In a thousand ways I shunned your love

God’s constant activity is visible only to the eyes of faith

Quote of the Day

Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!

— Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 3

Prayer of the Day
Outline for Making an Evening Examen
The Examen Prayer: Ignatian Wisdom for Our Lives Today by Fr Timothy M. Gallagher

Transition

I become aware of the love with which God looks upon me as I begin this examen.

Step one: Gratitude

I note the gifts that God’s love has given me this day, and I give thanks to God for them.

Step two: Petition

I ask God for an insight and a strength that will make this examen a work of grace, fruitful beyond my human capacity alone.

Step three: Review

With my God, I review the day. I look for the stirrings in my heart and the thoughts that God has given me this day. I look also for those that have not been of God. I review my choices in response to both, and throughout the day in general.

  • Do I have expectations about the way God will act in my life?
  • Where was God in all of this today? Did I receive any spiritual consolations? Did I experience any spiritual desolation? If yes, did I allow it to change my spiritual proposals?
  • Toward what was God calling me in the day? How did I respond to this call?
  • Did I experience inclinations and thoughts that were not of God? If yes, was I able to resist them?
  • Was the use of my freedom in accord with God’s loving desire for me today?
  • What habits do I need to examine more closely and change?

Step four: Forgiveness

I ask for the healing touch of the forgiving God who, with love and respect for me, removes my heart’s burdens.

Step five: Renewal

I look to the following day and, with God, plan concretely how to live it in accord with God’s loving desire for my life.

Transition

Aware of God’s presence with me, I prayerfully conclude the examen.

Learn How to Respond More Fully to God

Questions of the Day
Living With Spiritual Eyes Open: from grace to grace

  • What gifts did God give me today? Am I thankful?
  • In what ways did the Holy Spirit inspire me or prompt me?
  • How was I faithful to God this day?
  • Where did I fail to be faithful to God’s leading and will this day?
  • When was I discouraged?
  • When did I have spiritual encouragement?
  • How can I be more sensitive to God’s grace tomorrow?
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Entrust the deceased to God’s mercy

Prayer for Our Deceased Loved Ones

O God of all life, pour Your consoling grace upon all who mourn the passing of their loved ones. Hear our prayers for those we love dearly who have gone before us into the life to come. Look kindly on our departed family members, relatives, and friends, especially those we entrust to Your eternal mercy and goodness.

[here pray for you beloved deceased by name]

Consider their deeds of caring, kindness, and charity. Forgive them any sins they may have committed, and grant them the everlasting reward of Heaven.

Welcome my beloved deceased into the company of the Saints, where tears are no more, and suffering and pain are over. Where there is great joy, abundant life, and peaceful rest in Your gracious presence. I pray one day to be united again with all my loved ones who have passed away, so that together we may praise You forever and ever. Amen.

My Treasured Catholic Prayers, published by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church

Prayer of Saint Faustina

O Jesus, I understand that Your mercy is beyond all imagining, and therefore I ask You to make my heart so big that there will be room in it for the needs of all the souls living on the face of the earth. O Jesus, my love extends beyond the world, to the souls suffering in PURGATORY, and I want to exercise mercy toward them by means of indulgenced prayers. God’s mercy is unfathomable and inexhaustible, just as God Himself is unfathomable. Even if I were to use the strongest words there are to express this mercy of God, all this would be nothing in comparison with what it is in reality. O Jesus, make my heart sensitive to all the sufferings of my neighbor, whether of body or of soul. O my Jesus, I know that You act toward us as we act toward our neighbor.

My Jesus, make my heart like unto Your merciful Heart. Jesus, help me to go through life doing good to everyone.

Diary, 692

Saint Faustina’s Divine Mercy Novena, Day 8

Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury (64) of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.Diary, 122

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in PURGATORY, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

From that terrible heat of the cleansing fire
Rises a plaint to Your mercy,
And they receive comfort, refreshment, relief
In the stream of mingled Blood and Water.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in PURGATORY, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded, manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way than through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion.

Diary, 1227

The refuge of our Mother’s heart

100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun

Prayer of the Day
Consecration Prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary

Dear Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Rosary, you revealed to the shepherd children the desire of Jesus to make you known and loved and to establish in the world devotion to your Immaculate Heart.

Today we honor you and express our devoted love for you as we remember the centenary of your apparitions and the miracle of the sun which you foretold would be performed so that all may believe.

We believe! Help all to believe in our day! We beg you, dear Mother, to remember us in our anguished times. Help us to return to God Who is already so much offended.

Awaken in every heart remorse for sin and a spirit of reparation. Do not let poor sinners be lost forever, but let them find in your Immaculate Heart a refuge and the way that will lead them to God.

We consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart and offer ourselves to God through you.

Let us be, sweet Mother, your docile instruments for extending the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, your Son, into the world. Amen.

Saints Francisco and Jacinta, pray for us!

— Father Joseph homily for EWTN daily Mass, October 13, 2017

 

Creation: channels of God’s love

World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation

Prayer of the Day 
from Pope Francis’ Laudato Si

Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your
tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the
weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
Amen.

Quote of the Day

The story of creation presents us with a panoramic view of the world. Scripture reveals that, “in the beginning”, God intended humanity to cooperate in the preservation and protection of the natural environment. At first, as we read in Genesis, “no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up – for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground” (2:5). The earth was entrusted to us as a sublime gift and legacy, for which all of us share responsibility until, “in the end”, all things in heaven and on earth will be restored in Christ (cf. Eph 1:10). Our human dignity and welfare are deeply connected to our care for the whole of creation. — Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew joint statement

Pray every, every, every day

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the Old Testament reading we are told that the Lord’s house is a house of prayer and a house for all peoples. Foreigners are welcome to join themselves to the Lord. And in the Gospel passage it is a pagan woman, rather than a Jew, who comes to Jesus and asks for healing for her daughter. She is persistent in her request, willing to engage the Lord in banter, which Jesus uses to display the foreign woman’s great faith. He goes so far as to invoke the Jewish cultural view of her: she is the equivalent of a dog. Jesus did not view this woman as a dog. We know better. If anything, during this exchange, Jesus has repudiated the Jewish cultural notion of looking upon others as less than human or not worthy of God’s love and mercy. The epistle sheds a some light on this: God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.

Jesus breaks cultural barriers and customs, showing that we all have a claim on God’s love. In yesterday’s reading the “outsiders” were the children, who were annoying the disciples. The adults wanted to push them aside, get them out of the way. In today’s reading, the outsider is both a pagan and a woman. Jesus has come to elevate and acknowledge the worth of each and every one of us, regardless of our heritage, our gender, our age, or any other aspect of ourselves that may differentiate us from others.

When it seems that God is not answering our prayer, we must not go away defeated, but engage him all the more.

Quote of the Day
Into the Deep: Finding Peace Through Prayer by Dan Burke

Some time ago my youngest brother, who is a bit baffled by my faith, asked me an important question: “Dan, do you pray every day?”

I replied, “Yes.”

He asked, “Every, every day?”

Again I said, “Yes.”

He then asked again but with an emphasis in his tone that reflected some measure of disbelief and a demand for an absolutely honest answer. “Every, every, every day?”

A light went on in my head, and I realized what he was really asking me. “Dennis, you don’t understand—I don’t pray because I am holy; I pray because I am not.” I continued, “I am not capable of living a life without God. This is why I pray every, every, every day.”

The idea of my own incapacity to live even a single day without prayer is not new or unique to me. One of the most oft-quoted sayings in the history of Christianity is St. Augustine’s line in his Confessions, “…our heart is restless until it rests in you.” The reason this is cited so often, even more than a thousand years after it was written, is that it rings true across all cultures and throughout all time. Any heart open to God says “yes” when it hears this beautiful expression. We know in the depths of our being that this is true. The reason it is true is revealed in the full quote, which reads, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.”

St. Augustine recognizes that our hearts are restless to the degree that we fail to orient all that we are to God. Our restlessness comes from a disorientation of our hearts. To the degree that we give ourselves  to God in prayer, the restlessness will begin to subside. To the degree that we give ourselves to God, we fulfill the purpose of our existence; we know union with God and thus know the peace and joy that enable us to face and overcome whatever comes our way.

If your heart is restless like mine, there is a path to peace and joy available to you. This path can only be found in and through prayer.

Scriptures of the Day

Old Testament: Isaiah 56:1, 6–7

Thus says the LORD:
Observe what is right, do what is just;
for my salvation is about to come,
my justice, about to be revealed.

The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
ministering to him,
loving the name of the LORD,
and becoming his servants—
all who keep the sabbath free from profanation
and hold to my covenant,
them I will bring to my holy mountain
and make joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be acceptable on my altar,
for my house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.

Responsorial Psalm: 67:2–3, 5, 6, 8

May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!

May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!

May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!

Epistle: Romans 11:13–15, 29–32

Brothers and sisters:
I am speaking to you Gentiles.
Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles,
I glory in my ministry in order to make my race jealous
and thus save some of them.
For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,
what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Just as you once disobeyed God
but have now received mercy because of their disobedience,
so they have now disobeyed in order that,
by virtue of the mercy shown to you,
they too may now receive mercy.
For God delivered all to disobedience,
that he might have mercy upon all.

Gospel: Matthew 15:21–28

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

Prayer

May  Jesus heal us individually and collectively as a nation of wrong notions about our brothers and sisters, and unified in Christ, may we live in peace and joy. May all find welcome in our houses of prayer.

Question of the Day

So how is your prayer life? Do you pray every, every, every day?

Pray for faith & freedom in America

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the oldest Marian Feast, returns every year in the heart of summer. It is an opportunity to rise with Mary to the heights of the spirit where one breathes the pure air of supernatural life and contemplates the most authentic beauty, the beauty of holiness. The atmosphere of today’s celebration is steeped in paschal joy. “Today”, the antiphon of the Magnificat says, “the Virgin Mary was taken up to Heaven. Rejoice, for she reigns with Christ for ever. Alleluia”. This proclamation speaks to us of an event that is utterly unique and extraordinary, yet destined to fill the heart of every human being with hope and happiness. Mary is indeed the first fruit of the new humanity, the creature in whom the mystery of Christ – his Incarnation, death, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven – has already fully taken effect, redeeming her from death and conveying her, body and soul, to the Kingdom of immortal life. For this reason, as the Second Vatican Council recalls, the Virgin Mary is a sign of certain hope and comfort to us (cf. Lumen Gentiumn. 68). Today’s feast impels us to lift our gaze to Heaven; not to a heaven consisting of abstract ideas or even an imaginary heaven created by art, but the Heaven of true reality which is God himself. God is Heaven. He is our destination, the destination and the eternal dwelling place from which we come and for which we are striving. — Pope Benedict XVI, August 15, 2008, homily

Question of the Day

For what are we striving?
Is our gaze on our eternal dwelling place? And our movement toward it?

54-Day Novena for Our Nation 2017 Begins Today!NovenaForOurNation2017

Heed the call of Our Lady of Fatima, and pray the rosary daily for peace. Pray also for your own conversion and growth in holiness.