Fourth Day: The Gift of Fortitude
Thou in toil art comfort sweet
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
By the gift of Fortitude, the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. “He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.”
Third Day: The Gift of Piety
Thou, of all consolers best,
Visiting the troubled breast
Dost refreshing peace bestow
The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.
Second Day: The Gift of Fear
Come, Thou Father of the poor!
Come, with treasures which endure!
Come, Thou Light of all that live!
The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by Sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. “They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls.”
First Day: The Holy Ghost
Holy Spirit! Lord of light!
From Thy clear celestial height,
Thy pure beaming radiance give!
Only one thing is important — eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared — sin. Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts, He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation, we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us. Continue reading
Join us in praying a novena in honor of the Chair of St. Peter, beginning Monday, February 13th. The nine days will conclude on the 21st, the day before the feast day of the Chair of Peter. This ancient feast reminds us of the authority entrusted to St. Peter the apostle by Our Lord himself, which has been passed down to each of his successors for over 2000 years.
Thank you Fr. Phillips for sharing this novena with us!
NOVENA BEFORE THE FEAST OF THE CHAIR OF ST. PETER
V. In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Antiphon: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
V. I say unto thee, thou art Peter;
R. And upon this Rock I will build my Church.
[Each day’s scripture and intention is read aloud. After a brief silence, the final prayers are offered.]
And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, [Jesus] saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
– St. Mark 1:16-18
Intention: That we may follow the call of Christ without hesitation.
[Jesus] said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
– St. Luke 5:4-8
Intention: That we may obey our Lord’s commandments with humility.
[Jesus] asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eljjah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
– St. Matthew 16:13-18
Intention: That we may confidently confess our faith in Jesus Christ.
After six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
– St. Mark 9:2-3
Intention: That with Peter, we may see Christ as he is.
Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
– St. John 6:67-69
Intention: That we may know Christ as the Incarnate Word, and follow him.
[Jesus asked the soldiers,] “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear.
– St. John 18:7-8,10a
Intention: That we may refrain from hasty or imprudent words and actions.
Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.
– St. John 20:3-4, 6-7
Intention: That our lives may give witness to the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
– St. John 21:15-17
Intention: That we may remain in close communion with the Successor of St. Peter, whose task it is to strengthen us in the faith.
Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.”
Intention: That in union with St. Peter we may proclaim the Gospel to the whole world.
FINAL PRAYER (to be offered each day)
O Almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandedst him earnestly to feed thy flock: make, we beseech thee, all Bishops and Pastors diligently to preach thy holy Word, and the people obediently to follow the same; that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
V. St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles;
R. Pray for us.
V. In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
My daughter, I want to teach you about spiritual warfare…
Our Lord spoke these words to St. Faustina in 1938, directing her for three days while she was on retreat (full text at the end of this post). Each of us is engaged, here on earth, with the spiritual battle which rages unseen all around us between satan and his demons, and us, the people of God, and His angels. It’s an overwhelming thought, that all hell is waging war against us, against Christ’s Church, against the Kingdom of God, but it is true, and we must be aware and well-prepared. Perhaps it’s not so hard to imagine spiritual warfare, when we can look around and see the wars and tensions Continue reading
I knew He would do what He thought best. He did, and I will devote my whole life to working for Him in any way He wants to use me. -Rhoda Wise, 1939
It’s interesting how the lives of holy people often intersect. Throughout the history of the Church we have many stories of saints who were friends with other saints, and it’s often been said that saints beget saints. Well, we may be one step closer to having a formally recognized “saint” from the US! After an informal preliminary investigation, the formal cause for beatification and canonization for Rhoda Wise, a wife, mother, convert, mystic and stigmatist from Ohio, will open this October.
Rhoda’s story is amazing – she was miraculously healed from tremendous physical sufferings, and she also endured much suffering for love of God and souls, sharing in the passion wounds of Our Lord for the last six years of her life. She also had an important role in the early life of Mother Angelica.
Rhoda, while still a Protestant, had learned of St. Therese from Sr. Clement, one of the Mercy Sisters who cared for her in hospital. Sister gave her a St. Therese novena prayer, as well as a small shrine, and a devotion to the French Carmelite saint developed. Eventually, St. Therese herself appeared to Rhoda and healed her of a very painful open wound on her abdomen, which doctors had said was incurable.
When a teenage Rita Rizzo was afflicted with a very painful stomach ailment, her mother took her to visit the local mystic, who gave her a copy of the novena to St. Therese. On the ninth day, Rita woke up to find that her dropped stomach was cured, and it was this miracle that helped her to first realize how much God loved her. Her response was whole-hearted and enthusiastic, leading her to give herself completely to God in religious life. Our Lord once told Rhoda that Rita would do great things for the Church. “My Rita?” she asked. Who but Our Lord could have known that a feisty young girl with a difficult childhood would go on to found a global television network and, more importantly, teach the world the beauty and value of suffering. In this, she was just like her friend, Rhoda Wise.
Rhoda entered into eternity on July 7, 1948. Today begins the annual novena leading up to this anniversary. Here are the novena prayers, taken from the official website of the Rhoda Wise home. Please visit the website to learn more about Rhoda’s life and the many miracles God worked through her.
(These Prayers Are For Private Use Only)
My Friend, you are my true Friend. My only Friend. You take part in all my misfortunes. You know how to turn them into blessings. You listen to me with great kindness when I tell you all my troubles, and you always have something with which to heal my wounds.
I find you at any time of the day or night, for I find you wherever I happen to be. You never leave me. If I change my dwelling place,
I find you wherever I go. You never weary of listening to me. I am certain of being loved by You, if I but love You. My worldly goods are of no value to you, but by bestowing yours on me You never grow the poorer. However miserable I may be, no one more noble, more clever, or even more holy, can come between You and me and deprive me of your friendship.
And death, which tears us away from all other friends will unite me forever to You. All the humiliations attached to old age or the loss of honor will never separate you from me; On the contrary, I shall never enjoy You more fully and you will never be closer to me than when everything seems to conspire against me and cast me down. You bear with all my faults with extreme patience. Even my lack of fidelity and my ingratitude do not wound you to such a degree as to make you unwilling to receive me back when I return to you. O Jesus, grant that I may die loving you and that I may die for love of you. Amen
– St. Claude de la Columbiere
O Lord Jesus Christ, our Mediator with the Father, Who has appointed the most blessed Virgin, Thy Mother, to be our Mother also and Our Mediatrix before You; grant that whoever draws close to You to beseech any benefit may receive all things through her and rejoice. You live and reign with the Father and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
O beautiful Rose of Carmel, Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus, deign according to your promise to descend from Heaven to visit
those who implore you, and to pour down in profusion those Celestial Graces that are symbolized by the shower of roses that Jesus, your Spouse, has put at your disposal. Your power is great with his Heart. He can only listen and hear your prayer. I have recourse to you then, O Saint Therese of the Child Jesus; assist me in this need (mention your intention.) Speak for me to Jesus and to Mary and obtain for me the grace to live a holy life and die a happy death. Amen
An Our Father, Hail Mary , and Glory be for the intentions of Rhoda Wise.
“I do not see the Sacred Heart as others do. I think that my Spouse’s heart is mine alone, as mine is his alone, and I speak to him in the solitude of this delightful heart to heart exchange, waiting for the day when I will contemplate him face to face.”
(St. Therese in a letter to her sister, Celine, October 14, 1890)