feel well enough to go about her duties, cooking a meal. Let's look at it in the light of our own lives.

"Jesus came" ...  We can start by allowing Jesus to come to us; in our homes, in our hearts.  If we are ill, and can't go about our daily life as we used to, or if we are spiritually dry and no longer attend Mass or pray, we can open our "doors" and let Him in. We can turn to Him. He can't help us if we don't allow Him to; ask and you shall receive. In His mercy, He will come to those who have not hardened their hearts against Him.
..."and took her by the hand"... He reaches out to us; it takes trust and faith to put our hand, our lives, into His hands. Whenever I think of this line, I imagine the joy and relief of holding on to those precious nail-scarred hands, knowing that it would never be Him that would let go.
..."and lifted her up"... He can take us beyond the realm of our misery, He can give us the grace we need to  either overcome our illness of mind or body, or to recognize it as a grace in that it becomes a share in His suffering for us.
"Then the fever left her"... Our attachment to sin leaves us when we allow Jesus into our life. Darkness flees from light, and our willingness to turn to the healing touch of Jesus loosens the grip of evil in our lives.
..."and she began to serve them."  When we receive a gift, we give thanks. We can all do something to return the grace we have received; for some it is praying and doing penance; for others it may be grander things, but all of us are called to serve God. Note that she served them right away; she arose and prepared a meal, did not keep them waiting. Don't keep God waiting for your thanks and praise; throughout the day and even in the night you can offer Him your thanks. Serving God is to humble yourself, and the reward is heaven.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TLM versus Novus Ordo- a comparison

After a week of attending the TLM thanks to a visiting priest in our parish, I am not looking forward to having to go back to the NO Mass. Think of it this way; the TLM is like a gourmet meal after a steady diet of white bread. The prayers are so much more meaningful, and I really appreciate the priest facing away from us; it really allows you to see that he is offering our prayers and petitions up to God whereas in the NO it seems that the priest is looking for the approval of the congregation.

Compare the Lavabo prayer in the TLM with the washing of the hands prayer in the NO in which the priest says "Lord, wash away my iniquity and cleanse me of my sins."
In the TLM the priest silently prays:
 "I will wash my hands among the innocent and will compass Thine altar, O Lord.
That I may hear the voice of praise, and tell of all Thy wondrous works.
I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house, and the place where Thy glory dwelleth.
Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked; nor my life with men of blood.
In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts.
But as for me, I have walked in my innocence; redeem me and have mercy on me.
My foot hath stood in the right way; in the churches I will bless Thee, O Lord.

I find that the prayers place me at the altar praying with the priest, not sitting back and watching the priest presenting a performance to us as an audience. The TLM priest is leading us in prayer and petition. If you want to go somewhere with someone, you walk beside them, facing the same way as them, step by step you journey together. If you turn and face them, they stop walking and just look at you. They don't focus on the destination.
I know and respect that both forms of the Mass do the same thing , but only the TLM has moved me to tears with the sense of the sacred that it inspires in me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Blessing

I have been so blessed to have the Tridentine Mass to go to all this week, Tuesday was my birthday and it was a totally wonderful birthday present. The prayers of this Mass are so meaningful compared to the "white bread" form of the Novus Ordo Mass ( Hope that doesn't offend anyone, that's just the way it affects me.) To those of you who attend the TLM on a regular basis, please pray for the spread of the TLM to be made available in every parish of every Catholic diocese in the world, and for more vocations to the seminaries that teach the traditional rite.
Somehow it brings the sense of the sacredness of the Mass to the forefront. Everything is lifted up to God, not presented to the people.
May we all adore Him in the Eucharist as the angels do!

Friday, January 14, 2011

A must-share newsletter

Fr. Corapi is always right on in his take on the important issues facing us, and this newsletter is one I must share with you. I hope Catholics everywhere are praying the Rosary every day, praying, and receiving the Sacraments regularly, if not, please, join the battle in which we win.


News Flash: WE WIN!
An excerpt from Father's book, Letters.




As we prepare to enter a new era in politics and perhaps society in general, keep something in mind: WE WIN! No matter what political party is in power at a given point in time, in the end those that remain faithful to Jesus Christ win the war. We may have to fight many battles outnumbered and even despised and looked upon as criminals and outcasts by a society that is unraveling and degenerating into something no one could have imagined. 


What matters is that we run the race to the finish line and fight the good fight. Don't "go with the flow," for as the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen reminds us, "Dead bodies float downstream." More than ever we shall have to be strong in the faith. Regular and worthy reception of the sacraments, constant prayer, and rigorous study of the faith is now essential, nor merely a luxury. 


The front line and primary battle is going to be the fight for life: The dignity of every human life from the moment of conception to the last moment of natural life. If we lose that one, every other battle space will be compromised. If the government succeeds in establishing abortion as an inalienable "right", then the elderly and sick will be next. It will then be a short and slippery step to the government deciding who lives and dies regardless of their inherent human dignity. 


If you don't already pray the Rosary every day, please start at once. The prayer of the holy Rosary is the prayer of the holy Gospel, and that means it is the prayer of the Good News Who is Jesus Christ, the LIFE of the world. Many saints will be forged in the crucible of the coming years. Make sure you are among them.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mary's Morning Prayer

I take to heart the instruction in the Bible to "pray without ceasing" , and of course, in all my human weakness, this is not easy to accomplish. Therefore, I often look to the Saints for inspiration; for what better example than those who have lived a holy life and now reside in the realm of eternal glory- the destination I strive for! In my reading of The City of God, Volume 1, The Incarnation, I have come across a morning prayer described by our Blessed Mother in her conversation with Mary of Agreda. She is instructing Mary of Agreda to bless and magnify God, and tells her of the way she acknowledged God at the start of each day, every day of her life. This is not written in the form of a prayer, so I leave it up to you to adapt it to your own personal way of speaking to God.

Mary says, "Strive with all thy powers to imitate me in an exercise, in which I persevered during my whole life from the very first moment of my life, omitting it not on a single day, however full of cares and labors it might have been.This exercise was the following: every day at beginning of dawn, I prostrated myself in the presence of the Most High and gave Him thanks and praise for His immutable Being, His infinite perfections, and for having created me out of nothing; acknowledging myself as His creature and the work of His hands, I blessed Him and adored Him, giving Him honor, magnificence and Divinity, as the Supreme Lord and Creator of myself and of all that exists. I raised up my spirit to place it into His hands, offering myself with profound humility and resignation to Him and asking Him to dispose of me according to His will during that day and during all the days of my life, and to teach me to fulfill whatever would be to His greater pleasure.
This I repeated many times during the external works of the day, and in the internal ones I first consulted His Majesty, asking His advice, permission, and benediction for all my actions."

What a great example our Beloved Mother sets here for us! We get so caught up in the worries and works of our daily life that it takes an effort of will to even think of God, let alone to bless and glorify Him repeatedly throughout the day. How often when we awake, our minds immediately turn to planning our day, worrying about details of it instead of doing as Mary does in this prayer, loving and blessing our Creator and placing ourselves in His hands.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Focus

Over the last two years, I have done a lot of spiritual reading on Mary, and feel that at last I am ready to do the St. Louis De Montfort consecration to Jesus through Mary. That will be my spiritual focus for this year. What better way to seek Jesus than through the Mediatrix who brought Him to us? To all those who don't understand the Catholic devotion to Mary, think of it this way: if you couldn't find someone, and had tried every avenue you could think of, would you hire someone who has more resources than you do? Of course you would, it would increase your chances of success. And because I desire to spend eternity in heaven, contemplating the glory of His Divine Majesty, I humbly approach Mary, and ask her to lead me to her Son. As it says in the dedication to the book True Devotion to Mary: "The more we honor the Blessed Virgin, the more we honor Jesus Christ, because we honor Mary only that we may the more perfectly honor Jesus, since we go to her only as the way by which we are to find the end we are seeking, which is Jesus."
My husband gave me an image of the Mother of Perpetual Help for Christmas, which will help my devotion.