Friday, June 29, 2012

The Month of July is Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

The whole month of July falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of July:
General: That everyone may have work in safe and secure conditions.
Missionary: That Christian volunteers in mission territories may witness to the love of Christ.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Some Highlights from the Month:
July 3rd Feast of Thomas the Apostle
July 6th Feast of Maria Goretti
July 14th Feast of Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha
July 16th Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
July 23rd Feast of St. Bridget
July 26th Feast of Joachim and Anne (grandparents of Jesus)

Consider saying the Litany to the Precious Blood of Jesus this month.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Blossom of Love from Our Lady

One of the first blossoms to open on Our Lady's Rose
The children's Rosary gave a gift to Our Lady on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  We planted a peace Rose outside the chapel of St. Thomas Apostle Church in West Hartford CT.  Many prayed including the children that with each petal that forms on the rose that 1,000 families would begin family prayer.  We also prayed that the rose would bloom continually.  The rose was planted at the end of our children's rosary on May 11th.  Within a few weeks 5 blossoms were visible and 5 lovely rose blooms opened to reveal creamy colored petals with a touch of pink.  After those flowers past three more followed.  The first two were yellow in color. One was a pale yellow and the other was a deep orangey yellow.  The two yellow roses had no pink visible on the petals. Many commented that it was strange to see such different colors emerging from the same rose.  This past Tuesday after Mass I noticed this be the final rose of the three opened to reveal a pale colored rose with clear pink petals.  It appeared to have been open for a day or two.  It had not been open on Friday so the window when it would have opened lies around the Feast of John the Baptist.

I wish I had pictures of the yellow roses but with my disability with my hands I carry almost nothing with me.  I do not use a cell phone and can't manipulate a camera with my hands.  However, when this pink rose opened I asked my husband if he would go to the Church Tuesday with us and take a picture.  Our two boys came too and our youngest Asher helped hold it up.  The children and I noticed that more buds are forming.  It is hard to comprehend the number of families that each rose represents.  As this rose was a gift from the Children's Rosary and Jesus to His Mother on Her Feast and also Mother's Day here in the US, we believe in our heart that the Lord is granting us this request to honor His beloved Mother.  As this rose now belongs to Our Lady the Roses that appear are Our Lady's blossoms. The beautiful assortment of colors that emerge from this one rose speak to the vast beauty of Our Lady and the Love she has for each one of us.

We join our hearts with the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ask that prayer, peace and love bloom in each one of us.  
Most recent blossom which opened around the Feast of John the Baptist

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Holy Father is Praying For Us That We May Recognize the Living Christ in the Eucharist

The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of June 2012:
General: That believers may recognize in the Eucharist the living presence of the Risen One who accompanies them in daily life.

Pope Benedict XVI
As this month comes to a close we are receiving the graces of prayers not only of the Holy Father but Christians from across the Globe.  These prayers which are bombarding heaven ask that each one of us may recognize the living Christ in the Eucharist.  As these beautiful graces are before us we should also join these prayers with our own.  It is such a wonderful and Blessed time to receive the Holy Eucharist.  One can also experience this meeting of Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration.

Please see the following posts for further discussion of the many reasons for participating in this Holy practice of Eucharistic Adoration.
12 Biblical Reasons for Wanting to Spend an Our with Jesus in Adoration
12 Reasons from the Teaching of the Church for Visiting Jesus in Adoration

Twelve Biblical Reasons For Wanting To Spend One Hour With Jesus In The Blessed Sacrament

Twelve Biblical Reasons For Wanting To Spend One Hour With Jesus In The Blessed Sacrament
Pope John Paul II
1. He is really there!

"I myself Am the Living Bread come down from Heaven." (Jn 6:35)
2. Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament because of his Infinite love for you!

"Behold I will be with you always even to the end of the world," because "I have loved you with an everlasting love, and constant is My affection for you." (Mt 28:20; Jer 31:3)
3. The specific way that Jesus asks you to love Him in return is to spend one quiet hour with Him in the Blessed Sacrament.

"Where your treasure is, there is your heart...." "Could you not watch one hour with Me?" (Mt 6:21; 26:40)
4. When you look upon the Sacred Host, you look upon Jesus, the Son of God.

"Indeed, this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day." (Jn 6:40)
5. Each moment that you spend in His Eucharistic Presence will increase His Divine Life within you and deepen your personal relationship and friendship with Him.

"I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly." "I am the Vine and you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in Him shall bear much fruit because without Me, you can do nothing." (Jn 15:5)
6. Each hour you spend with Jesus will deepen His Divine Peace in your heart.

"Come to Me all of you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you..." "Cast all of you anxieties upon the One who cares for you..." "My Peace is My Gift to you." (Mt 11:28; 5:7; Jn 14:17)
7. Jesus will give you all the Graces you need to be happy!

"The Lamb on the Throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water." (Rev 7:17)
8. Jesus is infinitely deserving of our unceasing thanksgiving and adoration for all He has done for our salvation.

"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive honor, glory and praise." (Rev. 5:12)
9. For Peace in our country!

"When My people humble themselves and seek My Presence... I will revive their land." (2Chr 7:14)
10. Each hour you spend with Jesus on earth will leave your soul everlastingly more beautiful and glorious in heaven!

"They who humble themselves shall be exalted...." "All of us, gazing on the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into His very image." (Lk 18:14; 2Cor 3:18)
11. Jesus will bless you, your family and the whole world for this hour of faith you spend with Him in the Blessed Sacrament.

"Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe..." "Faith can move mountains..." " What is needed is trust... " "Behold I come to make all things new." (Jn 20:29; Mk 11:23; Mk 5:36; Rev 21:5)
12. Each moment you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament brings joy, pleasure, and delight to His Sacred Heart!

"My joy, My pleasure, My delight is to be with you." (Prov 8:31)

Twelve Reasons From The Teachings Of The Church For Wanting To Spend One Hour With Jesus In The Blessed Sacrament

Twelve Reasons From The Teachings Of The Church For Wanting To Spend One Hour With Jesus In The Blessed Sacrament

1. You are greatly needed!

"The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic Adoration." (Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae)
2. This is a personal invitation to you from Jesus.

"Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of Love." (Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Canae)
3. Jesus is counting on you because the Eucharist is the center of life.

"Every member of the Church must be vigilant in seeing that the sacrament of Love shall be at the center of the life of the people of God so that through all the manifestations of worship due Him shall be given back ‘love for love’ and truly become the life of our souls." (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)
4. Your hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament will repair for evils of the world and bring about peace on earth.

"Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Jesus and ready to make reparation for the great evils of the world. Let your adoration never cease." (Pope John Paul II, Dominicai Cenae)
5. Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament because you are the most important person in the world to Him!

"Christ is reserved in our churches as the spiritual center of the heart of the community, the universal Church and all humanity, since within the veil of the species, Christ is contained, the Invisible Heart of the Church, the Redeemer of the world, the center of all hearts, by Him all things are and of whom we exist." (Pope Paul IV, Mysterium Fidei)
6. Jesus wants you to do more than to go to Mass on Sunday.

"Our communal worship at Mass must go together with our personal worship of Jesus in Eucharistic adoration in order that our love may be complete." (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)
7. You grow spiritually with each moment you spend with Jesus!

"Our essential commitment in life is to preserve and advance constantly in Eucharistic life and Eucharistic piety and to grow spiritually in the climate of the Holy Eucharist." (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)
8. The best time you spend on earth is with Jesus, your Best Friend, in the Blessed Sacrament!

"How great is the value of conversation with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, for there is nothing more consoling on earth, nothing more efficacious for advancing along the road of holiness!" (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)
9. Just as you can’t be exposed to the sun without receiving its rays, neither can you come to Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament without receiving the Divine Rays of His Grace, His Love, His Peace.

"Christ is truly the Emmanuel, that is, God with us, day and night, His is in our midst. He dwells with us full of grace and truth. He restores morality, nourishes virtue, consoles the afflicted, strengthens the weak." (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)
10. If Jesus were actually visible in church, everyone would run to welcome Him, but He remains hidden in the Sacred Host under the appearance of Bread, because He is calling us to faith, that we many come to Him in humility.

"The Blessed Sacrament is the ‘Living Heart’ of each of our churches and it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore the Blessed Host, which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word, Whom they cannon see." (Pope Paul VI, Credo of the People of God)
11. With transforming mercy, Jesus makes our heart one with His.

"He proposes His own example to those who come to Him, that all may learn to be like Himself, gentle and humble of heart, and to seek not their own interest but those of God." (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)
12. If the Pope himself would give you a special invitation to visit him in the Vatican, this honor would be nothing in comparison to the honor and dignity that Jesus Himself bestows upon you with the Invitation of spending one hour with Him in the Blessed Sacrament.

"The Divine Eucharist bestows upon the Christian people the incomparable dignity." (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting to know John the Baptist

Last year shortly after beginning the children's rosary we decided to have a Thanksgiving Prayer Service on the Feast of John the Baptist.  The Parish was encouraged to Fast on Bread and water as the Feast fell on a Friday.  Matthew 6:24-36 was read as the date of the Feast of John the Baptist fell on 6/24.  Candles were lit on the Alter for an evening together to Thank the Lord.
Candles from our Prayer Service
Earlier in the day in prayer I told St. John the Baptist that until that day I really had never spent much time praying to him.  I expressed to him that I wanted to get to know him better and asked that he make himself known to me in a special way that evening.

In preparation for the prayer service I pondered which mysteries we would pray.  As it was the Feast of John the Baptist I thought  it would be lovely to say the luminous mysteries.  However, as it was a Friday the convention would be the sorrowful mysteries.

The prayer service began with the scripture reading and then a Consecration prayer to both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I then asked Sean to begin the rosary.  Sean grew up on an Island off the Coast of Ireland.  He has retained a wonderful Irish accent even though he is now in his seventies.  Sean has a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother and has been praying the rosary daily since he was a small child.  He lost his sight gradually through his life and is now legally blind.

Sean began the rosary and then led us in the luminous mysteries.  I thought how wonderful that he decided to do the luminous mysteries as I had not had a chance to talk to him about which ones we would say that evening.  The following day after daily Mass I thanked him for choosing the luminous mysteries in honor of John the Baptist.  He was shocked.  He asked me if he had said the luminous mysteries and I said yes you did.  He was surprised he had said the luminous mysteries and he had no recollection of having done this.  I then remembered my request to John the Baptist to make himself known to me that evening.  He had done just that.  He was pointing me to the Holy Rosary and the mysteries that are contained within it.  Through that experience a fondness developed within me for the luminous mysteries and as the Feast again approached this year I felt that the children and I should prepare for his Feast through a nine day novena of the luminous mysteries of the rosary.

There are a few things I love about the way that John the Baptist chose to introduce himself to me.  He chose a blind man to speak through which is a beautiful image of both humility and a lesson that we see best with our hearts not our eyes.  We do not need to see a sign to meet Jesus or the Saints we meet them in prayer and when we listen closely they speak to us.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Who can add a single hour to his lifespan by being anxious?

The answer to this question comes from one of my favorite readings in the Bible.  It also happens to be the Gospel from Saturday. 
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”.(Matthew 6:24-36)
Last year this gospel was read on 6:24 the 24th day of June which was also the Feast of John The Baptist. This year it was read on June 23 as the Feast fell on a Sunday.   I do not think it is an accident that this Bible passage is read on or around the date to which it also represents.  As it coincides with the Feast of John the Baptist it as if there is a calling out in the Dark to hear these words to our core for they ground us in how we live our life.  
Our Family reads Matthew 6:24 every Thursday night.  The children all know it by heart.  One day my husband came home.  He told me that he had an opportunity to review medical records for a large malpractice case. However,  it would involve many hours of work.  My husband already leaves the house very early as he is a physician working in a hospital and he often comes home late.  Even though we could use the extra money to help pay off debt, such as school loans, my husband reminded me of Matthew 6:24.  He said to me, we read this every week and if we believe it then we should not take this extra job.  By taking the extra work on the side we would lose the precious time we can all be together.  When we brought our decision back to scripture the wise answer was right before us.  We did not give it a second thought and with peace in our hearts, my husband declined the offer.  

I have come back to this post.  After writing what you read above, my heart was restless.  I felt so much was unsaid.  This reading speaks to me about financial decisions as I have described above but also it has gotten me through many times when I would worry about my declining health.  I have peace and see the wisdom of how the Lord chooses to bring souls that stray from Him, such as myself, back to His tender heart .  He tests us not as a punishment but to strengthen our faith. A priest this past week asked us if we saw the man who crossed Niagra Falls on a wire the prior weekend.  He then told a fictional story of a man who crossed the Falls on a wire and when he reached the side he asked if the crowd believed he could do it blindfolded.  The crowd cheered.  He then asked them if they thought he could cross the Falls blindfolded and with a man on his shoulders.  The crowd cheered.  He then asked if there were any volunteers to get on his shoulders.  In many ways my illness proved to me that I could not work or rationalize my way to health.  I first thought if I could see enough specialists someone could help me with my genetic condition.  There did come a day when I knew I could do no more.  I was in free fall.   A hand grabbed hold of me.  The Hand was Our Dear Lord Jesus.  He gave me something when He took hold of me and that was a deep Faith.  I had Faith since I was a child but not to the core of my being.  I was no longer frightened to get up on the shoulders of Our Lord where ever He chose to take me.  I know now that my way does not work.  However scary it may be I trust with my life God's plan.  It was only through suffering that I came to know this.  That is why I can see the wisdom of why Our Loving Father tests us.  We can never doubt that he Loves us and that He is waiting for us to truly trust in His plan.  Instead of praying for healing I pray that I may discern what God wants from me and have the strength of body and spirit to live it and the courage to follow it though.  Directing my prayers in this way I have seen the fruits of Matthew 6:24-36.  God sees what I need down to the smallest obstacles and provides.  The most recent example was last Friday.  I needed to be home for a medical appointment by 9:30 so my mom could drive me. However, after Mass if I stay with the prayer group for the Rosary, many individual prayers and then the Chaplet we can sometimes end too late for me to be home in time.  Friday was also very hot and I knew the walk home would be slower due to the heat.  However,  due to my disability with my hands I cannot open the door of the Church to let myself out without help.  Once the prayers begin I do not want to disturb anyone to help me until all is finished.  Friday something different happened.  The person leading our group with no notice just cut out most of the individual prayers and only said the rosary, St. Michael prayer, prayers for the Holy Father and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  We were done by 8:45 instead of our normal 9:05.  I had made no mention of my time concerns to anyone.  The Lord knew I needed to be home as not to anger my mom or upset my physical therapist who would be waiting for me at the appointment.  As I walked home I was in awe at how The Lord sees everything and just like the sparrows He provides.  I made it home with 10 minutes to spare.

Our Lord’s Prayer

In the gospel on Thursday Jesus gives us a glimpse into His prayer life.  He shows us how He prays to the Father.  It is not long winded but concise.  The first thing Our Lord emphasizes is the Father’s love for us.  For He tells us to address His Father as Our Father.  As a Father He gives us everything. He is different from our earthy father for He is in Heaven.  Although our earthly father loves us Our Father who is in Heaven loves us even more and will never abandon us. He offers us only love. Because He is our Father we must love Him in turn. With love we must respect Our Heavenly Father and glorify and praise His name.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
     on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”. (Matthew 6:7-15)
One of the members of the children’s rosary some months ago sent me a link to a young child prodigy, Jackie Evancho. The young girl with a voice of an angel sings the Our Father.  I knew there would be a day to include the link.  When I heard the reading Thursday I knew that I had the perfect reading.  Please Enjoy!
Jackie Evancho

Saturday, June 23, 2012

54 Day Rosary Novena

The Story of Our Lady of Pompeii and the First 54 Day Novena

In 1884 at Naples, Italy, this novena was revealed by Our Lady to Fortua Agrelli, who was incurably sick and had been fervently praying the Rosary.  The Blessed Mother promised to restore her health, and said to her: "Whoever wishes to receive favors from me should make three novenas of prayers of the Rosary in petition and three in Thanksgiving." In the apparition Fortuna saw Mary sitting upon a high throne, surrounded by luminous figures, she held the Divine child on her lap, and in her hand a Rosary. The Virgin Mother and the holy infant were clad in gold- embroidered garments. They were accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. Fortuna asked Mary as "Queen of the Holy Rosary," for a cure.  Mary replied that, since she had called her by a title that was so pleasing to her, she could not refuse her request.  This is how the 54 day rosary novena began.
Our Lady of Pompeii
A sanctuary was built in 1883 for the image and in 1891 is was consecrated. Many miracles have been attributed to Our Lady of Pompeii. Pope John Paul II visited Pompeii on October 21st 1979.  

The 54 day Rosary Novena is considered by many to be one of the most powerful novenas one can say.

How to say a 54 Day Novena
To obtain a favor, pray consecutively 6 nine day rosary novenas  (27 days of petition and 27 days of thanksgiving) alternating mysteries.
Imprimatur: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, Sept 30, 1954

Our Lady asked at San Damiano that we offer our daily Rosary as follows: Monday-for the poor souls, especially for those of priests. Tuesday- for the youth. Wednesday- for the family. Thursday- to thank God for, and to honor the Most Blessed Sacrament, Friday- for priests and religious.  Saturday- for the conversion of sinners. Sunday- for Our Holy Father the Pope.  (Obtained from pieta prayer book)

Fifty-four days from today is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary which is a lovely day to end such a beautiful novena.  Therefore if there is something dear to you which you would like to lay before our Lady to be carried with love to Jesus, today might be a great day to begin a 54 Day Rosary Novena.

The children and I began a 54 day rosary novena in thanksgiving for the kindness Cardinal Dolan has showed to our children's rosary.  See post to read of Cardinal Dolan's kindness to our group.

The intention to which we are praying:
-For the intentions of Cardinal Dolan
-For unification of his will with the Lords
-That he may be the extended hands of Mary and Jesus in this world and gather a great many souls for especially young people for the Lord.
-That together with the children's rosary we may spread renewal of family prayer across the globe.

We welcome anyone who feels inspired to join us in praying for the above intention.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Important Posting: Great news!!

Cardinal Dolan
As many of you may know a letter was written to the Holy Father and signed by many members of our children’s rosary.  The purpose of the letter was to tell Our Holy Father that we love him and pray for him daily.  The Holy Father’s General prayer Intention for May was the Family. That initiatives which defend and uphold the role of the family be promoted within society.  As Christians from all over the world pray for The Holy Father’s Intentions each day it was my hope that the Holy Father would experience joy in hearing about the work of the children’s rosary to help the many families in our world that are struggling.

The children’s rosary has dedicated this year to renewal of family prayer and has given out close to 200 Children’s Read Aloud Bibles. Weekly Masses are offered for renewal of family prayer and close to 300 novenas have been said praying that renewal of family prayer will spread across our tired world. 
Initially the letter was sent to Our Archbishop with hopes that maybe he might be able to get our letter to Our Holy Father.  The Archbishop was so gracious with us and sent a beautiful letter to us thanking us for our prayers for him and telling us that we would be remembered in his prayers.  However,  he felt skeptical that our letter would reach our Holy Father given the enormity of mail that is sent to him.  
However, just as one door was closing the Lord opened another one.  In a homily at Mass one of the priests mentioned Cardinal Dolan from NY, USA.  He described his infectious smile and love of young people.  In reading I discovered that Pope John Paul II initially named Fr. Dolan as Bishop.  Thanks to encouragement from my husband and courage placed in my heart by Our Lord a letter was written to Cardinal Dolan.  I included in the letter a bookmark for the cardinal and for the Holy Father and the letter to the Holy Father with three pages of signatures.  Today on the Feast of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga the patron saint of young people (who has also been invited to join our children’s rosary through a 9 day novena) a letter comes from the Cardinal Dolan himself full of tenderness for all the members of our children’s rosary. He was so appreciative of the bookmark he received.  The saint on the bookmark that chose him was St. Mark the Evangelist and anyone who follows the news can see Cardinal Dolan is one of the bright lights of Evangelization in our Church today.  
Cardinal Dolan writes that he will personally “ask the Holy Father’s representative to the United States, the Most Reverend Carlo Maria Vigano, our apostolic nuncio, to forward the material to the Holy See.” 
So many of you including my family have been praying for our letter to reach the Holy Father.  I share this good news with you that your heart may dance today and know that anything is possible with the Lord.  He hears us and if what we ask for is pleasing to Him He with love places it right before us.  
This is also a beautiful Lesson from Our Lord.  When the first attempt to forward our letter to our Holy Father was unsuccessful there was a moment when my heart sank.  I thought for sure with so many prayers ushering the letter that it would continue on.  However,  "God, whose providence never fails in its designs" had different plans.  By closing a door he led me to another one which would yield a straighter path to Our Holy Father.  When prayers seem to yield a closed door do not lose hope, the Lord maybe shifting you to a more successful direction in which you will find a sweet answer to that which your heart desires.
Today our letter took a very large step to reaching the hands of Our Holy Father.  I trust that if God Wills it Our Holy Father will some day learn of our efforts to renew family prayer across the globe.
We thank Our Lady for her Intercession and all the saints and angels that have interceded for us before Our Lord.  We thank God in His Three Persons for His generosity of grace with us.  We are truly Blessed!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Novena to St. John the Baptist

Novena to St. John the Baptist
This is the Traditional novena to St. John the Baptist with 3 parts reflecting the 3 phases of his life: time in the wilderness, his preaching, and finally his martyrdom.
  1. O glorious Saint John the Baptist, greatest prophet among those born of woman, although thou wast sanctified in thy mother's womb and didst lead a most innocent life, nevertheless it was thy will to retire into the wilderness, there to devote thyself to the practice of austerity and penance; obtain for us of thy Lord the grace to be wholly detached, at least in our hearts, from earthly goods, and to practice Christian mortification with interior recollection and with the spirit of holy prayer.
1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory Be
  1. O most zealous Apostle, who, without working any miracle on others, but solely by the example of thy life of penance and the power of thy word, didst draw after thee the multitudes, in order to dispose them to receive the Messias worthily and to listen to His heavenly doctrine; grant that it may be given unto us, by means of thy example of a holy life and the exercise of every good work, to bring many souls to God, but above all those souls that are enveloped in the darkness of error and ignorance and are led astray by vice.
1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory Be
  1. O Martyr invincible, who, for the honor of God and the salvation of souls didst with firmness and constancy withstand the impiety of Herod even at the cost of thine own life, and didst rebuke him openly for his wicked and dissolute life; by thy prayers obtain for us a heart, brave and generous, in order that we may overcome all human respect and openly profess our faith in loyal obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ, our divine Master.
1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, 1 Glory Be
V. Pray for us, Saint John the Baptist R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O God, who hast made this day to be honorable in our eyes by the commemoration of blessed John the Baptist, grant unto Thy people the grace of spiritual joy, and direct the minds of all Thy faithful into the way of everlasting salvation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Birth of John the Baptist by Francesco Solimena 1690
Background and Feast Day
John the Baptist is the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth.  The birth of both John the Baptist and Jesus were both heralded by the Angel Gabriel. In Elizabeth’s case the Angel tells Zechariah that Elizabeth will have a son even thought she is no longer of child bearing age. The name chosen for this baby is John which is a hebrew name meaning “graced by God”. 
The Feast of the Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist is on June 24th and is fast approaching.  As John the Baptist is a particularly special Saint to our family and the children's rosary the children and I decided to pray a rosary in honor of John the Baptist each of the 9 days leading up to His Feast.  We decided to pray the luminous mysteries as the first luminous mystery is the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. We are praying for our children’s rosary intention which we will include below.    If you decide to remember the Feast of John the Baptist through the above novena or special prayers consider adding our children’s rosary intention.  We thank you with our whole heart!


To become a member of the children's rosary one only has to tell the Lord in their heart of their desire to be a part of our group.  You will then be included in all the novenas being said and all of the rosaries being prayed daily. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Miracle Prayer

The Miracle Prayer
Lord Jesus, I come before Thee, just as I am, I am sorry for my sins, I repent of my sins, please forgive me. In Thy Name, I forgive all others for what they have done against me. I renounce Satan, the evil spirits and all their works. I give Thee my entire self, Lord Jesus, I accept Thee as my Lord God and Savior. Heal me, change me, strengthen me in body, soul, and spirit.
Come Lord Jesus, cover me with Thy Precious Blood, and fill me with Thy Holy Spirit, I love Thee Lord Jesus, I praise Thee Lord Jesus, I thank Thee Jesus, I shall follow Thee every day of my life. Amen.
Mary, My Mother, Queen of Peace, all the Angels and Saints, please help me. Amen.

Say this prayer faithfully, no matter how you feel. When you come to the point where you sincerely mean each word with all your heart, Jesus will change your whole life in a very special way. You will see.

The Miracle Prayer is written by Father Peter M. Rookey, O.S.M., the founder of International Compassion Ministry.

Monday, June 18, 2012

"What Do You Think About When You Say The Rosary?"

On the evening of Corpus Christi, which was celebrated here in the US on Sunday June 10th, the children and I were saying our rosaries. At the end of our prayers I had an urge to ask them what they think about while they say the rosary.  I thought they might say nothing at all or what they were going to do when prayers were over. Instead my daughter said she thinks of Our Lady.  She thinks often of the visitation.  She said she saw a lovely picture of the visitation and she thinks about it when she prays.  My son, who just turned eight said that he thinks of the bread when we say the luminous mysteries, Jesus being born during the joyful, during the sorrowful he thinks of Jesus dying on the cross and during the glorious he likes to see Our Lady being crowned.  My daughter then jumped in that she loves to think of Our Lady being crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.  
Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth
I had never asked the children what they think about during the rosary.  As I am always asking the kids to sit still during prayers or to say the prayers aloud, I was completely surprised by their response.  I find my mind wandering often and thought that their mind was probably far off given they are only children. 
During the week I reflected often about their response.  This past Sunday I heard a line from the First Reading that struck me "for we walk by faith, not by sight"(2 Corinthians 5:7).  In the Gospel Jesus said, "God's kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!"(Mark 2:26-29)
As parents we are called not to inhibit the spread of God’s Kingdom.  Christ is the sower.  Reading of scripture, family prayer and the Holy Sacraments water that seed but how it truly grows and what it will grow into is known to God alone.  My son at age 6 told our family he felt Jesus was calling us to say three rosaries a day.  At the time we had just begun saying one as a family.  As a parent I tried not to inhibit the work of Our Lord in our family and we began to say three rosaries a day and have continued this prayer ritual ever since. Sometimes I do not always understand all the steps or the exact path we will follow but I pray that I will be able to discern God's Will, have the strength of spirit and body to live it and the courage to follow it through.

Saturday night the children and I were again saying our evening rosaries.  They were almost falling asleep as they had spent a whole day working on my Mother’s 37 acre farm.  I stopped for a moment and asked them what was their favorite mystery.  Both children perked right up.  It was as if I asked them where do you want to go on vacation.  Our middle son Kostin jumped right in.  He started listing the mysteries.  He told me it is very difficult to pick just one. He mention all five of the joyful and said really his favorite is when Jesus is found in the temple.  He listed all of the sorrowful but said the agony in the garden is his favorite.  He listed all the glorious and again repeated his favorite is Mary being crowned.  When it came to the luminous he said he likes when the dove comes down and Jesus is baptized but also when He gives out the bread.  Although he also likes when Jesus lights up (Transfiguration). As we finished prayers Kostin got up and hobbled out of the room.  He was stiff from working all day and said as he left the room “I’m like an old man” with a little laugh. 

Working at Grandma's farm
We walk by faith not sight.  I do not know how a young child comes to love the mysteries of the rosary. But hearing my children speak of their love for Our Lady and the mysteries of the rosary I feel more and more like a child myself.  I look to Our Blessed Mother for help parenting. I know I don’t have the answers and frequently stumble as a parent.  However, I do not regret the time we spend in prayer because this is when our Lady makes up for all of my inadequacies as a parent.  She waters the seed planted by her Son.  My piece is to pray that I may recognize my role in helping them. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the effects of the rosary on May 3 2008, "With Mary the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus. Christ is put at the centre of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory".