Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lord, Make Me Meek And Humble Of Heart

I have described my blog as a place for Catholic musings. Today I'd like to muse on humility. It is something that has been on my mind a great deal lately, and I have also had some difficulty in practicing it as well.
According to the Catholic Dictionary, the virtue of humility may be defined as: "A quality by which a person considering his own defects has a lowly opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God's sake."
The saints also had much to say about this virtue. Here are just a few saintly examples.
St. John Vianney: “Humility is the various virtues what the chain is in a rosary. Take away the chain and the beads are scattered; remove humility, and all virtues vanish.”
St. Augustine
said: “If you should ask me what are the ways of God, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility, and the third is humility. Not that there are no other precepts to give, but if humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts our meaningless.”
St. Teresa of Avila
said, “It constantly happens that the Lord permits a soul to fall so that it may grow humbler. When it is honest, and realizes what it has done, and returns, it makes ever-increasing progress in our Lord’s service.”
Now those are some pretty tough acts to follow, but the one thing that can be heard in the voices of these great saints as well as countless others, is that humility is essential for spiritual growth.
I guess if I had to put it simply, humility is knowing that God is God and that I am definitely not.
Now all of that is easy to say, practicing it is quite another story. Prideful person that I can be, I can easily fall into the "it's all about me" syndrome. I do take some comfort in the fact that the saints weren't saints when they walked upon this earth and probably had a difficult time with this all important virtue as well.
The one thing I learned very quickly when I began taking the practice of my faith seriously was that when you pray for things like humility, God loves to answer these prayers and He seems to do so more quickly than I'd like at times. In order to be able to practice humility so as to become a more humble person, we need humiliations. Those are not usually pleasant, but they are effective.
In my own life, our Lord has seen fit to answer this prayer in everything from allowing me to trip and fall over my own two feet on a busy sidewalk, to more subtle humiliations of simply letting someone else take the credit and glory for something they may or may not be responsible for. In any of these situations, I find myself fighting that internal battle that causes me to bite my tongue and take the lowest place. The consolation in this is that I know that it pleases God, and that is all that should matter.
However, there are those times when pride gets the best of me and I lose the battle; then it's off to confession so that I can receive the forgiveness I need as well as the grace to persevere a little better the next time. Much of the time though, I just seem to be fighting that internal battle of knowing what I ought or ought not to do, and not giving in to the pride and self~love. When the battle really heats up I turn to the Litany of Humility. This prayer is not always easy to pray and mean, but it does cover most, if not all those areas of my life where I would rather put me first. Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her Sisters of Charity would pray this prayer daily.
I was first introduced to the prayer when I began serving as a team member for Rachel's Vineyard retreats. We, as team members, are asked by our facilitator to pray this prayer often, even daily if possible.
As difficult as the prayer is to pray sincerely, I do find it helpful in practicing this sometimes elusive, but necessary virtue.
In addition to prayer, we have great examples of humility in the saints, and even greater examples in the life of Jesus and His Blessed Mother. So when pride begins to rear its ugly head I know where and to whom to turn for help.
I will fight the battle to become more humble most likely for my entire lifetime, but hopefully it will make me a saint.

The Litany of Humility
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…
(Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, 1865~1930)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Feast of the Holy Angels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
(from the Te Deum)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Meditation~Fall In Love, Stay In Love

The priest who preached the homilies at Mass while I was on retreat read this at the end of Mass on our last day of retreat. It was written by Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. I thought I would share it for my Sunday Meditation this week. It is so beautifully true.

Fall In Love, Stay In Love
Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you will do with your evenings,
how you will spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement. ~St. Augustine

Have a Blessed Sunday!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Journeys With The Messiah

I first learned about this amazing collection of photography while visiting Deacon Greg Kandra's blog. The Journeys Project is by fashion photographer Michael Belk. Journeys With the Messiah is how he is using his God given talent these days. These photographs are a must see; they are extremely beautiful as well as powerful. You can click the link for Deacon Greg to hear the Currents Interview with Michael Belk and the above Journeys Project link will take you to the site where you can view the collections and read about the photographs.
Thanks to Deacon Greg at the Deacon's Bench for spreading the word about this beautiful project.

Fr. Robert Barron~The Danger Of Making Religion A Toy

Father Robert Barron is back with another of his insightful video posts. This one is on the dangers of making religion a toy. That phrase came from a comment made by one of his sound men who was hired during their last filming trip for Father's project The Catholicism Project. (Go to Word On Fire to read more about this amazing project)
Father Barron talks about how keeping religion on a shelf so to speak, as a pretty toy to take down every now and then is dangerous to the soul because we are, as he has said many times, "wired for God". The "who knows, who cares" attitude of secularism causes a person to substitute something for God~alcohol, drugs, sex, money, etc.
This also made me think about what Jesus said in Revelation about being lukewarm: " I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth." (Rev. 3:15~16). He would rather see us be one extreme or the other, anything but lukewarm.
OK, I'll stop babbling and let you listen to Fr. Barron.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Haggai And The Bag Full Of Holes

This morning's reading at Mass was from the prophet Haggai 1:1~8. Scripture has spoken to me at various times, but it is usually the Gospel reading that gets my attention or speaks something specific to me. However, this morning it was Haggai that seemed to be speaking to me.
This particular passage comes when the Israelites have returned to their land after being exiled for some 70 years. Well, I can only imagine what it must be like returning home after that stretch of time. One of the things that lay in ruins was the temple, but the people did not have their sights on that as a priority. Human nature being what it is, they were more concerned about getting their own homes and lives back in order; the temple could wait. Haggai is sent by God to tell them they have their priorities backwards. God's exact words through Haggai are: "Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses while this house [the temple] lies in ruins?" (1:4) God goes on to tell them of all the ways their earthly concerns have basically left them empty and He ends with this one: "And whoever earned wages earned them for a bag with holes in it." (1:6)
This got me to thinking not much has changed in all these thousands of years. In many ways God's house still lies in ruins while we continue to take care of our earthly cares. Not that that in and of itself is a bad thing, but God also tells us to "Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33)
Listening to this passage from Haggai today, along with pondering some of my own personal life situations lately, I began to see and sort of hear God's message to me on a deeply personal level.
That verse from Matthew's Gospel has been playing in my mind the last few days. So much of my life seems to be not where I would like it to be~my finances could be in better shape, the work on my annulment should be completed and it's not, my work hours seem to be out of control, and the list could probably go on. Every time I started to think about these things, I would then immediately think about putting and seeking God's Kingdom first. If I do this, He promises to take care of me and all that He knows that I need. I know that doesn't mean I sit back on my laurels and do nothing; I need to cooperate with His grace.
This is where I linked that verse from Matthew with Haggai. I can spend so much time getting caught up and in my earthly cares that I forget the care of my soul. My earthly "house" is being tended to and fussed over while my soul, God's temple, is left in ruins. Just like those Israelites, I can get it all backwards at times. It is then I need to hear God tell me the same thing He told His people then: "Consider your ways! Go up into the hill country, bring timber, and build the house. That I might take pleasure in it and receive my glory, says the Lord." (Haggai 1:8) I need to constantly build up my soul through the sacraments, through prayer and through good spiritual reading so that God may take pleasure there and be glorified in me.
If I neglect these things, if I fail to guard my senses and my heart, the grace I could possibly receive may fall through a bag full of holes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Spiritual (Literary) Treasures

In one of my last posts I promised to write more about the spiritual reading I had chosen to take with me for my six days of retreat. Scripture is always a staple as far as my reading and prayer are concerned, but I also allow myself one book of spiritual reading. As an example, last year I took along a book of the writings of Blessed Charles de Foucauld.
This year I made a slight exception to my rule of one book; I brought along two by the same author. I say that I chose to bring these books, but after beginning my reading, I realized God Himself knew what I needed to read and put them in my hands.
For sometime now I have been a faithful reader of Abbot Joseph Homick's Word Incarnate. I had noticed that he has also written several books. After some correspondence with Abbot Joseph to determine whether the books would be appropriate for retreat reading, I ordered both Joy Comes With Dawn:Reflections On Scripture and Life, as well as How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place: Lifting The Veils On The Presence of God.
In Joy Comes With the Dawn, the reflections are much like the reflections he writes on Word Incarnate. In How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place, Abbot Joseph writes in depth about lifting the veils of God's presence in creation and in our own lives. He uses Scripture as well as references to the traditions, and prayer of the Byzantine Catholic Tradition. (We in the western Church could learn a few things from this beautiful and rich eastern Catholic rite)
I brought both books along because I never know where God is going to lead me on any given day of any retreat. While these two books certainly can be read separately, they are also a wonderful compliment to each other.
I began How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place at the beginning, but in Joy Comes With Dawn, I tended to skip around a bit. I truly believe my Guardian Angel was flipping the pages in the latter book because wherever I seemed to be either complimented something in the other book or something I was reading in Scripture, or related an experience I had or was having. His reflections on the sea resonated within me as I sat seaside myself and read them. I began to see God and feel His presence in places I never saw Him or thought to look for Him before.
I could go on and on about these wonderful books, but instead I encourage you to check them out for yourself, and if you haven't visited Abbot Joseph's Word Incarnate blog~Go Now! You will be glad you did.
One last thing about Abbot Joseph and his writing, he does not only what any good spiritual writer should do, but also what any good priest should do, that is he leads you to God. He also exhibits great humility in the sense that he is not afraid to relate his own experiences in some of the day to day struggles in the spiritual life and life in general~another companion on the journey so to speak. This is refreshing, as some writers, especially modern day ones, often lead more to themselves rather than to God.
You can find out more about Abbot Joseph's books by visiting his website(click the link at the beginning of this post) and clicking the link for his books on the sidebar. If you do decide to order, help the monastery out a little by ordering from them as opposed to Amazon(they take 55% off the top).
I know these books will be among the ones I go back to time and again for spiritual nourishment and refreshment. Thanks Abbot Joseph!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Returning From The Sea

For my Sunday Meditation post this week I thought I would share my retreat photographs which I put together in a slide show. I am new to this whole Smilebox slide show thing so you will notice one or two repeat photos. Also I only had about 25 pictures so the show will loop until music is done~feel free to stop it once it becomes repetitive.
I don't normaly leave comments open on these Sunday posts, but will for this one in case any of you more seasoned photographers have any helpful hints or constructive criticisms to share.
Enjoy and have a Blessed Sunday!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: His Voice Is On The Sea
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

God, The Sea, and Me

I returned home from my six days of retreat late Thursday morning. The hardest and in some ways the most painful part of retreat is re~entry into the world. What I have come to realize about why it is so difficult is on the surface I truly enjoy the rest and relaxation that these days bring, but it goes deeper than this. What I have come to realize is that with every retreat I make, some part of me changes; God does a great deal of work on me in those days. While I may have changed in some ways, the world hasn't. To the vast majority of people who know that I go on retreat, that week is simply a week away. Explaining the deeper reasons don't seem to mean anything so I don't try to explain.
None of this really matters to me, because these six days that I choose to spend in silence each year are for me, and I see them as a gift from God.
I have made my days of retreat in the same place for the last 4 years. I have always made a directed retreat and have had the same spiritual director each time. This year I decided to make the retreat privately without my director. I really just wanted my time with our Lord to be uninterrupted (except for Mass and meals). I brought along my Bible, my journal and a bit of spiritual reading, which I will talk about in a separate post at some point.
Our Lord never disappoints me. If I do my prayerful best to open myself to Him, He floods my soul with countless graces.
Usually there is one significant "gift" I return home with; this year it was the sea itself. No, I didn't bottle the Atlantic and haul it back with me, but the sea seemed to take a hold of me and get into the depths of my soul like it never has before. I came home feeling like I wanted to reflect more on it and its beauty as one of God's most powerful creations. I thought about simply writing a few posts about it here, but that didn't seem like enough; I felt the need for something that could be ongoing, and it needed a place of its own.
So here is what I have done. I couldn't find exactly how to create new or separate pages in Blogger, so I went over to Wordpress and created a separate blog. What I will do is give you the link in this post, but it will also be listed at the top of my sidebar under Posts That May Be of Interest(I may change that title) so that you can check in with it whenever you need some seaside tranquility.
This new blog is simply a place, almost a journal of sorts, where I will share my reflections on the sea and how God seems to speak through it. The blogs title is The Voice of the Lord Is On The Waters. You can read about where the title comes from by clicking the About tab on the blog.
I am not sure how often I will post there. Right now there are 2 reflections written there. I also plan to put a photo gallery of the pictures I took. Although you will see those here tomorrow as a slide show in my Sunday Meditations post.
God's gift of the sea is to big to keep to one's self. I look forward to sharing it with any and all who find themselves on my new little cyber~haven.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Come Away To A Quiet Place

Come away to a quiet place. Come see the glorious works of the Lord. Be still and know that He is God. The Lord Almighty is here. He is our refuge.
(Mark 6:31; Psalm 46:8a, 10a, 11)

Well it is time for me to follow the advice given in that Scripture verse. Every year around this time I try to take a week of my vacation for a six day silent retreat. I have been blessed with the privilege of being able to do this for the last 4 years. The retreat house is right on the beach and since Labor day has come and gone, it will be a fairly empty beach. In the silence and in the power of the ocean, God does not just speak, but acts as well. There is just something about the ocean. Even when my relationship with God was nowhere near where it should have been, I always seemed to at least sense His presence there. Now it is the place where He seems to invite me to rest a bit with Him. I go with little to no expectations, letting God lead me where He wants, and He never disappoints me. I hear Him in the Scripture passages He presents, the spiritual reading I take along, and in the waves that crash the shore as I take long, sunrise and sunset walks (weather permitting of course).Sunset over Wildfowl Bay near Sebewaing, Michigan This is truly one of my favorite weeks in the whole year!I will be leaving Friday afternoon, so my blogging will probably stop after today and resume at some point the week of Sept. 21st.
Please say a prayer for me during the coming week as I will keep all of you in mine.
For those of you who follow my Blessings For the Day blog, I have scheduled my post for Touch of Our Savior's Hand. My God Moment this week is a powerful one~ well to me at least.
See you back here in a week. God Bless!

*The pictures are not mine; they are courtesy of Webshots Photos. I will try to bring back
some of my own.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Out With The Old, In With The New

Each night as I finish Evening Prayer using Magnificat, I usually take a sneak peek at the Mass readings for the next day so that I can read, and hopefully, pray them using my Douay~Rheims translation. The reading tomorrow is from Colossians 3:1~11. Magnificat always gives a verse from the reading before the actual reading; here is what the verse for this reading said: "You have died with Christ; put to death then the parts of you that are earthly." This verse stopped me dead in my tracks because the question that I then had to ask myself was, "Have I done this?" As the reading goes on, St. Paul gives two very convicting lists of things related to the old man. (and here I will give you the Douay~Rheims wording for it is much stronger than the New American Bible translation) The first list:"fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness." (Col. 3:5) Well I read that series of sins and said to myself that OK, since my return to Christ, I have pretty much gotten rid of those things. Then I read the second list: "anger, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and filthy speech out of your mouth.(Col. 3:8). That's where the Holy Spirit started doing His convicting. While I don't go around blaspheming, the anger, indignation, malice and even an occasional slip of an expletive (other than our Lord's holy name) still continues to live.
St. Paul tells us to put these things to death. The only way to do that is by God's grace, and the best place to receive that is in His sacraments~especially through sacramental confession and the Eucharist. The way I look at these two sacraments is one gets me clean, the other helps keep me that way.
I sometimes find myself getting very frustrated with myself because I can't seem to put away the "old woman." To a certain degree, that is my pride getting in the way. I try to remind myself that this side of heaven, I am always going to be subject to the effects of Original Sin. In doing that I can then come in all humility before Our Lord and ask for His mercy and forgiveness, and I can begin again.
So while attempting to live out my Catholic faith, I will continue to accept the Holy Spirit's convictions and continue to put the old to death and live in the new with Christ.
I think the other reason this passage may have struck something within me is that 46 years ago today, I was baptized. I spent some time today actually thinking about what that means and about the Baptismal Vows my Godparents took for me at that time and that I now try to live out. It is about constantly dying to myself so that I can rise anew in Christ.
If you have read my reversion story, you know that I spent a good portion of my life running from God and offending Him in all sorts of horrible ways. All I want to do now is spend any remaining tme He gives me "putting on the new, him who is renewed unto knowledge, according to the image of him that created him." (Col. 3:10)

*Note: For more information on the Douay~Rheims translation of the Bible, see my sidebar under Catholic Links.

The Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary

Today the Church celebrates the birthday of our Blessed Mother. Now as one of her more difficult children, I do owe her some sort of very special birthday present. I haven't come up with anything fitting just yet. I am warning you ahead of time, this is not going to be a run of the mill feast day post.
My relationship with Mary has always been a struggle. I believe in everything the Church teaches about her, but I have never been able to muster up enough devotion to have one of those warm fuzzy relationships I hear other people talk about. I know faith and devotion are not about the warm fuzzies, but I have to admit that when it comes to Our Lady, this does bother me a bit. I mean really, what kind of daughter does this make me? You would think the least I could do would be to give her five decades each day; although at this rate she would probably be happy with one.
About a month ago, I stopped struggling and beating myself up about all this. I remembered something I read St. Therese of Liseux saying about her own devotion to Our Lady. She talked about how she had a very difficult time relating to Mary as a queen and this perfect woman. She needed to think more about Mary of Nazareth who led a normal day to day life. St. Therese knew and believed all that was taught about our Blessed Mother, but she needed to find a way to relate to her in her devotion to her. As I started to get very discouraged in my own devotion to Mary, I thought more about these words of St. Therese as well as something one of my confessors once told me. He told me to go to Mary not so much as a mother, but as a friend~just as I would go to a good woman friend. I have to say, this really changed my whole perspective.
Yes, I know that Mary was born sinless and remained that way. I know that she is Queen of Heaven and Earth, and I am so very glad she is all of this and more for us. However, at the end of the day, when I have had enough of all the world has thrown at me, I need someone I can relate to on a human level. It is then that I remember Mary of Nazareth.
Jesus gave us the gift of His Mother as He was dying on the cross. Just like St. John, we each in our own way need to take her into our homes and into our hearts. I think she and I are working on this, and like any good mother, she has more patience with me than I deserve from her.
Reading back on all I have just written, maybe I have found the perfect gift for her in these heartfelt thoughts. Oh and perhaps I can find a way to give her a Rosary as well.
Happy Birthday Blessed Mother! I do love you.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Labor Day Prayer To St. Joseph

Prayer for the Spirit of Work
Glorious St. Joseph,
model of all who pass their life in labor,
obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance
to atone for my many sins;
to work conscientiously,
putting the call of duty above my own inclinations;
to work with gratitude and joy,
considering it an honor to use and develop by my labor
the gifts I have received from God;
to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience,
without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties.
Help me to work, above all, with purity of intention
and with detachment from self,
having always before my eyes the hour of death
and the accounting which I must render
of time lost, talents wasted, good omitted,
and vain complacency in success,
which is so fatal to the work of God.
All for Jesus,
all for Mary,
all after your example,
O Patriarch Joseph!
This shall be my watchword in life and in death.

Have a Blessed Labor Day!
May St. Joseph the worker intercede for all those unable to work or unable to find work.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Meditation~A Homily

Those of you who are regular followers of this blog know that I usually post a simple picture with a prayer, song or reflection based on the Gospel for that Sunday.
This week for my Sunday Meditation I am sending you over to Brother Charles for his very convicting homily on this week's Gospel account of Jesus healing the man who was mute. Jesus' words to this man are also for us; "Be Open".
As always on my Sunday post I have closed my comments, but please be sure to leave one for Brother Charles.
So without further babbling from me, here is BrotherCharles' homily on Speech Impediments.

Have a Blessed Sunday!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Saturday Evening Blog Post~Issue 1

Through Jennifer at Conversion Diary I found a link to this Meme on Elizabeth Esther's blog. The Meme is called The Saturday Evening Blog Post. On the first Saturday of each month, bloggers are invited to write a post featuring their favorite post for the previous month. This is the first edition of the SEBP so bloggers are choosing their favorite posts from the month of August. Click on Elizabeth's name above to read posts by other bloggers as well as add your own to the list. I am new to both of these ladies blogs, but have enjoyed my visits with them. Be sure to check them both out.

I chose a bit of a serious topic for my first post to this meme, but it is the one that generated the most comments. The title of the post is Not Everyone Is Pro~Life and is my response to how I felt after hearing those words come from one of my family members. At the end of the post I included a prayer I found to St. Gianna Molla. There is a link to her story in the post as well.
Thanks to Jen and Elizabeth for coming up with the idea for this fun meme and to Elizabeth for hosting.

Bl. Mother Teresa: Aug. 26, 1910-Sept. 5, 1997

"We are at Jesus' disposal. If he wants you to be sick in bed, if he wants you to proclaim His work in the street, if he wants you to clean the toilets all day, that's all right, everything is all right. We must say, "I belong to you. You can do whatever you like." And this is our strength, and this is the joy of the Lord."
~Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

On this day in 1997, our Lord called His dedicated servant, Mother Teresa of Calcutta home to the place He had prepared for her. What has always struck me most about this woman was that she was able to see Christ in the most abject of circumstances; in her words she saw Him in the disguise of the sufferings of the poorest of the poor. After reading a bit more about Mother, I soon learned her "secret" to being able to do this. Every day for several hours a day, Mother Teresa and her sisters spent time praying before the Blessed Sacrament.
So today as we remember Blessed Mother Teresa, let us ask her intercession for the grace to see Christ in the poor he puts in the paths of our own lives. We may not be working with lepers and orphans, but the poor come in varied ways~ the homeless person you pass on the street, someone suffering from an addiction, or the person who seems to have lost their faith. Christ is in every one of them, but He is not always easy to recognize.
You can read a beautiful biography of Mother Teresa at the Vatican website.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Silent No More

I know I have gone a little video crazy on this blog lately, but this is an important one. The pending health care bill that is being proposed by this president's administration brings the abortion issue to the forefront. Everything from our tax dollars paying for abortions to the doing away with conscience clauses for Catholic health care employees.
The following video is from the Silent No More Campaign and features the brief testimonies of post-abortive women. Our legislators need to realize that abortion is NOT health care!
Please watch the video and pass it on to as many people as possible.
With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.(Evangelium Vitae~par.99)

A Few Good Men

Well maybe more than a few, but that's what the priesthood calls for~good, brave men. I once heard Mother Angelica comment on the men she felt were best suited for the priesthood. She said (and I am paraphrasing Mother here) that she wanted the men who wanted to be fathers and husbands because the priesthood requires much of the same things that physical fatherhood and marriage require.
This short video is so edifying and gave me chills(good ones) as I watched; it is beautifully done. Young men who may be called to a priestly vocation hear the strong and powerful words from Archbishop Dolan of New York as the 5 men of this archdiocese are ordained. The happy, joyous looks on their faces is priceless! It kind of reminded me of the ads you see and hear for the military; they are looking for a few good men and so is the priesthood.
May God who has begun this great work in them, and all our priests, truly bring it to fulfillment, and may He do the same for all those discerning their vocations.

Mantilla Twitch to Wynken,Blynken and Nod for sharing this.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Screwtape and Gargoyle

One of my favorite priestly blogs is Standing on My Head by Fr. Dwight Longenecker. (See my Priestly Blog list to visit) Father Dwight has a new book called The Gargoyle Code which is written in the style of C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters.
You can listen to Fr. Dwight's podcast on which he discusses The Screwtape Letters as well as his book; he even reads an excerpt from his Gargoyle Code. Father wrote the book during Lent, and while it can be read any time, it can also serve as spiritual reading for Lent. I know what you are thinking~ we haven't even gotten to Advent and already she's talking about Lent! What can I say; I like to prepare my spiritual reading early. At any rate, click on the podcast link above and listen to what Fr. Dwight has to say. While there you can also find out how to order your copy of The Gargoyle Code.

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.