Thursday, November 27, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Novena for Motherhood


I have recently joined Catholic Answers and I found this in one of the forums, and I thought it is something that should be passed around. Originally the intention was for "For God to send healthy babies to all the couples on CAF", but I changed it just a bit.


For those of you who are unfamiliar with a Novena, it is a prayer (or several prayers) that are said for nine days. The prayer changes with each intention.


Most Blessed Trinity, I, Your child, thank You for all the gifts and privileges which You granted to St. Gerard, especially for those virtues with which You adorned him on earth and the glory which You now impart to him in heaven. Accomplish Your work, Oh Lord, so that Your kingdom may come about on earth. Through his merits, in union with those of Jesus and Mary, grant me the grace for which I ask...(For God to send healthy babies to all the couples around the world trying to conceive) And you, my powerful intercessor, St. Gerard, always so ready to help those who have recourse to you, pray for me. Come before the throne of Divine Mercy and do not leave without being heard. To you I confide this important and urgent affair...(For God to send healthy babies to all the couples around the world trying to conceive)Graciously take my cause in hand and do not let me end this novena without having experienced in some way the effects of your intercession.

Amen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Padre Pio


Francesco, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to Giuseppa and Grazio Forgione, peasant farmers, in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. From his childhood, it was evident that he was a special child of God. Francesco was very devout even as a child, and at an early age felt drawn to the priesthood. He became a Capuchin novice at the age of sixteen and received the habit in 1902. Francesco was ordained to the priesthood in 1910 after seven years of study and became known as Padre Pio.On September 20, 1918, Padre Pio was kneeling in front of a large crucifix when he received the visible marks of the crucifixion, making him the first stigmatized priest in the history of Church. The doctor who examined Padre Pio could not find any natural cause for the wounds. Upon his death in 1968, the wounds were no longer visible. In fact, there was no scaring and the skin was completely renewed. He had predicted 50 years prior that upon his death the wounds would heal. The wounds of the stigmata were not the only mystical phenomenon experienced by Padre Pio.The blood from the stigmata had an odor described by many as similar to that of perfume or flowers, and the gift of bilocation was attributed to him. Padre Pio had the ability to read the hearts of the penitents who flocked to him for confession which he heard for ten or twelve hours per day. Padre Pio used the confessional to bring both sinners and devout souls closer to God; he would know just the right word of counsel or encouragement that was needed. Even before his death, people spoke to Padre Pio about his possible canonization. He died on September 23, 1968 at the age of eighty-one. His funeral was attended by about 100,000 people.On June 16, 2002, over 500,000 Padre Pio devotees gathered in Rome to witness Pope John Paul II proclaim Padre Pio, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. The Padre Pio Foundation and many benefactors traveled to Rome, San Giovanni Rotondo, Pietrelcina, Piana Romana and many other holy places to celebrate Padre Pio's Canonization.Pope John Paul II - Homily at the Canonization of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Capuchin Priest - 16 June 2002 1. "For my yoke is easy and my burden light" (Mt 11,30). Jesus' words to his disciples, which we just heard, help us to understand the most important message of this solemn celebration. Indeed, in a certain sense, we can consider them as a magnificent summary of the whole life of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, today proclaimed a saint. The evangelical image of the "yoke" recalls the many trials that the humble Capuchin of San Giovanni Rotondo had to face. Today we contemplate in him how gentle the "yoke" of Christ is, and how truly light is his burden when it is borne with faithful love. The life and mission of Padre Pio prove that difficulties and sorrows, if accepted out of love, are transformed into a privileged way of holiness, which opens onto the horizons of a greater good, known only to the Lord. 2. "But may I never boast except in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal 6,14). Is it not, precisely, the "glory of the Cross" that shines above all in Padre Pio? How timely is the spirituality of the Cross lived by the humble Capuchin of Pietrelcina. Our time needs to rediscover the value of the Cross in order to open the heart to hope. Throughout his life, he always sought greater conformity with the Crucified, since he was very conscious of having been called to collaborate in a special way in the work of redemption. His holiness cannot be understood without this constant reference to the Cross. In God's plan, the Cross constitutes the true instrument of salvation for the whole of humanity and the way clearly offered by the Lord to those who wish to follow him (cf. Mk 16,24). The Holy Franciscan of the Gargano understood this well, when on the Feast of the Assumption in 1914, he wrote: "In order to succeed in reaching our ultimate end we must follow the divine Head, who does not wish to lead the chosen soul on any way other than the one he followed; by that, I say, of abnegation and the Cross" (Epistolario II, p. 155). 3. "I am the Lord who acts with mercy" (Jer 9,23). Padre Pio was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making himself available to all by welcoming them, by spiritual direction and, especially, by the administration of the sacrament of Penance. I also had the privilege, during my young years, of benefitting from his availability for penitents. The ministry of the confessional, which is one of the distinctive traits of his apostolate, attracted great crowds of the faithful to the monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo. Even when that unusual confessor treated pilgrims with apparent severity, the latter, becoming conscious of the gravity of sins and sincerely repentant, almost always came back for the peaceful embrace of sacramental forgiveness. May his example encourage priests to carry out with joy and zeal this ministry which is so important today, as I wished to confirm this year in the Letter to Priests on the occasion of Holy Thursday. 4. "You, Lord, are my only good". This is what we sang in the responsorial psalm. Through these words, the new Saint invites us to place God above everything, to consider him our sole and highest good. In fact, the ultimate reason for the apostolic effectiveness of Padre Pio, the profound root of so much spiritual fruitfulness can be found in that intimate and constant union with God, attested to by his long hours spent in prayer and in the confessional. He loved to repeat, "I am a poor Franciscan who prays" convinced that "prayer is the best weapon we have, a key that opens the heart of God". This fundamental characteristic of his spirituality continues in the "Prayer Groups" that he founded, which offer to the Church and to society the wonderful contribution of incessant and confident prayer. To prayer, Padre Pio joined an intense charitable activity, of which the "Home for the Relief of Suffering" is an extraordinary expression. Prayer and charity, this is the most concrete synthesis of Padre Pio's teaching, which today is offered to everyone. 5. "I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because ... these things ... you have revealed to little ones" (Mt 11,25). How appropriate are these words of Jesus, when we think of them as applied to you, humble and beloved Padre Pio. Teach us, we ask you, humility of heart so we may be counted among the little ones of the Gospel, to whom the Father promised to reveal the mysteries of his Kingdom. Help us to pray without ceasing, certain that God knows what we need even before we ask him. Obtain for us the eyes of faith that will be able to recognize right away in the poor and suffering the face of Jesus. Sustain us in the hour of the combat and of the trial and, if we fall, make us experience the joy of the sacrament of forgiveness. Grant us your tender devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother. Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage toward the blessed homeland, where we hope to arrive in order to contemplate forever the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER

ATTRIBUTED TO POPE CLEMENT XI


Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.

I trust in you: strengthen my trust.

I love you: let me love you more and more.

I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.


I worship you as my first beginning,

I long for you as my last end,

I praise you as my constant helper, and

call on you as my loving protector.


Guide me by your wisdom,

Correct me with your justice,

Comfort me with your mercy,

Protect me with your power.


I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be

fixed on you;

My words: to have you for their theme;

My actions: to reflect my love for you;

My sufferings: to be endured for your

greater glory.


I want to do what you ask of me:

In the way you ask,

For as long as you ask,

Because you ask it.


Lord, enlighten my understanding,

Strengthen my will,

Purify my heart, and make me holy.

Help me to repent of my past sins and

to resist temptation in the future.

Help me to rise above my human

weaknesses and to grow stronger as a

Christian.


Let me love you, my Lord and my

God, and see myself as I really am:

a pilgrim in this world,

a Christian called to respect

and love

all whose lives I touch,

those in authority over me

or those under my authority,

my friends and my enemies.


Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,

Greed by generosity,

Apathy by fervor.

Help me to forget myself and reach out

toward others.



Make me prudent in planning,

courageous in taking risks.

Make me patient in suffering,

unassuming in prosperity.

Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer,

Temperate in food and drink,

Diligent in my work,

Firm in my good intentions.

Let my conscience be clear,

my conduct without fault,

my speech blameless,

my life well-ordered.


Put me on guard against my human

weaknesses.

Let me cherish your love for me,

Keep your law, and

Come at last to your Salvation.


Teach me to realize that this world is

passing,

That my true future is the happiness of

heaven,

That life on earth is short,

And the life to come eternal.


Help me to prepare for death with a

proper fear of judgment, but a

greater trust in your goodness.

Lead me safely through death to the

endless joy of heaven.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Butterfly Award!


Jean has kindly awarded me this beautiful award. Thank you so much!

The rules for this award are:

1. Pick ten people and pass this award to them.
2. Then contact them and let them know that you have chosen them and their blog for the award.
3. Also link back to the person who gave you the award.

I bestow this award on the following people:









10. Jean

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why?

Just recently, someone asked the question "why do bad things happen to innocent people?". I decided to do some exploring on the web for the best answer to the question. Now, this may not be "the best" answer, but I liked it enough to share.

Please click here.

And please, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Background on the Holy Rosary

I know there are still 5 days of the France trip I still need to post, and I'm sorry it's taking me so long, just bear with me. I should have at least 2 more days up before the end of the week.

Thanks for being patient.

Monday, November 10, 2008


My life has become wearisome; now, however, I do not fear even death for I know that you are my intercessor with your Son, to Whose mercy I entrust myself from this moment on and at every moment of my years to come.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ave Maria

Day 4

We had breakfast at the Hotel, checked out, and then it was off to Mass. After Mass we went to Confession. Confession took a while since there was no real line or organization, it was also my first experience with a face to face set up, I don't think I cared for that too much.

Since today was our last day in Lourdes we went to fill our bottles with Holy Water, and I also had a few candles to light. On our way back to the Hotel to collect our bags we hit every shop around. Once we had our bags we headed towards the train station. After buying our tickets the 3 of us sat down to eat the sandwiches we picked up along the way.

The train ride to Carcasson only took about 2 1/2 hours. Once we arrived and figured out where our Hotel was, we headed to it, on foot, dragging our luggage across town. It seemed painful at the time, but it was part of the fun.

We were all very pleased with the Hotel, it was very cute, and the lady at the desk was helpful and friendly. Once we got cleaned up, our trek to the Fortress began, it wasn't easy, but it was worth it. It's the largest medieval fortress in Europe, a walled city full of hotels, restaurants, and shops. We walked around the outer part of the city for most of the evening, well, until we had to look for food. The restaurant we picked looked very nice, but it took almost 15 minutes (maybe longer actually) to take our order. The food was very good. To start Sharon and I had an almond pate (it was really good!!), and Paul had onion soup. For the main course I had braised pork with white beans, Paul had a steak, and I think Sharon had turkey, it's all a little blurry.

After dinner it was time to walk back to the hotel, but first we had to go the a bridge for an awesome night time view of the castle. Paul took a great picture!!

Then off to bed.













Sunday, November 2, 2008

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