Sunday, June 30, 2013

Prayers for Father Murad

Prayers for Father Murad


   I am asking that we offer up prayers, rosary, mass, etc... for Father Murad who was beheaded in Syria by the Jabhat al-Nusra jihadi group on Sunday. Below is the Press release from the Vatican. Please also pray for all the Priests, Religious and Catholics. who because of their faith are in jeopardy of being attack or murdered for their beliefs. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may we be able to practice and stand up for the Catholic Faith and do so all around the world. 


The Vatican press release reads:
On Sunday, June 23 the Syrian priest Fran├žois Murad was killed in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land where he had taken refuge. This is confirmed by a statement of the Custos of the Holy Land sent to Fides Agency. The circumstances of the death are not fully understood. According to local sources, the monastery where Fr. Murad was staying was attacked by militants linked to the jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra.
Father Fran├žois, 49, had taken the first steps in the religious life with the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, and with them he continued to share close bonds of spiritual friendship. After being ordained a priest he had started the construction of a coenobitic monastery dedicated to St. Simon Stylites in the village of Gassanieh.After the start of the Civil War, the monastery of St. Simon had been bombed and Fr. Murad had moved to the convent of the Custody for safety reasons and to give support to the remaining few, along with another religious and nuns of the Rosary.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

"And what else.........."

"And what else.........."

Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess and forsake them obtain mercy. ~ Proverbs 28:13

    There was always one thing I feared when I would sit in the confessional and I guess that one thing is the reason why I did not sit there as often as I should have. That one thing was “What if the Priest says “ Your sins are not forgiven”. I was always afraid of that but last week when I sat in the confessional there was something said that I never heard from any Priest or even heard that it was said to anyone else by a Priest. After I said my sins the Priest said “ And what else?” 

    I was in shock and yet even more shocked as more things came from my mouth. Then again He said “ And what else” and again more came out.  Then came a full dialogue between the Priest and myself. Well, it was more of Him talking and me saying “Yes Father, I understand Father, Your right Father”.... For once there was nothing more I could say. I was absolved and I left in shock of what went on. 

   It was not that I was hiding things from confession but more that I tend to speak in generalities and do not go into specifics. It is like when you order that meal in the drive up. “ I will take a number 4 with a coke”. You do not say what it is just the number and your set and they understand. Its the same in confession for me its like “ I committed 2, 4 and 6. (Do not bother to check commandments I just made the number up :) ) Then you are off to do your penance. It did not work that way this time. 

   It is not that I do not know my sins, I am fully aware of them but when they are put in categories and placed under headings it takes away some of the reality of them. Yet, this time when I heard them out loud it become a new reality of the life I was living. It was not a holy life that I wanted to be living. I did not say that to the priest but he said things that would help to be living that holy life. It was what I needed to hear. 

  This all happened at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. This will be important to know for the next part. As much as I knew He was right I started to doubt it. Maybe thats just what He does and says to everyone. So, I let it go as just a coincidence. Then he next night I decided to go to church back home for prayer for Vocations. There was a Seminarian from the Diocese who is assigned there for the summer. He got up to do a talk and says He is from the Seminary in DC and spoke about what He did to lead a more Holy life before entering the seminary. There is no shock to anyone, I bet, that it was everything that the priest said to me the day before in the confessional.  I guess God wanted to make sure that the message just did not stay in DC but made the message come to my home from DC without my help. 

    I left that night on top of the world. Thinking of what and how I am going to go about the Holy Life that I really want from my heart and soul. It is in these moments where I stop and say out loud “ God really does pay attention to everything and wants the best for me”. Things will need to shift in my life for more of those things that I need to do. I know in the end both God and myself will be happier. 

    Lesson learned : Be 100% open in confession. Do not try and lump things together to make it easier but truly listen to what has gone on so one can correct those things in the present and future.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you open your mouth so the truth, the whole truth, will come forth and open your eyes to the life you live.

Friday, June 28, 2013

St. Irenaeus

St. Irenaeus


Feast day: June 28
Died: 202

The writings of St. Irenaeus entitle him to a high place among the fathers of the Church, for they not only laid the foundations of Christian theology but, by exposing and refuting the errors of the gnostics, they delivered the Catholic Faith from the real danger of the doctrines of those heretics.
He was probably born about the year 125, in one of those maritime provinces of Asia Minor where the memory of the apostles was still cherished and where Christians were numerous. He was most influenced by St. Polycarp who had known the apostles or their immediate disciples
Many Asian priests and missionaries brought the gospel to the pagan Gauls and founded a local church. To this church of Lyon, Irenaeus came to serve as a priest under its first bishop, St. Pothinus, an oriental like himself. In the year 177, Irenaeus was sent to Rome. This mission explains how it was that he was not called upon to share in the martyrdom of St Pothinus during the terrible persecution in Lyons. When he returned to Lyons it was to occupy the vacant bishopric. By this time, the persecution was over. It was the spread of gnosticism in Gaul, and the ravages it was making among the Christians of his diocese, that inspired him to undertake the task of exposing its errors. He produced a treatise in five books in which he sets forth fully the inner doctrines of the various sects, and afterwards contrasts them with the teaching of the Apostles and the text of the Holy Scripture. His work, written in Greek but quickly translated to Latin, was widely circulated and succeeded in dealing a death-blow to gnosticism. At any rate, from that time onwards, it ceased to offer a serious menace to the Catholic faith.
The date of death of St. Irenaeus is not known, but it is believed to be in the year 202. The bodily remains of St. Irenaeus were buried in a crypt under the altar of what was then called the church of St. John, but was later known by the name of St. Irenaeus himself. This tomb or shrine was destroyed by the Calvinists in 1562, and all trace of his relics seems to have perished.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Shrine Pilgrimage

Shrine Pilgrimage


 On Wednesday I will be going to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Blessed John Paul II shrine. If anyone would like me to bring along some prayer intentions or would like a candle to be lit you can comment and I will do so. You do not have to be specific if you rather not be and can just ask for a special intention. It has been a long time since I have been to the Basilica and looking forward to the trip again. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and remember as a community we pray for and together. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chasing the Reflection

Chasing the Reflection


    Tonight was the “Super Moon”, the fullest and closest the moon will be to the earth all year. The moon for me has always been a reminder of the reflection of Jesus’ during the dark part of life. That no matter how dark or how the world or problems may cover the moon, it still shines for us to give us light.  I wanted to get a picture of it but figured it would be raining but as I got home the rain stopped and the clouds started to diminish and the Moon started to show. I went in got my camera and out I went to get a picture of the moon. 

   It still amazes me how a lesson comes to me about life or God when I least expect it. The night started off for me to just get a picture but learned more from it. I headed out n the direction of the moon and soon realized that I was heading in the direction of St. Martha’s and thought great I can get a picture from the parking lot. Yet, as I took the pictures, the lights from the parking lot made the image of the moon glow around it due to the fog. At first I thought the picture was not great but as I focused more on it, I started to see how the light is going out and extending from the moon. It is allowing the light to shine more and then I realized I am in the parking lot of the Catholic Church. Just as the moon reflects the light from the sun in the heavens , the Church reflects the light of Jesus to us here on earth. From the Church, Jesus expresses and expands all that He is to His people. 




    I wanted to get the moon over the ocean so I got in my car and headed out to find a spot. As usual as I drove I turned down roads that had dead ends or took me further away from the moon and the water. Same as life at times. That as we search and follow that Light of Jesus, we may find a dead end and have to turn around and search for it again. Maybe the road we are on takes us further from Jesus then brings us closer. We have to stop and turn around and take the right turn to get closer to Him. I finally turned down the right road and there was the access to the beach and I started to take some pictures and a stranger started to talk to me saying how bright and brilliant the moon looked.  Then said to me “ Don’t you want to get out of the light of the street light and get some better pictures?” I just smiled and thought how here I am not wanting to go through the sand to get that better picture without that distortion of the street light. It was odd because at the church the light seemed to enhance the picture of the moon but this light made it harder to see, it was foggy, not clear. Here the light from the world, like the world itself can distort and make it foggy to follow Jesus and our Faith. The world can seem brighter and takes our focus off of God, Jesus and the Faith and turns us away. 

   After moving further down the beach and away from the “lights” of the world I was able to get some great pictures with the ocean reflecting the light back up and out to the rest of the beach. We are to do both those things as well. We are to reflect the love back to the Heavens and to the world around us. 



      When I started the night in search of the best shot of the moon, I followed and headed in the direction of the moon. No matter what road I took or turned down my focus was on the moon. Sometimes it seemed I was right on target but only to find that dead end sign, so I turned and again set my sight on that light I wanted to capture. That is how I want to be each day. To get on the road and search and stay focused on the Heavens and my Faith. The ride home was not as great because the moon was in back of me as I drove. There was none of that excitement and awe I had just hours before. It was that same feeling as a life without God, Jesus and the Faith was for me. You will never know what life could be if you do not turn your sight around and head to the reflection of the Son in the world. 

      The Catholic Church, those who fill the pews each week or day, The Pope, our Priests and Religious are to reflect all that Jesus was, is and will be in the world of darkness and sin. Look up each night as a reminder of what we are to do each and every day, a reflection of Heaven here on earth. 



Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may us all reflect all that God has given to us back to Him and those of this world so they may come to know Him. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Prayer for Freedom

Prayer for Freedom

   The U.S. bishops have called for a Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer and action, to address many current challenges to religious freedom. We are called to share the Gospel and Love of Jesus yet, it is not always welcomed in public places because some might be offend by the mention of God. I am asking that we all take extra time to pray for the freedom to do so and act out by writing to our Politicians to express  the need for this freedom. Below I have included a prayer that we all can share. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may our religious freedom be a freedom and not a choice. 


INTRODUCTION
Christ the Lord has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Let us turn to him in humble but fervent petition,
seeking the grace to root out from our hearts all trace of darkness, and all that holds us back
from walking in the full freedom of the children of God.
As Christ is our great model for that inner freedom,
which enables us to do the right,
let us turn to him with confidence
that we, too, may follow him to the fullness of spiritual freedom.


Lord, have mercy; 
Christ, have mercy; 
Lord, have mercy;

Jesus, victor over sin and death...                                 Free our hearts
Jesus, source of light and hope...                                   Free our hearts
Jesus, fullness of truth and mystery...                          Free our hearts
Jesus, teacher of seeking hearts...                                  Free our hearts
Jesus, healer of body and soul...                                    Free our hearts
Jesus, bringer of mercy and justice...                            Free our hearts
Jesus, who humble the heart and mind...                     Free our hearts
Jesus, release of captives...                                               Free our hearts
Jesus, voice against violence...                                         Free our hearts
Jesus, courage for the lowly/downtrodden...               Free our hearts
Jesus, origin of all authority and power...                     Free our hearts
Jesus, true lawgiver...                                                        Free our hearts
Jesus, unity of order and passion...                                 Free our hearts
Jesus, freedom of the Spirit...                                          Free our hearts
Jesus, obedient Son of the Father...                                Free our hearts



For the freedom to love...                                                Give us your grace
For the freedom to believe...                                            Give us your grace
For the freedom to hope...                                               Give us your grace
For the freedom to worship...                                          Give us your grace
For the freedom to serve in charity...                                Give us your grace
For the freedom to care for the suffering...                       Give us your grace
For the freedom to comfort the sick...                                Give us your grace
For the freedom to feed the hungry...                                 Give us your grace
For the freedom to shelter the homeless...                        Give us your grace
For the freedom to proclaim the Gospel...                         Give us your grace
For the freedom to walk in chastity...                                 Give us your grace
For the freedom to live in peace...                                       Give us your grace
For the freedom to work in good conscience...                  Give us your grace
For the freedom to stand in solidarity...                             Give us your grace
For the freedom to seek justice...                                         Give us your grace

For the freedom to reject sin...                                             Give us your grace
For the freedom to reject coercion...                                    Give us your grace
For the freedom to reject falsehood...                                  Give us your grace
For the freedom to reject evil temptations...                       Give us your grace
For the freedom to reject injustice...                                    Give us your grace

CLOSING PRAYER
O God, who gave one origin to all peoples
and willed to gather from them one family for yourself,
fill all hearts, we pray, with the fire of your love
and kindle in them a desire
for the just advancement of their neighbor,
that, through the good things which you richly bestow upon all, each human person may be brought to perfection,
every division may be removed,
and equity and justice may be established in human society. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer


  I have been looking up information on prayers for a project I am working on and came across these prayers for the morning to get our day started. These set the course for how and what our day should be given up for.  I have picked some different prayers for you to choose from to start your day off. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may our morning offerings bring unyielding Graces all day long. 

Morning Prayers

1


O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day in union with the

Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, the reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.


2

My God, I adore You, and I love You with all my heart. I thank you for having created me, made me a Christian, and preserved me this night. I offer You the actions of this day. Grant that all of them may be in accordance with Your holy Will and for Your greater glory. Protect me from sin and from all evil. Let Your grace be always with me and with all my dear ones. Amen.

3

Lord Jesus Christ, in union with that divine intention with which You offered to God Your praises on earth through Your most Sacred Heart, and now offer them in the Sacrament of the Eucharist everywhere even to the end of time, I most gladly offer You throughout this entire day, all my thoughts and intentions, all my affections and desires, all my words and deeds, in imitation of the most holy heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate. Amen.

4

Into Thy hands, O God, we commend ourselves this day, and all those who are dear to us. Let the gift of thy wonderful presence be with us even to the end of the day. Grant that we never lose sight of Thee all the day long, but rather praise and beseech Thee, that our thanks may come to thee again at its close. Amen





Monday, June 17, 2013

Public Self

Public Self


  Today I saw this comic and felt that I should share this for all of us to think about our personal and public persona. We should not make others believe what we are not, both in a positive or a negative way. We should be showing the truth of ourselves. 

  Sometimes people feel the need to come off more then what they are in reality. For example we see in the comic that instead of working harder at being a better person it is easier to use a prop to make others believe I am a better person. By using the prop, the growth of being a better person is not pushed forward but I would say it causes the progress to stop. Why should I be better if I have people believing that I already am better, so all is good. We start to buy into what others see us as and when it is not real then we become not a reality but fake. 

   I know when I started this blog there were people who saw this other side of me. People who I have met less then 7 years ago had no idea of the life that I had with God. I never spoke or showed any part of it. It was a life time ago to me and people commented on the side of me that was not known. They must have had a very hard time reconciling this other part of my life. I know I did at times. It is easier for me to express it here. For me it would be the opposite of the comic. I am that better person in private then in company. I would use a halo that is a bit tarnished, a bit bent and slightly askew. It is not better by any means to do that but I am trying to reconcile both parts of my life into one. 

     Some people only knew the Jim, that has been away from God verses a life with God. So it is hard to allow that side to be on display without the questions and misunderstandings. My personal persona is better then my public persona. Where in the comic it is the opposite. It is an internal struggle to be the same in the personal and public world because you have to work harder to get those people to see that change as a permanent one. Even for myself I want to believe this is how my life will be and not go back to a life without God. 

    We have to be honest with ourselves before we can be honest with others in the world. If we can not look in the mirror and see ourselves as God sees us, how can we show the world that view? I am trying to see what God sees in me and how it is for me to be who I am in the world as God sees me. It is not easy to put aside the past because it does cloud our vision. It distorts who we are and it takes time to focus in prayer to see that vision. 

   It is an ongoing life change that makes us all into the person we are to be and who we are in God’s eyes and not those around us. We can use all the props to make our public persona look great but that public is not there when we stand before that mirror in the morning and see what we see alone. What reflection is more important? That reflection in the mirror or the reflection in the persons eye before you? 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may your persona be one within the world as your home. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Father's Day

Hope all the Father's, Grandfather's, Godfathers and all those when who step in to fill the shoes of a dad in a child's life had a blessed day. Also blessings to those Mom's who step up and be both Mother and Father to their children. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may the blessing from our Heavenly Father be on us all. 




Thursday, June 13, 2013

Prayer after Mass

Prayer After Mass


   I came across this prayer today and thought I would share it. I definitely will be keeping this prayer on my phone so when I leave mass I can say it.  It will help extend that blessing and grace from mass just a bit longer as we all go back out into the world where we face all those things and people that pull us away from our Spiritual self and tries to conform us to the world.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you find those blessings from the Mass and go out into the world filled with the Spirit. 




Prayer After Mass

LORD, Father all-powerful, and ever-living God, I thank Thee, for even though I am a sinner, Thy unprofitable servant, not because of my worth, but in the kindness of Thy mercy, Thou hast fed me with the precious Body and Blood of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. 
I pray that this holy communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. 
May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. 
May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions. 
May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in power to do good. 
May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. 
May it unite me more closely to Thee, the one true God and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with Thee. 
And I pray that Thou willest lead me, a sinner to the banquet where Thou with Thy Son and Holy Spirit, are true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to Thy saints.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. 
Amen.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

  How many times have you heard the expression “ Leap of Faith”? What does that mean when you hear it? Does it mean that the person does not have a sense of what to do and is just going out on that limb on an instinct or is it that person trusting in God and going where they feel He is leading them? It can be both and ... it can be neither one. 

    For myself I can say it has been a mix in my life. I have taken that leap with myself in control and other times when God was in control. It is easier and seems to work out a lot better when I ask God to take control as I step out and start to take that leap. It would be great to start that leap with Him then in mid air cry out for His help as I start to fall. 

    When you feel a pull in a direction but are not 100% sure if it is right, it may be the Holy Spirit pulling you in that direction and when that happens God is there with you taking that first step. The only way to tell is to pray and pray and pray. It is not easy by any means at times. There have been times that it was midway through the first prayer I get the “ Yep, this it it.. Lets move” and other times its months and months of prayers and still in the same spot. It is through prayer that those feelings of fear and uncertainty will diminish as peace and grace takes their place. 

    There will be times when we take that leap of faith and it will not pay off. It does not mean that leap should not have happened but maybe just maybe the lesson was to allow that trust in God be manifested in the action. That is how I am feeling now in my life. A major choice is before me and I do not know if it is to be or not but at least for now I know I have to trust in God and at the least venture out on that cliff and see if I am to take that leap or it was just to walk to the edge and see another view of a different life that lies before me.

   Either way if that leap is to a new life or that step out of your own will and allow God to guide us, it is a leap of that faith that lies within you. No on can take that faith from you that guides your life. Hold onto it an allow that faith to give you the courage to step out and take that leap.

Untill tomorrow, God Bless, and remember to pray before, during and after that leap. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

St. Padre Pio

St. Padre Pio


Feastday: September 23
1887 - 1968
Canonized By: Pope John Paul II

Francesco, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to Giuseppa and Grazio Forgione, peasant farmers, in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. From his childhood, it was evident that he was a special child of God. Francesco was very devout even as a child, and at an early age felt drawn to the priesthood. He became a Capuchin novice at the age of sixteen and received the habit in 1902. Francesco was ordained to the priesthood in 1910 after seven years of study and became known as Padre Pio.

On September 20, 1918, Padre Pio was kneeling in front of a large crucifix when he received the visible marks of the crucifixion, making him the first stigmatized priest in the history of Church. The doctor who examined Padre Pio could not find any natural cause for the wounds. Upon his death in 1968, the wounds were no longer visible. In fact, there was no scaring and the skin was completely renewed. He had predicted 50 years prior that upon his death the wounds would heal. The wounds of the stigmata were not the only mystical phenomenon experienced by Padre Pio.

The blood from the stigmata had an odor described by many as similar to that of perfume or flowers, and the gift of bilocation was attributed to him. Padre Pio had the ability to read the hearts of the penitents who flocked to him for confession which he heard for ten or twelve hours per day. Padre Pio used the confessional to bring both sinners and devout souls closer to God; he would know just the right word of counsel or encouragement that was needed. Even before his death, people spoke to Padre Pio about his possible canonization. He died on September 23, 1968 at the age of eighty-one. His funeral was attended by about 100,000 people.
On June 16, 2002, over 500,000 Padre Pio devotees gathered in Rome to witness Pope John Paul II proclaim Padre Pio, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. The Padre Pio Foundation and many benefactors traveled to Rome, San Giovanni Rotondo, Pietrelcina, Piana Romana and many other holy places to celebrate Padre Pio's Canonization.

Friday, June 7, 2013

St. Ephrem

St. Ephrem


Feastday: June 9
Died: 373?

"I was born in the way of truth: though my childhood was unaware of the greatness of the benefit, I knew it when trial came."
Ephrem (or Eprhaim) the Syrian left us hundreds of hymns and poems on the faith that inflamed and inspired the whole Church, but few facts about his own inspiring life.
Most historians infer from the lines quoted above that Ephrem was born into a Christian family -- although not baptized until an adult (the trial or furnace), which was common at the time. Other than that little is known about his birth and youth although many guess he was born in the early fourth century in Mesopotamia, possibly in Nisibis where he spent most of his adult life.
"He Who created two great lights, chose for Himself these three Lights, and set them in the three dark seasons of siege that have been."
Ephrem served as teacher, and possibly deacon, under four bishops of Nisibis, Jacob, Babu, Vologeses, and Abraham. The first three he describes in the hymn quoted above written while Vologeses was still alive. As the verse states, Ephrem did not live in easy times in Nisibis.
"I have chanced upon weeds, my brothers, That wear the color of wheat, To choke the good seed."
According to tradition, Ephrem began to write hymns in order to counteract the heresies that were rampant at that time. For those who think of hymns simply as the song at the end of Mass that keeps us from leaving the church early, it may come as a surprise that Ephrem and others recognized and developed the power of music to get their points across. Tradition tells us that Ephrem heard the heretical ideas put into song first and in order to counteract them made up his own hymns. In the one below, his target is a Syrian heretic Bardesan who denied the truth of the Resurrection:
"How he blasphemes justice, And grace her fellow-worker. For if the body was not raised, This is a great insult against grace, To say grace created the body for decay; And this is slander against justice, to say justice sends the body to destruction."
The originality, imagery, and skill of his hymns captured the hearts of the Christians so well, that Ephrem is given credit for awakening the Church to the important of music and poetry in spreading and fortifying the faith.
Ephrem's home was in physical as well as spiritual danger. Nisibis, a target of Shapur II, the King of Persia, was besieged by him three times. During the third siege in in 350, Shapur's engineers turned the river out of its course in order to flood the city as Ephrem describes (speaking as Nisibis):
"All kinds of storms trouble me -- and you have been kinder to the Ark: only waves surrounded it, but ramps and weapons and waves surround me... O Helmsman of the Ark, be my pilot on dry land! You gave the Ark rest on the haven of a mountain, give me rest in the haven of my walls."
The flood, however, turned the tide against Shapur. When he tried to invade he found his army obstructed by the very waters and ruin he had caused. The defenders of the city, including Ephrem, took advantage of the chaos to ambush the invaders and drive them out.
"He has saved us without wall, and taught us that He is our wall: He has saved us without king and made us know that is our king: He has saved us, in each and all, and showed us that He is All."
In the end, however, Nisibis lost. When Shapur defeated the Roman emperor Jovian, he demanded the city as part of the treaty. Jovian not only gave him the city but agreed to force the Christians to leave Nisibis. Probably in his fifties or sixties at that time, Ephrem was one of the refugees who fled the city in 363.
Sometime in 364 he settled as a solitary ascetic on Mount Edessa, at Edessa (what is now Urfa) 100 miles east of his home.
"The soul is your bride, the body is your bridal chamber..."
In the time before monks and monasteries, many devout Christians drawn to a religious life dedicated themselves as ihidaya (single and single-minded followers of Christ). As one of these Eprhem lived an ascetic, celibate life for his last years.
Heresy and danger followed him to Edessa. The Arian Emperor Valens camped outside of Edessa threatening to kill all the Christian inhabitants if they did not submit. But Valens was the one forced to give up in the face of the courage and steadfastness of the Edessans (fortified by Ephrem's hymns):
"The doors of her homes Edessa Left open when she went forth With the pastor to the grave, to die, And not depart from her faith. Let the city and fort and building And houses be yielded to the king; Our goods and our gold let us leave; So we part not from our faith!"
Tradition tells us that during the famine that hit Edessa in 372, Ephrem was horrified to learn that some citizens were hoarding food. When he confronted them, he received the age-old excuse that they couldn't find a fair way or honest person to distribute the food. Ephrem immediately volunteered himself and it is a sign of how respected he was that no one was able to argue with this choice. He and his helpers worked diligently to get food to the needy in the city and the surrounding area.
The famine ended in a year of abundant harvest the following year and Ephrem died shortly thereafter, as we are told, at an advanced age. We do not know the exact date or year of his death but June 9, 373 is accepted by many. Ephrem relates in his dying testament a childhood vision of his life that he gloriousl fulfilled:
"There grew a vine-shoot on my tongue: and increased and reached unto heaven, And it yielded fruit without measure: leaves likewise without number. It spread, it stretched wide, it bore fruit: all creation drew near, And the more they were that gathered: the more its clusters abounded. These clusters were the Homilies; and these leaves the Hymns. God was the giver of them: glory to Him for His grace! For He gave to me of His good pleasure: from the storehouse of His treasures."
In His Footsteps:
Has a song ever moved you so much that it changed or challenged your faith or lifestyle -- for good or bad? How do you feel about the music you sing during liturgy? Put your whole heart and soul into the hymns you sing next. Listen to the words and let them speak to you.
Prayer:
Saint Ephrem, sometimes we treat the power of song lightly. Help us to open our hearts and souls to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit given us through music. Amen .

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wake Up, Catholics

Wake Up, Catholics....


   The other night I saw this video and I could not have said it any better myself. It is time for all of us, to stand united and express the truth and reality of our faith and defend it. If we do not do this then the faith is stripped away from our world. Below is the video. If you do not see the video click HERE.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and We all must WAKE UP!!!






Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Don't Give Up

Don't Give Up

   I heard this song today and it stuck a cord with me. The song is "Don't Give Up" by Calling Glory. When we have internal struggles, we do need to do as the song says and go into our hearts to experience that amazing love of our Lord.  It can help us refocus and gain that strength to take that next step. 

   For myself, I find it hard when those internal struggles happen and turn to God right away. It takes me a while to, well, give in and give it to Him.  It is a work in progress as I like to say. I am getting quicker at turning it over but still have a way to go.  I have included the video and the words to the song as usual. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may we all turn to God when the internal struggles happen. 


Don't Give Up

This time your heart said it's had enough 
Sick and tired of everything that's so messed up 
You don't wanna move on just playing games 
Praying hard somehow that your life will change 
When you feel like you don't know what to do 
Stuck inside this maze you can't go through 

(Chorus) 
Don't give up 
Help is surely on its way 
And don't give up 
And the dark is breaking in today 
And just keep on moving through these storms 
And soon enough you'll find the door 
Just don't give up 
Oh, and don't give up 

These walls around you are caving in 
And your life seems like it is wearing thin
And your hope is drowning in despair 
It looks like you're not going anywhere 
Step inside this heart and then you'll see 
Such a love that is so amazing 





Sunday, June 2, 2013

Prayer for Adoration

Prayer for Adoration


In honor of the Feast of Corpus Christi I decided to post a prayer for Adoration. I hope you all had a blessed Sunday.

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you find that hour to sit with out Lord. 






Prayer


My Lord Jesus Christ,
I believe that You are really here in this Sacrament.
Night and day You remain here compassionate and loving.
You call, You wait for,
You welcome everyone who comes to visit You.
I thank You, Jesus my Divine Redeemer
for coming upon the earth for our sake
and for instituting the Adorable Sacrament of the Holy
Eucharist
in order to remain with us until the end of the world.
I thank You for hiding beneath the Eucharistic species
Your infinite majesty and beauty,
which Your Angels delight to behold,
so that I might have courage to approach the throne of
Your mercy.
I thank You dear Jesus,
for having become the priceless Victim,
to merit for me the fullness of heavenly favors.
Awaken in me such confidence in You
that their fullness may descend ever more fruitfully upon
my soul.
I thank You for offering Yourself
in thanksgiving to God for all His benefits,
spiritual and temporal
which He has bestowed on me.
Grant me grace and perseverance in your faithful service. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

World Adoration

World Adoration


   I am asking tonight to remember that at 5PM Rome time ( 11 am NY/NJ time ) our Pope will ask us to join Him in the most Holy Adoration of Our Lord. If you are not able to attend a local Adoration please take some time during that hour to join millions of Catholic in prayer. Take a moment and Thank Jesus for everything that He has done for you and those around you and for all the things He will do for you. This will be a powerful event. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may my soul join your soul in prayer with millions world wide.