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Monthly Archives: December 2012

THE BENEFITS OF PRAYING TO THE SAINTS

When we look at the lives of the Saints, those who have faithfully followed Christ, we are inspired with a new reason for seeking heaven and at the same time we are shown a most safe path by which in keeping with our state of life on earth we will be able to arrive at perfect union with Christ.

In the lives of those who, sharing our humanity, are however more perfectly transformed into the image of Christ, God vividly manifests His presence and His face to human beings. He speaks to us in them and gives us a sign of His Kingdom, to which we are strongly drawn.

The authentic devotion to the Saints consists not so much in the multiplication of external acts but rather in greater intensity of our love… We seek from the Saints example in their way of life, fellowship in their communion, and aid in their intercession.

– Vatican Council II: Constitution on the Church, 50

 
 

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PRAYER FOR THE DISABLED AMONG US

O loving Father,
we pray for all who are handicapped in this life:
the blind, the defective and the delicate,
and all who are permanently injured.
We pray for those worn out with sickness
and those who are wasted with misery,
for the dying,
and all unhappy children.

May they learn the mystery of the road of suffering
which Christ has trodden
and the saints have followed,
and bring You this gift that angels cannot bring,
a heart that trusts You even in the dark;
and this we ask
in the Name of Him who Himself
took our infirmities upon Him,
the same Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
Amen.

 
 

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“MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD” – THE PRACTICE OF DAILY SPIRITUAL COMBAT FOR CHRISTIANS OF TODAY

The life of man is spiritual warfare in this world. He, like a soldier, does not have a fixed home, but a provisional one and must go where the will of God calls him. Your first combat must be that undertaken for the defence of the Christian faith. You will often find yourself among people who do not believe or who are so weak in the faith that they give way at the smallest obstacle, often at the ridicule of fools.

I AM DEAD TO THE WORLD AND THE WORLD IS DEAD TO ME

You must counter, manifesting your unlimited submission to the wisdom of God, who is the supreme and only Truth, esteeming and appreciating it above all human theories. If you allow yourself to be carried away or vacillate when some puny scientist of the earth contradicts the eternal Truth, you are not a soldier of Jesus Christ; you are guilty of desertion. THE FAITH IS THE GREATEST SCIENCE; it is not blind or traditional assent to things incomprehensible, but it is the superior revelation of the highest truths which you admit because God has revealed them to you, God who deserves more faith than any scientist on earth.

HAVE COURAGE INSTEAD OF HOWLING WITH THE WOLVES

Therefore you must affirm your faith against all of the snares and contrary affirmations of pathetic earthly wisdom, apostatized from God. Affirming your faith, you must of necessity show yourself a child of the Catholic Church which possesses the sacred deposit of revealed truth…You must fight against distrust and show that you trust in God and adore His dispositions, conforming yourself to His divine will. One is not worthy of God who is excessively preoccupied with earthly things,
who despairs, who puts his faith back in men, forgetting God.

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

You must fight against the delusions of the world and show yourself a Christian in life; you will never follow what is opposed to the will of God; you will not follow the customs and fashions of the world, even at the cost of being mocked, even at the cost of suffering and martyrdom…the weapon of your spiritual combat [is] prayer [fasting, almsgiving]. Pray because you must fight not only to destroy evil, but also to spread the good; pray because in order to fight you must first conquer yourself and live totally united to God.

MY GOD, MY GREATEST GOOD

As a Christian, you must nourish your soul with the sacraments, you must enlighten it with knowledge of and meditation of the eternal truths, you must enliven it with constant union with God, fleeing from sin as from death itself, and humbling yourself in His presence.

– Don Dolindo Ruotolo

 
 

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VIRGIN MOTHER OF GOD, PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF YOUR CHILDREN

Virgin Mother of God, most august Mother of the Church, we commend the whole Church to you. You bear the sweet name of “Help of Bishops”; keep the bishops in your care, and be at their side and at the side of the priests, religious and laity who offer them help in sustaining the difficult work of the pastoral office. From the Cross, the Divine Saviour, your Son, gave you as a most loving Mother to the disciple whom He loved; remember the Christian people who commit themselves to you.

Be mindful of all your children, we implore you; join to their prayers your special power and authority with God. Keep their faith whole and lasting, strengthen their hope, and enkindle their love. Come to the aid of those who find themselves in hardship, in need, in danger, and especially those who are suffering persecution.

We commend the whole human race to your Immaculate Heart, O Virgin Mother of God. Lead it to acknowledge Jesus as the one true Saviour. Drive far from it all the calamities provoked by sin. Bring it peace, which consists in truth, justice, liberty and love. Amen.

 
 

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ST THOMAS A BECKET – PRAYER MEDITATION

ST THOMAS A BECKET +1170

“Peter answered, ‘Repent and be baptised…in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'” (Acts 2:37-38)

REFLECTION:
The Church of Rome remains the highest of all churches and the source of Catholic teaching. Of this there can be no doubt.
Everyone knows that the keys of the kingdom of heaven were given to Peter.
– St Thomas

PRAYER:
Dear St Thomas, I pray for all leaders of the Church and the world to seek God’s guidance always. Amen.

 
 

PRAYER TO CHRIST FOR NEWNESS OF LIFE

O Lord,
Your sorrowing Mother stood by Your Cross;
help us in our sorrows
to share Your sufferings.
Like a seed buried in the ground,
You have produced the harvest of eternal life for us;
make us always dead to sin and alive to God.

Shepherd of all,
in death You remained hidden from the world;
teach us to love our hidden spiritual life
with You and the Father.
In Your role as the new Adam,
You went down among the dead
to release all the just there since the beginning;
grant that all who are dead in sin
may hear Your voice and rise to new life.

Son of the living God,
You have allowed us through Baptism
to be buried with You;
grant that we may also rise with You in Baptism
and that we may walk in newness of life.
Amen.

 
 

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CHRIST IS ALWAYS PRESENT IN THE LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

SEVERAL IMPORTANT REASONS AS TO WHY THE LITURGY IS ESSENTIAL AND AN INTEGRAL PART OF LOVING AND SERVING CHRIST

(And before anybody even asks – yes, it says it in the Bible too, ‘Do this in memory of Me’, etc. 🙂

To accomplish the dispensation or communication of His work of salvation, Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations (cf. CCC 1088). So, it is in the liturgy – especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, that ‘the work of redemption is accomplished’ (cf. CCC 1068).

The liturgy enables the faithful to take part in the “work of God” (cf. Jn 17:4). It is also seen as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. Through the liturgy Christ continues the work of our redemption in, with and through His Church. The liturgy is also a participation in Christ’s own prayer addressed to the Father in the Holy Spirit (cf. CCC 1069; 1073).

In the liturgy of the Church, God the Father is blessed and adored as the source of all blessings of creation and salvation (cf. CCC 1110). It is principally his own Paschal Mystery (Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection) that Christ signifies and makes present in the liturgy. Christ now acts through the sacraments He instituted to communicate His grace (cf. CCC 1085, 1084). The Holy Spirit prepares the assembly to receive Christ, and makes the work of Christ present and active (cf. CCC 1112).

It is the whole community (the Church), the Body of Christ united with its Head that celebrates the liturgy (cf. CCC 1140). The liturgy is celebrated with words and actions in a dialogue between God’s children with their Father, in Christ and the Holy Spirit. Song and music sanctify the faithful and glorify God. Signs and symbols of creation and holy images help us to awaken and nourish our faith (cf. CCC 1153; 1157; 1192). The liturgy or worship is celebrated in any one place. But the church where the community comes together to glorify the Trinity, hear the Word of God, sing His praise and offer the sacrifice of Christ has more significance (cf. CCC 1199; 1179; 1181-1186).

The liturgy, ‘the saving work of Christ’, is commemorated and celebrated throughout the year. Once a week, on Sunday, the Church keeps the memory of the Lord’s Resurrection. Once a year she celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus most solemnly at Easter. By keeping the memorials of the saints, she gives glory to Christ for having accomplished His salvation in them.

Daily, the Liturgy of the Hours is intended to become the prayer of the whole people of God (cf. CCC 1163; 1175). The Liturgy of the Hours is a ‘public prayer of the Church’, in which the faithful (clergy, religious and lay people) exercise the royal priesthood of the baptised. In it Christ Himself continues His priestly work through His Church. The Liturgy of the Hours is intended to become the prayer of the whole people of God. Priests are obliged and the laity are encouraged to recite the Divine Office (cf. CCC 1174, 1175).

 
 

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