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Novena for a Rebirth of Chastity and Purity – Day 5

July 22, 2014

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St. Mary Magdalene

For all who work in entertainment and the arts

Lord, God, we ask you today to send forth in great abundance, through your Mother’s Most Immaculate and Pure Heart, the graces needed to convert and change the hearts of all those who work in the entertainment industry and in the arts. Grant them the gift to see the true beauty and dignity of the human person and thus create accordingly. Let them always place the virtue of chastity and purity at the forefront of their creations. Through the intercession of St. Mary Magdalene, may all writers, producers, artists, musicians and poets come to love you just as much as this holy woman did. Free from the bonds of slavery all those addicted to pornography and all those involved in prostitution. May Your Most Precious Blood this very day cover the multitude of sins committed against the flesh and wash clean the hearts of those who are deceived by the evil one. Holy Spirit breathe the fire of your love into the hearts, minds and souls of every single person involved with entertainment and art, that they may be directed by Your voice and Your love in the work that they produce, and as such, give You high honor and glory for all the world to see. Amen.

One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be.

Mary, our Mother, perfect model of purity and chastity, pray for us. 

Attributed to:
Couple to Couple League of Indianapolis

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Novena for a Rebirth of Chastity and Purity – Day 4

July 21, 2014

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For all doctors, nurses, and all who work in the fields of medicine and pharmacology

Lord, God, we ask your very special blessings and graces to be showered forth upon those who serve you in their ministry to others in the fields of medicine and pharmacology. Help them always to maintain a high respect and dignity for all human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Grant to them a deep and abiding love and awe for the creative powers you have endowed to your creatures. May they use technology and medicine for your greater honor and glory and with the utmost respect to the moral law and natural order. Lead many doctors and nurses, sweet Jesus, to the Good News of Natural Family Planning. Give them all the great gift of humility and a fervent desire to know and to do Your Will. We thank you with overflowing hearts, Lord, for those doctors and nurses who have embraced your calling and who promote only Natural Family Planning to their patients. Give them fortitude to go against the tide and bless them, their practices and their families one-hundred fold. Give special strength, O Divine Physician, to those who hear your voice but are afraid to come. Keep knocking patiently and perseveringly upon their hearts and may they know and accept Your love for them. Holy Spirit breathe the fire of your love into the hearts, minds and souls of all in the medical and health fields that they may be sanctified to grow in love of chastity and purity and thus gain an earnestness to bring these holy virtues to the souls that they minister to. Amen.

One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be.

Mary, our Mother, perfect model of purity and chastity, pray for us. 

Attributed to:
Couple to Couple League of Indianapolis

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Novena for a Rebirth of Chastity and Purity – Day 3

July 20, 2014

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For all the unmarried

Lord, God, we ask your very special graces and blessings to be showered this day upon all the unmarried. Help them to embrace and love deeply the sweet virtues of chastity and purity. Give to them the resolve they need to remain pure in a world that is hostile to such teachings. Take all of our precious youth, dear Mother, under your protective mantel where they may be kept unstained, unsullied, and unblemished. Lord, Jesus, call and beckon those who have strayed and sinned to come back to your loving arms, and to start clean again through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Guide, with your loving hands, Lord, all engaged couples that they may remain pure and chaste throughout their courtship. Give special aid, O Spotless Lamb, to those who have never heard about the virtues of chastity and purity. Soften their hearts and lead them to the well of chastity where they may drink of the pristine and uncontaminated waters. Help all of our children and the parents who love them, sweet Jesus, to guard attentively the minds and souls of their precious little ones so that they may be kept from impure images, art, music, books and movies, that may work to usurp their beloved innocence. And, sweet Jesus and dear Mother, we pray especially for those souls who bear the cross of homosexuality. Lead them to embrace chastity and may your most Precious Blood deliver them from the deceit and the lies of the evil one. Holy Spirit breathe the fire of your love into the hearts, minds and souls of all the unmarried that they may grow ardently in their love and understanding to acquire the virtues of chastity and purity. Amen.

One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be.

Mary, our Mother, perfect model of purity and chastity, pray for us. 

Attributed to:
Couple to Couple League of Indianapolis

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Novena for a Rebirth of Chastity and Purity – Day 2

July 19, 2014

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For all married couples

Lord, God, we ask your very special graces and blessings upon all married couples. Help them to grow in their understanding and in their love for the virtue of chastity and purity. Lord, help those couples who have never heard about natural family planning to be led to this information. Shower special graces upon your people, O Lord, that hardened hearts may be softened to hear your message of the Good News about the Gospel of Life and Love. Help all married couples develop the virtue of self-control and a total self-giving love. Help them to contemplate and meditate upon the Most Holy Trinity and to imitate the Godhead in their love for one another and for their family. We ask for your special aid and graces for those couples who are striving to live chaste lives but are finding it difficult amidst the temptations and the confusion wrought by this world. Help those couples who are practicing Natural Family Planning to persevere and to always maintain a generosity to life. Holy Spirit breathe the fire of your love into the hearts, minds and souls of all married couples that they may live their marriage vows with dignity and with respect to the moral order for the greater honor and glory of God. Amen.

One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be.

Mary, our Mother, perfect model of purity and chastity, pray for us. 

Attributed to:
Couple to Couple League of Indianapolis

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Novena for a Rebirth of Chastity and Purity – Day 1

July 18, 2014

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For all priests, bishops, cardinals, and our Holy Father

Lord, God, thank you for the gift of holy priesthood. We ask you to take each one of your most precious sons into the depths of your most Sacred Heart where they may be protected from the world’s contagion and from the deception of the evil one. Help them to cultivate a strong devotion and love for their most pure and holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Give strength and courage to your chosen ones that they may defend life always and promote marital and virginal chastity especially when it seems difficult to do so. Grant to them a greater understanding and love for the Most Holy Trinity so that they may see within the Godhead this mystery of total self-giving and self-sacrificing love that brings forth and sustains all life. Give them a great zeal and ardent desire to bring You pure and chaste souls. Strengthen them and grant them the grace to remain always faithful to the total vow of chastity that they have taken for the sake of the Kingdom. Holy Spirit breathe the fire of your love into their hearts, minds and souls that they may go forth and preach the Gospel of Life and Chastity to every soul whom they have been entrusted with. Amen.

One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be.

Mary, our Mother, perfect model of purity and chastity, pray for us.

Attributed to:
Couple to Couple League of Indianapolis

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Busloads Of Turned-Back Immigrants, An Image Of Shame

July 14, 2014

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This post by Sister Mary Ann Walsh originally appeared on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ media blog July 3. The issue is still in the news and the blog was republished by Huffington Post. See their post, which includes some news footage of the incident, here.

Birmingham, Vietnam and Murrieta

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh 
Sometimes a picture says it all. Consider the 1963 picture of fire hoses and snarling police dogs in Birmingham, Alabama, used against African-American students protesting racial segregation. Surely not our civil servants at their best.

Or the 1972 picture of the little girl in North Vietnam running terrified and naked with burning skin after South Vietnamese planes accidentally dropped napalm on Trang Bang, which had been occupied by North Vietnamese troops. The world then saw how war could hurt children.

Now, in 2014, we see citizens of Murrieta, California, turning back buses of women and children headed for a federal processing center, a day after Mayor Alan Long told them to let the government know they opposed its decision to move recent undocumented immigrants to the local Border Patrol station.

The first two images helped turn the tide when they awakened U.S. citizens to a shameful tragedy. We know the aftermath. The Congress 50 years ago passed Civil Rights legislation to guarantee basic human and equal rights for minorities that Civil Rights workers fought (and some died) for. We pulled out of Vietnam, a war we could not win.

We now await a moral conscience moment in the welcoming of children and others escaping the violence in such countries as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Parents and children from these countries have made the difficult decision to leave their homes and have endured dangerous journeys to cross the U.S.-Mexican border. They risk it because the possible horrors of the treacherous migration, such as trafficking, abuse and even death in the desert, still look better than the almost sure death by gang violence at home.

Some hopes exist already. Contrast the mob in Murrieta, with the people of Brownsville and McAllen, Texas. There Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley offers welcome centers at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen and Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville. The youngest guest: a one-day-old baby girl. The baby and others are being helped by a host of volunteers.

Heroes are emerging. First might be Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ (Missionaries of Jesus), executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. She is convening the local faith communities to address the problem and organizing the local populace to collect food, medicine, children’s sweaters and hoodies, men’s sneakers, and women’s socks and underwear. The city of McAllen is collaborating by providing portable shower facilities and tents for overnight stays.

Another is Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville. He gets the problem. On his social media blog, he notes: “What we are seeing unfold in front of our eyes is a humanitarian and refuge reality, not an immigration problem.” He adds that “the Church must respond in the best way we can to the human need” and says “at the same time we ask our government to act responsibly to address the reality of migrant refugees. A hemispheric response is needed, not a simple border response. And we ask the government to protect the church’s freedom to serve people.”

Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas, spoke before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in late June. He called the number of children crossing the US-Mexico border “a test of the moral character” of our nation. “We must not fail this test,” he said.

Right now, the welcoming community of Brownsville and surrounding communities are acing the test. In Murrieta, the mayor and the citizens who drove back the buses need to study more. President Obama looks for ways to return the children to their perilous homeland. The U.S. Congress sits on its hands. To prepare for the test of moral character, protesters in Murrieta, the President and the Congress, might hit the books, especially the New Testament. A place to start is Matthew 25, where Jesus states: “Whatever you do for these, the least of my brethren, you do also for me.”

 

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The Papal Cup?

July 10, 2014

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#PapalCup

As people all over the internet are claiming to have predicted, the final of this year’s World Cup will be contested by the home countries of our two living popes. This is far too tempting to pass up!

Here is a sampling of what’s out there:

The World Cup becomes The Pope Cup  – Catholic News Service Blog

World Cup finals: It’s Pope versus Pope – CNN Belief Blog

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A house divided as Popes’ teams face off in World Cup championship

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Novena for a Rebirth of Chastity and Purity July 18 – 26, 2014

June 17, 2014

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Join the Marriage, Family and Life Office in praying a novena for chastity and purity in the world. We will begin this novena on Friday, July 18, 2014 in preparation for the USCCB’s NFP Awareness Week and complete the novena on the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne.

The prayers for the day on each day of the novena will be posted here daily at CatholicHotdish.com and the complete novena may be found at archspm.org on the event’s page.

Mary, our Mother, perfect model of purity and chastity, pray for us.

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The Temperate Feast

May 13, 2014

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Celebrating the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Celebrating the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

By Patrick Conley

During this past Lent, I was engaged in a host of disciplines, including abstinences (some old, some new), fasting, prayer, almsgiving, etc., and indeed these disciplines continue to reap spiritual benefit in my life…it was a good Lent, as it were.

That said, one of the most profound lessons I have learned from this year’s Lenten journey did not actually come from within the Holy Season of Lent itself, but rather from Easter. Clearly there is — and should be — a sharp contrast between the disciplined, penitential, fasting season of Lent and the celebratory, exuberant, feasting season of Easter. And therein lies the rub: while I’m becoming more practiced at fasting, I have discovered that I don’t know how to feast.

Sound peculiar? Feasting…you know, living it up, having fun, celebrating. You’d think it’d be easy. Who can’t do these things? Well, apparently, I can’t. Not, anyway, as it’s meant to be done under the auspices of faith.

Here’s what I mean: somehow I have made the great Feast of the Resurrection of Christ into a casting off of Lenten discipline to the extent that it has become a willful turn to the manifold vices of sensual overindulgence. Overeating. Overdrinking. Reengaging bad habits. Letting my thoughts and my gazes wander astray. In sum, Easter “feasting,” sadly, is little more than a holy excuse for unholy behavior. As an aside, I am now keenly aware of the depth of influence common, secular perceptions about the meaning of “having fun” have had on me!

Clearly, this is not what is intended in marking the stark contrast between Lent and Easter, between the Cross and the Empty Tomb. The death of Jesus occurred that I might be set free from my sinful overindulgence. He was raised that I make partake in new, divine, eternal life. What bitter irony that I then return him to the Cross by my actions—and how utterly shameful that I do it in the name of his Resurrection. Kyrie, eleison!

Upon reflection, what my feasting has been sorely lacking is virtue. The good things from which I abstained during Lent can, and indeed should, be embraced again when Easter arrives…but I need to embrace these things in the new freedom found in the Risen Christ: one wherein my lower appetites and passions submit to the higher faculty of virtuous reason.

More specifically, the appropriate Easter feast is one governed by the virtue of temperance: using those good things created for us, but using them appropriately—to indulge, but not to overindulge. The teeth of temperance is in knowing that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing—and living accordingly.

In the divine economy, the more we live a temperate Easter feast, the more we are liberated from our old ways of sin, and the more we are freed to revel in the joy and fulfillment of Easter.

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Pray, think and then speak

April 11, 2014

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By Kristen Soley

Fasting from unkind words is a fruitful opportunity that is borne of love. For many of us, this can be far more difficult than simply passing on that decadent chocolate dessert or seconds on our favorite entree.Pray think speak

Have you ever witnessed an exchange such as this: One child exclaims, “Oh look, the sky is clear and blue today!” Sibling responds, “No, there are some clouds, see? Hello!” Or, “I just finished this coloring page, look!” Sibling responds, “That character is blue, not red.”

A good rule of thumb is pray, think and then speak.

There are a plethora of reasonable responses to any situation or statement. Positive feedback and / or silence are oftentimes the most difficult.

Ephesians 4:29 has this wisdom, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear” (NASB).

We should employ this in all of our exchanges because it benefits everyone. If your spouse misspeaks on a trivial matter, pray, think and then speak. Don’t correct your spouse, especially in front of others. We all make mistakes. “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31, NASB).

If your response doesn’t benefit the person or situation, help the person avoid sin, or build up the kingdom of God in some way, remain silent. When you take this approach, watch and enjoy the transformation in your home and relationships.

Mother Teresa encourages us to use words that “enlighten and inspire, bring peace, hope and joy; and to refrain from self-defense and every word that causes darkness, turmoil, pain and death.”

Fasting from unkind words is a powerful way to build up the kingdom of God. And we can achieve it if we simply pray, think and then speak.

Soley and her husband, Nate, live in a small town where they home-school their seven children, who range in age from 12 to 1. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, she worked in information technology for a consulting firm in the Twin Cities. The family attends St. Mary parish in Waverly. Soley has a website, kristen.soleyfamily.com, and blogs at kristen-soley.blogspot.com.
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