13 Days

There is nothing to be dreaded in human ills except sin – not poverty, or disease, or insult, or ill treatment, or dishonor, or death, which people call the worst of evils. To those who love spiritual wisdom, these things are only the names of disasters, names that have no substance. No, the true disaster is to offend God, to do anything that displeases Him. – Saint John Chrysostom

In my last post I told you I would update you on the happenings in my life. I picked a word of the year for this year. I got EXPAND. I wasn’t sure what this would mean for me this year, but God was preparing to show me something.

My family ushered in the New Year with COVID. All of us, including my mom. I had no caregiver help for 13 days and cared for my entire family while I myself was fevered and coughing. There were moments I didn’t think I would make it, not because I was deathly ill, but because I felt so bad and was unable to rest because of the high level of care my mom needed as well as the care of my husband and kids.

The devil attempted to attack my faith. I must tell you, when an attack on faith takes place, you must rebuke it swiftly and sharply. The devil yelled, “see God doesn’t love you. He doesn’t hear your prayers to protect you. You’re silly to think that your prayers can break this curse.” In my state it was hard to fight off. But I know well enough that that was not the voice of God. And I know also well enough that I have prayed for something larger. I have prayed to be stripped of my ego and to be conformed totally to God’s will. If we learn anything from the Saints, it is that God accomplishes much of conforming to His Will through suffering. I proclaimed that God is good, and really set to the task of living in the present moment. It was all I could do. I decided that each task, each reaction, no matter how hard, had to be done with love. If I thought of the future, the devil attacked. I thought only of what needed to be done in the present moment. And 13 days later, I emerged from the darkness. My type one diabetic mom, who has heart and kidney disease and dementia and has had two strokes and had a broken hip last year, beat COVID. I do not know the ways of God, but I do know that God is good.

My mom is quite childlike. I came to understand during this time that her dementia really is a blessing. She no longer has the reason or capacity to sin. Caring for her was almost impossibly hard in the sick state I was in. But I see what God is doing for her.

Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

He has prepared her. She will be ready. God is good.

After emerging from the sickness, I was chatting with my prayer group and we were telling each other our words of the year. As I stated, my word is EXPAND. My friend Leah texted me this passage from Letter 110 of Luisa Piccaretta;

Leah sent it to me because it contained the word expand. But I saw something else and I came to understand something the Lord has spoken to me about for awhile. I will state that, as always if the church states that what I am saying is wrong, then the church is correct and I am wrong. Know that as you discern what I write.

There is something I have been trying to put together for quite awhile. It is how the Lord has spoken to me about being restored through the Immaculate Conception and the Cross. Though I understood that He was speaking of Mary and Jesus, I hadn’t understood how it applies to us. Now I think I understand.

The human will is strong, but when one decides to say “yes” to give a “fiat” to God and fully embrace their baptism, the seed of the Divine Will is conceived in their hearts. An immaculate conception of the Divine Will within someone.

But it’s just a seed. It has to expand, be nourished and grow within a soul. With every advance in doing what God asks, joyfully, fully and immediately, It is birthed fully in the soul through the cross. The soul that fully accepts the sufferings that come their way, and offer all they have to God has the Divine Will birthed within their soul. They become Golden Souls.

Through the Immaculate Conception and the Cross a soul is not just redeemed but restored to the original order God intended. The souls that take Mary as their Mother, understand “fiat” and receive this seed.

Mary is Co-Redemptrix; but in this she takes absolutely nothing away from the Redeemer. It is God who wills us to partake in her Immaculate Conception. She had the seed of the Divine Will from the moment she was conceived. She made it all the way to the Cross with her Son. She is the Mother of the Church, and we are the Church, when we hand our human will to God and say yes, we receive the seed of Divine Will through her. FIAT.

It is important for us to know this because of the suffering that has come on the world. We must view this with the eyes of eternity or we will falter. When you know there is an end to the immense suffering, when you know there is light in the tunnel you are in, you can persevere in God’s grace. Despair and the attacks on faith will not overtake you because you know the lies of the devil and you know the goodness of God.

During those 13 days of sickness, the devil tried to tell me I would never get better or that I would never have help. He tried to make it seem as though the good God of the universe didn’t know what was best for me. The devil is wrong and he is always a liar. Perseverance really was a grace; the grace of the Sacraments that came to us through the Immaculate Conception and the Cross and brought us the hope of Resurrection.

God Bless you all out there.

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Rome Burning

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. John 19:25-27

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you also were able to pick your Saint of the Year! I got Saint Mary Magdalene. I have much to fill you in on, but I will save it for another time. I do ask for prayer for my family, specifically my mom.

For now, I want to tell you that this Advent and Christmas I spent meditating on the Passion. I do this either through the Sorrowful Mysteries, or by using the 24 hours of the Passion by Luisa Piccarreta. I often find this very fruitful to help me focus on Christ instead of the storm that’s swirling around us. I always try to close my eyes and place myself in the scene while I am praying. On this particular day, which was December 31, 2021, I was meditating on the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. The following are the images that came to me in my prayer. As always, if the church says what I have written is wrong, the church is correct and I am wrong.

December 31, 2021 – Meditation on the 5th Sorrowful Mystery, the Crucifixion

I close my eyes in prayer and picture staring at Jesus on the cross.

At once, I feel as though I am viewing from a different vantage point, as if a camera lens zoomed out a little and I was standing behind a Priest who was at the foot of the Cross.  I knew this Priest to be representative of Saint John, but he is a modern day Priest. We’re both staring at the cross. Suddenly the cross turned into Saint Peters in Rome and it was massively on fire.  We are standing there looking at it when above it appeared in the sky the Holy Family, Jesus the Divine Child, in Mary’s arms, Joseph with an arm around Mary and another arm holding his staff.  There were a circle of angels surrounding them.

Mary looked at the Priest and handed him the Divine Child who kissed him on the forehead and then nestled in his arms against his chest.

The lens zoomed out further and I saw another modern day Priest who I knew to be representative of Saint Peter.  He had his hand on the other Priests shoulder – the way a sponsor would for a confirmandi.  He was weeping tremendously. Saint Joseph looked at this Priest and handed him his staff.   Then the image of Saint Peters on fire faded as did the Holy Family. The sky turned dark as night but stars were everywhere and they were moving fast as if a time lapse camera was sped up, it was somewhat dizzying. Stars just moving at high speed through the sky.  Then the sun appeared and I zoomed out further and there was a field of flowers with people in it and behind the two Priests were other Priests.  Everyone was acting as if they had just woken up and a joy and excitement started to spread all over people’s faces.  There were families in the field hugging one another like never before.

This is where my meditation ended. It was very intense. It felt as though we passed through a time of immense sorrow, into a time of great joy. And that there are Priests who are like the Apostles who are out there and we must pray for them.

I know many of you are suffering out there. Be not afraid. Just ask Jesus to be in the suffering with you. He isn’t asking you to be perfect, He is asking you to love in the middle of the suffering. Ask Our Lady to be the comforting balm you need. Keep your eyes on the cross and let us see where the God of the Universe takes us, trusting in His will.

Peace be with you.

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Deliver Me

Our Lady of the Snows

But you, O Lord my Lord,
    act on my behalf for your name’s sake;
    because your steadfast love is good, deliver me. Psalm 109:21

I have been pondering what Mary did in the 3 days Jesus was dead. She viewed everything from a vantage point of sinlessness, so there was no retribution, no evil within her, even after witnessing the most horrific evil. For her, love is everything, she is the Immaculate Conception. Her trust is complete, evil stops with her.

And so here I find myself reading a message from the White House this Christmas;

I don’t know if the rest of you out there see it, but this is a curse pronounced. An evil spoken over a portion of the U.S. population by the highest authority in the land. Whether or not you are vaccinated or not, make no mistake, this is a curse spoken, not a call for healthcare. Though sometimes we just get sick, sometimes a curse actually makes you sick. Don’t let this be one of those times. Parents you can break this for yourselves and your children. Priests you can break this for your flock.

So, let the evil stop with you. Don’t wish ill will back, instead, break the curse and love the people around you. Let the light shine in you. I will post again the curse breaking prayer I had given in an earlier post, with an additional line for when governments curse you. And remember God is more powerful than Satan. Believe.

A Curse Breaking Prayer

I proclaim that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who hung on a tree’” .(Galatians 3:13)

Having forgiven as I am forgiven and repented of my sins, in the Most Holy Name of Jesus, I pray for the blessing from the fullness of his cross, death, blood, and sacrifice, his resurrection, life and empty tomb, his authority, rule and dominion upon me and my family.

I ask the Most Sovereign Queen of Angels and Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, to intercede on our behalf.

In the Most Holy Name of Jesus I ask judgment to be brought from His throne against every foul power, principality, witchcraft, black art, curse, hex, spell, portal, astral projection, and pharmakeia.  I plead Christ’s blood over me and my family against all curses that have been raised against us – through government entities or authorities, media, technology or in person – anything written, spoken or unspoken, or transferred to us and all curses of death, murder, sexual curses, curses of never, discord and sickness, all curses on my marriage (if married), health or finances.  

I bring the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, his blood shed upon the cross, against all blood sacrifices and rituals and their every claim against me or my family.

I bring Jesus Christ, the Son of God, sacrificed for me, against all ritual sacrifices and their every claim against me or my family.

I bring the dedication of Jesus Christ for me in death upon the cross against all ritual dedications.

In the name, and by the blood of Jesus Christ, I break the power and hold of every curse that has come to me through ritual or ritual sacrifice.

In the name and by the blood of Jesus Christ, I break the power and hold of every curse that has come to me or my family through transfer by another human being. 

In the name and by the blood of Jesus Christ, I break the power and hold of every curse that has come to me or my family through words spoken.

In the name and by the blood of Jesus Christ, I break the power and hold of every curse that has come to me or my family through occult practices.

In the Most Holy name of Jesus, I declare every legal hold and every legal ground of the enemy broken, disarmed, and destroyed.  Satan has no hold over me or my family now through curses or occult practices, through sacrifices or ritual of any kind.  Through the blood of Jesus Christ, I am free.  Thank you Jesus, for setting me and my family free.  I order these curses and claims utterly disarmed and dismantled now, through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ and His Most Holy Name.

In the Most Holy Name of Jesus, I command all demonic spirits that have gained access to me or my family through curses and rituals cut off and banished from me and my household, in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus I ask you to send your holy angels now to completely disarm all curses and black arts from me and my family, disarm their every device and render them destroyed. I ask your angels to remove all foul spirits involved in these curses and black arts and bind them to your feet for judgment.

I ask in the Most Holy name of Jesus that a legion of angels surround me and my family to block any and all future curses sent upon us.

I now ask for the prayer of the communion of Saints to surround me. I ask for the mantle of protection of Our Most Holy Mother. I ask for the heavenly blessing the Father has given to me and my family in Christ Jesus. I claim those blessings right here in place of all cursing, by the power and authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ. May these things be accomplished in the mighty and Most Holy Name of Jesus. I give honor, thanks and praise, to the 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity who became the Incarnate Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth to destroy the works of the devil and save me from my sins. May the Holy Spirit dwell with in me.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Merry Christmas y’all, stay safe out there.

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Dreams of Christmas Yet to Come

Cross Mountain – Medjugorje

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9

Last night before I went to bed, I examined my conscience, the Holy Spirit showed me all the ways I am attached to the world, all the pride I still have, how my own ego is still central to so much of what I do. It’s humiliating to see how far I have to go. But as I have said before, humiliation is good for you. There is no way I can save myself. I have to trust God. I resign myself to knowing that sanctifying grace can purge me. I have said before, I find myself saddened at the knowledge of how good God is, and how far away we all are from Him. Many of us know nothing of His goodness, I am just grateful I have seen even the smallest glimmer of it.

So I prayed a prayer before going to sleep. I prayed, “Lord, I am attached to many things, I desire for my will to be one with your will. I desire to be purified. I desire that the world be purified, though this seems impossible. But I know Lord, nothing is impossible for you. Amen.”

Then I went to sleep and I had a dream.

In the dream the sky was blood red.

sky in Nashville, TN the morning of December 9, 2021. Trinity Lane is not lost on me as the road in this picture.

I was looking down like a birds eye view from the sky. I saw destruction, fire, and death. There was massive suffering down below and darkness that wasn’t just physical but palpable. It was immense suffering and seemed unbearable to watch.

Then I heard a voice from the sky, it said,

this is what it takes to become unattached.”

No sooner did I hear this than the sky opened up. It was bright blue with cotton candy clouds and I cannot describe properly the feeling except to say it was total peace and total joy. I physically felt from within my soul, a letting go. All of the death, darkness and destruction faded away and I surrendered all I had left.

Apparition Hill – Medjugorje

Then I heard the voice say, “this is where I am taking you.”

And I just knew that God’s plan was good. So good, y’all, we have no idea.

I woke up with joy and peace in my soul. I got up and went to Mass and learned that the Pope has further suppressed Old Rite Sacraments. I remembered the words of a friend who used to say, “these things must come”. And I had no anxiety. The charge leveled against the Old Rite is that it’s “divisive”.

The Old Rite Liturgy and Sacraments are not divisive, they are tradition. People are divisive when they listen to the wrong Kingdom. Sure there are judgmental people but the Liturgy isn’t the reason for that. Hard hearts are. And forced unity isn’t going to fix that. Because it’s not the kind of unity that God brings, for God does not coerce people into loving Him. Pride is the stamp of our time. It’s in the hierarchy, it’s in the church, it’s in our very own hearts. The smoke of Satan. In an effort to stop judgmentalness, judgement of man has been proclaimed to fix it. We know where this ends up, at the cross.

God does not need the Liturgy because He is perfect. He needs nothing. The Liturgy is for us, but not “about” us (in the egotistical sense). It’s about unity with God. When we worship God out of the love of our hearts that’s when true unity can be sacramentally poured upon us. It’s no wonder God seems to allow the removal of it. Whether from pandemic or suppression it’s our own hardened hearts that speak judgement over one another- and from the top down. The sacraments themselves are being given only to those who are deemed “healthy” or non-divisive in the eyes of man. Things will get worse before they get better.

But they will get better.

We should not fear. Instead we should pray. Pray for the Pope, the Bishop’s, the Priests, the flock, the church, and for yourself. Pray that you will stand at the Cross during the Passion of the Church. The joy and the peace to come are beyond your understanding.

Cling to what is good and true and right. And look up to heaven with a grateful heart even if the world is crumbling around you. Eucharist means thanksgiving and it’s meant to take residence up in your heart.

The church will be birthed anew. A purified bride. A bride with the incarnation dwelling within.

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Lavish Grace

Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, AL – photo by Ashley Blackburn

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,  just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.  He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,  to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6

One thing I have learned in caring for my elderly mom (and dad when he was alive) is that each new day cannot be planned. I can try to make plans and have everything set in motion to get done what I want to get done. But the elderly, or anyone who deals with people in ill health, knows that things can change on a dime and your world can stop while a new and stressful situation presents itself. Any control I thought I had gets removed instantly on many days.

I have wonderful caregivers who help me care for my mom so I can still work part-time. Mom needs someone with her during all waking hours. She cannot do anything by herself and does not remember that she cannot do anything by herself. During waking hours either myself or a caregiver is with her.

This morning I was set to go to a Diocesan meeting and my usual caregiver called out, please pray for her, she was having health issues. Then the replacement came and within an hour she got a call to come get her daughter at school. It was apparent to me that God wanted me home to care for mom today. This happens on a semi-frequent basis.

People often comment to me that they are so sorry or that perhaps next year will be better. They tell me I need a break from it all. I appreciate the kindness of others and their care for me. But I have to say, in the middle of this suffering, that I am joyful. I do not (at least not today) find myself getting angry that my plans have been rearranged. I see that God wants me where He wants me in the here and now. I don’t think I have to wait until next year for things to be better. I can be grateful right now, even if the circumstances are hard. There is nothing better than God who is in the middle of this with me right now.

In all this time I spend at home sitting with mom, I have pondered a lot of things. I came to the conclusion that one of the things that makes us so unhappy is judgement. When I have to cancel, I often worry what people will think of me. I often judge myself harshly for not be able to “do it all.” I know when my caregivers call out they worry that I will be upset, as if I would be upset about myself when a suffering happens to them. But this is the world we live in, a world where you are judged on worthiness by things that are often out of your control.

It occurred to me that God’s judgment of Adam and Eve came not after they ate the fruit, but after they pronounced judgment on someone else for the actions they themselves took. They judged someone else for their own sin. Other people can influence us to do something bad. But ultimately we make a choice. Conversely, sometimes we think something we choose will be perceived as bad by others and sometimes it is perceived badly, which can become a cause of our anxiety. The only thing that should cause anxiety is unconfessed sin. We should be anxious about confessing, but if we have not sinned, we need not worry about the judgment of others. And lastly, we often judge people based on things out of their control that happened to them. Instead of wanting people to be blessed we judge them thinking what must they have done?

I have taken to praying that my will works according to the light of Christ’s judgment – the perfect judgment. He knows all that we are going through. The world does not need my harshness. It already had enough of it.

I had a catechist the other day tell a story about his son hiding in his kitchen cabinet. When his small son heard him come in the kitchen his son popped open the kitchen cabinet and invited his dad inside with him. The dad lamented that he was too big to fit, though he wanted to be with his child. This dad said it made him think though, that’s exactly what Christ did do. The Alpha and the Omega, the King of the Universe, got inside the human body to be with His children, taking on all of our limitations. It’s overwhelming to think about that. Especially now as we are in the season of the infant God.

And in this human body, he took on our sin, and our judgment. My friend Ashley even pointed out to me that the weight of this cross He took on even caused Him to fall 3 times. But it didn’t keep Him down. He stayed on the road to purify us. He got up and kept going and He even got help. Would that we do the same. If you want to get up, look up out of the darkness, resurrection is on the horizon.

So I was reading Ephesians this morning and the verse above, it covers our past, our present, and our future. God is in all of it.

He chose you.

He has adopted you.

He presents you holy and blameless.

The line that follows says this;

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.

Do you see that? Right here, right now, we can have His forgiveness. Right here, right now, He lavishes his grace on us. In the middle of this broken and suffering world, he lavishes his grace upon us, if only we’re open to receiving it. Our suffering doesn’t stop His grace, our love in the middle of the suffering, enables Him to increase His grace within us.

My family decorates the Christmas Tree together
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In the Light of Divine Mercy

 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. Ezekiel 34:16

I write in my journal as if the Lord were speaking to me. If the church says what I have written is wrong, the church is correct and I am wrong. Know that as you discern what I write. This particular journal entry was written in the middle of the night.

December 3, 2021 Feast of Saint Francis Xavier

Beloved Lily of the Father,

On the day of the cross the sky turned dark. The curtain of the temple was torn in two when I breathed my last. The earth shook and the rocks split. The centurion saw what was happening and in terror said, “truly this man was God’s Son.” His conscience was illuminated and he, like the others of his time, saw who he was in the light of Divine Mercy on the cross. The Apostles saw who they were in this moment. The one who apostatized killed himself in despair before even seeing the mercy of the cross. An apostacy of despair from being overcome by the darkness of Satan.

So too will it be for the bride. When doctrine is nailed to the tree and the Eucharist is deemed no longer necessary, a path that has already been paved, when those who followed me see what is happening to the bride, many will fall away in the apostacy of despair. Overtaken by darkness.

I tell you look up, do not stay in the dark. The victory is won for those who persevere.

Those who make it to the cross, even those who hide, will be saved. Those who continue to believe and know the bride will be purified as they themselves are purified, they will see resurrection. The cross will illuminate the sky, their hearts will be illuminated, and they will see who they are in the light of Divine Mercy.

So when you see the desolating sacrilege, know that the time is near. For just as the generation of Apostles saw all these things, so too this generation of the bride will see these things. The cross of Divine Mercy in the sky.

Stay awake and be watchful. For I AM the Almighty who reigns. The marriage of the lamb has come and the bride having passed through her purification has made herself ready. She will be clothed in fine linen bright and pure.

The righteous are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb; The place where the Divine Will reigns.

I have called you by name. Woman, do not weep, you have seen the Lord. Blessed are those who endure.

Your Divine Spouse

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Lazarus Prayer

Rembrant – The Raising of Lazarus

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:38-44

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and wonderful start to Advent. I have to be honest, this Thanksgiving was very hard. God is still good.

Many of you out there may have been feeling like I had felt over Thanksgiving. The darkness of the world closing in. The suffering of daily life getting harder. We lost my Aunt Claire Green two days before Thanksgiving. She was my dad’s brother’s wife. We spent many days with her at the beach in Delaware when my parents lived there. I never thought she would go before my mom.

From Left to right: Claire Green (my Aunt), Pat Green (My uncle, dad’s brother), Mary Jo Green (mom), Mike Green (Dad)

Claire Green 2/25/1940 (Feast of Our Lady of Great Power) – 11/23/2021 (Blessed Miguel Pro – ¡Viva Cristo Rey!”) Please pray for the repose of her soul.

God is good. Death is not the end.

I found myself approaching Advent feeling like I needed Resurrection instead of approaching it with the wonder and awe of the Nativity. It occurred to me that I needed the Holy Family now more than ever, that I needed my Lord to unbind me from the creeping darkness. And for whatever reason I thought of Lazarus.

Normally we think of Lazarus at Lent. But here I was during Advent thinking of Lazarus. I did what I always do, I decided to pray. In my prayer, I thought of how Martha was the one who stated Jesus was the messiah when He came to her after the death of Lazarus. In her sorrow, she still believed and she proclaimed it. I thought of how Jesus made Lazurus’ family holy. I thought of how the yes of Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to us and to Martha, Mary and Lazarus. I thought of how Lazarus was dead for four days. I wanted to pray a four day prayer. I wanted to surround myself with the family of Christ. I realized that my friend, Ashley Blackburn and I wrote prayers to the Holy Family and a Consecration to the Holy Family. So I decided to put some of them together for a 4 day prayer. A Lazarus prayer – for the times we can’t see the light in the darkness, that we may always have hope that the light is there. Though the prayers are not to Lazarus, I ask him to intercede over these 4 days. I pray that if the weight of the world has brought us down that we hand that weight to Jesus and let him unbind and resurrect us so we persevere in love in this world.

God is good.

The Holy Family

Day 1

LITANY OF OUR LADY HEALER OF FAMILIES

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us 

God the Father of heaven,
have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us
Holy Trinity one God,
have mercy on us

Hail full of grace, Daughter of St. Anne & St. Joachim, Pray for us

Hail full of grace, Daughter of the LORD, the Great I AM, Pray for us

Hail full of grace, Daughter of the Creator of Heaven and Earth, Pray for us

Hail full of grace, Daughter of Adonai, the Lord God Almighty, Pray for us

Hail full of grace, Daughter of Abba, our Heavenly Father, Pray for us

Most devoted daughter, Pray for us

Most peaceful daughter, Pray for us

Most obedient daughter, Pray for us

Most modest daughter, Pray for us

Most pure daughter, Pray for us

Most joyful daughter, Pray for us

Most favored daughter, Pray for us

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you, Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus

Mary, Daughter of God the Father, Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of St. Joseph, Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of the Paraclete, Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of the Consuming Fire, Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of the Peaceful Dove, Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of the Seal of Anointing, Pray for us

Most affectionate spouse, Pray for us

Most humble spouse, Pray for us

Most loyal spouse, Pray for us

Most hopeful spouse, Pray for us

Most united spouse, Pray for us

Most selfless spouse, Pray for us

Most merciful spouse, Pray for us

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you, Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus

Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus, Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of the Light of the World, Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace, Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of the Lamb of God, Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Pray for us

Most prayerful mother, Pray for us

Most gentle mother, Pray for us

Most patient mother, Pray for us

Most gracious mother, Pray for us

Most encouraging mother, Pray for us

Most compassionate mother, Pray for us

Most accepting mother, Pray for us

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you, Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Pray for us

Our Lady Healer of Families, Daughter of God the Father, bring an end to all heresies

Our Lady Healer of Families, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, restore unity among all of humanity

Our Lady Healer of Families, Mother of Jesus Christ, crush the head of Satan and lead all souls back to your Son

O Most Holy Trinity, in our efforts to sow peace amongst the unrest, Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to offer forgiveness to those who offend, Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to sacrifice for one another, Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to love beyond measure, Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to trust in the midst of suffering, Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to proclaim the Truth in word and deed, Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to surrender our will to Yours, Unite us and heal us

Let us pray, 

O Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. 

Our Lady Healer of Families, pray for us

We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

DAY 2

LITANY OF ST JOSEPH ANCHOR OF FAMILIES

Lord have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us

Christ have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us

Christ hear us, Christ graciously hear us

God the Father, Author of life, have mercy on us

Jesus the Son, Bread of life, have mercy on us

Holy Spirit, Breath of life, have mercy on us

St Joseph, head of the Holy Family, pray for us

St Joseph, beloved son of God the Father, pray for us

St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us

Faithful son, pray for us

Obedient son, pray for us

Noble son, pray for us

Virtuous son, pray for us

Pillar of strength, pray for us

Pillar of integrity, pray for us

Pillar of humility, pray for us 

Pillar of peace, pray for us

O Glorious Saint Joseph, righteous man; willing guardian of the Holy Family,
Blessed are you among Patriarchs, and Blessed is your adoptive Son Jesus 

St Joseph, Anchor of Families, pray for us

St Joseph, devoted spouse of the ever Virgin Mary, pray for us

Attentive spouse, pray for us

Tender spouse, pray for us

Chaste spouse, pray for us

Selfless spouse, pray for us

Pillar of faith, pray for us

Pillar of hope, pray for us

Pillar of unity, pray for us

Pillar of forgiveness, pray for us

O Glorious Saint Joseph, righteous man; willing guardian of the Holy Family,
Blessed are you among Patriarchs, and Blessed is your adoptive Son Jesus 

St Joseph, Anchor of Families, pray for us

St Joseph, adoptive father of the Divine Child, pray for us

Generous father, pray for us

Accepting father, pray for us

Honorable father, pray for us

Prudent father, pray for us

Pillar of charity, pray for us

Pillar of truth, pray for us

Pillar of compassion, pray for us

Pillar of protection, pray for us

O Glorious Saint Joseph, righteous man; willing guardian of the Holy Family,
Blessed are you among Patriarchs, and Blessed is your adoptive Son Jesus 

St Joseph, Anchor of Families, pray for us

St Joseph Anchor of Families, beloved son of God,  man of faith, pray for us

St Joseph Anchor of Families, devoted spouse of Mary, man of hope, pray for us

St Joseph Anchor of Families, adoptive father of Jesus, man of charity, pray for us

O Most Holy Trinity,  In our efforts to follow the Lord more closely

Unite us and anchor us

In our efforts to be fully present to one another

Unite us and anchor us

In our efforts to purify our desires

Unite us and anchor us

In our efforts to practice virtue

Unite us and anchor us

In our efforts to be pure and holy sanctuaries

Unite us and anchor us

In our efforts to forgive until it is complete

Unite us and anchor us

In our efforts to sanctify the domestic church

Unite us and anchor us

Let us pray, 

O Most Holy Saint Joseph, by your yes to the plan of God, you were united to Jesus through Mary, mediatrix of all graces. You were called by God our heavenly Father, through the Holy Spirit, to marriage with Mary Immaculate and to the adoptive fatherhood of Jesus Christ her Son. We implore you Saint Joseph, terror of demons, Patron of the Universal Church, and Anchor of Families, to intercede on our behalf and extend your fatherly protection to our own families. Dispel all fear and confusion. Guard us from the evil one, just as you guarded and protected the Most Holy Family. In particular we ask you to defend us from (state intention here). St Joseph, anchor us in this storm so we will be ever united to the Most Holy Trinity just as you are for all eternity. 

Guardian Heart of Saint Joseph, pray for us. 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

DAY 3

LITANY OF THE DIVINE CHILD JESUS ADORATION OF FAMILIES

Divine Child Jesus, Adoration of Families,

You are begotten by God the Father, have mercy on us

Divine Child Jesus, Adoration of Families,

You are the Savior of the world, have mercy on us

Divine Child Jesus, Adoration of Families,

You sent us Holy Spirit, have mercy on us

Chosen One, I trust in You

Morning Star, I trust in You

Beloved Son, I trust in You

Grace upon Grace, I trust in You

Divine Physician, I trust in You

Innocent Victim, I trust in You

Resurrected Lord, I trust in You

Divine Child of the Annunciation, have mercy on us

HOPE of the world, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Visitation, have mercy on us

JOY of our souls, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Nativity, have mercy on us

ADORATION of our hearts, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Presentation, have mercy on us

FULFILLMENT of prophecy, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Finding in the Temple, have mercy on us

CORNERSTONE of faith, have mercy on us

Giver of life, I trust in You

Fruit of obedience, I trust in You

Benefit of the womb, I trust in You

Mercy of the Father, I trust in You

Adoration of Angels, I trust in You

Prince of peace, I trust in You

Joy of finding, I trust in You

Divine Child of the Baptism in the Jordan, have mercy on us

SANCTIFIER of waters, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Wedding at Cana, have mercy on us

SOURCE of union with God, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Proclamation of the Kingdom, have mercy on us 

The WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Transfiguration, have mercy on us

GLORY from on high, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Last Supper, have mercy on us

LAMB OF GOD, have mercy on us

Light of the world, I trust in You

Truth of nations, I trust in You

Forgiver of sins, I trust in You

Leader of mankind, I trust in You

Word of God, I trust in You

Healer of wounds, I trust in You

Bread of life, I trust in You

Divine Child of the Agony in the Garden, have mercy on us

TRUST in the Father, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Scourging at the Pillar, have mercy on us

REPARER of our sins, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Crowning with Thorns, have mercy on us

KING of the universe, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Carrying of the Cross, have mercy on us

REDEEMER of our suffering, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Crucifixion, have mercy on us 

SAVIOR of the world, have mercy on us

Servant of God, I trust in You

Gift of salvation, I trust in You

Enemy of Satan, I trust in You

Ladder of Heaven, I trust in You

Offering to the Father, I trust in You

Restoration of humanity, I trust in You

King of the universe, I trust in You

Divine Child of the Resurrection, have mercy on us

VICTOR of the empty tomb, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Ascension, have mercy on us

COMMISSIONER of disciples, have mercy on us

Divine Child of Pentecost, have mercy on us

FIRE of evangelization, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Assumption of Mary, have mercy on us

PRESERVER of our Blessed Mother, have mercy on us

Divine Child of the Coronation of Mary, have mercy on us

ENTHRONER of Mary Immaculate, have mercy on us

Conqueror of death, I trust in You

Restorer of new life, I trust in You

Wisdom from on high, I trust in You

Fire of the Spirit, I trust in You

Treasure of our hearts, I trust in You

Life of our souls, I trust in You

Hope of the world, I trust in You

Real Presence in the Consecration, heal us

Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, save us

Real Presence in the Eucharist, heal us

Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, save us

Real Presence in the Tabernacle, heal us

Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, save us

Real Presence in the Monstrance, heal us

Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, save us

Source of Life, I trust in You

Source of Dignity, I trust in You

Source of Goodness, I trust in You

Source of Peace, I trust in You

Source of Joy, I trust in You

Source of Wisdom, I trust in You

Source of Charity, I trust in You

Let us pray,

Divine Child Jesus, Adoration of Families, unite our family in charity and gift us with the Holy Spirit to teach, admonish, nurture, and love one another completely. Just as Mary and Joseph adored you in this world after your humble birth, may we too come to you in humble adoration before the Blessed Sacrament to be strengthened, renewed and healed by your love. Jesus, you are our Lord, our Savior, our King and our Friend. Your goodness extends to all generations. With humble hearts, we thank you and remember your unfailing help and blessings that you have poured out upon our family. At this time we turn to you again and beg you to come to our assistance with (mention your request here).

Divine Child Jesus, bless and protect us

In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

DAY 4

CONSECRATION PRAYER TO THE HOLY FAMILY HELP OF THE DOMESTIC CHURCH

O Most Holy Family of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, today our family has come together to unite our hearts with yours, Sacred, Immaculate, and Guardian, in order to consecrate our beloved hearts to the Holy Family. Our hearts are longing for your presence amongst us. Our hearts are longing for your peace within us. Our hearts are longing for your protection around us. We surrender our desires, our temptations, our troubles, our sorrows, our blessings and our joys to you. We give you everything, our very lives, and place it all at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, so that we may live only for Him, our King and our Savior.

Holy Family, we praise and honor you as the help of the domestic church. May our family be a reflection of yours, as we practice virtue and deepen in faith, hope and charity. We have been placed together as a family with the mission of being a reflection of you. As we live together in our domestic church, may our home be an extension of the Church, which is an extension of our eternal home in Heaven. May our life together be ever open to the movement of the Holy Spirit so that we may be full of your grace and peace. 

Mary and Joseph, just as you lived a quiet life in Nazareth as the parents of the Divine Child, may we too keep Jesus as the center of our lives and the center of our family. Teach us to reverence and adore Him, to turn to Him first and foremost in our need, and to be witnesses of His love and mercy.  

Divine Child Jesus, just as you were obedient to your mother and father, may we as children of our parents, always remember to honor them in good situations and in bad. May the virtue of obedience be cultivated in our family, directing us to the ultimate obedience to the Heavenly Father, ever growing and maturing in our faith.

Holy Family Help of the Domestic Church, today we proclaim that from this day forward, our prayers, our thoughts, our words and our actions will be united to yours, who are ever united to the Divine Will of the Triune God. In this we pray, all glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and forever shall be, world without end, Amen.

Invocation of the Holy Family

O Holy Family, so open to new life, give us the grace to be open to the new life God wills for our family.

Unite our hearts with yours

O Holy Family, most pure and holy sanctuary, give us the grace to purify our desires so that we desire only what God will for you our family.

Unite our hearts with yours

O Holy Family, help of the domestic church, give us the grace to be able to fully live the Catholic Faith in our home, school, work and ministry.

Unite our hearts with yours

O Holy Family, humble reflection of the plan of God, give us the grace to be able to let the Lord lead us in all things.

Unite our hearts with yours

O Holy Family, living in peaceful solitude, give us the grace to allow the peace of Christ to reign in our hearts and in our home.

Unite our hearts with yours

O Holy Family, intimate communion of love, give us the grace to give and receive your love freely among each other, uniting and healing all of our familial relationships.

Unite our hearts with yours

O Holy Family, model of virtue and charity, give us the grace to be beacons of light for the world through prayer, sacrifice and mission.

Unite our hearts with yours

Over the next few days or weeks I will be creating separate pages on this blog with the prayers that we have written so that you can have easier access to them anytime you would like to pray.

May we have bold confidence in Jesus as we head into this Advent and Christmas Season. God Bless you all.

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The Little Psalter of The Most Holy Face

Holy Face of Manopello

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Throughout this pandemic and time of increased stress, whenever I found my anxiety level rising, I would go back to the basics. I would stare at the Holy Face of Jesus and remember that what I am called to do is to love. For me, looking at the Holy Face of Jesus causes the distractions to fall away, the fear, the anger, the confusion, it melts away when I look at the Face of the God who loves me.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16

It seems fitting that a blog named Veil of Veronica would come to find so much solace in the Holy Face of Jesus. And it doesn’t require driving to church, I can close my eyes and picture him at any moment when I feel the fear rise in me.

A few years back my Spiritual Director went on a retreat to a priory in Ireland. Then later my friend Ashley gave me a devotion to the Holy Face from this same priory. I love this devotion because it can be prayed with a regular Rosary and it is easy to pray with another person.

I wrote to the Monks at the priory Silver Stream Priory who wrote this and I asked permission to print it. They replied several months later and I received permission, they signed their letter “The Monks”, which just made me smile. So with their permission, I reprint it here in English, but you can buy a card from them that has both English and Latin.

THE LITTLE PSALTER OF THE MOST HOLY FACE OF JESUS

The Little Psalter of the Holy Face consists of three parts of 50 invocations divided into decades. As with the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, the three parts of the Little Psalter of the Holy Face need not be said all at once. If praying with another person, the + is when the leader can pray and the * is the response.

Opening Verse Thrice (prayed 3 times)

+ Hear, O Lord Jesus, the prayers of thy servant. * Cause Thy Face to shine upon Thy sanctuary

On the Pater beads (the Our Father beads)

+ My soul is athirst for God, the strong and living God; *when shall I come and appear before the Face of God?

On the Ave beads (the Hail Mary beads)

+ Thy Face, Lord Jesus, will I seek, * turn not away Thy Face from me.

To conclude each decade

+ Behold, O God our protector: * and look upon the Face of Thy Christ.

At the end of five decades, thrice (pray three times)

+ Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: * and let them that hate Him flee from before His Face.

In conclusion

+ The light of Thy Face, Lord Jesus, is signed upon us; * Thou hast given gladness in my heart.

The Little Psalter of the Most Holy Face Prayer Card

My prayer for you is that this prayer brings you as much peace as it has for me. God Bless you all out there.

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Crushing Satan

I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel. Genesis 3:15

I am doing a bible study on the Gospel of John. This past Saturday we were reading chapter 13, the chapter where Jesus washes the feet of the Apostles.

Many of the exchanges between Peter and Jesus crack me up. Peter is always trying so hard. Jesus seems to have to correct him a lot. Peter doesn’t quite see what Jesus wants him to see. It is Peter’s humiliation that ultimately makes him a good leader. A person who has been humbled tends to know what belongs to God and enables him to listen well to others.

In the exchange in chapter 13, we see Jesus prepare to wash the feet of the Apostles.

 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:6-7

Jesus recognizes that Peter does not understand. The exchange continues;

Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”  Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”  Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.”  For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” John 13:8-11

One gets the sense here that Peter thinks what Jesus is about to do is beneath Jesus, but when Peter understands that Jesus knows what he is doing he wants more. Peter misunderstands the significance of the washing of only his feet.

Jesus speaks of the one being bathed not needing to wash. It seems to me Jesus is not referencing the fact that Peter took a bath that morning. Jesus must be referencing the soul of Peter being clean. For Peter has confessed straight to the Lord.

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” Luke 5:8

And we can glean from this exchange that Jesus is not saying that Judas is stinky because he didn’t take a bath, but that Judas has an unclean soul.

For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “You are not all clean.” John 13:11

So we ask the question, why did Jesus wash their feet? Was it simply to show them how to be servants? They would have had dirty feet while walking, back in those days. Washing the feet is a kindness and something a servant would do. Is this the only message? Or is there something more?

We can come to understand that Jesus means something much more in this washing. Because later in the passage he states,

He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me. John 13:18

Judas partakes in the morsel with an unclean soul. Judas becomes possessed.

Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. John 13:27

His heel will not be clean either, even if Jesus washes it. What is the significance of the heel/the feet?

For the other Apostles who were “clean”, Jesus has something much bigger.

Do you know what I have done to you? John 13:12

Jesus has instituted the Priesthood. Jesus has given them the Eucharist. Jesus has given them the power to crush the head of Satan. This is the significance of washing their feet. It isn’t but mere kindness of service, it is the making of Satan as their footstool, through the authority and sacraments that Christ has instituted.

The God of peace will shortly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Romans 16:20

A Priest has such a magnificent duty to pursue virtue and to protect his flock. If he does so, he will see the glory and power of God. All things point back to the Priesthood and the Sacraments for our purification, for our ability to crush Satan and be delivered. We cannot do this without the church. We cannot do this without the Priests. Please pray for our Priests. This is why the Priesthood is so attacked.

This is also why, in these tumultuous times, we cannot abandon the barque of Peter; the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We cannot abandon it even when we don’t understand, the same way that Peter didn’t understand. When our leaders disappoint us, when our senses can’t process what is happening. When we feel that all is lost, we must;

… stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. 2 Thessolonians 1:15

Because God has a bigger plan that we don’t see. God is in charge. And God’s promises are true.

You are the Messiah,the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:16-19

Remember it is after Jesus proclaims Peter as the rock, that he calls him Satan;

And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.”  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Matthew 16:22-23

And Jesus didn’t say, “oh never mind Peter, you’re not the guy because you’re worldly. I made a mistake.” Peter was still the rock. And God’s Divine Providence worked Peter’s weakness for good. A good that was so much better than any of them could have imagined.

Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.  I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. John 14:12

And when Pentecost arrived, these men, these Apostles, they were on fire. They were no longer worldly, but had the Holy Spirit in them. They lived what was promised. They were divinized. God’s power was made perfect in their weaknesses. Peter is the rock.

When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:3-10

Do you think it’s coincidence that one of the first miracles Peter performs after Pentecost is making a man’s feet strong? There are no coincidences with God.

What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them? You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet.” Hebrews 2:6-8

Remember the ride for them to get there was extremely bumpy. They didn’t understand. They were threatened with death along the way. They were afraid. But they ultimately surrendered to God and trusted Him, even when it seemed impossible. Only one gave into despair, the one who was unclean. Stay steadfast and receive the sacraments of Confession and Eucharist sincerely and as often as you can so the sacramental grace can pour into you and God can fill you so as to crush Satan under your feet. Remember, God’s promises are true.

Keep your lamp lit and pray for Our Priests.

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An Answered Prayer

My dad bottom left singing in boy’s choir at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral

Lord, teach us to pray… Luke 11:1

I was awakened the other morning with the thought of how the Church was the answer to the Lord’s prayer. The Church is the answer because it is she who provides what we asked for. The more we grow in sacramental grace, the more God’s Kingdom comes. That we move farther away from sacramental grace will only bring our demise. It is a sorrow when the sons and daughters of the church move people away from the sacraments and make people think the sacraments don’t matter. They are the remedy to all of our ills.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom Come.

This is Baptism. The Kingdom of God comes when we mark ourselves and our children in the Kingdom through Baptism.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

The church’s mission is to bring the Kingdom through the Sacramental Grace of Baptism.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

This is Confirmation. God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven when we surrender fully to His will and are filled with the Holy Spirit like the disciples at Pentecost, with a double portion of the Spirit. The church is the conduit through which His will is done when we fully embrace this sacramental grace of Confirmation.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2:1-4

Give us this day our daily bread.

This is the Eucharist. The more we receive this daily bread in a state of grace, the more the we progress towards the unity that Christ came for.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. John 6:51

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

This is Confession. We need the Sacrament so as to reconcile to God, and the church. The church is the Mystical Body, when we sin we not only harm our own soul, but we harm the whole body. This sacrament heals.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:21-23

And lead us not into temptation.

This is the Priesthood specifically, and Anointing of the Sick as we head to our death. It has to do with concupiscence and our desire to do wrong. The Priesthood is meant to protect the flock. To “keep the garden,” so to speak. Where Adam failed to keep the garden and let the serpent in to tempt Eve, so the Priesthood with the Priest in persona Christi, helps to guard the flock from the temptation to do evil by his ability to bring us the Sacraments where grace flows. No where is this more apparent than when we are leaving this world to enter the next – so as to protect us in our last hours from the temptation of the evil one. What a shame that during the pandemic many failed in this duty.

...one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of him, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 7:16-17

Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. James 5:14-15

and deliver us from evil. Amen.

When we are fully delivered from evil, we are in union. We are in union with God. We are in union with one another. A marriage of unity. Harmony restored. No where does the image of the Trinity seem more apparent than in the family who is fruitful and multiplies, like the love of God. And Satan becomes our footstool. This marriage can also be for Priests and religious who have a Divine Spouse that makes them fruitful for the kingdom and is an objectively higher calling.

But from the beginning God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:6-9

Everything we need for happiness, for healing, for peace is found in the Sacraments of the church. The church that Jesus founded, to answer our prayer and give us what we need.

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