Friday, July 12, 2019

Honoring Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Act of Consecration to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O Mary, Queen of all Saints, who art the beauty of Carmel,
how sweet it is for me to venerate thee under the title of
Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Even from the days of the Apostles,
thou hast been honored under this mystic title; I am
filled with joy as I consecrate myself to thee, O holy Mary,
most unworthy though I am to be thy servant, yet touched
by thy motherly care for me and longing to serve thee, in
the presence of my Guardian Angel and the court of Heaven,
I choose thee this day to be my Queen, my Advocate, and
my Mother, and I firmly purpose to serve thee ever more and
to do what I can that all may render faithful service to thee.

Therefore, most devoted Mother, through the Precious Blood
thy Son poured out for me, and through the promises of thee as
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I beg thee, deign to take me among
thy clients and receive me as thy servant forever.

O beauty of Carmel, glory of Libanus, thou purest of lilies,
mystic rose in the garden of the Church, I salute thee!
O Virgin of virgins, be mindful of me in my misery, and show
thyself my Mother. Shed upon me ever more and more the
living light of that faith which made thee blessed; inflame with that
Heavenly love wherewith thou didst love thy dear Son, Jesus Christ.

Do thou, Mother of God, who hast such power and might, obtain
for me from blessed Jesus, the Heavenly gifts of humility, chastity,
and meekness, which were the fairest ornaments of thine
Immaculate soul. Do thou grant me to be strong in the midst
of the temptations and bitterness which so often overwhelm my spirit.
Aid me in every action, and beg for me the grace, never, by word or
deed or thought, to be displeasing in thy sight and that of thy most
holy Son. Think of me my dearest Mother, and desert me not at
the hour of death. Amen. [Kiss your scapular.]

Holy Virgin of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of the Scapular, pray for us!

God bless!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Chaplet to the Precious Blood

“Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.” --St. John of the Cross
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The following devotion consists of seven mysteries in which one meditates on the seven main sheddings of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. The Our Father is said five times after each mystery except for the last, when it is said three times------in all thirty-three times in honor of the thirty-three years of Our Savior's life on earth.

Chaplet of the Precious Blood of Jesus

V. O God, come to my assistance!
R. Lord, make haste to help me!
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

First Mystery
Jesus shed His Blood in the Circumcision.
Let us ask for chastity of soul and body.
Our Father five times, Glory be to the Father once.

V. We pray Thee, Lord, help Thy servants!
R. Whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood!

Second Mystery
Jesus shed His Blood in the Agony while praying in the Garden of Olives.
Let us ask for the spirit of prayer.
Our Father five times, Glory be to the Father once.

V. We pray Thee, Lord, help Thy servants!
R. Whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood!

Third Mystery
Jesus shed His Blood in the Scourging at the Pillar.
Let us ask for patience and self control.
Our Father five times, Glory be to the Father once.

V. We pray Thee, Lord, help Thy servants!
R. Whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood!

Fourth Mystery
Jesus shed His Blood in the Crowning with Thorns.
Let us ask for humility to atone for pride.
Our Father five times, Glory be to the Father once.

V. We pray Thee, Lord, help Thy servants!
R. Whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood!

Fifth Mystery
Jesus shed His Blood while carrying His Cross to Calvary.
Let us ask for acceptance of our daily crosses.
Our Father five times, Glory be to the Father once.

V. We pray Thee, Lord, help Thy servants!
R. Whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood!

Sixth Mystery
Jesus shed His Blood in the terrible Crucifixion.
Let us ask for contrition.
Our Father five times, Glory be to the Father once.

V. We pray Thee, Lord, help Thy servants!
R. Whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood!

Seventh Mystery
Jesus shed Blood and water from His side pierced by the Lance.
Let us ask for perseverance.
Our Father three times, Glory be to the Father once.

V. We pray Thee, Lord, help Thy servants!
R. Whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood!

God bless!

Friday, June 28, 2019

In Honor of our Lord's Sacred Heart and Precious Blood

On the traditional calendar this Sunday is the external Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (June 28 is the actual feast day of our Lord's Sacred Heart in 2019.  The date of this feast always falls on the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi.)  Immediately following on July 1, is the feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus.  With these two great devotions residing so near to one another, a fitting prayer to recite is the "Prayer to the Wounded Heart of Jesus."  This simple, but beautiful prayer honors our Lord's most Sacred Heart, while at the same time recognizing the infinite merit of the shedding of Jesus' most Precious Blood in relation to our salvation.  May we strive throughout July, the month dedicated to the Precious Blood, to offer sacrifices in reparations for our sins, for which He suffered and died
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Prayer to the Wounded Heart of Jesus

O my Most Loving and Gentle Jesus, I desire with all
the affections of my heart, that all beings created and
uncreated, should praise Thee, honor Thee and glorify
Thee eternally for that Sacred Wound wherewith Thy
Divine side was rent. I deposit, enclose, conceal in that
wound and in that opening in Thy Heart, my heart and
all my feelings, thoughts, desires, intentions
and all the faculties of my soul.
I entreat Thee, by the Precious Blood and Water that flowed
from Thy Most Loving Heart, to take entire possession of me,
that Thou may guide me in all things.

Consume me in the burning fire of Thy Holy Love,
so that I may be so absorbed and transformed
into Thee that I may no longer be but one
with Thee. Amen.

Salvéte Christi vúlnera

Salvéte, Christi vúlnera,
Imménsi amóris pígnora
Quibus perénnes rívuli
Manant rubéntis sánguinis.
Nitóre stellas víncitis
Rosas odóre et bálsama,
Prétio lapíllos Indicos,
Mellis favos dulcédine.
Per vos patet gratíssimum
Nostris asylum méntibus;
Non huc furor minántium
Umquam penétrat hóstium.
Quot Jesus in prætório
Flagélla nudus éxcipit!
Quot scissa pellis úndique
Stillat cruóris gúttulas!
Frontem venústam, proh dolor!
Coróna pungit spínea,
Clavi retúsa cúspide
Pedes manúsque pérforant.
Postquam sed ille trádidit
Amans volénsque spíritum,
Pectus ferítur láncea,
Geminúsque liquor éxsilit.
Ut plena sit redémptio,
Sub torculári stríngitur;
Suíque Jesus ímmemor,
Sibi nil resérvat sánguinis.
Veníte quotquot críminum
Funésta labes ínficit;
In hoc salútis bálneo
Qui se lavat, mundábitur.
Sequens Conclusio numquam mutátur.
Summi ad Paréntis déxteram
Sedénti habénda est grátia,
Qui nos redémit sánguine,
Sanctóque firmat Spíritu. Amen.

Hail, holy wounds of Jesus, hail,
Sweet pledges of the saving Rood,
Whence flow the streams that never fail,
The purple streams of his dear Blood!
Brighter than brightest stars ye shew;
Than sweetest rose your scent more rare;
No Indian gem may match your glow;
Nor honey's taste with yours compare.
Portals ye are to that dear home
Wherein our wearied souls may hide,
Whereto no angry foe can come,
The Heart of Jesus crucified.
What countless stripes our Jesus bore,
All naked left in Pilate's hall!
From his torn flesh how red a shower
Did round his sacred person fall!
O shame and woe! his comely head
Was riven by a thorny crown;
Upon the Cross, by woundings dread,
His hands and feet were nailed down.
But when for our poor sakes he died,
A willing Priest by love subdued,
And that sharp lance transfixed his side,
Forth flowed the Water and the Blood.
In full atonement of our guilt,
Careless of self, the Saviour trod,
E'en till his Heart's best Blood was spilt,
The wine-press of the wrath of God.
Come, bathe you in the healing flood,
All ye who mourn, by sin oppressed;
Your only hope is Jesus' Blood,
His sacred Heart your only rest.
This Ending is never changed.
All praise to him, Eternal Son,
At God's right hand enthroned above,
Whose Blood our full redemption won,
Whose Spirit seals the gift of love. Amen.

God bless!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

A Prayer and Hymn for Holy Week

"As they were looking on, so we too gaze on His wounds as He hangs. We see His blood as He dies. We see the price offered by the Redeemer, touch the scars of His resurrection. He bows His head, as if to kiss you. His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you. His arms are extended that He may embrace you. His whole body is displayed for your redemption. Ponder how great these things are. Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind: as He was once fixed to the cross in every part of His body for you, so He may now be fixed in every part of your soul."
– St. Augustine

By the Merit of Each Particular Pain which He Suffered in His Passion

O my Jesus! by that humiliation which Thou didst practice in washing the feet of Thy disciples, I pray Thee to bestow upon me the grace of true humility, that I may humble myself to all, especially to such as treat me with contempt.

My Jesus, by that sorrow which Thou didst suffer in the garden, sufficient, as it was, to cause Thy death, I pray Thee to deliver me from the sorrow of Hell, from living for ever more at a distance from Thee, and without the power of ever loving Thee again.

My Jesus, by that horror which Thou hadst of my sins, which were then present to Thy sight, give me a true sorrow for all the offences which I have committed against Thee.

My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst experience at seeing Thyself betrayed by Judas with a kiss, give me the grace to be ever faithful unto Thee, and nevermore to betray Thee, as I have done in time past.

My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst feel at seeing Thyself bound like a culprit to be taken before the judges, I pray Thee to bind me to Thyself by the sweet chains of holy love, that so I may nevermore see myself separated from Thee, my only good.

My Jesus, by all those insults, buffetings, and spittings which Thou didst on that night suffer in the house of Caiphas, give me the strength to suffer in peace, for love of Thee, all the affronts which I shall meet with from men.

My Jesus, by that ridicule which Thou didst receive from Herod in being treated as a fool, give me the grace to endure with patience all that men shall say of me, treating me as base, senseless, or wicked.

My Jesus, by that outrage which Thou didst receive from the Jews in seeing Thyself placed after Barabbas, give me the grace to suffer with patience the dishonor of seeing myself placed after others.

My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst suffer in Thy most holy body when Thou wast so cruelly scourged, give me the grace to suffer with patience all the pains of my sicknesses, and especially those of my death.

My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst suffer in Thy most sacred head when it was pierced with the thorns, give me the grace never to consent to thoughts displeasing unto Thee.

My Jesus, by that act of Thine by which Thou didst accept of the death of the Cross, to which Pilate condemned Thee, give me the grace to accept of my death with resignation, together with all the other pains which shall accompany it.

My Jesus, by the pain which Thou didst suffer in carrying Thy Cross on Thy journey to Calvary, give me the grace to suffer with patience all my crosses in this life.

My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst suffer in having the nails driven through Thy hands and Thy feet, I pray Thee to nail my will unto Thy feet, that so I may will nothing save that which Thou dost will.

My Jesus, by the affliction which Thou didst suffer in having gall given Thee to drink, give me the grace not to offend Thee by intemperance in eating and drinking.

My Jesus, by that pain which Thou didst experience in taking leave of Thy holy Mother upon the Cross, deliver me from an inordinate love for my relatives, or for any other creature, that so my heart may be wholly and always Thine.

My Jesus, by that desolation which Thou didst suffer in Thy death in seeing Thyself abandoned by Thine Eternal Father, give me the grace to suffer all my desolations with patience, without ever losing my confidence in Thy goodness.

My Jesus, by those three hours of affliction and agony which Thou didst suffer when dying upon the Cross, give me the grace to suffer, with resignation, for love of Thee, the pains of my agony at the hour of death.

My Jesus, by that great sorrow which Thou didst feel when Thy most holy Soul, when Thou wast expiring, separated itself from Thy most sacred Body, give me the grace to breathe forth my soul in the hour of my death, offering up my sorrow then to Thee, together with an act of perfect love, that so I may go to love Thee in Heaven, face to face, with all my strength, and for all eternity.

And thee, most holy Virgin, and my Mother Mary, by that sword which pierced thine heart when thou didst behold thy Son bow down His head and expire, do I pray to assist me in the hour of my death, that so I may come to praise thee and to thank thee in Paradise for all the graces that thou hast obtained for me from God.
--St. Alphonsus Liguori

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Hymn for Good Friday
Overwhelmed in depths of woe,
Upon the tree of scorn
Hangs the Redeemer of mankind,
With racking anguish torn.

See! How the nails those hands
And feet so tender rend;
See! down His face, and neck, and breast,
His sacred Blood descend.

Hark! with what awful cry
His spirit takes its flight;
That cry, it pierc'd His Mother's Heart,
And whelm'd her soul in night.

Earth hears, and to its base
Rocks wildly to and fro;
Tombs burst; seas, rivers, mountains quake;
The veil is rent in two.

The sun withdraws his light;
The midday heavens grow pale;
The moon, the stars, the universe,
Their Maker's death bewail.

Shall man alone be mute?
Come, youth! and hoary hairs!
Come, rich and poor! Come, all mankind!
And bathe those feet in tears.

Come, fall before His Cross,
Who shed for us His Blood;
Who died the victim of pure love,
To make us sons of God.

Jesu! all praise to Thee,
Our joy and endless rest!
Be Thou our guide while pilgrims here,
Our crown amidst the blest!

-- from The Golden Prayer Book

"The Passion of Christ is the greatest and most stupendous work of Divine Love. The greatest and most overwhelming work of God’s love." – St. Paul of the Cross

Wishing you a blessed Holy Week!

God bless!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Prayer for the Feast of St. Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows

The feast of St. Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows is celebrated by Holy Mother Church on February 27.  Born Francis Possenti to a devout Italian family, St. Gabriel was a pious and kind person, even from boyhood.  Although he was quite intelligent and could have excelled in worldly pursuits, he was drawn to the religious life, feeling the Blessed Virgin Mary calling him.  Staring in the eyes of a statue of our Lady, he felt her speak, "Why! thou art not made for the world! What art thou doing in the world? Hasten, become a religious!” From that moment Francis' life changed.  He immediately entered the strict Passionist Order and took the name St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. 

Here St. Gabriel  lived a life of silent joy, using each act of suffering to rid himself of any sin and to grow closer to Our Lord.  He sought constantly to honor the Blessed Mother, often contemplating her amidst her sorrows, which filled him with great grief of heart.  At the age of 24, joyfully gripping his image of the Crucifixion scene, St. Gabriel experienced a painful death caused by consumption.  During his life with the Passionists, St. Gabriel lived a quiet life devoted to Our Lady and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Meditating on the Passion, he strove to draw closer to God, leaving his worldly desires behind. 

With Septuagesima upon us and Lent nearing, may we imitate St. Gabriel, turning with greater attention to our Lord and Lady and detaching ourselves from those things that draw us from God and our most Blessed Mother.  As we pray the novena below, may we keep the image of our Lady of Sorrows in our minds, striving to love her ever more.  To end the novena below on the vigil of St. Gabriel's feast, begin praying it on February 18. 

"Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity.” --St. Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows

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Prayer to St. Gabriel
O angelic young Gabriel, who, with your ardent love for Jesus Crucified and your compassion for Our Lady of Sorrows, were on earth a mirror of innocence and an example of every virtue; we turn to you full of confidence to implore your aid. Oh! How many evil things and afflictions O how many dangers, assail our young people from every side, seeking to make them lose the faith. You, who lived always a life of faith, who amongst the temptations of the world maintained purity and virginity; turn your eyes to us, cast us a compassionate and pitying glance! Help us to have the grace to persevere in faith; we invoke your name; we cannot doubt the effactiousness of your patronage! In full confidence of our hope in you, we pray, O Sweet Saint, to obtain this particular grace for the greater glory of God and for the good of souls (here mention your request). Finally, obtain for us from Jesus Christ Crucified, through Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, resignation and peace so that we might always live the Christian life, throughout all the times of this present life, so that we might one day be happy with you in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Amen

God bless!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Prayer to One's Guardian Angel for a Happy Hour of Death

Holy Mother Church honors St. Charles Borromeo on November 4.  St. Charles Borromeo was born into a rich family and the nephew of Pope Pius IV.  At the age of 23, he was ordained a Cardinal and was made Archbishop of Milan.  St. Charles worked tirelessly for Holy Mother Church.  During the Black Plague, believing it was a punishment for sin in the world, he walked the streets barefoot, wearing a rope around his neck for penance for sin and humility for himself.  He tried to feed 60-70,000 people a day inflicted with the plague.  St. Charles worked diligently fighting heresy throughout his life, always defending Holy Mother Church, although this caused many to dislike him.  A few times people even attempted to assassinate the saint. 

The prayer below, written by St. Charles Borromeo, illustrates his focus on serving God at every moment, even the moment of His death.  We would do well to imitate this great saint, imploring our Angel's help to prepare for that hour of our death.

Recommendation to One's Guardian Angel for a Happy Hour of Death

My good Angel: I know not when or how I shall die. It is possible I may be carried off suddenly, and that before my last sigh I may be deprived of all intelligence. Yet how many things I would wish to say to God on the threshold of eternity. In the full freedom of my will today, I come to charge you to speak for me at that fearful moment. You will say to Him, then, O my good Angel:

That I wish to die in the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church in which all the saints since Jesus Christ have died, and out of which there is no salvation.

That I ask the grace of sharing in the infinite merits of my Redeemer and that I desire to die in pressing to my lips the cross that was bathed in His Blood!

That I detest my sins because they displease Him, and that I pardon through love of Him all my enemies as I wish myself to be pardoned.

That I die willingly because He orders it and that I throw myself with confidence into His adorable Heart awaiting all His Mercy.

That in my inexpressible desire to go to Heaven I am disposed to suffer everything it may please His sovereign Justice to inflict on me.

That I love Him before all things, above all things and for His own sake; that I wish and hope to love Him with the Elect, His Angels and the Blessed Mother during all Eternity.

Do not refuse, O my Angel, to be my interpreter with God, and to protest to Him that these are my sentiments and my will. Amen.

God bless!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis

While Holy Mother Church celebrates the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4, this great saint is also honored on September 17, the day on which the Church remembers the Stigmata of St. Francis.  Although St. Francis received the Wounds of Christ on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, September 14, the Church honors this awesome event on September 17 that it might have its own commemoration.  In the Little Flowers of St. Francis, one reads of St. Francis receiving the Stigmata,

"For upon his hands and feet began immediately to appear the figures of the nails, as he had seen them on the Body of Christ crucified, who had appeared to him in the likeness of a Seraph. And thus the hands and feet appeared pierced through the midst by the nails, the heads whereof were seen outside the flesh in the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, and the points of the nails stood out at the back of the hands, and the feet in such wise that they appeared to be twisted and bent back upon themselves, and the portion thereof that was bent back upon themselves, and the portion thereof that was bent back or twisted stood out free from the flesh, so that one could put a finger through the same as through a ring; and the heads of the nails were round and black. In like manner, on the right side appeared the image of an unhealed wound, as if made by a lance, and still red and bleeding, from which drops of blood often flowed from the holy breast of St Francis, staining his tunic and his drawers... Now although these sacred wounds, which had been impressed upon him by Christ, gave great joy to his heart, yet they caused unspeakable pain to his body; so that, being constrained by necessity, he made choice of Brother Leo, for his great purity and simplicity, to whom he revealed the whole matter, suffering him to touch and dress his wounds on all days except during the time from Thursday evening till Saturday morning, for then he would not by any human remedy mitigate the pain of Christ’s Passion, which he bore in his body, because at that time our Saviour Jesus Christ was taken and crucified, died and was buried for us."

O Divi Amoris Victima
O victim dear of heavenly love,
impurpled by thy fivefold sign,
Saint Francis, father of the poor,
of Jesus' Cross a living shrine.

Thou, burning with the glowing flames
of love of God and love of man,
dost yearn for Christ to shed thy blood
and thrice dost try the seas to span.

Although denied thy heart's desire,
thou lettest not thine ardor wane;
but kindled still with love divine
to stir new fires thou strivest amain.

Still living in thine Orders three,
thou art found in many a savage clime;
and frozen hearts, warmed at thy flame,
grow fervent with thy fire sublime.

So shalt thou crush the powers of hell,
thy conquering arms our foes dismay;
when Holy Church doth seem to fail,
still is thy mighty strength her stay.

Come, help us, father, while we pray,
thy love within our hearts inspire,
thy boundless love, that spreads abroad
the glowing brightness of its fire.

Praise we the Father and the Son,
praise we the Holy Paraclete:
He grant us grace to emulate
Our father's spirit, as is meet. Amen.
O divi amoris victima
Quino cruenta vulnere,
Francisce qui vivam Crucis
Christi refers imaginem.

Tu caritatis fervidis
Flammis adustus, sanguinem
Christo daturus, barbara
Ter cogitasti litora.

Voti sed impos, non sinis
Languere flammas desides:
Et excitas caelestia,
Flagrans amore incendia.

In prole vivens efferas
Pervadis oras; algida
Gelu soluto, ut ferveant
Ardore sancto pectora.

Sic pertimendis lividum
Armis Avernum conteris;
Virtutis et firmum latus
Templo labanti subiicis.

Adsis, Pater, precantibus
Ignemque, late quo tua
Exarsit ingens caritas,
Accende nostris mentibus.

Sit laus Patri et Filio,
Sit inclyto Paraclito,
Qui nos Parentis optimi
Det aemulari spiritum. Amen.

God bless!
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