Year of Consecrated Life!!

wake up the worldby Elizabeth F.

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Pope Francis has declared this year the Year of Consecrated Life. What a wonderful time to promote and celebrate the Consecrated Life! Below you will find a prayer that you can pray throughout this year, thanking God for the great witnesses and role models we have. Each vocation is a beautiful gift and the Consecrated Life is one way in which men and women strive to live out holiness in everyday ways. Next time you meet someone who has consecrated their life to God, take a moment and thank them for the great witness they are giving to the world. Also, prayerfully consider your own vocation. What is the best you can love God best? How can you give Him glory by your life?

 

Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life

O God, throughout the ages you have called women and men
to pursue lives of perfect charity through the evangelical counsels
of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

During this Year of Consecrated Life, we give you thanks
for these courageous witnesses of Faith and models of inspiration.
Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to you.

Continue to enrich your Church by calling forth sons and daughters who,
having found the pearl of great price,
treasure the Kingdom of Heaven above all things.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

USCCB

Thoughts on how the Morning Affects the Soul

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by Mariana N.

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I will be the first to admit that I am not a morning person. I have always preferred to stay out late with friends than to leave an event early just so I can get to sleep. I relish the mornings where I don’t set an alarm and sleep until almost noon, but recently I was presented with a very different perspective on how dragging yourself out of bed can actually help you grow closer to God.

Think about when you’re in bed in the morning. You’re all warm under the covers, and the room is dark with very little sound. What’s the first thing that pops into your head? Not yet…Ten more minutes! And you hit the “snooze” button. It feels like the most natural thing in the world. I always try rationalizing with myself that ten more minutes of sleep will help me later in the day, but the truth is it probably won’t.

A priest recently told me to beware of the snooze button, and here’s why: You don’t want the first thought of your day to be a selfish one. Although it may seem like no big deal to hit “snooze” once, twice, or even three times, but it does lessen the chance of praying in the morning, which is so beneficial to your spiritual life. Starting your day off with the sacrifice of getting out of bed on time is a good way to surrender yourself to God and to start that habit of saying a short morning prayer.

Although it does seem like a small sacrifice that is unnecessary, I think that the fact that it is so small makes the sacrifice much more difficult to make. However it is in the little things that we form virtue and move towards holiness and begin to nurture and strengthen our relationship with God.

MARCH FOR LIFE

by Molly H.

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“You found my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13
Everyday, millions of innocent babies are killed throughout the world in the horrible tragedy of abortion.  Sadly, many people, particularly young women, often don’t realize that there is an actual murder taking place through their abortion. But we know… we know that every abortion kills a life, a child of God.  Therefore, it is up to us to stand up for these unborn children who cannot stand up for themselves. We must be their voice! We must defend their lives and proclaim the truth of what abortion really is, so that all may know the devastating reality. We must put an end to it, which can only be done by standing up together and taking a lead. It is happening today on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade with the 2015 March for Life. God bless all those thousands of people uniting and marching outside in the cold temperatures today as they fight for the rights of every baby. For those of us unable to go, we are with them in spirit and prayer. Life is precious and it begins at conception! Let us be ready to defend it!! Thank you for being willing to make a difference by standing up for the unborn and fighting for the future of America and our entire world.  As President Obama said himself, “this is our first task – caring for our children. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right!” Join the pro-life movement as our nation rises at the 2015 March for Life!

 

Prayer for Changing the Culture

Prayer for Changing the Culture
by Fr. Frank Pavone, M.E.V.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we come into your presence in His name.

We have heard the voice of your Son.
And therefore we can make our voices heard.

We have been justified in the blood of your Son,
And therefore we can oppose every form of injustice.

We have repented of our sins,
And therefore we can lead the sinner to repentance.

We have done battle with the power of evil,
And therefore we can have compassion on those still within its grip.

We have been freed from the kingdom of darkness,
And therefore we can bear witness to your Kingdom of Light.

Lord, as we come before you today, we repent, we resolve, and we rejoice.

We repent of every instance in which fear has made us silent when we should have spoken.
We repent of the ongoing bloodshed in our land,
And for ever daring to think that we can deprive the unborn of protection but keep it for ourselves.

We resolve that we will work more generously to advance your Kingdom.
We resolve that we will advance the cause of righteous candidates for public office,
And that we will be more afraid of offending you by our silence
Than of offending the IRS by our speech.

We resolve that we will declare boldly to our people that no public official who fails to respect the life of a little baby can be trusted to respect our lives.

Father, today we rejoice, because we are not simply working for victory – we are working from victory.
The victory of life, truth, and grace has been won by your Son’s death and Resurrection.
Today we hear his voice again.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I hold the keys of death and of hell. Behold, I make all things new.”

Father, we rejoice that we have been made new,
And as we work to renew our culture
We look forward to the great day of his coming,
When every eye will see him, even of those who pierced him,
And every knee shall bend, and every tongue confess, to the glory of God the Father,

JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!

In his Blessed Name we pray. Amen!

 

http://www.priestsforlife.org/prayers/changing-culture.htm

Reasons to Believe

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by Mariana N.

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Reading Recommendation for 2015

It’s the beginning of a new year, and many people have gotten a start on New Year’s resolutions. Probably one of the most common is to exercise more. People plan to make it to the gym once every day, plan out a routine, and wake up early to get a workout in before going to work in the morning. What if we made that resolution to exercise, but applied it to our spiritual life?

Learning about our Faith is so important, and learning why Catholics believe certain things is vital for growing in Faith. The way that we can do this is through reading from those who asked the same questions that we are asking right now. Scott Hahn is a man who has asked all of these questions before. In his book Reasons to Believe, Hahn takes you through the most basic principles of Catholicism and gives you proof and reasoning for doctrine and church teachings.

He begins the book addressing the question of the existence of God, and covers things from the Papacy to Sacred Scripture. If you are looking for answers that are clear and concise, Reasons to Believe is a great read!