Category Archives: Prayer

From sudden and unprovided death, deliver us, O Lord

I learned today that an online friend died when she was hit by a truck while crossing a street. She passed away later at the hospital. She received Last Rites before she died.

The suddenness of any death typically provokes a reaction of shock and dismay. Someone is there, and then suddenly gone. The quickness is a reminder that we, too, can suddenly be “called home.” We know not the day nor the hour of our passing. We must always be prepared as if today will be our last. But who really does this?

The suddenness of someone’s death also provokes another reaction: that of a desire to quickly think about the living and how we never really appreciate them while they are still with us. I suppose that this is essentially taking people for granted, but I also think that it is a symptom that we do not have death always in mind. It is always a distant, abstract thing. We know it will happen, we prefer not to think about it.

So, death is a distant thing from our minds and the permanence of people in our lives is assumed.

I think if we reverse this on both notions then culture and civilization will be far more peaceful and compassionate.

Incidentally, the lady who died was in recovery, she had purchased both of my Catholic devotional books and enjoyed them, bringing them frequently to Adoration to meditate with. So, her death was a little sensitive for me. I am truly saddened by her loss.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

To dwell in the Lord’s house all the days of my life

The Second Reading from the Office of Readings for Sunday in the 29th week of Ordinary Time of the Liturgy of the Hours is “From a letter to Proba by Saint Augustine, bishop:”

Why in our fear of not praying as we should, do we turn to so many things, to find what we should pray for? Why do we not say instead, in the words of the psalm: I have asked one thing from the Lord, this is what I will seek: to dwell in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, to see the graciousness of the Lord, and to visit his temple? There, the days do not come and go in succession, and the beginning of one day does not mean the end of another; all days are one, simultaneously and without end, and the life lived out in these days has itself no end.

Courtesy: DivineOffice.org

Indeed, why do we pray for so many things when Heaven fulfills all our desires?

From the Gospel According to Matthew:

Matthew 6:33 “Therefore, seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added to you as well.”

Courtesy: The Sacred Bible: Catholic Public Domain Version

From God come all things; we seek Heaven above them all. If we seek with all our desire to live in the Lord’s house all the days of our life, and place that above all other things, how can He not give us what we need?

It is such an earnest prayer. It is a prayer in which we desire to come Home most of all, away from this life’s troubles.

Just remember, there’s a difference between praying for what we want and praying for what we need.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

And at the hour of our death

Have you ever thought about the hour of your death? Not just about your death in general, or how long you might live. But exactly when you’ll die?

This is the last chance for Satan to snatch you from the Lord. Unless you’ve prepared yourself by way of the Sacraments, prayer and a lifetime of “spiritual progress,” your final minutes on Earth will be The Enemy’s last chance to get you for Itself for all Eternity.

Worried? There’s a prayer for that!

It’s Mom to the rescue! Doesn’t Mom make everything better? Well, same thing for when you’re about to face the end of your mortal existence.

The venerable and ancient prayer of the Church to the Blessed Mother, said by millions of Catholics daily in the Rosary (totally perhaps a few billion “Hail Mary’s” every day), is the succor for such a worry.

“Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Amen.”

See the last six words? “…at the hour of our death.”

Mary will watch over you. But not just you, when you say the “Hail Mary” on the Rosary or just by itsef in moments of need, offer it up also for other people. It does say “pray for us sinners” so you’re not just praying for yourself, but for other people, too. Now, and at the hour of their death.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The heinous yoke has been destroyed!

“O death! You separate those who are joined to each other in marriage. You harshly and cruelly divide those whom friendship unites. But your power is broken. Your heinous yoke has been destroyed by the One who sternly threatened you when Hosea cried out: O Death! I shall be your death. And with the words of the apostle we, too, deride you: O death! Where is your victory? O death! Where is your sting!

Your conqueror redeemed us. He handed himself over to wicked men so that he could transform the wicked into persons who were truly dear to him.” – St. Braulio, Bishop.

The above is from the Office of Readings in the Office of the Dead from the Liturgy of the Hours. I said that this morning instead of the usual Divine Office as today is the ninth anniversary of my Mom’s death.

I still haven’t gotten completely over it. Who really does “get over” death? I posted the above quote from St. Braulio to give comfort and to remind you that there is hope in the Resurrection.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Praying for the Dead During November

Catholic Culture has an excellent article regarding a very beneficial pious activity that can aid in your own spiritual progression. It also is a good reminder of where we’ll end up someday. (A grave. Morbid, true, but you wouldn’t be here unless you’re more aware than most people that you will die someday.)

Praying for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November is something I blog about here annually. It is about the act of visiting a cemetery during the first 8 days of November. Half of the “Graves and Cemeteries” category are reblogs of it and this will probably be the last time I’ll post on it (at least on its own). The article is now a standalone link in the “Afterlife Links” section.

To summarize from the “Catholic Culture” site:Indulgenced Acts for the Poor Souls: A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental. One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1 and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory.

A plenary indulgence, again applicable only the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public oratory on November 2. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required, that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

A partial indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, can be obtained when the Eternal Rest  is prayed. This is a good prayer to recite especially during the month of November:

 ‘Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.'”

The article explains the differences between plenary and partial indulgences.

November 2nd is on a Saturday this year, and so it makes a good day to combine Mass, the Sacrament of Confession and this devotion. On Saturday you can obtain a plenary indulgence for the Holy Souls in Purgatory using the practice described above; and an additional plenary one for yourself if you make a good Confession and attend Mass. The latter is the most common manner in obtaining a plenary indulgence. Go to Confession on Saturday afternoon, which is when most parishes offer it, and then stick around for the Sunday Vigil Mass.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

St. Faustina’s Vision of Purgatory, Part 2

In Paragraph 21 of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska’s diary: “Divine Mercy in My Soul,” the Saint writes of when she was visited by a suffering soul :

21 …My superiors [probably Mother Leonard and Mother
Jane] sent me to the novitiate in Cracow. An inconceivable joy reigned in my soul. When
we arrived at the novitiate, Sister [Henry] was dying. A few days later she came to me
[in spirit, after her death] and bid me to go to the Mother Directress of Novices [Sister
Margaret] and tell her to ask her confessor, Father Rospond, to offer one Mass for
her and three ejaculatory prayers. At first I agreed, but the next day I decided I would not
go to Mother Directress, because I was not sure whether this had happened in a dream or in
reality. And so I did not go.

The following night the same thing was repeated more clearly; I had no more doubt. Still,
in the morning I decided not to tell the Directress about it unless I saw her [Sister Henry]
during the day. At once I ran into her in the corridor. She reproached me for not having
gone immediately, and a great uneasiness filled my soul. So I went immediately to Mother
Directress and told her everything that had happened to me. Mother responded that she
would take care of the matter. At once peace reigned in my soul, and on the third day this
sister came to me and said, “May God repay you.”

This serves as a useful reminder to always pray for the faithful departed, regardless of your thoughts as to the reasons. Never “rationalize” away a reason to pray. Yes, they might be in Heaven already, or the inspiration may be a strange thought. Prays for the dead are always a great act of charity.

For more information on St. Faustina, click here:

The Divine Mercy Message from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Praying for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November

Catholic Culture has an excellent piece on the Catholic practice of indulgences and praying for the dead:

Praying for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November

Included is an explanation for a devotion that I’ve written about previously, that of visiting a cemetery and praying for the holy souls in Purgatory during the first eight days of November:

Indulgenced Acts for the Poor Souls: A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental. One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1 and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory. A plenary indulgence, again applicable only the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public oratory on November 2. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required, that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

Praying for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy. The dead have no recourse to their own prayers, they are entirely dependent upon our charity. The time of their own merit (life) is over. Our prayers for them, as well as the offering up of our earthly sufferings, trials and tribulations, assists in easing their progression through Purgatory.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Mother’s Day and Polkas

I noticed on my Facebook that there are a few people who are who are experiencing their first Mother’s Day without their Mom. Prayers ascending for them…

On my first Mother’s Day without mine, I did an odd thing. When I was growing up, Mom played polka music every Sunday before Mass. I lived in central New York State, and there were a number of ethnic radio programs from the various Syracuse, Utica and Rome stations. With a relatively large Polish-American populatiion, there were a few hours of polka programming each Sunday.

Mom used to wake me up to that way. Like clockwork, every Sunday at 8:30AM I’d be contentedly sleeping in my bed, and then WHAMMO!!!!, flung a few feet in the air to the riotous sounds of “In Heaven There is No Beer, That’s Why We Drink it Here,”  “Roll Out the Barrel,”  “I Don’t Want Her You Can Have Her, She’s too Fat for Me,” and various other classic polka tuneskis.

Needless to say I grew to dislike polka music. Until 2006, my first Mother’s Day without Mom. I felt compelled to hunt down a radio station that played polka music. As I now live in the Buffalo, New York area, with a larger Polish-American population than central New York has, it wasn’t hard.

And so on that Mother’s Day, I listened to polka music for the first time in over a quarter century. And…

…I liked it! It was nostalgic for me and also therapuetic. The healing process that I needed after her death in November 2005 was really helped along.

Polka music is routinely derided and dismissed by people. But, screw ’em. It is toe-tappin’ “happy music.” A great cure for depression. So, it all sounds the same. So does rap and  pop.

I think I’ll go to the living room, turn on the stereo, and blast a local polka station. My wife is still sleeping, so it might wake her up! I’m sure she’ll appreciate the old family tradition. 😉

Later…

 

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Litany For A Good Death

There is a prayer that you should add to your inventory of prayers to say. This one is courtesy of Joseph Karl Publishing’s Blog and is entitled Litany For A Good Death.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Emergency prayer request (UPDATED)

The mother-in-law of a friend of mine on Google+ may face imminent discharge from a hospital because “she has already cost the insurance company too much money.” She has been diagnosed with a pancreatic tumor. She was due to receive surgery for it when the insurance company called and stopped all further payment due to the costs. The surgery cannot be approved. My friend issued an urgent prayer request on Google+, which has been picked up by others and posted to other social networks. The prayer request is here:

“We need prayers here! It’s been like an episode of House trying to figure out what’s wrong with my mother-in-law.

They figured out it is a pancreatic tumor and are ready to remove it and insurance called in a 100% full stop to payments saying she’s cost them too much to approve surgery now, too. We have 4.5 hours before the hospital discharges her.”

The 4.5 hours is up at about 3:00 ET (USA) or 1900 GMT/UTC.

This is grossly unconscionable to place money above the life of a person. This is a basic decency. No matter what the cost, or whatever the survival rate is, to put money before a life is pure evil.

This quantification of a human life, that after a certain point “you are just too much of a burden,” or “too much of a cost” is reprehensible and not at all defensible from any valid moral standpoint.

It is a symptom of the sickness of society, that a life has a dollar value (or Euro, Pound Sterling, whatever) and after a point, just pull the plug.

Western civilization is in a decay. It needs to be revived and the only way to do that is to get out there and evangelize. Speak the Gospel Truth, live it as best one can, and confront the forces of evil and darkness when they present their ugly agenda.

One of Christianity’s best teachings is that we are made in the image and likeness of God and that we have an inherent dignity for that reason. Plus, we are adopted children of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. No other religion claims anything like that. Judaism may be close inasmuch they are our elder family in the Faith, and they are the Chosen People of God. But, Judaism is not a faith that seeks to convert others. We Christians can go out and bring people into the fullness of Divine Truth, and in doing so heal humanity of the sickness that is going on that allows my friend’s mother-in-law to possibly die without the surgery that can enable her to live. All because she “costs too much.”

 

An update from my friend: “Last night I contacted their state assemblyman and I wrote the Dept. of Insurance. The surgeon has pulled major, major strings behind the scenes with the hospital as well. The phone started ringing at 8:05 this morning. The insurance company is now caving on almost everything, but it isn’t definite yet.

They approved her ICU stay.
They approved all her tests and procedures.
The surgeons are confidant that they’ll have the surgery approved, but it isn’t yet. The surgeons are saying they’re doing the surgery no matter what.
They are denying her hospital stay on the regular floor saying she did not need to be in-patient in between ICU and surgery. This is 4 days in the hospital they’re refusing to pay for.

Everyone knows if she’d left she’d not be able to get the surgery covered so that isn’t an option, and this is definite improvement as the most expensive stuff is covered, but the outstanding approval for surgery in the morning and then the insurance nightmare that will be waiting post-surgery are the big issues right now, which is such a huge relief compared to last night! Please keep up the prayers today!”

 

UPDATE FROM TODAY: “My mother-in-law is now recuperating from surgery! They removed her tumor and everything was as perfect as possible! We haven’t heard anything from insurance or the business office.

Please pray in gratitude for the surgery. For her swift, full, and uneventful recovery. For God’s blessings on her surgeon, Michael. For our children who are missing home. And for the financial situation to be worked out to provide for all involved as they need. Thank you prayer warriors for storming heaven!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! She’s not coming to as we would hope. Over 24hrs later and she’s still pretty out of it. We were also told today that no headway has been made on the insurance.

The nurses and docs continue to be fantastic. My husband is flying home today in a lightning storm. I’m enjoying while I can that vegetarianism is taken for granted here so choices are clearly labeled and abundant. Small pleasures. 🙂 “

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"