O, Mary, Patroness of the Un-born, pray for us! Please keep praying for the end to abortion in our country!
Last week, I mentioned the reality that all of us have family members, loved ones and friends who have left the Faith, or
have become lukewarm. And when we contemplate the critical importance of living in accord with the Catholic Church
teachings, our hearts literally ache. I shared some suggestions; several things that we can do that have been
recommended by Chris Stewart of “Casting Net Ministries”, and that these are things that we can (and must) do, to help
bring them back to the Church. Below are some additional suggestions:
Sacrificial Giving –offer up your time, talent and treasure for your loved ones, in other words live as a steward for them.
As the Archangel Raphael declared, “Almsgiving delivers from death, and it will purge away every sin” (Tob 12:9) or
using the analogy of water putting out fire so does giving do for sins (cf. Sir 3:30). Let me be clear before I say anything
here, no one can buy their way into heaven; the Church has clearly spoken on that issue. We fall into these extremes
because we do not understand that almsgiving is not simply a “donation” or “tax write-off” but instead it is a prayer.
Almsgiving is an act of worship, “an excellent offering in the presence of the Most High” (Tob 4:11). Next time you are
writing your offertory “tithe” check… put someone’s name in the memo or envelope, offer them up with your
“prayer”, your “worship”, your “sacrificial gift.”
Pray – I mentioned fasting last week, and Our Lord Himself has told us that many of our prayerful endeavors require
not only prayer but prayer combined with fasting. Obviously, you have been praying, but this year let us pray with a
new energy characterized by Confidence. When God’s Chosen People betrayed Him by worshiping a cow made of a
precious medal, Moses prayed to the Lord. The Lord listened to Moses’ prayer of intercession, His anger was abated,
and mercy was granted (cf. Deut 9:18-20). Have confidence that what you desire (Salvation for the lost) is exactly what
our Heavenly Father desires as well (cf. 1 Tim 2:4). Since that is true “this is the confidence which we have in Him, that
if we ask anything according to His Will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know
that we have obtained the requests made of Him” (1 Jn 5:14,15).
Adore – we are very blessed in our parish, where Adoration of the exposed Real Presence of Jesus is made available to
us for 31 straight hours, beginning every Friday morning at 9 o’clock. It goes without saying, that a Holy Hour spent
before the Exposed Real Presence of Christ, provides a highly effective amplification for our prayers and obviously
deepens our relationship with our Savior and our own Personal Peace.
Holy Mass – offer up every Holy Mass that you can for your loved ones. Mass is the greatest prayer we have because it
is a re-presentation of the very sacrificial act that granted every grace and mercy to humanity. When you are at Mass
imagine offering up your loved ones on the altar with the bread and wine. Just as the Holy Spirit turns bread and wine
into something completely new, ask the Spirit to transform your loved ones. In our Catholic Faith we have a tradition of
having priests offer Masses for the deceased. This also is a highly encouraged devotion, but we can also have Masses
said for the living. In fact, the Saints have told us that Masses said for us while we are alive are worth even more.
Mama Mary – we need to get the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth on the case. The Woman that said
“Yes” to the Incarnation; and requested the first public miracle of Christ; and stood at the Cross; and prayed with the
Apostles calling the Holy Spirit to come upon the Church…Mary continues to play a role in bringing the lost home. If
you have yet to do a Consecration to Jesus Christ, through Mary, I highly encourage you to do so. (If you would like
some guidance in that regard, please call me.) Place your prayers for your loved ones into Mary’s Immaculate hands
asking Her to bring them to Her Divine Son.
Give Thanks – thanksgiving should be a natural part of every Christian’s life. Jesus said, “I tell you, whatever you ask
in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and you will” (Mk 11:24). Since that is true…then we should go ahead and
offer thanksgiving for this great gift. Now this is not to suggest that it is wrong to cry or feel pain over our lost loved
ones, Christ wept for Lazarus even though He knew what He was going to do (cf. Jn 11:35). It is to encourage a thankful
heart. Thank the Lord for all the ways He is moving in the life of our loved ones in ways that we cannot even perceive
yet (cf. Is 43:19) because He is always working towards our good (cf. Jer 29:11).
Hopefully, these will prove helpful, and please remember that Belief and Confidence are critically important elements
for our prayers and petitions. Christ told us that, over and over again. If you would like to discuss your personal
situations further, please feel free to contact me.
Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us,