St. Patrick’s Breastplate: Virtue Armor

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Lorica of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)

*text from ewtn.com

 

Lenten Virtue Challenge- Preparing Your Garden

God works in mysterious ways. This Lenten Virtue Challenge came from an Instagram post showing “weeds” and “seeds” or vices and virtues with a caption suggesting which weeds would I pull and which seeds would be planted during the Lenten Season. With the grace of the Holy Spirit, I decided to elaborate on the idea and create a Lenten Virtue Challenge- Preparing Your Garden.
Flowers by the Shore
Photo Credit: Isaiah Eyre Photography
This is a evolving challenge. And as my friend and I work through the vices and virtues each week, we will learn, grow, and modify where needed. Having someone to keep me accountable is a tremendous blessing. Each Morning begins with invoking the Holy Spirit. Deliberately inviting the Holy Spirit into our day/heart/mind/soul and asking for the graces to remove a specific vice and plant a seed.
Holy Spirit Prayer:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. 
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
[Example: We ask you to grant us HUMILITY and turn away from PRIDE, etc.]
Throughout that week, we will focus on living out that specific virtue and removing the taints of vice in our everyday lives: our thoughts, words, and deeds. I’m hoping to find bible verses or saint quotes to help us gain insight into authentic virtue and rejecting vice. Below is the tentative schedule.
 
SCHEDULE
Lent- Week 1 (Feb. 18-24)
Weed: PRIDE
Seeds HUMILITY
Lent-Week 2 (Feb. 25- March 3)
Weeds: GREED & SLOTH
Seeds: GENEROSITY & DILIGENCE
Lent- Week 3 (March 4-10)
Weed: LUST
Seed: CHASTITY
Lent- Week 4 (March 11-17)
Weed: WRATH
Seed: MEEKNESS
Lent- Week 5 (March 18-24)
Weed: GLUTTONY
Seed: TEMPERANCE
Lent-Week 6 (March 25-31)
Weed: ENVY
Seed: CHARITY
Please, join me in this Lenten Virtue Challenge- Preparing Your Garden. I’m hoping and praying this year will lead to more development and guidance in improving this Lenten Reflection. Please, let me know if you have any suggestions. You are all in my prayers!

Feed Your Soul: Morning Prayer

Seeking food for your soul? Establish a morning prayer routine. Identify and designate certain prayers you consistently pray and then expand with petition and thanksgiving. Waking up and praying a Morning Offering helps focus your heart and mind to recognize the most important reality- God and Heaven and your purpose here on this earth. Then I encourage praying prayers of Consecration or devotion to favorite or meaningful saints, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Our Lady.

Below begins my morning prayer routine that kicks start my day:

FaithFaith (1)Faith (2)

 

May God Bless You & Keep You!

Be Satisfied With Me

-A Poem Attributed to St. Anthony of Padua-

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.

But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
Fulfilled and content with being loved by me alone,
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me.
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone.

Discovering that only in me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
That I have planned for you.
You will never be united to another
Until you are united with me.
Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow me to give you
The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you.

You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you.
Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry
Don’t look around at things others have gotten
Or that I have given them
Don’t look around at the things you think you want,
Just keep looking off and away up to me,
Or you’ll miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love
Far more wonderful than you could dream of.

You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready,
I am working even at this moment
To have both of you ready at the same time.
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with me.

 

(Amen.)

You are beautiful. You are enough. You are Made in His Image. Happy Almost Advent!

Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

November begins with two important Church Feasts: The Solemnity of All Saints & All Souls. Within the month of November we should strive to remember the souls of the faithful departed and the holy souls in Purgatory. Our souls on Earth, the Saintly Souls in Heaven, and the Holy Souls in Purgatory are all connected within the Communion of Saints. Our prayers impact souls.

According to tradition, St. Gertrude the Great was told by Our Lord that the following prayer, each time she devoutly recited it, would release 1,000 souls (or a vast number) from their suffering in purgatory:

Prayer of St. Getrude

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Enthronement

Sacred-Heart-of-JesusMy family and I went through the process of the Sacred Heart Enthronement and formal Consecration back in the 1990’s when I was a little kid growing up in the Midwest. I remember, at the time, the consecration process was a bit arduous for our family. For nine months, we attended First Friday Mass at 6 am before school (which is a hardship for kids and caretakers of kids with chronic health conditions,) received the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and completed specific prayers.

It took two attempts to successfully complete the consecration to the Sacred Heart. At the end of the nine months, we prepared the house for the Sacred Heart Enthronement. Our parish priest came over to the house and presided over the Enthronement ritual. We set up an altar in our formal living room honoring the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Afterwards, we celebrated with a meal.

At the time, I knew the Consecration and Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was profound and important. I knew certain graces and promises were associated with those that venerated the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Not until adolescence and adulthood did the impact of the Consecration and Enthronement hit home.

Promise 3. “I will comfort them in all their afflictions.”

Promise 4. “I will be their secure refuge during life and, above all, in death.”

Promise 12. “I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.”

My family and I brush with mortality on a somewhat regular basis due to life circumstances and health complexities. In these moments, all of us had an opportunity to receive either the Sacrament of the Sick or Last Rights/Viaticum depending on the gravity. All of us experienced profound peace and calm during those potential last moments of our earthly existence. Furthermore, in two different states and regions of the country, we received services in challenging and life threatening situations at  . . . SACRED HEART HOSPITAL or SACRED HEART MEDICAL CENTER (not exactly subtle.) I understand not all health care will be through facilities named after His Most Sacred Heart, but the truth of His promises remains certain.

To this day, the image of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus remains prominent in my parent’s home and will someday hang in my own home. The promises and graces of the Sacred Heart are profound and true. The mystery is real, but the grace is real too. To learn more about the Enthronement, please, read below.


In 1907, Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was inspired to establish the enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to win homes and the world for Christ. Pope St. Pius X himself commissioned the enthronement, saying: “To save the family is to save society. The work you are undertaking is a work of social salvation.

For more: SSCC.org & SacredHeartApostolate.com

Enthronement Steps

The enthronement is not complicated, but requires some reverential preparation, with its three principal parts: study, prayer and practical arrangements.
• Contact the National Enthronement Center and the Sacred Heart Apostolate for materials such as the enthronement ceremonial booklet in different languages, enthronement kit, enthronement certificates, images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and books on the devotion. EWTN.com also has a host of devotional resources (see page B2).
• Pray and meditate on the suggested prayers, especially the three decades of the Rosary for the three-day preparation. There is a week’s preparation as well.
• Obtain an image of the Sacred Heart, whether a painting, print, statue or icon.
• Prepare the throne by choosing a central, prominent place in your home, with accompanying sacramentals, such as a Bible, rosary, flowers, candles, photos of family members who are present and absent and prayer intentions.
• Have a priest, deacon or the father/head of the household conduct the enthronement. Invite family, friends and neighbors to attend.
• Then celebrate the King coming into your home.
— Joseph Pronechen

Sacred Heart Enthronement Prayer

Father: Almighty and Eternal Father: We, the (fill in name) family (then each member of the family says his/her first name, beginning with the father), consecrate ourselves and our home to the Sacred Heart of your only begotten Son, who loves us with a tender and everlasting love.
May we return this love as he comes into the midst of our family, to live and share our lives in a special way from this day on.
We accept you, divine Heart of Jesus, as a living member of this family. Stay with us Lord. Sanctify our joys, and comfort us in all our sorrows. May your Holy Spirit inspire each of us so that we may continually be aware of your special presence among us, especially in one another.
Help us, through this consecration, to have a deep and loving respect for one another, so that we may daily live this consecration in our family life. Let our love go beyond our home into this world, so that we may do our part to win other families to your Sacred Heart, thus helping to form a real community among the families of this parish and of the whole world.
All: Sacred Heart of Jesus, we love you. Sacred Heart of Jesus, thy Kingdom come! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. Glory to the Sacred Heart of Jesus forever and ever! Amen.
— SacredHeartDevotion.com

12 Promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary for Souls Devoted to His Sacred Heart

1. “I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.”
2. “I will establish peace in their homes.”
3. “I will comfort them in all their afflictions.”
4. “I will be their secure refuge during life and, above all, in death.”
5. “I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.”
6. “Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.”
7. “Tepid souls shall grow fervent.”
8. “Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.”
9. “I will bless every place where a picture of my Heart shall be set up and honored.”
10. “I will give to priests the gifts of touching the most hardened hearts.”
11. “Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart, never to be effaced.”
12. “I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.” — EWTN.com


Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to thee and to do all for thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease thee.
I take thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God thy Father, and screen me from his anger, which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in thee, O Heart of love, I hope all from thine infinite goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist thee.
Imprint thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget thee or be separated from thee.
I beseech thee, through thine infinite goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon thy Heart; for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of thy devoted servants.
Amen.
— EWTN.com

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred-Heart-of-JesusThis weekend marks the Feast of Corpus Christ followed by the Feast Sacred Heart of Jesus. Many of us grew up with images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary hanging in churches, schools, homes, etc. Many ethnic groups still devoutly practice this devotion. What is the Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion? Why is this devotion important?

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion

From 1673-1675, Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque at her Visitation convent in Paray-le-Monial, France. Christ’s heart (his flesh) represents and recalls His immense human and divine love for us. Jesus communicated prayers and guidelines for the devotion and requested reparation for sins. For example, many Catholics witness a larger congregation at First Friday Mass or Eucharistic Adoration on First Friday. The First Friday devotion of Mass, Communion, and Adoration was requested by Our Lord in honor of His Most Sacred Heart.

On the Feast of Corpus Christi 1675 Jesus told St. Margaret Mary: “Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it spared nothing, even going so far as to exhaust and consume itself, to prove to them its love. And in return I receive from the greater part of men nothing but ingratitude, by the contempt, irreverence, sacrileges and coldness with which they treat me in this sacrament of love.”

Jesus shared the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the remedy. In the mid-1600s, the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion joined the continuing legacy of God’s love and mercy. Christ provided another devotion, another opportunity for an outpouring of His divine love and mercy. The Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion asks us to slow down and ponder the fathomless and bottomless depths of Christ’s love for us.

Picture a human heart, which Jesus Christ shared in common with every human being past, present, and future. This beating organ provides life to our bodies as the Sacred Heart of Jesus provides life to our souls.

In 1899, Pope Leo XIII dedicated the world to the Sacred Heart. On September 15, 1985. Many images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus appear alongside the Immaculate Heart of Mary image. St. John Paul II coined the term “The Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.”

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my Trust in You!


Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Oh my, Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day. For all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart. In union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. In reparation for my sins, for the intention of all my family, friends and relatives, and in particular for the intention of the Holy Father. Amen.

-Laudate App


Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to thee and to do all for thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease thee.
I take thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God thy Father, and screen me from his anger, which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in thee, O Heart of love, I hope all from thine infinite goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist thee.
Imprint thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget thee or be separated from thee.
I beseech thee, through thine infinite goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon thy Heart; for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of thy devoted servants.
Amen.
– EWTN.com

Compline & Nunc Dimitis

If you’ve never experienced the beauty of the Liturgy of the Hours, I highly recommend finding a Catholic App that provides the call to prayer or open Universalis on your web browser. Mostly associated with the prayer life within Religious orders and communities, the Liturgy of the Hour has provided guided prayer and contemplation for centuries. I remember as a child visiting a Midwestern Franciscan order mother-house and participating in the Liturgy of the Hours. The ethereal beauty of female voices chanting the responses fills my mind all these years later as though I’m present kneeling in their chapel. All these years later, I’m rediscovering the tantalizing beauty of the Liturgy of the Hours. From Dawn until Night, regardless of religious community affiliation, people are invited to partake.

During Compline or Night Prayer, a beautiful Canticle called the Nunc Dimitis provides the conclusion to various prayers, hymns, scripture passages, and responses right before the concluding Marian Anthem. As I write this blog post not sleeping, the clock ticks towards midnight. Part of the Nun Dimitis resounds in my thoughts providing a soothing and calming almost lullaby quality. The prayer frames my previous day in a fresh perspective, preparing my mind, body, and soul for restorative sleep, and provides hope for the day ahead.

“Save us, Lord, while we are awake; protect us while we sleep; that we may keep watch with Christ and rest with Him in peace.”

Amen.

The 54 Day Rosary Novena . . . Whew!

P1010451
Gonzaga University

54 Days Ago very well-intended and inspired, I began the 54 Day Rosary Novena. This particular rosary novena is known for being immensely powerful and grueling. I “knew” what I was getting myself into or not. I heard of this novena from my parents who prayed it once together during a desperate family situation 27 years ago when I was an infant.

The historical origins date back to 1884 Naples after an apparition of Our Lady of Pompeii to Commander Agrelli’s daughter Fortuna who suffered from untreatable, agonizing stomach ailments. She and her family commenced three rosary novenas. On March 3rd. 1884, Fortuna greeted Our Lady of Pompeii accompanied by St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Dominic with “Queen of the Holy Rosary.” Mary upon recognizing her title requested 3 more rosary novenas in Thanksgiving of a cure. Upon the 6th set of rosary novenas, Fortuna experienced her miraculous cure. Upon learning of this miracle, Pope Leo XIII urged Christians to pray the rosary fervently.

Considered “a laborious novena, but a novena of love,” this rosary Novena consists of praying the rosary with a specific introductory prayer, particular introduction to each mystery, closing to each mystery, a spiritual communion offered, and specific concluding prayers. The first 27 days (3 rosary novenas) are prayed in petition. The last 27 days (3 rosary novenas) are prayed in thanksgiving for the answering your prayer intention(s) whether or not it has been “answered.” Since the novena originated before the Luminous mysteries, traditionally only the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries are prayed.

My 54 Day experience ranged from great highs to impressive lows. Some days I felt immense consolation. Other days I experienced spiritual isolation. Part way through the first 27 days, I felt lost. After five days of 4 hours of sleep, I felt spiritually drained and attacked. I almost quit. I continued a few more days. When one of my intentions seemed to go up in flames, I almost quit. I continued a few more days. When I lost sleep again, I almost quit. One night when I was sleep deprived, I messed up the mysteries. In tears, I ranted to my mother. I felt like I failed. Again I resumed. Another night when I was even more sleep deprived, I fell asleep during the 1st Joyful mystery. This time I entrusted my human limitations to Mother Mary and continued to pray. By the final 2 weeks, I prayed, and I felt a sense of resolve and peace. Today I completed my imperfect yet sincere 54 Day Rosary Novena. *SIGH OF RELIEF*

Some people write that if you mess up the 54 Day Rosary Novena at any point, you must restart. Congratulations to all those who pray correctly all 54 Days. But God and Mother Mary understand intention. And effort. Um, perfection isn’t the point of pray. Love is. Purpose is. Intention is. Trust is. If that means 54 days of perfection or imperfection, God and Mary know. I learned much about myself, my faith, and my relationship with Mary and her Son. But, to be honest, I don’t see another 54 Day Rosary Novena on my horizon. But God is probably laughing. If I pray another novena like this, it’ll be for a very special, prayerful occasion.

 

Please, Pray the Election Novena

novena-for-the-election-2
Photo Credit: PrayMoreNovenas

Please join me in the special Pray More Novenas’ Election Novena.

Many faithful people look at politics and the election process and they think to themselves, “What’s the point?! It’s a lost cause.”

That’s why we need to pray!

The Election Novena starts TODAY October 30th. Please, join me and thousands of others in praying for good and godly leaders. For the respect for life from conception to natural death. For the respect and welfare of the poor and vulnerable. For the upholding of inalienable rights. And for peace in our country and the world.

Day 1: St. Jude, Patron of impossible causes, pray for us.

Day 2: St. Frances Cabrini, you who tirelessly built the Kingdom of God in America, pray for us.

Day 3: St. Thomas More, martyred for your uncompromising faith, pray for us.

Day 4: St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, martyred for your child-like, yet fearless faith in Christ the King, pray for us.

Day 5: St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who fled to Canada in order to freely practice your faith,pray for us.

Day 6: St. Damien de Veuster of Molokai, selfless servant of the lepers of Hawaii, pray for us.

Day 7: St. John Neumann, Founder of the diocesan Catholic school system in America, pray for us.

Day 8: St. Rita, Patroness of hopeless causes, pray for us.

Day 9: Mother Mary, Patroness of the Americas, pray for us.

Amen.