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Monthly Archives: June 2012

PRAYER IN HONOUR OF SAINT ANTHONY ZACCARIA

Saint Anthony Zaccaria was born in Cremona, Lombardy, in 1502. He studied medicine in Padua. After his ordination to the priesthood, he founded the Society of Clerics of Saint Paul, also known as the Barnabites. The Society did much to reform the morals of the faithful. He died in 1539.

PRAYER:

Grant, O Lord, that in the spirit of the Apostle Paul
we may pursue the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ,
for, having learned it,
Saint Anthony Zaccaria
constantly preached your saving word in the Church.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

TWELVE ANGLO-SAXON PRAYERS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

THE PASSION:

Only-begotten Son of God, who art ever to me an impregnable protection, my guard that never sleeps, my defence that never fails: O Christ, who in Heaven art the stay of the Angels, be now and for ever my propitiator with the Father. O Mediator between God and man, I beseech thee, through thy Passion and the redemption of thy life-giving Cross, that when thou shalt please to call me from this world, thou wilt send the Angel of Peace to guard my soul and conduct it to the place of rest, and enable it to pass unscathed through the ranks of the rulers and powers of darkness. And, O Jesus Christ my Lord, may all who in that hour pray and plead for me find the ears of thy mercy open to their cries.

THE LORD’S EARS HAVE TO LISTEN TO BLASPHEMIES:

O King of Kings and Lord of Lords, for my sake, who am but a lowly sinner, thou didst allow thy ears, which never hearkened to aught against the inward will of the Father, to fail in death. Grant thy merciful pardon to one whose ears have been so deeply polluted by a wilful listening to evil. O may it not be my lot in the hour of the coming judgment to hear that sentence I have truly deserved: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.” O Jesus Christ my Lord, by the intense ardour of thy love, let me not be separated from thee for ever. Amen.

PILATE’S CONDEMNATION:

O most just judge of all men, Jesus Christ my Lord, who thyself placed before a human judge didst receive unjust condemnation, grant that I may never be compelled to hear from thy loving lips the terrible sentence of everlasting doom.

THE CROWNING WITH THORNS:

O God, my most merciful protector and guardian, who didst not refuse to wear a crown of thorns upon thy sacred head, pardon me whatsoever sins I have committed by my senses. Without thy protection, I am ever being pierced by the dense thorns of all my vicious habits. O Christ, on the throne of thy might, thou art crowned for all ages with glory, honour, and eternal majesty. O Jesus Christ my Lord, I confess that thou art the only-begotten Son of the unbegotten Father, and, with the Holy Spirit, dost exist in the one substance of the Triune Godhead.

OUR LORD CARRYING HIS CROSS:

O Lord, who art exalted in thy humility, and alone in thy holy charity: O Lord, the unspotted Lamb, who didst not refuse, in carrying thy cross, to take upon thy shoulders the heavy burden of the sins of all men, reach forth thy loving hand even to me, who am entangled in my many sins. Thou dost not will the death of the sinner, but that he should be converted and live, so do thou break the bonds of my sins, and raise me up. I, indeed, have done nothing in thy sight to deserve thy mercy: still, Jesus Christ my Lord, I humbly beg thy Majesty that thou, who art my God, wouldst blot out my offences, which are without number. Amen.

OUR LORD IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS:

O Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, the Heavenly Way, the Truth, and the Life, by thee the gates of the Kingdom are opened to us. Clothed in all virtue, thou didst allow thy holy and immaculate Body to be exposed to ignomity, and to be raised aloft upon the Cross by the polluted hands of wicked sinners. Do thou remove from me the veil of my vicious habits, and clothe me with all virtue. O Jesus Christ my Lord, who didst not abandon the strayed sheep, but, when found, lifted it in thy arms and carried it thyself to the flock, do thou raise me from earth to heaven.

OUR LORD FASTENED TO THE CROSS:

O Author of Charity, Model of Chastity, and Lover of Men: O Christ, our most merciful God, who didst stretch forth thy arms upon the Cross, that thy hands might be pierced by the nails, do thou reach out to me the hand of thy mercy, pierce my heart with the sharp darts of fear and awe, of love and trust in thee. O Jesus Christ my Lord, do thou, who didst allow thy innocent hands to be fastened to the wood of the Cross, heal my heart from every wound, and cleanse my hands from every stain of vice. Amen.

OUR LORD IS OFFERED VINEGAR AND GALL:

O Good Master, my God, God of armies, God of all earth, who, tasting the bitterness of the offered vinegar and gall, didst refuse it, I honour thee because thou hast opened to all the way of life and truth, and offered to them the joys of eternal life. Grant that I, poor sinner though I be, may with the rest of men escape the bitterness of eternal death. Hear me, hearken to my prayers, listen to my supplications, O Eternal God. Jesus Christ my Lord, in thy great mercy, and not for any merit of mine, pardon my offences against thee when my lips have sinned by blasphemies, oaths, falsehoods, or idle talk.

OUR LORD’S EYES CLOSE IN DEATH:

O prince of Peace, teacher of patience, and model of true humility, who, bowing thy head on the Cross, didst give up thy most blessed spirit, pardon me for all my pride and vainglory. O Jesus Christ my Lord, who, as a proof of thy entire obedience, when offering thyself to the Father for the salvation of the world, didst close thine eyes in death, by thy most true love for me, I pray thee that, in honour of these sacred eyes, thou wouldst lovingly pardon whatever stain my soul has suffered by the wrong use of my sense of sight. Amen.

THE WOUND IN OUR LORD’S SIDE:

O holy Saviour, health of the dying, most skilful physician, who dost furnish oil and wine for the wounds of travellers in this earthly life, O Christ, who didst permit thy side to be pierced by the lance, open unto me the gate of life, that I, entering therein, may confess thee as my Lord and my God. Through the healing virtue of thy wounded side, in thy mercy cure the wounds of my vices. Let me not on account of my sins incure the guilt of being an unworthy partaker of thy Body and Blood. O Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, who hast said: “He who eats my Body and drinks my Blood, shall abide in me and I in him,” in thy unspeakable mercy so help me that I may receive the fruit of this thy promise.

OUR LORD IN THE TOMB:

True giver of everlasting life and bestower of perpetual light; buried in the tomb, thou didst will to dispel the darkness of hell and of earth. By the memory of thy sacred Body, which rested incorrupt in the grave, grant that after my death, my soul, though most unworthy, may not be found in the prison of hell. Against thee alone, as the Innocent One, the brazen gates of hell have not prevailed; thou hast broken the iron bars which fastened them, hast set at liberty the captives, and hast led captivity captive. Do thou then, Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, save me from the hands of my enemies, and bring me into the holy place thy hands have prepared for me.

OUR LORD’S RESURRECTION:

O Christ, thou art the life of the dying, the health of the sick, the only hope of those in misery, and the resurrection of all that are dead. O Jesus Christ my Lord, who on the third day didst break the bonds of death and rise free and glorious from the grave, do thou grant to me, though I am unworthy, a portion in the first resurrection by remitting my sins, and in the second resurrection a place for ever with thy saints. Amen.

 

GOSSIP CONTROL – “I SPEND HOURS ON FACEBOOK TO SEE IF NEGATIVE COMMENTS ARE MADE ABOUT ME”

ALL TOO OFTEN THE TINY SPARK THAT WE DROP INTO CONVERSATIONS BLAZES OUT OF CONTROL AND WE ARE POWERLESS TO STOP IT.

“A woman went to confession to St Philip Neri and said that she had been gossiping about others. For her penance he told her to go out and buy an unplucked fowl in the market. On her way back she was to pull the feathers one by one and scatter them along the way. She should then return to him and he would tell her what to do next.

Feeling not a little foolish, she did as he asked and came back to him with the now plucked bird.

St Philip praised her for her obedience but before she could bow out, happy that she had completed her strange penance, he said, “Now you must go back and pick up all the feathers.” “But Father,” the woman exclaimed, “you know that is impossible. The wind has blown them all away and I could never hope to capture them now.” “You are right,” the saint replied. “Neither can you recall the damaging words about your neighbours which by now have passed from mouth to mouth far beyond your reach. Be careful in future, and gossip no more.”

How easy it is for any one of us to fall into the way of gossip! Over a cup of coffee or a pint in the pub we hint at the peccadilloes of a neighbour or pass on the unsavoury story we heard about the new teacher or the curate or the wife of the chemist. In no time a fire is started, a reputation ruined, a life wrecked. And, careless, even oblivious, of the pain we cause, we lap up yet another tit-bit to pass on.

Society itself encourages us to indulge in this kind of destruction. A whole industry is build around salacious gossip; magazines specialise in broadcasting the sins not just of celebrities but of ordinary people, authors rush to publish books full of scandals, television programmes and films keep our appetites whetted with ever more lurid accounts of the misdemeanours of others. With the arrival of Facebook and Twitter the cruelty reaches new heights. “I spend hours on Facebook,” one teenage girl confessed, “looking to see if negative comments are made about me.” Some of her contemporaries, boys and girls, feel suicidal and sadly, we know of people so distraught by the malicious gossip about them they have taken their own lives.

“Consider how a small fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire” (Jas 3:6). All too often the tiny spark that we drop into conversations blazes out of control and we are powerless to stop it. Our words, as St Paul tells us, should be for the encouragement, the building up of others, not their destruction (see 1 Thess 5:11).

What a difference it would make if we were more careful of our words, if we used them to speak well of others and steadfastly refused to join in the current gossip, or to spread the latest scandals. Not only will the other be unharmed but we will find our own hearts made strong as we, with courage and discipline, try always to speak good and not evil. Better than chasing after feathers.

“O Lord, set a watch before my mouth, a guard at the door of my lips” (Ps 141:3).”
– from “Far East; Magazine of the Columban Missionaries”, July/August 2012 issue

 

LITANY OF THE HOLY ANGELS

Lord, have mercy on us. – LORD, HAVE MERCY ON US.
Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. – JESUS CHRIST, HAVE MERCY ON US.
Lord, have mercy on us. – LORD, HAVE MERCY ON US.
Jesus Christ, hear us. – JESUS CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

God the Heavenly Father, – HAVE MERCY ON US!
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, – HAVE MERCY ON US!
God the Holy Spirit, – HAVE MERCY ON US!
Most Holy Trinity, only one God, – HAVE MERCY ON US!

Holy Mary, – PRAY FOR US. (Repeat after each line.)
Queen of the angels,
All the choruses of the blessed spirits,
Holy Seraphim, angels of love,
Holy Cherubim, angels of the Word,
Holy Thrones, angels of life,
Holy Angels of adoration,
Holy Dominions,
Holy Powers,
Holy Princedoms,
Holy Virtues,

St Michael the Archangel, victor of Lucifer,
Angel of faith and humility,
Angel of holy unction,
Patron of the dying,
Prince of the heavenly hosts,
Companion of deceased souls,

St Gabriel the Archangel, angel of the Incarnation,
God’s faithful messenger,
Angel of hope and peace,
Protector of all of God’s servants,
Guardian of holy Baptism,
Patron of Priests,

St Raphael the Archangel,
Angel of divine love,
Dominator of the malignant spirit,
Help in cases of need,
Angel of pain and healing,
Patron of doctors, travellers and pilgrims,

All the holy Archangels,
Angels serving before God’s throne,
Angels at the service of humanity,
Holy Guardian Angels,
Helpers in our needs,
Light in our darkness,
Help in all dangers,
Admonishers of our conscience,
Intercessors before God’s throne,
Defenders against the enemy,
Our constant companions,
Our safe guides,
Our most faithful friends,
Our prudent counsellors,
Our model of obedience,
Consolation in abandonment,
Angels of our families,
Angels of our priests and religious,
Angels of our children,
Angels of our Land and Country,
Angels of the holy Church, – PRAY FOR US.

All you holy angels, help us during our life and aid us at the hour of our death, and we will thank you in heaven.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, – FORGIVE US, LORD.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, – HEAR US, LORD.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, – HAVE MERCY ON US.

V. God sent His angels,
R. To guard you in all your paths.

Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, grant us the aid of Your angels and heavenly hosts so that through them we may be saved from the attacks of Satan. And, freed of all dangers through the precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, may we be able to serve You in peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever.
– AMEN.

St Michael the Archangel, protect us in the fight;
Cover us with your shield against the falsehood and snares of the devil. Instantly subject them to God; as the Prince of the heavenly host by the divine power, cast into hell Satan and the other malignant spirits who roam the world for the perdition of souls.
– AMEN.

 

CHRISTIAN PATIENCE IS THE REMEDY TO ALL EVIL

PROBLEMS? ADVERSITY? BAD HEALTH? PEOPLE DON’T SEEM TO LIKE ME? I DON’T HAVE A GOOD JOB? NOT ENOUGH MONEY? I FEEL LEFT OUT? FAMILY TROUBLES? ANXIETIES? WORRIES?

“…JESUS TEACHES US HOW TO SUFFER. Look with what unalterable calm He suffers His first crib, circumcision, poverty, exile and the work of a humble trade. Look at the sublime placidity with which He took the persecution, calumny, infamy, and all the torments of His passion.

All evil was launched against Him and yet He said nothing. He never raised a hand to defend Himself. He ardently desired suffering, and accepted it courageously, and He suffered with trust in His Heart.

Christian, Jesus was innocent and suffered so much for love of you, so how can you, who have sinned so many times, have no desire to suffer for Him? Do you think Jesus suffered to save you from suffering? No, He did not. It was in order to give you the example and the strength to suffer well. Do you claim His glory in Heaven when you have not shared His cross on earth? It is an unworthy thought.

Be one with His most patient Heart and love suffering. Have patience in trials that come from God via the hands of men, in injustices, calumnies or betrayals. Have patience in trials that come from God via the devil, in temptations or disturbances. Have patience in trials that you yourself cause by mistakes, negligence or weakness. Humble yourself before God in all things, and with the Heart of Jesus, surrender to His will. The earth is a vale of tears and life is a hard pilgrimage, but Christian patience is the remedy to all evil.

The Heart of Jesus makes suffering sweet. He said, “Blessed are you when people persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account, rejoice and be glad.” Remember that Christ sends you tribulations so that you may know your faults; to help you detach yourself from the world, to know your plight so that you may no longer trust in yourself but in Him; to purify you, to make you holy and make you like Him in this life so that you may also be like Him in glory. Think that whatever the reason for which He afflicts you, whether it is punishment or to make you more perfect, He always does it out of love for you and for your good.

If it were not good for you to suffer, Jesus, who loves you, would surely spare you the experience. The clearest sign of love is to suffer for the beloved, and so, if God suffered so much pain for love of you, the pain became for Him as lovable as love itself.

Learn that the higher Jesus wants to raise a soul to perfection, the more He will give it suffering, and this is the fate of all those that are dear to Him.

It is in the fire of tribulations that you will become like fine gold, worthy to be displayed in the heavenly palace. The suffering of this life is not only negligible when compared to blessed eternity, but also compared to divine grace which gives such sweetness and comfort that it is worthier than all worldly joys. That is why martyrs were full of joy when they were going through torment.

Do not all these considerations alleviate every pain? Yes, all sufferings, when looked at through the Heart of Jesus, become worthy of respect and love. Love that Heart and even the bitterest things will become sweet to you.”
– Mons. Nicola Tafuri

 

MORNING PRAYER: PRAYER FOR GOD’S GUIDANCE THROUGH THE DAY

Lord, God Almighty, You have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Defend us today by Your mighty power, that we may not fall into any sin, but that all our words may so proceed and all our thoughts and actions be so directed, as to be always just in Your sight.

Direct, we beg You, O Lord, our actions by Your holy inspirations, and carry them on by Your gracious assistance, that every prayer and work of ours may begin always with You, and through You be happily ended. Amen.

 

WHAT IS BUILT WITHOUT GOD IS LOST TIME – PSALM 127

“What is built without God is lost time. It is useless spending all our days in search of security for the future, if blind and unresponsive, we pass the events and joys that the present moment has in store for us.

The believer lives life day by day. He/she does not neglect giving time to prayer, family, friendship and sharing Christian community life. He/she does not damage health by blindly overworking. He/she is aware that, say, families with larger incomes and one child who have nothing to share are not always the ones who best make ends meet, and that the richest homes are not the happiest. The Father asks us to work but also wants us to keep the Sabbath.
‘Sons are a gift from the Lord’. The Bible does not forget that each one of us has received everything from family and country. Not to pass on life and education to a new generation, is not to pay a debt, for sure, it is also to lose one’s life.”

PSALM 127:

Unless the Lord builds the house,
in vain do its builders labour.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
in vain does the guard stay awake.

It is in vain that you rise early
and stay up late, putting off your rest,
toiling for your hard-earned bread;
God gives to his loved ones, and they sleep.

Sons are a gift from the Lord;
the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.

Blessed is the man who has filled
his quiver with arrows of this kind,
their foes will not silence them
when they contend in court.