Monthly Archives: March 2011

Prayer for our Priests

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.

Blessings by Laura Story

Laura Story almost lost her husband to brain cancer in 2006. Her newest song “Blessings” was written as a reminder that God remains faithful even when things don’t turn out the way we expect them to. It was written as a redefining of the word ‘blessing’. Laura shares her heart behind her new song, “Can God be blessing us through not giving us the things we are praying for? There is a blessedness that comes through waiting for the Lord. There is an intimacy in our walk with the Lord that comes through working through that valley. There is a reliance on His word that we only know when everything fades away. So in that sense I truly feel blessed.”
Blessings by Laura Story

from the album Blessings
Lyrics:
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Trust God

The Secret
One day, one friend asked another,
‘ How is it that you are always so happy?
You have so much energy,
And you never seem to get down.. ‘

With her eyes smiling, she said,
‘ I know the Secret! ‘
‘ What secret is that? ‘
To which she replied,
I’ll tell you all about it,
But you have to promise to
Share the Secret with others. ‘

The Secret is this:
I have learned there is little I can do
In my life that will make me truly happy.
I must depend on God to make
Me happy and to meet my needs.
When a need arises in my life,
I have to trust God to supply
According to His riches.
I have learned most of the time
I don’t need half of what I think I do.
He has never let me down.
Since I learned that ‘Secret ‘, I am happy. ‘

The questioner’s first thought was,
‘ That’s too simple!’
But upon reflecting over her own life
She recalled how she thought a bigger house
Would make her happy, but it didn’t!
She thought a better paying job
Would make her happy, but it hadn’t.
When did she realize her greatest happiness?
Sitting on the floor with her grandchildren,
Playing games, eating pizza or reading a story,
A simple gift from God.

Now you know it too!
We can’t depend on people to make us happy.
Only God in His infinite wisdom can do that.
Trust Him!
And now I pass the Secret on to you!

You have to tell someone the Secret, too!
That God in His wisdom will take care of You!
But it’s not really a secret…
We just have to believe it and do it..
Really trust God!

~anonymous

Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord. Nine months from now we’ll commemorate Jesus’s birth. Today we commemorate the conception of Jesus. We also celebrate Mary’s “yes” to the Angel Gabriel, despite her confusion and uncertainty of the angel’s prediction that she would bare a child that would be called the son of the Most High. Together with Jesus, Mary is the link between heaven and earth. She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence. She shows how an ordinary human being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life. She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God. She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us. Today’s feast reminds us of the wonder of God’s freely given love and God’s design for each of us.

The biblical account of the Annunciation is in the first chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke, 26-56. Here is recorded the “angelic salutation” of Gabriel to Mary, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” (Lk 1:28), and Mary’s response to God’s will, “Let it be done to me according to thy word”.

This “angelic salutation” is the origin of the “Hail Mary” prayer of the Rosary and the Angelus (the second part of the prayer comes from the words of salutation of Elizabeth to Mary at the Visitation).

How to Build your Spiritual Life

Mortification is Essential by Fr. James Farfaglia

Catholicism is not for soft people. Jesus told us to take up our cross. He did not tell us to take up our Teddy Bear. Mortification is an essential part of the spiritual life. “You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires” (Galatians 5: 24).

The practice of mortification is the way to get rid of our vices and replace them with virtue. Mortification is an act of abnegation or self-denial. Mortification implies detachment and renunciation. It also implies the continual struggle against the evil tendencies of fallen human nature in an effort to curb and eliminate their influence.

As I wrote in my book Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life, the battle never ends until we are dead. The practice of mortification demands a conscious and willful renewal every day of our lives. The struggle may be more or less intense during the different stages of our life journey. Although we may have to deal with different issues, the struggle will always be present. If we want to save our souls, an intense, conscious and dramatic struggle is necessary.

Let us consider briefly some of our most common struggles and the mortification that needs to take place in order that Jesus may take full possession of our lives.

Pride is at the top of the list of the seven deadly sins. Pride is an ugly sin and it must be dealt with seriously and energetically. This sin will be uprooted by replacing it with the virtue of humility. Repeated concrete acts of humility will continue to hammer away at this sin. Obedience to the Magisterium of the Church, flexibility at home and at work, being a team player and openness with your parish priest are all practical ways to gain the virtue of humility.

Greed is another sin that causes many problems. Excellent acts of mortification include establishing a budget, practice the Biblical teaching of tithing, eliminate your debt, limit the use of credit cards, live within your means, and be content with what you already have.

Gluttony is a very addictive sin. If we can control our eating habits and our spending habits, we will then have a greater ability to live the virtue of chastity. Gluttony needs to be mortified by a strict spirit of self-control. Acts of mortification include not snacking between meals, eating smaller portions, eating healthy foods, saving deserts for Sundays and special feast days, and exercising moderation in the use of alcoholic beverages.

Laziness is also a very controlling sin. The lazy person is not so much concerned about the bad that he does, but the good that is left undone. The lazy person has to form and strengthen his will. Getting up on time in the morning, making your bed, cleaning your room, doing your duty with perfection, using your time well, regular physical exercise and personal discipline are very important acts of mortification that will successfully uproot the sin of laziness and replace it with the virtue of diligence.

Lust is another big struggle, if not the biggest for most people. Of all of the sins that have been mentioned thus far, this one is the most addictive. Lust must be dealt with severely. This is something that we cannot fool around with. The best weapon against lust is to run away from the occasions of sin. When we accept our weakness, we will not put ourselves into dangerous situations. If the cable is a problem, then get rid of it. There are a number of pornography free Internet servers that can be used. Living a moral life, modesty in dress, control of our eyes, avoiding sensual movies and television programs, and staying away from dangerous friends are some of the things that we can do to replace lust with the virtue of chastity.

Of course, all of these acts of mortification that I have mentioned presuppose a mature spiritual life. Self-knowledge, a serious battle plan, and the regular use of the Sacrament of Confession are also indispensable tools for spiritual growth and development. Remember, the goal of our spiritual life is to become a new person in Christ. It is not enough just to be a “good person” or to be “nice”. We are called to be saints.

Gregorian Chant: Salve Regina


the track is listed as:

“anonymous/gregorian: Salve Regina”, choir concerto in the Dome of Aachen,
recorded 1968.

Choir of the cathedral of Einsiedeln
Choral Master: Pater Roman Bannwart
Organ: Pater Cornelius Winiger
Cond.: Pater Daniel Meier

I think the “anonymous” expresses that the piece comes out of the monastic tradition.