I stumbled across a book a few days ago: Meditations and Catechesis on the Psalms and Canticles of Morning and Evening Prayer, by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI. It’s published in the UK by Catholic Truth Society, and doesn’t ship to the US. I had to get a copy through AbeBooks and they got it from Blackwell’s in the UK. (To add to the fun, my bank at first declined the transaction because it involved sending payment overseas. A phone call got them to lift the ban—for one day. Oy vey.) But I’ve got it now and it’s mine, all mine!


Join me on Twitter as Pope St John Paul II reflects on the psalms and canticles of Lauds and Vespers.

Morning and Evening Prayer-jpii-bxviAhem. Back to what I was talking about. What was I talking about anyway? Oh! The book! Well, even if you can’t get hold of the book, you can still read the meditations and catechesis on the web. These took place at the general audiences held by the popes on Wednesdays. Pope St. John Paul II began the series by covering Morning Prayer (Lauds) and then covering Evening Prayer (Vespers). But he passed away before he could finish and Pope Benedict picked up where he left off. Pope St. John Paul II went through each day of the four-week Psalter and discussed each day in three parts, one part per Wednesday audience. (Pope Benedict didn’t adhere to that schedule the way his predecessor did.)

I’m sharing quotes and notes from the audiences (using the web versions rather than the book mainly because it’s easier) on Twitter using the hashtag #PsalmsJPII beginning with Lauds and going through Vespers. Join me and join in. Feel free to comment, too. Each session is also up at Storify — four, so far — so you don’t have to miss a scintillating minute of it. ;) See links below.

St. Augustine (hey, #CivDei peeps!) is mentioned quite a bit in the talks. Not surprising since he did write that Enarrationes in Psalmos thingy and he is a beloved Church Father and Doctor of the Church. I’ll be bringing special attention to the good doctor when we get to him, you can be sure of that! (What in the world is #CivDei, you say? Well, that’s a story for another day. Post in the works e’en now.)

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disciple96
Follow the project on Twitter: #PsalmsJPII
Follow my projects on Storify: https://storify.com/disciple96

The book at CTS: http://www.ctsbooks.org/morning-and-evening-prayer-meditations-and-catechesis/
The book at AbeBooks: https://www.abebooks.com/9781784690519/Morning-Evening-Prayer-Meditations-Catechesis-1784690511/plp
(Note: content at AbeBooks changes frequently. The book is available there as I type, but may be gone or replaced by a different edition at any time.)

Augustine's Expositions On the Psalms, digital, Logos-Verbum formatSt. Augustine’s Expositions on the Psalms, Logos/Verbum format (works with either): https://www.logos.com/product/38253/augustines-expositions-on-the-book-of-psalms
Church Fathers: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/early-church-fathers-overview-snapshot-of-the-fathers-of-the-church/
Doctors of the Church: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/doctors-of-the-catholic-church/

Into the desertI used to think of a desert as a flat sandy place with some dunes thrown in because when I thought desert, I thought Sahara. But I know now that a desert is not flat but uneven, always changing, hard to move through. There may be mountains, valleys, canyons that sneak up on you. There may be no rain. There may be rain so sudden and violent that riverbeds that seem dry from ancient times suddenly become raging torrents. Rocks may be sharp as razors. Snakes may be waiting to strike. Scorpions waiting to sting. A devil waiting to tempt.

A devil is always waiting to tempt. The devil himself was waiting for Christ; for someone as weak and insignificant as myself, there is probably only a minor demon. Maybe only a minor minor minor demon. Maybe I don’t even rate a demon of low estate but am left to my own weakness and weaknessses.

Easter will mark the beginning of my nineteenth year as a Catholic. There have been ups and downs. I have felt close to the Lord, I have felt, if not far away, then not as close. I have been faithful in my prayer life, I have let my prayer life slip, and that slipping has made itself known in every aspect of my life. I have felt strong, and I have been brought face to face with what weakness really means and with the realization that, indeed and contrary to what I had always secretly believed, I am a mere mortal, after all. (Okay, I know our souls are immortal. I just mean, I used to think I’d live forever. In this life. I was indestructible. I’d always be young, never sick, always strong, never weak. Ya know?)

So what do I plan to do for Lent? Nothing heroic, as you will see.

What will I do for Lent?

Prayer

I plan to pray daily, using ONE of the numerous devotionals I’ve collected. And pray the rosary and the chaplet of Divine Mercy. All readers of and visitors to the blog and all Twitter contacts are included in my prayers. Even those whose names I do not know; the One Who needs to know knows who you all are already.

Fasting

I’ve already cut down on the amount I eat, elimnated much I don’t need, and will be following the Church’s guidelines for fasting. But there are other appetites: the internet and social media. I won’t be interacting on social media during Lent (I will pass along prayer requests), though I plan to post at the blog, and those posts will be tweeted automatically.

Almsgiving

And I will be choosing a charity or a cause and will set aside or donate money each week for that cause. I may choose a different cause or charity each week. That’s something to ponder on and pray about.

Into the desert

Looking up at the desert hills,
knowing danger lurks in this place,
listening for the Voice not easily heard,
feeding my soul upon His Word,
praying to meet Him face to Face,
bending my will to what He wills.

Ash Wednesday 2015

In Conversation with God, Lent, Holy Week, EasterNow that I’m recovering from the plague (ugh!) I hope do some writing. Oh, I’ve been posting to Twitter but that’s about it. (Funny how much time one can waste–er, I mean, how time can fly when arguing–er, discussing things on Twitter.) I’ll be spending some time digging out from the clutter and mess that amassed while I was indisposed, then I’ll be tackling some projects I’ve been itching to work on. Itching, I say! (Or that could be the codeine. Double ugh!) Have some things I want to share with you, some things I’ve learned, some (more) books I’ve found. Also getting ready for another session of Camp NaNoWriMo coming up in April. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate. Planning to, anyway. Well, perhaps “planning” is too strong a word for what I’ve been doing. Perhaps “procrastinating” would be nearer the mark. ;)

Meditations for Lent by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet Hope you’re having a blessed Lenten season. I’ve been enjoying some meditation books: my old standby, In Conversation with God for Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide; and also Meditations for Lent by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet. And this year I’m also receiving Fr. Robert Barron’s Lent Reflections. Am I behind in all of this reading and reflecting? Heck, yeah, you know I am! But I’m still enjoying it. Tend to get more out of it every year, too. Every year I see something I missed before even when I use the same book over and over, year after year. And I do. That In Conversation with God series is wonderful. Highly recommended!

Author Francis Fernandez-Carvajal makes generous use of the writings of the great saints as he brings you focused and moving meditations on themes taken from the Mass readings for that day, the liturgical season, and more. This work is rich and extensive enough to serve as your spiritual reading for a lifetime, as it helps you relate the particulars of the message of Christ to the ordinary circumstances of your day. Each volume is small enough for you to carry to Adoration or some other suitable place for meditation. The whole set comes with a handsome slipcase that prevents wear-and-tear on the individual volumes.

Print copy: In Conversation with God, Vol 2 Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide. (Amazon’s description says paperback but mine is some sort of vinyl with a pretty dust cover and I suspect that’s what this is, too. Third party sellers.) Also available (for less $) at the EWTN Religious Catalogue for $19, item #213. Or get the full set: Amazon (starting at $96.97 from third party sellers), EWTN #6138 (for $130).

eBooks: Please note that the Kindle ebook Vol 2 is split into two separate books: Part 1 Lent & Holy Week and Part 2 Eastertide.

Meditations for Lent by Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Amazon print or Kindle.

And, no, I don’t make one red cent for recommending any of these books or anything else here on the site. I just like sharing what I’ve found, what I like, what I love. (Sometimes I have to share things I’m not so wild about, too, but that’s a post for another time.) Thanks for visiting and for reading. Leave me a comment, recommend prayer and meditation books that have helped you (Catholic Christian, please) or say Hi. I look forward to hearing from you. (And you guys who keep emailing me with messages for Scott Hahn, I wish I could pass them along but I only met him once, we’re not best buds, ya know. Track him down yourselves or I’ll be forced to figure out how to filter you out!) ;) Peace!

Feast of Christ the KingSunday, November 24, is the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of Ordinary Time in the liturgical year. Next Sunday will be the first Sunday of Advent. (I’m all set to start decorating for Christmas on that day. More on that later.) Here’s a prayer to pray tomorrow when you go to Mass. I’m going to print this out and take it with me. H/T to @annie3592. God bless you, every one, and may the peace of Christ be with you always.

Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King.

Prayer:

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.

Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968

Feast of Christ the King

Original post at Catholic Culture.

Pope_Benedict_AshWednesdayMass_smI know everybody–and I mean, everybody!–has been talking about the Pope renouncing the Chair of Peter. I don’t have anything profound to offer. But I would like to offer a brief Lenten prayer for the Holy Father. In fact, I did offer it on Valentine’s Day via Twitter. (Most days if you don’t see a post here–and most days you won’t–you might catch me on Twitter if only for a few moments at a time.)

LentenPrayerfortheHolyFather_tweet

Pope Benedict, Holy Father, I love you and I’ll be praying for you. God bless you now and always. Amen.