Friday, September 19, 2008

Prayer and Tips for the Unemployed

Help Wanted
On Friday's Easter of Mostly Prayers asks us to pray for the unemployed. Please visit her blog for the prayer.

My friend "Fly" recently shared the following email with me. I'm sorry but no source was cited:
When Your Job Says Buh-Bye

If you find yourself unemployed, it need not be all doom and gloom. Often a good opportunity comes out of a seemingly bad situation.

First, acknowledge your emotions, and then set them aside so your feelings do not impede your job-hunting. Next, gather and activate your benefits. You may have unemployment benefits, a lump sum pay out from your ex-employer, a severance package and options regarding health insurance.

You may be tempted to pay off debt with your severance check, Contingency Fund or cash you have or expect to receive. Do not do this. Instead, hoard cash. During your time of unemployment, pay only the minimums required. If you've been prepaying your mortgage principal, pull back to only the amount required. You do not know how long this season of unemployment will last.

If you are tempted to get a loan or new credit card to replace your next paycheck, do this: Get ten sharp toothpicks. Now, cram one under each of your fingernails. What you are feeling is far less painful than dealing with new debt at this time.

Put the brakes on your spending. If it's not essential, forget it. Tell your family
how and why things will be changing for a while. Rally the troops; describe this exciting adventure; outline ways everyone can participate in this time of ransition. Children, however, do not need to carry adult-sized concerns, so be careful how much information you share.

Technically, you are unemployed. Truthfully, though, you have a new job. That person in the mirror is your new boss. Your new job is to find a job!

1. Set work hours. This is not an unscheduled vacation, so give it your full-time attention and effort.

2. Get up early. You're not ready for work until you've showered, dressed, fixed your hair and face, and put on your shoes.

3. Set up a respectable workspace to "go to work." It doesn't have to be fancy and don't spend any money to do this. Get creative with what you have.

4. Dive into the paperwork. Write your new job description and post it at
your "workplace." Update your resume. Go to the library or bookstore and read up on current etiquette regarding standard format, electronic dissemination and so on. Create a list of firms and individuals for distribution. Keep good records for follow-up. Set up files and phone logs. Plan, strategize and set goals. Work as hard for yourself as you did, and will again, for others.

You know lots of people, and those people know lots of people. Let your network know about your job search, your qualifications and how to reach you. You just never know when a friend of a friend will know of a company that is searching for you as diligently as you're looking for a job.

Life is characterized by cycles and seasons. If it feels like you're in a pit of
despair right now, remember this will pass. I've said it before, and I'll say it
again: Tough times don't last but tough people do. It's time to get tough!



PRAYER TO DEFEAT THE WORK OF SATAN

St. Michael

O Divine Eternal Father, in union with your Divine Son and the Holy Spirit, and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg You to destroy the power of your greatest enemy -- the evil spirits. Cast them in to the deepest recesses of hell and chain them there forever! Take possession of Your Kingdom, which You have created and which is rightfully Yours.

Heavenly Father, give us the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I repeat this prayer out of pure love for You with every beat of my heart and with every breath that I take. Amen.

Imprimatur, March 1973, +Richard H. Ackerman
Bishop of Covington

Shared by Sue

Pope to sick: 'Accept death at hour chosen by God'

B16
Pope Benedict XVI urged ailing pilgrims to accept death "at the hour chosen by God," reasserting the Vatican's opposition to euthanasia on Monday at an open-air Mass for the sick.
Article

H/T Sue

Pope warns against laity performing functions of priests

B16
"POPE BENEDICT XVI yesterday spoke out against lay people performing the functions of priests..."
Article

Joey reminded me of the time we attended Benediction lead by a choir member instead of a priest.

H/T Sue

Quote by Mother Angelica

Mother Angelica
"If you're not a thorn in somebody's side,
you aren't doing Christianity right."


Shared by Sue

Padre Pio: A Patron Saint for the Unborn

Padre Pio
The Blessed Mother said to him: “I am entrusting this unborn child to your care and protection.”

by Frank M. Rega, S.F.O.

"While two patron saints are generally invoked for the protection of the unborn, St. Joseph and St. Gerard Majella, neither is specifically assigned by the Church for that cause. St. Gerard is in fact the Patron of Expectant Mothers, and by accommodation becomes a patron for the unborn. St. Joseph has often been proposed as a patron saint of the unborn, because of his role as protector of the Holy Family and patron of the Universal Church. However, St. Padre Pio has a specific claim to this honor, a prerogative that was confirmed by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself.

The story begins in 1905, well before he became famous for his stigmata and other spiritual gifts. At that time he was still a seminarian, known as Brother Pio, and was assigned to the humble friary of St. Elia a’ Pianisi, in southern Italy. After his involvement in an unusual and striking spiritual encounter, Brother Pio immediately wrote everything down and handed it to his spiritual director, Padre Agostino. The note eventually became part of the documentation presented to the Vatican during the process of his canonization over seventy-five years later. Here is what occurred, in Brother Pio’s own words:
Several days ago I had an extraordinary experience. About 11:00 in the evening [of January 18, 1905] Brother Anastasio and I were in the choir. Suddenly I found myself at the same time in the palace of an extremely wealthy family. The master of the house was dying just as his daughter was about to be born.

Then the Blessed Mother appeared and, turning to me, said, “I am entrusting this unborn child to your care and protection. Although she will become a precious jewel, right now she has no form. Shape and polish her. Make her as brilliant as you can, because one day I would like to adorn myself with her.”

I replied, “How can this be possible? I am only a poor seminarian and don’t even know whether I will have the joy and good fortune to become a priest. Even if I do, how will I ever be able to take care of this girl since I will be so far way from here?”

The Blessed Mother admonished me, “Don’t doubt me. She will come to you, but first you will find her in the Basilica of St. Peter’s in Rome.”

After that I found myself back in the choir.
Until now, this note has been considered important primarily because it is the first documented instance of St. Pio’s supernatural gift of bilocation. However, in the light of today’s battle against the abortion holocaust, another aspect of the note takes on added significance. That is, the words of the Blessed Virgin to Brother Pio: “I am entrusting this unborn child to your care and protection.”

A big mahalo to Mr. Frank Rego for sharing this article. You can read the rest of the story here It will be well worth your time.

Two Thoughts

artwork

I thought I would share two thoughts I heard recently, before I forgot them. Since I cannot remember the first one exactly, I cannot quote it.

1. The State did not give you life and the State cannot decide when you die - Fr. Mitch Pacwa. He strictly told his audience to remember that fact.

2. "The one who angers you, controls you"


Purgatory and the Catholic Church



Mahalo to Steve Silvia for sharing

Artists of the Rococo Period

Salvi Trevi
Nicola Salvi - Trevi Fountain

Pittoni St. Jerome
Giovanni Battista Pittoni - St. Jerome

Tiepolo St. Catherine
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo - St. Catherine of Siena

L'Enseigne de Gersaint Watteau
Jean-Antoine Watteau - L'Enseigne de Gersaint

Fragonard Young Reader
Jean-Honore Fragonard - Young Girl Reading

Bertin Resurrection
Nicholas Bertin - The Resurrection

Rococo Art succeeded Baroque Art in Europe. It was most popular in France, and is generally associated with the reign of King Louis XV (1715-1774). It is a light, elaborate and decorative style of art.

Quintessentially Rococo artists include Jean-Honore Fragonard, François Boucher, Jean-Antoine Watteau and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.

Rococo was eventually replaced by Neoclassicism, which was the signature visual style of Napoleon in France and of the American revolution.
Art Encyclopedia

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saintly Quote - The Desire of the Heart

Augustine
The desire of your heart is itself your prayer. And if the desire is constant, so is your prayer.

Not for nothing did the apostle tell us to pray without ceasing. But did he mean that we were to be perpetually on our knees, lying prostrate, or raising our hands? Is this what is meant by praying without ceasing? Even if we admit that we pray in this fashion, I do not believe that we can do so all the time.

Yet there is another, interior kind of prayer without ceasing, namely the desire of the heart. Whatever else you may be doing, if you but fix your desire on God's Sabbath rest, your prayer will be ceaseless.

Therefore, if you wish to pray without ceasing, do not cease to desire. The constancy of your desire will itself be the ceaseless voice of your prayer. And that voice of your prayer will be silent only when your love ceases. For who are silent if not those of whom it is said: Because evil has abounded, the love of many will grow cold? The chilling of love means that the heart is silent. If your love is without ceasing, you are always crying out; if you are always crying out, you are always desiring; and if you desire, you are calling to mind your eternal rest in the Lord.
- St. Augustine

Thanks to Sue

Father Euteneuer on Oprah's New Age

In his latest e-letter, Fr. Tom Euteneuer of HLI has written a piece exposing the Mass Media for what they really are...charlatans.

Oprah and All Her Works and All Her Empty Promises

Of late I am increasingly frightened by something I see happening in our culture: it is the seeming superficial-ization of everything in American life to the point of absurdity and deception. The prime culprit of course is the ubiquitous mass media (especially 24-hour cable programming and the internet) and its constant dumbing down of the American consciousness to the lowest common denominator of the most tantalizing sound bites and images. The other bad boy is the interminable chatter/commentary by clever cultural sharpshooters: it's so bad sometimes that it makes me wonder if we can actually pull ourselves out of our co-dependence upon charlatans. What makes my priest's heart so heavy is that I think our society is going down the path of deep spiritual degradation, and it doesn't look like this trend will be ending any time soon. Certainly not in an election season.

Case in point: Oprah. Our country's richest woman is easily one of the most spiritually bankrupt people in America and also one of the most shockingly popular. How does a New Age con artist like Oprah get so many people to literally adore her? She did not make $260 million last year by feeding people solid food. She deals in fads, feelings and frauds - it's that simple - and apparently she is very effective at convincing people to follow her well-packaged crock of nonsense. Of a recent political speech, she admitted fawningly that she had "cried her eyelashes off" when she heard it, and I am sure her crocodile tears were persuasive to her vast audience. For people schooled in the truth, the reaction would be very different: I saw the same speech and could barely keep myself from throwing up, but they don't pay me $260 million a year.

When asked why she refused to interview her anointed one's political opponent, she balked and got caught in a nasty public relations double-bind which is what usually happens to people who play games with their own popularity. Her refusal would have been easier to swallow if she had just said simply that she didn't like the other candidate and didn't want her on the show; that we can accept! But then again, basic honesty is probably above Oprah's pay grade. The truth is that Oprah has put her social clout to partisan political use, and when she was called on to be fair, she just couldn't admit that she was playing the political hack.

I do think Oprah's menace is fundamentally spiritual though, and that it feeds off the growing spiritual superficiality of the American populace. Its treachery is not to be underestimated. Oprah not only believes in but forcefully advocates pernicious New Age trends like Helen Schucman's A Course In Miracles and Eckhart Tolle's terrible esoteric movement that is trampling down Christian values and opening up a spiritual vacuum in the hearts of millions as we speak. Having the life sucked out of our souls by spiritually bankrupt "celebrities" is a slow spiritual death, to put it mildly. However, Oprah is just the worst case scenario of what is reaching epidemic proportions in a personality-obsessed, spiritually infantile and media-saturated culture. The most popular show in American prime-time is not called "American Idol" for nothing: we are literally becoming a nation of idol-worshippers.

What can we do about all the deceptive cultural garbage clamoring to fill our vulnerable souls? Well, the Church has always had the answer and never ceases to instruct us in the discipline that will bring our souls down that "narrow way" of Christ. We are to "reject Satan and all his works and all his empty promises" - that would include all his idols too. We are to consume the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth and say "yes" when we mean "yes" and "no" when we mean "no." As Jesus said, "everything else is from the devil."

Sincerely Yours in Christ,


Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International







Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Robe of Christ

Christ
The Robe of Christ
by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

At the foot of the Cross on Calvary
Three soldiers sat and diced,
And one of them was the Devil
And he won the Robe of Christ.

When the Devil comes in his proper form
To the chamber where I dwell,
I know him and make the Sign of the Cross
Which drives him back to Hell.

And when he comes like a friendly man
And puts his hand in mine,
The fervour in his voice is not
From love or joy or wine.

And when he comes like a woman,
With lovely, smiling eyes,
Black dreams float over his golden head
Like a swarm of carrion flies.

Now many a million tortured souls
In his red halls there be:
Why does he spend his subtle craft
In hunting after me?

Kings, queens and crested warriors
Whose memory rings through time,
These are his prey, and what to him
Is this poor man of rhyme,

That he, with such laborious skill,
Should change from role to role,
Should daily act so many a part
To get my little soul?

Oh, he can be the forest,
And he can be the sun,
Or a buttercup, or an hour of rest
When the weary day is done.

I saw him through a thousand veils,
And has not this sufficed?
Now, must I look on the Devil robed
In the radiant Robe of Christ?

He comes, and his face is sad and mild,
With thorns his head is crowned;
There are great bleeding wounds in his feet,
And in each hand a wound.

How can I tell, who am a fool,
If this be Christ or no?
Those bleeding hands outstretched to me!
Those eyes that love me so!

I see the Robe -- I look -- I hope --
I fear -- but there is one
Who will direct my troubled mind;
Christ's Mother knows her Son.

O Mother of Good Counsel, lend
Intelligence to me!
Encompass me with wisdom,
Thou Tower of Ivory!

"This is the Man of Lies," she says,
"Disguised with fearful art:
He has the wounded hands and feet,
But not the wounded heart."

Beside the Cross on Calvary
She watched them as they diced.
She saw the Devil join the game
And win the Robe of Christ.
- - -
Joyce Kilmer, The Robe of Christ, in Regis Martin, Garlands of Grace: An Anthology of Great Christian Poetry, (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2001) 90-92.


Shared by Sunny

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spiritual Warfare - The Occult Has Demonic Influence

St. Michael
If you recall, yesterday I posted that sacramentals are part of the Church's arsenal. Well, arsenal against what you may ask? It is against the devil, demons and all kinds of evil ready to attack humans and have them lose their souls forever.

The following article is on Catholic Culture and was written by Bishop Donald Montrose, D.D.
By the "occult," we are speaking of some supra-human or supernatural influence that is not from God. We commonly associate the occult with that which has demonic influence.

In the United States today the occult has become much more popular than it was twenty years ago. Today, there is popular Satanic music, Satanic street gangs, an increase in Satanic worship, a more widespread use of the horoscope and study of the signs of the zodiac, and Satanic games that can be purchased. In spite of this, many people do not take the occult seriously. They laugh off the notion of the Power of Evil as actually being a part of the "real" world in which we live.
I hope you take the time to read the article in its entirety. It is extremely informative and something that I recommend everyone should read, regardless of their religion.
...The Evil One can tempt us, but he cannot touch us directly unless we open the door for him. We should not fear Satan nor should we be constantly looking for him in the ordinary happenings of our life...
In his article Bishop Montrose covers many aspects of the occult and its many kinds of practices. I would like to share with you the following on Santeria. Those of you who are Hispanic may be familiar with this blend of Catholicism and voodoo-like healing popular in some Caribbean islands.
CURING SICKNESS THROUGH SUPERSTITION ("CURANDEROS" AND "SANTEROS")

It doesn't matter if there are statues, holy water, crucifixes, prayers to Jesus, Mary and the saints, if there is any superstitious practice it is evil. These are some examples:

--using charms or a tomato to wash one's body, putting the remainder under the bed,

--cleaning one's body with eggs or lemons and burning the materials with charcoal,

--using rose water and alcohol for healing. (In one case this was prepared by placing a skeleton in the water for six hours, followed by singing and praying over the water.)

Sometimes a "curandero" gives a special vitamin to take or even prescribes "Catholic" prayers to be said. None of these "prayers" should be said in these circumstances because they were prepared under the influence of evil.

Other examples include:

--taking a special bath prepared with wine, flowers, bread, cinnamon, black sugar, and water from a river.

--wrapping a person in a special bandage, cutting off piece by piece, and burying it in a recent grave in the cemetery.

These are just a few of the superstitions used, but there are many more.

Sometimes people pray to God and to the saints and then go off seeking relief through the kingdom of darkness. Many times God does not heal through prayer or doctors because He wants the soul to be healed first of hatred, jealousy, or some other sin. God knows what He is doing. We have to choose either the power of God or the power of evil. If you have any objects used in these false cures, destroy them. Renounce Satan, renounce this sin, ask God's forgiveness and confess your sin to a priest.
My husband and I know from personal experience how getting involved with New Age healers can lead to an unsettling of one's spirit and sometimes even death. Someone we knew and who was in a lot of physical and chronic pain, got involved with a Reiki Master healer. He ultimately killed himself thereby devastating his family.

If only people would realize how dangerous it is to get involved in even perceived harmless little things like reading the daily horoscopes, or any little superstitions. The devil just needs a little crack in the door to one's soul and he will gleefully accept that tiny invitation.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.

- Pope Leo XIII

The Conversion of America Through the Eucharist

Eucharist
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Does anyone doubt that America needs to be converted? When the Holy Father spoke to the youth in Denver in 1993, his urgent theme was to pray that America might not lose its soul. The soul of America is Christianity. Christianity is the principle of our national life. As our nation becomes increasingly de-christianized, it loses more and more of its source of vitality. Unless the moral disease is cured, America as the nation we still call the United States, will disappear.

But there is another, and deeper, meaning to America’s danger of losing its soul. Individuals lose their souls when they die estranged from God. There is such a thing as a second death which means everlasting separation from God in what Christ calls eternal punishment. This is the awful prospect awaiting not just single persons but whole societies, unless they repent and return to the God from whom they have strayed by their stubborn resistance to His will...
The Real Presence

H/T Sue

Those Who Foster in the Hearts of Children Indifference for the BVM

Mother and Child
Consider the Blasphemies of those who openly seek to foster in the hearts of children indifference or contempt, and even hatred for our Immaculate Mother.

With all the power at his command, the Archfiend wants to deny the Virgin the opportunity to use her children as agents of grace. To achieve this end, he would first render her maternal womb infertile, barren, robbing her of those future conduits of grace, performing, in effect, a spiritual abortion. What he would like to do is completely deprive the Holy Spirit of any future means of sanctifying the Chosen by corrupting the children and turning them away from her, and even against her. This is the terrible iniquity which is the fourth sin and the fourth stage in this conflict between Mary and Lucifer announced in Genesis, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed;” (Gen. 3:15).

Removing little ones from her side before they can be nurtured into fully-developed enlistees in her cause, the Devil would strip her of her Motherhood and deprive the Holy Ghost of this conduit of grace. By negation, this crime confirms the truth of our Faith whereby we believe that the Sanctifier does indeed save souls through the spiritual maternity of His Immaculate Spouse.

St. Maximilian Kolbe affirmed this belief in his typically concise manner: “Till the end of the world it will be the task of the Holy Ghost to form the new members predestined to glory in the Mystical Body of Christ”. As St. de Montfort shows, “this task is carried to completion with Mary, in Mary and through Mary.”

How many souls will be cast into Hell in the future because of this sin?

By Sue


PRAYER TO ST. RAPHAEL TO INTERCEDE FOR THOSE CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE

St. Raphael

Holy Archangel Raphael, appointed by God to guide, protect and heal, I entrust to you all people who at this moment are contemplating suicide.

You guided young Tobias on his journey and protected him from the spirit of death which sought to destroy his life. I ask you to protect all people from the road which leads to physical and spiritual death, especially those in most danger of despair and suicide.

Just as you led Tobias by the hand, lead them away from the sadness of addiction, to peace and joy. O Holy Raphael, whose name means, "God has healed," bring them the Lord's healing.

Lord God, hear the prayer I make together with your faithful servant Raphael.

Amen.

Source via Sue

Prayer for the Dead

Dover Angel


Christ, Jesus,
Lord of life
and Redeemer of the world,
grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed.
Let my relatives and friends
whom you have called from this life
attain their eternal home.
Reward our departed benefactors
with eternal blessedness.
Grant your departed priests and religious
the recompense for their work in your vineyard.
Amen.

St. Joseph's People Prayer Book, Catholic Book Publishing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Preparation for Holy Mass



Thanks to Catholiques for sharing this wonderful little video.

Sacramentals - Protection Against Evil

Brown Scapular

"Sacramentals are part of the Church's arsenal" - Fr. John Corapi

It is always a big shock to me when I learn that some of my fellow Catholics do not use, wear or have certain sacramentals. I am referring to wearing the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, wearing the Miraculous Medal, the use of Holy Water and Blessed Salt in the homes, the use of Holy Oil, etc. I do not understand their reasoning behind not doing so. I hope those who do not will begin to do make use of some sacramentals with their families and in their homes on a daily basis.

In my search for an easy to understand article on the importance of sacramentals for Catholics, I found an old article written by Catholic mom and author Regina Doman. EWTN Library - Sacramentals: What Are They?"
Practically speaking, the myriad of little things that are sacramentals are the parts of catholicity that jostle against us in our everyday life, those little extras that often tell others we are Catholic. They are the images, actions and blessings that are unique to our faith; those sometimes humble reminders of what the Catholic faith is all about, like the crucifix on our wall.

Sacramentals run the gamut from blessings of consecrated virgins to articles such as relics and rosaries. Some, such as holy water, are used by almost every Catholic. Others are more personal, such as devotionals to a particular saint.
You may recall a recent post I wrote regarding Sacramentals in the home. In that post I wrote about some of the kinds of sacramentals that every Catholic home should have Sacramentals in the Home: A Catholic Tradition

I direct your attention back to the quote at the beginning of this post. Fr. Corapi made it quite clear in his talk I heard last night on EWTN that we must protect ourselves against the Devil and evil in general. He stressed that sacramentals are an essential way of doing just that. Father Corapi knows that as a priest, he is constantly under attack by the evil one. He always asks people to pray for him. He also uses Holy Water and Blessed Salt on a regular basis. He sprinkles them around his house and car. Since Blessed Salt will not evaporate as Holy Water does, he makes sure to do both. I have been saving my Blessed Salt because I have been afraid that once the salt blessed by Father Duffy is used up,another priest will not bless salt for me. However, today I will sprinkle the blessed salt around our home and car...just like Fr .Corapi.

Mater Dolorosa

Mater DolorosaPicture Source
MATER DOLOROSA Attributed to José Joaquín Magón


Beautiful rendition Andreas Scholl & Barbara Bonney · Stabat Mater ~ Pergolesi
The Memorial of Our Lady or Sorrows is commemorated by the Catholic faithful on September 15, 2008. This devotion which dated back from the twelfth century has its roots in Sacred Scripture and in Christian piety which always associates the Blessed Mother with her suffering Son, Jesus Christ.

The title "Our Lady of Sorrows" focuses on Mary's intense suffering during the passion and death of Christ. "The Seven Dolors," the title by which it was celebrated in the 17th century, referred to the seven swords that pierced the Heart of Mary

Jesus Himself was Mary's sorrow, seven times repeated, aggravated sevenfold. During the hours of the Passion, the offering of Jesus and the offering of Mary were tied in one. As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus hung, the sword of sorrow Simeon had foretold pierced her soul.
Source St. Michael Center

May the Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, whom we contemplated yesterday as Our Lady of Sorrows at the foot of the Cross, obtain for us the gift of always trusting in God's love and help us to be merciful as our Father in Heaven is merciful.

- Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus, September 16, 2007

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saintly Quote - A Servant of God

Holy Trinity
A servant of God signifies one who has a great charity towards his neighbor, and an inviolable resolution to follow in everything the Divine Will; who bears with his own deficiencies, and patiently supports the imperfections of others.
St. Francis de Sales

Thanks Sue