Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

When was your last confession?

March 26, 2009

Found an article today that led to another one; both are about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Here are some excerpts from those two. Maybe they will help you prepare to receive the sacrament soon!

iConfess: New Tools for
Embracing the Sacrament of Reconciliation

by Lisa Hendey

As we anticipate the joy of Easter, many of our parishes around the country are holding special Lenten Penance services to provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As Catholics, we are called to receive Penance at least once per year:

According to the Church’s command, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.” Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1457

If you’re not already done so, I want to invite you to read Pat Gohn’s wonderful column from last week entitled “Embracing the Catechism: Getting Back to Confession”. In doing our very best to prepare our hearts to receive the full benefits of making a good confession, you may be surprised to learn that they are some wonderful “tech tools” to help you in this process.

Indeed, the sacrament truly is a “process”, with work to be done both before and after we enter the reconciliation room or confessional. Part of our duty is to make a thorough examination of conscience, exploring our hearts and souls for any sinful activities or attitudes. Over the past few years, many helpful resources have been developed to assist you with making a thorough examination of conscience. Most of these tools take a detailed look at each of the Ten Commandments and ask prompting questions to invite personal reflection.

. . .

My favorite aspect of the “iConfess” tool is the very thorough Examination of Conscience section. The application lists each of the Ten Commandments and asks prompting questions to assist you in your examination. You can then “tag” particular items to prompt your memory during confession. Beyond the Ten Commandments, the iConfess Examination of Conscience also looks at the Seven Deadly Sins, Sins against the Holy Spirit, Sins with Respect to the Sacrament of Confession, and other areas that may need reflection or consideration.

. . .

… the following websites offer wonderful tools for Examination of Conscience:

http://www.bereconciledtogod.com/pdfs/examinationofconscience.pdf

http://catholicparents.org/oxcart/examinationchild.html – for children

http://www.scborromeo.org/confess.htm

http://frpat.com/examen.htm

You can read more from that article at
http://woman.catholicexchange.com/2009/03/26/804/

Embracing the Catechism:
Getting Back to Confession

by Pat Gohn

Don’t you love simple directions? The shampoo bottle instructs me to “lather, rinse, and repeat.” It simple, direct, and gets the job done.

Spiritual 9-1-1
When my children were old enough to understand what an emergency was, I taught them how to call for the police, fire department, or ambulance, by memorizing “9-1-1.” It’s simple. It’s direct. It brings help.

This is Lent. So, I’ll make this simple and direct. Memorize this:

There is no offense, however serious,
that the Church cannot forgive.

Got that? There. Is. NO. Offense. That. The. Church. Cannot. Forgive. That’s from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), paragraph 982. Ultimately this means there are no excuses for us to avoid receiving the graces God has in store for us through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The only problem is, we actually have to ‘fess up, and that’s the tricky part for many of us.

(Now, if you’ve already been to confession recently, or you are planning to go soon-wonderful! What follows is for the reader who may feel hesitant about going.)

For many of us, for many reasons, entering the confessional is a hard spiritual practice. Instead we practice active avoidance. The Church “knows” this about us. That’s why the Precepts of the Church urge Catholics to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation “at least once a year.” (The 5 Precepts of the Church are simple directions that help us grow in our love of God and neighbor. See CCC 2042-2043.)

So, the minimum requirement for Catholics is an annual confession.

But we make good excuses for not going. We rationalize. We talk ourselves out of the need to confess. Often the lies we tell ourselves to deny our conscience, compounds the problem. Especially when it comes to those, you know, big sins. The mortal ones that break one the Ten Commandments.

The painful truth is that if we’ve broken a commandment or two, we’ve broken our relationship with Christ and the Church. But, there is hope in restoring it.

It requires faith that forgiveness is bigger than our sin. That means trusting that we can be forgiven, even if our sin is as bad as fill-in-the-blank.

We need to “call 9-1-1″, spiritually speaking: The Sacrament of Reconciliation.

See the remainder of the article at
http://woman.catholicexchange.com/2009/03/20/729/.

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A day to be “silent no more”

March 6, 2009

If you live in a location that is currently hosting a “40 Days for Life” prayer campaign, you might want to make a special effort to stop by on Tuesday, March 10. And if you don’t live in one of those locations, or your schedule won’t permit you to go there that day, please pray wherever you are. (Check for locations at
http://www.40daysforlife.com/location.cfm.)

Why that particular day? Because abortion advocates are calling it “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day” and life advocates can counter that with the power of our prayers. The organizers of the 40Days effort have coordinated with the leaders of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to have a special presence at abortion facilities on that day.

The 40 Days blog http://www.40daysforlife.com/blog/ entry for Day 9 says this:

We just sent out a news release early this morning about an important activity that will be taking place at 40 Days for Life vigils all across North America next Tuesday:
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/227769643.html.

. . .

A wonderful group called Silent No More Awareness Campaign has been heavily involved with 40 Days for Life and is now calling upon those who have found healing after an abortion to stand in unified prayer at as many of the 40 Days for Life vigil sites as possible next Tuesday, March 10 – the day the abortion industry promotes its callous “Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.”

At your vigil, you may be joined by women holding signs that read, “I regret my abortion,” and men holding signs that read, “I regret lost fatherhood.”

While the abortion industry is throwing parties and patting abortionists on the back for their deadly work, thank these faithful prayer warriors for their courage to bear witness to the terrible harm caused by abortion. They know from personal experience.

Learn much more at: http://tinyurl.com/d9mcjn.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign site
http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/news/09-02-27-silent-no-more-40-days.htm says this:

Why March 10th? As some of you might be aware, March 10th is designated by the abortion industry as a “Thank Your Abortion Provider Day”. They encourage women to actually send thank you notes to their abortion provider. But we know by your testimonies, you do NOT share these sentiments about the doctor that performed your abortion.

So what we want to do is on March 10 encourage men and women like you, who have registered with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to come out to the abortion clinics, with our Silent No More “I Regret My Abortion” and “I Regret Lost Fatherhood” signs and pray with the 40 Days for Life people to say, no we do not thank our abortion providers and challenge them to listen to our voices that share the negative consequences that abortion had on us. (We’ll be praying also that the abortion provider will have a conversion of heart to stop performing abortion.)

. . .

We decided to do this because Andrea Hines and Katherine Hearn as Silent No More Regional Coordinators and 40 Days for Life Leaders put the two efforts together in their community. They said, “During the last 40 Days for Life prayer vigil in Charlotte, NC, one of the days was designated as “Silent No More Day.” It was a day that we asked those from our community that were post-abortive to bring their sign and join us for prayer at the local abortion clinic. The message of “I Regret My Abortion” during the vigil helps remind us of those that have been devastated by abortion in the past, those that are being devastated by abortion right in front of us at the abortion clinic, and the generations that will hopefully, be spared this devastation in the future. It is the post-abortive, many which have not received healing, among us in our churches, our vigils, and our families, that is one of the most important mission fields today. We believe that by SNM uniting together with the 40 Days for Life vigils on March 10, our specific prayer for a great outbreak of healing and recovery in the lives of the post-abortive will provide a great vision for what the Lord can and will do!”

The news release at
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/227769643.html says this:

“We are highly encouraged that the Silent No More Awareness Campaign is urging women and men who have found healing in the wake of abortion to stand witness in front of abortion facilities on March 10 in connection with 40 Days for Life,” said Shawn Carney, spring campaign director for 40 Days for Life. “The message of post-abortion healing plays an important role in the dismantling of the abortion culture and the construction of a new culture of life.”

. . .

The date March 10 was chosen because this is the date that the abortion industry has marked as Abortion Provider Appreciation Day. “That concept flies in the face of the destruction we know abortion causes,” said Carney, “not just for the baby whose life is taken, but for the mother, the father — and many others including extended family and friends. It is our fervent hope that women with abortion appointments on March 10 will see the silent, prayerful witness of others who have walked in their shoes, and avoid making a tragic decision that could haunt them physically, psychologically and spiritually for years and years to come.

. . .

“We have already seen evidence that the 40 Days for Life concept of prayerful vigil leads people with abortion experiences to seek healing,” said Carney. “This partnership will strengthen that message and hopefully bring others to reconciliation.”

More information is available at each of the Web sites quoted above.

Please pray all through these 40 days, combining your Lenten sacrifices with the intentions of all the pro-life movement.

Your “yes” can change the world

February 4, 2009

The site http://unbornwordoftheday.com has many beautiful reflections as well as artwork depicting the unborn Child Jesus in the womb of His mother Mary.

Today that site has a particularly good point for meditation in its post titled “Let It Be Done To Me According To Thy Word” which talks about how Mary’s “yes” led to the world’s transformation:

Let us ponder the power and grace that flooded the world when Christ was conceived in Mary’s womb. At the one cell stage, Christ fundamentally changed the world.

Christ wanted to show humanity how special that one cell stage is by fundamentally changing the world at that beginning point of His Incarnate life.

He raised that moment in each person’s life to a dignity and beauty that we will never fully comprehend.

Each of us can carry that message to others, as we urge others to say “yes” to the Culture of Life in our local communities, our nation, and our world. (You can read the full posting at http://unbornwordoftheday.com/2009/02/04/let-it-be-it-done-to-me-according-to-thy-word/.)

Here is one example of the artwork (part of the January 31 posting) on that blog. In this case, the image is a photo taken during the March for Life, rather than the art directly.

The caption given with the photo says:

From the ByzanTEENS at the March for Life this year, an icon of the Visitation, showing not only Mary and Elizabeth, but John the Baptist and Jesus in their mothers’ wombs. Notice that John is kneeling and Jesus is blessing him.

(You can click the photo to enlarge it and see the details better.)

Finally, their December 31, 2008 post is titled “2000 Years Marks 42 Years of Prophetic Pro-Life Witness in America” and can be read at http://unbornwordoftheday.com/2008/12/31/2009-marks-40-years-of-prophetic-pro-%e2%80%93-life-witness-in-america/. The words there may encourage you to persevere in your pro-life work as St. Paul said,

“I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith” (in 2 Timothy 4:7).

Our Help is in the Name of the Lord …

January 20, 2009

… who made Heaven and Earth! ( Psalm 124:8 )

Remembering that is what will get us through this day of mourning. Mourning not for the loss of an election, but mourning for the lives of the babies who are now at much greater risk than ever before. Mourning for the women (and girls) who will be misled by the rhetoric of “choice” rather than be properly advised about the truths of what abortion is and will do in their lives. Mourning for the families and friends of those women and girls, who won’t always know how to help. Mourning for the country of my birth, that is now being led by people who don’t value the sanctity of human life and who won’t uphold marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman. May God have mercy on us all!

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  ( Philippians 2:9-11 )

The following article ( “Alien Nation” by Doreen Truesdell ) has some good points, as do some of the comments made at the source site: http://catholicexchange.com/2009/01/20/115155/

The universal struggle between good and evil, between Christ and His enemies has now taken center stage in this nation. For decades most American Catholics have lived relatively comfortably by accepting shades of gray. Little by little the grays became darker as more of the Church’s moral teachings were questioned, ignored and rejected. Now, the gray areas have turned to blackness. It is no longer possible for lukewarm Catholics to remain faithful. The gray areas are gone. American Catholics will either embrace the white light of Truth or accept the darkness.

So where does this leave aliens like me? Totally reliant upon God, and for many of us it will be the first time in our lives. I used to define myself as an American Catholic, but now I realize I am a Catholic in America. The nation I used to depend upon to accept my spiritual composition is gone. No longer does our citizenship agree that our laws are, and should be, based on Judeo-Christian concepts. No longer can a Christian assume his moral beliefs will be given fair representation or even toleration in the public forum.

As aliens, we have an important role to play as keepers of the faith on hostile soil. Here’s our opportunity to get off the fence on every controversial issue that offends God and start pulling our weight as Catholics in America. Many Catholics already are very publicly defending Christ and His Gospel truths. Most aren’t. Are you defending Christ in America? Am I?

This era, just beginning, represents our time in the long history of the Catholic Church to accept suffering, offer prayers and penance, and do battle in the public forum so that the voice of Christ can be heard. It is our turn to live as Catholics who look only to the magisterium of the Church for instruction on true human dignity and authentic social justice.

We will join Catholics from around the world who “lost” their countries long ago — Italians, Greeks, Slavs, Chinese, Russians and others who have already inured themselves to the agonies of living in an atheistic nation, one that they used to love with patriotic fervor but now are estranged from. We will lean on the rich Catholic tradition of the Church Militant and go on living in an alien nation while fortifying ourselves with the Word Made Flesh, He who makes His dwelling among aliens the world over.

Are you up to this challenge? As Americans, we’ve grown undisciplined, flabby and unused to suffering. We can’t bear the pain of unpopularity; how will we bear persecution? And it is coming. With this new administration we have the makings of unprecedented Christian persecutions in our nation that will make martyrs and saints of many who stand up for Truth. You won’t have to be a political activist to have it thrust upon you: parents, clergy, health care providers, teachers, workers of all kinds will find themselves facing moral issues that assault the foundations of the Catholic faith. Which issue will be the one that forces Catholics like you and me to confront how shallow our relationship with Christ has been? Which issue will finally inspire us to make the commitment to “put out into the deep,” whatever the cost?

Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, after visiting our great nation years ago, said she pitied us our “poverty.” She understood the seriousness of the spiritual poverty that the U.S. suffered. We may be on the brink of changing that poverty, one Catholic, one Christian at a time.

The history of the Church is one of suffering and triumph. From that perspective, the Obama presidency could be the beginning of a great renewal of Christianity in America, if each of us lives the faith the way Christ calls us to. So in an important way, this article is not about losing a nation, so much as gaining a deeper relationship with Jesus, the King of all nations. We, who have always assumed that our nation would validate our faith, now find it must be validated only by God.

“[T]he new age has begun; and…much must now pass away,” Gandalf says in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Let it pass. With prayerful renewal and faithful responses, we can find that God alone will suffice. Then maybe, in small ways that have great power, we can work to bring our beloved nation back to God.

It seems fitting to insert here the prayer often referred to as St. Teresa of Avila’s “Bookmark” prayer:

This thought was found after St. Teresa’s death on a prayer card in her breviary.

Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God.
God alone suffices.

(I didn’t find a definitive version of that prayer. Nearly every site I checked has different wording. The one I’m including is found at
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=874.)

Commitments to consider

January 6, 2009

This article describes commitments you may want to consider making for this newly begun year:

http://catholicexchange.com/2009/01/05/115066

In prayer, you can search yourself and ask God’s help in growing better and advancing through the next stage of your ongoing conversion, a process that we all experieence but each of us does that uniquely.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – pray for us!

December 28, 2008

Today’s   Feast of the Holy Family   is one more way of celebrating the birth of Jesus. As you hopefully already knew, Christmas is not just one day of the year. In the Catholic Church it extends for eight days: the Octave of Christmas. That eight-day feast is part of the whole Christmas season, which ends on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January 11, 2009 this time).

Here is a link to what the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops put together for celebrating Advent and Christmas:

http://www.usccb.org/advent/index.shtml

You can click any of the days in the calendar and go to readings and reflections for that day. For example, today’s entry includes a link to another Web site, one that also is sponsored by the USCCB:

http://www.foryourmarriage.org

That’s a very fitting site to notice on the Feast of the Holy Family (whether you are married now or might one day be married). The “For Your Marriage” site has “Daily Marriage Tips” a fact that prompted me today to figure out how to put an RSS feed in the sidebar of this blog – another new step in my blogging adventures.

And don’t forget  about the movie “Fireproof” and all of the accompanying materials available at

http://www.fireproofmymarriage.com

On a very much related subject, here is a file that I found while looking for something else today:

http://www.hli.org/responsible_man_woman.pdf

You might want to share it with the unmarried people you know, including teens who are eager to begin dating. And that reminds me of this site, from popular guests (Jason and Crystalina Evert) on EWTN:

http://www.chastity.com

(Also known as http://www.pureloveclub.com)

Those and many other resources are available to help build holy, healthy, and happy families! But don’t forget the first and best of all resources: God! He’s available 24-7 through prayer, including through the intercession of the angels and saints who are always willing to assist us.

I just realized there is more to explain about today’s feast. Because this is the first Sunday after the first day of Christmas, it is the Feast of the Holy Family. But in other years when the 28th of December is not on a Sunday, December 28th is the Feast of the Holy Innocents (the children killed by order of King Herod after he learned of the search the wise men were making for the newborn King). Let us pray with those innocent children on behalf of all the innocent children killed in modern times by abortion and infanticide.

Here is the link to a site with further descriptions of the feasts celebrated during this holy season:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/
view.cfm?id=996

And here are some blog posts and other Web sites that turned up with the term “Christmas octave” in a search engine. I’ve skimmed them but not read thoroughly, so please let me know if any should be removed from here:

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/christmas.html

http://orthfullycatholic.blogspot.com/2008/01/christmas-octave.html

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/12/wdtprs-sunday-in-the-octave-of-christmas-holy-family-2002mr/

http://www.saintmarycathedral.org/The_Octave.htm

http://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmas1.html

https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/351/
Holy_Family_in_the_21st_Century.html

https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/318/
The_Feast_of_the_Holy_Family.html

http://crossroadsinitiative.com/library_article/352/
Key_to_the_Twelve_Days_of_Christmas.html

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture//liturgicalyear/calendar/
day.cfm?date=2008-01-01

http://www.ourladyofsorrows.com/The12DaysofChristmas.pdf

http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/2008/12/today-is-fourth-day-of-christmas-and.html

http://www.churchyear.net/holyfamilyprayers.html

http://www.2heartsnetwork.org/HolyFamily.htm

http://www.breviary.net/ordo/ordo2008/ord0812.htm

http://www.bible.claret.org/liturgy/xmas/octavexmas.htm

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Prayer/B2-C-1.html

http://sacredspace.ie/livingspace/C1228/

http://www.cyberfaith.com/calendar/christmas.html

http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=8631

http://www.livingbreadradio.com/news-article.php?newsid=353 
(This one borrows heavily from the Creighton University site at the beginning of this list, but does seem to have its own description of the term “octave” in the first paragraph of its page.)

Added Dec. 29: http://catholicexchange.com/2008/12/29/115026/

Dedication renewal

December 12, 2008

As indicated in the very first post, this blog is under the protection of

Our Lady of Guadalupe,

whose feast we celebrate today.

She is the Patroness of the Americas and
the Protectress of the Unborn.

There are many sites where you may read about the story of the miraculous image that she gave to Saint Juan Diego in 1531.

Here are a few (in no particular order):

http://www.maryourmother.net/Guadalupe.html

http://www.ourladyofguadalupe.org/ologimage.htm

http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/ladyguad.htm

As noted at the maryourmother.net site:

To the Christian one cannot help but
identify Our Lady of Guadalupe
with the Woman of the Apocalypse.

This interpretation was first recorded by
Father Miguel Sanchez in 1648.

“A great sign appeared in the sky,
a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon at her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

Revelation 12:1 12

Our Lady of Guadulupe,
pray for us!!!

For the benefit of readers who may be uncomfortable with talking about Mary, the mother of Jesus, here are some notes that may help you understand the context of Catholic devotion to (not worship of !) this great role model of Christians. 

Please remember that Catholics meditate on Mary
only in the light of Christ.

Jesus Christ is the heart of the Church.

It was St. Catherine of Siena, who lived during
the fourteenth century, who said that

All the way to heaven is heaven,
because Christ is the Way
.

The Englishwoman Caryll Houselander
(1901-1954), in The Reed of God,
has captured the beauty of Mary
in a simple yet profound way:

“The one thing she did is the one thing that
we all have to do, namely,
to bear Christ into the world.”

Our joy is that Mary did this as a human,
“as a lay person and through the ordinary
daily life that we all live.”

You can read more at http://www.maryourmother.net/Mary.html.

National Night of Prayer for Life – tonight!

December 8, 2008

When I started to write this post, I didn’t readily find a Web site specifically about this event, but did find several links to blogs and other sites that tell what their parishes are doing about it. These links also are a view into what various pro-life groups around the country are doing in their ministries. (You’ll see that one of them does provide a link to a main Web site, but I decided that this tour of pro-life communities is still worth sharing!)

http://tarriverlife.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/national-night-of-prayer-for-life-2008/

December 8 through 9 – Spanning the Feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe’s first apparition to St. Juan Diego….The National Night of Prayer is celebrating its [18]th year of uniting parishes across the country in an effort to end abortion and make prayers of reparation through Eucharistic Adoration. …The hour of unity will be from midnight-1am when parishes in all four time zones will be praying simultaneously for life. 

http://youth-for-life.blogspot.com/2008/12/night-of-prayer-for-unborn-on-december.html

Has many great links about other pro-life matters.

http://www.fargodiocese.org/respectlife/pro-life.htm

Is a calendar type of page, so at some point in the future the announcement about this event probably will no longer be shown, but you might still appreciate seeing how the diocese sets up its pro-life site.

http://www.stlouisreview.com/article.php?id=16551

Shows a large number of parishes participating

http://www.prolifesja.com/Home/life-office-weekly-update-1

Another busy diocese

http://www.dioceseofjoliet.org/life/calendarOfEvents.asp

19th Annual National Night of Prayer for Life. It was on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (then celebrated on December 9th) that Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the unborn, first appeared to St. Juan Diego. The National Night of Prayer for Life bridges these two feasts to honor Our Blessed Mother and to pray for the sanctity of all human life. During the Hour of Unity, 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM EST., we will be united in churches across the country in prayer to end abortion and in reparation for sins against the Gospel of Life. Prayerfully join us in Unity of Prayer across the country, highlighting Eucharistic Adoration and the Rosary. Visit: NationalNightofPrayerforLife.org for full details.

http://sites.google.com/site/nationalnightofprayerforlife/

2008—19th Annual
National Night of Prayer for Life

Uniting the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
with the Feast of St. Juan Diego

9PM Dec. 8th (Monday) to 1AM Dec. 9th (Tuesday)

It was on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (then celebrated on December 9) that Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, and the unborn, first appeared to St. Juan Diego. The National Night of Prayer for Life bridges these two feasts to honor Our Blessed Mother and to pray for the sanctity of all human life.

We ask each parish to join in praying on this holy occasion.

During the HOUR OF UNITY, 12PM-1AM EST, we will be united in churches across the county in prayer to end abortion in reparation for sins against the Gospel of Life.

The National Night of Prayer for Life is a pro-life prayer service consisting of exposition and adoration to the Blessed Sacrament, 20 decades of the Rosary, prayer to St. Michael, meditation and hymns.

Contact your local priests, religious & Right to Life Organizations and inform your friends and family across the nation.

Donations Welcome. Your Donation will help with the cost of mailing and allow for continuation of this program.

Holy Mary, pray for “U.S.”

December 8, 2008

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States, since Our Lady, as the Immaculate Conception, is patroness of our country.

Visit Catholic Fire for more information and a video. Jean provide quotes from the Catechism and beautiful pictures.

http://catholicfire.blogspot.com/2008/12/solemnity-of-immaculate-conception.html

Also, visit Causa Nostrae Laetitiae for a story that may be as new to you as it is to me. Leticia credits the Felician sisters for providing the full story that she has on her blog, and I will share some excerpts.

http://causa-nostrae-laetitiae.blogspot.com/2008/12/feast-of-immaculate-conception-hour-of.html#links

Excerpts:

During the period of November 24, 1946 to December 8, 1947, the Blessed Mother appeared to Sister Pierrina in a little church in Montichiari, Italy, eleven times.

On the first appearance the Blessed Mother told Sister Pierrina that She wanted to be known as the ‘Mystical Rose’ and that an hour of grace should be kept at noon, December 8th in all the Catholic Churches of the world. The Blessed Mother wanted this to be known through all of Italy and the entire world.

… [November 16, 1947] The Blessed Mother spoke these words. “My Son is greatly offended by the sins of impurity. He is already planning to end the deluge upon the people, for their destruction, but I have asked him to show mercy and not send the destruction. So that is why I have appeared to ask for penance and atonement for the sins of impurity.”

… [Nov. 22] Again Our Lady asked for penance. She said, “Penance is nothing more than accepting all our crosses daily willingly. No matter how small, accept them with love. “At this time, she told Sister Pierrina to come again on December 8th at noon. “This will be My Hour of Grace.”. The Sister asked how she was to prepare for this Hour of Grace? To which the Blessed Mother said, “With Prayers and Penance. Pray the 51st Psalm with outstretched arms three times.

During the Hour of Grace, many spiritual graces would be granted. The most hard-hearted sinners will be touched by the grace of God.” The Blessed Virgin promised that whatever a person asked Her for during this Hour of Grace (even in impossible cases) would be granted to them, if it was in accordance with the will of the Eternal Father.

… [Dec. 8] Suddenly a brilliant white light appeared from the ceiling. Stairs were coming from the light down to the floor of the Church about fifteen feet in length. The staircase was beautifully decorated with red, white and yellow roses. The Blessed Virgin appeared so radiant, dressed in white, with Her Hands folded. She was standing on a splendid carpet at the top of the stairs made of the red, white and yellow roses.

In the most gentle and loving voice, Our Lady smiled and began to speak. “I am the Immaculate Conception, the Mother of all graces and the Mother of my Beloved Son, Jesus. I want to be known as the Mystical Rose. My wish is that every year on the 8th of December at noon an ‘Hour of Grace’ will be installed. Many spiritual graces and physical blessings will be received by those who pray undisturbed during this hour.”

Then slowly she began to ascend the staircase gracefully scattering roses as She went along until She reached midway of the staircase. Here again the Blessed Mother spoke, “I am very happy to see this great demonstration of Faith.” Sister Pierrina asked for many of the sinners to be forgiven. The Blessed Mother replied. “My Divine Son will show his Greatest Mercy as much as the people will pray for them. I want this to be known and told to Pope Pius XII. Tell him I want him to install the ‘Hour of Grace’ throughout the whole world and even for those who are not able to go to Church during this time, can obtain this grace in their homes at noon time.”

She also asked that a Statue be made and placed on the spot where she stood. This should be called the ‘Rosa Mystica’ and carried in procession through the town at which time many graces will be given and cures will take place. Then the Statue is to be returned to the Church.

REQUEST OF BLESSED MOTHER FOR THE HOUR OF GRACE

1. Day and time of Hour of Grace – December 8th Feast of the Immaculate Conception – to be started at 12 noon and will continue until 1 PM (one full hour of prayer)

2. During this hour the person making the ‘Hour of Grace’ either at home or in the Church must put away all distractions (do not answer the telephone or answer any doors or do anything but totally concentrate on your union with God during this Special Hour of Grace)

3. Begin the Hour of Grace by praying three times the 51st Psalm with outstretched arms. …

4. The rest of the Hour of Grace may be spent in silent communication with God meditating upon the Passion of Jesus saying the Holy Rosary, praising God in your own way or by using favorite prayers, singing hymns, meditating upon other Psalms, etc.

Please distribute this message to as many people as you can. Remember to pray for your country during this hour. The Blessed Mother has requested that Her message be sent throughout the entire world. Please help the Blessed Virgin Mary to fulfill Her Mission well … that all souls be drawn to God and that Jesus will be loved in every heart. This is the Perpetual song of her Heart. Let it also be ours.

St. Michael – Defend us!

December 7, 2008

There is another prayer campaign that I was not aware of until today, although it started back in September.

“St. Michael Prayer Campaign for the Conversion of Abortionists”

Please read the article at Catholic Exchange then follow its links to the Human Life International site for more details.

http://catholicexchange.com/2008/12/06/114640/

http://www.hli.org/st_michael_prayer.html/index.html

Here are some excerpts.

Pope Leo XIII composed the powerful St. Michael Prayer to counter the greatest threats to the Church. Today the culture of death is looming over our world. The total number of victims of surgical abortion is now counted in the billions. This is an almost unimaginable evil.

Join with us, the staff, and worldwide collaborators of HLI as we offer up the St. Michael Prayer daily for the conversion of abortionists. Many parishes and communities have continued or re-established the venerable practice of reciting the St. Michael Prayer after Mass.

….

We have distributed over one million St. Michael prayer cards already.  … The cards are free — we only charge for shipping.

The article at CE and the additional information at HLI are all worth reading! Please learn more and prayerfully discern obtaining the prayer cards for your parish.

And please don’t forget to pray the St. Michael prayer yourself, at the end of every Mass!