Saturday, January 31, 2015

Buddy

                     Buddy
                        by
Buddy by MEK
                     MEK

I wonder where you went my furry friend,
I remember days of my youth,
running through the woods
faster than anyone should,
my poor mother always thought
that I was up to no good...
Visions remain of days in the sun,
bursting through the canopy of green,
Maine pines so thick and cool,
it was nature's school,
Seeing you bound through the grass so high,
the scent of the apple orchards filled the sky,
mingled with the sounds of the dragonfly,
talk about a natural high...
Now I wonder why dog can't say goodbye
you live forever with the little boy inside...

*Source: Pencil in the Hole by MEK

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jesus Did Bring Heaven


Danny in my RCIA class was telling me about a book he was reading about Jesus and His mission.  He said that Jesus came down from heaven and wanted to bring heaven to us.  That's what He was trying to do.

I'm sure Dan was telling me this so that I would give him an argument.  I kind of knocked the wind out of his sails when I said, "Jesus did!"  Jesus did this when He gave us the Eucharist.  We see heaven in every Mass. Isn't our liturgy with its candles, altar, singing and incense what the angels are doing?  Aren't we kneeling before Jesus.

In the Mass we look up; we ask to be brought up.  Our hearts are taken up to the altar in heaven.  We sing praises to God.

God is so good to us.  Praise Him.  He does bring heaven to us.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Consecration to Mary


St. Thomas Aquinas was profoundly devoted to Mary.  He taught that Mary should be given every honor.  It is she who helped make God one of us.  Because of Aquinas' great devotion to Mary, and because I am a Lay Dominican, I chose the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas to make my formal consecration to Mary.

Unfortunately, I had intended to make my consecration to Mary in prayer group, tonight; however, the church is closed due to the blizzard.  I wanted to kneel in front of the Eucharist and consecrate myself.  This public post will have to suffice.

O Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus!  True God and True Man, only Son of the Eternal Father and of Mary, always Virgin!  I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity, and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thy Incarnation.

I give Thee thanks that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil.  I praise and glorify Thee that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy Holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her.

But alas! Ungrateful and unfaithful as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism.  I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not any more come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty.  It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy Most Holy Mother, whom Thou has given me for a mediatrix with Thee.  It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of Wisdom.

Hail then, Immaculate Mary, living Tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men!  Hail, Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God!  Hail, O sure Refuge of sinners; whose mercy fails no one !  Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom, and for that end, receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to Thee.

I, Faith, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism: I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

In the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress.  I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity, in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee.  I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me!  O Mother of Mercy, grant that I may obtain the true Wisdom of God, and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as th children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in heaven.  Amen

After all this, do you understand why I complained during the five weeks preparation of the consecration, of St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion Consecration to Mary? The imagery, the language, and written expression, are so outdated, one is tempted to dismiss the entire idea.  That's why I'm updating it.  I'll write my own for Lent.  Watch for it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Prayer for the 2015 Blizzard

Snow up to my mailbox.
Father James Martin, s.j. wrote a prayer that inspired me to write my own.

Lord, God Almighty, You Who created all; Lord of all the elements; God of Refuge, hear my prayer.

Turn the path, Merciful Lord, that causes the snow to blizzard, the rain to fall, and the wind that blows. Send this dangerous storm out sea where it will do no harm.  But if Your plans, which I am too simple minded to comprehend, are not in alignment with my wishes, then at least keep my electricity on, my computer usable, my cell phone viable, my heat operational, and my TV working.

Also, I think you'll need to bless me with the grace of humor.  I need to keep my spirits up to cope with this horrendous weather.  You will also need to help those most vulnerable: the elderly, the sick and homeless.  While you're giving out blessings, Lord, bless my mailbox so the snow plow won't knock it down, again.

And Lord, please listen to St. Anthony.  He's interceding for me to locate my shovel.

Thanks, Lord.  You always come through for me--one way or another.                  Amen.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Call to Prayer


The United States Council of Catholic Bishops ask you to pray for families, marriages, and yourself.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Well, here we sit, again.  I'm posting my week's activities on the net, along with my fellow bloggers, on the blog, This And That And The Other Thing.  This week was fun, most of the time.  Come read:

Monday  --  Funeral

Tuesday  --  Thanks be to God, I am finished!

Wednesday  --  Msgr. Moran's homily.

Thursday  --  The why of "Through Christ Our Lord..."

Friday  --  A "cloistered brother's" poem.

Saturday  --  My personal experiences inspired this post.

Hey!  At least I'm never boring.  Click here for some more interesting posts from my friends.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ten Tips for Confessors

Very often I read Tips for Confession, How to Make a Good Confession, etc.  I haven't ever seen tips for the confessor, at least in my experience, because I certainly hope there are discussions for priests regarding how to better the sacrament of reconciliation.

Ten Tips for Confessors

1.  Don't yell.  As a child, I often heard stories about "Don't go to Father So and So, he yells at you."  There was a confessor at Arch Street who did do this.  He's infamous about his yelling.  A priest told me that he went to confession to him, (as a priest), and was yelled at.  Thankfully, that was not my childhood experience.  However, as an adult, not too long ago, the confessor, in the middle of my laundry list of sins, yelled, "This is not spiritual direction!  This is not the time for spiritual direction!"
     "Oka-a-a-y"  I have no idea what set him off.  I was so shocked that I don't know which one, or all of my sins caused him to say that.  So I just continued with my list.  He gave me absolution and I went on my way.  Strange.

2.  Give reasonable penances.  Don't get too creative.  You would think that I, for one, would appreciate different penances.  But in this penitential circumstance--I'm not in the mood.  In the confessional, I don't have pen and paper to write down scripture verses.  One time, in particular, comes to mind.  I was given particular verses in Colossians.  When I read them, I didn't see any relevance to my sins.  I began to doubt that I remembered correctly.  So I read Galatians because it kind of, sort of, sounds like Colossians?  Again, no reference to my confession.  So I read 1 & 2 Corinthians.  I couldn't see any references that would help me.  I gave up, besides I certainly satisfied my penance requirement.
    Another time, I was in a church that was new to me.  I wanted to pray my penitential prayers in the Adoration Chapel, which was in a different part of the building than the confessional.  I got lost trying to find the place.  When I finally found the Adoration Chapel; I knelt in front of the monstrance; I blessed myself; and I couldn't remember what my penance was.  !!!!!!!!!!!  Pray for me.

3.  Don't be snippy.  Can't you tell by my demeanor that I'm serious and humbling myself before you?  This isn't easy for the penitent.  Even if you don't perceive that I'm in the correct disposition to come to confession, just presume that I am.  Why else would anyone come?

4.  Don't cut the penitent off.  If I'm taking a long time, can't you tell me, and make an appointment for me to come at another time?

5.  Don't tell me to NOT to confess so often.  I'm getting the opposite advice from everything I read.  Besides, if the penitent belongs to a lay religious organization, he may be obligated to go to confession often.

6.  Don't tell me you can't give me absolution because you don't see any sin.  Can't you give me absolution for the sins in the past?

7.  Compliment.  Isn't there anything good that you see that offers hope that the penitent will attain sanctity?  Even if it's just "Your sins are abuses of your gifts."

8.  Offer suggestions.  Help me amend my ways.  Do you see a propensity--a path that is wrong?

9.  Pray for me.

10.  Grace received in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is in proportion to the disposition of the penitent, I understand.  I'm sorry if I bore you.  Please try to be attentive.  Pretend this is the first time you are hearing confessions.  You are acting in Persona Christi, after all.