The Apostles fall asleep; Jesus sweats blood at the thought of His coming passion and death; angels come to comfort him.
We begin the second set of the Mysteries of the Rosary today in our series of intentions for Priests using the Rosary. Today we use the first of the Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden.
- We pray that all priests who are suffering and on the way to Calvary may be comforted by God’s presence; those who have betrayed or denied the Faith through weakness may repent and return to the warmth of God’s love.
- We pray that all priests may live only to do our Father’s will, as Jesus always did.
Jesus is found among the teachers in the Temple; He returns home and is obedient to Mary and Joseph
The fifth in the series of intentions for Priests is for the fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple.
- We pray that priests will always be found going about their Father’s business.
- We pray for all young priests that the love and dedication they experience in the first years of their priesthood may increase with time.
- We pray for all priests who teach the Faith to children and adults.
Mary and Joseph, in obedience to the Law, bring Jesus to the temple to be dedicated to God. Simeon expresses his gratitude to God for revealing the Messias to him before he dies.
The fourth in the series of intentions for Priests begun yesterday is for the fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation in the Temple.
- We thank God for all priests who, like Simeon, have given decades of faithful service. We pray that they may be rewarded for their generosity and self-sacrifice.
- We pray also for all priests whose hearts are pierced by loneliness, depression, and rejection.
Jesus is born in Bethlehem. The angels announce His birth; kings and shepherds come to adore him.
The third in the series of intentions for Priests is for the third Joyful Mystery: The Nativity.
- We pray that all seminarians grow in knowledge and love of God to become holy priests.
- We pray especially for those who will be ordained soon, that they may remain faithful all their lives to the sublime privilege of being “other Christs” among us.
- We pray that everyone will come to value the Eucharistic Feast and the Priesthood as among God’s greatest gifts to us.
- We pray that every priest will consider himself a member of the Holy Family, a true son of Mary and Joseph, and a brother-priest of Jesus, the great High Priest.
You know how it is, there’s always more paperwork to be done, more letters and email to be read, and what is the next action that needs doing. Well yesterday, today, and tomorrow have been blocked out of my diary to sort collect all that is going on in my life, and then decide how to proceed. The simple way can be shown by questions below
- Is it actionable?
- What’s the next action?
- if under 2 minutes to do it, then do it.
- if over 2 minutes,
- defer to calendar
- next actions list
Thanks to IKEA I have a number of large boxes which are going to the dump full of trash.
But to get to the beginning, it is necessary to collect everything, so I have been going through the mountain of paperwork in stages and doing the above process rather than doing it all at once. Yesterday I was really only able to the first sort – Is it actionable, Yes or No, and if no, is it trash or not? One very large IKEA box of rubbish is heading to the dump today.
Of course, it is not just our material lives that need to have a clear out and a new way of working, we need to do that with our spiritual lives as well. We need to factor that in when planning our work schedule. Making sure that we have time to examine our consciences at the end of each day is important. The Sacrament of Penance is where we can right ourselves with the community of Faith and with God. Talking over what we are doing with our lives with a priest is always useful.
Often people take Spring as the time to clean out their houses, but for me, Advent is a bit like Spring but in the Church’s year, it is the first season, so for me it is the perfect time to make new liturgical year resolutions. One for me has been to take the time each day to pray the Divine Office without hurry. Being able to commit to this involves working a better way of working for everything else… which is why it is back to ‘Is it actionable?’ for me now.
Miraculous Medal of Our Lady (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today’s Feast which is commonly called ‘of the Miraculous Medal’, commemorates the manifestation of the Immaculate Virgin Mary to St Catherine Labouré DC. Our Blessed Lady showed St Catherine the pattern of a medal, that has worked many miracles since.
An English translation of the Collect at Mass is
O Lord Jesus Christ, who wast pleased that the most Blessed Virgin Mary Thy Mother, immaculate from her first conception, should shine resplendent with miracles beyond number: grant, that, ever imploring her patronage, we may attain the joys of everlasting life: Who livest and reignest….
As children of Mary, like St Catherine Labouré, we all should remember that Our Lady was given to us as our mother by Our Blessed Lord on the Cross. Jesus said to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her to his own. (John 19.27) His Mother became Mother of the Church.
A practice recommended by many confessors is to consecrate oneself to Our Lady. One prayer whereby we can do this is by saying the prayer below. Any priest will be able to bless the medal and invest you with it using the prayers from the Roman Ritual. After this you may wish to consecrate yourself to Our Lady.
Act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
O virgin mother of God, Mary immaculate, we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
May this medal be for each one of us a sure sign of your affection for us and a constant reminder of our duties towards you. Ever while wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection and preserved in the grace of your son.
O most powerful Virgin, mother of our saviour, keep us close to you every moment of our lives. Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death; so that, in union with you, we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. (say this line three times)
When we hear of an Epistle to the Corinthians, most people will instinctively think of the St Paul the Apostle’s Epistles that are in the Canon of the New Testament, however epistles were being sent from many early Christian leaders to each other all over the known Christian world. This continues to this day, in each diocese all over the world, bishops can and do send pastoral letters to their flocks.
Today we celebrate the Feast of St Clement I, Bishop of Rome and Martyr. While many will regard a letter issued by him to be a letter with the authority of a Pope as the Roman Church understands that authority now, this may not be the case. It has been suggested by some scholars that St Clement’s epistle was “more fraternal than authoritative” – that is that he was not necessarily claiming that Rome was anything other than primus inter pares (first among equals). This is often the position that those of us who are independent Catholics find ourselves adopting or believing. We acknowledge the position of the Holy Father, Benedict ⅩⅥ, but we take his words as we would take the words of another bishop. Continue reading
Oh, my Lord and Saviour, support me in that hour in the strong arms of Thy Sacraments, and by the fresh fragrance of Thy consolations. Let the absolving words be said over me, and the holy oil sign and seal me, and Thy own Body be my food, and Thy Blood my sprinkling; and let my sweet Mother, Mary, breathe on me, and my Angel whisper peace to me, and my glorious Saints … smile upon me; that in them all, and through them all, I may receive the gift of perseverance, and die, as I desire to live, in Thy faith, in Thy Church, in Thy service, and in Thy love. Amen.
—Blessed John Henry, Cardinal Newman, Cong.Orat.
We all find it difficult when our friends and family pass from this life to the next. But Jesus understands this, as is illustrated by the Gospel in the Mass on the Day of Burial, when Martha complains to Our Lord that her brother, Lazarus, would have not died if Jesus had been there. Our Lord tells her,
I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live; and everyone that liveth, and believeth in Me, shall not die for ever.
He then questions her (and, through this Gospel reading, us):
Believest thou this?
Martha’s reply is surely our reply too.
Yea, Lord, I have believed that Thou art Christ the Son of the living God, who art come into this world.
And so, today, while I mourn for the passing of a great friend for whose soul I celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass together with my confrère, Fr Charles FSDM, I know that my Redeemer liveth as he is the Resurrection and the Life and that we who believe in him will have eternal life. November is a month full of requiem Masses from the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed on All Souls’ Day, to Remembrance Day, the daily Masses for the Holy Souls, and also any for the soul of those who pass during at present. However, tonight’s Mass was the first that I celebrated with the intention being the happy repose of the soul of a friend. The first ever. It was humbling but deeply moving.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.