Those Who are Well do not Need a Physician

September 21 is the feast of Saint Matthew, the Apostle and Evangelist. I love this scripture verse from the day’s Gospel reading:

“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Matthew 9:12-13

These are some of the most consoling verses in the bible!

Image by DanielReche (2016) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

If you are feeling low, if you struggle with sinful habits, do not be discouraged. Jesus came just for you. He gave the Church to you – to sinners.

If you are perfect (or think you are) then you won’t need Jesus. But, by recognizing your sin, Jesus is able to heal you and give you His mercy. Jesus desires mercy. You will not find judgement in Jesus. In Jesus you will find love, acceptance, mercy, forgiveness, and healing.

So, soak up today’s scripture verse. Let it penetrate your heart and soul. Memorize it. Always remember: Jesus IS mercy itself.

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Psst: Just a reminder, From now until September 30, 50% of all journals and 30% of all services will be donated to help the victims of the recent natural disasters. This is your chance to grow your spiritual life while helping your brothers and sisters in need. See, it’s a win-win. 🙂

Assumption of the Blessed Mother

Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother and it is a beautiful and important feast in our liturgical calendar. It is also a relatively new solemnity in that the Assumption of Mary was declared a dogma of the Church in 1950.

Assumption of Mary

Image by Peter Paul Rubens (1626) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

What is the Assumption of Mary?

The Assumption of Mary is the event in which God to Mary to heaven – body and soul. When you and I die, our soul will go to heaven, purgatory or hell and our bodies will decay as it waits for the final Resurrection at the end of times. Mary, however, didn’t have to wait. Right now, Mary is in heaven with her soul and body already united.

Some theologians and thinkers believe that Mary was given the grace of not having to die and was assumed into heaven without dying first. Others believe that Mary did die, in imitation of Christ who died for us, but was assumed into heaven shortly after her death. Honestly, though, it doesn’t matter whether you believe Mary died before she was assumed or not. We are required to believe that Mary was, in fact, brought to heaven with her body and soul, not how it happened.

The Assumption is NOT the Ascension.

Many people get the Assumption of Mary and the Ascension of Jesus confused. That’s completely  understandable given that both feasts celebrate Jesus and Mary’s “entrance” into heaven body and soul. Here is the difference: In the Ascension of Jesus, 40 days after His Resurrection, Jesus ascends back to heaven through HIS OWN POWER. You can read about Jesus’ ascension at the end of the gospels in the bible. In the assumption, Mary is taken to heaven by POWER of GOD. Mary did NOT take herself to heaven, nor was she capable of doing so. The assumption is a gift and a grace of God that was granted to Mary.

Why was Mary Assumed into Heaven? 

During her life, Mary had a unique share in the suffering and death of Jesus. She carried him in her womb, she raised Him, and she followed Him in the most perfect way. Therefore, it seems fitting that she gets to have a unique share of His glory. 🙂

The significance of the Assumption.

This solemnity of the Assumption should give us great joy and hope. Mary is in heaven, in her glorified body just like we will be when the time comes. Thus, her Assumption is a peek of our future destiny. When we die, we know that our souls are separated from our bodies. But, this is temporary. When Jesus returns at the second coming, our souls and bodies will be reunited again in our own glorified bodies.

The Assumption reminds us that our life on earth isn’t all there is; we have a destiny. Jesus is our destiny. Heaven is real and it is our destiny. We live in hope that we will be with the Blessed Trinity, all the Saints and Angels in heaven, FOREVER. How awesome is that?!

How can we celebrate this special Solemnity?

1. The first thing you should do is go to Mass. As a matter of fact, the feast of the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation, so technically you “have” to go. Of course, we don’t celebrate the Eucharist just because we have to, right? We go to Mass because we want to. 😉

2. Pray the glorious mysteries of the rosary. The glorious mysteries include the Assumption of Mary. “Bonus points” if you pray as a family!

3. In times past, most parishes would have a procession in Our Lady’s honor on this day. It’s not that common anymore, however, your (or a  nearby) parish is doing a procession, consider participating in it. If there aren’t any local processions available, you can put do a small procession for yourself and your family.

4. If you have time, you can do some crafts with your kids like this one at crafolic.com or this one at catholicmom.com.

5. You can also make an Assumption themed meal or treat like I found here and here (scroll down to the Assumption) on catholiccuisine.com.

These are just a few ideas. I’m sure with a little thought you will be able to come up with your own way of honoring Our Lady. May your day be blessed!

Resources to deepen your understanding  of this great Solemnity:

New Advent

About.com

AssumptionMary.com

The Transfiguration of Our Lord

Tomorrow (August 6) is the feast of the Transfiguration our Lord. In reading the mass readings for today, these verses particularly stand out:

Transfiguration of Our Lord

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Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to Him.”

Therefore, I am going to pray for the grace to be able to hear the voice of Jesus. I am praying for the grace to not let the many cares of daily life from getting in the way of listening to His voice and paying attention to Him. I don’t know about you, but I can easily get into the habit of letting the craziness of life take over me and I don’t take the time for prayer and spending time with God. How about you? Am I alone in this?

That’s why I need the grace to make time for prayer and reading His Word. In essence, am praying for a deepening of my relationship with the Lord.

I am also praying for this grace for each of you, as well. I pray that you have a deepening of your relationship with Jesus and that you grow ever closer to Him with each new day. May all our minds and hearts be transfigured unto Jesus.

How about you? What is your prayer for this beautiful feast?

He is Risen!

Happy Easter! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! We went to the Easter Vigil for Mass and it was beautiful and spent Easter Sunday with my husband’s side of the family.

How was your Easter? I hope it was a wonderful day. BUT, don’t forget, Easter isn’t over. It is just beginning! In the Catholic Church, the Easter season is 50 days. Lent, the penitential season, is 40 days but Easter, the rejoicing season, is 10 days more. 🙂

Therefore, during this glorious time, let the joy of Christ’s resurrection penetrate your heart and soul. 🙂

Resurrection

Image by Didgeman (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

For God So Loved The World…

As we head into the Sacred Tridium tomorrow, I want to encourage you to take some time (even just a few minutes) to reflect on God’s love for you.

For God So Loved the World

It is a powerful thing to realize the deep love that God has for us – for you – and not just in your head but with your heart. GOD LOVES YOU with an infinite love. A love that surpasses all understanding. Jesus suffered horribly and died on the cross for YOU. He wanted so much for you to be with Him, in the Blessed Trinity, for all eternity, that He was willing to do anything to make that happen.

And guess what? It doesn’t stop at the Crucifixion. Jesus rose and has forever conquered death and hell! He did all this for YOU. He wants YOU to have an abundant life! He doesn’t promise that it will always be easy but He will always be with YOU.

May you and your family have a truly grace-filled and blessed Sacred Tridium and Easter!

The Holy Childhood of Jesus

Did you know that January has always been dedicated to the Holy Childhood of Jesus? It is a devotion that dates back to the 300’s AD – and even earlier.

I confess that up until a few years ago, I never had any particular devotion to the Childhood of Jesus; however, I have a statue of the Infant of Prague that my Aunt Pat gave me years ago. She always said that if I kept a dollar bill under the statue I’d always have money. (Is that because there’s always a dollar under the statue or because the Lord is watching over me, or a little bit of both?!)

There isn’t a lot of information about devotion to the Childhood of Jesus; however, if you’d like to explore the history and practices of devotion to the Childhood of Jesus (and the Infant of Prague), you can check out the sites here, here and here.

What We Can Learn from Devotion to the Childhood of Jesus

It is a deep and tremendous thing what God has done for us. He sent His only son, Jesus, to save us and show us the way to Him and to heaven. Crazier still, God sent His son to us as a baby. A baby! A humble, helpless baby. Jesus, human in all respects, grew into childhood and teenhood and adulthood. Truly amazing.

As we reflect on the childhood of Jesus we learn humility, obedience, patience, and love. Humility, obedience and patience are not particularly popular in today’s world. It wants what it wants and wants it now! But, it doesn’t always work that way. Through devotion to the Childhood of Jesus we can learn to see the world with a new perspective and understanding of God’s ways – at least in a very small way. Devotion to the Childhood can be (and is) an important part of our spiritual life. I hope that you will take some time to learning about this devotion and consider adding it into your life.

Prayer to the Infant Jesus

“O Jesus, Prince of Peace and King of the Universe, you chose to humble yourself and come into the world, not as a powerful ruler, but as a helpless infant; grant us the grace of humility and gentleness before you and our brothers and sisters. Grant, too, O Lord, that we may always strive to achieve the virtue and innocence of your own Holy Childhood. Instill in us a growing faith you, O Lord, and the strength to resist temptation in a world which so widely rejects you. Look upon us with compassion and forgive us our sins. Fill our hearts with kindness and understanding, especially for children, the aged and those we dislike or who dislike us.

O Jesus, who so loved children that you admonished us, “Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven,” grant us a child-like faith and purity of heart. Give us the grace not only to pray fervently, but to help spread your Gospel by deed as well as word. Amen.” (From Franciscan Mission Associates pamphlet)

(Found the prayer here.)

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Tweetable: Devotion to the Childhood of Jesus

The Miracle Prayer

The following prayer was passed out during the Women’s Conference that I attended in December. I have no idea where it came from or who wrote it but think it is a perfect prayer to pray as we get into the New Year.

The Miracle Prayer

I recommend you find a quiet place and pray the Miracle Prayer slowly and with intention. Let the Lord’s love surround you and fill your soul.

The Miracle prayer

“Lord Jesus, I come before You just as I am. I am sorry for my sins. I repent of my sins, please forgive me. In Your Name, I forgive all others for what they have done against me.

(Pause for a short time here and allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind anyone you need to forgive. When He does, for each person say out loud, I forgive. Then continue the prayer.)

I renounce satan, the evil spirits and all their works. I give you my entire self. Lord Jesus, now and forever, I invite You into my life. Jesus, I accept You as my Lord, God and Savior. Heal me, change me, strengthen me, and deliver me in body, soul, mind, and spirit.

Come Lord Jesus, cover me with Your precious blood and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I love you, Lord Jesus. I praise You, Lord Jesus. I thank You, Lord Jesus. I shall follow You every day of my life.

Amen”

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Tweetable: The Miracle Prayer

Prayer for the Deceased

Yes, today is Halloween but it was originally celebrated as “All Hallow’s Eve.” All Hallow’s Eve was (is) the day before All Saint’s Day which is the day we remember all the “unsung Saints” who are now in Heaven.

Something not so mentioned (or popular) nowadays is All Soul’s Day. It is a day that we pray in a special way for the souls in Purgatory. The official day All Soul’s Day is November 2 but we can (and should) pray anytime for those dear souls. So, let us do so today:

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Receive in tranquility and peace, O Lord, the souls of your servants who have departed this present life to come to you. Grant them rest and place them in the habitations of light, the abodes of blessed spirits. Give them the life that will not age, good things that will not pass away, delights that have no end, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”St. Ignatius of Antioch

May all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace!

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Tweetable: Prayer for the Deceased

Hat tip to MyCatholicSource.com which is where I found this prayer.

31 Days Writing Challenge

31 Days of Prayer – The Rosary

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. So, naturally, I want to encourage you to pray the rosary.

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

It took me a long time before I realized how powerful and wonderful and scriptural the rosary is. Now, I look forward to praying the rosary. If you are interested, go here to learn about Catholics and the Rosary, and here are some links about the rosary.

I wish I had the chance to make a video or had the opportunity to do a live chat so we could pray the rosary; It just isn’t possible today. However, here is a quick rundown on how to pray the rosary:

On the Cross: Make the sign of the cross, state your intention, and pray the Apostle’s Creed.

Large Bead: Pray an Our Father.

3 small beads: Hail Mary on each bead.

Large bead: Pray a Glory Be, announce the first mystery**, pray an Our Father.

10 small beads: Pray a Hail Mary on each bead.

Large bead: Pray the Glory Be, “Oh my Jesus,”* announce the second mystery, pray an Our Father.

10 small beads: Pray a Hail Mary on each bead.

Continue in this way, remembering to announce the next mystery, until you finish the fifth mystery.

Large bead: finish with the Hail Holy Queen and “Oh, God..” Make the sign of the cross.

*Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven. Amen.

**Joyful Mysteries of the rosary are: The Annunciation, The Visitation of Mary to her cousin, Elizabeth, The Nativity of Jesus, The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, The Finding of Jesus at the Temple.

**Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary are: The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning with Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross, and fifth, The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord.

**Luminous Mysteries of the rosary are: The Baptism of Jesus at the Jordan, The Wedding Feast at Cana, The Proclamation of the Kingdom and call to Conversion, The Transfiguration, and The Institution of the Eucharist.

**Glorious Mysteries of the rosary are: The Resurrection of Jesus, The Ascension of Jesus, The Coming of the Holy Spirit, The Assumption of Mary, and The Queenship of Mary.

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Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer – The Rosary

31 Days Writing Challenge

31 Days of Prayer – St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Today is the memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus (The Little Flower). It is fitting that I am starting the 31 Days of Prayer on her feast day because St. Therese had a great love of prayer.

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

I have to be honest, while growing up and during my young adult life, I didn’t really understand St. Therese. I thought her spirituality was too sentimental and “flighty” for me. Then, in 2002, I read a book called The Trial of Faith of St. Therese. It completely changed my view of St. Therese!

Was St. Therese a “girly, girl?” Yes, in some ways she was; however, she was also a brave, strong, and determined woman. She was a headstrong child. She threw her fair share of temper tantrums. And, yet, as she let God mold her and lead her according to His ways, she became a great saint. She suffered through terrible sufferings: mental, spiritual, and physical. The difference for her was that she suffered patiently. She trusted in the Lord. Even when she was tempted to despair, she choose to trust in God.

Believe me, her “Little Way” may be been simple but it was very difficult to live!

That book gave me a new appreciation and respect for Saint Therese. She is an amazing model of faith and trust and I pray that she will intercede for all of us during the Write 31 Days Challenge.

Now for the prayer. I found this lovely prayer on EWTN. I hope it will bless you and give you the courage to leave all your deepest needs in God’s hands. She put her life in God’s hands like a child does to a parent and we must do the same. 🙂

A Prayer to St. Therese

O little St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own – speak a word for me to our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were – to that Queen of heaven “who smiled on you at the dawn of life.” Beg her as the Queen of the heart of Jesus to obtain for me by her powerful intercession, the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment, and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life. Defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen

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Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer: St. Therese

I found the prayer here.

31 Days Writing Challenge