Lenten meditations

If you’re looking for family activities that involve spiritual reading, click on the five “tips for reading with kids” (below) to get started.  And you may also be interested in the stations of the cross for families, since the audio stations have printables.

Sunday, our church members received free audio Bible CDs— one for adults, another for kids— for the Lenten season.  By listening twenty-eight minutes daily, one can cover the entire New Testament in forty days.  It’s easy enough; so just go to Faith Comes by Hearing, select the Bible you prefer, and download for free to become an Audio Bible Ambassador.


Links of interest…  Best Lent ever (signup)…  Bible through her eyes…  Explore faith…  Faith comes by hearing (Bible downloads)…  Lent for kids…  Living Lent daily…  National St. Jude shrine: blog / St. Jude prayers by email…  Tips for reading with kids…  Stations of the cross: for families / printables…  Strong Catholic family faith…  Truth & Life: New Testament dramatized (free audio download)…

WP posts…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Call of service…  Capuchin church stations…  Christ’s passion…  For all time…  Full circle…  God’s lovely gifts…  Growing pains…  In good time…  Lady of sorrows…  Lenten meditations…  Lenten resources…  Lingering memory…  Making meaning…  Prayerful ways…  Quiet prayer time…  Sioux chapel stations…  Sorrowful redemption…  Today’s Beatitudes

Thanksgiving prayers

The cornucopia prayer is from the Franciscans’ St. Anthony Guild (2008).

Happy Thanksgiving!


One…  Oh, God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry; when I have work, help me to remember the jobless; when I have a warm home, help me to remember the homeless; when I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer; and remembering, help me to destroy my complacency and bestir my compassion.  Make me concerned enough to help, by word and deed, those who cry out for what we take for granted (Samuel F. Pugh, 1904-2007).

Two…  Almighty Father, you are lavish in bestowing all your gifts; and we give you thanks for the favors you have given us.  In your goodness you have favored us and kept us safe….  We ask that you continue to protect us and shelter us in the shadow of your wings.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Three…  Lord, we are ever grateful for the bountiful meal before us, the fellowship of family, friends, and neighbors, and the faith that sustains us all year long.

Help us to live each day in a spirit of thanksgiving for your many blessings to be celebrated and shared with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Amen.

Four…  Lord, we thank you for the goodness of our people and for the spirit of justice that fills this nation.  We thank you for the beauty and fullness of the land and the challenge of the cities.  We thank you for our work and our rest, for one another, and for our homes.  We thank you, Lord for….

For all that we have spoken and for all that we keep in our hearts, accept our thanksgiving on this day.

We pray and give thanks through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Five…  Dear Lord, today we give thanks for our many blessings as we pray for those in need.

We give thanks for our family and friends as we pray for those who are lonely.  We give thanks for our freedoms as we pray for those who are oppressed.  We give thanks for our good health as we pray for those who are ill.  We give thanks for our comfort and prosperity as we share our blessings with others.

On this day of Thanksgiving, may the love of God enfold us, the peace of God dwell within us, and the joy of God uplift us.  Amen.

Six…  O God, we thank you for this earth, our home; for the wide sky and the blessed sun; for the salt sea and the running water; for the everlasting hills and the never-resting winds; for trees and the common grass underfoot.

We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds and see the splendor of summer fields and taste the autumn fruits and rejoice in the feel of snow and smell the breath of spring.

Grant us a heart opened wide to all this beauty; and save us from being so  blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thorn-bush is aflame with your  glory.

For each new dawn is filled with infinite possibilities for new beginnings and  new discoveries. Life is constantly changing and renewing itself. In this new  day of new beginnings with God, all things are possible. We are restored and  renewed in a joyous awakening to the wonder that our lives are and, yet, can  be.  Amen.

Seven…  Thank you, O God, for hearing my prayer and granting my request.  Thank you for all the kindness you have shown me.

Thank you, Father, for your great love in giving me my life, for your great patience in preserving me despite my sinfulness, for your protection in the past, and for the opportunity to serve and honor you in the future.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for keeping me numberless times from sin and death by the toils of your life, the sufferings of your Passion, and by your victorious Resurrection.

Thank you, Holy Spirit of God, for bestowing so many graces upon my soul and for having so frequently renewed your life within me.

May my life from now on be a sign of my gratefulness.  Amen.

Eight…  We thank you, most loving and generous Creator, for the abundance you have bestowed on us, your servant people.

May we use your gifts to build your kingdom; to help the poor, as you commanded; to bring light to a world in darkness.  May we be faithful to your commandments.

Bless the people in our lives that we may help each other grow in your love.  We pray in union with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Nine…  I offer this day to you, dear God.  Thank you for the blessings you have given me.

May I use these gifts to build your kingdom.  May my actions be a reflection of your love.  May what I do today bring others closer to you.  May my words be kind and gentle, and may they bring joy to others.

Today, help me to give back a portion of what you have given me.  I ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Ten…  Bountiful God, you have been generous to us; help us to be generous to others.  Your love is unconditional; help us to love others with an open heart.  Your gifts are bountiful; help us to pass them on joyfully.  Your mercy is infinite; help us to forgive those who have injured us.  Your grace is never-ending; help us to give you glory in all we do.  Your wisdom is boundless; help us to choose your way in all we do today.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Eleven…  Loving God, who created and sustains the universe, who loved us all into being, and who gives us every good thing, we thank you for the blessings that you bring into our lives.

We thank you for the gift of life itself, which you gave us in our mothers’ wombs.  We thank you for the fresh start of each new day, which is a sign of your renewing and creative love.  We thank you for our friends, our families, our neighbors, and our coworkers, whose human love is an image of your divine care.

Increase our gratitude this Thanksgiving Day, and help us to recognize all the good things that we have, both large and small.

Magnify our desire to share what we have with others so that they too may be grateful to you, loving God.  Amen.

Twelve…  Lord God, your gifts of love are countless and your goodness is infinite.  From your hand we have received generous gifts so that we might learn to share your blessings with others in gratitude.  We come to you with gratitude for your kindness.  Open our hearts to concern for others so that we may share your gifts in loving service to them.  Amen.

Thirteen…  Dear Lord, as we gather together around this table laden with your plentiful gifts to us.  We thank you for always providing what we really need and for sometimes granting wishes for things we don’t really need.

Today, let us be especially thankful for each other— for family and friends who enrich our lives in wonderful ways, even when they present us with challenges.  Let us join together now in peaceful, loving fellowship to celebrate your love for us and our love for each other.  Amen.

Fourteen…  O God, you entrusted to us the fruits of all creation so that we might care for the earth and be nourished with its bounty.

You sent us your son to share our very flesh and blood and to teach us your law of love.  Through his death and resurrection, we have been formed into one human family.  Jesus showed great concern for those who had no food— even transforming five loaves and two fish into a banquet that served five thousand and many more.

We come before you, O God, conscious of our faults and failures, but full of hope, to share food with all members in this global family.

Through your wisdom inspire leaders of government and of business, as well as all the world’s citizens, to find just and charitable solutions to end hunger by assuring that all people enjoy the right of food.  Thus we pray, O God, that, when we present ourselves for divine judgment, we can proclaim ourselves as one human family with food for allAmen.

Fifteen…  Father all-powerful, your gifts of love are countless and your goodness infinite; as we come before you on Thanksgiving Day with gratitude for your kindness, open our hearts to have concern for every man, woman, and child so that we may share your gifts in loving service.  Through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Sixteen…  Father in heaven, thank you for your countless favors to me today and in all my past.  I am grateful for the silent inspirations of your Holy Spirit and the assistance he lends my human weakness and instability.

Because my prayers and petitions are present before you, I rely confidently on your granting my requests in your powerful and far-seeing goodness.

I ask, above all, for the special favor of remaining ever faithful to the teachings of your son, Jesus Christ, who lives and rules with you in union with the Holy Spirt, one God, now and for all the ages to come.  Amen.

Seventeen…  O holy banquet in which Christ is received, the memory of his passion is recalled, the soul is filled with grace, and the promise of the future glory is given to us.  Alleluia.

V.  You have given them bread from heaven.  Alleluia.
R.  Containing in itself all delight.  Alleluia.

God, who in this wonderful sacrament left us a memorial of your passion, we implore you that we may so venerate the sacred mysteries of your body and blood as always to be conscious of the effects of your redemption.  You live and reign forever and ever.  Amen.

November 6, 2012

Father, thank you for the banquet you set before me.  Help me to receive all that you have for me.  I believe that you can fill my every need (the Word among us, November 2012, p. 25).

November 22, 2012

“Never pass a day without thanking Jesus Christ for all he has done for you during your life” (St. John Vianney).

November 23, 2012

He who fashioned us and created us brought us into his world.  Since, then, we owe all this to him, we ought to give him thanks for everything
(St. Clement I).

November 26, 2012

Jesus, you love a cheerful giver.  In gratitude I give you my heart (the Word among us, November 2012, p. 45).

February 2, 2013

Father, I love you.  I come to you today filled with gratitude that you welcome me.  Your promises are true.  I rejoice in the ways you are molding my heart even now (the Word among us, Jan/Feb 2013, p. 60).

September 12, 2013

Father, teach me to sing your praises no matter what my circumstances are.  I know your love will never fail (the Word among us, September 2013, p. 31).

November 28, 2013

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This Thanksgiving we are grateful for everyone and everything: the good times and the bad, mistakes made and lessons learned.  Most of all, we are grateful for the gifts and talents that God has so generously bestowed on us collectively.

Moreover, we give thanks and praise for the opportunity to build community within God’s kingdom, and we offer our heartfelt gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ for illuminating the path to God without whom the Feast of Life would not be possible.

This Thanksgiving we remember that the way Jesus gave his all to and for us is the way God avails himself to us daily, so we take St. Dominic’s invitation to heart: Give wholeheartedly without hesitation, pray with earnest resolve, remember that God is always present, and aim for God’s listening ear as a year ’round commitment.  “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Matthew 6:21).  Deli & Steven

December 29, 2013

And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:15-21).

January 17, 2014

Remember with thanksgiving the blessings and providence of God [and] glorify God, giving him from the heart praises that rise on high (St. Anthony of Egypt).

February 2, 2014

“Rejoicing with Simeon, let us sing a hymn of thanksgiving to God, the father of the light who sent the true light to dispel the darkness and to give us all a share in his splendor”
(St. Sophronius).

March 16, 2014

After Communion…  As we receive these glorious mysteries, we make thanksgiving to you, O Lord, for allowing us while still on earth to be partakers even now of the things of heaven.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

November 26, 2015

“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that he, in his goodness, sends to us day after day” (St. Gianna Beretta Molla).

April 24, 2016

“May your heart be an altar from which the bright flame of unending thanksgiving ascends to heaven” (St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier).

April 18, 2017

Creator God, allow us the grace to find assurance in your open ear.  You hear our cries and offer deliverance through Christ’s love, through his suffering and everlasting empathy.  Allow us the ability to respond to your awesome reality through praise and gratitude— praise for the intimacy of your meal, gratitude for the moment and space it creates with you. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen (Ben Rumbaugh).

November 22, 2017

O God, on this day of Thanksgiving we pause to give thanks to you, recognizing that all life flows from you and is grace freely given to us, especially your merciful salvation which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  Amen (RCL Benziger).

November 21, 2018

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it” (William Arthur Ward).




Links of interest…  5 prayers for your Thanksgiving feast (grace)…  6 ways to teach kids about gratitude…  Because words matter: The importance of sharing your gratitude with others…  CCE: 10 crafts / lesson plans / pine-cone turkey…  Choose to be grateful (prayer)…  Dynamouse & Magnificat…  Enrich your spiritual life with thanksgiving…  Family: activities / blessings / book / candle decorating ideascard display ideascrafts / fall cookie ideas / graces: family & Thanksgiving / prayer…  Favorite Catholic prayers…  For those who grieve…  Franciscan media: ecards / gratitude & joyprayers / recipesthanksgiving…  Generous giving…  Give thanks (YouTube)…  Gratefulness: ecardsten true things about gratefulnessvirtual candles…  Gratitudearticles / more…  I know a man: Gratitude & the God of Thanksgiving…  In Christian praise…  Little book of holy gratitudelitany of Thanksgiving…  National Shrine of St. Jude: ecards / petitions / vigil lights…  Plimoth Plantation (facebook)…  Prayers: blessing / book (more) / grateful heart / guides / in a riven land mealtime / poems & songs / psalms / verses…  Quick daily practice to help you be more grateful…  St. Anthony’s Guild…  St. Francis…  St. Bonaventure’s prayer / reflection / table graces…  Thanksgiving: about / activities (more) / & the Eucharist (greatest gift of all) / blessings mix / cartoon (story) / celebration / first / for kids / fun stuff for kids / games (printables) / handprint turkeys / history / kid-friendly recipes (more / more) / lessons / table decorations (more) / theme pages / three giftstree of thanks…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Advent prayers…  Angels keeping watch…  Budding relationships…  Christmas blessings…  Dear God…  Gifts…  In good time…  Making meaning…  Mourning joy…  Oh, happy day…  Promise of hope…  Sweet Jesus…  Two angels…  Unexpected detours…  Vattmann church

St. Anthony Claret


Reading today’s novena prayer to St. Jude, I inadvertently made some real life connections to St. Anthony Claret.  First, he founded the Claretians, “servants of the word, partners in hope,” in 1849.  Second, the Claretians manage the National Shrine of St. Jude, which hosts solemn novenas, first Wednesday Masses for healing, weekly devotions, and more.  Third, I receive wonderful prayer cards from the shrine on a regular basis and continue to engage in a special relationship with St. Jude, especially where the kids are concerned.

Persistent illness

On January 2, 2004, Kylie, our second grandchild, was hospitalized for the second two-week stay since her birth, October 29, 2003.  Her parents and I took turns staying at the hospital with her; but, even though I was there willingly, it was a miserable time for me.  I’d never had a child in the hospital.  Anytime one of the kids had been ill, I’d always persuaded the doctor that I’d provide better care at home.

During Christmas break from work and UH, I’d traveled to Chicago to help my daughter and her husband take care of the baby during the holidays.  Kylie had been released from her two-week stay just hours before they’d picked me up at O’Hare.  We’d hoped that my being there would allow them to catch their breath and re-energize, but Kylie was readmitted to the hospital days before my return to Texas.

Kylie cried all the time.  She was in a lot of pain from the intravenous drip in her foot, yet the nurses were unfazed.  I just knew they could’ve eased her pain if they’d readjusted the needle, but they merely looked at Kylie’s foot and left.  I prayed and prayed and quietly sang to Kylie until we’d both fall asleep in whiles.  I also racked my brain trying to figure out what else to do.  We’d left written prayers in the book on the chapel’s altar, but I had to do something else.

The morning of January 5th, Kylie was to undergo a medical procedure that would take several hours.  I was to depart for Texas at 5:30 the following morning, so I got an idea.

The shrine

“Take me to the nearest church, preferably one dedicated to St. Jude,” I told Kylie’s parents.  I’d attended Mass at two different churches in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago; but I wanted one where I’d feel super close to St. Jude.  I’d never been in Chicago before, but I suddenly remembered the shrine.  “Take me to the St. Jude Shrine,” I insisted, even though none of us knew where it was.

Oh, what a place!

StJude-SarahMaxhamI knew I was home when I saw the encased statue of the Holy Infant of Prague.  I walked around and dialogued with God.  I knew everything would be all right with Kylie, that we’d get good news when we got back to the hospital.

Even though my heart had already raced back to Kylie, to spend as much time with her as I could, I wanted to first visit the gift shop across the street.  I wanted a memento of that day.

In the gift shop I found two wonderful little books, The Infant Jesus of Prague (Nemec, 1978, 1986) and Saint Anthony of Padua (Miles & Gianopoulos, 1991), which would keep me company on the flight back home but which wouldn’t make a dent in my pea brain until I broke my right kneecap in three places May 2006.

The hospital

On arriving at the nurses’ station on Kylie’s floor, we were told that Kylie had been returned to her room within half an hour.  The procedure hadn’t been done because, oddly enough, the doctor hadn’t been able to follow through with it and had given up.  We had no idea what that meant, but we were relieved that Kylie wouldn’t have another wound on her tiny body.  I stayed with her until evening when I went to pack and returned to spend my last night with her until I left for my early morning flight.

Kylie endured some harrowing times at the hospital due to negligence, but she went home after two weeks.  She went in again for an infection one more time after that, but it was just for one week.

“You sang to me”

Since then, Kylie’s gone through the usual childhood illnesses, but she’s been home.  She’s a perfectly beautiful little girl with what her parents call “macaroni hair:” flyaway, golden-brown curls.  She’s spunky, loves shoes, and is very bright.  She really surprised me when, at age three, she said, “You were there with me at the hospital.  You smiled at me.  Lon, you sang to me.”

I hadn’t seen her since she was a baby, much less mentioned the hospital.  I hugged her and smiled.  “Yes, Kylie, I was there with you.”

Praise God for his angels and his saints who watch over us daily and intercede on our behalf.  Thank you, St. Jude and St. Anthony Claret; and thanks to the Claretians who support us through prayer at the National Shrine of St. Jude.

November 26, 2009: Thanksgiving

Until writing this post I had no idea, or didn’t remember, that Chicago has two St. Jude shrines: one maintained by the Claretians; the other, by the Dominicans.  Yet, the shrine I visited had a very old statue of the Holy Infant encased in glass in the back of the church.

I wanted to be sure which shrine we’d visited, so I emailed the Dominican shrine.

Since I didn’t receive a reply, I posted my entry with that question still unanswered.  My thinking at the time was that St. Jude listens no matter where we are when we ask for his intercession.

Before posting my entry, I also looked for photos I might’ve taken at the shrine but found none.  However, on looking then and now at the online photos of the two shrines, I think we visited the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus.  For this reason, and because I’ve received mailings from both shrines for many years and feel an attachment to both, I’ve also included links below to the Dominican shrine.

And, if anyone has photos of either of these two shrines, please share them with me, especially if any includes the Holy Infant of Prague.

December 1, 2009 

Mystery finally solved thanks to Father Brummel’s response to my email regarding the Holy Infant statue.

Now I know that I went to pray at the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus.

November 16, 2011

Will wonders never cease!

I was looking for photos of St. Thérèse when I happened upon a stash hidden for years in one of the bedroom closets.  Safely ensconced within two Walmart bags were two dozen photo packets; inside one of those, the nine photos taken at the Dominican shrine in Chicago, January 5, 2004 (including the Christmas scene at the bottom).

Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, I did both with heartfelt gratitude.

What an incredible find!



April 29, 2012

At long last, I saw the Holy Infant again when we attended 9:15 A.M. Mass at
St. Pius V in Chicago.  Sweet!



St. Anthony Mary Claret is the helper of those suffering from cancer, heart trouble, and other serious ailments of the body and/or the soul.  His feast day is October 24th.

Please note that the petition (third prayer below) can be said on behalf of someone afflicted with illness or someone whose conversion is desired.

For the addicted…  God of mercy, we bless you in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, who ministered to all who came to him.  Give your strength to (name), one of your children; enfold him (her) in your love; and restore him (her) to the freedom of God’s children.

Lord, look with compassion on all who have lost their health and freedom.  Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy, strengthen them in the work of recovery, and help them to resist all temptation.  And to those who care for them, grant patience and understanding and a love that perseveres.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

For the sick…  Lord Jesus who went about doing good and healing all, we ask you to bless your friends who are sick.  Give them strength in body, courage in spirit, and patience in pain.  Let them recover their health so that, restored to the Christian community, they may joyfully praise your name for you live and reign forever and ever.  Amen.

Petition…  St. Anthony Mary Claret, during your life on earth you often comforted the afflicted and showed such tender love and compassion for the sick and the sinful.  Intercede for me now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues in heavenly glory.  Look with pity on me and grant my prayer, if such be the will of God.  Make my troubles your own.  Speak a word for me to the immaculate heart of Mary to obtain, by her powerful intercession, the grace I yearn for so ardently and a blessing to strengthen me during life.  Assist me at the hour of death and lead me to a happy eternity.  Amen.

Request…  Lord, renew in our congregation the spirit that moved our father, St. Anthony Mary Claret, so that filled and strengthened by it we may come to love what he loved and put into practice what he taught us.  We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

October 24, 2012

“The man who truly loves God also loves his neighbor” (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

October 24, 2013

My God, how good you are!  How rich in mercy you have been to me!  Mercy, Lord: I’ll begin to be good from now, with the help of your grace
(St. Anthony Mary Claret).

July 5, 2014

That which God commands seems difficult and a burden.  The way is rough; you draw back; you have no desire to follow it.  Yet do so and you will attain glory (St. Anthony Maria Zaccaria).

October 24, 2014

“Christ charges us in the Gospel: We must oppose or deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow him” (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

Mary is the heart of the Church.  This is why all works of charity spring from her.  It is well known that the heart has two movements: systole and diastole.  Thus Mary is always performing these two movements: absorbing grace from her most holy Son, and pouring it forth on sinners (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

October 24, 2015

“The sole reason why society is perishing is because it has refused to hear the word of the Church, which is the word of life, the word of God” (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

August 6, 2016

“Christian perfection consists in three things: praying heroically, working heroically, and suffering heroically” (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

October 24, 2016

Nothing deters Jesus.  He does not flinch from heavy tasks; he embraces hardships.  He rejoices in the midst of suffering (St. Anthony Mary Claret).


Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus  – Chicago

Links of interest…  Claretian: historyinitiativeorder / St. Jude shrine (about – directions – eprayers – novena schedule – slideshow)…  Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus…  Holy Infant: bookconsecrationdevotion / history / national shrine / novena / prayersshrinethird Sunday in May…  How to cope when a child is ill…  Pope to Dominicans: Your good works give glory to God…  St. Jude novena: book / chaplet (printable; photo)…  Prayers for the sick…  St. Anthony Claret: about (more) / autobiography (book – chapter – pdf) / biography / bishop / images of relics (photo) / life / memorial / missionary zeal / novena (healing & conversion) / saint / Spanish light / very special patron / weaverwritings

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Finding St. Rita…  Forever grateful…  Lady of Sorrows…  October novena…  Prayer power…  Promise of hope…  Revisiting St. Simon…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Jude novena (Dominican)…  St. Jude shrine: Chicago (Claretian) & Corpus Christi…  Sweet Jesus

October novena

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Chicago has two St. Jude shrines each distinctly different from the other.  The Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus (above left) can be found at St. Pius V Church on Ashland Avenue, while the National Shrine of St. Jude is situated at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on East 91st Street and is managed by the Claretians.

October novena

OLG51912-138Since St. Jude’s feast day is October 28, both shrines host solemn novenas at their respective locations.  However, their schedules differ, so be sure to check the online “links of interest” below.

What’s really nice is that one can sign up via mail and/or email for solemn novena updates.  Additionally, one can download prayers, read more about St. Jude, leave comments on the various website pages and/or blogs, participate in the virtual novenas, and take a virtual tour of the national shrine any time of the day or night.


Petition…  O glorious apostle, St. Jude Thaddeus, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many; but the Church invokes you universally as the patron of hopeless cases and things despaired of.  Pray for me that I may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly [state petition] and that I may bless God with you and the Elect throughout eternity.  Amen.

Thanksgiving and praise…  O glorious apostle, St. Jude, true relative of Jesus and Mary, I salute you through the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Through this heart, I praise you and thank God for all the graces he has bestowed upon you.  Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through this heart to look down upon me with compassion.  Despise not my poor prayer and let not my trust be in vain.  To you has been assigned the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases.  Oh, come to my aid that I may praise the mercies of God.  All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven.  Amen.

StJude-FMA-a      StJude-FMA-b      StJude-FMA-c      StJude-FMA-d

StJude-NatlShr-StA-StJ-a      StJude-NatlShr-StA-StJ-b      DSJS-StJ-a      DSJS-StJ-b

Contact information

Prayer leaflet R36 is from Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598.  The two prayer cards are from the National Shrine of St. Anthony and
St. Jude (Providence, RI) and the Dominican Shrine in Chicago, respectively.

October 28, 2013

Lord, help me to be the person you have called me to be— to step out in faith and share your love with the world.  St. Jude, pray for us! (the Word among us, October 2013, p. 48).


National Shrine of St. Jude – Our Lady of Guadalupe Church – Chicago

Links of interest…  Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus…  National Shrine of St. Jude (Claretians): ecards / facebook / novena / petitions / schedule / virtual tour / why pray the novena…  Shrines now under auspices of Congregation for the Promotion of the New Evangelization…  St. Jude: about / armed (online article) / faith & intercession / in suffering & desperate timesnovena / Oct 28 / prayerthank-you’s

WP posts…  Forever grateful…  Prayer power…  Revisiting St. Simon…  St. Anthony Claret…  St. Jude novena (Dominicans)…  St. Jude shrine: Chicago (Claretian) & Corpus Christi

Simple yet profound


Traditions are accepted unquestioningly and become as natural as breathing and blinking, but I’ve had a lifelong preoccupation with why we cross ourselves three times before the gospel is read.

Crossing oneself

Although I’m not one with roaming eyeballs in church— Mom was adamant about that— I’ve observed variations of the triple crossing before the gospel.  Some dot the four edges of the cross on their forehead, mouth, and heart, while others make the sign of the cross with their thumb.  I’ve also noticed that, while no one struggles to get it right, some perform the ritual so gracefully that it’s elegantly genuine.

With countless observations in the field I was ready.  Sooo, in 2005, I took the plunge.

If I make the ritual uniquely mine, it’ll make sense to me. 

I felt awkward at first— actually, for some time— but practice has its perks.  I’m okay with it now; but every single time before the gospel’s read, the simple act of crossing myself three times still makes me self-conscious.

Do others fumble with the ritual as I have?  Or are they perfectly at ease with the tradition? 

How can something so simple be so complex?

Perfect explanation

Until yesterday when I received Father Brummel’s weekly devotion from the Claretian National Shrine of St. Jude, I’d never thought to ask, nor had anyone thought to explain, the significance of the triple crossing before the gospel is read during Mass.

“We make the sign of the cross over our forehead, lips, and heart… praying that God’s powerful Word might always be in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts.”


Father Brummel’s simple yet profound explanation was so insightful that I’m still smiling.

More to ponder

Only now, this inquiring mind is percolating another thought.

At Mass back home, the Alleluia is always sung before and after the gospel and is followed by the sign of the cross after the homily.  Is this not a universal practice?

Note: Only when the bishop is present during Mass is the Alleluia sung after the gospel (Fr. Frank Martinez, STL; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 7.22.17).


Behold the cross of the Lord!  Begone all evil powers!  The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has conquered!  Alleluia, alleluia! (St. Anthony).

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

O Father, your power is greater than all powers.  O Son, under your leadership we cannot fear anything.  O Spirit, under your protection there is nothing we cannot overcome (#72: Kikuyu, Kenya).

June 15, 2014

“Think of the Father as a root, and of the Son as a branch, and of the Spirit as a fruit; for the substance in these three is one” (St. John Damascus).

April 4, 2015

“His sign is the sign of the cross, the death that leads to transfiguration” (Fr. Robert Barron).

March 24, 2016

“The sign of the cross is a seal at sight of which the destroying angel passes on and does us no harm” (St. John Damascene de Boulogne).

April 21, 2016

When making the sign of the cross, therefore, we confess three great mysteries: the Trinity, the Passion, and the remission of sins by which we are moved from the left, the hand of the curse, to the right, the hand of blessing (St. Francis de Sales in The Sign of the Cross).

June 13, 2016

The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices.  He is also afraid when we are humble and good.  He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much.  He runs away when we make the sign of the cross (St. Anthony of Padua).

December 20, 2016

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.  Do not lose courage in considering you own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them— every day begin the task anew (St. Francis de Sales in The Sign of the Cross).

June 11, 2017

Lord Jesus Christ, who for the redemption of the world gave your life completely even unto death on a cross, we lift up your glorious cross as our sign of salvation.  Through your infinite love you transformed the hated cross, an instrument of humiliation and suffering, into the holy cross, a symbol of victory over the powers of sin and death.  For this reason, we wear the holy cross around our necks, hang the cross in our homes, and now sign ourselves with that cross.  [In] the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen (Stephen J. Binz in Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions).

April 6, 2017

“When making the Sign of the Cross, therefore, we confess three great mysteries: the Trinity, the Passion, and the remission of sins, by which we are moved from the left, the hand of the curse, to the right, the hand of blessing.”

—St. Francis de Sales, The Sign of the Cross


St. James Church – Bishop, TX

Links of interest…  100 prayers…  Ascension & our journey home…  Blessing your children…  Bored at Mass? A 7-step method to fix that…  Bowing at Mass…  Claretians: blog / faith reflections national shrine / prayers / videos (YT)…  Holy water: hidden poweruse, & why…  How geometry expresses Christian truths in art / to dispose of sacramentalswe fill our space…  John Adams & the Mass…  Kneeling ban: Good liturgy or loss of religious freedom…  Make Christ present, wherever you are…  Mystery of the beloved apostle…  Ritual & prayer are what we have in common…  Sacred vessels & linens used at Mass…  Sharing a faith with spectacular sinners…  Sign of the cross: 21 things we do / about / & our baptismbeautiful gesture / book / homilyhow to make (more) / our faith / significance / what is / why Catholics do this…  Spiritual power of church bells / significance of genuflecting…  St. Francis de Sales: Treatise on the love of God: bookebook (more) / quotessummary…  Symbolism of numbers…  Thomas à Kempis: Imitation of Christ…  Three powerful sacramentals for your home  We are all marked men & women…  What do the hand gestures in icons mean / does it matter if my rosary is blessed…  Where did the Bible come from…  Why Christians use the fish symbol / churches have columns / churches have Mary on the left & Joseph on the right / Catholics genuflectwe fold our hands in prayer / we pray “world without end”…  Yale offers free online courses in the Early Middle Ages

WP posts…  Church time blues…  Concrete abstraction…  Dear God…  Gifts…  October novena…  Our music…  Prayer power…  Seven dwelling places…  St. Anthony Claret…  St. Jude Shrine (Chicago)…  Two angels

St. Jude shrine

OLG61513-18The first Wednesday of the month is a special day of prayer at the National Shrine of St. Jude in Chicago.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and all those you love, especially those affected by cancer.  Throughout Wednesday’s liturgies…, we will pray in a special way for all those who suffer from cancer.  We invite you to join us today, and on the first Wednesday of every month, as we call upon St. Jude for the healing of cancer (National Shrine of
St. Jude).

Let’s all join in prayer for our loved ones— family and friends here and gone— to thank God for the many blessings, big and small, that he bestows on us daily.

OLG61513s-9        OLG61513s-10        OLG61513s-17


O holy St Jude, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, near kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor for all who invoke you, special patron in time of need: To you I have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you, to whom God has given such great power, to come to my assistance.  Help me now in my urgent need and grant my earnest petition.

I will never forget thy graces and favors you obtain for me, and I will do my utmost to spread devotion to you.  Amen.

St. Jude, pray for us and all who honor you and invoke your aid.

Pray three Our Father‘s, three Hail Mary’s, and three Glory be’s.


National Shrine of St. Jude – Our Lady of Guadalupe Church – Chicago


Links of interest…  Claretian: history / impact bloginitiativeorder / senior housing…  National Shrine of St. Jude: about / directions / home / novena schedule / prayers & eletters (free) / remembrance & healing / shrine / slideshow…  Prayers: devotions / litany / novena (more) / site

WP posts…  Forever grateful…  October novena…  Prayer power…  Revisiting St. Simon…  St. Anthony Claret…  St. Jude novena…  St. Jude shrine (Corpus Christi, TX)

Prayer power


“Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst” (Matthew 18:20).

Prayer works, and miracles do happen!!!

For the one who asks, receives.  The one who seeks, finds.  The one who knocks, enters (Matthew 7:7).

Please join the St. Jude Prayer Circle for the healing of cancer.

FMA-R-416a        FMA-R-416b        FMA-R-416c        FMA-R-416d

FMA-R4-13a        FMA-R4-13b        FMA-R4-13c        FMA-R4-13d

DRSSJ-6057A-a        DRSSJ-6057A-b        DRSSJ-6057A-c        DRSSJ-6057A-d

DSIP-StJ-a        DSIP-StJ-bc        DSIP-StJ-d

Contact information

St. Jude prayer leaflets are from Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598; the Dominican Rosary Shrine of St. Jude (formerly in Detroit), 501 Sixth Street SW, Washington, DC 20024-2716; and the Dominican Shrine of the Infant of Prague, 5 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, 06511-6815, respectively.

August 3, 2012

“The value of persistent prayer is not that God will hear us, but that we will finally hear God” (William McGill).

July 19, 2014

Prayer is an aspiration of the heart; it is a simple glance directed to heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus (St Thérèse of Lisieux).

April 28, 2015

“He who fights even the smallest distractions faithfully when he says even the smallest prayer will also be faithful in great things” (St. Louis De Montfort).

May 18, 2015

“Prayer is an outburst from the heart, a simple glance darted upward to heaven”
(St Thérèse of Lisieux).

July 11, 2015

“Prayer ought to be short and pure, unless it be prolonged by the inspiration of divine grace” (St. Benedict Joseph Labre).

August 16, 2015

Prayer gives us strength for great ideals, for keeping up our faith, charity, purity, generosity; prayer gives us strength to rise up from indifference and guilt, if we have had the misfortune to give in to temptation and weakness.  Prayer gives us light by which to see and to judge from God’s perspective and from eternity.  That is why you must not give up on praying! (St. John Paul II).

October 30, 2015

An aspiration, like prayer in general, is an elevation of the mind to God.  But it is an elevation that is impelled by love, composed of only a few words, and directed like a dart to God, that he may know the holy affections and desires of the soul.  Like arrows that shoot directly toward their target, these prayers leap, as it were, from the soul directly to God (Fr. Kilian J. Healy, Awakening Your Soul to the Presence of God).

August 1, 2017

Prayer does not end but continues progressing toward greater integration and deeper intimacy with the divine.  Like dancing, the more frequently prayer is practiced, the more graceful and integrated its movement and rhythm become.

The intimacy and the love shared between the lover and the beloved, radiating from each and every moment of the dance, illuminate the relationship in its beauty.  Such a beauty in turn inspires, attracts, and draws others to join in the dance.  Therefore, prayer proceeding from the individual naturally flows out to touch and to enliven the community (Robert J. Wicks in Prayer in the Catholic Tradition).

August 22, 2017

Christian prayer is meant to be profoundly whole— body and soul, affection and thought, heart and understanding.  Such prayer leads to courage, the movement toward reconciliation with God, the beginning of a pilgrimage to our Father’s house (Dr. Anthony Lillies in Fire from Above: Christian Contemplation and Mystical Wisdom).


Links of interest…  Does prayer change God’s mind…  Dominican Rosary Shrine of St. Jude…  Five prayers…  Friends of St. Peregrine (Scotland): homepage / relic…  Claretian National Shrine of St. Jude: home / solemn novena…  Hope for eternal joy…  Go ahead & ask…  Listen for the Spirit in your prayer…  Prayer: & devotions to the Blessed Mother / & seasons / for all occasions (AMM) / for the sick / healing / in time of suffering / little book of caregiver prayers / more / morning & new beginningsof a grateful heart / online prayer book / ten ways to grow in prayer / treasure of 3,398 / why we must pray…  Praying to the saints: gracious advocates / heavenly intercessors / intercessory prayer / litanies / novenas (221) / why pray to the saints…  Recognize the power of prayer…  Suffering with joy

WP posts…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Blue heaven…  Call of service…  Church time blues…  Forever grateful…  Growing pains…  Healing service…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  Memorable as ever…  October novena…  One prayer…  Powerful intercessor…  Prayerful ways…  Prayers and blessings…  Revisiting St. Simon…  Saintly connections…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony Claret…  St. Jude novena…  St. Jude shrine: Chicago (Claretian) & Corpus Christi…  Stella Maris…  Sweet Jesus…  Today’s beatitudes…  Two angels