Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Thanksgiving Prayer After Mass--St. thomas Aquinas

Thanksgiving After Mass

Lord, Father all-powerful and ever-living God, I thank You, for even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant, not because of my worth but in the kindness of your mercy, You have fed me with the Precious Body and Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this Holy Communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions. May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in the power to do good. May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. May it unite me more closely to you, the One true God, and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with You. And I pray that You will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you, with Your Son and holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to your saints. Grant this through Christ our Lord, AMEN.

--Saint Thomas Aquinas

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Monday, November 19, 2007

New US Military Chaplain Appointed!

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Thanks be to God, we have a new US Military Chaplain. Archbishop Timothy Broglio has been appointed by the Holy Father as the new head of the archdiocese for the Military Services, USA--a flock of some 1.4 million Catholic.

Archbishop Broglio, who is originally from Cleveland Ohio, is currently the apostolic nuncio in the Dominican Republic and the papal delegate to Puerto Rico.

The US military see has been vacant for only 7 weeks, since the for shepherd, the Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, was installed as Archbishop of Baltimore. To me, this short period of vacancy
(hey 7 weeks is blazing speed for any bureaucracy) is a mark of touching concern on the part of the Holy Father.

I believe it is very rare for a US native, once part of the Vatican Service, to return to a US Diocese. Archbishop Broglio, welcome home.

Thank you, Papa!

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St. Raphael Kalinowski

Today is the memorial of St. Raphael Kalinowski, OCD. This polish discalced friar was canonized in 1991. This year is also the centenary of his death.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

And in Contrast.....

Please read A Martyr's Letter To His Girlfriend
This is a letter from Bartolome Blanco Marquez, a young martyr of 1930's Spain, who perished in the religious persecution of the time.
Here you will find all that is lacking in so many modern relationships. What a touching, true and lasting love this young saint has for his beloved.

Our Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for November

Prayer intentions from Pope Benedict XVI for November:

"That those dedicated to medical research and all those engaged in legislative activity may always have deep respect for human life, from its beginning to its natural conclusion." His mission intention is: "That in the Korean peninsula the spirit of reconciliation and peace may grow."

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More Dark Evidence that Cohabitation Outside of Marriage Does Not Work

An associated press article appearing today by David Crary details the "dark underbelly of cohabitation".

From the article:

"..many scholars and front-line caseworkers interviewed by The
Associated Press see the abusive-boyfriend syndrome as part of a
broader trend that deeply worries them. They note an ever-increasing
share of America's children grow up in homes without both biological
parents, and say the risk of child abuse is markedly higher in the
nontraditional family structures.

"This is the dark underbelly of cohabitation," said Brad Wilcox, a
sociology professor at
the niversity of Virginia. "Cohabitation has
become quite common, and most people think, 'What's the harm?' The harm
is we're increasing a pattern of relationships that's not good for

The report goes on to say that, according to a Missouri study, children living in households with unrelated adults are almost 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with their biological parents.

Of all families with children, nearly one third of them now live in one-parent families--29 percent.

It is so sad to me that what some of us had only considered old-fashioned and unduly restrictive we have ignored to our everlasting grief. Our God is a wise parent; would that we return to being wise children.

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Saturday Prayers for the Holy Souls

Let us continue to remember our obligation to pray for the Church Suffering--this month, but really always. We will surely have good friends in heaven when those who have been helped by our prayers attain at last their sure reward!


My Jesus, by the sorrows You suffered in Your agony in the Garden, in Your scourging and crowning with thorns, in Your journey to Calvary, in Your crucifixion and death, have mercy on the souls in purgatory, and especially on those that are most forsaken; deliver them from the torments they endure; call them and admit them to Your most sweet embrace in paradise, where You live with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen


O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech You by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sacred Side of Your divine Son Jesus in the presence and to the great sorrow of His most holy Mother, deliver the souls in purgatory and among them all especially that soul which has been most devout to this noble Lady, that it may come quickly into Your glory, there to praise You in her, and her in You through all the ages. Amen.

Say here: one Our Father and one Hail Mary


Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us. As we renew our faith in Your Son, whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His resurrection, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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St Francis on the Hail Mary

Hail Mary

When I say "Hail Mary",

the heavens bow down,

the angels rejoice;

the earth jubilates,

hell trembles;

and the devils take flight!

--St. Francis of Assisi

The more I think on Mary as truly my Mother, the calmer I become, for I see a place of sure refuge. Always, always, always--she takes me straight to Jesus. I know she is helping me to receive the graces I need to begin to trust more in the Lord always, no matter what happens.
Who better to take our cares to the hands of her Divine Son, Our Lord.

How I love her!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

My Newest Rosary--Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam

Here is a link to the description of my newest rosary added to Ave Maria Rosaries.com.
The Rosaries Name is "Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam". I added a bit about why that name feels right to me in the description online. There is just something about the subtle depth of beauty in these stones, and the almost hidden shimmer, plus their weight, that suggests to me the life of those most seriously dedicated all to His Glory.

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Irish Dilemna over Stricter Breathalyzer tests

an interesting article in the Times Online
discusses how new, stricter blood alcohol levels could result in priests being convicted of drunk driving as they have to travel from parish to parish to say Mass. Now here is a problem that never occurred to me.

What I found most interesting however, was the lengthy comments section following the article. Seldom have so many been so confused, I think. It also saddens me to see such unapologetic Catholic bashing, and ridiculing of Our Lord's Presence in the Holy Eucharist.

It gives me a whole new feeling for the first Friday devotion, which I'd like to do, but always seem to have an excuse out of. Maybe not now. I almost felt as is some people were literally spitting on Him.

"Oh, Jesus, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, I adore You!"

"Oh Sacrament Most Holy, Oh Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!"

There. Now I feel a little bit better.

Here is another article in a German publication on the same issue:
Proposal Could Tip Irish Priests Over Legal Limit

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A Beautiful Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

Olive Tree of Mercy

O Olive tree of mercy! Hail Mary, Mother of God. Hail Mary, Queen of
Kindness, and Olive Tree of Mercy, from whom the remedy of life came to

Since, by your Son, you became the true Mother of all mankind,
now for the sake of His love, keep me in your motherly love, despite my
unworthiness. Help me to believe! Preserve and strengthen my faith.

Grant me your care in this life, and receive me with the plenitude of your motherhood at the hour of my death.
--Saint Gertrude the Great.

I like this especially, because of the wonderful image of Mary as the Olive Tree of Mercy. Such a strong and enduring source, from whom so much life and healing richness flows!! May I rest beneath her branches, nourished by her goodness, all the days of my life. And I pray the same for you.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Baby Step Milestone on the Road to Reunion

With great joy I read today that the final document produced by the plenary assembly of the Joint International Commision for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church contains the seeds of future steps toward reunion. This important assembly was held in Ravenna this October and was prsided over by Cardinal Walter Kaspar and the Metrolitan Ionnis of Pergamo.

On Vatican Radio, Cardinal Kaspar reported that, " for the first time the Orthodox Churches have said yes, this universal level of the Church exists and also at the universal level there is conciliarity, synodality, and authority; this means there is also a primate; according to the practice of the ancient Church, the first bishop is the Bishop of Rome. However, we did not talk of the privileges of the Bishop of Rome, we merely indicated the praxis for futre debate. This document is a modest first step and as such it gives rise to hope, but we must not exaggerate its importance."

Perhaps a modest beginning, but nevertheless historic and important. Pray very much for the continuing success of efforts toward the reunification of communion between these "two lungs of the Church"!

No doubt there are many roadblocks to be passed, but this is such encouraging news. The only sad note is that the Russian Orthodox Church has abandoned the plenary assembly over an inter-Orthodox tussle between Moscow and Constantinople, concerning the recognition of the autonomous Church of Estonia. So let's also pray that this may be resolved, because obviously it is so important that the Russian Orthodox Church participate in these talks.

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Saint Albert theGreat

Saint Albertus Magnus (Albert the Great) was called such in his own day because of his great learning. But I think what truly ennobles him with this title was his understanding that all knowledge was less than nothing if not rightly used for the aims of love.

He said:
It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God."

At the end of his life, he had to let his great learning fall from his hand, as God required the return of his burning intellect. Apparently St. Albert suffered from Alzheimer's disease, or some other form of senile dementia. But there is no evidence that this was a source of disquiet for this great saint, for he had gone beyond human wisdom and encountered the living Source of All Wisdom---God, who is Love.

Saint Albert the Great, pray for us, that we may use our intellect in the service of love, and so draw near to God!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More on Scripture from Pope Benedict

In his audience today, the Holy Father reflected on St. Jerome, specifically on his love and lifelong study of Sacred Scripture.

Truly "enchanted" by the word of God, Jerome asked himself: "How could
we live without the science of Scriptures, through which we learn how
to know Christ himself, who is the life of the believer?" (Ep. 30,7).
Hence the Bible, the instrument "with which God speaks to the faithful
every day" (Ep. 133,13), becomes catalyst and source of Christian life
for all situations and for everyone.

In his audience the Pope goes on to discuss how Jerome encouraged this love in all Christians, but also how he cautioned that Scripture must always be viewed and interpreted with both the aid of the Holy Spirit, and through the lens of orthodox Catholic Teaching.

For him an authentic interpretation of the Bible always had to be in harmony with the faith of the Catholic Church. This is not an external requirement imposed on the book. The book itself is the voice of the people of God in pilgrimage, and only in the faith of these people we find the right frame of mind to understand sacred Scripture. Hence Jerome warned: "Stay firmly attached to the traditional doctrine that has been taught to you, so that you can preach according to the right doctrine and refute those who contradict it" (Ep. 52,7)

Pope Benedict and St. Therese (Her Relics) Have a Visit!

Today Our Holy Father Pope Benedict rejoiced to be able to pray with the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux. Her relics have traveled to Rome with an entourage from her home Diocese of Bayeux and Lisieux.

Our Holy Father said:

St. Thérèse would have liked to learn the languages of the Bible in
order to better understand sacred Scripture," he said. "Following her
example and that of St. Jerome, dedicate time to frequent reading of
the Bible. By familiarizing yourselves with the Word of God, you will
discover Christ and remain in intimate contact with him. (From an article published in Zenit)

How this would please the Little Flower! She so much loved Scripture, and especially the Gospels, that to be held up by the Holy Father as an exemplar of this love must be pleasing to her. How I wish I could have prayed with her relics when they came to the US!

I need to take this to heart!

"For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the
ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your
freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God."- 1 Peter

How much more effective to love in silence is than to talk, talk, talk without love.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Looking at my Pics on Another Computer

Drat--here in the hotel lobby on IE, my latest rosary pic looks rather dark. Sigh.
I am still looking for better picture quality.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Advent Themed Rosaries

Today I uploaded the first of my Advent themed Rosaries to the website. The pictures with the digital camera are taking some learning about, and I am about middling satisfied with this one. I'd like the rosary to appear larger, without having to make the picture bigger, so as to be able to see the best detail. Still--better than the film ones I had been using!

I really like this rosary--it is especially pleasant to pray with, and I enjoy the subtle relationship between the Ave and Pater beads. The Crucifix is one of my favorites, and I think the Infant of Prague center is especially suitable to the season.

Hopefully, I can get another one up before I have to take off for work tomorrow. I have two more Advent rosaries ready to go.

Praying for Those Who Have Gone Before Us

It is an important duty of ours to pray for the dead because although they may have died in grace and in friendship with God, they may still be in need of a last purification in order to enter into the joy of heaven. Prayer for the souls of the dead can be expressed in various ways, including a visit to the cemetery. Going to these sacred places provides an auspicious occasion to reflect on the meaning of earthly life and to nourish, at the same time, hope in the blessed eternity of paradise. - Pope John Paul II (All Souls Day Nov. 2, 2003)

This month is devoted to the Holy Souls. I remember reading that our prayers for them have this wonderful double effect--that they help the souls in purgatory, and that in turn they help us. Those souls who have reached heaven aided by our prayers will remember us in gratitude, and help us in our turn. What family members are supposed to do for one another.

I like to pray for everyone who has died, but I admit that I like to pray especially for my ancestors--until I came back to the Church it never occurred to me that I could do this service for them.