Spiritual Combat

Duccio di Buoninsegna, Temptation on the MountToday, in his Angelus address for the First Sunday of Lent, Pope Francis spoke about the spiritual combat we undertake during this Lenten season.  To that end, we give you this link to several prayers recommended by Fr. Gabriel Amorth, chief exorcist of Rome, to be prayed for protection against evil.  Five Prayers Recommended by an Exorcist to Combat Evil

Here is the Holy Father’s Angelus Address for today:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Last Wednesday, Lent began with the Rite of Ashes, and today is the first Sunday of this liturgical time that makes reference to the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, after his baptism in the Jordan River. In today’s Gospel, St. Mark writes: “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him” (1,12-13). With these simple words, the evangelist describes the test voluntarily faced by Jesus, before beginning his Messianic mission. It is a test in which the Lord leaves victorious and that prepares Him to announce the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. He, in those 40 days of solitude, confronted Satan “in close combat”, He unmasks his temptations and conquers him. And through Him, we have all conquered but we must protect this victory in our daily lives. Continue reading

Parce, Domine

temptation of christ

Praying your Lent is off to a good start.  As usually happens, we have already gotten the message (on the first day of Lent, no less) that our plans for the next 47 days belong to God, and He has already made some changes.  We will keep following His lead, right out into the desert, with the whole Church.

Here is one of our favorite chants from Ash Wednesday at the monastery, the text is based on Joel 2:17.

Refrain:
Parce, Domine,
Parce populo tuo:
Ne in aeternum
irascaris nobis.1. Flectamus iram vindicem,
Ploremus ante Judicem;
Clamemus ore supplici,
Dicamus omnes cernui:
Refrain2. Nostris malis offendimus
Tuam Deus clementiam
Effunde nobis desuper
Remissor indulgentiam.
Refrain

3. Dans tempus acceptabile,
Da lacrimarum rivulis
Lavare cordis victimam,
Quam laeta adurat caritas.
Refrain

4. Audi, benigne Conditor,
Nostras preces cum fletibus
In hoc sacro jejunio,
Fusas quadragenario.
Refrain

Refrain:
Spare, O Lord,
Spare Your people,
Do not be angry with us forever.
1. Let us turn back the angry avenger,
Let us lament before the Judge;
Let us cry aloud as suppliants,
Falling prostrate, let us all say:
Refrain2. By our evils we have offended
Your clemency, O God.
Pour out upon us from above
Your indulgence, unto remission.
Refrain

3. Giving us an acceptable time,
Grant that by rivers of tears,
The victim, our heart, may be cleansed
That our joy may enkindle our charity.
Refrain

4. Hear, O good Seasoner,
Our prayers through weeping,
In this most sacred fast,
Made firm by these forty days.
Refrain

You are listening to Parce Domine chanted by the seminarians of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, from the album In Saecula Saeculorum:  Selections of Perennial Chant. This track, as well as the whole album, is available from Amazon and iTunes.

Authentic Human Nature

2bf0d2b71647108bbe114c62009c426eAs previously mentioned, we are undertaking a 10 month Ignatian “retreat” this year using Fr. William Watson’s book Forty Weeks.  He talks about how St. Ignatius’ “sinful vices and self-indulgent pleasures blinded him to his authentic human nature and a fruitful life guided by a well-formed conscience.”  Authenticity is key; discovering our authentic selves in the light of God’s enduring love for us.  If God, our Creator, is absent, we cannot being to understand who we truly are.

Because of original sin, and our own sinfulness, none of us escapes this struggle to make meaning of our lives and our selves.  “Who am I? Why was I created?”  These questions burn in every heart, whether one is fully aware of it or not.  And satan loves to step into this searching void and fill it with his lies, distorting elements of the truth to lead us further away from God.

Recently, the Mother of the Americas Institute sponsored a presentation by Dr. Mark Regnerus from the University of Texas at Austin.  The topic was “Men and Women in Today’s Marriage Market,” and though it may not sound like a topic nuns are interested in, it really touches on the idea of authenticity and what we are created for, who we are created to be.  He showed a very moving short video, part of the Humanum series, which beautifully presents enduring truths on the meaning of masculinity and femininity.  The truth, even a truth one may find hard to hear, is always the answer to the pain caused by distortion and lies.

Here is the video we watched, which is part 3 of a 6 part series.  All of the videos can be viewed at humanum.it

Praise God for prayers answered!

saint_raphaelThis morning we found out that a dear friend was gravely ill and would undergo surgery today.  Please thank God with us, the surgery was successful!  He still has a long way to go, so please join us in praying to St. Raphael for his continued recovery, wisdom for the doctors and nurses, and comfort and strength for his beautiful family.

Novena Prayer to St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel Saint Raphael,
great prince of the heavenly court,
you are illustrious
for your gifts of wisdom and grace.
You are a guide of those who journey
by land or sea or air,
consoler of the afflicted,
and refuge of sinners.
I beg you,
assist me in all my needs
and in all the sufferings of this life,
as once you helped
the young Tobias on his travels.
Because you are the medicine of God,
I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities
of my soul and the ills that afflict my body.
I especially ask of you the favour

(Make your request here…)

and the great grace of purity
to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

St. Raphael,
of the glorious seven
who stand before the throne of Him
who lives and reigns,
Angel of health,
the Lord has filled your hand
with balm from heaven
to soothe or cure our pains.
Heal or cure the victim of disease.
And guide our steps when doubtful of our ways.

 

Quote

I Am Love, by Keith JohnsonAnyone who loves God in the depths of his heart has already been loved by God. In fact, the measure of a man’s love for God depends upon how deeply aware he is of God’s love for him. When this awareness is keen it makes whoever possesses it long to be enlightened by the divine light, and this longing is so intense that it seems to penetrate his very bones. He loses all consciousness of himself and is entirely transformed by the love of God.

-From the treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus of Photice

Just a little nugget of wisdom from today’s Office of Readings.

March for Life 2015

fy-ww-baby-growth-and-behavior

Life is beautiful!  How beautiful, too, to see the thousands and thousands of dedicated pro-life advocates who have traveled to our nation’s capitol, on this forty-second anniversary of Roe v. Wade, to be a voice for the dignity of every unborn child.  Please pray for everyone who works to end abortion.  Pray for the conversion of hearts who don’t recognize the dignity of life.  Pray for the healing of mothers, fathers and siblings wounded by abortion.

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Go to ewtn’s live player to watch live coverage of the March for Life 2015.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit, the Advocate

O Holy Spirit of God, You were promised to us by the Lord Jesus as an Advocate, as one who pleads our cause and speaks up for us in the heights of Continue reading