Thursday, September 21, 2017

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

A CHEAT DAY

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing


Anyone who has tried to lose weight is probably familiar with our three words for today. Many weight loss programs advise a person to have a "cheat day" once a week, so one does not feel deprived.

I think you know where I am going with this...do you have a cheat day in your spiritual life?  Do you take short cuts in the spiritual life? Do you want your reward now? As St. Pio used to say.

How many ways can our human nature try to cheat?

Cheating on a Diet
This cheating seems to be sanctioned and approved by various health professionals and nutritionists.

Cheating on taxes
According to federal statistics, over one and a half million people 
cheat when filing their income taxes.

Cheating in school
Schools are facing a modern-day dilemma: students are using technology to cheat on tests and exams.

Cheating in sports (using enhancement drugs)
Major league sports continually report on athletes who cheat and use illegal drugs to excel in sports.

Cheating at Cards
Casinos have severe penalties for those who are caught cheating through "counting cards" and other various means to beat the "House."

Cheating on Your Spouse
Infidelity and cheating on one's spouse causes marriages to shatter and families to break apart. Many times, healing and forgiveness never takes place.

We can also ask ourselves who are trying to lead a life of virtue, if we have fallen prey to the ways of the world in which there is no sense of sin. No fear of God! No fear of offending the Almighty!

Have we been faithful to our baptismal promises, our vows that we renew each year at the Easter season?  Have we been faithful to the spouse of our soul: Christ the Lord?

One only has to read the daily news to see that we are living in a post Christian era. This drastic situation calls for drastic measures. This world needs saints. This world needs living witnesses of holiness. This world needs a holy multitude of counterculture spiritual activists: people who will take up a life of prayer and proclaim the Living God and encourage others to do the same.

We are living in dark times. Now is the time to stop cheating and taking short cuts in the spiritual life. We have only one life to live and it is short. Let's make a decision each morning to give Jesus permission to control our life. Let's make a decision to be faithful to prayer today.

Let us pray for each other.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS










Saturday, September 9, 2017

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing Lourdes, France


Your nativity, O Virgin, has proclaimed joy to the whole universe. The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, has shone from you, O Theotokos. By annulling the curse he bestowed a blessing. By destroying death he has granted us eternal life (Troparion).

By your nativity, O most pure virgin, Joachim and Anna are freed from barrenness; Adam and Eve from the corruption of death. And we, your people, freed from the guilt of sin, celebrate and sing to you: The barren woman gives birth to the Theotokos, the Nourisher of our Life (Kontakion).


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


Monday, July 31, 2017

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

A BLINDING LIGHT

Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 Spirit Singing-St. Paul Church North Canton, Ohio


Scripture tells us that St. Paul was blind for three days after a light from the sky brought him to his knees as he fell to the ground. The voice of the Lord spoke directly to him, telling him to go into the city. Saul obeyed.

...As he traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed about him. He fell to the ground..."Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?...I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting...(Acts 9:9)

Paul, a military man, who was used to giving orders, was suddenly obeying the voice of Jesus and others around him after this life-changing experience. He was able to trust those around him to lead him into the city. Once in the city, waiting to be told what to do, Saul has a vision: a man coming to him and healing him of his sudden blindness. 

St. Paul's conversion story should make us pause and think of how the Lord became the center of our life. Was our conversion experience as dramatic as Paul's? Or was it a gradual change of heart that led us to follow the Lord? Whether it's the story of St. Paul, or another saint, or a friend or family member, a person's spiritual conversion should leave us amazed and grateful for how the Holy Spirit works to convert the hearts of men.

Sometimes, others around us become that blinding light for us. They speak truthfully and sometimes harshly to us about our sinfulness and lack of virtue. Sometimes, it is the Holy Spirit that sheds the blinding light on us in our time of prayer. He convicts us of sin, encourages us in virtue, or sheds light on Scripture or Church teaching for us. St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) speaks of this sometimes painful light as "self-knowledge." It is the gift of the Holy Spirit who shows us who we truly are before the Lord. Hopefully, we respond in humility and not run in fear from the truth and give up on prayer.

The conversion of St. Paul reminds me of the prophet, Elijah. While St. Paul experienced an audible voice of the Lord, a voice that was heard by those around him, Elijah, the man of prayer, heard the voice of the Lord within his heart. For those of us who are seeking the Lord in prayer on a daily basis, we strive to hear His voice in our heart. We look for a word from Him, telling us what we should do, or we wait for a word of encouragement, or an admonition, or His gift of consolation. We are receptive to whatever He wishes to give us in the time of prayer.

We can recall that when we were first converted to the Lord, we needed the help of others to lead us, just as St. Paul needed his men to lead him into the city. Paul needed the wisdom of others to guide him, just as we need confessors and spiritual directors to lead and guide us. Paul was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit!  We who are baptized and confirmed Christians must go forth and evangelize just as Paul did. Sometimes the mission field is in our backyard with family, friends, and coworkers. Let us share the amazing grace of God with others.

"Amazing Grace...I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see!"





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, July 20, 2017

CARMELITE SAINT OF THE DAY

ST. ELIJAH
PROPHET AND FATHER OF CARMEL
JULY 20

Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing-Carmelite Shrine Niagra Falls






The prophet Elijah appears in Scripture as a man of God who lived always in His presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one true God. He defended God's law in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mount Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The inspiration that was found in him from the very beginnings of the Order so pervade its whole history that the prophet may deservedly be called the founder of the Carmelite ideal. (From the Carmelite Proper)

Holy Father, St. Elijah, pray for us!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


Saturday, July 15, 2017

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

JULY 16

THE SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

HAPPY FEAST DAY TO ALL CARMELITES!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio


NOVENA-DAY 9


O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O blessed Finder of Grace, Mother of Life, Mother of Salvation! May we through thee have access to thy Son; and may He, Who was given us through thee, receive us through thee. May thy integrity and innocence excuse before Him the stain of our corruption; may thy abundant charity cover the multitude of our sins, and thy glorious fruitfulness supply our want of merits. Our Mother , our Mediatrix, our Advocate, reconcile us to thy Son, commend us to thy Son, present us to thy son; by the grace with which thou art honored, obtain that He, who through thee put on our weakness, may, through thee, make us partakers of His bliss and glory. Amen.




Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio


DAY 8

O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O most glorious and ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel, faithful Protectress of all those who wear thy holy Scapular, behold thy poor servant humbly prostrate at thy feet, deploring his misery and imploring thy prayers, and beseeching thee to protect him through the stormy ocean of this tempestuous world; hear my prayers then, O refuge of sinners, and after this our exile show unto us the Blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O most clement, O most loving, O most sweet Virgin Mary!


Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!

Rosemarie, OCDS


Friday, July 14, 2017

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
(From a Novena dated 1931)
FEAST DAY: JULY 16

Photo: R Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing-St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio



DAY 7

O Glorious Queen of Angels! Most pure and Ever Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel! Powerful Advocate of all those who wear thy holy Scapular! Faithful Protectress of all the servants of thy Son Jesus Christ! I, an unworthy sinner, do this day, in the presence of thy beloved Son, my Saviour, choose thee for my Patroness, that through thy intercession, I may receive from Him whatsoever grace may be necessary and profitable for me now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Let us pray...

O most Holy Mary of Mt. Carmel, pray for me, I beseech thee, that through the merits of thy Son, I may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and that I may serve Him faithfully in this life, and hereafter see, love, and enjoy Him in the kingdom of His glory. Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, One God, world without end. Amen.


Antiphon

Hail, Flower of Carmel,
Hail, frutiful Vine!
Hail, ever Immaculate Queen, 
In whom all virtues shine.
O Mother mild, implore thy Son,
To hear our prayers now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us pray...

O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst adorn the holy Order of Carmel with the glorious title of Thy Immaculate and ever Blessed Mother, grant propitiously that those who celebrate her Solemn Commemoration  may, by the assistance of Thy grace, turn their affection from all irregular adherence to this world, and place them entirely on the enjoyment of Thee, Who livest and reignest, one God world without end. Amen.


Peace be with you!

Rosemarie, OCDS