Sunday, February 27, 2011

LET'S PRAY FOR PRIESTS

Priests need prayers.  Even if they are consecrated to God, they still need prayers.  Even if they pray every day, they still need prayers.  Why they need prayers?

1.  Priests are also humans.
2.  Priests are not perfect.
3.  Priests also have their weaknesses.
4.  Priests are the primary targets of satan's attacks.

That's why they need prayers.  

The saints were very much aware of the need to pray for priests, that's why they include the priests in their prayers or composed special prayers for the priests.  Here are some of the prayers from the saints.

A PRAYER FOR PRIESTS
St. Charles Borromeo

O Holy Mother of God, pray for the priests Your Son has chosen to serve the Church.  Help them by your intercession, to be holy, zealous, and chaste.  Make them models of virtue in the service of God's people.

Help them to be pious in meditation, efficacious in preaching, and zealous in the daily offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Help them administer the Sacraments with joy.  Amen.


PRAYER for Holy Church
and for PRIESTS
St. Faustina Kowalska

O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church:  Grant it love and the light of Your Spirit and give power to the words of priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, O Lord.

Lord, give us holy priests; You yourself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil's traps and snares which are continually being set for the souls of priests. May the power of Your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for You can do all things.  A ask You, Jesus, for a special blessing and for light for the priests whom I will make confessions throughout my lifetime.  Amen.

- Mary June D.








Wednesday, February 23, 2011

TRUST IN GOD'S WISDOM

 St. Claude de la Colombiere

It is usually the case that other people can see better than we can ourselves what is good for us.  It would be foolish to think that we can see better than God Himself, who is not subject to any of the passions that blind us, knows the future and can foresee all events and the consequences of every action. Experience shows that even the gravest misfortunes can have good results and the greatest successes can end in disaster.  A rule also that God usually follows is to attain His ends by ways that are the opposite to those human prudence would normally choose.


Joseph was sold into slavery and thrown into prison.  If he had felt aggrieved at these apparent misfortunes, he would really have been feeling aggrieved at his happiness for they were the steps to the throne of Egypt.  Saul loses his father's assess and has to go on a long vain hunt for them.  But if he had felt annoyed at the great waste of time and energy it caused him, his annoyance could not have been more unreasonable as it was all a means of bringing him to the prophet who was to anoint him king of his people.


Let us imagine our confusion when we appear before God and understand the reasons why He sent us the crosses we accept so unwillingly.  The death of a child will then be seen as its rescue from some great evil had it lived, separation from the woman you love the means of saving you from an unhappy  marriage, a severe illness the reason for many years of life afterwards, loss of money the means of saving your soul from eternal loss.  So what are we worried about?  God is looking after us and yet we are full of anxiety!  We trust ourselves to a doctor because we suppose he knows his business. He orders an operation which involves cutting away part of our body and we accept it.  We are grateful to him and pay him a large fee because we judge he would not act as he does unless the remedy were necessary, and we rely on his skill.  Yet we are unwilling to treat God in the same way!


- Source:  Marian Messenger, Volume III, Issue No. 1



Saturday, February 19, 2011

FOLLOW THE LORD FIRST

I have a twitter account.  I opened an account last year so I can follow my favorite dance crew.  I followed them for months.  I send them tweets, but I never receive a single reply from them. They replied to their friends' tweets and to celebrities' tweets but not to my tweets.  I also send tweets to other celebrities as well, and again I don't receive any reply from them.  I kept asking myself, "Have they seen my tweets?" or "Is there something wrong with my tweets?" They can see their friends' tweets or the tweets of their fellow celebrities but why can't they see my tweets?  I was hurt that I stopped following them.  I was thinking, maybe they don't reply to ordinary or unknown people like me. Maybe if I'm Oprah Winfrey, I would surely get replies from these celebrities.  Do they know that a single simple reply is worth more than a million bucks to their fans? They don't have to spend a single dime for this, it only requires their HEART to reply.  But I know that not all celebrities ignore their fans' tweets. There are still some celebrities out there who would gladly reply to their fans' tweets.


I prayed and complained to the Lord about this.  I reflected on this experience, and these are my reflections:


1.  How many times do I ignore people that I meet every day just because they're so ordinary, such as the security guards, the janitors and those people who are not good looking.  They're like invisible to me. I realize now that in a way, I'm also like those celebrities who didn't see or ignored my tweets.


2.  Every person in this world, no matter how ordinary or simple they may be is a unique and an important human being.


That twitter experience has enlightened my conscience.  Every day, when I go to my workplace, I now smile to the security guards and the janitors, and when I'm not in a hurry, I tried to chat with them.  I now try to put myself in their shoes.


I realized that before I follow any celebrity, I should follow the Lord first. I don't need Twitter, Facebook or cellular phones just to contact Him. He is available more than twenty four hours a day, and more importantly, He loves me and appreciates me just as I am.




- Mary June D.

Friday, February 11, 2011

OUR LADY OF LOURDES


Today, 11th of February is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

In 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in Lourdes, France to a fourteen year old peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous. She made a total of 18 apparitions. Her first apparition was on February 11, 1858.


SIGNIFICANT APPARITIONS
Among our Lady's most significant apparitions were the 9th and 16th apparitions.  


1.  It was on February 25, 1858, the 9th apparition that the Lourdes miraculous spring was discovered.  In obedience to the Lady's instructions to "Go and drink from the spring," Bernadette dug a hole on the left of the Grotto, and water came out of the hole which is now the spring that cures many sickness.


2.  The Lady's 16th apparition is perhaps the most significant of all her apparitions in Lourdes.  Father Peyramale, the parish priest who was known as "the priest of the apparitions in Lourdes" requested Bernadette to get the Lady's name.  On March 25, 1858, Bernadette asked the Lady to reveal her name.  The Lady answered, "I am the Immaculate Conception."  That answer from the Blessed Virgin Mary herself served as a divine seal of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception which was declared by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.

Divine Coincidences
It is interesting to note that there are two dates of the Lady's apparitions in Lourdes that coincides with two of the important Catholic feasts.


1.  March 25, 1858, the day when Mary told Bernadette that she is the Immaculate Conception, is also the date of the Solemnity of the Annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38). The Solemnity of the Annunciation is celebrated every 25th of March.


2.  July 16, 1858, the date of Mary's last apparition in Lourdes, is the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated every 16th of July, for on this day in 1251, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock, who was the Prior General of the Carmelite Order at that time.

Replica of the Lourdes Grotto at the
Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Cebu City, Philippines

Devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes spread not only in Europe but also in the Philippines.  So many churches have been built in this part of Asia in her honor.  Today, millions of pilgrims visit Lourdes each year, and a visit to Lourdes is considered incomplete without bringing home some water from the miraculous spring.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!


- Mary June D.