O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
Verily, there are different ways to pray. One can engage in VOCAL prayer; that is, praying preformatted prayers, i.e., the Our Father, Hail Mary, Act of Contrition, etc. One can engage in MEDITATION, which is, thinking about a certain truth found in Scripture or Catholic teaching in order to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of it. (It should lead us to prayer from the heart.) One can engage in LITURGICAL prayer, such as Holy Mass or praying the Divine Office. There are prayers of PRAISE, such as that engaged in by many charismatics. And then there is CONTEMPLATION, "...the simple expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the extent that it makes us share in His mystery." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2724)
Yet any or all of the above forms of prayer (volumes of which could be written about each) can and ideally should lead to CONVERSATIONAL prayer. This is simply TALKING TO GOD, or Our Lady, the angels or the saints. It is talking to them as we would talk to our best friends, about anything no matter how small or insignificant, great or impossible. How do friends talk to each other? They share their joys and sorrows, their successes and failures. They "open" their hearts to each other.
Conversational prayer can happen at home, our place of employment, while driving our cars, anyplace, anytime, anywhere. We can “conversate” with Our Lord in the silence of our hearts or out loud when we are alone. I frequently do this. I take care of my elderly mother (for whom I request your prayers). Her hearing is very waned. I can walk around the house talking out loud to God and my mother can’t hear me. I like that! I talk to Our Lord about the most insignificant things at hand: what I’ve done, need to do, failed to do, my friends, my enemies. I often just say: "Jesus, I love You!"
By engaging in CONVERSATIONAL prayer, we can carry out Our Lord’s directive: "Pray always!" And it is one of the easiest ways to pray with our hearts.
I’ve been reading a small book about conversational prayer by Brother Craig Driscoll. I highly recommend it to you. Brother Craig does a great job of explaining all the many ways you can simply converse with God. This book is so easy to read, but so profoundly accurate and sound in its spiritual direction.
Give yourself a gift. You can secure the book directly from Brother Driscoll at: The Monks of Adoration, PO Box 546, Petersham, MA 01366-0546 Tel: (508) 724-8871 or from Queenship Publishing Company at: PO Box 42028, Santa Barbara, CA 93140-2028 (800) 647-9882.
God bless you!
Ah, yes, poor El Nino, getting chastised for everything. How many realize the origins of this name? It comes from the Spanish term for the Christ Child and was attributed to this weather pattern the name chiefly because it occurs around Christmas time, the occasion of the birth of Jesus. Poor Jesus, first they crucified Him, now they’re calling Him names because of a "freak of nature" attributed to His name that is running havoc on the Pacific and the western hemisphere, not to mention the rest of the world. It seems so far fetched…and then again, it really isn’t - for the name is most appropriate in these last days before the dawn of the new Millennium. You see, these are all "acts of God," that disclaimer phrase that all travel and insurance agencies tack on to contracts. After all a contract is null and void if God intervenes in their mind.
What if God the Father felt that way? We would have been extinguished long ago. The Old Testament chronicles how His people constantly violated their contract with Yahweh over the centuries. In New Testament times we’re no better, especially in this century where our culture has embraced all that is anathema to the Holy Trinity. We have turned our backs on God, opting for the temporal pleasures of earth. If someone turned their back on you and took all your property, giving credit to all but you…do you think you’d be a bit ticked?!? God isn’t like that, but He is equally Just as well as Merciful. His run of Mercy is just about running out. We’ve had more than enough chances to embrace His loving Divine Mercy. His gift to us through His Holy Church in the sacraments and truths, and His devotion to Divine Mercy He has bestowed on His people through His humble servant Blessed Sister Faustina Kowalska are just a few tangent examples of His Divine Mercy. The Font of Divine Mercy is flowing generously for all who wish to drink of the chalice of His Love. But the price to drink from this priceless stream of grace is to agree to the contract Jesus asked of us in Matthew 10: 38, "he who does not take up his cross and follow Me, is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake, will find it."
Could it be that the world, in their haste to find their lives in the finite scenario of false values, are not willing to take up the cross? Could it be that they mock those who do take up the cross? If that is so, and we truly believe it is, then the syllogism is that they will lose their life…their eternal life! But God is so merciful that He’s giving everyone second, third…hundredth…millionth chance to reform and embrace the cross and His Will for mankind. Man, being the hardhead he is, needs to be conked on the noggin often and hard to wake up to the facts of eternal life. God has demonstrated this throughout the history of civilization. Ask Noah how much it hurt when the people derided him for building a ship on dry land. We all know who had the last laugh. But God isn’t laughing today, and to exhibit His seriousness He has sent gentle reminders and severe reminders. The gentle reminders are the visits of the Blessed Virgin Mary to countless visionaries and messengers on every continent, intensified in these latter days. The severe reminders are the earthquakes, floods, volcanic activity, droughts, tornadoes, typhoons, hurricanes and changing weather patterns all over the globe because the Cup of Jesus Precious Blood is overflowing and the Cup of Chastisement is at hand! We’ve broken our contract with God. Why shouldn’t we expect retaliation and repossession of all we own…if, ever, we could really claim ownership of anything? If society demands recompense for transgressions against the law - whether civil or criminal, how much more does the High Court of Heaven demand Justice?
We call these "acts of God" natural disasters and it’s only natural that He would allow these in the face of the unnatural disasters, perpetuated by satan, which have enveloped the globe in a dark cloud, blacker than the farthest black hole of the constellation. The tumors of abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, obscenity, pedophilia, greed, murder, wars, jealousy, theft, deceit, pride, and a false sense of security have, like a huge cancer, eaten away at the soul of mankind. The Light of the Son cannot penetrate this darkness. The only way to pierce the black hole and the thick hide of mankind is through natural disasters. Afterall, the real disasters are not natural disasters, but unnatural disasters for they produce supernatural disasters! Yes, the time for a world-wide shake-up is here. It may seem unnatural to call the latest weather pattern after Our Lord, but in the natural order of events, it’s very natural for the Supernatural!
No. 1357 to 1359, page 342 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:
: We carry out this command of the Lord by celebrating the memorial of his sacrifice. In so doing, we offer to the Father what he has himself given us: the gifts of his creation, bread and wine which, by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the words of Christ, have become the body and blood of Christ. Christ is thus really and mysteriously made present.
&bsp; We must therefore consider the Eucharist as:
The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for the work of creation. In the Eucharistic sacrifice the whole of creation loved by God is presented to the Father through the death and the Resurrection of Christ. Through Christ the Church can offer the sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for all that God has made good, beautiful, and just in creation and in humanity.
From the Baltimore Catechism No. 4; Benziger Brothers, Inc and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Nos. 252-256, Page 207
Q: When are we bound to receive Holy Communion?
A: We are bound to receive Holy Communion, under pain of mortal sin, during the Easter time and when in danger of death.
Q: Is it well to receive Holy Communion often?
A: It is well to receive Holy Communion often, as nothing is a greater aid to a holy life than often to receive the Author of all graces and the Source of all good.
Q: What should we do after Holy Communion?
A; After Holy Communion we should spend some time in adoring Our Lord, in thanking Him for the graces we have received and in asking Him for the blessings we need.
Proposition F was approved by more than 68 percent of voters, saving the 103-foot-high Mount Davidson Cross. Controversy over the memorial began in 1990 when a group of atheists sued the city, saying that having the cross on public land represents a government endorsement of Christianity. After the US Supreme Court said the cross violated the state constitution's ban on government preference in religion, the Board of Supervisors proposed to get voter approval to sell the land on which it sits.
The referendum ratifies the Board's decision to sell to a
private group 0.38 of an acre of park land on which the
cross is located. The Council of Armenian American
Organizations of Northern California agreed, for $26,000,
to preserve the cross as a war memorial.
The law, which was originally passed in 1994, has never been used because of legal challenges and now the state attorney general's office says the law has been in effect since October 27 when a federal court threw out a 1994 injunction. But pro-life groups said the injunction remains in effect until US District Judge Michael Hogan repeals his order. Either way, opponents said they will file a lawsuit and try to persuade a judge to block the law again. The Catholic conference and Oregon Right to Life have already vowed to continue their fight to repeal the law.
Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical & Dental Society's, representing 10,000 doctors, said he was alarmed by the vote. "Frankly, we're scared. We're scared that a shroud of secrecy will cloak this practice so that it will be impossible to expose abuses or reverse course," Stevens said. Pro-family groups also expressed their dismay at the voter support for allowing doctors to kill terminally-ill patients. "A majority of Oregon voters deluded themselves into believing that physician-assisted suicide is about 'personal autonomy' and 'choice,'" said Carrie Gordon of Focus on the Family. "Oregon's approval of state-sanctioned killing perverts the practice of medicine and opens the door for coercion of vulnerable, suffering Americans to 'choose' an early death by profit-motivated health care companies, misguided physicians, and even well-meaning family members."
Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit also spoke out on Wednesday
after voters blocked the repeal effort on Tuesday. "The
decision of the Oregon voters to retain their state law
authorizing assisted suicide opens a new and very tragic
chapter in the moral and cultural history of our country,"
said the cardinal. "For Catholics, Christians and people of
religious conviction, the results of this election must be
seen against the backdrop of God's law: the legal
toleration of euthanasia in no way makes it morally
acceptable." The Detroit-area has been the focal point of
the assisted suicide debate as activist Jack Kevorkian has
assisted almost 100 people in killing themselves since 1990.
The archbishop pointed out that the 20th century has seen an unprecedented flood of refugees. There are 50 million refugees in the world today-- a number which represents 1 of every 120 living humans. Roughly 80 percent of all refugees are women and children, and 90 percent come from impoverished countries. Their reasons for leaving their homelands are usually wars, ethnic rivalries, other "violations of the most elementary rights of human beings" such as religious persecution, or natural and ecological disasters.
Homelessness leaves the refugees in extremely dire circumstances, Archbishop Martino observed-- often precipitating them into conditions worse than those which compelled their departure. Refugee camps frequently lack adequate food, water, and sanitary facilities. Medical care is often unavailable, and when international agencies do appear on the scene, they seem concerned almost exclusively with performing abortions and encouraging contraception-- neglecting obvious problems of disease and suffering.
The net result of these horrors is that many refugees fall victim to hunger, disease, and violence in the refugee camps, the archbishop reported. And because so many of them are coming from war zones, many others are killed before they can reach the camps.
To compound the problem, Archbishop Martino added, many warring parties use the refugees as pawns in their negotiations, and abuse the refugees who are identified with their political rivals.
Archbishop Martino said that three steps are necessary to help the
refugees. First, they must have humanitarian aid, to address their
most pressing human needs. Next, the international community must
develop better methods of intervention to prevent the crises that
cause mass emigration, by encouraging the development of
democratic rule and the respect for human rights. Finally, working on
the principle of solidarity among all human persons, the developed
world must find ways of stimulating growth in the poorer countries.