Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious
“Fear and dread she brings upon him.” (Sirach 4:17)
From time to time, you may hear someone say that they’ve been through “the school of hard knocks.” It may be a businessman who has fought his way up the ladder to become a success. It may be an athlete who has trained hard to be the best at his sport, or an actor who played minor roles for years before being recognized as a great talent. If you asked any one of these people where they learned the most, they would all say it came through the challenges involved in reaching their goals.
A similar concept is at work in today’s first reading. We read that wisdom doesn’t come automatically. Rather, it’s tested and proved in day-to-day life (Sirach 4:17). Sirach compares “Lady Wisdom” to a teacher who is more concerned about teaching us valuable lessons and less concerned about being our friend. She teaches us that the way of wisdom is not always an easy road. Sometimes, in fact, it’s a narrow, rocky, even dangerous path (Matthew 7:14).
This can sound frightening, but the “fear and dread” that Sirach mentions isn’t meant to stop us cold (Sirach 4:17). It’s meant to keep us moving forward. This isn’t a fear of God’s wrath. It’s a fear that we may disappoint a heavenly Father who loves us so deeply. It’s the same kind of fear that a young man leaving home has to make his own way in the world. The last thing he wants to do is let down his father, who has supported him and taught him and helped him so very much. He wants to make his father proud, so he works extra hard. And when he encounters obstacles, it’s his father’s love and words of encouragement that see him through.
How do you see your heavenly Father? Is he a taskmaster waiting to punish you for every misdeed? Or is he your teacher, your advocate, your coach, and your support? Better still, what are you afraid of? Letting him down, or getting into trouble? Your Father loves you. He wants to give you his wisdom—even through the school of hard knocks. May we all learn his ways. May we all embrace his love.
“Teach me your ways, Lord! May my heart be open to whatever you would say, and may your word be the light that illumines my path.”
Psalm 119:165, 168, 171-172, 174-175; Mark 9:38-40
Month of May
The month of May is dedicated to The Blessed Virgin Mary. The first 19 days of the month fall within the liturgical season of Easter, which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). The remainder of the month (beginning the Monday after Pentecost) is in Ordinary Time which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.
The Eight Beatitudes form the core of the Christian life. As Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., writes in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, they are the “promises of happiness made by Christ to those who faithfully accept his teaching and follow his divine example.” That happiness is not in the future but now for those who conform their lives to Christ.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.”
+ + + + +
“You can reach heaven
from any place on earth.”
Feast Days and Holy Days of Obligation for 2013
The Holy Days of Obligation are the days (outside of Sundays) on which Catholics gather together to celebrate the mysteries of our faith as a community. This “obligation” is familial because we are responsible as a family of faith in mutually supporting one another. Gathering together in our parishes and communities on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation helps us to “encourage one another and build one another up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Holy Days for 2013*
- Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - Mary, Mother of God – a holy day of obligation
- Sunday, May 12, 2013 - Ascension of the Lord – a holy day of obligation
- Thursday, August 15, 2013 - Assumption of Mary – a holy day of obligation
- Friday, November 1, 2013 - All Saints – a holy day of obligation
- Monday, December 9, 2013 - Immaculate Conception – transferred to Monday, not a holy day of obligation
- Wednesday, December 25, 2013 - Christmas – always a holy day
- Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - Mary, Mother of God – a holy day of obligation
*Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.
Other important liturgical days:
- Ash Wednesday: February 13, 2013
- Palm Sunday: March 24, 2013
- Holy Thursday: March 28, 2013
- Good Friday: March 29, 2013
- Easter Sunday: March 31, 2013
- Pentecost Sunday: May 19 , 2013
- The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ: Sunday, June 2, 2013
- The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: Friday, June 7, 2013
- First Sunday of Advent: December 1, 2013
“Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory! Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you…”
BOOK OF TOBIT 12:6
Powerful Daily Prayer
This is the famous painting about a famous prayer:
In this 19th century work by the French painter Jean-Francois Millet, a farming couple prays the Angelus.
This prayer is well suited to the artist’s subject matter: two humble people paying homage to our Lord and His Blessed Mother in the Hail Mary, as well as in Gospel verses recalling His Incarnation as the Word entered the World. Its name comes from its opening words in Latin, “Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ.”
This wonderful prayer evolved from a recitation of three Hail Mary’s following an evening bell around the 12th century to its present form (with morning and midday recitations) in the 16th century.
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
May the Divine assistance remain always with us and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
When prayed in a group setting a leader recites the verses and everyone recites both the responses and the Hail Mary’s in between each verse, as shown above.
Although the Angelus has been traditionally said three times daily, at 6 am, noon and 6 pm, you can pray it at anytime especially at NOON. It is still accompanied by the ringing of a bell (the Angelus bell) in some places such as Vatican City and parts of Germany and Ireland.
Suggestion: Set the alarm on your cell phone for 12:00 noon, to remind you to stop the busyness of the world for a moment to pray this powerful prayer.
A PRAYER BY ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
BEFORE THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
My LORD Jesus Christ, Who because of Your love for men remain night and day in the Blessed Sacrament, full of pity and of love, awaiting, calling and welcoming all who come to visit You, I believe that You are present here on the altar. I adore You, and I thank You for all the graces You have bestowed on me, especially for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given me Your most holy Mother Mary to plead for me, and for having called me to visit You in this church.
I now salute Your most loving Heart, and that for three ends: first, in thanksgiving for this great gift; secondly, to make amends to You for all the outrages committed against You in this Sacrament by Your enemies; thirdly, I intend by this visit to adore You in all the places on earth in which You are present in the Blessed Sacrament and in which You are least honored and most abandoned.
My Jesus, I love You with my whole heart. I am very sorry for having so many times offended Your infinite goodness. With the help of Your grace, I purpose never to offend You again. And now, unworthy though I am, I consecrate myself to You without reserve. I renounce and give entirely to You my will, my affection, my desires and all that I possess. For the future, dispose of me and all I have as You please.
All I ask of You is Your holy love, final perseverance and that I may carry out Your will perfectly. I recommend to You the souls in Purgatory, especially those who had the greatest devotion to
the Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I also recommend to You all poor sinners.
Finally, my dear Saviour, I unite all my desires with the desires of Your most loving Heart; and I offer them, thus united, to the Eternal Father, and beseech Him, in Your name and for love of You, to accept and grant them. Amen.
The Divine Praises
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.
May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.
Love is the flower,
Jesus, believe in me as I believe in You. (petition)
So I can continue to walk on reaching out to others. Amen.
+ + + + +
ST. KATERI TEKAKWITHA
is often called the Lily of the Mohawks. Born in 1656 near modern-day Auriesville, NY, Kateri converted to Christianity as a teenager. Rebuked by her tribe for her new faith, she fled to Canada, where she spent the rest of her short life living within a Christian mission. Vowed to chastity and devoted particularly to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Holy Cross, Kateri spent long hours in church conversing prayerfully with her Savior. A serious illness toward the end of her life allowed Kateri to conform herself more perfectly to Christ Crucified. Finally succumbing to her illness, Kateri died peacefully just before her 24th birthday.
Pope John Paul II beatified Kateri in 1980, making her the first Native American to receive this honor. On December 19, 2011, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVl signed a decree acknowledging a miracle attributed to the intervention of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, (1656-1680) the first native North American to be raised to sainthood. She was canonized on October 21, 2012.
As a side note, “Kateri” is a French-Indian derivation of “Catherine.” When she was baptized, Kateri took St. Catherine of Siena as her heavenly patron.
“Make yourself familiar with the Angels, and behold
them frequently in spirit.
Without being seen, they are present with you.”
St. Francis de Sales
PRAYER TO THE INFANT OF PRAGUEO Infant of Prague, who said, “The more you honor me, the more I will bless you,” give us the strength to bear the burden of daily life in this sinful world. Give us a firm purpose of amendment and a resolve to lead a better life. Help us endure our afflictions and sorrows with patience and courage. Finally, O beloved Infant King if it be your will grant my petition (mention petition here). But whatever you choose, give me the strength to submit to your will in all things. Amen.
LORD, JESUS CHRIST, I AM DEEPLY SORRY FOR MY SINS. HAVE MERCY ON ME. In Your name, JESUS, I ask You for the grace to forgive myself. I ask your forgiveness for hurting others. I ask for the grace to forgive all those who have hurt me in this life, and especially the one person who has hurt me the most. I renounce forever Satan, ALL the evil spirits and all their works. I give you my entire self Lord JESUS, now and forever, you are my Lord, God, SAVIOR AND REDEEMER. Please heal me, change me, strengthen me in body, mind and spirit for my greater service in Your Kingdom. Allow me to lead other souls to You through my good example. JESUS I trust in you! Come Lord JESUS, cover me with Your most precious blood, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit, I praise You, I thank You, I glorify Your name, JESUS. I love You JESUS WITH MY WHOLE HEART, SOUL, MIND, BODY AND MY WHOLE BEING. O’ Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with Holy Raphael the Archangel and all the holy Angels and Saints, pray for us! Amen.For those who believe in God no explanation is necessary.For those who do not believe in God no explanation is possible.Prologue to The Song of Bernadette.
Holy Raphael says in Chapter 12 in the
BOOK OF TOBIT 12:7-10
7 A king’s secret it is prudent to keep, but the works of God are to be declared and made known. Praise them with due honor. Do good, and evil will not find its way to you.
8 Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than abundance with wickedness. It is better to give alms than to store up gold;
- 10 but those habitually guilty of sin are their own worst enemies.
Rosary Meditation: to Jesus thru Mary
4th sorrowful mystery in the Domincan rosary Mary meets Jesus carrying the cross.
4th sorrow on the Servite Rosary Mary meets Jesus carrying the cross.
4th Station of the Cross: Jesus meets Mary
“Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”
- “Praise the Lord, who is so good!” (Psalm 136:1)
The A-B-C’s of DIVINE MERCY
A- Ask for Mercy
B- Be Merciful
C- Completely trust in JESUS
“Guard your eyes that they may not look upon anything contrary to purity; your ears, that they may not listen to evil conversation; your mind, by banishing from it all suggestive thoughts; your heart, by stifling impure desires at their very birth.”
– St. John Baptist de la Salle
Jesus is performing His miracles today as he did when He walked the face of this earth. The following are His documented miracles 2000 years ago. Go to our Testimonial page to read some of His healing miracles today through the intercession of the Holy Archangel Raphael.
MIRACLES OF JESUS CHRIST
We must work in the Vineyard and not return to GOD
with empty hands!
- To feed the hungry;
- To give drink to the thirsty;
- To clothe the naked;
- To visit the imprisoned;
- To visit the sick;
- To shelter the homeless;
- To bury the dead.
- To instruct the ignorant;
- To counsel the doubtful;
- To admonish the sinner;
- To bear wrongs patiently;
- To forgive offences willingly;
- To comfort the sorrowful;
- To pray for the living and the dead.
O most merciful Jesus, with a contrite heart and penitent spirit, I bow down in profound humility before Thy divine majesty. I adore Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee above all things. I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, my Supreme and Only God. I resolve to amend my life, and although I am unworthy to obtain mercy, yet the sight of Thy cross, on which Thou didst die, inspires me with hope and consolation. I will, therefore, meditate on Thy Passion in company with Thy sorrowful Mother and my guardian angel, with the intention of promoting Thy honor and saving my soul.
I desire to gain all the indulgences granted for for this holy exercise for myself and for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. O merciful Redeemer, who has said, “And I, if I be lifted from the earth, will draw all things to Myself”, draw my heart and my love to Thee, that I may perform this devotion as perfectly as possible, and that I may live and die in union with Thee.
|Station 1||Jesus Is Condemned To Death|
|Station 2||Jesus Is Made To Carry His Cross|
|Station 3||Jesus Falls The First Time|
|Station 4||Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother|
|Station 5||Simon Of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross|
|Station 6||Veronica Wipes The Face Of Jesus|
|Station 7||Jesus Falls The Second Time|
|Station 8||The Women Of Jerusalem Weep Over Jesus|
|Station 9||Jesus Falls The Third Time|
|Station 10||Jesus Is Stripped Of His Garments|
|Station 11||Jesus Is Nailed To The Cross|
|Station 12||Jesus Is Raised Upon The Cross And Dies|
Jesus Taken Down From The Cross And Placed In The Arms Of His Mother
Jesus Is Laid In The Sepulcher
For Roman Catholics throughout the world, the Stations of the Cross are synonymous with Lent, Holy Week and, especially, Good Friday. This devotion is also known as the “Way of the Cross”, the “Via Crucis”, and the “Via Dolorosa.” It commemorates 14 key events on day of Christ’s crucifixion. The majority concern His final walk through the streets of Jerusalem, carrying the Cross. The Stations originated in medieval Europe when wars prevented Christian pilgrims from visiting the Holy Land. European artists created works depicting scenes of Christ’s journey to Calvary. The faithful installed these sculptures or paintings at intervals along a procession route, inside the parish church or outdoors. Performing the devotion meant walking the entire route, stopping to pray at each “station.”
Today, images of the Stations (or simple crosses representing them) are on display in almost all Catholic churches. They serve mainly as a focus for Lenten worship services. But the Stations can also be performed privately, at any time of the year, even at home. Many organizations offer free or inexpensive, illustrated pamphlets for this purpose.
PRAYER T0 IMPLORE FAVORS THROUGH
JOHN PAUL II, POPE
graced the Church with Blessed John Paul
II and for allowing the tenderness of Your
Fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of
Christ, and the splender of the Spirit of love,
to shine through him. Trusting fully in
Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession
of Mary, he has given us a living
image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has
shown us that holiness is the necessary
measure of ordinary Christian life and is
the way of achieving eternal communion
with You. Grant us, by his intercession, and
according to Your will, the graces we implore,
hoping that he will soon be numbered
among Your saints. Amen.
AGOSTINO CARD. VALLINI
Vicar General of His Holiness
for the Diocese of Rome
For graces received, contact:
Postulazione della Causa di Canonizzazione
del Beato Giovanni Paolo II
Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano, 6/a – 00184 Roma