Just as Jasper has been used to cut away and bring out the best in other stones, so do we need to cut away what is unnecessary and ugly in our souls to be prepared to receive Christ at Christmas. When He comes, He skillfully and lovingly carves away everything in our hearts that keeps us from living fully and freely in His love.
Even though she was a woman of great holiness, Elizabeth was still human. I can only imagine the humiliation which she experienced from the public and private reproach she received from the family she married into! She is truly an incredible example of patience, surrender, and humility. In light of this beautiful testimony, I’d like to share a very powerful litany that makes my heart cringe and stretch and groan and grow all at the same time. It’s called the Litany of Humility.
A few years ago, a close friend introduced me to the 10 virtues of Mary. Although I had completed St. Louis de Montfort’s total consecration to Mary, I didn’t know anything about the 10 virtues formally associated with Our Lady. I was fascinated when I learned about the Blessed Mother’s virtues and before long, they were something that had become near and dear to my heart. What are her 10 virtues?
For every hour of this day, instruct and support me in all things. Whatsoever I may receive during the day, teach me to accept them tranquilly, with the firm conviction that everything comes by Your holy will. Govern my thoughts and feelings in all I do and say. When unforeseen things occur, do not let me forget that everything comes from You.
I have lots of memories of Christmases from my youth. I vividly remember making delicious holiday meals, singing in the children’s choir at mass, and excitedly buying presents for my siblings and parents, among many other things. But I don’t remember too much about Advent growing up, except for lighting the Advent wreath every night […]
Every November 2nd the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of All Souls, a day devoted to remembering and praying in a special way for the Church Suffering— the Holy Souls in Purgatory who are being purified on their way to heaven after death. The Church sees this practice as so important that the entire month […]
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.
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 Three Hail Mary novena is a very beautiful prayer recited in honor of three of Mary’s special gifts given to her by God: her power, wisdom, and mercy. In this novena we ask her to use these gifts on our behalf to obtain our petitions from God, and most importantly, to help us lead a holier life.
The Holy Rosary is an enormous source of grace and protection, one of the most powerful sacramentals of the Catholic Church. Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the children to whom Our Lady appeared at Fatima, once said, “There is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families . . . that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”