Saturday, April 23, 2016

Novena to St. Peregrine (April 23rd - May 1st)

Due to the fact that I have found NUMEROUS different dates for St. Peregrine's Feast Day; I'm going to settle on May 2nd and this shorter version of the Novena ~Mary

Oh great Saint Peregrine, you who have been called "The Mighty" and "The Wonder-Worker" because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you.

For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more.

You were favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of these sick persons whom we entrust to you.

Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots

Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots


Day One 

1. Make the sign of the cross 2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.
Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended you, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.
4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)
5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary
6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots

Meditation for Day 1

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Dearest Holy Mother, Most Holy Mary, you undo the knots that suffocate your children, extend your merciful hands to me. I entrust to You today this knot....and all the negative consequences that it provokes in my life. I give you this knot that torments me and makes me unhappy and so impedes me from uniting myself to you and your Son Jesus, my Savior.
I run to You, Mary, Undoer of Knots because I trust you and I know that you never despise a sinning child who comes to ask you for help. I believe that you can undo this knot because Jesus grants you everything. I believe that you want to undo this knot because you are my Mother. I believe that You will do this because you love me with eternal love.

Thank you, Dear Mother.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

The one who seeks grace, finds it in Mary's hands.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the Divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot ... I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, please pray for me!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots - Day 2


1. Make the sign of the cross 2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.
Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended you, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.
4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)
5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary
6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots


Meditation for Day 2

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Mary, Beloved Mother, channel of all grace, I return to You today my heart, recognizing that I am a sinner in need of your help. Many times I lose the graces you grant me because of my sins of egoism, pride, rancor and my lack of generosity and humility. I turn to You today, Mary, Undoer of knots, for you to ask your Son Jesus to grant me a pure, divested, humble and trusting heart. I will live today practicing these virtues and offering you this as a sign of my love for you. I entrust into your hands this knot (...describe) which keeps me from reflecting the glory of God.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Mary offered all the moments of her day to God.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the Divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot ... I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, please pray for me!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots - Day 3


1. Make the sign of the cross 2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.
Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended you, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.
4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)
5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary
6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots


Meditation for Day 3

Our Lady Undoer of Knots Meditating Mother, Queen of heaven, in whose hands the treasures of the King are found, turn your merciful eyes upon me today. I entrust into your holy hands this knot in my life...and all the rancor and resentment it has caused in me. I ask Your forgiveness, God the Father, for my sin. Help me now to forgive all the persons who consciously or unconsciously provoked this knot. Give me, also, the grace to forgive myself for having provoked this knot. Only in this way can You undo it. Before you, dearest Mother, and in the Name of Your Son Jesus, my Savior, who has suffered so many offenses, having been granted forgiveness, I now forgive these persons...and myself, forever. Thank you, Mary, Undoer of Knots for undoing the knot of rancor in my heart and the knot which I now present to you. Amen.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Turn to Mary, you who desire grace.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the Divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot ... I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, please pray for me!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Novena to Mary Undoer of Knots - Day 4
 
1. Make the sign of the cross 2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.
Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended you, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.
4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)
5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary
6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots


Meditation for Day 4


Our Lady Undoer of Knots Dearest Holy Mother, you are generous with all who seek you, have mercy on me. I entrust into your hands this knot which robs the peace of my heart, paralyzes my soul and keeps me from going to my Lord and serving Him with my life.
Undo this knot in my love...., O mother, and ask Jesus to heal my paralytic faith which gets down hearted with the stones on the road. Along with you, dearest Mother, may I see these stones as friends. Not murmuring against them anymore but giving endless thanks for them, may I smile trustingly in your power.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Mary is the Sun and no one is deprived of her warmth.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the Divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot ... I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, please pray for me!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots - Day 5

1. Make the sign of the cross 2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.
Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended you, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.
4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)
5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary
6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots


Meditation for Day 5

Our Lady Undoer of Knots Mother, Undoer of Knots, generous and compassionate, I come to you today to once again entrust this knot...in my life to you and to ask the Divine Wisdom to undo, under the light of the Holy Spirit, this snarl of problems. No one ever saw you angry; to the contrary, your words were so charged with sweetness that the Holy Spirit was manifested on your lips. Take away from me the bitterness, anger and hatred which this knot has caused me. Give me, o dearest Mother, some of the sweetness and wisdom that is all silently reflected in your heart. And just as you were present at Pentecost, ask Jesus to send me a new presence of the Holy Spirit at this moment in my life. Holy Spirit, come upon me!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Mary, with God, is powerful.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the Divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot ... I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, please pray for me!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots - Day 6

1. Make the sign of the cross 2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.
Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended you, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.
4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)
5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary
6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots


Meditation for Day 6

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Queen of Mercy, I entrust to you this knot in my life...and I ask you to give me a heart that is patient until you undo it. Teach me to persevere in the living word of Jesus, in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Confession; stay with me and prepare my heart to celebrate with the angels the grace that will be granted to me. Amen! Alleluia!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

You are beautiful, Mary, and there is no stain of sin in You.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the Divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot ... I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, please pray for me!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots - Day 7

1. Make the sign of the cross 2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.
Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended you, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.
4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)
5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary
6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots


Meditation for Day 7

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Mother Most Pure, I come to You today to beg you to undo this knot in my life...and free me from the snares of evil. God has granted you great power over all the demons. I renounce all of them today, every connection I have had with them and I proclaim Jesus as my one and only Lord and Savior. Mary, Undoer of Knots, crush the evil one's head and destroy the traps he has set for me by this knot. Thank you, dearest Mother. Most Precious Blood of Jesus, free me!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of our people.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the Divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot ... I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, please pray for me!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots - Day 8

1. Make the sign of the cross 2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.
Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended you, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.
4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)
5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary
6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots


Meditation for Day 8

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Virgin Mother of God, overflowing with mercy, have mercy on your child and undo this knot...in my life. I need your visit to my life, like you visited Elizabeth. Bring me Jesus, bring me the Holy Spirit. Teach me to practice the virtues of courage, joyfulness, humility and faith, and, like Elizabeth, to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Make me joyfully rest on your bosom, Mary. I consecrate you as my mother, Queen and friend. I give you my heart and everything I have (my home and family, my material and spiritual goods.) I am yours forever. Put your heart in me so that I can do everything Jesus tells me.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Let us go, therefore, full of trust, to the throne of grace.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the Divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot ... I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, please pray for me!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots - Day 9

1. Make the sign of the cross 2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.
Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I offended you, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.
4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)
5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary
6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots


Meditation for Day 9

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Most Holy Mary, our Advocate, Undoer of Knots, I come today to thank you for undoing this knot in my life...You know very well the suffering it has caused me. Thank you for coming, Mother, with your long fingers of mercy to dry the tears in my eyes; you receive me in your arms and make it possible for me to receive once again the Divine grace.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, dearest Mother, I thank you for undoing the knots in my life. Wrap me in your mantle of love, keep me under your protection, enlighten me with your peace! Amen.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the Divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot ... I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, please pray for me!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

The prayer associated with the devotion and with the the painting, Mary Untier of Knots, is simple, profound and effective: Desata nos! (Untie us!)
Our Lady Undoer of Knots is both a painting and a Marian devotion. Pope Francis discovered the painting in a church in Bavaria while he was a student in Germany and brought the devotion home to South America. What a blessing that now we can all give this beautiful devotion a home in our heart.


Two angels stand beside Mary holding the ribbon of life, symbolic both of the life of the world and the life of each person in the world.  One angel holds up the part of the ribbon that is still full of knots, and Mary, our mother, takes the ribbon into her hands. Together with the angel we look up to her and feel the compassion and tenderness with which God hears our plea:
DESATA NOS!  UNTIE US!
The painting also lets us see the way the prayer is answered.  Knots are undone!  Worry, doubt, confusion, temptation, false beliefs, estrangement from God and from one another...  knots large and small, loose and tight are miraculously undone through the action of the Holy Spirit.  The angel who is holding the part of the ribbon symbolic of our life freed of knots, looks toward us to remind us to give thanks and to remember to ask again and again for the help we need:
DESATA NOS!  UNTIE US!
Beneath the action taking place in heaven, the painting also shows us the guardian angel leading the soul along the path of its life on earth.  It has been my experience that, through the guidance of our guardian angel, the prayer can becomes one's constant companion, and knots will fall away as if they had never existed.
Lengthy prayers have been composed, but I believe it is enough to simply bring this image into the home of the heart and there ~ at any moment of the day or night ~ to call out in faith:
DESATA NOS!  UNTIE US!
The Novena may be offered at any time, however, the  Feast Day is September 28.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

SlowER than Molasses lately! ... SORRY!!

Well ... I've been down more than up since the beginning of the year between the arthritis, rotator cuff problems, a few more fun things and now pneumonia. I had it for a while before I gave in, but my PCP came on 3/16 and had me walk a bit. My Oxygen went down to 50 something, so she said no getting around it anymore ... and called rescue to take me to the ER. So laid there for hours getting IV antibiotics and fluids and they sent me home with a script for a z-pack and 24/7 oxygen. Thought I was doing pretty well till a few days ago, but it's making another visit apparently. PCP just here a little while ago and advised to take another course of z-pack and nebulizer 4x/day. Course she didn't have an ex-ray machine with her, but after listening to my lungs, it was easy for her to determine the junk was building up again. So very knocked out and lethargic, but trying to get things done. I nearly flipped a week after the hospital with what I got in the mail. Over 2 grand for the ER and even though it was medically necessary to go home in an ambulance due to the fact that I needed oxygen, I got a bill for over a grand for the 9 mile ride. (Donations gratefully accepted! lol) So .... ain't no fun getting old! LOL Anyway, appreciate extra prayers if you've a mind to; thanks. And by the way.... If you DO have a mind to pray for others, just as I have monthly Masses said for the customers of BattleBeads, (← please click, share and "LIKE" this page and get me over a thousand!) I've made a FaceBook page for the BattleBeads Prayer Warriors which will also share in monthly Masses. Just join or "LIKE" the page to join us! You can go there to see who needs prayers and pray; but if you can't make it once in a while, God knows who's on the page and who needs what, so you can simply include the BattleBeads Prayer Warriors intentions in your daily prayers. Easy enough, huh? So, in closing, I will do my best to get to everything as soon as I can and I thank you for your patience. The folks that have been waiting really long will also receive a little 'thank you' with their orders! Blessings and please pray for me and my caregiver, Carl who also now has pneumonia as well and was in the hospital for a few days with it, but home now. Please pray that his pancreatic cancer is totally gone and never returns ... God's Will be done in all. Thanks!
I"m also thinking of a special deal to go with the Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy .... will announce shortly :)
Blessings!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

St Bernadette Soubirous Feast Day – April 16 (France: February 18th)


St Bernadette Soubirous

Born at Lourdes, France, on January 7, 1844. She was the oldest child of a miller named Francis Soubirous and his wife, Louise. She went by Bernadette as a child, and lived in abject poverty with her parents. She suffered from asthma, and was a poor student, which kept her from making her first Holy Communion until she was 14.
On February 11, 1858, while collecting firewood with her sisters along the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes, she alone saw a vision of a beautiful woman inside a cave above the riverbank. She was dressed in white and blue with golden roses on her feet. St Bernadette’s report was not immediately accepted, even by her mother, but her visions of the Lady drew increasingly larger crowds. Despite great hostility on the part of the socialist civil authorities, St Bernadette Soubirous’ reports of the visions continued, and on February 25 Our Lady told St Bernadette to “Drink of the fountain,” and caused a spring to flow from the earth.



On March 25, Our Lady finally revealed to St Bernadette her title, saying: “I am the Immaculate Conception,” confirming the
declaration of Pope Pius IX, who had proclaimed it a dogma of the Church four years previously. The Blessed Virgin related to St Bernadette that she wanted a chapel built on that site, which eventually happened.
St Bernadette Soubirous became a Sister of Notre Dame at Nevers in 1866, and she remained there, near Lourdes, for the rest of her life. She became a member of the Confraternity of the Cord of St. Francis, having been received into this society after she had become a religious sister. St Bernadette suffered greatly from tuberculosis of the bone in her right knee until her death on April 16, 1879.
St Bernadette Soubirous’ body was exhumed on September 22, 1909, and was found to be incorrupt, and her skin had the same color as that of a living person. St Bernadette was found in a similar state during a second exhumation in 1919. After this occasion she was placed in a gold and glass reliquary at the motherhouse of the Sister of Nevers, where she appears to be sleeping even until this day.


St Bernardette Soubirous was canonized in 1933 by Pope Pius XI. The little town of Lourdes became the site of pilgrimages, similar to Santiago de Compostella in Spain, attracting millions of faithful Catholics every year. Astonishing healings began almost immediately in the miraculous water at the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Revolutionary Pope for Revolutionary Times

Pope Leo XIII


Eighty-one year old men are not the first people who come to mind when we hear the word “revolutionary.” But 125 years ago, one such man—Vincenzo Pecci, better known to history as Pope Leo XIII—did something radical. By issuing the first modern social encyclical, Rerum Novarum, he ushered in a new era for Catholicism’s relationship with what we often call “modernity,” especially the world created by the Industrial Revolution and the upheaval in ideas precipitated by Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

This wasn’t the first occasion that Leo entered into discussions of political economy. His second encyclical, Quod Apostolici Muneris (1878), promulgated just 10 months into his pontificate dealt directly with the topic of socialism. Not mincing his words, Leo bluntly stated that socialism—whatever its form—corrupted the state, damaged the family, violated legitimate property rights, contradicted the commandment against theft, and, above all, was contrary to divine and natural law.
That’s strong stuff. Yet, as Rerum Novarum illustrated, Pope Leo wasn’t a libertarian. But then neither was Adam Smith, at least by contemporary standards. Certainly, Leo admired the French Catholic free market liberal, Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), who’s buried in Eglise Saint Louis des Français in Rome. In a pastoral letter published only 18 months before being elected pope, the-then Cardinal Pecci of Perugia wrote: “A celebrated French economist, Bastiat, has grouped and shown as in a picture the multiplied benefits man finds in society.” That said, Leo was not blind to the social turmoil (or what the twentieth-century economist Joseph Schumpeter famously called “creative destruction”) that’s part-and-parcel of capital-intensive market economies.

Critically Engaging Modernity
Pope Leo wasn’t interested in trying to recreate a pre-capitalist world or even promoting some type of social democracy. While utterly uncompromising on matters of faith and morals, Leo refused to wed the Catholic Church to a sometimes-romanticized past. Instead he wanted Catholics to take seriously what Rerum Novarum’s first sentence described as “That spirit of revolutionary change” which was upending old certainties to which some Catholics, battered by the forces unleashed by the French Revolution, were understandably inclined to cling.
This, I’d suggest, is the broad context in which Rerum Novarum should be read. Between 1878 and 1903, Leo issued an astonishing 85 encyclicals. Many dealt squarely with the political, social, and economic challenges associated with the “new things” that, having started in Western Europe and North America, were engulfing the globe. In this regard, Leo arguably showed himself to be a revolutionary pope made for revolutionary times.

Many practical steps were taken during Leo XIII’s pontificate to better position the Church in the modern world so it could undertake its core mission of spreading the Gospel. Leo initiated, for example, negotiations that gradually ended the Kulturkampf launched by Imperial Germany against its Catholic subjects in the 1870s. Here Leo was aided by Otto von Bismarck’s recognition that his assault against the Catholic Church in Germany had failed. Moreover, Bismarck needed Germany’s instinctively anti-socialist Catholics if he wanted to contain the rise of socialism in Germany. Within ten years of Leo’s election to the papacy, most of Bismarck’s anti-Catholic legislation had been repealed or gutted.
Another Leonine move involved the pope’s distancing of the Church from the royalist cause, or, more precisely, to affirm that the Church could accommodate itself to a variety of political arrangements. That was one purpose of his 1892 encyclical Au Milieu des Sollicitudes. As the French title suggests, this text indicated to Catholics in France that they weren’t obliged to support a monarchical regime and could reconcile themselves to the Third Republic. Despite the encyclical acknowledging the French Revolution’s often viciously anti-Catholic dimension, many French Catholics were shocked by Leo’s words. Yet, despite the ongoing conflict between France’s Catholics and the Republic which underpinned the Dreyfus Affair and eventually led to France’s 1905 law of separation and the expulsion of religious orders, the encyclical’s long term-effect was to detach the Catholic Church from entanglement in throne-and-altar arrangements.

In this light, we see that Rerum Novarum forms part of a distinct papal program. Though the encyclical reiterates his earlier denunciation of socialism, Leo does not present industrial capitalism as something to be opposed holus bolus. Indeed, the text rigorously affirms—without absolutizing—private property (using language quite close to that of John Locke); insists that there are natural inequalities willed by God which are necessary for society to flourish; and warns against excessive state economic intervention, especially efforts to replace the Church’s charitable and anti-poverty work with government agencies.
There is in fact no call in Rerum Novarum for industrial capitalism to be somehow replaced with an entirely different economic system. Leo was more concerned with ameliorating capitalism’s disruptive social effects. Hence, while lamenting the disappearance of guilds (many of which had degenerated into closed shops and vehicles for protectionism), Leo endorsed the in-principle legitimacy of trade unions. Yet he was careful to ground unions on the principle of free association: the same principle, incidentally, that is central to the processes of contract and free exchange which are indispensable for market economies. This was accompanied by Leo stressing that neither contractual arrangements nor free exchange were exempt from the demands of justice. It was not enough, Leo held, for two people to agree for the terms of a contract to be just. Commutative justice, as indispensable as it is, wasn’t the only form of justice. It was subordinated to the demands of general or legal justice.

The Leonine Case for Freedom
In case this language of commutative and legal justice sounds familiar, that’s because it harkens back to Aquinas and the entire natural law tradition. Rerum Novarum references Aquinas many times as it uses natural law reasoning to better understand the new things of the time. Aquinas himself was quite familiar with the world of business, commerce, and money. Capitalism had, after all, first taken on definitive cultural and institutional form in medieval Catholic Europe.
Rerum Novarum’s invocation of natural law categories, however, goes beyond exploring how principles of justice play out in modern economic conditions. It also forms part of Leo’s wider and more ambitious agenda: the revitalization of natural law reasoning within the Church in order to apply to the business of making sense of a modern world that prided itself on its attachment to reason.

Natural law thought never fell into abeyance in nineteenth-century Catholicism. Many Catholic intellectuals, especially Italians such as Blessed Antonio Rosmini and Luigi Taparelli SJ, had deployed it to think through the political and economic realities created by the French Revolution. Leo XIII’s own brother, Cardinal Giuseppe Pecci SJ, was a noted natural law scholar. From Leo’s standpoint, natural law was the obvious way for the Church to (1) help explain the truths of Revelation to people who demanded proofs based on reason while also (2) entering into discussion of contemporary political and economic issues with people who didn’t accept Christian revelation.

This project was launched by one of Leo’s most important encyclicals, issued just over a year after his papacy began. In underscoring Thomistic philosophy’s importance for comprehending the truths of faith and reason, Aeterni Patris (1879) transformed Catholic seminary formation and revived natural law discourse among Catholics more generally. Part of the objective was to demonstrate to self-described modern people that Catholicism took reason just as, if not more, seriously as they did. That was especially true when it came to one subject extolled by the Enlightenment and its heirs—human liberty.
This brings us to another of Leo’s most significant but largely neglected encyclicals: Libertas. Published three years before Rerum Novarum, this text begins with the resounding affirmation that “Liberty, the highest of natural endowments, being the portion only of intellectual or rational natures, confers on man this dignity—that he is ‘in the hand of his counsel’ (Sir. 15:14) and has power over his actions.” There is much, Leo affirms, which is good in what he called “modern liberties”: “whatsoever is good,” he writes, “in those liberties is as ancient as truth itself.” The point, however, which Libertas drives home again and again, is that modern expressions of freedom, whether in terms of rights or institutions, must be grounded in right reason, not feelings or majority-will. Otherwise, liberty would underpinned by unreason and inevitably degenerate into license.
During Leo’s time, many Christians and non-Christians cheerfully assented to this argument. Today, however, it is widely disputed. Many resist any claim that knowledge of the truth of good and evil is inscribed into man’s very reason itself. To that extent, this core natural law proposition is surely one of the most revolutionary propositions that can be made today, including, it must be said, to those Catholics who have embraced emotivist accounts of human choice and action. It’s a testimony to Leo’s farsightedness that he understood that one of the major philosophical struggles in the modern world would concern the foundations of freedom.

The son of conservative Italian aristocrats, a distinguished diplomat, a talented bishop-administrator, and firm defender of that most traditional of popes, Blessed Pius IX, Leo XIII would at first glance seem to be the least likely of revolutionaries. Yet as we celebrate Rerum Novarum’s 125th anniversary, it’s worth recalling how this particular pope managed, without compromising doctrine, to face the Church up to developments that, for some Catholics of the time, verged on anathema. Whether it’s the challenges presented by economic globalization, the problems associated with increasingly complicated financial markets, or the incessant rights-talk that’s presently strangling coherent public discourse, Leo’s call to critically engage modernity—i.e., affirm the good, identify errors, and remind people of the Gospel’s core truths—surely remains valid for us today. 


By
Samuel Gregg is Research Director at the Acton Institute. He has authored many books including, most recently, For God and Profit: How Banking and Finance Can Serve the Common Good (2016).

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday


I believe this is the original Image.
"I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish,"
Jesus told Faustina, according to her diary, which has been studied and authenticated by the Church over several decades.
"I also promise victory over enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of my death. I myself will defend it as My Own glory." (Diary of Faustina, 48)
Jesus is shown in most versions as raising his right hand in blessing, and pointing with his left hand on his chest from which flow forth two rays: one red and one white (translucent). The depictions often contains the message "Jesus, I trust in You!" (Polish: Jezu ufam Tobie). The rays streaming out have symbolic meaning: red for the blood of Jesus (which is the Life of Souls), and pale for the water (which justify souls) (from Diary - 299). The whole image is symbolic of charity, forgiveness and love of God, referred to as the "Fountain of Mercy". According to the diary of St Faustina, the image is based on her 1931 vision of Jesus.

On February 22, 1931, while staying in Plock, Sister Faustina received Jesus’ order to paint a picture according to the vision shown to her (cf. Diary 47). She tried to fulfill the command, but not knowing painting techniques, she was unable to do it by herself. Still, she did not give up the idea. She kept returning to it and sought help from other sisters and from her confessors. A few years later her superiors sent her to Vilnius (Wilno), where her confessor, Rev. Prof. Michael Sopocko, interested to see what the picture of a hitherto unknown theme would look like, asked the painter Eugene Kazimierowski to paint the picture according to Sister Faustina’s directions. This is the only image that was painted under her direction.

Kazimirowski painted the original image between January and June of 1934.
During this time St. Faustina had the artist change the face at least 10 times but was still not pleased with it. The picture was finished in June 1934 and hung in the corridor of the Bernardine Sisters’ convent near St. Michael’s Church in Vilnius, where Father Sopocko was rector. From April 26-28, 1935, during the celebrations concluding the Jubilee Year of the Redemption of the World, the image of The Divine Mercy was transferred to the Ostra Brama [“Eastern Gate” to the city of Vilnius] and placed in a high window so that it could be seen from far away. Here the image was seen for the first time by the public. By permission of Archbishop Romuald Jalbrzykowski, on April 4, 1937, the image was blessed and placed in the St. Michael’s Church in Vilnius.
In 1944, a committee of experts was formed, at the order of Archbishop Jalbrzykowski, to evaluate the image. The experts’ opinion was the the image of The Divine Mercy, painted by E. Kazimierowski was artistically executed and an important contribution to contemporary religious art. You will notice that the Image resembles the Shroud of Turin very closely.
In a decree dated August 3, 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary announced that in order “to ensure that the faithful would observe this day (Divine Mercy Sunday) with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence…so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit.  In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbor, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters.”

GO TO CONFESSION!
It's a POWERFUL GRACE!
The plenary indulgence is granted (under the usual conditions of a sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion and a prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, recite the Our Father and the Creed, and also adding a devout prayer (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!).
Additional provisions are offered for those who are impeded from fulfilling these requirements, but who wish to acquire a plenary indulgence. 

While the readings and prayers for Mass on this day remain unchanged (they reflect perfectly on Our Lord’s Divine Mercy) the Holy See offers this reflection:

The full text of the decree of the Apostolic
Penitentiary may be found at: www.mercysunday.com.
The Gospel of the Second Sunday of Easter narrates the wonderful things Christ the Lord accomplished on the day of the Resurrection during His first public appearance: “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’  When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side.  Then the disciples were glad to see the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent Me, so even I send you,’ and then He breathed on them, and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (Jn 20, 19-23).

In addition, the decree requires that parish priests “should inform the faithful in the most suitable way of the Church’s salutary provision.  They should promptly and generously be willing to hear their confessions.  On Divine Mercy Sunday, after celebrating Mass they should lead the prayers that have been given above and they should also encourage the faithful to perform acts of mercy as often as they can.”
Jesus said that we either enter by the door of Mercy or by the door of Justice. With the way the world is ... JUSTICE can't be far off. This *could* be (I'm no prophet!) the last Divine Mercy Sunday we're afforded before that Day of Justice.
Divine Mercy Sunday is SUCH a BLESSING and OH SO IMPORTANT; yet daily, we have an opportunity to pray this special chaplet for the good of souls everywhere. My daily 3pms, generally begin around 2pm and include several prayers, petitions and meditations which include, during the 3pm hour of Divine Mercy, begging Jesus to empty purgatory into heaven. The 3 o'clock hour is most important because it is when Jesus died for us and He permits us this special grace and mercy DAILY if we but take the time to honor His precious gift.
When I tell folks they're in my daily 3pms. This is what it means, to be part of my prayers for the world and included in the Divine Mercy Chaplet for their spiritual and temporal needs.


I ask all to join me in my daily petition for the Church Suffering to be brought into heaven during this special hour by reciting this short prayer: "Eternal Father, please take all the pain and suffering of the souls in purgatory and unite it to the Perfect, Holy Passion of Jesus, His True Presence in the Eucharist and the benefits and graces of all Masses said this day and please empty purgatory into heaven daily during this special hour of Divine Mercy, especially those that have no one to pray for them; according to the promise of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit" Amen.
Particularly in light of the fact that our Holy Father stated that Christmas 2015 may be the last as we have known it, the way the world is just getting worse and worse AND because he's declared this year as a SPECIAL Jubilee Year of MERCY; I URGE you with all that is within me ... GO TO CONFESSION, PRAY FOR YOUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS & THE WHOLE WORLD; THAT ALL BE SAVED AND NONE BE LOST! Do NOT be afraid of Confession, no matter how long it's been or what you've done! NOTHING is bigger than God's MERCY! The priest (the *man*) acts In persona Christi, that is in the place of Christ. Jesus uses the priest to act through (same as the Consecration at Mass) for YOUR benefit that your humble & contrite heart may hear the words of mercy and forgiveness.
Our Lord Speaks to St. Faustina:
“Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flow down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to Confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls.” (Diary #1602)
I GUARANTEE that when you leave the Confessional, you WILL FEEL the joyful grace and you'll be able to receive Holy Communion! To be reunited to Jesus in this intimate manner and to know and feel the powerful supernatural grace that the Sacraments impart to us through Holy Mother Church ... well you'll just have to experience it! But you won't be afraid of Confession any more :) 
SO DON'T PUT IT OFF!!!! PLEASE!!!! 
2 Corinthians 6:2 refers to Redemption in the last days: "For He says, "In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation."
Just as Jesus said: "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND."


More on Divine Mercy: click HERE.