Monday, January 28, 2019

Praying with St. Thomas Aquinas

Fr. Mark on praying with St. Thomas.
The Lord addresses his invitation to the thirsty and the poor. The great accomplishment of Thomas Aquinas was that he saw himself as one thirsty and poor. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. . . . Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness, for they shall be satisfied” (Mt 5:3.6). Every official edition of the Roman Missal contains the prayers of Saint Thomas Aquinas to be recited by the priest before and after Mass. These prayers are, I think, a distillation of all that the Angelic Doctor lived and taught. One has only to pray Saint Thomas’ Prayer Before Mass to understand how he saw himself:
I come sick to the physician of life; unclean, to the fountain of mercy; blind, to the light of eternal brightness; poor and needy, to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I ask for the fullness of your infinite bounty, that you would graciously heal my sickness, wash away my uncleanness, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness; so that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with such reverence and humility, such sorrow and love, such purity and faith, such purpose and intent as shall further my soul’s salvation.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Novena to Our Lady of Hope

From Return to Order:
I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.
In me is all grace of the way and of the truth; in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come to me all that desire me and be filled with my fruits. (Ecclesiasticus 24:24-26).
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Grace, Hope of the world
Hear us, your children, who cry to you!
Let Us Pray
O God, Who by the marvelous protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary has strengthened us firmly in hope, grant we beseech You, that by persevering in prayer at her admonition, we may obtain the favors we devoutly implore. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen. 
Prayer to Our Lady of Hope 
O Mary, my Mother, I kneel before you with heavy heart. The burden of my sins oppresses me. The knowledge of my weakness discourages me. I am beset by fears and temptations of every sort. Yet I am so attached to the things of this world that instead of longing for Heaven I am filled with dread at the thought of death. O Mother of Mercy, have pity on me in my distress. You are all-powerful with your Divine Son. He can refuse no request of your Immaculate Heart. Show yourself a true Mother to me by being my advocate before His throne. 
O Refuge of Sinners and Hope of the Hopeless, to whom shall I turn if not you? Obtain for me, then, O Mother of Hope, the grace of true sorrow for my sins, the gift of perfect resignation to God’s Holy Will, and the courage to take up my cross and follow Jesus. Beg of His Sacred Heart the special favor that I ask in this novena. (Make your request.) But above all I pray, O dearest Mother, that through your most powerful intercession my heart may be filled with Holy Hope, so that in life’s darkest hour I may never fail to trust in God my Savior, but by walking in the way of His commandments I may merit to be united with Him, and with you in the eternal joys of Heaven. Amen.
Mary, our Hope, have pity on us.
Hope of the Hopeless, pray for us.
Say three (3) Hail Marys

Read about Our Lady of Hope of Pontmain, HERE.

Friday, January 4, 2019

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

The Tomb of St. Elizabeth at the basilica in Emmitsburg, MD
From Vultus Christi:
Elizabeth Ann Seton was, more than anything else, a Eucharistic soul. She was converted by the Eucharist. Her first instructions in the Catholic faith emanated from the silence of the tabernacle. As she went forward, following the Lamb of God wheresoever it pleased Him to lead her, Eucharistic adoration marked her spiritual journey more and more until, in the final years of her life, she was often seen in ecstatic adoration of the Real Presence.

Paradoxically, it is this thoroughly American saint, who, by her devotion to the Mother of God, her attachment to the Mystery of the Eucharist, and her obedience to the Chair of Peter, offers the antidote to the errors of “Americanism,” condemned by Pope Leo XIII in 1899.
The underlying principle of these new opinions, declared the Pope, is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind.
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