I love finding ancient prayers and poems of the Church that are beautiful and deeply moving. The kind that continue for stanza after stanza, even when you think that more beautiful phrases aren’t possible! The words of the saints and other holy men and women throughout the centuries have inspired and strengthened me amidst many a difficult day.
As Catholic laity, we often hear about “active participation” at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We may think that “active” participation means “physical” participation—such as being a cantor, lector, or an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. However, first and foremost, the active participation of the laity is our interior participation at Mass.
Prayer is “the necessary and sure means of obtaining salvation, and [contains] all the graces we need to attain [salvation]…To save one’s soul without prayer is most difficult, and even impossible…but by praying our salvation is made secure, and very easy…If we do not pray, we have no excuse, for the grace of prayer is given to everyone…if we are not saved, the whole fault will be ours, because we did not pray.” If Alphonsus’s words are indeed true, then how crucial is prayer to our daily life, and to our eternal destiny! Do we live as though such words are true?
An arrow prayer is a quick, very short prayer (usually only a sentence long) which brings us into the presence of God and the saints, seeking holy aid in times of need.
The White Cord of St Joseph is piously used as a remedy against physical ailments and a support in living the virtues of chastity and purity of heart. This beautiful devotion began almost 400 years ago in the small town of Antwerp, Belgium. An Augustinian nun was miraculously healed there after asking for St. Joseph’s intercession while wearing a cord blessing in his honor.
Did I have a relationship with Our Lady when I was growing up? If you had asked me, I would have said yes. After all, I recited the rosary. I prayed the Angelus. One year in high school I even memorized the “Litany of Loreto” as my Lenten resolution. But as I came to know […]
The Monday after Pentecost is a Marian feast day. Didn’t you know? It’s alright if you didn’t. After all, Pope Francis only just declared the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, to be a permanent memorial this past March. Why Mary, Mother of the Church? Since the earliest days of Christian history, Catholics have referred […]
When you’re trying to imitate the behavior of someone you admire, reflecting on specific moments in his or her life is particularly helpful. We see the fruits of this practice when meditating on the mysteries of Christ’s life in the rosary, or when praying with the mysteries of Mary’s life in the Seven Sorrows devotion. […]
When it comes to patron saints and intercessors, Pope Francis has no shame playing favorites. He has made it clear in various audiences, such as his 2015 meeting with families in the Philippines, that St. Joseph is at the top of his list. From this report it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to guess that Pope […]
It’s easy to miss fascinating details while reading the Gospels—but it’s also rather exciting, because when you finally do notice these details, you appreciate them so much more! A few months ago, I had a particularly striking thought on the story of Christ’s appearance to the Apostles in the upper room, first without Thomas, and […]