Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Tale of Jack O'Lantern

Jack, the Irish say, grew up in a simple village where he earned a reputation for cleverness as well as laziness. He applied his fine intelligence to wiggling out of any work that was asked of him, preferring to lie under a solitary oak endlessly whittling. In order to earn money to spend at the local pub, he looked for an "easy shilling" from gambling, a pastime at which he excelled. In his whole life he never made a single enemy, never made a single friend and never performed a selfless act for anyone.
One Halloween, as it happened, the time came for him to die. When the devil arrived to take his soul, Jack was lazily drinking at the pub and asked permission to finish his ale. The devil agreed, and Jack thought fast. "If you really have any power," he said slyly, "you could transform yourself into a shilling."
The devil snorted at such child’s play and instantly changed himself into a shilling. Jack grabbed the coin. He held it tight in his hand, which bore a cross-shaped scar. The power of the cross kept the devil imprisoned there, for everyone knows the devil is powerless when faced with the cross. Jack would not let the devil free until he granted him another year of life. Jack figured that would be plenty of time to repent. The devil left Jack at the pub.
The year rolled around to the next Halloween, but Jack never got around to repenting. Again the devil appeared to claim his soul, and again Jack bargained, this time challenging him to a game of dice, an offer Satan could never resist, but a game that Jack excelled at. The devil threw snake eyes—two ones—and was about to haul him off, but Jack used a pair of dice he himself had whittled. When they landed as two threes, forming the T-shape of a cross, once again the devil was powerless. Jack bargained for more time to repent.
He kept thinking he’d get around to repentance later, at the last possible minute. But the agreed-upon day arrived and death took him by surprise. The devil hadn’t showed up and Jack soon found out why not. Before he knew it Jack was in front of the pearly gates. St. Peter shook his head sadly and could not admit him, because in his whole life Jack had never performed a single selfless act. Then Jack presented himself before the gates of hell, but the devil was still seething. Satan refused to have anything to do with him.
"Where can I go?" cried Jack. "How can I see in the darkness?"
The devil tossed a burning coal into a hollow pumpkin and ordered him to wander forever with only the pumpkin to light his path. From that day to this he has been called "Jack o’ the Lantern." Sometimes he appears on Halloween!

from Catholic Update

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Prayers for Hurricane Season

Prayer for Protection from a Hurricane

O God, Master of this passing world,
hear the humble voices of your children. 
The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order
and returned to its former quietude;
you are still the Master of land and sea. 
We live in the shadow of a danger
over which we have no control. 
The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant,
can awake from its seeming lethargy,
overstep its conventional boundaries,
invade our land and spread chaos and disaster. 
During this hurricane season,
we turn to You, O loving Father. 
Spare us from past tragedies
whose memories are still so vivid
and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal
with the passing of time. 
O Virgin, Star of the Sea,
Our Beloved Mother,
we ask you to plead with your Son in our behalf,
so that spared from the calamities common to this area
and animated with a true spirit of gratitude,
we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son
to reach the heavenly Jerusalem
where a storm-less eternity awaits us.

(Originally dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Audrey in 1957.  - Fr. Al Volpe, Cameron Parish, LA)

Prayer for Protection against Storms and Hurricanes

Our Father in Heaven
through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor,
spare us during this Hurricane season from all harm. 
Protect us and our homes from all disasters of nature. 
Our Lady of Prompt Succor,
hasten to help us.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Prayer to Avert Storms and Hurricanes 

Father, all the elements of nature obey your command. 
Calm the storms and hurricanes that threaten us
and turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness. 
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. 

Source:  Archdiocese of New Orleans website (

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Master, I want to see."

Today's Gospel reading from St. Mark has Jesus healing the blind man named Bartimaeus.  Others in the crowd tried to silence him, but he called all the louder, and added a very telling title, "Son of David", to his request for the Lord's pity. 

On hearing this title, Jesus could tell that this man had great faith, and Jesus tells him that it is his faith that has saved him.  Not that he is healed, but saved.  He receives two gifts from the Lord:  both his sight and his salvation. 

He, in turn, followed him on the way.  One could well imagine that he became a devoted disciple of Jesus.

Something to ponder today:  Do you ever ask for what you need with great faith?  Or do you simply presents your needs to the Lord?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nine Requisites for Contented Living...

Nine requisites for contented living:
Health enough to make work a pleasure.
Wealth enough to support your needs.
Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.
Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.
Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.
Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.
Faith enough to make real the things of God.
Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Friday, October 26, 2012

If the Witch knew the true meaning of sacrifice,
she might have interpreted the deep magic differently.
That when a willing victim who has committed no treachery,
is killed in a traitor's stead,
the stone table will crack,
and even death itself would turn backwards.
Aslan in
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Humility of Character - Part II

Because humility avoids comparison, envy is a sure sign of its absence.  Humility can rejoice in the gifts of all, because it recognizes the fundamental oneness of all people in their humanity and in Christ.  Envy thinks of gifts as private property...

When a person has walked consciously in the presence of God and with God's help discovered how merciful God has been to him even in his sin, that person loves God more and more until this love casts out fear.  For Benedict, love overcame and cast out fear not because he came to believe there was no hell, but because he discovered how good God had been to him and he had no reason to think God would ever act differently toward him.  Fear helps keep us on the straight and narrow during the early and laborious days of our seeking to become what God will for us.  As we acquire virtue, we come more and more to do the good spontaneously out of good habit, delight in virtue, and love of Christ.

Humility is the truth about ourselves, the whole truth -- about our weaknesses, our failure, our history, our virtues, our gifts.  Once  we are truthful about ourselves before God and others, we can deal gently with others who are afraid to face the truth about themselves or who fancy themselves our competitors.  Christ humbled himself out of compassion; out of humility grows our compassion for one another.

~ Rev. Hugh Feiss, OSB
in Essential Monastic Wisdom

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Humility of Character, Part I

...For Christ, humbling himself was a way to share the lives of his human brothers and sisters.  For us, humility is an acknowledgment that we share the weaknesses and sins of our human brothers and sisters.  Humility is also the recognition that we form one living system with the plants and animals, for all physical things, living and dead, arise ultimately from the humus, the moist ground of virgin earth.  Try as we me to forget it, we will always need to share water and air and sunlight with the plants and the animals.

Humility is an essential part of listening.  Only someone who believes he has something to learn is an attentive listener... 

Humility is not about comparisons with other people, but if we are inclined to make too much of our virtues or achievements, we should remind ourselves of how many people have been able to exceed any accomplishment of ours.  The more we know ourselves, the more we discover we are lower than our image of ourselves.  In knowing ourselves and avoiding making comparisons between ourselves and those we know less well, we should be ready to do them any service or accept any assignment.  Christ did the same.

~ Rev. Hugh Feiss, OSB
in Essential Monastic Wisdom

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Offering Ourselves and All That is Ours to God...

Lord, all things are Thine that are in heaven and on earth.

I desire to offer myself up to Thee as a voluntary oblation,
and to remain forever Thine. 

Lord , in the sincerity of my heart
I offer myself to The this day to be Thy servant evermore,
to serve Thee,
and to becoem a sacrifice for perpetual praise to Thee.

Receive me with this oblation of Thy preceious Body,
which I offer to Thee this day,
in the presence of Thy angels invisibly standing by,
that it may be for mine and all the people's salvatin.

Lord, I offer to Thee all my sins and offences,
which I have committed in Thy sight and that of Thy holy angels,
from the day that I was first capable of sin until this hour,
upon Thy propitiatory altar,
that Thou mayst burn and consume them all with the fire of Thy charity,
and remove all the stains of my sins,
and cleanse my conscience from all offences
and restore to me Thy grace,
wich I have lost by sin,
by fully pardoning me all,
and mercifully receiving me to the kiss of peace.

What can I do for my sins but humbly confess them,
and lament them,
and incessantly implore Thy mercy for them.

Hear me, I beseech Thee, in Thy mercy,
when I stand before Thee, O my God.

All my sins displease me exceedingly,
I will never commit them any more;
I am sorry for them,
and will be sorry for them as long as  I live;
I am willing to do penance for them,
and to make satisfaction to the utmost of my power.

Forgive, O my God,
forgive me my sins for They holy name's sake;
save my soul,
which Thou has redeemed with Thy precious Blood.

Behold, I commit myself to Thy mercy;
I resign myself into Thy hands.

Deal with me according to Thy goodness --
not according to my wickedness and iniquity.

I offer also to Thee all the goods I have,
though very little and imperfect;
that Thou mayst make it better and sanctify it;
that Thou mayst be pleased with ti,
and make it acceptable to Thee,
and perfect it more and more;
and mayst moreover bring me,
who am a slothful and unprofitable wretch,
to a good and happy end.

I offer to Thee also allthe godly desires of Thy devout servants,
the necessities of my parents, friends, brethren, sisters,
and all of those that are dear to me;
and of all such as, for the love of Thee,
have been benefactors to me or tohers;
or who have desired and begged of me
to offer up prayers and Masses for themselves
and all that belongd to them;
whether they live as yet in the flesh,
or whether they are now departed out of this world;
That they all may be sensible of the assistance of Thy grace,
of the benefit of Thy comfort,
of Thy protection from dangers,
and of a deliverance from their pains,
and that being freed from all evils they may with joy
give worthy thanks to Thee.

I offer up also to Thee my prayers
and this sacrifice of propitiation for those in particular
who have in anything wronged, grieved, or abused me,
or have done me any damage or displeasure.

And for all those likewise whom I have at any time
grieved, troubled, injured or scandalized,
by word or deed,
knowingly or unknowingly;
that it may please Thee to forgive us
all our sins and offences one agains another.

Take, O Lord, from our hearts all jealously,
indignation, wrathe, and contention,
and whatsoever may hurt charity,
and lessen brotherly love.

Have mercy, O Lord,
have mercy on those that crave Thy mercy;
give grace to them that stand in need thereof,
and grant that we may be morthy to enjoy Thy grace,
and that we may attain to life everlasting.

from the Imitation of Christ

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Beginning of Christian Monasticism, Part III

The common life lived within the enclosure of the monastery speaks eloquently of the idea of stability of place.  However, if one looks at it as "to stand firm" the meaning is very different.  Buildings, interior decoration, colors all can be changed.  The people with whom we live are not so easily changed and the face of the community changes with each person who enters.  Who should do the changing and whose ideal should they change to meet?  Mine or God's?  With stability comes flexibility and compromise and the need to learn how to communicate with each other so that charity is preserved. 

Common prayer in some way, shape or form was an essential element in most expressions of monasticism.  Communal prayer is further enhanced by times of personal prayer and lectio divina.  The early ascetics and monastics keenly knew the need to spend time with the Word of God.  This need was intensified in meaning when one began to understand how precious a copy of one of the books of the bible was in the days before the printing press and copiers.  There were not vast libraries to explore for a particular translation of the bible, nor was there a plethora of books on the spiritual life.

Silence, too, held a place of high esteem in early monastic communities.  Silence is something that today we learn to cultivate a desire for, especially when one considers the multitude of ways that sound is part of our everyday environment.  In entering into the silence, it allows me the space in which to make myself wholly available to my Divine Spouse -- to praise and petition and most importantly to listen to His word spoken in the deeps of my heart.

What conclusion can be drawn from these musings?  Perhaps that monasticism has been and always will be a unique part of religious culture.  Within the Benedictine Rule alone we can see a rule that was written for a particular group of men living the common life that has endured and been adapted to times and places for over 1500 years.  St. Benedict drew on the wisdom of those who went before him and distilled their ideas into a Gospel-centered way of seeking God -- exactly what the first monks in the desert did.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Beginning of Christian Monasticism, Part II

What is it that makes Western monasticism different from Eastern monasticism?  Even though both have men/women living the common life, one of the great threads is only mentioned by Cassian:  obedience.  Where would the common life, the place of the superior, and the daily honorarium (just to name  a few of the important aspects of monastic life) be without the necessary and central place of obedience?  Monastic tradition extols the renunciation of one's own will as a fundamental ascetical practice based on the example of Christ himself (RB 1980).  We are given the ultimate example by the very Son of God in the Garden of Gethsemane the eve before His death.

Monasticism started as a way of living the Gospel life more fully.  The Rule of St. Benedict is very Christocentric, Christ-centered; to seek Christ in the superior, in the sick, in the guest, in the poor is not always easy.  The situation may not be pleasant and/or I may not desire at time to seek Christ in the other.  Yet, it is in those times that Christ is most likely calling me to go deeper, to surrender my will to His will, that is, to say with Him in the garden, "Thy will, not my will, be done."  This is the very reason why the first ascetics went out into the dessert -- to renounce self and follow the will of God more definitively.  It is also the very essence of a monastic vocation:  to seek God, not self.

How is this lived out?  It is lived out through the practice of the vow of obedience.  The vow made at monastic profession did not say that I will discern with the superior for what is best for me; the vow made was obedience.  It does not mean that we necessarily agree with everything the superior thinks best.  It also does not mean that I am not called upon to make decisions.  It means that I believe in faith that the superior hold the place of Christ and as such I hear His voice through my superior. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Beginning of Christian Monasticism, Part I

I recently came across a paper I wrote some years back when I was in formation myself on the beginnings of Christian Monasticism.  Over the next few days I would like to share some of those thoughts with you...

Probably the single most important thread in the tapestry of both Eastern and Western monasticism is the idea of the common life, of living together in community.  Within every inspiration, of course, the common life had its own meaning.  For some, it may be a grouping of anchorites (hermits) who came together for liturgy, special feasts or conferences; for others, it was the common life:  coming together for prayer, liturgy, meals, reading and work.

In Western monasticism, the common life was found in looking to Martin of Tours, Honoratus, Cassian and Augustine.  While Martin and Honoratus' communities lived in a kind of "laura" or loosely know group of semi-anchorites, Cassian and Augustine's communities lived more or less in a cenobitic setting.

Although the common life is the single most important thread, there are others that help to enhance and add detail to the monastic life.  The desire to have a superior, someone who interprets the Gospel precepts, sets monastics apart.  To punctuate the day with special times for common prayer and other times for private prayer further define the monastery as the house of God.

Lectio divina is a furtherance of prayer.  As one passes through the various stages of reading the Word of God, meditating on the meaning of God's word, living the meaning and meeting God in prayer (from Sacred Reading, The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina by Michael Casey), one truly has put God at the center of one's being.  The silence that envelops the community further enhances this encounter with the Divine.

Charity for one's brothers/sisters is another needed and necessary element of monastic life.  The great commandment of love is built upon this foundation.  Work, too, has a very central place in monastic life.  St. Paul wrote of the need to work -- the need to contribute to the common good of the community.  Common ownership and a life of simplicity flow from the desire to strip oneself of possessions so as to be more fully open to the Divine.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Confidence in God

My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs.  Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings.

~ St. Isaac Jogues

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

And pray ye without ceasing...

And pray ye without ceasing in behalf of other men.  For there is in them hope of repentance that they may attain to God.  See, then, that they be instructed by your works, if in no other way.  Be ye meek in response to their wrath, humble in opposition to their boasting:  to their blasphemies return your prayers; in contrast to their error, be ye stedfast in the faith; and for their cruelty, manifest your gentleness.  While we take care not to imitate their conduct, let us be found their brethren in all true kindness; and let us seek to be followers of the Lord (who ever more unjustly treated, more destitute, more condemned?), that so no plant of the devil may be found in you, but ye may remain in all holiness and sobriety in Jesus Christ, both with respect to the flesh and spirit.

~ St. Ignatius of Antioch
Letter to the Ephesians

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Keeping silence, not passing judgment

Passing judgment on others is aways a sign that one has not yet encountered oneself.  Hence pious individuals who become incensed over others have not yet encountered their own truth.  Their piety has not yet confronted them with themselves and their own sin.  For as Father Moses says:  "If anyone is bearing his sins, he does not look on those of his neighbors."

Judging gives us no rest.  For even while we are condemning the other, we unconsciouly sense that we too are not perfect.  Thus, renouncing judgment and condemnation is a way to inner peace with ourselves.  We let others be as we are, and in this way we can also be ourselves.

...Not-judging comes out of the encounter with the self.  Those who have encountered themselves know all about their own errors.  They know their shadow side.  They know that they bear within themselves what they condemn in others...  Psychologists tell us that when we pour abuse on others we are revealing what is in ourselves.  We project our own shadow side, our repressed wishes and needs, onto others; and so we revile them instead of looking our own truth in the eye.

from Heaven Begins Within You
by Anselm Gruen

Monday, October 15, 2012

We shall never learn to know ourselves
except by endeavoring to know God;
for, beholding His greatness,
we realize our own littleness;
His purity shows us our foulness;
and by meditating upon His humility
we find how very far we are from being humble.

St. Teresa of Avila

Sunday, October 14, 2012

You are lacking in one thing...

You are lacking in one thing. 
Go, sell what you have,
and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven;
then come, follow me...

(from the Gospel of Mark, 10:17-30)

Jesus' words to the rich young man in today's Gospel cut him to the quick.  Why?  Not necessarily because he had so many possession but that his possessions possessed him.  He couldn't believe he had any worth or value without them. 

Jesus was inviting him to know his true worth, his true value.  Mother Teresa said,
We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.
Perhaps this was also the rich young man.  Perhaps he only had things and was not loved or cared for. 
Our society and culture always stresses getting more, getting bigger, getting better.  An accumulation of things verses doing those things that have greater value:  spending time, spending ourselves in the service of our loved ones, our neighbors and those whom we encounter.  Today, spend some time and ask yourself what possess you -- is it the Lord? or the things you own?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

O Mary...

O Mary, Virgin and Most Holy Mother,
behold I have received Your Most Beloved Son,
whom you conceived in your womb,
bore, suckled and bound with the most gentle embraces. 
Behold I humbly and lovingly bring back
and offer to you that very One, 
at whose sight you used to rejoice
and be filled with every delight, 
so that you may bind Him fast with your arms,
love Him with your Heart,
and offer Him to the Most Holy Trinity
as a supreme act of worship,
for the sake of your very honor and glory
and my own necessities
and those of the whole world. 
Therefore I beg you,
most faithful Mother,
by your asking,
obtain for me the pardon of all my sins,
and abundant grace to serve Him every more faithfully,
and at last the final grace, 
so that I might be able to praise Him
with you forever and ever.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Temptations and Trails, Part V

The question is whether this positive view of temptations can help us today.  For one thing, the perspective might liberate us from a false striving for perfection.  Those for whom everything depends upon being correct will miss out on life for fear of making some mistake.  Their lives will atrophy.  They will, it is true, be correct, but not vital and capacious.  Coming to terms with temptation, the certainty that temptation is a part of us, make us more human, or, as the monks say, humbler.  It shows us that we are alays under attack, that we can never claim to stand above all temptations, that hatred and jealousy, say, or adultery are not problem for us.  Anyone who maintains that he would never betray his wife or girlfriend has not yet encountered his own heart.  Coming to terms with temptation makes us alert. 

We sometimes have a false image of holiness.  We think that the saints are beyond all temptations, but that's wrong.  Knowing about temptation without being overpowered by it is a way that keeps us alive, that concintually reminds us that we cannot make ourselves better, that only God can transform us.  Only God can give us the victory in the battle with temptations, can bring us profound peace that can't be experienced as intensely without a struggle.

from Heaven Begins Within You
by Anselm Gruen

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Temptations and Trails, Part IV

Without temptation the monks become careless.  They let themselves go, and so live any old way.  Temptatins force them to live consciously, to exercise discipline, and to be wakeful.  Thus the monks don't pray for temptations to stop, but for God to Give them enough strength...

Temptation forces us to fight.  Without a fight there is no victory.  But victory is never something we have earned.  In our struggles we learn that Christ is working with us, that he frees us for endless conflict and gives us a profound peace.

from Heaven Begins Within You
by Anselm Gruen

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Temptations and Trials, Part III

Temptation brings us closer to God.  That is how Isaac of Nineveh saw it:  "Without temptation there is no gaining trust in him, or learning the wisdom of the spirit, or solidifying the love of God in the soul.  Before temptations you pray to God as if you were a stranger.  After you have been withstood the temptations out of love for him, without letting yourself be led astray by them, God looks upon you as one who has lent to him and who is entitled to the interest, and as a friend who has fought for him will against the power of the enemies."  His words show that the monks had no anxiety about temptations or about sin.  The monks who fall into temptation become familiar with God in a new way.  At the same time in temptations they sense the nearness of God more deeply than usual.

from Heaven Begins Within You
by Anselm Gruen

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Temptations and Trials, Part II temptations the monks mean thoughts in our mind, passions, and demons.  These temptations are an essential part of us.  They test us, try us, and leave us the better for it.  But this also means that we can't come to God with a clean slate.  Our task is rather to take part in the fight with the demons and to be wounded over and over again by it. 

The monks don't insist that we be perfect and flawless, correct and without stain.  Those who get to know the demons in temptatin will encounter the truth of their souls.  They will discover in themselves the abyss of the unconscious:  murderous thoughts, sadistic imaginatings, immoral fantacies.  We become mature persons only when we confront these truths, when we prove ourselves in temptations.

from Heaven Begins Within You
by Anselm Gruen

Monday, October 8, 2012

Temptations and Trials, Part I

The struggle with temptations and trials is an essential part of being human.  We must deal with the fact that we are tempted by our passions.  The monks speak of demons fighting with us.  By that they mean the forces that emerge in us, that pull us one way or another, that we do not consciously want.  They focus on the experience that we are not simple and straightforward, that we are tossed here and there by various thoughts and feelings.  And they use those terms to describe the forces that we have buried in our shadow side, the unconscious.  Despite our attempt to be decent, the thought occurs to us to throw everything overboard, to simply dispense with the commandments.  For all our amiability we sometimes think that what we'd really like to do is kill our neighbor.  It would be naive to say that it's enough to keep the commandments and to will the good.  There is a raging conflict in our heart between good and evil, between light and darkness, between love and hatred.  For the monks this is perfectly normal.  It's not wrong; it's the test that make us tried and true.  Nowadays we might say that it's a way to live with greater awareness.  The monks know about their shadow side; they come to terms with the fact that their unconscious harbors forces that they do not know yet, that they have to be careful with.

Temptations, the monks tell us, make us human.  They bring us into contact with the roots that bear the trunk.  Facing temptations means encountering the truth.  Thus one father says:  "Take away temptations, and no one will be whole, for whoever flees useful temptation, flees eternal life.  There are in fact temptations that have prepared crowns for the saints."

from Heaven Begins Within You
by Anselm Gruen

Sunday, October 7, 2012

If we love...

If we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.
(1 John 4:12)

These words from the Gospel verse from today's Mass are powerful indeed.  The first word, if, is so often used in our conversation.  "If I had done this..."  "If this happens..." 

In his letter, St. John tells us that If we love one another...  The love John is referring to is not the warm fuzzy love we so often think of when we hear the word love.  The love he has in mind is more of the love that we express by bearing with, being compassionate with, suffer with.  The love that is willing to go the extra mile. 

When we love others selflessly, then God can remain in us because we are loving as He loves. 

Lord, help me to love as You love so that your love may be brought to perfection in me...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Keeping Close to Christ Throughout the Day

A wonderful way to call to mind Christ and our communion with Him is to offer up little ejaculations throughout the day.  These brief prayers, sometimes only a few words like, Jesus, I trust in You or simply uttering his name, can be powerful ways for us to pray. 

Perhaps you get a lot of phone calls or text messages.  Offer a little prayer to the Lord every time you receive one.  It can be a way to call you to prayer throughout what would otherwise be a busy day without much time to pray.

What's your favorite ejaculation?  We'd love to know -- just leave a comment to this post.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Prayer to Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most loving Savior,
whose Most Sacred Heart was pierced by a lance,
look on this, your servant,
and fill her heart with your love.
Empower her to love those she meets
with the same love you bestow on her.
Help her to be forgetful of self
but ever mindful of You.
Fill her soul
with the sweet food of prayer.
May she ever be
an instrument in your hands
and a compassionate presence
to all those she encounters.
May she be a mirror
of your love to all she meets.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Christ the Grain of Wheat

Dear friends, let us once again be filled with wonder by Christ’s words. He, a grain of wheat scattered in the furrows of history, is the first fruits of the new humanity, freed from the corruption of sin and death. And let us rediscover the beauty of the Sacrament of the Eucharist which expresses all God’s humility and holiness. His making himself small, God makes himself small, a fragment of the universe to reconcile all in his love. May the Virgin Mary, who gave the world the Bread of Life, teach us to live in ever deeper union with him.

~ Pope Benedict XVI
19 August 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Petitions of St. Augustine

Lord, Jesus, let me know myself and know Thee,
And desire nothing save only Thee,
Let me hate myself and love Thee,
Let me do everything for the sake of Thee,
Let me humble myself and exalt Thee,
Let me think nothing except Thee,
Let me die to myself and live in Thee,
Let me accept whatever happens as from Thee.
Let me banish self and follow Thee,
And ever desire to follow Thee.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in THee.
Let me fear for myself, let me fear Thee,
Let me be willing to obey for the sake of Thee.
Let me cling to sonthing save only to Thee.
And let me be poor because of Thee.
Look upon me, that I may love Thee;
Call me that I may see Thee
And for ever enjoy Thee.  Amen.

in The Prayer Book

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In Honor of Our Guardian Angels

Lord of hosts, Thou didst create us in Thy likeness and hast made our souls a living temple of the most Holy Trinity.  Thou hast given us Thy holy angels to assist, protect, and guide us that we may persevere in Thy grace throughout life's journey.  Blessed by Thy Name above all!

Holy angels of God, you are the faithful companions of our earthly exile.  You conduct us on the way of life as the Angel Raphael accompanied young Tobias on his long and perilous journey.  You are ever speaking to our souls and filling our hearts with wholesome thoughts, urging us on to good and warning us against every danger and occasion of sin.

We have not always listed to your voice, but frequently disregarded your admonitions.  Forgive us our failings and neglect in the past, for we promise in the future to obey you willingly and faithfully, to love you sincerely, and to think of you often with reverence and gratitude.

Illustrious angels of God, noble and mighty, you stoop to guard and protect us and daily lavish your loving care anew upon us poor sinners.  You know the value of our souls inthe eyes of God.  Never permit us to forget that our immortal souls were redeemed by the Blood of christ.  May no stain of evil mar their bueauty nor any though of sin rob us of our dignity as children of God.  Above all, keep us from scandal, that we may not beocme an occasion of sin to others and thus destroy the work which Christ has wrought in their souls by His bitter Passion and Death.

O God, who in Thy providence dost vouchsafe to send Thy holy angels to keep watch over us, grant that we may always be defended and shielded by them and rejoice in their fellowship.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

in The Prayer Book

Monday, October 1, 2012

Without love...

“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.”
~ St. Therese of Lisieux