Author: FrancisMary

Story Behind The Hymn, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”

Story Behind The Hymn, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Story

When teenager Isaac Watts complained to his father about the monotonous way Christians in England sang the Old Testament Psalms, his father, a leading deacon, snapped back ‘All right young man, you give us something better.’

To Isaac Watts, the singing of God’s praise was the form of worship nearest to Heaven and he went on to argue: ‘It’s performance among us is the worst on earth.’

Young Isaac accepted his father’s challenge and eventually wrote a total of more than 600 hymns, earning him the title ‘The father of English hymnody.’

Even as a child Isaac had shown a passion for poetry, rhyming and such mundane things as everyday conversation. His serious-minded father, after several warnings, decided to spank the rhyming nonsense out of his son. But the tearful Isaac helplessly replied,
‘Oh father do some pity take,
and I will no more verses make.’

However, choirs, congregations and individual Christians rejoice to this day that the young lad did not keep his impromptu promise.

If he had, none of us would have the thrill of singing such all-time favourites as “Oh God Our Help In Ages Past,” “Am I A Soldier Of The Cross” or “Joy To The World.”

As a child, Isaac Watts was sickly and unattractive, yet, even by today’s standards he was clever beyond his years. He began the study of Latin at the age of four, and added Greek when he was nine, French at eleven and Hebrew at thirteen.

At fifteen the young poet turned his talents to the service of the church and the great career in hymn-writing began.

In his hymns Isaac Watts takes the Word of God, of which he must have been a diligent student, and distils it so that all is wisdom, beauty and comfort are set before us with plainness and power. No wonder, then, that C.H. Spurgeon’s grandfather, himself a great preacher, and in the line of the Puritans, would have nothing else but the hymns of Isaac Watts sung in his services.

Isaac Watt’s greatest composition must surely be “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”
It has been called ‘The very best hymn in the English language’ and in it Watts, using only 16 lines, paints a soul-stirring picture of the Saviour’s death on the cross coupled with the whole-hearted response of the believer to such amazing love.

As Tedd Smith says ‘It seems to me that Isaac Watts wrote this text as if he were standing at the foot of Christ’s cross.’

How blessed to reflect on the finished work of Christ Jesus, as summed up in those lines:

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

And how enriching to be able to voice our reconsecration to the Lord’s service in the words:

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Bible Verse

Galatians 6:14 “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

St. Michael Prayer For Personal Protection – Pray NOW

St. Michael Prayer For Personal Protection – Pray NOW

A powerful alternative to the traditional St. Michael prayer many are familiar with.

St. Michael the Archangel is an angel who is clearly associated in the Bible with protection and spiritual warfare. He is one who leads the heavenly army to defeat Satan in the book of Revelation, and he is traditionally believed to be the angel who guided the Hebrew people out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and into the Promised Land.

Throughout the centuries the Church has confirmed this special role appointed to St. Michael by God, most clearly in the St. Michael Prayer that was composed by Pope Leo XIII.

There are also many other prayers in the spiritual treasury of the Church that invoke St. Michael’s protection, including the following prayer that invokes his spiritual aid. It is a powerful prayer, one that can also be prayed in addition to the traditional prayer of Leo XIII.

Saint Michael, the Archangel, Glorious Prince, chief and champion of the heavenly hosts; guardian of the souls of men; conqueror of the rebel angels! How beautiful art thou, in thy heaven-made armor. We love thee, dear Prince of Heaven! We, thy happy clients, yearn to enjoy thy special protection. Obtain for us from God a share of thy sturdy courage; pray that we may have a strong and tender love for our Redeemer and, in every danger or temptation, be invincible against the enemy of our souls. O standard-bearer of our salvation! Be with us in our last moments and when our souls quit this earthly exile, carry them safely to the judgment seat of Christ, and may Our Lord and Master bid thee bear us speedily to the kingdom of eternal bliss. Teach us ever to repeat the sublime cry: “Who is like unto God?” Amen.

The Horror Facing Catholics in Nicaragua

The Horror Facing Catholics in Nicaragua

MORE REASONS WHY REPARATION AND AMENDMENT OF LIFE IS NEEDED NOW…

The horror facing Catholics in Nicaragua: attacks, arson, desecration
JULY 20, 2018 BY DEACON GREG KANDRA

As violent oppression continues to rise in Nicaragua, with at least 10 people killed on Sunday, Catholic bishops have called for a day of prayer and fasting for July 20 “as an act of atonement for the profanation carried out in recent months against God.”

On that day, the bishops said, “We will pray the prayer of exorcism to St. Michael Archangel.”

Recent developments that led the bishops to issue the call include:

On Tuesday, according to the auxiliary bishop of Managua, the country’s capital, the neighborhood of Monimbo in the southeast city of Masaya was under attack. He said gunfire reached the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, where a Catholic priest was seeking refuge.
On Saturday, the Divine Mercy Church in Managua was under siege for 16 hours. It had become a refuge for students who, while protesting at a nearby university, were attacked by pro-government forces. Pictures posted to social media showed the church had been pockmarked by bullets.
On Sunday, the car of a bishop was shot at as he was on his way to the northern city of Nindiri, where he had hoped to stop an attack by the military. He wasn’t wounded, but the tires and windows of the car were destroyed.
On the same day, the house of a priest in Masaya was ransacked by the police. Belongings were taken with no explanation given.
On Monday, a center of the papal charity Caritas was set aflame in the northern city of Sébaco.
On July 9, a cardinal, a bishop and the papal representative were among clergy from Managua attacked as they attempted to protect St. Sebastian Basilica in the nearby city of Diriamba from a pro-government mob.
The list, though incomplete, serves as an illustration of the situation under President Daniel Ortega and his wife, the country’s vice president, who’ve labeled the Catholic Church as public enemy number one, amid a crisis that exploded in April with widespread protests against a social security reform plan that was never implemented.

“In Nicaragua, amidst this reality of violence, manifestations of evil are expressing themselves in this irrational and disproportionate violence,” said Father Boanerges Carballo, Managua’s episcopal vicar for pastoral affairs.

Yesterday, the brief video below, showing an apparent desecration of a tabernacle and consecrated hosts, appeared on social media with the explanation: “This was done today in Nicaragua – The priest posted a quick video for his bishop. Please pray. Heartbreaking.” It’s unclear where, exactly, this originated. (Please be patient. It may take a moment to load.)

Pray for the people of Nicaragua, their priests, their bishops. Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, pray for us!

Don’t Be Afraid or Ashamed To Go To Confession Says Pope Francis

Don’t Be Afraid or Ashamed To Go To Confession Says Pope Francis

Trusting in God’s infinite mercy, people should not be afraid or embarrassed to go to confession, Pope Francis said.

“There are people who are afraid to go to confession, forgetting that they will not encounter a severe judge there, but the immensely merciful Father,” Pope Francis told thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square Aug. 2 for the midday recitation of the Angelus prayer.

The pope also told the people gathered under a scalding sun that “when we go to confession, we feel a bit ashamed. That happens to all of us, but we must remember that this shame is a grace that prepares us for the embrace of the Father, who always forgives and always forgives everything.”

In his main address the pope commented on the day’s Gospel reading from the Gospel of St. John, which recounts how the crowds followed Jesus after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

“Those people followed him for the material bread that had placated their hunger the day before,” Francis said. “They didn’t understand that that bread, broken for many, was the expression of the love of Jesus.”

“They gave more value to the bread than to the giver,” the pope said.

Feeding the crowd, he said, Jesus wanted to lead people to the Father and to a life that was about more than just “the daily worries of eating, dressing, success or a career.”

Every person has within him or her a hunger for life, for meaning and for eternity, Francis said. Jesus satisfies that hunger with the gift of himself on the cross and in the Eucharist.

“Jesus does not eliminate preoccupations and the search for daily bread,” the pope said. However, “Jesus reminds us that the real meaning of our earthly existence is the end — eternity — the encounter with him, who is gift and giver.”

In giving himself, Pope Francis said, Jesus also gives people a task: “that we, in turn, satisfy the spiritual and material hunger of our brothers and sisters by proclaiming the Gospel everywhere.”

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