DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, § 1731)

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“God of indescribable Love and limitless Mercy, may all Your children feel their intimate companionship with You in this most wondrous gift of faith which we embrace, always choosing to follow Your will for us in our daily lives, even bearing our individual crosses out of love for You;

– and may others always see the Risen Christ in each of us through our words and our deeds, so that we may one day come to know the Eternal Love, Peace and Joy which fills Your Heavenly Kingdom, as we cling to the blessed hope of becoming co-heirs with You forever. We humbly pray this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

May 13 ~ Seek Light and Strength

Theme:  Meditate Upon My Passion

“When the confessor started talking to me, I did not understand a single word. Then I saw Jesus crucified and He said to me, ‘It is in my Passion that you must seek light and strength.’(Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 654a)

My prayer response with Saint Faustina:

“After the confession, I meditated on Jesus’ terrible Passion, and I understood that what I was suffering was nothing compared to the Savior’s Passion, and that even the smallest imperfection was the cause of this terrible suffering. Then my soul was filled with very great contrition, and only then I sensed that I was in the sea of the unfathomable mercy of God. Oh, how few words I have to express what I am experiencing! I feel I am like a drop of dew engulfed in the depths of the bottomless ocean of divine mercy.” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 654b)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

May 13 ~ Love Casts Out Fear

Theme:  Love

“I beg You for only one thing: to make my heart capable of loving You.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 587)

“Love casts out fear. Since I came to love God with my whole being and with all the strength of my heart, fear has left me. Even if I were to hear the most terrifying things about God’s justice, I would not fear Him at all, because I have come to know Him well. God is love, and His Spirit is peace. I see now that my deeds which have flowed from love are more perfect than those which I have done out of fear. I have placed my trust in God and fear nothing. I have given myself over to His holy will.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 589)

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

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Saint of the Day ~ May 13

OUR LADY of FATIMA

Today, the Church honors our Blessed Mother under the mantle of Our Lady of Fatima.

Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children experienced apparitions of the Mother of God on the 13th of each month at the Cova da Iria, land belonging to Lucia dos Santos’ family near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon, Portugal. Our Lady asked the children to pray the Rosary every day for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia.

She also revealed that all three children would suffer, especially from the unbelief of their friends and families, and that the two younger children, Francisco and Jacinta would be taken to Heaven very soon, but Lucia would live longer in order to spread her messages and devotion to her Immaculate Heart.

In the last apparition on October 13th and in response to Lucia’s question, the woman seen in the apparition revealed her name – “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”

That same day, 70,000 people had turned out to witness the apparition, including government authorities, following a promise by Our Lady that she would show the people that the apparitions were true. They saw the sun make three circles and move around the sky in an incredible zigzag movement in a manner which left no doubt in their minds about the veracity of the apparitions, which were approved in 1930 by the local bishop and the Church as authentic and worthy of belief.

The messages Our Lady imparted during the apparitions to the children concerned the violent trials that would afflict the world by means of war, starvation, and the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father in the 20th and 21st centuries, if the world did not make reparation for sins. She exhorted the Church to pray and offer sacrifices to God in order that peace may come upon the world, and that the trials may be averted.

The Blessed Virgin Mary gave the children three prophetic “secrets”. Sister Lucia revealed the first secret in 1927 – a vision of Hell and the souls that languish there. The second secret concerned devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, so that many souls would be saved and “a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

Pope Saint John Paul II directed the Holy See’s Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in the year 2000; it spoke of a “bishop dressed in white” who would be shot by soldiers, followed by the killing of “other bishops, priests, religious men and women, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.” Whether this vision is to be interpreted literally or figuratively, there are some who link a part of this secret to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981. But there are others who believe it foretells an event or series of events that will happen in the future.

What is the central meaning of the message of Fatima? – nothing different from what the Church has always taught. Before becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stated that the Fatima message is “the exhortation to prayer as the path of ‘salvation for souls’ and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion.”

One year after the apparitions ended, two of the children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, became ill. Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta followed one year later. They were beatified in the year 2000 by Pope St. John Paul II and canonized as saints on May 13, 2017 in Fatima, Portugal by Pope Francis I. The third visionary, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and died in 2005 at the age of 97.

We commemorate the feastday of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org, ewtn.com/fatima, and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Collect from the Roman Missal for Our Lady of Fatima)

“O God, who chose the Mother of Your Son to be our Mother also, grant us that, persevering in penance and prayer for the salvation of the world, we may further more effectively each day the Reign of Christ.

“Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

DAILY PRAYER REQUESTS

Please feel free to post your prayer request for today as a comment to this post. Your needs and intentions will be included in our daily offerings throughout the day and at the 3 o’clock hour for Divine Mercy, and your requests will be personally offered to our Heavenly Father, having faith in the words our Lord spoke to Saint Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, § 1731)

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“Most Merciful and Loving Father, please guide us to open our hearts to Your gift of faith, so that we may truly live in a holy and loving relationship with You all the days of our life;

– so that at the hour of our death, our hearts may be found faithful and our souls beautiful in Your sight, and we may leave this world in Your loving friendship and peace, sharing eternally in the wonders of Your Glory. We humbly pray this heartfelt request in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

Mercy Minutes with Jesus (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

May 11 ~ See the Human Race in Its Present Condition

Theme:  Meditate upon My Passion

(Continued)

“Then Jesus said to me, ‘Look and see the human race in its present condition.’ In an instant, I saw horrible things: the executioners left Jesus, and other people started scourging Him; they seized the scourges and struck the Lord mercilessly. These were priests, religious men and women, and high dignitaries of the Church, which surprised me greatly. There were lay people of all ages and walks of life. All vented their malice on the innocent Jesus.

“Seeing this, my heart fell as if into a mortal agony. And while the executioners had been scourging Him, Jesus had been silent and looking into the distance; but when those other souls I mentioned scourged Him, Jesus closed His eyes, and a soft, but most painful moan escaped from His Heart. And Jesus gave me to know in detail the gravity of the malice of these ungrateful souls: ‘You see, this is a torture greater than My death.’ Then my lips too fell silent, and I began to experience the agony of death…” (Mercy Minutes with Jesus/Diary, 445b)

My prayer response:

Lord Jesus, we see the human race in its present condition, for we have continued to scourge You without remorse! May the pain in my heart over Your pain bring solace to Your Heart, and may my love for You help console the deep anguish which You are feeling. (Mercy Minutes with Jesus)

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Mercy Minutes (from Saint Faustina’s Diary)

May 11 ~ Burning With Love

Theme:  Love

“I burn with love with those who love; I suffer with those who suffer. I am consumed with sorrow at the sight of those who are cold and ungrateful; and I then try to have such a love for God that it will make amends for those who do not love Him, those who feed their Savior with ingratitude at its worst.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 481b)

“…once again the majesty of God overwhelmed me. I felt that I was immersed in God, totally immersed in Him and penetrated by Him, being aware of how much the Heavenly Father loves us.” (Mercy Minutes/Diary, 491)

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Meditation for the Day

Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter, May 11

Truly Embracing the Gift of Faith, Opening Our Hearts to Living in a Holy and Loving Relationship with God, Will Lead Us One Day to Heaven, Which God Has Prepared for All Who Depart This Life in His Friendship.

“…what must I do to be saved?”

– a question the jailer asked Paul and Silas in today’s First Reading, a question which resulted from both fear and a deep humility in recognizing the Hand of God at work in the circumstances in which the jailer found himself.

“…what must I do to be saved?” – a question which God’s faithful have been asking since the time of Christ.

From the Acts of the Apostles, we read today that Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned. What the Scriptures do not tell us in today’s Reading is “why”. Paul had exorcised a demonic presence from a slave girl, who was used by her owners to practice fortune telling, so that they might derive profit from her oracles.

As a result, and in their anger, the owners falsified charges against Paul and Silas, so that they would end up being scourged and placed in the local jail.

The Scriptures do tell us, however, that God created good from this evil, for the jailer and his entire household were converted and baptized!

After the horrific scourging they received, and after the earthquake had set them free, why was it that Paul and Silas did not flee, and that they even convinced the other inmates to remain with them in their cells? What were Paul and Silas thinking? What was in their hearts?

Someone of lesser faith would have run away and escaped. And no one would have faulted Paul and Silas for doing just that! After all, they had important work to do for God in other towns, in other villages!

Yet, it was their firm faith in Christ, in season and out of season, the kind of faith that believes that a true disciple of Jesus Christ is living safely in the providential hands of God, that the obstacles and misfortunes of life are not so much something that God saves us from, as it is that He asks us to accept and grow through them – which I am sure many if not all of us have experienced at one time or another in our lives.

There is an old and obscure adage that comes to mind, “Stay with the darkness, the emptiness, the confusion, and let it work out its purification and maturation in us.”

In other words, through the faith which filled the hearts of Paul and Silas, they saw in the darkness and confusion which surrounded them an opportunity of changing their misfortune into joyful preaching and their suffering into an occasion of bearing fruit within the hearts of those around them.

The jailer responds, “…what must I do to be saved?” And, as Scripture tells us, “he and all his family”, together with his whole “household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.”

God invites each of us to respond to the gift of faith which He has freely offered to both you and me. It is the kind of gift which is especially gift wrapped and hand delivered at the door of our minds and hearts. It is up to us, however, to choose to unwrap this most precious gift and embrace all that is being given to us.

Almost two thousand years ago, when our Lord traveled from town to town, the crowds would follow Him in great numbers, and the Scriptures tell us that His Heart would be moved “with pity for them”, for they were like “sheep without a shepherd”, hungering for spiritual nourishment, and He would feed them with words of love – words which gave hope, and He would heal their sick.

Today, we are no different, for there are many peoples of many diverse cultures throughout the world who hunger and thirst for a nourishment which only God can give. And since the days of our first parents, human suffering has been the one constant that has accompanied mankind throughout human history. And I am sure that many, if not all of us, are no strangers to the experience of suffering.

In the midst of our own afflictions and anguish, in the midst of our own personal journey through this vale of tears which each of us must travel, our Lord invites both you and me to open our hearts to the gift of faith which He freely offers us – a gift which strengthens, a gift which moves us into a deeper understanding of and a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Faith is a gift which gives us an enduring and lasting hope in something infinitely grander than anything this world has to offer.

This hope, which fills us with a joyful anticipation of the life to come, is given to us by the Spirit Himself. It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us and guides us on our journey of faith. It is the Spirit Himself who strengthens us. It is the Spirit Himself who prompts us to open our hearts to seek God’s Mercy and eternal salvation.

In today’s Gospel, our Lord is teaching His disciples about the Holy Spirit. What are not included in today’s Reading are Jesus’ words from a later verse in the same chapter of John’s Gospel –

“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.”

What stands out in the verses we read today, however, is the role of the Advocate in our own salvation. For today’s verses illustrate the very character of the Paraclete Himself, in that He gives witness to those who are in sin who do not believe in Jesus, for it is through Jesus Christ that you and I are saved!

Even our psalmist today speaks of God’s Mercy and salvation with the words, “When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. Your right hand saves me. The LORD will complete what he has done for me; your kindness, O LORD, endures forever.”

In the world in which we live today, it is the words of the jailer which become our own words, “…what must I do to be saved?” And it is through their Baptism that they were able to experience the true joy of knowing and believing in God’s Love! It is through them that we see the words of today’s Responsorial psalm come alive, “…your kindness, O LORD, endures forever.”

“…what must I do to be saved?”

The answer lies in how we, ourselves, respond to the gift of faith which is offered to us. Truly embracing this most precious gift, opening our hearts to truly living in a holy and loving relationship with our God, and responding to all that our Lord is asking of us – will lead us one day to that portal which opens to the Special Home which God has prepared for all those who depart this life in His friendship –

– an eternity in which perpetual salvation, together with a profound love, peace and joy, becomes our home forever – with the God who loves each of us beyond all manner of human understanding, with the God who truly is our Most Intimate and Loving Father and Brother.

And together, we shall forever rejoice at having embraced and lived this most wondrous gift of faith!

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Then [the jailer] brought [Paul and Silas] out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.’” (Acts 16:30-31)
  • “So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house…then he and all his family were baptized at once. (Acts 16:32, 33b)
  • “Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Better the threshold of the house of my God than a home in the tents of the wicked.” (Psalm 84:11)
  • “You stretch out your hand; your right hand saves me. The LORD is with me to the end. LORD, your mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 138:7b-8b)
  • “He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.” (Acts 16:34)
  • “Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35-36)
  • “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen…without faith, it is impossible to please God, for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1, 6)
  • “For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:29-27)
  • “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.” (John 16:13)
  • “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad.” (Psalm 118:24)

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Prayer for the Day

“Ah, Lord God, my Holy Lover,
when You come into my heart,
all that is within me will rejoice.

“You are my glory and the exultation of my heart.
You are my hope and refuge in the day of my tribulation.
But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect,
I must be strengthened and comforted by You.

“Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline.
Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart
of all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified within,
I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and firm to persevere.”

Thomas A’ Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)