Prayer for Purging Evil From the Church

Mary crushing the head of Satan

I don’t know if you are like me, but I have had trouble voicing my deep concerns for the Church during my prayer time. Besides saying my rote prayers or the simple prayer-plea of Help, I have struggled with finding the words to pray for my universal family, the Catholic Church.

Then…I came across this beautiful prayer written by Pedro de la Cruz and published by Catholic Prayer Cards and wow! It put into words the many things that have been bouncing around in my heart. It has become part of my daily prayers and I knew I had to share it. Will you join me in asking our Heavenly Mother to intercede for our Church?

Here is the link to the prayer card:

http://www.catholicprayercards.org/clerical-abuse-crisis/Prayer-for-Purging-of-Evil-From-Catholic-Church.html

Prayer for Purging Holy Card

Who is That Man?

Saint Anthony

Have you ever come across a person that captured your attention and left you wanting to learn more about them? Maybe you wondered, just who is that man? (or woman?) One such person that intrigued me in my younger years was Saint Anthony of Padua. Mainly because I was taught the prayerful phrase, “Tony, Tony, look around…something’s lost and can’t be found.”  I was curious why we ask Saint Anthony for help when we lose something. Was it because he lost things when he was a child?

As I researched this pious person, I found some interested things about him. Take the quiz below and you can learn more about this spiritual role model too.

  1. Saint Anthony was born in 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal. What name was he given at his baptism?
    A) Anthony
    B) Fernando
    C) Martin

Saint Anthony was born into a prominent family in Lisbon, the son of Martin and Mary Bulhom. His parents gave him the name Fernando at his baptism. He took the name Anthony when he received his habit, most likely inspired by Saint Anthony of Egypt.

 

  1. How old was Saint Anthony when he went to the Abbey of Santa Cruz?
    A) 10 years old
    B) 15 years old
    C) 20 years old

Saint Anthony gave up his life of prestige and asked to be sent to the Abbey at age fifteen. He studied there for two years and then for nine years at Coimbra, learning Theology and Latin. He was probably ordained a priest during this later time.

 

  1. Saint Anthony originally started out as an Augustine, but then changed to what order?
    A) The Franciscans
    B) The Dominicans
    C) The Jesuits

Saint Anthony changed to the Franciscan order after being inspired by five Franciscans who were martyred in Morocco. He longed to be a witness for Christ and earn the crown of a martyr. The Franciscans did initially send him off to Morocco, but he never made it because he became very ill and was brought back to recover. Anthony suffered from ill health most the rest of his life and died at the age of 36.

 

  1. Saint Anthony is the patron saint of _____?
    A) Hospital workers
    B) Priests
    C) Lost things

Saint Anthony is invoked for the return of lost property. One reason comes from the story of his missing book of Psalms. This was the time before the printing press and owning a book was a very special thing. When Anthony discovered his precious book of Psalms was missing he prayed that it would be found and returned to him. After his prayer, the thief was moved to return the psalter. It turned out to be one of the novices in his order!

 

  1. Saint Anthony became famous when he____?
    A) Delivered an eloquent sermon
    B) Built a monastery
    C) Wrote a book

The answer is A. Saint Anthony was at an ordination, and for some reason, there was no one to give the sermon. So the Franciscan provincial asked Anthony to just give a short simple sermon, thinking he was fairly uneducated for he did not fully know about Anthony’s theological studies as an Augustine. Anthony’s delivery was so humble and eloquent that he quickly became famous for his preaching. Over the years the crowds that would come hear him were so great that sometimes he had to go out into a field to preach because everybody could not fit in the church.

 

  1. Once Saint Anthony attempted to preach to some heretics who would not listen to him, so he went out and preached his message to some____?
    A) Birds
    B) Wolves
    C) Fish

Tradition tells of Saint Anthony preaching to some fish, which all swam up to hear the famous speaker. After seeing hordes of fish listening to Saint Anthony, the heretics relented and returned to the truth of the faith that Saint Anthony was teaching.

 

  1. Thirty-two years after Saint Anthony’s death, his body was moved so as to be placed beneath the high altar of the church in Padua. What part of his body was found uncorrupted?
    A) His tongue
    B) His heart
    C) His feet

Though most everything else had decomposed, it was his tongue that was intact and life-like upon opening his coffin, even though the tongue is the part of our body that decays first. It was taken as a sign that God approved of his mission of preaching and teaching. Saint Bonaventure, who was present for the occasion, reverently took the tongue and said, “O blessed tongue, which has always blessed God and caused other to bless Him, now it appears evident how great were your merits before God!” His tongue was placed in a reliquary and can still be seen today.

Admiration for Saint Anthony

So, it was the simple poem “Tony, Tony look around, something’s lost and can’t be found” that initially caught my attention, but now I admire Saint Anthony for other things besides asking him to help me find lost articles.

Most notably, I admire Saint Anthony’s deep prayer life and humble nature. The scientific examination that was conducted on his bones in 1981 revealed that he had thickened knee caps, a result of kneeling in prayer for long hours every day.

Another thing I am in awe of is how he was able to preach and teach in a simple and yet profound way. He did so in a way that even the uneducated were able to understand his messages. His method included the use of allegory and symbolic explanation of Scripture. I believe this Saint can teach me a lot about my attempts to share the Good News. I wonder if the Lord is telling me…Pray more!

In summary, Saint Anthony was a simple and humble friar who preached the Good News lovingly and with fearless courage. So many miracles occurred at his gravesite that he was canonized a saint in the shortest time in the history of the church-only 11 months. In 1946 Pope Pius XII officially declared Anthony a Doctor of the Universal Church.

THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW! 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Healing

Praying and Fasting Jesus

A CALL TO ACTION FOR OUR CHURCH IN CRISIS
40 Days of Prayer & Fasting for Healing
October 1st – November 9th

Would you consider joining me and others for 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for Healing? This is a call to action for our Church in crisis starting Monday, October 1st (or start whenever you read this) through November 9th.

Cardinal DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “The Holy Father is…inviting, and I am asking this as well, that all the faithful join in prayer and fasting…Jesus remarked once, ‘This kind can only come out through prayer and fasting’ (Mark 9:29); a humble reminder that such acts of faith can move mountains and can even bring about true healing and conversion.”

As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) draws closer to its November assembly to address the crisis in our Church, join your brothers and sisters in Christ during this time leading up to the assembly for 40 Days of Praying & Fasting for Healing.  Healing for the victims and their families; Healing for the Church and for all those called to lead it; And healing for ourselves as we struggle through this turbulent time.

Observe this forty-day period from October 1st – November 9th as a time of increased prayer and penance, like another Lent. Please join us in performing these two acts of faith.

1.) PRAYER

Consider adding prayers to your daily routine, like the prayer to St Michael the Archangel, the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet or some extra Hail Mary’s. Another good prayer option is to make a Holy Hour (or ½ hour) of prayer and adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

2.) FASTING

As penitential practices, fasting and abstinence unite us to the redemptive suffering and death of the Lord. Consider following the norms for Lent such as no meat on Fridays, or no eating between meals. Other ideas are to give up sodas, alcohol or dessert.  How about no social media for one day a week during the 40 days?  Or perform another fast of your choice.

Remember the prayer and fasting example of Jesus and take to heart the words of Cardinal DiNardo; “acts of faith can move mountains and… bring about true healing and conversion.”
Lord forgive us and heal us. Amen!

JPII weapons of prayer and fasting

 

 

 

My Personal Letter to Cardinal DiNardo

Letter with no return address

His Eminence,
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
1700 San Jacinto
Houston TX 77002

Your Eminence,

I am a cradle Catholic and daily communicant who has spent countless hours volunteering in numerous ministries in the Church-most notably with the youth. I am writing because I am deeply troubled by this horrific crisis in the church. I feel angry, ashamed, and betrayed. I have great concern for my two young grandsons, one who currently attends a Catholic school, as well as all the youth that I work with.

My prayers go out -first and foremost- to the victims, yet I want you to know that I am also praying and fasting for you, your brother cardinals, bishops and priests, as well as our Holy Father. I plead with you to remember the victims during this process. Keep them as your driving motivation to bring justice and healing to God’s people.  During this dark spiritual warfare that is going on, I propose a battle cry of “Remember the Victims!”

You, Most Eminent Cardinal DiNardo, are in this place and time for a reason. God has placed you in the position of President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and you have the opportunity to lead the charge, to act courageously and justly on behalf of the victims, and to help bring the Church into a period of purification and reformation. Transparency, truth, and reparation for sins are a must. Know that I am making special sacrifices specifically for your strong moral leadership.

Respectfully yours in Christ,
Rose of Sharon

St. Maria Goretti, St. Charles Lwanga, and St. Mary MacKillop pray for us!

Five Things the Faithful Need to Do During This Crisis in the Church

What Do I Do

Scream, cry, hide in shame, and walk around in dumfounded shock. These are some of the things I have done since the resurfacing of the horrible scandal that is rocking the Church. The information that is coming out is horrific. It is truly sickening. Anger, disgust and hopelessness want to flood my spirit. I feel like I will drown if I don’t do something. But what in the world can I do in the enormity of such grave sin?! I ask myself the question, but it also gushes out of my heart as a desperate prayer-plead to God.  And in his beautiful love, he responds. Here are five things to do during this crisis:

  1. Keep going to Mass/Reconciliation

In a time when you could find lots of excuses to stop going to Mass and walk away from your faith…keep the faith! Keep participating in the sacraments. Don’t stop going to Mass or Reconciliation! Don’t walk away from Jesus and the Eucharist! Nothing would make the enemy happier than to see you walk away. We need lots of grace to get through this spiritual battle and receiving our Lord and Savior’s precious body and blood is vital.

In regards to going to Reconciliation, the passage from the Lord ’s Prayer rings true; “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us” (Mt 6:12). During this terrible time in the Church, resentment and holding a grudge will be tempting. The sacrament of Reconciliation helps us to face our own sinfulness and lets us experience the healing beauty of God’s mercy. We need be at our best during these worst of circumstances; therefore, going to confession is a must.

  1. Pray and Fast

There is nothing more powerful in the face of evil than prayer. First and foremost, pray for the victims, that they will find healing and peace. Pray for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (and maybe you) who are struggling with their faith during this crisis. Pray for the church leaders, and all that work for the church, that they may courageously follow the direction of the Holy Spirit and provide strong leadership during this moral catastrophe. And don’t forget (gulp) to also pray for the perpetrators of these horrible crimes.

In regards to fasting, Cardinal DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says, “The Holy Father is…inviting, and I am asking this as well, that all the faithful join in prayer and fasting…Jesus remarked once, ‘This kind can only come out through prayer and fasting’ (Mark 9:29); a humble reminder that such acts of faith can move mountains and can even bring about true healing and conversion,”

To read more about the benefits of fasting and ideas on how to fast, check out https://www.catholicgentleman.net/2014/04/spiritual-weapons-fasting/

  1. Write Your Bishop

Write an actual letter with an envelope and stamp. Pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and pour yourself out on the paper. Keep it honest and concise, but make sure to let the leader of your diocese know your concerns. Monsignor Charles Pope writes about taking this action in his article entitled, In the Midst of Clerical Misdeeds, a Crucial Moment for the Laity. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/msgr-pope/in-the-midst-of-clerical-misdeeds-a-crucial-moment-for-the-laity

If you needs some tips in writing to your bishop, check this out: https://avemariaradio.net/tips-write-bishop/

Also, at the end of this blog is a letter written and delivered to Cardinal DiNardo by my brother Eddie Scales, along with a link to where he got the information on the forty day period of prayer and fasting that he mentions in the letter.

  1. Affirm your Priests

Though this is a dark time for the Church, remember there are many virtuous, celibate priests out there. They have given their life to serving Christ and his people. It is a sad time for these faithful priests who are learning about their brother priests who have committed grave sins. Make sure to thank the priest(s) at your parish for their service. Write them a note. Send them a card. Invite them over for dinner. Let them know you are praying for them and that you appreciate all their hard work. And while you’re at it, encourage your priest to speak to the congregation about this crisis, if they haven’t already. Yes, it is a difficult topic to address, but it must be done!

  1. Stay Informed/Educated

This advice is coming from someone who hates watching the news and following current events. I’d rather not think about those things or deal with them, mainly because it always seems so negative. However it is important that we do not do what some of our church officials have done in the past…sweep things under the rug and look away.

Knowing what is going on can fire us up to help make the world a better place. Staying informed gives us opportunities to pray for specific people or specific issues. Staying educated can help you have healthy discussions about current issues. That is why it is good to have reputable sources to help you stay abreast of the latest news. In regards to the topic of this article, I recommend:

The National Catholic Register (owned by EWTN)  http://www.ncregister.com/
Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire  https://www.wordonfire.org/
1430am Catholic Radio in Houston KSHJ  http://www.grnonline.com/stations/1430-am-kshj-houston/

The church is in dire need of reform and renewal. This will not be easy! It is a long rough road ahead. Along with prayer, fasting and continued participation in the sacraments, there is hope.

 


An open letter to his Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo,
archbishop of Galveston-Houston.

I am a lifelong Catholic, active in the church, fervent in my faith, faithful to the Magisterium and disgusted by the abuse and cover-ups that have plagued the Roman Catholic Church. I am heartsick and ashamed over the 1000+ victims of abuse in the state of Pennsylvania and all the other boys and girls, men and women who have been sexually abused by priests and further victimized by the bishops who covered up for these crimes. I pray for justice for the victims and their families and their communities.

Something must be done, and I am asking you to lead your flock, and to be a leader in the Church in addressing these crimes. We are all sinners and we must confront our sinfulness, and the Church must do the same. Christ would have it no other way.

I believe in the Catholic Church, founded by Christ and sustained by the Eucharist. We are one body in Christ. As such, I invite you, your Eminence, Cardinal DiNardo, to join us in observing a forty day period of prayer and fasting as an act of reparation to God for these sins. From the feast of the Queenship of Mary on August 22, through the month of September, we will join our sorrow with Our Lady of Sorrows, and make daily sacrifices for this intention.

Your servant in Christ,
R.E. “Eddie” Scales
Parishioner of Sts. Simon & Jude in The Woodlands, TX

Corruptio optimi pessima (The corruption of the best is the worst of all)

http://www.catholicallyear.com/2018/08/sexual-abuse-sackcloth-and-ashes.html

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy

Lazy Hazy Crazy

 

“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” This song by the famous Nat King Cole has been on my mind lately.  The three adjectives, lazy, hazy and crazy are pretty good descriptors of my summer so far. Yesterday was the feast day of Mary Magdalen. As I contemplated her inspirational life it seemed to me that crazy, hazy and lazy, were fairly good descriptors of her life too.

Crazy: Mary’s life surely was crazy for she was possessed by seven demons! Luke tells us in 8:2 that Jesus came and freed her from this satanic bondage. After her liberation she becomes one of Jesus’ most devoted disciples.

Hazy: Things become cloudy and confusing for Mary Magdalen and all of Jesus followers when their leader is arrested, beaten and killed. Most run away and hide. Even though Mary did not fully understand, she remains faithful, staying with her crucified Lord, even to his burial site.

Lazy? No way! Who got up early in the morning while it was still dark to go to Jesus’ tomb? Who ran to tell apostles the good news that Jesus was risen? Mary was not slothful, but a passionate, fervent follower of Jesus.

Mary of Magdala, please pray with us:

Lord, help us to turn to you for strength, especially when things get crazy. Help us to trust in you when things get hazy and confusing. And Lord, help us to love and serve you with a passionate heart, full of energy and zeal, just as Mary did.

Amen.

Mary Magdalen

 

Afraid of the Dark

Afraid of the Dark

The words “the Boogie Man will get you” terrified me as a child. This was one of the many fictitious reasons I was afraid of the dark. Along with the imaginary witches in my closet, the werewolves outside my window, and the monsters under my bed.

I combated my fear of the dark by keeping my bedroom door open and making sure the hall and bathroom lights were on when I went to bed.  But the lights did not stay on long…my money conscious parents always turned them off.

My fear of the dark continued into young adulthood. This time my reasons were valid. I knew the crime rate escalated at night. I had read the scripture passage that speaks about how “people preferred darkness to light because their works were evil” (John 3:19) and I did not want any part of that! It was in these young adult years that I was horrified to discover that there was another kind of darkness…an emotional darkness; a black depression that wanted to smother me. And leaving the lights on did not work, for this darkness lasted through the night AND the day.

I learned that the way to combat my dark fears was to call upon the True Light. For it says in Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?” And Paul encourages us in Romans 13:12 to “throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” For “light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.” Ephesians 5:9. This Eternal Radiance has brightened my soul way more than I could ever begin to describe.

And as the famous song says…I’m not gonna put it under a bushel! NO!
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine,
Let it SHINE!

Let it Shine