St. Anthony chaplets

Days before the New Year 2012, I requested five St. Anthony relics from Father Primo at Franciscan Mission Associates; so I was thrilled to tears when I received them January fourteenth.

Five relic chaplets

Mary Ellen and Steve were supposed to accompany us to Stella Maris for Mass on the twenty-first, so I beaded her relic chaplet first.  Two days later, Olivia was having surgery, so I had hers ready by then.  The ones for Junebug, Neli-Beli, and the Lovely Ning waited until January twenty-ninth.

Since Steven wasn’t scheduled to serve at our church, we attended Mass at St. Paul’s, met up with the gang afterwards, and celebrated over lunch.

I was able to present each chaplet personally, but I gave Neli’s to Ning, since we thought she hadn’t yet returned from visiting her family in the Philippines.  Then off we went to Alice and Roger’s house for the pilgrim rosary that afternoon.

“Little booklet”

Imagine my surprise at seeing Neli looking more radiant than ever as I entered Alice’s house!

Before I even had the chance to say anything about her chaplet, Neli-Beli with her Mona Lisa smile handed me a blue tote.

“There’s a little booklet in there for you,” she teased.

Reaching into the bag, I found the novena booklet from her recent trip.

Wow!  Perfectimundo!

Right away I knew that I’d be adding some of the prayers to this post.

St. Anthony chaplets

Unlike my Franciscan Crowns, which are all different from each other, these St. Anthony relic chaplets are not only very much alike, but also almost identical to the prototype.

               

               

Prayer card

Accompanying each relic chaplet was the card that Steven printed for me.  The prayers are from my “Si quaeris miracula” post; the photos, those taken of the statue Steven bought for me at the Oblate gift shop right before Christmas.

               

Prayers

Before study…  O light of the world, infinite God, father of eternity, giver of wisdom and knowledge, and ineffable dispenser of every spiritual grace, who knows all things before they are made, who makes the darkness and the light, stretch forth your hand and place your spirit, O Lord, in my heart that I may understand and retain what I learn and meditate on.  Do lovingly, mercifully, and gently inspire me with your grace.  Do teach, guide, and strengthen the thoughts of my mind and let your discipline instruct me to the end and the council of the most high help me, through your infinite wisdom and mercy.  Amen.

Grace of dying well…  Great St. Anthony of Padua, sweet hope of all who implore you, [please help me obtain] by your powerful intercession the greatest of all blessings, the grace of dying well.  Do not allow [that I should die in] mortal sin.  By your intercession obtain for me that, at the last moment, I may experience the most profound sorrow for the sins of my whole life; that I may be [filled] with love for Jesus; [and that I may have] confidence in the power of his blood which was shed for me.  May my hands’ last movements be to carry the crucifix to my lips; my last words, the names of Jesus and Mary.  In [your embrace may I] have the happiness to see God, to love him, and to possess him with you for all eternity….  Amen.

Grace of God…  O glorious St. Anthony, God has given you the power of miracles, a power you have exercised for centuries.  Since God has given you… the power of finding that which is lost, I come to you with the confidence of a child….  By your intercession obtain for me… the grace of God, if I have had the misfortune to lose it.  May I also find my former fervor in [both] the service of God and the practice of virtue.  As a pledge of these graces so important for my eternal salvation, may I also find what I have lost [so that I can] experience… your goodness and increase my confidence and my love for you.  Amen.

To the Infant Jesus…  O sweet Jesus, best and only hope of afflicted souls, I prostrate at your feet and beseech you, through the immeasurable love and grace with which you visited, comforted, and embraced your blessed servant, St. Anthony, come to me at his intercession and let me taste how sweet your presence is in the souls that trust in you.  Amen.

Zeal…  Glorious St. Anthony, who by your sanctity and your eloquence triumphed over the hardest heart, obtain for us the grace to follow faithfully the divine call….  Amen.

Contact information

To request a St. Anthony relic, contact Father Primo at Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598.

Links of interest…  Franciscan: prayers / requests / saints…  Franciscan Mission Associates: contact / devotions / light a candleprayer requests / quarterly newsletter
…  Messenger of St. Anthony: newsletter / petitions (Dear St. Anthony) / sermons / wallpapers & images / website / writing reed (Friar Mario)…  Si quaeris miracula: prayer / song…  St. Anthony: bread / hymn / life / nine Tuesdays devotion / relic / S.A.G. (miraculous mail deliveries) / shrine / tongue’s feast

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Franciscan experience…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan Crown…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. Anthony…  St. Felix…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies

Two prompt replies

New Year’s Eve 2010, I began an experiment.  I wrote five notecard messages and mailed them the following day.

Of the five, I received two responses: an email within days and a five-page letter shortly thereafter.

The email exchanges continued only for a few days; but the letter exchange became a mutual expression of friendship, joy, and sharing that continues on a regular basis even in 2012.

Old wives’ tale?

So maybe just maybe there’s something to be said about Tía Quina’s urban legend regarding New Year’s Eve?  “Whatever you’re doing as the old year passes sets the tone for what awaits you in the new year, so be sure your house is clean and all else is in order.”  Or maybe it was just-plain contrivance on my part to lend credence to the old wives’ tale while simultaneously doing my small part to bolster the economic status of the United States Postal Service.

Self-fulfilling prophecy?

Of course, 2011 may simply have been a serious case of mail tag— for every letter received, one was sent in return— but2012 already appears to be a continuation of New Year’s Eve 2010.

Tía Quina’s theory

Therefore, based on personal observation and the log I kept of both incoming and outgoing letters from friends and acquaintances, my well-timed New Year’s Eve 2010 experiment wasn’t so much about receiving responses from all five to whom I’d initially written.  Instead, Tía Quina’s theory was a more of a predictor (in my case) of mail to come and go in 2011.  Refreshing, appealing, and enjoyable for sure!

Two prompt replies

On that note, I have to say that I was thrilled to the moon to receive prompt replies from both Sister in Australia and Father Primo at Franciscan Mission Associates, Saturday, January 14, 2012.  And, oh, what glorious responses they were!

Letter from Sister

           

Carmelite Monastery – 591 Ballina Road
Goonellabah, NSW 2480 Australia
8/1/12 – Feast of the Epiphany

Praised be the Holy Child Jesus!  Thank you for your lovely card, wishes, letter….

I am happy to hear from you and, as I read your letter, I find the Holy Child Jesus has taken us along the same road of suffering which is grace filled.  I offer my condolences and prayers on [the] passing away of your dear mother….

I will continue to pray for your family… and keep their names under the Child Jesus and ask Little Margaret to help them….

How wonderful [that] you have found your help in the guidance of
St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila).  Our Holy Mother, as we call her, is great and speaks to everyone individually [through] her writings, which were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), after reading her biography, put it down and said this was the truth and became a Catholic and a Carmelite!

With regard to myself, the Holy Child Jesus has given me the grace to share in his sufferings, affronts, and his poverty in a real way.  Finally, one can say [that] Jesus is the only one that matters and repeat [the] fiat, “Jesus, I trust in you!”

I do not have an email address now, nor a computer, [nor] access to the Internet, hence, please write to me….

Today, being Epiphany here, we have a custom in Carmel that the Sister who gets the bean in the cake is the king and chooses the intercessor for the year.  I got the bean (the first time in my sixteen years [at] Carmel!), so I have chosen Little Margaret as the intercessor.  The Little King has arranged all this for his spouse!

A lady in England has been cured of stomach cancer after praying to Little Margaret and [using] the chaplet.  It is being investigated.  Please pray for [its] success.

I pray that the Holy Child Jesus will bless this New Year 2012 for you, Steve, and all your family and make it a brighter one, full of joy and peace.

Thank you… and may St. Teresa help you grow closer to Jesus.

I hold you close to my heart in prayer.  God bless you abundantly….

With loving gratitude….

Sister’s cantique

It is a custom in Carmel to prepare a cantique by each Sister to be sung before the crib during Christmas.  This year I got the card– Going to a Crib in a Farm Cart… [and] this is a copy of it [from] January 3 (our titular Feast of Holy Name).  God bless.

The angels singing the mystery which was full of jubilee 

Gloria in excelsis deo.  Glory, glory to God.  Alleluia!  Jesus, be my Jesus.

The Baptist pointing to the Lamb of God / The shepherds singing good tidings of joy of the eternal shepherd boy

Verbo caro factum est et habitatarit in nobis!

Hastening in a farm cart in bad weather / In poverty, affronts, and sufferings / On a journey that takes a lifetime / With many falls along the way / Always confident of your merciful hand to pick me up and start afresh / And to sing my fiat, “Jesus, I trust in you,” along the way

The way of nothing takes me quickly / The night of faith, my illumination– porta fidei to our mystical Bethlehem / Where the Eternal Child, God the King of Grace and Glory, is born

To worship the joy of the beauty of Jesus, our Savior / Wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger / Concealing your infinite riches of your divinity / To show your infinite love for us, the Word made flesh

Glory, glory to God.  Alleluia!  Jesus, be my Jesus.

With Mary, his immaculate mother / Adoring the earthly beatific vision of Jesus, the inexpressible sweetness of the incarnation / The face of the Eternal Word

And with Joseph, the shadow of the Eternal Father / In deepest reverence of the Holy Child Jesus / In bright light in the hidden sweetness of the mysteries of the holy childhood

My office at the crib is to be your aid of the verbo caro factum est / The joy of all joys of all the earth / Making visible the Queen of all mysteries / The mystery of the Blessed Trinity

Glory, glory to God.  Alleluia!  Jesus, be my Jesus.

The first drops of your precious blood / Little Lord Jesus, seal and consecrate this New Year 2012 Annus Domini / May thy name, Jesus, resound in our voices / Unite all peoples and all nations around your manger in peace

Glory, glory to God.  Alleluia!  Jesus, be my Jesus.

Maranatha / Come, Lord Jesus

Letter from Father Primo

Franciscan Mission Associates
274-280 West Lincoln Avenue
P. O. Box 598
Mount Vernon, NY 10551-3017
December 30, 2011

The joy of the Lord fills my heart as I write to wish you His peace, love, and blessings….

Your love, sacrifice, and generous heart have been a source of inspiration for us to go forward.  Your sacrifice is acceptable and pleasing to God and that is why we are able to achieve a little bit of establishing the kingdom of God.  “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Jesus Christ” (Philemon 4:19) is my prayer for you.

Drs. Lanoux, the seminarians and our friars join me to thank you sincerely and pray for you.  Be assured of a remembrance of your intentions in our Novena of Masses in Bethlehem.

May the grace and blessing of the Infant Jesus be with you.

               

August 3, 2012

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart” (Phyllis Theroux).

Links of interest…  Child Jesus…  about…  chaplet (more)…  history…  little crown…  petitions…  Flower of Carmel (Goonellabah)…  contact info…  home…  prayer…  Franciscan Mission Associates…  prayer requests…  quarterly newsletter…  seasonal devotion…  Hymn to St. Anthony of Padua…  Letters of note…  Nine Tuesdays devotion…  Si quaeris miracula…  prayer…  song

WP posts…   Budding relationships…  Christmas year ’round…  Connected tangents…  Franciscan experience…  Gift of love…  Growing pains…  Holy relics…  In good time…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan Crown…  On being Christian…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Prayerful ways…  Santo Niño…  Seven dwelling places…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. Anthony…  St. Felix…  Sweet Jesus…  Teresa of Avila
Two letters…  Venerable Margaret

Two letters

Every New Year’s Eve without fail, I remember what my maternal great-aunt, Tía Quina, told me when I was seventeen.

“Whatever you’re doing as the old year passes sets the tone for what awaits you in the new year, so be sure your house is clean and all else is in order.”

Setting priorities

Last year during the holidays, I decided that I wasn’t cleaning house and doing laundry as usual before the new year.  I’d experienced such great success with my letter writing experiment from New Year’s Eve 2010, that I wanted to focus on my correspondence instead.

In 2011, I’d wanted to touch base with Father Robert at Franciscan Mission Associates but missed the opportunity when he was succeeded by Father Primo in October.  Plus, I hadn’t requested two more St. Anthony relics from him as I’d intended.

       

Similarly, I’d wanted to share my thoughts on Teresa of Avila (Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc, 1979) with Sister at the Flower of Carmel monastery in Australia, since she’d emailed twice early in the year; but I just hadn’t made the time.

With 2011 fast coming to an end, I couldn’t put off either communication any longer.  I got busy writing and finally mailed the two letters with time to spare.

Letter to Sister

27 December 2011

Dearest Sister,

It’s been a very long time since I last wrote and/or emailed; but it’s been a year of bearing my crosses quietly on my own, too.

When I last wrote to you, I was so worried that I was frustrated, tired, and disappointed.  I typed a very long letter and attached it to my email to you.  And then I felt badly, guilty, for having shared my woes….

I took a hard look at the situation which, believe it or not, grew progressively worse; [so] I chose to step away….  to simply let go… and begin my journey.

Long story short, I discovered Teresa of Avila; and, oh, what a difference she’s made in my life!

It’s funny how things happen, but I truly believe that God has his own very personal timeline for each of us.  And wouldn’t you know it?  I started shucking extraneous habits.  Not bad habits but things that kept me from focusing inwardly.

I don’t know how it happened, but I lost interest in emailing and in other things as well.  And I began to discover some pretty amazing stuff.

Every day since you and I have known each other I’ve thought of you, and I’ve been faithful about praying the chaplet you sent me in 2010.  It’s something that’s taken root in my life, [something] that’s as natural as my dialogues with the Infant since before Segy… and I visited Our Lady of Victory Church in Prague (July, 1998).

I think that the more I’ve recited the chaplet prayers the more I’ve learned how to bear my crosses, how to focus my attention on what’s really important, and how to deal with adversity in my life.

Certainly, I’ve had a lot of ta-dah moments: epiphanies that make me laugh or cry or both.  I’ve enjoyed writing about my experiences and [posting] them on my personal blog ‘cause I want others to learn about St. Teresa as well.

It’s amazing how I’ve been able to connect bits and pieces from my life leading to when I read Teresa of Avila and have found that I was readying for her messages [all along].  Her book is such a joyful treasure from God!  A pick-me-up when I need uplifting.  A friend when I need a smile and a sweet hello.

So, yes, bad things have continued to happen; but God’s allowed me to remain focused on what he wants for me to see, to think about, to do.  I don’t know how else to explain it.  As I said, I wrote five posts about St. Teresa’s book for my personal blog [and] found that her messages have been exactly what I’ve needed since I was a child.

St. Teresa has become my mentor, a very loving close friend who’s with me to share her teachings… beautiful, heartfelt… so that I don’t feel alone and/or lost.  She’s helped me understand what it means to tell the Infant that I accept all the crosses he wants to send my way.

Somehow I can make it.  Despite the pain and the sorrow, despite the disappointment and the frustration, despite the anger that I feel against injustices… still… I welcome the crosses.

Mind you, [when] I’m having a tough time… not doing well at all with my crosses… I simply tell the Infant,

Please forgive me.  I’m having a really tough time today.  I’m sorry.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that I’ve found inspiration in a little book that’d been waiting on the shelf since April, 2008.

Untouched, forgotten, it called out to me one morning; and, when I began to read it, I couldn’t set it down!  I’ve reread it countless times.  It’s an awesome read!

[So, yes.]  Lots has happened since I last wrote….

Mom died November 29….  She [believed] in prayer, and she loved the Sisters she communicated with.  [She gave] me her oldest sister’s Infant [statue] in 1999 [after my aunt died].

Since I’d faithfully used the chaplet you’d initially sent me, I placed it in mom’s hand before the casket was sealed at the funeral home.  My thinking was that she knew I was devoted to the Infant, so she [can] now join me in prayer from heaven whenever I spend my special time with the Infant….

I’m now praying with the [second] chaplet you sent [even though it was meant for our daughter], and I’m thinking that you’re fine with it.

I also want to thank you again for the six candles you sent with [the second] chaplet.  I lit one… early this year….  [Then] I gave away three [to the couples in] our Why Catholic? group….  The two I have left… are keeping me company until I have a very special reason to use them… or until I gift them to someone.

So you see?  Your gifts have gone a very long way!  The very same way that your prayers have continuously embraced us all this time!

We love you!  Thank you!

Letter to Father Primo

29 December 2011

Dear Father Primo,

In the 1980s, Father Roderick sent me three relics.  Then in the 1990s, Father Robert sent me two.  However, I always manage to give them away to someone who’s in need of everyday miracles and friendship from our beloved St. Anthony.

At this time, I’m asking… please… that you send me five, as there are three couples in our Why Catholic? family and another couple, Olivia and George, in dire need.

I’d like to bead some chaplets for them and print out the prayers so that they, too, can know St. Anthony as I have since age thirteen.

If you could do this for me, I’d be ever so [happy], as I’ve included myself in the five.  You see, I feel… lost without my relic; but, as I said, I gave my last one away when I beaded two chaplets to give to Ruth and Sabrina… at [the] doctor’s office.

Please know that I understand if you can’t send me the number I’ve requested.  It’s fine.  But I do really need one for Olivia because she’s [undergoing surgery, January 23], and I’d like to make her day by giving her a promise of hope through St. Anthony’s intercession.  Plus, George worries a lot about his three adult kids….

Thanks ever so much for all you do.  Know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers… the same way Father Roderick was, the same way Father Robert was.

God bless you and your Franciscan associates abundantly!

August 3, 2012

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart” (Phyllis Theroux).

Links of interest…  Child Jesus…  chaplet (more)…  devotions (Ana’s website)…  history…  little crown…  petitions…  Flower of Carmel (Goonellabah)…  contact info…  home…  prayer…  Franciscan Mission Associates…  prayer requests…  quarterly newsletter…  seasonal devotion…  Help from heaven…  Hymn to St. Anthony of Padua…  Letters of note…  Nine Tuesdays devotion…  Si quaeris miracula…  prayer…  song
St. Anthony’s Guild…  devotions…  ecards…  prayer requests…  prayers

WP posts…   Budding relationships…  Christmas year ’round…  Connected tangents…  Franciscan experience…  Gift of love…  Growing pains…  Holy relics…  In good time…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan Crown…  On being Christian…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Prayerful ways…  Santo Niño…  Seven dwelling places…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. Anthony…  St. Felix…  Sweet Jesus…  Teresa of Avila…  Two prompt replies…  Venerable Margaret

St. Monica

A few days ago, I received a letter with a couple of prayer cards from Father Robert at Franciscan Mission Associates.

Tried but true

St. Jude looked more striking than ever in rich earthen tones, but St. Monica?

Hmm.  What a weathered look!  Yet, she’s beautiful despite her sadness.

I read St. Monica’s prayer card and set it aside, but her expression stayed with me.

I know that look firsthand.

Model of patience

In today’s Daily Inspiration, Father Joseph Fogarty, OP focused on St. Monica, too.

St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, was a model of patience.  She bore with her husband, Patricius, who had a violent temper, and with her son, Augustine, who lived for [fifteen] years with a woman companion.

Monica managed to live happily with Patricius, despite his defects.  He was baptized in 370.  Her son, Augustine, was baptized in 387.  She patiently prayed both toward full communion with the community of believers.

Unconditional love

One of my favorite readings came to mind.

Love is patient, love is kind.  It… does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury… but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

St. Monica

Ever faithful to God and her family, St. Monica bore her crosses with patience.  In this respect, she reminds me of St. Helena, who also overcame great adversity.

Resilient, courageous, both women are role models to emulate in good times and bad.

St. Monica’s feast day is August 27; St. Helena’s, August 18.

Prayers

                 

                  

FMA-R43-13a      FMA-R43-13b      FMA-R43-13c      FMA-R43-13d

Contact information

To request prayer leaflets… St. Monica (R-32 and/or R-43/13) or St. Jude (R49R, R-32, R36, and/or R-4/13)… contact Father Primo at Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598.

August 31, 2011

Another of my favorite readings, which goes hand in hand with love and forgiveness, is good for all time.

For a brief moment I abandoned you; but with great tenderness, I will take you back.  In an outburst of wrath, for a moment, I hid my face from you; but with enduring love I take pity on you… so I have sworn not to be angry with you or to rebuke you.  Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you (Isaiah 54:7-10).

August 23, 2012

Except for the novena, the following prayers to St. Monica are from Favorite Patron Saints (The Leaflet Missal Company, n. d., pp. 18-19).

Model of motherly love…  O glorious St. Monica, greatly admired among mothers, I feel particularly [drawn] to you who gave such an example of motherly love.

Who could understand better than you the anxieties and fears of a mother worrying about the eternal salvation of her children?  You endured all, since… St. Augustine is the fruit of your womb and… the fruit of your tears.  For this reason I am greatly convinced that… with the sanctity of your life and the perseverance of your prayers, you are not only [a great model] of Christian [motherhood, but also] a singular protector.  Obtain for me the grace to imitate your graces faithfully.

May my children avoid those errors and failures you disapproved of… in your son.  And, if it should happen that they, too, should fall, grant me the grace to obtain (this request…) with my prayers… as perfect a conversion as you were able to obtain for your son.  Amen.

Novena…  Dear Saint Monica, you were once the mournful mother of a prodigal son.  Your faithfulness to prayer brought you and your son so close to God that you are now with him in eternity.  By your intercession and God’s grace, your son St. Augustine became a great and venerable saint of the Church. Please take my request to God with the same fervor and persistence with which you prayed for your own son.  (Mention your intentions here.)

With your needs, worries and anxieties, you threw yourself on the mercy and providence of God.  Through sorrow and pain, you constantly devoted yourself to God.  Pray for me that I might join you in such a deep faith in God’s goodness and mercy.  Above all, dear Saint Monica, pray for me that I may, like your son, turn from my sin and become a great saint for the glory of God.  Amen.

Patron of parents…  St. Monica, patron of Christian mothers, we entrust to your protection the children whose names you can read in our hearts.  Pray for them that they may be granted strength to combat weakness, victory over temptations, guidance to resolve their doubts, and success in all their undertakings.

May they enjoy health of mind and body, see beauty and worth in all created things, and serve the Lord with firm faith, joyful hope, and enduring love.  Amen.

Petition…  Dear St. Monica, once the sorrowing mother of a wayward son, be pleased to present our petitions to the Lord God of heaven and earth.  Look down upon our anxieties and needs, and intercede for us as you did so fervently for Augustine.

We have full confidence that your prayers will gain a favorable hearing in heaven.  Mother of a sinner turned saint, obtain for us patience, perseverance, and total trust in God’s perfect timing.  In his appointed hour, in his merciful way, may God respond to [our] prayers.  (State your petition.)  Amen.

November 4, 2012

“Lord, show me the treasures you have placed in all the people around me— especially those I find hardest to love!” (the Word among us, November 2012, p. 23).

April 3, 2013

Lord, lift the veil that keeps me from seeing how precious people are in your eyes.  Help me to see your love for every person, and give me the compassion and the courage to extend your love to them (the Word among us, April 2013, p.23).

April 4, 2013

Jesus, touch my heart and shape my mind with your word!  Teach me, Lord, so I can stand firm in your truth no matter what happens (the Word among us, p. 24).

May 21, 2013

Lord, give me your eyes that I may see my neighbors as you see them.  Give me your heart that I may love them with your love (the Word among us, May 2013, p. 40).

June 6, 2013

“Jesus, help me to reach out to those who are searching for you” (the Word among us, June 2013, p. 26).

June 18, 2013

Father, help me to remember that my enemies are your friends.  I bring their needs before you now (the Word among us, p. 38).

July 20, 2013

Thank you, Lord, that I don’t have to qualify for your mercy.  Let this awareness help me to love you more— and to love others as you have loved me (the Word among us, July/August 2013, p. 39).

August 12, 2013

Jesus, thank you for you patience with me.  Help me to be patient with other people.  Teach me to focus on loving them instead of correcting them.  I trust you to work out the details (the Word among us, p. 62).

August 14, 2013

“Jesus, help me to exercise the power to forgive and to reconcile; to set free and to pronounce blessings on myself, my family, my friends, and even my enemies” (the Word among us, p. 64).

August 21, 2013

“Father, help me be just as generous as you are with all who are joining you in the vineyard” (the Word among us, p. 71).

August 23, 2013

“Lord, teach me to love all of the people you put around me with all my heart” (the Word among us, p. 73).

October 20, 2013

Lord, guide my footsteps and strengthen me for the challenges that I will face in your name.  Thank you for loving me so much that you give me the honor to do your will on earth (the Word among us, October 2013, p. 40).

October 31, 2013

Jesus, thank you for loving me even when I turned away from you.  Bring everyone— even those who seem far away from you— into your embrace (the Word among us, p. 51).

November 3, 2013

Lord, fill me with your love.  Help me look at the people around me the way you look at me (the Word among us, November 2013, p. 24).

November 9, 2013

Lord, help me recognize all the goodness and knowledge that you have already given me.  Help me use these gifts to grow into the person that you want me to become (the Word among us, p. 29).

November 29, 2013

The modern poet Danny Siegel translates a rebbe’s proverb that tells us…

If you will always assume [that] the person sitting next to you is the messiah waiting for some human kindness, you will soon learn to weigh your words and watch your hands.  And if he so chooses not to reveal himself in your time, it will not matter (Dosick, 1995, p. 50).

December 29, 2013

“Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pt. 4:8).

So put on love!  Love knows it’s not perfect yet, so it makes allowances for other people’s mistakes and forgives their wrongs.  Love knows its understanding is limited, so it looks upon other people with respect and tries to learn from them.  Love knows the world is full of hurtful words and deeds, so it tries to make the home a haven of kindness and gentleness.  Love realizes that growth takes time, so it practices patience.  Love gratefully welcomes and treasures every family member, looking for the good in them, however deeply it may be buried (the Word among us, Advent 2013, p. 47).

April 20, 2014

Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra!  The resurrection of the Lord is our hope! (St. Augustine).

July 23, 2014

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

August 9, 2014

When night comes and retrospect shows that everything was patchwork and  much that one had planned left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as is, lay it in God’s hands, and offer it up to him.  In this way we will be able to rest in him, actually to rest, and to begin the new day like a new life (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross / Edith Stein; translation: 1987).

August 28, 2014

“Let us understand that God is a physician and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation” (St. Augustine).

Links of interest…  Augustine of Hippo: apostolic letter (JPII) / author / bishop & doctorconfessions / doctor of grace (more) / for all seasons / memorial (Aug 28) /
patron saint / prayers / raised to new life / thinking faith…  Edith Stein essays: book / spirituality of the Christian woman…  Franciscan: Mission Associates / prayer book / prayers / sisters…  Living Judaism (Dosick)…  Mary, Our Lady of Consolation (more)…  St. Monica: about (more) / all in God’s timebook review (book) / chaplet / feast (more)
life / memorial (more) / model of Christian motherhood / mother (of Augustine of Hippo
/ more / more) / parents’ helper / patron saint (more / more) / prayers (litany / more / novena / readings)…  Pallottines: devotions / prayer network (join) / shrine…  Pray more novenas…  Thirst for heaven…  the Word among us

WP page…  Steven’s looking-glass

WP posts…  At long last…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Forever grateful…  Gifts
Lady of sorrows…  Making meaning…  Morning exchanges…  One prayer…  Revisiting St. Simon…  Soulful

Teresa of Avila

All this week, I’ve been ready to write my post on Teresa of Avila (Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc., 1979), a book based on selections from The Interior Castle (Avila, 1577); but I’ve dilly dallied in octopus mode while mentally preparing.

Why can’t I just start writing? 

Reading the book, I had lots of ideas; so why am I at a loss for words?  Maybe the ol’ pea brain’s too full?  Maybe the dendrites need time to process all I want to write?  Maybe I need to familiarize myself with St. Teresa a bit more? 

I feel there’s something missing; but how can this be? 

So much of what I read and hear daily reminds me of her.  So much of what Teresa of Avila wrote resonates with meaning.

Oblivious devotion

Take Sunday afternoon, for instance.  

As Steven was covering the garden area with newspapers, I was totally absorbed hosing them down to keep them from blowing away.  Then… suddenly… I realized, OMG, I’m standing kissing close to the yaupon holly!  

“Darling, do these bees sting?”

“Oh, yes, they do!  But they’re too busy doing their own thing.  Do you know that some believe the yaupon holly’s honey is the best there is?  It fetches a pretty penny, too.”

I’m so close to the tree that I’m at eye level among these bees!!!  I’m standing here making noise with the water hose, and they’re totally oblivious of me.  They could very easily sting me, but they’re wholly engrossed in what they love.  OMG!  What a perfect metaphor for what St. Teresa wrote!

Recurring thoughts

From the moment I began reading her book, St. Teresa has kept my mind engaged… wondering, visualizing, making meaning… through key words and phrases heard and/or read elsewhere in the media, too.  For instance, a yellow post-it with humility underlined and a reference to Sirach 3:17-30 has graced my computer desk for the past six weeks.  Similarly, surrendering oneself to God has cropped up in readings, homilies, conversations, and other communications during that time.

Funny… isn’t it… how these not so sublime messages avail themselves so readily just in case they’ve been disregarded as insignificant or misplaced in one’s long term memory.

Timely response

Yesterday morning I searched for prayers to the Venerable Solanus Casey.  Someone had arrived at my “Solano, Solanus, Solani” post through the search term 2nd class relic of fr. solanus casey [sic]; so I conducted a search of my own, ended up on the Father Solanus Guild website, and found some great links.  And prayers.  

“Yet, knowing how way leads on to way” (Frost, 1915), the ol’ pea brain did what it does best, merrily shortcircuiting onto another tangent.

Is there a special prayer to St. Teresa of Avila?  I need to find it.

Then the afternoon mail brought a lovely booklet from Father Robert.  

Perfect nudge

I read through Simple Ways to Pray (Franciscan Mission Associates, B-34) and chuckled heartily when I got to the back cover. 

God has a very weird sense of humor when it comes to me, so I took the prayer to St. Teresa of Avila as his perfectly-timed nudge to…

Start writing already!!! 

July 12, 2013

Holy Spirit, watch over me today.  Remind me of all the reasons I have to trust God.  Nudge me when you want me to speak.  Open my heart, Lord, and widen my horizons (the Word among us, July/August 2013, p. 31).

June 2, 2014

Be attentive, O God, when I am neglecting my time with you, time for reflection on your Word and time to rest with you in silence.  Create in me a faithful spirit that is always open to your gentle nudges when I get distracted or too busy (Sister Maria Tasto, OSB).

Links of interest…  Father Solanus Guild…  Franciscan Mission Associates…  The road not taken (Frost, 1915)…  Sisters of St. Benedict (IN):  Monday messagesprayer requestsvirtual tour / ways of prayingwebsite…  St. Teresa of Avila: about (more) /
biography (more) / book (more) / chaplet / doctor (more / first woman) / feast day / foundress / frases / friendship with Jesus / headaches / heart of a warrior / history / holiness & works / interior castle (more / video) / litany / memorial / mystic / poems / prayer / prayers / quotes (more) / saint (more) / tribute (movie) / videos…  Yaupon holly: honey / tree

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Christmas year ’round…  Connected tangents…  Gift of love…  Growing pains…  Holy relics…  In good time…  Making meaning…  On being Christian…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Prayerful ways…  Santo Niño…  Seven dwelling places…  Solano, Solanus, Solani…  Soulful…  Sweet Jesus…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies…  Venerable Margaret

Prayer

StAnthony-bk1

Monday of last week I received the Paduan Anthonians’ online newsletter, Messenger, showcasing St. Anthony’s Sermons for Sundays and Festivals.  I was so excited that I emailed Steven right away about getting the book and then forgot to place the order.

St. Anthony’s insights

The following day I was leafing through my prayer booklet when the proverbial rose leaf fell on this Chicken Little’s tail.

Prayer is directing our affections toward God.  It is a devout and friendly talk with him.  It is the tranquility of a mind illumined from above.

Prayer is also a plea for temporal goods that are necessary for earthly life.  But those who pray ask the Lord with a true Christian spirit to subordinate their own wills to his [since] only the heavenly Father knows what one really needs in the temporal order.

Finally, prayer is thanksgiving, that is, an acknowledgement of benefits received and an offering of all our undertakings to God so that our prayer may be a lasting one.

The Lord manifests himself to those who pause while in peace and humility of heart.  If you look into the murky and turbulent waters, you cannot see your own countenance.  If you want the face of Christ to appear in your countenance, pause, collect your thoughts in silence, and shut the door of the soul to the noise of exterior things.

The greetings of the angels and the blessings of the good are not for those who live in public squares, that is, outside of themselves, agitated and distracted.  The sweet Ave was addressed to the Virgin Mary when she was absorbed in prayer, in the privacy of her house….  God, in order to be able to speak to the soul and fill it with the knowledge of his love, leads it to the solitude, detaching it from preoccupations of earthly things.  He speaks to the ears of those who are silent and makes them hear his secrets (from the Sermons of St. Anthony; Companions of St. Anthony, n. d.).

Sometimes the best surprises are in plain sight!  On the front inside cover of my prayer booklet were St. Anthony’s thoughts on prayer.

Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart.  You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart.  In fact, on certain occasions you should only speak to him with your heart (Padre Pio).

CompanionPrayersHow could I have missed the message when I’d read the prayers cover to cover for more than a decade? 

Then I remembered what I’d forgotten to do the week before: I called the Anthonians to order St. Anthony’s Sermons for Sundays and Festivals.

September 17, 2010

I emailed the Anthonians and received a quick response.

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks for your interest in our publications.

The price for one volume of Saint Anthony’s Sermons for Sundays and Festivals (S&H included) is $32; for two volumes, $55; and for all four volumes, $96.  Please note that the amount of $96 can be for either four copies of any one of the four volumes or the four-volume complete set of Saint Anthony’s Sermons.

StAnthony-bk1If you wish to place an order you may do so by sending cash, check or a money order to the Anthonian Association at the address listed below.  If you wish to expedite the order and use a credit card (Visa or MC)… please do not send credit card information via the Internet, but fax it to our office.  Should you need additional assistance, please let us know the best times to call you so that we can get back to you quickly.

StAnthony-bk2SERMONS FOR SUNDAYS AND FESTIVALS VOL. 1, 2, 3, and 4…  St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) is one of the most popular saints of Christendom, renowned for his miracles and his concern for the poor.  It is less well known that he was the first great theologian and teacher of the early Franciscan Order.  Commissioned by Francis himself to teach theology to the friars, he fulfilled this task by composing his Opus Evangeliorum, a set of Commentaries on the Sunday Gospels. Beginning this work while superior StAnthony-bk3at Limoges, he completed it at Padua.  A little later, he undertook a second set on the Festivals and other important days, such as Ash Wednesday.
This work was barely half finished at his death.  Both these works are now for the first time translated in their entirety into English from the Critical Edition of the Latin text published by the Centro Studi Antoniani at Padua in 1976.  StAnthony-bk4The translation, introductory material, and notes for volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4 are by Fr. Paul Spilsbury.

Invoking Saint Anthony’s blessing upon you, we accompany our greetings with prayers for you and your loved ones.

Contact information

You can reach the Anthonian Association of the Friends of St. Anthony of Padua by mail at 101 Saint Anthony Drive, Mount Saint Francis, IN 47146-9001.  Or you can call 1.812.923.6356 (fax 1.812.923.3200), if you prefer.  The staff is very friendly!

10:06 A.M.

I just got off the phone with Maria, operations manager for the Anthonian Association.  What a lovely conversation!  Moreover, she’ll be more than happy to assist anyone interested in placing a book order and/or a magazine subscription.

Next week I’ll receive not only my four-volume set, but also a free copy of Messenger of St. Anthony to preview.  The magazine’s published by the friars at the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua, Italy; and, with my paid subscription, I’ll also receive a St. Anthony calendar.  What a treat!

September 20, 2010

StAnthony-miraclesOh, my gosh!  I couldn’t believe my eyes when Steven got in from checking the mail. 

“Your four-volume set is on your desk.” 

Talk about expeditious service!  And what should I see on the back cover of my first copy of Messenger but an order form for The Book on St. Anthony’s Miracles!  So I just emailed Maria to request a copy.  Happy day!

September 22, 2010

Maria called and spoke with Steven.  The book sold out, so it’ll be six weeks before I get my copy.  Nevertheless, something that special is worth waiting for.  If you’re interested in purchasing a copy, the book sells for eleven dollars.

October 9, 2010

The Book on St. Anthony’s Miracles (Gamboso, 2008) arrived sooner than expected!  Its 109 pages— eight chapters of miracles and other anecdotes— are an abstract based on Arnaldo de Serranno’s Chronicle of the XXIV Generals, which was written in the mid-fourteenth century.  Plus, I received the October issue of Messenger and a 2011 St. Anthony calendar with beautiful pictures that highlight his life.  All worth the wait!

December 23, 2013

“Silence my mind and heart, Father, and give me the grace to hear your voice” (the Word among us, Advent 2013, p. 41).

May 8, 2014

One should preach not from one’s rational mind but rather from the heart.  Only that which is from the heart can touch another heart (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica).

September 22, 2014

We, too, are called to withdraw at certain intervals into deeper silence and aloneness with God, together as a community as well as personally; to be alone with him— not with our books, thoughts, and memories but completely stripped of everything— to dwell lovingly in his presence, silent, empty, expectant, and motionless.  We cannot find God in noise or agitation
(Blessed Teresa of Calcutta).

October 6, 2014

“Only those who have experienced the solitude and silence of the wilderness can know what benefit and divine joy they bring to those who love them” (St. Bruno).

StA-miracles

Links of interest…  Anthonians: book (Sermons) / Dear St. Anthony (petitions) /
Messenger of St. Anthony (website) / newsletterSt. Anthony USA (petitions; portal to Italian website) / wallpapers & images / Writing Reed (Friar Mario)…  Companions of
St. Anthony
…  Franciscan: national shrine / prayer book (prayer)…  In the heart of the world: book / quotes (Mother Teresa)…  Prayer: inward / more / paradox of holiness & communion / point / sure path to freedom…  Sound of silence…  St. Anthony: for peace of mind / prayers (more) / thanksgiving (pdf)…

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Forever grateful…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony chaplets…  Tony’s big day

St. Anthony

OLG11709-158

Our second visit to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hebbronville was met with smiles.

Devotees

Rosita and Julie (in green), a devotee of St. Anthony of Padua, chatted with us as we waited for Azalia to give us a VIP tour.

For many years, Julie has celebrated St. Anthony’s feast day by distributing homemade bread and prayer cards.  She also prays the novenas.

Like Julie I, too, have collected prayers, cards, and photos over the years.  My love for St. Anthony began at age thirteen when my great-aunt, Tía Queta, introduced us through a prayer card she gave me.

Of course, my favorite pictures of St. Anthony are those that Segy took knowing how much I’d enjoy them.

                

               

Quick response

Steven called and asked me to locate a very important file, but I didn’t find it.  Feeling somewhat perturbed, Steven said he’d look for it when he got home, so we hung up.

St. Anthony, Steven really needs that file right now, I thought.  Please let him find what he’s looking for in his briefcase.  “Tony, Tony, look around.  Steven’s very important file is missing and must be found.” 

A few minutes later, Steven emailed.

I was more forward-thinking than I give myself credit for.  I figured I’d be asked for information, so I put the folder in the briefcase in the vehicle so I would have it with me.  Duh!  Thanks for looking.  Had it here all the time.

I chuckled and replied.

Oh, darling!  You owe St. Anthony… whose photos I’ve been resizing for a post since before you called… a HUGE thank you!

Mom didn’t believe me either.

One afternoon I went by mom’s after work, and she was going nutz.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

She’d looked for her diamond ring for days and couldn’t find it anywhere.

“Have you called on St. Anthony for help?”

She rolled her eyes and snickered.  Clearly, she was exasperated from looking everywhere she could think of.

Mentally, I asked St. Anthony to find the ring for her and then headed out the door to drive home.

Would you believe it?

When I got home, I had a phone message waiting for me.  Mom had looked again in the piano bench just as she’d done many times before.  Only this time, amazingly, she’d found her ring atop the music books as if someone had just placed it there.

Sooo, yes.  I’m a believer.  And you should be, too.

March 17, 2010

Funny how things happen.

Two Saturdays ago, Steven used the UT parking permit he’d checked out at work when we attended Fiddler on the Roof at the performing arts center in Austin.  Only it was nowhere to be found when we got home on Sunday.

We looked everywhere… in our books, in the vehicle, in our suitcases… many times to no avail; so, having no other recourse, I called on St. Anthony once again.

As Steven said, it wasn’t that he’d have to pay for a replacement.  Rather, the office has too few for any to be misplaced; so we really wanted to find it.

When Steven got home from work today, he started packing.  He has a meeting at UT tomorrow morning, so he reached for the book he’d taken to Austin the last time.

“Would you believe it?” he walked over to tell me.  “I just happened to open the book, and look what I found!”

He held up the UT parking permit and then chuckled.  “And, here, I’d forgotten to check out another permit for tomorrow… and for Saturday’s performance.”

Steven was amazed.

“This is weird,” he continued.  “The book was locked in my briefcase until after we got home and I set it out on the hearth.”

He hadn’t opened the briefcase, much less read the book in Austin.

“How could the permit have been in the book?”

“You see?  I told you St. Anthony would find it for you!  Remember mom’s diamond ring?”

Thank you, St. Anthony!

Seek God’s kingdom above all else.  Make it the most important thing in your life.  Everything else must be sought in view of this kingdom; nothing should be asked beyond it.  Whatever we ask must serve this end (St. Anthony of Padua, 1195-1231).

Prayers

One…  O good and gentle St. Anthony, your love of God and concern for his creatures made you worthy, while on earth, to possess miraculous powers.  Come to my help in this moment of trouble and anxiety.  Your ardent love of God made you worthy to hold the Holy Infant in your arms.  Whisper to him my humble request if it be for the greater glory of God and the salvation of my soul.  Amen.

Two…  Anthony, through your teaching and preaching, you bore witness to the loving presence of God in all of creation.  Now that you have come into the fullness of the kingdom, pray for us that our lives might also proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all humanity.

V.  Pray for us, St. Anthony.
R.  Help us become worthy of the promises of Christ.

Almighty, eternal God, you have given your people St. Anthony as an outstanding preacher and intercessor in times of need.  Grant that with his help we may follow in the example of Christian living and experience your support in all adversities.  We ask through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Three…  St. Anthony, gentle servant of God, help me find ways to honor God’s blessings by showing my love for all of God’s creatures.  Share your strength that I may cope with the trials and troubles of daily life.  You, through whose voice the Word of God was preached, intercede for my need [mention your special request].  Powerful patron, be with me always and teach me to reach out in love and support to others.  Amen.

Act of consecration

Glorious St. Anthony, I salute you as a good servant of Christ and a special friend of God.  You once were favored to hold the Christ Child in your arms as you cherished his world in your heart.

Today I place all my cares, temptations, and anxieties in your hands.  I resolve ever to honor you by imitating your example.

Powerful patron, model of purity, and victor over fleshly impulses, please win for me and for all devoted to you perfect purity of body, mind, and heart.  I promise, by my example and counsel, to help others to the knowledge, love, and service of God.  Amen.

Litany of the lost

Lord have mercy.  Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.  Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.  Lord have mercy.

For those of us who have lost…

Our health…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our peace of mind…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our housing…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our financial security…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
A loved one…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our dreams…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our talents…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our initial zeal…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our sobriety…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our faith…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our self-respect…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our perspective…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our innocence…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our independence…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Peace within our families…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Civil peace…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our trust in others…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our virtue…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our home…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
(Add your own particular loss…  St. Anthony, pray for us.)

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.  Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.  Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.  Have mercy on us.

Let us pray.

All loving God, you have given us St. Anthony, the patron of the lost, as an intercessor of those who are in need of your mercy.  Listen to his voice as he calls out to you on our behalf and grant those things which will help us to grow in your love.  We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Tribute

Good St. Anthony, in God’s providence you have secured for his people many marvelous favors.  You have been especially celebrated, good St. Anthony, for your goodness to the poor and the hungry, for finding employment for those seeking it, for your special care of those who travel, and for keeping safe from harm all who must be away from home.

You are widely known also, good St. Anthony, for securing peace in the family, for your delicate mercy in finding lost things, for safe delivery of messages, and for your concern for women in childbirth.

In honoring you, St. Anthony, for the many graces our Lord grants through your favor, we trustfully and confidently ask your aid in our present need.

V.  Pray for us, good St. Anthony.
R.  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray…  May it be a source of joy, O God, to your Church that we honor the memory of your confessor and doctor, St. Anthony.  May his spiritual help always make us strong; and, by his assistance, may we enjoy an eternal reward.  This we ask through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.  Amen.

Contact information

         

To order A Collection of Favorite Prayers from the St. Lawrence Seminary, contact Sebastian Vervaeck (svervaeck@stlawrence.edu / online / school).  The addresses for the other booklets can be found on the “creditspage.

Links of interest…  Basilica in Padua…  Dear St. Anthony…  Do you need a miracle in your life?…  Feast…  Franciscan saints…  June 13th…  Mail deliveries (S.A.G.)…  Saint for lost things…  Sardine heaven: Portugal…  Shrine…  St. Anthony of Padua…  What is St. Anthony’s bread?… 

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Franciscan experience…  Franciscan treasures …  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan crown…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. Anthony chaplets…  St. Felix…  Tony’s big day…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies…  Vaquero Fest Saturday

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