Prayer-book for religious

Prayer-book for religious : a complete manual o…. A good resource for anyone and everyone.

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Published in: on November 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm  Comments Off on Prayer-book for religious  
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Friday, November 30

A Rosary Meditation … The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, the Crucifixion of Christ. Today’s Gospel reading, Matthew 4:18-22, tells us about Jesus calling Andrew to follow Him. Today is St. Andrew’s Feast. More about him later. Right now let’s think about Jesus calling and crosses. Think about it. Every cross that comes our way provides us with a crossroads. It gives us a choice. Jesus had a choice on Calvary. People yelled at Him “If you’re the Messiah come down off the cross and save yourself!” They were being sarcastic, cruel. What they didn’t realize was that He could have. But instead of coming down off the cross to save Himself He remained there in order to save them. And us. Things happen in life, or, as I said in another post, “stuff” happens. Constantly. Well, almost constantly. ūüôā There are a multitude of little annoyances, of major catastrophes, with plenty of other “stuff” in between. With each bit of “stuff” we are presented with a cross and a crossroad. We can shoulder the cross and go to the right, the straight and narrow way, or leave it there, come down from it like Jesus could’ve but didn’t, and go left. Please read Ecclesiastes 10:2. Now Jesus gives us His example but He does something else as well. He calls. “And He said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23. See those words? “All” and “any” and “daily”. No exclusions from His call. All inclusive is what Jesus is and what the Gospel is. There are also no excuses. No valid ones anyway. So we have choices. As odd as it may seem some folks don’t realize this. Have you ever heard someone say “I didn’t have any other choice”? That doesn’t wash. There are always choices. We just need be aware, to look for them and heed Christ’s call so that we don’t make a wrong turn.

Today … St. Andrew. Brother of Simon Peter, fisherman turned into a fisher of men. Can you imagine what it must’ve been like being Peters brother, both before and after conversion? I don’t mean to get off topic but a quick thought about Peter will tell us something about Andrew. I have always loved Peter. Oh-so sure of himself, mouthy and ready to go for it before even thinking about what “it” might lead to. Kinda reminds me of me when I was younger. Peter talked a lot. That tells me two things about Andrew. First, he must have had lots of patience. Second, he was probably the quiet type. I figure that he was quiet because with someone like Peter it was probably hard to get a word in edgewise. One more thing about Andrew. All of his life he remembered that day he stood at the biggest crossroad he ever faced when a Carpenter called to him and said “Follow Me!” Every day, when you wake up, you get the same call. Every day Jesus sends us each an invitation. Every “Follow Me!” is a crossroad, a call to one more step forward in our conversion from self-centered to Christ-centered.

The phone … It rings, you pick up. It rings, you let the answering machine pick up. Calls and choices. Don’t put Jesus on hold.

Published in: on November 30, 2012 at 5:31 am  Comments Off on Friday, November 30  
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Thursday, November 29

A Rosary Meditation … The Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding in the Temple. Have you ever prayed for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Prayed that the world come to know and accept and love¬†her and so find and worship and love Jesus? In today’s Gospel reading, Luke 21:20-28, we hear still more from Jesus about the end times. The Church dwells on this topic now because we’re coming to the end of the liturgical year. Everyone, from folks looking into the Mayan calendar¬†to fundamentalist believers in the Bible to survivalists, seems fascinated by the subject. And their all getting the cart before the horse. The other day, on EWTN, I heard a deacon make a very pertinent observation. He talked about certain things that popular culture currently¬†finds fascinating. Death, zombies and vampires. TV, movies, books and more are filled with these. And then he said “A vampires dead, what does it need to live? It has to drink blood. A zombies dead, what does it need to live? It has to eat flesh. People are hungry for God and looking for Christ in the Eucharist without realizing it!” And he’s right. Everyone is looking for Jesus, its built-in. The need for God, and because of our fallen nature the need to find God, is¬†built-in. That’s because we were created by Him to be with Him and without Him we are incomplete. Everyone looks for Jesus like He’s lost¬†while the truth is it’s the other way around. But folks are looking in all the wrong places. Mary knew in her Immaculate¬†Heart where to find Jesus. But her heart is pure, ours tainted. We need help.¬†Others need help. We’re here now and as Catholics we know where Jesus is. Mary found Him in the Temple doing His Fathers business. And He’s still taking care of business in His current Earthly Temple, if I can call it that, and I mean¬†the Temple of His Body which is the Holy Catholic¬†Church. People need to be directed to where He can be found, where they can find flesh to eat and blood to drink that gives life, not for a moment, but for all eternity. Every time someone finds Jesus? Mary’ heart triumphs.¬†The world is looking. We need to be about our Father’s business, we need to be¬†leading others, the ones looking, to Jesus.

Today … St. Illuminata was a holy virgin known for her great sanctity. She lived in Todi, Italy. There is a church there today, in Todi, bearing her name. Not a lot is known about her but its a surety that, being holy, she knew where to find the Author of all holiness. Staying close to Him, keeping her eyes on him, drew her closer and closer. If we do the same He will never be lost to us, we’ll never need to look or Him.

And so … A “best way” to find Jesus, always be with Him and never lose¬†Him is to do what He did. If you’ll be about the Father’s business like¬†Him you’ll always be right there with Him.

Published in: on November 29, 2012 at 5:25 am  Comments Off on Thursday, November 29  
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Wednesday, November 28

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Glorious Mystery, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. In today’s Gospel reading, Luke 21:12-19, Jesus talks about how His followers will be treated. He doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Persecution is never pleasant and, given history, is never-ending. Or so it seems. Our lives can seem so long to us and this length of days can make the rough spots seem never-ending too. But there will be an end to the hard times and we have a good example of the end here in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Now, its true that her Assumption was something special and that¬†it will never be repeated with any other human being, at least not exactly, but¬†it still gives us an example applicable to ourselves and a hope to carry us through the¬†dark periods of life. Think about Mary’s earthly life.¬†She had a hard life. That doesn’t mean that she had a bad life. We need to remember that, remember that hardship doesn’t negate the basic goodness involved in living. As hard as her life was she got to spend it with Jesus. As hard as our own life may seem we have the opportunity¬†to spend it with Jesus. And then there’s the ending of those things that cause us such discomfort, that cause us all the¬†pain. Think about the Assumption. After all the pain was over the glory began. How much more is goodness to be appreciated when the badness ends? How good we feel when the pain stops. If you’ve ever had a headache or a cold weren’t you happy when it went away? Someday, like Mary, if we spend our lives here on earth with Jesus like she did, He will reward us with¬†Heaven too. All the negatives ended¬†for Mary with her¬†Assumption. When we take our last breath here, and all the aggravations, both major and minor, end, think about where you’ll be and Who you’ll be with¬†when you take your next breath.

Today … St. Andrew Trong was a Vietnamese soldier back in the early 19th century. He was also a Catholic. Remember how Jesus said we’d be handed over to our enemies in today’s Gospel reading? In 1834 Andrew was arrested for being a Christian. He was beheaded, his mother kneeling next to him. She received his head in her lap. Think about how Elizabeth felt when John the Baptizer was beheaded. Think about how Mary felt as she held the dead body of her Son. Think about the pains of life these people suffered and dwell, for a moment, on your own. Okay, that’s ENOUGH! There’s plenty of sadness in the world and pains to go with it. And it is all MORE than enough. NOW it is time, for a change,¬†NOT to worry about these things.¬† Why is now a good time to set these things aside? Because we do it, “it” being worry and feel the pain,¬†ENOUGH ALREADY! Think about what comes next, what happens after,¬†and about how long it will last. Borrow from that happiness for today, because there will be more than enough. If you spill¬†some on today¬†I can promise that¬†you won’t go lacking then.

Remember … “For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of¬†good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.” … “And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.” Philippians 4:8 & Psalm 23:6b.

Published in: on November 28, 2012 at 6:01 am  Comments Off on Wednesday, November 28  
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Tuesday, November 27

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, the Carrying of the Cross. Jesus saw multitudes in need. There were times when He tried to get away for a while¬†just to pray. The crowds followed¬†Him and rather than turn a blind eye, rather than send them away, He always had compassion. He always took the time. He loved. In todays Mystery we once again, for love of others, for love of us, see Jesus doing what needed to be done without regard for Self. The cross, to be effective, needed to be carried to Calvary. And it was up to Him to do the carrying. In today’s Gospel, Luke 21:5-11,¬†Jesus talks briefly about the end times. The End Times are¬†hard times. Theres no way around the difficulty, the hardship of the end. Like the cross needing to be on Calvary the end is a necessity. Waiting for the end, getting ready for the end, living through the end, dying a physical death¬†at the end, either our own personal earthly end or the fallen world’s end,¬†these are crosses that must be carried. By us. But with His help. We can’t expect our Faith to be easy. He never said it would be,¬†He always presented following Him in a realistic light. It can be hard. The wood of the cross tearing into His shoulder was hard. Faith without works is dead. A refusal to carry the cross is a refusal to follow Him, a refusal¬†to accept Christian responsibility. He carried His cross to Calvary and, in a¬†way, carried it always in that He never turned away from the crowds, never forsook those in need even when it cost Him¬†His own comfort.¬†He proved His love for us. Now, in carrying our own cross till the end, ours or the world’s, we show our love for Him. Not to worry. He gives more strength. Philippians 4:13.

Today … St. Valerian was bishop of Aquileia, Italy. He was plagued by Arian heretics. Arianism, and it might be well for you to do a Google and read a little about it, was a horrible heresy that in essence denied that God had come in the flesh. See 2 John 1:7. He dealt with antichrist¬†forces. It was a terrible time for Holy Mother Church. But he was faithful, he carried a bishop’s cross til his own end. He is a good example for us. Today? It’s an¬†ending. Every day is an ending. Every ending is a cross to carry because nothing ends easily. Every cross that is carried brings us closer to Calvary. The closer we are to Calvary the closer we are to a¬†new beginning. Learn, like a good saint, not to view ends as ends. Look at endings as a necessary¬†prelude to a new beginning and this will put you at Calvary, where it all ended. Calvary, where it all began.

Think … Everything new and wonderful¬†was preceded¬†by the ending of something else. A¬†cross faithfully carried for love of God and others is to follow Christ. To follow Jesus is to be with Him at Calvary, an end. To be with Him at Calvary brings you, with Him, to an empty tomb. And a new beginning.

Published in: on November 27, 2012 at 5:22 am  Comments Off on Tuesday, November 27  
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Monday, November 26

A Rosary Meditation … The Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation. Have you ever wanted something REALLY bad? Maybe a¬†B-B gun or Betsy-Wetsey¬†for Christmas? Those were top priority back in the late fifties and early sixties. And now that we all know how old I am, with life span in mind, can you imagine waiting expectantly, in faith and with patience, for all your life? I don’t mean part of your life but all of it, right up to the point that you’re so old you know you won’t last much longer? Because that’s where Simeon was. He’d heard about the Promised One, Messiah, since childhood. Later God had promised him that he would live to see this One. For some the longer they wait the more disgusted they become. Just watch people in a long checkout line. But others, like Simeon, know that the longer you wait the closer you get. Anna was there waiting too. We aren’t told that God had promised her anything but, and this is just a thought, if she knew something as wonderful as seeing the Messiah was going to happen to Simeon, well, maybe she stayed close so that it would happen to her too. In today’s Gospel reading, Luke 21:1-4, a poor widow tosses all her money into the temples collection plate. In giving all she gave more than any other. Anna and Simeon, there in the temple, worshiping and serving God through sacrifice and prayer, were giving all they had, their very lives. Like good priests and nuns do today. People like the poor¬†widow and Simeon and Anna and faithful religious are all rewarded. Ultimately they are all rewarded in the same way. They get to see Jesus. 1 John 3:2. Where are WE? We’re waiting whether we want to be or not, whether we know it or not. And it doesn’t matter if we’re a Simeon, poor widow, nun, Anna, or priest. Do we wait in faithful, patient expectation? And what is it that we give while we wait? Part of what we have, part of our self, reserving some for us? Look at the Babe in Simeon’s arms and at the happy mother with a heart so loving as to willingly be pierced. Fast forward, but go slow, 33 years. Think about their lives. Ask yourself one simple question. What did they hold back? Luke 10:37b. The faithful and patient will be presented with their reward in the end. Revelation 22.

Today … St. Basolus. Never heard of him? It’s no wonder. He lived as a hermit for 40 years, living on a hill near Reims, France. Forty years¬†is¬†a long time. Wait, sacrifice, pray, be faithful, be patient. Why? For the same reason Simeon and Anna did. He was waiting to see Jesus, waiting for the promised reward of the Beatific Vision. Revelation 22 again.¬†And now, after forty years of faithfulness, a drop in the bucket compared to eternity, he enjoys Christ forever. “Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.” Matthew 5:12a. Remember that and wait with patient expectation. Even when you’re at the end of a long checkout line at Wal-Mart.

Colossians 1:11-12 … “Strengthened with all might, according to¬†the power of His glory, in all patience¬†and longsuffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light.”

Published in: on November 26, 2012 at 5:49 am  Comments Off on Monday, November 26  
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The Healing Moment of Grace

I really enjoy the internet. I do, it’s a safe haven. Oh, I know that there’s a downside but there’s the upside too. The upside, for me anyway, is the anonymous nature of the web. There are only a couple of people who follow my blog or subscribe to my Facebook updates or have liked my Facebook page and so¬†get the things posted there that really know who I am. Only a couple of people who could get in the car, drive over and knock at my door. That’s good for me. It’s good because I can share just about anything here without concern. The folks who read what I write hopefully get something out of it, that’s why I share, to be an encouragement to someone else. With help and encouragement in mind please scroll down real quick and check the time-stamp on this post. Because what I’m about to share happened just a few minutes ago …

 

I just finished evening prayer. People go through cycles or periods of what I’ll call “stuff” for want of a better term. Immediately, with just the simple word “stuff”, you know exactly what I mean. Lately I’ve been dealing with stuff. To be specific, and honest, the stuff has been anger. But I haven’t been able to figure it out. I mean, I don’t feel anger at anyone or anything in particular and I haven’t taken it out on anyone, which means I’ve stuffed the stuff, but its been an underlying current that has become more and more visible to me on a daily basis. And so I was thinking as I prayed. I understand, having learned¬†from the people I’ve lived around most of my life (long story, just believe me), that most if not all anger stems from fear. A fearful person strikes out in order to protect themselves. Fight or flight, in this case its fight. Rather than run¬†away scared, to take flight, some, perhaps¬†feeling cornered in one way or another with no place left to run, fight. And as I had that thought two things happened. I¬†remembered how frightened I’d been at age five. I’ve shared here in the past, without going into any real detail which thing I won’t do, that I was trapped in an abusive environment as a small child and was rescued at age five. Right after my fifth birthday as a matter of fact. I remembered that fear and just then, a I prayed, I looked up and saw my little statue of the Infant of Prague. He looks about five years old. And I knew. It wasn’t about anger. The anger was a screen hiding the fear. It was/is about fear. And I knew I needed a big brother to keep me safe so I wouldn’t need to be scared anymore. And I knew¬†Who that Big Brother¬†is. At that point there was the gift of a¬†healing moment of grace. Normally¬†it takes time to heal, sometimes a long time. Sometimes healing is instantaneous. This ones going to take time I know. But now the healing is on a new, a better, a higher level. Awhile back I realized I needed a Mama and God gave me one. That helped a lot, a wonderful¬†step¬†in the healing process.¬†Now? More help.

 

Why do I share this? Because someplace out there at the other end of cyberspace is someone with a frightened five-year old hiding inside. And I want you to know that you have a Big Brother. He will keep bullies away, hold your hand when you cross the street, and watch out for you so that you will be safe. You don’t need to be afraid anymore because you can count on Him.

Published in: on November 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm  Comments (2)  
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Sunday, November 25

Today’s Gospel reading, John 18:33-37, has Jesus standing before Pilate, being questioned. “Are you the King of the Jews?” Simple enough question. It’s a little funny that after having answered the question people are still asking 2,000 years later. People ask, debate, argue, fight, split, and throw up their hands in a¬†disgusted display of “Who knows?” Is He King, is He Messiah, is He God? Over and over again, down through the centuries, people have asked who, what Jesus was or is. Many of the major heresies revolved around the understanding, or more precisely the misunderstanding, of the person of Christ. Even today, just in the past hundred years or so, I can think of several denominations and movements that started and split over the question. Why so much difficulty with such a simple question? Well, outside interference is one. Satan likes to muddy these waters because he doesn’t want people to be able to identify the Water of Life. When Jesus talked with the woman at the well He told her that if she knew Who it was that had asked her for water she would ask Him for living water.¬†IF she KNEW Who He was. Same question, phrased differently. Who is Jesus?

Jesus IS King, He IS Messiah, He IS God. He is also Savior, Elder Brother, the Eternal Passover Lamb, and more. Lots more. Now a new question. Whats our answer when someone asks US who Jesus is? Do we mumble? Stutter? Get embarrassed? Whisper it so folks won’t think we’re crazy? Deny¬†Him like Peter did? Or stand up and bravely say it, again like Peter did? It’s another simple question. When asked¬†who Jesus is do we say bluntly “My Lord and Savior, God Almighty”? Jesus asked the Apostles “Who do people say that I am?” They gave various answers because then, as now, there were¬†different opinions. Then He asked them who they thought He was. And Peter said “You’re the Christ.”

The questions and answers are simple. It’s the world, the flesh and the devil that complicates it. So our question is this: When asked who Jesus is do we stand with the confused so as to play it safe or do we stand with the converted¬†Peter?

Published in: on November 25, 2012 at 5:13 am  Comments Off on Sunday, November 25  
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Saturday, November 24

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Glorious Mystery, the Decent of the Holy Spirit. A small group of people, just 120, having just been traumatized by the brutal murder of their Leader and then renewed in mind and spirit by His miraculous return to life, waits. He told them to. You know, if I saw someone dead and buried and alive again and they told me to do something like wait, well, I’d wait. In todays Gospel reading, Luke 20:27-40,¬†the Sadducees came to Jesus with what they thought was an unanswerable question about the afterlife. They believed that when you die you’re dead and that’s it. Rewards and punishments? What you get in the here and now is what you get. For them this life¬†was all of life. They made a tactical error, without knowing it, when they went to Jesus with their oh so smart thought process. Kind of hard to best the Author of Life, Life itself, in a debate about life. Some folks are too smart for their own good. They outsmart themselves and show their ignorance all at the same time. We all have questions about life and death, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. We can learn a lot from the silliness of the Sadducees. It’s ok to ask questions, but lets not do what they did and come up with our own oh so smart answers before we hear His. Because when you talk about living and dying its best to go to the Source and to remember that He has personal experience. Life? Death? He’s been there and done that. John 10:10b. And what were they, the 120,¬†waiting for? The Spirit of Life. And because they waited and because He came to them the Church has been a living body for nearly 2,000 years now. And by His grace and power she still despences life via life-giving sacraments. It’s about life and living. Mothers give life. The decent of the Holy Spirit? Its one reason¬†why we call her Holy Mother Church.

Today … St. Bieuzy. One thing and only one thing is all we need to know about this good saint. He died a martyr. Do you think martyrs give up life any more easily than the rest of us? Have you ever seen someone dying struggle to take one more breath? No one dies easily. But those who die willingly do it for one reason. They know Life by Name.

Think … No one who knows the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE will ever really know death. Will they not die? Of course they’ll die. But from a very personal standpoint they will never know death. Again, John 10:10b.

Published in: on November 24, 2012 at 5:54 am  Comments Off on Saturday, November 24  
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Friday, November 23

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Sorrowful Mystery, the Crowning with Thorns. In this Mystery we see Christ the King receive an earthly crown. The crowning of a king is normally a joyous occasion. But not this time. Oh, the people who crowned Him, and the ones watching, no doubt took great joy in it. The world does that. Its perversity reveals itself in the sort of things it takes joy in. Here was the One who had driven the merchants out of the temple. See today’s Gospel reading, Luke 19:45-48. In the eyes of the world He was nothing but a trouble maker. According to the worlds way of thinking He deserved this crown, He had brought it on Himself. People praying outside an abortion mill are harassed verbally and physically. They’re trouble makers, they bring this on themselves, they deserve such treatment. Being a thorn in the side of the world brings retribution. A crown of thorns. Bishops take a moral¬†stand for true marriage. The world calls them bigots, ignorant old men who are sexually repressed and take this aberration of theirs out on others. And they are crowned. The Church stands for religious freedom and is accused of forcing its morality on others. We see a crown of thorns being woven.¬†Jesus was given His crown of thorns by Roman soldiers, government lackeys. The religious looked on, quietly approving. Today certain “religious” look on, but not so quietly. Certain¬†“believers” seem to take great pleasure in attacking their own. The¬†Church is the Body of Christ. When they crown it? They crown Him all over again. When you look at Jesus wearing His crown of thorns consider that, if you’re a real Catholic, you’re in all probability looking at what YOU have to look forward to. Luke 23:31.

Today … St Wilfretrudis. A Benedictine abbess and niece of St. Gertrude. Think about it. In charge of a convent and the niece of a saint. “Why can’t you be more like Gertrude?” “Why did the abbess do THAT when its obvious she should’ve done THIS?” “Why doesn’t she fill-in-the-blank?” Why not, why this, why that, how come, when will, where will. You know, being Wilfretrudis probably had its downside. We often think of being a saint in glorious terms. And that’s not a bad way to view it so long as we keep in mind that sainthood comes by way of accepting¬†the thorns gifted¬†us by others and by picking out those thorns that are our own.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary … She was related to St. Gertrude which means she was also related to St. Wilfretrudis. They were related to St. Matilda also. Must’ve been some family. St. Elizabeth said: “How could I bear a crown of gold when the Lord bears a crown of thorns? And bears it¬†for me!”

Published in: on November 23, 2012 at 6:00 am  Comments Off on Friday, November 23  
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