The Lord is with us always…

Purgatory

Gospel and Readings 5.7.2020

READINGS OF THE DAY

A reading of the prophet Zechariah
ZEC 9:9-10

Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king shall come to you;
a just savior is he,
meek, and riding on an ass,
on a colt, the foal of an ass.
He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
the warrior’s bow shall be banished,
and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.
His dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

 

Second reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
ROM 8:9, 11-13

Brothers and sisters:
You are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Consequently, brothers and sisters,
we are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,
but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to Matthew
MT 11:25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER

He was enamoured of our smallness, and for this reason He has chosen us. And He chooses the small: not the great, the small. And He is revealed to the small: ‘you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.’ He is revealed to the little ones: if you want to understand something of the mystery of Jesus, lower yourself: make yourself small. Be mindful of being nothing. And He not only chooses and reveals Himself to the little ones; He calls the little ones: ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest.’ You that are the smallest – because of suffering, because of fatigue – He chooses the little ones, He is revealed to the little ones, and He calls the little ones. But the great, does He not call them? His heart is open, but the great do not recognize His voice because they are not able to hear it because they are full of themselves. To hear the voice of the Lord, you must make yourself little. (Santa Marta, 23 June 2017)

 

REFLECTION:-

“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.”  Matthew 11:25

What a profound truth to understand!  For many, if given the choice to be either a “little one” or “wise and learned” it can appear that being wise and learned is more attractive.  The problem is that, according to Jesus, those who are little children are in fact far more wise and learned than those who simply act this way.

Those who are childlike are the ones who have the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven revealed to them.  They are given a special grace to penetrate the truths of God’s inner life.  This reveals, in part, the simplicity of God’s inner life.  God and His will are never confusing and complex.  We may make Him seem confusing and, as a result, experience God’s wisdom as overly complex.  But in reality, the truth and beauty of God is only discernable by the simple mind who lives in a humble way.

One tendency we can all have is to spend excessive time and energy trying to “figure out God’s will.”  We can think and think and think, talk and talk and talk, and in the end remain in confusion about this or that.  If you find yourself in this situation, of thinking too much and ending in confusion, then this is a sign that you may not be properly discerning the will of God and may not be allowing yourself to properly hear Him speak.

God speaks to us simply, clearly and only what we need to know, when we need to know.  Therefore, it’s important to always approach our Lord in a humble and simple way, waiting for Him to speak the simple and profound truth we need to hear in His time.  Ultimately, it comes down to patience with our Lord.

Reflect, today, upon whether you find yourself spending excessive time thinking about the mysteries of life only to be left confused.  If so, seek to grow in humility so as to allow the Lord to reveal the simple yet profound truths He desires to reveal.  Strive to be childlike in God’s eyes and you will become wiser and more learned than you could ever become on your own.

Dear Lord, help me to have a simple and childlike faith in You and, through this simple faith, come to know the beautiful mysteries You desire to reveal to me.  Give me wisdom and knowledge, dear Lord, beyond what I could ever obtain by myself.  Jesus, I trust in You.

From Catholic Daily Reflections.com

Reading and Gospel 28.6.2020

READING OF THE DAY

First reading from the Second Book of Kings
2 KGS 4:8-11, 14-16A

One day Elisha came to Shunem,
where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her.
Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine.
So she said to her husband, “I know that Elisha is a holy man of God.
Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof
and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp,
so that when he comes to us he can stay there.”
Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight.

Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?”
His servant Gehazi answered, “Yes!
She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.”
Elisha said, “Call her.”
When the woman had been called and stood at the door,
Elisha promised, “This time next year
you will be fondling a baby son.”

 

Second reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
ROM 6:3-4, 8-11

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.

If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to Matthew
MT 10:37-42

Jesus said to his apostles:
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is a righteous man
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because the little one is a disciple—
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

Today’s Gospel – God Knows everything about me…

Gospel and Readings 21.6.2020

READING OF THE DAY

First reading from the Book of Jeremiah
JER 20:10-13

Jeremiah said:
“I hear the whisperings of many:
‘Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!’
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
‘Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.’
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
for he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!”

 

Second reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
ROM 5:12-15

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—
for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world,
though sin is not accounted when there is no law.
But death reigned from Adam to Moses,
even over those who did not sin
after the pattern of the trespass of Adam,
who is the type of the one who was to come.

But the gift is not like the transgression.
For if by the transgression of the one the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to Matthew
MT 10:26-33

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER

Christians must not lose hope, thinking that they have been abandoned. Jesus assures his disciples: “even the hairs on your head are all numbered” (Mt 10:30); as if to say that none of man’s suffering, not even that which is most minute and hidden, is invisible to the eyes of God. God sees and certainly protects; and he will give his redemption. (General Audience, 28 June 2017)

 

Gospel Reflection 21.6.2020

Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.  Even all the hairs of your head are counted.  So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  Matthew 10:29-31

It’s comforting to know that the All-Powerful God of the Universe knows every detail about our lives and is deeply concerned about every single detail.  He knows us infinitely better than we know ourselves and He loves each one of us more deeply than we could ever love ourselves.  These facts should give us much peace.

Imagine the truth contained in this Scripture above.  God even knows how many hairs we have on our head!  This is stated as a way of emphasizing the depth of intimacy by which God knows us.

When we can come to the realization of the Father’s perfect knowledge of us AND His perfect love of us, we will be in a position to put our complete trust in Him.  Trust in God is only possible when we understand who we are trusting.  And when we do begin to more completely understand who God is and how much He cares about every detail of our lives, we will more easily entrust to Him those details, allowing Him to take control of all.

Reflect, today, upon these basic truths of God’s perfect knowledge of us and His perfect love.  Sit with those truths and ponder them.  As you do, allow them to become the basis of an invitation from God to let go of your own control of life in favor of His control.  Try to make an act of total surrender to Him and you will begin to discover the freedom that comes with this surrender.

Father in Heaven, I thank You for Your perfect knowledge of every detail of my life.  I thank You, also, for Your perfect love.  Help me to trust in this love and to trust in Your daily invitation to surrender all.  I do surrender my life to You, dear Lord.  Help me to surrender more fully this day.  Jesus, I trust in You.

From Catholic Daily Reflections.ie

 

Feast day of St. Anthony of Padua 13th of June

Prayer of Thanksgiving St Anthony of Padua

Most loving protector, great St. Anthony, I hasten to thank you. Full of
appreciation and profound gratitude I acknowledge the favors you have secured
for me in reply to my prayers and those of our Franciscan missionaries.
Because you answered my petitions and all those the children of the missions
offered for my intentions, I rejoice in your power with God and your unfailing
goodness to your brothers in Christ. May you ever be honored and blessed, most
powerful wonder-worker of Padua! May your merits and favors remain an
unending hymn of praise to the most Holy Trinity, and to our blessed Lady, Queen
of Heaven.
Pray: Our Father
Pray: Hail Mary
Pray: Glory Be

For June; we pray to the Sacred Heart

The stations of the cross

HOW TO PRAY THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS

The stations of the cross are a powerful prayer experience. The best way to pray these is to do them at your church meditating on each of the stations. You may also do them at home or in the adoration chapel at church. I have included the stations of the cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori below. These are some of my favorite stations. You can find many different versions of the stations of the cross online or in booklets at your favorite Catholic bookstore.

These are the 14 Stations of the Cross

1. Jesus is condemned to death.
2. Jesus is given His cross.
3. Jesus falls down for the first time.
4. Jesus meets His mother Mary.
5. Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the cross.
6. Veronica wipes blood off of Jesus’ face.
7. Jesus falls down for the second time.
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
9. Jesus falls down for the third time.
10. Jesus is stripped of His clothing.
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross – the Crucifixion.
12. Jesus dies on the cross.
13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross – the Deposition or Lamentation.
14. Jesus’ body is placed in the tomb.

Stations of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Opening Prayer

My Lord Jesus Christ, you have made this journey to die for me with infinite love. So many times I have sinned, but I repent sincerely because I love you. Pardon me, my God. I will love you all my life.

First Station: Jesus Is Condemned to Death

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: Jesus, after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the Cross.

Prayer: Jesus, it is because of my sins that You are going to die. Through the merits of Your sorrowful journey, help me in my journey to Heaven. I love You, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love You always and to do Your will.

Second Station: Jesus Is Made to Bear His Cross

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: Jesus, in making this journey with the Cross on His shoulders, thought of us, and offered for us, to His Father, the death that He was about to undergo.

Prayer: Jesus, I embrace all the suffering that you send to me. Through the merits of your pain in carrying Your Cross, help me to carry my cross with patience and resignation. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: Jesus fell for the first time under His Cross. He had been scourged and had a crown of thorns on His head, and the soldiers hit Him. He was in so

much pain He could barely walk, but He had to carry the heavy Cross.

Prayer: Jesus, the weight of my sins adds to your suffering and makes it infinitely worse. Through the merits of your first fall, deliver me from falling into mortal sin. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: Jesus met His Mother Mary along His journey. They loved each other so deeply.

Prayer: Jesus, through the sorrow and joy you had in meeting your Mother Mary, help me to be truly devoted to her. Mary, help me to remember in my heart the suffering your Son underwent for me. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Fifth Station: Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: When the Jews saw how weak Jesus was, they feared He might die on the way, before He was crucified, so they forced a man named Simon the Cyrenian to carry the Cross behind our Lord.

Prayer: Jesus, I accept the cross you give to me, and I accept how you want me to die. I offer all my sufferings and troubles to you. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: A woman named Veronica, seeing Jesus suffering so much, and sweat and blood dripping down His face, gave Him a towel to wipe His face. By a miracle, He left an image of His face on the towel.

Prayer: Jesus, your face was once clean and good to look upon, but blood and sweat disfigured it, and Veronica wiped Your face clean. My soul was once clean and beautiful when I was baptized, but sin disfigured it. Through your suffering, wipe my soul clean. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love You always and to do Your will.

Seventh Station: Jesus Falls a Second Time

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: Jesus fell the second time under the Cross. The fall renews all the pain in His body and makes His head throb.

Prayer: Jesus, so many times you have forgiven me, and so many times I have sinned again. Through the merits of your second fall, help me and preserve me in your grace until I die. Help me to call on you every time I am tempted. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Eighth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: These women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus walking to His death. But Jesus said to them, “Weep not for me but for your children.”

Prayer: Jesus, I am sorry for all my sins, because of the pain and sadness they cause you, who loves me so much. I love you, Jesus. I repent of

my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: Jesus fell for the third time. He was so weak and the soldiers pushed Him to walk faster, but He could barely move.

Prayer: Jesus, by my weakness in temptation, you are going to Calvary. Give me strength to conquer temptation. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Tenth Station: Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: The soldiers snatched Jesus’ robe off Him.

Prayer: Jesus, help me to strip my soul of bad habits so I can give all my love to you, who are so worthy of all my love. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again

and to love you always and to do your will.

Eleventh Station: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: Jesus was thrown down onto the Cross. He stretched out His arms and offered His life to the Father for our salvation. The soldiers nailed Him to the Cross and pushed the Cross to stand up.

Prayer: Jesus, keep my heart. Keep me always close to you. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my

sins. Help me to never sin again and to love You always and to do Your will.

Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: After suffering for three hours on the Cross, Jesus gave up His life to the Father and died.

Prayer: Jesus, through my sins, I deserve to be punished, but your death is my hope. Through the merits of your death, give me the grace that when I die, I will die as you want me to. I entrust my soul into your hands. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Thirteenth Station: Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: Two of Jesus’ disciples took Jesus down from the Cross and Mary His Mother held Him close to her heart.

Prayer: Mary, sorrowful Mother, pray to your Son for me. Jesus, you have died because you love me. Help me to love you always. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Fourteenth Station: Jesus Is Laid in His Tomb

V. We adore you, Christ, and we praise you.

R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Meditation: The two disciples and Mary laid Jesus in a tomb.

Prayer: Jesus, You rose on the third day. Through your Resurrection, make me rise glorious on the last day, to be always with you in Heaven, praising and loving you. I love you, Jesus. I repent of my sins. Help me to never sin again and to love you always and to do your will.

Closing Prayer

Jesus, I kneel before you and ask you: fill my heart with faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm desire of amendment.

Closing Meditation: God has loved us from all eternity. Before we existed, before He created us, before He created the world, He loved each of us already. From all eternity, God loves us.

From regular Catholic guy.com

Novena to The Holy Spirit

Novena in Honour of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit descends on the Disciples at Pentecost

 

FOREWORD

The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

 

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
To be recited daily during the Novena

On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.” Amen.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
To be recited daily during the Novena

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

The Novena begins on the day after the Solemnity of the Ascension, Friday of the 6th Week of Easter, even if the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred to the 7th Sunday.

FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension or Friday of 6th Week of Easter)

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important — eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared–sin? Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.”

Prayer

Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SECOND DAY (Saturday of 6th Week of Easter)

Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!

The Gift of Fear

The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. “They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls.”

Prayer

Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

THIRD DAY (7th Sunday of Easter or transferred Ascension)

Thou, of all consolers best, Visiting the troubled breast, Dost refreshing peace bestow.

The Gift of Piety

The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

FOURTH DAY (Monday, 7th Week of Easter)

Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe.

The Gift of Fortitude

By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. “He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.”

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

FIFTH DAY (Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter)

Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!

The Gift of Knowledge

The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth–in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. “Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it.”

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SIXTH DAY (Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter)

If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn’d to ill.

The Gift of Understanding

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion BY faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to “walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

SEVENTH DAY (Thursday, 7th Week of Easter)

Heal our wounds–our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away.

The Gift of Counsel

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. “Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth.”

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long. Amen

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

EIGHTH DAY (Friday, 7th Week of Easter)

Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom

Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written “all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands.” It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: “Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

NINTH DAY (Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost)

Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

Prayer

Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Readings and Gospel 19.4.20

READING OF THE DAY

First reading from the Acts of the Apostles
ACTS 2:42-47

They devoted themselves
to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life,
to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone,
and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common;
they would sell their property and possessions
and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves
to meeting together in the temple area
and to breaking bread in their homes.
They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,
praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.
And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

 

Second reading from the first letter of Peter
1 PT 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to John
JN 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER

Jesus invites us to behold these wounds, to touch them as Thomas did, to heal our lack of belief. Above all, he invites us to enter into the mystery of these wounds, which is the mystery of his merciful love. Faced with the tragic events of human history we can feel crushed at times, asking ourselves, “Why?”. Humanity’s evil can appear in the world like an abyss, a great void: empty of love, empty of goodness, empty of life. And so we ask: how can we fill this abyss? For us it is impossible; only God can fill this emptiness that evil brings to our hearts and to human history. It is Jesus, God made man, who died on the Cross and who fills the abyss of sin with the depth of his mercy. (Homily, Mass for the faithful of Armenian Rite, 12 April 2015)