Prayers

ANIMA CHRISTI: Chapter Five (Part One)—Water From The Side Of Christ, Wash Me by Marie Paul Curley

June 18, 2018

From Soul of Christ The fourth petition of the Anima Christi prayer focuses on water flowing from the heart of Jesus as a symbol of cleansing and new life – for each of us individually, and for the world. Water From the Side of Christ… “But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out,” (John 19:33-34).  The Fathers of the church saw a great deal of symbolism in the water mixed with blood flowing from the side of Jesus: an image of the sacramental baptismal waters that cleanse us from our sins, and also a reference to the church, founded on the new life that Jesus came to bring us. Water is [...]

POETRY: The Joyful Mysteries—The Presentation In The Temple by John O’Donohue

June 18, 2018

The words of a secret have rivet eyes That cannot sleep to forget what they know. The restrained voice sharpens to an arrow That will reach its target through any disguise. Two old people wait in the temple shadows Where stone and air are hoarsened with prayer For some door to open in their hunger; Sometimes children laugh at her twitching nose. Worn to a thread the old man’s rope of days, Spent unravelling in this empty torment, Has wizened his silence to words of flint. When he glimpses the child, his lost voice flares. His words lodge in the young mother’s thought That a sword of sorrow will pierce her [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Chapter Four (Part Two)—In The Light Of God’s Word by Marie Paul Curley

June 11, 2018

From Soul of Christ United ourselves to the Precious Blood of Jesus, we place before the Lord our intentions: to alleviate the sufferings of the world, especially of the innocent victims of violence, war, and oppression.  We may wish to pray especially for those who witness to Christ in the face of persecution and threat of death. Theme for Holy Hour: Adoring the Victorious Lamb of God Suggested opening hymn: “Pange Lingua / Tantum Ergo” (written by Saint Thomas Aquinas with various translations into English, such as: “Sing My Tongue the Savior’s Glory,” translated by Edward Caswell).  Spend quiet time in silent adoration. Adoring Jesus In His Word Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come… and [...]

POETRY: The Joyful Mysteries—The Nativity by John O’Donohue

June 11, 2018

No man reaches where the moon touches a woman. Even the moon leaves her when she opens Deeper into the ripple in her womb That encircles dark to become flesh and bone. Someone is coming ashore inside her. A face deciphers itself from water And she curves around the gathering wave, Opening to offer the life it craves. In a corner stall of pilgrim strangers, She falls and heaves, holding a tide of tears. A red wire of pain feeds through every vein Until night unweaves and the child reaches dawn. Outside each other now, she sees him first. Flesh of her flesh, her dreamt son safe on [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Chapter Four (Part One)—Blood Of Christ, Inebriate Me by Marie Paul Curley

June 4, 2018

From Soul of Christ The third petition of the Anima Christi prayer invites us to enter fully into the new life of the Paschal Mystery – Jesus’s suffering, dying, and rising for us. Blood of Christ… The church has always had a special devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ, as we know from reading the New Testament. You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.  He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.  Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, [...]

POETRY: The Joyful Mysteries—The Visitation by John O’Donohue

June 4, 2018

In the morning it takes the mind a while To find the world again, lost after dream Has taken the heart to the underworld To play with the shades of lives not chosen. She awakens a stranger in her own life, Her breath loud in the room full of listening. Taken without touch, her flesh feels the grief Of belonging to what cannot be seen. Soon she can no longer bear to be alone. At dusk she takes the road into the hills. An anxious moon doubles her among the stone. A door opens, the older one’s eyes fill. Two women locked in a story of birth. Each mirrors the secret the other [...]

POETRY: The Joyful Mysteries—The Annunciation by John O’Donohue

May 29, 2018

Cast from afar before the stones were born And rain had rinsed the darkness for color, The words have waited for the hunger in her To become the silence where they could form. The day’s last light frames her by the window, A young woman with distance in her gaze, She could never imagine the surprise That is hovering over her life now. The sentence awakens like a raven, Fluttering and dark, opening her heart To nest the voice that first whispered the earth From dream into wind, stone, sky and ocean. She offers to mother the shadow’s child; Her untouched life becoming wild [...]

POETRY: Litany by David Craig

May 23, 2018

Mother of Sorrow, Mother of stars and night fires, arroyos, tossed tequila bottles, the dead drunk. Mother of the streets, of the violent, weekend golfers, cut off, and a windshield smashed with bare fists; the knife, the absurdity, the day in court. Mother of amphetamines, the aging speed freak, who looks to kick around an oval track in a beat up stock car. Mother of the subways, the swaying lost. Mother of day laborers, children, early mornings, in the fields. Mother of Guatemala, of empty Ohio River steel towns where no more black soot seeps into the cracks of houses. Mother of Cleveland, of every neon bar, honky tonk. Mother of Hank Williams, late night pick-ups that end in anguish or bruises. Mother of every redneck, alone and crossed [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Chapter Three (Part Two)—In The Light Of God’s Word by Marie Paul Curley

May 21, 2018

From Soul of Christ Theme for Holy Hour: Jesus, Center of Our Lives Suggested opening hymn: “Center of My Life,” refrain text and music composed by Paul Inwood, verses are Psalm 16. Spend some time in silent adoration. Adoring Jesus In His Word When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him.  He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”  Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes.”  Then he took a loaf of bread, and [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Chapter Three (Part One)—Body Of Christ, Save Me (continued) by Marie Paul Curley

May 14, 2018

From Soul of Christ In this chapter, we continue to pray with the petition, Body of Christ, save me, focusing particularly on the saving presence of Jesus in the Eucharist – Jesus celebrated, adored, and lived – and how his saving presence transforms us as church into the living Body of Christ in time and space. Body of Christ… Two of the greatest mysteries that define our faith are referred to in this simple phrase.  Both are about God coming closer to us: the Incarnation (the Son of God taking on our humanity to save us) and the Eucharist (the Son of God taking on the form of bread and wine to become our food and drink, to draw us into the embrace of the Trinity).  One profound connection between these two mysteries is how much [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Chapter Two (Part Two)—In The Light Of God’s Word by Marie Paul Curley

May 7, 2018

From Soul of Christ They came to Bethsaida.  Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him.  He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?”  And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.”  Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.  Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.” (Mark 8:22-26) Quiet time for personal adoration. Adoring Jesus In His Word The Gospel of Mark recounts many unique details in this unusual miracle.  [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Chapter Two (Part One)—Body Of Christ, Save Me by Marie Paul Curley

April 30, 2018

From Soul of Christ The second petition of the Anima Christi prayer uses a phrase with multiple meanings: “Body of Christ.”  This chapter focuses on how Jesus saves us by sharing our humanity. Body of Christ… The phrase, “Body of Christ,” acknowledges the mystery of the Incarnation: out of love for us, the Son of God took on our human nature.  The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity took on the limitations of our humanity to draw close to us and to save us.  By itself, this one petition can be repeated as an act of heartfelt praise and thanksgiving. With a human body, Jesus enters fully into our human experience.  Although completely free from sin, he did not exempt himself from the limitations and sufferings of our human [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Chapter One (Part Two)—In The Light Of God’s Word by Marie Paul Curley

April 23, 2018

From Soul of Christ “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.  And you know the way to the place where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going.  How can we know the way?”  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you know me, you will know my Father also.  From now on you do know him and have seen him.” [...]

PRAYER: Blessing Of Seeds And Rain

April 22, 2018

From: Catholic Rural Life It is not far-fetched to say that our health, our very lives, depend on the sprouting of seeds. The planting of seeds and nurturing through harvest, we receive God’s choicest blessings when we break from our labors and enjoy a simple meal. Saving some of the new seeds allows us to continue this miraculous cycle of nature. Besides planting in the good earth, seeds cannot grow without fresh water. The cycle of rain blesses us, and water stored in the ground is our true treasure. Let us seek God’s guidance in finding ways to better utilize seeds and water so that farming can become more sustainable for all who find their vocation on the land. Opening Prayer God, who created everything and everyone, we ask you to [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Chapter One (Part One)—Soul Of Christ, Sanctify Me by Marie Paul Curley

April 16, 2018

From Soul of Christ The beautiful Anima Christi prayer begins with a deeply personal petition that immediately draws us into a genuine encounter with Christ.  In fact, each of the first six petitions of this prayer focus our attention on a specific aspect of Christ’s humanity, similar to our recalling the cherished qualities of a friend or loved one.  This first line delves into the deep desire of Christ’s soul to encounter us and be united with us. Soul of Christ… “Soul of Christ” is a unique, familiar way to address Jesus, and it sets a personal tone for the entire prayer.  This might not be obvious at first glance, because “soul” is a term with many nuances.  From a Roman Catholic perspective, the soul is understood [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Invitation by Marie Paul Curley

April 9, 2018

From Soul of Christ The Anima Christi or Soul of Christ prayer has long been popular with Roman Catholics.  It dates back to the early fourteenth century, 150 years before Saint Ignatius of Loyola recommended it in his Spirit Exercises, thus ensuring that this beautiful prayer would not be lost over time. What is the ageless appeal of the Soul of Christ prayer?  Its warmth and familiarity with Jesus ease me into praying, especially if I feel dry or distracted.  Right away, it leads me into my relationship with Christ.  But the Soul of Christ is not just intensely personal.  This timeless prayer also connects us with the great mysteries of our faith in a personal way that both comforts and challenges us.  When I pray, “Body of [...]

ANIMA CHRISTI: Soul Of Christ (Anima Christi) by Marie Paul Curley

April 2, 2018

From Soul of Christ Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Anima Christi, santifica me. Body of Christ, save me. Corpus Christi, salva me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Sanguis Christi, inebria me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Aqua lateris Christi, lava me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. Passio Christi, conforta me. O Good Jesus, hear me. O bone Iesu, exaudi me. Within your wounds, hide me. Intra tua vulnera, absconde me. Permit me not to be separated from you. Ne permittas me separari a te. From the malignant enemy, defend me. Ab hoste maligno, defende me. In the hour of my death, call me. In hora mortis, meae voca me. And bid me come to you, Et iube me venire ad te, That with your saints I may praise you, Ut cum sanctis tuis laudem [...]

PRAYER: Epiphany, Year B (Week 4): Litany For Unclean Spirits by Fran Pratt

January 29, 2018

From the website: Fran Pratt  This litany is inspired by the account of Christ casting out unclean spirits in the Gospel lectionary passage for the week: Mark 1:21-28. God we know that you have given us power And authority  To deal with unclean spirits decisively. Hallelujah. We know that you have given us freedom To be our truest selves, To face our shadow side, To live in victory. Help us to deal with unclean spirits, as we encounter them: Racism Prejudice Patriarchy Inequality Hatred Addiction Violence. Whether the unclean spirits reside in others Or in our own selves, We become aware, We exercise power in love. We commit ourselves to being people who walk in the footsteps of Christ Who tell the truth, Who create peace, Who rout out [...]

POETRY: The Rosary by Frances Caryll Houselander

November 15, 2017

In the doorway of a low grey house, built of stones as old as the Crusades, a woman of Bruges sits in the sunlight, among the flowers, saying her Rosary. She seems to be carved out of season walnut and polished smooth by the constant touch of the hand of God, and the beads that twine her crippled fingers are scarlet berries on the thorny twigs. The running rhythm and the repetition of the Paters and the Aves is like the rhythm that in nature moves through the seasons from seed to harvest with the unity and the pause and stress of music; like the bloodstream of Christ, that flows through the seasons from Advent to Easter in the Liturgy of the Church, the ebb and flow of the tide of love in the Mystical Body of Christ. II God has given His [...]

MYSTICISM: Meditation And Recollection by Evelyn Underhill

November 1, 2017

From Practical Mysticism Recollection, the art which the practical man is now invited to learn, is in essence no more and no less than the subjection of the attention to the control of the will.  It is not, therefore, a purely mystical activity.  In one form or another it is demanded of all who would get control of their own mental processes, and does or should represent the first great step in the education of the human consciousness.  So slothful, however, is man in all that concerns his higher faculties, that few deliberately undertake their education at all.  They are content to make their contacts with things by a vague, unregulated power, ever apt to play truant, ever apt to fail them.  Unless they be spurred to it by that [...]

PRAYER: The Lord’s Prayer From New Zealand

October 30, 2017

From The New Zealand Prayer Book Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is Heaven: The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your Heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on Earth. With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever. [...]

PRAYER: An African Canticle

October 2, 2017

All you big things, bless the Lord Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Victoria The Rift Valley and the Serengeti Plain Fat baobabs and shady mango trees All eucalyptus and tamarind trees Bless the Lord Praise and extol him for ever and ever. All you tiny things, bless the Lord Busy black ants and hopping fleas Wriggling tadpoles and mosquito larvae Flying locusts and water drops Pollen dust and tsetse flies Millet seeds and dried dagaa Bless the Lord Praise and extol him for ever and ever. [...]

PRAYER: Celtic Blessing — Lord Of My Heart

September 25, 2017

Source unknown Lord of my heart, give me vision to inspire me, that, working or resting, I may always think of you. Lord of my heart, give me light to guide me, that, at home or abroad, I may always walk in your way. Lord of my heart, give me wisdom to direct me, that, thinking or acting, I may always discern right from wrong. Lord of my heart, give me courage to strengthen me, that, amongst friends or enemies, I may always proclaim your justice. Lord of my heart, give me trust to console me, that hungry or well-fed, I may always rely on your mercy. Lord of my heart, save me from empty praise, that I may always boast of you. Lord of my heart, save me from worldly wealth, that I may always look to the riches of Heaven. Lord of my heart, [...]

POETRY: Litany by Thomas Merton

September 22, 2017

All holy souls pray for us fellows, all Carmelites pray all Third Orders, all sodalities, all altar societies, all action groups, all inaction groups, all beat up shut in groups, all without money groups, pray for the rich Trappists cheese groups vice versa mutual help, amen, [...]

CHRISTIAN WISDOM: The Way From Here by Frederica Mathewes-Green

August 31, 2017

From: The Illuminated Heart Illumine our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind with the pure light of thy divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to the understanding of thy Gospel teachings, for thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God. (Prayer before the reading of the Gospel Liturgy of St. James, Fourth Century) This has been a very brief exposition of the spiritual path of the ancient church.  The good news is that this path has been preserved, and resources are available to those who would undertake it seriously today.  There are many excellent books, a few of which are listed in the bibliography.  But the primary need is for personal guidance from a spiritual father or mother.  This is because we [...]

CHRISTIAN WISDOM: Dealing With Others—The Larger Circle by Frederica Mathewes-Green

August 24, 2017

From: The Illuminated Heart Illumine our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind with the pure light of thy divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to the understanding of thy Gospel teachings, for thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God. (Prayer before the reading of the Gospel Liturgy of St. James, Fourth Century) In the smaller circle, that collection of people we encounter in our daily lives, the primary task is to grow in humility.  In the larger community there are opportunities to gain other virtues, for example compassion and generosity.  For early Christians, prayer and fasting were joined by a third spiritual discipline, that of almsgiving. “Our prayers and fastings are of less avail [...]

CHRISTIAN WISDOM: Dealing With Others—The Smaller Circle by Frederica Mathewes-Green

August 17, 2017

From: The Illuminated Heart Illumine our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind with the pure light of thy divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to the understanding of thy Gospel teachings, for thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God. (Prayer before the reading of the Gospel Liturgy of St. James, Fourth Century) Anna misses her brother, the monk Timothy, every day, but some days she envies him.  On days like today she would rather sleep on the ground and eat dry bread than go to dinner at her mother-in-law’s house. Irene is a beautiful woman, accomplished, musically talented, and intelligent.  Even her hair is perfect.  In her presence Anna feels like a country mouse.  In Irene’s house, [...]

CHRISTIAN WISDOM: The Jesus Prayer by Frederica Mathewes-Green

August 10, 2017

From: The Illuminated Heart Illumine our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind with the pure light of thy divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to the understanding of thy Gospel teachings, for thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God. (Prayer before the reading of the Gospel Liturgy of St. James, Fourth Century) Theodore keeps reading over a letter he and Anna received last year from Anna’s brother, Timothy, who joined a group of monks on Mr. Sinai a few years ago.  Timothy wrote that he was being taught to abide in prayer by repeating a short verse from scripture over and over, whenever his mind would otherwise be idle – or not idle, since we all know how the restless nous seeks trouble.  He [...]

PRAYER: The Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom

July 24, 2017

The Trisagion: Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy on us. The Cherubic Hymn: We who in a mystery represent the cherubim and sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-giving Trinity, let us now lay aside all Earthly cares, that we may receive the king of all, invisibly escorted by the hosts of angels.  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Before Communion: Let us pay attention: holy things for those who are holy. Only one is holy, only one is Lord. Jesus Christ, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. Before Receiving Communion: At your mystical supper, Son of God, today receive me as a partaker; I will not speak of the mystery to your enemies; I will not let my lips touch your body with a Judas-kiss; but like the thief I will [...]