Monthly Archives: January 2010

Pray with Me: Novena to St. Blaise, Day 5

Praying for the intercession of St. Blaise for Allie, and my neck, and all physicians, particularly Allie’s pediatrician Dr. Albert and ophthalmologist Dr. Wilson and my brother Joe:

Novena to St. Blaise

Almighty and Eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy divine Son.

Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saving, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.

Prayer in honor of St. Blaise
O GOD, deliver us through the intercession of Thy holy bishop and martyr Blase, from all evil of soul and body, especially from all ills of the throat; and grant us the grace to make a good confession in the confident hope of obtaining Thy pardon, and ever to praise with worthy lips Thy most holy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Invocation of St. Blaise
St. BLASE, gracious benefactor of mankind and faithful servant of God, who for the love of our Savior did suffer so many tortures with patience and resignation; I invoke thy powerful intercession. Preserve me from all evils of soul and body. Because of thy great merits God endowed thee with the special grace to help those that suffer from ills of the throat; relieve and preserve me from them, so that I may always be able to fulfill my duties, and with the aid of God’s grace perform good works. I invoke thy help as special physician of souls, that I may confess my sins sincerely in the holy sacrament of Penance and obtain their forgiveness. I recommend to thy merciful intercession also those who unfortunately concealed a sin in confession. Obtain for them the grace to accuse themselves sincerely and contritely of the sin they concealed, of the sacrilegious confessions and communions they made, and of all the sins they committed since then, so that they may receive pardon, the grace of God, and the remission of the eternal punishment. Amen.

Prayer

My LORD and my God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.

Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.

Advertisements

St. Teresa of Avila on “sixpence none the richer”

“What wife is there who, after receiving many valuable jewels from her husband, will not give him so much as a ring — which he wants, not because of its value, for all she has is his, but as a sign of love and a token that she will be his until she dies? Does the Lord deserve less than this that we should mock Him by taking away the worthless gift[89] which we have given Him? Since we have resolved to devote to Him this very brief period of time — only a small part of what we spend upon ourselves and upon people who are not particularly grateful to us for it — let us give it Him freely, with our minds unoccupied by other things and entirely resolved never to take it back again, whatever we may suffer through trials, annoyances or aridities. Let me realize that this time is being lent me and is not my own, and feel that I can rightly be called to account for it if I am not prepared to devote it wholly to God.” (Way of
Perfection
, Ch. 23, para. 2
).

Compare to the passage from C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, from which the group Sixpence None the Richer took its name:

“Every faculty you have, your power of thiking or of moving your limbs frommoment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything taht was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small chidl going to its father and saying, ‘Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present.’ Of course, the father does, adn he is pleased with the child’s present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity Bk. 3, Ch. 11, pp. 126-127 in the 1996 Touchstone edition).

On the one hand, the fact that God has given us everything should make us want to give everything back to Him, just as the Son does. Yet He realizes we are incapable of it-He created us incapable of it, because he wants us to give freely. He would rather we give a small amount freely than everything under duress. And when we are truly not free to give, we do not need to.

St. Teresa continues:

“I say ‘wholly’, but we must not be considered as taking it back if we should fail to give it Him for a day, or for a few days, because of legitimate occupations or through some indisposition. Provided the intention remains firm, my God is not in the least meticulous;[90] He does not look at trivial details; and, if you are trying to please Him in any way, He will assuredly accept that as your gift. The other way is suitable for ungenerous souls, so mean that they are not large-hearted enough to give but find it as much as they can do to lend. Still, let them make some effort, for this Lord of ours will reckon everything we do to our credit and accept everything we want to give Him. In drawing up our reckoning, He is not in the least exacting, but generous; however large the amount we may owe Him, it is a small thing for Him to forgive us. And, as to paying us, He is so careful about this that you need have no fear He will leave us without our reward if only we raise our eyes to Heaven and remember Him.” (Way of Perfection, Ch. 23, para. 3).

Every moment we give God has immense value.

A Sudden, Unprovided Death

Pray that God will save you from a sudden, unprovided death.

And do your best to ensure you don’t put yourself in that situation!

Despite what freemasons ordained as priests may have told you, Hell is real, and it is eternal.

It only took one thought against God for the fallen angels to be sent to Hell for all eternity, yet God gives us chance after chance after chance.

Jesus even told St. Faustina that He calls out to every soul three times in the split moment between life and death–but most say no.

Our Lady of Fatima told the children that the vast majority of people end up in Hell, and mostly because of sexual sins. She showed them Hell, and they saw people they knew personally who had died recently! Other saints have had similar visions.

Don’t take the chance. Go to Confession monthly; every two weeks as possible, and as soon as possible when you are conscious of mortal sin.

Pray, pray, pray to stay in a state of grace. Don’t listen to the “Spirit of Vatican II” types: the Church still grants indulgences, and strongly encourages them.

If you go to confession every two weeks, stay free from attachment to sin, receive communion daily, and each day practice one of the devotions to which a plenary indulgence is attached (e.g., read the Bible for a half an hour or spend a half an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament), the you can potentially get a plenary indulgence every day (apply some of them to the souls in Purgatory, particularly your relatives, and get even more graces!)

God is Merciful, but we must avoid the sin of presumption!!

Rape and Abortion.

I’ve been engaging in a rather long and heated, yet interesting, discussion on InsideCatholic with an alleged Catholic who supports abortion in the case of rape, but who echoes the kinds of comments made by “Operation CounterStrike.”

To sum up, the person in question has stated the following positions:
1. That we should not “force” women to have pregnancies they don’t want
2. That a baby conceived from rape is the “progeny of a rapist,” and therefore deserves to die
3. That enduring a pregnancy resulting from rape is like reliving the rape.
4. That abortion in the case of rape is self-defense.

I have made repeated attempts to get this person to explain why she thinks this, but she refuses to give the points remises that underlie these opinions or the syllogisms that connect them.

I, and several others, have asked her what guilt the “progeny of a rapist” bears that requires the death penalty, why she thinks abortion in this case qualifies as “self-defense,” and why she thinks pregnancy is so traumatic, but she refuses to explain. Instead, using typical pro-abortionist rhetoric, she accuses us of being idiots, lunatics, fanatics and liars (I’ve been accused of all four). She accuses us of lying about who we are.

She talks disparaingingly of “minor traditions” like relics and indulgences. When I pointed out that those are not optional–you can’t have a valid church without relics, and if you say, “I don’t participate indulgences,” that means you never pray, read the Bible, go on pilgrimage, etc.

Anyway, the conversation is well worn out, but it once again shows how pro-abortionists really can provide no philosophical foundations for their positions, other than vague emotional appeals. The baby deserves to die, in their view, because the poor, wimpy women can’t separate the baby from the cause of the baby.

It dawned on me last night to point out one of my usual arguments on this issue: the rape is one thing. For a conception to result, God has to step in, so obviously God intends for the baby to exist. If you believe life begins at conception (as this person claims to believe), then God created that soul at the moment of conception (and of course, the conception could occur as much as five days after the rape).

I really *would* like to know why these people think this way. It doesn’t change the fact that they’re wrong, but it would make it a lot easier to refute them. I tried to suggest some of the reasons I’d heard before, but she accused me of misquoting her.

In any case, the “forcing” thing is a stupid argument. There’s a big difference between “forcing” someone to do something and taking away the option.

It is quite interesting, in fact, that pro-lifers oppose the UN’s International Criminal Court for its provisions on “forced pregnancy”. We’re assured that this does not refer to outlawing abortion, but rather to situations like women taken captive in war and forced into sex slavery.

Yet the pro-aborrtionists have adopted the rhetoric of “forced pregnancy” in the context of making abortion illegal.

“You wouldn’t force a woman to have a baby that would traumatize her?” they ask.

So I proposed, “What if the woman was abused and had a baby that looked like her abusive husband or parent or relative; wouldn’t that traumatize her?”
I was assured that this was an irrelevant analogy. I’m still not sure why.

What about, “You wouldn’t *force* a man who’s psychologiclaly compelled to rape to resist his urges, would you?”
“You wouldn’t *force* a person who’s psychologically compelled to murder to endure the trauma of not murdering, would you?”
“You wouldn’t *force* a person who’s desperately in need to *not* rob a bank, would you??”

It’s the most meaningless argument a person can make, and somehow they have no idea how meaningless it is. It’s baffling to me. And women say men are sexist when we accuse them of being emotional rather than logical.

Of course, another fall back in the discussion is always, “Well, abortion is legal, so deal with it.” Duh. That’s why we’re debating about whether to make it illegal.

Then there’s the Rousseauian classic, “Well, the Catholic Church is responsible for a lot of the social posroblems that cause abortion,” and “The Catholic Church facilitates rapists.”

OK, what a good, faithful Catholic you are.

Socio-economic circumstances don’t cause sin; original sin does.

Pray with me: Novena to St. Blaise, Day 4

Praying for the intercession of St. Blaise for Allie, and my neck, and all physicians, particularly Allie’s pediatrician Dr. Albert and ophthalmologist Dr. Wilson and my brother Joe:

Novena to St. Blaise

Almighty and Eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy divine Son.

Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saving, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.

Prayer in honor of St. Blaise
O GOD, deliver us through the intercession of Thy holy bishop and martyr Blase, from all evil of soul and body, especially from all ills of the throat; and grant us the grace to make a good confession in the confident hope of obtaining Thy pardon, and ever to praise with worthy lips Thy most holy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Invocation of St. Blaise
St. BLASE, gracious benefactor of mankind and faithful servant of God, who for the love of our Savior did suffer so many tortures with patience and resignation; I invoke thy powerful intercession. Preserve me from all evils of soul and body. Because of thy great merits God endowed thee with the special grace to help those that suffer from ills of the throat; relieve and preserve me from them, so that I may always be able to fulfill my duties, and with the aid of God’s grace perform good works. I invoke thy help as special physician of souls, that I may confess my sins sincerely in the holy sacrament of Penance and obtain their forgiveness. I recommend to thy merciful intercession also those who unfortunately concealed a sin in confession. Obtain for them the grace to accuse themselves sincerely and contritely of the sin they concealed, of the sacrilegious confessions and communions they made, and of all the sins they committed since then, so that they may receive pardon, the grace of God, and the remission of the eternal punishment. Amen.

Prayer

My LORD and my God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.

Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.

Out There — 1984/85

I got a lot of mileage out of this poem. I wrote it in the summer of 1984 or 1985. I remember it was summer, and I was either just starting or just finishing second grade. In 1988, when I was in sixth grade, my dad submitted it, along with some of my other works, to a local amateur essay contest.

I got to go to some workshop with some weird old hippie poet. The other poem was from a creative writing class I took with my dad, and it was about a wolf. It was modeled after “Tyger, Tyger,” IIRC. In any case, the old poet spent most of the workshop screaming at me for stereotyping wolves.

Later, “Out There” was published in the USC Sumter literary magazine when I was in college. A few years ago, I sent it to one of those “You could win $10,000 if you send us your poem” book things, and supposedly it was published.

Out There

(Grade 2)

What could be,
Way Out There
Beyond Pluto,
Beyond Solar Flare?

What could be?
If only we’d see,
Out There
Out There

What could be?
maybe a sea;
a sea of stars,
a sea of being –

What I see
is another Earth;
The opposite of ours:
One of Peace.

Conversion Stories: Helen Joy Davidman Gresham Lewis

There followed a day of frantic and vain telephoning. By nightfall there was nothing left to do but wait and see if he turned up, alive or dead. I put the babies to sleep and waited. For the first time in my life I felt helpless; for the first time my pride was forced to admit that i was not, after all, “the master of my fate” and “the captain of my soul.” All my defenses — the walls of arrogance and cocksureness and self-love behind which I had hid from God — went down momentarily. And God came in.

— Davidman, Joy. _Out of my Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman_. Don W. King, ed. Eerdmans, 2009. P. 128.