Friday, 27 July 2012

How to Pray

The Catholic Doors Ministry presents from their Bible Course

"How do I pray?"
This question is frequently asked to those who minister to the faithful.  To know how to pray, one must understand the meaning of praying.  What does it mean to pray?  The dictionary defines it as addressing God, making a fervent request, beseeching and imploring.  The New Roget's Thesaurus defines praying as invoking, supplicating, communicating with God, worshipping, begging, adjuring and pleading.  It further associates prayer with devotions, services, chapel, entreaty, supplication and petition.  Truly, all of these, plus more, answer the question "How do I pray?"

When a person goes to a florist to buy a flower, he selects the most beautiful flower that he can find, one that emits a pleasant fragrance, one that is blooming, that is rich in colourful petals, that is free of defects, that is appealing to the eyes, etc... Symbolically speaking, when a person presents a prayer petition to God, it is like presenting that most beautiful flower in exchange for a worldly or spiritual favour that is being requested. The greater the beauty of the flower, the greater the likelihood that the petitioner shall obtain the favour that he is seeking from God. If the petitioner gives God a flower that is covered with dirt, has a number of defects and half of the petals are missing, surely this would be an insult to God. God would turn His back to the petitioner and ignore the unworthy prayer request.

 As previously indicated through the flower example, when approaching God, it is necessary to be properly disposed. What follows is a number of desirable qualities that are pleasing to the eyes of God. Having the right disposition improves one's chance of obtaining God's blessings.
The qualities that are necessary in a successful prayer petition are equal to the petals that are found on the flower that is being presented to God. If some of the qualities are missing, it means that during the prayer petition, God will be offered a defective flower.
As a general rule, when it will benefit the spiritual growth of a believer, the Lord God will answer his prayer petition. But again, the believer must be properly disposed. In other cases, the grace of God may touch the heart of individuals before they have achieved such a disposition in order to lead them towards a proper disposition. The timing for achieving the right disposition depends entirely on how the grace of God works in each individual person.

The first petal which is absolutely necessary, is a conversion of heart [Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2608] prior to approaching God in prayer. The individual must have a sincere desire to change his life from the worldly ways to the spiritual ways.

There is a need to always approach God in a humble manner. A prayer said in humility is worth more than all the boastful prayers. When appropriate, one should kneel in an act of reverence, recognizing his sinfulness. Humility adds another petal to the flower.

When praying, do so with the simplicity of a child. Express simple words that come from the heart. Jesus said, "When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words." [C.C.C. # 2608; Mt. 6:7] A few sincere words from the heart are more pleasing to God than a large number of repeated devotions, prayers or words.

A common error of many who petition God is to ask for worldly things, fame, love, pleasures and wealth. Their prayer petitions are for worldly things, their requests totally ignoring their spiritual needs. A balanced prayer includes both, one's spiritual and worldly needs. "What will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?" [Mt. 16:26] One day, all physical gains shall come to an end; spiritual gains shall last an eternity. A prayer petition that includes spiritual needs adds another petal to the flower that is presented to God.

When you pray for a need that relates to your spiritual growth, such as a holy marriage, present your petition without ceasing. Persevere, not just for a day, but for weeks and for months until such time as you have received what your heart truly desires. "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." [Mt. 7:7-8]

Excerpts from The Catholic Doors Ministry presents from their Bible Course – excellent source of how to pray and over 3459 prayers to discover --

Profound Quotes from the Saints


Ignorance of scripture
 is ignorance of Christ
St. Jerome

Not 100 in the 
United States 
hate the 
Roman Catholic Church, 
but millions hate 
what they mistakenly 
think the 
Roman Catholic 
Church is. 
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen


Those who commit 
these types of scandals
 are guilty of the 
spiritual equivalent 
of murder,
 but I'm here among you 
to prevent something 
far worst for you. 
While those 
who give scandal
 are guilty of the spiritual 
equivalent of murder, 
those who take scandal- 
who allow scandals to destroy faith- 
are guilty of spiritual suicide. 
St. Francis de Sales



The proof of love
 is in the works. 
Where love exists, 
it works great things. 
But when it ceases to act, 
it ceases to exist. 
Pope St. Gregory the Great

Few souls 
what God would accomplish in them 
if they were to 
abandon themselves
unreservedly to Him 
and if they were 
to allow His grace
to mold them accordingly. 
St. Ignatius Loyola


It is better to say one 
Our Father
 fervently and devoutly 
than a thousand 
with no devotion 
and full of distraction. 
St. Edmund

If there be a true way 
that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, 
it is most certainly that 
of suffering, patiently endured. 
St. Colette

At the end of our life, 
we shall all be judged 
by charity. 
St. John of the Cross

Prayer Defending the Faith--St. Hilary

The Holy Trinity

Impart to us, then,
the meaning of the words of Scripture
and the light to understand it,
with reverence for the doctrine
and confidence in its truth.  

Grant that we may express  what we believe. 
Through  the prophets  and apostles
and what we know about you,
the one God the Father,
and the one Lord Jesus Christ
and the one Holy Spirit.  

May we have the grace,
in the face of  heretics  who deny you,
to honor you as God,
who is not alone,
and to proclaim this  as  truth.
Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor

Taken from the Liturgy of the Hours, According to the Roman Rite, Ordinary Time, Catholic Book Publishing Corp.  New York, 1975

Prayer -- Consecration to Mary, the Mother of God

Consecration to Mary, the Mother of God 
O Mary, Most Holy and Immaculate Mother of God,
of Jesus, our Victim-High Priest,
True Prophet, and Sovereign King,
I come to you as the Mediatrix of All Grace,
for that is truly what you are.

O Fountain of allGrace!
O Fairest of Roses!
Most Pure Spring!

Unsullied Channel of all of God's Grace!
Receive me, Most Holy Mother!

Present me and my every need to the Most Holy Trinity!
That having been made pure and holy
in His Sight through your hands,
they may return to me, through you,
as graces and blessing.

I give and consecrate myself to you,
Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace,
that Jesus, Our One True Mediator,
Who is the King of All Nations,
may Reign in every heart.


Popes of the Catholic Church part 1

What is a pope?

Papal Seal
The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus personally appointed Peter as leader of the Church and in its dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles. 

The pope (from Latin: papa; from Greek: πάππας (pappas), a child's word for father) is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle.

The writings of the Church Father Irenaeus who wrote around AD 180 reflect a belief that Peter "founded and organised" the Church at Rome. Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter's presence in the early Roman Church. Clement of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians, c. 96 about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the "struggles in our time" and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, "first, the greatest and most just columns", the "good apostles" Peter and Paul. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote shortly after Clement and in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did.  Given this and other evidence, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero.

The office of the pope is known as the papacy. His ecclesiastical jurisdiction is often called the "Holy See" (Sancta Sedes in Latin), or the "Apostolic See" based upon the Church tradition that the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul were martyred in Rome. The pope is also head of state of Vatican City, a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within the city of Rome.

The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and had a prominent part in human history. The Popes in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity and the resolution of various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe, often acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs, and averting several wars.  Currently, in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are dedicated to ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, charitable work, and the defense of human rights.

Popes have gradually been forced to give up temporal power, and papal authority is now almost exclusively restricted to matters of religion. Over the centuries, papal claims of spiritual authority have been ever more firmly expressed, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally "from the chair (of St. Peter)"—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals. The first explicit such occasion (after the proclamation), and so far the last, was the definition of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary in 1950.

The current office-holder is Pope Benedict XVI, who was elected in a papal conclave on 19 April 2005.

As of this date (July 2012) there have been 266 popes that have true successors of St. Peter.

The List of the True Succession Popes

St. Peter, the Apostle
1.     St. Peter (32-67) 
    Apostle of Jesus 
The proof that Christ constituted St. Peter head of His Church is found in the two 
famous Petrine texts, Matthew 16:17-19, and John 21:15-17.

Matthew 16:17-19

In Matthew 16:17-19, the office is solemnly promised to the Apostle. In response to his profession of faith in the Divine Nature of his Master, Christ thus addresses him:

"Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock 
I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

 John 21:15-17

The promise made by Christ in Matthew 16:16-19, received its fulfilment after the Resurrection in the scene described in John 21. Here the Lord, when about to leave the earth, places the whole flock — the sheep and the lambs alike — in the charge of the Apostle. The term employed in 21:16, "Be the shepherd [poimaine] of my sheep" indicates that his task is not merely to feed but to rule. It is the same word as is used in Psalm 2:9 (Septuagint): "Thou shalt rule [poimaneis] them with a rod of iron".

The scene stands in striking parallelism with that of Matthew 16. As there the reward was given to Peter after a profession of faith which singled him out from the other eleven, so here Christ demands a similar protestation, but this time of a yet higher virtue: "Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these?"  Here, too, as there, He bestows on the Apostle an office which in its highest sense is proper to Himself alone. 

There Christ had promised to make Peter the foundation-stone of the house of God: here He makes him the shepherd of God's flock to take the place of Himself, the Good Shepherd.

Excerpts taken from
St. Linus, second Pope (67-76)

2.            St. Linus (67-76) 
3.            St. Anacletus (Cletus) 
4.           St. Clement I (88-97) 
5.           St. Evaristus (97-105) 
6.           St. Alexander I 
7.           St. Sixtus I (115-125) 
              Also called Xystus I 
8.           St. Telesphorus (125-136) 
St. Pius I (140-155)
9.           St. Hyginus          
10.                   St. Pius I (140-155) 
11.                   St. Anicetus 
12.                   St. Soter (166-175) 
13.                   St. Eleutherius 
14.                   St. Victor I (189-199) 
15.                   St. Zephyrinus (199-217) 

16.                   St. Callistus I (217-22) Callistus   
                      Opposed by St. Hippolytus, antipope (217-236)

17.                   St. Urban I (222-30) Opposed by St. Hippolytus, antipope (217-236)
18.                   St. Pontain (230-35) Opposed by St. Hippolytus, antipope (217-236)
19.                   St. Anterus (235-36) Opposed by St. Hippolytus, antipope (217-236)
20.                   St. Fabian (236-50) 
21.                   St. Cornelius (251-53) Opposed by Novatian, antipope (251) 
22.                   St. Lucius I (253-54) 
23.                   St. Stephen I (254-257) 
St. Sixtus II (257-258)
24.                   St. Sixtus II 
25.                   St. Dionysius 
26.                   St. Felix I 
27.                   St. Eutychian 
28.                   St. Caius (283-296) 
              Also called Gaius 
29.                   St. Marcellinus (296-304) 
30.                   St. Marcellus I (308-309) 
31.                   St. Eusebius (309 or 310) 
32.                   .St. Miltiades (311-14) 
St. Julius I (337-52)
33.                   St. Sylvester I (314-35) 
34.                   St. Marcus (336) 
35.                   St. Julius I (337-52) 
36.                   Liberius (352-66)  
            Opposed by Felix II, antipope (355-365) 
37.                   St. Damasus I (366-83)   
          Opposed by Ursicinus, antipope (366-367)
38.                   St. Siricius (384-99) 
39.                   St. Anastasius I 
40.                   St. Innocent I (401-17) 
41.                   St. Zosimus (417-18) 
42.                   St. Boniface I (418-22) Opposed by Eulalius, antipope (418-419) 
43.                  St. Celestine I (422-32) 
St. Leo I (the Great) (440-61)
44.                  St. Sixtus III 
45.                  St. Leo I (the Great)  
46.                  St. Hilarius (461-68) 
47.                  St. Simplicius 
48.                  St. Felix III (II) 
49.                  St. Gelasius I 
50.                  Anastasius II (496-98) 
51.                  St. Symmachus (498-514) Opposed by Laurentius, antipope (498-501)
52.                   St. Hormisdas (514-23)
53.                   St. John I (523-26) 
54.                  St. Felix IV (III) (526-30) 
55.                  Boniface II (530-32) Opposed by Dioscorus, antipope (530) 
56.                 John II (533-35) 
57.                  St. Agapetus I (535-36) or Agapitus I 
58.                St. Silverius (536-37) 
59.                 Vigilius (537-55) 
60.                   Pelagius I (556-61) 
61.                   John III (561-74) 
Pelagius II (579-90)
62.                   Benedict I (575-79) 
63.                   Pelagius II (579-90) 
64.                  St. Gregory I (the Great) 
65.                  Sabinian (604-606) 
66.                  Boniface III (607) 
67.                   St. Boniface IV (608-15) 
68.                   St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (615-18) 
69.                   Boniface V (619-25) 
70.                   Honorius I (625-38) 
71.                   Severinus (640) 
St. Martin I (649-55)
72.                   John IV (640-42) 
73.                   Theodore I (642-49) 
74.                   St. Martin I (649-55) 
75.                   St. Eugene I (655-57) 
76.                   St. Vitalian (657-72) 
77.                   Adeodatus (II) 
78.                   Donus (676-78) 
79.                   St. Agatho (678-81) 
80.                   St. Leo II (682-83) 
81.                   St. Benedict II (684-85) 
82.                   John V (685-86) 
83.                   Conon (686-87) 
84.                   St. Sergius I (687-701) 
               Opposed by Theodore and Paschal, antipopes (687)
85.                   John VI (701-05) 
86.                   John VII (705-07) 
Constantine (708-15)
87.                   Sisinnius (708) 
88.                   Constantine 
89.                   St. Gregory II 
90.                   St. Gregory III 
91.                   St. Zachary 
92.                   Stephen II (752)  
                      Because he died before being consecrated, many authoritative lists omit him
93.                   Stephen III (752-57) 
94.                   St. Paul I (757-67) 
95.                   Stephen IV (767-72)  
                    Opposed by Constantine II (767) and Philip (768),  antipopes (767)
96.                   Adrian I (772-95) 
St. Leo III (795-816)
97.                   St. Leo III (795-816) 
98.                   Stephen V (816-17) 
99.                   St. Paschal I (817-24) 
100.             Eugene II (824-27) 
101.             Valentine (827) 
102.            Gregory IV (827-44) 
103.             Sergius II (844-47)                    Opposed by John, antipope (855) 
104.             St. Leo IV (847-55) 
105.            105.Benedict III (855-58) Opposed by Anastasius, antipope (855) 
106.             St. Nicholas I (the Great) (858-67) 
107.             Adrian II (867-72) 
108.             John VIII (872-82) 
109.             Marinus I (882-84) 
110.             St. Adrian III (884-85) 
Boniface VI (896)
111.             Stephen VI (885-91) 
112.             Formosus (891-96) 
113.             Boniface VI (896) 
114.             Stephen VII (896-97) 
115.             Romanus (897) 
116.             Theodore II (897) 
117.             John IX (898-900) 
118.             Benedict IV (900-03) 
119.             Leo V (903) Opposed by Christopher, antipope (903-904) 
120.             Sergius III (904-11) 
121.             Anastasius III (911-13) 
122.             Lando (913-14) 
123.             John X (914-28) 
124.             Leo VI (928) 
125.             Stephen VIII (929-31) 
126.             John XI (931-35) 
127.             Leo VII (936-39) 
128.             Stephen IX (939-42) 
129.             Marinus II (942-46) 
130.             Agapetus II (946-55) 
Benedict V (964)
131.             John XII (955-63) 
132.             Leo VIII (963-64) 
133.             Benedict V (964) 
134.             John XIII (965-72) 
135.             Benedict VI (973-74) 
136.             Benedict VII (974-83)              Opposed by Boniface VII,  
                       antipope (974; 984-985)
137.             John XIV (983-84) Opposed by Boniface VII, antipope (974; 984-985)
138.             John XV (985-96) 
139.             Gregory V (996-99) Opposed by John XVI, antipope (997-998) 
140.             Sylvester II (999-1003) 
141.             John XVII (1003) 
142.             John XVIII (1003-09) 
143.             Sergius IV (1009-12) 
144.             Benedict VIII (1012-24) Opposed by Gregory, antipope (1012)
145.             John XIX (1024-32) 
146.             Benedict IX (1032-45) 
              He appears on this list three separate times, because he was twice deposed and     
147.             Sylvester III (1045) Considered by some to be an antipope??
Benedict IX (1032-45)(1045)(1047-48)
148.             Benedict IX 
149.             Gregory VI 
150.             Clement II 
151.             Benedict IX 
152.              Damasus II 
153.             St. Leo IX (1049-54) 
154.             Victor II (1055-57) 
155.             Stephen X (1057-58) 
156.             Nicholas II (1058-61) Opposed by Benedict X, antipope (1058) 
157.             Alexander II (1061-73) Opposed by Honorius II, antipope (1061-1072)
158.             St. Gregory VII (1073-85) 
               Opposed by Guibert ("Clement III"),  antipope (1080-1100)
159.             Blessed Victor III (1086-87) 
             Also opposed by Guibert  ("Clement III"), antipope (1080-1100)
160.             Blessed Urban II (1088-99)
             Also opposed by Guibert  ("Clement III"),   antipope (1080-1100)
161.             Paschal II (1099-1118) 
             Opposed by Theodoric (1100), Aleric (1102) and Maginulf ("Sylvester IV",          
                      1105-1111), antipopes (1100)

162.             Gelasius II (1118-19)  
                    Opposed by Burdin ("Gregory VIII"), antipope (1118)
163.             Callistus II (1119-24) 
164.             Honorius II (1124-30) Opposed by Celestine II, antipope (1124) 
165.             Innocent II (1130-43)  
                    Opposed by Anacletus II (1130-1138) and Gregory Conti  ("Victor IV") (1138),  
                     antipopes (1138)
166.             Celestine II (1143-44) 
167.             Lucius II (1144-45) 
168.             Blessed Eugene III (1145-53) 
Adrian IV (1154-59)
169.             Anastasius IV 
170.             Adrian IV (1154-59) 
171.            Alexander III (1159-81)  
       Opposed by Octavius ("Victor IV")(1159-1164), Pascal III  (1165-1168), 
       Callistus III   (1168-1177) and Innocent III (1178-1180), antipopes
172.              Lucius III 
173.            Urban III (1185-87) 
174.            Gregory VIII (1187) 
175.            Clement III (1187-91) 
176.            Celestine III (1191-98) 
177.            Innocent III (1198-1216) 
178.            Honorius III (1216-27) 
179.            Gregory IX (1227-41) 
180.            Celestine IV (1241) 
181.            Innocent IV (1243-54) 
182.            Alexander IV (1254-61) 
183.            Urban IV (1261-64) 
184.            Clement IV (1265-68) 
185.            Blessed Gregory X (1271-76) 
186.            Blessed Innocent V (1276) 
187.            Adrian V (1276) 
188.            John XXI (1276-77) 
189.            Nicholas III (1277-80) 
190.            Martin IV (1281-85) 
191.            Honorius IV (1285-87) 
Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
192.            Nicholas IV (1288-92) 
193.            St. Celestine V (1294) 
194.            Boniface VIII 
195.            Blessed Benedict XI 
196.            Clement V (1305-14) 
197.            John XXII (1316-34) Opposed by Nicholas V, antipope (1328-1330) 
198.            Benedict XII (1334-42) 
199.            Clement VI (1342-52) 
200.            Innocent VI (1352-62) 
201.            Blessed Urban V (1362-70) 
202.            Gregory XI (1370-78) 
203.            Urban VI (1378-89) 
            Opposed by Robert of Geneva ("Clement VII"), antipope (1378-1394)
204.            Boniface IX (1389-1404)  
                  Opposed by Robert of Geneva ("Clement VII") (1378-1394),   
                     Pedro de Luna ("Benedict XIII") (1394-1417) and Baldassare Cossa 
                         ("John  XXIII") (1400-1415), antipopes
205.            Innocent VII (1404-06)  
                  Opposed by Pedro de Luna ("Benedict XIII") (1394-1417) and  
                Baldassare Cossa  ("John XXIII") (1400-1415), antipopes
206.            Gregory XII (1406-15)  
                  Opposed by Pedro de Luna  ("Benedict XIII")  (1394-1417), Baldassare Cossa
                    ("John XXIII") (1400-1415), and Pietro Philarghi ("Alexander V") (1409-1410),                   antipopes
207.            Martin V (1417-31) 
208.            Eugene IV (1431-47)  
                       Opposed by Amadeus of Savoy ("Felix V"), antipope  (1439-1449)
Callistus III (1455-58) Coin
209.            Nicholas V 
210.            Callistus III 
211.            Pius II 
212.            Paul II 
213.            Sixtus IV (1471-84) 
214.            Innocent VIII (1484-92) 
215.            Alexander VI (1492-1503) 
Leo X (1513-21)
216.            Pius III (1503) 
217.            Julius II (1503-13) 
218.            Leo X (1513-21) 
219.            Adrian VI 
220.            Clement VII 
221.            Paul III (1534-49) 
222.            Julius III (1550-55) 
223.            Marcellus II (1555) 
224.            Paul IV (1555-59) 
225.            Pius IV (1559-65) 
226.            St. Pius V (1566-72) 
227.            Gregory XIII (1572-85) 
228.            Sixtus V (1585-90) 
229.            Urban VII (1590) 
230.            Gregory XIV (1590-91) 
231.            Innocent IX (1591) 
232.            Clement VIII (1592-1605) 
Paul V (1605-21)
233.            Leo XI (1605) 
234.            Paul V (1605-21) 
235.            Gregory XV (1621-23) 
236.            Urban VIII (1623-44) 
237.            Innocent X (1644-55) 
238.            Alexander VII (1655-67) 
239.            Clement IX (1667-69) 
240.            Clement X (1670-76) 
241.            Blessed Innocent XI (1676-89) 
242.            Alexander VIII (1689-91) 
243.            Innocent XII (1691-1700) 
244.            Clement XI (1700-21) 
245.            Innocent XIII (1721-24) 
246.            Benedict XIII (1724-30) 
247.            Clement XII (1730-40) 
248.            Benedict XIV (1740-58) 
249.            Clement XIII (1758-69) 
250.            Clement XIV (1769-74) 
Blessed Pius IX (1846-78)
251.            Pius VI (1775-99) 
252.            Pius VII (1800-23) 

 253.            Leo XII (1823-29) 
254.            Pius VIII (1829-30) 
255.            Gregory XVI (1831-46) 
256.            Blessed Pius IX 
             He was the longest serving 
              Pope in history
257.            Leo XIII 
258.            St. Pius X (1903-14)
259.            Benedict XV 
260.            Pius XI (1922-39) 
261.            Pius XII (1939-58) 
262.            Blessed John XXIII (1958-63) 
Blessed John Paul II (1978-2005)
263.            Paul VI (1963-78) 
264.            John Paul I (1978) 
265.            Blessed John Paul II 
                He was the second-longest
                serving Pope in history 
                the first non-Italian since 

266.            Benedict XVI 
Benedict XVI (2005------) Current Pope