Thursday, April 24, 2014

Novena to Divine Mercy, Day 7

Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death. 

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very poser of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

A soul who praises the goodness of her Lord
Is especially loved by Him.
She is always close to the living fountain
And draws graces from Mercy Divine.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy.


(1224-1225 in Diary of St. Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul)

Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Review: Reclaiming Francis



Reclaiming Francis: How the Saint and the Pope are Renewing the Church

by Msgr. Charles M. Murphy
Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2014

A funny thing happened as Msgr. Charles M. Murphy was putting the finishing touches on a manuscript about St. Francis and how he could be a role model for the new evangelization: Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected to lead the Catholic Church and took the name of Francis to be his own. While the Monsignor needed to update his book, Reclaiming Francis, he was far from disappointed. He writes, “I prefer to think that this was not really a coincidence but rather a shared vision of how the Church can be renewed and how people today can be helped to find faith once again.”

In explaining why he chose the name, Pope Francis stated, “For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.” All three of these aspects are desperately needed in our world. Monsignor Murphy offers a short biography of the man Christ asked to “repair my house for it is falling down.” Francis who embraced Lady Poverty with all he had soon attracted followers to his austere lifestyle. His life offers a reminder to the Church and the world that we need to emphasize human beings rather than the “cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any human goal.”

While the quote “Preach the Gospel Always. If Necessary, Use Words” is often attributed to St. Francis, there is no doubt that his life embodied that concept. His preaching had power “because he prioritized prayer and embodied witness over preaching.” Both St. Francis and Pope Francis emphasize the cross in their preaching and the need to join Christ by carrying one’s own. However, they also have an innate joy that makes people want to listen to them because they have personally renunciated worldly goods. They both keep prayer, fasting and penance, and charity at the center of their message.

For those of us who want to be an active part of the new evangelization, reaching out to those who have drifted away from the faith, our mission must have three parts. First, we must have the example of personal witness.  We must live the Gospel “in all its novelty and challenge.” Second, we must follow the commandment to love God and neighbor.  Third, we must transform the places in which we live and work. That is where our influence lies. 

Monsignor Murphy offers much to think about in Reclaiming Francis. The spirit of St. Francis, always alive and important in the story of the Catholic Church, is gaining renewed focus in light of the name and example of our current pontiff. As he continues to challenge the Church to return to its roots as a Church for the poor, we can change our own lives to regain focus on the example of Christ and what really matters in this sojourn on earth. 


Novena to Divine Mercy, Day 6

Today bring to me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence. 

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

A truly gentle and humble soul
already here on earth the air of paradise breathes,
And in the fragrance of her humble heart
The Creator Himself delights.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek and humble souls, and upon the souls of little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen. 

(1220-1223 in Diary of St. Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul)

Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Novena to Divine Mercy, Day 5

Today bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart; that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate My Passion.

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to extol the generosity of Your mercy.

Even for those who have torn the garment of Your unity,
A fount of mercy flows from Your Heart.
The omnipotence of Your mercy, Oh God.
Can lead these souls also out of error.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen. 


(1218-1219 in Diary of St. Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul)

Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: Genius Under Construction



Genius Under Construction
by Marilee Haynes
Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2014

I recently had the great privilege of reading and reviewing a.k.a. Genius, the first in a new series by Catholic writer Marilee Haynes, published by Pauline Teen. I loved the book and, even though it is aimed at middle-schoolers, found myself laughing out loud at many parts. It was a humorous, faith-based story with an important lesson that pre-teens and younger teens would actually want to read. How often can you say that? 

I handed the book to my thirteen-year old and told him he would enjoy it, and he did. He read it in one afternoon and was laughing so hard he literally fell off his chair! After finishing the last page, he informed me, “Mom, we’ve got to get the sequel.” So, I did what any self-respecting book reviewer would do, I wrote Pauline Media and asked (begged) for a copy. I was so excited when it came in the mail a few days ago, and even though I wanted to sit down and start reading it right away, I handed it to my son first, totally making his day.

This time around, Gabe Carpenter is in eighth grade. While he has moved on from some of his seventh grade problems, he has plenty more to keep him busy. His second-best friend Maya is starting to do weird “girl” things and give him what his best friend calls “meaningful glances.” He has to do a service project and gets paired up with an ADHD 4th grader who can’t pass a spelling test to save his life. Perhaps most importantly, he’s trying to get into an elite math and science high school, even though he wonders if he wants to get in at all because it would mean leaving his friends. 

While this book isn’t as laugh-at-loud funny as the first one, Haynes has definitely created an excellent, enjoyable sequel. One wants to keep turning pages, eager to see how it is all going to work out for Gabe and his friends. In addition, she masterfully handles the story line about Harry and his ADHD, emphasizing how each person has gifts. I can only hope that Haynes will go on to write many more “Genius” books because I can’t wait to read them! I heartily recommend this series for any middle-schooler.

Novena to Divine Mercy, Day 4

Today bring to Me the pagans and those who do not yet know Me, I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole word. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

May the light of Your love
Enlighten the souls in darkness;
Grant that these souls will know You
And, together with us, praise Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen. 


(1216-1217 in Diary of St. Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul)

Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Novena to Divine Mercy, Day 3 (Easter Sunday)

 Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.

Most merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

The miracles of mercy are impenetrable.
Neither the sinner no just one with fathom them.
When you cast upon us an eye of pity,
You draw us all closer to Your love.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.


(1214-1215 in Diary of St. Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul)

Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Easter Sunday with St. Francis

You are holy Lord God Who does wonderful things.
You are strong. You are great. You are the most high.
You are the almighty king. You holy Father,
King of heaven and earth.
You are three and one, the Lord God of gods;
You are the good, all good, the highest good,
Lord God living and true.
You are love, charity; You are wisdom, You are humility,
You are patience, You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are security, You are rest,
You are gladness and joy, You are our hope, You are justice,
You are moderation, You are all our riches to sufficiency.
You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are the protector, You are our custodian and defender,
You are strength, You are refreshment. You are our hope,
You are our faith, You are our charity,
You are all our sweetness, You are our eternal life:
Great and wonderful Lord, Almighty God, Merciful Savior.

- St. Francis, The Praises of God 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Novena to the Divine Mercy, Day 2

Today bring to me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy, and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven. 

The fountain of God's love
Dwells in pure hearts,
Bathed in the Sea of Mercy,
Radiant as stars, bright as the dawn.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company [of chosen ones] in your vineyard - upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation, and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.


(1212-1213 in Diary of St. Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul)

Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Lent with St. Francis, Holy Saturday

Hail, Queen Wisdom, may the Lord protect you with your sister, holy pure Simplicity.
Lady, holy Poverty, may the Lord protect you with your sister, holy Humility.
Lady, holy Charity, may the Lord protect you with your sister, holy Obedience.
O most holy Virtues, may the Lord protect all of you, from Whom you come and proceed.
There is surely no one in the entire world who can possess any one of you unless he dies [to himself] first. Whoever possesses one and does not offend the others, possesses all.
And whoever offends one does not possess any and offends all.
And each one destroys vices and sins.
Holy Wisdom destroys Satan and all his subtlety.
Pure holy Simplicity destroys all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the body.
Holy Poverty destroys the desire of riches and avarice and the cares of this world.
Holy Humility destroys pride and all the people who are in the world and all things that belong to the world.
Holy Charity destroys every temptation of the devil and of the flesh and every carnal fear.
Holy Obedience destroys every wish of the body and of the flesh and binds its mortified body to obedience of the Spirit and to obedience of one’s brother and [the one who possesses her] is subject and submissive to all persons in the world and not to many only but even to all beasts and wild animals so that they may do whatever they want with him inasmuch as it has been given to them from above by the Lord.

- St. Francis, The Praises of the Virtues

Friday, April 18, 2014

Novena to the Divine Mercy, Day 1

Today, bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Oh omnipotence of Divine Mercy,
Salvation of sinful people, 
You are a sea of mercy and compassion;
You aid those who entreat You with humility.

Eternal Father, turn your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy forever and ever. Amen. (1210-1211 in Diary of St. Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul
)


Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Lent with St. Francis, Good Friday

Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, grant us in our misery that we may do for your sake alone what we know you want us to do, and always want what pleases you; so that, cleansed and enlightened interiorly and fired with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, we may be able to follow in the footsteps of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and so make our way to you, Most High, by your grace alone, you who  live and resign in perfect Trinity and simple Unity, and are glorified, God all-powerful, for ever and ever. Amen. - St. Francis, Letter to a General Chapter