Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their … Continue reading
Isn’t it funny that we so often behave as if everything depends on ourselves? My trust in Jesus was strained and once, more I felt like giving up on my discernment. My biggest problem was reconciling the person I once … Continue reading
In September of 2014, I saw the Mercedarian Sisters again. I was invited to their retreat house in Baton Rogue Louisiana. Originally I could not attend this retreat because of my job. One night I prayed “Lord if you want … Continue reading
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all … Continue reading
My journey through the faith has seemed long and arduous for one who has only been Catholic for 7 years. I’ve passed through dryness, darkness, sadness and more than a couple faith crises. In all this, Jesus kept me strong. … Continue reading
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic: “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is … Continue reading
“This is a hard teaching, who can accept it?” Jesus’s disciples said over 2,000 years ago in reference to the Holy Eucharist. For human beings, it seems that those things most lofty and beautiful are often “hard”. This is because … Continue reading
My favorite day of the liturgical calendar, hands down, is Corpus Christi. It is truly a day about what defines and sustains us as Catholics: the body of Christ offered upon the cross, resurrected and made present on every altar. … Continue reading
Young souls are suffering and being lost for lack of sound teaching. The world of increasing ugliness, materialism and absurdity threatens to drown all hope. Christ is the source of that hope. Young ears ache to hear his words, to be challenged and uplifted by the Gospel of God. Their hearts and souls deeply thirst to experience the transforming sacraments.
Masses of young souls are wandering around wanting desperately to know that this life is not all there is. Hunger for beauty, timelessness, goodness and truth is what will draw them into our churches. When they see the Church as not another organization but truly a body touched by the divine, their hearts will incline. Nothing of this world will draw them- nor anything of compromise or popular fashion. And should they find a church, how with such restlessness do they go from one to the other, begging for God? The most heartbreaking words you will ever hear a young person utter are that the Catholic Church sought to entertain them and not feed them, that they could not find an answer for their sufferings in an abundance of moral platitudes, that they could not find God in the Holy Mass.
Away with the banalities and ugliness! Away with the cowardly spirit that threatens to strangle our Catholic religion and cut off the channel of grace to millions of straying hearts!When will the hunger for authentic and relevant Catholicism be satisfied? When will the people turn away from vanities and empty humanism of which they eat and still die? When will they cry out: “We want the Eucharist!”?
On her delightful blog “Monique Ocampo Writes” (which can be found at Patheos), a friend of mine asks: How do I pray? She describes her prayer routine, favorite devotions, things that help and things she struggles with. She examines the process of prayer and each person’s individual approach then finally asks her readers, “How do you pray?”
Here is my answer:
How do I pray?
My daily prayer routine is the Divine Office: Lauds, Noonday prayer, Vespers and Compline. If I get up early enough or wake up in the middle of the night, I do Office of Readings. My breviary is one of my favorite devotions because it opens up the word of God and immerses you in the emotions conveyed in the Psalms. It teaches you how to speak with God.
Singing is one of my favorite prayer forms so I get that into the Divine Office. I love singing in Latin, and praying in Latin. There is a background story to my love for this language, it is what made me interested in the Catholic Church! Sometimes when reciting the Divine Office on special feast days, I will burn candles and light incense. It clears my mind and imparts the tranquility of one sitting at the feet of God.
My best prayers are done before the Blessed Sacrament. There I can draw close to the heart of Jesus. It is really spending time with the One I love. My mind and heart are cleared so I can ponder God’s loveliness, evaluate the things of the spiritual world and see that I’m being asked to do. Staring into the lovely face of Jesus, I can unload all my problems and worries or I can shower praises on him, whatever strikes me at the moment. I make it to adoration once a month, which is definitely NOT enough at all but that’s what the local parishes offer. Therefore, I try to visit the tabernacle as much as possible, every day if possible.
I do a rosary every day but really struggle with it. It’s very difficult for me to stay focused on the mysteries and to find new things in them. Offering each decade up for a specific intention or looking at pictures helps me. Spreading devotion to the rosary is a big deal, if you need one, I have tons laying around at any given moment. I’ll teach you how to pray it too.
My spiritual life revolves around the Eucharist, the priesthood and the Mass. The sacrifice of Christ and his abiding presence are the pillars that hold me up. I take all my joys and sufferings and unite them to the sacrifice of the altar. The idea of the priest as “alter Christus” another Christ, helps me see God working in the world in a special way, offering freedom to sin-sick souls.
I can get very passionate and even stubborn about the Mass. The rituals and prayers of the liturgy are for me a profound display of Jesus’s love for us. Smells and bells? Yes please! It is important for me to retain continuity with the Church’s tradition and not to vex people with too many innovations that might interfere with the lessons God wishes to teach us.
I try to attend Mass three times a week or more. As I work until 11 at night, it’s hard for me to get up early. God has given me a special vocation to pray and intercede for his priests. It seems he may be calling me to religious life (pleased pray for me as I discern!)
Mary is very important to me, as a convert I still have difficulty relating to her. She is so perfect and beautiful. I also did the Marian consecration on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The cathedral I was confirmed in was named for the Immac. Conception. The scapular I wear is the blue one, also for the Immac. Conception. See a pattern here?
St Hildegard is my patron saint. I chose her because of her brilliance and mystical relationship with God. St. Aloysius, John Paul II, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Philomena and St Therese are special to me, also St John the Evangelist whom I see as the perfect icon of the Catholic priest. My favorite ministries are youth ministry, catechism and anything involving the Eucharist. My favorite feast day is- you guessed it, Corpus Christi! My motto is: “All Eucharist, all the time!”
Now is the time to ask you: “How do you pray?”