Pope’s Prayer Intentions for May, 2017

Posted May 1, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized


Blessed May!

Here are our Holy Father’s prayer intentions (as found here)
for this month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Christians in Africa.
That Christians in Africa,
imitation of the Merciful Jesus,
may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

May God bless your prayer!

In Pursuit of Joy

Posted April 9, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , ,


A friend was recently prompted to pursue joy,
to be intentional about becoming more joyful.

These came to mind as being particularly helpful…

An aspiration to pray often
(memory aid: pray it when you pass by something you see often,
such as a picture of Jesus):

My God, I rejoice that You are infinitely happy.
~St. Alphonsus de Liguori

(I add, “and that You have loved me into being
that I may share in Your infinite happiness”)

Quotes for reflection:

Do not be saddened this day,
for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength.
-Nehemiah 8:10

This next one is my mainstay–there’s so much in it!
Joy is a choice, and it can be learned.
It requires an act of the will,
discipline of the mind to turn it away from evil and to good,
confidence in God
& dependence on Him (prayer with thanksgiving).

Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say Rejoice.
Let all men know your forbearance [gentleness, patience].
The Lord is at hand.
Have no anxiety about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving [the Greek is “eucharistia”]
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
will keep [as a guard keeping watch]
your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, my brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
What you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me,
and the God of peace be with you.

I rejoice in the Lord greatly
that now at length you have revived your concern for me;
you were indeed concerned for me,
but you had no opportunity.
Not that I complain of want;
for I have learned, in whatever state I am,
to be content
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound;
in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret
of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.
I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.
~Philippians 4:4-13

Romans 8:14-39, encouragement about the glory & security
God’s working out for us, starting now. In God, we’re invincible.

True joy, genuine festival,
means the casting out of wickedness.
To achieve this one must live a life of perfect goodness
and, in the serenity of the fear of God,
practise contemplation in one’s heart.
~Athanasius of Alexandria (c.293-373)

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal
which comes upon you to prove you,
as though something strange was happening to you.
But rejoice in so far as you share
in Christ’s sufferings,

that you may also rejoice and be glad
when His glory is revealed.
If you are reproached for the Name of Christ, you are blessed,
because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
~I Peter 4:12-14

In His farewell speech at the Last Supper,
Jesus said twice, “Let not your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1, 27).
That’s a command.
He gave us His peace (Jn 14:27) to enable us to obey it.

Thus says the Lord to you,
Fear not, and be not dismayed at this great multitude;
for the battle is not yours but God’s.
~2 Chronicles 20:15

But this is God’s cause
God’s honour, His infinite greatness, and divine dignity
are involved.
It is not becoming that His magnificent plan
should be defeated through the machinations of an adversary
whom He had cast out of Heaven for his crimes.
God created man for His own glory,
and predestined his nature to everlasting union with Himself;
and inasmuch as the malice of Satan
was more aimed at his Creator than at man
it became the Infinite Majesty,
and was most worthy the divine goodness,
that He should rescue man from his misery,
and defeat the malignity of Satan.

St. Athanasius boldly declares that
it would be unworthy of God’s goodness
to suffer His own work in man to be destroyed
through the devil’s fraud
It would be unbecoming that God’s workmanship in man
should become extinct,
whether through his own negligence
or through the devil’s imposition.”
(S. Athanas., De Incarnatione Verbi.)
The devil could not be allowed so to gain his end
as to deprive God of the glory of perfecting His own work.
The great St. Leo has argued the point in these terms:
“Forasmuch as the devil glorified
that man had lost the divine gifts
through his fraud and deception,
and had so been stripped of his immortality,
and placed under the stern sentence of death;
and forasmuch as the same Satan had obtained
a solace to his wickedness
bringing over a companion to his prevarication;
it pleased God to change the first sentence passed on man,
a sentence both just and deservedly severe,
and passed on one whom He had established in honour.
But this demanded the dispensation of God’s secret counsel,
that He who is unchangeable,
and whose will cannot lose its benignity,
may complete His fatherly design in a mystery more hidden;
and that, however driven to crime
by the devil’s craft and wickedness,
man may not perish in opposition
to the whole intention of God.”
(S. Leo, Servi. 2 in Nativitate Domini)
~Archbishop Ullathorne, The Endowments of Man

God bless your meditations on joy 🙂

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for April, 2017

Posted April 1, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized


Blessed April!

Here are our Holy Father’s prayer intentions (as found here)
for this month dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament:

Young People.
That young people may respond generously to their vocations
and seriously consider offering themselves to God
in the priesthood or consecrated life.

May God bless your prayer!

Wednesday, Fourth Week of Lent

Posted March 29, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,


Blessed Wednesday!

Two lines of thought came for today’s readings
& I’m only using one on Draw Near,
so I thought I’d post the other one here…

Isaiah 49:8-15 (God will provide for His people)
Psalm 145:8-18 “The Lord is kind and merciful”
+John 5:17-30 (Jesus only does His Father’s will)

The work
of God the Father,
through the Son,
is One,
a work
to create life,
and give it back again
when once
it has been lost…

but life
must be received
and utilized.

This is
where judgment lies.

or neglecting,
to receive
to death.

What judgment am I choosing (or neglecting to choose)?
Do I expect life on my own terms?

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for March, 2017

Posted March 1, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized


Blessed March!

Here are our Holy Father’s prayer intentions (as found here)
for this month dedicated to the St. Joseph:

Support for Persecuted Christians.

That persecuted Christians may be supported
by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.

May God bless your prayer!

Pope’s Prayer Intentions for February, 2017

Posted February 1, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized


Blessed February !

Here are our Holy Father’s prayer intentions (as found here)
for this month dedicated to the Holy Family or the Passion of Our Lord:

Comfort for the Afflicted.
That all those who are afflicted,
especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized,
may find welcome and comfort in our communities.

May God bless your prayer!

Son, You Are Loved!

Posted January 25, 2017 by pussywillowpress
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,

My Beloved Son
(I John 3:1),

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you (Jeremiah 1:5).
I know when you sit and when you stand.
I am familiar with all your ways.
I understand your thoughts–before ever a word is on your tongue,
I know the whole of it (Psalm 139:2-4).

You are a stranger and alien no longer.
No, you are a fellow citizen of the saints
and a member of My household (Ephesians 2:19).

You are precious in My eyes, and I love you (Isaiah 43:4).
I have called you by name:
you are Mine (Isaiah 43:1).
I delight in you! (Isaiah 63:4).
You are truly My handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus to lead the life of good deeds
that I prepared for you in advance. (Ephesians 2:10).

When you call to Me, when you pray to Me,
I will listen to you.
When you look for Me, you will find Me.
Yes, when you seek Me with all your heart,
you will find Me with you (Jeremiah 29:12-13).

Commit your way to Me.
Trust in Me and I will act.
I will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication (Psalm 37:5-6).
To you I give the wild-ox’s strength.
You will flourish like a palm tree planted in My house,
still full of sap, still green (Psalm 92:11, 13).

Look to Me that you may be radiant with joy,
and your face not blush with shame.
Taste and see how good I Am (Psalm 34:6, 9).
Rejoice in the shadow of My wings (Psalm 63:7).
Rejoice in Me always! (Philippians 4:4)
Rejoicing in Me must be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10),
and when I Am your strength, you have strength for everything
(Philippians 4:13).

I know well the plans I have in mind for you,
plans for your welfare, not for woe!
plans to give you a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
When you pass through the water, I will be with you;
in the rivers you shall not drown.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned;
the flames shall not consume you (Isaiah 43:2-3).
No matter where you go, I Am there.
My hand will always guide you;
My right hand hold you fast (Psalm 139:7-10).
My angel encamps around about you to deliver you (Psalm 34:8).

And if I Am for you, who can be against you?
Be certain that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor principalities,
neither the present nor the future, nor powers,
neither height nor depth nor any other creature
can separate you from My love,
which comes to you through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31, 38-39),
My beloved Son (Matthew3:17).

Dismiss all anxiety from your mind
and present your needs to Me in every form of prayer
and in petitions full of gratitude.
Set your mind on all that is true, all that deserves respect,
all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous and worthy of praise.
Live by what I’ve taught you.
Then My own peace, which is beyond all understanding,
will stand guard over your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-8).

Though you may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials,
this is so that your faith,
which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold,
may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory and honor
when Jesus Christ appears (I Peter 1:6-7).
Hold fast to what you have,
lest someone rob you of your crown (Revelation 3:11).
Draw your strength from Me and My mighty power.
Put on My armor so that you may be able to stand firm
against the tactics of the devil.
Your battle is not against flesh and blood
but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness,
the evil spirits in regions above.

You must put on My whole armor if you are to resist in the evil day;
do all that your duty requires, and hold your ground.
Stand fast, with the truth as a belt around your waist,
justice as your breastplate,
and zeal to spread the Gospel of peace as your footgear.
In all circumstances hold faith up before you as your shield;
it will help you extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, My Word.
At every opportunity, pray in the Spirit,
using prayers and petitions of every sort (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

The sufferings of the present are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed in you (Romans 8:18).
I will make the victor a pillar in the temple of my God
and he shall never leave it (Revelation 3:11).

My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe My ways
(Proverbs 23:26).

Your loving Father,

When I was in college, someone left a letter similar to this in my mailbox
I never did discover the identity of my earthly benefactor,
but I decided to use the idea for our RCIA candidates on retreat,
putting together one for the men & another for the women
(respecting the differences between the masculine & feminine genius),
and personalizing each with the recipients’ name.

They can be found in printable form here

%d bloggers like this: