I offer a silent prayer to all the firefighters battling the flames
For those forced to move out of its fiery path
There are things and situations that are literally out of our control, when all we can do is take the time to breathe. To see beyond the smoggy din that surround our lives and grasp for air.
Looking out into the ominous sky, I look beyond it and look deeply at its implications for my own well being. I can let it drag my mood down, or look beyond it to see hope. Within my magnified space, I offer up a silent prayer to God for all the firefighters working vigorously to put out the flames. I pray for all those who have been displaced by the gravity of the forest fires (Quebec). I let God do his job.
just to breathe. i am alive
grasping for air
my magnified space
allowing myself to go with the flow
Don’t forget Jesus too often withdraw from his disciples to pray: 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.Luke 5:16
Philippians 4:6 reminds us to take the time and offer up our angst and worries to God:
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
I imagine the cold and dampness of a tomb carved out of rock. Perhaps angels attend to his wounds, or they stand guard and surround his body while his soul travels into the deep depth of hell. As his soul ascends, his body is transfigured into divine light.
I can only imagine with my own limited understanding something that is beyond my human grasp. Today, I share with all this moving ancient homily. It is solemnly beautiful as it contemplates the mystery of the death of Jesus. It comes from an ancient Holy Saturday homily:
“If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my release should come.” —Job 14:14
Something strange is happening— there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness.
The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.
The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve.
The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory.
At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with your spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake.
I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image.
Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.
For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth.
For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you.
See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image.
On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back.
See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven.
I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you.
I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager.
The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open.
There is a moving depth to ancient writings that is lost in our modern vernacular.
When I first became a Catholic, I delve right into my new faith with gusto and excitement. I remember my first Lent going a bit overboard with fasting, giving up coffee, no gaming, and no shopping without really understanding the “why” I was doing it. I was miserable! Yes, I followed through it with the mindset that it was what Catholics do during Lent.
As one matures in their spiritual journey with God, one goes through a surface and more importantly an inner transformation of a deeper understanding of faith. Who I am as a child of God and what does He want for me? Where one was once a child and did as we were told, walking with Jesus leads to a blossoming spirituality. Reflecting within and without ourselves as we head into Easter, there are heart felt insights into the child within who loves God, and who journeys in hope and love. For the realization that through the death of Jesus on the cross, one can cross the bridge to the Father. Jesus died for you and me so that we may have a place next to God.
My Lenten this year is not a list of sacrifices as in previous years, but an inward awareness of me as the child of God whose brokenness is healed through the death of Christ.
Two verses moves my heart today:
I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
This Lenten moves me to rejoice within and it’s in the heart and not my headspace. It is a sincere look within, and in doing this, I see the authentic me as Jesus sees me reflected back at me.
I raise my heart in prayer for each of us to be filled with joy and hope in Jesus.
Very often as a writer, I use common phrases I think I understand.
Wow, what am I saying?
I have been reflecting the past few weeks on the Pascal Mysteries as a part of my journey in my spiritual direction, and as part of my Lenten journey to “love Jesus, know him, and to know/do his will.”
Reflecting on my past blog posts, I have often used this phrase and the deep impact of it didn’t hit me until this Sunday. Graced awareness hit me like a ton of bricks, as I realized; “Do I even know what I was talking about?”
To love Jesus, means getting to know and be in a relationship with him. Getting to know Jesus is reading the sacred scriptures and examining how it applies to me. A relationship with Jesus is communication – am I praying and talking to Jesus. It is also in looking at the world around me through Jesus’ eyes. “Is it life giving?”
Graced awareness is what I have been praying for, and when it hits me, I am in awe how simple it is.
It is only in knowing who Jesus is that I can come to love him more. Like any friendship, it entails communication and spending time together. It is through this process I learn to trust Jesus. I am after all human, and it’s been wired into me from the onset to seek relationships – especially with God. It is only when I trust, and that I can slowly move to closer to him and let go of my fears and submit to his will.
After examining and breaking down what it means “to love, know and do the will of God” and looking beyond the text – I can understand what it really means to me.
Praise be to Holy Spirit for his guidance 💕🙏
A Prayer to Know, Love, and Trust God
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to earth to save us and show us the Father’s overwhelming love. Thank you for making it possible for us to KNOW the very nature and character of the Great I AM. You revealed that both the law and gospel are features of God and what He wants for us. The Law shows us His will and teaches us that when we follow it we will be blessed with direction and protection. The Gospel shows us His forgiving love that covers our failures with mercy and grace.
Jesus, You perfectly represent both the Law and the grace of the Gospel. Please forgive me for failing to trust You completely and by Your mercy and grace, help me to KNOW You are God, the Messiah. Help me to LOVE You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And help me to TRUST and OBEY Your will that I might live each day for Your glory and enjoy the blessings of a soul completely surrendered to You.
God will always find a way to communicate with us, and this homily by Father Chris Alar was an eye opener for me:
I have always taught my kids to think critically and to seek the truth that’s hidden beneath the sludge of popularism. Satan no longer hides in the deep, and is in our faces dominating every facet of our lives. Most visible in the music and entertainment industry, as well as in our social media and mainstream news. Satan has infiltrated all facets of our culture.
I take the time to talk to my children and ask them to look at the whole picture, and to think critically before trusting the main narratives in our world. Asking questions will help them find the truth rather than be seduced by the lies that is now a part of the norm.
The recent UFO sightings (and shooting down) dominating the news is one example. I have been waiting for this harbinger. First the world had the Covid mandates and shutdowns. The closing of church’s and all public religious gathering was the beginning of the great lie: “Getting vaccinated is an act of love.” The UFO narrative is for me another way of mass control – for we who are in Christ know that these are demon and the work of Satan.
The dark and vile no longer hide. Satan is in your face now! It is everywhere – our music, Hollywood, mainstream media – it’s’ nefarious seeds reaping the minds and souls of the venerable.
Please stay focused on Jesus. No institution is perfect, just as Pope Benedict XVI and many Popes before him and Marian Apparitions have warned – Satans seed has permeated and infested many high places.
UFO and alien deception: a diabolical preparation for the anti-Christ (Daniel O’Connor and John Henry Weston).
Being bed ridden is no fun, especially when it also triggers my asthma – so sleep is healing.
My Spiritual Director was not kidding when she once told me that the sick don’t pray or read the Bible. Well, I can honestly say that I just slept and bemoaned feeling like crap. I do recall murmuring Our Father and The Hail Mary.
My capable 16 year old tested me for Covid – 19 – negative. Praise God for his hand in my healing the past few days.
Being sick as the Advent season starts has given me time to reflect on Christ the king in my heart. It has also given me time to reflect on my sins – the chaos I create – gossipy tongue, work related dramas, interpersonal relationships and the mores! I continuously fall short. I am thankful for God’s Divine Mercy. His blood and water to cleanse the stains upon my soul.
I hope to be back on my feet and the first thing I will do is go to morning mass and make a good confession as I head into the Advent Season focused on only Jesus.
This morning I gathered my family and lit the first Advent Candle with this prayer:
“Lord our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: He is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples, He is the wisdom that teaches and guides us, He is the Savior of every nation. Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation. May He come quickly and not delay. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
I pray for a blessed Advent for each of you and your families 💕🙏 and may the light within us shine out into the world💕🙏
For more information on creating your own unique family Advent:
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 15 August
Author: Bishop Paolo Magnani
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 15 August
Bishop Paolo Magnani Bishop emeritus of Treviso, Italy
So what does ‘Heaven’ really mean?
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the most joyful of our liturgical Solemnities. The Church on earth and the Church in Heaven join in the infinite glory of God, who welcomes and crowns his Mother. Today is the day of Mary’s birth in Heaven which celebrates the triumph of her soul and her body.
Let us look at her entire biography.
The Assumption is the theme of her constant ascension. Full of grace from the very moment of her conception on this earth, Mary Immaculate never ceased to grow in grace before God.
The Annunciation, Christmas, Calvary, the Passover of the Resurrection and Pentecost are the spiritual landmarks of her existence. In each one, her motherly and virginal love was enriched, aspiring to a summit that no other creature will ever be able to attain.
The mystery of Our Lady of the Assumption becomes evident if it is set within the connections that unite the Marian prerogatives to one another: she was taken up into Heaven because she was Immaculate; she was taken up into Heaven and was Immaculate because of her divine motherhood.
After the holy humanity of Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father in the sanctuary of divinity, there was nothing in the world more perfect than this motherly soul, shining with purity, beauty, tenderness and grace, reflected in her body.
Fully open to the splendours of the Word, her Son, Mary finally achieves the perfection of all the requirements of her sublime vocation.
In the First Reading of the Liturgy for this feast, we hear a passage from the Book of Revelation (11:19; 12:1-6) in which the Church has gathered various symbols, destined to express the theological and salvific meaning of the figure of Mary and her glorification.
It all takes place in a heavenly sphere: “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars”.
A little later, it speaks of other signs in the heavens: a great red dragon and the stars of heaven swept down to earth; then, lastly, we hear “a loud voice in heaven”.
Heaven is the setting of an event rich in symbols. In Pius XIl’s Bull declaring the Dogma which defines the Assumption to be a truth of faith [Munificentissimus Deus], we read: “The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (n. 44). In the face of this Dogma it might be useful to ask oneself what the word “Heaven” means.
Meaning of ‘Heaven’
“Heaven” is a word that recurs in the revelation of the Old and New Testaments. It has a long popular tradition which indicates the solid vault that separates the world on high from the world below.
This is what the Israelites thought, and likewise, what many instinctively think today.
The term “Heaven” was used by revelation and applied to what lies beyond the visible sky, imagining that there is an invisible one where God’s throne stands, as in a palace. Hence, its metaphorical sense: indeed, the One who dwells in the heavens cannot be pinpointed in any one place, for not even the heavens could contain him. Therefore, Heaven as a place is part of a symbolic language which communicates to us the reality of the faith.
And thus, we speak of Heaven as the home of angels, the stage of God’s manifestation, the dwelling place of the glorious Christ, the dwelling place of Mary Most Holy, Our Lady of the Assumption. Consequently, it is a transcendent space, it is the presence of God and his glory, it is God’s Name, it is God himself.
To go to Heaven is to go to God and to live with God. According to the Gospel, we must lay up for ourselves a treasure in Heaven!
The Reading from the Book of Revelation for this feast opens with the grandiose scene in which the woman clothed with the sun comes to take up her residence. But who is this woman? What does she represent?
A preliminary answer leads us to the Old Testament, where the “People of God” is compared to a woman and Jerusalem is considered as a woman, Yahweh’s Bride, radiant with God’s light (cf. Is 60) and destined to form a holy and numerous people.
This woman of the Book of Revelation gives birth to a son, but in her painful experience of motherhood she must first engage in a battle of demonic origin against evil, against the enemy of God.
The woman will emerge victorious from this conflict. The newborn child is the Messiah, “one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rv 12:5). Her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the celestial woman, on the other hand, fled to the desert where God cared for her.
This Reading is complex and rich in evocative resonance; it reminds us of the wait for the Messiah, the sufferings and triumph of the messianic experience that unite Mother and Son. The woman of the Book of Revelation is the Sorrowful Mother, but also the victorious Queen, a title missing from the Litany of Loreto.
Mary comes first
When we start with this Woman-Mother of the People of God and of the Son-Messiah, we come to the Church, the new People of God with Mary.
Ever in the light of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us listen to St. Paul (Mass of the Day: I Cor 15:20-27), who speaks to us of the Resurrection of Christ and of our resurrection in him. We have reached the crowning event of the history of salvation, of the victory of the Man over sin, Satan and death: “Christ is risen from the dead”.
This is the sign of the Christian faith. With Baptism, Christians are incorporated into Christ and come to share in his Risen Life. Christ is the first fruits of all the dead who are destined to be raised. In this chain of risen people whom Christ brings with him to Heaven, Mary comes first, with Christ and for Christ.
If we want our Marian devotion to conform with God’s will, it must be as Christocentric as the entire spiritual biography of the Mother of Christ.
The Gospel for the Mass of the Assumption is offered to us by St. Luke (1:39-56), who has passed on what is called The Infancy Gospel.
The account of Mary’s visit to St. Elizabeth introduces us to the important Marian prayer of the Magnificat, the personalized comment of the One who henceforth plays the lead role in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. The Magnificat is a great canticle in which converge the spiritual sentiments of the poor, the humble, those who wait with trust for salvation from God.
On Mary’s lips these sentiments acquire fresh vigour, inexhaustible and unfathomable depth and a unique motivation. Having reached the fullness of the perfection that shines on her body and already illumined by the beatific vision, she, the undeserving little creature, sings the Magníficat before the Almighty and Merciful God.
Mary never forgets she is the handmaid of the Lord, just as she does not forget the gratuitous goodness of the love of God, who has turned his gaze upon her almost as a compendium of all his mercy poured out upon humanity.
For this reason, the daily prayer of the Magnificat closes the Christian day.
Mary taken up into Heaven, in her attitude of contemplation before the Most Holy Trinity, carries out the ministry of intercession on our behalf, ever in communion with Jesus Christ, the one Mediator and heavenly Priest.
And we, his children and his faithful, although we are sinners, commend ourselves full of trust to this Mother of ours, steeped in beatifying tenderness.
Let us ask her to purify us: to free us from every evil, starting with sin in its various forms. We are pilgrims on this earth, here below, where it is our vocation to journey on towards Heaven, now bound for experiencing God in the beauty of the creatures.
On the Solemnity of the Assumption, the Blessed Virgin Mary strengthens us through faith in the future resurrection; she attracts us with the sweetness of her love, so that one day we too may contemplate Jesus, the blessed fruit of her love.
We ask this of you: O clement, O merciful, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Taken from: L’Osservatore Romano Weekly Edition in English 8/15 August 2007, page 11
L’Osservatore Romano is the newspaper of the Holy See. The Weekly Edition in English is published for the US by:
The Cathedral Foundation L’Osservatore Romano English Edition 320 Cathedral St. Baltimore, MD 21201
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us. God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us. Holy Mary, pray for us. Holy Mother of God, pray for us. Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us. Mother of Christ, pray for us. Mother of divine grace, pray for us. Mother most pure, pray for us. Mother most chaste, pray for us. Mother inviolate, pray for us. Mother undefiled, pray for us. Mother most amiable, pray for us. Mother most admirable, pray for us. Mother of good counsel, pray for us. Mother of our Creator, pray for us. Mother of our Savior, pray for us. Virgin most prudent, pray for us. Virgin most venerable, pray for us. Virgin most renowned, pray for us. Virgin most powerful, pray for us. Virgin most merciful, pray for us. Virgin most faithful, pray for us. Mirror of justice, pray for us. Seat of wisdom, pray for us. Cause of our joy, pray for us. Spiritual vessel, pray for us. Vessel of honor, pray for us. Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us. Mystical rose, pray for us. Tower of David, pray for us. Tower of ivory, pray for us. House of gold, pray for us. Ark of the Covenant, pray for us. Gate of Heaven, pray for us. Morning star, pray for us. Health of the sick, pray for us. Refuge of sinners, pray for us. Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us. Help of Christians, pray for us. Queen of angels, pray for us. Queen of patriarchs, pray for us. Queen of prophets, pray for us. Queen of apostles, pray for us. Queen of martyrs, pray for us. Queen of confessors, pray for us. Queen of virgins, pray for us. Queen of all saints, pray for us. Queen conceived without Original Sin, pray for us. Queen assumed into Heaven, pray for us. Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us. Queen of peace, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we Thy Servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal happiness. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Let us celebrate and pray together today this special prayer and draw closer to Jesus through Mary’s intervention for us.