Author: FrancisMary

Saint Padre Pio’s Prayer To Cast Out Fear, Even Fear of Death

Saint Padre Pio’s Prayer To Cast Out Fear, Even Fear of Death

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers. I need You.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes;
death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength,
so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You.

It is getting late and death approaches,
I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows.
O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers. I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread,
so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness,
the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You,
if not by communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it,
but the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You!

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for,
Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit,
because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.

With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth
and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen

What’s the difference between the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed?

What’s the difference between the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed?

Or, as they are commonly referred to, the “short Creed” and the “long Creed.”

When attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, the congregation joins together in reciting a Profession of Faith after the homily. This is also known as the Creed, from the Latin word credo, meaning “I believe.”

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal explains the purpose of the Creed embedded in the Mass.

The purpose of the Creed or Profession of Faith is that the whole gathered people may respond to the Word of God proclaimed in the readings taken from Sacred Scripture and explained in the Homily and that they may also honor and confess the great mysteries of the faith by pronouncing the rule of faith in a formula approved for liturgical use and before the celebration of these mysteries in the Eucharist begins.

In other words, the Creed is a much longer “Amen” to everything that was said in the Liturgy of the Word and an affirmation of what is about to unfold in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It is a personal and collective assent, proclaiming to all present that you believe in the foundational beliefs of the Catholic faith.

The Church, in her wisdom, has selected two different Creeds that can be recited during the Mass: the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed. The instruction in the Missal states, “Instead of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, especially during Lent and Easter time, the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church, known as the Apostles’ Creed, may be used.” The decision of which Creed to use is up to the priest and local bishop.

Both Creeds are ancient and have roots that can be traced to the very beginnings of the Church.

The Nicene Creed is strictly speaking the “Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed” and was first developed following the First Council of Nicaea in 325. It was held to combat a theological error called Arianism (from its principal proponent, a priest named Arius) that denied the divinity of Christ. A Creed was developed to affirm the teachings of the Church and was further refined at the First Council of Constantinople in 381. It expanded on previous Creeds in order to be more precise in what the Church believed.

Before the Nicene Creed there existed many other early Creeds, often called a symbolon in Greek. According to Edward Sri, a symbolon had great meaning in the ancient world.

In the early Church, Christians described their Creed, their summary statement of faith, as the symbolon, the “seal” or “symbol of the faith.” In the ancient world, the Greek word symbolon typically described an object like a piece of parchment, a seal, or a coin that was cut in half and given to two parties. It served as a means of recognition and confirmed a relationship between the two. When the halves of the symbolon were reassembled, the owner’s identity was verified and the relationship confirmed. In like manner, the Creed served as a means of Christian recognition. Someone who confessed the Creed could be identified as a true Christian. Moreover, they were assured that what they professed in the Creed brought them into unity with the faith the Apostles originally proclaimed.

The Apostles’ Creed grew out of that ancient tradition and according to legend, the Apostles themselves each wrote a portion of that Creed on Pentecost. While scholars have debated for centuries the authenticity of such a claim, many believe that at the very least, a form of the Apostles’ Creed was written during the 2nd century and was based on an outline from the apostolic age.

Both Creeds essentially say the same thing, with one being more precise (Nicene) and the other summarizing the faith in fewer words (Apostles’). The purpose of each one is the same, affirming the faith and proclaiming before all what we believe.

A wandering hermit with a checkered past leading thousands to heaven: Charles de Foucauld

A wandering hermit with a checkered past leading thousands to heaven: Charles de Foucauld

Heir to a great fortune spent on women and fine food, sparked to faith by the example of Muslims, led to the desert to find Christ, shot dead after failure followed failure.

Viscount Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) was born the heir to a great fortune, but when he was only 5 years old he was orphaned. Left in the care of a loving grandfather, Charles became insufferably spoiled. His laziness and inclination to throw tantrums weren’t much diminished by age, and his anger at God soon made him an avowed agnostic.

Having turned his back on God, Charles later described himself at 15 as “all egotism, vanity, impiety, with every desire for evil.” With a fortune awaiting him and no moral compass to speak of, he became consumed by desire for sensual pleasure.

Charles lived a raucous life, though while his grandfather lived he showed some restraint. But In 1878 his grandfather died, and Charles inherited a vast fortune. From then on, there was nothing to stem his lascivious behavior; indeed, he seemed to delight in scandalizing the people around him. He was even known to tell his mistresses, “I rent by the day, not the month.”

Though his financial and social standing protected him from any real consequences for his debauchery, even the French Army had its limits. When Charles was sent to Algeria and insisted on bringing his mistress, he was given an ultimatum: send her back or lose your commission. Charles refused to leave his lover, though it seems this was more out of willfulness than out of love, as he tossed her aside soon after.

After that taste of Algeria, Africa was in the young nobleman’s blood. Charles later got permission to rejoin the army, then spent a year exploring Morocco, disguised as a wandering Jew so that he could visit villages no European had ever entered.

All this time, though Charles had everything the world could offer, he was hungry. He sought to fill his empty soul with fine food, women, even knowledge and academic accolades, but nothing was enough. Meanwhile, the Muslims he met in Africa lived with deep devotion; Charles was impressed by their dedication and began to seek.

After returning to France, Charles stopped in to the Church of St. Augustine for a moment to ask the priest a question. Finding Father in the confessional, he was quickly persuaded to make his confession. There, in that moment, the Holy Spirit brought about a miracle of conversion (doubtless through the intercession of St. Augustine himself). “The moment I realized that God existed,” de Foucauld later wrote, “I knew I could not do otherwise than to live for him alone.”

Though his soul had finally come home, his life would continue to be one of wandering. He spent seven years as a Trappist, then several more as a gardener to the Poor Clares, With every step, the Lord was refining in him a desire to be simple and poor, to come to others with no agenda other than love.

In 1901, at 42, Charles was ordained a priest and returned to the Sahara. There in Algeria, miles and miles from the nearest Christian, Fr. Charles sought to love the Algerian people so well that they would come to know Jesus, saying, “’I would like to be sufficiently good that people would say, ‘If such is the servant, what must the Master be like?’” Nobody converted. He hoped to found a religious order with an apostolate of friendship. Nobody joined him.

But since Fr. Charles was in the desert, Jesus was there, too, present above all in the Eucharist Fr. Charles spent so many hours adoring. That was what he was doing when the raiders rode up. They seized him and demanded that he recite the Shahada. When he refused to apostatize, he was tossed aside. Later, a young guard was startled and accidentally discharged his weapon; the shot hit Fr. Charles and left him dead.

Three weeks later, a detachment of French soldiers came to see to the priest’s proper burial. There in the sand, they saw a glint of gold: the monstrance, with the Body of Christ within. The commander mounted his horse and held the monstrance before him, riding at the head of the company in a 25-mile Eucharistic procession through the Islamic desert.

There, in death, Fr. Charles began to achieve the success that was never his in life. In the 20 years after he died, three different religious orders were founded on his spirituality, with several more since. Today, thousands of people have been converted and thousands more strengthened in their faith through the witness and intercession of a wandering hermit with a checkered past.

Blessed Charles de Foucauld was given meaning and peace after a life of emptiness, all because he came to know Jesus. On December 1, his feast day, let’s ask his intercession for all who seek fulfillment without Christ, that they would come to know him in a way that fills their hearts with deep, abiding joy. Blessed Charles de Foucauld, pray for us!

Some Pope Francis’ Heartfelt Requests to Mother Mary

Some Pope Francis’ Heartfelt Requests to Mother Mary

Above all, Mother, show us Jesus, and teach us to do what He tells us.

On May 8, Argentina celebrates the solemnity of Our Lady of Luján, the country’s patroness. This month of May is a good opportunity to look back to some of the prayers of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—during homilies on the feast day and pilgrimages to the shrine of Luján. Here are some of those prayers, somewhat adapted and abridged.

Live as brothers

Mother, teach us to take care of each other, just as you take care of us. We come to you to express this need—not a desire, but a need. Mother, we need to live as brothers. And so, we ask you to uproot all the weeds of discord, envy, hate, and violence that could be in our hearts. We ask you for the grace of remembering how to live as brothers. We ask you, Mother of Grace, to teach us to care for one another, because we are Your flesh and blood. October 1, 2006

May all be loved

Mother, we want a country with room for everyone. May there not be “superfluous,” excluded, or exploited people. May no one be disregarded or scorned. May hate never grow among us. May the bitter, fatal weed of resentment never take root in our heart. We are in your hands; never let go of us. We know in whom we have placed our trust. October 3, 2010

Help us to take care of life

Beloved Mother, we pray to you for all your children. May they not be left alone and abandoned; may they always find a place in your home … We ask you to help us imitate you, caring for every life. May we learn to be silent, so we can contemplate—as you do—your children, who are our brothers. May we, who are here in your house, consecrate ourselves to you once again, so that we may never be lacking in your love, that love that takes care of every life. Mother, help us to take care of life. All together, three times, may we ask you: “Mother, help us to care for life. Mother, help us to care for life. Mother, help us to care for life.”

Consecration of the city

Dear Virgin of Luján, our Mother, I consecrate this city and every one of your children to your Immaculate Heart. You know us well, and we know that you love us very much. I ask you to look upon each and every one of us. I pray to you for every family in this city. I pray for our children and our elderly; for our sick; for those who are alone; for those who are in prison; for those who are hungry and those who don’t have a job. I pray for those who have lost hope; for those without faith. I also pray to you for those who govern us, and for those who teach. Mother, I ask you to care for all of us with tenderness, and to share your strength with us. We are your children. We place ourselves under your protection. We trust in your maternal Heart, and we consecrate to you all that we are and all that we have. Above all, Mother, show us Jesus, and teach us to do what He tells us. Amen. June 1, 2001

Mother, teach us to listen

Mother, we ask you to help us to conquer anything within us that keeps us from empathizing with others. Mother, we ask you to teach us to be silent so we can be open to those who need to tell us about their lives, often full of suffering. Mother, we ask you to make us like your Son, patient and compassionate, when we listen to the lives of those around us. October 5, 2008

Strengthen our hope

Mother, strengthen our hope. May our hope not be taken from us. Dear Mother, all of your children ask you: never release us from your hand. Look upon your children, who are traveling towards you. Look upon them and accompany them. Help them to follow in the footsteps of your Son, so that together, we may build a nation of brothers. Mother, help us. We are in your hands. May our hope not be taken from us! May your gaze strengthen our hope! October 4, 2009

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