Saturday, December 19, 2009

Popes Pius XII, John Paul II declared 'venerable'

Pope Pius XII
The Congregation also proclaimed the heroic virtue of nine others, who now qualify for the title "Venerable" and may be beatified with the approval of a miracle:

1.Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) (1876-1958)
2. Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) (1920-2005)
Read the rest here

Praying the Rosary

H/T toPadre Steve

Meditation on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary has often been a source of trouble for me. I would recite the Hail Marys very quickly. I often rushed to get my obligation of saying the rosary out of the way and over with for the day. I actually thought that as long as I fulfilled this obligation, Mary would be pleased with my efforts. How wrong I was and not only was I wrong, I was robbing myself of the beauty of actually meditating and contemplating on the life of Christ.

With the grace of God, I am now finally able to not only meditate on each of the 20 mysteries of the Holy Rosary, but I actually look forward to seeing where my meditations would lead me.

This accomplishment did not come easily though. It was more of a "baby-step" attempt on my part and a conscious effort not to let my mind wander on anything but on each particular mystery.

It started with the Joyful Mysteries, the first of all the mysteries. The First Joyful Mystery is the Annunciation. On each and every bead of that decade, I would think and apply one word to describe part of the Mystery of the Annunciation. For example, on each of those ten beads I would apply some of the following words: 1. maiden, 2. room 3. angel 4. surprise 5. announcement 6. wonderment 7. Holy Spirit 8. Emmanuel 9. Obedience 10. Fiat

After a while of focusing on the mysteries in this child-like manner, my mind and heart now can visualize the place where each mystery is occuring. Dialogues, feelings, surroundings are easier for me to think about and thus I am now meditating much better. For an even deeper meditation, I try to pray the rosary with my eyes closed. However, when I pray the Holy Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament as is usually the case before daily Mass, I love to "gaze on the loveliness of the Lord"

"...That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple."

For me, meditation on the Holy Rosary is still a work in progress. I thank the Blessed Mother for obtaining this grace for me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

Count Your Blessings
1. Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
2. Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
You can read the rest here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

YEAR FOR PRIESTS: Movie Recommendations

Year for Priests
Photo by Esther G.

My family and I recently watched two movies which I would highly recommend for this Year of the Priest.

Keys to the KingdomThe first movie we watched was The Keys of the Kingdom starring Gregory Peck.

The Cardinal The second movie we watched was The Cardinal starring Tom Tryon. Note: I was wracking my brain trying to remember from where I had heard of Tom Tryon. Turns out his name was familiar to me, not as an actor, but as a writer.

Both of these movies followed the priestly vocation of two priests. One was a Scottish priest and one was an American priest from Boston. Both stories were based on novels.

Although, the two priests were from very different backgrounds, their dedication to the priesthood and to Holy Mother Church were inspirational. I would think it would be hard for a boy or young man to watch these movies and not be moved by these role models to the priesthood.

Now, these two movies were not your average priest movies of the 40's and 50's, such as the likes of Spencer Tracy's Father Flanagan of Boy's Town or Bing Crosby's Father O'Malley in Going My Way and the Bells of St. Mary.

These two movies really delved deep down into the priests' core to portray them not only as real men but true persona Christi. The Cardinal was directed by Otto Preminger. For those of you familiar with his work, you know he is not afraid to tackle controversial subjects or areas.

I hope you are able to watch these magnificent movies. In order for you two watch and to enjoy them as my family and I did, I will abstain from sharing too much of the details.

I can almost promise that neither one of these movies will disappoint you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More on Dying to Self from Saint Louis de Montfort

Our Lady and St. Louis de Montfort
" order to empty ourselves of self, we must die daily to ourselves.

This involves our renouncing what the powers of the soul and the senses of the body incline us to do. We must see as if we did not see, hear as if we did not hear and use the things of this world as if we did not use them.

This is what St. Paul calls 'dying daily'.

Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain and does not bear any good fruit.

If we do not die to self and if our holiest devotions do not lead us to this necessary and fruitful death, we shall not bear fruit of any worth and our devotions will cease to be profitable. All our good works will be tainted by self-love and self-will so that our greatest sacrifices and our best actions will be unacceptable to God.

Consequently when we come to die we shall find ourselves devoid of virtue and merit and discover that we do not possess even one spark of that pure love which God shares with only those who have died to themselves and whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in him."

- True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Prayer to the Blessed Mother of God: for Dying to Self

Jesus and Mary

Hail, white lily of the bright and ever-peaceful Trinity! Hail, blossoming rose of everlasting beauty! Hail, illustrious Queen of heaven, flowing with unspeakable delights, O Virgin Mary.

Of you, O blessed one, did Jesus Christ, King of heaven, brightness of his Father's glory, will to be born, and by your milk to be fed. You did wrap him in swaddling bands; carry him in your arms; cherish him in your bosom; cover him with embraces and kisses. May he vouchsafe, by your intercession, to feed my soul with his inflowing graces.

O my special Advocate, turn your merciful eyes upon me. Obtain for me by your prayers the full remission of my sins, perfect self-denial and mortification. Obtain for me a heart pure, meek, full of kindness for others, and wounded by the love of your most sweet Son. Obtain for me true freedom and detachment of spirit, that my Lord Jesus Christ himself may find in me peace of joy.

I venerate you; I call upon you; I offer to you, to increase your joy, the Heart of your son only Son, and I beg of you lovingly to help and comfort me during the whole time of my exile here below, and especially at the hour of my death. Amen.
- Blosius the Venerable - Magnificat 2009 December issue.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Tribute to Father Fox

Father Fox
As you known by now, Father Robert J. Fox, passed away on Thanksgiving Day. There is a lovely tribute to Father over at The Spiritual Motherhood for Priests Blog

Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural

Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural

My friend Mary Ann S. shared this email with you and I am in turn am sharing it with all of you here:
This is a photo and a link from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. This picture is mural on the side of there Franciscan monastery in the South Bronx in NYC. This photo is bringing healing to city in dire need of healing. You can make donations to the site listed below to create more murals around the city which are helping create revenue for women considering abortions.

Hi Everyone,

I am excited to tell you about a prayerful project currently in the works!
Imagine murals of Our Lady of Guadalupe all over NYC ! First the Friars of the Renewal did it on the side of one of their friaries, and now we are looking to have her watch over one of our Good Counsel Homes. By adopting a space to honor or memorialize someone you love (only $12) , you also be bringing her presence to the city while helping homeless expectant mothers choose life for their unborn children. Your prayers and intentions will be placed in our chapel and with the Franciscan Friars for the Renewal for perpetual remembrance.

Please check it out here Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural

You can view the image in the attachment above…there is no doubt her presence has changed neighborhoods and brought many graces !
Please spread the word!

Adopt your space in Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural

Enroll your prayer intentions, or in honor or memory of a loved one, as a Perpetual Remembrance in Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural

Unite your prayers with Our Lady of Guadalupe for the protection of abandoned pregnant women choosing life for their unborn children. With an offering of $12 your prayer intentions will be united with the prayerful remembrance of each child of the 1.2 million children lost each year to abortion.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.