Maintain Them in Holiness, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

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This prayer from St. Faustina holds significance these days when the title of Priest is bearing the brunt of being tarnished by those who in their ranks who have fallen…and hard. Let us pray for the endurance of our good and holy priests, let us also pray for mercy and justice for those who have sinned and created a generation of victims.

Lord, give us holy priests; you yourself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil’s traps and snares which are continually being set for the souls of priests.

May the power of your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for you can do all things.

I ask you, Jesus, for a special blessing and for light for the priests before whom I will make my confessions throughout my lifetime.

Amen.

~St. Faustina Kowalska

Image Pixabay.com, CCO Creative Commons.

 

Bending Holy Light

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The upstairs windows are washed, and the glass and crystal tchotchkes on the top of the sash and sill have been wiped off. Looking out, I notice the seventy-foot maple in the neighbor’s yard is tipped in dark red. Within a week, it will flash its fall color, a glowing dark-orange that will illuminate my room.

In front of the east window, hanging from the curtain rod just below the valance is a nylon string with clear multi-faceted prisms and hand-made beads. Dozens of vibrant rainbows are drifting across the butter-yellow walls in the gabled room. The prisms are bending the crisp autumn sunlight into these splashes of color, and my office feels bright, cheery and warmed.

I have been working on a manuscript for a new book and find myself reflecting on the Fruits of the Spirit, and there are twelve: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity (CCC1832). I see the Fruits of the Spirit in much the same way as the colors resulting from the prism in my window.

When sunlight enters into the prism and bends as it exits, a rainbow is seen. In this rainbow, I see an analogy: we are the prism in which God bends himself, his Holy Spirit, through us.

We have read in the Bible, in both Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-12, how each of us has unique gifts but are all of one body. Depending on how we are gifted by his design, and shaped by our rearing, we will change or bend the light of God’s Holy Spirit, dispersing his Light into spiritual colors through faith, hope, and charity, the virtues that are infused into our souls.

We are mentally and spiritually altered when we realize the Light of God is within us. With this awareness, we interact in a new way to the people around us. Those who see this light, or spiritual fruitfulness in us, may also be changed. They may open their hearts to the Light, and, once open, they too become a prism revealing the warmth and brightness of faith.

I think God wants us to be spiritually radiant, to bring his Light into a world grown dim. In order to be, as Gandhi said, the change we wish to see in the world, we first need to accept how we are changed to reveal the spectrum of this Holy Light.

I delight when I see colors and how they play about in my world, and I find joy in the colors of God’s Light. You, dear reader, are part of that glow.

Image Pixabay.com, CCO Creative Commons

10/12

 

Our Lady of Lourdes, Prayer for Sisters and Nuns

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Mother Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, pray with us for women discerning a life as consecrated Sisters or Nuns. Guide them, uphold them, and encourage them in their desire to dedicate their life to your Son and his bride, the Church.

We pray that their hearts are filled with a love that will sustain them through years of service to others. Strengthen them in their times of prayer. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

Image Pixabay.xom, CCO Creative Commons

Shelter in the Sacred Heart, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests

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O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep your priests within the shelter of your Most Sacred Heart, where none can touch them.  Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch your Sacred Body.  Keep unsullied their lips daily tinged with your Precious Blood.  Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.  Let your Holy Love surround and protect them from the world’s contagion.  Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here, and their everlasting crown in the hereafter.  Amen.

~St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Image copyright, Margaret Rose Realy, Obl OSB, All Rights Reserved

Quiet Grace of Change in Nature

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Autumn moves in with its usual quiet grace. I took note the other day that the shrubs and trees have become peppered with color. I smile to myself and think of my own autumn-of-life with hair becoming peppered gray—and the next thing I knew, almost white! I had changed and like the trees, in due season and incrementally.

In Michigan, and throughout the Midwest, there are visual seasonable changes in nature. There are also expectations of what each season brings. The greening in spring and the coloring dormancy before winter, the migration of birds into a region and their eventual return to warmer climates as the temperatures drop, are just a couple of the things I know and anticipate each year.

I like the rhythm of it all, when everything is not always the same. This shift leads me to alter my perspective, to see things differently, to pray in different ways. The energetic prayers of springtime are not the same as those said during times of slowing down entering winter.

I find that age—young or mature—dictates my response to change. The sudden shifts that took place in my youth would be harder to manage these days. I like change in moderation and can adapt well with a show of grace. It is dramatic changes that are jolting; when the scenery becomes unfamiliar and uncertainty skews my view.

There was a time as an adult when I came to fully embrace Catholicism. It was then that I was jolted by the reality of my relativistic decisions as compared to the new scenery of faith, and found myself disoriented in my ethics.

The prayers of my early years, chronologically and spiritually, were vigorous, eager, and thrust unto the Holy with certainty of specified resolution. The prayers that I now pray are much less frenetic and are presented with fullness and patience. I have no less confidence that they are being heard, but my expectations of how they will be answered are less defined.

Like the gentle, slow and steady pace of changing leaves at the end of a season, my prayers are slowly spoken, and hopefully more graceful in their petition. Seasons change as do our lives and how we pray. We live in all our seasons with assurance of the rhythm—day by day, familiar with the pace.

 Image Pixabay.com, CCO Creative Commons

10/12