BVM, Stand Beside Them, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

.

O Mary, Mother of Jesus you were with Jesus at the beginning of His life and mission. You stood beside Jesus when He was lifted on the cross and gave His life for all. We ask you now to be with our priests, who give themselves in service to God’s people. Intercede for them that they may grow in holiness; proclaim God’s word with courage; celebrate the sacraments with joy; and be among God’s people as Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was. We offer this prayer to God, the Father, through your intercession, in the name of your Son, Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

(A novena prayer for priests, origin unknown. Possibly associated with Opus Sanctorum Angelorum)

Image Pixabay.com, CCO, Creative Commons

Mother Mary Would Love this Blueberry Pie!

.

Summer celebrations are great fun! The weather is usually perfect for outdoor gatherings with foods made fresh from whatever is in abundance.

Here in Michigan, from June-September, the blueberries are in—big and plump and full of flavor. No more of the little half-pint containers trucked-in from states far, far away. Nope. For eight to ten weeks 2 lb. cartons show up at the market, and the berries find their way into just about everything, from breakfasts to sauces at dinner.

The harvest is at its peak by mid-August, about the time of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. My tradition for this holy day is to bake something special—don’t all celebrations need a special treat?—using blueberries, of course.

This year I offer you a favorite pie, made only in mid-summer when the blueberries are most flavorful and their skins, being fresh,  are still thin.

Blueberry and Sour Cream Pie

9” pie shell, unbaked (Yes, I buy mine)

Filling:

1 c. sour cream

1 egg beaten

1 tsp. corn starch

2 tbl. flour

¼ tsp. salt

1 ¼ c.sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

3-3 1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Topping: using a fork, mix together and refrigerate while pie bakes

2 tbl. sugar

3 tbl. flour

3 tbl. soft butter (the real stuff!)

3-4 tbl. chopped walnuts, can substitute with pecans or almonds

Preheat oven to 400º

Press out crust into a deep 9” pie pan. (HINT: To be sure the pan will hold ALL of the ingredients, measure our 4 ½ c. of water and pour it in the pie pan. If it holds the water, the pan is big enough.)

Combine the first seven ingredients and mix on low for about 3-4 minutes. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. Gently fold in the blueberries and pour in to pie shell. Bake for 40-45 minutes (the center should be set, not soupy).

Remove from oven and sprinkle topping—which will be kind of sticky—on pie. Place it back in the oven and bake another 15-20 minutes, until topping browns.

Cool completely on a rack so filling sets. And don’t be bummed that, like most pies, it shrinks down when cooled.

Serves 8 (Ha! Usually)

This pie is tender and flavorful and best served  without whipped cream or ice cream on top…but then again, ice cream on the side is always welcomed!

Images Pixabay.com, CCO Creative Commons.

Mother Mary Teach Them, Tuesday’s Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

.

O Immaculate Virgin, help remove from the hearts of our holy women any reluctance to giving themselves fully to God. Keep them from being immersed in the things of earth. Teach them how pure their hearts ought to be, so that they will never refuse anything to the Lord, and will always be able to repeat with you their sweet, prompt fiat. Illumine their minds, then, with the light which emanates from your resplendent purity, so that no attachment, no earthly affection may remain hidden in them to prevent their leading a life truly and fully consecrated to God.  They have entrusted, in a very special way, a vow of chastity; guard it and make it pure, not only in body, but also in mind and heart. With your help, O Mother most holy, let their heart belong wholly to God. Amen.

(Adapted from Divine Intimacy, p.29)

Still, Many are Witness to Your Word, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

.

Look kindly Lord, on your priests, religious and laymen who left all to witness to your word and your love. Be to each one of them a “powerful protector and their strong support, their shade from the midday sun, their shelter from the desert wind, a guard against stumbling, an assurance against a fall…” (Ecc 34:19).

Sustain them in difficult moments, direct their strength, console their hearts and crown their works with spiritual victories. Let them not seek for earthly success or the goods of this world, but only your triumph and the good of souls.

Your Cross, which accompanies them through their lives, speaks to them of heroism, renunciation, and of peace. Be their comfort, their guide, their light and their strength, so that your name may be announced everywhere and that, surrounded by a larger and larger number of your faithful, they may sing a hymn of thanksgiving, of glory, and redemption. Amen.

-Pope John XXIII

 

A Drought That Did Not Kill

There is a bit of a drought going on in my corner of the world, both in my thoughts and in my garden.

A familiar quote that kept  coming up this week is…

I will never look into the eyes of a person God does not love.[1]

…I like that. Sometimes I recommend this quote to others, those caught in a cycle of self deprecation, to keep it in mind when they look in the mirror.

As for the garden…even in a drought, it blooms:

Lantana camara ‘Anne Marie’

Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Astra Blue’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Annabelle’

Anethum graveolens, Dill!

Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’ (I think…)

Anemone x hybrida ‘Serenade’

And this guy

Let us pray for rain to refresh our wearied soil.

[1] Don’t know the origin of this quote, but it sounds like a paraphrase of any number of the Church doctors.

Images Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB, all rights reserved.

St. Michael the Archangel, Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

St. Michael the Archangel, continue to guard our holy women from the lies of the devil.

Let them not doubt their efforts to be the hands of Christ in a world that devalues the lessons Jesus taught.

Keep them free from anxieties and fears so they may continue to grow in the peace that only God can give.

Help their Guardian Angels to guide them from the near occasion of sin.

Keep them strong, safe, and able to draw near to one another in times of uncertainty.

We pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Image Pixabay.com, CCO Creative Commons

Strength in Ministry, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

.

Dear Lord, we pray that the Blessed Mother wrap her mantle around priests and through her intercession strengthen them for their ministry.

We pray that Mary will guide priests to follow her own words, “Do whatever He tells you.”

May priests have the heart of St. Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse.

May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart inspire them to embrace all who suffer at the foot of the cross.

May priests be holy, filled with the fire of your love seeking nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of souls.

Amen.

St John Vianney, pray for us.

Image Pixabay.com, CCO Creative Commons

To Change in Nature

.

As we age we come to embrace on many levels the verse Jn 3:30, “He must increase; I must decrease.”

The gardens have become fewer and smaller as I’ve aged. The riot of color from spring’s thaw to late autumn’s freeze have given way to a simpler view of textures and shapes, under the boughs of trees.

I still work the gardens at a slower pace —ever careful of what could trip and cause a fall—and plan more for what is essential and when it really needs to be done. I’m growing comfortable with new normals and the minimizing of a once exuberant life.

I’ve become a reflection of my gardens—smaller and preferably off to the side in the shade.

The boldness of hosta leaves, the vibrancy of tree peony blooms, or the structure of an oak leaf hydrangea all have a life, but only in dappled light. Those plants, and many more, are not meant to be in the intense full sun. There are others better suited for that—to dance with the light and welcomed attention.

I think of shade gardens as a kind of whisper from the Creator calling me to be still, sit with him a while, and to look where his Light shines clearest. So, like many gray-haired types, I seek that distant shady spot from which to watch the busy freshness of life.

I’ve not felt that I’ve lost who I am, my identity as a gardener in this slow decline. Like my gardens I have transitioned and become more defined. My roots are still deep in the soil of faith, and nourished by the compost spread over time. Our Lord has whispered new ways to be all of whom this different ‘I am’ is, and I try to listen as best I can.

My attempts to write or create art are not done with the confidence of training—which at times is glaringly obvious. My approach is one of openness, more of a practice continued for God’s glory. It is he who prospers the works of my hands, and carries my efforts like dandelion fluff on a breeze.

I am content to still be his gardener spreading fewer seeds. We all have transmuted gifts, those that have changed in nature, though in essence we remained the same.

Image Pixabay.com. CCO Creative Commons

 

St. Joseph Prayer, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

.

O glorious Saint Joseph, who, on the word of the angel  speaking to you in the night, put fear aside to take your Virgin Bride into your home, show yourself today the advocate and protector of priests.

Protector of the Infant Christ, defend them against every attack of the enemy, preserve them from the dangers that surround them on every side. Remember Herod’s threats against the Child, the anguish of the flight into Egypt by night, and the hardships of your exile. Stand by the accused; stretch out your hand to those who have fallen; comfort the fearful; forsake not the weak; and visit the lonely. Let all priests know that in you  God has given them a model of faith in the night, obedience in adversity, chastity in tenderness, and hope in uncertainty.

You are the terror of demons and the healer of those wounded in spiritual combat. Come to the defense of every priest in need; overcome evil with good. Where there are curses, put blessings, where harm has been done, do good. Let there be joy for the priests of the Church, and peace for all under your gracious protection.

Amen.

(Prayer found at Vultus Christi.)

Image pixabay.com, CCO, Creative Commons.