Monday, 29 October 2018

All Soul's Day November 2

Souls in Purgatory

The Holy Souls in Purgatory
Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed 
(All Souls) November 2

The following excerpt is from Chapter 8 of My Catholic Faith! :

As we celebrate the Commemoration of All Souls, let’s reflect upon our Church teaching on Purgatory:

The Church Suffering:  

Purgatory is an often misunderstood doctrine of our Church.  What is Purgatory? Is it the place we have to go to be punished for our sins?  Is it God’s way of getting us back for the wrong we’ve done?  Is it the result of God’s anger?  None of these questions really answer the question of Purgatory.  Purgatory is nothing other than the burning and purifying love of our God in our lives!

When someone dies in God’s grace 
they are most likely not 100% converted 
and perfect in every way.  

Even the greatest of saints most often would have some imperfection left in their lives.  Purgatory is nothing other than that final purification of all remaining  attachment to sin in our lives.  

By analogy, imagine that you had a cup of 100% pure water, pure H2O.  This cup will represent Heaven.  Now imagine that you want to add to that cup of water but all you have is water that is 99% pure.  

This will represent the holy person who dies with just some slight attachments to sin.  If you add that water to your cup then the cup will now have at least some impurities in the water as it mixes together.  The problem is that Heaven (the original cup of 100% H2O) cannot contain any impurities.  

Heaven, in this case, 
cannot have even 
the slightest attachment to sin in it.  

Therefore, if this new water (the 99% pure water) is to be added to the cup it must first be purified even of the last 1% of impurities (attachments to sin).  This is ideally done while we are on Earth.  This is the process of getting holy.  But if we dies with any attachment, then we simply say that the process of entering into the final and full vision of God in Heaven will purify us of any remaining attachment to sin.  

All may already be forgiven, 
but we may not have detached 
from those things forgiven.  

Purgatory is the process, after death, 
of burning out the last of our attachments 
so that we can enter Heaven 100% 
freed of everything to do with sin.  

If, for example, we still have a bad habit of being rude, or sarcastic, even those tendencies and habits must be purged. 

How does this happen?  We do not know.  We only know it does.  But we also know it’s the result of God’s infinite love that frees us of these attachments.  

It is painful?  Most likely.  But it’s painful in the sense that letting go of any disordered attachment is painful.  It’s hard to break a bad habit.  It’s even painful in the process.  

But the end result of true freedom is worth any pain we may have experienced.  

So, yes, Purgatory is painful.  But it’s a sort of sweet pain that we need and it produces the end result of a person 100% in union with God!

Now since  we are talking about the Communion of Saints, we also want to make sense to understand that those going through this final purification are still in communion with God, with those members of the Church on Earth, and with those in Heaven.  

For example, we are called to pray for those in Purgatory.  Our prayers are effective.  God uses those prayers, which are acts of our love, as instruments of His grace of purification. He allows us and invites us to participate in their final purification by our prayers and sacrifices.  

This forges a bond of union with them.  And no doubt the saints in Heaven especially offer prayers for those in this final purification as they await full communion with them in Heaven.  

It’s a glorious thought and a joy to see how God has orchestrated this entire process for the ultimate purpose of the holy communion to which we are called!

Lord, I pray for those souls going through their final purification in Purgatory. 

Please pour forth Your Mercy upon them so that they may be freed of all attachment to sin and, thus, be prepared to see You face to face.  

Jesus, I trust in You.

taken from the book, Daily Reflections for Ordinary Time: Weeks 18-34 by John Paul Thomas

Prayers for the Souls in Purgatory

No one can enter into Heaven without having first been perfectly purified.  Every one of our words, actions, and omissions have eternal consequences.  

Praying for the souls in Purgatory is a work of mercy. 

YouTube video:  

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen

O Lord, who art ever merciful and bounteous with Thy gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligences, but be mindful of Thy loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfill their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold Thee face to face in Thy glory. May they soon be united with Thee and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: 

"Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

All Saints Day! November 1

All Saints

All Saints Day!
Solemnity of All Saints, November 1

Today we honor those holy men and women who have gone before us in faith and have done so in a glorious way.  As we honor these great champions of faith, let’s reflect upon who they are and what role they continue to play in the life of the Church.  The following excerpt is from Chapter 8 of My Catholic Faith!:

The Church Triumphant: Those have gone before us and now share in the glories of Heaven, in the Beatific Vision, are not gone.  Sure, we do not see them and we cannot necessarily hear them speak to us in the physical way they did while on Earth.  But they are not gone at all.  St. Therese of Lisieux said it best when she said, “I want to spend my Heaven doing good on Earth.”

The saints in Heaven are in full union with God and make up the Communion of Saints in Heaven, the Church Triumphant!  What’s important to note, however, is that even though they are enjoying their eternal reward, they are still very much concerned about us.

The saints in Heaven are entrusted with the important task of intercession.  Sure, God already knows all our needs and He could ask us to go directly to Him in our prayers.  But the truth is that God wants to use the intercession, and therefore, the mediation of the saints in our lives.  He uses them to bring our prayers to Him and, in return, to bring His grace to us.  They become powerful intercessors for us and participators in God’s divine action in the world.

Why is this the case?  Again, why doesn’t God just choose to deal with us directly rather than go  through intermediaries?  Because God wants all of us to share in His good work and to participate in His divine plan.  It would be like a dad who buys a nice necklace for his wife.  He shows it to his young children and they are excited about this gift.  The mom comes in and the dad asks the children to bring the gift to her.  Now the gift is from her husband but she will most likely thank her children first for their participation in giving this gift to her.  The father wanted the children to be part of this giving and the mother wanted to make the children a part of her receiving and gratitude.  So it is with God!  God wants the saints to share in the distribution of His manifold gifts.  And this act fills His heart with joy!

The saints also give us a model of holiness.  The charity they live on Earth lives on.  The witness of their love and sacrifice was not just a onetime act in history.  Rather, charity is living and continues to have an effect for the good.  Therefore, the charity and witness of the saints lives on and affects our lives.  This charity in their lives creates a bond with us, a communion.  It enables us to love them, admire them and want to follow their example.  It is this, coupled with their continuing intercession, that establishes a powerful bond of love and union with us.

Lord, as the saints in Heaven adore You for eternity, 
I beg for their intercession.  
Saints of God, please come to my aide.  
Pray for me and bring to me the grace 
I need to live a holy life in imitation 
of your own lives.  
All saints of God, pray for us.  
Jesus, I Trust in YOU.

From the book – Daily Reflections for Ordinary Time: Weeks 18-34 by John Paul Thomas

I highly recommend this series of books… Reflections for every day on the Roman Catholic scripture readings. You can purchase this book on Amazon book form or ebook.

Litany of the Saints

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, Have Mercy On Us.

Lord, Have Mercy On Us.

Christ, Hear Us.

Christ, Graciously Hear Us.

God, The Father Of Heaven, Have Mercy On Us.

God The Son, Redeemer Of The World, Have Mercy On Us.

God The Holy Ghost, Have Mercy On Us.

Holy Trinity, One God, Have Mercy On Us.

Holy Mary, Pray For Us.

Holy Mother Of God, Pray For Us.

Holy Virgin Of Virgins, Pray For Us.

St. Michael, Pray For Us.

St. Gabriel, Pray For Us.

St. Raphael, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Angels And Archangels, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Orders Of Blessed Spirits, Pray For Us.

St. John The Baptist, Pray For Us. St. Joseph, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Patriarchs And Prophets, Pray For Us.

St. Peter, Pray For Us.

St. Paul, Pray For Us.

St. Andrew, Pray For Us.

St. James, Pray For Us.

St. John, Pray For Us.

St. Thomas, Pray For Us.

St. James, Pray For Us.

St. Philip, Pray For Us.

St. Bartholomew, Pray For Us.

St. Matthew, Pray For Us.

St. Simon, Pray For Us.

St. Thaddeus, Pray For Us.

St. Barnabas, Pray For Us.

St. Luke, Pray For Us.

St. Mark, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Apostles And Evangelist, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Disciples Of Our Lord, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Innocents, Pray For Us.

St. Stephen, Pray For Us.

St. Lawrence, Pray For Us.

St. Vincent, Pray For Us.

Ss. Fabian And Sebastian, Pray For Us.

Ss. John And Paul, Pray For Us.

Ss. Cosmos And Damian, Pray For Us.

Ss. Gervase And Protase, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Martyrs, Pray For Us.

St. Sylvester, Pray For Us.

St. Gregory, Pray For Us.

St. Ambrose, Pray For Us.

St. Augustine, Pray For Us.

St. Jerome, Pray For Us.

St. Martin, Pray For Us.

St. Nicholas, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Bishops And Confessors, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Doctors, Pray For Us.

St. Anthony, Pray For Us.

St. Benedict, Pray For Us.

St. Bernard, Pray For Us.

St. Dominic, Pray For Us.

St. Francis, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Priest And Levites, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Monks And Hermits, Pray For Us.

St. Mary Magdalen, Pray For Us.

St. Agatha, Pray For Us.

St. Lucy, Pray For Us.

St. Agnes, Pray For Us.

St. Cecilia, Pray For Us.

St. Catherine, Pray For Us.

St. Anastasia, Pray For Us.

All Ye Holy Virgins And Widows, Pray For Us.

All Ye Men And Women, Saints Of God, Make Intercession For Us.

Be Merciful, Spare Us, O Lord!

Be Merciful, Graciously Hear Us, O Lord!

From All Evil, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From All Sin, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From Thy Wrath, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From A Sudden And Unprovided Death, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From The Deceits Of The Devil, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From Anger, Hatred, And All Ill Will, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From The Spirit Of Fornication, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From Lightning And Tempest, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From The Scourge Of Earthquake, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From Pestilence, Famine, And War, O Lord, Deliver Us.

From Everlasting Death, O Lord, Deliver Us.

Through The Mystery Of Thy Holy Incarnation, O Lord, Deliver Us.

Through Thy Coming, O Lord, Deliver Us.

Through Thy Nativity, O Lord, Deliver Us.

Through Thy Baptism And Holy Fasting, O Lord, Deliver Us.

Through Thy Cross And Passion, O Lord, Deliver Us.

Through Thy Death And Burial, O Lord, Deliver Us.

Through Thy Holy Resurrection, O Lord, Deliver Us.

Through Thine Admirable Ascension, O Lord, Deliver Us.

Through The Coming Of The Holy Ghost, The Paraclete, O Lord, Deliver Us.

In The Day Of Judgment, We Sinners Beseech Thee, Hear Us.

That Thou Wouldst Spare Us, We Beseech Thee, Hear Us.

That Thou Wouldst Pardon Us, We Beseech Thee, Hear Us.

That Thou Wouldst Vouchsafe To Bring Us To True Penance, We Beseech Thee Hear Us.

That Thou Wouldst Vouchsafe To Govern And 

Preserve Thy Holy Church.... We Beseech Thee, Hear Us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve our Apostolic Prelate and all Ecclesiastical Orders in Holy Religion. We beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of Thy Holy church, we beseech thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouch safe to give peace and true concord to christian kings and princes, we beseech thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant peace and unity to all Christian people, we beseech thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring back to the unity of the church all those who have strayed away, and lead to the light of the gospel all unbelievers, we beseech thee, hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us Thy holy service, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires, we beseech thee, hear us.

That thou wouldst render eternal blessings to all our benefactors, we beseech thee, hear us.

That thou wouldst deliver our souls and those of our brethren, relative, and benefactors from eternal damnation, we beseech thee, hear us.

That thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth, we beseech thee, hear us.

That thou wouldst vouchsafe to give eternal rest to all the faithful departed, we beseech thee, hear us.

That thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to hear us, we beseech thee, hear us.

Son of God, we beseech thee, hear us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.......

Christ, graciously hear us.......

Lord, have mercy on us.......

Christ, have mercy on us.......

Lord, have mercy on us.......

Our Father, etc, (in secret.)

V- and lead us not into temptation.
R- but deliver us from evil.

 YouTube video on Litany of the Saints 

Psalm 69

Incline unto my aid, O God.

O Lord, make haste to help me.

Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul.

Let them be turned backward and blush for shame that desire evils to me.

Let them be presently turned away blushing for shame that say to me, "Tis well, 'tis well."

Let all that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; and let such as love Thy salvation say always, The Lord be magnified. But I am needy and poor: O God, help me.

Thou art my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, make no delay.

Glory Be To The Father, etc.

V- Save Thy servants.

R- Trusting in Thee, O my God.

V- Be unto us, O Lord, a tower a strength.

R- From the face of the enemy.

V- Let not the enemy prevail against us.

R- Nor the son of iniquity have power to hurt us.

V- O Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.

R- Neither reward us according to our iniquities.

V- Let us pray for our chief bishop: (name)

R- The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

V- Let us pray for our benefactors.

R- Vouchsafe, O Lord, for Thy name's sake, to reward with eternal life all those who do us good.

V- Let us pray for the faithful departed.

R- Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

V- May they rest in peace.

R- Amen.

V- For our absent brethren.

R- Save Thy servants who hope in Thee, O my God.

V- Send them help, O Lord, from Thy holy place.

R- And from Sion protect them.

V- O Lord, hear my prayer.

R- And let my cry come unto Thee.


O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, receive our petition, that we and all Thy servants who are bound by the chain of sin, may, by the compassion of Thy goodness, mercifully be absolved.

Hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy supplicants, and pardon the sins of those who confess to Thee, that, in Thy bounty, Thou mayest grant us both pardon and peace.

In Thy clemency, O Lord, show Thy unspeakable mercy to us, that so Thou mayest both loose us from all our sins and deliver us from the punishments which we deserve for them.

O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people, who make supplication to Thee, and turn away the scourges of Thine anger, which we deserve for our sins.

O Almighty and Eternal God, have mercy on Thy servant (N)., our chief bishop, and direct him according to Thy clemency, in the way of everlasting salvation, that, by Thy grace, he may desire the things that are pleasing to Thee, and perform them with all his strength.

O God, from Whom are all holy desires, righteous counsels, and just works, give to Thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that, our hearts being disposed to keep Thy commandments, and the fear of enemies taken away, the times, by Thy protection, may be peaceful.

Inflame, O Lord, our reins and hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit; that we may serve Thee with a chaste body, and please Thee with a clean heart.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired.

Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations, and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance; that every prayer and work of ours may always begin from Thee, and through Thee be happily ended.

O almighty and eternal God, Who hast dominion over the living and the dead, and art merciful to all who Thou foreknowest will be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee that they for whom we have purposed to offer our prayers, whether this present world still detains them in the flesh or the next world hath already received them divested of their bodies, may, by the intercession of Thy saints and the clemency of Thy goodness, obtain pardon and full remission of all their sins. 

Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

R- Amen.

V- O Lord, hear my prayer.

R- And let my cry come unto Thee.

V- May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us.

R- Amen.

V- And my the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

R- Amen.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Our Lady of the Rosary October 7

Our Lady of the Rosary

October 7

Battle of Lepanto
This commemorative feast was established by Saint Pius V on the anniversary of the naval victory won by the Christian fleet at Lepanto (against Muslim invaders).  The victory was attributed to the help of the Holy Mother of God whose aid was invoked through praying the rosary.  

The celebration of this day invites all to meditate upon the mysteries of Christ, following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was so singularly associated with the incarnation, passion and glorious resurrection of the Son of God.

We should meditate on the 
Mysteries of Salvation

From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot

St. Bernard, abbot
The child to be born of you will be called holy, the Son of God, the fountain of wisdom, the Word of the Father on high.  Through you, blessed Virgin, this Word will become flesh, so that even though as He says: I am in the Father and the Father is in me, it is still true for Him to say: “I came forth from God and I am here.”

In the beginning was the Word. The spring was gushing forth, yet still within Himself.  Indeed, the Word was with God, truly dwelling in inaccessible light.  And the Lord said from the beginning: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction.  Yet your thought was locked within you, and whatever you thought, we did not know; for who knew the mind of the Lord, or who was His counselor?

And so the idea of peace came down to do the work of peace: The Word was made flesh and even now dwells among us.  It is by faith that He dwells in our hearts, in our memory, our intellect and penetrates even into our imagination.  What concept could man have of God if He did not first fashion an image of him in His Heart?  By nature incomprehensible and inaccessible, He was invisible and unthinkable, but now He wished to be understood, to be seen and thought of.

But how, you ask was this done?  He lay in a manger and rested on a virgin’s breast, preached on a mountain, and spent the night in prayer.  He hung on a cross, grew pale in death, and roamed free among the dead and ruled over those in hell.  He rose again on the third day, and showed the apostles the wounds of the nails, the sign of victory; and finally in their presence He ascended to the sanctuary of heaven.

How can we not contemplate this story in truth piety and holiness?  Whatever of all this I consider, it is God I am considering; in all this He is my God.  I have said it is wise to meditate on these truths, and I have thought it right to recall the abundant sweetness, given by the fruits of this priestly root; and Mary drawing abundantly from heaven, has caused this sweetness to overflow for us.

taken from Liturgy of the Hours Weeks 18-34

Saint Cajetan August 7

Saint Cajetan, priest
St. Cajetan, priest

August 7

From a letter by Saint Cajetan, priest

Christ dwells in our hearts by Faith

I am a sinner and do not think much of myself; I have recourse to the greatest servants of the Lord, that they may pray for you to the blessed Christ and His Mother.  

But do not forget that all the saints 
can not endear you to Christ 
as much as you can yourself.  

It is entirely up to you.  
If you want Christ to love you 
and help you, 
you must love Him 
and always make an effort to please Him. 

Do not waver in your purpose, because even if all the saints and every single creature should abandon you, He will always be near you, whatever your needs.

You know, of course, that we are pilgrims in this world, on a journey to our true home in heaven.  The man who becomes proud loses his way and rushes to death.  While living here we should strive to gain eternal life.  Yet or ourselves we cannot achieve this since we have lost it through sin; but Jesus Christ ha recovered it for us.  For this reason we must always be grateful to Him and love Him.  We must always obey Him, and as far as possible remain united with Him.

He has offered Himself 
to be our food.  
How wretched is the man 
who knows nothing of such a gift!  

To us has been given the opportunity 
to receive Christ, son of the Virgin Mary, 
and we refuse Him.  
Woe to the man who does 
not care enough to receive Him. 

My daughter, I want what is good for myself; I beg the same for you.  Now there is no other way to bring this about than to ask the Virgin Mary constantly to come to you with her glorious Son.  Be bold!  Ask her to give you her Son, Who in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar is truly food of your soul.  Readily will she give HI to you, still more readily will He come to you, giving you the strength to make your way fearlessly through this dark wood.  In it large numbers of our enemies lie in wait, but they cannot reach us if they see us relying on such powerful help.

Nor, my child, must you receive Jesus Christ simply as a means to further your own plans; 

I want you to surrender to Him, that He may welcome you and, as your divine Saviour, do to you and in you whatever He wills.  

This is what I want, this is what I beg of you, this, as far as I can, is what I compel you to do.

taken from Liturgy of the Hours Weeks 18-34

Guardian Angels October 2

Guardian Angels

Feast Day October 2

From a Sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot

That they may guard you 
in all of your ways

He has given His angels charge over you to guard you in all of your ways.  Let them thank the Lord for His Mercy; His wonderful works are for the children of men.  Let them give thanks and say among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them.  O Lord, what is man that you have made yourself known to him, or why do you incline your heart to him?  And you do inline your heart to him; you show him your care and your concern.  Finally, you send your only Son and the grace of your Spirit, and promise him a vision of Your countenance.  And so, that nothing in heaven should be wanting in your concern for us, you send those blessed spirits to serve us, assigning them as our guardians and our teachers.

He has given His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways. These words should fill you with respect, inspire devotion and instill confidence; respect for the presence of angels, devotion because of their loving service, and confidence because of their protection.  And so the angels are here, they are at your side, they are with you, present on your behalf.  They are here to protect you and to serve you.  But even if it is God Who has given them this charge, we must nonetheless be grateful to them for the great love with which they obey and come to help us in our great need.

So let us be devoted and grateful to such 
great protectors; 
let us return their love and honor them 
as much as we can 
and should.

  Yet all our love and honor must go to Him, for it is from Him that they receive all that makes them worthy of our love and respect.

We should then, my brothers show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our coheirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father.  We are God’s children although it does not seem so, because we are still but small children under guardians and trustees, and for the present little better than slaves.

Even though we are children and have a long, a very long and dangerous way to go, with such protectors what have we to fear?  They who keep us in our ways cannot be overpowered or let astray, much less lead us astray.  They are loyal, prudent, powerful.  Why then are we afraid?  

We have only to follow them, 
stay close to them, 
and we shall dwell under 
the protection of God’s heaven.

taken from Liturgy of the Hours Week 18-34