Theology of the Body news and discussion, Natural Family Planning Q & A and Prayer Community
Follow on Twitter

4.20.2014

Divine Mercy Novena Day Three


Third Day:

Today bring to Me ALL DEVOUT AND FAITHFUL SOULS, and immerse then in the ocean of My mercy. The souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness. 

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wonderous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely. 

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen. 


Now, pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/

Read about the Divine Mercy: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena.phpv

4.19.2014

Divine Mercy Novena Day Two




Second Day:

Today bring to Me THE SOULS OF PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind.

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard—upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

*In the original text, St. Faustina uses the pronoun "us" since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.

Now, pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy:  


4.17.2014

The Divine Mercy Novena Day One


First Day:


Today bring to Me ALL MANKIND, ESPECIALLY ALL SINNERS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.

Now, pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy:  

http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php



3.29.2014

‘Planned’ parenthood—God’s way • by By Joe Pisani

 • by By Joe Pisani
From the Fairfield County Catholic, publication of the Diocese of Bridgeport

While I was being introduced to guests at my younger sister’s birthday party, someone who had a little too much Pinot Grigio asked, “Is that your father?”

“Check the prescription on those eyeglasses,” I wanted to say.


I’m sure the question made Margaret’s day, although it cast a bit of a pall over mine. (At least they didn’t say “grandfather.”)

In my defense, let me point out that it was a poorly lit room, some guests had been drinking heavily and I had gray stubble on my face because I didn’t shave. You see, I wanted to look like those young hunks in GQ magazine who have sexy facial hair, but I guess my plan backfired because I looked more like Burl Ives than Hugh Jackman.

“No,” Margaret told the inquiring guest, “That’s my brother. We were born 13 years apart.” Then, she added, “I wasn’t planned.”

“Planned”—what a utilitarian concept. I doubt my parents planned her or my sister Kathy, who was born a year later on the same day. My father didn’t believe in long-range planning. He took life a day at a time, which is a lesson they taught him in Alcoholics Anonymous.

How many of us were planned by our parents? For my part, I hope I was a complete surprise, like winning Lotto or getting a flat tire when you’re rushing to a meeting.

Planned or unplanned, our parents welcomed us. They were from a different era when it was widely believed that all life, from the beginning to the end, was sacred. They also subscribed to this crazy notion that children were gifts from God.

When I thought about it, I had to admit that none of our four daughters was “planned,” at least by my wife and me. We never sat down to develop a strategic plan for parenthood with an Excel spreadsheet, a folder of Huggies coupons, and blueprints for a bigger house. In fact, we raised four daughters in a Cape Cod with three bedrooms, no dishwasher and one bathroom. The waiting lines were long and the yelling was loud.

Our daughters were surprises, and what great surprises. We welcomed them all, although we feared that four children were more than we could afford. In the end, God provided, as he always does.

Years later, however, while I was struggling to pay for college and weddings, I sometimes wondered, “Why the heck did we have four kids? A dog or two and possibly a parakeet would have been a lot less expensive.” But the truth is we wouldn’t have done anything differently.

As parents, we may not have planned those pregnancies, but God certainly did. God has a plan, and it’s always better than our plan. Sometimes, though, what He has in store for us isn’t necessarily what our first choice would be.

As he told the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

One of my “unplanned” sisters became a doctor who works in the intensive care unit and has helped many families when they’re confronting a medical crisis or the end of life. The other “unplanned” sister is a social worker who counsels families troubled by abuse and poverty. I like to think they take Christ with them in their work.

The greatest tragedy of our age is that so many children, had they been born and not aborted, could have changed the world for the better, in big ways and in small. They might have developed a cure for cancer or AIDS, and they might have brought Christ to the lonely, the suffering and the dispossessed.

Each one of us was created in God’s image and likeness with infinite forethought and love, although I confess that I seldom feel like a piece of fine craftsmanship and usually think of myself more as a Hyundai than a Porsche. But even our flaws were part of his plan, and the amazing thing is he loves us, flaws and all.

Years before Roe v. Wade and long before our society began to trivialize the sacredness of human life, Trappist author M. Raymond wrote, “Each human being is so tremendous that he or she merits a reverence that is really religious. For each is a creation of God; each a mirror of Divinity; each a feature or a facet on the Face of Christ.”

People who are forgotten by society, people who have no value in the eyes of a materialistic, status-obsessed culture are infinitely valued in the eyes of God.

Fr. Raymond also said, “From all eternity, God has had in his mind and will a specific task for you to perform for which no one else in all creation is fitted as you are. It belongs to you and to you alone.”

He’s talking about you. He’s talking about me. He’s talking about millions upon millions of “unplanned” children, whose value God understood before time began.

Or as Mother Angelica once said: “God knew you, loved you, and chose you before there was an angel, before there was a world, a universe or a star.”

Joe Pisani, a journalist for many years, is principal at The Dilenschneider Group, a strategic communications firm.

3.15.2014

Clarification of Who Am I to Judge? by Fr. Cipolla


Perhaps, just perhaps, it is time for a clarification of this phrase, “Who am I to judge?”  Perhaps, just perhaps, the official explainer, Fr. Lombardi, should tell  the world what this means.  Perhaps, just perhaps, the Bishop of Rome, should tell the world what this means in the context of Jesus Christ’s words “Judge not and you will not be judged in the Gospel of St. Luke.  Perhaps the important distinction between sinful condemnation of a person in one’s heart and making a valid moral judgment could be pointed out. Perhaps there can be a clarification of these words within the context of the teaching of the Church on human sexuality as clearly set out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  


The store includes a gallery of photos showing different people wearing this t-shirt. The photo that most touched me was the one above of a geography class in a Catholic school with some of the students wearing this T-shirt ("Holy Names Geography Club in their orange Z Day ribbons, supporting Mark Zmuda. More photos to come! ‪#‎zday‬"). The smiles on the faces of the kids are real and touching.  The context is their support of a teacher in the school who was fired for "marrying" another man. For these Catholic kids what is most important is being nice to other people and being open to "alternative" life styles. The questions of salvation, of truth, of sacrifice, of faith with content:  how can these compete with a smiling Pope and “Who am I to judge” on a T-shirt?  And there is the real tragedy.  But we live in hope.  And perhaps, just perhaps, someone, even the Bishop of Rome, will let those kids and the world know what that now famous question means.

Father Richard G. Cipolla
A convert from the Episcopal Church, Father Richard Cipolla is a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut and a Latin scholar who came to love and celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass.

3.13.2014

Novena to St. Joseph

Say once a day for nine days, especially beginning on 10 March and ending on 18 March, the eve of the Feast of St. Joseph

O glorious descendant of the kings of Judah, Inheritor of the virtues of all the patriarchs. Just and happy St. Joseph, listen to my prayer. Thou art my glorious protector, and shall ever be, after Jesus and Mary the object of my most profound veneration and confidence. Thou art the most hidden, though the greatest Saint, and art particularly the patron of those who serve God with the greatest purity and fervor. In union with all those who have ever been most devoted to thee I now dedicate myself to thy service; beseeching thee, for the sake of Jesus Christ, who vouchsafed to love and obey thee as a son, to become a father to me; and to obtain for me the filial respect, confidence and love of a child towards thee. 

O powerful advocate of all Christians, whose intercession, as St. Theresa assures us, has never been found to fail, deign to intercede for me now, and to implore for me the particular intention of this Novena. 

(Mention your intentions here)

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be. 

Present me O great Saint to the adorable Trinity, with Whom thou hadst so glorious and so intimate a correspondence. Obtain that I may never efface by sin the Sacred Image according to the likeness of which, I was created. Beg for me that my divine Redeemer would enkindle in my heart and in all hearts, the fire of His Love, and infuse therein the virtues of His adorable infancy, His purity, simplicity, obedience, and humility. 

Obtain for me likewise a lively devotion to thy virgin spouse, and protect me so powerfully in life and death, that I may have the happiness of dying as thou didst, in the friendship of my Creator, and under the immediate protection of the Mother of God. Amen.

3.09.2014

Traditional Catholic Prayers: O Kind Creator, bow thine ear

Traditional Catholic Prayers: O Kind Creator, bow thine ear

O kind Creator, bow thine ear
To mark the cry, to know the tear
Before thy throne of mercy spent
In this thy holy fast of Lent.

Our hearts are open, Lord, to thee:
Thou knowest our infirmity;
Pour out on all who seek thy face
Abundance of thy pardoning grace.


Our sins are many, this we know;
Spare us, good Lord, thy mercy show;
And for the honour of thy name
Our fainting souls to life reclaim.

Give us the self-control that springs
From discipline of outward things,
That fasting inward secretly
The soul may purely dwell with thee.

We pray thee, Holy Trinity,
One God, unchanging Unity,

That we from this our abstinence
May reap the fruits of penitence. Amen.


8.23.2013

"They don't build them like this anymore": Inspiring renovation to Traditonal Latin Mass Parish Church in Norwalk CT

  video

Even when the Traditional Latin Mass was confined to the "crypt," hundreds of worshippers searching for its reverence and beauty overflowed the pews in St. Patrick Chapel in the basement of St. Mary Church. That was Advent of 2007, and the parish, under the pastorship of Fr. Greg Markey, has been evolving toward the perfect form of Catholic worship ever since. "Creating a beautiful home for our Lord gives glory to His greatness and helps form strong Catholics,' says Fr. Markey. A traditional Gothic architectural structure, St. Mary in Norwalk, is forming many strong Catholics through prayer, liturgy, sacred music, worship, art and architecture.



After that trial period in the basement of the church, then Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Rev. William Lori, allowed the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass to be moved upstairs to the church proper. Unfortunately, St. Mary was not immune from the disastrous effects of church whitewashing that occurred in the 60's and 70's. A beautiful testament to the glory of God at the turn of the 20th century, St. Mary's became a banal "worship space", devoid of the rich history of 2,000 years of Catholic worship.
St. Mary Church 1930

St. Mary Church 1989
Renovations began soon after bringing the Traditional Latin Mass upstairs, and will be culminating this Christmas season of 2013, when the commissioned painting of renowned neo-Classical artist Leonard Porter, The Assumption, will be installed in the central reredos, directly behind the high altar.

The video is a special report covered by Channel 12 News in Connecticut about the renovation at St. Mary.

If you are interested in supporting the renovation project at St. Mary, please visit this link. 
To donate by PayPal click this link.

Read article by Joseph McAleer, former Diocesan spokesperson at this link.

View more photos at this link.