A Psalm for our time

As part of an assignment for my weekly Bible study, each of us were encouraged to write our own Psalm. Given the times we are living in and through, an appeal to our gracious and merciful God is needed.

You have always been our shepherd.

Lord, God of Hosts.

You feed us and watch over us.

Your gather Your children in Your Arms,

And keep us close to Your Heart.

Ravenous packs of wolves surround us now.

They fence us in and seek to enslave us.

They would devour and destroy us.

We are alone and afraid.

But You, O Mighty God

You hold all things in Your Hands.

All the world is Yours,

For You have created and sustain it.

Come down from Your Heavenly throne.

Scatter and destroy the wolves who threaten Your flock.

Lead us once again to Your pastures where we will be safe.

We lift up our hearts to You this day

And praise You for Your goodness and mercy.

A Holy Saturday meditation

From 2012

I started wondering what the Apostles were doing during the weekend after Jesus died. We are told that John and Peter were together on Easter Sunday in a place that Mary Magdalen knew about, for she went to them to tell them that Jesus’ body was gone. So I am guessing that the Apostles, or most of them, had spent Saturday together, maybe even some time on Friday after Jesus died. I would not be surprised to learn that Peter and maybe some of the others had watched the Crucifixion from afar – just far enough away to not be caught, although John was there with Jesus mother Mary. Peter, especially after denying Jesus, though he might have spent some time in great distress, afterward would have pulled himself together and felt an obligation to his Master. So let us suppose that the Apostles were together at least part of Holy Saturday. What were they doing? Just as we would get together with friends and family after a death and speak of the loved one, so I think the Apostles would do – speaking about the times together, all that they had seen Jesus do, all that He had told them.

So now on Easter Sunday, Mary comes and finds John and Peter – together. And they both run to the tomb. Peter goes in first, then John. Then the Bible tells us John saw and believed. What did he believe? That Jesus had risen as he had said? They had witnessed the rising from the dead of Lazarus and perhaps others. If a man had the power to do that, would he have the power to rise himself? He had told him that He would rise again. But still, it was a stretch to believe it.

How old was Peter at the time? John? I am guessing that Peter was in his mid-thirties, perhaps a little older than Jesus. We are told Peter was martyred in 67 AD. He was about 70 years old, perhaps a little older. John lived at least until 90 AD when his gospel was written. He is always pictured younger than the others. So let us say that John is 18 – 26 or so. Peter is a fisherman with his own boat(s). He has a business and is married with at least a wife and mother in law to care for. Based on his age and life circumstances, Peter would not as quickly accept a conclusion that seems impossible, like rising from the dead. Young people, on the other hand, are filled with zeal; they seldom see themselves as not going to live forever; they are willing to take leaps in faith about ideas or causes. I can see John quickly coming to the conclusion that Jesus did in fact rise, just as He said He would. Peter would just wait and see.

The Bible just gives us the pertinent facts, everything we need to know to believe. But we always want more. So we have to fill in the blanks, the bits and pieces that bring one scene forward to the next. It is better this way than if the stories told us every little fact. Thank you heavenly Father for being so good to us!

Prayer from St. Catherine

St catherine of sienaI loved this – It came from “Daily Catholic Wisdom” on the Feast of St. Catherine:

But Jesus, the Son of God, loved us so much that he did the most unexpected thing: he freely chose to give up his life for our sake, so that we could be reunited with him. And that’s what love does. It drives us to the most surprising levels of generosity, service, and sacrifice. The God who is love—the God who was so passionately in love with us and so desired to be united to us—was even willing to lay down his life for us. As Saint Catherine of Siena once said, the nails could not have held Jesus to the cross if love had not held him there first.

St. John Paul the Great prayers

May the Virgin Mary help us to open the doors of our hearts to Christ, Redeemer of man and of history; may she teach us to be humble, because God looks upon the lowly; may she enable us to grow in understanding the value of prayer, of inner silence, of listening to God’s Word; may she spur us to seek God’s will deeply and sincerely, even when this upsets our plans; may she encourage us while we wait for the Lord, sharing our time and energies with those in need.

Mother of God, Virgin of expectation, grant that the God-who-comes will find us ready to receive the abundance of his mercy.

May Mary Most Holy, “Woman of the Eucharist” and Virgin of Advent, prepare us all to joyfully welcome Christ’s coming and to celebrate worthily his sacramental presence in the mystery of the Eucharist.

Prayer from St. Anselm

This prayer from St. Anselm can help:

O Lord my God,
Teach my heart this day where and how to see you,
Where and how to find you.
You have made me and remade me,
And you have bestowed on me
All the good things I possess,
And still I do not know you.
I have not yet done that
For which I was made.
Teach me to seek you,
For I cannot seek you
Unless you teach me,
Or find you
Unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire,
Let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you,
Let me love you when I find you.

Love Letter from the Father

A reminder that you are a beloved child.

I found this somewhere, though I don’t know where.

My child,

You might not know me, but I know everything about you… Psalm 139:1I know when you sit and when you stand… Psalm 139:2
I know well all your ways… Psalm 139:3
The hairs of your head are counted… Matthew 10:29-31
After all, you were made in my image… Genesis 1:27

In me, you live, move, and have your being… Acts 17:28
Because you are my offspring… Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you existed… Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I was planning creation… Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake; in fact, all your days are written in my book… Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact moment of your birth, and where you would live… Psalm 17:26
You were wonderfully and marvelously made… Psalm 139:14
I formed you in your mother’s womb… Psalm 139:13
I took you from your mother’s womb on the day of your birth… Psalm 71:6

I am not distant and angry; rather, I am the complete expression of love… 1 John 4:16
It is my desire to pour out my love upon you… 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father… 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly parents could ever offer… Matthew 7:11
Because I am the perfect Father… Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand… James 1:17
In fact, I am your provider, and I will supply everything you need… Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been full of hope… Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with eternal love… Jeremiah 31:3
My designs for you are as uncountable as the grains of sand on the beach… Psalm 139:17-18

I rejoice over you with songs… Zephaniah 3:17
I will never cease to do what is good for you… Jeremiah 32:40
Because you are my most precious treasure… Exodus 19:5

I want to establish you securely, with all my heart and soul… Jeremiah 32:41
I want to show you great and wonderful things… Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me… Deuteronomy 4:29
Take your delight in me, and I will grant you the desires of your heart… Psalm 37:4
After all, it was I who placed those desires in you… Philippians 2:13

I am capable of doing more for you than you can imagine… Ephesians 3:20
I am your biggest supporter… 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your tribulations… 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When your heart is broken, I am close to you… Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries his sheep, I carry you close to my heart… Isaiah 40:11
One day, I will dry all the tears from your eyes… Revelation 21:3-4
Every sorrow and pain you may have suffered in this life, I will remove far from you… Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you just as I love my Son, Jesus… John 17:23
In Jesus, my love for you is revealed… John 17:26
He is the exact representation of what I am… Hebrews 1:3
He came to show you that I am with you, and not against you… Romans 8:31
And also to tell you that I am not counting your sins against you… 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled… 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the supreme expression of my love for you… 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved so that I could win your love… Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my Son, Jesus, you receive me… 1 John 2:23
And nothing will be able to separate you from my love, ever again… Romans 8:38-39

Come home, and I will organize the biggest celebration that heaven has ever seen… Luke 15:7
I have always been a Father, and will always be a Father… Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is: Do you want to be my child? … John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you… Luke 15:11-32

(Source: the Holy Bible, adaptations of the verses cited)

Prayer to St. Joseph

st joseph

THIRTY DAY PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH
IN HONOR OF THE 30 YEARS HE SPENT WITH JESUS AND MARY

Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow.

Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection. Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the Holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world’s Redeemer in a cave.

I ask it by the loveliness and power of that sacred Name, Jesus, which you conferred on the adorable Infant.

I ask it by the painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.

I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan, you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt.

I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.

I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country.

I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you met with so many joys and sorrows. I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His mother for three days.

I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus.

I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.

I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary.

I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.

I ask it through Mary’s glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God. O good father! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petitions or think of them.)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of: JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH.

“A blameless life, St. Joseph, may we lead, by your kind patronage from danger freed.”

O Cross of Christ

This hymn was in the Magnificat this morning. I have seen it before. It is beautiful, although I don’t know the tune which accompanies it.

O Cross of Christ, immortal tree

On which our Savior died,

The world is sheltered by your arms

That bore the Crucified.

From bitter death and barren wood

The tree of life is made;

Its branches bear unfailing fruit

And leaves that never fade.

O faithful Cross, you stand unoved

While ages run their course;

Foundation of the universe,

Creation’s binding force.

Give glory to the risen Christ

And to his Cross give praise,

The sign of God’s unfathomed love,

The hope of all our days.

Psalm 102

Psalm 102

 

 

 

 

 

One of the paragraphs from Psalm 102 spoke to me today:

“Let this be written for ages to come

that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord;

for the Lord leaned down from his sanctuary on high.

He looked down from heaven to the earth

that He might hear the groans of the prisoners

and free those condemned to die.”

This gave me hope that God is with us, that He sees what is happening, that others will come after us to praise God.

Prayer

This morning in the Magnificat seems to be a message for me: “Continue to pray as you feel drawn, but do not worry about it, for worry comes from self-love. You must abandon yourself to the leading of God with no other intention than that of pleasing him, and when you know that you have this intention deep in your heart, you must not waste time in reflecting about yourself and about the degree o f virtue you have attained; occupy yourself with him whom you love and bother very little about yourself.”

The quote is from St Claude de la Colombiere, a French Jesuit priest who died in 1682. He was the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.

Perhaps this is my answer to my concern about my prayer life.