Blog Archives

A Prayer for the Assumption

by Pope St. Pius X

O immaculate virgin, mother of God and mother of humanity, we believe with all the fervour of our faith in your triumphal assumption both in body and in soul into heaven where you are acclaimed as queen by all the choirs of angels and all the legions of saints; we unite with them to praise and bless the Lord who has exalted you above all other pure creatures and to offer you the tribute of our devotion and our love.

We know that your gaze, which on earth watched over the humble and suffering humanity of Jesus, in heaven is filled with the vision of that humanity glorified and with the vision of uncreated wisdom, and that the joy of your soul in the direct contemplation of the adorable trinity causes your heart to throb with overwhelming tenderness; and we, poor sinners whose body weights down the flight of the soul, beg you to purify our hearts so that, while we remain below, we may learn to see God and God alone in the beauties of his creatures.

We trust that your merciful eyes may deign to gaze down upon our miseries and anguish, upon our struggles and our weaknesses; that your countenance may smile upon our joys and our victories; that you may hear the voice of Jesus saying to you of each one of us, as he once said to you of his beloved disciple:

“Behold your son,” and we who call upon you as our mother, we, like John, take you as the guide, strength and consolation of our mortal life.

We are inspired by the certainty that your eyes, which wept over the earth crimsoned by the blood of Jesus, are yet turned toward this world racked by wars and persecutions, the oppression of the just and the weak. From the shadows of this vale of tears, we seek in your heavenly assistance, tender mercy, comfort for our aching hearts, and help in the trials of Church and country.

We believe finally that in the glory where you reign, clothed with the sun and crowned with stars, you are, after Jesus, the joy and gladness of all the angels and the saints, and from this earth, over which we tread as pilgrims, comforted by our faith in the future resurrection, we look to you our life, our sweetness, our hope; draw us onward with the sweetness of your voice, so that one day, after our exile, you may show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb.

O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

Amen.

Courtesy of here.  Today is the Feast of the Assumption.

Prayers in Honor of St. Clare of Assisi

I look up and I behold the Lord,
Clare says to me, “Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him,
I put this more simply:
behold, hold, enfold.

I behold the Lord
I see His outstretched hands
I see the blood from His wounds.
I see the love in the eyes of Jesus.
I see His gracious acceptance of me.

Jesus has come out of the tomb –
He still has the scars, but now they are glorious, with the glory of heaven.
Still looking at the Lord, I reach out and touch Him.
I hold the Lord – and I am held in His love.

Love enfolds
It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.
I am secure in the Lord.
I can look out, now, through the Lord’s eyes.
I can see the world as He created it, in His mercy,
I can see my sisters and brothers with His love,
and I can worship the Father through the eyes of the Son
in the Love of the Holy Spirit.

Here is a blessing from St. Clare’s second letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague:
What you hold may you always hold.
What you do, may you always do and never abandon.
But with swift pace, light step and unswerving feet,
so that even your steps stir up no dust,
Go forward, the spirit of our God has called you.

Courtesy of here.

O glorious Saint Clare!

God has given you the power of working miracles continually, and the favor of answering the prayers of those who invoke your assistance in misfortune, anxiety, and distress; we beseech you, obtain for us from Jesus, through Mary, His Blessed Mother, what we beg of you so fervently and hopefully, if it be for the greater honor and glory of God and for the good of our souls.

Saint Clare Pray For Us

Amen.

Courtesy of here.  St. Clare was the founder of the women’s branch of the Franciscans, the Poor Clares, having received the veil from St. Francis himself.  Today is her feast day.

A Prayer to St. Lawrence

Glorious St. Lawrence, model of Christian fortitude, I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne of God. To you I have recourse in the problems that daily surround me. Shield me against my selfishness and my indifference to God and my neighbour. Inspire me to imitate your Christian virtues. May your blessing be with me always, so that I may see and serve Christ in others and work for His Kingdom. Graciously obtain for me from God those favours and graces which I need so much in the trials, miseries and afflictions in life, particularly (name it). Help me, dear St. Lawrence, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to run in the sweetness of His loving will and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.
(Pater, Ave, Gloria)

Courtesy of here.  Today is his feast day.

A Prayer for the Feast of the Transfiguration

O God, who in the glorious Transfiguration of your Only Begotten Son confirmed the mysteries of faith by the witness of the Fathers and wonderfully prefigured our full adoption to sonship, grant, we pray, to your servants, that, listening to the voice of your beloved Son, we may merit to become co-heirs with him. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen

Courtesy of here.  Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration.

Scandal and Universalism

The title of this post may seem to be an odd juxtaposition, but there is method in my madness.  Bear with me as I explain.  Over the last month I have been following the news of the removal from ministry of retired Archbishop of Washington, D. C. Theodore Cardinal McCarrick in the light of allegations of sexual misconduct.  During this time, I have also been engaged in discussion of this issue on some blogs that I frequent.  One theme that I hear coming up more than once is the loss of faith of many Catholics.  The abuse scandal that broke in 2002 was bad enough, and its repercussions have perhaps not completely played out yet.  Still, many had hoped that the worst was over.  With the revelations about McCarrick, and the repeated mantra that everyone knew about his behavior for decades, and that nevertheless no one came forth publicly even after the revelations of 2002, many have considered this to be the last straw.  “That’s it–I’m out,” is something I’ve heard more than once.

So what does that have to do with universalism?  Well, in order to make the connection, I’ll need to take a look at ecclesiology.  This is the branch of theology that deals with the nature of the Church.  Most simply, in the Catholic tradition, the Church is defined as the Body of Christ.  That is, all baptized persons–practicing or inactive, good or bad, living or dead–are joined together through that sacrament into the Mystical Body of Christ.  For any of my readers who are Catholics, if you’ve ever wondered why the deacon incenses the congregation, this is why.  Incense is a sign of worship, and liturgically indicates the presence of Christ.  Christ is present at the Mass in four ways–in the Scriptures, in the priest (who acts in persona Christi–“in the person of Christ”), most fully in the Eucharist (which is Christ’s Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity), but also in the congregants, who are the Mystical Body of Christ.  Thus, the Gospel, the priest, the gifts to be consecrated, and the people are incensed.

Read the rest of this entry

Prayers to St. James the Greater

 

Prayer to Saint James the Apostle

O glorious Apostle, Saint James,
who by reason of thy fervent
and generous heart
was chosen by Jesus to be witness
of His glory on Mount Tabor,
and of His agony in Gethsemane;
thou, whose very name is a symbol
of warfare and victory:
obtain for us strength and
consolation in the unending
warfare of this life,
that, having constantly
and generously followed Jesus,
we may be victors in the strife
and deserve to receive
the victor’s crown in heaven.
Amen.

Saint James the Greater

O Glorious St. James,
because of your fervor and
generosity, Jesus chose you to
witness His glory on the Mount
and His agony in the garden.
Obtain for us strength and
consolation in the upending
struggles of this life. Help us to
follow Christ constantly and
generously, to be victors over
all our difficulties, and to
receive the crown of glory in heaven.
Amen.

Courtesy of  here.

Prayer of Healing for Arthritis and Rheumatism Sufferers

Dear Saint James, specially chosen to witness Jesus’ glory on Mount Tabor and His agony at Gethsemane, you are the patron of all who suffer with arthritis and rheumatism.

I ask you now to intercede for me before Our Lord, that in His mercy God might heal me of the symptoms and root causes of these illnesses.

Help all people to follow Christ as you did, to overcome in all our difficulties, and to receive the crown of life in heaven.

Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Courtesy of here.
A novena to St. James the Greater can be found here, courtesy of here.
St. James the Greater is one of two Apostles named James.  He was the brother of John the Evangelist, and son of Zebedee.  Today is his feast day.

A Prayer to St. Mary Magdalene

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Saint Mary Magdalene, Pray for us. Sister of Martha and Lazarus, Pray for us. Who didst enter the Pharisee’s house to anoint the feet of Jesus, Pray for us. Who didst wash His feet with thy tears, Pray for us. Who didst dry them with thy hair, Pray for us. Who didst cover them with kisses, Pray for us. Who wast vindicated by Jesus before the proud Pharisee, Pray for us. Who from Jesus received the pardon of thy sins, Pray for us. Who before darkness wast restored to light, Pray for us. Mirror of penance, R Disciple of Our Lord, Pray for us. Wounded with the love of Christ, Pray for us. Most dear to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us. Constant woman, Pray for us. Last at the Cross of Jesus, first at His tomb, Pray for us. Thou who wast the first to see Jesus risen, Pray for us. Whose forehead was sanctified by the touch of thy risen Master, Pray for us. Apostle of apostles, Pray for us. Who didst choose the “better part,” Pray for us. Who lived for many years in solitude being miraculously fed, Pray for us. Who wast visited by angels seven times a day, Pray for us. Sweet advocate of sinners, Pray for us. Spouse of the King of Glory, Pray for us.

V. Saint Mary Magdalene, earnestly intercede for us with thy Divine Master R. That we may share thy happiness in heaven.

Let us pray. May the glorious merits of blessed Mary Magdalene, we beseech Thee, O Lord, make our offerings acceptable to Thee: for Thine only-begotten Son vouchsafed graciously to accept the humble service she rendered. Who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. R. Amen.

May the prayers of blessed Mary Magdalene help us, O Lord : for it was in answer to them that Thou didst call her brother Lazarus, four days after death, back from the grave to life. Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, Unity in Trinity, world without end. R. Amen.

Prayer Source: Kyrie Eleison — Two Hundred Litanies by Benjamin Francis Musser O.F.M., The Magnificat Press, 1944

Courtesy of here.  Today is her feast day.

A Canticle for Leibowitz

8327e4bf-a62a-440a-aeac-ae3dcaa55774

 

A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr., is a science fiction novel published in 1960.  The novel, divided into three parts, takes place between 600, 1200, and 1800 years in the future, respectively, chronicling a new Dark Age in the aftermath of a nuclear war.  As in the Middle Ages, the Church survives and preserves learning over the centuries until a new Renaissance can occur.  However, with the rebirth of knowledge and technology come the same forces at work a millennium earlier, and once more the world stands on the brink of nuclear destruction.  Wishing to avoid spoilers, I’ll leave it at that (you can read more in the linked Wikipedia article above).  I certainly encourage everyone to read it–no summary does it justice.  In my mind it’s one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, and probably the greatest sf novel dealing with themes of faith and religion.  Despite this, I think anyone of any religious persuasion can enjoy the novel, and more importantly find food for thought on the topic of knowledge and whether or not mankind can use it responsibly.

Walter M. Miller, Jr. is a bit of an enigma.  He is considered one of the most important writers of science fiction of the mid-20th Century, and yet his output was small.  During World War II, he was part of the crew of a bomber that participated in a series of raids against the Benedictine Monastery of Monte Cassino.  Monte Cassino is the historic monastery founded by St. Benedict of Nursia, the father of Western monasticism, and as such the mother house of the Benedictine order.  During the Italian Campaign in 1944, British intelligence erroneously thought that the monastery was being used as headquarters for German troops, and therefore ordered the bombing raids against it.  The monastery was almost completely destroyed, with the only casualties being Italian civilians who had fled there for shelter, rather than Germans.  Ironically, German troops later did camp in the ruins of the monastery, which were good cover.  Miller was deeply traumatized by the effects of this tragic error, and the effects of this–what we’d now call PTSD–lingered for years.  After the war, Miller converted to Catholicism, which was to be a major influence on  his work.

During the 1950’s, Miller published many short stories and wrote scripts for television, winning a Hugo Award for his much-lauded short story “The Darfsteller“.  From 1955 to 1957 he published a series of novellas dealing with an order of monks dedicated to preserving human knowledge in a distant, post-apocalyptic future.  The novellas were originally titled “A Canticle for Leibowitz”, “And the Light is Risen”, and “The Last Canticle”.  In 1959, Miller substantially edited and reworked the material in the novellas and published them in novel form as A Canticle for Leibowitz.  The three-part structure was preserved, with the sections being renamed as “Fiat Homo” (“Let there be man”), “Fiat Lux” (“Let there be light”), and “Fiat Voluntas Tua” (“Let Thy will be done”).  The novel won the Hugo Award for best novel in 1961, and has been in print ever since.  After this, Miller never published anything again during the rest of his lifetime.  Despite his small oeuvre, Miller is widely considered to be one of the most influential science fiction writers of his time.

Sadly, as the years progressed, Miller became increasingly reclusive, avoiding even most of his family and refusing even to meet with his literary agent in person.  He struggled with depression and the aftereffects of PTSD.  Though he published nothing, he worked for years on the manuscript of a sequel to A Canticle for Leibowitz titled Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman.  “Sequel” is perhaps not quite the right word–the second novel takes place in the time between the events of “Fiat Lux” and “Fiat Voluntas Tua” in the original novel.  In any case, Miller completed some six hundred pages of manuscript over a period of many years.  By the 1990’s, though, he was in ill health and suffering from writers’s block, so he commissioned sf novelist Terry Bisson to complete the novel.  According to Bisson, the vast majority of the work had been completed, and he merely tidied up the text and tied up a few loose ends.  Tragically, in 1996, shortly after the death of his wife, Miller committed suicide.  Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman was published the following year.

Read the rest of this entry

Prayers to St. Benedict

A Prayer to Saint Benedict for Protection

Dear Saint Benedict, I thank God for showering you with His grace to love Him above all else and to establish a monastic rule that has helped so many of His children live full and holy lives.

Through the cross of Jesus Christ, I ask you to please intercede that God might protect me, my loved ones, my home, property, possessions, and workplace today and always by your holy blessing, that we may never be separated from Jesus, Mary, and the company of all the blessed.  Through your intercession may we be delivered from temptation, spiritual oppression, physical ills, and disease.  Protect us from drug and alcohol abuse, impurity and immorality, objectionable companions, and negative attitudes.  In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Prayer in Honor of Saint Benedict

Dear God, we praise and thank You for Who You are: The Creator and Master of the Universe, and our Father who loves us and has sent Your Son Jesus to save us from our sins.

Dear Father, You provided your holy monk, Benedict, as a leader and master in the spiritual life for a countless number of followers.  Filled as he was with the spirit of all the just, You flooded him with the splendor of Your light.  In the intense radiance of this light his mind was freed of hindrance and he was able to discern how incomplete all things are here below.  Because of this the entire monastic company in every part of the world sings out its joy, and the Virtues on high, with all the angels, continuously praise Your glory in song.

Stir up in your Church, O Lord, the spirit that animated our Father Benedict.  Fill us again with Your Holy Spirit, in order that we may learn to love what he loved and practice what he taught.  As You filled Saint Benedict with the spirit of all the righteous, grant us, your servants, who celebrate his life and all the good You have accomplished through him, his followers, and his holy Rule, to be filled with his spirit, that we may faithfully accomplish Your complete Will.  We ask all this through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who with You lives and reigns, one God, world without end.  Amen.

–courtesy of here.  Benedict of Nursia was the founder of Western monasticism.  Today is his feast day.

A Prayer to St. Maria Goretti

Saint Maria Goretti

Heroic and angelic Saint Maria
Goretti, we kneel before you to
honor your persevering fortitude and
to beg your gracious aid. Teach us
a deep love for the precepts of our
Holy Church; help us to see in them
the very voice of our Father in Heaven.
May we preserve without stain
our white baptismal robe of
innocence. May we who have lost
this innocence kneel humbly in Holy
Penance, and with the absolution of
the priest, may the torrent of
Christ’s precious Blood flow into our
souls and give us a new courage to
carry the burning light of God’s love
through the dangerous highways of
this life until Christ our king shall call
us to the courts of Heaven. Amen.

–Courtesy of here.  Today is her feast day.  A novena to St. Maria Goretti can be found here.