Monday, May 31, 2010

Prayer for Deceased War Veterans

O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest, look kindly on your departed veterans who gave their lives in the service of their country. Grant that through the passion, death, and resurrection of your Son they may share in the joy of your heavenly kingdom and rejoice in you with your saints forever. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Dead
by Rev. Edward Lodge Curran

Our dead are not Unknown Soldiers
We know who they are and whither they seek to go.
We know that they must languish in Purgatory
until the last earthly stain is wiped away and
until the last earthy injustice is repaired.

We also know that we can speed their
passage from the Purgatory of Shadow
and Pain to a Paradise of Happiness and Light.

We can hasten the dawn of eternal rest
and rays of perpetual light.

Our prayers and Masses and works of charity
can become eternal ransom money in the justice of God.

We love our dead.
We can help our dead.
Let us pray for them always.
Flowers wither upon their graves.
A daily garland of prayers is better than an armful of roses.
As we approach the Golden Memorial Hour
of the Catholic War Veterans - Eleven o'clock, P.M.

Stand for a moment in silence -
and let there rise from your hearts a
prayer beseeching Almighty God, the Father of us all, to
grant to the souls of our departed comrades, a peace and
a glory that is theirs because of the sacrifice they made that
other men might live.


Our Dead by Fr. Edward Lodge Curran: from

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Brother John de Via: Expiation Needed for Sins of Omission

The " History of the Seraphic Order" makes mention of a holy Religious named Brother John de Via, who died piously in a monastery on the Canary Islands. His infirmarian, Brother Ascension, was in his cell praying and recommending to God the soul of the departed, when suddenly he saw before him a Religious of his Order, but who appeared to be transfigured. So radiant was he, that the cell was filled with a beautiful light. The brother, almost beside himself with astonishment, did not recognise him, but ventured to ask who he was and what was the object of his visit. " I am," answered the apparition, " the spirit of Brother John de Via. I thank you for the prayers which you have poured forth to Heaven in my behalf, and I come to ask of you one more act of charity. Know that,thanks to the Divine mercy, I am in the place of salvation, among those predestined for Heaven the light which surrounds me is a proof of this. Yet I am not worthy to see the face of God on account of an omission which remains to be expiated. During my mortal life I omitted, through my own fault, and that several times, to recite the Office for the Dead, when it was prescribed by the Rule. I beseech you, my dear brother, for the love you bear Jesus Christ, to say those offices in such a manner that my debt may be paid, and I may go to enjoy the vision of my God."

Brother Ascension ran to the Father Guardian, related what had happened, and hastened to say the offices required. Then the soul of Blessed Brother John de Via appeared again, but this time more brilliant than before, He was in possession of eternal happiness.
~ Excerpt from Purgatory by Fr. F.X. Shouppe, S.J., ~
Tans Books and Publishers, Inc.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

God Granted St. Malachy's Desire to Die on All Souls Day at Monastery of Clairvaux

St. Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh, conversing one day with his disciples, the subject turned on death, and each person was asked where and when he would like to end his days, supposing it were his fate to die away from his own country. Various were the answers. One person designated such a place and such a time, another a different time and place, each according to his peculiar views and line of reasoning. When it came to the Saint’s turn, he said that he would select the Monastery of Clairvaux, a place conspicuous for its love of rule and spirit of fervent charity; and as to the time, he would prefer the day of solemn Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed—to the end, he said, that he might share in the advantage of all the prayers offered on such an occasion in that abode of sanctity. Nor was he disappointed in his desire, for being on his way to visit the Sovereign Pontiff, Eugenius III, a short time after, he became seriously ill on arriving at Clairvaux and perceived that his end was approaching. Then, raising his eyes to Heaven in gratitude, he cried out with the Psalmist: “This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell, for I have chosen it.” On the morning of the 2nd of November the intensity of the fever increased to such a degree that death ensued, and his soul, released from its earthly prison, and accompanied by the fervent prayers of the monks and the faithful, and surrounded by a multitude of Holy Souls whom these suffrages had released from Purgatory, presented itself before the tribunal of Jesus Christ to receive the crown of eternal glory.

At the obsequies of St. Malachy, St. Bernard, offering a Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of his holy friend, added to the Mass a Collect to implore the Divine assistance through his intercession, having been assured of his glory by Divine revelation during the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice.

~ Taken from Stories about Purgatory by TAN Books & Publishers, Inc. ~

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pious Invocations for the Souls in Purgatory

"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead,
that they may be loosed from their sins."
(2 Machabees 12:46)

Please add after each invocation the ejaculation:
My Jesus Mercy!

O Lord Jesus, by the precious Blood which Thou didst shed in the Garden of Olives, deign to help and release the souls in purgatory, particularly the soul that is most abandoned. Place it today in heaven, that united with the Angels and Thy Blessed Mother it may praise Thee forever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus, by the precious Blood Thou didst shed during Thy scourging, deign to help and release the souls in purgatory, particularly the soul that did most good during life. Place it today in heaven, that united with the Angels and Thy Blessed Mother it may praise Thee forever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus, by the precious Blood Thou didst shed during Thy crowning with thorns, deign to help and release the souls in purgatory, particularly the soul that was most devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Place it today in heaven, that united with the Angels and Thy Blessed Mother it may praise Thee forever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus, by the precious Blood which Thou didst shed in the carrying of Thy Cross, deign to help and release the souls in purgatory, particularly the soul that is suffering because of my bad example. Place it today in heaven that united with the Angels and Thy Blessed Mother it may praise Thee forever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus, by the merits of the chalice of Thy precious Blood which Thou didst present to Thine Apostles at the last supper, deign to help and release the souls in purgatory, particularly the soul that is most devoted to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Place it today in heaven, that united with the Angels and Thy Blessed Mother it may praise Thee forever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus, by the merits of the precious Blood which flowed from Thy Sacred wounds, deign to help and release the souls in Purgatory, particularly the souls of those to whose care Thou didst confide me on earth. Place them today in heaven, that united with the Angels and Thy Blessed Mother they may praise Thee forever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus, by the merits of the precious Blood which flowed from Thy Sacred Heart, deign to help and release the souls in purgatory, particularly the souls that did most to propagate devotion to Thy Blessed Heart. Place it today in heaven, that united with the Angels and Thy Blessed Mother it may praise Thee forever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus, by the merits of Thy holy resignation on the cross, deign to help and release the souls in purgatory, particularly the soul that hath most to suffer through me. Place it today in heaven that united with the Angels and Thy Blessed Mother it may praise Thee forever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus, by the merits of the tears shed by the Blessed Virgin at the foot of Thy cross, deign to help and release the souls in purgatory, particularly the soul that is dearest to Thee. Place it today in heaven, that united with the Angels and Thy Blessed Mother, it may praise Thee forever. Amen.

Let us pray:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants departed, the remission of all their sins, that through pious supplications they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired; who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

May they rest in peace. Amen.

(Prayer from here.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

St. Catherine of Genoa: Souls in Purgatory Are Content With God's Will

Of the submission of the souls in Purgatory to God's will.

So intimate with God are the souls in Purgatory and so changed to His will, that in all things they are content with His most holy ordinance. And if a soul were brought to see God when it had still a trifle of which to purge itself, a great injury would be done it. For since pure love and supreme justice could not brook that stained soul, and to bear with its presence would not befit God, it would suffer a torment worse than ten purgatories. To see God when full satisfaction had not yet been made Him, even if the time of purgation lacked but the twinkling of an eye, would be unbearable to that soul. It would sooner go to a thousand hells, to rid itself of the little rust still clinging to it, than stand in the divine presence when it was not yet wholly cleansed.

~ St. Catherine of Genoa, from Treatise on Purgatory ~

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

St. Philip Neri and the Poor Souls in Purgatory

Saint Philip Neri had always had a great devotion to the Souls in Purgatory.

He taught his Oratorians to pray for the Poor Souls, to do redemptive suffering for them, to offer up good works and especially have Masses said for them, as there is nothing that moves the Father's Heart like the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Those who had been part of his Community, or under his spiritual direction, held a special place in his heart.

Many times, he was visited by those of his Community, who had passed on, asking for prayers. Very often they returned to thank him for what he had done for them, how through his prayers, most powerfully during the Mass, he had kept them out of the pits of Hell, and instead brought them to Purgatory, where they had confident assurance that they would one day share in the Beatific Vision.

After our Saint's death, a holy priest was praying before his tomb when Saint Philip Neri appeared to him in radiant glory.

The priest recognized him - It was the glorified St. Philip, surrounded by blessed spirits! The priest asked him the meaning of these spirits. He replied that these were the souls who had been under his spiritual direction during life, and for whose release from Purgatory, he had prayed.

Having attained entry into Heaven through him, they had come to meet him upon his death, and usher him into the Kingdom. They were so grateful to St. Philip Neri for praying for them and offering Masses for their release from Purgatory, they had prayed for him till the day he died.
~ Excerpts from here ~

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi: Purgatory Before the Blessed Sacrament

One day, while praying before the Blessed Sacrament, St. Mary Magdalen saw the tortured soul of one of the sisters, who had passed on recently. She saw her rising painfully from the earth, encircled by leaping flames wrapping themselves around her body. The only thing that kept them from scorching the sister's body was a sparkling white robe covering her, shielding her from the blazing fire. She had been faithful to the Rule. She had led a pious life. Then why was she coming to Sister Mary Magdalen like this?

This sister explained that she had grudgingly spent time before the Blessed Sacrament while she was alive. And now, she was being denied her Spouse's Beatific Vision. She went over to where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and remained kneeling at the foot of the altar, oblivious to the flames about her, adoring her Lord so very preciously present in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Oh how she had longed to see Him, once more! Worse than the furnace, which enveloped her in Purgatory, was the loss of the vision of her Lord. She remained motionless, her eyes transfixed on her Savior. At the end of her hour with her Lord in this Garden of Gethsemane, her penance ended, St. Mary Magdalen saw the sister rise to Heaven.

~ Excerpt from Visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory by Bob and Penny Lord ~

Monday, May 24, 2010

All Souls Rosary


This chaplet, sometimes called the All Souls Rosary, may be recited by using a regular Rosary.

On the Crucifix recite the psalm "Out of the Depths":

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If you should remember sins, O Lord; O Lord, who could bear it?
But with you is forgiveness, that you may be served with reverence.
I hope in the Lord, my soul hopes in his word;
My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the dawn.
More than watchmen for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord.
For with the Lord is mercy and with him plenteous redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel from all its sins.

On the large beads of the Rosary say the Lord's prayer (Our Father):

Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

On the small beads of the Rosary recite the following Invocation:

O good Jesus, have mercy on the souls in purgatory or (mention name) and grant to them eternal rest.

The following prayers may be used with each decade as well as a particular intention for each decade.

First decade: I offer You, my Savior, this first decade for the souls of all of my relatives, through the Precious Blood which You shed for them in Your Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. O good Jesus, have mercy on them!

Say the Our Father. Repeat the Invocation ten times.

Second decade: I offer You, my Savior, this second decade for the souls of all those who have shown me kindness, through the Precious Blood which You shed for them in Your Scourging, O good Jesus, have mercy on them!

Say the Our Father. Repeat the Invocation ten times.

Third decade: I offer You, my Savior, this third decade for the souls of those whom I have at any time offended, through the Precious Blood which You shed for them in carrying Your Cross to Calvary. O good Jesus, have mercy on them!

Say the Our Father. Repeat the Invocation ten times.

Fourth decade: I offer You, my Savior, this fourth decade for the souls of my friends and companions, through the Precious Blood which You poured forth upon the Cross, and through the sorrows which Mary, our tender Mother, endured at the foot of the Cross. O good Jesus, have mercy on them!

Say the Our Father. Repeat the Invocation ten times.

Fifth decade: I offer You, my Savior, this fifth decade for the soul of my father and/or Mother and/or relative. I offer You, for this soul so dear to me, the Precious Blood and the sacred water from Your Heart, pierced by the lance. O good Jesus, open to this soul the gate of heaven, and grant me the grace to be reunited with it forever in the bosom of Your goodness.

Say the Our Father. Repeat the Invocation ten times.

O good Jesus, have mercy on the souls in purgatory or the soul or souls (mention name) and grant to them eternal rest.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Submission to the Holy Spirit: Secret of Sanctity and Happiness


I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to all the noises of the world in order to enter into yourself. Then, in the sanctuary of your baptized soul (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit) speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him:

O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You.
Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me.
Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders.
I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me
and to accept all that You permit to happen to me.
Let me only know Your Will.

If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely, and full of consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the trial, giving you the strength to carry it and you will arrive at the Gate of Paradise, laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our Lady's Brown Scapular: Sign of Salvation

"Take this scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation,
a protection in danger and a pledge of peace.
Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire."

~ Promise of Our Lady made on July 16, 1251 to Saint Simon Stock. ~

One of the great mysteries of our time is that the majority of Catholics either ignores, or has entirely forgotten this Heavenly promise of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady further says:

“Wear the Scapular devoutly and perseveringly.
It is my garment.
To be clothed in it means you
are continually thinking of me,
and I in turn, am always thinking of you
and helping you to
secure eternal life.”

A Priest’s Life is Saved:
Still another Scapular miracle concerns a French priest who had gone on pilgrimage. On the way to say Mass, he remembered that he had forgotten his Scapular. He knew he would be late if he went back to retrieve it, but he could notenvision offering Mass at Our Lady’s altar without Her Scapular. Later, as he was offering the Holy Sacrifice, a young man approached the altar, pulled out a gun, and shot the priest in the back. To the amazement of all, the priest continued to say the prayers of the Mass as though nothing had occurred. It was at first presumed that the bullet had miraculously missed its target. However, upon examination, the bullet was found ADHERING TO THE LITTLE BROWN SCAPULAR, which the priest had so obstinately refused to be without.

Source for the above information and MUCH MORE valuable information is here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fr. John Corapi Stongly Recommends Daily Examination of Conscience

Pope John Paul II taught convincingly in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance that all of the divisions we see tearing the world apart—the divisions among nations, the divisions within individual nations, the divisions in cities, and the divisions in families can all be traced back to a single root and cause: that division within individual human beings, and that division is called sin.

There will be no peace in the world, no healing of the political divisions in this nation or any other until individuals find healing within themselves. That healing comes from God and the first step toward that healing is the humility to recognize sin and to ask forgiveness for it. This surely takes place in the great sacrament of Reconciliation, but it should be a daily quest on our part. I am strongly recommending that each of us do a daily examination of conscience as an essential element of our prayer life. Toward that end I am offering you this little
examination of conscience to get you started.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

St. Catherine of Ricci: Charity for Souls in Purgatory


Alexandrina of Ricci was the daughter of a noble Florentine. At the age of thirteen she entered the Third Order of Saint Dominic in the monastery of Prato, taking in religion the name of Catherine, in honor of her patron and predecessor of Siena. Her special attraction was to the Passion of Christ, in which she was permitted miraculously to participate. During the Lent of 1541, being then twenty-one years of age, she had a vision of the crucifixion so heartrending that she was prostrated and confined to bed for three weeks, and was only restored on Holy Saturday, by an apparition of Saint Mary Magdalene and the risen Jesus.

During twelve years Saint Catherine passed every Friday in ecstasy. She received the sacred stigmata, the wound in the left side, and the crown of thorns. All these favors gave her continual and intense suffering, and inspired her with a loving sympathy for the yet more bitter tortures of the Holy Souls. In their behalf she offered all her prayers and penances; and her charity toward them became so famous throughout Tuscany that after every death the friends of the deceased hastened to Catherine to secure her prayers.

Saint Catherine offered many prayers, fasts, and penances for a certain great man, and thereby obtained his salvation. It was revealed to her that he was nonetheless in purgatory; and such was her love of Jesus crucified that she offered to suffer all the pains which would be inflicted on that soul. Her prayer was granted. The soul entered heaven, and for forty days Catherine suffered indescribable agonies. Her body was covered with blisters, emitting heat so great that her cell seemed on fire. Her flesh appeared as if roasted, and her tongue like red-hot iron. She remained calm and joyful, saying, “I long to suffer all imaginable pains, that souls may quickly see and praise their Redeemer.” She conversed with the Saints in glory, and frequently with Saint Philip Neri at Rome without ever leaving her convent at Prato. She died, amid angels’ songs, in 1590.

Reflection: If we truly love Jesus crucified, we must like Saint Catherine, long to release the Holy Souls whom He has redeemed but has left to our charity to set free.

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

St. Josemaria Escriva: Do Everything to Please Jesus

"You shouldn’t want to do things to gain merit,
nor out of fear of the punishments of purgatory.
From now on, and always,
you should make the effort to do everything,
even the smallest things,
to please Jesus."

~ St. Josemaria Escriva, from The Forge, 1041 ~

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

History of the Shrine of Our Lady of Montligeon

... two years before arriving in La Chapelle-Montligeon, Fr. Buguet had been deeply affected by three deaths in his family. On the evening of 1st November 1876, his brother August had been crushed to death by a falling bell at the church of Our Lady of Mortagne. “And what about his soul?” exclaimed the young priest. This tragic accident was followed by the deaths of two of his nieces, aged 12 and 16.”One consequence that can be drawn from my meditations, is the necessity to relieve the souls in Purgatory. I have delayed too long in organising the Work that I had planned. I must work to deliver these souls”, noted Fr. Buguet in his Diary a few months later. The idea of creating a work for the “the deliverance of the neglected souls in Purgatory” germinated in his mind. It would become a reality at La Chapelle-Montligeon. One of the cares that haunted him from that time was to pray and have others pray for all the dead, especially for “those for whom no one prays”. After several attempts, in 1884 Fr. Buguet obtained approval of the statutes of the Association for the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory. He became then, as he himself says, the “commercial traveller for my souls in Purgatory”, begging from parish to parish to build up his work.

~ Excerpt from here ~

The following video is long but, in my opinion, worth the time to learn about the fascinating history of the Shrine of Our Lady of Montligeon. When Fr. Buguet was feeling a strong calling to pray for the souls in Purgatory, he thought maybe an association for the Holy Souls would also enable him to provide work for parishioners. He waited for a sign which came in May of 1884 when a mysterious lady attending Mass thanked him for his kindness of offering mass every Monday for the most forsaken soul in Purgatory.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jesus Requests Prayers and Suffrages for Priests in Purgatory

"I do not want to exclude priests who have died.
They also need prayers and suffrages
so that they may return to my arms from purgatory to heaven.
Even there, the mission of faithful souls lasts,
to free priests from that place of purification,
to gain for Me the joy of seeing them finally in the bosom of My glory.
This will be an act of charity for them
and a joy they will give Me.

~ Jesus to Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, from To My Priests ~

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI: Leading Others to Christ

" Anyone who has discovered Christ must lead others to Him.

A great joy cannot be kept to oneself. It has to be passed on."

~ Pope Benedict XVI, 2005 World Youth Day ~

Video recommended by Anne.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

St. Catherine of Genoa: Peace of the Souls in Purgatory

"There is no peace to be compared with that of the souls in Purgatory,
save that of the saints in Paradise,

and this peace is ever augmented by the in-flowing of God into these souls,
which increases in proportion as the impediments to it are removed."

~ St. Catherine of Genoa ~

Friday, May 14, 2010

Novena to the Holy Spirit


On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body, to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring his opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak, Lord, for Your servant heareth." Amen.

The beautiful Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit is from the Novena to the Holy Spirit--nine days of prayer preceding the feast of Pentecost. The complete Novena is here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

St. Jean Vianney: Pray Much for the Poor Dead

"Oh, my friends, let us pray much,
and let us obtain many prayers from others, for the poor dead;
the good God will render us back the good we do to them a hundred fold.
Ah, if every one knew
how useful this devotion to the holy souls in Purgatory is to those who practice it,
they would not be forgotten so often;
the good God regards all that we do for them as if it were done to Himself."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Humility, Mother of all Virtues: Litany of Humility

"Humility is the mother of all virtues; purity, charity and obedience. It is in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent. If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal."
~ Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta ~


O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, Jesus, others may increase and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

~ Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930) ~
Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sacrificing and Offering Yourself to Jesus Without Reserve

"Your first look in the morning should be directed toward Jesus, your first thought for Him, and your first word, one of thanksgiving and love. Then at the foot of the altar, place your heart in that of Jesus for the whole day, and in spirit, speak with Him there until evening. Again in the evening, place yourself at the feet of Jesus with true sorrow for your faults and genuine thanksgiving for His graces. You remember what I have said to you on this subject. Be very faithful in these practices. Jesus wants from you an unlimited purity of intention. Do not spare yourself anything, the more a soul sacrifices herself the happier she is. It is a known fact that love is repaid by love, but love is also repaid by gratitude, the denial of self and the gift of oneself. Therefore, you must sacrifice yourself and offer yourself without reserve. Suffering always prepares the way for love. There is a degree of love which only those attain who have suffered much and suffered well, and in this, I mean mainly the sufferings of the soul. The greatest suffering that a soul really loving Jesus can endure is that of not being able to love Him as much as she desires."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Queen of Purgatory

O turn to Jesus, Mother! Turn,
And call Him by His tenderest names;
Pray for the Holy Souls that burn
This hour amid the cleansing flames.

Ah! They have fought a gallant fight:
In death's cold arms they persevered;
And, after life's uncheery night,
The harbour of their rest is neared.

In pains beyond all earthly pains,
Favourites of Jesus! There they lie
Letting the fire wear out their stains
And worshipping God's purity.

Spouses of Christ they are, for He
Was wedded to them by His Blood;
And angels o'er their destiny
In wondering adoration brood.

They are the children of thy tears;
Then hasten, Mother! To their aid;
In pity think each hour appears
An age while glory is delayed.

See, how they bound amid their fires,
While pain and love their spirits fill;
Then with self-crucified desires
Utter sweet rumors, and lie still.

Ah me! The love of Jesus yearns
O'er that abyss of sacred pain,
And, as He looks, His bosom burns
With Calvary's dear thirst again.

O Mary, let thy Son no more
His lingering Spouses thus expect;
God's children to their God restore,
And to the Spirit His elect.

Pray then, as thou hast ever prayed;
Angels and Souls, all look to thee;
God waits thy prayers, for He hath made
Those prayers His law of charity.

~ Fr. Frederick Faber ~

Robert, Cyril. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Faces of Modern Day Saints

"Ask Jesus to make you a saint.
After all, only He can do that.
Go to confession regularly and to Communion as often as you can,"
- St. Dominic Savio

From rosaryfilms — April 26, 2007 — The Faces of Modern Day Saints in the Roman Catholic Church. Photographs and pictures of saints, beati, and holy people of the past 200 years; most are actual photographs. Includes St. Gemma Galgani, St. Bernadette, St. Maria Goretti, St. John Neumann, Padre Pio, Edith Stein, St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Frances Cabrini, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. John Bosco, St. Dominic Savio, and many, many more. The Saints aren't just about ancient history, but were living, breathing people just like us. They each struggled with challenges and difficulties of their own time and place, but each have experiences and make choices that are relevant to us today. This is a great introduction to some modern saints, and will certainly challenge us with examples of holiness in the modern world.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Prayer for Faithful Departed Priest

O God, Thou didst raise Thy servant, N.,
to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ,
according to the Order of Melchisedech,
giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal Sacrifice,
to bring the Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ down upon the altar,
and to absolve the sins of men in Thine own Holy Name.
We beseech Thee to reward his faithfulness and to forget his faults,
admitting him speedily into Thy Holy Presence,
there to enjoy forever the recompense of his labors.
This we ask through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fr. John Bartunek: Identifying Your Root Sin

Fr. John Bartunek has written an excellent post about identifying your root sin--available in its entirety on the Catholic Spiritual Direction blog:

"Unless we understand the dynamism underlying our frequent faults and failings, we will never be able to work intelligently to overcome them. It’s like gardening. If you want to get rid of the weeds, you can't just pull out the stems; you have to get at the roots. Otherwise, progress is short-lived and unsubstantial, and sooner or later discouragement and frustration set in."

"Again, it is important to realize that we each have tendencies that spring from pride, vanity, and sensuality. None of us is exempt from any of them, because we all have inherited a fallen human nature. But in each of us, one of the three is usually dominant. If we can identify which one, we can better aim our efforts to grow spiritually; we can strive to develop the virtues that counteract the cause, the root, of our falls and faults. We can identify this root sin, also called “dominant defect” by some spiritual writers, by looking at the common manifestations of each. The manifestations which are strongest in your life can clue you in to your root sin."

~ Fr. John Bartunek, LC, STL: Excerpts from How Can I Identify My Root Sin? ~

Monday, May 3, 2010

Silencing the Human Will

"Be ingenious in mortifying yourself and in breaking your own will. Be especially nice to those who are less agreeable to you than to others, no matter what wrong they may have done you. This means renouncing yourself and pleasing Jesus. Nothing else matters. It is on these occasions that you must silence the human will, but you must do it because Jesus wills it. Do not allow self-love to get the upper hand, but do all blindly to please Jesus alone."

October 2nd. Say many times a day, "My God, fulfill in me all Thy designs and grant that I may never place any obstacles in the way by any act of mine. My Jesus, I will what Thou willest, because Thou willest it, as Thou willest it, as long as Thou willest it."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dying to Self


When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught,
and you don't sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight,
but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.


When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed,
your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed,
and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart,
or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence.


When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder,
any irregularity,any impunctuality, or any annoyance;
when you stand face-to- face with waste, folly, extravagance,
spiritual insensibility-and endure it as Jesus endured.


When you are content with any food, any offering,
any climate, any society, any raiment,
any interruption by the will of God.


When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation,
or to record your own good works,
or itch after commendations,
when you can truly love to be unknown.


When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met
and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God,
while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances.


When you can receive correction and reproof
from one of less stature than yourself
and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly,
finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart.


Are you dead yet?

(from an old newsletter)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pope Leo XIII Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

Prayer to St Michael (Long Version)

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

V: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
R: As we have hoped in Thee.
V: O Lord hear my prayer.
R: And let my cry come unto Thee.
V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.