The Church dedicates the month of September to Our Lady of Sorrows. It’s a devotion that has become a favorite of mine. As a convert, it took me a while to become comfortable with Mary and to trust her to bring my cares and sufferings to Her Son.
Now more than ever we need to entrust ourselves and our families to the spiritual protection of St. Michael amidst the current crisis in the Church. He will help us to triumph during this time of trial and suffering and ensure that our faith will not be harmed, weakened, or lost.
During his earthly life, St. Joseph was the divinely-appointed guardian and protector of the Child Jesus and His Holy Mother. This God-given mission did not end when he died—death expanded his mission to include all members of the Body of Christ. St. Joseph continues his role from heaven as the guardian and protector of the Catholic […]
Over the centuries, as the saints and theologians reflected on what it means for Our Lady to have pondered and treasured the sacred events from the life of Jesus in her heart, as attested in Scripture, Mary’s heart began to be recognized as something to be imitated in daily practice. Devotion to Mary’s holy heart then developed, in much the same way as it did for the Sacred Heart, which was physically pierced by the lance on the Cross to give Eternal Life to men. So also does Mary’s heart, which was also pierced (as prophesied by Simeon) in union with her Son, give life—that is, grace—to the Christian soul.
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.
St. Lawrence (d. 258 A.D.) was likely a Spaniard by birth who lived in Rome while Christianity was outlawed under pain of death. He was appointed by Pope St. Sixtus II as archdeacon over the seven deacons of Rome, and held the sacred duty of tending to the Church’s wealth and distributing alms to the poor.
Have you ever wondered what prompts us to pray? This thought occurred to me recently while at Adoration. As I poured out my cares and concerns to Jesus, it dawned on me that I was there because the Holy Spirit wanted me to be there.
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?
Icons are a means by which the Church leads her faithful to a life of prayer. Even today icons are seen in many churches around the world and can be venerated in the home as well.