Our Lady and Sheen

His Holiness Pope Francis

I am still recovering from the excitement of yesterday. I want to do everything in my humble power to spread the call for prayer for our new Soveriegn Pontiff.

Here are some ideas:

1. Pray the prayer:
V. Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Francis.
R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

2. Pray daily for the intentions of the Holy Father: 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, and 1 Glory Be.

3. Pray the Rosary (I debated whether I should remind people).

4. Pray the Franciscan Crown in honor of the name of His Holiness.

5. Pray the Litany of Jesuit Saints.

St. Joseph, patron of the Church, pray for us!

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

Venerable Fulton Sheen, loyal servant of God and the Pontiffs, pray for us!

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March 14, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Year of Our Lord 2011

To all my readers, Happy New Year!

I hope that this recently beginning year has been good for you so far, and I pray that God will bless you and your family throughout the entire year.

To begin I have a small story. The other night I was at a pre-new year’s eve party and was discussing my plans for the future. One of the women I was speaking with informed me that she would be so happy if her son was a priest. My immediate response, without thinking, was, “Wellm pray a rosary every day for that!” She informed me that she really doesn’t pray the rosary often because she preferred to just “talk to God casually.” This is, of course, noble in its own way, but it got me to thinking about the power of prayer.

I was thinking that it was very hard for people to trust in God sometimes with their prayers. We often throw prayers up out of obligation or sometimes we don’t know why. This year, I have decided to entrust fully in the Lord a very deep desire of mine. I am going to begin to pray a rosary every day for it, and then trust in God’s providence. Of course, I request all of your prayers for endurance in this matter. This is not a resolution, its part of my duties as a Catholic gentleman, and indeed as a Christian. This posting is just meant as a reminder of the power of prayer and the virtue of Hope in the Lord.

Happy Solemnity of Mary Mother of God!

January 1, 2011 Posted by | Random Stuff | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pope’s prayer intentions for November

Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention for November is: “That victims of drugs or of other dependence may, thanks to the support of the Christian community, find in the power of our saving God strength for a radical life-change”.

His mission intention is: “That the Churches of Latin America may move ahead with the continent-wide mission proposed by their bishops, making it part of the universal missionary task of the People of God”.

 

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Sacrifices of Love

I’ve been kicking around in my head all day, and some of yesterday the idea of sacrifice.  Sometimes it’s easy to think that all sacrifices come in the same vein as the single greatest sacrifice of love, the Cross.  We all know that, “Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die(Romans 5:7).”  And indeed, for someone we love, we think that this death might be easier to endure.

When we think of the smaller things sometimes they are easier to give up for others, and sometimes they are harder.  If a friend asks me for a dollar, I have no problem in handing them the currency.  If a friend asks me for 10 minutes, on Monday, perhaps it is harder for me to put their needs before my own.  If a stranger is struggling through the door, I will take the time to open it.  These are all, in their own way events that have potential to be a sacrifice of love.  We say to ourselves, “I know I really want that last piece of cake, but I can offer it to someone else instead.”  Certainly, these are good things to practice.

The Blood of the Cross poured out for the world to see, before mother and beloved deciple, servants and free, enemies and soldiers.  The sacrifice of love on Golgotha was for the redemption of you, and I, each the most beloved of all creation, despite what arithmetic tells us.  The sacrifice of the Holy Cross is present for those to see, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Love of the Father sacrifices for us once and for all time.  At every moment praise and thanksgiving is given up to God, and at every moment throughout history and the future their stands One, like the Son of Man, crucified yet alive, slain yet standing, cursed by human lips yet uncursable.

That sacrifice, the one that emulates the Love of the Father who gives his only begotten Son is easy to picture.  If, says the self to the beloved, I must sacrifice, I will bleed for thee more than anyone has ever bled, and as I breathe my dying breath, I will think of nothing but you and that paradise that awaits he who lays down his life for a friend; because of those three words, “I love you.”

I put forth to you and I instead, what if, and I do not know, that is not your cross.  What if the greatest sacrifice of love you can make is to fail to show the blood of the offering.  To keep hidden within your heart and soul, the traumas and lashings and bruises and bleedings that cry out constantly, “I love you!”  What if the true measure of our lives is not how much we show the life of our veins, but how much it flows unseen.

The only example I can think of, other than that of the Father, is that of the parents.  Parents constantly lay down theirselves for their children, with no recognition.  Even the act of sending a child to the first day of kindergarten rips through the heart of a parent, and yet, they willingly and cheerfully send the little one onto that very big bus.

I pray for strength to more lovingly offer my sacrifices of love, be they purely of praise to God or if they are made to the Father out of love for my brothers and sisters here in the church militant or in the church suffering.

God Love You

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Random Stuff | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sundays with Sheen: Prayer for canonization

During my time writing this blog, I have completely forgotten to allow you all the prayer for Archbishop Sheen’s canonization process.  Here it is:

Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication.  You have blessed your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.  He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.

If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint.  We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen

Imprimatur:

+Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.

Bishop of Peoria

July 25, 2010 Posted by | Sundays with Sheen | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sacramental Saturday

The sacraments are important, and the ordinary way to salvation.  I have decided to dedicate a small portion of my blog directly to them.  The next few posts about the sacraments will be to help with a smoother transition to the new translation of the ordinary form of the Mass.  You can find out much more about the new translation for the Mass at: http://usccb.org/romanmissal/

In today’s segment, we’ll be looking at the Confiteor, you know, the prayer that you pray near the beginning of Mass that acknowledges that you are a sinner and asks for forgiveness.  Yup! Turns out that has a name, and the name is Confiteor!  (It comes from the first word in the Latin “Confiteor Deo”)

Ok, currently we say (parts that are changing have been bolded by the USCCB):

I confess to almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned
through my own fault,

in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord, our God.

But now, there have been just a few minor changes, and we will say:

I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done
and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore
I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

So, this post is mostly just my opinion on things, I don’t have a liturgical degree, nor am I ordained, so take it or leave it, but the important part is to know the translation is coming.

Ok, the “therefore” may be just a better grammar choice than “and,” but the other parts of the prayer change the emphasis slightly.  First, by saying “greatly sinned,” we hopefully realize, that we have truly hurt God.  This comes from 1 Chronicles 21:8.  Also, the other change is instead of just saying that I have sinned “through my fault,” taking ownership, we slow down, and we reiterate that the sins we’ve committed are OUR sins, and not someone elses.

In the text here also is “and, striking their breast, they say:” as we say “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”  We build up, in a way, the understanding we have of our sins.  It’s almost like when you’re in love, and you’re like “I love her, I love her… oh my gosh! I realllly love her! This is insane how much I love her!”  Instead, we say to God that we are sorry for our sins, and that we really love Him, in a building way.  Also, this is very much like the threefold redemption of St. Peter, who, as we do in all our sins, denied knowing Christ.

Just some meditations on the upcoming changes.  Again, do not begin using the new translation until it’s time to use the new translation!

July 17, 2010 Posted by | Sacramental Saturday | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Third Anniversary of “Summorum Pontificum” from Insight Scoop

The third anniversary of Pope Benedict’s “Summorum Pontificum” was yesterday.  This document proclaiming the right of priests to celebrate the Extraordinary Form (“Traditional Latin Mass”) has been seen as an enriching of the Church by me, and others.  It has allowed me to participate in the Mass that was celebrated by St. Padre Pio, St. Damian of Molokai, St. Pius X, and the list goes on.

This article posted at Insight School (the blog for Ignatius Press) is a great excerpt of a longer essay, and also contains useful links!  Enjoy!

Here it is!

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

OSV Daily Take: Great article about silence

There was a great article on the Pope’s most recent pilgrimage to the tomb of the “Hermit Pope,” St. Celestine V.  I think this may have inspired me to make a silent retreat at some point in the near future.

Check out the piece here!

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fulton Sheen on Freedom

Archbishop Sheen’s writings are absolutely amazing.  He wrote 30, 40, 50, 60 and more years ago, and yet his writings echo true today in 2010.  His passion, and compassion, shine through with the most impeccable clarity and charity.  Some say that he was a prophet, which as Christians we are all called to be.   I think of him this way, calling people of his own time and the future back to the Truth, which is the love of Christ.  The article I will be quoting can be found here and is from 1943.

A proof that we are in danger of losing it [freedom], is that everyone is talking about it. If you suddenly came into a country where everyone was talking about the health of the lungs, you would immediately conclude that a disastrous microbe was rampant.

This simple yet profound statement is one that we can relate to today.  Today the rhetoric on the 24 hour news channels, the mainstream media, and even the blogosphere is that we are on the brink of losing our freedom.  In one’s opinion to Obama, in another’s to immigrants, in another’s to right-wing hate mongers, in another’s to aliens from Jupiter.  But constantly the battle cry is over “Freedom.”  Archbishop Sheen puts succinctly that it SHOULD be for freedom, but:

our point is that the gravest threat to freedom comes from within; I do not mean within America alone, I mean within the hearts and souls of men throughout the world.While the world is attempting to preserve freedom in the political order, it is surrendering it in those deeper realms upon which the political reposes.

This is an essay regarding the ease into which humans so easily submit to the rule of tyrannical government when they cease praying and trusting in God.  Archbishop Sheen makes his point by first addressing the temptations of Satan towards our Christ after he has fasted forty days in the desert.  He puts it in terms of offering Jesus the affections of the people by bread, power, or submission:

Our Lord refused to surrender freedom. If souls would not love Him without the bribery of bread, without the exhibitionism of Power, and without selling himself to Caesar, He would still not force them. Freedom would endure through an eternal heaven and an eternal hell.

Standing in juxtaposition to this strength of Christ is man’s groveling at the feet of the government:

Satan is now back again in the world, and oh, how he is succeeding in destroying freedom. Souls are today selling themselves out for that bread which today they call security; for that power which is now called Science and Progress, while others, in over a fifth of the world’s surface, have bartered their freedom for dictators and tyrants.

The writings from sixty years ago is as clear as it is today.  He blames the loss of freedom on the loss of the belief in Hell, which at that time he quoted that 73% of ministers did not believe in Hell, then he clears up why this is the detriment to freedom:

If there is no hell, why should there be a heaven? If there is no wrong, and hence no sin for which men ought to be punished, why should there be a heaven where they should be rewarded for their virtues? If there are statues erected to our patriots, why should there not be prisons for our traitors? Whom do they think God is— a kind of grandmother who laughs off the wrong-doing of His children, as if there were no scales of Justice, and He were not the God of Righteousness?

He then goes on to describe why the Christ did not come down from that most Holy Cross, even after people shouting out that they would believe.  In the perfect nature of God, he knew that:

They had freedom so long as He left their faith in their own hands and not in His. His refusal to come down was the guarantee of freedom. The nails which pierced Him were the stars of the flag of freedom; the bruises of His body battered by free men, were the stripes of that flag. His blood was its red; His flesh its blue and its white.

So long as Our Lord hangs on His Cross, man is free! The moment He comes down in Power, man is His slave, and He is man’s dictator. But come down He will not! Freedom will never be destroyed— not even in hell, for even there He leaves man the eternal choice of his rebellious will.

So He did not come down! If He came down He would have made Nazism, Fascism, and Communism before their time. The coming down is the death of love. If He came down, He never would have saved us! It is human to come down. It is divine to hang there!

This realization that the worldly power of removing himself from the Cross would secure without faith the following of many.  However, the once and eternal sacrifice at Golgotha, which we celebrate in every Eucharist, which is celebrated constantly in Heaven, Christ – the Lamb slain yet standing, is the CROSS.  In that Cross hangs He who died for love me, and although he rose on Easter Sunday, the sacrifice of Good Friday is once and eternal.  Eternal in that it stretches from the beginning of existence to the end, and beyond.

It is this love that we must focus on.  This love that allows us the freedom TO love Someone instead of the freedom FROM rules.  For the freedom from law is a hollow and counterfeit freedom that leads only to our own destruction.

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pope to Spain

With all the excitement about the Pope’s upcoming visit to the United Kingdom to canonize John Cardinal Newman, I forgot all about the Pope’s visit to Spain!  You can read a little here from the Zenit site.

This year is a holy year for the Compostela, a long pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James.  The news article goes on to talk about the key role that the compostela will have in the renewal of Christendom in Europe.  All very exciting!

Oremus Pro Pontifice!

St. James, Pray for us!

Archbishop Sheen, Pray for us!

Our Lady, Pray for us!

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment