St. John Vianney Novena Day 5

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O Holy Priest of Ars, you knew how important was a good confession for the Christian life. It was to procure the happy fruits of millions of souls that you agreed to be in an uncomfortable confessional, which was like a prison, up to 15 to 16 hours on certain days.

I will try to develop the habit of frequent confession, to prepare properly each time and to have always regret for my sins, so that the grace of final perseverance but also the sanctification of my soul will be assured. Ask this grace for me.

Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for … (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

St. John Vianney Novena Day 4

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Saint John Mary Baptist Vianney, you were so adamant against sin, yet so sympathetic and so ready to welcome the sinner. I come to you today as if you were still alive, as if I were kneeling at your feet and you could hear me. Bend towards me, listen to the repentant confidence for the weaknesses and miserable deeds of mine.
Priest of the Lord, inexhaustible Confessor, obtain for me the horror for sin. You wanted us First to avoid the occasion of sin. I want totake your advice and make the resolution to break bad habits and to avoid the dangerous occasions of sin. Help me today to examine my conscience.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for… (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

St. John Vianney Novena Day 3

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Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney because of your love of God you showed great charity towards your neighbor. You could not preach on the Love of God without burning tears of love. During your last years, it seemed as though you could not talk about any thing else or live for anything else. Thus you sacrificed yourself to your neighbor by consoling, absolving and sanctifying them to the limits of your strength.
Your charity inspires me to greater love of God, a love which is shown more by acts then by words. Help me to love my neighbor generously as Christ loves them.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for … (mention silently your special intentions).

 

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Saint John Vianney Novena Day 2

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Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney, what confidence the people had in your prayers! You could not leave your old rectory or your humble church without being surrounded by imploring souls, who appealed to you as they would have appealed to Jesus Himself during His earthly life. And you, O good Saint, gave them hope by your words, which were full of love for God.

You, who had always counted entirely on the heart of God, obtain for me a deep filial trust in His Providence. As the hope of divine goods fills my heart, give me courage and help me to always obey the Commandments of God.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession.

Pray for me during this novena especially for … (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

St. John Vianney Novena Day 1

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Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney you were born of a deeply religious mother; from her you received the Holy Faith; you learned to love God and to pray. At a young age, you were seen kneeling in the front of the statue of Mary. Your soul was supernaturally carried towards the things on High. Despite the high cost, you answered your vocation!
Against many obstacles and contradictions, you had to fight and suffer to become the perfect priest which you were. But your deep spirit of faith supported you in all these battles. 0 Great Saint you know the desire of my soul; I would like to serve God better; from Him I have received so many good things. For this, obtain for me more courage and especially the depth of faith.
Many of my thoughts, words, and actions are useless for my sanctification and for my salvation, because this supernatural spirit does not stir up my life. Help me to be better in the future.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for
… (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

The Sense and Sensibility of Martha and Mary

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.  Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?  Tell her to help me.”  The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” LK 10:38-42

I always wished that I had a more active life. This world tends to value action over contemplation. It’s easy to see why. When we take action, we will see the results of our actions immediately. However, like a lot of people, I take my own talents and gifts for granted. Not everyone has the time or the means to be out there doing all the things written in Matthew 25, but it doesn’t mean that we should limit ourselves either or try to measure our worth by how much we do. Our true value isn’t measured by our accomplishments. What makes our actions matter is how much love we put in each thing that we do.

There are many saints who worked humble jobs. Some were doorkeepers. Others were slaves or servants. And not all saints went into religious life, either. There’s a list of saints who were lifelong laypeople. What I love about the saints is that each one is unique. They were all human beings first and we can find our inspiration from them. We may not accomplish great things, but we can, as Mother Teresa always said, “do small things with great love.”

This doesn’t mean that Saint Martha’s actions weren’t for nothing. What she did wrong was that she was anxious and worried about many things, as Jesus said. She was too preoccupied with serving Jesus that she didn’t spend any time just being with Jesus. Sometimes, the best thing we can do for a person is just sit there and listen. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens has this whole chapter entitled “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.” (Thank you, Saint Francis.) When we truly listen with someone, we try to get to the core of what’s really bothering them or at the very least just give them time and let them know we really understand them and value their time.

It’s also good to listen before taking action. We often need to think things through or contemplate our actions before we proceed with actually doing them. Life is a balance of both contemplation and action. We can’t get so caught up in what we do that we lose track of what drives us and yet we can’t always think about something and not do anything about it.

So what exactly is the moral of the story for Martha and Mary? Hospitality consists of both spending time with someone and doing things for them. Don’t let yourself get caught up in anxieties and worries.

In these troubled times, I think we all need some time to contemplate about this world. Instead of retaliating with violence, I hope we can all contemplate about how we can bring more peaceful solutions to the things going on.

For now, I keep on saying “Lord have mercy,” because we are all in need of it.

Introduction: Ephesians Bible Study

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From Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship:

I think one of the biggest lies we can ever believe is that the universe is indifferent and that there is no purpose or meaning to life. There’s an entire philosophy that revolves around this called “existentialism” and the appeal of this particular way of thinking is that the only way to create meaning in life is through our choices. Life literally becomes what you make of it.

The Letter to the Ephesians is a testament that contrasts the philosophy of existentialism. Instead of appealing to self-centered individualism, it puts an emphasis on a sense of community and unity There is a meaning and a purpose to life and it all centers God: it’s to live a life unified with Christ in one church, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God. In other words, we are all called to be saints.

Read the rest here! The study also comes with a free study journal, complete with questions and reflections!

Learn How To Love

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This post will be part blog and part spoken-word poem. I just want to process everything I’ve been hearing from the news and try to speak about what’s on my mind.

 

People are dying. I wish it could stop.

There is so much anger and hate in this world. Why can’t we learn to love?

Do we even know what love is? We say that love is love, but what is love?

I know that a lot’s been going on in the world. I hate hearing of police officers killing Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I hate that 11 police officers were shot in Dallas. I know that a LOT of y’all are angry right now and nothing I can say will change that.

I wish in times like this we can choose to love instead of expressing our anger. It’s easy to be angry. It’s easy to demonize every police officer. It’s easy to say that “All Lives Matter” isn’t enough. I see so much anger as a reaction to this. We have a right to be angry. We are justified in our anger. Our anger is an expression of our hunger and thirst for righteousness and justice. But we cannot hold onto our anger and unleash it towards people we can’t even really see. We need to retaliate against violence with all the love we have.

So what is love?

Love isn’t indefinable. It’s not a feeling. It’s a choice. Love is wanting the greatest happiness for everyone, even the ones we hate. It means to speak out when police are killed just as much as when the innocent die at the hands of the police. It means that we acknowledge everyone, even the ones in Turkey and Iraq, as our brother and sister. I don’t care if you’re religious or not. I don’t care what belief system you have. We need to stop seeing those outside of our “circle of belonging” as a them. We are all an “us.”

I refuse to be angry over this. I’m more sad than I am anything else. I’m sad at all who are angry. I’m sad that it seems like this year is getting worse and worse. I’m sad, and yet in spite of it, I am trying to find little bits of happiness, tiny points of light that shine in this darkness. For me, compassion and mercy are that light. Through prayer, I let go of this anger and remember to choose peace instead.

Our universe is not an indifferent one, as strange as it may seem now. We are all part of a greater narrative. As Hamilton has said, we have no control who lives, who dies, who tells our story.

We won’t be remembered for our hashtags, but by how we retaliate and the actions we choose. History has its eyes on us. How do you want to be remembered? Will you be remembered for your anger? Or will you be remembered for how much you loved?