Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Eyes to See and Ears to Hear: Reading and Heeding the Signs of the Times"

Facebook post from Johnnette Benkovic, click link below to watch live this week's program.

Johnnette Benkovic If you missed this week's The Abundant Life program "Eyes to See and Ears to Hear: Reading and Heeding the Signs of the Times" with Fr. John Corapi, SOLT you can now watch it at the link below:
It is clear that our day and time is unprecedented in human history. Technology, communication capabilities, and neo-pagan and neo-atheistic ideologies have coalesced to not only threaten, but all but bury, the Judeo-Christian ethos in the marketplaces of ideas and public policy. ...

The Practice of Prayer

This post comes from Father Barron's blog Word on Fire.  I post this link as a reminder of how prayer and suffering are powerful means by which those who mourn for family and friends who have fallen away from the Church established by Jesus Christ can serve as intercessors on their behalf. As we enter into the most Holy Week of the liturgical year let us remember to join our prayer and sufferings with Jesus our Lord.


Prayer is one of the three classical penitential practices of Lent. It serves as the ground in which the two other practices, fasting and almsgiving, must be rooted. Father Barron offers a reflection on this essential participation in the Divine Life.
“I am almost hesitant to speak of prayer because the usual descriptions of it have become so vague, abstract, and unchristian. But particular modes of prayer are indispensable practices of the first path [to holiness], since they are conscious attempts to focus our lives on Christ the center. First, as we saw, when Christians pray, they are not addressing God from some external standpoint; they are not approaching the divine simply as a seeker or supplicant or penitent. They are in the divine life, speaking to the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit. It has been said that Christian prayer is listening intently as the Father and the Son speak about you. It is this peculiar intimacy—praying in God and not just to him—that gives the Christian practice of prayer its unique texture..."
View Original Article

SUFFERING. The disagreeable experience of soul that comes with the presence of evil or the privation of some good. Although commonly synonymous with pain, suffering is rather the reaction to pain, and in this sense suffering is a decisive factor in Christian spirituality. Absolutely speaking, suffering is possible because we are creatures, but in the present order of Providence suffering is the result of sin having entered the world. Its purpose, however, is not only to expiate wrongdoing, but to enable the believer to offer God a sacrifice of praise of his divine right over creatures, to unite oneself with Christ in his sufferings as an expression of love, and in the process to become more like Christ, who, having joy set before him, chose the Cross, and thus "to make up all that has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of His body, the Church" (I Colossians 1:24). (Etym. Latin sufferre, to sustain, to bear up: sub-, up from under + ferre, to bear.) Modern Catholic Dictionary; John A. Hardon, S.J.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Divine Intimacy - Part Three of a Series

Divine Intimacy - Part Three of a Series

Septuagesima Sunday to Holy Saturday

All the following links come from Catholic-Pages.

In this third part of the series, I will provide links to some of the readings for the book Divine Intimacy, by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., available from Aquinas and More.  The focus of these meditations will be on one of the following; the purification of the senses and the practice of abnegation - the struggle against sin - humility, obedience, and the acceptance of the cross - the Passion of Jesus.

Briefly, this book is a goldmine of inspirational thoughts and spiritual meditations from those who lived heroic virtue, to help the soul enter more deeply into the treasures of the Truth of the Faith; so that ones thinking and acting might become transformed and unity or Divine Intimacy might be achieved.

77) A New Program - Septuagesima Sunday

78) The Necessity for Interior Purification

79) Voluntary Attachments

80) The Essence of Attachments

81) The Way of the "Nothing"

82) Rules for Discernment

83) The Night of the Senses

84) The Divine Seed - Sexagesima Sunday

85) Evangelical Poverty

86) Voluntary poverty

87) The Spirit of Poverty

88) Chastity

89) Modesty

90) Chastity of the Heart

95) Death

100) Sin

105) The Transfiguration - Second Sunday of Lent

106) Humility

107) Our Place

108) Humility and Confidence

109) Humility in Our Falls

110) Humiliations

111) Humility of Heart

128) Patience

7 Quick Takes Friday - March 5, 2010

Stop by Jen's site at Conversion Diary to link-up with 7 Quick Takes.


I have been focusing on a the spiritual side of things this Lent so I will continue that theme today with  The Seven Daily Habits of Holy Apostolic People. This post was named after and prompted by a really good article by Father John McCloskey.

1. The Morning Offering -My Morning Offering goes like this:

O Jesus, through the Immacuate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers works, joys, and sufferings of this day; along with every beat of my heart and every breath I take for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my associates, for Archbishop Daniel, for Monsignor Schaedel, that priests may be imbued with apostolic zeal in the Vineyard of the Master, and for the converson of my children and granchildren, Christine and her children, all fallen away Catholics and the enemies of the Church.

O my Jesus, I include myself in all the Holy Masses which are celebrated this day throughout the world, and offer them to You in union with the intentions of Your Sacred Heart. I implore You to reserve for me, from each Holy Mass, Your most precious Blood to atone for my sins and their punishment.

Grant me also the grace of obtaining through the merits of every holy sacrifice the release of one poor soul from the pains of purgatory, the conversion of one sinner, and also that one soul in the agony of death may obtain mercy, and that one mortal sin, which is so painful to Your Sacred Heart may be prevented. Amen.

2. Spiritual Reading - My Spiritual reading consists of:

The daily Mass readings
The Liturgy of the Hours
Divine Intimacy

3. The Rosary - Generally this is a quick recitation with my husband in the morning, but my favorite thing is to really take some time with a scriptural rosary or a CD. A nice selection can be found at Catholic Company.

4. Holy Mass and Communion - Daily Mass seems to be the toughest thing for me....if I could leave my home each morning about 20 minutes sooner, I would have the opportunity to begin my work day with Mass at the Cathedral; but no matter what I do, it seems I am not able to get this accomplished.  If any of you would find it in your heart to keep me in your prayers concerning this aspect of my life I would greatly appreciate it. If We Knew the Value of the Mass is worth reading at this point.

5. At Least 15 Minutes of Mental Prayer - For me this is the last part of my Morning Prayer more like reflection/contemplation/meditation on the reading for the day from the Divine Intimacy.  This is generally where I really enter into a Sabbath Moment. This is where I enter into the peace and joy that is attainable only through an intimate relationship with Christ Jesus.

6. Recitation of the Angelus at Noon - As I get into the busy-ness of my day; this too has been a difficult habit to maintain.  However, at this point I have begun setting the alarm on my cell phone for "noon" and  for 3pm to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy or, if I am not in a position to offer formal prayer at the 3 o'clock hour I can at least offer a short mental pray such as the Jesus Pray, Jesus, Mary and Joseph Save Souls, or one of the short Fatima Prayers.

7. Evening Examen - This is another holy habit that has been difficult for me. One symptom of Lupus is extreme fatigue. By the end of the day which for me is; whatever time I get home in the evening...whether that is 2 in the afternoon or 10 at night, it is difficlut to mentally make the switch to: "ok, it's time to do the things that need to be done at home". I'm doing good to get dinner prepared and be sure I have everything together for the next day. So here I have implemented through my Rule of Life (which will be the topic of a new Page sometime in the future) a personally customized Day Planner. Within the pages of this Day Planner, I have included the Prayer aspect of my Rule of Life with includes an Examination of Conscience published by the Fathers of Mercy. After my Examen I journal on these three questions; Where have I fallen? How has virtue been exercised? Which Ones? What special gift has Jesus given me today? I end my Examen and journaling with the following prayer.  I think this is actually suppose to be prayed following Holy Communion, but it expresses my inner thoughts after reviewing my moral condition, so this is my closing prayer. Also, I wish I knew where I found it, but I don't have a clue....

From the depths of my heart I thank You, Dear Lord, for Your infinite kindness in coming to me. How good You are to me! With Your most holy Mother and all the angels, I praise Your mercy and generosity toward me, a poor sinner. I thank You for nourishing my soul with Your Sacred Body and Precious Blood. I will try to show my gratitude to You in the Sacrament of Your love, by obedience to Your holy commandments, by fidelity to my duties, by kindness to my neighbors and by an earnest endeavor to become more like You in my daily conduct. Amen

There are many formal Examens available.  I've seen one (although I am not quite sure where) that is quite long and I believe is intended as a yearly meditation. Then of course the 10 Commandments are the reliable standby and another option is the Examen of Conscience by Father John Hardon.

God willing...until next Friday.

No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy

If you have not heard the conversion story of Father Donald Calloway or even if you have you may want to pick up this amazing new book. For an excellent book review visit Ester's blog A Catholic Mom in Hawaii: Book Review - No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy.

The Vatican on youtube