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Sanctification in Daily Work
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Extraordinary Year of Mercy Much Needed

Pope FrancisIf there has ever been more of a need for people to show mercy to each other it sure hasn’t happened in my lifetime. At least it seems that way to me. Of course we’re seeing men and women committing atrocities against other men and women in the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the world but how about right here in the good old U.S.A.?

I don’t even have to look outside Pensacola, FL to see it. There are murders here that just make you shake your head in wonder and they never make national news. But there is plenty of it in the national news from places like Ferguson, MO.

So, I’m thrilled that Pope Francis has announced an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy:

Vatican City, 14 March 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday, 13 March 2015, in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis declared the celebration of an extraordinary Holy year. The Jubilee announcement was made during the homily of the penitential celebration with which he opened the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative. This “Jubilee of Mercy” will commence with the opening of the Holy Door in the Vatican Basilica on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December, and will conclude on November 20, 2016 with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

The papal Bull will be made public on Divine Mercy Sunday, 12 April, the Feast day instituted by St. John Paul II and celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.

Let us pray that this coming Jubilee Year will be observed with much prayer throughout the world.

A Pro-life Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Fr. Frank PavoneThanks to Fr. Frank Pavone for this Thanksgiving Day prayer.

Father of mercies, God of all creation, Source of life and of every blessing, We thank you today, and every day of our lives, For all that you give us!

Our thanksgiving is not only a duty, But a joy and a source of strength, Because it reminds us of your faithful love, And inspires us with the hope of a future filled with blessings!

Lord, we thank you for guiding our fathers, Who, inspired by the prophets And by the saving work of your Son, Founded a nation where all might live as one, Acknowledging their dependence on you As the source of their right to life.

We thank you for your blessings in the past, And for all that, with your help, we must yet achieve.

We ask you to bless us as we thank you, That our giving thanks may be accompanied by our firm resolve To proclaim, celebrate, and serve The gift of human life, born and unborn.

We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Immaculate Conception Prayer Program

Immaculate Conception IconToday at the conclusion of Mass we held a short Immaculate Conception prayer program. This is a program of the Knights of Columbus which includes this traveling icon. Several of us processed to the altar where we placed the icon and then said a prayer.

The Knights of Columbus Immaculate Conception Marian Prayer Program honors the central place the Blessed Virgin Mary holds in the life of our Order and the historic devotion that has been afforded to the Immaculate Conception by the Church in North America. The first cathedral in the New World north of Mexico was named for the Immaculate Conception, and the bishops of the United States named Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception as the patroness of the nation.

The image used for this prayer program is a reproduction of a painting of Mary as the Immaculate Conception that hangs above the main altar of the Basilica-Cathedral of Notre- Dame de Québec. It was painted in 1925 by Sister Mary of the Eucharist, a Sister of Charity of Québec, to replace the 18th-century painting destroyed during a fire at the cathedral in 1922.

At the bottom of the image it says, “His Holiness Pope Francis cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing. From the Vatican June 29, 2013.”

Put iBreviary on Your Website

iBreviaryWelcome to the new iBreviary website. My favorite app now has a very robust set of website features that includes being able to put it on your website.

iBreviary for your website:

Do you want to put IBreviary on your website or blog? Do you want to give your visitors the chance to pray on your site? iBreviary can be inserted through a simple window (installation of additional software is not required) within your website.

In this way you offer your visitors the opportunity to pray online and spread the beauty of Catholic Prayer through your website / blog.
You can also use your site for your daily prayer online http://www.wildstarplatinums.com.

Total Consecration Time

I just completed my annual Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary and thought I’d suggest once again that you consider it for yourself. This 33 day effort is well worth your time, especially if you’re looking for a good series of meditations that let you focus on what’s important.

The preparation for consecration booklet is currently available for $5 from Montfort Publishing. I would recommend you first read “True Devotion To The Blessed Virgin Mary.” You can also find these in the iPieta app for iOS or Android smartphones.

I’ve been using this “spiritual journey” for quite a few years and have come to look forward to it. The 33 days of preparation are broken up into series of reflections on your self, Mary and Jesus. We should all be doing daily meditation, especially with a particular examen. However, several weeks of extra contemplation time are really useful in our fast paced world. I also have been able to start out this devotion each year deer hunting. So I’ve been able to do the daily readings, prayers and reflections while sitting in a tree or on the ground in the woods. It just doesn’t get much better than that!

Feel free to email me if you’ve got questions about this devotion.

Learning How To Pray

What does praying really mean? This short video clip is a new addition to the St. Josemaria Escriva YouTube channel. In it a young woman talks about what she has learned about praying from St. Josemaria. It is becoming friends with Christ. In The Way, St. Josmaria says, “Prayer is the foundation of the spiritual edifice.”

If you don’t know how to pray then he recommends, “Put yourself in the presence of God, and once you have said, “Lord, I don’t know how to pray!” rest assured that you have begun to do so.” This is advice that I love because it is so simple and easy to understand. But it means taking time for prayer, something that has to be a priority of our day no matter what is going on in our life.

iBreviary “Pro Terra Sancta” HD

I finally upgraded to the new iBreviary app on my new iPad. This great app just keeps getting better. It looks beautiful on the iPad screen and has even more to offer. See description below. This is one of the apps I use the most on either my iPhone or iPad. Get it in the iTunes store.

iBreviary “Pro Terra Sancta” is the application that brings the traditional Catholic prayer of the Breviary and all the texts of the Liturgy on your iPhone and iPad. iBreviary “Pro Terra Sancta” wants to contribute, through a partnership with Custody of the Holy Land, friendship and prayer for all Christians living Holy Places.

iBreviary is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and contains:
– Breviary, Missal and Lectionary complete in 7 languages and continuously updated
(Italian, French, Spanish, Romanian, English and Latin)
– The text of the Breviary and the Missal in the Vetus Ordo Ambrosian Rite and Latin
– All the main prayers of the Christian
– Rituals for the sacraments and celebrations
– The liturgical texts used in the Holy Land
Also iBreviary “Pro Terra Sancta” offers, than the first version of iBreviary:
– The new section, “Rites”, with all the rituals and texts for the various celebrations
Catholic (Adoration of the Eucharist, the Sacraments, Blessings, etc.).
– The brand new “Terra Sancta” the liturgical texts used in the Holy Land
– Keep in touch through the blog and the pages of the Franciscans
Holy Places.
– A rich section dedicated to Saints
– Store a day on any device
– Full management of saved days (selection and cancellation)
– Unlimited storage days (something very much in demand by those who want to download
a bit ‘of days for travel or long period without internet access from your iPhone /
iPad)
– Instantly download the entire week (continuing to quietly
use the application without having to wait for the download).
– Enlarge and diminish the character of the text, with the flick of the fingers
on the screen (Pinch-to-Zoom)
– The ability to adjust the color of the background for a better
reading of texts
– Application Languages: Italian, Inglese, Español, Deutsch, Française, Românã
– Content Languages: Italian, Inglese, Español, Français, Român?, Latinum
– Languages constantly updated content.
– A new graphical interface

Snow Misses Us This Time

St. Francis in the snowCindy took a picture of our St. Francis statue after last week’s snow storm. That’s the image I use for my Twitter account.

We did have a snowy week and were supposed to get more last night and today. We even went to Saturday evening Mass last night thinking we may not have been able to go this morning. However, Msgr. Higley, prayed that the snow would miss us and he was answered. At least we haven’t received what we expected. Just a light dusting so far.

Pray Your Rosary Today

I’m going to add a photo to this post later. I’m taking a CoffeeZone break to get at least one post on. My travel schedule really shouldnt be an excuse for not posting more often.

I’ve been meaning to write about the Rosary again for a while now. I wanted to let you know that Chelsea and I make them and if you leave a comment request well send you one. We make a variety of types of rosaries. My favorite are with cord and the beads are knots like the one you’ll see in the photo. We also make them with plastic beads and slender cord too.

The rosary is one of my favorite forms of prayer for a lot of reasons. For one thing, you can say it anywhere, anytime. I have a rosary ring that I wear at all times. I can use it while driving, in a boring meeting, on the plane, etc. But I also have a nice rosary in a small zipper case in my pocket. I also have one of my cord rosaries with me when I travel that I keep by my bed in a hotel room. Whenever I have trouble sleeping for any reason I just pick it up and start saying it. It calms me down and I often wake up with it in my hand in mid decade.

I’ve got quite a few rosaries. Two of my favorites are the one handed to me by Pope John Paul II and one blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. I have a few from relatives and my rosary given to me when I became a Knight of Columbus. They all have special meaning but you can only carry around so many rosaries.

So, here’s a word of encouragement to get a rosary if you don’t have one (or leave me a comment and Ill mail you one) and start saying it. I prefer daily but I recommend at least once a week if you can. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your life.

iBreviaryPro

I don’t think I ever did a post about the new version of iBreviary which is now iBreviaryPro. It’s another app I use almost every day. I’m finding it harder and harder to carry around and use my Liturgy of the Hours books, especially doing a lot of air travel. These apps are really helping make saying your norms easier.

The Vatican Council for Social Communications has approved an iBreviary application created by Italian priest Fr Paolo Padrini for the iPhone.

Infomobile reports it brings complete missal and principal prayers in Spanish, French, English, Latin and Italian. “That’s cool, but what really sets this application apart from all others in the AppStore is that it’s the first app with approval of the Vatican!” Infomobile says. “As with almost any iPhone app, iBreviary is easy to use, sporting iPhone like user interface. In addition, size of the characters can be increased, landscape mode is supported (using accelerometer) and much more.

Excerpt from CathNews.

iPieta App

There is a growing number of good Catholic apps for the iPhone and now the iPad. I’ll try to point you to them as I find them. I’ve already done posts on iBreviary, iRosary, Vatican News and the St. Josemaria app.

Today let’s look at iPieta. This is a very comprehensive app with versions for both the iPhone and iPad containing writings on Catholic teaching, Catholic calendar and a long list of prayers. You have to do a little work but you can go to their website and download audio files of many of the prayers, import into your iTunes and then it becomes available in the app so you can play them. They have asimilar but different App in Spanish which is iPieta Español.

CONTENT:

• Bibles: Douay-Rheims, Clementine Vulgate (Catholic and public domain; note that Psalms are numbered slightly differently than some modern Bibles).
• Baltimore Catechisms #1-3; the Cat. of Christian Doctrine, the Roman Catechism, and the Cat. of St. Thomas Aq
• Both the Ordinary (Novus Ordo) and Extraordinary (Tridentine) Calendars with access to the day’s Gospel and Reading(s) from the D-R & Vulgate.
• Numerous devotions including a version of the Little Office of Our Lady, the 33-Day Total Consecration Preparation, Novenas to the Holy Spirit and to the Divine Mercy, St. Alphonsus Stations of the Cross, and the St. Bridget 1-Year and 12-Year Prayers.
• Spiritual writings by St. Louis Marie de Montfort, St. Teresa of Jesus, St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine of Siena, the Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas, the Imitation of Christ, Intro to Devout LIfe (St. Francis deS) , St. Jean-Marie Vianney, Treatise on Purgatory (St. Catherine of G), Spiritual Exercises (St. Ignatius), Sinners Guide, Haydock Biblical Commentary, Catena Aurea (St Thomas Aq). The Summa (except for the Supplement) is also in Latin.
• Papal Encyclicals
• Ecumenical Council Documents
• Scriptural passages for the Holy Rosary
• Examination of Conscience
• Saint Notes (incomplete / in progress)
• Bookmarks

A May, Month of Mary, Pilgrimage

My wife and I did a pilgrimage today to the National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church in Laurie, MO. It is a beautiful day for a drive and the Shrine is in great shape. There is a Mother’s Wall on which you can have your Mother’s name inscribed and they will be included in the prayers said for all Mothers. Both of our Mother’s names are on the wall.

It is my understanding that during this month of Mary a plenary indulgence can be gained by saying 5 decades of the rosary on the way, 5 decades while at the shrine and 5 decades on the way home. So that’s how we spent part of our day today. I will try to find a source to point you to for this indulgence and add it later.

A magnificent Shrine dedicated to Mary, Mother of the Church features an awe inspiring fourteen foot stainless steel sculpture of Mary, which stands in a natural amphitheatre surrounded by beautiful fountains.

The Mothers’ Wall of Life has become a great attraction of the Shrine, with the names of mothers from around the world engraved in the polished black granite. The Mothers’ Wall of Life continues to grow daily and is an everlasting tribute to all mothers.

The first engraving on the Mothers’ Wall of Life was April 1, 1999. It is a tribute to motherhood and family life, for all mother’s living or deceased, regardless of race, color or creed. There are now 37 states and 13 countries represented on the Wall, making this one of the most meaningful shrines in the country. Go into the web site and search for a loved ones name on the Wall.

In 2003, the Shrine became a National Shrine, making this the sixteenth Nation Shrine in the United States, and the only recognized National Shrine in Missouri.

Every Day Is A Day Of Prayer

There are a lot of people upset about either having a national day of prayer or a judge’s ruling that there shouldn’t be a national day of prayer. I don’t really understand either side. Every day should be a day of prayer. If you don’t want to pray then don’t. If you want to pray, then pray.

Unfortunately there are people who want to use the law to enforce their own views on everyone else. I’m only guessing that the idea for a national day of prayer came out of the fact that prayer has been so suppressed in our society. We’re a country founded on Christian principles and our Constitution was meant to protect people’s right to pray. Instead certain people have interpreted it incorrectly for their own ends which apparently includes removing prayer from society.

I think it is unconscionable to tell kids they can’t pray on a football field before a game for example. And although having a prayer breakfast or service in a state capitol or out nation’s capitol doesn’t excite me I see no reason for there not to be one.

Prayer is vital to a healthy spiritual life regardless what faith you have. Of course there are a few people who claim to be atheist but I agree with a statement I heard Archbishop Fulton Sheen make once that you have to believe in God to deny Him. People who claim they don’t believe in God often have a substitute like the devil or “mankind” and studies find that many of them actually do pray. Interesting. Probably a lot of them just don’t want to have to follow rules and make the claim as a way to justify their selfishness. There is a very small percentage of people who claim atheism anyway. I guess they’re just very vocal though.

Novena For Pope Benedict

The Knights of Columbus is urging all Knights to say a novena in support of our Pope Benedict. You can learn more about it on the national Knights website.

All Knights of Columbus are encouraged to join in a special novena for Pope Benedict XVI, beginning Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11, and concluding Monday, April 19, the fifth anniversary of the Holy Father’s election in 2005.

We pray for the pope and for his pastoral mission, asking God to protect, strengthen and uplift our beloved Holy Father at this time of considerable challenge.

This is the image and prayer from the prayer card they have created (pdf).

PRAYER FOR POPE BENEDICT XVI


Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to your shepherd, Benedict, a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love. By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care, may he, as successor to the Apostle Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your Church into a sacrament of unity, love and peace for all the world. Amen.

V/ Let us pray for Benedict, the pope.

R/ May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and not hand him over to the power of his enemies.

V/ May your hand be upon your holy servant.

R/ And upon your son, whom you have anointed.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…

The Patron of the Hidden Life

Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

St. Joseph, husband of the Mother of God, pray for us!

My favorite prayer to St. Joseph:

    Oh, St. Joseph,
    I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
    St. Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for me. Amen.