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Prayer for the week of October 19–The Litany of Humility

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Humility

The Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me. Read More

Humility

The Litany of Humility O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

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Prayer for the Week Oct 12 – I Shall Not Want

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From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God

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From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

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And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

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From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

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And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

No, I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

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From the love of my own comfort From the fear of having nothing From a life of worldly passions Deliver me O God From the need to be understood From the need to be accepted From the fear of being lonely Deliver me O God Deliver me O God And I shall not want, I […]

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To recite the rosary…

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“It could be said that each mystery of the rosary, carefully meditated, sheds light on the mystery of man. ‘Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you’ (Ps 55:23). To pray the rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful hearts of Christ and his Mother. The rosary does indeed ‘mark the rhythm of human life,’ bringing it into harmony with the rhythm of God’s own life, in the joyful communion of the Holy Trinity, our life’s destiny and deepest longing. Through the rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.” Saint John Paul II

Rosary

To recite the Rosary is nothing other than to contemplate the face of Christ with Mary. (St. Pope John Paul II)

Rosary

“It could be said that each mystery of the rosary, carefully meditated, sheds light on the mystery of man. ‘Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you’ (Ps 55:23). To pray the rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful hearts of Christ and his Mother. The rosary does indeed […]

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Prayer for the week of October 5 — Seasons Change

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Every morning I wake up at 6am.  I wake up my oldest son and husband. I start the coffee. They start the farm chores. I meet them outside with steaming mugs of joe, while my son is milking the cow.  My husband and I take a stroll about the pasture. Every day there are tiny changes.  First with the grass and wildflowers growing. Then with the leaves changing. Now with the frost covering everything. Soon with fresh snowflakes.

Breathing in the crisp morning air I almost always say the same thing: “Isn’t this a beautiful day?! Can you believe we get to live here?!”

It doesn’t matter if it’s warm with 80% humidity or freezing temperature where we can see our breath, I always feel like I am super blessed. Morning light and a hot cup of coffee will do that every single time.

Seasons Change Read More

Seasons Change

Every morning I wake up at 6am.  I wake up my oldest son and husband. I start the coffee. They start the farm chores. I meet them outside with steaming mugs of joe, while my son is milking the cow.  My husband and I take a stroll about the pasture. Every day there are tiny […]

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Pondering Suffering

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I’ve been thinking about suffering a lot lately.  My father-in-law has been going through a stem cell transplant while battling Multiple Myeloma.  Another very close family member went without work for four months.  Then the Lord presented an opportunity of a once-in-a-life-time type of job on the east coast.  After much prayer, he and his wife decided to make the cross country move.  Much has been required.  The house they were selling fell out of escrow.  It didn’t make sense to move all their belongings so they sold everything.  Right before the move his wife was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of skin cancer.  And, in the face of all of this, their one and only son left for college in the north-west.  A family following God, doing His will.  A family broken, battered, and hurting.

Christ Altar

In the Protestant faith where I grew up as a pastor’s kid, there is no real understanding of suffering.  It’s something that comes and you muster your faith and you pray it away with all the power and authority of Jesus Christ in you.  (Well meaning folk pray even louder if you don’t seem to get any initial results.)  When all the prayers are said and you’re still looking in the face of a giant that doesn’t seem to budge, you sort of resign yourself to either “your prayers just aren’t getting through to Heaven,” or “God’s answer for you is being held up.”  And then you wait often wondering what you got wrong.  I’ve never understood this way of suffering.

As I have walked the path of becoming Catholic I have encountered a much deeper meaning to suffering.  Redemptive suffering.  When suffering comes we can offer it up.  Saint Paul said, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:24).

If you have never seen this before Paul’s words seem presumptuous and even blasphemous.  How could he possibly suggest that he, a mere mortal, could make up for a lack of Christ’s work on the cross?  Didn’t Jesus suffer enough?

“What Paul is asserting is that Jesus did not die so that humans would never have to suffer, but so that they would know how to suffer.  The Passion of Christ removed the threat of eternal suffering while revealing the power of temporal suffering.  In becoming man, Christ redeemed all things human:  human labor, human love, human suffering, and so on.  Each part of man’s existence can take on a supernatural significance if only one has the eyes to see.  In the case of suffering, through his Passion, death, and Resurrection, Jesus sufficiently merited all the graces necessary for the redemption of mankind.  And if individuals suffer with him, they can participate in the distribution of these graces to mankind.  It does not matter if the suffering is a bloody martyrdom, a toothache, unemployment, a rebellious child, or an alcoholic spouse.  All things can be offered up as a prayer, and the intensity of suffering is not as important as the degree of love with which one embraces each cross.”

“When human suffering is understood in its deepest meaning, it ceases to be something negative that is experienced in a passive manner.  Rather, one becomes free to meet suffering with courage, seeing it as an opportunity for active and positive collaboration in the work of human redemption.  Through God’s grace, it can be transformed into an irreplaceable service for souls, and is no longer wasted.  For this reason, (Saint) John Paul (II) exclaimed, “Prayer joined to sacrifice constitutes the most powerful force in human history.””  (Saint John Paul the Great, His Five Loves by Jason Evert)

I’m learning when suffering comes to not panic and try to push it away, but rather look at these moments as opportunities to directly participate with Christ.  A quiet strength built from carrying my cross daily.

Behold me, my beloved Jesus,
weighed down under the burden of my trials and sufferings,
I cast myself at Your feet,
that You may renew my strength and my courage,
while I rest here in Your Presence.
Permit me to lay down my cross in Your Sacred Heart,
for only Your infinite goodness can sustain me;
only Your love can help me bear my cross;
only Your powerful hand can lighten its weight.
O Divine King, Jesus,
whose heart is so compassionate to the afflicted,
I wish to live in You;
suffer and die in You.
During my life be to me my model and my support;
At the hour of my death,
be my hope and my refuge.

Amen.

 

Christ Altar

I’ve been thinking about suffering a lot lately.  My father-in-law has been going through a stem cell transplant while battling Multiple Myeloma.  Another very close family member went without work for four months.  Then the Lord presented an opportunity of a once-in-a-life-time type of job on the east coast.  After much prayer, he and his […]

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Prayer for the week of September 21 — Composed Prayer

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For years I had the misguided notion that extemporaneous prayers were somehow more effective than composed prayers.  Then came a day that I felt like I couldn’t pray because I didn’t have the words.  Then I knew the immense treasure there is in previously composed prayers that already speak to and about the heart of God.

Composed Prayer Read More

Composed Prayer

For years I had the misguided notion that extemporaneous prayers were somehow more effective than composed prayers.  Then came a day that I felt like I couldn’t pray because I didn’t have the words.  Then I knew the immense treasure there is in previously composed prayers that already speak to and about the heart of […]

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Prayer for the Week of August 24 — Nothing Is Far From God

Prayer Closet | Raising Arrows 1 Comment

This mothering gig is not easy.  When they are little we are worried about everything from a mysterious rash to giant grapes. We consult the books and the doctor and WebMD for everything from “Should we vaccinate?” to “When can I give her honey?”

When they get a little older we worry about whether we should let them go into the public restroom by themselves and how to approach bad attitudes.

Then they get a little older and we worry about the company they keep, the books they read, and the apps on their phones.

As tough as we thought those early days were, the game keeps getting upped.  Thankfully, for each new trial or challenge, there is new grace.  I don’t know any perfect parents, but I know a lot of good ones. Mothers and fathers who spend time on their knees for their children, who make intentional choices when it comes to discipline and education and health care, who sacrifice and daily lay down their lives. Read More

St. Monica, Nothing Is Far From God

This mothering gig is not easy.  When they are little we are worried about everything from a mysterious rash to giant grapes. We consult the books and the doctor and WebMD for everything from “Should we vaccinate?” to “When can I give her honey?” When they get a little older we worry about whether we […]

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Prayer for the Week Aug 24 – Follow Me

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Follow me.  That’s what Jesus said to each of his disciples, calling them to give up the life they knew for a life unexpected.  A path less taken and often difficult, but never dull. Read More

Follow Me

Follow me.  That’s what Jesus said to each of his disciples, calling them to give up the life they knew for a life unexpected.  A path less taken and often difficult, but never dull.

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Prayer For The Week of August 17– Just Breathe

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{This post contains an affiliate link.}

There are days when I just come back to this.  There’s nothing else sometimes but this:

Please don’t cry.

Don’t let those tears roll down your face.

Oh, unless their tears of happiness,

Then it’s alright with me.

Just do your best.

Don’t worry about the fear of loneliness.

Or the cloud that you think hangs over your head.

It’s got nothing on you.

You’ll be glad,

that someone told you, to take a moment.

Just breathe. Just breathe.

Don’t be shy.

Enjoying life is passing you by.

Let the sun fall all around you.

Just take a moment and smell the roses.

Let go of pride.

Don’t forget the roads you walked.

Or the things you learned while you were gone.

‘Cause you pulled wisdom from the wreckage.

You’ll be glad, when this is all over,

That someone told you, to take a moment.

Just breathe.  Just breathe.

Go on and just breathe.

Go on and just breathe.

It’ll be alright.

Brush the cares right off your shoulders.

You were never meant for those even when you’re older.

You’ve got permission to be free.

(Andrea Marie. Get the album Here Begin.)

Breathe Beautiful

{This post contains an affiliate link.} There are days when I just come back to this.  There’s nothing else sometimes but this: Please don’t cry. Don’t let those tears roll down your face. Oh, unless their tears of happiness, Then it’s alright with me. Just do your best. Don’t worry about the fear of loneliness. […]

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Prayer for the Week Aug 10 – Let Me See Only Jesus

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As a Christian I’ve heard over and over how we are to keep our eyes on Jesus despite our circumstances.  I agree.  But it’s sometimes difficult to even recognize when our eyes are losing focus on the One who matters most.  It’s the little things that distract and interfere with our concentration.  Not to mention I’m a hands on sort of girl.  I need real tangible ways to help me keep my focus.  Like a list.  You may think I’m weird but lists are heaven to an organized girl like me.  I also love prayers that seem to cover all possible concerns.  They take the guess work out of whether I’m remembering everything or even saying everything right.  They speak peace to my soul.

Today I offer you the Litany of Transfiguration.  A prayer about seeing Jesus and seeking him in everything.

JesusWhen I am tempted to look only at my faults…Let me see only Jesus.

When troubled by the specter of doubt and defeat…Let me see only Jesus.

When I can’t see beyond the frustrations of the moment…Let me see only Jesus.

When the horizon seems distant and dark…Let me see only Jesus.

When I can’t see the point of pursuing what’s good…Let me see only Jesus.

When complaining and cynicism invade my peace….Let me see only Jesus.

When I can’t face my problems…Let me see only Jesus.

When the world looks bleak…Let me see only Jesus.

When others measure and judge me…Let me see only Jesus.

When beset by depression…Let me see only Jesus.

When friendship is far from me…Let me see only Jesus.

When overshadowed by sorrow…Let me see only Jesus.

When I fail to use my freedom…Let me see only Jesus.

When it’s hard to forgive…Let me see only Jesus.

When things don’t make sense…Let me see only Jesus.

When I think I can’t change…Let me see only Jesus.

When confronted by suffering…Let me see only Jesus.

When stress gets me down…Let me see only Jesus.

When it’s hard to go on…Let me see only Jesus.

When blinded by sin…Let me see only Jesus.

When the hardness of life overwhelms me…Let me see only Jesus.

When hope begins to fade…Let me see only Jesus.

Our Father…

Closing Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for allowing me to witness the vision of your Son transfigured on Mount Tabor. May I become what I behold so that my life will radiate the glory and grace that remain your priceless gifts to me in Jesus. Amen.

Jesus

As a Christian I’ve heard over and over how we are to keep our eyes on Jesus despite our circumstances.  I agree.  But it’s sometimes difficult to even recognize when our eyes are losing focus on the One who matters most.  It’s the little things that distract and interfere with our concentration.  Not to mention […]