Life is not always easy, and in desperate times people are thirsty for miracles. Everybody has problems, and everybody looks for help at least with the basics of health and protection. So people pray for the healing of a sick person, to have prosperity in the business, to get out of economic problems, to find their better half, etc. This is when Catholics start to invoke the name of their favorite patron saints. We pray to saints because they are already in heaven, and they can intercede for us.
Christians are being persecuted for their faith, to a heightened degree, all over the world. What can we do about it?
First and foremost, we must stay close to Christ through frequenting the Sacraments, through personal prayer, and through devotion to his Blessed Mother. She will teach us how to be united with Christ more perfectly, and how we should personally respond to the crises that surround the Church and her faithful.
Whenever we face times of great trial, the Blessed Virgin Mary is always the one to whom the Church collectively turns in times of great trial.
“When you see the storm coming, if you seek safety in that firm refuge which is Mary, there will be no danger of your wavering or going down.”
–St. Josemaria Escriva
During his life, St. Benedict was known to work many miracles using the power of the Holy Cross. Among these included his heroic flight from temptations and miraculous escapes from traps set to kill him.
Saint Benedict became known for his power over the Devil, with the Holy Cross as his efficacious instrument to make the Devil flee. The St. Benedict medal is based on this tradition.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of my family, for whom I now pray and upon whom I now ask you to shower your blessings. With St. Joseph as my guide, may I always be ready to spend my life for them.
Bless my wife whom you have given to me as my spouse, sharing in your wondrous work of creation. May I see her as my equal and treat her with the love of Christ for his Church. May Mary be her guide and help her to find your peace and your grace.
From time to time Mary has given certain holy saints a particular devotion to her with attached graces and promises. The devotion is meant to be spread to the whole Church. In some cases an object, or sacramental, is given to be associated with the devotion. Three very famous sacramentals given to the Church by Mary are the holy rosary, the brown scapular, and the miraculous medal.
This beautiful prayer of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was written by St. Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), the French nun and mystic who promulgated the Sacred Heart devotion, in a letter of spiritual direction to a fellow religious sister, Sister Felice-Madeleine de la Barge, at the Moulins monastery in France.
The Feast of the Ascension, also called Ascension Thursday, follows 40 days after Easter Sunday and is a Holy Day of Obligation. The Feast of the Ascension is probably treated in many places today as one of the ho-hum feast days, but historically it was a major feast (thus, its status as a holy day of obligation). In order to think of it and treat it with the same reverence as Christians of days past, it helps to reflect on it more deeply.
Traffic delays. Long commutes. Endless lines. We often consider the time we spend waiting for something as time wasted. But it doesn’t have to be a waste.
The saints tell us to humbly and patiently accept the things that come to us from moment to moment as part of the providence of God. Those moments that make up this gift called life are our opportunities to grow in holiness. One day we will have to give an account for how we spent each of them, including how we spent our time waiting for something else. Can we redeem this “wasted” time and give it back to God?