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!
+JMJ+

Friday, August 31, 2018

Words for Meditation

St. Alphonsus Liguori quotes St. Frances de Sales.  "St. Francis de Sales says: 
'It is a mistake to estimate devotion by the consolations which we feel. True devotion in the way of God consists in having a determined will to execute all that is pleasing to God.'  

[St. Alphonsus continues.]  Almighty God is wont to make use of aridities in order to draw closer to Him His most cherished souls. Attachment to our own inordinate inclinations is the greatest obstacle to true union with God. When, therefore, God intends to draw a soul to His perfect love, He endeavours to detach her from all affection to created goods. Thus His first care is to deprive her of temporal goods, of worldly pleasures, of property, honours, friends, relations, and bodily health; by the like means, that is, of losses, troubles, neglect, bereavements, and infirmities, He extirpates by degrees all earthly attachment, in order that the affections may be set on Him alone."--St. Alphonsus


God bless!
+JMJ+

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Saintly Silver

I want to introduce you to an amazing Etsy shop named Saintly Silver.  Saintly Silver is owned by a dear friend of mine, and she is a very talented seamstress.  She creates the cutest saint felt dolls, named Felt Saint Softies; my children have a few of them and love them.  After the birth of my youngest, Erin, the owner, gave him one.  Many times this little saint doll has comforted him or made him happy again.  We are very grateful to her.  In Erin's words:

"We live in a world where everything is made by machine and processed in an assembly line fashion. Machines have provided the ability to produce items faster and make larger profits for companies. However, not enough attention is paid to detail, quality, or the individuals that work in these places.

We chose to do something better. We do not focus on the amount of money we can make, but on how many lives we can impact.

We want something bigger than us. We want to use our God given talents to create a Saint Softie that not only rewards our team of artists, but our family of customers. We want to provide a product with high quality craftsmanship as well as Faith inspiration.

Our designs are always made with quality materials. We use wool blended felt and polyfill made in the USA, embroidery floss made in France, and thread made in Germany.

There are no assembly lines here, just a team of warmhearted artists striving for excellence in a caring work environment. It is hard to believe, but true; we choose not to make decisions off of dollar signs, but spiritual rewards.

We pray together, create together, and ask for blessings from God for all of you."

Saintly Silver has nearly 200 different felt saints for sale, and she is willing to take custom orders as well.  Thus if you do not see the Saint for which you are looking, just ask.  :)  A few of these adorable dolls are shown below.

Immaculate Heart of Mary

St. Zelie Martin

St. Jude

St. Patrick

St. Rose of Lima

May God reward you!

God bless!
+JMJ+

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Prayer in Honor of the Shoulder Wound of Christ

August 20 is the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a Cistercian monk who lived during the Middle Ages. He is a great Saint and Doctor of the Church. It is related in the annals of Clairvaux that St. Bernard asked our Lord which was His most painful wound, and our Lord answered:

“I had on my shoulder while I bore My Cross on the way of sorrows, a grievous wound which was more painful than the others, and which is not recorded by men. Honor this wound with thy devotion, and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through its virtue and merit. And in regard to all those who shall venerate this wound, I will remit to them all their venial sins, and will no longer remember their mortal sins.”



Prayer to the Shoulder Wound of Christ

Most loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I, a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross which so tore Thy flesh and laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other wound of Thy Most Blessed Body. I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee, and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross. Amen.

God bless!
+JMJ+

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Prayer to the Precious Blood, Invoking the Help of Mary

Prayer to the Precious Blood, Invoking the Help of Mary

O Sacred Blood, that flowed so copiously seven times for my salvation, I love Thee, I praise Thee, I adore Thee with the deepest feeling of gratitude! The purest fountain from which Thou didst flow makes Thy memory so sweet. O Precious Blood, with trumpet tones Thou speakest to me of the love of my God and Redeemer. How I deplore my coldness and indifference towards Thee! Now, at last, I wish to return love for love, blood for blood, if necessary. As often as my pulse beats, it shall greet Thee, Thou sweet Guest of my soul, and shall return to the arteries warmed and purified by Thy love. As long as the blood courses through my veins, it shall flow only for love of Thee; it shall circulate only for Thy interests and it shall turn cold and stand still only because I am about to love Thee in eternity. Oh, let this stream of Thy love flow through every heart and inebriate it with holy joy!

My dearest Mother Mary, I beseech Thee with confidence, obtain for me, although thy unworthy child, the blessing of God the Father, by covering me with the merits of thy Son Jesus, that I may regain my eternal birthright in Heaven. Clothe me every evening, Sweet Lady of Mt. Carmel, but especially on the eve of my life, with the "Dyed Garments" of the Precious Blood. Amen.



God bless!
+JMJ+

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Prayers in Honor of the Precious Blood for the Holy Souls

With July, the month of the Precious Blood, drawing near, I thought it would be most fitting to post this wonderful set of prayers.  The following prayers are set up to pray daily for at least a week, honoring the Precious Blood of our Lord, and beseeching Him, through His sufferings, relief for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.  


Prayers in Honor of the Precious Blood 
for the Holy Souls in Purgatory for Each Day of the Week

For Sunday: Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy Divine Son Jesus shed in the garden, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and amongst them all especially that soul which is most destitute of aid; and bring it to Thy glory, there to praise and bless Thee forever. Amen. ***Our Father, Hail Mary, and the De Profundis

For Monday: Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy Divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and amongst them all, especially that Soul which is nearest to its entrance into Thy glory; that so, it may soon begin to praise and bless Thee forever. Amen. ***Our Father, Hail Mary, and the De Profundis

For Tuesday: Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy Divine Son Jesus shed in His bitter crowning with thorns, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and in particular, amongst them all, deliver that one which would be the last to issue from those pains, that it tarry not so long a time before it comes to praise Thee in Thy glory and bless Thee forever. Amen. ***Our Father, Hail Mary, and the De Profundis

For Wednesday: Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy Divine Son Jesus shed through the streets of Jerusalem when He carried the crust upon His sacred shoulders, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and especially that Soul which is richest in merits before Thee; that so, on that throne of glory which awaits it, it may magnify Thee and bless Thee forever. Amen. ***Our Father, Hail Mary, and the De Profundis

For Thursday: Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee, by the Precious Body and Blood of Thy Divine Son Jesus, which He gave with His Own hand upon the eve of His passion to His beloved Apostles to be their meat and drink, and which He left to His whole Church to be a perpetual sacrifice and life-giving food of His Own faithful people, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and especially that one which was most devoted to this mystery of infinite love; that, with Thy Divine Son, and with Thy Holy Ghost, it may ever praise Thee for this Thy wondrous love in Thy eternal glory. Amen. ***Our Father, Hail Mary, and the De Profundis

For Friday: Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy Divine Son shed on this day, upon the wood of the Cross, from His most sacred hands and feet, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and especially that Soul for which I am most bound to pray; that the blame rest not with me that Thou bringest it not forthwith to praise Thee in Thy glory and to bless Thee forever. Amen. ***Our Father, Hail Mary, and the De Profundis

For Saturday: Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee, by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the side of Thy Divine Son Jesus in the sight and to the extreme pain of His most holy Mother, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and especially that one amongst them all which was ever the most devout to this great Lady; that it may soon attain unto Thy glory, there to praise Thee in her, and her in Thee, world without end. Amen. ***Our Father, Hail Mary, and the De Profundis

De Profundis

Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord: O Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication,
If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall abide it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness: and because of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord.
My soul hath waited on His word: my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night let Israel hope in the Lord.
For with the Lord there is mercy; and with Him is plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Amen.

God bless!
+JMJ+

Friday, June 22, 2018

Wonderfully Catholic

I wanted to tell you about a new amazing CD, entitled The Call to Arms, composed by FSSP seminarian Daniel Alloy.  It is an album of 12 orchestral pieces he composed over a two-year period--a story told in music.  I encourage you to take a look at it and, if possible, to purchase one as 100% of the purchase goes towards paying for his seminarian costs.
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The Call to Arms digital album is now available online at:   http://www.catholictexts.com/product/danielalloymusic/
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Mr. Alloy describes his work, saying, "Long ago, in a quiet valley of Maridor, a blacksmith named Hugh lived happily with his wife and daughter. One day, he received an urgent call to protect Maridor from a sudden and fearful danger. A great army from Hanidor had invaded, burning, pillaging, and killing all in their path. How did Hugh respond to the call? Where did it take him? And did he ever return home again? Here is his story.

Now unlike many stories, this one is told in the language of music. Each piece is a chapter. That is, each piece tells an important part of this story. But you must use your own wits and imagination to discover what is being told. With that, I invite you to come along on this adventure, and experience it for yourself. I hope that you enjoy it, and, in some small way, may it inspire you to answer your own call when it comes."



The purchase is easy:
-Log in/create an account with catholictexts.com.
-Once you purchase the album, you will receive an e-mail with a link to download the album (high quality and fast-download options available)
This online version is an mp3 music download. CD copies are available in the Immaculate Conception Church Bookstore in Omaha, NE. For bookstore hours, please see latinmassomaha.org.
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Riley bought a copy of the CD from Daniel Alloy when he was at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary for the annual quiz bowl, and my children really enjoy listening to it.  I hope you will stop in and take a look.  This purchase is a simple way to help support one of these wonderful young men while he is in the FSSP seminary. 

God bless!
+JMJ+
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