Holy Week and the Need for Prayer

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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

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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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…

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My Prayer Prep

jesus and me

For Quieting Body, Mind, and Spirit

  1. Invoke the Holy Spirit.
  2. Examen.
  3. “Penance, penance, penance.” — OLO Lourdes
  4. Awake your hunger for God through spiritual reading, prayer, Christian music, charity work, or some other holy activity.
  5. Create a quiet, peaceful, and comfortable environment.
  6. Wear simple and comfortable clothing.
  7. Light candles, burn incense, and play low volume chant music.
  8. Assume a comfortable and meaningful body position.
  9. Don’t merely empty your mind, open it to its Lord. https://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFMED.HTM 
  10. Pray the Chotki to improve  your breathing and focus.
  11. Enter into one of the three expressions of prayer: vocal, meditative, or contemplative. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p4s1c3a1.htm
  12. When distracted invoke the holy names of Jesus and Mary and calmly return to prayer.
  13. Be aware that some “distractions” might actually be God speaking to you.
  14. Persevere even if no spiritual consolation is felt.
  15. When you finish praying, record what you experienced in your prayer journal.
  16. “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” — The Mass 

trinity