Tag Archives: Prayer

Mrs Kavanaugh’s request: Psalm 40

david harp

1 For the leader. A psalm of David. 2 I waited, waited for the LORD; who bent down and heard my cry, 3 Drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp, Set my feet upon rock, steadied my steps, 4 1 And put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and they shall trust in the LORD. 5 Happy those whose trust is the LORD, who turn not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood. 6 How numerous, O LORD, my God, you have made your wondrous deeds! And in your plans for us there is none to equal you. Should I wish to declare or tell them, too many are they to recount. 7 Sacrifice and offering you do not want; but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts and sin-offerings you do not require; 8 so I said, “Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll. 9 To do your will is my delight; my God, your law is in my heart!” 10 I announced your deed to a great assembly; I did not restrain my lips; you, LORD, are my witness. 11 Your deed I did not hide within my heart; your loyal deliverance I have proclaimed. I made no secret of your enduring kindness to a great assembly. 12 LORD, do not withhold your compassion from me; may your enduring kindness ever preserve me. 13 For all about me are evils beyond count; my sins so overcome me I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head; my courage fails me. 14 LORD, graciously rescue me! Come quickly to help me, LORD! 15 Put to shame and confound all who seek to take my life. Turn back in disgrace those who desire my ruin. 16 Let those who say “Aha!” know dismay and shame. 17 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. May those who long for your help always say, “The LORD be glorified.” 18 Though I am afflicted and poor, the Lord keeps me in mind. You are my help and deliverer; my God, do not delay!

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Mount Carmel Stations of the Cross

Once you’ve seen these stations, you can’t un-see them. But, the intensity of them… Well, it all bears repeating.

I made this set of videos (about 20 minutes all told) during my time living just over the cave of Elijah on Mount Carmel, Israel. The O.C.D.s had invited me to stay there for an entire month during the years that I was a chaplain at Lourdes. I must say that these videos are very emotional for me to watch to this day. What a fright! But… Jesus, Mary’s Son, is just that good and kind! Even though in watching these you don’t move from station to station yourself, I’m sure your heart will be transported to be right next to Jesus, to be with Him in solidarity, and to be right next to His dear mother as she accompanies our Lord, again in all solidarity. Dear Lord…

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That prayer that’s been going around

At the funeral yesterday for the Most Rev William George Curlin, Bishop Emeritus of Charlotte NC, we learned a few things about him. For instance, there’s an old prayer that’s been making the rounds which is partly made up of the Lord’s Prayer and the prayer Jesus made in His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane to our Heavenly Father. It’s a short prayer which instantaneously evokes an examination of conscience with a contrite heart and an enthusiasm to do God’s will. The bishop had this prayer framed and placed on the wall beside his bed:

“Thy will, O Lord, be done.

  • Nothing more.
  • Nothing less.
  • Nothing else.
  • Amen.”

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Pope Francis attacks the Evil One: Retranslating the Lord’s Prayer

JESUS JUDAS

Judas, possessed by the Evil One, betrays Jesus in the Battle

I think it’s great to see the Holy Father, Pope Francis, wonderfully micro-manage the translation of the Lord’s prayer in English, which isn’t his first language, acting with the immediacy of his pastoral mandate anywhere and everywhere in the Church. Some denigrate this as his being a dictator, but I think we should praise this where we can. This is one of those instances. I’ve been wanting this retranslation ever since I was a little kid. But, oh no, everyone is afraid of not being politically correct. If we changed the translation, people might actually come to acknowledge that the Evil One, Satan, exists, and hates us because he hates God (and God loves us). So, here’s my comments on the story from SKYNews (just to be ecumenical), with more comments at the end. My final translation is actually much more pedantically accurate, so much so, I’m sure no one would ever take it up. I mean, after all, it puts us into humble thanksgiving mode before the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

*****

SKYNews – Pope Francis wants to change the Lord’s Prayer [[No, he doesn’t, just the English translation.]]

The pontiff says a line in the current version implies that God pushes people toward sin. By Bethan Staton

He said the line “lead us not into temptation”, memorized by hundreds of millions of Christians for centuries, is based on a flawed translation. [[All true!]]

“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation,” the Pope said. The implication is awkward for Christians, who believe it is Satan who tempts people to sin. “I am the one who falls. It’s not him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen,” the Pope explained. “A father doesn’t do that, a father helps you to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department.”
The Pope’s comments, made in an interview with Italian television, could lead to a change in the prayer [[No, just the translation]], which is taken from the Bible [[The translation is from the weird mind an inept translator]] and is considered by some to encapsulate the core messages of Christianity. [[The real Lord’s prayer, yes.]] It also weighs in on a long-running liturgical debate over the nature of evil and the relationship between religion and language, explained Church of England theologian Reverend Dr Ian Paul. [[Yes, well, for the Anglicans. This is SKYNews after all. But also for Catholics, which is why this translation was picked up, as it erases Satan and merely speaks of some sort of generic “evil.”]]

The current version has been used by the Catholic Church since 1966, when the Second Vatican Council decided modern vernacular should be used in services instead of Latin. [[That’s not entirely accurate, not at all.]]

*** My other comments:

The very Creator, YHWH Elohim, said He Himself, as the Incarnate Son of the Woman of Genesis 3:15, would put enmity between ourselves and the Evil One, that is, changing us with friendship with Himself, grace, which He could provide to us in his own justice because of taking the initiative to stand in our stead, taking on the death we deserve, stomping on the head, the power, of the Evil One, but He Himself being crushed for us in doing this. In laying down His life, He lays down ours as well, for we become one with Him, and this throughout the centuries. He carries us as little children into the battle with the Evil One, He Himself doing the fighting for us, but we are with Him. In the Lord’s prayer, the final phrases are more accurately translated:

“Do not let us go into the battle alone [but rather go into battle with us and do the battle for us], and deliver us from the Evil One [Satan].” Amen.

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Flores for the Immaculate Conception (one heart and mind edition with bonus spiritual direction pointers)

flores budsOur dear Heavenly Father’s creation always holds amazement before my eyes. Surely one of His motives in the immense work of the whole universe was to provide that flowers be given to the Immaculate Conception. She, more than any of us, can appreciate His enthusiasm, if I might be permitted to use such an anthropomorphism for God as the Scriptures sometimes do.

While I like to think I am amazed, I know that my vision is more than just somewhat jaded. But she had clear vision, even while standing under the Cross. She saw all the beauty of our Heavenly Father’s love in Jesus her Divine Son, and in comparison saw all the horror of our sin without losing sight of love. She was of one heart and mind with her Son, in perfect syntony, if I am permitted a radiophonic expression.

Such humility as the availability of attentiveness and respect demands, together but individual, neither reactionary nor oppressive, is driven by the powerful engine of love.

As it is, this is not about one individual’s own love and respect for another individual, and then all individuals, no no. This is about one living truth of love which is present in all from the same source. In heaven – please God we make it there – we will see the good of the other as our own good because that good will in fact be our own good, that is, the Most Holy Trinity dwelling in us.

The angels will rejoice that we are all of one mind and one heart as they behold the Most Holy Trinity directly, even while the Holy Spirit brings us through, with and in Jesus as a gift to our Heavenly Father.

In the face of such beauty, the question in spiritual direction that always comes up is how we, upon this earth, suffering all the weakness consequent to original sin and our own sin, can participate in being of one heart and mind with Jesus and our Blessed Mother. There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be a self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagian setting goals for yourself so as to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps, seeking to become, you know, more balanced, more nice, more whole, more whatever, you know, so that you are without any weaknesses at all, no consequences of original sin or consequences of your own sin, coming up with – mirabile dictu – your own new economy of salvation other than what our Lord Himself provided for us: no cross and without need of any grace of His Truth and His Love. If you set goals for yourself, imagining this or that, you will only arrive to where you are now, only worse off than ever, having fooled yourself into thinking you’ve made progress only to find excruciating frustration, then depression, then sin, then despair. Not the way to go.
  • Be the tiniest little child before Jesus, no matter what the weakness, no matter what the suffering, no matter what the cross. Run to Him and trust Him. He bears the wounds of trustworthiness, offering us also a love that is stronger than our weakness, stronger than suffering, stronger than death. In other words, don’t for a second depend on a strength you yourself do not have. That only leads to excruciating frustration, then depression, then sin, then despair. Not the way to go.
  • Do keep up with the sacraments of Confession and Communion, and prayer, and almsgiving, and penances, but not as a way to prove something to yourself, to your neighbor or to Jesus. It’s all about the friendship of humble thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for forgiveness of my sin which I could fall into at any time if I turn my back on your grace; thank you for bringing me to life in you; thank you for keeping my close to your Heart. Humble thanksgiving is already a most beautiful prayer which brings us to almsgiving because Jesus redeemed us all and wants us to share the greatest love of our lives first of all with our actions. Humble thanksgiving would have us begin and end penances like fasting with friendship with Jesus. Thus: Jesus, you know that I get crabby when I go without, and this puts me face to face even if only in a superficial way with how weak I am, but, please make it that before this reality I no longer merely ask for your help (leaving myself in charge of my spiritual life), but asking right out that I be crucified to the world, the flesh, the devil, and my own desire to control my spiritual life, so that, dead to myself, I live for you, rejoicing.

In other words, it’s all about being of one mind and one heart with Jesus, and humble thanksgiving wrought in His love and truth is just the way to be right there. In Jesus’ grace, this humble thanksgiving, an active friendship, is what has us rejoice in purity of heart and agility of soul, ever attentive to others, of one heart and mind. Amen.

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Father Gordon J MacRae my best friend – The 54 day Rosary begins TODAY

GORDON MACRAEFather Gordon J MacRae (about) has been writing for his blog TheseStoneWalls from prison for seven years (Seven Years Behind These Stone Walls), something he’s done at the request of Cardinal Avery Dulles. There was no case presented against him in court, and the prosecutors (one who disappeared the next day and one who committed suicide) begged him to take a plea deal (at one point for no time at all), but, since he was innocent and couldn’t live with the lie, he was given a life sentence for crimes that by the reckoning of all never happened. He was wrongly convicted and wrongly imprisoned for now going on 23 years.

The CDF knows that he is innocent but does nothing to prosecute those who scapegoated him. Father Gordon knew too much of the wrong doing of those at the epicenter of the abuse crisis: Bishop John McCormack, Bishop Francis Christian and, now, imprisoned for untold numbers of crimes, Monsignor Edward Arsenault.

The conflicts of interest are many which drive this case, each one of which would make for a blockbuster film. These include the bishops and chancery officials and their various relationships with various members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, The National Catholic Risk Retention Group, pretty much all the lawyers on whatever “side”, Attorneys General, U.S. Attorneys, Governors, priests who are guilty, the accusers and their dollars.

There has been a wide array of those writing about his case including many times The Wall Street Journal. But, you can read the stunning summary at Seven Years Behind These Stone Walls. At the end of that article, that paradigm reset button, you’ll find this Editor’s note:

Editor’s Note: Long-time TSW reader, Maria Stella, extends this invitation,

“As the next TSW post will probably be June 29, could you please add a note at the end of the post to invite supporters of Fr. MacRae to join in a 54 day rosary novena that will start on June 30, the day the first martyrs of the Holy Roman Church are commemorated? The intention is justice for Fr MacRae and that he be released from prison. Other readers may want to add their particular intentions.”

As it happens, the beginning and ending days in the Novus Ordo and the Extraordinary Form are Feast days that are most fitting:

Novus Ordo:

  • June 30 Feast of the Martyrs of the Church of Rome
  • August 22 Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Extraordinary Form

  • June 30 Commemoration of Saint Paul
  • August 22 Immaculate Heart of Mary

Father Richard Heilman has a great presentation of the provenance of the 54 day Rosary novena, made up of 3 novenas of petition and 3 novenas of thanksgiving: Roman Catholic Man.

Please, do join us. In doing so, you are also helping out true victims, who hate nothing more than the self-congratulation of those who pocket money and prestige based on hysteria over their own actual sufferings. Remember, when people get sick of false accusations, they won’t listen to real ones any more. And the whole thing begins again. No! We must take each case individually, grant due process (which has almost never been done, especially by those who trumpet loudly that it has), and respect justice. Mercy, mind you, is based on justice, and if we throw out justice, you will never see mercy, only fraud. And people suffer.

Meanwhile, Father Gordon is an instrument of grace in his prison pod, “Bravo Pod,” which is reserved for only the worst criminals. Many of them convert. Many of them belong to the Militia of the Immaculata of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Pray for his strength and holiness. He points more people to heaven than most all priests on the outside of those stone walls.

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There comes a time when we realize Jesus won’t let go

consecration-“Children, let no one deceive you. The person who acts in righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous. Whoever sins belongs to the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.

Jesus Passion of the Christ hand nail“In this way, the children of God and the children of the devil are made plain; no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother. For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another” (1 John 3:7-11 nab).

It seems to me that when the floodgates of mercy burst forth, and we are carried along in humble thanksgiving (an experience I should think is common to all upon the reception of absolution), we are steadied, made steadfast in a seemingly irresistible grip of Jesus made all the stronger by the blood. He doesn’t let go. Then He grabs your heart. And then we cry out: “Domine, non sum dignus!” (Oh Lord, I am not worthy!) And that’s the point. He is our Savior, saving us while we are yet in sin. And then we remain before Him in humble thanksgiving. Pray for vocations. Hail Mary…

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Brilliant spiritual direction of Pope Francis

samuel saul

Nota bene: in my [[comments]] below, what I have in mind is the spiritual dilemma all go through. One is to move away from a Promethean and ever so Pelagian modus operandi which is self-referential, self-congratulatory, rebellious against Jesus and which makes an idol of oneself, to the point that in appraising oneself one thinks one is divining the will of God, holding oneself to be the perfection of revelation. One is to move away from this by cooperating with the grace of the Holy Spirit, who will instead take control of one’s spiritual life (with our assent in the love He provides to us) so as to form us more into the image of Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. The Holy Spirit brings us where we do not know, for it is above the quagmire in which we have immersed ourselves. We hate to get unstuck from the quagmire, thinking it is our only security, but it is instead our undoing.

Pope Francis: obstinate Christians are rebels and idolaters. 2016-01-18 Vatican Radio

david harpChristians who stop at “it’s always been done that way” have hearts closed to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. They are idolaters and rebels will never arrive at the fullness of the truth. That was the message of Pope Francis at Mass on Monday morning at the chapel in the Casa Santa Marta. [[Decades of offering spiritual direction has borne this out. So very many, with entrenched passion, real anger, think that they themselves by themselves regardless of any grace of God will make progress in the spiritual life if only they become ever more Continue reading

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