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Friday, May 19, 2017

Pray for Families (Prayer as a Launch Pad)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Families are a lot like granola, aren’t they?  You have the nuts, the sweet ones, the seedy ones, the fruity ones, those shriveled like raisins, and those who seem a little hardened.  Who would think they would blend, but together they make an wonderful combination! When we are around those who are different than us, we are forced out of our comfort zone into a place of uneasiness, or perhaps confusion. Disarmed, we are commanded by our Lord only to do only one thing: Love. Nothing more, nothing less; we are called to love as He loved.

But loving is hard you say as you list a 100 reasons why. 

The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  1 John 3:16

Perhaps all we need to do is contemplate Christ’s passion and where we would be without the gift of His love, the gift of salvation.  He showed us what pure, self-giving sacrifice for another looks like. Loving now gets a bit easier, as we realize our self-sacrifice is quite small in comparison.

Pray and put into practice loving each family member and each relative, with the intent to mirror Christ’s love to them.  You may be surprised by the result.   

May the spoken words of my mouth, the thoughts of my heart win favor in your sight, O Lord. Psalm 19:15

Peace, Joy, and Love,

All good things launch from prayer.  Pray for the one you pass this on to! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Unexpected Gifts)

Greetings Prayer Warriors, 

With all the noise of the culture it’s easy to lose sight of the God’s great purpose for marriage and “wedding gifts” He bestows upon the couple.

 “The biblical Word of God several times urges the betrothed and the married to nourish and develop their wedlock by pure conjugal love and undivided affection...This love is an eminently human one since it is directed from one person to another through an affection of the will; it involves the good of the whole person, and therefore can enrich the expressions of body and mind with a unique dignity, ennobling these expressions as special ingredients and signs of the friendship distinctive of marriage. This love God has judged worthy of special gifts, healing, perfecting and exalting gifts of grace and of charity. Such love, merging the human with the divine, leads the spouses to a free and mutual gift of themselves, a gift providing itself by gentle affection and by deed, such love pervades the whole of their lives: indeed by its busy generosity it grows better and grows greater. Therefore it far excels mere erotic inclination, which, selfishly pursued, soon enough fades wretchedly away.” *  (emphasis added)

Tobiah rose from bed and said to his wife, “My sister, come, let us pray and beg our Lord to grant us mercy and protection.” She got up, and they started to pray and beg that they might be protected. He began with these words: “Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors; blessed be your name forever and ever! Let the heavens and all your creation bless you forever. You made Adam, and you made his wife Eve to be his helper and support; and from these two the human race has come. You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a helper like himself.’ Now, not with lust, but with fidelity I take this kinswoman as my wife. Send down your mercy on me and on her, and grant that we may grow old together. Bless us with children.” They said together, “Amen, amen!”  Tobit 4:4-8

As Tobiah did, let us praise the Lord for His goodness and pray that we are given the gifts of the faith, hope, and love igniting in us the desire to kneel before the Father and ask for a blessing upon our marriages. 

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Say a prayer for your marriage, then someone else’s, and then pass along the gift!

*Gaudium et Spes, no. 49

Friday, May 12, 2017

Pray for Families (Dwell in Me)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Pause.  Open your heart.  Dump out the clutter.  Reconcile any differences so that it becomes a clean and holy place for the Lord. Ask Jesus to come and make it His dwelling within you.  

The glory of the Lord filled the Dwelling.  Exodus 40:34

Now go forth and love your family, even those you find hardest to love.  You now have a Companion who will love through you.  Let us pray that all family members are so moved by your love that they are compelled to make a fitting dwelling place for the Lord too.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

The love of Christ should be shared.  Pass it on! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Pray for Marriages (Dying to Live!)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

If   someone saved our life, we would have immeasurable gratitude. Try as we might, we would never know exactly how to repay anyone for such a gift, for the value of one’s life is without price. Paradoxically, how little gratitude we show to Him who saved our soul from death and gave it eternal life.  Shouldn’t we be continually seeking ways to thank Him?  As the Good Shepherd, He showed us what love truly is.

The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16

How difficult it is to imitate Christ’s sacrificial love in even the smallest ways.  In your marriage, contemplate the ways in which you die-to-self for the benefit of your spouse.  Or maybe it’s best to consider the ways that you should? Perhaps it is in the exact moment that one truly dies–to-self that Christ brings new life into their marriage.  For only He can resurrect what others deemed as already dead.

You brought my life up from the pit, O LORD, my God. Jonah 2:7

Just as Christ laid down His life for His sheep, consider how the Virgin Mary prefigured his sacrifice by laying her life down for the Lamb.  In turn, Joseph sacrificed his self-will for love of his spouse and child.  What a beautiful witness to marital and familial love! 

Lord, help us to aspire to such heights!  Give each of us proportionately the grace we need to grow in the virtue of love. May this love be spent on others, especially our spouse. As always, we trust in your redeeming grace!  Amen.

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Death is only a passageway to new life.  Sacrifice to benefit your spouse and you may just be surprised at the result.  Pass it on! 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Pray for Families (New Life in Him)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Many people today think religion or even believing in Christ and His teachings is constraining, irrelevant, difficult to accept, and antiquated.  Perhaps this is you or someone you know. 

Have you ever wondered, “If Jesus came today, would I recognize Him? Believe Him?” Follow Him?

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. This is the bread that came down from heaven. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.  John 6:53-58

Like manna in the desert, Christ today feeds us with Himself, the Bread of Life in the Eucharist. Do we recognize Him? Take advantage of this gift of life?

Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? John 6:60-63

Yes, it is shocking!  Jesus was then and always will be counter-cultural, but so is His unwavering love for us!  Mind-blowing!

But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.” As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. John 6:64-66

Let us pray for those who waver, or who have chosen to leave: our family, our friends, our coworkers, and even strangers, for we are all one family in Christ.

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” John 6:67

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Be counter-cultural! Pass it on!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pray for Marriages (First Fruits of our Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Today is the feast of St. Joseph, the worker.  We don’t often contemplate the occupation of the foster father of Jesus.  He was but a carpenter and because of his great love for his wife, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his son Jesus, he labored to provide for them.  Much as a wife labors to bring forth life, a husband labors to sustain it.  When one puts the good of self before the good of the other, marriages weaken and eventually fail.    However when there is a mutual self-giving for the good of the other, marriages flourish.

I will most gladly spend and be utterly spent for your sakes. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 2 Corinthians 12:15

Lord, teach us how to love our spouses first, helping us to give the first fruits of our love to them in union with You and not just the remnants that remain. Mary, most holy,, teach us to align our will with that of our  Lord and our God.  St Joseph, pray for us, that we may never tire of giving for the benefit of our marriage, our family and for the glory of God. 

Answer me, LORD, in your generous love; in your great mercy turn to me. Psalm 69:17

Peace, Joy, and Love,

Love first! Pass it on!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Pray for Families (Simply Love)

Greetings Prayer Warriors,

Love your family even when it is difficult.  That is the most beautiful prayer of all.

This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

Simply love. 

Peace, Joy, and Love,