My Passion Prayer for Priests

i lay down my life for the sheep

Lord Jesus, as Your faithful servants have given up everything to follow You in Your Passion, hear this prayer I offer for them in thanksgiving for Your sacrifice, and theirs.

gethsemane

By Your agonizing sweating of blood in Gethsemane, shield our priests from stress and all other interior agonies.

most precious blood

By Your cruel and unjust scourging, protect our priests from pains of the back.

crown of thorns

By Your awful crowning with thorns, may our priests be spared from headaches and other torments of the head.

via dolorosa

By Your excruciating carrying of the cross, sustain in our priests an ever high energy level with an abundant supply of supernatural strength.

crucifixion

By Your tortuous death on the cross and the spiritual darkness You suffered there, preserve our priests from desolation of spirit so they may always feel You near.

ihs and priest

Guide, guard, and bless our priests always so that they may never be without Your grace and favor. May they be constantly supplied with love, joy, and peace from above every moment of their lives. In Your Most Powerful Name, O Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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Holy Week and the Need for Prayer

alter christus

For us laypeople, Holy Week is a glorious time of great excitement. I look forward to it every year. For our priests who make it all happen, it is also glorious and exciting, but their ability to enjoy it as such is limited. Multi-hour Confessions almost daily, new members of the Church, and preparing for festivities and special liturgies, while beautiful privileges they cherish, also form a very heavy, stressful, and sometimes agonizing cross. These consecrated men of God truly lay down their lives for the sheep. I spend every Holy Week in prayer and fasting for them, and find my own Holy Week experience nourished as a result. Out of love, gratitude, compassion, and reverence for their holy gift of self for us, let us relieve them as much as possible through prayer and sacrifice.

For a collection of prayers for priests, see here: http://www.cureprayergroup.org/devotions.htm

pray for priests

Love drew Him to earth…..

Happy Solemnity of the Annunciation!

I Want to See God

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  

John 1:14

Annunciation, 1914, John William Waterhouse

“The Blessed Sacrament is the magnet of souls. There is a mutual attraction between Jesus and the souls of men. Mary drew Him down from heaven.  Our nature attracted Him rather than the nature of angels.  Our misery caused Him to stoop to our lowness.  Even our sins had a sort of attraction for the abundance of His mercy and the predilection of His grace.  Our repentance wins Him to us.  Our love makes earth a paradise to Him; and our souls lure Him as gold lures the miser, with irresistible fascination.” (Fr Frederick William Faber)

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The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

olo mt carmel

The Brown Scapular is by far one of the most popular devotions of the Catholic Church, many being attracted to Our Lady’s promise to St. Simon Stock: “TAKE THIS SCAPULAR, IT SHALL BE A SIGN OF SALVATION, A PROTECTION IN DANGER AND A PLEDGE OF PEACE. WHOSOEVER DIES WEARING THIS SCAPULAR SHALL NOT SUFFER ETERNAL FIRE.” (This does not mean you can go to Heaven just by wearing the Scapular. You must live what it stands for: Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.). Our Lady also promoted this devotion at Fatima and in another appearance to St. Dominic. http://www.freebrownscapular.com/brown_scapular_prophecy.html Unfortunately, it also a very misunderstood devotion and people who are unaware of important facts such as these below end up going about this devotion completely the wrong way and lose the promises they were so eager to gain.

“What are the conditions requisite for gaining the Our Lady’s promise of the Brown Scapular? 1. To observe exactly what has been prescribed regarding material, color, and shape of the Scapular. 2. To be enrolled in the Scapular by a priest. 3. To wear it continually. (Please note that there are no special prayers or good works that are necessary to receive the promise.  The Scapular is a silent prayer that shows one’s complete consecration and dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The Scapular is a devotion whereby we venerate Her, love Her, and trust in Her protection, and we tell Her these things every moment of the day by simply wearing the Brown Scapular.)”

“How do I enroll in the Brown Scapular? Any priest can enroll or invest you in the Brown Scapular.  There is a formula of investiture that the priest performs.  If you would like a copy of the investiture formula, please go to this link and scroll to the bottom of the page: http://www.sistersofcarmel.com/brown-scapular-information.php

“Does the Scapular have to be 100% wool? Yes. Cotton, silk, and any other material is strictly forbidden.”

“What are the requirements for obtaining the Sabbatine Privilege? 1. To wear the Brown Scapular continuously. 2. To observe chastity according to one’s state in life. 3. The daily recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary OR to abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays OR with the permission of a priest say 5 decades of the Holy Rosary.”

These and other important Scapular facts come to us from the Carmelites themselves at http://www.sistersofcarmel.com/questions-about-the-brown-scapular/

brown scapular

Liturgical Worship – Holy Water, Incense and Candles

The beauty of sacramentals we so often take for granted!

Renewed Hope

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Have you ever wondered where did the Catholic tradition of Holy water come from? What about incense and candles; why are they used in the Liturgy of the Mass? Even for those of you who are cradle Catholics, you may not know the answer or really never thought about it that much.

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Happy Solemnity of St. Joseph!

st joseph

HYMN TO ST. JOSEPH

Holy Joseph, Intercessor
Unto thee God’s children sing;
Be our Patron and Protector,
To God’s throne our praises bring.

Faithful Spouse of faithful Virgin,
Lover of God’s purity;
From thy worthy place in heaven,
Pray that we may faithful be.

Guardian of the Word Incarnate,
Silent guide of God’s own Son;
Guard our hearts and lead us onward
To the life that Christ has won.

Humble man in lofty station,
God has shed His grace on thee;
Pray such grace to us be given,
That we live eternally.

Text: Fr. Christopher G. Phillips, 1991
Music: “Stuttgart” adapted by C. F. Witt, 1715


“I know by experience,” says St. Teresa of Avila, “that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me.”

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

st patrick

Fun Facts About Saint Patrick: http://www.catholic.org/news/saints/story.php?id=45045

Patronage of St. Patrick: protection from snakes, barbers, barrel makers, blacksmiths, cattle,coopers, engineers, excluded people, hairdressers, miners, Ireland, Nigeria.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.