St. Isidore, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests


Grant, we beg of You, O Merciful Lord, that through the intercession of St. Isidore, farmer and lover of the poor, our priests may forego the pride of worldly wisdom, and that through his merits and exemplary life, our priests with humility and dedication, ever perform works pleasing to You.

We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.


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Before Striking the Ground


Horses fascinate me.  From the stout and powerful march of the Percheron to the rhythmic gate of the Paso Fino. Watching them trot and gallop freely in pasture is a simple beauty from God.

While driving country lanes, I came upon a boarding farm and pulled over to watch the horses running and tossing their heads, and noticed something never realized before.

In dressage it’s called passage: a slow, cadenced trot executed with great elevation of the feet and characterized by a moment of suspension before the feet strike the ground.

That motion, the moment before the hoof strikes the ground, a brief second of suspension in the continuation of a walk. That is how I pray at times, an elevated lightness mid-step, somewhere between silence and closeness.

Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning,  that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.

Henri J. M. Nouwen


May God’s peace lighten us this day.

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Proclaim Truth, Tuesday’s Prayers for Sisters and Nuns


Almighty and eternal God, in your unfailing love you provide ministers for your Church. We pray for those whom you call to serve the Church as Sisters and Nuns in the United States.

Inspire in them a generous response to those who would deny You. Grant them courage and vision to serve your people in our country that has become a mission field.

May their lives and service call your people to respond to the presence of your Spirit among us that, faithful to the Gospel and hope of Jesus the Christ, we may gain courage to announce glad tidings to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives, set prisoners free and renew the face of the earth in these United States, where your truths are being denied.


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Blessed Mother Hear Us, Thursday’s Prayer for Priests


This prayer was written by Pope St. John Paul II and seems perfect for this month of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Prayer to the Virgin Mary for Priests

O Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ and Mother of priests, accept this title which we bestow on you to celebrate your motherhood and to contemplate with you the priesthood of your Son and of your sons, O holy Mother of God.

O Mother of Christ, to the Messiah-priest you gave a body of flesh through the anointing of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the poor and the contrite of heart; guard priests in your heart and in the Church, O Mother of the Savior.

O Mother of Faith, you accompanied to the Temple the Son of Man, the fulfillment of the promises given to the fathers; give to the Father for his glory the priests of your Son, O Ark of the Covenant.

O Mother of the Church, in the midst of the disciples in the upper room you prayed to the Spirit for the new people and their shepherds; obtain for the Order of Presbyters a full measure of gifts, O Queen of the Apostles.

O Mother of Jesus Christ, you were with him at the beginning of his life and mission, you sought the Master among the crowd, you stood beside him when he was lifted up from the earth consumed as the one eternal sacrifice, and you had John, your son, near at hand; accept from the beginning those who have been called, protect their growth, in their life ministry accompany your sons, O Mother of Priests.


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Sanctifying Glance


It was a late spring afternoon, one of those kind of days when big clouds moved across crisp blue skies, allowing sunlight and shade to waltz around the gardens.

I walked down the drive to the front lawn with my white five-gallon plastic pail in hand. I was picking up pine cones and tree litter in preparation to mow. Stepping around the weeping crabapple I noticed a woman walking along the blacktop road who, looking up, had noticed me in the yard.

She looked to be a few years younger than me…and every bit as full bodied. Her walking shoes were wide-strapped tan sandals. Her black socks were scrunched down about her ankles, one about to creep fully under her heel. While she walked, her navy-blue jersey knit shorts had worked their way up between her ample thighs, and the bright orange and yellow floral tee she wore barely met the elastic waistband cinching in her belly. She obviously thought it too warm for a bra.

I could imagine she was walking for exercise in hopes of dropping a few pounds. I could imagine she was forced to walk to the corner store because her family had to cut back and there was only one car. I could imagine she was walking to center herself after some stressful event or heated argument. I assumed that her walking down the road had a purpose. People rarely walk down this busy street just for a stroll.

Meeting her gaze I openly smiled. She seemed startled that someone actually looked at her, and blinked a couple times before her face lit-up and she smiled back. Then, just as quickly, the smile left her face and she averted her eyes in a shy sort of way. She was again looking down and watching the blacktop under her feet.

I too was a bit startled by the feeling from our exchanged glance. Until that moment I had not truly realized that a smile could sanctify, bring out the Holy in another person. It was in her brief delight that I saw the Lord of Love revealed.

We both returned to our separate endeavors, each of us touched differently by the presence of goodness. She to her journey down the road, and I “to bow and to bend” to God in all of His creations.

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