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Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for December, 2017

December 1, 2017

JMJ

Blessed December!

Here are our Holy Father’s prayer intentions (as found here)
for this month dedicated to the Immaculate Conception or the Divine Infancy:

DECEMBER
The Elderly.

That the elderly,
sustained by families and Christian communities,
may apply their wisdom and experience
to spreading the faith and forming the new generations.

May God bless your prayer!

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St. Joseph Leads the Rosary

November 16, 2017

JMJ

Somewhere I ran across the idea of offering the rosary to St. Joseph
as a bouquet of “spiritual roses & lilies”
for him to present to his bride.

How sweet!

I love it when husbands give flowers to their wives :).

But when I think of what sort of bouquet
my rosaries end up being,
I started asking St. Joseph to help me pray
and to fix them up for me
(he is a handyman, after all)
before presenting them to Mary.

I’ve given him a lot of work to do.
He’s been very patient with me!

Recently, the idea came to me
(thank you, guardian angel!)
of letting St. Joseph lead the rosary.

How does Joseph pray the “Our Father”?
Or the “Hail Mary”?

What perspective does he have
on the Mysteries of his Son’s life?

Those are some of the best rosaries I’ve prayed!
I recommend it :).

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for November, 2017

November 1, 2017

JMJ

Blessed November!

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

NOVEMBER
Christians in Asia.

That Christians in Asia,
bearing witness to the Gospel in word and deed,
may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding,
especially with those of other religions.

May God bless your prayer!

Da-ddy! The DOLL!

October 11, 2017

JMJ

(my re-telling, since I can’t find the original…)

Two little girls, out shopping with their father, stopped in their tracks.

There, in a shop window, was

THE DOLL!

Her hair was all curls, her cheeks rosy, her smile radiant,
her gown, afloat with ruffles and lace.
Her eyes opened and closed.
She could drink from a bottle.

She was every little girl’s dream.

Suddenly, nothing else mattered.

THE DOLL was EVERYTHING!

Their little noses pressed against the glass of the shop window,
the sisters squealed with delight,
“Daddy! Daddy! THE DOLL!”

Smiling at their excitement, Daddy promised that it would be theirs–
not right away, but when the time was right.

Bursting with joy,
the girls threw their arms around each other
and  bounced up and down.
“THE DOLL!  THE DOLL!”

Days went by.

No doll.

Weeks went by.

No doll.

One day, Daddy came home to find one daughter
huddled in the corner of the couch, dissolved in tears.
Enfolding her in his strong arms, he asked gently,
“What’s the matter, Sweetheart?”

Pulling away, she curled into a ball of misery,
wailing,
“Da-ddy” (*sniff* *gulp* *sobsob*)
“THE DO- (*gulp* *sob*) -OLL!”

Just then, the door burst open as her sister flew into the room,
launched herself into her father’s arms
and began smothering him with kisses.

“Well, well, what’s all this about?!”

Her eyes dancing, she exclaimed,
“Da-ddy! THE DO-OLL!”

Confident in her father’s faithfulness,
she was celebrating his promise
as if its fulfillment was already hers.

My Heavenly Father has made me much more amazing promises than this.

Every day, I have the choice to imitate one of these two girls.
The joy rings through my memory:
“Da-ddy! THE DOLL!”

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for October, 2017

October 1, 2017

JMJ

Blessed October!

Here are our Holy Father’s prayer intentions (as found here)
for this month dedicated to the Holy Rosary (and, less formally, the Holy Angels):

OCTOBER
Workers and the Unemployed.

That all workers may receive respect
and protection of their rights,
and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity
to contribute to the common good.

May God bless your prayer!

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for September, 2017

September 1, 2017

JMJ

Blessed September!

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

SEPTEMBER
Parishes.

That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit,
may be places where faith is communicated
and charity is seen.

May God bless your prayer!

In Pursuit of Joy

April 9, 2017

JMJ

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,
do;
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 🙂


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