Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?


Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."

To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."


As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."


Litany of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 31, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit Order), and author of the “Spiritual Exercises.” His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, ad majorem Dei gloriam“for the greater glory of God.”

Today, on his feast day, we pray the Litany of Ignatius of Loyola.




Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.


Christ, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.


Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.


Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.


God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.


Queen of the Society of Jesus, pray for us.
St. Joseph, Heavenly patron of the Society of Jesus, pray for us.

St. Ignatius, most devoted to the Blessed Trinity, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, devoted son to our eternal Father, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, oracle of the Holy Spirit, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, lover of Our Lord, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, loyal knight of Our Lady, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, standard bearer of the King of kings, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, whose only ambition was to promote. the Kingdom of Christ and the greater glory of God, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, burning with zeal for the conversion of the heathen, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, eagerly longing to rescue the Holy Land from the infidel, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, intrepid foe of heresy and of the enemies of Christ's Church, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, valiant and faithful champion of the Vicar of Christ, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, "insignis" companion of Jesus, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, our most loving father, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, glorious example to thy sons, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, like Our Lord in thy humility, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, like Our Lord in thy modesty, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, like Our Lord in thy obscurity, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, like Our Lord in constant labors, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, like Our Lord in sympathy for the weak, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, like Our Lord in thy courage, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, consumed with a great desire for humiliation with Our Lord, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, constant in the practice of corporal penance, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, staunch defender of poverty as the firm wall of religion, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, lover of angelic purity and innocence, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, skilled master in the school of holy obedience, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, living always in God's presence, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, model of interior peace, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, inspired writer of the Spiritual Exercises, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, patron of all retreats and retreat houses, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, victorious over the powers of darkness, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, holy father of many Saints and Martyrs, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, model of fervor to all priests, pray for us.
St. Ignatius, burning with seraphic love at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, pray for us.


That we may become true sons and daughters of our Holy Father, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That we may increase in knowledge and love and imitation of Thee, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That we may excel in perfect obedience, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That we may become people of prayer, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That we may drink deeply from that fountain of truly divine wisdom, the Spiritual Exercises, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That in our mental prayer we may ever be faithful to the teaching of St. Ignatius, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That our hearts may be detached from every creature and fixed solely and immovably upon the blessed will of God, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That worldliness may have no part in our lives, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That we may have the grace to understand and defeat all the wiles and snares of Satan, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That like St. Ignatius we may order our life and our work with supernatural prudence, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That we may always be Thy energetic and enthusiastic companions, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That the purity of our lives ever be a living proof of our devotion to the Mother of God, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That we may be holy and unspotted in God's sight in charity, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That we may embrace the world in our apostolic zeal for the salvation of souls, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.
That we may have the gift of attracting all hearts to Thy love and service, we beseech Thee, Lord, to hear us.




Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us, O Lord.


Pray for us, Saint Ignatius,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.




O God, Who in Thy most merciful Providence didst call Thy faithful servant, Ignatius of Loyola, to a life of the most exalted sanctity in the very close imitation of Thy Divine Son, grant, we beseech Thee, that through his powerful intercession, we may persevere in following in the footsteps of this Thy servant until we breathe forth our souls to Thee as faithful followers of Christ Our King. Amen.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola: From the "Spiritual Exercises"

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 31, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit Order), and author of the “Spiritual Exercises”-- a manual for training the soul to grow nearer to God.

“The Exercises are the fountain of your spirituality and the matrix of your Constitutions, but they are also a gift that the Spirit of the Lord has made to the entire Church: it is for you to continue to make it a precious and efficacious instrument for spiritual growth of souls…..” --Pope Benedict XVI, February 2008

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola are a month-long program of meditations, prayers, considerations, and contemplative practices that help Catholic faith become more fully alive in the everyday life of contemporary people. It is set out in a brief manual or handbook: sparse, taciturn, and practical. It presents a formulation of Ignatius' spirituality in a series of prayer exercises, thought experiments, and examinations of consciousness—designed to help a retreatant (usually with the aid of a spiritual director) to experience a deeper conversion into life with God in Christ, to allow our personal stories to be interpreted by being subsumed in a Story of God.

The Spiritual Exercises are divided into a series of four "stages”—with accompanying prayer, visualizations, reflections, and spiritual exercises for each week. These four movements include consideration of God's generosity and mercy and the complex reality of human sin; an imagining of the life and public ministry of Jesus, His proclamation of the Gospel, His sayings and parables, His teachings and His miracles; and of Jesus' last days, His arrest and interrogation, whipping, public mockery, Passion, crucifixion and death; and then, of Jesus’ Resurrection, His Ascension, and the pouring-forth of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and Christ’s continued life in the world through the Spirit today and in the Messianic People.
The four stages have been summed up as:

1. to reform what has been deformed by sin;
2. to make what is thus reformed conform to the Divine model, Jesus;
3. to strengthen what thus conforms'
4. to transform by love the already strengthened resolutions.


From the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola


From the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises:

The First Principle and Foundation

The goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into
us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God,
presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all of these gifts of God
insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
they displace God
and so hinder our growth toward our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
and are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
a deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better
leads to the deepening of God's life in me.



From the end of the Spiritual Exercises:

Take, Lord, and Receive
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, and my entire will.
All I have and call my own.
Whatever I have or hold, you have given me.
I return it all to you and surrender it wholly
to be governed by your will.
Give me only your love and your grace
and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.


To have the true sentiment which we ought to have in the Church… Let the following Rules be observed:

First Rule. The first: All judgment laid aside, we ought to have our mind ready and prompt to obey, in all, the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our holy Mother the Church Hierarchical.


Second Rule. The second: To praise confession to a Priest, and the reception of the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar once in the year, and much more each month, and much better from week to week, with the conditions required and due.


Third Rule. The third: To praise the hearing of Mass often, likewise hymns, psalms, and long prayers, in the church and out of it; likewise the hours set at the time fixed for each Divine Office and for all prayer and all Canonical Hours.


Fourth Rule. The fourth: To praise much Religious Orders, virginity and continence, and not so much marriage as any of these.


Fifth Rule. The fifth: To praise vows of Religion, of obedience, of poverty, of chastity and of other perfections of supererogation. And it is to be noted that as the vow is about the things which approach to Evangelical perfection, a vow ought not to be made in the things which withdraw from it, such as to be a merchant, or to be married, etc.


Sixth Rule. To praise relics of the Saints, giving veneration to them and praying to the Saints; and to praise Stations, pilgrimages, Indulgences, pardons, Cruzadas, and candles lighted in the churches.


Seventh Rule. To praise Constitutions about fasts and abstinence, as of Lent, Ember Days, Vigils, Friday and Saturday; likewise penances, not only interior, but also exterior.

Eighth Rule. To praise the ornaments and the buildings of churches; likewise images, and to venerate them according to what they represent.


Ninth Rule. Finally, to praise all precepts of the Church, keeping the mind prompt to find reasons in their defense and in no manner against them.


Tenth Rule. We ought to be more prompt to find good and praise as well the Constitutions and recommendations as the ways of our Superiors. Because, although some are not or have not been such, to speak against them, whether preaching in public or discoursing before the common people, would rather give rise to fault-finding and scandal than profit; and so the people would be incensed against their Superiors, whether temporal or spiritual. So that, as it does harm to speak evil to the common people of Superiors in their absence, so it can make profit to speak of the evil ways to the persons themselves who can remedy them.


Eleventh Rule. To praise positive and scholastic learning. Because, as it is more proper to the Positive Doctors, as St. Jerome, St. Augustine and St. Gregory, etc., to move the heart to love and serve God our Lord in everything; so it is more proper to the Scholastics, as St. Thomas, St. Bonaventure, and to the Master of the Sentences, etc., to define or explain for our times the things necessary for eternal salvation; and to combat and explain better all errors and all fallacies. For the Scholastic Doctors, as they are more modern, not only help themselves with the true understanding of the Sacred Scripture and of the Positive and holy Doctors, but also, they being enlightened and clarified by the Divine virtue, help themselves by the Councils, Canons and Constitutions of our holy Mother the Church.


Twelfth Rule. We ought to be on our guard in making comparison of those of us who are alive to the blessed passed away, because error is committed not a little in this; that is to say, in saying, this one knows more than St. Augustine; he is another, or greater than, St. Francis; he is another St. Paul in goodness, holiness, etc.


Thirteenth Rule. To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Bride, there is the same Spirit which governs and directs us for the salvation of our souls. Because by the same Spirit and our Lord Who gave the ten Commandments, our holy Mother the Church is directed and governed.


Fourteenth Rule. Although there is much truth in the assertion that no one can save himself without being predestined and without having faith and grace; we must be very cautious in the manner of speaking and communicating with others about all these things.


Fifteenth Rule. We ought not, by way of custom, to speak much of predestination; but if in some way and at some times one speaks, let him so speak that the common people may not come into any error, as sometimes happens, saying: Whether I have to be saved or condemned is already determined, and no other thing can now be, through my doing well or ill; and with this, growing lazy, they become negligent in the works which lead to the salvation and the spiritual profit of their souls.


Sixteenth Rule. In the same way, we must be on our guard that by talking much and with much insistence of faith, without any distinction and explanation, occasion be not given to the people to be lazy and slothful in works, whether before faith is formed in charity or after.


Seventeenth Rule. Likewise, we ought not to speak so much with insistence on grace that the poison of discarding liberty be engendered. So that of faith and grace one can speak as much as is possible with the Divine help for the greater praise of His Divine Majesty, but not in such way, nor in such manners, especially in our so dangerous times, that works and free will receive any harm, or be held for nothing.


Eighteenth Rule. Although serving God our Lord much out of pure love is to be esteemed above all; we ought to praise much the fear of His Divine Majesty, because not only filial fear is a thing pious and most holy, but even servile fear -- when the man reaches nothing else better or more useful -- helps much to get out of mortal sin. And when he is out, he easily comes to filial fear, which is all acceptable and grateful to God our Lord: as being at one with the Divine Love.


July 31: Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Posted by Jacob

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty,

my memory, my understanding and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I possess You have given me.
I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace;
with these I will be rich enough,
and will desire nothing more.


Today, July 31, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit Order), and author of the “Spiritual Exercises.” Saint Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Jesus Christ, and the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.” He was a man who recognized that ordinary gifts can be used in spectacular ways by God, when an individual allows the Master Artist to use His powers and creativity in them. Saint Ignatius of Loyola is remembered for saying the words to those in his spiritual direction: "Go forth and set the world on fire."

Born Iñigo de Recalde de Loyola, Ignatius grew up in Loyola Castle, Azpeitia, Guipuzcoa, Spain. The youngest of twelve children, at age sixteen he was sent to Castile where he served as a page at the court of the provincial governor. There, he developed a taste for the fine things that royal court life had to offer, including gambling, which he pursued with abandon. Taken with wearing the uniform of the royal soldier, Ignatius enlisted in the army of the Duke of Nagara. Having served well in the army, he was promoted to officer, and led his troops well. At the siege of Pamplona in 1521, he was seriously injured by a cannon ball hitting his legs, breaking one and wounding the other. His convalescence lasted nearly a year, after which time he miraculously recovered, although would walk with a painful limp for the remainder of his life. During that time, out of desperation and boredom, Ignatius read about the life of Jesus and other lives of the saints. "Since these men were as human as I am," he noted, "I could be as saintly as they were."

There, in his convalescent bed, Ignatius began the process of conversion, examining both his intellect, but also his emotional reactions to the call of the Holy Spirit. One night as he lay awake, as his autobiography recounts, he "saw clearly the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus, at whose sight for a notable time he felt a surpassing sweetness, which eventually left him with such a loathing for his past sins, and especially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent to any carnal thought." Leaving his worldly desires for fame and love behind, Ignatius strove to live a life worth of sainthood.

After his recovery, instead of re-enlisting as a soldier, Saint Ignatius traded his uniform for the clothing of a beggar. He traveled to Montserrat in Barcelona, visiting the famous portrait of Our Blessed Mother in the Benedictine monastery, and there he hung his sword before her according to the rules of chivalry. He would serve to defend her honor, and by extension, the honor of the Church, with his life.

Ignatius spent the next year living wherever he could—at the monastery, dependent on the kindness of monks; in shelters for the indigent; mostly in a cave near a place called Manresa. During the year, he spent his time in contemplation of Christ, deep prayer, fasting and mortification, and discipline. It was here beside the cave that Saint Ignatius received what he referred to as both a “vision” and an “awakening.” While he never revealed the content of the vision, it seems to have been an encounter with God as He really is so that all creation was seen in a new light and acquired a new meaning and relevance, and experience that enabled Ignatius to find God in all things one of the characteristics of Jesuit spirituality. His year at the cave near Manresa was also a time of great trial for him, and he began writing his most famous work, the Spiritual Exercises-- a manual for training the soul to grow nearer to God.

Drawn to the Holy Land, Ignatius began a pilgrimage to Rome and to Jerusalem, riding from Jaffa to Jerusalem on a donkey. While he wished to remain in the Holy City, anti-Christian sentiment drove him out, and he returned to Europe. There, he undertook a rigorous study of theology and classics in Spanish and French universities, so that he might enter the priesthood. Ending his studies in Paris, upon ordination as priest, Ignatius, along with six students, founded the great Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits.

During this time, he was imprisoned in Salamanca on suspicion of heresy. To a friend who expressed sympathy for his imprisonment, Ignatius wrote: “It is a sign that you have little love of Christ in your heart, or you would not deem it so hard a fate to be in chains for His sake. All Salamanca does not contain as many fetters, manacles, and chains as I would gladly wear for love of Jesus Christ.”

The early members of the Jesuit order took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, joining themselves to the Lord through the Spiritual Exercises. In the rules established for his order, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men. All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls. While Ignatius most wished to return to Palestine to preach Christianity to the peoples there, war prevented this. Out of obedience to Pope Paul III, members of the order were sent throughout Europe, and Ignatius, elected Superior General, remained behind, building the order, establishing universities, hospitals, and centers of service to the poor, sick, and needy. During this time, the Jesuits grew from a handful of men to over 1,000 throughout Europe, working as missionaries and in universities and other schools.

Luis Gonçalves de Camara, one of his closest associates wrote of him, “Ignatius was always rather inclined toward love; moreover, he seemed all love, and because of that he was universally loved by all. There was no one in the Society who did not have much great love for him and did not consider himself much loved by him.”

Toward the end of his life, Ignatius was plagued by stomach ailments, intense pain in his legs, and near blindness—all of which he bore without complaint. Saint Ignatius died of a fever on July 31, 1556, with the name of Jesus on his lips. His relics are buried in the Church of the Gésu in Rome, at the center of Jesuit institutions of education and formation to this day. His accomplishments, left both in his writings, and in the continuing work of the Jesuits, survive him. Saint Ignatius took a group of ordinary men, put them under the power of God, taught them how to listen to His voice, and formed a new sword for the Church of unequalled sharpness and strength. The daring projects of the Jesuits were carefully considered, using the virtue of prudence or wisdom, before drawing upon an almost superhuman courage and endurance to implement the designs they believed were planned by God. Saint Ignatius was willing to risk all, suffer, and deny himself to obediently follow the will of God. We, like the Jesuits, pray today to have the strength to listen for the Will of God, and to find Him in all aspects of His glorious creation!



Selected Quotations of Saint Ignatius of Loyola:

"God freely created us so that we might know, love, and serve him in this life and be happy with him forever. God's purpose in creating us is to draw forth from us a response of love and service here on earth, so that we may attain our goal of everlasting happiness with him in heaven.

All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully.


As a result, we ought to appreciate and use these gifts of God insofar as they help us toward our goal of loving service and union with God. But insofar as any created things hinder our progress toward our goal, we ought to let them go."


"Act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God."
“Let us work as if success depended upon ourselves alone, but with heartfelt conviction that we are doing nothing, and God everything.”
“There are very few people who realize what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace.”

“If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity."



From the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises:

The First Principle and Foundation

The goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into
us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God,
presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all of these gifts of God
insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
they displace God
and so hinder our growth toward our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
and are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
a deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better
leads to the deepening of God's life in me.



Prayer of Saint Ignatius Loyola


Teach us, Good Lord,
To Serve Thee as Thou deservest;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To labor and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do Thy will.
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen.





Today’s Psalm: Psalm 97: The Divine King, the Just Judge of All

1 The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him

and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.
7 All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols—
worship him, all you gods!
8 Zion hears and rejoices
and the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments, O LORD.

9 For you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is shed upon the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.



Day 212 of 365
Prayer Intentions: To find God in all things; Obedient hearts; Willingness to suffer for the Lord; Courage; Penance and self-denial.
Requested Intentions: Fortitude and faith, Career success (A); Healing of a relationship, employment (A); End to debt and legal difficulties; immigration success (B); For a mother’s continued employment (S); For continued blessings on a relationship (S); For a sick grandmother (R); For the building of a Catholic community, family, and law practice (M); For healing of friends and family (B); For healing of an aunt with kidney disease (S); For the total deliverance of P (S); To know and follow the Will of God (M); Employment for husband and wife (K); Wisdom; Closer walk with Jesus (R); For successful conception (I); Thanksgiving for blessings received (K); Healing and financial assistance (F); Employment; Discernment of God’s will (A); For a recovery and sanctification (X); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 97: The Divine King, the Just Judge of All

Saint Peter Chrysologus: On Love's Desire to See God

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 30, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Peter Chrysologus (380-450), bishop and Doctor of the Church. Saint Peter’s great gift to the Church is the words he left behind and the impact those words have upon those who hear them—both while he was alive, and in the present day. His name, meaning “Golden Word” in Greek, comes not from long and intricate homilies given on complex theological issues, but rather his humility and the hope that he would not “bore” the faithful. His words survive today, inspiring us, and reminding us of the core tenets of our faith.


Saint Peter reflected on the relationship between God and love, focusing on the fact that love originates from the Lord, and therefore—in the lives of Christians—love only wishes to see the Lord, to return to it’s Creator and Source.



When God saw the world falling to ruin because of fear, he immediately acted to call it back to himself with love. He invited it by his grace, preserved it by his love, and embraced it with compassion. When the earth had become hardened in evil, God sent the flood both to punish and to release it. He called Noah to be the father of a new era, urged him with kind words, and showed that he trusted him; he gave him fatherly instruction about the present calamity, and through his grace consoled him with hope for the future. But God did not merely issue commands; rather with Noah sharing the work, he filled the ark with the future seed of the whole world. The sense of loving fellowship thus engendered removed servile fear, and a mutual love could continue to preserve what shared labor had effected.


God called Abraham out of the heathen world, symbolically lengthened his name, and made him the father of all believers. God walked with him on his journeys, protected him in foreign lands, enriched him with earthly possessions, and honored him with victories. He made a covenant with him, saved him from harm, accepted his hospitality, and astonished him by giving him the offspring he had despaired of. Favored with so many graces and drawn by such great sweetness of divine love, Abraham was to learn to love God rather that fear him, and love rather than fear was to inspire his worship.


God comforted Jacob by a dream during his flight, roused him to combat upon his return, and encircled him with a wrestler's embrace to teach him not to be afraid of the author of the conflict, but to love him. God called Moses as a father would, and with fatherly affection invited him to become the liberator of his people.


In all the events we have recalled, the flame of divine love enkindled human hearts and its intoxication overflowed into men's senses. Wounded by love, they longed to look upon God with their bodily eyes. Yet how could our narrow human vision apprehend God, whom the whole world cannot contain? But the law of love is not concerned with what will be, what ought to be, what can be. Love does not reflect; it is unreasonable and knows no moderation. Love refuses to be consoled when its goal proves impossible, despises all hindrances to the attainment of its object. Love destroys the lover if he cannot obtain what he loves; love follows its own promptings, and does not think of right and wrong. Love inflames desire which impels it toward things that are forbidden. But why continue?


It is intolerable for love not to see the object of its longing. That is why whatever reward they merited was nothing to the saints if they could not see the Lord. A love that desires to see God may not have reasonableness on its side, but it is the evidence of filial love. It gave Moses the temerity to say: If I have found favor in your eyes, show me your face. It inspired the psalmist to make the same prayer: Show me your face. Even the pagans made their images for this purpose: they wanted actually to see what they mistakenly revered.

Saint Peter Chrysologus: On Epiphany: God Chose to be Known by Us

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 30, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Peter Chrysologus (380-450), bishop and Doctor of the Church. Saint Peter’s great gift to the Church is the words he left behind and the impact those words have upon those who hear them—both while he was alive, and in the present day. His name, meaning “Golden Word” in Greek, comes not from long and intricate homilies given on complex theological issues, but rather his humility and the hope that he would not “bore” the faithful. His words survive today, inspiring us, and reminding us of the core tenets of our faith.

Saint Peter preached that in choosing to be born for us, God chose to be known by us. In expanding upon this thought, he focused on the events of Epiphany: the visitation of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by Saint John the Baptist, and the Miracle at the Wedding in Cana.


In the mystery of our Lord’s incarnation there were clear indications of his eternal Godhead. Yet the great events we celebrate today disclose and reveal in different ways the fact that God himself took a human body. Mortal man, enshrouded always in darkness, must not be left in ignorance, and so be deprived of what he can understand and retain only by grace.


In choosing to be born for us, God chose to be known by us. He therefore reveals himself in this way, in order that this great sacrament of his love may not be an occasion for us of great misunderstanding.


Today the Magi find, crying in a manger, the one they have followed as he shone in the sky. Today the Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars.


Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.


So the Gentiles, who were the last, become the first: the faith of the Magi is the first fruits of the belief of the Gentiles.


Today Christ enters the Jordan to wash away the sin of the world. John himself testifies that this is why he has come: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Today a servant lays his hand on the Lord, a man lays his hand on God, John lays his hand on Christ, not to forgive but to receive forgiveness.


Today, as the psalmist prophesied: The voice of the Lord is heard above the waters. What does the voice say? This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.


Today the Holy Spirit hovers over the waters in the likeness of a dove. A dove announced to Noah that the flood had disappeared from the earth; so now a dove is to reveal that the world’s shipwreck is at an end for ever. The sign is no longer an olive-shoot of the old stock: instead, the Spirit pours out on Christ’s head the full richness of a new anointing by the Father, to fulfil what the psalmist had prophesied: Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.


Today Christ works the first of his signs from heaven by turning water into wine. But water has still to be changed into the sacrament of his blood, so that Christ may offer spiritual drink from the chalice of his body, to fulfil the psalmist’s prophecy: How excellent is my chalice, warming my spirit.

Saint Peter Chrysologus: On the Priesthood of All Believers

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 30, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Peter Chrysologus (380-450), bishop and Doctor of the Church. Saint Peter’s great gift to the Church is the words he left behind and the impact those words have upon those who hear them—both while he was alive, and in the present day. His name, meaning “Golden Word” in Greek, comes not from long and intricate homilies given on complex theological issues, but rather his humility and the hope that he would not “bore” the faithful. His words survive today, inspiring us, and reminding us of the core tenets of our faith.
Saint Peter wrote on the doctrine that all believers are “priests” of the Catholic Church, a role conferred through the sacrament of Confirmation.



I appeal to you by the mercy of God. This appeal is made by Paul, or rather, it is made by God through Paul, because of God’s desire to be loved rather than feared, to be a father rather than a Lord. God appeals to us in his mercy to avoid having to punish us in his severity.


Listen to the Lord’s appeal: In me, I want you to see your own body, your members, your heart, your bones, your blood. You may fear what is divine, but why not love what is human? You may run away from me as the Lord, but why not run to me as your father? Perhaps you are filled with shame for causing my bitter passion. Do not be afraid. This cross inflicts a mortal injury, not on me, but on death. These nails no longer pain me, but only deepen your love for me. I do not cry out because of these wounds, but through them I draw you into my heart. My body was stretched on the cross as a symbol, not of how much I suffered, but of my all-embracing love. I count it no less to shed my blood: it is the price I have paid for your ransom. Come, then, return to me and learn to know me as your father, who repays good for evil, love for injury, and boundless charity for piercing wounds.


Listen now to what the Apostle urges us to do. I appeal to you, he says, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. By this exhortation of his, Paul has raised all men to priestly status.


How marvellous is the priesthood of the Christian, for he is both the victim that is offered on his own behalf, and the priest who makes the offering. He does not need to go beyond himself to seek what he is to immolate to God: with himself and in himself he brings the sacrifice he is to offer God for himself. The victim remains and the priest remains, always one and the same. Immolated, the victim still lives: the priest who immolates cannot kill. Truly it is an amazing sacrifice in which a body is offered without being slain and blood is offered without being shed.

The Apostle says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Brethren, this sacrifice follows the pattern of Christ’s sacrifice by which he gave his body as a living immolation for the life of the world. He really made his body a living sacrifice, because, though slain, he continues to live. In such a victim death receives its ransom, but the victim remains alive. Death itself suffers the punishment. This is why death for the martyrs is actually a birth, and their end a beginning. Their execution is the door to life, and those who were thought to have been blotted out from the earth shine brilliantly in heaven.


Paul says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a sacrifice, living and holy. The prophet said the same thing: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but you have prepared a body for me. Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest. Do not forfeit what divine authority confers on you. Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity. Let Christ be your helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection. Your breastplate should be the knowledge of God that he himself has given you. Keep burning continually the sweet smelling incense of prayer. Take up the sword of the Spirit. Let your heart be an altar. Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice. God desires not death, but faith; God thirsts not for blood, but for self-surrender; God is appeased not by slaughter, but by the offering of your free will.

July 30: Saint Peter Chrysologus, the "Golden-Worded," Doctor of the Church

Posted by Jacob

Today, July 30, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Peter Chrysologus (380-450), bishop and Doctor of the Church. Saint Peter’s great gift to the Church is the words he left behind and the impact those words have upon those who hear them—both while he was alive, and in the present day. His name, meaning “Golden Word” in Greek, comes not from long and intricate homilies given on complex theological issues, but rather his humility and the hope that he would not “bore” the faithful. His teachings on the Annunciation, Prayer, Fasting and Mercy, the Incarnation and Human Dignity, the Priesthood of All Catholic Believers, the Epiphany, and the Love of God—as well as nearly 200 other sermons—survive today, inspiring us, and reminding us of the core tenets of our faith. He is credited as the first to deliver the “short sermon”—morally rich, Gospel-driven, doctrinally sound brief reflections on the Catholic way of being in the world, in relation to God.

Born in Imola, Italy, Peter was baptized, educated, and ordained a deacon by the Bishop of Imola, Cornelius. From his ordination, he was recognized for his simple, plain, and humble oratorical style—delivering sermons that reached all who listened. His eloquence earned him the name “Chrysologus,” meaning “golden-worded” in Greek.

Consecrated as Bishop of Ravenna—the capital of the Roman Empire in the West , Saint Peter spent the majority of his life there, tending to his flock, delivering sermons, countering heresy, encouraging service and mercy to others, and establishing services to care for the city’s poor. He is credited with driving paganism from the city, having remarked, "Anyone who wishes to frolic with the devil cannot rejoice with Christ."

Knowing that his own death was near, Peter returned to the city of his birth, Imola, and after urging great care in the choice of his successor he died there. His relics were buried in the church of Saint Cassian.

The legacy of Saint Peter Chrysologus is his writings. Below are excerpts from some of his sermons. His words, written in the fifth century, continue to have potent meaning today, calling us to lives of prayer, fasting, and mercy, and lives which value our personal human dignity as sons and daughters of Christ.

From a sermon by St. Peter Chrysologus on Prayer, Fasting, and Mercy:

There are three things, my brethren, by which faith stands firm, devotion remains constant, and virtue endures. They are prayer, fasting and mercy. Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains, mercy receives. Prayer, mercy and fasting: these three are one, and they give life to each other.


Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no one try to separate them; they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others you open God’s ear to yourself.


When you fast, see the fasting of others. If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.


Let this be the pattern for all men when they practice mercy: show mercy to others in the same way, with the same generosity, with the same promptness, as you want others to show mercy to you.


Therefore, let prayer, mercy and fasting be one single plea to God on our behalf, one speech in our defense, a threefold united prayer in our favor.


Let us use fasting to make up for what we have lost by despising others. Let us offer our souls in sacrifice by means of fasting. There is nothing more pleasing that we can offer to God, as the psalmist said in prophecy: A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; God does not despise a bruised and humbled heart.


Offer your soul to God, make him an oblation of your fasting, so that your soul may be a pure offering, a holy sacrifice, a living victim, remaining your own and at the same time made over to God. Whoever fails to give this to God will not be excused, for if you are to give him yourself you are never without the means of giving.


To make these acceptable, mercy must be added. Fasting bears no fruit unless it is watered by mercy. Fasting dries up when mercy dries up. Mercy is to fasting as rain is to earth. However much you may cultivate your heart, clear the soil of your nature, root out vices, sow virtues, if you do not release the springs of mercy, your fasting will bear no fruit.


When you fast, if your mercy is thin your harvest will be thin; when you fast, what you pour out in mercy overflows into your barn. Therefore, do not lose by saving, but gather in by scattering. Give to the poor, and you give to yourself. You will not be allowed to keep what you have refused to give to others.



From a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus on the Incarnation and Human Dignity

A virgin conceived, bore a son, and yet remained a virgin. This is no common occurrence, but a sign; no reason here, but God’s power, for he is the cause, and not nature. It is a special event, not shared by others; it is divine, not human. Christ’s birth was not necessity, but an expression of omnipotence, a sacrament of piety for the redemption of men. He who made man without generation from pure clay made man again and was born from a pure body. The hand that assumed clay to make our flesh deigned to assume a body for our salvation. That the Creator is in his creature and God is in the flesh brings dignity to man without dishonor to him who made him.


Why then, man, are you so worthless in your own eyes and yet so precious to God? Why render yourself such dishonor when you are honored by him? Why do you ask how you were created and do not seek to know why you were made? Was not this entire visible universe made for your dwelling? It was for you that the light dispelled the overshadowing gloom; for your sake was the night regulated and the day measured, and for you were the heavens embellished with the varying brilliance of the sun, the moon and the stars. The earth was adorned with flowers, groves and fruit; and the constant marvelous variety of lovely living things was created in the air, the fields, and the seas for you, lest sad solitude destroy the joy of God’s new creation. And the Creator still works to devise things that can add to your glory. He has made you in his image that you might in your person make the invisible Creator present on earth; he has made you his legate, so that the vast empire of the world might have the Lord’s representative. Then in his mercy God assumed what he made in you; he wanted now to be truly manifest in man, just as he had wished to be revealed in man as in an image. Now he would be in reality what he had submitted to be in symbol.


And so Christ is born that by his birth he might restore our nature. He became a child, was fed, and grew that he might inaugurate the one perfect age to remain for ever as he had created it. He supports man that man might no longer fall. And the creature he had formed of earth he now makes heavenly; and what he had endowed with a human soul he now vivifies to become a heavenly spirit. In this way he fully raised man to God, and left in him neither sin, nor death, nor travail, nor pain, nor anything earthly, with the grace of our Lord Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever, for all the ages of eternity. Amen.




Father,
You made Peter Chrysologus
an outstanding preacher of your incarnate Word.
May the prayers of St. Peter help us to cherish
the mystery of our salvation
and make its meaning clear in our love for others.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.


Today’s Psalm: Psalm 96: The Glories of the Lord, the King of the Universe
1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
12 let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
13 they will sing before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his truth.


Day 211 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Respect for Human Dignity; Lives true to the teachings of the Church.
Requested Intentions: End to debt and legal difficulties; immigration success (B); For a mother’s continued employment (S); For continued blessings on a relationship (S); For a sick grandmother (R); For the building of a Catholic community, family, and law practice (M); For healing of friends and family (B); For healing of an aunt with kidney disease (S); For the total deliverance of P (S); To know and follow the Will of God (M); Employment for husband and wife (K); Wisdom; Closer walk with Jesus (R); For successful conception (I); Thanksgiving for blessings received (K); Healing and financial assistance (F); Employment; Discernment of God’s will (A); For a recovery and sanctification (X); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 96: The Glories of the Lord, the King of the Universe