1 Kings Chapter 19, Verse 3-4
3Elijah was AFRAID and fled for his life, going to Beer-sheba of Judah. He left his servant there 4 and went a day’s journey into the wilderness, until he came to a solitary broom tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death: “Enough, LORD! Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.”
Depression is real for saints as it is for sinners as you power through it you may come to realize that depression is really just angered directed at yourself.
Tired Of Life
I. The wish for death, the weariness of life, is a phenomenon extremely common, and common because it arises from a multitude of causes; but those causes all run up into this, that, as Scripture expresses it, ‘man is born to sorrow, as the sparks fly upward.’ Rebuke this feeling as you will, you must deal with it as a fact, and as an experience of human life. The sense of failure, the conviction that the evils around us are stronger than we can grapple with, the apparent non-atonement for the intolerable wrong—there are hours when, under the incidents of these trials, even the noblest Christian finds it hard to keep his faith strong and his hope unclouded. Take any man who has spoken words of burning faithfulness or done deeds of high courage in a mean and lying world, and the chances are that his life’s story was clouded by failure or closed in martyrdom.
II. In this chapter we have God’s own gracious way of dealing with this sad but far from uncommon despondency. —Elijah had fled into the wilderness, flung himself down under a juniper tree, and requested that he might die. How gently and with what Divine compassion did God deal with his despair! He spread for Elijah a table in the wilderness, and helped him forward on his way; only then, when his bodily powers had been renewed, when his faith had been strengthened, does the question come, ‘What doest thou here, Elijah?’ The vision and the still small voice may have brought home to the heart of Elijah one reason at least why he had failed. He had tried taunts and violence in the cause of God; he had seized heaven’s sword of retribution, and made it red with human blood. He had not learned that violence is hateful to God; he had to be taught that Elijah’s spirit is very different from Christ’s Spirit. And when God has taught him this lesson, He then gives him His message and His consolation. The message is, ‘Go, do My work again’; the consolation is, ‘Things are not so bad as to human eyes they seem.’
III. Those who suffer from despondency, should (1) look well to see whether the causes of their failure and their sorrow are not removable; (2) embrace the truth that when they have honestly done their best, then the success or the failure of their work is not in their own hands. Work is man’s; results are God’s. Dean Farrar.
Give me the ability to see as Christ sees.
gentiles who are God-fearing, we must accept our salvation by living the Shema
Israel daily seeking to love Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength.
This morning as I said the Shema Israel, I thought Lord I don’t understand how
to love you with my whole soul but I decided to say the prayer looking in the
mirror at myself. I then said, “Hear O Israel that the Lord our God is
one, and you shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, (I touched my
heart) and with your whole mind, (I touched the side of my temple) with your
whole soul (I instinctively touched my eyes; which are the windows of the soul)
and flexed my arms and said with my whole strength.
St. Dominic had for many years preached against the errors of the Albigenses and other heretics, with such zeal and profound ability that they were often convinced. But nevertheless, the results were unimportant; but few returned to the bosom of the Catholic Church. In this discouraging state of things St. Dominic redoubled his prayers and works of penance, and in particular besought Mary for support and assistance. One day Mary appeared to him and taught him the Rosary. He zealously labored to introduce everywhere this manner of prayer, and from that time preached with such success that in a short period more than one hundred thousand heretics and sinners were converted. The divine origin of the Rosary is testified to by the bull of Gregory XIII. of the year 1577.
In his life Christ prayed the Shema Israel every
day stating worship of God must be with the whole heart, mind, soul and
strength. Now using Mary’s Rosary given to St. Dominic we can meditate on the
mysteries of the rosary and see how Christ and Mary lived the Shema and follow
Heart=the Luminous mysteries
Soul=the Glorious mysteries
Strength=the Sorrowful mysteries
Ten Reasons to Pray the Rosary
Motivation is the key to carrying out any worthy enterprise. Great men and great women have clear goals and strong motivations. They know what they want, and they have a clear plan before their eyes.
CEOs in successful companies know what they want, have goals, deadlines, and concrete steps to attain those goals. Professional athletes have a determined determination to win. They study their opponents’ weak points, capitalize on their own strengths and play for victory. Therefore, to attain any goal there must be a clear plan and strong motivations.
Spiritual Goals and Objectives
Even more important for the human person created in the image and likeness of God should be the goal and the motivation to attain that goal. Our goal is very clear—to get to heaven. One of the most efficacious means to attain eternal salvation with God in heaven is through prayer. Prayer is the key to salvation. What oxygen is to our lungs so is prayer to the life of our soul. For that reason, Saint Augustine asserted: “He who prays well lives well; he who lives well dies well; and he who dies well, all is well.”
Still there is a powerful means and intercessor before the throne of God who can help us to get to heaven and to help us in our prayer life and motivate us to focus our energies on God and God alone—the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary’s Favorite Prayer
Our Lady has a prayer that fills her heart with joy—the Hail Mary and the most Holy Rosary. Every time the Hail Mary is prayed with attention and sincere heart, Our Lady’s heart is filled with joy. Therefore, let us offer ten points to motivate us to pray the most Holy Rosary.
1. Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady of Fatima appeared in Fatima, Portugal six times to three little shepherd children: Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia. In every one of these six apparitions Our Lady said: “Pray the Rosary.”
2. Her Title. Finally
at the end of her apparitions Our Lady gave herself the title: “Our Lady of the
Rosary.” Therefore, if Our Lady insisted six times to pray the Rosary and
actually called herself “Our Lady of the Rosary,” common sense tells us that
she really wants us to pray the Rosary!
3. Pope St.
John Paul II. This great modern saint, as well as spiritual giant, strongly
encouraged the world to pray the most Holy Rosary. In his writing The Blessed
Virgin Mary and the Rosary, the Vicar of Christ insisted
that we pray the Rosary. He himself said at the start of his pontificate that
the Rosary was his favorite prayer.
4. For the Sake of the Family. In this same document Saint Pope John Paul II insisted that we pray the Rosary for the sake of the family which is under attack and in crisis. With the growing numbers of separations and divorces, with the legalization of same-sex unions, with so many children without the warmth of the family, now more than ever we must pray the most Holy Rosary. The Holy Father quotes the Rosary-priest, Father Patrick Peyton: “The family that prays together stays together.”
5. For World Peace. The document of Saint Pope John Paul II came in the wake of the terrorist attack in New York City with the Twin Towers. Therefore, another reason to pray the Rosary now, more than ever, is for the sake of world peace. With the threat of ISIS, nuclear arsenals, and general tensions growing among nations, the Rosary can be our shield and safeguard. At the end of the First World War Our Lady of Fatima stated clearly that wars come as a result of sin; and if people did not stop sinning, then a worse World War would erupt. Within twenty years, the Second World War broke out. Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen states that world wars are the net result of many individual wars waging in the hearts of sinners, that spread out to towns, cities, countries and continents, and then boom—the huge war explodes. Sin produces war; prayer produces peace of heart, mind and soul and harmony among peoples!
6. To Save our Children. Never have we lived in a society with so many dangers, especially with respect to our children and teens. Of great importance is the virtue of purity. The mass media, the modern electronics media, the modern school and teaching agenda, billboards and posters, modern movies and TV programs militate fiercely against the virtue of purity. And to be honest, we live in a pornographic society! Devotion to Our Lady and the family Rosary can serve as a shield against this onslaught and deluge of filth that is descending upon the world, especially our children and young people. In a word, we must shield our children in the most pure and Immaculate Heart of Mary; she is an oasis, a refuge, and ark of safety and protection! If you like Noah and his family as well as the animals sought refuge and protection from the deluge in the Ark. We must find refuge in the ark of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart—most certainly a safe refuge!
7. To Order our Disorders. As a result of the Original Sin that we all inherit in the moment of our conception, our life is marked with disorder. Our thought process, our will, our emotional state of being, our soul, our intentions, our family and social life—all have a certain disorder. Saint Ignatius of Loyola suggests that we do the Spiritual Exercises so as to order the disordered in our lives. Sin causes disorder; prayer brings order. Prayer to Our Lady communicates to our soul and lives the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is a God of order. Our Lady of Guadalupe with her own hands ordered the roses in the tilma of Saint Juan Diego. By praying the most holy Rosary Our Lady can help to order the disordered in our lives.
8. For Interior Peace of Mind and Soul. Another wonderful effect of praying the most Holy Rosary is peace of mind, heart and soul. We all desire peace and Our Lady of the Rosary also known with the title “Queen of peace” can definitely attain for us this peace that our hearts so ardently yearn. Saint Augustine defines peace as the tranquility of order. As the hymn reminds us: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
9. It’s a Biblical Prayer. Pope St. John XXIII stated that the Rosary is a summary of the whole of the Gospel. They are truly based on the Bible, even the prayers of the Our Father and the Hail Mary have their foundation in the Gospels. Therefore, by praying the Rosary fervently, we get to know Jesus and Mary better and better as presented from the Word of God, we fall in love with them and then we become their fiery and ardent Apostles in a world marked with so much coldness and indifference. As Pope Francis reminded us in his Lenten message: There is a widespread globalization of indifference because there is a lack of love of God in the world. This love can be planted and ignited through love of Our Lady and the Holy Rosary—a summary of the Gospels and a true Biblically centered prayer.
10. To Conquer our Adversities. David had to fight against the ferocious and malicious giant Goliath. Strategically, there was no way that the smaller, inexperienced, unprepared shepherd boy could conquer the giant Goliath. It was like an ant against an elephant. However, the Bible teaches us a very certain truth: Nothing is impossible with God. David went with a total trust in His God, the Lord of heaven and earth. We all know the ending! David shot a stone from his slingshot; the stone riveted itself in the brow of Goliath, who cascaded to the ground unconscious. David quickly drew the sword of Goliath and cut off his head! Victory, due to the intervention of God! Today we are surrounded by so many “Goliaths”, almost too many to count! However, our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. Let us turn to the Queen of Heaven and earth and pull out our spiritual slingshot which is the most Holy Rosary and win the battle. Jesus is the King of Heaven and earth and Our Lady is the Queen. Let us find sure refuge under her heavenly mantle!
The Fourteen Holy Helpers
The Fourteen Holy Helpers are invoked as a group because of the Black Plague which devastated Europe from 1346 to 1349. Among its symptoms were the black tongue, a parched throat, violent headache, fever, and boils on the abdomen. The victims were attacked without warning, robbing them of their reason, and killed within a few hours; many died without the last Sacraments. No one was immune, and the disease wreaked havoc in villages and family circles. The epidemic appeared incurable. The pious turned to Heaven, begging the intervention of the saints, praying to be spared or cured. Each of these fourteen saints had been efficacious in interceding in some aspect for the stricken during the Black Plague. The dates are the traditional feast days; not all the saints are on the General Roman Calendar.
Let us invoke these 14 Holy Helpers for help during the current real and political afflictions that are assaulting us during the COVID 19 crisis.
- St. Blaise (also Blase and Blasius) (February 3rd), bishop and martyr. He is invoked against diseases of the throat. Blessing of the throats takes place on his feast day.
- St. George (April 23rd), soldier-martyr. Invoked for protection for domestic animals and against herpetic diseases. Also, patron of soldiers, England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Genoa and Venice
- St. Acathius (also Acacius) (May 8th), martyr. Invoked against headaches and at the time of death's agony
- St. Erasmus (also St. Elmo) (June 2nd), bishop and martyr. He is invoked against diseases of the stomach and intestine, protection for domestic animals and patron of sailors.
- St. Vitus (also St. Guy) (June 15th), martyr. Invoked in epilepsy, chorea ("St. Vitus' dance"), lethargy, and the bites of poisonous or mad animals and against storms. Also, protection for domestic animals. Patron of dancer and actors.
- St. Margaret of Antioch (July 20th), virgin and martyr. Invoked against backache. Patron for women in childbirth.
- St. Christopher (also Christophorus) (July 25th), martyr. Invoked against the plague and sudden death. He is the patron of travelers, especially motorists, and is also invoked in storms.
- St. Pantaleon (July 27th), bishop and martyr. Invoked against consumption, protection for domestic animals and patron of physicians and midwives.
- St. Cyriacus (also Cyriac) (August 8th), deacon and martyr. Invoked against diseases of the eye and diabolical possession. Also interceded for those in temptation, especially at the time of death.
- St. Giles (also Aegidius) (September 1st), hermit and abbot. Invoked against the plague, panic, epilepsy, madness, and nightmares and for a good confession. Patron of cripples, beggars, and breastfeeding mothers
- St. Eustace (also Eustachius, Eustathius) (September 20th), martyr. Invoked against fire — temporal and eternal. Patron of hunters. Patron in all kinds of difficulties, and invoked in family troubles
- St. Denis (also Dionysius) (October 9th), bishop and martyr. Invoked against diabolical possession and headaches.
- St. Catherine of Alexandria (November 25th), virgin and martyr. Invoked against diseases of the tongue, protection against a sudden and unprovided death. Patroness of Christian philosophers, of maidens, preachers, wheelwrights and mechanics. She is also invoked by students, orators, and barristers as "the wise counselor."
- St. Barbara (December 4th), virgin and martyr. Invoked against fever and sudden death. Patron of builders, artillerymen and miners. Also invoked against lightning, fire and sudden death.
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION TWO-I. THE CREEDS
CHAPTER THREE-I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
ARTICLE 9-"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH"
Paragraph 6. MARY - MOTHER OF CHRIST, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH
963 Since the Virgin Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. "The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer.... She is 'clearly the mother of the members of Christ' ... since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head." "Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church."
I. MARY'S MOTHERHOOD WITH REGARD TO THE CHURCH
Wholly united with her Son . . .
964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:
Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."
965 After her Son's Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers." In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."
. . . also in her Assumption
966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:
In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.
. . . she is our Mother in the order of grace
967 By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and . . . wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" (typus) of the Church.
968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace."
969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation .... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."
970 "Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it." "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."
II. DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN
971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs.... This very special devotion ... differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration." The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.
III. MARY - ESCHATOLOGICAL ICON OF THE CHURCH
972 After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own "pilgrimage of faith," and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, "in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity," "in the communion of all the saints," The Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother.
In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God.
973 By pronouncing her "fiat" at the Annunciation and giving her consent to the Incarnation, Mary was al ready collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish. She is mother wherever he is Savior and head of the Mystical Body.
974 The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.
975 "We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ" (Paul VI, CPG # 15).
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 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.