Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lenten Psalm Writing

You probably never noticed the quotation marks in the psalms. But look at these, now.

Psalm 29
The God of glory thunders.


In His temple they all cry: "Glory!"

Psalm 41
Finally I said, "Holy One, have mercy on me.
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against you."
My enemies cruelly mutter against me,
"When will he die, and his name perish?"

Psalm 42
I say to you, my rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?"

The use of quotation marks gives a sense of dialogue taking place. It seems to me that it is used to highlight expression. I don't know if I can convey the same feeling.

Gather my dear one to Your Heart,
"My Love, My Life, My Jesus."
Warm them with blessings of wisdom;
Let them hunger for more of You.

Speak to them, "Come my children.
Seek the warmth of my church.
Hear the hymns of praise call to Me.
I will listen and answer. Trust."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lenten Spiritual Exercise


Lent requires writing a few psalms, don't you think? This time I was looking at restatement. This isn't repetition, rather it's restated. Look at this:

Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were born,
before the earth or the world came to birth

Psalm 89:34 I will not break my covenant,
I will not revoke my given word

Psalm 148:1 Praise the Holy One from the heavens!
Sing praises in the heights above

Get it?

OK. My turn:

Fear the mighty One
Cower from His might

Laugh with the angels at children's play
Giggle with joy in the playground's fun

Redemption is a leap of faith,
that man can change and be saved.

The last one brought me to prayer.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Why do Cardinals Wear Red?




Pope Benedict, himself, explains why cardinals wear red.

Sacrifices for Lent


Thanks to Dominican Echoes, we have this thought provoking meditation.

For Lent

What are you giving up for Lent? Adam asked of Eve.
Well, Eve said. I am thinking I should give up apples.
And what about you, husband of mine?
Adam replied, I think I am going to give up taking advice from you.
What are you giving up for Lent?
Abel asked his brother Cain?
Cain replied, I am going to try to give up my anger
Lest in a weak moment, I injure someone I love.
What are you giving up for Lent?
Jacob asked his twin, Esau.
Apparently my birthright, little brother of mine.
What are you giving up for Lent?
Moses asked of Aaron?
I am going to give up worshiping false gods
Especially the golden calf variety.
What about you? Aaron asked Moses in return.
I am giving up my need to see the promised land.
What are you giving up for lent?
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar asked Job.
I am giving up trying to understand the mind of God.
What are you giving up for Lent? I asked of Mary.
She whispered her response so softly
I had to move in close to her to hear her hushed reply.

My only Son

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What to Give Up for Lent


How's your Lent going, so far?

???????? What?

It's not too late to start. Just begin, now, today.

Maybe you've given up. That's probably because you demanded the impossible.

How about beginning again, with something different--really different.

Don't give up anything. Add something.

You could add prayer time, spiritual reading, spending time with someone you'd rather not spend time with, do something nice for someone, give money to a cause that needs it.

I know. Change your attitude. From now on, don't be so judgmental. This one is hard and you'll most probably fail. Of course, it's not natural for you. Try again. And again.

This chart is Father Shane Johnson's. He's a priest from the Legionaries of Christ. I thought it apropos for Lent.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What is a Genuflect?


Genuflecting is a sign of respect. It's kneeling on one knee in front of the person you wish to respect. Picture a man asking a lady to marry him.

How do you know what knee to kneel on?



Easy. You genuflect on the right knee, only to God. That's why we Catholics genuflect in front of the Tabernacle. See this picture of St. Dominic playing with Baby Jesus. Note that St. Dominic is on his right knee.

Now see the soldier genuflect to Former First Lady, Nancy Reagan. The soldier is on his left knee. BTW, the soldier is presenting the flag that draped President Reagan's coffin, to his widow.

Viva la difference.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Foreword for New Book on Pere Lataste



Here is the Foreword of a new biography on Pere M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, OP, by the postulator of his cause for Beatification, Fr. Jean-Marie Gueullette, OP. The Foreword is written by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, a well known writer, speaker, theologian, and a former Master of the Order of Preachers. That's me holding his hand. He's standing between Alpha and Omega.

Foreword for the book by Jean-Marie Gueullette OP

I began to read this biography of Jean-Joseph Lataste with a little trepidation. For a long time I had admired him as a brave Dominican who opened his life and his heart to women in prison and founded the Bethany sisters. He was a sort of grandfather to one of my favourite Dominican fraternities, in Norfolk State Penitentiary. But when I read his life, would he turn out to have been quite so admirable? Would he emerge as someone so marked by another time and spirituality that he would seem remote? The great joy of this wonderful book, for me at least, is that I found him to be even more attractive and inspiring than I would ever have guessed.
Jean-Joseph Lataste was a deeply affectionate person. He loved, and he loved to be loved. The moving account of his young love for Léonide Cécile de Saint-Germain shows him to be a man with a heart, flesh and blood like us. This same desire to give and show affection is apparent when he enters the Order. He develops friendships with the brethren, and even after he had founded the new congregation, he was a brother who loved community. He belongs within the long Dominican tradition, from Thomas Aquinas and Eckhart until today, which sees our relationship with God in terms of friendship. God is the one who longs only to be accepted by us and welcomed into our lives as a friend. This warmth finds its most beautiful expression in his relationship with the women whom he met in the prison in Cadillac. His very first words to them are: ‘My dear sisters.’ All of his mission and life is given in those first affectionate words.
He was also deeply Dominican in his cherishing of happiness. St Thomas Aquinas believed that we are created for happiness with God. To seek happiness is not selfish, because we find it in being emptied out beyond ourselves in love. When he arrives at the noviciate, one has an impression that this young man, who had passed through turbulent years, finds deep joy. There is the wonderful scene of two young novices coming to wash his feet, and the obvious immediate affection that they feel for each other.
When he founded his first community of the sisters of Bethany, he cares for their happiness. The choice of ‘Bethany’ is significant. It evokes a home, and so a place where they can be at ease. He did not want a building that would even look like a convent, and which might suggest severity.
Any true love cherishes the dignity of the other person. A sense of his own early failures cures him of any false sense of superiority. Whatever he did in his youth was a ‘felix culpa’, ‘a happy sin’, in the words of St Augustine, which bore fruit in his sense of oneness with these women whom society despised and feared. Certainly, they had failed and sinned, like us all, but Lataste would not let them be defined by what had happened. He was shocked by the way that they were referred to by others, as thieves and so on. A prostitute came to share her sorrow with an English Dominican. She said, ‘Father, I am a fallen woman’. To which he replied, ‘No, my dear, you merely tripped!’
Lataste was baptised opposite a ‘house of correction’, where he would discover his mission, and where women were supposed to be reformed by severe discipline. But Lataste believed in a far more profound transformation produced by God’s grace. He often liked to say that the greatest sinners could become the greatest saints. It does not matter what one has been but who one is now. ‘God is the Being of the present.’ Grace transforms us, and that is why these women could be religious.
Lataste loved the saints who had lived through experiences of sin, but whom grace had raised: Mary Magdalene, the first patron of the Dominican Order; Peter, who had denied our Lord; Paul who had murdered the earliest disciples, St Augustine and so on. When he talked with women in prison he was bowled over to see the effects of grace in their lives, their readiness to forgive those who had often seduced them and destroyed their lives. When he held a night of adoration of the sacrament, he saw hundreds of these women coming to pray devotedly, and he cries out ‘I have seen marvels.’ Jean-Marie shows how this cry resonates with that of St Catherine of Siena, who after profound contemplation, shouts out ‘I have seen the secrets of God.’ But the moment of revelation for Lataste is given in the faces of those to whom he has been preaching. It is a spirituality of mission.
Lataste is shocked by the silence imposed on the women in prison. This terrible silence is broken when he hears their confessions in the sacristy. It is pierced by words of compassion, the words of their brother and the words that they are free to speak to him. And when he makes an unauthorised visit to the prison, and cannot speak with them, they know that he is there for them, faithful in his friendship. The Resurrection of Jesus is the speaking again of the Word made flesh, silenced on the cross. Our faith breaks the oppressive silences in which so many people are imprisoned.
He was also aware that his new foundation did more than offer a home for a few women who were called to religious life. His brochure, Les Réhabilitées, in which he described his daring project, which he believed was the work of God, was also a prophetic gesture, addressed to his fellow citizens. It touched on issues that were of public concern. Victor Hugo’s novel which comments on life in prison, Les Misérables, had been published recently. It remains a prophetic gesture which still speaks to our society, in which an ever higher percentage of the population finds itself imprisoned not just by walls and bars but by prejudice and contempt.
Blessed Jean-Joseph Lataste began this new foundation when he was extraordinarily young, and died when he was still in his thirties. He endured opposition, even sometimes from his own brethren, though supported by the Master of Order, Alexandre Vincent Jandel. This confidence in the young was typical of St Dominic, who sent out his novices to preach when other religious thought that they would never be seen again. We need this confidence in the young today, confidence in young people who find themselves in prison, and also confidence in our young brothers and sisters when they have brave new ideas. May blessed Jean-Joseph give us all courage to do what is new.
Timothy Radcliffe OP

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Press Release

Lenten Promise Leads to Award-Winning Devotional, Why God Matters

Layton, UT; Pueblo, CO— In 1996, Karina Fabian, mother of toddlers, made a Lenten vow that launched her career as a writer. Years later, it led her to share that joy of writing with her father, as they collaborated on an award-winning devotional, Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life. This year, she hopes to share the joy of Lent through her book and the Why God Matters website.
Deacon Steve Lumbert and his daughter Karina Fabian share their stories of how God led them from casual belief to deep devotion, and offer tips and exercises to help you see God's hand--and take it. Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life is published by Tribute Books and won the Christian Small Publisher Award for best book on Christian Living. It has over 40 reviews from readers of many Christian faiths who recommend it not only as a book to read, but to go through slowly, doing the exercises to strengthen their relationship with God and to be more aware of His presence in her life.
This year, Fabian and Tribute Books are opening the Why God Matters website to faith stories by others, especially Lenten faith stories. “I believe that Lent, and Lenten vows, can change lives,” Fabian said. “I’d like to share that hope with others, and the best way is through sharing our stories.” How about sharing your story? Go here.
Fabian credits her 1996 vow with giving her life its direction. She had always enjoyed writing, but it wasn’t until the Lent after leaving a career in the Air Force that she took it up professionally. “I was home with the kids, and getting a little stir crazy as Lent was approaching. I try to not only give up something for Lent, but to take up something to better serve God as well. So that year, I decided to give up reading fiction and take up writing.”
By Easter, Fabian had a job with the Wyoming diocese newspaper, and freelanced for several parenting and local magazines. She also wrote some slice-of-life stories, but seldom sent them out, and eventually moved more into writing fiction. However, in 2009, when Tribute books was seeking someone to write a short devotional of personal stories, tips and quotes, she felt God calling.
“I was a little intimidated by the project though. I felt something of this magnitude needed someone with a theological grounding, too. Then I realized, my father is a deacon—and he is full of terrific stories.”
Deacon Steve Lumbert, who came to faith while Fabian was in college, had never written a book, but was excited to collaborate with his daughter. Working on this book brought a new level to their relationship.
“God continues to bless me through that Lenten vow,” Fabian said. “Not only will I cherish having worked with my father, but the book itself has touched so many lives. People have written to us that it’s helped them understand their faith better , brought them closer to God, or touched them when they really needed it. I hope this Lent, through the website, we can do this some more.”
Fabian is also willing to speak to book clubs and parishes through telephone or Skype.

* * *
Photos, interviews, and more information available on request or by visiting www.whygodmatters.com or www.fabianspace.com

Monday, February 20, 2012

Burying the Alleluia



Did your parish bury the Alleluia? I don't know if mine did; I was at a new parish. They didn't. I don't think I've ever seen it. I'd like to. I love ceremony and drama. As I understand the tradition, there was drama and ceremony in abundance.

There was a solemn procession from the church to the parish cemetery transporting a coffin with the word "Alleluia" on it. Some mourners sincerely grieved, some wept openly, along the way to the cemetery, where "Alleluia" was buried until Easter.

Can't you just picture it. We mourners bawling our eyes out, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, so we can process across the street. Those Baptists counting out their Jack Chick tracts coming out of Grace Baptist Church will wonder who died. We'll bury the box next to the grave stone that has a hand print--you know the one that kids put their hand in, and if it fits, it means you're going to DIE. Yeah. Oh yeah.

Sigh. I'd love it.

But the drama has just begun; just wait for the Resurrection.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What's Lent?


What's it all about? Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. It is touted as lasting 40 days. Don't believe that number anymore than you can believe that it rained 40 days for Noah. 40 is just a number telling you that it was a long time, not years, not half years, but more than one month. It's to give you a feel of the time. Nit pickers will object, but they just have to suck it up, offer it up.

OK nit pickers, I'll have pity on you. Don't count the Sundays in Lent. Is that 40 days? Well, how about don't count the Sundays and stop at Holy Thursday. Bingo!

Now see! I've been side-tracked. The devil's in the details!

Lent is a time of preparation for Easter by thinking more of God and thinking of Jesus' sacrifice by sacrificing more and praying more, ourselves.

What am I sacrificing? Every year I do without cream and sugar in my coffee. Do you know how hard that is? The first year I did it, I held my nose and swallowed black coffee like it was yukky medicine. Now I've got to the point where I can drink it anyway, but I prefer "extra-extra."

To that sacrifice I'm adding not wearing jewelry. My wedding ring doesn't count.

What am I doing extra? In my quiet meditation and examination of conscience, I'm going to pick one person that I've encountered that day, and pray for him/her. Maybe somebody who looked like they needed prayers: worried, sad, angry, upset; there's lot to pray for.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Propriety Depends on the Circumstances


This is a picture of my daughter. Doesn't she has a lot of natural curly hair? I was watching her correct her daughter's table manners. Her admonition that she didn't want her to embarrass herself when she was out in public, gave me a flash back.

I was in high school visiting a girl friend, for the weekend. It was breakfast and we were getting ready to go out. I placed my hair elastics, scrungies, and barrettes on the table, and proceed to brush and comb my hair.

My girl friend's mother said, "Faith, we do not brush our hair at the kitchen table."

I was mortified.

I didn't know. I was even more mortified that I didn't know. Geesh. Common sense would have told me that my hair would go in everyone's food.

How come I didn't know this was because the kitchen table is where my mother fixed my hair, when I was growing up. We all sat at the table for haircuts. I sat at the table while my mother braided my hair.

Our house was a two-family house. Our flat had the entrance door coming into the kitchen. Off the kitchen were two long narrow rooms. One was a pantry and one was the bathroom. A family only having one bathroom was common then. Since everyone needed to use the bathroom to get ready, the pantry was used too. The pantry consisted of a sink and cupboards. Food was kept in the pantry. Because a sink was in the pantry, my father shaved there. We girls washed our hair in that sink.

Sigh...this is why hair grooming around food wasn't considered taboo, to me.

My daughter is correct. You do embarrass yourself when you don't know the rules of propriety.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Major Step



Father Gordon MacRae has been in a New Hampshire prison for more than 20 years, and I believe he was falsely accused. He could have been out much sooner, if he had said he was guilty. But he's not.

His accuser was a young man that Father Gordon hardly knew. After the church paid out money, the accuser's brother said the same thing had happened to him. He received money, also. This family of brothers are the only ones who have ever accused Father Gordon.

No one else has come forward. At the time, the newspapers all but crucified Father Gordon. One newspaper even said that Father Gordon admitted his guilt. That's a lie; Father Gordon has always maintained his innocence. His bishop wouldn't help him.

What has come forward are people who say that this family bragged about concocting a story to get money from the church. And the National Center for Reason and Justice has just announced a new appeal. Of course, they need money and prayers.

Read about it on this site.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Laughing


A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Franciscan are viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden. The Jesuit said, "This is Jesuit spirituality. They are so calm and happy." The Dominican said. "Not true. They are in ecstasy over the contemplation of God's gifts." "Bah!", said the Franciscan. "I don't think so. They have no clothes, no shelter, they have only an apple to eat, and they believe they're in paradise. This is clearly Franciscan influence."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Conscious Immolation


Conscious Immolation is the term Pope Paul VI, used to describe St. Gianna Beretta. Gianna Beretta is the next saint I want to post about in my collection of saints in good married life. Actually, it's Fr. Thomas Keven Kraft, OP, who's complying lives of saints and holy people, who are well married. He means they were happily married; as opposed to their endurance in marriages from hell. That alone would be reason for sainthood. No, our interest is those in average life, not celibates.

Gianna Francesca Beretta was born in Magenta, Italy, in 1922. She was born into a large family; she was the the tenth of thirteen children. Eventually, five siblings died. Her family was very devout--daily communicants. Three of her siblings became religious; Virginia became a Canossian sister, Giuseppe became a diocesan priest, and Enrico became a Capuchin missionary. While Gianna also considered a religious vocation, she discerned that she was called to married life and motherhood.

Always a good girl, she was an excellent student, and went on to become a doctor. She was dedicated to service of the poor and earned a reputation for being a good, kind, person, and also a kind, and good physician. She married Pietro Molla in 1955. He was a good Catholic, also.

Her first child was Pierluigi. Then came Maria Zita. Family was very important to Gianna. Her own immediate family and professional duties, did not isolate Gianna. She kept as close as contact as possible, with her own siblings. As you can imagine, she was extremely busy. Gianna almost lost her third baby in pregnancy, but in 1959, Laura Enrica Maria was born. There was a fourth pregnancy. This one turned out to be problematic. During Gianna's third month of pregnancy, she was diagnosed with a large ovarian cyst. The doctors recommended an abortion, or a hysterectomy, or a risky operation to remove the fibroma (which could kill both mother and child).

Which would you choose? (1) Abortion -- murder the baby (2) Hysterectomy -- murder the baby and negate all possibility of having more children (3) Only remove the fibroma -- however this may endanger the mother's life.

Looking at it this way, I can see where insurance companies would pressure doctors and hospital to take the easy way out. (1) is the Insurance Company's choice -- and unfortunately the choice made most often, in the USA, anyway. We are insurance driven.

But Gianna was not a company. She was a doctor who served people--human beings. Insurance companies be damned.

She chose humanity over business. As a doctor herself, she was very much aware of the risks (3) would entail, yet she prayed and was operated on to extract the fibroma. Some complications continued, yet a fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, was delivered by Caesarian section. It was this choice that Pope Paul VI was referring to, when he used the term "conscious immolation." Gianna consciously chose to risk her life, for the life of another. Jesus taught her that.

Her cause for beatification began in 1970. The miracle that was accepted for her beatification was the cure of a young mother giving birth in 1977. She had a septicemic infection. BTW, this hospital was in Brazil, and the very hospital that Gianna's brother, Fr. Alberto OFM Cap., was promoter of.

The miracle recognized for canonization involved a mother, who when she was only 16 weeks pregnant, sustained a tear in her placenta that drained her womb of amniotic fluid. There is no way a baby in the womb, can survive without amniotic fluid. Through praying for Gianna Molla's intercession, a healthy baby was delivered in normal time.

Gianna was canonized by Pope John Paul II, on May 16, 2004. Her last child, Gianna Emanuela was present, along with her father, Pietro. Gianna Emanuela, herself, is also a physician.

h/t Father Thomas Kevin Kraft, O.P. Research on the Lives of Well married Saints and Holy People and the Vatican News Service http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20040516_beretta-molla_en.html

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Process of Canonization

This post is written by a guest blogger. Let me introduce you to my "cloistered brother", Steve. We are putting together an issue of eLumenate, highlighting Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P., who will be beatified, June 3, 2012. Brother Steve thought that he would explain the process of canonization. Hence this post.



In the early days of the church, cults grew amongst the followers of certain holy persons, of which nearly all the martyrs were considered saints. Though without approval of the local bishop their recognition was not official. For nearly 1200 years, the authority to declare a person a saint lay with the local bishop.

In 993, the first official canonization by a Pope was made by John XV, when he elevated St. Ulric of Augsburg to sainthood. Not until 1171, was the process of canonization reserved to the Holy See by Pope Alexander III. The present process dates to 1588, when Sixtus V established the Sacred Congregation of Rites,, now handled by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (CCS). In 1983, Pope John Paul II made several changes to the canonization process, most notably the elimination of the "Devil's Advocate."

The process of Canonization can be lengthy and normally begins five years after the death of the Servant of God (waived in 1999, for Mother Teresa). Thereupon, the local bishop investigates the life and writings of the candidate and sends this information to the vatican. After approval of a panel of nine theologians, and the bishops and cardinals of the CCS, the Pope may then proclaim the candidate "Venerable."

Upon confirmation of a miracle (not necessary for martyrs), the person or persons are beatified, or "blessed", which allows veneration by a particular group or region. (Pere Lataste is at this stage.)

Only after the proof of one more miracle (martyrs included), the Pope will canonize the saint. Whereupon, his or her names (s) will be enrolled in the Canon of the Saints, and presented to the entire Church for veneration and emulation.

Nota Bene: Canonization does not "make" a saint; it only recognizes what God has already done.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fish = God



I don't know. What's your understanding of this little video?

God created friar and fish, so after being together for so long, they live in harmony.

???????

The fish represents God and the friar wants it. He goes after it and eventually gets it.

???????

I think that's what attracts me to this little video. I'm not sure I understand it; but I like it; it makes me smile.

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes



Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparitions that appeared to St. Bernadette and various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France. The apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes began on 11 February 1858, when Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl from Lourdes, told her mother, after being asked, that she had seen a "lady" in the cave of Massabielle, about a mile from the town, while gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar appearances of the "lady" were reported on seventeen further occasions that year.
Bernadette Soubirous was canonized as a saint. In 1862, Pope Pius IX authorized the local bishop to permit the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes.

Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY NINE

Saturday, February 11, 2012
Feast Day: Our Lady of Lourdes
(First apparition to St. Bernadette)
O glorious Mother of god, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly for the grace of a happy death. O Mother of our Divine Lord, as we conclude this novena for the special favor we seek at this time. (mention your request) We feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard. O Mother of My Lord, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His Name, hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day Eight


Preliminary Prayer

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY EIGHT
Friday, February 10, 2012


O Immaculate Mother of God, from heaven itself you came to appear to the little Bernadette in the rough Grotto of Lourdes! And as Bernadette knelt at your feet and the magic spring burst forth and as multitudes have knelt ever since before your shrine, O Mother of God, we kneel before you today to ask that in your mercy you plead with your Divine Son to grant the special favor we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's a Gettin Closer


Everyday it's a-gettin' closer / Goin' faster than a roller coaster But I'm not talking about "Love;" I'm talking about the Beatification of Pere M. Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. It's scheduled for June 3rd, in Bescacon, France. And I'm so-o-o blessed to be going.

There's a web site I'd like to call your attention to. It's under construction. It's dedicated to the promotion of Pere Lataste, the Apostle of Prisons, and the reviving of the Bethany Brothers. This is a group of men who follow Latastian spirituality. Give them a click.

Seventh Day of the Novena


Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY SEVEN
Thursday, February 9, 2012


O Almighty God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary did prepare a worthy dwelling place for your Son, we humbly beseech you that as we contemplate the apparition of Our Lady in the Grotto of Lourdes, we may be blessed with health of mind and body. And, O most gracious Mother Mary, beloved Mother of Our Lord and Redeemer, look with favor upon us as you did that day on Bernadette and intercede with Him for us that the favor we now so earnestly seek may be granted to us. (mention your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Six Down


Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY SIX
Wednesday, February 8, 2012


O glorious Mother of God, so powerful under your special title of Our Lady of Lourdes, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare and for the special favor we so earnestly seek in this novena. (mention your request)
O Lady of Bernadette, with the stars of heaven in your hair and the roses of earth at your feet, look with compassion upon us today as you did so long ago on Bernadette in the Grotto of Lourdes.
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Classic


Abbott: You throw the ball to first base.
Costello: Then who gets it?
Abbott: Naturally.
Costello: Naturally.
Abbott: Now you've got it.
Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.
Abbott: You don't! You throw it to Who!
Costello: Naturally.
Abbott: Well, that's it—say it that way.
Costello: That's what I said.
Abbott: You did not.
Costello: I said I throw the ball to Naturally.
Abbott: You don't! You throw it to Who!
Costello: Naturally.

Day Five


Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY FIVE
Tuesday, February 7, 2012


O Mary Immaculate, Mother of god and our mother, from the heights of your dignity look down mercifully upon us while we, full of confidence in your unbounded goodness and confident that your Divine Son will look favorably upon any request you make of Him in our behalf, we beseech you to come to our aid and secure for us the favor we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Monday, February 6, 2012

People Pleasers

Don't ask me why; but "Everybody's Talking at Me" often pops into my mind, during scripture readings.



You see I'm the Lector for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. I'm reading 1Corinthians 10:31-11:1. I love these short dramatic readings. It's so short that I'll have no problem memorizing it, so I don't have to look down to read it; I can look people in the eyes.

Although, I like the Reading, itself, I don't really agree with it. The idea is not to cause scandal. It seems to me that St. Paul is driving himself crazy trying to be a people pleaser.

Do not be a stumbling-block to Jews and Greeks and to the church of God,
even as I myself in all things please all men, not seeking what is
profitable to myself but to the many, that they may be saved.


St. Ambrose gives the opposite advice to St. Monica: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." St. Ambrose seems more sensible to me. Would St. Monica's neighbors back home be scandalized because St. Monica was acting Roman? Probably. But if she didn't, then the Romans would be scandalized.

Well, Paul, what now?

Novena Day Four


Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY FOUR
Monday, February 6, 2012


O Immaculate Queen of Heaven, we your wayward, erring children, join our unworthy prayers of praise and thanksgiving to those of the angels and saints and your own the One, Holy, and Undivided Trinity may be glorified in heaven and on earth. Our Lady of Lourdes, as you looked down with love an mercy upon Bernadette as she prayed her rosary in the grotto, look down now, we beseech you, with love and mercy upon us. From the abundance of graces granted you by your Divine Son, sweet Mother of God, give to each of us all that your motherly heart sees we need and at this moment look with special favor on the grace we seek in this novena. (mention your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day Three Our Lady of Lourdes Novena


Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.


DAY THREE
Sunday, February 5, 2012


"You are all fair, O Mary, and there is in you no stain of original sin." O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. O brilliant star of sanctity, as on that lovely day, upon a rough rock in Lourdes you spoke to the child Bernadette and a fountain broke from thee plain earth and miracles happened and the great shrine of Lourdes began, so now I beseech you to hear our fervent prayer and do, we beseech you, grant us the petition we now so earnestly seek. (mention your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Purpose of Love



What is the purpose of love? It can't be to procreate, because that can be done without love.

I think the purpose of love is evidence that God exists. God is Love.

Day Two


Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.
Help spread this Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes


DAY TWO
Saturday, February 4, 2012

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest yourself shining with light, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child Saint Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception!" O Mary Immaculate, inflame our hearts with one ray of the burning love of your pure heart. Let them be consumed with love for Jesus and for you, in order that we may merit one day to enjoy your glorious eternity. O dispenser of His graces here below, take into your keeping and present to your Divine Son the petition for which we are making this novena. (mention your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes


I would like to invite you, to begin a marvelous 9-Day Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes, starting today, Friday, February 3rd and end on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, next Saturday, February 11th.

Novena Intention: Along with your own intentions, we ask you to pray for our country and also for America Needs Fatima to be able to meet its goal of 8,000 Rosary Rallies in October, 2012. As always, we assure you of our prayers.

Preliminary Prayer to be said each day

Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest your shining with life, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes, saying to the child, St. Bernadette: "I am the Immaculate Conception." A thousand times we congratulate you upon your Immaculate Conception. And now, O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings; deign to cast upon us a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and physical. We come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain for us, O loving Mother, the granting of our request. (mention your request) Through gratitude for your favors, we will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that we may one day share your glory.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine son while upon earth. You have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us; obtain for us from your Divine Son our special requests if it be the Divine Will. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

DAY ONE
Friday, February 3, 2012

O Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, virgin and mother, queen of heaven, chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Eternal Word and in virtue of this title preserved from original sin, we kneel before you as did little Bernadette at Lourdes and pray with childlike trust in you that as we contemplate your glorious appearance at Lourdes, you will look with mercy on our present petition and secure for us a favorable answer to the request for which we are making this novena. (mention your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Friday Fast

The USCCB is asking Catholics to “fast” on Friday, February 3, by limiting their food spending to the allotment on the USDA Modified Thrifty Food Plan--about $18 for a family of four.

The theme of the February First Fridays for Food Security initiative is food insecurity and climate change. “Food insecurity is also a serious problem globally and is often intensified by climate change,” states a USCCB flyer. “According to a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, climate change will significantly affect the availability of water for growing food and for crop production globally. This will disproportionately affect poor people in rural areas whose livelihoods are closely connected to agriculture and natural resources.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our Cardinal Archbishop's Letter

Here is Cardinal O'Malley's letter:
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Allow me this opportunity to share with you important information concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies. The Church has had to struggle against regulations like those now proposed by HHS in several states. This HHS ruling would expand and intensify a situation which is already very harmful.

In its ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled and must be prepared either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot simply accept this unjust law now proposed at the federal level. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

In order that we make every effort to respond to this proposed restriction on religious liberty I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I recommend that you visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website, www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision.

With the assurance of my prayers for you and all your loved ones, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap.
Archbishop of Boston