Thursday, May 21, 2015

Saint Rita of Cascia: patron of impossible causes



The saint of the day for May 22 is Saint Rita of Cascia, religious, patron of impossible, desperate causes and situations. She is also the patron saint of abuse victims, difficult marriages, infertility, parenthood, sterility, and widows.

St. Rita was born at Rocca Porena, Italy, in 1386 to Antonio and Amata Lotti, who were quite advanced in years. Rita’s birth was an answer to their prayers. The family was well-known for their charity, which merited them the surname of "Peacemakers of Jesus Christ."

Rita brought much joy to her parents. She was a cheerful, amiable, pious and devout child who spent much of her time in prayer. At the age of twelve, she desired to consecrate herself to God in the religious state. Pious though her parents were, they refused her pleas, but instead gave her away in marriage, at the age of eighteen, to an ill-tempered young man who was the town watchman. The couple had two sons, who inherited their father's temperament. After 18 years of marriage, Rita’s husband was stabbed to death by an old enemy. Her sons swore vengeance on their father’s killers, but through Rita's intercessory prayers, they forgave the offenders. Both of her sons died shortly afterwards.

Rita's former desire to consecrate herself to God in the religious life returned. On three separate occasions, she asked to be admitted to the Augustinian Nuns, but her request was refused each time, and she returned home to Rocca Porrena.

One night, as Rita was praying, she heard someone call her name and a knock on the door. Miraculously she was instantly transported to the Augustinian monastery. Astonished at the miracle, the nuns received Rita, and accepted her as one of their own.

St. Rita lived a very austere life and performed many severe penances. After hearing a homily on the Passion of Christ she returned to her cell; kneeling before her crucifix, she prayed: "Let me, my Jesus share in Thy suffering, at least of one of Thy thorns". Her prayer was answered. Suddenly one of the thorns detached itself from Christ’s crown of thorns and fastened itself on her forehead so deeply that she could not remove it. The wound became worse, and gangrene set in. Because of the foul odor emanating from the wound, she was denied the companionship of the other Sisters for fifteen years.

As St. Rita was dying, she requested a relative to bring her a rose from her old home at Rocca Porrena. Although it was not the season for roses, the relative went and found a rose in full bloom. For this reason roses are blessed in the Saint's honor. She died May 22, 1456, and both in life and after death has worked many miracles. After St. Rita's death, her face became beautifully radiant, while the odor from her wound was as fragrant as that of the roses she loved so much. The sweet odor spread through the convent and into the church, where it has continued ever since. Her body has remained incorrupt to this day; the face is beautiful and well preserved.

 When St. Rita died her cell was aglow with heavenly light, while the great bell of the monastery rang on its own. A relative with a paralyzed arm, upon touching her sacred remains, was cured. A carpenter, who had known the Saint, offered to make the coffin. Immediately, he recovered the use of his long stiffened hands.St. Rita of Cascia was the first woman to be canonized in the Great Jubilee at the beginning of the 20th century, on May 24, 1900.

Quote 

The saint of Cascia belongs to the great host of Christian women who "have had a significant impact on the life of the Church as well as of society" (Mulieris dignitatem, 27). Rita well interpreted the "feminine genius" by living it intensely in both physical and spiritual motherhood. ~ Pope St. John Paul II


 Prayer to Saint Rita

 Holy Patroness of those in need, Saint Rita, you were humble, pure and patient. Your pleadings with your divine Spouse are irresistible, so please obtain for me from our risen Jesus the request I make of you: {mention your petition}. Be kind to me for the greater glory of God, and I shall honor you and sing your praises forever. Glorious Saint Rita, you miraculously participated in the sorrowful passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Obtain for me now the grace to suffer with resignation the troubles of this life, and protect me in all my needs. Amen.




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions, Mexican Martyrs



Today we honor St. Christopher Magallanes, priest and martyr, and his companions, martyrs.

Christopher and his twenty-four companion martyrs were members of the Cristero movement, a response to  anti-Catholic government in Mexico in the 1920s.  The government was determined to weaken the Catholic faith of its people. Churches, schools and seminaries were closed; foreign clergy were expelled. Under the Cristero movement, members pledged their allegiance to Christ and to the church that he established to spread the Good News in society—even if Mexico's leaders had made it a crime to receive baptism or celebrate the Mass.

Christopher's last words were: "I am innocent and I die innocent. I forgive with all my heart those responsible for my death, and I ask God that the shedding of my blood serve the peace of our divided Mexico".

These martyrs were beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.

A major motion picture depicts the story of these martyrs. It is entitled 'For Greater Glory.' If you have not seen this film yet, I highly recommend it. It is excellent!


Prayer for the Intercession of St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions

Almighty and eternal God,
who made the Priest Saint Christopher Magallanes
and his companions
faithful to Christ the King even to the point
of martyrdom,
grant us, through their intercession,
that, persevering in confession of the true faith,
we may always hold fast to the commandments
of your love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

St. Bernardine of Siena: "Apostle of Italy"



May 20 is the feast of St. Bernardine of Siena, a Franciscan priest and missionary, who popularized the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. He is known as “the Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the country's Catholic faith during the 15th century.

Born in 1380 in Tuscany, Bernardine’s parents died when he was seven years old. He was raised by a pious aunt as her own child.

As a youth, he loved the Blessed Virgin Mary and spoke to her as a child speaks to his mother. She kept him chaste and virtuous. He had a special devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and later wrote that the Immaculate Heart of Mary was "a fiery furnace of Holy Love."

While still a student at the University of Siena, he took charge of the hospital there when an epidemic killed most of the staff. Afterwards, he cared for a bedridden aunt until her death. He then prayed and fasted to discern God's will for his vocation in life.

At the age of 22, Bernardine entered the Franciscan Order and was ordained two years later. He spent nearly a dozen years in prayer and solitude before he was sent out to preach. He was a zealous preacher full of energy and joy, who spent years travelling on foot throughout Italy speaking to enormous audiences, converting countless numbers of pagans.He preached against superstition, gambling, and usury. He promoted peace among the warring Italian cities, and worked diligently for the reform of the Franciscan order and for church unity. He encouraged devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus and is known for his use of the monogram IHS.

Bernardine died on May 20, 1444, at the age of sixty-four in Aquila, Italy. In 1450, Pope Nicholas V declared Bernardine a saint.  He is the patron of advertising and communications, and chest, respiratory, and lung problems. He is also patron against hoarseness and against compulsive gambling.

Saint Quote

"Jesus, Name full of glory, grace, love and strength! You are the refuge of those who repent, our banner of warfare in this life, the medicine of souls, the comfort of those who morn, the delight of those who believe, the light of those who preach the true faith, the wages of those who toil, the healing of the sick. To You our devotion aspires; by You our prayers are received; we delight in contemplating You. O Name of Jesus, You are the glory of all the saints for eternity. Amen."
- St. Bernardine of Siena

Prayer

Saint Bernardine of Siena, words were very important to you. You spent most of your life speaking the golden words of Jesus' mercy and his Holy Name. And you abhorred words that were shameful. Pray for us that we may always choose to speak Jesus' name with reverence and choose words of love over words of shame. Amen.



Monday, May 18, 2015

St. Celestine V: The Holy Hermit who served as Pope for Five Months



The saint of the day for May 19 is Saint Celestine V, Pope, a holy hermit and the founder of the Celestine Order. He is also known as Peter Celestine, Peter Morrone, and Pietro del Morrone.

Born in Isernia, Italy, in 1215, Peter was the eleventh of twelve children of humble, pious parents. His father died when he was very young. When his mother would ask, "Which one of you is going to become a saint?" little Peter would answer "Me, Mama! I'll become a saint!".

He became a Benedictine at the age of 17 and at the age of 20, he became a hermit and spent his days praying and reading the Holy Bible. He left his hermitage to study for the priesthood and was ordained in Rome. He then became a Benedictine monk and founded the Celestine order in 1274.

After the death of Nicholas IV, a conclave which lasted more than two years elected him pope on July 5, 1294. He became known as Celestine V. On December 13, 1294, feeling overwhelmed by the position and his limited abilities in handling them, only five months after receiving the tiara, he resigned and resumed the cherished, simple life of a monk. How humbling this must have been for him! He died on May 19, 1296 and was buried in the church of Saint Agatha, Ferentino, Italy.

St. Celestine V is the patron saint of Aquila, Italy, and of bookbinders.

Reflection
Why would God ask St. Celestine to serve as pope for just five months?  It also seems odd that a hermit, who has little social interaction, would be called to such a position, where one is constantly mingling with people. God calls each of us to do things that we don't always understand in this life. Perhaps God wanted him to serve as pope to increase his humility or to test his obedience. It is difficult to say, we can only conjecture. However, whatever the reason, St. Celestine taught us an important lesson by his example. He taught us that it is important to listen to the voice of God and to be obedient to His will at all times, embracing it, although we are unable to see the fruits of our labor. God loves us unconditionally and has a purpose for each of our lives. We need only approach Him with complete trust and surrender. He will take us by the hand and lead us to where He wants us to go.

Pope Francis canonizes four new women saints

Banners showing Blesseds Marie-Alphonsine, Jeanne Emilie De Villeneuve, Maria Cristina Brando and Mary of Jesus Crucified hang from the facade of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis canonized four 19th century women religious – 2 from Palestine, and one each from Italy and France – during a festive mass in St Peter’s Square on May 17, attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and official State delegations from Jordan, Israel, Italy and France.

Read more.

St. John I, Pope and Martyr



Today, May 18, we commemorate the feast of Pope St. John I. He was a martyr for the faith, imprisoned and starved to death by a heretical Germanic king during the sixth century.

Pope St. John was born a Tuscan, the son of Constantius. He was an archdeacon for several years before being elected Pope on the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. He was a colleague and confidant of the philosopher Boethius.

In 525, Pope John was sent to Constantinople by King Theodoric of the Ostrogoths to reverse the edict of the Emperor Justin against the Arians two years earlier, which required Arians to give back churches which they had taken from orthodox Catholics. Throdoric was himself an Arian and a strong defender of Arianism (a heresy which arose in the 4th century that denied the divinity of Christ).
Although Theodoric desired a reversal of Justin’s policy, Pope John did not comply with his wishes, refusing to support heresy, and only counseled the Emperor Justin to be calmer in his fanatical dealings with the Arians.

The success that Pope John achieved was contrary to the wishes of Theodoric; rather, he was received as the Successor of Peter and all the bishops of the East, with the exception of one, affirmed their communion with him and his precedence as Bishop of Rome, notable by the fact that it was he who presided over the Easter liturgy in Constantinople on April 19, 526. Even the Emperor Justin prostrated himself at the Pope’s feet.

However, on his return to Rome, Theodoric, who had just murdered John’s good friend Boethius, and was furious with the outcome of the mission, had the Pope imprisoned in Ravenna where he died of starvation and ill treatment.

His body was taken to Rome where he now lies buried in the Basilica of St. Peter.



Saturday, May 16, 2015

Novena to Our Lady, Help of Christians, begins today




The novena to Our Lady Help of Christians begins today and ends on her feast day, May 24.


FIRST DAY
Hail, Star of the sea, Blessed Mother of God, ever fruitful Virgin, happy gate of heaven.

PRAYER: O Virgin Most Holy, powerful help of Christians, I confidently appeal to the throne of your mercy. Hear the prayers of this poor sinner that begs your help, so I may always flee from sin and from the occasions of sin. Behold the first grace that I ask from this novena. Amen
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be…
Hail Holy Queen…
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us.

A SHORT BIBLICAL READING:
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Apoc. 12: 1)
“And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Apoc. 12: 17)
Two distinguishing signs of the authentic faithful: Jesus and Mary, salvation of believers and help of Christians. Unto death I promise that I shall remain faithful to my religion: the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

SECOND DAY
Taking that sweet Ave, which from Gabriel came, peace confirm within us, changing Eve's name.

PRAYER: Mary Most Holy, Mother of goodness and mercy, who with your visible help oftentimes freed the Christian people from the assaults and barbarism of Moslems, I ask you, my Lady, to deliver my soul from the onslaughts of the world, the devil and the flesh; and grant that I may obtain, at all times, complete victory over the enemies of my soul.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be…
Hail Holy Queen…
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us.

A SHORT BIBLICAL READING:
“And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38)
In short, Mary Most Holy offers us an example of humility, obedience and readiness to do the Will of God and to cooperate in bringing about His Plan of Salvation. "Lord, what do You wish me to do? Make me an instrument of Your peace."

THIRD DAY
Break the sinners' fetters, make our blindness day; chase from us all evils, for all blessings pray.


PRAYER: O Mary, most powerful Queen, who alone triumphed over the false doctrines that sought to take away so many children from the bosom of Holy Mother Church, help me, I beg you, to keep and preserve my faith firmly and my heart pure amidst the snares and venom of such harmful errors.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be…
Hail Holy Queen…
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us.

A SHORT BIBLICAL READING:
“And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth… And Mary abode with her about three months. And she returned to her own house.” (Luke 1: 39-40, 56)
Certainly, Mary remained until the birth of St. John the Baptist, for she knew that expectant mothers need special care and help. Here, we have a beautiful example of charity. I too promise to always practice charity and acts of mercy.

FOURTH DAY
Show thyself our Mother by taking our voice to the One Who deigned to be born for us, from you.

PRAYER: O Mary, my most sweet Mother, you who are Queen of Martyrs, through so many heroic acts of courage and fortitude, which you performed on earth, deign to instill in my heart the necessary strength to always serve you. Help me to despise human respect, and fulfill all my religious duties openly and without shame; may I remain your devout child at all times, even unto death.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be…
Hail Holy Queen…
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us.

A SHORT BIBLICAL READING:
“And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why have you done so to us? Behold your father and I have sought you sorrowing.” (Luke: 2, 48)

With what admirable kindness Mary admonishes her lost Son found in the temple. It is a beautiful example to parents. Children grow in wisdom, stature and grace before God and men when they receive the good example of their parents. In raising my children, I promise to always practice patience, prudence and seriousness.

FIFTH DAY
O Virgin unexcelled and most gentle, make us meek and pure and preserve us from evil.


PRAYER: Mary, beloved Mother, who showed your precious Patronage in the triumph of Pope Pius VII, extend your holy mantle over Holy Mother Church, especially over her august head, against the assaults of so many enemies; deliver him from temporal sufferings and assist him always that he may securely steer the barque of Peter in Truth, and overcome the proud waves attempting to sink it.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be…
Hail Holy Queen…
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us.

A SHORT BIBLICAL READING:
“And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there.” (John 2:1)
And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. Realizing that the wedding feast lacked wine, Jesus performed a miracle upon the trusting entreaty of his mother. She invites us to also obey Jesus in a special way, saying:
"Whatsoever he shall say to you, do it." (John 2:5)
"Happy are those that hear the Word of God and keep it" (Luke 11:28).

SIXTH DAY
Keep our life all spotless, make our way secure till we find in Jesus, joy for evermore.

PRAYER: O Mary, Queen of the Apostles, take under thy precious protection the Sacred Ministers and all the faithful of the Catholic Church, obtain for them the spirit of unity, and fervent zeal for the salvation of souls; particularly extend your loving help to missionaries, so they may lead all peoples of the earth to the true faith. Thus may the world become one fold under the guidance of only one Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be…
Hail Holy Queen…
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us.

A SHORT BIBLICAL READING:
The Lord “is your praise, and your God, that has done for you these great and terrible things, which your eyes have seen.” (Deut. 10:21)
In fact, God, gazing at the humility of his faithful servant, Mary Most Holy, gave us through her the Savior of all men, Our Lord Jesus Christ. "O Mary, grant us the grace to imitate thy love of God and neighbor."

SEVENTH DAY
Praise be to God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.

PRAYER: O Mary, Mother of mercy, who so often saved Christians from the plague and other bodily scourges by your powerful intercession, help them and deliver them now from the plague of impiety and irreligion, which insinuates itself in a thousand ways into their souls keeping them from the Church and pious practices, especially through sects, the press and perverse schools. I humbly ask you to help the good, that they may persevere; strengthen the weak; call the wayward and sinners to repentance, so that the Truth and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ may triumph here on earth, thus increasing your glory and that of your Son, and saving souls.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be…
Hail Holy Queen…
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us.

A SHORT BIBLICAL READING:
“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount that is called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, within a Sabbath day's journey. And when they had come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus, Simon Zelotes, and Jude, the brother of James. All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” (Acts 1: 12-14)
O Mary, teach us to pray, trust and persevere.

EIGHTH DAY
Glorious Lady, more brilliant than the sun, at your breast you nourished the God who created thee.


PRAYER: O Mary, the Church's spiritual pillar and Help of Christians, I beseech you to keep me firm in the Divine Faith, and safeguard in me the freedom and dignity of God's children.
For my part I promise you never to stain my soul with sin, nor be a part of any society condemned by the Holy See. I promise you to obey the perennial teachings of the Church, since I want to live and die within the bosom of the Catholic Religion, the only one in which I can expect with certainty my eternal salvation.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be…
Hail Holy Queen…
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us.

A SHORT BIBLICAL READING:
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he says to his mother: Woman, behold your son. After that, he says to the disciple: Behold your mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” (John 19: 25-27)
We can never forget the words of the dying Jesus, “Mother, behold thy son. Son, behold thy Mother." Before dying, he entrusted his mother Mary to his disciple so that the faithful might have such a Mother present in their last agony.


NINTH DAY
What Eve had destroyed, was created, through you, Holy Mary, once again in the Son, opening Heaven’s gate and giving refuge to the downcast.

PRAYER: O Mary, my most gracious Mother, at all times so ready to be the help of Christians, assist me with your powerful patronage throughout my life and especially at the hour of death. Grant that, having loved and revered you on earth, I may sing your mercies in Heaven. Amen.
O God You who established the Mother of Your beloved Son as Mother and Help of Christians, grant, we beseech, that we may live under Your protection, and that the Church may rejoice in Your everlasting peace.
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be…
Hail Holy Queen…
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us.

SHORT BIBLICAL READING:
“When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he says to his mother: Woman, behold your son. After that, he says to the disciple: Behold your mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” (John 19: 26-27)
Mary Most Holy, lovingly consenting to the immolation of the Victim she bore, was given as a mother to the disciple and to all of us. The Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Mary, Help of Christians, cooperates in the work of the Redeemer to restore the supernatural life in souls.
“Behold, your Mother." (John 19: 27)

Prayers to be said with the Novena:
Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen
Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Glory Be
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Hail Holy Queen
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God... that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen

Pentecost Novena for The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit




The Novena begins on the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension, Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, even if the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to the 7th Sunday.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
To be recited daily during the Novena

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
To be recited daily during the Novena

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You  and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

The Novena begins on the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension, Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, even if the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to the 7th Sunday.

FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension or Friday of 6th Week of Easter)

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared--sin? Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."

Prayer

Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SECOND DAY (Saturday of 6th Week of Easter)

Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!

The Gift of Fear

The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."

Prayer

Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

THIRD DAY (7th Sunday of Easter or transferred Ascension)

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.

The Gift of Piety

The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

FOURTH DAY (Monday, 7th Week of Easter)

Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe.

The Gift of Fortitude By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

FIFTH DAY (Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter)

Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!

The Gift of Knowledge

The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SIXTH DAY (Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter)

If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn'd to ill.

The Gift of Understanding

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion BY faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God."

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SEVENTH DAY (Thursday, 7th Week of Easter)

Heal our wounds--our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away.

The Gift of Counsel

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

EIGHTH DAY (Friday, 7th Week of Easter)

Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom

Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written "all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

NINTH DAY (Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost)

Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

Prayer

Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Source: EWTN

Friday, May 15, 2015

7 Quick Takes


1.  May is Mary's month and here are just a few flowers that I love to cultivate to celebrate her special feast days in May.

Dianthus 


Peony 


Rose -- This one is climbing.




2.  This past week we celebrated one of my favorite feasts -- that of Our Lady of Fatima, which you can read about in my piece, The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and the Three Prophetic Secrets.



3.  This week we also celebrated the feast of a humble and charitable Franciscan Capuchin friar, who had a deep devotion to Mother Mary, St. Ignatius of Laconi.

4. It has been "monsoon" season here, but earlier this week we had a break in the rain and were able to pick the first "fruits" of our labor -- radishes. Praise God! There is nothing as tasty as fresh veggies from the garden.


5. Even our cat was happy to get out of the house and enjoy a sunshiny day on her private balcony. Doesn't she look content? 


6.  If you are a catfish lover, and are looking for a tasty baked recipe, here is a new one I tested out this past week that you might enjoy. I certainly did!





7.  Today is the feast of St. Isidore the Farmer, the patron of the patron of farmers, peasants, day laborers, and rural communities. 



Have a wonderful weekend!

Jean


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't The Lyceum.   




Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord



Today is Ascension Thursday, forty days after Easter when we celebrate Our Lord's Ascension. Today is a Solemnity and a Holy Day of Obligation in some parts of the world. The ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and the State of Nebraska have retained its celebration on the proper Thursday, while all other provinces have transferred this solemnity to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 20.