Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Battle Depression


Prayer against Depression - by Saint Ignatius of Loyola
O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.

Scripture


I am still more, with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, far worse beatings, and numerous brushes with death. Five times at the hands of the Jews I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I passed a night and a day on the deep; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights, through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings, through cold and exposure. And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant?

—2 Corinthians 11:23-29


Prayer to St. Dymphna - Hope

Good St. Dymphna, you placed all your hope in Christ's promises, and sacrificed even your life in that hope. The Lord, God, rewarded your constancy by making your name known and loved over many centuries by the thousands whom you have aided in time of difficulty. Please assist us now in our present necessity, and intercede before God for our intentions. Obtain for us a firm hope like your own in God's unfailing protection. Amen.


Jesus Is in the Darkness with You

St. Gregory Nazianzus wrote these words during a time when he found anxiety and depression crowding out any space for prayer in his soul:
The breath of life, O Lord, seems spent. My body is tense, my mind filled with anxiety, yet I have no zest, no energy. I am helpless to allay my fears. I am incapable of relaxing my limbs. Dark thoughts constantly invade my head ....Lord, raise up my soul, revive my body.


Go to Eucharistic adoration and spend some time in God's presence.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

O Sacrament Most Holy


Somewhere in the very center of my being
Our Holy Mother & Her Saving Son
Despite the coldness of my love
Despite the hardness of my heart
Despite the darkness of my sin stained soul
Have chosen to take refuge therein.
And Lo! There is Life!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Na Zdrowie! The Kloska Family Blog: The Importance of Fasting

Na Zdrowie! The Kloska Family Blog: The Importance of Fasting

Snow

Snow is no surprise in North Central Pa. I can't say that I really like snow anymore. I used to when I was much younger. Then is was magic, fun and a possible day off from school. Now it is wet shoes, dirty cars, lots of work and a possible stiff back and arms for a few days. Where did the magic go?

I went out for a short drive this evening just to get out of the house. I passed a group of kids. Their ages seemed to span preteen to late teens. I was stopped at a red light, so I rolled down my window to have a listen. Their peals of laughter filled the night with that magic I had somehow misplaced. I was sad when the light turned green, because I knew that what is a source of joy to these young people would once again become a nuisance to me.

It is, however, quite lovely.

I shampooed my grandmother's carpets today. I went to the country to pray at a Church that has Eucharistic Adoration Sunday evening until Monday evening. I had a wonderful hour of prayer. Then a lady came in and loudly banged her beads against the pew. I had a not so wonderful 1/2 hour of prayer and then left. I went to get my car washed. It was caked with sludge and salt. Then I went home, ate, fell asleep in my chair and woke up to snow. Snow.

Clean carpet, clean car... bye bye. Wet shoes, sore back... hello.

Anyway, it is quite lovely.

Friendship is like that some days.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fr. Gorden MacRae wrote an article for the First Things Blog in November of 1997 regarding the amazing mishandling of the priest scandal in which he quotes Fr. Richard Neuhaus:

"(It) is in the nature of witch hunts that those in politics, religion, and journalism who have promoted them, participated in them, or publicly endorsed them, have done so under the guise of ‘the public good,’ and with a perceived ‘public sanction’ that has historically consisted of two equally influential components: the noise of a few, and the silence of many.”

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Prayer from Sullivan County, PA


A Prayer from Sullivan County

O Lord. What have I done with such a precious gift? All creation sings your praises, but I criticize and complain. Never has an oak tree wished it were a maple. Never an aspen weeps for shedding its leaves nor envies the evergreen. Cats contentedly meow. Mules merrily bray. Crows caw your praises. The waters flow with Your breath and freeze at Your command. Clouds collect and dispense at Your will.

Man, only man goes against his created nature. In doing so, his nature and much of the natural world is corrupted. You give us to eat, and it is never sweet enough. You feed us from Your abundant table, and we complain that we are too full. Free us from our bonds ~ and we feel deprived!

God of the Ages, God of all creation, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I have been such. Forgive me. As you fill the Earth with Your Glory, so empty my cluttered heart and mind that I may be filled with Your Loving Presence. Then, perhaps, I will benefit Your Church, Your Kingdom and Your people.

Let my every thought be eternally Yours. Just as the cat’s meow is Your feline song, let my words be Your love spoken to those most in need. Let my daily deeds and smallest routines be Your kindness flowing to a thirsting humanity. Let me be as still in Your Holy Presence as the winter pond. As You fill me with the blessings of the Holy Priesthood, let me disperse Your collected Blessings according to Your Divine Directive.

Remove any envy or jealousy hidden within that my braying may be merry and my clarion caw be a joyful proclamation sweet in Your ears, my heart ever united with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

AMEN

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Insignificant Graces?


Occasionally when I am sleeping (and when I am thinking, though I cannot tell the difference sometimes) the Good Lord will speak to my heart so clearly that I am not able to doubt. My usual filters and defenses are disarmed so that I can not only hear, but I am able to freely and clearly discern what is of God, what is of Mike and what is of the Devil.

Last night was one of those graced moments. The past few weeks have been particularly difficult for me spiritually. My prayer has been constant, but also agonizing, as I am becoming aware of how little I reflect the Love of Christ. Outside of offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and celebrating the Sacraments with and for the people, I am terribly deficient in Christian charity, good works and perseverance. I don't want this post to degenerate into yet another of my narcissistic rants, so suffice it to say that were I to grade myself on discipleship I would give myself a D+!

Anyway... I had a series of awful days and a great friend of mine took an entire afternoon to help me through it. After that day of healing and grace, I went to bed at 2:30 am. My grandmother needed her usual assistance at 4 am. She is so sweet. She always tells me thanks and then says, "God Bless you. I don't know what I would do without you." It doesn't matter how groggy or irritable I am, she is always so appreciative. There is a lesson for me! Even if I had been angry with her or with life, I return to my room humbled and something like... absolved.

This morning at 4 am was no different. Humbled, delivered, absolved I settled in when the "still small voice" spoke. I seldom share these messages. They are usually personal messages of direction or correction. Last night the Lord told me that "this day I would do something great." I actually woke myself up laughing! My days of delusions of greatness have long since passed. I am too much of a realist. I still have a few delusional friends who are convinced that there is something great that God has for me to do. I do not share that conviction.

So you might understand why my response to last night's "message" was laughter. "This day" in Central Pa! Me! So I quickly dismissed the message and forgot it. I made breakfast for Granny. It was great. I said my morning Office. It was great. I made my weekly visit to the nursing home, prayed and shared communion with 4 elderly ladies, and it was great. I didn't "feel" it. I knew it was great. It was great because of God, not because of me. There was no high. There was a sense of satisfaction and peace, knowing that even when I am a mess, God is in control. Then I suddenly remembered the message~ this day you will do something great.

What does the rest of the day hold? Who knows? God knows, and it will be great. Everything done with God is great. There are no insignificant graces.





Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Letter From A True Believer!



Father,

When presented and surrounded by people who no longer even believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist how do you stay strong. Lately I have been overwhelmed with people (at church) who no longer want to believe this or that aspect of our Faith. I have even had in church people state oh well they at least believe in Christ. Sometimes I feel like I just want to find a monestary somewhere and hide. Curl up, go inside myself and just be with God myself. I am normally not this type of person as I am outgoing and friendly. But lately over and over I am presented with these people who I continue to pray for but are weighing on my soul.

I am so deeply saddened with people's inability to believe in the Real Presence. I am sure each and everyday you are presented with these challenges, how do you cope?

Blessings in Christ,

Teresa

FrMichael S McCormick January 6 at 9:50pm

Hi Teresa.

This is a very big issue with me!! So first off, I want you to know that it makes my heart glad that you have not lost your belief in this most essential aspect of our Faith. What a profound gift God has given us in the abiding Presence of HIs Son, substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament!

My primary way of coping is to make sure that I always comport myself in such a way to reflect my belief in this truth. I limit unnecessary conversation, though I am sometimes quite chatty with folks as they leave the Church after Mass! I ALWAYS genuflect when I pass in front of the tabernacle. I pray that my example might at least cause doubters to pause and reconsider what they believe.

Of course I also have an outlet you do not have ;-) I get to Offer the Holy Sacrifice and preach. Nearly every Mass I take the opportunity to mention the Real Presence of Jesus in Holy Communion!

When I can I teach, and if I must I use words. (thanks St. Francis!) And of course I pray for conversion of souls. Sometimes people think I am old fashioned. Sometimes even brother priests will ridicule me. That does sadden me. But I just persist and offer it up.

So I guess my advice to you is to persevere in your expressions of love to our Lord of Love always present and waiting for us. Offer up your suffering and sadness in reparation for all the outrages against our Lord and His Real Presence. You will not suffer in vain. You may sow in sadness, but you will reap in profound Joy!!! Pray for conversion of minds as well as souls. And finally, lead by example regardless of the presence, ridicule or exasperation of those around you.

Be strong, my sister. And thank you for sharing your faith. God Bless You!