Praying for the Holy Souls – Part 4

+JMJ+ This is part  of a four-part series for November, the month devoted to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, during which we remember in a special way our loved ones who have gone on ahead, practicing devotions and praying for them. The Holy See extended the indulgences through November because of Covid-19, see notes below for links about that. The Catholic Book of the Month series continues on Thursdays for now. I’m still thinking about a topic for Mondays now that this series is at an end. 

Continue reading “Praying for the Holy Souls – Part 4”

Praying for the Holy Souls – Part 3

+JMJ+ This is part 3 of a four-part series for November, the month devoted to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, during which we remember in a special way our loved ones who have gone on ahead, by practicing devotions and praying for them. The Holy See extended the indulgences through November because of Covid-19, see notes below for links about that. Also in the links are a couple of articles about Padre Pio and the Holy Souls. In this post are two videos, one about Padre Pio and his intercession for the Holy Souls and some encounters he had with them, and a video from the EWTN show, Living Divine Mercy on Why Purgatory Exists.

Continue reading “Praying for the Holy Souls – Part 3”

Praying for the Holy Souls – Part 2

+JMJ+ November is the month devoted to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. It’s a time to remember our loved ones who have gone on ahead and to practice devotions and pray especially for them. The Holy See extended the indulgences through November because of Covid-19, see notes below for links about that.

Continue reading “Praying for the Holy Souls – Part 2”

Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

+JMJ+ During November the Catholic Book of the Month series continues on Thursdays and on Mondays we’ll be focusing on the Holy Souls. Tonight we have a video, Susan Tassone, the Purgatory Lady, being interviewed on EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ. (Yes, a Jesuit and he’s one of the good ones.) ;) I dearly love Fr. Mitch.

Continue reading “Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory”

Weekly Series on the Soul, Part 48 – Christmas and Purgatory

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 48 of our weekly series on the soul. Just two more posts after this one in the series. November was the month devoted to the Holy Souls, but that’s not the only time we need to pray for them. I just discovered an article written in 2003 by an author I respect more and more: Christmas Seen As Best Time To Pray For Release Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory. After all, it’s the season of hope and for giving gifts. What better gift is there than the gift of release from Purgatory into Heaven? And all we have to do is pray for them. (Notes and links are at the end of this post.)

Continue reading “Weekly Series on the Soul, Part 48 – Christmas and Purgatory”

Did I ever tell you about my embarrassing convert class?

+JMJ+ Did I ever tell you about my convert class? It’s something that happened during our first session back in 1995. I’ll always remember, not only because it was personally embarrassing, but because in later years it took on a deeper significance. 

Continue reading “Did I ever tell you about my embarrassing convert class?”

Weekly Series on the Soul, Part 29 – Intercession

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 29 of our weekly series on the soul. Earlier today I was listening to a Catholic radio call-in show. The host was answering a question about the intercessory prayer of the saints, and some thoughts occurred to me. I made some notes quickly on my phone and decided to write about these tonight:

  • We who are in the Church are the Body of Christ.
  • We are commanded to pray for each other.
  • Our souls are immortal.
  • What does this mean for us as practicing Catholic Christians?
Continue reading “Weekly Series on the Soul, Part 29 – Intercession”

The Live Twitter Rosary Thread Returns

Banner for The Rosary Project on Twitter, aka the Live Twitter Rosary Threads

Updated March 26, 5am: I’ll make a separate page later for the Live Twitter Rosary Threads. Until then here’s the link for the first one, from March 24. Also edited the post to show that I changed the way I post the thread, just a little.

Remember the Live Twitter Rosary Thread? (On Twitter known as the #RosaryProject.*) I’m bringing it back while the Coronavirus is affecting so many of us worldwide. If you missed the Live Twitter Rosary Threads the first time around, I hope you’ll join in this time. The schedule is Tuesdays and Fridays at 7pm Central Daylight Savings Time.

Continue reading “The Live Twitter Rosary Thread Returns”

Happy and blessed Fourth of July

“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come.” — Heb. 13:14

May we all remember that we are citizens of a Kingdom not of this world. Here we are only passing through. May we all answer the Universal Call to Holiness so that we may come to enjoy the Beatific Vision with all the Angels and Saints in Heaven.

Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.

Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, pray for us.

Amen.

Image credit: The New Jerusalem, by Gustav Doré. Public domain.

Counting prayers

In the good old days when I could still walk easily and without assistance, like a normal healthy person, and wasn’t tethered to an oxygen machine, and both of my beloved dawgs were still with me—man, I miss those days—back in those days of youth and health I would take our small pack to the park every day, and while the dawgs sniffed every blade of grass and chased each other and all the squirrels, I would pray the Rosary. I usually took them to the back of the park where we could be alone and they could enjoy some measure of freedom.

One day as I walked along praying the Rosary, I was watching the birds or squirrels or something in the trees overhead. A man passed us going in the other direction and of course, he spied my Rosary beads. And he couldn’t resist saying something about them. 

Continue reading “Counting prayers”

Join me on Twitter as Pope St John Paul II Reflects on the Psalms

(Update, June 25, 2019: I can’t find the book listed anymore on the CTS website, so that link is caput. There are other edits at the end of the post.) 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. [This is an old post, the Tweets may or may not pull up and the links in them may be broken.]

Morning and Evening Prayer-jpii-bxvi

Ahem. 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.)


Notes and Links

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disciple96
Follow the project on Twitter: #PsalmsJPII
Follow my projects on Storify: [Sadly, Storify closed down May 16, 2018.]

Morning and Evening Prayer: Meditations and Catechesis on Psalms and Canticles:

Augustine's Expositions On the Psalms, digital, Logos-Verbum format

Also see these books/sets in the Logos/Verbum format (works with either):

(I listed those here because I pulled quotes from those sources, and others, when I was tweeting the #PsalmsJPII Project.)

Into the desert, Lent begins

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