Prayer Only for Today

I came across this beautiful prayer several days ago in the Magnificat Year of Mercy Companion book.  I’ve been praying it and would like to offer it for your reflection.

Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

Only for today, I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

Only for today, I will devote ten minutes to some good reading, for good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

Only for today, I will make a plan for myself; I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

Only for today, I will have no fears.  In particular, i will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness.

(Pope John XXIII)

 

Don’t Get Too Busy.

Our Pastor recently gave a great homily about being too busy for prayer or to nourish our souls.   The gospel that day was  Luke 10:38-42  where Jesus talks to Martha.

“Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things and yet few are needed, indeed only one.  It is Mary who has chosen the better part, it is not to be taken from her.”

Jesus was so right!!  If we keep our selves so busy that we don’t take time to be in his presence  or to give him our presence.

Father said in his homily, “We are so busy making money that we don’t have time to enjoy the houses we are so busy working to pay for.  We are so busy making money that we don’t spend much time at home with our children.  We are so busy that life is slipping by at a very fast rate and we need to slow it down.  Where are we all going to end up at the end of life and what is the purpose of life?  Life is about getting to know God, loving God and serving God.”  Well said Father – well said!

This reminds me of our Baltimore catechism.  Where did God create us?  To know, love and serve him.  Are we living up to our purpose?  We should each take a moment – soon – and look at all of our activities and discern if they are leading us toward God or away from Him.  Do our activities and our motivations align with God’s plan for our lives?

Does your “Martha-activities” balance with your “Mary-spirit”?

 

 

 

Need a good read for your book group?

I am proud to present the second edition of my book, Grief Guts and Grace, recently published by Tate Publishing.

I would like to give the book groups in our area the opportunity to be among the first to read this Second Edition of my book, Grief Guts and Grace.  This new edition has been published by Tate Publishing and contains reflection questions that help with grief work.  It also contains new images of the angels in our yard as well as more poetry on grief.

I am willing to do a Question/Answer with your group after you have finished reading it.  I am also happy to sign books for your group.  If my book fits the focus and interest of your group, message me to arrange delivery of books and a date for Q&A.

The official release date for this second edition of Grief Guts and Grace was March 17.              I will be having a book signing at The Lab, in River Ranch, Lafayette, LA on May 16, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  Come see me – I would love to sign a book for you!!

Grief Guts and Grace is currently available at Crossroads  Book Store in Lafayette, La, through Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Tate Publishing’s web site, http://www.tatepublishing.com.  You can also purchase them directly from me.  Cost is $10.99.  Message me for ordering information.

I look forward to talking to you about my book.

Front cover

You’re going to the Nativity…are you ready?

I invite you into an imaginative contemplation using the style taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius teaches us to enter a scene in scripture as an observer, as one of the people in scripture or as in the contemplation I offer here as yourself. We take part in the scripture scene and hear the message God has intended for us,
So, take a quiet moment away from the shopping, decorating, cooking, and all the Christmas preparations and come to the nativity. There is a young girl there about to have a baby and she needs your help. You can decide which person you are called to be – the innkeeper, the husband, the girl, a passerby, an observer, or maybe the innkeeper’s wife.
This contemplation begins with the innkeeper telling the husband that he has no more rooms. All the rooms in his inn are filled with people who have come to Bethlehem in order to fulfill their requirements of the census called by Herod.
The husband is turning to leave, when the innkeeper tells him he can use their stable behind the inn. There are animals in it but it’s all he has to offer. The husband is grateful and accepts, glad to have the shelter.
As the husband leaves the innkeeper’s wife comes in, having just walked by the girl on the donkey, heavy with child.
She tells her husband ” How could send that man to the stables, didn’t he tell you his wife was going to have a baby, and it might be as soon as tonight?”
The husband replied “No, he didn’t tell me anything about a wife.”
So, his wife goes to gather her best linens and tells him “I’ll be in the stable with that couple. They are about to become a family. That young girl looks so tired and frightened. I bet this is her first child. I’m going help her so don’t look for me for a whole. I’m staying with her for as long as she needs me.”
The innkeeper’s wife goes to the stable just as the couple are settling in. She helps to gather straw and sets up a makeshift bed for them as she notices the girl is beginning to go into labor.
“Rest easy my lady, I’m here and I’m not leaving you. I can help you. I’ve had two babies of my own and know what to do.” instructs the woman.
They introduce themselves to each other. They talk about their lives, their husbands and mostly about their faith. As the night wears on, the woman is mid-wife to the young woman, Mary who has not become her friend.

(Imagine for yourself what that conversation would have been like. What would you like to say to her; to ask her? How would you care for her? )

As the baby is born, the older woman is wondering where all the music is coming from – seems to be coming from the sky – the heavens! She wonders who these three men are and where they came from. They say they came to worship their King. She looks at her new friend, Mary, and wonders at all this. As she begins to understand the meaning of this night, Mary takes her Son from the manger and offers him to the woman.
“May I introduce you to Jesus, my son, your King?” says Mary as she hands her son to the woman.

Ponder the scene:
Do you accept Jesus right away or is some hesitation to accept this precious gift? If you accept him, look into his eyes and allow him to see into your heart and love you unconditionally, just as you are! If there is hesitation, ask Jesus to show you why and heal whatever resistance there may be so that you can enjoy the fullness of his love!

Merry Christmas Mary, my friend. Thank you for bringing Jesus to me!

IMG_0003.JPG

Prayer Chain/Magic Novena – Why not to respond to them.

Have you ever received an email with a beautiful prayer or novena in it – along with some very explicit instructions on how you are to repeat it at specific times for so many days.  Many senders call it a prayer chain.  Once you have completed the prescribed instructions, the answer to your prayer or petition will miraculously happen;  as though saying these prayers as instructed will induce God to do your will.  I received emails like this every few weeks from some well-intentioned God-fearing people who have no idea what they are promoting.

My sister recently picked up a novena prayer to St. Jude Thaddeus from the book shelf at her parish church.  She had been suffering with bronchitis and a bad nagging cough.  She decided to take her illness to prayer and offered up this prayer to  St. Jude every day at the same time of day that she found the prayer in church.  After the days of prayer she experienced healing from bronchitis and the coughing had subsided.  She then decided to pray the novena again in gratitude for graces she received.  When she picked up the prayer sheet and unfolded it, she found the instructions for saying this novena.  It instructed the petitioner to pray the novena 6 times a day for the prescribed number of days.  She had only prayed the novena once each day – not having noticed the explicit instructions on the inside of the sheet of paper.   This goes to prove that God is not looking for gimmicks or tricks to petition  his will.  He only desires our sincere prayer and the giving of our will over to him.

I have wanted to respond to the emails containing this type of prayer chain saying something to the effect that God is not “on call” and waiting to give us what we ask for especially if we do it in an obligatory fashion as instructed.  Not wanting to offend the proffer of these prayer recipes I have asked a priest what is the best way to instruct rather than offend in my reply to them.

Here is the response Father said I should include as my reply when I receive such emails:

“I received your email containing a prayer chain.  I choose not to forward it & would like to tell you why.  A “chain prayer” or letter tells of a “future event” that will happen if the directions are followed.  To foretell the future is a sin, and has always been condemned by the law of God.  God’s promises are to those who obey HIS laws, not the other way around.   

The Catholic Church actually considers chain prayers/letters a blessing and a curse.  If a person fails to forward the chain letter, the curse can be the threat of bad luck.   If the person continues the chain letter, he is promised good luck or some form of  prosperity. This is occultist and against Church teachings. 

To the unaware Catholic, sending out prayers to friends seems a good thing to do.  What we often fail to realize is the pretext of the “prayer” might make it sinful rather than a blessing.  For example, a common chain may contain a beautiful prayer, poem, or picture of Jesus; and warns the reader of bad luck if he doesn’t forward it to a certain number of people within a certain number of minutes.

The reader is “enticed” to forward it in exchange for personal reward.  This makes it clearly not a blessing.  That person is relying on “following the directions” to obtain the desired outcome rather than simple faith in God for answers to personal prayer.  No matter how seemingly holy the content of the email is, the context is evil.  It undermines the charity and love of God for mankind.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses the sending of chain prayers/letters in order to obtain a desired outcome in the future in Section 2115. 

“God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints.  Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.”

 Some people do not see any wrong in sending a chain letter.  They may do it for “fun”- but is it right? It is not.  We are to be role models to others of what a Christian is, and when we send chain prayers or letters, we are not being true to that call.  As we find Christ and proclaim Him as Lord of our lives, we need to search for the truth and what He wants of us.  It is in that spirit of truth that I choose not to forward any “prayer chains”.

Consider this next time you receive a prayer chain email, pick one up in church or feel the temptation to pass one on.

 

Keeping a Cajun Prayer Tradition Alive

I thought you might appreciate a bit of background on how the CD of the French Rosary began.

It was the last thing I could do for my grandfather, Don Louis Theriot and I was unable to do it.  The rosary was being prayed during his wake in May, 1985 and I could not pray it.  It was being prayed in French.  I had heard these familiar prayers all my life, but had never learned them by heart.  The sadness that overcame me was profound; but then was replaced with a resolute heart that was determined to learn my prayers in French for him.

A few weeks later, I obtained a cassette tape of the Rosary prayed in French by an elderly gentleman praying it at the bedside of his dying wife.  I wore out this tape, rewinding it over and over, till I was able to pray my rosary in French with ease.  I quickly realized that praying these sacred prayers was more meaningful to me than praying in English.  God blessed my effort by enabling me to pray the Rosary in French for my Mother, Luda Bernis-Theriot, when she died the following year, in March 1986.

I have been praying the rosary in French for the last 25 years.  Several funeral homes call me to come and recite the Rosary for the deceased; a true blessing for me.  It seems there are not many people left who still pray their rosary in French; and as I pray it, in Cajun French.

In an effort to encourage others to learn this beautiful Cajun tradition, I have recorded the Rosary in French, and in English.  Included on the inside cover are the prayers in French to make it easy to learn for those wishing to keep this holy tradition alive.

The CDs of rosary, both in French and English are available at Crossroads Book Store in Lafayette, The Rosary House in New Iberia, Cades Grocery in St. Martinville and Farmer’s Drugs in Youngsville, or of course, you can get them directly from me, $20 for French and $15 for English (please add $5.00 for postage), mail to 107  Beacon  Drive, Youngsville, LA 70592,USA

What to do when you can’t pray.

I had an experience last evening of not being able to pray when I was called to pray.  A funeral home near me called to ask that I come and pray the rosary for a family.  They call regularly to ask for a Rosary in English and French too.  I had been running around all day with errands, chores, and trying to write.  I hurriedly got in the car to arrive just before the appointed 7:00 time for the recitation of the rosary.  I asked our Blessed Mother Mary and God on the way to help me “turn off” my frantic mind and “please, just let me pray”.  Well I did pray the rosary with this grieving family; but I had to fight all the distracting thoughts of things I still had left to finish up at home.  Mid-way through the rosary, I felt God’s presence and was able to “really pray” the rosary with this family.  What a blessing!!  Even in the midst of all my distractions.  Imagine that.

The message here is, I believe, even when we feel many distractions to prayer, we should be diligent and pray anyway; even when we don’t feel like it.  I believe God calls us to prayer even when the spiritual high feelings are not evident.  The key to deepening our relationship is to show up and be present so that God can bless us with grace and peace.  It would have been easy to decline the request from the funeral home, I did have alot to do, but I answered the call, and was able to feel God helping me to pray, even when I didn’t feel I was able to.  Stand Faithful!!!

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: