Pray the Rosary Every Day

This is the monthly message Our Lady gave Mirjana (one of the seers of Medjugorje*) yesterday (Sept 2, 2019):

Dear children, pray! Pray the Rosary every day – that wreath of flowers which, as a mother, directly connects me with your pains, sufferings, desires, and hopes. Apostles of my love, I am with you through the grace and the love of my Son, and I am asking for prayers of you. The world is in such need of your prayers for souls to be converted. With complete trust, open your hearts to my Son, and in them He will inscribe the summary of His words – which is love. Live in an unbreakable connection with the Most Sacred Heart of my Son. My children, as a mother, I am telling you that it is high time for you to kneel before my Son to acknowledge Him as your God, the center of your life. Offer gifts to Him – that which He most loves – which is love towards neighbor, mercy, and pure hearts. Apostles of my love, many of my children still do not acknowledge my Son as their God; they have not yet come to know His love. But you, with your prayer pronounced from a pure and open heart, by the gifts which you offer to my Son, will make even the hardest hearts open. Apostles of my love, the strength of prayer pronounced from the heart – a powerful prayer full of love – changes the world. Therefore, my children: pray, pray, pray. I am with you. Thank you.

pray the rosary everyday

mage by Icb (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Whether you believe in Our Lady’s apparitions at Medjugorje, these words echo the words she has said in her apparitions that have been approved. Namely, “pray, pray, pray.” “Pray for the conversion of sinners.” Pray the Rosary.” “Open your hearts to Jesus.”

She wouldn’t have to keep reminding us if we would just finally heed her message. Let us endeavor to renew our commitment to pray, to pray the rosary daily, and to pray for the conversion of sinners.

Our Lady, refuge of sinners, pray for us!

*Although my experience at Medjugorje was positive (I was there a number of years ago), and I personally believe they are true, the jury is still out in regards to the apparitions of Medjugorje and they have not yet been officially approved by the Church. I will submit completely to the decision of the Church regarding these apparitions, whatever that decision may be.

Is God’s Love Enough?

Has God ever punched you in the face? Not in the literal sense, of course, but in the way that you hear something and it just changes everything for you?

Is God's Love Enough?

Image by brunoabdon (2014) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Well, He “punched” me about a month ago. I went to confession and when I was done telling my sins the priest says (among other things), “When we sin we are, in effect, telling God that His love isn’t enough for us.”

BOOM!

For some reason, those words rocked me to the core. “Of course, God’s love is enough! I go to Mass, I pray, I go to Confession regularly. I profess Jesus as my Lord and Savior and try to do right by him. Heck, I even have a blog to encourage other women with their walk with the Lord! Of course, His love is enough!”

BUT, is it? Really?

By definition, sin is a rejection of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states,

Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,”123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.”124 In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125 (1850)

Thus, when I sin, I choose self-love, self-wants, and self-desires over God’s love. So, yes, when I sin I am telling God that His love isn’t enough. I am telling Him that my immediate self-gratification and my self-will is more important than His Holy and loving Will for me.

Thankfully, God’s love and mercy is bigger than my self-love. He knows my hearts, all of our hearts. He knows that we are small and petty and foolish and yet He loves anyway. He knows that we will reject Him – are sins nailed Jesus to the Cross! – and He continues to choose us anyway.

Since that confession, I’ve tried to remember those words. When I am tempted to impatience, anger or other sin, I try to remind myself that God’s love is enough. I don’t have to choose impatience or bitterness, or whatever. It hasn’t been perfect. I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded. But, guess what? That’s okay! His love is even enough for my failures!

God’s love is enough for you, too.

Whatever you are going through right now, try to think of those words. Are you suffering or in pain? God’s love is enough. Are you struggling with bitterness, anger or hatred? God’s love is enough. Are you lonely? God’s love is enough. Are you out of work or facing financial problems? God’s love is enough. I promise, no matter what you are going through, God’s love is enough.

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Tweetable: Is God’s Love Enough?

P.S. Know that I pray for my blog readers daily! If you have a specific intention you want me to pray for, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Why You Should Pray Novenas (and How to Pray Them)

all about novenas

As Catholics, prayer is an essential element to living an authentic spiritual life. There are many ways to pray and one of my favorite ways is by praying a novena. If you haven’t prayed a novena yet, I hope the following tutorial will convince you to give it a try.

What is a novena?

Traditionally, a novena is a prayer that is said everyday for nine days straight. (The root of novena is “novem” which means nine.) There are, however, other types of novenas, such as the St. Andrew Christmas novena which is 26 days. There are also novenas where the prayer is repeated several times a day like the Glory Be to the Father novena.  There are even novenas that are prayed weekly or monthly such as the Sacred Heart Devotion. However, normally, a novena is one prayer said once a day for nine days.

Why pray a novena?

Novenas are beautiful and a very efficacious type of prayer. The prayers are often centered on a particular theme and thus can help you stay focused in prayer, particularly when you are praying for special intention. Additionally, if you are in the habit of praying regularly, praying a  novena elevate your prayer life to the next level. On the flip side, if you are not in the habit of praying, a novena can help you get back into the habit of prayer.

How do you pray a novena?

Usually, especially for a big feast day like Divine Mercy Sunday or the Immaculate Conception, you will use preset prayers. You can find those prayers online or in a Catholic prayer-book. Thus, all you have to do is follow along the prayers for each day. There are many, many different novena prayers that can be said in honor a saint, a feast day, or other need.

There are other ways to pray a novena as well. Really, you can make up your own prayers and pray a novena at any time for any intention. For example, you can pray a novena of Hail Marys every day for nine days for a loved one who is ill, looking for a job, or in thanksgiving for favors received. Another idea is to pray short aspiration prayer for nine days for you and your spouse before your wedding anniversary (or for another couple).

There are many ways of praying a novena and the types of prayers prayed in a novena are endless. You could even do a novena for 12 days or 24 days or even three or five days if that works for you. The basic idea is the same: a set of prayers (or single prayer) said over the course of several days or weeks.

I encourage you to pray a novena soon. And when you do, let me know how it went. I am sure it will enrich your prayer life as it has done for mine!

Other resources to learn about novenas

New Advent

About.com

praymorenovenas.com This is a great site that I found that automatically sends you the prayers of a novena as they come up during the year. it’s website states, ” The PrayMoreNovenas.com community prays 1 novena together each month. You will get the novena prayers for each monthly novena delivered to your inbox on the morning of each day.” This is very handy if you are interested in praying more novenas or at least want to be informed of the various novenas as they come up. I signed up for the emails and although I don’t pray every novena, every month, and impressed with the many different novena prayers that are offered.

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All about novenas.

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Catholics and the Rosary

Rosary and bible

photo credit: Courtney Emery via photopin cc

In a previous post, I explained a little about the Catholic’s devotion to Mary. This week I want to write a little about the Rosary. Actually, a lot can be, and has been, said about the rosary and in an upcoming post I will point you to some resources that do a good job explaining why we pray the rosary.

However, before  I do, I want to point out one thing: Although we direct many of the prayers to Mary, the rosary is all about Jesus and meditating on the life of Jesus – and based on the Bible.

Let’s take a look at the mysteries of the rosary: During the Joyful mysteries, we meditate on the birth and early life of Christ, from when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary she would conceive a son, to the visitation to Elizabeth where John the Baptist “leaped for joy,” to the birth of Jesus, to His presentation in the temple and finally to His being found in the temple by Mary and Joseph.

During the Luminous mysteries, we contemplate Jesus’ public life. In the first mystery we think upon Jesus’ “baptism” by John. In the second we meditate on Jesus’ first miracle at Cana and the third mystery is centered on the proclamation of the kingdom and call to conversion. In the fourth mystery we meditate on the Transfiguration of Jesus and in the fifth we meditate on the Institution of the Eucharist.

The Sorrowful mysteries are centered on the suffering and death of Jesus. In the first mystery we accompany Jesus during his Agony in the Garden. In the second mystery we meditate on Jesus’ flagellation at the pillar. In the third mystery we see Jesus as he is mocked and receives the Crown of Thorns. In the fourth mystery we join Jesus as He carries His cross and in the fifth mystery we meditation on the Crucifixion and  death of Our Lord.

Finally, the Glorious mysteries allow us to rejoice in the great mysteries of the Resurrection (decade one) and Ascension of Jesus (decade two). In the third Glorious mystery, we meditate on the Descent of the Holy Spirit. In the fourth and fifth Glorious mysteries we honor Mary as she is Assumed into heaven and Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

I also want to encourage you to take a closer look at the prayers of the rosary. The Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Glory Be and even the Hail Mary are God-centered and Christ-centered prayers.

Even the Hail Mary is focused on Jesus. The first part of the Hail Mary comes from Gabriel’s greeting to Mary (from the gospel of Luke) and Elizabeth’s cry of joy (“blessed is the fruit of thy womb). In the second part of the prayer we are asking her to pray for us, just like we would ask our own mother to pray for us.

It would be impossible to expound on the rosary in this short post, but I hope you can begin to see how rich and Christ-centered the rosary is and why it is such an important devotion to Catholics. In tomorrow’s post I will share some links on the rosary that I trust you will find helpful.

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Tweetables:

Catholics and the Rosary

Did you realize that the Rosary is all about Jesus? It is!

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Here is how it went this week:

1. Pray the rosary at least twice.

2. Get up by 7:00 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes.

4. Blog at least twice.

5. Read “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation” to Andrew and write review. (Read some, but we didn’t finish it yet.)

6. Take Andrew to CCD and All Saints Party.

Here are my plans for this week:

1. Pray the rosary at least twice.

2. Get up by 7:00 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes.

4. Blog at least twice.

5. Continue reading “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation” to Andrew and write review.

6. Take Andrew to CCD.

What are your plans for this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

(P.S. The Christmas Season is fast approaching and if you want to stay organized and sane this year, you may want to check out the Christmas Planning Toolkit that I put together. It is chock-full of templates and lists to help you make the most out of the holidays!)

 

31 Days With Mary: Day 21

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Prayer

“Let us ask the Blessed Virgin to make us contemplatives, to teach us to recognize the constant calls from God at the door of our heart.” –St. Jose Maria Escriva

Offering: A visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

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(P.S. The fourth day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost is today. Don’t have a prayer? Follow the novena here.)

Will You Join us in Praying for our Country?

My friend Anne, over at Living in the Two Hearts, clued me in on the America Needs Fatima‘s crusade to get as many people as they can to pray for our country on the Fourth of July at 6pm.

Our country is facing many challenges and it is only through prayer and trust in God that these challenges will be overcome. Our Lord says in Matthew 18: 19-20:

“I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. for where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Let us take claim to God’s promise and act on it! Won’t you take 20 minutes of your time over this holiday weekend to pray the rosary and thank the Lord for the gift of our freedom and ask His mercy upon us?

And hey, for those of you reading this who aren’t Catholic, you’re not off the hook! 🙂 You are welcomed and encouraged to join us in prayer for our country too! Just join us at 6pm Sunday and say whatever prayer that you feel led to pray.

Thank you in advance for your participation and God bless. “See you” on Sunday, 6pm sharp! 🙂

(Find more photos like the one above here.)