7 Prayers for God to Defend & Cleanse His Holy Catholic Church

Madonna Del SoccorsoListers, the gates of hell have not and will not prevail against the Church. As the Catechism states: “Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve; Jesus entrusted a unique mission to him. Through a revelation from the Father, Peter had confessed: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Our Lord then declared to him: ‘You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.’ Christ, the ‘living Stone’, thus assures his Church, built on Peter, of victory over the powers of death. Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakable rock of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it.”1 Moreover, “from the incarnate Word’s descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior’s promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her.”2 Catholics should also remember that the Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. The Church teaches, “The Church is one because of her “soul”: ‘It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church’s unity.'”3 When the Church faces both internal and external threats, it is easy to fall into anxiety, gossip, and despair. Remember, however, that these are contrary to virtue – especially the virtue of hope – and that the faithful should hold up the Church and her leaders in prayer. The following prayers were selected due to either their focus on the Church, the leaders of the Church, or the general petition of divine protection against evil.

 


 

 

1. For the Lord to Defend and Cleanse His Church

May your continual pity, O Lord, cleanse and defend Your Church; and, because without you she cannot endure in safety, may she ever be governed by Your bounty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

2. Keep the Church Faithful to Christ’s Mission

Heavenly Father, look upon our community of faith which is the Church of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to witness to his love by loving all our fellow creatures without exception. Under the leadership of the Holy Father and the Bishops keep us faithful to Christ’s mission of calling all men and women to your service so that there may be “one fold and one shepherd.” We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

3. Prayer for the Preservation of the Faith

O my Redeemer, will that dreadful time ever come, when but few Christians shall be left who are inspired by the spirit of faith, that time when Thine anger shall be provoked and Thy protection shall be take away from us? Have our vices and our evil lives irrevocably moved Thy justice to take vengeance, perhaps this very day, upon Thy children? O Thou, the beginning and end of our faith, we conjure Thee, in the bitterness of our contrite and humbled hearts, not to suffer the fair light of faith to be extinguished in us. Remember Thy mercies of old, turn Thine eyes in mercy upon the vineyard planted by Thine own right hand, and watered by the sweat of the Apostles, by the precious blood of countless Martyrs and by the tears of so many sincere penitents, and made fruitful by the prayers of so many Confessors and innocent Virgins. O divine Mediator, look upon those zealous souls who raise their hearts to Thee and pray ceaselessly for the maintenance of that most precious gift of Thine, the true faith. We beseech Thee, O God of justice, to hold back the decree of our rejection, and to turn away Thine eyes from our vices and regard instead the adorable Blood shed upon the Cross, which purchased our salvation and daily intercedes for us upon our altars. Ah, keep us safe in the true Catholic and Roman faith. Let sickness afflict us, vexations waste us, misfortunes overwhelm us! But preserve in us Thy holy faith; for if we are rich with this precious gift, we shall gladly endure every sorrow, and nothing shall ever be able to change our happiness. On the other hand, without this great treasure of faith, our unhappiness would be unspeakable and without limit! O good Jesus, author of our faith, preserve it untainted within us; keep us safe in the bark of Peter, faithful and obedient to his successor and Thy Vicar here on earth, that so the unity of Holy Church may be maintained, holiness fostered, the Holy See protected in freedom, and the Church universal extended to the benefit of souls. O Jesus, author of our faith, humble and convert the enemies of Thy Church; grant true peace and concord to all Christian kings and princes and to all believers; strengthen and preserve us in Thy holy service, so that we may live in Thee and die in Thee. O Jesus, author of our faith, let me live for Thee and die for Thee. Amen.

 

4. Prayer to the Sorrowful Mother for the Church and the Pontiff

Most Holy Virgin and Mother, your soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the passion of your divine Son, and in His glorious resurrection, you were filled with unending joy in His triumph! Obtain for us who call upon you, to be such partakers in the adversities of holy Church and in the sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

5. Prayer for the Authorities of the Church

We pray Thee, O Almighty and Eternal God,
who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations,
to preserve the works of Thy mercy;
that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world,
may continue, with unchanging faith,
in the confession of Thy name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy,
to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal,
and sanctity of life our chief bishop, N.,
the Vicar of our Lord Jesus Christ in the government of His Church;
our own Bishop, (or Archbishop,) N.,
(if he is not consecrated, our Bishop-elect);
all other Bishops, Prelates, and Pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed
to exercise among us the functions of the holy ministry,
and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom, and justice,
through whom authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgments decreed, assist,
with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude,
the President of these United States,
that his administration may be conducted in righteousness,
and be eminently useful to Thy people,
over whom he presides,
by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion;
by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy;
and by restraining vice and immorality.
Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress,
and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our role and government; so, that they may tend to the preservation of peace,
the promotion of national happiness,
the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge,
and may perpetuate to us the blessings of equal liberty.

We pray for his Excellency the Governor of this State,
for the members of the Assembly,
for all Judges, Magistrates, and other officers
who are appointed to guard our political welfare;
that they may be enabled,
by Thy powerful protection,
to discharge the duties of their respective stations
with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise to Thy unbounded mercy
all our brethren and fellow-citizens,
throughout the United States,
that they may be blessed in the knowledge,
and sanctified in the observance of most holy law;
that they may be preserved in union,
and in that peace which the world cannot give;
and, after enjoying the blessings of this life,
be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray Thee, O Lord of mercy,
to remember the souls of Thy servants departed
who are gone before us with the sign of faith,
and repose in the sleep of peace:
the souls of our parents, relations, and friends;
of those who, when living, were members of this congregation;
and particularly of such as are lately deceased;
of all benefactors who,by their donations or legacies to this Church,
witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship,
and proved their claim to our grateful
and charitable remembrance.
To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ,
grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment,
light, and everlasting peace,
through the same Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Savior.

Amen.4

 

6. Prayer to the Virgin: Remedy Against Evil Spirits

August Queen of Heaven, sovereign Mistress of the Angels, thou who from the beginning hast received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech thee to send thy holy legions, that under thy command and by thy power they may pursue the evil spirits, encounter them on every side, resist their bold attacks, and drive them hence into eternal woe.

Who is like unto God?

O good and tender Mother, thou willest always to be our love and our hope.

O Mother of God, send thy holy Angels to defend us and drive far from us the cruel enemy.

Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us and keep us. Amen.5

 

7. Traditional Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.6

 


 

Related Lists on SPL

  1. CCC § 522, fns. removed. []
  2. CCC § 834, citing, St. Maximus the Confessor, Opuscula theo.:PG 91:137-140. []
  3. CCC § 813; remember that in Latin the soul is the anima – it is that which animates; thus, the Holy Spirit, as the soul of the Church, animates the Church. []
  4. Composed by Archbishop Carroll in 1800; Prayers 1-5 are taken from Catholic Prayers. []
  5. “Indulgenced by St. Pius X on July 8, 1908. Original text from the prayer dictated by Our Lady to Father Cestac on January 13, 1864. It is recommended to learn it by heart.” Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. []
  6. EWTN Translation. []

16 Practical Tips for Creating & Maintaining Your Daily Prayer Habit

Prayer is such a crucial part of the faithful practice of Catholicism but many of us struggle, at least at one time or another, to keep a regular prayer life. Maybe we’re busy in school, busy raising a family, busy at work, or even all of those at the same time, and find that somehow prayer seems too often to slip through the cracks. To help you keep prayer a regular part of your daily life we offer these practical tips which have helped us pray more regularly.

Listers, many of the most-read lists we’ve published are prayer focused: the best prayers to say before bed, really short prayers to say throughout the day, or even prayers recommended by an exorcist to fight evil, and of course the Latin prayers we should all know. We’ve also covered questions about prayer like why prayers aren’t always answered, and much, much more. This shouldn’t be surprising since prayer is such a crucial part of the faithful practice of Catholicism. However most of us also struggle, at least at one time or another, to keep a regular prayer life. Maybe you’re busy in school, busy raising a family, busy at work, or even all of those at the same time, and find that somehow prayer seems too often to slip through the cracks. To help you keep prayer a regular part of your daily life we offer these practical tips which have helped us pray more regularly. Of course, if you have tips to share please do so in the comments and we’ll highlight the best.


Use your iPhone to remind you of prayer

1. Use your Phone

Every smartphone has both built-in and third-party apps for reminders. Use the “repeat” function to set daily reminders to pray. If you are the kind of person who uses your calendar for planning out your tasks for the day, schedule time for prayer. Pictured above, the fantastic Due app for iOS is a great choice for iPhone users.

2. Be Specific

When you schedule prayer on your calendar, or add it to your to do list, don’t just say “Pray” but rather be specific and say something like “Pray the Rosary” or “Pray the Hail Holy Queen”. This removes what psychologists call decision avoidance, or what the rest of us call putting something off because it’s too hard to decide what to do. The whole point of a reminder is so that you don’t have to decide when to pray, add some specificity and you won’t have to decide what to pray in the moment either. Of course, once you’ve said your prayer you can add extemporaneous, or other prayers as you wish. This is just a way to help get things started.

 

Frame a prayer and place it somewhere visible

3. Place a framed prayer in plain sight

Often we just think about whatever is in front of us, so put some prayers in plain sight by writing them out, and framing them. Then you can hang them on the wall, or use the frames’ built-in stand to place them on a flat surface. Some good spots to consider might be near the sink in your kitchen, on your desk, on your nightstand, by the sink in your bathroom, on a bookcase you walk by frequently, or on a hall or entryway table.

 

Ave Maria written on bathroom mirror

EXPO Dry-Erase marker

4. No frame? Write a prayer on your bathroom mirror

As a convert there are many beautiful prayers from tradition which I do not know by heart and need to see over and over to remember, this simple tip is how I learned to pray the Memorare and made sure I saw it every day: Take a dry-erase marker and copy the prayer right onto the mirror in your bathroom. Now, every time you brush your teeth you can say a prayer. Bonus: Pick a long enough prayer and it’s a good way to make sure you’re brushing as much as you ought to.

 

Morning Prayer reminder on iPhone

5. Turn your morning alarm into a reminder to pray

If you use your phone to wake up in the morning, and it has the ability to edit the name of the alarm, change it to something like “Get up! Offer the day to God.” or “Good morning! Thank God for it!”

 

Modest Catholic home prayer shelf

6. Make a place for prayer

We’ve written about home altars before, and they’re a great option for making a dedicated space for prayer. Maybe your current situation does not allow for something very elaborate, that is ok. A simple cloth napkin with a small crucifix, perhaps some prayer cards and a tea light candle can be a dignified, if diminutive prayer corner. Having a dedicated space will be a reminder of, and an invitation to prayer whenever you see it.

 

Use Catholic Holy Cards as Bookmarks

7. Use prayers or holy cards as bookmarks

This is particularly useful for students: keep your place in books with prayers or holy cards and before you start reading pause to pray. Some Saints’ cards you might consider are St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, especially when studying, St. Josemaria, and St. Joseph the Worker for your business reading.

8. Change your wallpaper

You know that giant background on your computer, iPad, or phone? You can change that. Consider finding an image that reminds you of prayer, or even using a free website or app to add a simple prayer to your favorite image. Some of these really short prayers might work well.

 

 

desktop-with-holy-cards-and-prayer-txt-file

9. Put an icon & prayer on your computer desktop

Another option is simply saving a holy image right to your computer’s desktop. Most computers can be set to show a preview of files, and you’ll have a small icon (in a couple senses) right on your desktop. You can also copy-and-paste prayers into simple text files or word documents and save right to your desktop.

10. Pray while exercising

My very favorite exercise is simply walking outdoors. I usually go on several walks every day, and nearly always pray the Rosary on my first walk. In my experience, being in the gym and lifting weights isn’t an environment well suited to lengthy prayer times – but if you’re a runner or enjoy walks like I do, try praying a rosary instead of cranking up the music or podcasts next time.

11. Turn your commute into adoration

No, you probably shouldn’t set up a mobile adoration chapel but if you live in a city where your commute is a nightmare, consider stopping by a church and praying for a few minutes rather than sitting at the office or in traffic. The traffic will be there, you may not be home until later anyway, so check for churches that may be along your commute and see if you might be able to spend some time in God’s presence.

 

12. Put a holy water font by your door

My father and mother-in-law recently gave my wife and me this beautiful little holy water font which belonged to my wife’s grandmother. I promptly installed it by our front door and more than being a family heirloom, it serves as a reminder to invoke the name of the Holy Trinity every time we are coming or going from our home. If your in-laws aren’t as great as mine, you can always find holy water fonts at local Catholic shops or even online.

 

Put holy cards on your desk to remind you of prayer

13. Place a holy card on your desk

Spend a lot of time at a desktop computer? Consider keeping a holy card taped to the computer monitor’s bezel, or propped up in the keyboard by the otherwise totally useless “function” keys. Or, simply place it on the desk but beware of it simply getting lost in the shuffle of regular papers.

 

Moleskine-like prayer journal

14. Keep a weekly prayer journal

What I say: “Oh my! I’ll pray for you.” What actually I do: forget. What I say: “Oh, that sounds like a great oppourtunity, I’ll say a prayer for you!” What I actually do: forget. What I say: “I’m so sorry to hear that, I’ll pray for you.” What I actually do: forget. I’m sure you can’t possibly relate to this, but here’s the weapon I’ve used to (mostly) overcome this terrible vice: A prayer journal. It is nothing fancy, just a simple black moleskine-styled notebook. We keep two lists in the notebook, one for things for which we want to give thanks, and another for prayer requests. Each Sunday, we turn the page, and update the lists for the week. Now, when I tell someone “I’ll pray for you” I either do it instantly, or add it to our prayer journal for the week.

15. Set your homepage to a prayer

Change your browser’s homepage to a favorite prayer. Perhaps one of our lists, Father Z’s Prayer Before Connecting to the Internet, or something from EWTN’s page of prayers. Then whenever you open up your browser, pause for a brief prayer.

 

girl praying

16. Pray with your family

Finally, the number one thing you can do develop a habit of prayer is to create a culture of prayer in your family. Make a point of praying together before and after meals, pray the Angelus as a family at noon if you’re together, pray the Rosary after dinner, pray compline at the end of the day, etc. Make it a regular practice, and hold each other accountable. For a fantastic introduction to creating a culture of prayer in your home, we highly recommend this book filled with practical advice and ageless principles: The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home by David Clayton & Leila Marie Lawler.


Remember, these aren’t prescriptions which we think everyone must practice, just some ideas which have helped us keep prayer a regular part of our daily lives. If you have tips to share please do so in the comments below and we’ll highlight the best.

Night Holds No Terror: 7 of the Best Psalms to Pray Before Bed

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Compline via anglicanbreviary.net
Compline via anglicanbreviary.net

Listers, the Liturgy of the Hours is a gift from Sacred Tradition that allows the Faithful to truly pray without ceasing. Though quite complex, this rich tradition is basically the Psalms adorned with hymns and other prayers. The Holy Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours are the only two public prayers of the Church. It is also interesting to note that under Canon Law, the Liturgy of the Hours is a requirement of all Roman Catholic priests and deacons. Though the Liturgy of the Hours has prayers for the entire day, the following list is a selection of Psalms from the prayers called Compline. Compline is “night prayer” and stems from the same Latin word as the word complete, because the prayers of Compline complete the day.

The following list highlights some of the more striking and thematic verses of the Compline psalms. Particularly after the Second Vatican Council, the psalms selected for compline thematically reflect the trust we have in God at the end of each day. We are going to sleep, and we pray that God may watch over us – even when we are surrounded by our enemies. The theme is perfectly captured by the antiphon: “Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.” May God grant all us of quiet night and a peaceful death.


 

 

Saturday Night (Sunday Vigil)

When I call, answer me, O God of Justice;
from anguish you released me;
have mercy and hear me!

O men, how long will your hearts be closed,
will you love what is futile and seek what is false?

[…]

“What can bring us happiness?” many say.
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord.

You have put into my heart a greater joy,
than they have from abundance of corn and new wine.1

 

Sunday Night

It is he who will free you from the snare
of the fowler who seeks to destroy you;
he will conceal you with his pinions
and under his wings you will find refuge.

You will not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day
nor the plague that prowls in the darkness
nor the scourge that lays waste at noon

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand fall at your right,
you, it will never approach
his faithfulness is buckler and shield.2

 

Monday Night

In the day of distress I will call
and surely you will reply.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;
nor work to compare with yours.

[…]

The proud have risen against me;
ruthless men seek my life:
to you they pay no heed.

But you, God of mercy and compassion,
slow to anger, O Lord,
abounding in love and truth,
turn and take pity me.3

 

Tuesday Night

The enemy pursues my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead, long forgotten
Therefore my Spirit fails;
my heart in numb within me.

[…]

Lord, make haste and answer;
for my spirit fails within me.
Do not hide your face
lest I become like those in the grave.4

 

Wednesday Night

My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchman count on daybreak
Let the watchman count on daybreak
and Israel on the Lord.

Because with the Lord there is mercy
and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem
from all its iniquity.5

 

Thursday Night

He has put into my heart a marvelous love
for the faithful ones who dwell in his land.
Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows.
Never will I offer their offerings of blood.
Never will I take their name upon my lips.

O Lord, it you who are my portion and cup;
it is you yourself who are my prize.
The lot marked out for me is my delight:
welcome indeed the heritage that falls to me!6

 

Friday Night

For my soul is filled with evils;
my life is on the brink of the grave.
I am reckoned as one in the tomb:
I have reached the end of my strength,

like one alone among the dead;
like the slain lying in their graves;
like those you remember no more,
cut off, as they are, from your hand.

[…]

Wretched, close to death from my youth,
I have borne your trials; I am numb.
Your fury has swept down upon me;
your terrors have utterly destroyed me.

They surround me all the day like a flood,
they assail me all together.
Friend and neighbor you have taken away:
my one companion is darkness.

 

Concluding Prayers

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee to we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

May almighty God grant us a quiet night and a peaceful death. Amen.

 

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Compline #prayer #catholic #catholicism #saints #jesus

A photo posted by St. Peter’s List (@stpeterslist) on

Night Prayer – #compline #prayer #catholic

A photo posted by St. Peter’s List (@stpeterslist) on

  1. Psalm 4; also read Psalm 134. []
  2. Psalm 91; the antiphon for this particular psalm is where this list draws its name: Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under God’s wings. []
  3. Psalm 86. []
  4. Psalms 143:1-11. []
  5. Psalm 130; read also Psalm 31:1-6. []
  6. Psalm 16. []

3 Explanations on Lenten Fasting from St. Thomas Aquinas

Listers, it is easy to become caught up in the rules for fasting and abstinence during Lent. Amidst navigating rules like a meal and two small snacks that do not equal a full meal, it very important to remember the purpose behind these practices of the Church.1 St. Thomas Aquinas offers three thoughts on fasting in his Meditations for Lent, which help us to recall the interior changes intended by the exterior acts.2

 

1. We fast for three reasons.

(i) To check the desires of the flesh. So St. Paul says in fastings, in chastity, meaning that fasting is a safeguard for chastity.3 As St. Jerome says, “Without Ceres, and Bacchus, Venus would freeze,” as much as to say that lust loses its heat through spareness of food and drink.

(ii) That the mind may more freely raise itself to contemplation of the heights. We read in the book of Daniel that it was after a fast of three weeks that he received the revelation from God.4

(iii) To make satisfaction for sin. This is the reason given by the prophet Joel, “Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting and in weeping and in mourning.”5 And here is what St. Augustine writes on the matter: “Fasting purifies the soul. It lifts up the mind, and it brings the body into subjection to the spirit. It makes the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of desire, puts out the flames of lust and the true light of chastity.”

 

2. We fast under a command.

For fasting helps to destroy sin, and to raise the mind to thoughts of the spiritual world. Each man is then bound, by the natural law of the matter, to fast just as much as is necessary to help him in these matters. Which is to say that fasting in general is a matter of natural law. To determine, however, when we shall fast and how, according to what suits and is of use to the Catholic body, is a matter of positive law. To state the positive law is the business of the bishops, and what is thus stated by them is called ecclesiastical fasting, in contradistinction with the natural fasting previously mentioned.

 

3. We fast in these times.

Fasting has two objects in view:

(i) The destruction of sin, and

(ii) the lifting of the mind to higher things.

The times self-indicated for fasting are then those in which men are especially bound to free themselves from sin and to raise their minds to God in devotion. Such a time especially is that which precedes that solemnity of Easter in which baptism is administered and sin thereby destroyed, and when the burial of Our Lord is recalled, for we are buried together with Christ by baptism into death.6 Then, too, at Easter most of all, men’s minds should be lifted, through devotion to the glory of that eternity which Christ in his resurrection inaugurated.

Wherefore the Church has decreed that immediately before the solemnity of Easter we must fast, and, for a similar reason, that we must fast on the eves of the principal feasts, setting apart those days as opportune to prepare ourselves for the devout celebration of the feasts themselves.

 

From Meditations and readings for Lent, the Thursday after Ash Wednesday.

  1. Rules for Fasting & Abstinence in Lent. []
  2. Mediations: The entire text is taken verbatim from St. Thomas Aquinas’ meditations with the titles added and the verses moved to footnotes. []
  3. 2 Cor. 6:5 []
  4. Dan. 10:2-4 []
  5. Joel 2:12 []
  6. Rom. 6:4 []

10 Really Short Prayers to Say During the Day

In his epistle to the Catholics in Thessalonica, St. Paul encouraged them to be in a constant state of prayer. He wrote, ‘Always rejoice. Pray without ceasing…’ Over the melliena since he wrote thats he Church has developed many short prayers that can be said throughout the day.

Listers, in his epistle to the Catholics in Thessalonica, St. Paul encouraged them to be in a constant state of prayer. He wrote, “Always rejoice. Pray without ceasing. In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all. Extinguish not the spirit.”1 In her attempt to follow this mandate, Holy Mother Church has over the centuries developed thousands of prayers and devotions for the Faithful to use. Along with the two public prayers of the Church – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass & the Liturgy of the Hours – there are plenty of incredible short invocations that a Catholic can whisper under his or her breath throughout the day. Whether its right before you walk in to give a presentation and you whisper Come Holy Spirit, or right after that car narrowly misses you on the highway and with a sigh of relief you say Domine non sum dignus. The opportunity to pray throughout the day is ever-present, but often times we are not sure what to pray. The following list is a primer of the many short prayers Catholics can say throughout the day for a variety of occasions.2

 

1. Come Holy Spirit

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Under the heading of Come Holy Spirit, the Catechism of the Catholic Church comments on this short invocation:

“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” Every time we begin to pray to Jesus it is the Holy Spirit who draws us on the way of prayer by his prevenient grace. Since he teaches us to pray by recalling Christ, how could we not pray to the Spirit too? That is why the Church invites us to call upon the Holy Spirit every day, especially at the beginning and the end of every important action.

If the Spirit should not be worshiped, how can he divinize me through Baptism? If he should be worshiped, should he not be the object of adoration?

The traditional form of petition to the Holy Spirit is to invoke the Father through Christ our Lord to give us the Consoler Spirit.23 Jesus insists on this petition to be made in his name at the very moment when he promises the gift of the Spirit of Truth.24 But the simplest and most direct prayer is also traditional, “Come, Holy Spirit,” and every liturgical tradition has developed it in antiphons and hymns.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.

Heavenly King, Consoler Spirit, Spirit of Truth, present everywhere and filling all things, treasure of all good and source of all life, come dwell in us, cleanse and save us, you who are All Good.

The Holy Spirit, whose anointing permeates our whole being, is the interior Master of Christian prayer. He is the artisan of the living tradition of prayer. To be sure, there are as many paths of prayer as there are persons who pray, but it is the same Spirit acting in all and with all. It is in the communion of the Holy Spirit that Christian prayer is prayer in the Church.

Though Come Holy Spirit is woven throughout many Catholic prayers, one of the more popular uses is in the following invocation:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.

R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.3

 

2. Thy will be done.

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The short prayer thy will be done invokes the prayer our Savior taught us – the Lord’s Prayer. Though saying the invocation softly under your breadth certainly calls to mind the entirely of the Lord’s Prayer, the specific line reads in full – thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.4

 

3. My God and my all.

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Deus meus et omnia! The short invocation my God and my all has a long history in the Church and currently serves as a motto within the Franciscan Order. The origin of the phrase from a Franciscan perspective comes from a story about St. Francis staying up all night in prayer. The good saint, “lifting up his eyes and hands to heaven, and saying, with great devotion and fervor: ‘My God, my God’. And so saying and weeping continually, he abode even until morning, always repeating: ‘My God, my God,’ and nothing else.”5

 

4. Domine non sum dignus.

1.51 seconds

The Domine non sum dignus prayer – Lord, I am not worthy – is a longstanding acknowledgement of one’s unworthiness to receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. While that is certainly its most proper context, it can be used during the week as we ask for grace or experience some unexpected mercy.

 

5. O Heart of Jesus, all for Thee.

1.73 seconds

This short petition to the Heart of Jesus certainly shares similar characteristics to the prayers uttered in the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. While this specific line is not mentioned, any of the lines within the litany could also serve as short invocations. For example:

Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.

Many find the imagery surrounding the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to be stunning and certainly something on which it is worthy to mediate. These short invocations – though part of a larger devotion – can be an excellent way to incorporate the Sacred Heart into your day. Praying Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us is another excellent short invocation.

 

6. O God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

1.78 seconds

The short prayer is taken directly from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. The passage in pertinent part reads:

The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner.6

The phrase is also incorporated into the Jesus PrayerLord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner. While worthy of an entire independent conversation, the importance of the Jesus Prayer in Eastern Christianity is analogous to the prominence of the Hail Mary in the West. In Latin, this prayer reads – Domine Iesu Christe, Filius Dei, miserere me peccatorem.

 

7. Sit nomen Dómini benedíctum!

2.00 seconds

Blessed be the Name of the Lord! According to Fisheaters, “this prayer is a reparation for blasphemy. If one hears someone take the Name of the Lord in vain, it is good to say this prayer. The response to this prayer is “ex hoc nunc, et usque in sæculum!” (“from this time forth for evermore!”) or “per ómnia saecula saeculórum” (“unto ages of ages”).”7

 

8. All you holy men and women of God, pray for us.

2.18 seconds

Along with this invocation to all of the saints, any petition to any saint serves as an excellent short prayer. Which saint should you have pray for you? Each saint has a patronage over some area in life. St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron of academics and often prayed to by students and professors alike. St. Ambrose is a patron of students but also of bee keepers and domestic animals. St. Catherina of Siena is the patron against fire, miscarriages, and sexual temptation. Do not make the mistake the protestants do. Saints are not demigods over certain aspects of Creation. Imagine you struggle with alcoholism and you have a friend who did as well but has now been sober for over twenty years. Would you not go to him for prayer? His experience and virtue in this area seasons his prayers to God. He is intimately aware of the struggles you face. So too with the patronages of the saints. Their purview is predicated according to their experiences they had in life. A student does not pray to St. Thomas Aquinas, because the Angelic Doctor is the demigod of academics. He prays to him because his experience and virtue in academics lends him an excellent soul to join the student in prayer before God. Invoking the saints and particularly your personal patron saint throughout the day is an excellent practice.

 

9. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

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Do not overlook this prayer. Like all commonly used prayers, it is in danger of becoming hackneyed. Invoking the Most Holy Trinity and making the sign of the cross is an excellent way to for a Catholic to bless themselves as they go about their day.

 

10. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

3.61 seconds

A wonderful prayer from the Roman Rituale included in both litanies and in prayers used while saying the Holy Rosary.

 

***********

More on Prayer

  1. I Thess. 5:16-19, DR. []
  2. Timing of Prayers: The prayers are listed in order from shortest to longest, and the timing is certainly not scientific – unless you count sitting at a coffee shop with an iPhone timer scientific. []
  3. Latin: Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium: et tui amoris in eis ignem accende. V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur. R. Et renovabis faciem terrae. Oremus. Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere; et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. []
  4. Catechism of the Catholic Church (“CCC”) on the Lord’s Prayer. []
  5. Source: The Story of Deus meus et Omnia in the Franciscan Tradition. []
  6. Luke 18:11-13, DR. []
  7. Fisheaters – A handful of the prayers in this list were adopted from the longer list of short invocations listed on the traditional Catholic site Fisheaters. []

Demons, Beer, & Breastfeeding – The Top 14 Catholic Lists of 2014

Listers, thank you for another incredible year. The popular lists of 2014 are certainly diverse. Prayers for your workday, types of demonic activity, and sacred images of breastfeeding are all among this year’s finalists. The following is the third annual “top” list in the history of St. Peter’s List (“SPL”). To compare the popular trends of 2014 to past years, see Catholic Countdown: The Top 20 Lists of 2012 and Top 10 Most Popular Catholic Lists of 2013.

 

Father Amorth, exorcist for the Diocese of Rome via Trailer - Amorth L'esorcista, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfGuu2S6DS4.
Father Amorth, exorcist for the Diocese of Rome via Trailer – Amorth L’esorcista, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfGuu2S6DS4.

14. Fr. Amorth on the 4 Types of Curses

Father Gabriele Amorth claims to have performed over 70,000 exorcisms from 1986 to 2010. The good priest serves as an exorcist for the Diocese of Rome and is the founder and honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists. He has written two books: An Exorcist Tells His Story & An Exorcist: More Stories. And yes, his favorite movie is The Exorcist. In An Exorcist Tells His Story, the good father lays out the four types of curses:

1. Black Magic – Witchcraft – Satanic Rites
2. Curses, Simply
3. The Evil Eye
4. The Spell (aka Malefice or Hex)

The exorcist explains, “Curse is a generic word. It is commonly defined as ‘harming others through demonic intervention’… In my opinion, spells and witchcraft are two different types of curses. I do not claim to give a comprehensive explanation, and I rely solely on my own experience when I defend the following forms of curses.”

 

Ordinary Form, Ad Orientem. - Southern Orders, http://southernorderspage.blogspot.com.
Ordinary Form, Ad Orientem. – Southern Orders, http://southernorderspage.blogspot.com.

13. Facing God: 10 Advantages of Ad Orientem

SPL was delighted that a liturgical list made the top 14 lists of 2014, especially this one exploring the benefits of Ad Orientem. The list explains the basics of ad orientem, lists the benefits of the ancient practice as articulated by a wonderful priest, and gives several “bonus” ad orientem memes. The list explains, “Ad Orientem is Latin for to the east and refers to the direction the priest faces during the mass. Catholic churches are traditionally built facing the East, because, as Cardinal Ratzinger taught, this direction reflects the ‘cosmic sign of the rising sun which symbolizes the universality of God.’ The priest facing the altar is also referred to as Ad Deum, which is Latin for to God… While the ancient liturgies did speak of the priest turning and “facing the people” during certain parts of the mass, the concept of celebrating the entire mass versus populum is arguably an invention of the 1970’s, an invention that stands in direct contradistinction to the Church’s ancient traditions.”

 

Musical Notation Old Book

12. Glory of Rome: 5 Latin Hymns Every Catholic Should Know

Though published in August of 2012, this list of hymns in Latin gained immense popularity in 2014. In contrast, its counterpart article covering the five English hymns every Catholic should know – which was the nineteenth most popular list in 2012 and the ninth in 2013 – failed to make the 2014 list. Moreover, the third installment of SPL’s study of hymns, a collection covering Byzantine hymns, has yet to break into any annual top list. As with the ad orientem list, SPL is delighted to see lists with a liturgical focus rise in popularity, especially one revolving around the importance of Latin.

 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Chile.  Figura de la Virgen del Carmen de Chile, en el Templo Votivo de Maipú. La imagen fue donada por la Sra. Rosalía Mujíca de Gutiérrez el 16 de diciembre de 1956.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Chile. Figura de la Virgen del Carmen de Chile, en el Templo Votivo de Maipú. La imagen fue donada por la Sra. Rosalía Mujíca de Gutiérrez el 16 de diciembre de 1956.

11. The 6 Things You Should Know about the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

“Modern heretics make a mockery of wearing the Scapular, they decry it as so much trifling nonsense,” says St. Alphonsus. Published during January of 2013, SPL’s list on the Brown Scapular explains the devotion, the marian history behind the practice, and the inseparable relationship between the Brown Scapular and the Holy Rosary. One of the more unique aspects of the Brown Scapular is the promise behind it. The list explains, “On July 16th 1251 the Blessed Mary made this promise to Saint Simon Stock: ‘Take this Scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.’ She continues, ‘Wear the Scapular devoutly and perseveringly. It is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.'” Though incredibly common among most Latin Mass communities, the devotion has plummeted after the Second Vatican Council and is almost non-existent among the Novus Ordo parishes. Since the list is written as a primer to the Brown Scapular, it makes an excellent way to introduce your fellow parishioners or your entire parish to this wonderful devotion.

 

Anónimo Inferno (ca. 1520)
Anónimo Inferno (ca. 1520)

10. The 6 Types of Extraordinary Demonic Activity

The wisdom of Father Amorth finds another place amongst the top lists of 2014. Published in 2011, the list categorizing different types of extraordinary demonic activity was among the first lists to be published on SPL. The good exorcist first distinguishes among ordinary and extraordinary demonic activity. The former is simply temptation, while the latter can fall into any of the six different categories listed below:

1. External Physical Pain Caused by Satan
2. Demonic Possession
3. Diabolical Oppression
4. Diabolic Obsession
5. Diabolic Infestation
6. Diabolical Subjugation, or Dependence

Fr. Amorth’s work strives to remind everyone – especially priests and bishops – that demonic activity is real, and those suffering under its effects should be able to find help within Holy Mother Church. He calls upon the Church to restore the Office of the Exorcist to every diocese, and he reminds the faithful that the best defense against the demonic is the sacramental life.

 

Mary bw banner

9. The 8 Prayers Every Catholic Should Know in Latin

Standing as the twelfth most popular list in 2012 and the seventh in 2013, the collection of fundamental Latin prayers remains a mainstay on SPL. The introduction of the list gives a brief insight into the importance of Latin in the Roman Catholic Church – In 1978 Pope St. John Paul II said, “We exhort you all to lift up high the torch of Latin which is even today a bond of unity among peoples of all nations.” Even Vatican II and Pope John XXIII lauded Latin and asked that it remain the universal language of the Church; however, today the Roman Church has turned its back on Latin and blamed it on the ever-shifting spectre or “spirit” of Vatican II. In support of Latin as the sacred language of the Latin rite, SPL collected 14 quotes on the importance of Latin in the Church, which includes many quotes from Vatican II documents and from post-Vatican II popes. Continuing in this proper understanding of Sacred Tradition, it is only fitting that the listers have a list to help them develop their use of Latin. The collected prayers are all the prayers one would need to pray the Holy Rosary in Latin.

 

Nichols Punch Meme 2

8. When Santa Punched a Heretic in the Face: 13 Memes on St. Nicholas

Published in 2013 and skyrocketing to the most popular list of that year, the SPL list on Santa Claus recounts the story of St. Nicholas slapping the heretic Arius at the Council of Nicea, AD 325. The universal draw of this story is evident in the fact this list is virtually only shared throughout Christmastime, but remains one of the most popular articles on SPL. Along with humorous memes, the list articulates the historic account of “Santa Claus.” According to the introduction, “St. Nicholas was born in AD 270 and became the Bishop of Myra in Lycia (modern day Turkey). He died on December 6, 343 leaving a legacy that would grow into a strong and multifaceted cult. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of ‘Saint Nikolaos.’ Although he is usually referred to as Sinterklaas, he is also known as De Goedheiligman (The Good Holy Man), Sint Nicolaas (Saint Nicholas) or simply as De Sint (The Saint). His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints. The actual feast day of St. Nicholas is December 6th.” Though wrapped in a lighthearted package, the list helps educate the Faithful on the actual narrative of St. Nicholas in order to better participate in the full tradition of Christmastime.

 

St. Josemaria Escriva.
St. Josemaria Escriva.

7. St. Josemaria’s 17 Signs of a Lack of Humility

Published in early of 2013, this list focused on humility rose to the third most popular list of that year. As the introduction implies, the ascension of Pope Francis to the Throne of St. Peter was the main impetus for the article and for the interest surrounding the list. His Holiness Pope Francis has made the Church contemplate the virtue of humility and the qualities of true humility. St. Josemaria’s list is not an easy read. In fact, the list could operate as an examination of conscience in the area of pride. As the list states, humility is a virtue which we all ought to develop to bring ourselves in greater conformity with Christ as we seek “to temper and restrain the mind, lest it tend to high things immoderately.”

 

Credit: La Virgen de la Leche y Buen Parto, Facebook Group, edited.
Credit: La Virgen de la Leche y Buen Parto, Facebook Group, edited.

6. Our Lady of Milk: 20 Images of Mother Mary Nursing

Finishing as the second most popular list of 2013, the collection of images of Mother Mary nursing remains one of the most controversial lists on SPL. Despite the firestorm of opinions – whether over breastfeeding in general or nudity in Sacred Art – SPL’s original rationale for researching Our Lady of Milk remains strong – to support the beauty and importance of breastfeeding. As the 2013 introduction to the list explains: One factor was certainly the growing societal criticism of mothers who breastfed their children in public. The criticism of mothers breastfeeding had grown so loud within Western culture that even Pope Francis felt the need to publicly support mothers breastfeeding in public. The Holy Pontiff stated:

“There are so many children that cry because they are hungry. At the Wednesday General Audience the other day there was a young mother behind one of the barriers with a baby that was just a few months old. The child was crying its eyes out as I came past. The mother was caressing it. I said to her: “Madam, I think the child’s hungry.” “Yes, it’s probably time…,” she replied. “Please give it something to eat!” I said. She was shy and didn’t want to breastfeed in public, while the Pope was passing. I wish to say the same to humanity: give people something to eat! That woman had milk to give to her child; we have enough food in the world to feed everyone.”

Another factor is certainly North America’s Puritan culture being absolutely inexperienced with images of Mary’s breast. Though common in Latino/Hispanic cultures both in South America and in Europe, the images are quite foreign to many inside the United States.

 

Cardinal Burke visits the Sisters Adorers in Switzerland.
Cardinal Burke visits the Sisters Adorers in Switzerland.

5. Cardinal Burke: 15 Photos of this Wondrous Prince of the Church

As 2014 draws to a close, no other list has generated a more hate-filled, argumentative, and polarizing comment section than our simple photo gallery of His Eminence Cardinal Burke. Originally published in 2012, the list caught on fire toward the latter half of 2014 as rumors fueled expectations that Cardinal Burke would be demoted from Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. In November of 2014, Pope Francis did in fact remove Cardinal Burke from his position and appoint him as the Cardinal Patronus of the Military Order of Malta. The traditionalist communities saw this move as nothing less than the most humiliating thing done to a Cardinal by a Pope in modern times, while the so-called progressive camps openly cheered the move as a clear papal rebuke of Cardinal Burke’s tone and style. As far as SPL goes, His Eminence Cardinal Burke is still held in utmost respect, and we agree with Pope Benedict XVI that good Cardinal is one of the best amongst the College. Hopefully, his new relationship with the Order of Malta will provide him with more time and resources to write and travel.

 

Angelus by Jean-François Millet.
Angelus by Jean-François Millet.

4. The 8 Prayers to Help You through the Workday

Another wonderful list of prayers makes it into the top lists of 2014. Published in 2012 and flying under the radar until 2014, the article submits practical prayers that could be said throughout the workday. SPL author Catherine explains, “Ora et Labora (“Pray and Work” to the layman), the motto of the Benedictine order shouldn’t just be used for those called to the consecrated life, but it needs to be ascribed for all Catholics in every walk of life, especially those in the workforce. I recently entered into the realm of the working mother, and I can honestly say that I have never been so busy in all my life. Being a working mother I have discovered that balancing the various duties I have between work and home can drive a woman to the point of screaming at the top of her lungs “SERENITY NOW!!!!” (If you are a Seinfeld fan you know what I am talking about).” Memorize these prayers or bookmark this list on your work computer, and may the peace of Christ be with you always and everywhere.

 

Father Amorth, exorcist for the Diocese of Rome via Trailer - Amorth L'esorcista, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfGuu2S6DS4.
Father Amorth, exorcist for the Diocese of Rome via Trailer – Amorth L’esorcista, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfGuu2S6DS4.

3. The 5 Prayers Recommended by an Exorcist to Combat Evil

Without question, 2014 was a good year for the wisdom of Father Amorth. The third and final list drawn from his experience is a list of prayers that can help a person defend themselves from evil. The prayers are as follows:

1. Prayer Against Malefice from the Greek Ritual
2. Anima Christi
3. Prayer Against Every Evil
4. Prayer for Inner Healing
5. Prayer for Deliverance

In his book An Exorcist Tells His Story, Fr. Amorth stresses that the number one protection from evil is the Sacrament of Confession and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Often times people want esoteric rituals to deliver them from evil, when in reality what they need is to become right with God. Along with regular Confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist, these prayers should be coupled with Our Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

 

The Trappist Beers via Robin Vanspauwen/Bram Weyens
The Trappist Beers via Robin Vanspauwen/Bram Weyens

2. The 10 Authentic Trappist Ales

It is hard not to love beer made by monks. Originally posted in 2011 among the first wave of lists to hit SPL, the list climbed to the tenth most popular list of 2012. In 2013, the list included three new Trappist ales, and the expanded list landed at sixth in 2013. Continuing its growth in popularity, the list comes in as the second most popular list of 2014. The list explains what a Trappist ale is and the three conditions an ale must meet to be accepted into the official Trappist Association:

1. The beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by or under control of Trappist monks.
2. The brewery, the choices of brewing, and the commercial orientations must obviously depend on the monastic community.
3. The economic purpose of the brewery must be directed toward assistance and not toward financial profit.

The list then goes on to summarize each individual brewery that has been accepted into the official association and makes Trappist ale.

 

A selection of the front of the St. Benedict's Medal.
A selection of the front of the St. Benedict’s Medal.

1. The 7 Things You Must Know about St. Benedict’s Medal

In 2012, the top list was a collection of original SPL graphics that were designed to fight against the HHS mandate and other government overreaches into the life of the Church. In 2013, the top list was the story of how St. Nicholas punched the heretic Arius right in the face. In 2014, the top list is a primer on the incredible history and power of the St. Benedict’s Medal. Published in 2012, the list started slow but has steadily risen as one of the primary online articles explaining the medal. In 2013, it was the fourth most popular list, and in 2014, it well outpaced the other contenders to become the most popular list on SPL in 2014.

Front
Front

It is difficult to grasp the significance of the medal until one has an understanding of all the lettering. Both the front and back of the medal are rich in symbolism. Regarding the front, the list explains: One side of the medal bears an image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Round the margin of the medal stands the legend Ejus in obitu nostro praesentia muniamus (May we at our death be fortified by his presence). The list further articulates the history of the medal, the entirety of its symbolism, and what evils the medal is used to ward against. St. Benedict, patron against poison and witchcraft, pray for us.

 

Thank you listers for an incredible year. God bless.

5 Prayers Recommended by an Exorcist to Combat Evil

My Lord, you are all powerful, you are God, you are Father. We beg you through the intercession and help of the archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All saints of Heaven, come to our aid.

Exorcist Tells His StoryListers, Father Gabriele Amorth claims to have performed over 70,000 exorcisms from 1986 to 2010. The good priest serves as an exorcist for the Diocese of Rome and is the founder and honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists. He has written two books: An Exorcist Tells His Story & An Exorcist: More Stories. And yes, his favorite movie is The Exorcist.1

In his book An Exorcist Tells His Story, Fr. Amorth lists the following prayers to help combat evil; however, Fr. Amorth and many other priests have stressed that the number one protection from evil is the Sacrament of Confession and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Often times people want esoteric rituals to deliver them from evil, when in reality what they need is to become right with God.2 Along with regular Confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist, these prayers should be coupled with Our Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

 

Prayers of Deliverance

1. Prayer Against Malefice from the Greek Ritual

Kyrie eleison. God, our Lord, King of ages, All-powerful and All-mighty, You Who made everything and Who transform everything simply by Your will. You Who in Babylon changed into dew the flames of the ‘seven-times hotter’ furnace and protected and saved the three holy children. You are the doctor and the physician of our soul. You are the salvation of those who turn to You. We beseech You to make powerless, banish, and drive out every diabolic power, presence, and machination; every evil influence, malefice, or evil eye and all evil actions aimed against Your servant [name of person/s]. Where there is envy and malice, give us an abundance of goodness, endurance, victory, and charity. O Lord, You Who love man, we beg You to reach out Your powerful hands and Your most high and mighty arms and send the angel of peace over us, to protect us, body and soul. May he keep at bay and vanquish every evil power, every poison or malice invoked against us by corrupt and envious people. Then, under the protection of Your authority may we sing, in gratitude, ‘The Lord is my salvation; whom should I fear? I will not fear evil because You are with me, my God, my strength, my powerful Lord, Lord of peace, Father of all ages.”

Yes, Lord our God, be merciful to us, Your image, and save your servant [name of person/s] from every threat or harm from the evil one, and protect him/her by raising him/her above all evil. We ask You this through the intercession of our Most Blessed, glorious Lady, Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, of the most splendid archangels and all Your saints. Amen!

 

2. Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ, inebriate me; Water from the side of Christ, wash me; Passion of Christ, strengthen me; O good Jesus, hear me; within Thy wounds, hide me; let me never be separated from Thee; from the evil one, deliver me; at the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to Thee, that with Thy saints, I may praise Thee forever and ever. Amen.

 

3. Prayer Against Every Evil

Spirit of our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Most Holy Trinity, Immaculate Virgin Mary, angels, archangels, and saints of heaven, descend upon me. Please purify me, Lord, mold me, fill me with yourself, use me.

Banish all the forces of evil from me, destroy them, vanish them, so that I can be healthy and do good deeds.

Banish from me all spells, witchcraft, black magic, malefice, ties, maledictions, and the evil eye; diabolic infestations, oppressions, possessions; all that is evil and sinful, jealously, perfidy, envy; physical, psychological, moral, spiritual, diabolical aliments.

Burn all these evils in hell, that they may never again touch me or any other creature in the entire world.

I command and bid all the power who molest me – by the power of God all powerful, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary – to leave me forever, and to be consigned into the everlasting hell, where they will be bound by Saint Michael the archangel, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, our guardian angels, and where they will be crushed under the heel of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen.

 

4. Prayer for Inner Healing

Lord Jesus, You came to heal our wounded and troubled hearts. I beg You to heal the torments that cause anxiety in my heart; I beg You, in a particular way, to heal all who are the cause of sin. I beg You to come into my life and heal me of the psychological harms that struck me in my early years and from the injuries that they caused through my life.

Lord Jesus, You know my burdens. I lay them all on Your Good Shepherd’s Heart. I beseech You – by the merits of the great, open wound in Your heart-to heal the small wounds that are in mine. Heal the pain of my memories, so that nothing that has happened to me will cause me to remain in pain and anguish, filled with anxiety.

Heal, O Lord, all those wounds that have been the cause of all the evil that is rooted in my life. I want to forgive all those who have offended me. Look to those inner sores that make me unable to forgive. You Who came to forgive the afflicted of heart, please, heal my own heart.

Heal, my Lord Jesus, those intimate wounds that cause me physical illness. I offer You my heart. Accept it, Lord, purify it and give me the sentiments of Your Divine Heart. Help me to be meek and humble.

Heal me, O Lord, from the pain caused by the death of my loved ones, which is oppressing me. Grant me to regain peace and joy in the knowledge that You are the Resurrection and the Life. Make me an authentic witness to Your Resurrection, Your victory over sin and death, Your living presence among us. Amen.

 

5. Prayer for Deliverance

My Lord, you are all powerful, you are God, you are Father. We beg you through the intercession and help of the archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All saints of Heaven, come to our aid.

From anxiety, sadness and obsessions, we beg You. Free us, O Lord.
From hatred, fornication, envy, we beg You, Free us, O Lord.
From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death, we beg You, Free us, O Lord.
From every thought of suicide and abortion, we beg You, Free us, O Lord.
From every form of sinful sexuality, we beg You, Free us, O Lord.
From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship, we beg You, Free us, O Lord.
From every sort of spell, malefic, witchcraft, and every form of the occult, we beg You,
Free us, O Lord.

Lord, You Who said, “I leave you peace, My peace I give you,” grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every evil spell and enjoy your peace always. In the name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Please remember the best defense against evil is a well-ordered and holy soul. Regular confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist is a person’s greatest refuge. Also remember these prayers for deliverance should be coupled with Our Lord’s Prayer and the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

 

More on Father Amorth & Evil

The 4 Types of Curses
The 6 Types of Extraordinary Demonic Activity

  1. For citations and more information on Fr. Amorth, visit Fr. Gabriele Amorth. []
  2. Amorth, Fr. Gabriel. An Exorcist Tells His Story 1999, San Francisco. Ignatius Press, pp. 199-203. []

Why Does God Not Grant All Our Prayers? – 27 Basic Questions on Prayer

Mental prayer, called meditation, in which we spend the time thinking of God or of one or more of the truths He has revealed, that by these thoughts we may be persuaded to lead holier lives.

Listers, the following lesson is taken from the Baltimore Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism was the standard catechism of teaching the faith and catechizing children from 1885 to Vatican II. Its basic question-and-answer approach is the most natural learning style for the human mind and simplifies even the most complex theological questions. Please visit The Baltimore Catechism to view all the lists SPL has published from this great text.

 

 

LESSON TWENTY-EIGHTH
On Prayer
1098-1124

 

Q. 1098. Is there any other means of obtaining God’s grace than the Sacraments?

A. There is another means of obtaining God’s grace, and it is prayer.

 

Q. 1099. What is prayer?

A. Prayer is the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God, to adore Him, to thank Him for His benefits, to ask His forgiveness, and to beg of Him all the graces we need whether for soul or body.

 

Q. 1100. How many kinds of prayer are there?

A. There are two kinds of prayer:

Mental prayer, called meditation, in which we spend the time thinking of God or of one or more of the truths He has revealed, that by these thoughts we may be persuaded to lead holier lives; Vocal prayer, in which we express these pious thoughts in words.

 

Q. 1101. Why is mental prayer most useful to us?

A. Mental prayer is most useful to us because it compels us, while we are engaged in it, to keep our attention fixed on God and His holy laws and to keep our hearts and minds lifted up to Him.

 

Q. 1102. How can we make a meditation?

A. We can make a meditation:

By remembering that we are in the presence of God;
By asking the Holy Ghost to give us grace to benefit by the meditation;
By reflecting seriously on some sacred truth regarding our salvation;
By drawing some good resolution from the thoughts we have had; and
By thanking God for the knowledge and grace bestowed on us through the meditation.

 

Q. 1103. Where may we find subjects or points for meditation?

A. We may find the subjects or points for meditation in the words of the Our Father, Hail Mary or Apostles’ Creed; also in the questions and answers of our Catechism, in the Holy Bible, and in books of meditation.

 

Q. 1104. Is prayer necessary to salvation?

A. Prayer is necessary to salvation, and without it no one having the use of reason can be saved.

 

Q. 1105. At what particular times should we pray?

A. We should pray particularly on Sundays and holy days, every morning and night, in all dangers, temptations, and afflictions.

 

Q. 1106. How should we pray?

A. We should pray:

With attention;
With a sense of our own helplessness and dependence upon God;
With a great desire for the graces we beg of God;
With trust in God’s goodness;
With perseverance.

 

Q. 1107. What should our attention at prayer be?

A. Our attention at prayer should be threefold, namely, attention to the words, that we may say them correctly and distinctly; attention to their meaning, if we understand it, and attention to God, to whom the words are addressed.

 

Q. 1108. What should be the position of the body when we pray?

A. At prayer the most becoming position of the body is kneeling upright, but whether we pray kneeling, standing or sitting, the position of the body should always be one indicating reverence, respect and devotion. We may pray even lying down or walking, for Our Lord Himself says we should pray at all times.

 

Q. 1109. What should we do that we may pray well?

A. That we may pray well we should make a preparation before prayer:

By calling to mind the dignity of God, to whom we are about to speak, and our own unworthiness to appear in His presence;
By fixing upon the precise grace or blessing for which we intend to ask;
By remembering God’s power and willingness to give if we truly need and ,earnestly, humbly and confidently ask.

 

Q. 1110. Why does God not always grant our prayers?

A. God does not always grant our prayers for these and other reasons:

Because we may not pray in the proper manner; That we may learn our dependence on Him, prove our confidence in Him, and merit rewards by our patience and perseverance in prayer. Prudent persons do not grant every request; why, then, should God do so?

 

Q. 1111. What assurance have we that God always hears and rewards our prayers, though He may not grant what we ask?

A. We have the assurance of Our Lord Himself that God always hears and rewards our prayers, though He may not grant what we ask; for Christ said: “Ask and it shall be given you,” and “if you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you.”

 

Q. 1112. Which are the prayers most recommended to us?

A. The prayers most recommended to us are the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Apostles’ Creed, the Confiteor, and the Acts of Faith, Hope, Love, and Contrition.

 

Q. 1113. Are prayers said with distractions of any avail?

A. Prayers said with willful distraction are of no avail.

 

Q. 1114. Why are prayers said with willful distraction of no avail?

A. Prayers said with willful distraction are of no avail because they are mere words, such as a machine might utter, and since there is no lifting up of the mind or heart with them they cannot be prayer.

 

Q. 1115. Do, then, the distractions which we often have at prayer deprive our prayers of all merit?

A. The distractions which we often have at prayer do not deprive our prayers of all merit, because they are not willful when we try to keep them away, for God rewards our good intentions and the efforts we make to pray well.

 

Q. 1116. What, then, is a distraction?

A. A distraction is any thought that, during prayer, enters our mind to turn our thoughts and hearts from God and from the sacred duty we are performing.

 

Q. 1117. What are the fruits of prayer?

A. The fruits of prayer are:

It strengthens our faith,
nourishes our hope,
increases our love for God,
keeps us humble,
merits grace and atones for sin.

 

Q. 1118. Why should we pray when God knows our needs?

A. We pray not to remind God or tell Him of what we need, but to acknowledge that He is the Supreme Giver, to adore and worship Him by showing our entire dependence upon Him for every gift to soul or body.

 

Q. 1119. What little prayers may we say even at work?

A. Even at work we may say little aspirations such as “My God, pardon my sins; Blessed be the Holy Name of Jesus; Holy Spirit, enlighten me; Holy Mary, pray for me,” etc.

 

Q. 1120. Did Our Lord Himself pray, and why?

A. Our Lord Himself very frequently prayed, often spending the whole night in prayer. He prayed before every important action, not that He needed to pray, but to set us an example of how and when we should pray.

 

Q. 1121. Why does the Church conclude most of its prayers with the words “through Jesus Christ Our Lord”?

A. The Church concludes most of its prayers with the words “through Jesus Christ Our Lord” because it is only through His merits that we can obtain grace, and because “there is no other name given to men whereby we must be saved.”

 

Q. 1122. Was any special promise made in favor of the united prayers of two or more persons?

A. A special promise was made in favor of the united prayers of two or more persons when Our Lord said: “Where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Therefore, the united prayers of a congregation, sodality or family, and, above all, the public prayers of the whole Church, have great influence with God. We should join in public prayers out of true devotion, and not from habit, or, worse, to display our piety.

 

Q. 1123. What is the most suitable place for prayer?

A. The most suitable place for prayer is in the Church — the house of prayer — made holy by special blessings and, above all, by the Real Presence of Jesus dwelling in the Tabernacle. Still, Our Lord exhorts us to pray also in secret, for His Father, who seeth in secret, will repay us.

 

Q. 1124. For what should we pray?

A. We should pray:

For ourselves, for the blessings of soul and body that we may be devoted servants of God;
For the Church, for all spiritual and temporal wants, that the true faith may be everywhere known and professed;
For our relatives, friends and benefactors, particularly for those we may in any way have injured;
For all men, for the protection of the good and conversion of the wicked, that virtue may flourish and vice disappear;
For our spiritual rulers, the Pope, our bishops, priests and religious communities, that they may faithfully perform their sacred duties;
For our country and temporal rulers, that they may use their power for the good of their subjects and for the honor and glory of God.

Angelic Warfare Confraternity: 37 Questions on this Sacred Pact

The Angelic Warfare Confraternity is supernatural brotherhood or fellowship of men and women bound to one another in love and dedicated to pursuing and promoting chastity together under the powerful patronage St. Thomas Aquinas and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

1. What is a Confraternity?

A Confraternity is a supernatural brotherhood or fellowship of men and women who make a sacred pact to pursue some good together in the Church. A Confraternity is a bond of love serving some good and holy purpose, and reflecting the communion of the Holy Trinity.

 

2. Why make such a pact?

Because some goods are easier to pursue together rather than alone.

 

3. Does the Church recognize such a pact and brotherhood?

Yes, a Confraternity is an organization officially recognized by the Church.

 

4. Who is in on the pact?

Both heaven and earth are in on it. The Church has the authority to establish special, supernatural bonds between people on earth and Saints in heaven (traditionally known as “patronage”).

 

5. What is the Angelic Warfare Confraternity?

The Angelic Warfare Confraternity is supernatural brotherhood or fellowship of men and women bound to one another in love and dedicated to pursuing and promoting chastity together under the powerful patronage St. Thomas Aquinas and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

6. Is St. Thomas Aquinas a powerful patron for those who pursue chastity?

Yes. He is an extremely powerful patron for those seeking to live a chaste life.

 

7. Why is St. Thomas Aquinas so powerful when it comes to pursuing chastity?

St. Thomas Aquinas is powerful because in his own life he received a special grace of chastity and purity and is ready now in heaven to share it with others. St. Thomas Aquinas was born in 1226 as the youngest son of a noble family in Italy. His parents wanted him to become a Benedictine so that he might one day secure the prestigious title of abbot. But at the age of eighteen he instead joined the Dominicans – a group that at the time was new and had no social prestige. His parents so vehemently opposed his decision to become a Dominican that they had him arrested and jailed in one of the family castles. They would not release him until he relented, and many times attempted to persuade him to change his mind. For a full year he refused to relent, and instead quietly studied the bible. Finally, after becoming tired of waiting, the brothers of St. Thomas conceived one last plan. They were certain that physical temptation would drive him to break his vow of chastity, after which he would surely abandon his religious vocation.

So one night, the brothers introduced a scantily clad prostitute into the room where St. Thomas was being held. The plan did not work as intended. Immediately, St. Thomas snatched a burning brand from the hearth, drove the woman out of the room, slammed the door behind her, and emblazoned the sign of the cross on the door with the red-hot brand. He then fell to his knees with tears of thanksgiving and prayed to be preserved in his chastity, purity, and intention to live the religious life.

According to the records of his canonization, Thomas at once fell into a mystical sleep and had a vision. Two angels came to him from heaven and bound a cord around his waist, saying, “On God’s behalf, we gird you with the girdle of chastity, a girdle which no attack will ever destroy.” In the records of his canonization, many different witnesses who knew St. Thomas at different points in his life remarked about his evidently high degree of purity and chastity. The angels’ gift preserved St. Thomas from sexual temptation and bestowed upon him an enduring purity that ennobled all his thoughts and actions. Pope Pius XI wrote: “If St. Thomas had not been victorious when his chastity was in peril, it is very probable that the Church would never have had her Angelic Doctor.”

Over his lifetime, St. Thomas’s conduct revealed that he had indeed received a special grace of chastity and purity – a grace that he is now ready to share with others through the communion of saints.

 

8. Why is this Confraternity called the “Angelic Warfare”?

It is called by this title in honor of St. Thomas being girded by the angels. But the name is also appropriate because the pursuit of chastity is often a fierce struggle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world, the flesh, and the devil all work together to destroy chastity. The Holy Spirit, the good angels, and the Confraternity work together to build up chastity.

 

9. When was the Confraternity founded?

The Confraternity began to grow in different parts of Europe in the 1400′s, and was officially founded for the whole Church in 1727 by Pope Benedict XII. It is one of the ancient Confraternities of the Dominican Order.

 

Banner from the AWC website.
Banner from the AWC website.

 

10. Have any Saints or Blesseds belonged to this Confraternity?

Various Saints and Blesseds, such as St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Blessed Columba Rieti and Blessed Stephana Quinzan (who actively promoted the Confraternity among women), have belonged to this Confraternity.

 

11. In this warfare, what are the three essential practices of the Confraternity?

The three essential practices are:

i. Enrollment and Registration. In the enrollment ceremony, a Dominican priest confers the blessing upon the cord and medal of St. Thomas Aquinas and the person who will wear it. The name of the person enrolled and place of the enrollment ceremony goes into the official Register.

ii. Wearing either the blessed cord of St. Thomas or blessed medal of St. Thomas (or both) as continuously as one reasonably can for the rest of one’s life.

iii. Daily prayers for purity for oneself and all the members of the Confraternity. The daily prayers consist of two special prayers for chastity and fifteen Hail Mary’s.

 

12. What is the cord of St. Thomas?

The cord of St. Thomas is a thin cord with fifteen knots in it and blessed by a Dominican priest. It is worn around the waist underneath one’s clothing.

 

13. Is there also a medal of St. Thomas?

Yes, the medal has on one side it has the image of St. Thomas being girded by the angels, and on the other side it has the image of Our Lady of the Rosary. It too is blessed by a Dominican priest. It is worn like any other medal.

 

14. Can only a Dominican priest bless the cord and medal of St. Thomas?

The Church has reserved the blessing of the cord and medal of St. Thomas to the Dominican Order. Therefore, only Dominican priests, or priests with authorization from the Director of the Confraternity, can give this blessing.

 

15. How can a non-Dominican priest obtain authorization to confer the blessing of the cord and medal of St. Thomas?

By contacting the Director of the Confraternity: director@angelicwarfare.org

 

16. Do members commit to wearing the blessed cord or medal of St. Thomas continuously for the rest of their life?

Yes, all Confraternity members wear the blessed cord or medal as continuously as reasonably possible for the rest of their lives. The cord or medal or both are also worn while bathing and sleeping.

 

17. Can I ever take off the cord or medal?

Confraternity members use their common sense and prudence. Sometimes, there are circumstances that require one to remove the cord or medal, e.g. during surgery, during athletic events, perhaps during intimate moments in marriage, etc.. When such circumstances pass, the members put the cord or medal back on. Experience reveals the advantages of wearing the blessed cord or medal as continuously as possible.

 

18. What is so special about the blessed cord and medal of St. Thomas?

The blessing of a cord and medal of St. Thomas is special because it is, in effect, a blessing of one’s human sexuality.

 

19. Please explain how the Church can bless my human sexuality.

One’s human sexuality consists of all those natural and personal instincts, desires, and emotions that tend toward love, relationships, marriage, and the procreation and education of children. This intimate structure within each of us is naturally a source of joy and new life for human beings. But on account of the wounds of original sin there is also a disturbance in our human sexuality. We are weak, vulnerable to temptation, and are prone to act on sexual impulses outside of the right time and place rather than to act in accord with wisdom and seek the higher good. When the priest blesses the cord and medal of St. Thomas, the priest says: “may all who wear these cords and medals be purified from all uncleanness of mind and body” and later on: “May the Lord gird you with the cincture of purity and by the merits of St. Thomas extinguish within you every evil desire…” Through the priest’s words of blessing, the Spirit of Christ comes not only upon the cord and medal, but also to the person who will wear them. The Spirit comes to address the wounds of original sin as they afflict the man or woman’s human sexuality. The Spirit comes to move the whole person down the often long road of healing, liberation, and growth in chastity.

 

20. What do you mean by the long road of healing, liberation, and growth in chastity?

Chastity, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, is a quality of one’s being. It is an abiding orderliness among all of one’s sexual instincts, emotions, thoughts, and aims. As a result of having this abiding inner orderliness, one’s sexual impulses do not control the person but the person controls his or her sexual impulses with ease and joy. The chaste person is thus free to live out his or her sexuality in a way that leads to true happiness and avoids counterfeit happiness. Chastity comes from grace and the practice of self-control. Without it, people tend to fall into sexual sin and contract still further physical, psychological, and spiritual wounds. These wounds conspire to make self-control still harder. Chastity is often, therefore, something one arrives at over time. There is a road to chastity. It can be a hard road with many falls and frequent repentance. But it is a road that gradually frees the person from enslavement to sexual impulses and leads a man or woman to a happy self-mastery.

 

21. Does joining the Confraternity bring healing for the wounds of past sexual sin?

Yes, but not without one’s cooperation. The Holy Spirit moves in the Confraternity to heal members of the wounds of their sexual sins. One of the daily prayers says: “if I have ever imagined or felt anything that can stain my chastity and purity, blot it out, Supreme Lord of my powers, that I may advance with a pure heart…” This is a prayer for inner healing, and so members daily pray for the healing of wounds of sexual sin. Experience has proven that this prayer works, but not in a way that one might imagine at first hearing it. Rather than all the memories and wounds of past sin simply vanishing, the Holy Spirit gradually works a deep and very personal process of inner renewal and renovation of the heart. There is such a thing as a new innocence.

 

22. What are the two special prayers for chastity that members say daily?

The Prayer to St. Thomas for Purity

Chosen lily of innocence, pure St. Thomas,
who kept chaste the robe of baptism
and became an angel in the flesh after being girded by two angels,
I implore you to commend me to Jesus, the Spotless Lamb,
and to Mary, the Queen of Virgins.
Gentle protector of my purity, ask them that I,
who wear the holy sign of your victory over the flesh,
may also share your purity,
and after imitating you on earth
may at last come to be crowned with you among the angels. Amen.

The Prayer of St. Thomas for Purity

Dear Jesus,I know that every perfect gift,
and especially that of chastity,
depends on the power of Your providence.
Without You a mere creature can do nothing.
Therefore, I beg You to defend by Your grace
the chastity and purity of my body and soul.
And if I have ever sensed or imagined anything
that could stain my chastity and purity,
blot it out, Supreme Lord of my powers,
that I may advance with a pure heart in Your love and service,
offering myself on the most pure altar of Your divinity
all the days of my life. Amen.

 

23. What other prayers do Confraternity members say on a daily basis?

In honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, they say fifteen Hail Mary’s for chastity for themselves and all the members of the Confraternity.

 

24. If I already say a Rosary every day, then do I have to say fifteen Hail Mary’s in addition to my Rosary?

No. It is sufficient to dedicate fifteen of the Hail Mary’s of the Rosary as being “for the Confraternity.” However, to say fifteen additional Hail Mary’s with attention and fervor would be a great work of love for other members of the Confraternity, and would add to the graces that others receive.

 

25. Are there any indulgences available for those who join?

The Popes have heaped many indulgences upon the Confraternity as a sign that they want people to join. All the members are eligible to receive a plenary indulgence:

▪ Once on the day of enrollment

▪ Every year on the feasts of Christmas, Easter, St. Thomas (Jan. 28), the Annunciation (March 25), the Assumption of the B.V.M. (Aug. 15), and All Saints Day (Nov. 1)

Members gain a plenary indulgence on these days given the following four conditions:

i. Receive Holy Communion on that day with the intention of gaining the indulgence

ii. Go to the Sacrament of Penance within eight days before or after that day

iii. Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Apostle’s Creed for the intentions of the Holy Father

iv. Renew privately the intention to live according to the practices and Statute of the Confraternity.

Are the enrollment ceremony and blessing powerful?

The blessing is supernatural dynamite. Many people who go through ceremony and wear the blessed cord or medal testify to experiencing great relief from temptations and greater strength in resisting temptations. As St. Paul says, “the kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power” (1 Cor. 4:20).

 

26. Are there other supernatural effects of enrollment in the Confraternity?

St. Thomas Aquinas becomes an official personal patron of each Confraternity member, the treasure chest of graces merited by the Dominican Order is opened up to all in the Confraternity to draw upon, and the prayers of thousands of other members of the Confraternity come to the aid of all the other members every day. People often say they no longer feel isolated in the pursuit of chastity but tied to others in the same pursuit. They often say they feel stronger and more equipped for the struggle.

 

27. Have people’s lives been transformed by joining the Confraternity?

Yes. Many people testify to a noticeable and sometimes great difference in their lives after joining.

 

28. Do some people still fall into sins against chastity after joining the Confraternity?

Yes. Some people who join the Confraternity still fall into sexual sin. But even those who fall again still feel better off for having joined. The Confraternity is not a magic wand. The point of joining is not to find an instant solution to sin, but to find help in growing in chastity over time. And large numbers of people find that help in the Confraternity.

 

Banner from the AWC website.
Banner from the AWC website.

 

29. If I join the Confraternity and then fall into sins of impurity, is the sin worse than if I had never joined?

No. There is no additional gravity added to sexual sin because one is a member of the Confraternity. Members make no promise to succeed at chastity. They promise only to strive for chastity. The point of the Confraternity is to assist members in their striving rather than to shame them for their failures.

 

30. As a member am I required to tell the priest in Confession that I belong to the Confraternity?

No. Since membership adds no gravity to sins committed, it is irrelevant to confession.

 

31. Do the three essential practices of the Confraternity (enrollment, wearing the cord or medal, and daily prayers) bind under pain of sin? If I join, and fail to say my prayers one day, do I sin?

No. The Church has decreed that in no Confraternity does a person commit sin by failing to observe any of its practices. Members should wear the cord or medal and say the daily prayers more out of love for one another than out of fear of sin.

 

32. May people who have always led a chaste life join the Confraternity?

Yes. The Confraternity is not just for those who have fallen into sexual sin or who struggle with it. Many people who have led a basically chaste life join the Confraternity in order to preserve their chastity in the future and to be of help to others through prayer.

 

33. If I am not struggling with chastity but know someone else who is, can I join the Confraternity and give the grace to the person who is struggling?

One can join the Confraternity and petition the Lord to give the graces to someone else outside the Confraternity, and our Lord is known to hear such generous prayers when they are made with humility, confidence, and perseverance. Through special petitions, another person might thus benefit from one’s membership, but not in the same way as if he or she were a full member who intentionally seeks chastity and wears the blessed cord or medal.

 

34. May Catholics of the Eastern rites join the Confraternity?

Yes.

 

35. May Christians who are not Catholics join the Confraternity?

Since the Confraternity is an officially established Public Association of the Faithful, and members are deputed by the Church for the promotion of chastity, membership in the Confraternity is limited to those who are Baptized, Confirmed, and in full communion with the Catholic Church. Acknowledging that we share a great deal with our separated brothers and sisters in Christ, those Christians who are not Catholics are welcome to join us in receiving the blessing, wearing the blessed cord and medal, and saying the daily prayers. But their names cannot be inscribed in the Register as official members.

 

36. What is the minimum age for enrollment? Can a child be enrolled?

Membership in the Confraternity requires that one make a free and lifelong commitment to wearing the blessed cord and medal of St. Thomas. The law of the Church does not recognize those under seven years of age as being able to make such a free choice. Furthermore, membership presupposes the grace of Confirmation. Since the current practice of the Church generally (though not universally) is to Confirm people who are in the eighth grade and older, most Catholics younger than high school students are not eligible to be enrolled. For those Catholics who are in junior high and already Confirmed, the question remains of how maturely the person grasps the Church’s teaching on sexuality and chastity.

 

37. What if a child in junior high or younger shows signs of interest and desire in joining the Confraternity?

For such children, it is good for the child to wear a blessed medal of St. Thomas, to learn the daily prayers, and to look forward to full enrollment in the Confraternity at a more mature age. Such a time of waiting can be looked upon as a period of formation and preparation for membership as the child learns the meaning of human sexuality and chastity.

 

If you are interested in enrolling in the Angelic Warfare Confraternity, please visit How do I Enroll?  and browse the Angelic Warfare Confraternity for resources and prayers. Special thanks to Father James Brent, O.P. for allowing us to reprint this material and promote such a worthy cause.

4 Ways to Save Your Soul on a College Campus

The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” and there is no greater way to grow in faith and grace than feeding on the Bread of Life.

Listers, with an increasingly hostile and secular society, Catholics find themselves each day becoming more countercultural. Young people with a sincere heart who wish to follow Christ and keep the commands of Holy Mother Church, will find that living a true Catholic lifestyle can be difficult and lonely in a culture that no longer upholds Christendom.

College campuses are no doubt breeding grounds for the secular culture. Literally. Even students who find themselves at a Catholic university will face challenges to their faith. So how does one save his soul while at college surrounded by a culture that abuses drugs, sex, contraception, abortion, alcohol and has little faith?

 

1. A Liberal Arts Education

If you find yourself enrolled in college, you probably want to get an education. Resist the temptation to pursue degrees aimed at finding a job. Yes, a job is important and good, but college is a time to “build walls, not to keep people in, but to keep the world out.” [1] It is a time to contemplate the higher things of life, your place in the world and your eternal end. Do not become obsessed with grades, internships and job searches. “Keep the world out” and take advantage of the only opportunity to contemplate the essential questions of life without the pressures of the working world. Furthermore, resist all temptations to enroll in easy courses with laid-back professors.

A liberal arts education is meant to be challenging and intellectually stimulating. Find professors who do not merely “teach” their students or talk at them, but rather ones who engage in a dialogue with students. Socrates, the greatest teacher in Western history, never gave lengthy lectures. He instead pondered questions with those around him and helped to guide his students along the way. Once you discover professors who engage the best that has been written and taught in the West, stick with them, regardless of what classes they teach. One cannot live the faith sincerely without first learning it. There is no better way of unlocking the rich intellectual tradition of the Church than by studying the liberal arts. A great way to find out how to learn while in college is to read Another Sort of Learning by Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.

 

2. Community

Friendships matter. Indeed the Philosopher devotes two books to the importance of friendship. [2] It is imperative to find a community of friends who live out the Catholic faith. These communities will help support and foster both faith and virtue. A good place to start at a non-Catholic school would be the Newman Center. Organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Daughters of America, Daughters of Isabella, FOCUS and other faith-based groups are a great place to find friendship. Additionally, get involved with service projects even if they are sponsored by a secular organization. Finding friends and providing a witness to Christ through works of mercy is a rewarding experience for all involved. Finally, do not limit yourself to groups within the university. Many religious orders and dioceses run young adult ministries across the country. And if you can’t find any groups, start one yourself!

 

3. Attend Daily Mass & Frequent Confession

The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life”[3] and there is no greater way to grow in faith and grace than feeding on the Bread of Life. Daily Mass will become a center point for your college life and will order your day toward God. For many people, college was the only opportunity to attend to attend daily Mass and holy hour without the interference and stress of work life. Finally, go often to confession and keep your soul clean and fervent.

 

4. Prayer, Devotionals and Confraternities

Prayer is our weapon and shield against the Evil One. It is our link to God. Look to the Gospel and find Jesus going out often to pray. We must follow our Savior and do the same. I encourage you to enroll in spiritual confraternities such as the Angelic Warfare Confraternity, Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary and practice devotionals such as True Devotion to Mary. Most of all grow in love of our Blessed Mother who will always lead us to her Son. Mary is the surest path to Jesus. Pray the Rosary daily.

 

Listers, college is a time to either find God and belong more deeply to Him, or, to turn away from the faith and adopt the currents of the world. Hold firm to these four points. Pope Francis urges the young to “swim against the tide.”[4] Keep in mind that the temptations and trails will never leave. As G.K. Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.”

May Mary our Mother, intercede on our behalf and lead us to her Son all the days of our life.

St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of students, pray for us!

 

Louis Cona Profile

Louis Cona is an undergraduate at Georgetown University studying Government and Philosophy. He serves and coordinates the Traditional Latin Mass on campus and is an active member of the Georgetown Knights of Columbus.

 

 

 

 

[1] James V. Schall, S.J. – Georgetown Voice

[2] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics.

[3] Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1324

[4] Pope Francis, April 28th, 2013 Confirmation Mass for Young People: CNA.

8 Notable Videos from His Eminence Cardinal Burke

“Our observance of liturgical law is a fundamental expression of love of Christ and of the Church.” – Cardinal Burke, Divine Love Made Flesh

Cardinal Burke on SPL

Cardinal Burke: 10 Photos of this Wondrous Prince of the Church
Cardinal Burke at Notre-Dame de Fontgombault: 21 Photos
The Dignity of the Eucharistic Celebration: 8 Teachings from Cardinal Burke

 

VIDEOS

1. Call to Martyrdom by Cardinal Burke

2-22-13

 

2. At Clear Creek Monastery

12-14-12

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke Visits Clear Creek Monastery in the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma and celebrates Mass.

 

3. Cardinal Burke on LCWR

8-9-12

On The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (Vatican Supreme Court), spoke to the controversy surrounding the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the Vatican’s intervention with LCWR. He further discussed the conference’s right to exist.

 

4. The Call of Beauty

7-6-12

Five years after Pope Benedict liberalized the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass, now known as the extraordinary form, U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke reflects on its significance for the universal church.

 

5. On neglected traditions post-Vatican II

6-25-12

Today’s “First Take: Vatican” hears from the former archbishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, on the revival of traditional devotions.

 

6. On the SSPX

6-15-12

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, talked to CNS about the ongoing reconciliation talks with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X.

 

7. Cardinal Burke’s Book Recommendations

7-28-11

Cardinal Burke speaks on books at Loome Booksellers, part II may be found here.

 

8. On Abortion and Voting

10-27-10

The video is a selection of Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke in a 25 minute interview on October 20, 2010 discussing the obligations of Catholics when voting. The full video is available here.

In Defense of Holy Images: 8 Pearls of Wisdom from St. John Damascene

Listers, in the Eastern churches, the First Sunday of the Great Fast celebrates the triumph of holy images. It commemorates the end of two separate periods of iconoclasm, which took place within the space a nearly hundred years. During the iconoclastic period of Byzantine history, images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Angels, and the Saints were consigned to the fire on the charge that they led to idolatry. Known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the Byzantine liturgy boldly proclaims the triumph of the Church against every false doctrine, and a celebration of the proclamation of faith on the veneration of holy images at the Synod of Constantinople in 842.

Eastern Catholicism on SPL

St. John Damascene was a monk from Damascus, and from his monastery of Mar Saba near Jerusalem, he wrote in defense of the veneration of images. Because iconoclasm, or the destruction of icons, had become official imperial policy since the edict of Emperor Leo III in 726, any cleric, monastic, or layman who refused to abide by the edict was punished severely. Imprisonment, exile, and even martyrdom was the fate of those who defended the Church’s longstanding tradition of sacred images. Seeing the travail of the Church in Constantinople and Asia Minor, the humble monk from Damascus wrote three treatises in defense of holy icons and their veneration. Because he was outside the borders of the Empire, he was able to criticize imperial policy, and speak on behalf of those who were unable or unwilling to do so. [1]

Selection from John of Damascus, icon from Damascus (Syria), 19th c., attributed to Iconographer Ne’meh Naser Homsi. – Wikipedia

Although this work is worth reading in its entirety, in celebration of the Triumph of Holy Images, here are eight pearls of wisdom from St. John Damascene in defense of sacred images:

 

1) “It is the custom of the wicked and primordially evil serpent (I mean the devil), to fight in many ways against mankind, formed in the image of God; and, through this opposition, to bring about his death.” [2]

2) “Certain men have arisen, saying that it is not necessary [or forbidden] to make images of the saving miracles and sufferings of Christ, and the brave deeds of the Saints against the devil, setting them up to be gazed upon, so that we might glorify God and be filled with wonder and zeal.” [3]

3) “Does any one who has divine knowledge and spiritual understanding not recognize that [iconoclasm] is a ruse of the devil? For he does not want his defeat and shame to be spread abroad, nor the glory of God and his saints to be recorded.” [4]

4) “If we make an image of God who in His ineffable goodness became incarnate and was seen upon earth in the flesh, and dwelt among men, assuming the nature, density, form, and color of flesh, we do not go astray. For we long to see His form, but as the divine Apostle says, ‘now we through a mirror, dimly.’ … For the intellect, greatly fatigued, is unable to pass beyond physical things.” [5]

5) “I am emboldened to depict the invisible God, not as invisible, but as he became visible for our sake, by participation in flesh and blood. I do not depict the invisible divinity, but I depict God made visible in the flesh.” [6]

6) “When you see the Bodiless become man for your sake, then you may depict the figure of a human form; when the Invisible becomes visible in the flesh, then you may depict the likeness of something seen.” [7]

7) “Of old, Israel neither set up temples in the name of men, nor celebrated their memorial—for human nature was still under the curse, and death was condemnation, therefore they were enjoined that one who even touched the body of a dead man was to be reckoned unclean—but now, since the divinity has been united without confusion to our nature, as a kind of life-giving and saving medicine, our nature has been truly glorified and its very elements changed into incorruption. Therefore, temples are raised for [the Saints] and images engraved.” [8]

8) “Since our being is twofold [that is, composite], fashioned of soul and body…just as [through] words perceived by the senses we hear with bodily ears, and understand what is spiritual, so through bodily vision we arrive at spiritual contemplation. For this reason, Christ assumed body and soul, since mankind consists of body and soul; therefore baptism is likewise twofold, of water and the Spirit; as well as communion and prayer and psalmody, all of them twofold, bodily and spiritual, and offerings of light and incense.” [9]

 

In his arguments against iconoclasm, the Damascene made clear that it the veneration of icons, and the use of sacred images in architecture and worship was not idolatry, but rather a recognition that God uses the physical to make known the intelligible. Just as God the Son took to himself a human form, in order to make the truth of the Father known to man in a way most proper to him, so also does iconography serve to raise the mind to spiritual realities by means of the physical. Far from being a peripheral concern, therefore, sacred images are part and parcel of the authentic Christian worldview; their use and function within the life of the Church is bound up with the mystery of the Incarnation, in which the invisible Word of God became visible, and the incomprehensible Logos of the Father took to Himself a human nature.

The bane of iconoclasm was so tempting to the Imperial court that there were two separate persecutions carried out under official auspices. The first was ended under the patronage of the Empress Irene at the Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nicæa in 787, and the second under the reign of Empress Theodora at the Synod of Constantinople in 842, which dealt the final blow to iconoclasm in the East. To this day, both Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox churches commemorate this event on the First Sunday of the Great Fast, proclaiming the triumph of the Church against the heresies which had plagued it during the first millennium. Let us therefore celebrate the incarnational nature of our Catholic faith, treasuring her art, and through it lift our minds and hearts upwards to Christ, His Holy Mother, and the Saints and Angels in heaven; for indeed, Christ is in our midst: he is now, and ever shall be!

 


 

[1] John Damascene, Three Treatises on the Divine Images, trans. Andrew Louth (New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2003), Introduction pp. 7-9. All quotes from St. John, some of which have been slightly modified, are taken from this work unless otherwise indicated.

[2] Ibid., III p. 81.

[3] Ibid., p. 82.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., p. 86.

[7] Ibid., pp. 88-89.

[8] Ibid., p. 91.

[9] Ibid., p. 93.

8 Spiritual Maxims from Saint John of the Cross

“The way of faith is sound and safe, and along this souls must journey on from virtue to virtue, shutting their eyes against every object of sense and a clear and particular perception.” – St. John of the Cross

Listers, St. John of the Cross is the great Mystic Doctor of the Church. Along with St.Theresa of Ávila he founded the Discalced Carmelites, and this reform is only one aspect of his work in the Counter-Reformation. His reform of the Carmelite order was opposed by many within the order and eventually led to his imprisonment by the religious community in Toledo. There he composed the great part of many of his poems. He is still considered to be one of if not the pre-eminent poets of the Spanish language. His insight into the spiritual life makes him one of the most fascinating and important saints for all Catholics.

In honor of the Year of Faith, SPL is sharing eight of his twenty Spiritual Maxims on Faith. The Spiritual Maxims are a collection of quotes written by St. John of the Cross, and selected by him, from his various writings. In compiling these maxims, he prays:

Oh my Lord, Thou lovest discretion, and light, but love, more than all the other operations of the soul; so then let these maxims furnish discretion to the wayfarer, enlighten him by the way, and supply him with motives of love for his journey. Away, then, with the rhetoric of the world, sounding words and the dry eloquence of human wisdom, weak and delusive, never pleasing unto Thee.

The Spiritual Maxims on Faith

 

17. The way of faith is sound and safe, and along this souls must journey on from virtue to virtue, shutting their eyes against every object of sense and a clear and particular perception. ~A. ii. 16, 13.

 

18. When the inspirations are from God they are always in the order of the motives of his law, and of the faith, in the perfection of which the soul should ever draw nearer and nearer to God. ~L.F. Stanza iii. sec.29.

 

19. The soul that travels in the light and verities of the faith is secured against error, for error proceeds ordinarily from our own proper desires, tastes, reflections, and understanding, wherein there is generally too much or too little; and hence the inclination to that which is not seemly. ~D.N. ii. 16, 2.

 

20. By the faith the soul travels protected against the devil, its strongest and craftiest foe; and St. Peter knew of no stronger defence against him when he said: “Resist him, strong in faith.” ~D.N. xxi. 4, 5.

 

21. The soul that would draw near unto God and unite itself with Him, must do so by not comprehending rather than by comprehending, in utter forgetfulness of created things; because it must change the mutable and comprehensible for the immutable and the incomprehensible, Who is God. ~A. iii. 4, 3.

 

22. Outward light enables us to see that we may not fall; it is otherwise in the things of God, for there it is better not to see, and the soul is in greater security.

 

23. It being certain that in this life we know God better by what he is not then by what he is, it is necessary, if we are to draw near unto him, that the soul must deny, to the uttermost, all that may be denied of its apprehensions, both natural and supernatural. ~A. iii. 1, 1.

 

24. All apprehension and knowledge of supernatural things cannot help us to love God so much as the least act of living faith and hope made in detachment from all things. ~A. iii. 7, 4.

 

Taken from: St. John of the Cross, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Vol. II. Trans. David Lewis. New York: Cosimo Classics, 2007.

Index of abbreviations:
A. – The Ascent of Mount Carmel
L. F.  – The Living Flame of Love
D. N. – The Dark Night of the Soul

 

This list was compiled by Abram Muenzberg, who writes at Men Like Wine, with the help of St. John of the Cross and David Lewis.

6 Things You Should Know about the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

“The Scapular is a practice of piety which by its very simplicity is suited to everyone, and has spread widely among the faithful of Christ to their spiritual profit.” – Pope Pius XII

Listers, have you ever contemplated where the title of the Virgin Mary, “Our Lady of Mt Carmel” came from? Do you find it odd that some traditional Roman Catholics wear their Brown Scapular 24/7? Hopefully this list will help address some of the questions concerning devotion to the Brown Scapular.

“If I should say anything that is not in conformity with what is held by the Holy Roman Catholic Church, it will be through ignorance and not through malice.”
– St Teresa of Avila

A 1996 doctrinal statement approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments states that “Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is bound to the history and spiritual values of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and is expressed through the scapular. Thus, whoever receives the scapular becomes a member of the order and pledges him/herself to live according to its spirituality in accordance with the characteristics of his/her state in life.”

 

1. St Simon Stock

Saint Simon Stock was born in England and was a Prior General of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel who had their origins in Palenstine. Some of the brothers relocated to Europe in the early 13th century and became a mendicant order (mendicants live solely on alms). There are various controversies surrounding the vision of Our Lady that St. Simon had, one account goes as follows:

“St. Simon was an Englishman, a man of great holiness and devotion, who always in his prayers asked the Virgin to favour his Order with some singular privilege. The Virgin appeared to him holding the Scapular in her hand saying, ‘This is for you and yours a privilege; the one who dies in it will be saved.'”1

This goes without saying, the original context of this promise was for those who preserved in their vocation as Carmelites. In the 16th century, the Carmelites began distributing Brown Scapulars to the laity and became a very popular sacramental.

 

2. Who is Our Lady of Mt Carmel?

Simply put, Our Lady of Mt Carmel is the Virgin Mary. It was a title bestowed upon Her because She is the patroness of the Carmelite order. The first Carmelites lived on Mt Carmel in the Holy Land and were hermits in the 12th century. They built a chapel in honour of The Virgin and entitled it: “Our Lady of the Place”.

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, OCD, a revered authority on Carmelite spirituality, wrote that devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel means:

“Our Lady wants us to resemble her not only in our outward vesture but, far more, in heart and spirit. If we gaze into Mary’s soul, we shall see that grace in her has flowered into a spiritual life of incalcuable wealth: a life of recollection, prayer, uninterrupted oblation to God, continual contact, and intimate union with him. Mary’s soul is a sanctuary reserved for God alone, where no human creature has ever left its trace, where love and zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of mankind reign supreme. […] Those who want to live their devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to the full must follow Mary into the depths of her interior life. Carmel is the symbol of the contemplative life, the life wholly dedicated to the quest for God, wholly orientated towards intimacy with God; and the one who has best realized this highest of ideals is Our Lady herself, ‘Queen and Splendor of Carmel’.”

 

3. Promises of wearing the Scapular

On July 16th 1251 the Blessed Mary made this promise to Saint Simon Stock: “Take this Scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” She continues, “Wear the Scapular devoutly and perseveringly. It is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.” Partial indulgence granted by Pope Benedict XV to those who devoutly kiss their scapular.

Amongst the myriad of miracles attributed to the Brown Scapular, there are a few more famous occurrences:

In May 1957, in Westenboden, Germany, an entire row of houses had caught fire. The inhabitants of one of the houses fixed a scapular to the front door of their home. Five hours later, 22 homes on the block had burnt to the ground. Yet amidst the destruction, the home with the scapular attached to it stood unharmed. This miracle was witnessed by hundreds of people.

Three holy men devoted to the scapular, Pope Bl. Gregory X, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St. John Bosco, all died wearing the scapular. When their graves were opened years later, the bodies and vestments had decayed but their scapulars remained perfectly intact.

In November of 1955, a plane carrying 27 passengers crashed in Guatemala. All the passengers died except for one young girl. She related that when the plane was going down, she clutched her scapular and cried out to Our Lady for help. She was burnt and her clothes were tattered and burnt as well, but the girl was overall unharmed and her scapular free from any burns.2

 

4. The Rosary and the Scapular Are Inseparable

In order to obtain the graces and promises recieved from wearing the Scapular, one should wear it devoutly. In other words, under the usual conditions, i.e. state of grace (Go to Confession regularly!!), be properly invested/enrolled by a Catholic priest, pray either the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary or 5 decades of the Most Holy Rosary daily. Novenas to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel are optional but highly recommended to show the Mater Dei that we Her most lowly and undeserving servants have faith in Her most powerful protection and intercession.

 

5. Saintly Quotes on Brown Scapular

Pope Pius XII stated:
“Let it [the Brown Scapular] be your sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which We are particularly urging in these perilous times.”

Pope Pius XII went so far as to say:
“The Scapular is a practice of piety which by its very simplicity is suited to everyone, and has spread widely among the faithful of Christ to their spiritual profit.”

In our own times, Pope Paul VI said:
“Let the faithful hold in high esteem the practices and devotions to the Blessed Virgin … the Rosary and the Scapular of Carmel” and in another place referred to the Scapular as that which is “so highly recommended by our illustrious predecessors.”

St. Alphonsus tell us:
“Modern heretics make a mockery of wearing the Scapular, they decry it as so much trifling nonsense.”

 

6. Our Lady: Prayers, Lists, and More

1. Prayer to Our Lady of Mount. Carmel
2. Litany of Intercession to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
2. Investiture of the Brown Scapular in English and Latin
3. Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima: 4 Things You Must Know About Our Lady of Fatima
4. Virgo Potens: 8 Quotes by Roman Pontiffs on the Holy Rosary

Many more lists of quotes and prayers may be found via the SPL threads of Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, and the Rosary. An exhaustive list of the articles by John Henry may be found here including the very popular Domestic Church: 7 Steps to a Proper Catholic Home and the controversial All Human Creatures are Subject to the Pope.

  1. Medieval Devotion to Mary among the Carmelites, Fr Carroll, O.Carmel []
  2. Stories were taken from Garment of Grace by the Slaves of the Immaculata. Vienna , OH; 1991 []

8 Prayers to Help You through the Workday.

Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …

Listers, Ora et Labora (“Pray and Work” to the layman), the motto of the Benedictine order shouldn’t just be used for those called to the consecrated life, but it needs to be ascribed for all Catholics in every walk of life, especially those in the workforce. I recently entered into the realm of the working mother, and I can honestly say that I have never been so busy in all my life. Being a working mother I have discovered that balancing the various duties I have between work and home can drive a woman to the point of screaming at the top of her lungs “SERENITY NOW!!!!” (If you are a Seinfeld fan you know what I am talking about).

I realize that this is not a original revelation, but I certainly never had to experience it firsthand until now. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, and I really love being a wife and mother, but in between the sales reports, the housecleaning, the emails, the volunteering at my boys’ school, the texts, the cooking, the phone calls, etc. I found it hard to be present in the moment without wondering what I have to do next. I found that my prayer life suffered heinously because even if I made time to pray I worried about all the other tasks I had to do while I prayed. This is not the best mindset to have when trying to have quiet time with God. Clearly my priorities were out of order, because I was treating prayer time as something I squeezed into my schedule rather than making prayer the centerpiece of my existence. Quite simply, I was not living a liturgical life, and I suffered for it. I started looking into prayers that I could incorporate throughout the day to keep me focused on God. Here is what I found (This prayer list is constantly growing, so if you have any recommendations, LISTERS, please list them):

1. To Start Your Day: “Good Morning, Heavenly Father”

Offering your day up to the Lord is an exceptional way to start your day. I try to say this along with the Angelus when I wake up, so that I start my day with a humble heart

Thank You dear Lord,
for protecting and preserving me during the night
and for giving me this new day.
Good morning Heavenly Father,
and thank you for the glory of the sun.
And thank you for the health I have to get my duty done.
I shall devout the hours of this golden day to You,
by honoring Your Holy Name in everything I do.
I shall pursue my daily art without complaint or fear
and spend my every effort to be friendly and sincere.
I know there have been many days that I have wiled away.
But this is one that I will try to make Your special day.
And so once more,
Good Morning Heavenly Father.
And please depend on me
because I want to honour you for all eternity.

Amen.

2. For the Commute: The Rosary

I know that it doesn’t sound like the typical venue for praying the Rosary, but praying the Rosary while driving is a very good thing (just don’t shut your eyes). Instead of filling my head with a bunch lyrics about “calling somebody maybe?” or other such drivel, the Rosary is immensely helpful to start my workday with the Gospel. Also, it helps me from screaming at the so-and-so in the black sedan who just cut me off! If you don’t know how to pray the Rosary, here is a helpful pdf brought to you be by newadvent.org:

3. For When You Sit Down at Your Desk: A Prayer for Success

I just heard about this prayer while I was at sales conference of all places. It struck me as precisely what I need to say when I sit down at my computer to begin my work. It is extremely beautiful. My favorite part is “Show me how to give my best, and let me not despise the toil that is necessary to complete it.” Here are the words:

Almighty God, whose hands hold all matters of life,
give me grace of success in the work that I do.
Help me to give it the careful thought
and the strict attention that will lead to success.
Watch over me and govern my actions,
that I may not mar its perfection.
Show me how to give my best,
and let me not despise the toil that is necessary to complete it.
Make my life a successful one,
in that every duty you give to me,
I do it well.
Give me the blessing of your help and guidance,
and suffer me not to fail.
In Jesus’ name.

Amen.

4. Throughout the day: The Angelus

Odds are most of you, listers, know this prayer by heart, but if you are new to the Catholic world, this is a prayer that will change your life. The Angelus is a prayer that focuses on the Incarnation. It is said three times a day: 6 am, Noon, and 6 pm, so that you can begin, continue, and end your day with Incarnation as the focus of your day. You may find it Latin in SPL’s 8 Prayers Everything Catholic Should Know in Latin and in English here.

5. In Times of Chaos: The Serenity Prayer

I know this prayer is written by Protestant Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take it for our own nor does it mean that words are less true. I use this now and then when everything seems to be going wrong, and when all I want to do is punch a hole through the screen of my laptop. Here are the words:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.

6. To Help to Admit when You Have Made a Mistake: The Humility Prayer

Robert Burns says in his poem “To a Mouse” “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Nothing can be more true yet more irksome to someone who is a perfectionist. I have quite the talent of being organized and take pride that my work is precise and consistent. However, with my tight schedule I do make mistakes. So, when my usually consistent work doesn’t pass muster or if I let something slip through the cracks, I find it hard to admit that I had made a mistake. The old pointer finger is just itching to blame someone else for my own flawed humanity. The Humility Prayer has become my go-to prayer to inoculate me from the folly of pride. Here are the words:

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

7. A Prayer for the End of the Day

Eternal Father,
I desire to rest in Thy Heart this night.
I make the intention of offering to Thee
every beat of my heart,
joining to them as many acts of love and desire.
I pray that even while I am asleep,
I will bring back to Thee souls that offend Thee.
I ask forgiveness for the whole world,
especially for those who know Thee and yet sin.
I offer to Thee my every breath and heartbeat
as a prayer of reparation.

Amen.

8. A Prayer to St. Joseph, the Patron Saint of Workers

I am now including a prayer to the Patron Saint of Workers, Saint Joseph. Afterall, no list about work would be complete without him. I think that it is often hard for us “look at our work with the eyes of faith.” I believe if we looked at our work in this way, whatever it may be, then perhaps we might do a better job.

Joseph, by the work of your hands
and the sweat of your brow,
you supported Jesus and Mary,
and had the Son of God as your fellow worker.

Teach me to work as you did,
with patience and perseverance, for God and
for those whom God has given me to support.
Teach me to see in my fellow workers
the Christ who desires to be in them,
that I may always be charitable and forbearing
towards all.

Grant me to look upon work
with the eyes of faith,
so that I shall recognize in it
my share in God’s own creative activity
and in Christ’s work of our redemption,
and so take pride in it.

When it is pleasant and productive,
remind me to give thanks to God for it.
And when it is burdensome,
teach me to offer it to God,
in reparation for my sins
and the sins of the world.

Amen

St. Joseph the Worker, Pray for us!

 

More SPL Lists on Prayer
8 Prayers Every Catholic Should Know in Latin
3 Prayers for Catholic Lawyers
4 Prayers Before You Receive the Eucharist
More lists on prayer…

7 Things You Must Know about St. Benedict’s Medal

“Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” (Let not the dragon be my guide).

1. The Story of St. Benedict

From Fisheaters:

St. Benedict of Nursia, Italy (A.D. 480-543), the twin brother of St. Scholastica, is considered to be the Father of Western monasticism, and his “Rule of St. Benedict” came to be the basis of organization for many religious orders (his own Order has its cradle at Monte Cassino, Italy, about 80 miles South of Rome).

At any rate, in order to understand the symbolism of the Medal, you must know of this event in St. Benedict’s life: he’d been living as a hermit in a cave for three years, famous for his holiness, when a religious community came to him after the death of their abbot and asked Benedict to take over. Some of the “monks” didn’t like this plan and attempted to kill him with poisoned bread and wine. Just as St. John the Divine was miraculously saved from being poisoned, when St. Benedict made the sign of the Cross over these things, he came to know they were poisoned, so he toppled the cup and commanded a raven to carry off the bread.

 

2. The Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict

Front

Back

 

The Catholic Encyclopedia Explains:

FRONT
One side of the medal bears an image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Round the margin of the medal stands the legend “Ejus in obitu nostro praesentia muniamus” (May we at our death be fortified by his presence).

 

 

BACK
The reverse of the medal bears a cross with the initial letters of the words: “Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” (Let not the dragon be my guide), on the horizontal bar; and the initial letters of “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” in the angles of the cross. Round the margin stand the initial letters of the distich: “Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana — Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas” (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities — evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison). At the top of the cross usually stands the word Pax (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus).

 

3. The History of the Jubilee Medal

The Catholic encyclopedia recounts:

The medal just described is the so-called jubilee medal, which was struck first in 1880, to commemorate the fourteenth centenary of St. Benedict’s birth. The Archabbey of Monte Cassino has the exclusive right to strike this medal. The ordinary medal of St. Benedict usually differs from the preceding in the omission of the words “Ejus in obitu etc.”, and in a few minor details. (For the indulgences connected with it see Beringer, “Die Ablässe”, Paderborn, 1906, p. 404-6.)

The habitual wearer of the jubilee medal can gain all the indulgences connected with the ordinary medal and, in addition:

(1) All the indulgences that could be gained by visiting the basilica, crypt, and tower of St. Benedict at Monte Cassino (Pius IX, 31 December, 1877)

(2) A plenary indulgence on the feast of All Souls (from about two o’clock in the afternoon of 1 November to sunset of 2 November), as often as (toties quoties), after confession and Holy Communion, he visits any church or public oratory, praying there according to the intention of the pope, provided that he is hindered from visiting a church or public oratory of the Benedictines by sickness, monastic enclosure or a distance of at least 1000 steps. (Decr. 27 February, 1907, in Acta S. Sedis, LX, 246.) Any priest may receive the faculties to bless these medals.

 

4. The Ancient Origins of the Medal

The Catholic Encyclopedia recounts:

It is doubtful when the Medal of St. Benedict originated. During a trial for witchcraft at Natternberg near the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria in the year 1647, the accused women testified that they had no power over Metten, which was under the protection of the cross. Upon investigation, a number of painted crosses, surrounded by the letters which are now found on Benedictine medals, were found on the walls of the abbey, but their meaning had been forgotten.

Finally, in an old manuscript, written in 1415, was found a picture representing St. Benedict holding in one hand a staff which ends in a cross, and a scroll in the other. On the staff and scroll were written in full the words of which the mysterious letters were the initials. Medals bearing the image of St. Benedict, a cross, and these letters began now to be struck in Germany, and soon spread over Europe. They were first approved by Benedict XIV in his briefs of 23 December, 1741, and 12 March, 1742.

 

Click to view St. Benedict’s Medal on Amazon.

5. The Medal Wards Against

1. To destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical and haunting influences;
2. To impart protection to persons tempted, deluded, or tormented by evil spirits;
3. To obtain the conversion of sinners into the Catholic Church, especially when they are in danger of death;
4. To serve as an armor against temptation;
5. To destroy the effects of poison;
6. To secure a timely and healthy birth for children;
7. To afford protection against storms and lightning;
8. To serve as an efficacious remedy for bodily afflictions and a means of protection against contagious diseases.

 

6. How to use the medal

1. On a chain around the neck;
2. Attached to one’s rosary;
3. Kept in one’s pocket or purse;
4. Placed in one’s car or home;
5. Placed in the foundation of a building;
6. Placed in the center of a cross.

The use of any religious article is intended as a means of reminding one of God and of inspiring a willingness and desire to serve God and neighbor. It is not regarded as a good luck charm or magical device.1

 

Click to view St. Benedict’s Crucifix Necklace on Amazon.

7. The Cross of the Happy Death

The excellent Catholic source Fisheaters explains:

This Crucifix is known as “The Cross of a Happy Death” not only because of the exorcizing properties of the Medal and the image of Christ’s Body, but because of St. Benedict’s particular patronage based on his death. Pope St. Gregory the Great (A.D. ca. 540-604) describes his passing in his Dialogue:

Six days before he left this world he gave orders to have his sepulchre opened, and forthwith falling into an ague, he began with burning heat to wax faint; and when as the sickness daily increased, upon the sixth day he commanded his monks to carry him into the oratory, where he did arm himself receiving the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ; and having his weak body holden up betwixt the hands of his disciples, he stood with his own hands lifted up to heaven; and as he was in that manner praying, he gave up the ghost.

A plenary indulgence is granted under the usual conditions to one who, at the hour of his death, kisses, touches, or otherwise reverences the Crucifix, and commends his soul to God.


Other Popular Lists on SPL

  1. Section #6 & #7 “Saint Benedict Medal“ []

5 “Blessings of the Table” in Both Latin and English

The merciful and compassionate Lord has made a remembrance of his wondrous works. He has given food to those fearing him. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, for ever and ever. Amen.

Listers, “the Benedictiones Mensae are the sung Latin table prayers as used in the Roman and monastic usage.” SPL pulled the following collection from the EWTN collection of Latin prayers and the pictures and opening quote are taken from the New Liturgical Movement. The booklet featured in the photographs is from the Monastery of San Benedetto, Norcia – a monastery that in 2012 started making beer, Deo Gratias. For those interested in learning more about Latin and Latin prayers: SPL’s Collection of Lists on Latin.

 

The “Monks of Norcia” presenting the Holy Father with their newly crafted beer.

 

BENEDICTIONES MENSAE

“Blessings at the Table”
LATIN

1. Ante Prandium

“Before Lunch”

The Priest: Benedicite.
All: Benedicite.

The Priest: Oculi omnium
And all continue: in te sperant, Domine, et tu das illis escam in tempore opportuno. Aperis tu manum tuam, et imples omne animal in benedictione. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeulorum. Amen.

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

Pater noster… [continue in silence up to:]
V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R. Sed libera nos a malo.

The Priest then says: Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona, quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

Then the Lector says: Iube, domne, benedicere.
The Priest: Mensae caelestis participes faciat nos Rex aeternae gloriae.
R. Amen.

 

2. Post Prandium

“After Lunch”

The Lector begins: Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis.
R. Deo gratias.

All rise. The Priest: Confiteantur tibi, Domine, omnia opera tua.
R. Et sancti tui benedicant tibi. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

The Priest continues: Agimus tibi gratias, omnipotens Deus, pro universis beneficiis tuis: Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.

The following psalm is then said by all: Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes, laudate eum, omnes populi. Quoniam confirmata est super nos misericordia eius et veritas Domini manet in aeternum. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

Pater noster… [continue in silence up to:]
V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R. Sed libera nos a malo.
V. Dispersit, dedit pauperibus.
R. Iustitia eius manet in saeculum saeculi.
V. Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore.
R. Semper laus eius in ore meo.
V. In Domino laudabitur anima mea.
R. Audiant mansueti, et laetentur.
V. Magnificate Dominum mecum.
R. Et exaltemus nomen eius in idipsum.
V. Sit nomen Domini benedictum.
R. Ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum.

The Priest: Retribuere, dignare, Domine, omnibus, nobis bona facientibus propter nomen tuum, vitam aeternam.
R. Amen.

V. Benedicamus Domino.
R. Deo gratias.
V. Fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace.
R. Amen.

Pater noster… [all in silence]

V. Deus det nobis suam pacem.
R. Amen.

 

3. Ante Coenam

“Before Dinner”

The Priest: Benedicite.
All: Benedicite.

The Priest: Edent pauperes
And all continue: et saturabuntur, et laudabunt Dominum, qui requirunt eum: vivant corda eorum in saeculum saeculi. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

Pater noster… [continue in silence up to:]
V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R. Sed libera nos a malo.

The Priest then says: Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona, quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

Then the Lector says: Iube, domne, benedicere.
The Priest: Ad caenam vitae aeternae perducat nos Rex ternae gloriae.
R. Amen.

 

4. In Fine Coenae

“At the End of Dinner”

The Lector begins: Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis.
R. Deo gratias.

All rise. The Priest: Memoriam fecit mirabilium suorum, misericors et miserator Dominus. Escam dedit timentibus se. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

The Priest continues: Benedictus Deus in donis suis, et sanctus in omnibus operibus suis, qui vivat et regnat in saecula saeculorum. R. Amen.

The following psalm is then said by all: Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes, laudate eum, omnes populi. Quoniam confirmata est super nos misericordia eius et veritas Domini manet in aeternum. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

Pater noster… [continue in silence up to:]
V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R. Sed libera nos a malo.
V. Dispersit, dedit pauperibus.
R. Iustitia eius manet in saeculum saeculi.
V. Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore.
R. Semper laus eius in ore meo.
V. In Domino laudabitur anima mea.
R. Audiant mansueti, et laetentur.
V. Magnificate Dominum mecum.
R. Et exaltemus nomen eius in idipsum.
V. Sit nomen Domini benedictum.
R. Ex hoc nunc et useque in saeculum.

The Priest: Retribuere, dignare, Domine, omnibus, nobis bona facientibus propter nomen tuum, vitam aeternam.
R. Amen.

V. Benedicamus Domino.
R. Deo gratias.
V. Fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace.
R. Amen.

Pater noster… [all in silence]

V. Deus det nobis suam pacem.
R. Amen.

And he adds: V. Tribuat Dominus benefactoribus nostris pro terrenis caelestia, pro temporalibus sempiterna.
R. Amen.

 

5. In Caena Serotina

“At collations: the small second meal allowed on fast days”

Lector: Benedicite.

The Priest gives the blessing, saying: Collationem servorum suorum benedicat Christus, Rex angelorum.
R. Amen.

 

Credit: the photograph is from New Liturgical Movement of the Monastery of San Benedetto’s booklet for the Benedictiones Mensae.

BENEDICTIONES MENSAE

“Blessings at the Table”
ENGLISH

1. Ante Prandium

“Before Lunch”

The Priest: May God bless you.
All: May God bless you.
The Priest: The eyes of all

And all continue: hope in You, Lord, and You give them food at a seasonable time. You open your hand, and you fill every living thing with blessing. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father… [continue in silence up to:]
V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.

The Priest then says: Bless us, O Lord, and these Your gifts, which we are about to receive from Your bounty. Through Christ Our Lord.
R. Amen.

Then the Lector says: Bishop, we ask your blessing.
The Priest: May the King of eternal glory make us partakers in his heavenly meal.
R. Amen.

 

2. Post Prandium

“After Lunch”

The Lector begins: Do you, Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

All rise. The Priest: May all your works confess You, Lord.
R. And may Your saints bless You. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Priest continues: We give You thanks, almighty God, for all Your benefices: Who live and reign for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

The following psalm is then said by all: Praise the Lord, all nations, Praise him, all peoples. For His mercy has been confirmed upon us, and the truth of the Lord remains forever. Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father… [continue in silence up to:]
V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.
V. He distributed and gave to the poor.
R. His justice remains for ever and ever.
V. I shall bless the Lord at all times.
R. His praise will always be in my mouth.
V. In the Lord my soul will rejoice.
R. Let the meek hear, and let them rejoice.
V. Magnify the Lord with me.
R. And let us exalt His name together.
V. Let the name of the Lord be blessed.
R. From now and forevermore.

The Priest: Deign, Lord, to reward all of us doing good for Your name with eternal life. R. Amen.

V. Let us bless the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
R. Amen.

Our Father… [all in silence]

V. May God grant us his peace.
R. Amen.

 

3. Ante Coenam

“Before Dinner”

The Priest: May God bless you.
All: May God bless you.
The Priest: The poor will eat

And all continue: and will be satisfied, and they will praise the Lord, who longs for them: let their hearts live for ever and ever. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father… [continue in silence up to:]
V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.

The Priest then says: Bless us, O Lord, and these Your gifts, which we are about to receive from Your bounty. Through Christ Our Lord.
R. Amen.

Then the Lector says: Bishop, we ask your blessing.
The Priest: May the King of eternal glory make lead us to the meal of eternal life.
R. Amen.

 

4. In Fine Coenae

“At the End of Dinner”

The Lector begins: Do you, Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

All rise. The Priest: The merciful and compassionate Lord has made a remembrance of his wondrous works. He has given food to those fearing him. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Priest continues: Blessed is God in His gifts, and holy in all His works, Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

The following psalm is then said by all: Praise the Lord, all nations, Praise him, all peoples. For His mercy has been confirmed upon us, and the truth of the Lord remains forever. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father… [continue in silence up to:]
V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.
V. He distributed and gave to the poor.
R. His justice remains for ever and ever.
V. I shall bless the Lord at all times.
R. His praise will always be in my mouth.
V. In the Lord my soul will rejoice.
R. Let the meek hear, and let them rejoice.
V. Magnify the Lord with me.
R. And let us exalt His name together.
V. Let the name of the Lord be blessed.
R. From now and forevermore.

The Priest: Deign, Lord, to reward all of us doing good for Your name with eternal life. R. Amen.

V. Let us bless the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. R. Amen.

Our Father… [all in silence]

V. May God grant us his peace.
R. Amen.

And he adds: V. May the Lord grant to us, who do good works, heavenly rewards instead of earthly reward, eternal rewards instead of temporal rewards.
R. Amen.

 

5. In Caena Serotina

“At collations: the small second meal allowed on fast days”

Lector: May God bless you.

The Priest gives the blessing, saying: May Christ, King of angels, bless this meal of His servants.
R. Amen.

The 8 Prayers Every Catholic Should Know in Latin

Domine Iesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra, salva nos ab igne inferiori, perduc in caelum omnes animas, praesertim eas, quae misericordiae tuae maxime indigent.

Listers in 1978 Bl. Pope John Paul II said, “We exhort you all to lift up high the torch of Latin which is even today a bond of unity among peoples of all nations.” Even Vatican II and Pope John XXIII lauded Latin and asked that it remain the universal language of the Church; however, today the Roman Church has turned its back on Latin and blamed it on the ever-shifting spectre or “spirit” of Vatican II. SPL collected 14 quotes on the importance of Latin in the Church and drew many from the actual Vatican II documents and from post-Vatican II popes. Continuing in this proper understanding of Sacred Tradition, it is only fitting that the listers have a list to help them develop their use of Latin. The following prayers are all the prayers one would need to pray the Holy Rosary in Latin. Enjoy.1

 

1. Sign of the Cross

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen

 

2. Apostles’ Creed

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad infernos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.

 

3. The Lord’s Prayer

PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

For a complete gallery of graphics click the image to visit our list: “I Stand With the Catholic Church.”

4. The Hail Mary

AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

 

5. Glory Be

GLORIA PATRI, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

6. Oratio Fatimae (The Fatima Prayer)

Domine Iesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra, salva nos ab igne inferiori, perduc in caelum omnes animas, praesertim eas, quae misericordiae tuae maxime indigent.

 

7. Hail, Holy Queen

SALVE REGINA, Mater misericordiae. Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae. Ad te Suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

V. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

 

[Update 11-3-12]

8. The Angelus

V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae.
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. * Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Ecce ancilla Domini,
R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. * Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Et Verbum caro factum est,
R. Et habitavit in nobis.

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus.* Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix,
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

 

SPL has produced a few lists categorizing Latin themes. The most popular amongst them are 5 Latin Hymns Every Catholic Should Know and the aforementioned list 14 Quotes on the Importance of Latin.

  1. This list of Latin prayers is a selection from a more exhaustive list courtesy of EWTN’s database on Catholic prayers. []

3 Prayers by St. Thomas More for Catholic Lawyers

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Listers, this hackneyed quote is taken from a minor character in Shakespeare’s Henry VI. Often quoted in glee and with a smirk, it raises the question of why society enjoys a “good” lawyer joke.

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Listers, this hackneyed quote is taken from a minor character in Shakespeare’s Henry VI. Often quoted in glee and with a smirk, it raises the question of why society enjoys a “good” lawyer joke. “The answer is simple,” states Strickland and Read in The Lawyer Myth, “in a nation so law-focused and with such pervasive economic and social regulation, lawyers have immense power. This kind of lawyer power, access, and control is deeply resented.”1 How should a Catholic lawyer wield this power and rise above the stereotypes? While there are many excellent examples of Catholic lawyers and law societies defending the virtues of the Church, the saint Sir Thomas More stands as the exemplar and patron of all lawyers and statesmen. Turning to his soul and genius, let law students, lawyers, and all those engaged in the Common Good of society meditate on his life and prayers.

The 1966 Oscar Award winning classic, “A Man for All Seasons.”

Sir Thomas More, ora pro nobis.

Sir Thomas More (/ˈmɔr/; 7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), known to Catholics as Saint Thomas More since 1935, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and was Lord Chancellor from October 1529 to 16 May 1532. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935. He is commemorated by the Church of England as a “Reformation martyr”. He was an opponent of the Protestant Reformation and in particular of Martin Luther and William Tyndale.

Intellectuals and statesmen across Europe were stunned by More’s execution. Erasmus saluted him as one “whose soul was more pure than any snow, whose genius was such that England never had and never again will have its like”. Two centuries later Jonathan Swift said he was “the person of the greatest virtue this kingdom ever produced,” a sentiment with which Samuel Johnson agreed. Historian Hugh Trevor-Roper said in 1977 that More was “the first great Englishman whom we feel that we know, the most saintly of humanists, the most human of saints, the universal man of our cool northern renaissance.”2

 

The signature of Sir Thomas More

 

1. A Prayer by an Imprisoned Sir Thomas More

The following is reported to have been written while St. Thomas was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Give me the grace, Good Lord to set the world at naught.
To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths.

To be content to be solitary.
Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.

Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me. Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labor to love Him.

To know my own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God. To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity. Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life.

To have the last thing in remembrance.
To have ever before my eyes my death that is ever at hand.
To make death no stranger to me. To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.
To pray for pardon before the judge comes.
To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me.

For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.

To buy the time again that I have lost.
To abstain from vain conversations.
To shun foolish mirth and gladness.
To cut off unnecessary recreations.
Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.

To think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred. These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap. Amen3

 

2. Litany of Sir Thomas More

The martyr and patron of statesmen, politicians, and lawyers.4

V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord have mercy
V. Christ, have mercy
R. Christ have mercy
V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord have mercy
V. Christ hear us
R. Christ, graciously hear us

V. St. Thomas More, Saint and Martyr, R. Pray for us (Repeat after each invocation)
St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers
St. Thomas More, Patron of Justices, Judges and Magistrates
St. Thomas More, Model of Integrity and Virtue in Public and Private Life
St. Thomas More, Servant of the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ
St. Thomas More, Model of Holiness in the Sacrament of Marriage
St. Thomas More, Teacher of his Children in the Catholic Faith
St. Thomas More, Defender of the Weak and the Poor
St. Thomas More, Promoter of Human Life and Dignity

V. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R. Spare us O Lord
V. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R. Graciously hear us O Lord
V. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R. Have mercy on us

Let us pray:
O Glorious St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, your life of
prayer and penance and your zeal for justice, integrity and firm principle in public and family life led you to the path of martyrdom and sainthood. Intercede for our Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, that they may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life — the foundation of all other human rights. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.5

 

3. A Lawyer’s Prayer to St. Thomas More

Thomas More , counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most human of saints:

Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my clients’ tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul.

Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, patience in pain—their good servant, and God’s first. Amen.6

 

SPL on Law and Politics
The politics of a well-ordered society is a constant and deep theme throughout SPL. Those interested in the Catholic (read: virtuous and proper) perspective on society should consult our lists on LAW, POLITICS, and the COMMON GOOD. Cheers.

  1. The Lawyer Myth – The book is not one written from a Catholic perspective, but does promote the overall theme of lawyers as agents of justice and healing with our society. []
  2. Introductory paragraph for Sir Thomas More – Source []
  3. Imprisoned Prayer – Source []
  4. Extended Patronage of Sir Thomas More: KCYM (Kerala Catholic Youth Movement); Adopted children; Ateneo de Manila Law School; civil servants; Diocese of Arlington; Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee; University of Malta; University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters; court clerks; lawyers, politicians, and statesmen; stepparents; widowers; difficult marriages; large families – Source []
  5. Litany of Sir Thomas More – Source []
  6. Lawyer’s Prayer – Source []

7 Blogs by Traditional Catholic Priests

We continue to bring you the best Catholic minds and resources on the internet.

Listers, we continue to bring you the best Catholic minds and resources on the internet. In response to our original 12 Catholic Blogs Worth Your Time list, we received an outpouring of reader recommendations for other Catholic blogs to be noted and shared. We then released 25 Reader Recommended Catholic Blogs and published a list of the Top 10 Catholic News Sites. Now we turn to a more narrow scope: Catholic blogs written by traditional Catholic priests.1

 

1. Offerimus Tibi Domine

Operated by Fr. Simon Henry of St Catherine Labouré, Stanifield Lane, Farington Leyland.

Full, conscious and actual participation does not mean people clamouring to take part in the performance of the rites, rather, they are fully to participate in the Paschal Mystery they signify.

Fr. Henry recently composed an article entitled Martini – Bitter and Stirred in which he opines the following: “Instead the Holy Spirit kept Blessed Pope John Paul on the Throne of St Peter for long enough for Cardinal Martini to be passed over by the time of the last conclave (his health was already poor by then) and for Joseph Ratzinger’s time to have come.” He complements his observation with a quote by Bl. John Paul, “I am convinced that a priest should have no fear of being “behind the times” because the human “today” of every priest is included in the “today” of Christ the Redeemer.”2

 

2. Sense of the Sacred

Operated by Fr. Jojo Zerrudo.

Do we still need sacred space, sacred time, mediating symbols? Yes, we do need them, precisely so that, through the “image,” through the sign, we learn to see the openness of heaven. We need them to give us the capacity to know the mystery of God in the pierced heart of the Crucified.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy

Fr. Jojo Zerrudo has recently posted an article on the Reproductive Health debate in the Philippines entitled Unstained by the World. He concludes with an acute paragraph on dissent: “Dissenters enjoy much popular support because they say what the world says. They say what everybody says. They say what everybody wants to hear. And the bishops who uphold the clear commandments of God are labeled as narrow minded and outdated. But that is to be expected. For the thoughts of God are so different from the thoughts of man: “My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways. For I am God and not man.” (Isaiah 55:8) Let us keep our religion pure as God is pure. Let us keep ourselves unstained by the world.”

 

3. The Hermeneutic of Continuity

“This blog is written by Fr Tim Finigan, Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark, parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, visiting tutor in Sacramental Theology at St John’s Seminary Wonersh, and tutor in Dogmatic Theology at St Hugh’s Charterhouse, Parkminster. I was ordained priest in 1984.”

The Hermeneutic of Continuity is probably one of the more well-known blogs featured on this list. Fr. Finigan has recently posted an encouragement for us to remember our subjugated and suffering brothers and sisters in Pakistan and has touched on the bizarre story of Muslim groups calling for their followers to abstain from “Christian” tomatoes. In his Eating Tomatoes and the Problem of Avoiding Crosses, the good father states, “I am delighted to know that my tomato consumption now counts as an act of Christian witness.”

 

4. Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

“Father Kevin M. Cusick, from the Washington, D.C., area, writes a weekly column for The Wanderer, the oldest US Catholic weekly published in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He also authors “Meeting Christ in the Liturgy”, weekly reflections on the Scriptures of the sacred Liturgy and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an on-line resource for over ten years with over one half million visitors, and is a long-standing contributor to Homilies.net. Cusick is a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy chaplain corps (RC) who served most recently in Iraq, before that for two years in Italy, three years on board the carrier USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, in Florida and North Carolina. He is also published in The Catholic Standard of the Archdiocese of Washington and the magazine Homiletic and Pastoral Review. His photographs have also appeared in The Wanderer. A Detroit native, Cusick attended Fordham University, from which he earned the Bachelor of Arts in English and Mount Saint Mary’s for an M.A. in sacred theology.”

“…liturgy is truly the apex of the Church’s life, the time and place of a profound relationship with God.”
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

The MCIL has a focus on Scripture Readings and most recently posted a cogent piece on abortion and justice entitled “Have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?” Covering everything from Cardinal Dolan’s pro-life DNC 2012 speech to sacramental theology, he candidly states, “Justice was violated by using the outer periphery of a woman’s body to decide that the right to life of some human beings could be denied by the whim of another human being if the victim happens to be found on the wrong side of that periphery: the preborn side.”

 

5. Fr. Blake’s Blog

The good Father Blake’s blog is one that has appeared time and time again on respected blog-rolls and suggested links. His post are characterized by brevity and acumen and come together to form an informative and well-written outlet for Catholic thought.

Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita eterna

It is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate.

The good priest has several notable blog posts including a commentary on the mass  – Hope Which Is in You – in which he says, “The Mass is not about us, it always has been about Jesus and giving us glimpse of heaven, ‘and so with Angels and Saints we sing…’, it is a vision of the triumph of the Lamb, it is about our ultimate re-orientation, the end of  our earthly pilgrimage.” Other notables include a clip from a Russian film demonstrating Prayer in Adversity, a brief commentary on Germany’s judicial push against circumcision – In Praise of the Diversity and the Irrational, and in Primacy of Liturgical Law he turns to one of our favorite princes of the Church, Cardinal Burke.

 

6. Forest Murmurs

Operated by Fr. Michael Brown a parish priest in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Ego vero Evangelio non crederem, nisi me catholicae Ecclesiae commoveret auctoritas.

Truly, I would not believe the Gospel unless the authority of the Catholic Church impressed me.
St Augustine: Contra epistolam Manichaei 5.6

Forest Murmurs is another blog often cited on traditionalist Catholic blog-rolls and appears to be primarily categorized by news clippings of traditional interests. A good example would be the happy news of the Institute of Christ the King purchasing a historically Jesuit – and unused – Church in Ireland.

 

7. What Does the Prayer Really Say?

The seemingly ubiquitous blog of Father Z is one often shared and cited by St. Peter’s List and one found on almost every blog-roll of the aforementioned traditionalist sites. His incredibly popular WDTPRS has been featured on SPL’s 12 Catholic Blogs Worth Your Time and is most certainly ranked amongst the overall best traditionalist resources online. Brimming with liturgical wisdom intermixed with bird-feeder pictures and step-by-step historical records of gourmet meals, Father Z stands as one of the most notable and unique Catholic online personalities.

Slavishly accurate liturgical translations & frank commentary on Catholic issues – by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf o{]:¬)

This blog is rather like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say. Nevertheless, we try to point our discussions back to what it is to be Catholic in this increasingly difficult age, to love God, and how to get to heaven. – Fr. Z

It is not uncommon that the good Father Z will post several times in a single day, making him a timely source for news commentary, reader Q&A, and the beloved liturgical or political “rants.”

 


Listers, how’d we do?
If there are any blogs you think should be added to this list or ones you think should not have made this list let us know. Also feel free to mention any other type of internet lists you’d like to see. Thanks.

Traditionalist Websites – You Tell Us
During the course of scouring over these blogs and others, we noticed a common theme of often recommended sites within the traditionalist blogosphere – none of which were a surprise. The greatest recourse seemed to be given to Rorate Caeli, the New Liturgical Movement, and the Canterbury Tales. SPL would be in debt to any other traditionalist websites the listers would recommend.

  1. How were these blogs chosen? – The only listed blog that SPL has intimate knowledge of is Father Z’s WDTPRS. The others blogs were selected from Rorate Caeli’s blog-roll by looking at professionalism and frequency of posting; however, for content quality we openly rely on Caeli’s prudence. []
  2. Pope John Paul in his book “Gift and Mystery” []

Aquinas: 4 Points of Meditation Before Receiving the Eucharist

The following is a prayer by the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas meant to prepare the soul for reception of the Eucharist.

Listers, the following is a prayer by the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas meant to prepare the soul for reception of the Eucharist. SPL has taken the prayer from the Recommended Prayers chapter of the 1962 Roman Missal and has organized the Common Doctor’s words into four meditations.1

 

1. I Come to the Physician of Life

Almighty and Eternal God, behold I come to the sacrament of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. As one sick I come to the Physician of life; unclean, to the Fountain of mercy; blind, to the Light of eternal splendor; poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.

2. The Bread of Angels

Therefore, I beg of You, through Your infinite mercy and generosity, heal my weakness, wash my uncleanness, give light to my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness. May I thus receive the Bread of Angels, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, with such reverence and humility, contrition and devotion, purity and faith, purpose and intention, as shall aid my soul’s salvation.

3. The Virtue of the Sacrament

Grant, I beg of You, that I may receive not only the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord, but also its full grace and power. Give me the grace, most merciful God, to receive the Body of your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, in such a manner that I may deserve to be intimately united with His mystical Body and to be numbered among His members.

4. Until then, the Sacramental Veil

Most loving Father, grant that I may behold for all eternity face to face Your beloved Son, whom now, on my pilgrimage, I am about to receive under the sacramental veil, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Listers, please consider reviewing our other lists from the 1962 Roman Missal or our further discussions with St. Thomas Aquinas and other discussions on the Eucharist.

  1. Titles: To be abundantly clear, the titles and section breaks were added by SPL []

The Edith Stein Charm School: 3 Lessons from St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross on Being a Lady

In this modern society it is hard for a woman to understand precisely what it means to be a woman. Women are torn between a multitude of different theories concerning what the true feminine vocation is.

Listers, in this modern society it is hard for a woman to understand precisely what it means to be a woman. Women are torn between a multitude of different theories concerning what the true feminine vocation is. When I was younger I felt as if I was being pulled between the “Girl Power” mentality and the supposed “Make me a sandwich” mentality. I know that I hated it when my brothers teased me by saying that I should “Shut up, and know [my] role,” but I also seethed with contempt when some said to me “You go, girl!” while saucily snapping their fingers (clearly, I am a child of the nineties). None of those ideals seemed to work for me. None of these theories were enough. Being a woman had to be more than just being blindly submissive or just being intolerably proud. Both theories seemed either self-deprecating or selfish. By the time I entered college, I was confused and disgruntled because there was no clear answer for me. Then, when I decided to convert Catholicism, the whole game of feminine vocation changed for me. I was directed by my priest (Msgr. Gaalaas) to read a series of essays by Edith Stein. It was then when I started to realize that my role as a woman was to serve…the Lord. That simple truth made all the difference.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (aka Edith Stein) lived a very fascinating and tragic life. She was born a Jew and later converted to Catholicism. She received her doctorate in Philosophy in 1916. She became a Carmelite nun April 21, 1938. She was arrested by Gestapo and was sent to Auschwitz where she died in the gas chamber August 9, 1942. She was canonized May 1, 1987. Her life is very interesting and I recommend reading further on the Vatican website.

Her essays on the vocation and spirituality of women certainly can help guide Catholic women through the muddled mess of the rhetoric and pressure of modern society. She delves into the ideas of the religious and secular life in a balanced and thoughtful manner. She makes a distinction between three kinds of vocations for women:

  1. The Natural Vocation — Wife and Mother
  2. The Other Natural Vocation — Worker in the Secular Arena
  3. The Supernatural Vocation — The Consecrated Life

The following list is three reflections from one of her essays entitled “The Ethos of Women’s Professions” where she discusses the different options to fulfill the feminine vocation. You can find this essay in the book entitled Essays on Woman.¹ Now onto the 3 lessons on being a lady:

1. When in Doubt, Ask Yourself “What Would Mary do?”

Were we to present in contrast the image of the purely developed character of spouse and mother as it should be according to her natural vocation, we must gaze upon the Virgin Mary. In the center of her life stands her son. She awaits His birth in blissful expectation; she watches over His childhood; near or far, indeed, wherever He wishes, she follows Him on His way; she holds the crucified body in her arms; she carries out the will of the departed. But not as her action does she do all this: she is the Handmaid of the Lord; she fulfills that to which God has called her. And that is why she does not consider the child as her own property.: she has welcomed Him from God’s hands; she lays Him back into God’s hands by dedicating Him in the Temple and by being with Him at the crucifixion. Should we consider the Mother of God as spouse, we find a quite, limitless trust which in turn depends on limitless, trust, silent obedience, and obviously faithful communion in suffering. She does all this in surrender to the will of God who has bestowed her husband upon her as human protector and visible guide.

The image of the Mother of God demonstrates the basic spiritual attitude which corresponds to woman’s natural vocation; her relation to her husband is one of obedience, trust, and participation in his life as she furthers his objective tasks and personality development; to the child she gives true care, encouragement, and formation of his God-given talents; she offers both selfless surrender and a quiet withdrawal when unneeded. All is based on the concept of marriage and mother as a vocation from God; it is carried out for God’s sake and under His Guidance. –Page 45-46

2. A True “Liberated” Lady Lives A Eucharistic and Prayerful Life

To have divine love as its inner form, a woman’s life must be a Eucharistic life. Only in daily, confidential relationship with the Lord in the tabernacle can one forget self, become free of all one’s own wishes and pretensions, and have a heart open to all the needs and wants of others. Whoever seeks to consult with the Eucharistic God in all her concerns, whoever lets herself be purified by the sanctifying power coming from the sacrifice at the altar, offering herself to the Lord in this sacrifice, whoever receives the Lord in her soul’s innermost depth in Holy Communion cannot but be drawn ever more deeply and powerfully in to the flow of divine life, incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ, her heart converted to the likeness of the divine heart

Something else is closely related to this. When we entrust all the troubles of our early existence confidently to the divine heart, we are relieved of them. Then our soul is free to participate in the divine life […] Therefore, the life of an authentic Catholic woman is also a liturgical life. Whoever prays together with the Church in spirit and in truth knows that her whole life must be formed by this life of prayer. –Page 55-56

3. A Lady is Born to Serve…the Lord

Must all women become religious in order to fulfill their vocation as women? Certainly not. But it certainly does mean that the fallen perverted feminine nature can be restored to its purity and led to the heights of the vocational ethos which this pure nature indicates only if it is completely surrendered to God. Whether she is a mother in the home, or occupies a place in the limelight of public life, or lives behind quiet cloister walls, she must be a handmaid of the Lord everywhere. So had the Mother of God in all circumstances of her life, as the Temple virgin enclosed in that hallowed precinct, by her quiet work in Bethlehem and Nazareth, as guide to the apostles and the Christian community after the death of her son. Were each woman an image of the Mother of God, a spouse of Christ, an apostle of the divine Heart, then would each fulfill her feminine vocation no matter what conditions she lived and what worldly activity absorbed her life. –Page 52

St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross, pray for us

 ¹All quotes were taken from the following book:
Stein, Edith. Essays on Woman from The Collected Works of Edith Stein Vol. 2. Washington D. C.: ICS Publications 1987.

Know Thyself: 10 Reflections from St. Teresa of Avila on the Spiritual Life

St. Teresa of Avila, one of the great doctors of the Church, wrote some of the most beautiful and animated descriptions of the intricacies of the spiritual life.

Listers, St. Teresa of Avila, one of the great doctors of the Church, wrote some of the most beautiful and animated descriptions of the intricacies of the spiritual life. Although some of her ideas and descriptions appear to be strange to the modern mind, her words still have something to give to this present age, an age of narcissism and selfishness. For example, I attended an evangelical school and always snarkily spoke of such-and-such girl who was “married to Jesus.” Little did I know that such an accusation was really a compliment. If only I read St. Teresa of Avila when I was at school perhaps I would have admired such-and-such girl for loving God so completely. Her ideas of spiritual betrothal may appear odd, but perhaps our modern mindset is what really is peculiar. As a mystic some of her archaic (or what appears to be archaic) ideas could truly quench the arid spiritual landscape of this present age. If we surrender our modern sensibilities briefly to listen to her words, then we will have new way of looking at spirituality and a new means of gaining a better relationship with God. As always I have composed a list of 10 reflections. This is only a taste of the great and beautiful things that St. Teresa of Avila wrote about the interior life.

All these reflections were taken from her Interior Castle.1 I recommend the Classics with Commentary version. This particular volume has not only summaries of the text but also questions for reflection. St Teresa’s Interior Castles has been a true blessing in my life. I hope that you find yourself a copy and let the Holy Spirit through her words and reflections transform you. Now for a little sample of the sagacious and holy words of dear St. Teresa Avila:

#1 Know Thyself

I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very crystal in which there are many rooms just as in Heaven there are many mansions[…]Now if this is so –and it is– there is no point in our fatiguing ourselves in attempting to comprehend the beauty of this castle; for, though it is His creature, and there is therefore as much difference between it and God as between creature and Creator, the very fact that His Majesty says it is made in His image means that we can hardly form any conception of the soul’s great dignity and beauty. It is no small pity, and should cause us no little shame, that, through our own fault, we do not understand ourselves, or know who we are. Would it not be a sign of great ignorance, my daughters, if a person were asked who he was, and could not say, and had no idea who his father or his mother was, or form what he came? Though that is great stupidity, our own is incomparably greater if we make no attempt to discover what we are, and only know that we are living in these bodies, and have a vague idea, because we have heard it and because our Faith tells us, that we possess souls. As to what good qualities there may be in our souls, or Who dwells within them , or how precious they are –those are things which we seldom consider and so we trouble little about carefully preserving the soul’s beauty.” Page 41-42

#2 What a Sinner Is Incapable of Doing

I once heard a spiritual man [probably St. John of the Cross] say that he was not so much astonished at the things done by a soul in mortal sin as at the things not done by it. May God, in His mercy, deliver us from such great evil for there is nothing in the whole of our lives so thoroughly deserves to be called evil as this, since it brings endless and eternal evils in its train. — Page 50-51

#3 Humility as the Essential Key to Holiness

Humility must always be doing its work like a bee making its honey in the hive:without humility all will be lost […] As I see it, we shall never succeed in knowing ourselves unless we seek to know God: let us think of His greatness and then come back to our own baseness; by looking at His purity we shall see our foulness; by meditating upon His humility, we shall see how far we are from being humble. There are two advantages to this. First, it is clear that anything white looks very much whiter against something black, just as the black looks blacker against the white. Secondly, if we turn from self toward God, our understanding and our will become nobler and readier to embrace all that is good: if we never rise above the slough our own miseries we do ourselves a great disservice. —Page 52-53

#4 Imitating Mother Mary

But His Majesty well knows that I can count only upon His Mercy, and, as I cannot apporach God and trust in the merits of His Son, and of the Virgin, His Mother, who habit both you and I unworthily wear. Praise Him, my daughters, for you are really the daughters of Our Lady, and when you have as good a Mother as that there is no reason for you to be scandalized at my unworthiness. Imitate Our Lady and consider how great she must be and what a good thing it is that we have her for our Patroness; even my sins and my being what I am have not been sufficient to bring any kind of tarnish upon this sacred Order. —Page 76

#5 Humility during Times of Trials

Consider carefully, daughters, these few things that have been set down here, though they are in rather a jumbled state, for I cannot explain them better; the Lord will make them clear to you, so that these period of aridity may teach you to be humble, and not make you restless, which is the aim of the devil. Be sure that, where there is true humility, even if God never grants the soul favors, He will give it peace and resignation to His will, with which it may be more content than others are with favors. For often, as you have read, it is to the weakest that His Divine Majesty gives favors, which I believe they would not exchange for all the fortitude given to those who go forward in aridity. We are fonder for spiritual sweetness than of crosses. Test us, O Lord, Thou Who knowest all truth, that we may know ourselves. —Page 79

#6 The Obstacles of the Spiritual Life

How I wish ours [ardent love] would make us dissatisfied with the habit of always serving God at a snail’s pace! As long as we do that we shall never get to the end of the road. And as we seemed be walking along and getting fatigued all the time –for, believe me, it is an exhausting road– we shall be very lucky if we escape getting lost. Do you think, daughters, if we could get from one country to another in a week, it would be advisable, with all the winds and snow and floods and bad roads, to take a year over it? Would it not be better get the journey over and done with? For there are all these obstacles for us to meet and there is also the danger of serpents. Oh, what a lot I could you about that! Please God I have got farther than this myself–though I often fear I have not! When we proceed with all this caution, we find stumbling-blocks everywhere; for we are afraid of everything, and so dare not go farther, as if we could arrive at these Mansions by letting others make the journey for us! That is not possible, my sisters; so, for the love of the Lord, let us make a real effort: let us leave our reason and our fears in His hands and let us forget the weakeness of our nature which apt to cause so much worry. —Page 86

#7 As You Grow in Your Spiritual Life, Remember to Focus on Love (whatever that is)

I only want you to be warned that, if you would progress a long way on this road and ascent to the Mansions of your desire, the important things is not to think much, but to love much; do, then, whatever most arouses you to love. Perhaps we do not know what love is: it would not surprise me a great deal to learn this, for love consists, not in the extent of our happiness, but in the firmness of our determination to try to please God in everything, and to endeavor, in all possible ways, not to offend Him, and to pray Him ever to advance the honor and glory of His Son and the growth of the Catholic Church.–Page 98

#8 Using the Sacraments and Sacred Writings to Grow in Grace.

But to return to what I was saying. The silkworm is like the soul, which takes life when, through the heat that comes from the Holy Spirit, it begins to utilize the general help that God gives to us all, and to make use of the remedies that He left in His Church –such as frequent confessions, good books, and sermons, for these are the remedies for a soul dead in negligences and sins and frequently plunged into temptation. The soul beings to live and nourishes itself on this good, and on good meditations, until it is full-grown –and this is what concerns me now:the rest is of little importance When it is full-grown, then, as I wrote at the beginning, it starts to spin its silk and to build that house in which it is to die. This house may be understood here to mean Christ I think I read or heard somewhere that our life is hid in Christ, or in God (for that is the same thing), or that our life is Christ (The exact form of this is little to my purpose) […] […] We can neither subtract from, nor add to, God, but we can subtract from, and add to, ourselves, just as these little silkworms do. And, before we have finished doing all that we can in that respect, God will take this tiny achievement of ours, which is nothing at all, unite it with His greatness, and give such worth that its reward will be the Lord Himself. And as it is He whom it has cost the most, so His Majesty will unite our small trials with the great trials that He suffered, and make both of them into one On, then, my daughters! Let us hasten to perfrom this task and spin this cocoon. Let us renounce our self-love and self-will, and our attachment to earthly things. Let us practice penance, prayer, mortification, obedience, and all the other good works that you know of. Let us do what we have been taught; and we have been instructed abot what our duty is. Let the silkworm die — let it die, as in fact it does when it has completed the work that it was created to do. — Page 136

#9 How Difficult It Is to Obey the Greatest Commandment Completely

But here the Lord asks only two things of us: love of His Majesty and love of our neighbor. It is for these two virtues that we must strive, and if we attain them perfectly we are doing His will and so shall be united with Him. But, as I have said, how far we are from doing these two things in the way we ought for a God Who is great! May His Majesty be please to give us grace so that we may deserve to reach this state, as it is in our power to do if we wish. The surest sign that we are keeping these two commandments is, I think, that we should really be loving our neighbor; for we cannot be sure if we are loving God, although we may have good reasons for believing that we are, but we can know quite well if we are loving our neighbor. — Page 146

#10 The Great Influence of the Saints

I tell you, daughters, I have known people of a very high degree of spirituality who have reached this state, and whom, notwithstanding, the devil, with great subtlety and craft, has won back to himself. For this purpose he will marshal all the powers of hell, for, as I have often said, if he wins a single soul in this way he will win a whole multitude. The devil has much experience in this matter. If we consider what a large number of people God can draw to Himself through the agency of a single soul, the thought of the thousands converted by the martyrs gives us great cause for praising God. Think of a maiden like Saint Ursula. And of the souls whom the devil must have lost through Saint Dominic and Saint Francis and other founders of Orders, and is losing now through Father Ignatius, who found the Company –all of whom, of course, as we read, received such favors from God! What did they do but endeavor that this Divine betrothal should not be frustrated through their fault? Oh, my daughters, how ready this Lord still is to grant us favors, just as He was then! In some ways it is even more necessary that we should wish to receive them, for there are fewer than there used to be who think of the Lord’s honor! We are so very fond ourselves and so very careful not to lose any of our rights! Oh, what a great mistake we make! May the Lord in His mercy give us light lest we fall into such darkness. —Page 154-155

St. Teresa of Avila, Pray for Us!

  1. All the quotes are taken from the following text: St. Teresa of Avila with Introduction and Commentary by Denis Billy. Interior Castle: The Classic Text with Spiritual Commentary. Classics with Commentary. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2007. []