Thursday, April 29, 2021

A Quote from St. Catherine of Siena

I would have you know that every good, whether perfect or imperfect, is acquired and made manifest in me. And it is acquired and made manifest by means of your neighbor. Even simple folk know this, for they often love others with a spiritual love. If you have received my love sincerely without self-interest, you will drink your neighbor’s love sincerely. It is just like a vessel that you fill at the fountain. If you take it out of the fountain to drink, the vessel is soon empty. But if you hold your vessel in the fountain while you drink, it will not get empty: Indeed, it will always be full. So the love of your neighbor, whether spiritual or temporal, is meant to be drunk in me, without any self-interest.  

St. Catherine of Siena (The Dialogue)

Saint of the day: Catherine of Siena


The following comes from the Catholic.org site:

The 25th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions of Christ, Mary, and the saints. St. Catherine was one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day, although she never had any formal education. She persuaded the Pope to go back to Rome from Avignon, in 1377, and when she died she was endeavoring to heal the Great Western Schism. In 1375 Our Lord give her the Stigmata, which was visible only after her death. Her spiritual director was Blessed Raymond of Capua. St, Catherine's letters, and a treatise called "a dialogue" are considered among the most brilliant writings in the history of theCatholic Church. She died when she was only 33, and her body was found incorrupt in 1430.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A Prayer for Spiritual Warfare

The following prayer was written by Fr. Robert DeGrandis:

Heavenly Father, I love You, I praise You, and I worship You. I thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Who won victory over sin and death for my Salvation. I thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit Who empowers me, guides me, and leads me into fullness of life. I thank you for Mary, my Heavenly Mother, who intercedes with the Holy Angels and Saints for me.

Lord Jesus Christ, I place myself at the foot of Your Cross and ask You to cover me with Your Precious Blood which pours forth from Your Most Sacred Heart and Your Most Holy Wounds. Cleanse me, my Jesus, in the Living Water that flows from Your Heart. I ask You to surround me, Lord Jesus, with Your Holy Light.

Heavenly Father, let the healing waters of my Baptism now flow back through the maternal and paternal generations to purify my family line of Satan and Sin. I come before You, Father, and ask forgiveness for myself, my relatives, and my ancestors, for any calling upon powers that set themselves up in opposition to You or that do not offer true honor to Jesus Christ. In Jesus' Holy Name, I now reclaim any territory that was handed over to Satan and place it under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

By the power of Your Holy Spirit, reveal to me, Father, any people I need to forgive and any areas of unconfessed sin. Reveal aspects of my life that are not pleasing to You, Father, ways that have given or could give Satan a foothold in my life. Father, I give to You any unforgiveness; I give to You my sins; and, I give to You all ways that Satan has a hold of my life. Thank You, for Your Forgiveness and Your Love.

Lord Jesus, in Your Holy Name, I bind all Evil Spirits of the air, water, ground, underground, and Netherworld. I further bind, in Jesus' Name, any and all emissaries of the Satanic Headquarters and claim the Precious Blood of Jesus on the air, atmosphere, water, ground and their fruits around us, the underground and the Netherworld below.

Heavenly Father, allow Your Son Jesus to come now with the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Angels and the Saints to protect me from all harm and to keep all Evil Spirits from taking revenge on me in any way.
(Repeat the following sentence three times: once in honor of the Father, once in honor of the Son, and once in honor of the Holy Spirit.)

In the Holy Name of Jesus, I seal myself, my relatives, this room (place, home, church, car, plane, etc...), and all sources of supply in the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
(To break and dissolve all Satanic Seals, repeat the following paragraph three times in honor of the Holy Trinity because Satanic Seals are placed three times to blaspheme the Holy Trinity.)

In the Holy Name of Jesus, I break and dissolve any and all curses, hexes, spells, snares, traps, lies, obstacles, deceptions, diversions, spiritual influences, evil wishes, evil desires, hereditary seals, known and unknown, and every dysfunction and disease from any source including my mistakes and sins. In Jesus' Name, I sever the transmission of any and all Satanic vows, pacts, spiritual bonds, soul ties, and satanic works. In Jesus' Name, I break and dissolve any and all links and effects of links with: astrologers; bohmos; channelers; charters; clairvoyants; crystal healers; crystals; fortune tellers; mediums; the New Age Movement; occult seers; palm, tea leaf, or tarot card readers; psychics; santeros; satanic cults; spirit guides; witches; witchdoctors; and, Voodoo. In Jesus' Name, I dissolve all effects of participation in séances and divination, Ouija boards, horoscopes, occult games of all sorts, and any form of worship that does not offer true honor to Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit, please reveal to me through word of knowledge any evil spirits that have attached themselves to me in any way. (Pause and wait for words to come to you, such as: anger, arrogance, bitterness, brutality, confusion, cruelty, deception, envy, fear, hatred, insecurity, jealousy, pride, resentment, or terror. Pray the following for each of the spirits revealed.)

In the Name of Jesus, I rebuke you spirit of _________________. I command you to go directly to Jesus, without manifestation and without harm to me or anyone, so that He can dispose of you according to His Holy Will.

I thank You, Heavenly Father for Your Love. I thank You, Holy Spirit for empowering me to be aggressive against Satan and Evil Spirits. I thank You, Jesus, for setting me free. I thank You, Mary, for interceding for me with the Holy Angels and the Saints.
Lord Jesus, fill me with Charity, Compassion, Faith, Gentleness, Hope, Humility, Joy, Kindness, Light, Love, Mercy, Modesty, Patience, Peace, Purity, Security, Tranquility, Trust, Truth, Understanding, and Wisdom. Help me to walk in Your Light and Truth, illuminated by the Holy Spirit so that together we may praise, honor, and glorify Our Father in time and in eternity. For You, Lord Jesus, are, "...the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6 NAB), and You "...have come that we might have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10 JB).

"God indeed is my Savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and courage is the Lord, and He has been my Savior" (Isaiah 12:2 JB).

Amen.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Healing Prayer

LORD, JESUS CHRIST, I AM DEEPLY SORRY FOR MY SINS. HAVE MERCY ON ME. In Your name, JESUS, I ask You for the grace to forgive myself. I ask your forgiveness for hurting others. I ask for the grace to forgive all those who have hurt me in this life, and especially the one person who has hurt me the most. I renounce forever Satan, ALL the evil spirits and all their works. I give you my entire self Lord JESUS, now and forever, you are my Lord, God, SAVIOR AND REDEEMER. Please heal me, change me, strengthen me in body, mind and spirit for my greater service in Your Kingdom. Allow me to lead other souls to You through my good example. JESUS I trust in you! Come Lord JESUS, cover me with Your most precious blood, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit, I praise You, I thank You, I glorify Your name, JESUS. I love You JESUS WITH MY WHOLE HEART, SOUL, MIND, BODY AND MY WHOLE BEING. O’ Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with Holy Raphael the Archangel and all the holy Angels and Saints, pray for us! Amen   

Hat tip to Ed at In God's Company 2

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Story of Ash Wednesday

The following comes from The Catholic Exchange:


Q: A Protestant friend asked me why Catholics use ashes on Ash Wednesday. What are the origins of Ash Wednesday and the use of ashes?
The liturgical use of ashes originates in Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. For instance, in the Book of Esther, Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes when he heard of the decree of King Ahasuerus (or Xerxes, 485-464BC) of Persia to kill all of the Jewish people in the Persian Empire (Est 4:1). Job (whose story was written between 7th and 5th centuries BC) repented in sackcloth and ashes (Jb 42:6).
Prophesying the Babylonian captivity of Jerusalem, Daniel (c. 550BC) wrote, “I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes” (Dn 9:3). In the 5th century BC, after Jonah’s preaching of conversion and repentance, the town of Nineveh proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, and the king covered himself with sackcloth and sat in the ashes (Jon 3:5-6). These Old Testament examples evidence both a recognized practice of using ashes and a common understanding of their symbolism.
Jesus Himself also made reference to ashes: Referring to towns that refused to repent of sin although they had witnessed the miracles and heard the good news, our Lord said, “If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have reformed in sackcloth and ashes long ago” (Mt 11:21).
The early Church continued the usage of ashes for the same symbolic reasons. In his book, De Poenitentia, Tertullian (c. 160-220) prescribed that the penitent must “live without joy in the roughness of sackcloth and the squalor of ashes.” Eusebius (260-340), the famous early Church historian, recounted in his The History of the Churchhow an apostate named Natalis came to Pope Zephyrinus clothed in sackcloth and ashes begging forgiveness. Also during this time, for those who were required to do public penance, the priest sprinkled ashes on the head of the person leaving confession.
In the Middle Ages (at least by the time of the 8th century), those who were about to die were laid on the ground on top of sackcloth sprinkled with ashes. The priest would bless the dying person with holy water, saying, “Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.” After the sprinkling, the priest asked, “Art thou content with sackcloth and ashes in testimony of thy penance before the Lord in the day of judgment?” To which the dying person replied, “I am content.” In all of these examples, the symbolism of mourning, mortality and penance is clear.
Eventually, the use of ashes was adapted to mark the beginning of Lent, the 40-day preparation period (not including Sundays) for Easter. The ritual for the “Day of Ashes” is found in the earliest editions of the Gregorian Sacramentary which dates at least to the 8th century. About the year 1000, an Anglo-Saxon priest named Aelfric preached, “We read in the books both in the Old Law and in the New that the men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes and clothed their bodies with sackcloth. Now let us do this little at the beginning of our Lent that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins during the Lenten fast.” As an aside, Aelfric reinforced his point by then telling of a man who refused to go to Church on Ash Wednesday and receive ashes; the man was killed a few days later in a boar hunt. Since the Middle Ages at least, the Church has used ashes to mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent, when we remember our mortality and mourn for our sins.
In our present Ash Wednesday liturgy, we use ashes made from burned palm branches distributed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. The priest blesses the ashes and imposes them on the foreheads of the faithful, making the sign of the cross and saying, “Remember, man you are dust and to dust you shall return,” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”
As we begin this holy season of Lent in preparation for Easter, we must remember the significance of the ashes we have received: We mourn and do penance for our sins. We again convert our hearts to the Lord, who suffered, died and rose for our salvation. We renew the promises made at our baptism, when we died to an old life and rose to a new life with Christ. Finally, mindful that the kingdom of this world passes away, we strive to live the kingdom of God now and look forward to its fulfillment in heaven. In essence, we die to ourselves, and rise to a new life in Christ.
As we remember the significance of these ashes and strive to live it during this time of Lent, we must allow the Holy Spirit to move us to charity toward our neighbors. Our Holy Father in his Message for Lent, 2003, said, “It is my fervent hope that believers will find this Lent a favorable time for bearing witness to the Gospel of charity in every place, since the vocation to charity is the heart of all true evangelization.”
He also lamented that our “age, regrettably is particularly susceptible to the temptation toward selfishness which always lurks within the human heart…. An excessive desire for possessions prevents human beings from being open to their Creator and to their brothers and sisters.” This Lent, acts of self-giving love shown to those in need must be part of our penance, conversion and renewal, for such acts constitute the solidarity and justice essential for building up the kingdom of God in this world.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Cardinal Sarah: Entrust Yourself to God and His Paternal Mercy

The following comes from Cardinal Robert Sarah, April 9th, 2020; Catholic Register:

This virus acted as a warning. In a matter of weeks, the great illusion of a material world that thought itself all-powerful seems to have collapsed. A few days ago, politicians were talking about growth, pensions, reducing unemployment. They were sure of themselves. And now a virus, a microscopic virus, has brought this world to its knees, a world that looks at itself, that pleases itself, drunk with self-satisfaction because it thought it was invulnerable. The current crisis is a parable. It has revealed how all we do and are invited to believe was inconsistent, fragile and empty. We were told: you can consume without limits! But the economy has collapsed and the stock markets are crashing. Bankruptcies are everywhere. We were promised to push the limits of human nature ever further by a triumphant science. We were told about artificial procreation, surrogate motherhood, transhumanism, enhanced humanity. We boasted of being a man of synthesis and a humanity that biotechnologies would make invincible and immortal. But here we are in a panic, confined by a virus about which we know almost nothing. Epidemic was an outdated, medieval word. It suddenly became our everyday life. I believe this epidemic has dispelled the smoke of illusion. The so-called all-powerful man appears in his raw reality. There he is naked. His weakness and vulnerability are glaring. Being confined to our homes will hopefully allow us to turn our attention back to the essentials, to rediscover the importance of our relationship with God, and thus the centrality of prayer in human existence. And, in the awareness of our fragility, to entrust ourselves to God and to his paternal mercy. 


Sunday, April 12, 2020

An Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom

An Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom:

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival! Is there anyone who is a grateful servant? Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages! If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward; if any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast! And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss. And if any delayed until the ninth hour, let him not hesitate; but let him come too. And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to him that toiled from the first. To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows. He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor. The deed He honors and the intention He commends.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord! First and last alike receive your reward; rich and poor, rejoice together! Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is richly laden! Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith. Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of Our Saviour has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it. He destroyed Hades when He descended into it. He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh. Isaiah foretold this when he said, “You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with. It was in an uproar because it is mocked. It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed. It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated. It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive. Hell took a body, and discovered God. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.

O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated! Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down! Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is Risen, and life is liberated! Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!