Pray

I meant to start blogging again this Lent.  I find myself still in a funk.  I watch with anxiety the divisions within the Church.  I don’t see Francis acting like Peter defending the Church.  Rather, he seems to be the promoter of dissent.  I know some people would say that I am casting stones but I cannot help but wonder who the puppetmaster is behind the puppets?  Perhaps many are right, he is just being a Jesuit.  That doesn’t help me, a graduate of a Jesuit college.  They ruined more people’s faith lives than I can possibly count at my college.  We did all receive a wonderful education that has helped us in the secular world.  We were left unprepared for the real battles of the world.   So I don’t have much hope.  I do have hope in the Lord.  He never fails us even when we cannot fathom why we are in this place where Archbishops and Cardinals in Germany blackmail with threats of seceding from Rome – they are not a subsidiary! No, they are just supposed to be in communion with all of us.  Communion is the fight – let’s give communion to everyone.  Not a bad thought, merciful, none of us are deserving.  But that’s not the point.  The Lord’s words are being thrown out.  They are actually being thrown in our faces and the end result will be no one cares about anything.  The church will have given away its treasure in one pastoral act that actually mocks the master, not fulfill His words. (Other disruptions – the Rosica Affair, the Pell affair, the 5 cardinal book affair….)

And so, I ask that you pray for me that I might not despair.  I pray for Francis that he will be Peter. I don’t think Francis is wrong about his social message!  When he talked to his priests the other day, I think he revealed something important.  He doesn’t act thinking about being in the presence of the Lord when he thinks.  He is impulsive. So, my prayer for Francis is that he actually become more spiritually mature and less reliant on his own brand of spirituality.  I pray for the world.  I pray for the Church.  But, I feel weak, insecure, unsure, on the verge of giving up, on the verge of not trying, on the verge of ….  Pray for me please.

Mary, Most Holy – please pray for us.  It really is in your hands.

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Merry Christmas

I feel disconnected to my blog!  I have been away two weekends in a row and did not post last Sunday as I’m playing catch up here at home.  My advent has been so busy that I am not prepared and I have little time to prepare.  I am very prepared for the commercial aspects of Christmas – it’s the spiritual preparation that has fallen to the wayside.  Without Christmas – where would we be? how would we be living?  how would I be? how would I be living?

I get tired of secularists blaming Christianity for all the ills of the world. Yes, Christians make mistakes, big ones.  But, Christianity is about God.  It is about Love.  “For God so loved the world that he gave* his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).  It is that simple.

The world has problems because we don’t love.  We don’t love God.  We don’t love our neighbor.  I fall short of this.  Can you imagine if each of us loved as we should?  Can you imagine a world in which no one thought this?

Yes, Christmas is here – Alleluia.  Let us rejoice, recommit, and love God and our neighbor – transforming the world.

May all who read this have a blessed Christmas.

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Thanksgiving, Happy New Year

I was away for Thanksgiving visiting family and had a work trip so I did not post.  I am still playing catch up in my life.  I am grateful for this life of mine and am thankful to the Lord.  That is a recurring theme in my prayers, even when I am down.  The Lord has been kind and merciful to me.

I pray to him in this New Year to enlighten me.  I am down.  I am confused.  I need my valley to be broadened and nourished.  I need the mountain to be laid lower to let the light in.

I tell myself not to want.  Wanting brings trouble.  I pray that my wanting doesn’t get in my way.  I ask for prayers to move forward, to not fall into the pit.

I found this prayer by Origin here,

Origen (ca. 184-254)

May the Lord Jesus touch our eyes, as he did those of the blind. Then we shall begin to see in visible things those which are invisible. May he open our eyes to gaze, not on present realities, but on the blessings to come. May he open the eyes of our heart to contemplate God in Spirit, through Jesus Christ the Lord, to whom belong power and glory through all eternity.

I beg the Lord’s forgiveness for my lack of Charity.

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Christ the King

Today is the feast of Christ the King.  At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bend.  Did we bend our knees in respect to our King today? how about every day?  Do we follow Him or just pay homage?  Aren’t both important.

In 2008, Pope Benedict said the following in his Sunday Angelus on this feast day:

“Today’s Gospel insists precisely on the universal kingship of Christ the Judge, with the stupendous parable of the Last Judgment, which St Matthew placed immediately before the Passion narrative (25: 31-46). The images are simple, the language is popular, but the message is extremely important: it is the truth about our ultimate destiny and about the criterion by which we will be evaluated. “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25: 35) and so forth. Who does not know this passage? It is part of our civilization. It has marked the history of the peoples of Christian culture: the hierarchy of values, the institutions, the multiple charitable and social organizations. In fact, the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world, but it brings to fulfilment all the good that, thank God, exists in man and in history. If we put love for our neighbour into practice in accordance with the Gospel message, we make room for God’s dominion and his Kingdom is actualized among us. If, instead, each one thinks only of his or her own interests, the world can only go to ruin.

Dear friends, the Kingdom of God is not a matter of honours and appearances but, as St Paul writes, it is “righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rm 14: 17). The Lord has our good at heart, that is, that every person should have life, and that especially the “least” of his children may have access to the banquet he has prepared for all. Thus he has no use for the forms of hypocrisy of those who say: “Lord, Lord” and then neglect his commandments (cf. Mt 7: 21). In his eternal Kingdom, God welcomes those who strive day after day to put his Word into practice. For this reason the Virgin Mary, the humblest of all creatures, is the greatest in his eyes and sits as Queen at the right of Christ the King. Let us once again entrust ourselves to her heavenly intercession with filial trust, to be able to carry out our Christian mission in the world.”

The message is remarkably Franciscan.  So why doesn’t Francis move me?

Let us pray to Mary, Most Holy, that she help us. That she help me.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you,

Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the  hour of our death. Amen.

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talents

Today’s Gospel Reading always gives me pause.  It did so today.  It is the story of the master who gives his servants some talents before he leaves for an extended time.  When he returns, two have doubled what they were given. One buried his talent so that he would not get in trouble or offend the master upon the master’s return.  However, when the master returned, the master was angry and offended.  The master says:

“His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?” (MT 25:  26-27)

In all honesty – this is me.  So tonight, I ask for prayers that I may at least put my talents in the bank.

An Act of Contrition for myself : http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/contrit.htm

and a prayer to the Holy Face:  http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/prayers/shroud2.htm

This one is new to me.  I found it consoling tonight.  I included Francis in this prayer.

 

 

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A Battle is Brewing

Today’s headlines when one searches “pope” on Google are basically – the Bishops and Popes are battling one another.  I hope so.  First – isn’t this what Francis wants – Bishops taking ownership.  Second, he said – make a mess.  He seems to enjoy this.  But for me, I hope the Bishops take a stand on the side of the Gospel, not the Social Gospel.  Don’t misread me but the second flows from the first and is essential.  Francis’ embrace of the Social Gospel will be an everlasting legacy.  So too will his legacy of lesser faith be if the Bishops don’t stand up for the Gospel message.  The Gospel message isn’t to take care of the poor although that is part of it.  The Gospel message is – There is a God, I love you, I sent my son – listen to Him.  Listen to His Words, listen to  His Actions.  He is the Way.  Jesus sat with sinners of every social and economic class.  We are all sinners.  He came for all – to know and be reconciled with the Father.  That is Francis’ inherited mission.

I’ve been pondering my own small understanding of Jesus in trying to understand Francis.  I think I have been wrong about the going after the 1 at the expense of the 99.  Jesus said to do this.  Francis is right in insisting on this.  But what is he going to do when he gets the one – say Hi?  This is where Francis is very unclear.  He talks about mercy.  Does someone who doesn’t know or love the Father care about mercy in the same way a missionary does? I doubt one would listen until clothed and fed.  Again, Francis is onto something there.  BUT, what comes next – does Francis say – Get up and follow Him, sin no more, strive to holiness?  I don’t hear that often from him.  I hear it from some Bishops, but not all.  Why are they afraid of holiness?  Why won’t they fight for it? Why do they insist that it is okay for me to wallow in my sin, presuming mercy when I don’t ask for it and just assume it is mine?  Why won’t they help me, all of us, to become better.

Isn’t ironic how secular society talks about personal growth all the time yet the church lately seems to loath to talk about spiritual growth?  What is the difference between the secular social worker and the faithful on a mission in Francis’ conception of things?

In today’s readings we learn from the Angel to nourish ourselves in the waters of the Sanctuary.  We learn that we are God’s temple and that we need to build it up, in ourselves!.  We learn that Jesus risks much when angry about how His Father’s house is being treated.  We learn “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2: 17; readings found here ).  Help me someone – do you see Francis’ zeal for the Sanctuary? for the Mass? for the Word?  Help me overcome my observations of him this week alone.  My observation is that he is a contradiction and that in essence  he is more about power for himself and his friends to overturn the Church by getting rid of the people he finds unattractive, in order to make the Church attractive.  Aren’t those unattractive people ones who have done what St. Paul said – built upon the foundation given, “namely, Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11)?

Yes, I hope the Bishops will do Battle with the Pope.  My spiritual life depends upon his aquiring more wisdom about how to get the message out.  WORDS are more important that he understands.  Praxis is not WORD.

Let’s pray the full rosary today and the Prayer to St. Michael.  In addition, I am not condemming Francis.  I don’t understand and mistrust.  So I am praying for enlightenment for either him, me and both!  I standby my support for the Battle.

Rosary: http://www.comepraytherosary.org/

St. Michael (full prayer): http://www.indefenseofthecross.com/Prayer_to_St_Michael.htm

And a prayer to the Holy Spirit which I will pray three times – once for myself and then substituting Francis’ name and then “Bishops” for the personal petition within – http://catholicism.about.com/od/prayers/qt/Prayer_Gifts_HS.htm

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To All the Saints

Today is All Saints Day – let us implore all the Saints today to help the Church and to help us all – everyone.  May everyone come to know the Lord.  May the Church not abandon the Lord.

Today’s Second Reading from the First Letter of St. John found here:

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.

Let us pray the Psalm from today:

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

 

And, let’s pray the Litany of the Saints along with the Rosary today as we implore the Blessed Mother to help her Son’s Church.  The Litany can be found here.

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