There are many beautiful and ancient traditions that come to us from the East in the form of special blessings that the Church performs on Epiphany: the blessing of water, chalk, and homes.
Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th century bishop in what is today Turkey. He was famous for his generosity to the poor, protection of the wronged, and zeal for orthodoxy. He was also a prolific miracle worker, most known for appearing to sailors caught in a storm at sea and raising three young boys from the dead.
Prayer is an essential part of Advent. Reciting this special novena prayer each day is a simple yet beautiful way to celebrate the spiritual significance of the Advent season and to experience a deeper conversion to the heart of Jesus.
The month of November is dedicated to the memory of the Holy Souls, and their feast day is November 2nd. You can easily memorize this prayer and include it after each decade of the rosary during November, or any time of year you wish to remember the faithful departed among your family and friends.
Prayers for the faithful departed pleases God, who makes use of our prayers to help purify these souls that He loves. It is an act of charity that we can give for those we have known and loved, for our ancestors who gave us life, for those souls whose memory is lost, and for those who have no one else to pray for them. Here are some ideas for praying for these suffering (and often neglected) souls, especially during the month of November dedicated to their memory.
The Holy Souls in Purgatory are members of the Church who await the purification of their souls before joining the saints in heaven for all eternity. The souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they cannot do anything to hasten their entrance into heaven. But we can pray for them. St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) was a bishop, founder of the Redemptorists, Doctor of the Church, and patron saint of moral theologians. He composted the following novena (9 days of prayer for a particular intention) for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Mindfulness is a popular word these days. It has been the subject of blog posts, podcasts, and conferences. There are courses offered on mindfulness. Mindfulness even made the cover of Time Magazine recently. What is mindfulness?
Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. + God became man, + and the Word was made flesh. + Christ was born of a virgin. + Christ suffered. + Christ was crucified. + Christ died. + Christ rose from the dead. + Christ ascended into Heaven. + Christ conquers. + Christ reigns. + Christ orders. + May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning.
“There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to each other. Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing.”
My mom became Catholic a few years ago. I was fortunate enough to sit in on many of her RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes. There was a group of about fifteen catechumens and sponsors and a few extras at each class. (I would even bring my high school kids to a few […]