Friday, May 28, 2010

The Secret of Sanctity and Happiness

Pope John Paul II, when he was a little boy, was given a prayer of surrender to the Holy Spirit by his father, and he told him to pray that every day -- and he did. John Paul II changed the world! The Holy Spirit can use us, also, if we too have devotion to Him and surrender to Him every day! So I would like to share this prayer and thoughts with you and encourage you to pray this prayer every day for the rest of your life:

"I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to the things of sense and your ears to all the noises of the world, in order to enter into yourself. Then, in the sanctity of your baptized soul (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit) speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him:

Oh, Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your will. 

If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely and full of consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the trial, giving you the strength to carry it and you will arrive at the gate of  Paradise, laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Brown Scapular

Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Carmelites)
A.D. 1251

"The Brown Scapular of our Lady of Mount Carmel," associated with the Carmelite Order, is the most well-known. In A.D. 16 July 1251, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock in Cambridge, England after he prayed for help for his Order. She appeared to him with the scapular and said, "Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant."

Whether this happened exactly in this way or not (St. Simon's original descriptions of the vision are not extant and the wording may not be exact), the Scapular was given to St. Simon Stock, and the devotion spread and was well-known by the 16th c. What can be safely believed because of papal decree is the promise known as the "Sabbatine Privilege." The Sabbatine Privilege is the promise that Our Lady will intercede and pray for those in Purgatory who, in earthly life:

  • wore the Scapular in good faith;
  • were chaste according to their state in life;
  • daily recited the Divine Office or, with the permission of one's Confessor, the Little Office of Our Lady [a shorter form of the Divine Office in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, used by certain religious orders and laity. It is similar to the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Roman Breviary] or the Rosary; and
  • departed earthly life in charity.
You can be enrolled in the Confraternity of our Lady of Mount Carmel by any priest. Just obtain a scapular, take it to him to have it blessed, and express your desire for enrollment.

Warning: Some falsely believe that wearing the Brown Scapular offers some sort of guarantee of salvation because of the legendary words attributed to Our Lady. This is against Church teaching, is superstitious and a grave error. Sacramentals are not magical ways to manipulate God; they are Church-instituted rituals/objects that remind us of what we are supposed to be doing/thinking of, that depend on the faith, hope and love of the user, and which help prepare us to receive God's saving grace. One must do more than "wear the scapular"; one must wear it worthily.

You can get well-made, wool, traditionally-designed Brown Scapulars from this traditional Carmelite Order of nuns. I don't know the cost:

Rev. Mother Superior
Carmel of the Holy Trinity
S. 4027 Wilbur Road
Spokane, WA 99206

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Feast is December 12. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas. Novena is usually prayed from December 4 to December 12.

First Day Dearest Lady of Guadalupe, fruitful Mother of holiness, teach me your ways of gentleness and strength. Hear my humble prayer offered with heartfelt confidence to beg this favor...... Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be... 

Second Day O Mary, conceived without sin, I come to your throne of grace to share the fervent devotion of your faithful Mexican children who call to you under the glorious Aztec title of Guadalupe. Obtain for me a lively faith to do your Son’s holy will always: May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...

Third Day O Mary, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by seven swords of grief, help me to walk valiantly amid the sharp thorns strewn across my pathway. Obtain for me the strength to be a true imitator of you. This I ask you, my dear Mother. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be... 

Fourth Day Dearest Mother of Guadalupe, I beg you for a fortified will to imitate your divine Son’s charity, to always seek the good of others in need. Grant me this, I humbly ask of you. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...
Fifth Day O most holy Mother, I beg you to obtain for me pardon of all my sins, abundant graces to serve your Son more faithfully from now on, and lastly, the grace to praise Him with you forever in heaven. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...

Sixth Day Mary, Mother of vocations, multiply priestly vocations and fill the earth with religious houses which will be light and warmth for the world, safety in stormy nights. Beg your Son to send us many priests and religious. This we ask of you, O Mother. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...

Seventh Day O Lady of Guadalupe, we beg you that parents live a holy life and educate their children in a Christian manner; that children obey and follow the directions of their parents; that all members of the family pray and worship together. This we ask of you, O Mother. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...

Eighth Day With my heart full of the most sincere veneration, I prostrate myself before you, O Mother, to ask you to obtain for me the grace to fulfill the duties of my state in life with faithfulness and constancy. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...
Ninth Day O God, You have been pleased to bestow upon us unceasing favors by having placed us under the special protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Grant us, your humble servants, who rejoice in honoring her today upon earth, the happiness of seeing her face to face in heaven. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...