Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Saints I Go to for Help - Preparing for Confession

Before I go to Confession, I find my mind goes blank when it comes to remembering my sins. I do examine my conscience nightly. Yet, right before confession, I feel like I do when I try to mentally remember my grocery list without writing them down on paper. I walk into the grocery store and sure enough, I forget everything I was supposed to remember to buy. That is what happens to me when I go to confession without asking for heavenly assistance.

First of all, I approach Jesus, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, and I ask Him to help me make a good confession.

I then pray to the Holy Spirit to enlighten my mind, my heart and my soul.  I pray that I will remember all my sins and more importantly, that I feel true contrition for my sins.

Next, I pray to our Blessed Mother, for help.  She is our mother.  She knows that her wayward children need her motherly assistance, as well as her love and understanding.

Then I invoke the help of the saints.

I ask for Saint Damien's intercession because he understands the difficulties we sometimes encounter going to confession.  He had to shout out his sins, which was very humiliating to this holy priest who needed so badly to confess his sins to a priest.

Another of my favorite saints is St. John Vianney.  He was so humble yet his confessional line was very long.  The people in Ars knew he was a saintly priest who would understand their sins and failings and give them the spiritual help they needed.

Then there is Saint Padre Pio.  I ask for his intercession when I have a sin that is difficult to confess.  He was not a warm and fuzzy kind of priest.  If you tried to conceal a grievous sin, he would tell you in no uncertain words that you had better confess sincerely and he would order you to get out of the confessional. 

They never let me down.  They all help me.  I only wish I had thought to ask them for help years ago.  With their help and guidance, confession does not cause me needless anxiety.  I prepare for confession, I ask for help, I confess my sins, I am absolved by a priest and I leave the confessional with a profound joy in my heart.

Jesus, I trust in You.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pope replies to letter from Iranian President Ahmadinejad

National Catholic Register - Pope's Letter to Ahmadinejad

EWTN Family Prayer - For Prisoners

USNR Capodanno on Road to Sainthood

H/T to The Anchoress for the video.

Prayer for Veteran's Day

Picture source

Dear Lord Jesus Christ,
those whom we honor today
are examples of your words:

"Greater love than this no one has:
that he lay down his life for his friends."
They gave up t heir lives in the defense of freedom
for t heir loved ones and their country.

Teach me to appreciate the virtue of patriotism-
a true and Christian love of country.
Let me love my country not to follow it blindly
but to make it the land of goodness
that it should be.
Let my patriotism be such
that it will not exclude the other nations of the world
but will include them in a powerful love of country
that has room for all others too.

- New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book, Catholic Book Publishing Cp/

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is Genuflecting on Both Knees Necessary When There is Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament?

Picture source

You can read Aggie Catholic's Q & A on Is Genuflecting on Both Knees Necessary When There is Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament? here

EWTN Family Prayer - Christians in Iraq

EWTN Family Prayer - Atheists and Agnostics

Can the souls in purgatory pray for us?

Vatican library opens doors for exhibition of their oldest manuscript

Photo of Father Peter Rookey

Father Peter Rookey

The photo was shared by Mary Jane who wrote the following:

Look at the light shining on Father Peter Mary Rookey's face. A holy man of God. Looks good for 94!! He is wearing Our Lady's Miraculous Medal.

Pope St. Leo the Great

Our LORD Jesus Christ, Saviour of mankind, instituted the observance of the Divine religion which He wished by the grace of GOD to shed its brightness upon all nations and all peoples in such a way that the Truth, which before was confined to the announcements of the Law and the Prophets, might through the Apostles' trumpet blast go out for the salvation of all men(5), as it is written: "Their sound has gone out into every land, and their words into the ends of the world(6)." But this mysterious function(7) the LORD wished to be indeed the concern of all the apostles, but in such a way that He has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the Apostles(8): and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that any one who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery. For He wished him who had been received into partnership in His undivided unity to be named what He Himself was, when He said: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church(9) :" that the building of the eternal temple by the wondrous gift of GOD'S grace might rest on Peter's solid rock: strengthening His Church so surely that neither could human rashness assail it nor the gates of hell prevail against it. But this most holy firmness of the rock, reared, as we have said, by the building hand of GOD, a man must wish to destroy in over-weaning wickedness when he tries to break down its power, by favouring his own desires, and not following what he received from men of old: for he believes himself subject to no law, and held in check by no rules of GOD's ordinances and breaks away, in his eagerness for novelty, from your use and ours, by adopting illegal practices, and letting what he ought to keep fall into abeyance.
The solidarity of the Church built upon the rack of S. Peter must be everywhere maintained.

Source of St. Leo the Great's writings

H/T to Insight Scoop: St. Leo the Great: Champion of Christological faith, messenger of peace and love

Patience in Tribulations

Compassion by Adolphe-William Bouguereau

That we may be able to practice patience to advantage in all our tribulations, we must be fully persuaded that every trail comes from the hands of God, either directly or indirectly through men; we must therefore render God thanks whenever we are beset with sorrows, and accept, with gladness of heart, of every event, prosperous or adverse, that proceeds from Him, knowing that all happens by His disposition for our welfare:

To them that love God all things work together unto good. In addition to this, it is well in our tribulations to glace a moment at that hell which we have formerly deserved: for assuredly all the pains of this life are incomparably smaller th an the awful pains of hell. But above all, prayer, by which we gain the divine assistance, is the great means to suffer patiently all affliction, scorn, and contradictions; and is that which will furnish us with the strength, which we have not of ourselves.

The saints were persuaded of this; they recommended themselves to God, and so overcame every kind of torments and persecutions.

- The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Noctural Adoration Society Letter, November 2010

Because One Thing Leads to Another... - The Ecumenical Council by Salvador Dali

The Ecumenical Council by Salvador Dali, 1960
Painting source
I logged on my home page today with the intention of checking my email. Instead I found that the featured work of art this morning was a painting by Salvador Dali. This explains the title of this post. Sometimes, I never know where God will lead me in finding items to share on this blog. The title and the beautiful colors of the painting immediately caught my eye. I had never saw or heard mention of this particular work of art until that moment.

According to a biography* of Salvador Dali, the above painting, The Ecumenical Council was begun in 1960. It was first in a series of what the writer of the biography described as "huge mythological paintings". It seems however, it may have been more spiritual in the faithful sense, than anything mythological.
... In the "Ecumenical Council," the important feature
demanding attention which strikes us is the spiritual theme or body of the Supreme Being, this embodied as a naked male, superseding all through the nebulous etheric haze, it emerges from a classical alcove of the Vatican, seat of Christianity for the Catholic. To the lower left of the Creator, the vague face of a saintly personage whose body is composed of a turmoil of crosses. To the right of the Creator, the face and figure of the Christ is all but lost in its diffusion, save but for the prominent figure of the dove; the Holy Spirit above it. Below,
the Ecumenical Council in small proportion, tiny, menial, humanistic, lost in methodical meaningless tradition confuse the thought, scattering it throughout and arises through the earthly planes of the mountains and water at the lower right foreground of the painting.

This painting celebrates the coronation of Pope John XXIII. Dali's choice of subject matter may be indicative of Dali's return to his Catholic roots in the 1940's.

Dalí's post-World War II period bore the hallmarks of technical virtuosity and an interest in optical illusions, science, and religion. He became an increasingly devout Catholic, while at the same time he had been inspired by the shock of Hiroshima and the dawning of the "atomic age". Therefore Dalí labeled this period "Nuclear Mysticism." In paintings such as "The Madonna of Port-Lligat" (first version) (1949) and "Corpus Hypercubus" (1954), Dalí sought to synthesize Christian iconography with images of material disintegration inspired by nuclear physics.[44] "Nuclear Mysticism" included such notable pieces as "La Gare de Perpignan" (1965) and "Hallucinogenic Toreador" (1968–70). In 1960, Dalí began work on the Dalí Theatre and Museum in his home town of Figueres; it was his largest single project and the main focus of his energy through 1974. He continued to make additions through the mid-1980s.

*The Persistence of Memory: A Biography of Dali by Meredith Etherington-Smith

To learn more about the painting, click here

At That First Eucharist Before He Died Communion Catholic Hymn

We sing this beautiful Eucharistic hymn at the Mass for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on First Fridays.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Seventeen Evidences of a Lack of Humility

Madonna of Humility by Gian Giacomo Trivulzi

Picture source

The Seventeen Evidences of a Lack of Humility by Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer

1. To think that what one says or does is better than what others say or do

2. To always to want to get your own way

3. To argue with stubbornness and bad manners whether you are right or wrong

4. To give your opinion when it has not been requested or when charity does not demand it

5. To look down on another’s point of view

6. Not to look on your gifts and abilities as lent

7. Not to recognize that you are unworthy of all honors and esteem, not even of the earth you walk on and things you possess

8. To use yourself as an example in conversations

9. To speak badly of yourself so that others will think well of you or contradict you

10. To excuse yourself when you are corrected

11. To hide humiliating faults from your spiritual director, so that he will not change the impression he has of you

12. To take pleasure in praise and compliments

13. To be saddened because others are held in higher esteem

14. To refuse to perform inferior tasks

15. To seek to stand out

16. To refer in conversation to your honesty, genius, dexterity, or professional prestige

17. To be ashamed because you lack certain goods

You can read the Sinner's Guide's entire post, Humility: Foundation for Spiritual Growth here.

One week after attack, Catholic Iraqis return to mourn

You can read Thomas Peter's post at CatholicVote

Please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters, especially the Iraqi Christians.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Masses for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

The Father of the Church tell us that the sufferings endured by the souls in Purgatory are terrible to the extreme. According to St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, it would be preferable to suffer all imaginable anguish to the End of Time than to pass one day in Purgatory.

There are many different ways of helping the suffering souls and delivering them from Purgatory, but none of these is so sure and so effectual as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Church, speaking by the Council of Trent, declares this to be the case: "This Ecumenical Synod teaches that the souls detained in Purgatory are helped by the suffrages f the Faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar." (Sess. xxv). This is laid down as an article of faith, which no man can gainsay. The same was asserted two centuries previously by the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas: "By no other oblation can the souls in Purgatory be more speedily released than by the Sacrifice of the Mass."

- The Incredible Catholic Mass by Fr. Martin von Cochem

Nocturnal Adoration Society Letter November 2010

Largest Christ the King Statue in Poland

A big mahalo to Father Luis for sharing!

The best images of the pope's trip to Santiago de Compostela

Benedict XVI in Spain: "Indissoluble love between man and woman is the f...

EWTN Family Prayer - Those in Need of Employment

EWTN Family Prayer - Those Who Are in Nursing Homes