In defiance of despair

Praying for the victims of Nepal’s earthquake. So horrifying, and so moving to see the world responding with compassion when disasters like this happen. I’m so grateful for those who are willing and able to rush in and give aid.

 

“A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.”

Abraham J. Heschel

 

Please keep Nepal in your prayers, and if you can, donate to a relief organization. One I support is United Hatzalah.

 

United Hatzalah
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Pope Francis pays tribute to recent Christian martyrs

At morning mass recently, Pope Francis honored the many Christians who are persecuted and killed for their faith around the world, and requested we remember them:

The true history of the Church is that of the saints and the martyrs. In these days how many Stephens there are in the world! Let us think of our brothers whose throats were slit on the beach in Libya; let’s think of the young boy who was burnt alive by his companions because he was a Christian; let us think of those migrants thrown from their boat into the open sea by other migrants because they were Christians; let us think – just the day before yesterday – of those Ethiopians assassinated because they were Christians… and of many others. Many others of whom we do not even know and who are suffering in jails because they are Christians. The Church today is a Church of martyrs: they suffer, they give their lives and we receive the blessing of God for their witness.

God’s Word is always rejected by some. God’s Word is inconvenient when you have a stone heart, when you have a pagan heart, because God’s Word asks you to go ahead trying to satisfy your hunger with the bread which Jesus spoke of. In the history of the Revelation many martyrs have been killed for their faith and loyalty towards God’s Word, God’s Truth.

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at Casa Santa Marta

He also expressed solidarity with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, after the recent murder by ISIS of 28 Ethiopian Christians, sending a message of condolence to the Patriarch Matthias:

With great distress and sadness I learn of the further shocking violence perpetrated against innocent Christians in Libya. I reach out to you in heartfelt spiritual solidarity to assure you of my closeness in prayer at the continuing martyrdom being so cruelly inflicted on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia. It makes no difference whether the victims are Catholic, Copt, Orthodox or Protestant, their blood is one and the same in their confession of Christ!

Please remember these martyrs in your prayers.

Novena starts today: Mary, Undoer of Knots

One of my favorite websites begins a novena today — to Mary, Undoer of Knots (one of Pope Francis’ favorites!)

Here is a quote from Irenaeus about Mary loosening our knot of sin:

The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary.

For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the Virgin Mary set free through faith.

Irenaeus

Mary undoer of knots

I hope you can join in praying this novena!

“Their blood confesses Christ”

“The blood of Christians is a testimony that cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.

Pope Francis

Prayer for Persecuted Christians

Father Robert Barron requests:

“The news of 21 Coptic Christians mercilessly slaughtered this past weekend reminds us that age of the martyrs is not a time long ago, but right now. Let us pray today for all those suffering religious persecution, and particularly for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.

“Pope Francis eloquently said that ‘the blood of Christians is a testimony that cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.’

“Let us join in prayer with our Holy Father and in communion with all Christians who are persecuted, especially those who live and profess their faith under the threat of violence and death.”

Beginning Today! Nine Days for Life: Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage

Join in prayer for a “culture of life”.

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

On January 22 our nation will mark the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.

Since that tragic decision, more than 56 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.

Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 17 — Sunday, January 25!

I’ll definitely be praying, and I hope you can join in as well!

Beginning Tomorrow! Nine Days for Life: Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage

Join in prayer for a “culture of life”.

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

Pray with the bishops to end abortion!

On January 22 our nation will mark the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.

Since that tragic decision, more than 56 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.

Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 17 — Sunday, January 25!

I’ll definitely be praying, and I hope you can join in as well!

Veni, Creator Spiritus

A prayer traditionally recited or sung on New Years day. Blessings to all in 2015! _()_

 

Holy Spirit

 

“A plenary indulgence may be gained by reciting or singing the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus on the first day of the year. This hymn is traditionally sung for beginnings of things, calling on the Holy Spirit before endeavoring something new.” (From Catholic Culture website.)

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,

and in our souls take up Thy rest;

come with Thy grace and heavenly aid

to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

 

O comforter, to Thee we cry,

O heavenly gift of God Most High,

O fount of life and fire of love,

and sweet anointing from above.

 

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;

Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;

Thou, promise of the Father, Thou

Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

 

Kindle our sense from above,

and make our hearts o’erflow with love;

with patience firm and virtue high

the weakness of our flesh supply.

 

Far from us drive the foe we dread,

and grant us Thy peace instead;

so shall we not, with Thee for guide,

turn from the path of life aside.

 

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow

the Father and the Son to know;

and Thee, through endless times confessed,

of both the eternal Spirit blest.

 

Now to the Father and the Son,

Who rose from death, be glory given,

with Thou, O Holy Comforter,

henceforth by all in earth and heaven.

Amen.

 

A beautiful rendition of the song:


Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.

Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.

Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.

Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.

Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
Amen.