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Showing posts with the label Prayer

A Gallimaufry: Politics and Prayer, A Dragon and Turkeys

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I woke up this morning, which is always a good thing. My memory tells me that Friday night, January 1, I didn't sleep. At all. Maybe I dropped off for a few minutes to an hour, but even then I didn't get nearly enough sleep. Three weekends and most of a week after my all-nighter, I'm starting my eighth day of one-a-day 'journal' posting. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Fog, Frost, Feelings: and Another Washington SNAFU

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(Looking across the street last Saturday. (January 2, 2021)) This week's weather has included, for the most part, dense or patchy freezing fog. I figure the weather, and Washington news, have been affecting my mood. Or should that be "has been affecting?"... ...I'd planned on getting a picture of the same twigs this afternoon. But something's removed an identifiable curvy twig. Maybe the night's and morning's frost hid it. Or maybe I just didn't notice it. So I took a picture of another part of the same set of bushes.... ...Sound and Fury, News and Opinion "2021 storming of the United States Capitol" may or may not stick as a name for whatever happened last Wednesday. I'm even less certain about what actually happened. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Rereading Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus"

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"Dr. Faustus" keeps coming back. Christopher Marlowe's play, I mean, not Johann Georg Faust. J. G. Faust lived five centuries back. Give or take a bit. Extracting his biography from folk legends, chapbooks and assorted other retellings? I'll leave that for someone else. I haven't read or discussed "Faustus," since 2012. So I'll be rereading the play, looking what I wrote then, thinking about it and sharing the results. Together with whatever else comes to mind as I go along.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Blizzard: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

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(Wednesday noon, December 23, 2020; my webcam's view of Sauk Centre's south side.) Tuesday afternoon's winter storm warning for my part of central Minnesota became a blizzard warning in the evening. We were promised a chance of freezing rain. But I didn't notice any Wednesday morning. On the other hand, wind was picking up and by noon snow wasn't coming down. It was coming across. I'd probably have got out to the Eucharistic Adoration chapel for my 2:00-3:00 Wednesday afternoon turn, if my wife hadn't said I should think about it. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

November 3: The End of Civilization as We Know It (Again)

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This isn't the first time I've voted during a pandemic, but it's the first time I've had reason for extra caution. That's why I voted by mail this year. The election results will please or disappoint me. Or, more likely, do a bit of both. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Beirut Blast: Ammonium Nitrate and Human Nature

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Last Tuesday, August 4, 2020, something exploded in Beirut. It was around 6:00 p.m., Beirut time, 15:00 UTC. By Wednesday afternoon, I'd read that the blast killed at least 100 folks and hurt some 4,000. Upwards of 100 people were missing. My guess was that the body count would increase. I was right about that, sadly. By Monday, August 10, the acknowledged death toll had passed 200. I don't know how likely it is that search and rescue teams will find more survivors. Some of the good news is that there were search and rescue teams. And that many folks in Beirut "...rushed to the blast location ... to offer support and assistance...." More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Got the Summertime Blues?

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It’s July and the year is half over. So, why does it feel like this year is taking forever to slog through? Could we be suffering from the summertime blues? I, for one, dislike the heat. However, I think it is more than that. Our country has had to deal with an impeachment of a President (forgot about that already?), a deadly virus, civil unrest, massive unemployment, and an unsteady stock market. With all this upheaval, what can we count on? Uncertainty! Summertime Blues As we move to the second half of the year, I think the summertime blues will continue. Governmental corruption continues. The deadly virus resolutely waits to pounce. Systemic racism requires time and hard work to address properly. And unemployment and stock market movements sputter up and down. How can we cope in such times as these? Turn to God I’m the type of person who feels compelled to fix things. I’m a problem solver. However, with all this uncertainty and upheaval, I’m overwhelmed. So, in times lik

I don't know how to pray any more.

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I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PRAY ANY MORE! HELP HERE

Changing My Daily Prayers

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I read David Torkington's " The Resolution to end all Resolutions " and started a new prayer routine three years ago. My starting point was Lauds and Vespers from Liturgy of the hours. Don't be too impressed. Lauds was recognizable after my adaptation. But I reduce Vespers to something I could reliably remember, late in the day. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Ash Wednesday and Lent Begins!

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Wow! How time flies! It seems like it was Christmas, just yesterday. Today, we approach the solemn season of Lent. Throughout Lent, we engage in fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Why? Well, let’s start with Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday On Ash Wednesday, we take the blessed palms received from the last Palm Sunday and we bring them back to our Church for burning. Once burned into blessed ashes, the priest, or designee, applies the blessed ashes on our foreheads, stating, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and unto dust you shall return.”  These ashes mark us as followers of Christ, for all to see. If you are Catholic, and have received ashes in the past, you know what I mean. Every Ash Wednesday, I always get questions about the smudge on my forehead. With that smudge, I witness to the world that, in my humanity, I am a sinner in need of forgiveness. The dirt on my forehead symbolizes the look of my soul. It also reminds me that I came from the dust/dirt of the earth (like Adam), and

Prayer? What prayer does God really want?

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PRAYER? WHAT PRAYER DOES GOD REALLY WANT? CLICK HERE

Our Lady of Fatima Feast Day and Call to Prayer

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Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, marking the first of six visitations to three children in Fatima, Portugal. On May 13,1917, Lucia dos Santos, and Francisco and Jacinta Marto were tending their sheep when Mary first appeared to them, asking them to come to that same place on the 13 th  of every month for the next few months. Our Lady of Fatima Calls Us to Pray the Rosary In her visitations, Our Lady asked them to pray the Rosary daily to obtain peace. This request was made at the time of the first World War. On her third visitation, Our Blessed Mother gave the children a prayer to recite. We now say this prayer at the end of each of the five decades of the Rosary: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of thy merc y. In her apparitions, Our Blessed Mother continuously requested prayers for the reparation of sinners. Many times, when we recite the Rosary, we do just that; we pray f

Lent and My Spiritual Closet

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Have you decided yet how you will make the most of this Lenten season that begins today – Ash Wednesday? I find this time of year to be quite cathartic, in that I use it to make things right with God. In essence, I clean out my “spiritual closet.” I look for those things in my life that I want to keep, such as prayer time, good deeds, etc. and find a dedicated place for them in my spiritual closet. Then, I find those areas of my life that need to be tossed – you know – those sins that need to be thrown out. I take them to the Confessional and leave them with God. He knows what to do with them. It’s my way of placing everything in its right order. What’s in Your Spiritual Closet? How will you spend your Lenten season to prepare your soul for sharing in Christ’s Resurrection? What will you do to place everything in right order within your life? Some people like to give up their favorite foods/drink as a sacrifice for our Lord. Others give of themselves to meet the needs of the le
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Lent starts March 6 this year. It's a time for abstinence, prayer and penance, among other things, which is why we've got rules about Fridays and fish. Following "fish" rules to the letter, I could splurge on lobster thermidor each Friday. I won't. The household can't afford it, for one thing. For another, gourmet dining isn't what Lent is about. I'll talk about fish, fasting and my goals for Lent. Briefly. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Wisdom from the Western Isles - Book Review

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If you want to grow in spirituality, and learn the mystic way, then you will want to get a copy of David Torkington’s  Wisdom from the Western Isles . In this thought provoking book, we meet the main character, Peter Calvay, a mystic in his own right. He acts as a spiritual guide for a young man named James. Torkington does a masterful job at interweaving the stories of the two men’s lives, who are completely different. James is Protestant, searching for meaning in his life. Peter is a middle-aged Catholic, who experienced much spiritual growth and is considered a mystic. Through Peter’s kindness and willingness to share his experiences and knowledge with James, we all get the benefit of Peter’s  Wisdom from the Western Isles . The story is set in Torkington’s native England, thus the reference to the Western Isles. Peter Calvay teaches us how to pray, and why we should pray daily. One of my favorite lines states, “Prayer is a process of continual inner conversion that involv

In a Crisis, I Found Refuge in Infused Prayer

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In the midst of a family crisis, I found refuge in the words of the prayer Jesus gave us. When we are open to the Holy Spirit, the Father shines His purifying light on us. The process is often painful, though, because when the light of the Father comes into our hearts and lives, the darkness is pushed out. Looks like I must be open to God’s work because my whole life has been shattered by decades-old secrets revealed by angry adult children. The whole process is messy but God breaks through my anxiety some days so I can respond to His call for complete surrender. However, like most mothers, I try to fix problems only to make situations worse. Back and forth I go, from heavenly peace to a state of sheer panic when I can hardly function. However, through it all, I know God is using this mess to bring healing to the whole family, just like He is healing His entire Church. Our only recourse is to draw closer to the heart of the Lord and give Him our fiat, in the middle of our con

Addressing the Post-Christmas Blues

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After all the baking, shopping, wrapping, partying and entertaining guests, do you experience post-Christmas blues? It can be quite a shock to the system, to suddenly slow down so much, that you don’t know what to do with your time. Rather than get depressed about it, use this time to reconnect with God. He is there waiting to hear from you; waiting to recharge your batteries. Reconnect with God Through Prayer Seek the solace of His guidance, friendship and love. I find the recitation of the daily Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet to be a great way to start the conversation with God, who knows me better than I know myself. He knows what’s in my heart, what is causing me concern, as well as my dreams. He also knows how to solve my problems. Through prayer, be ready to listen. Reconnect with God Through Reading of Scripture God has so much to tell us, and it’s all written down in the Bible, which is not some old book meant for people from ancient times. God’s Word is... Rea

Lent is a Week Away! Are You Ready to Make It Fruitful?

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Can you believe it? Lent is only one week away! We’ve barely left the Christmas season, and we are about to walk the journey, with Christ, to Calvary. Are you prepared to enter the Lenten season? Are you ready to make the most of it? Things You Can Do to Make Your Lent Fruitful Prayer : Make a point to set aside a few minutes each day to pray. If you have enough time to say a full Rosary, great! But, sometimes, the day gets away from us. So, a vow to say a single Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be is a commitment I think we all could easily make. Prayer is talking with God. He wants to hear from you! Fasting : At a minimum, make the effort to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. By fasting, I mean a reduced breakfast and lunch, and a full dinner. No desserts! If you can do this on a set day of the week, once weekly during Lent, all the better! Fasting helps us to understand that without God, we are nothing. It is God who provides for us: our homes, our jobs, our food, ever

Man-Made Spirituality versus Communion With God

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After a few decades of dry spiritual exercises, Catholics either become just like the Pharisees who thought they were holy because they acted and looked holy on the outside or if they are honest with themselves, they become so frustrated they lose hope, believing communion with God is only for ancient saints or a few chosen ones. Most settle for a man-made spirituality when God offers all intimate communion with Him. The truth is a vibrant, joyful relationship with Christ is simply the normal Christian life when we learn how to surrender to God and let go of control. For years, I did not understand the subtle difference between authentic and man-made spirituality.  It is not an easy distinction to make; most of us remain in delusion until a spiritual director can shake some sense into us. For myself, I tried to force God to relate to me on my own terms. Since God refused to be manipulated, the harder I tried to grow closer to Him, the more I hit a wall. The experience often broug

When I Pray, I Never Have to Say Goodbye

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I am not just reciting theology when I remind you there is neither time nor distance when we live and move and breathe in the Spirit. When someone dies or moves far away, I don’t have to say goodbye just whisper hello, a different kind of hello which moves with the speed of light to brighten each heart when I think of them. God is the great “I AM” who exists in yesterday, today and tomorrow. His Spirit mysteriously unites all of us, intimately present to each soul, all at the same time. Our whispered hello to God and each other is called prayer. continue