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."


November Prayer Requests

Posted by Jacob

Greetings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

I hope this post finds you well.  Thank you to all of you who continue to submit prayer requests-- as you can see from the list below, the number of requests continues to increase on a daily basis!

Special thanks to those of you who have recently made donations to the Rosary-construction cause.  While I haven't posted about this in a while, rest assured that we are still constructing Holy Rosaries to provide both to international missions and American military personnel on active duty.  Your donations allow us to continue this important work!  Thanks and God Bless you.  (Of course, given the economic climate, if you are unable to offer a donation, please keep this mission in your prayers!)

Please join me in praying for those intentions submitted by during the month of November.  Together, we raise our voices in prayer:

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with 
thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)




Hope and healing of those affected by RSD (S, Canada);  Justice for a wrongly imprisoned cousin (M, USA-TX);  Healing of a husband, guidance for leaders of America (A, USA-DE);  Employment for a son, peace for a widow, financial security (M, United Arab Emirates);  Health and healing for an ill mother (V, India); Successful legal proceedings (C, Philippines);  Health and healing upon a couple trying to conceive (V, India);  Career success for daughters, souls in Purgatory, health and healing following surgery (M&C, United Kingdom); Healing upon a husband, blessings upon a daughter (S, India);  Health and healing, successful chemotherapy (W, Singapore);  Financial security (B, Ireland); Freedom from depression (B, England); Successful employment (K, USA-TX);  True conversion and homecoming in Christ (A, USA-TX);  Healing of a brother, hope for a family (H, India); Healing of a sister with mental health issues (R, USA-TX);  Hope and healing, stronger relationship with the Lord (T, Jamaica); Successful employment for a husband (B, USA-CA); Successful employment (D, USA-AZ); True conversion, increased faith (C, USA-GA); Healing of father, brother, and nephews (E, Zimbabwe); Successful employment (R, USA-MI); Prayer of thanksgiving for good health (A, USA-NJ); Return of children to the faith (D, USA); Health and healing (A, India); Resolution to a legal situation, successful employment (B, South Africa); Successful employment, financial security (F, Malaysia); Health and healing, hope in the Lord (N, India); Discernment in the will of God, growth, career success (D, USA-NJ); Healing for mother, father and siblings; resolution of legal proceedings for son, peace and hope in the Lord (C, USA-TX); Successful employment, financial security, freedom from anxiety (R, USA-TX);  Blessings of children upon a marriage, employment for a brother (C, United Arab Emirates); Employment for children, health and healing (J&S, South Africa); Resolution of living difficulties, peace (T, USA-WA); Resolution of family difficulties (M, Philippines); Health and hope for a sick daughter (M, Ireland); Healing of a marriage and family (P, Ireland); Discernment, God-directed service to others (Y, USA-NV); End to addiction (G, United Kingdom); Unity in faith (N, Australia); Employment for family members, health and healing (F, Kenya); Health, healing, peace, happiness, and hope (C, USA-NE); Financial security to participate in holy pilgrimage (M, Canada); Resolution of multi-generational family difficulties (D, India); Blessings on a family (A, India); Conversion of souls, Employment (J, USA-OH); Healing of cancer (M, USA-NY); Healing of a friendship (D, Malaysia); Successful resolution of legal proceedings, financial security (M, India); Healing of a mother with cancer (E, India); Healing of a couple following son’s death (B&C, USA-OH); For a daughter’s intention (L, USA-FL); Successful resolution to a legal situation (R, Kuwait); Guidance on a foreign mission (T, Hungary); Healing of hearing problem (S, Mauritius); Hope, healing, repose of souls, vocational assistance (H, Philippines).

"Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (Psalm 54:2)
 
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)
 

October Prayer Requests, News, and Updates

Posted by Jacob

Greetings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

I hope this post finds you well.  Thank you to all of you who continue to submit prayer requests-- as you can see from the list below, the number of requests continues to increase on a daily basis!  During October, so many prayer requests came in, we actually experienced difficulties with the request form (too many requests at one time)!  Many apologies to any of you who attempted to submit requests, but were unsuccessful due to technical issues!

Special thanks to those of you who have recently made donations to the Rosary-construction cause.  While I haven't posted about this in a while, rest assured that we are still constructing Holy Rosaries to provide both to international missions and American military personnel on active duty.  Your donations allow us to continue this important work!  Thanks and God Bless you.  (Of course, given the economic climate, if you are unable to offer a donation, please keep this mission in your prayers!)

Lastly, I apologize for my absence over the past month.  Personally, it has been a difficult month-- I found myself unemployed after 10 years with the same company.  I am pleased to say that through the grace of God, I have secured steady work, but it was an anxiety-filled month.  I appreciate your continued support and prayers!

God bless you all,
jacob


Please join me in praying for those intentions submitted by during the month of October.  Together, we raise our voices in prayer:

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with 
thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)



Healing from cancer (D, USA-TX);  Healing for a homeless son, end to addiction (A, USA-TN);  Blessings upon a family, Successful employment, Success in studies (F, India);  Blessings and healing, to walk again (M, Ireland);  To find a loving partner, safe travels (B, United Kingdom); Financial security (J, Oman); Blessings and continued service (I, USA-CA); Healing for an ill neighbor (R, India);  For the oratory of Saint Pacifus (M, USA); Courage and discernment to follow spiritual path, peace for family (T, United Kingdom);  Healing of a friend who suffered a stroke (A, Belize); Blessings and reconciliation for a relationship (C, USA-NY); Healing of a husband (P, USA-MD); Financial security, occupational success (F, Malaysia);  Healing of a brother with cancer, family unity (M, USA-PA); Freedom from addictions, Conversion of a family (R, USA-NC); Success in studies and occupation (J, USA-NC);  Successful employment, grace to be a good father (L, Zimbabwe); Healing of a father, reconciliation of a relationship (M, USA-AZ);  Ability and grace to conceive for daughter (C, USA-MI); Occupational success, improved finances (P, India); Health upon family, safety for the Philippines, reconciliation of relationship (L, Philippines); Successful employment (A, United Arab Emirates);  Healing of a son with heart disease, successful travel and immigration (N, United Kingdom); Successful international study (E, Ghana);  Healing of a daughter’s eyes and vision (P, USA-TN); True conversion and strengthening of faith (M, Malaysia);  Successful driving test (A, Japan);  Healing, financial security, occupational success, protection (M, India); Successful employment and continued hope (F, Philippines);  Financial security, healing of a daughter with mental health issues (L, USA-MN);  Success in studies (M, Germany); Successful studies, guidance in finding a partner (M, Philippines); Financial assistance, healing of a relationship with a husband (M, Argentina);  Healing of a mother with cancer (N, USA-NM);  Conversion of a friend (M, Italy);  Healing of mental illness (R, Canada);  Healing of cancer, strength and hope (R, USA-IL);  Freedom from addiction for a son, academic success (S, India); Closer relationship with the Lord, healing of a relationship (I, USA); Blessings upon a marriage (S, Malaysia); Healing of leg sores (M, USA-CO); Blessings upon a relationship (A, Canada); Healing, freedom from anxiety and fear (Anonymous, United Kingdom); Successful business transactions (N, Nigeria);  Healing of a grandmother and granddaughter (L, Philippines); Financial security, passing of examinations, good health (F, Philippines); Restoration of family relationships, repose of departed souls, protection, health (H, Philippines); Blessings upon a struggling relationship, successful employment (E, Philippines); Financial success for a new business venture (F, Canada); Physical healing, financial security, reconciliation of a family, safe travels (T, Philippines); Successful resolution to a legal matter, peace in a family (F, India); Financial security, protection and strength (G, USA-CA);  Health for twin sons (G, USA-NY); Blessings upon a daughter, safe travels and successful employment, discernment in finding a Godly relationship (L, Philippines); Healing of a mother, brother, and uncle, successful employment (V, India); Successful employment for husband, academic guidance for son, end to work difficulties (B, USA-CA); Perseverance (E, USA-NY); Guidance in sons’ lives, end to addiction, good health (L, USA-NJ); Blessings upon a family, completion of a home, freedom from fear and anxiety (T, India);  Healing of a grandson with cancer (M, USA-CA);  Conversion, healing of mental health issues, end to addiction, discernment in relationships and vocation (A, USA-VT); Healing of cancer (M, USA-NY);  For a son’s employment and health, financial security, health (M, United Arab Emirates);  Financial security, health and safety, courage to follow God’s will (E, USA-NM);  Companionship (M, Greece); Blessings upon a new family (M, Malaysia);  For guidance in preparation of a retreat, blessings upon a family, discernment (K, USA-OH);  Healing of cancer (H, Philippines);  Healing of a stroke (J, USA-CT);  Financial security, successful employment (A, USA-FL); Financial blessings, peaceful living situation (L, USA-NY);  Protection and conversion, guidance in relationships, financial freedom (K, Algeria);  Successful conception, health, and hope (L, Spain);  Resolution of a legal situation, financial security (M, India);  Healing of a marriage (J, USA-MA); End to bad habits (P, USA-PA);  Resolution of misunderstandings, healing of phobia, companionship and peace (L, USA-CA); Financial security (J, USA-HI); Healing of a couple mourning their child, financial security (B, USA-OH);  Blessings upon a relationship (P, India);  Blessings and healing, financial security (M, India);  Occupational success, healing of relationships (V, India);  Blessings upon sister and family (T, India); Successful employment (J, Philippines);  Healing, strength, and peace (F, South Africa); Healing (B, United Arab Emirates); Successful delivery of child, employment for husband, end to financial woes (W, United Arab Emirates); Successful employment, financial security (S, India);  Academic success for daughter (M, Singapore); Blessings upon a marriage of 18 years (S, Malaysia); Conversion, hope and healing, personal intentions, repose of souls (A, Philippines); Healing of relationship with son (J, India); Successful employment for son, academic success for daughter (R, USA-PA); Healing of a husband, safety of family, blessings upon relationship (S, India); True conversion and love for God (R, USA-NB);  Healing, financial security (D, USA-CA); Healing and peace for a daughter with autism (S, Australia); Health and healing, repose of the departed, those struggling with addiction (N, Ireland);  Health, healing, financial security (M, USA-TX); Improved communication in relationships, blessings upon marriage (F, Mauritius); Blessings upon a daughter (N, Philippines); Academic success (L, India); Financial security, health and healing (C, Philippines); Academic success, freedom from anxiety (M, USA-AZ); Health and healing (W, Singapore).


"Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (Psalm 54:2)
 
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)
 

Prayer Requests: August & September

Posted by Jacob


Please join me in praying for those intentions submitted by readers over the past month.  Together, we raise our voices in prayer.


"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with 
thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)





Husband’s safety and release from imprisonment (E, Australia); For healing of a mother and son, for the repose of the dearly departed (A, Denmark); Personal intentions (L, USA-VA); Personal intentions, guidance, health, hope (F, Philippines); Financial and occupational success (N, India); Healing and hope for an addicted family member (R, USA-CA); Protection of a family (J, Australia); Conversion (K, USA-OH); Healing of a marriage (B, India); Healing of an illness (C, Philippines); Resolution of legal difficulties (M, USA-IL); Healing upon a family and son (R, Philippines); Hope and peace for a family, healing of the diseased and blind (A, India); Protection and deliverance, financial success, repose of the departed souls (H, Philippines); Blessings upon a relationship (F, Malaysia); For a brother’s success in employment and finding a home (C, United Arab Emirates); Healing of a friend’s marriage (J, India); Freedom from addiction for a daughter (F, USA-CA); For the repose of a departed mother (J, USA-NY); Healing of a relationship (E, Philippines); Blessings upon a relationship (N, India); Financial assistance, healing of dental and hearing problems (M, Ireland); Blessings upon a devoted servant of God on her golden jubilee (A, India); For blessings upon children, reconciliation of relationships (D, USA-AZ); For blessings upon a relationship, citizenship and stability (A, Nigeria); Hope (J, Taiwan); Protection of children, healing of bullies (N, USA-NY); Personal intentions, healing and hope (K, USA-MD); Financial assistance, for friends struggling in business (P, Ireland); For an incarcerated brother (Y, India); Prayers for a family (M, India); For guidance and hope during a pilgrimage (A, Sri Lanka); Healing of a throat condition (M, USA-CA); Successful resolution to a legal situation, strength (T, Philippines); For healing of a wife’s condition (D, USA-TX); For an ill father, and those who care for him (D, USA-NY); Success in meeting a partner for a loving, God-fearing relationship (A, India); Healing of a chronic, painful condition (R, Philippines); Blessings and healing upon an aunt (M, India); Successful marriage, blessings upon a family, occupational assistance (T, India); Relationship success, economic freedom (V, Nigeria); Blessings upon children, improvement of relationships (I, USA-MD); The blessing of children (I, India); Patience and understanding for a family in a disagreement (D, India); Honesty in a relationship (M, Ireland); Blessings upon a daughter in medical school (M, Malaysia); Blessings upon pregnant wife and twins (J, USA-VA); Healing of a lung condition (T, USA-NC); Acceptance and support (A, Saudi Arabia);  For economic assistance, blessings upon family, end to legal difficulties (A, Philippines); Healing of a marriage, relationships with daughters (D, USA-CA); For a wayward son, for financial and economic security (C, USA-TX); Financial assistance, recovery of husband from stroke, promotion for daughter (S, Philippines); Successful examinations (L, Japan); Financial assistance for a mission, guidance in proclaiming the Gospel (E, Philippines); Land to build a house, blessed marriage (Y, Uganda); Healing of an ill mother (M, USA-CA); Financial security, employment for daughter, healing of mental illness (L, USA-MN); Personal intentions (M, Philippines); Continued spiritual development (L&E, Australia); Healing of a marriage (N, England); Guidance in finding a partner (P, USA-CA); Economic assistance (P, USA-MA); Healing of a brother with an addiction (M, USA-NY); Healing of a wife with chronic illness (J, India); Healing of cancer from a public servant (M, USA-NY); Healing of a daughter (P, Canada); Healing of deafness (M, India); Blessing and guidance upon mother, husband, and son (P, India); Good health for parents (A, USA-NY); Job security (T, South Africa); Guidance in relationship (M, Haiti); Financial and occupational assistance (M, Canada); Healing of chronic ear condition (B, England); Healing of a family (D, USA-CA); Resolution of sister’s legal difficulties (O, Nigeria).



"Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (Psalm 54:2)
 
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)
 

"Vacation" Prayer Requests (July/ August)

Posted by Jacob


Please join me in praying for those intentions submitted by readers over the past week.  Together, we raise our voices in prayer.


"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with 
thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)




Healing of marriage, family, true conversion (J, Kenya); For hope (G, Ireland); For healing of specific individuals (R, USA-TX); Healing of a relationship and family (S, India); Healing of mental illness, healing of cancer (S, unknown); Safety for a friend traveling in a dangerous region, successful medical tests (P, USA-NC); True conversion (P, USA-CA); Financial stability, successful employment, healing of a relationship (M, Philippines); Healing upon two sisters (M, USA-IN); Strengthening of a relationship, end to financial difficulties, blessings upon a new home (A, USA-VA); Healing of a relationship, restoration of hope (M, India); Peace and consolation (E, India); Healing, protection, conversion of a prodigal son (S, USA-TX); Healing of a husband following surgery (C, India); Conversion and victory over temptation for sons (E, USA-NY); For specific, personal requests (H, India); Healing, for conversion of children and call to the faith, for priests who humbly serve the flock of Christ (I, Australia); Healing of depression, healing of husband’s addiction (G, United Kingdom); Strengthening of relationship, blessing of children (C, United Arab Emirates); Successful employment (L, USA-NY); Health and protection for a family (F, Zambia); Job security (J, USA-PA); Restoration of a relationship (M, India); Healing, conversion, and hope for those contemplating suicide (S, Ireland); Financial security (P, Malaysia); Healing and protection for a family (J, USA-NJ); Returning of lent belongings (K, India); Healing, hope, and protection for a family (C, Ireland); For end to legal and financial difficulties, for family health (B, USA-CA); For financial security (V, Canada); Blessings upon a relationship, removal of obstacles (A, India); Financial security, physical healing (J, Oman); Blessings upon a family, mental, physical, and spiritual healing (T, United Kingdom); Physical, emotional, and spiritual healing upon a family (B, England); Blessings upon a marriage (J, Seychelles Islands); For a blessed union (N, India); Healing and health (P, Philippines); Successful employment which glorifies the Lord (K, Uganda); Successful employment, career advancement (M, USA-FL); Occupational and financial security (J, Philippines); Blessings upon a desire to serve the Lord (R, India); For blessings upon Canada and the government (T, Canada); Blessings upon those traveling to the Holy Land (P, Uganda); End to depression (B, England); Blessings and healing upon a daughter preparing for her wedding (F, India); Healing of a husband and wife (M, USA-OH); Blessings upon a family, financial security, success of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land (H, Uganda); Financial assistance (E, Dominica-West Indies); Personal intentions (I, India); Financial security, spiritual growth, peace throughout Ghana (B, Ghana); Healing of a sister (N, Philippines); Guidance in career, successful employment (F, Malaysia); Restoration of a relationship (D, Philippines); Blessings upon a relationship (M, Philippines); Healing and hope of a family, Healing of cancer (V, England); Financial security, grace, and peace for siblings (O, Nigeria); Health for a handicapped child, successful employment for younger siblings (C, India); Restoration of a relationship, financial security, true conversion (R, India); Healing of a sister with brain hemorrhage (R, USA-PA); Financial security for a business (P, USA); Successful employment (K, USA-DC); Conversion of husband and children, for nephew in rehab, for specific intentions (I, USA-TX); Blessings and healing upon mother and husband (R, India); Successful employment (G, Philippines); Resolution to difficulties at work (N, USA-NJ); Conversion of a congregation, successful healing of cancer (Fr. A, India); True conversion for a family (J, USA-LA); Healing of a chronic condition (L, India); Healing and home for friends and family (L, Sri Lanka); Healing of a daughter with breast cancer (C, USA-MD); Healing of a relationship, successful employment (S, India); Healing of a mother, grace of a family (P, India); Change in the world, true conversion (B, USA-LA); Personal intentions (H, Philippines); Successful completion of examination (M, Philippines); For healing of family and friends (F, Philippines); Personal blessings (K, India); Healing of a family (H, Kenya); Healing of a family and son (M, USA-CA); Grace and blessing of conception (L, USA-TX); For healing, for improved family relationships, for safety and protection, for financial security (M, USA-MD); Healing of chronic condition (X, India); Successful employment, financial security (R, USA-CO); Financial security to build a home (F, India); Conversion of parents to Catholic faith (B, USA-TN); Personal intentions (E, USA-KY).



"Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (Psalm 54:2)
 
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)
 

"Vacation" Prayer Requests, July

Posted by Jacob

During the month of July, I will be away from my computer on vacation.  While I will not be able to frequently post, I will continue to receive and lift all requests in prayer, during my daily Rosary... I just may not be able to respond immediately.


Have a safe and blessed July!


Please join me in praying for those intentions submitted by readers over the past week.  Together, we raise our voices in prayer.


"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with 
thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)





Healing of a heart condition, transfer from difficult work placement (F, India);  Resolution to legal problems, reunification of a family (M, USA-NY);  Safety and protection for a son serving in the Marines (C, USA-IL);  For safe delivery of a child, for physical and mental health of mother and infant (A, Philippines); Healing from chronic condition, peace (M, USA-MD);  Resolution of a difficult family situation (E, USA-NY);  Healing upon an inmate, conversion to the faith (T, USA-SC);  End to depression, healing for a family financial assistance (M, Argentina);  Health and healing, financial assistance (H, Canada); Healing of a relationship (M, India);  Healing of a tumor (L, USA-NY);  Healing of a mother with cancer, peaceful repose of a father (E, Philippines);  Successful surgery and healing of a wife (A, USA-NY);  Healing of memory loss for father, health for daughter (T, USA-CA);  Successful recovery of a lost mentally ill individual (T, USA-NJ);  For grace in the spiritual direction of others (C, USA-MO);  Health and safety for a pregnant woman and child (V, Namibia);  Restoration of a relationship, healing of a mother with cancer (S, India);  Blessings upon a relationship (K, Serbia);  For the mental health of a daughter, that she may receive the assistance needed (D, USA-FL);  For a son struggling with mental illness (C, Finland);  For successful employment, financial assistance, and fulfillment for an unemployed brother (H, United Arab Emirates);  Spiritual, emotional, and financial liberation (C, Philippines);  Healing of physical and mental illnesses (H, USA-IN);  Blessings upon a family (C, Ireland);  True conversion for a family (A, USA-CO).



"Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (Psalm 54:2)
 
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)
 

June 24: Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Posted by Jacob

As today is the feast of the nativity of my confirmation saint, I am re-posting my thoughts from last year.  Saint John the Baptist, pray for each of us!

Today, June 24, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. For the Church, this is a special day—one of the only feast days of a saint falling on the date of birth, rather than the date on which the saint died (Of course, we also celebrate the beheading of Saint John the Baptist in August). Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint's death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary (celebrated on September 8) and of Saint John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, preventing a liturgical celebration of the event. But through the grace of God—in preparation for her special role as Mother of God-- Mary, from the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin. Similarly, John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother, jumping for joy at the greeting of Mary to Elizabeth during her visitation (the second Luminous Mystery of the Holy Rosary).


So, today, the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, is a special day for the Church. For me, this is also a special day, as Saint John is the saint I chose for my confirmation saint—due to his humility, his foresight, his contemplative nature, his tendencies toward penance, self-deprivation, and mortification, and his understanding of his place in the world (that his role was trivial in comparison to that of Christ). Saint Augustine explained the reason for today's observance—an event which heralds the coming of Jesus in anticipation of Christmas-- in the following words:

"Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior's birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced when he wrote this.) In the case of other saints or of God's chosen ones, the Church, as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.


"For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace." (For more from Saint Augustine on the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, click here.)


 Saint John the Baptist is, therefore, the Precursor of Christ, the forerunner of the Son of Justice, the minister of baptism of Jesus. His birth prepared the way for the coming of Our Lord and Savior, for the coming of salvation for all.
57When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John."
61They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."
62Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John." 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.
80And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel. (Luke 1: 57-66, 80)


John was born to Elizabeth, the “cousin” of Mary, and Zechariah, an elderly man and priest at the Temple of Jerusalem. Elizabeth, also in advanced age, was childless and sterile, although both she and Zechariah very much wished to conceive. According to the Gospel of Luke, John’s birth was foretold by the angel Gabriel to Zechariah while he was at work in the Temple. However, he did not belief, and was struck mute until he named his son John. John, the cousin of Jesus, the infant who leapt in the presence of the Lord prior even to his birth in purity, grew and began his public ministry—one which prepared the way for Christ. In this way, his birth and life anticipated that of Jesus. Both births were foretold by message of an angel—one to a virgin, one to a woman unable to conceive. Both men brought all to faith—one through baptism by water, one by the Spirit.

John left his father’s home—giving up considerable honor and privilege (and even some riches, perhaps!)-- and went into the desert when he was just an adolescent (scholars estimate between 12 and 15 years old). There, in the desert near the river Jordan, he entered into a contemplative life of hermitude, communing with the Lord in silence. He began a life of mortification and penance, wearing a camel-hair shirt, and sustaining his body with locusts and honey. Soon, he gained notoriety as a pious and holy man, and people flocked to him for baptism in the river. He preached reformation of life.

John served the Lord until the age of 29, at which time the angel of the Lord appeared to him, instructing him to proclaim the coming of Christ, preach penance, and to continue baptizing the many. The angel also informed John that Jesus was the Savior of the World, whom John should baptize (the Second Luminous Mystery of the Holy Rosary), and upon whom the Holy Spirit would descend in the form of a dove.

Jesus called John the greatest of all those who had preceded him, saying: “I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John....” But John would have agreed completely with what Jesus added: “Yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:28). Saint John lived the words “He must increase; I must decrease,” (John 3:30) believing them to the core of his being.  His purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. The baptisms John performed were baptisms of repentance and reformation. But the baptisms that Jesus would bring to the world would be through the Holy Spirit and fire. John recognized his role, his insignificance in comparison to the greatness of Christ, and proclaimed himself unworthy to even carry the sandals of Jesus. He said:

31"The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3: 31-36)

Today is a special day for the Chuch, for all the faithful!  In the words of Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot, from his sermon on the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist:

"Rightly, then, did the birth of this child make many rejoice then and does make many rejoice today: born in the old age of his parents he was to preach the grace of rebirth to an aging world. Rightly does the Church solemnly venerate this birth, which is wonderfully brought about by grace and at which nature wonders. To me certainly the birth of the world's Lamp (John 5:35) brings fresh joy, for it enabled me to recognize the true Light shining in the darkness but not mastered by the darkness, (Jn1,5.9).


His birth brings me a joy utterly unspeakable, for so many outstanding benefits accrue to the world through it. He is the first to give the Church instruction, to initiate it by penance, to prepare it by baptism. When it is prepared he delivers it to Christ and unites it with him, (John 3:29). He both trains it to live temperately and, by his own death, gives it the strength to die with fortitude. In all these ways he prepares for the Lord a perfect people, (Luke 1:17).”


All powerful God,
help Your people to walk the path to salvation.
By following the teaching of St. John the Baptist,
may we come to your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.













June 23: Saint Etheldreda

Posted by Jacob

Today, June 23, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Etheldreda (also known as Saint Audrey, 636-379), ascetic, queen, and foundress of the “double monastery” at Ely. Against earthly pressures, and through divine intervention, Saint Etheldreda maintained her personal consecration to the Lord, remaining a virgin and engaging in ascetic pursuits despite her noble station. Her perseverance in faith and commitment to a life of prayer and service is remarkable still today.


Born in Northumbria, the daughter of a king, Etheldreda was brought up in a God-fearing household. From an early age, Etheldreda had but one goal: to consecrate herself entirely to the Lord through entrance into a religious order. Etheldreda longed to fully serve with her life, her wealth, and her actions. Her father, on the other hand, had other plans for her. For political reasons, Etheldreda was married (at quite a young age) to a prince named Tonbert, from who she received a track of land on the Isle of Ely. For three years the couple lived together, and due to her young age and commitment to sanctity, Etheldreda was able to maintain her purity. Upon Tonbert’s untimely death, she relocated to the Isle of Ely, where she intended to devote herself to entirely spiritual pursuits.

However, it was not to be. Her father, again sensing political opportunity, arranged for a second marriage, this time to the young son of the powerful king of Northumbria, Egfrith. Etheldreda obeyed her father’s wishes, but chose to live in the royal palace as a sister to the king, rather than a wife. This was not problematic, due to the youth of the boy, who would sit at Etheldreda’s feet, learning Scripture from her. For twelve years, Etheldreda engaged in purely ascetic activities, forgoing the accoutrements and privilege of her position, and maintaining her purity. Etheldreda became known for devoting her time to works of mercy and love, while observing a scrupulous regularity of discipline.

At the age of twenty-four, Egfrith ascended to the throne of Northumbria, becoming king. As Queen, Etheldreda delighted in the society of monks and nuns, and took care to invite and attract to her those most distinguished for learning and piety. Among these was St. Cuthbert, the young Prior of Lindisfarne, upon whose monastery she bestowed many gifts from her own private property. Over time, Etheldreda became friends with Saint Wilfrid, her confessor, who on her behalf, encouraged the king to allow her to retire for some years to the Convent at Coldingham Abbey. There, she lived as a sister, having received the veil from Saint Wilfrid himself. Her husband, the king, shortly after consenting to her departure from the royal court, changed his mind and pursued her. When Saint Wilfrid pleaded on her behalf, the king made his intentions known: he would find Etheldreda and bring her back to the court by force, where he would consummate his marital privileges.

Etheldreda fled toward her land on the Isle of Ely, with the king in pursuit. She took refuge on a headland on the southern coast of England where a miracle prevented further advance of the king. While she was standing on a large outcropping of rock, the tide rose such that it created an island of refuge for the saint, water surrounding her. Etheldreda remained in this island refuge for seven days, until her royal spouse, recognizing the divine will, agreed to leave her in peace.

Etheldreda, freed from her marriage, continued on her trek to the Isle of Ely. On one extremely hot day during her travels, legend tells us that Etheldreda was overpowered with fatigue. She stuck her staff into the ground and lay down to rest on the open plain. When she awoke, the staff had put forth leaves and branches, and it afterwards became a mighty oak tree, larger than any other for many miles around.

At length, after many days of weary walking, the saint arrived on her own lands in Ely. There, she established a “double monastery,” shepherding both nuns and monks. Saint Wilfrid appointed her abbess, and she governed the abbey for many years, serving as advisor to the pope and other Church officials during that time. Etheldreda ruled over her monastery for seven years, setting a great example of piety and abstinence and all other monastic virtues. Though of royal lineage, and having been delicately reared, Etheldreda abstained from all luxuries. She never wore any linen, but only rough woolen clothing. She denied herself the use of the warm bath, only using the bath that had already served the other nuns. Many of her old friends, relations, and courtiers followed her and her example, engaging in ascetic practices, discipline, and prayer. The monastery grew considerably under her holy leadership

Not only holy and a model of virtue in shepherding her people to the Lord, Etheldreda also was graced with the gift of prophecy. Most notable of her prophecies was that of her own death by plague, and the exact number of her monks and nuns who would be carried off by the same epidemic. True to her prophesy, Etheldreda died of a quinsy, a form of plague which led to the development of a large tumor upon her neck. Etheldreda, never complaining about the pain or the sight of the growth, regarded is as a punishment for her former love of fine clothing, and, in particular, for having worn jewels on her neck.

Seventeen years after her death, Saint Wilfrid and Saint Etheldreda’s physician discovered her body to be incorrupt. The incision that had been made into her tumor shortly before she died had miraculously healed in death. (Saint Etheldreda remains the patron of sufferers of throat complaints.) The linen cloths in which her body was wrapped were as fresh as the day she had been buried. Her body was placed in a stone sarcophagus and reburied at the Abbey. Unfortunately, the tomb of Saint Etheldreda was desecrated during the English Reformation, with only the incorrupt hand of the blessed saint surviving. Her relics remain at St Etheldreda's Roman Catholic church at Ely, where many miracles have been reported through her intercession.

The life of Saint Etheldreda reminds us that we cannot truly be servants of Christ when our souls are distracted by the pleasures and desires of the world. In her wisdom, Saint Etheldreda gave up her wealth, station, and privilege, instead choosing to live the ascetic life of a abbess, guiding people to Christ and contributing to His kingdom on earth. We might take a lesson from Saint Etheldreda today, examining what binds us to the world, preventing us from truly and fully serving our Creator.



Eternal God,
who bestowed such grace upon your servant Etheldreda
that she gave herself wholly to the life of prayer
and to the service of your true religion:
grant that we, like her,
may so live our lives on earth seeking your kingdom
that by your guiding
we may be joined to the glorious fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




Friday Prayer Requests, June 22

Posted by Jacob

Please join me in praying for those intentions submitted by readers over the past week.  Together, we raise our voices in prayer.


"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with 
thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)




For improved prayer life, for the faith of a parish, for the ill (B, Singapore);   For strength, for healing of a relationship (M, Ireland);  For healing of serious illness (J, United Kingdom);   For a son experiencing difficulties, that he may be healed (M, USA-NY);  For healing upon a family (M, India);  For multiple intentions, including health, occupational, and financial (S, Australia);  For good mental health, continued relationship with the Lord, and safekeeping of a home (V, USA-AL);  For a nephew battling addiction, for strained family relationships, for true conversion and healing of a family (A, India);  For successful employment, for a relationship blessed by the Lord (N, India);  Successful employment, financial security (J, Ghana); Grace of God to fill life and overcome flaws (R, USA-VA);  Help for a family in financial trouble, freedom from anxiety and depression (B, Ireland);  Career success (R, USA-NY);  For curing of a serious blood disorder, comfort for a niece who lost her husband (M, USA-IL);  Blessings upon a ministry and school, for health, healing, peace, protection, and for someone battling with addiction and mental illness (B, USA-AL);  Blessings and healing upon husband, brother, son, and family (B, USA-CA);  For faculty and students at school, that they be filled with patience and understanding (E, England);  Successful employment, grace and strength (B, USA-MA); For personal intentions (C, USA-GA).



"Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (Psalm 54:2)
 
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)
 

Friday Prayer Requests, June 15

Posted by Jacob

Please join me in praying for those intentions submitted by readers over the past week.  Together, we raise our voices in prayer.


"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with 
thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)

Financial blessings upon a family (A, USA-CA); Successful occupational and academic placements for a family moving between countries (S, India); Healing of a marriage and strained family relationships (J, Kenya); For a son in period of vocational discernment (A, USA-MD);  For blessings and financial favor for family and friends (S, USA-MO); For a friend suffering from addiction (S, Canada); For a friend dealing with grief and bereavement (J, Norway);  Specific prayer intentions (J, Malta); Blessings and healing upon a son (M, USA-NY);  Successful completion of education (U, Nigeria);  Successful acceptance in the army (U, Norway); End to sadness, protection for home (S, India); Health, safety, and blessings for family and friends (M, Philippines); Blessings and healing upon a strained relationship (K, Serbia); Healing upon a relationship (M, USA-ND);  Healing upon a husband and a relationship (R, India).



"Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (Psalm 54:2)
 
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)
 

Hymns of Saint Joseph the Hymnographer

Posted by Jacob

Today, June 14, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Joseph the Hymnographer (810-886), tireless servant of the Lord, glorifying Him in life, in works, and through writing countless hymns and canons to the saints. Despite a lifetime of struggle, suffering, and imprisonment, Saint Joseph produced a catalog of writings which remain today, as well as over 200 hymns, many of which are still sung by modern congregations. He has been called "the sweet-voiced nightingale of the Church." Through his legacy of writings and song, Saint Joseph preserved a priceless record of the history of our faith—a faith which continues, unchanged and unabated, today.


Below, two additional hymns, originally penned by Saint Joseph (and later adapted for modern usage in the Church):

And Wilt Thou Pardon, Lord

And wilt Thou pardon, Lord,

A sinner such as I,
Although Thy book his crimes record,
Of such a crimson dye?


So deep are they engraved,
So terrible their fear,
The righteous scarcely shall be saved,
And where shall I appear?


O Thou Physician blest,
Make clean my guilty soul
And me, by many a sin oppressed,
Restore and keep me whole.


I know not how to praise
Thy mercy and Thy love;
But deign my soul from earth to raise

And learn from Thee above.


O Happy Band of Pilgrims

O happy band of pilgrims,

If onward you will tread,
With Jesus as your Fellow,
To Jesus as your Head.


O happy if you labor,
As Jesus did for men;
O happy if you hunger
As Jesus hungered then.


The cross that Jesus carried
He carried as your due;
The crown that Jesus weareth
He weareth it for you.


The faith by which you see Him,
The hope in which you yearn,
The love that through all troubles
To Him alone will turn.


What are they but forerunners
To lead you to His sight?
What are they save the effluence
Of uncreated Light?


The trials that beset you,
The sorrows you endure,
The manifold temptations
That death alone can cure.


What are they but His jewels
Of right celestial worth?
What are they but the ladder
Set up to heaven on earth?


O happy band of pilgrims,
Look upward to the skies,
Where such a light affliction
Shall win you such a prize.


To Father, Son, and Spirit,
The God Whom we adore,
Be loftiest praises given,

Now and for evermore.

June 14: Saint Joseph the Hymnographer

Posted by Jacob

Today, June 14, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Joseph the Hymnographer (810-886), tireless servant of the Lord, glorifying Him in life, in works, and through writing countless hymns and canons to the saints. Despite a lifetime of struggle, suffering, and imprisonment, Saint Joseph produced a catalog of writings which remain today, as well as over 200 hymns, many of which are still sung by modern congregations. He has been called "the sweet-voiced nightingale of the Church." Through his legacy of writings and song, Saint Joseph preserved a priceless record of the history of our faith—a faith which continues, unchanged and unabated, today.


Joseph was born into a pious Christian family in Sicily. His parents, Plotinus and Agatha, in response to an invasion of Arabs, moved the family to Greece. There, at the young age of 15, Joseph entered the monastery at Thessolonica, and earned the love and respect of his community through industriousness, obedience, piety, humility, and scholastic aptitude.

During a routine visit to the monastery, Saint Gregory (then deacon) took notice of the young brother, and asked him to accompany him to the church in Constantinople—then suffering under the iconoclast persecution (see also Saint Theodosia of Constantinople). There, they lived near the Church of the Holy Martyrs, defending religious icons, preaching the Word of God, and ministering to the suffering Christian population. When it was decided that an emissary should be sent to Rome to have audience with Pope Leo III and inform him of the persecution under the Byzantine Emperor, Joseph was selected due to his obedience, wisdom, and gift of oration. He set off for Rome at once.

But life was not to be easy for Saint Joseph. On the way to Rome, he was taken captive by Arab bandits, brought to the island of Crete, and turned over to the Iconoclasts who locked him away in a dungeon. Never giving up hope and faith in the Lord, Joseph ministered to his fellow prisoners, keeping their spirits high, praying with them, and inspiring many to die martyr’s deaths for the faith.

Saint Joseph spent six years in prison, until the death of the Byzantine Emperor and the end of the iconoclast persecution. Prior to his release, he received a heavenly vision from Saint Nicholas of Myra, who provided him with a scroll upon which read: “Hasten, O Bountiful One and as Thou art merciful, hasten to come to our aid, for as Thou wilst, Thou canst…” Saint Joseph, after receiving instruction from Saint Nicholas, sang the words aloud, causing his chains to fall to the ground and the prison gates to be opened. He returned to Constantinople where he established a church in patronage to Saint Nicholas, and later a monastery.

Saint Joseph received the gift of the relics of Saint Bartholomew, which he placed in the church. He felt compelled to sing a hymn of praise to the saint, but no such suitable hymn existed, and he didn’t feel qualified or capable to write a canon for one so deserving. Saint Joseph prayed for 40 days, trying to discern the proper course of action, upon when Saint Bartholomew appeared to him. He said, “May the Right Hand of Almighty God bless thee, may Heavenly Wisdom pour out upon thy tongue, may thy heart be a temple of the Holy Spirit, and may thy hymnody sweeten the universe.” Following the apparition, Joseph wrote the canon to Saint Bartholomew, and from then on began to compose liturgical hymns in honor of Jesus, the Heavenly Father, the Mother of God, and the Saints.

One of those hymns, Stars of the Morning, follows:

Stars of the morning, so gloriously bright,
Filled with celestial splendor and light,
These that, where night never followeth day,
Raise the “Thrice Holy” song ever and aye.

These are Thy ministers, these dost Thou own,
God of Sabaoth, the nearest Thy throne;
These are Thy messengers, These dost Thou send,
Help of the helpless ones! man to defend.


“Who like the Lord?” thunders Michael the chief;
Raphael, “the cure of God,” comforteth grief;
And, as at Nazareth, prophet of peace,
Gabriel, “the light of God,” bringeth release.


Then, when the earth was first poised in mid space,
Then, when the planets first sped on their race,
Then, when were ended the six days’ employ,
Then all the sons of God shouted for joy.


Still let them succor us; still let them fight,
Lord of angelic hosts, battling for right;
Till, where their anthems they ceaselessly pour,
We with the angels may bow and adore.


Upon the resurgence of iconoclasm, Saint Joseph was exiled for eleven years, but was subsequently returned to his position in Constantinople, and eventually made Bishop of Salonica. He continued to write Canons and hymns, many of which survive. After attaining advanced age for that time, Saint Joseph fell ill. Prior to his death, he received a vision from the Lord, telling of his approaching journey to Heaven. Saint Joseph set his affairs in order, and spent the remainder of his days in quiet prayer. He received Holy Eucharist, blessed those from the community who were present, and joyfully gave his life to the Lord. Saint Theodore, later appearing to an impatient friend of Saint Joseph stated, "Why do you become angry O man? Joseph the Hymnographer's soul was being separated from his body and we were with him. When he died this night, all of us whom he glorified in hymns, translated his soul to the heavens and placed it before the Face of God. That is why I was tardy in not appearing to you."

Saint Joseph is credited with 200 hymns and canons, although some place the number he wrote at more than one thousand. Throughout his life, he preached the Word of God—through his writings, through Canons to the Saint, through opposition to persecution, and through joyful song. Encouraged by his visions of saints, Saint Joseph the Hymnographer raised his voice in praise of Our Lord, even when he faced violent opposition, imprisonment, and exile. How often can we say the same of ourselves?


Let Us Now Our Voices Raise (written by Saint Joseph, the Hymnographer)


Let us now our voices raise,
Wake the day with gladness;
God Himself to joy and praise
Turns our human sadness;
Joy that martyrs won their crown,
Opened heav’ns bright portal,
When they laid the mortal down
For the life immortal.


Never flinched they from the flame,
From the torment never;
Vain the tyrant’s sharpest aim,
Vain each fierce endeavor:
For by faith they saw the land
Decked in all its glory,
Where triumphant now they stand
With the victor’s story.


Up and follow, Christian men!
Press through toil and sorrow;
Spurn the night of fear, and then,
O the glorious morrow!
Who will venture on the strife;
Who will first begin it?
Who will grasp the land of life?
Warriors, up and win it!


Friday Prayer Requests, June 8

Posted by Jacob

Please join me in praying for those intentions submitted by readers over the past week.  Together, we raise our voices in prayer.


"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with 
thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)

 

Blessings, healing, financial favor, safety, and protection (E, Indonesia);  Blessings upon a relationship and marriage (S, India);  For an ill baby (M, unknown); For career success, humility, and obedience for a son (S, India); Health and financial blessings for a family (E, USA-FL);  For financial/occupational success for a son, for vocational discernment (S, Canada);  Blessings and physical healing for daughters (L, New Zealand); Healing for a father recovering from surgery (N, India); For a couple struggling in their relationship, for a soldier returned from overseas having lost faith (J, USA-NJ);  Physical healing and end to loneliness (M, USA-OH); Financial assistance (B, Nigeria); Physical healing, finding a home, blessings upon an incarcerated son (V, London); Blessings upon a friend (M, USA-VA); For specific intentions (A, Philippines); Conversion for a daughter, spiritual guidance for a grandson (D, USA-LA); Healing, success in occupational pursuits (X, USA-CA); Blessings, healing, and occupational/financial security for a family (C, Kenya).



"Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (Psalm 54:2)
 
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)