To become people of prayer

Prayer Transforms Us

This past summer, and as we progress into fall, as Election Day draws nigh, it has been and continues to be all too easy, especially for passionate people, to lose ground and our sense of reality by watching or engaging too much with “mainstream” media, social media, or otherwise. Only by being people of prayer and through meditation on scripture will we be rooted in truth and able to persevere as the drama that surrounds us unfolds, and the very real, mostly unseen, spiritual battle is fought.

  • May we not be men and women with divided hearts, who claim one thing in public, and another in private.
  • May God’s love for and mercy toward us pervade our entire lives, all we say and do, when other people are watching, and when it is only God who sees.
  • May God transform us through our faithfulness to daily prayer. As God shapes us into the image and likeness of his Son, Jesus, may we then transform our world.

Prayer of Day

Mary, mother of Jesus
and of those who participate in his priestly ministry,
we come to you with the same attitude of children who come to their mother.

We are no longer children,
but adults who desire with all our hearts to be God’s children.

Our human condition is weak,
that is why we come to ask for your motherly aid
so we are able to overcome our weakness.

Pay for us so that we can, in turn, become people of prayer.

We invoke your protection
so that we may remain free from all sin.

We invoke your love so that it may reign and
we will be able to be compassionate and forgiving.

We ask for your blessing
so we can be like the image of your beloved Son,
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

— Saint Mother Teresa, In My Own Words, Ligouri Publications, 1989


From whence shall come my help?

The G-d of Israel Does Not Slumber or Sleep

Shira Choir performs new song
Lyrics taken from Psalms 121.4 and 127.1

Because I can’t stop listening!

Because you also might be in need of something joyful to pull you out of the
Election Season Muck.

Psalm 121 is a blessing for someone going on a journey or for a pilgrim returning home from the Temple. Though the psalm is not associated with the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, I can’t help but think of David’s joyful jumping and dancing (2 Samuel 6) as I listen to the incredible energy of Shira Choir.

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.
I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
From whence shall come my help?

My help comes from the LORD,
the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip
or your guardian to sleep.
Behold, the guardian of Israel
never slumbers nor sleeps.

The LORD is your guardian;
the LORD is your shade
at your right hand.
By day the sun will not strike you,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will guard you from all evil;
he will guard your soul.
The LORD will guard your coming and going
both now and forever.

The journey to life everlasting

Prayer Orients Us to God

Saint Paul tells us 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing. In Romans 12:12 and Colossians 4:12, Saint Paul tells us again to persevere in prayer. And in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us to pray without becoming weary.

Whenever I hear these scriptures I think back to one of the first “spiritual” books I read — The Way of a Pilgrim by anonymous. In this book, the pilgrim walks across Russia with a book and some prayer beads, visiting holy places and attempting to understand Saint Paul’s words to pray without ceasing. On his lips, he recites “the Jesus prayer”:

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Like the narrator of the book, I too, was an ignorant pilgrim seeking wisdom. My faith could not have been weaker. The darkness in my life could not have been more consuming. Unlike the pilgrim, I was not going to give up all to search for answers, nor was I inclined to acknowledge myself a sinner, so why would I ask for mercy?

I was willing, however, to read a book and journey in my mind across Russia with the main character. Little did I know that even by making such a miniscule gesture, which was nothing less than a choice to orient myself toward God, I would begin to set out on a journey, the journey to everlasting life.

Sunday Gospel: Luke 18:1–8

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Two Minute Homily

The parable of the persistent widow often brings to mind the theme of justice. Justice is to give a man what is due him. For justice to prevail among men, we must start by giving God what is due him.

Justice for God

The first commandment tells us what we owe God: You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.

From the perspective of justice, it is easy to see why missing Mass on Sunday is a mortal sin and requires absolution in confession. We have not given God that which is his due. We owe him thanks and praise on a regular and consistent basis. In fact, we exist to give God glory. The Church provides that opportunity, not just on Sunday, but daily, so that our lives don’t spin out in chaos but rather remain in order.

Justice for Mankind

There is a trend among young people to get on the social justice bandwagon. Our quest for justice in America must begin with a quest to give God his due, first. When God is in his proper place in our life, we will give others their due as well.

The greatest injustice in our world today is to deny human beings the right to life. Contrary to the imaginations of seven Supreme Court justices, there is no constitutional right for a mother to kill the child in her womb. What the court’s decision did was simply decriminalize the role of “doctors” and make legal the human butcher shop. We should not be surprised that so many other injustices exist, when our culture misses the foundational reality of the sanctity of human life at its most vulnerable stages.

Questions of the Day

  • Are you giving God his due?
  • What is your life-orientation? What is the underlying rhythm of your days? Is it prayer? If not, what does drive your rising and your resting, your work and your play?
  • When Jesus comes for you, will he find you engaged in works inspired by your faith in God and trust in him?
  • Are you walking in the way of life everlasting?

Quote of the Day

The saints are men and women who enter fully into the mystery of prayer. Men and women who struggle with prayer, letting the Holy Spirit pray and struggle in them. They struggle, with all their strength, and they triumph, but not by their own efforts: the Lord triumphs in them and with them. — Pope Francis, homily for 10-16-2016

My Prayer Today for the Body of Christ on Earth

May our Faith lead us to pray. May our prayer orient us toward God and his will. With Jesus as Lord of our life, may justice prevail throughout the world. May our Hope help us persevere through life’s trials. May we welcome new life into the world and love and support pregnant women and their children. May we respect the role of fathers and never intentionally deny a child his or her right to both a father and a mother. May we live in Charity, so that when Jesus returns, he finds us doing the Father’s will and not our own.

A swift and firm victory

Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila

Morning Prayer

Psalm of the Morning: 103:1–2, 11–14, 17–18

Bless the LORD, my soul;
all my being, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, my soul;
and do not forget all his gifts.

For as the heavens tower over the earth,
so his mercy towers over those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our sins from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
For he knows how we are formed,
remembers that we are dust.

But the LORD’s mercy is from age to age,
toward those who fear him.
His salvation is for the children’s children
of those who keep his covenant,
and remember to carry out his precepts.

Scripture of the Morning: Isaiah 51:4–6

Be attentive to me, my people;
my nation, give ear to me.
For teaching shall go forth from me,
and my judgment, as light to the peoples.
I will make my victory come swiftly;
my salvation shall go forth
and my arm shall judge the nations;
In me the coastlands shall hope,
and my arm they shall await.
Raise your eyes to the heavens,
look at the earth below;
Though the heavens vanish like smoke,
the earth wear out like a garment
and its inhabitants die like flies,
My salvation shall remain forever
and my victory shall always be firm.

Quote of the Day

It is no small pity, and should cause us no little shame, that, through our own fault, we do not understand ourselves, or know who we are. Would it not be a sign of great ignorance, my daughters, if a person were asked who he was, and could not say, and had no idea of who his father or his mother was, or from what country he came? Though that is great stupidity, our own is incomparably greater if we make no attempt to discover who we are, and only know that we are living in these bodies, and have a vague idea, because we have heard it and because our Faith tells us so, that we possess souls. As to what good qualities there may be in our souls, or Who dwells within them, or how precious they are—those are things which we seldom consider and so we trouble little about carefully preserving the soul’s beauty. All our interest is in the outer wall of the castle—that is to say, in these bodies of ours. — Saint Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle

Give yourself generously to prayer. Prayer leads to knowledge of God. Knowledge of God gives us also knowledge of ourselves. We cannot love what we do not know. Prayer is what leads to union with God. Only in union with God will we bear fruit.

Pray after you vote

Questions of the Evening

I’m pretty settled in my plan of action for voting, so why do I keep turning to news outlets, and sicken myself – over and over again – by what I hear and see? What is this compulsion, this (bad) habit or vice that drives me to the latest headline or turn of events, even when I know that the mass media is the biggest producer of unreality and mostly a waste of time? Who is saying what now?

>> The 2016 election is a bad soap opera (not that I’m aware of any good soap operas). It is totally unnecessary to torture myself so. Que sera, sera. And I will vote. And you will vote. And hopefully everyone who can will participate in the election.

And Jesus Christ remains the victor.

For every minute of mass media you consume, do you consume one minute of scripture and another minute of prayer? Might we tip the scales in greater favor of Truth and Reality with a fast from the detritus proffered by “mainstream” mass media?

>> May tonight’s psalm settle stomachs and guide us on. May we be at peace in Christ, no matter the turn of events, and continue to hope in the promises of God.

Evening Prayer

Psalm of the Evening: 37:1–9

Do not be provoked by evildoers;
do not envy those who do wrong.

Like grass they wither quickly;
like green plants they wilt away.

Trust in the LORD and do good
that you may dwell in the land and live secure.

Find your delight in the LORD
who will give you your heart’s desire.

Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will act

And make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
your justice like noonday.

Be still before the LORD;
wait for him.
Do not be provoked by the prosperous,
nor by malicious schemers.

Refrain from anger; abandon wrath;
do not be provoked; it brings only harm.

Those who do evil will be cut off,
but those who wait for the LORD will inherit the earth.

Scripture of the Evening: 2 Corinthians 1:18–22

As God is faithful, our word to you is not “yes” and “no.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, Silvanus and Timothy and me, was not “yes” and “no,” but “yes” has been in him. For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him; therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory. But the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God; he has also put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.

Pray before you vote

Question of the Morning

As we as we navigate through the labyrinth of the Craziest Election Season Ever,
what ought we do?

>> We ought to do what we always do: remember God and be faithful to daily prayer.

Morning Prayer

Psalm of the Morning: 12

Help, LORD, for no one loyal remains;
the faithful have vanished from the children of men.
They tell lies to one another,
speak with deceiving lips and a double heart.

May the LORD cut off all deceiving lips,
and every boastful tongue,
Those who say, “By our tongues we prevail;
when our lips speak, who can lord it over us?”

“Because they rob the weak, and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the LORD;
“I will grant safety to whoever longs for it.”
The promises of the LORD are sure,
silver refined in a crucible,
silver purified seven times.
You, O LORD, protect us always;
preserve us from this generation.
On every side the wicked roam;
the shameless are extolled by the children of men.

Scripture of the Morning: Isaiah 46:9b–10; 11b–13

I am God, there is no other;
I am God, there is none like me.

At the beginning I declare the outcome;
from of old, things not yet done.

I say that my plan shall stand,
I accomplish my every desire.

Yes, I have spoken, I will accomplish it;
I have planned it, and I will do it.

Listen to me, you fainthearted,
far from the victory of justice:

I am bringing on that victory, it is not far off,
my salvation shall not tarry;

I will put salvation within Zion,
give to Israel my glory.


Living the feminine genius

Talks From the GIVEN 2016 Catholic Young Women’s Leadership Forum

There is nothing that we can do but love.

This past summer 300 women between the ages of 20 and 30 had the opportunity to attend GIVEN 2016, a 5-day conference during which participants focused on authentic femininity as expressed through three key themes:

  • receiving the gift you are
  • realizing the gifts you’ve been given
  • responding with the gift only you can give

So, if you are hearing about the forum after the fact, or if you heard about it in time, and were too old to apply to participate… organizers recorded and published the daily homilies and talks, so that we all may benefit. Following are just a few of the many great speakers.

The Feminine Genius – Dr Helen Alvare

Reclaiming the Public Square – Gloria Purvis
Giving counter-witness to the culture about what authentic femininity really is

What are you willing to risk to bring the Gospel Truth to the person in front of you?

Every young woman has been entrusted with a mission: to cultivate her own unique gifts and initiate positive change in the world through the love that is exclusively hers to give.
GIVEN 2016 Vision statement

The Temperament God Gave You – Laraine Bennet
“I used to think my husband was just like me, only bad.”

The Feminine Genius Unleashed in Education – Sister Amelia Hueller, OP
We are supposed to be in the process now of becoming more and more like God.

Reclaiming Beauty – Kara Eschbach
The media we consume affects the way we view ourselves and how we view other women.

How can we begin to see ourselves as God sees us?

Casting the Vision – Sister Mary Gabriel
God notices you. He waits for you and for your yes.

What do I desire? What do I think I need at this moment?
What does God desire here and now?

If you are tired of mainstream media junk and spin, visit to watch talks on Theology of Woman; Finding Balance in Life; Feminine Genius Unleased in the church, politics, and education; Living Motherhood; Entrusted with the environment, economic issues, and with the suffering of others.

The vocation of woman in its fullness changes everything forever.  The vocation of woman in its fullness ushers in a revolution of love that heals hearts and raises the dead to life.

Not afraid to let herself be loved.

Hail Mary, pray for us sinners

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary / Our Lady of Victory
Commemoration of the Battle of Lepanto

Saint Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary
Twentieth Rose: The Hail Mary—Explanation 

Are you in the miserable state of sin? Then call on the divine1 Mary and say to her: Ave, which means “I salute thee with the most profound respect, thou who art without sin” and she will deliver you from the evil of your sins.

Are you groping in the darkness of ignorance and error? Go to Mary and say to her: Hail Mary; which means “Hail thou who art bathed in the light of the Sun of Justice” — and she will give you some of her light.

Have you strayed from the path leading to Heaven? Then call on Mary, for her name means “Star of the Sea, the North Star which guides the ships of our souls during the voyage of this life,” and she will guide you to the harbor of eternal salvation.

Are you in sorrow? Turn to Mary, for her name means also “Sea of Bitterness which has been filled with sharp pain in this world but which is now turned into a Sea of the Purest Joy in Heaven” and she will turn your sorrow to joy and your afflictions into consolation.

Have you lost the state of grace? Praise and honor the numberless graces with which God has filled the Blessed Virgin and say to her: Thou art full of grace and filled with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and she will give you some of these graces.

Are you all alone, having lost God’s protection? Pray to Mary, and say: “The Lord is with thee — and this union is far nobler and more intimate than that which He has with Saints and the just — because thou art one with Him. He is thy Son and His Flesh is thy flesh; thou art united to the Lord because of thy perfect likeness to Him and by your mutual love — for thou art His Mother.” And then say to her: “The Three Persons of the Godhead are with thee because thou art the Temple of the Most Blessed Trinity,” and she will place you once more under the protection and care of Almighty God.

Have you become an outcast and have you been accursed by God? Then say to Our Lady: “Blessed art thou above all women and above all nations, by thy purity and fertility; thou hast turned God’s maledictions into blessings for us,” and she will bless you.

Do you hunger for the bread of grace and the bread of life? Draw near to her who bore the Living Bread Which came down from Heaven, and say to her: Blessed be the Fruit of thy womb Whom thou hast conceived without the slightest loss of thy virginity, Whom thou didst carry without discomfort and to Whom thou didst give birth without pain. Blessed be Jesus Who has redeemed our suffering world when we were in the bondage of sin, Who has healed the world of its sickness, Who has raised the dead to life, brought home the banished, restored sinners to a life of grace and Who has saved men from damnation.” Without doubt, your soul will be filled with the bread of grace in this life and of eternal glory in the next. Amen.

Then, at the end of your prayer, pray thus with Holy Mother Church:

“Holy Mary
Holy in body and in soul
Holy because of thy incomparable
And eternal devotion
To the service of God —
Holy in thy great rank
Of Mother of God
Who has endowed thee
With eminent holiness,
A worthy attribute
Of this great dignity.
Mother of God —
And our Mother —
Our Advocate and Mediatrix
Thou who art the Treasurer of God’s graces
And who dost dispense them
As thou seest fit —
Oh, we beg of thee
Obtain for us
The forgiveness of our sins —
And grant that we may be reconciled
With God’s infinite Majesty.
Pray for us, sinners —
Thou who art always filled with compassion
For those in need —
Thou who wilt never despise sinners
Or turn them away —
For but for them
Thou woulds’t never have been
Mother of the Redeemer,
Pray for us
During this short life
So fraught with sorrow and uncertainty.
Pray for us now,
Now — because we can be sure of nothing
Except the present moment.
Pray for us now
That we are being attacked night and day
By powerful and ruthless enemies . . .
Pray for us now
And at the hour of our death,
So terrible and full of danger,
When our strength is waning
And our spirits are sinking
And our souls and bodies
Are worn out with fear and pain
Pray for us then
At the hour of our death
When the devil is working
With might and main
To ensnare us and cast us into perdition.
Pray for us
At the turning point
When the die will be cast once and for all
And our lot for ever and ever
Will be Heaven —
Or Hell.
Come to the help of thy poor children,
Gentle Mother of pity:
And, oh, Advocate and Refuge of Sinners,
Protect us
At the hour of our death
And drive far from us
Our bitter enemies,
The devils our accusers,
Those with frightful presence
Fills us with dread.
Light our path
Through the valley of the shadow of death.
Please, Mother
Lead us
To thy Son’s
Judgment Seat
And do not forsake us there.
Intercede for us
And ask thy Son to forgive us
And let us into the ranks of the blessed
Thy elect
In the realm of everlasting glory.
Amen. So be it.”

No one could help admiring the beauty of the Holy Rosary which is made up of two heavenly things: the Lord’s Prayer and the Angelic Salutation. How could there possibly be any prayers more pleasing to Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin, or any that are easier, more precious or more helpful than these two prayers? We should always have them in our hearts and on our lips to honor the Most Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ our Savior, and His Most Holy Mother.

In addition, at the end of each decade it is very good to add a Gloria Patri2. . . that is to say: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”


1. ” . . . the word divine may be used without attributing the nature of Divinity to the person or thing thus qualified. We speak of our own prayers, whether addressed to God or to His Saints, as a divine service. The Psalmist speaks of us all as being gods and sons of the Most High; and yet no one takes offense, because the sense given to the words uttered is understood. Mary may be called divine because Divinely chosen for the divine office of Mother of a Divine Person, Jesus Christ (Cardinal Vaughan, preface to “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary” by St. Louis de Montfort).”

2. The “Gloria Patri” was a happy innovation in the recitation of the Rosary. It’s quite probably that it can be attributed to Saint Louis de Montfort himself.

Just a Few Papal Writings on the Rosary

The Love of the Lord

Feast of Saint Faustina
God’s Secretary and Apostle of Divine Mercy

Everlasting love, pure flame, burn in my heart ceaselessly and deify my whole being, according to Your infinite pleasure by which You summoned me into existence and called me to take part in Your everlasting happiness.

O merciful Lord, it is only out of mercy that You have lavished these gifts upon me. Seeing all these free gifts within me, with deep humility I worship Your incomprehensible goodness.

Lord, my heart is filled with amazement that You, absolute Lord, in need of no one, would nevertheless stoop so low out of pure love for us.

I can never help being amazed that the Lord would have such an intimate relationship with his creatures. That again is His unfathomable goodness. Every time I begin this meditation, I never finish it, because my spirit becomes entirely drowned in Him.

What a delight it is to love with all the force of one’s soul and to be loved even more in return, to feel and experience this with the full consciousness of one’s being.

There are no words to express this.

Diary of Saint Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul # 1523

Respect truth & promote the good news

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for October

Universal Intention – Journalists

How can media be put to the service of the culture of encounter?

By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care, the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning individuals. They should not stoop to defamation. — Catechism of the Catholic Church #2497

Moral judgment must condemn the plague of totalitarian states which systematically falsify the truth, exercise political control of opinion through the media, manipulate defendants and witnesses at public trials, and imagine that they secure their tyranny by strangling and repressing everything they consider “thought crimes.” — CCC #2499

Evangelization Intention – World Mission Day

 Each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the light of the Gospel. — Evangelii Gaudium 20