Category Archives: Prayer

A World Undone

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I’ve been quiet lately for a few reasons, but in large part because I decided to spend whatever free time I had working on a Pro-Life song that I’ve been developing for quite some time.    I finally just set aside other things and recorded it.

The song is called “A World Undone.”    The purpose of it is to convey a Pro-Life message, but not to lay blame at others.   We are in this world together and we all feel the effects of abortion.   Most of us have fallen short on doing everything we can do to stop the atrocity of abortion.

The song is a prayer, a reflection, and a call for forgiveness – for all of us.   It is a cry for mercy on us, and for a conversion of hearts.

I hope you enjoy it.    Please feel free to share it with others.

Oklahoma Today: Black Mass and Desecration. You all need to Grow a Pair and Stop it.

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It’s a shock, it’s an outrage, and unfortunately in the times we are in it is not surprising.

We have perverted the meaning of religious freedom to be so inclusive that we now can’t even figure out a way from preventing a Satanic Mass on civic property.   As if that weren’t bad enough, on the Feast of the Assumption the statue of Mary will be desecrated.

So, if someone burns a Koran, that is intolerant and verboten.   But a public desecration of a statue of Mary and a blasphemous attack against the Catholic mass is fair game.   Got it.

What a spineless society we’ve become.

But, we can still pray.   From Spirit Daily:  “In the Name of Jesus, we break the power of satanists in Oklahoma and everywhere and pray a reversal of their curses; we claim victory over them; we declare everything evil they do be met by times more in the way of good, in the way of honor for Immaculate Mary.”

And, also

POWERFUL EXORCISM PRAYER

Kyrie eleison. God, our Lord, King of ages, All-powerful and Almighty, You Who made everything and Who transforms everything simply by Your will. You Who in Babylon changed into dew the flames of the “seven-times hotter” furnace and protected and saved the three holy children. You are the doctor and the physician of our souls. You are the salvation of those who turn to You. We beseech You to make powerless, banish, and drive out every diabolic power, presence and machination; every evil influence, malefice, or evil eye and all evil actions aimed against your servant. . . Where there is envy and malice, give us an abundance of goodness, endurance, victory, and charity. O Lord, You who love man, we beg You to reach out Your powerful hands and Your most high and mighty arms and come to our aid. Help us, who are made in Your image, send the angel of peace over us, to protect us body and soul. May he keep at bay and vanquish every evil power, every poison or malice invoked against us by corrupt and envious people. Then, under the protection of Your authority may we sing, in gratitude, “The Lord is my salvation; whom should I fear?” I will not fear evil because You are with me, my God, my strength, my powerful Lord, Lord of peace, Father of all ages. Yes, Lord our God, be merciful to us, Your image, and save your servant . . . from every threat or harm from the evil one, and protect him by raising him above all evil. We ask you this through the intercession of our Most Blessed, Glorious Lady, Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, of the most splendid archangels and all yours saints. Amen.”

 

Cardinal Burke has asked all the faithful to pray a Rosary today in reparation of this evil in our midst.

 

Good Quick Tagline Prayer for Priests

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“Jesus, Savior of the world, sanctify They priests and sacred ministers.”

Quick, simple, and can be added as a daily 5 second prayer as part of your daily prayer schedule.

Courtesy the Priestly Fraternity of St. Paul.

A Little Prayer From Catholic Relief Services

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I just finished praying this as a novena:

Heavenly Father

We pray this year culminates in peace for all humankind

Make us instruments of justice and reconciliation

We give thanks for your divine grace and guidance

With your blessing, we can be champions of life and make the world a place

Where all your children can thrive with dignity and harmony

Amen

Choosing between “#%*!@&#!” or “Thank You Jesus, for loving me this much”. Or Maybe a Little of Both…

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So, Saturday was wood-splitting say. I had successfully cut down a few dead trees and chopped them up to approximately 16″ lengths over the preceding couple weeks, and it was time to split the whole she-bang. The young boys begrudgingly put on their work clothes and assisted me with the task that was sure to be seen as encroaching on Lego and Star Wars time. Pity.

All was not lost in the family work. Splitting wood does have its appeal. After all, a year ago I invested in a very nice wood-spitter. The hydraulic kind that runs on gasoline, not the kind that gets swung over the head. While it may take decades to get the monetary payback out of it that would justify the purchase in pure dollar terms, it has nonetheless almost certainly saved a few trips to the chiropractor, and possible purchases of other wood that would have been necessary due to my own limited time and admitted laziness. The boys can appreciate a good hydraulic mauling of a log as well as anyone, and so I keep them engaged by allowing them a turn at the lever that controls the splitter.

The dangers of heavy equipment are never to be taken lightly, and so I overdo the message about keeping hands away from moving parts of things that could crush the fingers – or worse. They do quite well. But it only takes once, so vigilance is needed.

Anyway, we ahd a couple very large logs to split, and these were perfect candidates for vertical splitting. Under this scenario, one raises the splitter to vertical, secures it, and then moves the log to an upright position. You do this by rolling it in place so you don’t kill your back lifting it. And so we did all this with joy and success.

After the conclusion of this task, it was time to move the splitter back to the horizontal position. This is a quite heavy element, and moving it back to horizontal requires some strength and effort. When I first pulled on the handle, the entire base moved a bit. To secure it, I placed my hand on the steel beam under the hydraulic component and gave a good pull to move the top part down. Of course, as the balance shifted, it went from being difficult to move to difficult to stop. There are two metal brackets that stick out of the top unit that are used to secure it to the steel beam. Silly me, I managed to forget to move my hand, which just happened to be right where those brackets come down.

A moment of struggle wot push it back up followed, and I was finally able to remove my hand.

“#%*!@&#!” <== Due to being surrounded by young, impressionable boys, I thankfully internalized any foul language that I really felt like using.

Now, a couple thoughts here:
1) Thank God for heavy-duty work gloves. I do think I may have one or two less fingers at the moment without them, or at least one or two less usable one. Though, the greatest damage was to the top of my hand.
2) Thank God for Guardian Angels, who I will give credit for putting it in my mind to be smart and wear those gloves. Though, it can be noted that an inspiring thought of "um, move your hand, you idiot" would have been appreciated, I will still be thankful for what I did receive.
3) When really heavy things fall on your hand, it hurts. A lot.

So, I need to provide a bit of background on my immediately next thought after "#%*!@&#!"

An internet friend/acquaintance (he used to be an actuary who frequented a forum for actuaries I use) and I used to talk about religion and the Catholic faith quite a bit. He was a convert who loved the Church and eventually became a Priest. During that transition time he shared with me a little tidbit on our little sufferings in life that I never really forgot, and have tried to implent as an expression of gratitude for being able to join my little sufferings with Christ's redemptive work on the cross. He once mentioned that he had the habit of reciting a very simple and short prayer whenever one of life's stubbed toes or pinched fingers or anything else reared its ugly head. That prayer is simply "Thank you, Jesus, for loving me this much." This was not his idea, but was given to him by another friend. He loved the idea, and so did I. The idea, of course, is to try to take that painful moment and immediately think of what Jesus went through, and instead of being angry about the pain, be thankful for it. Sounds odd, but if you can get yourself in the mindset, it's a nice way to deal with those sufferings and offer it up for something or someone.

So, I admit that this particular time I had a little bit of a delayed response… this was no mere stubbed toe. This was something where I was afraid to take the glove off and see what I'd find. But, I did finally manage to compose myself and utter that prayer. One interesting way I was reminded to do so was that my entire left arm had a pain shoot up to the top and then felt very weak for a couple minutes. I was reminded of reading a study the crucifixion and about how the nails through the wrists would have been immeasurably painful due to the nerves that would drive the pain all the way up the arms. My pain was not nearly that bad, but it was a reminder for me of the pain that Christ must have suffered.

The hand looked pretty bad. It swelled up to twice its size and I needed to take a break, but I determined that I could continue my work, and so I did until I was finished. I was further comforted by our neighbor – an ER doc. Her son was at our house for the morning and when she stopped to pick him up she checked the hand out. Thanks be to God it seemed like I missed all the worst things that could happen. Probably nothing broken by the pain tests she gave me, and the tendons on the fingers seemed to be strong, suggesting no issues there. Basically, ice it and it will hurt for a while, but I'll be OK with no lasting damage.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving me this much.

Meditating in the “Quietude” of a Rototiller

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This is not my tiller, but it just didn’t seem right to not put a picture of a tiller on this post.

I have mentioned my irrationally large garden in the past. With great plots of land come great responsibility. Or something like that…

Anyway, what I have not mentioned here all that much is my childhood. But as I was sweating bullets behind a rototiller this weekend, I hearkened back to the days of my youth.

You see, I grew up on a dairy farm. And although I chose not to pursue farm life as a vocation in adulthood, I have largely fond memories of life on the farm. My summers were filled nearly every day with work responsibilities. Sounds great, eh? Well, yes… it was. At the time, I’m sure I would have preferred to be off doing my own thing all the time, but I know in retrospect that I turned out much better for having worked most summer days. For one thing, I certainly appreciated the free time I had when it was available.

As parents, my wife and I struggle a bit with trying to find ways to instill a work ethic and sense of responsibility in our kids. I’m sorry, but 90% of us (or more) either have too low of expectations of our kids, are too lazy ourselves to find ways to get our kids working, or flat out run out of meaningful things for them to do. And it shows often enough in different ways, even with well-behaved kids. We are guilty of all the above at times.

There was no risk of any of that on the farm. Not enough hours in the day was a bigger issue.

Sorry. I write as I think, and this post was not intended at the onset to be a dissertation on parenting towards a work ethic. So, I’ll try to get back on path here.

So anyway, in my younger days I was on the tractor often. You drive the tractor to cut the hay down. You drive the tractor to rake the hay. You drive the tractor to bail the hay. You drive the tractor to spread the manure – I have a nice story about that… but not now. Let’s just say that the story involves a younger sister, a misunderstanding, few unfortunate curse words, and multiple showers. But again, I digress.

You often hear about how much “noise” we have in our society today. When we speak of that, I think it’s important to differentiate between the “noise” of distraction and audible noise. Watching TV, talking on the phone, texting, scouring the internet, e-mailing, listening to the radio (music or ball games), listening to an iPod (I prefer generic mp3 players myself), reading spiritually desolate material, any work we do that engages the mind in a way that prevents us from contemplating other things… the list goes on. When our attention is somewhere that disallows meditation or even random musings, then that is “noise.” It is not that we can’t incorporate these things into our lives. They range from things that bring us pleasure to things that are necessary for our livelihood. But when we inundate ourselves with these things from morning to evening, we do not take time for prayer or contemplation of any kind. Further, when we try to take a few minutes of silence, we are distracted from it and find it difficult to focus. It seems a foreign thing to us.

But in those countless hours of driving a large piece of farm equipment that was anything but noiseless, I found silence. I can remember many times engaging my mind in completely different ways as I rode around in the field. I prayed many a time out on the tractor as I looked around and appreciated God’s creation around me. I simply contemplated many spiritual profundities and formulated both questions and answers to other questions. And while I was always a relatively faithful Catholic kid, it’s not as though I was an “on-fire for the spirit” Jesus freak. But the time on the farm simply brought me there, and it was a very natural response to the situation I was in. Beyond the spiritual, I “wrote” a number of songs in my head as I raked the hay, later to be translated into actual music. I just let my mind go where it went without disruption, and appreciated the random occurrences of seeing a Badger pop out of a hole in the ditch, or a hawk pounce upon a rodent scurrying about in the field. Nobody around me would have guessed how silent that tractor really was.

I recalled that because I found myself doing the same thing this weekend while working in the garden. As I maneuvered the rototiller, there was little realization that I was in “contemplation mode” until a sudden consciousness about it came over me. I was somewhere between the pumpkins and the cantaloupe as I realized that for the last half hour, thoughts about different Catholic issues that I’d discussed with others were bouncing around my empty head. Similar to not remembering a dream during the night, I was so in my little world, that it is difficult to recall what all had been considered as I traversed between rows of corn, and then moved onto the broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. For certain, though, there was no talking, mindless listening to my favorite music, or in any way incorporating LOL into the activity at hand.

I have truly come to appreciate what I’m sure my dad has always loved about the farm. I find myself envious of the amount of time he has probably spent during his life quietly going about his work – as physically demanding as it often is – and offering that time up to God in one way or another, or just mulling and thinking.

Thinking is good. I think…