Tag Archives: Prayer

Good Friday Reflection on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

crucifixion

Mental Sufferings of Our Lord in His Passion
by Cardinal John Henry Newman

EVERY passage in the history of our Lord and Saviour is of unfathomable depth, and affords inexhaustible matter of contemplation. All that concerns Him is infinite, and what we first discern is but the surface of that which begins and ends in eternity. It would be presumptuous for any one short of saints and doctors to attempt to comment on His words and deeds, except in the way of meditation; but meditation and mental prayer are so much a duty in all who wish to cherish true faith and love towards Him, that it may be allowed us, my brethren, under the guidance of holy men who have gone before us, to dwell and enlarge upon what otherwise would more fitly be adored than scrutinised. And certain times of the year, this especially [Note], call upon us to consider, as closely and minutely as we can, even the more sacred portions of the Gospel history. I would rather be thought feeble or officious in my treatment of them, than wanting to the Season; and so I now proceed because the religious usage of the Church requires it, {324} and though any individual preacher may well shrink from it, to direct your thoughts to a subject, especially suitable now, and about which many of us perhaps think very little, the sufferings which our Lord endured in His innocent and sinless soul.

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“O Heart of Jesus, all Love, I offer Thee these humble prayers for myself, and for all those who unite themselves with me in Spirit to adore Thee. O holiest Heart of Jesus most lovely, I intend to renew and to offer to Thee these acts of adoration and these prayers, for myself a wretched sinner, and for all those who are associated with me in Thy adoration, through all moments while I breathe, even to the end of my life. I recommend to Thee, O my Jesus, Holy Church, Thy dear spouse and our true Mother, all just souls and all poor sinners, the afflicted, the dying, and all mankind. Let not Thy Blood be shed for them in vain. Finally, deign to apply it in relief of the souls in Purgatory, of those in particular who have practised in the course of their life this holy devotion of adoring Thee.”

Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman
Discourse 16

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St. Jude: The Patron Saint of the Impossible.

I am always fascinated by how many people find this blog post through internet searches…

St. Jude Pray for Us

Intrepid Muses

SaintJudeThaddeus

Today is the feast day of St. Jude, apostle of Christ and  patron saint of impossible causes.  He authored the Letter of Jude and according to tradition traveled as far as Persia, to the east, and as far as Libya to the west. He was martyred in Syria with an axe.

His letter is a powerful testament of his faith and fortitude in Christ against heresy and the dominions of the world.  Many miracles have been attributed to his powerful interception hence tradition holds him to be the patron saint of impossible causes.

In honor of his feast day and the wonderful gift of his faith in Christ I hope you can read the following excerpt from his only recorded letter in scripture:

Jude 1:17-25

Exhortations

But you, beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,

for they told you, “In [the] last time…

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Late have I loved you

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“Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace”.

St. Augustine of Hippo
Confession of St. Augustine

St. Augustine was Bishop of Hippo. He is considered one of the greatest theologians of the Catholic Church as well as one of the greatest convert to Christianity. He wrote more than 5 million words and his writings influenced the development of western though through out the middle ages. Through out his life he relentlessly fought for the orthodoxy of Christian doctrine and repudiated some of the major heretical movement of his time such as Arianism and Donatism. He strongly advocated for the inclusion of the Letter to the Hebrews and the Book of Revelations into the cannon of scriptures and was greatly admired by many of the protestant reformers.

Mental Sufferings of Our Lord in His Passion by Cardinal John Henry Newman

EVERY passage in the history of our Lord and Saviour is of unfathomable depth, and affords inexhaustible matter of contemplation. All that concerns Him is infinite, and what we first discern is but the surface of that which begins and ends in eternity. It would be presumptuous for any one short of saints and doctors to attempt to comment on His words and deeds, except in the way of meditation; but meditation and mental prayer are so much a duty in all who wish to cherish true faith and love towards Him, that it may be allowed us, my brethren, under the guidance of holy men who have gone before us, to dwell and enlarge upon what otherwise would more fitly be adored than scrutinised. And certain times of the year, this especially, call upon us to consider, as closely and minutely as we can, even the more sacred portions of the Gospel history. I would rather be thought feeble or officious in my treatment of them, than wanting to the Season; and so I now proceed because the religious usage of the Church requires it, and though any individual preacher may well shrink from it, to direct your thoughts to a subject, especially suitable now, and about which many of us perhaps think very little, the sufferings which our Lord endured in His innocent and sinless soul.

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He loves you with a love that caused his heart to stop.

As we reach the summit of Holy Week I would like to charge again a mediation on John 15:9-11 by Fr. Vincent Serpar:

“Jesus said to his disciples:

As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete”.

John 15:9-11

Nowhere else do we find Jesus expressing such intimacy and vulnerability. What he said to them on Holy Thursday night he showed them on Good Friday. What he said to them he says to you this very moment! He loves you with a love that keeps your heart beating. He loves you with a love that caused his heart to stop. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about it?”

-Fr. Vincent Serpa
Chaplain of Catholic Answers Apostolate

From Fr. Vincent Serpa’s book “Just a minute, Sixty Seconds a Day with the Gospel”

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work,
too, may be holy.

Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,
that I love but what is holy.

Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.

Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
that I always may be holy.

Amen.

St. Augustine of Hippo

A Lesson in Forgiveness

Can’t you keep your heart from being moved? Please always remember them in your prayers.

“Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them,but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After he placed his hands on them, he went away”.

Matthew 19:14

Just today:

Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 90 Christians: monitor