Friday, April 27, 2012

Not Just for Meals

The Catholic prayer before meals goes like this:

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

While it is a beautiful prayer, I feel like it is greatly under used.

If you look at it closely you notice that it first asks God to bless us.  Who can't use that on a regular basis?

Secondly it asks Him to bless the gifts we are to receive from Him.  This is not always food!

I had the opportunity to go to Mass with my mom and dad the other day.  While we were in the car I said, "Josh is taking his final Calculus 3 exam right now."

The first words out of my dad's mouth were the grace prayers.  He laughed when he realized what he said but then we talked about it.  He prayed for us, including Josh, to be blessed and he asked God to bless the gifts he was anticipating getting, namely for Josh to do well on his exam.

We decided it was the perfect prayer for the moment.

It's perfect for other moments, too.  Give it a try.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Riddle

Heard this riddle in a homily so I don't claim it as my own.

What are the only man-made things in Heaven?

Let's see:

There are angels.  Nope.

There are Saints.  Nope.

There is
" such a great cloud of witnesses".  (Hebrews 12:1)   Nope. 

So, what are the only man-made things in Heaven?

The wounds of Christ. 

For all eternity, we will be able to see the wounds that brought us to our Heavenly home.  Thank you, Jesus.

Our Salvation

Thursday, April 19, 2012

God Knows

One day, a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling very overwhelmed with lots of different issues with people and things going on in the house.

After Mass, I took the opportunity to stay for a bit and spend a little time before the Blessed Sacrament.

Then I went up to the St. Joseph cove and prayed there.

Momma Mary's cove was next.

As I was fervently praying, pouring my troubles out, looking for answers,  the organist began to practice a song for the funeral that was going to take place that morning.

What song did he play?

Be Not Afraid.  

Of course I started crying.  God was hearing me and He chose such a beautiful way to show me.

Quite frankly, I don't remember all of the things I was praying about, but I'm sure several of the issues have been resolved.   I just know that as soon as that song started, I stopped worrying.  God was going to help me through, as He always does.

It was just a gentle reminder for me to keep trusting Him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Praying For The Dying

How do we ease someone into eternity?  Praying for them is the one way I have been able to aid in the transition from this life to eternal life.

Recently I had the privilege of praying for my sister-in-law's mom. She has a very weak heart and is in hospice care.   I sat quietly at her bedside while she ate her scrambled eggs and toast and prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for her.

When invited,  I joined several others in prayer for a woman with brain cancer.  She was fighting so hard and the cancer was beating her.  She allowed several of us to come to her without  foreknowledge of who we were.  We heard her story, single mom with 7 children, and went to minister to her.  She was very grateful.

A few years ago my sister's mother-in-law was losing one of her brothers.  My sister and I showed up with an image of Divine Mercy, and prayed the Chaplet for him.  He got better (not well) and was able to move back to the nursing home for several more months.

We never know how God will answer our prayers for the dying.  We  just have to trust that He honors them and that the person for whom we are praying will remain in His loving care.

Do you know someone who is dying?  It is a very good experience to pray for them while you are with them.  It is much more intimate and they feel your presence even if they are too sick to acknowledge it. And they will leave this life knowing that you cared for them.  What a way to go.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Seven Sorrows

As we prepare to go through Holy Week, and the Passion of Christ, we need to recall that someone else suffered tremendously during those days and last hours of Christ's suffering:

His Mother.

September is the month set aside to honor the Sorrowful Mother, specifically September 15th, but I thought this might also be an appropriate time to share what sufferings Mary went through during her life with the Son of God.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary are:

1. The prophesy of Simeon. (Luke 2:22-25)

2. The flight into Egypt. (Mt 2:13-18)

3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple.  (Luke 2:41-51)

4. Mary meets Jesus on the road to Calvary. (Revealed in a vision to Blessed Anne Catherine  Emmerich)

5. Standing at the foot of the cross. (John 19:25)

6. Taking Jesus down from the cross. (Revealed in a vision to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich)

7. The burial of Christ. (John 29:38-42)

There is a whole devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary.  When I learned them, I was taught to say the sorrow and then pray a Hail Mary.

This web site,, has fantastic artwork and either commentary or scripture verses to take you through the sorrows, or Dolors as they are also called.  

May our Lady lead you to Our Lord.