Friday, August 28, 2009

St Augustine, St Monica & Spiritual Motherhood

I wanted to add some of my own thoughts to this beautiful story of Spiritual Motherhood. It firstly remindes us that it is not enough to be physcial mothers to our children, we are called to become spirtual mothers to our children and our most perfect example is our own spirtual mother, Our Lady.

The spiritual order is higher than the physical and no less real, if not MORE real, for we are not to just give our children life and to then see them lose their lives eternally with no resistance from ourselves. No, our true fullfilment as a mother is to also 'give birth' to our children's eternal life in heaven in co-operation with Our Lady. And it can be a birth that is sometimes no less painful than a physical birth!

So we are called to pray and even sacrifice for our children and their future vocations, it is part of our christion motherhood. Within christian motherhood there is always spiritual motherhood.

Our Lord Himself alludes to the fact there are two levels of mothering/parenting in Scripture, we cannot stop at one, we must have both:

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" ~ Luke 11:13

Our spiritual mothering never ends, not even in this life. I think of a mother I know who had prayed and sacrificed unceasingly for her wayward children and the conversions that took place only after her death.

Sometimes our spiritual mothering can be sorely tested, that we can question whether those prayers and sacrifices will come to anything, especially when things seem completely hopeless.

St Monica understands only too well this questioning, this temptation to doubt the efficacy of it all. In St Monica's case she was blessed to have a Bishop, a saint in fact, St Ambrose to give his paternal wisdom and advice.

Here is a quote from the book, The Life of St Monica that details the depths of her bitter sorrows and the comfort she received, both from God and St Ambrose:

"With bitter tears she cried on God to help her; her grief seemed greater than she could bear. At last the night came, and with it peace. As she slept, exhausted with weeping, she had a dream which brought her a strange sense of hope and comfort. It seemed to her that she was standing on a narrow rule or plank of wood, her heart weighed down with sorrow as it had been all through the day.

Suddenly there came towards her a young man radiant and fair of face. Smiling at her, he asked the cause of her tears. " I am weeping," she answered, " for the loss of my son." " Grieve no more, then," he replied, " for, look, your son is standing there beside you." Monica turned her head. It was true; Augustine stood at her side on the plank of wood. " Be of good cheer," continued the stranger, " for where you are there shall he be also."

Then Monica awoke; the words were ringing in her ears; it seemed to her that God had spoken. In the morning she went straight to Augustine and told him of her dream. " Perhaps," suggested her son, anxious to turn it to his own advantage," it means that you will come to see things as I do " No said Monica firmly, " for he did not say, Where he is you shall be, but, Where you are there he shall be. Augustine was even more struck by the earnestness of his mother's answer than by the dream itself, though he pretended to make light of both.

Not long after Monica went to see a certain holy Bishop (St Ambrose), that she might beg him to use his influence with Augustine to bring him back to the truth. The wise old man listened attentively to her story. " Let him alone for the present, but pray much," was his advice, " for as yet he is obstinate and puffed up with these new ideas. If what you tell me of your son is true, he will read for himself, and will find out his error."

Then, seeing the anguish of the poor mother, he told her that he himself in his youth had been led away by the Manicheans, and had even been employed in transcribing their works. It was that which had saved him; for, as he wrote, the truth became clear to him; he had seen how much their doctrines were to be avoided.

Then, as Monica wept for disappointment for she had counted greatly on his help a sudden pity seized him. " Go thy ways, and God bless thee," he cried. " It is impossible that a son of such tears should perish." Monica s dream and the words of the Bishop were like rays of light in the darkness. She drew fresh hope from them and redoubled her prayers."

It is always beautiful to see examples of mothers turning their children back towards the faith to then in that joy, see that child embrace a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. A famous modern example of this would be Father John Corapi. He attributes his conversion to his mother's prayers. He is truly a modern St Augustine!

Here is our feastday cake for our family that we made today, it's symbolism tells us that through St Monica's prayerful tears, she raised up a bishop, she raised up a saint!

To see how this was made see my posting over at Catholic Cuisine.

I would like to finish with a beautiful prayer that has come from the St Vincent Archabbey Vocations Site:

Most Gracious Heavenly Father,

We thank You for our mothers to whom You have entrusted the care of every precious human life from its very beginning in the womb.

You have given to woman the capacity of participating with You in the creation of new life. Grant that every woman may come to understand the full meaning of that blessing, which gives her an unlimited capacity for selfless love for every child she may be privileged to bear, and for all Your children.

Watch over every mother who is with child, strengthen her faith in Your fatherly care and love for her and for her unborn baby. Give her courage in times of fear or pain, understanding in times of uncertainty and doubt, and hope in times of trouble. Grant her joy in the birth of her child.

To mothers You have given the great privilege and responsibility of being a child's first teacher and spiritual guide. Grant that all mothers may worthily foster the faith of their children, following the example of Mary, Elizabeth, and other holy women who follow Christ. Help mothers to grow daily in knowledge and understanding of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and grant them the wisdom to impart this knowledge faithfully to their children, and to all who depend upon them.

Assist all "spiritual mothers", those who, though they may have no children of their own, nevertheless selflessly care for the children of others -- of every age and state in life. Grant that they may know the joy of fulfilling this motherly calling of women, whether in teaching, nursing, religious life, or in other work which recognizes and fosters the true dignity of every human being created in Your image and likeness.

We beseech You to send Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to all mothers who sorrow for children that have died, are ill or estranged from their families, or who are in trouble or danger of any kind. Help grieving mothers to rely on Your tender mercy and fatherly love for all your children.

We ask your blessing on all those to whom You have entrusted motherhood. May Your Holy Spirit constantly inspire and strengthen them. May they ever follow the example of Mary, mother of Our Lord, and imitate her fidelity, her humility, and her self-giving love. May all mothers receive Your Grace abundantly in this earthly life, and may they look forward to eternal joy in Your presence in the life to come.

We ask this through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. AMEN.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

St Monica & Spiritual Motherhood

"I have my mother to thank for what I have become and the way that I got there!"

~ St Augustine

Independent of age or social status, everyone can become a mother for priests. This type of motherhood is not only for family mothers, but is just as valid for an unmarried girl, for a widow, or for someone who is ill. It is especially pertinent for missionaries and religious sisters who have given their lives entirely to God for the sanctification of others. John Paul II even thanked a child for her motherly help: "I also express my gratitude to Bl. Jacinta for the sacrifices and prayers offered for the Holy Father, whom she saw suffering greatly" (13 May 2000).

Every priest has a mother and often she is a spiritual mother for her children as well. Giuseppe Sarto, for example, the future Pope Pius X, visited his 70-year-old mother after being ordained a bishop. She kissed her son’s ring and, suddenly pensive, indicating her own simple silver wedding band said, "Yes, Giuseppe, you would not be wearing that ring if I had not first worn mine."

Pope St. Pius X rightfully confirms his experience that, "Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God, but it goes through the heart of a mother!"

One sees this very well in the life of St. Monica. Augustine, who lost his faith at the age of 19 during his studies in Carthage, later wrote in his famous Confessions regarding his mother:

"For love of me, she cried more tears than a mother would over the bodily death of her son. Nine years passed in which I wallowed in the slime of that deep pit and the darkness of falsehood. Yet that pious widow desisted not all the hours of her supplications, to bewail my case unto Thee where her prayers entered into Thy presence."

After his conversion, Augustine said thankfully, "My holy mother never abandoned me. She brought me forth in her flesh, that I might be born to this temporal light, and in her heart, that I might be born to life eternal."

St. Augustine always desired to have his mother present at his philosophical discussions. She listened attentively and sometimes intervened with such fine intuition that the scholars who had gathered were astounded by her inspired responses to intricate questions. Who should be surprised then that Augustine described himself as her "disciple of philosophy"!

~ This has been taken from the booklet that inspired our blog, Adoration, Reparation and Spirtual Motherhood for Priests

Tomorrow on the feast of St Augustine I will share a posting with more thoughts on St Monica's spiritual motherhood and a special cake to celebrate both feasts!

Our new Priests in Focus for the Week

Every Thursday we change the three priests names for the Weekly Priests in Focus. (We have now changed to add three priests per week.)

We are encouraging ladies to offer an Ave for the priests mentioned when visiting our site (You will see the above widget in the top righthand sidebar under our header) and also may wish to off an Ave for these priests any other time in the week that you may remember.

Of course you may also want to offer more than the Ave's, you may want to offer other prayers and sacrifices during the week for these particular priests, whatever you feel called to do, is a blessing.

This weeks priests are:

Fr David Darcy, Fr Arthur Givney & H. E. Mons P. M.

A list of the priests we have prayed for individually here are in the right hand sidebar down the bottom.

If you have any priests you wish to nominate to be added to the Priests in Focus please email us and we would more than happy to add that priest to our list.

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, bless us with holy, courageous priests!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pope St Pius X - From the heart of God

Here is an excerpt from the booklet 'Adoration Reparation and Spiritual Motherhood for Priests' in Honour of Pope St Pius X Feast Day on Friday 21st August.

"Every priest has a birth mother, and often she is a spiritual mother for her children as well. For example, Giuseppe Sarto, the future Pope Pius X, visited his 70-year-old mother after being ordained a bishop. She kissed her son’s ring and, suddenly pensive, pointed out her own simple silver wedding band saying, “Yes, Giuseppe, you would not be wearing that ring if I had not first worn mine.” Pope St. Pius X rightfully confirms his experience that, “Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God, but it goes through the heart of a mother!”

Here is an inspiring passage on the priesthood from the book Recipe for Holiness by St Pius X:

"His mere duty is not sufficient for a true priest. He needs something higher: sanctity. Jesus Christ requires a simple Christian life of the faithful but of the priest He asks a life of heroism. And, therefore, if Christian perfection is an ornament, a glory and a halo for any member of the faithful, for the priest it must be his normal way of life: a life of faith which helps him to discern the dark arms of the enemy, a life of hope which sustains and strengthens him in his daily struggles, a life of burning and inflaming charity, a life of angelic purity, of sacrifice, of a spirit of poverty, of meekness and of a patience which remains unmoved and unperturbed under the blows of the most atrocious injuries. It must be all this because the priest, raised aloft, must by the light of his example enlighten God's people and warm them with his fervor...

The priests are the representatives of Jesus Christ. But in order to represent Jesus Christ one must have His sentiments in oneself and have - as might be said - His very words on one's lips. As the stars are visible after the sun has gone down so priests must be so many stars to illuminate the firmament of the world in the absence of the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ."

This excerpt from Pope St Pius X offers us as Spiritual Mothers for priests some clear and illuminating characteristics that priests require for their mission and sanctification. We can ask Our Lord in prayer, on their behalf, for the grace to bless our Priests with these qualities that Pope St Pius X has so eloquently described, in the hope that all priests desire and become what his beautiful portrait paints of the ideal priest.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fr Pine...a gentle reminder to children

There are many gentle and small ways for a mother to foster the possibility of a vocation in the home, if it is God's will. Prayer, example and atmosphere. Fr Pine falls under the category of 'atmosphere.'

My little boys already are asking questions about 'Fr Pine' and his vestments. They are eager to help put them on, they are protective of Fr Pine..we have just celebrated the feast of The Queenship of Mary and had this wooden image clothed in the Marian vestments on the table with a statue of Our Lady, a crown and a crown cake! Fr Pine was being zealously guarded from possible accidents!

So what is Fr Pine all about?

My friend Jennifer over at Wildflowers and Marbles kindly shared her Father Oak to place on her Feast Day Table. If you pop on over you can get the templates for Father Oak and the vestments, all the instructions for making it are there.

Fr Oak is a beautiful way to remember in the domestic church what is taking place inside the Church for Mass each day. The children will very quickly become aquainted with the liturgical seasons and feast days of the year and it is a wonderful opportunity to teach the children what each of the liturgical colours represent.

I've taken the explaination of those colours from this site here.

Jennifer had beautifully sewn her chasubles but since I don't sew I used craft glue and braids/laces to glue along the edges to stop them from fraying. Most of the material I bought was a curtain material with a backing that prevented easy fraying.

My Father is Father Pine, from the wood it was made from. I hope to stain it in the days to come.

Here is the blue chasuble.

I have put a symbol from the Miraculous Medal on the front of the chasuble.

Blue is not an approved liturgical colour except for certain Marian Shrines on marian feastdays. I have made this for the home though to highlight to the children very special Marian feastdays.

The Gold chasuble.

"Gold – Can at times replace red, green and white for added solemnity. Gold denotes majesty and splendor."

The Green chasuble.

"Green – The color of nature, denoting the hope of eternal life. Worn from the 14th of January to Septuagesima Sunday and following the first Sunday after Pentecost to the Saturday preceding Advent."

The Violet chasuble.

The material used with the Violet chasuble is very different from the rest, I wanted something that represented simplicity and austerity connected to preparedness, sacrifice and prayer.

"Violet – Symbolizes sorrow and penance. Violet is worn during Lent and Advent, certain Passion Masses, the blessing of ashes, ember days and other penitential occasions."

The Red chasuble.

"Red – Red is symbolic of blood and fire and is worn during feasts of His precious blood. It is also representative of the Holy Spirit hence it is worn during the week of Pentecost. Red is also worn for feasts of Martyrs, Evangelists and Apostles."

The Rose chasuble.

"Rose – Rose indicates joy and is sometimes worn to symbolize respite or to augment the austerity during penitential seasons on the 3rd Sunday of Advent and the 4th Sunday of Lent."

The White chasuble

"White – Sometimes replaced by gold, white symbolizes purity, innocence, rejoicing and light. White is employed during certain periods throughout Christmas and Easter seasons. Also worn on feasts of our Lord, feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, non-Martyred saints, conversion of Paul, Saints John the Apostle and Saint John the Baptist among others. Worn during certain ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms and the burial of children. Also worn during the consecration of churches, altars and bishops."

Below are the chasubles and stoles placed upon Father Pine.

*note, the stole is worn under the chasuble. Having the stole over the top in these photos is for the ladies to see the stole and how it hangs. Each day we would place the stole under the chasuble for the children in the home.

Thank you Jennifer for such a wonderful craft that can be used everyday in the years to come!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our new Priests in Focus for the Week

Every Thursday we change the two priests names for the Weekly Priests in Focus. We are encouraging ladies to offer an Ave for the priests mentioned when visiting our site {You will see the above widget in the top righthand sidebar under our header} and also may wish to off an Ave for these priests any other time in the week that you may remember.

This weeks priests are: Fr Ted Broussard and Fr Geddy

A list of the priests we have prayed for individually here are in the right hand sidebar down the bottom.

If you have any priests you wish to nominate to be added to the Priests in Focus please email us and we would more than happy to add that priest to our list.

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, bless us with holy, courageous priests!

St Bernard and His Mother Blessed Aleth.

Metropolitan Museum of Art - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux Presented by His Parents Blessed Aleth and Tescelin.

He was the third son of the aristocratic knight Tecelin and Blessed Aleth, a very pious lady, whose influence decided his future. His pious French mother offered all her seven children—six sons and one daughter—to God at birth and devoted herself to their upbringing. His parents were exceptional examples of virtue and took faith and morals seriously and all had a deep respect for mercy, justice, loyalty and charity to others. It is said that his mother, Aleth, exerted a virtuous influence upon Bernard only second to what Monica had done for Augustine of Hippo in the 5Th century. Her death, in 1107, so affected Bernard that he claimed that this is when his long path to complete conversion began.

(Here is a beautiful story that Mother's could read to their children for St Bernard's feast day illustrating beautifully the influence of his Holy Mother who embraced the devotion of Spiritual Motherhood for Priests toward her son).

When young he was popular and had a strong wit and natural charm and ability, he had a genuinely religious nature. He went away studying but envisioned a life of prayer and contemplation, considering giving up the world and his great love of literature to join the Cistercian Order. There is no other Saint that so influenced their family and friends to a life of service to God through religious vocation than St Bernard. He applied this quote “If you desire to live in this house, leave your body behind; only spirits can enter here" to himself and all others who joined him. His unique gift of eloquence, his exceptional ability to articulate and motivate others toward God through his fluent and forceful words, was a great grace for the 12th century, flowing all the way down to us in the 21st century .

He also helped to found the celebrated order of the Knights Templars. Although he was bitterly criticized for the failure of the second crusade he trusted in the divine mercy and it seems that the weakness and sins of men were at the root of the loss of this campaign.
His devotion to the Priesthood and his ability to inspire vocations is something that we can all pray for in our own Priests and Bishops. His mother was a wonderful example of Spiritual Motherhood guiding her children to a love of the Mass, Our Lady and Our Heavenly Father. Her aim was that her children be faithful to God not successful. In striving to be faithful, St Bernard became perhaps the most renowned religious figure in Europe of his day. Bernard's father and brothers all joined him in offering there lives to God as consecrated men.

He inspired great devotion to the Mother of God. His writings on Mary have helped set the standard for the theology of Mary and those who study, write and focus on Mariology have come to imbue the spirit of St Bernard in their works. St Bernard of Clairvaux wrote the second most prayed Marian prayer after the Hail Mary - The Memorare.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that any one who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help,
and sought thy intercession,
was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence,
I fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother,
to thee I come,
before thee I stand sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate!
despise not my petitions,
but, in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

(Indulgence, 300 days, each time. Plenary, once a month, on the usual conditions.)

Here is a fitting excerpt to remind us and motivate us in light of our devotion to Spiritual Motherhood for Priests, from Father Michael D Griffin, O.C.D - Taken from his book Saint Joseph - A Theological Introduction found in the doctoral resource/link on the subject of devotion.
"Devotion to a particular saint always means that the saint in question is held in high personal regard. Not only do we have particular reverence for the saint, but we are spiritually fascinated by his life, works, and virtues. Somehow we are able spiritually to enter into his life: we seem to understand and grasp something of his unique spiritual genius. Not only that, but we want to be influenced by this saint, because the way he lived and practiced virtue on earth is viewed as a thing of compelling beauty." - All of this paints a picture of St Bernard.

“God used Bernard to light a spiritual fire. The Almighty has demonstrated throughout history that sincere prayer, dedication and devotion to noble causes will usher in amazing results even to this very day. Through this particular doctor of the church, God showed us that there was a divine power, force and gift behind Bernard. Great betterment for humankind can be achieved by each individual with divine influence and the power of God's holiness, the Holy Spirit, as one's Partner. God awaits us to do our part to effect similar and even greater results. With faith in the infinite One there is nothing that anyone can not achieve. All of us have special gifts for others to share in according to the wisdom and providence of God.”

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Cardinal's Dream

For more than half a millennium, Saben was the Bishop's Seat for the diocese of Brixen beginning in the year 550. The bishop's castle was later converted into a convent for Benedictine nuns in 1685. To this day, they live their spiritual motherhood by praying and consecrating themselves to God just as Nicholas of Cusa saw in his dream.

This story has been taken from the Congregation of Clergy's booklet, Adoration, Reparation, Spiritual Motherhood for Priests.

Nicholas Cardinal of Cusa (1401-1464), Bishop of Brixen, was not only a great Church politician, reputable Papal legate and reformer of spiritual life for the clergy and the faithful of the 15th century, but also a man of silence and contemplation.

He was deeply moved by a dream in which he was shown the spiritual reality which has meaning for priests and indeed, for all people to this very day: the power of self-offering, prayer and the sacrifice of spiritual mothers hidden in convents.

The offering of hands and hearts Nicholas and his guide entered a small, ancient church decorated with mosaics and frescoes from the early centuries, and there the cardinal saw an amazing sight. More than a thousand nuns were praying in the little church. Despite the limited space, they all fit due to their slender and composed nature.

The sisters were praying, but in a way that the cardinal had never seen. They were not kneeling but standing; their gaze was not cast off into the distance but rather fixed on something nearby which he could not see. They stood with open arms, palms facing upwards in a gesture of offering.

Surprisingly, in their poor, thin hands they carried men and women, emperors and kings, cities and countries. Sometimes there were several pairs of hands joined together holding a city. A country, recognizable by its national flag, was supported by a whole wall of arms, and yet even then there was an air of silence and isolation around each one of them in prayer. The majority of nuns, however, carried one individual in their hands.

In the hands of a thin, young, almost child-like nun, Nicholas saw the Pope. You could see how heavy this load was for her, but her face was radiating a joyful gleam. Standing in the hands of one of the older sisters he saw himself, Nicholas of Cusa, Bishop of Brixen, and Cardinal of the Roman Church. He saw the wrinkles of his age; he saw the blemishes of his soul and his life in all their clarity. He looked with stunned and surprised eyes, but his fright was soon mixed with an unspeakable bliss.

Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa

His guide whispered, "Now you see how sinners are sustained and carried and, in spite of their sins, have not given up loving God."

"What about those who do not love anymore?" the Cardinal asked. Suddenly, he was in the crypt of the church with his guide, where once again, more than a thousand nuns were praying. Whereas the former ones were carried in the nuns’ hands, here in the crypt, they were carried in their hearts. They were exceptionally serious because the fate of eternal souls was 13 at hand.

"So you see, Your Eminence," said the guide, "that also those who have given up loving are still carried. It happens occasionally that they become warm again through the ardent hearts which are being consumed for them—occasionally, but not always. Sometimes, in the hour of their death, they are taken from these saving hands into the hands of the Divine Judge, and they must also answer for the sacrifice that has been made for them. Every sacrifice bears fruit. However, when the fruit offered to somebody is not picked, the fruit of corruption ripens."

The tomb of Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa inside the St Peter in Chains in Rome.

The Cardinal was captivated by the women who made an offering of their life. He always knew they existed, but he saw now, clearer than ever, their importance for the Church, for the world, for nations and for every individual. Only now was it so surprisingly clear. He bowed deeply before these martyrs of love.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Assumption and The Year of the Priest

The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

At the Holy Father's general audience on Wednesday the 12th of August, he drew two parallels between the Marian feast of The Assumption that we celebrate today and the Year of the Priesthood.

"The Fiat"

The Holy Father said that Mary's "Fiat" or "yes" ushered in the Incarnation, so too, "priests are called to bring Christ's saving love into the world." He went onto say, "Something truly extraordinary occurred: God made himself dependent on the freedom-- on the 'Yes'-- of one of his creatures."

The Almighty continues to ask priests, and all Christians, to carry out the work of his Church, the Pope said.

Pope Benedict reflected on the deep relationship, between the Virgin Mary and the priesthood, as he looked forward to the Solemnity of the Assumption, in this Year for Priests:

"My catechesis today is centred on Mary the Mother of priests. She looks upon them with special affection as her sons. Indeed, their mission is similar to hers; priests are called to bring forth Christ’s saving love into the world. On the cross, Jesus invites all believers, especially his closest disciples, to love and venerate Mary as their mother. Let us pray that all priests will make a special place for the Blessed Virgin in their lives, and seek her assistance daily as they bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus".

"The Curé d'Ars, who we think of this year especially - concluded Pope Benedict - loved to repeat that after Jesus Christ gave us everything he could give, he wanted to make us heirs of what was most precious to him, his holy mother".

Here is a beautiful prayer from Overheard in the Sacristy:


O Virgin Mary, we commend to you those who seek to follow your Son as priests.

You know the difficulties, struggles and obstacles they will face. Assist them to utter their "yes" to the Divine Call as you did at the invitation of the Angel.

Draw them near to your heart so they may understand. With you the joy and beauty that awaits when the Lord calls them into His intimacy.

Make them witnesses of His Love. Enable them to inspire the Church with their consecration. May your all powerful intercession touch the hearts of many that they respond to the Lod’s call.
Repeat to them in the depth of their hearts what you said to the waiters at Cana: "Do whatever Jesus asks."

We ask this in your Son’s name.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our new Priests in Focus for the Week

Every Thursday we change the two priests names for the Weekly Priests in Focus. We are encouraging ladies to offer an Ave for the priests mentioned when visiting our site {You will see the above widget in the top righthand sidebar under our header} and also may wish to off an Ave for these priests any other time in the week that you may remember.

This weeks priests are: Fr Jose Salazar and Fr Vernon Decouteau

A list of the priests we have prayed for individually here are in the right hand sidebar down the bottom.

If you have any priests you wish to nominate to be added to the Priests in Focus please email us and we would more than happy to add that priest to our list.

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, bless us with holy, courageous priests!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Relating Spy Wednesday to Spiritual Motherhood for Our Priests.

This is a wonderful idea (and connection to the Gospel) to apply within our devotion to Spiritual Motherhood for Priests from Fr Mark. It is not essential or attached to the conditions for the indulgence, however it's another opportunity to generate grace through our devotion as Spiritual Mothers for Priests.

"In reparation for the sins of priests and to obtain for them graces of conversion, deliverance from patterns of habitual sin, and fortitude in spiritual combat, you can fast, abstain, or offer some other mortification for priests every Wednesday. (Spy Wednesday was the day of Judas' plotting against Our Lord.)"

Here is a very good article explaining Spy Wednesday.

"What is so significant about "Spy Wednesday" is that it theologically reflects the daily struggles we all endure in order to accept a relationship with the Lord...We too in our lives are sometimes turned against Jesus's love through sinful and unloving activities."

As Spiritual Mothers we can offer our day on Wednesday in saying Yes to our Lord staying close to him during our day not betray him through our actions to others and transgressions. Offering Him our Yes through the day for the struggles that Priests encounter in their fidelity, for Priests to be courageous, for the struggles they endure in staying true to their Sacramental Vows, to always be faithful to their sacred calling and to be an example of the presence of Christ in the world today.

A Quote from Servant of God Fr John Hardon S.J founder of The Holy Trinity Apostolate. (Fr John Hardon's link has an excellent article on "The Value of Prayer and Sacrifice for Priests").

"Learn the art of reparation and then the very little things that bother you, the little trivia of human limitations around us, the little contradictions and disappointments, can all be gathered up and offered in reparation. They become the myrrh of life". We Spiritual Mothers can do this for Vocations and to strengthen the Priesthood on a Wednesday if we are able too.

Prayer for the Beatification and Canonization of Father John Hardon

He was a beautiful heroic example of a very holy Priest.

Almighty God, You gave Your servant,
Father John Anthony Hardon of the Society of Jesus,
the grace of consecration as a religious dedicated to the
apostolate and the grace of consecration as an ordained priest,
after the Heart of Your Divine Son, our Good Shepherd.

Through Father Hardon,
You provided for your Flock an extraordinary teacher of the faith.

You entrusted Father Hardon into the loving
care of the Blessed Virgin Mary
whose counsel, "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5)
he faithfully followed and whose intercession he unceasingly invoked.

If it be Your holy will, please grant the request I now make,
calling upon the help of Father Hardon,
so that his heroic sanctity may be recognized in the whole Church.

I ask this through Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who
with You and the Holy Spirit, is one God forever and ever.