The Martyrdom of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino Saint

A Prayer to St. Lorenzo Ruiz

Beloved Lorenzo Ruiz, confronted with death, you proclaimed your readiness to die a thousand times for your Christian faith. Today the whole world admires your courage. We feel particularly proud of you as our brother. And we pray: You, a family man, protect our families. Keep them united in love. You, who bore your sufferings with patience and resignation, intercede for the sick of mind and body; help them to receive the grace of God’s miraculous healing. You, who died in a foreign country, take care of Filipinos living and working in this country and in other parts of the world. You, an example of Christian fortitude, sustain our faith and make it spread and grow strong all around us. You, the Philippines’ first saint, be the country’s special protector. Unite us as one people; help us to work in harmony for development and progress; and give us peace. Amen.(State your intentions). San Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.   Amen.

The Martyrdom of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino Saint – Discerning Hearts

A Prayer to St. Lorenzo Ruiz

Beloved Lorenzo Ruiz, confronted with death, you proclaimed your readiness to die a thousand times for your Christian faith. Today the whole world admires your courage. We feel particularly proud of you as our brother. And we pray: You, a family man, protect our families. Keep them united in love. You, who bore your sufferings with patience and resignation, intercede for the sick of mind and body; help them to receive the grace of God’s miraculous healing. You, who died in a foreign country, take care of Filipinos living and working in this country and in other parts of the world. You, an example of Christian fortitude, sustain our faith and make it spread and grow strong all around us. You, the Philippines’ first saint, be the country’s special protector. Unite us as one people; help us to work in harmony for development and progress; and give us peace. Amen.(State your intentions). San Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.   Amen.

ROHC-sp6 “Interior Silence” with Deacon James Keating Resting on the Heart of Christ special – Discerning Hearts

Special 6 – Interior Silence

Interior Silence, in particular in the liturgy, is reflected upon by Deacon Keating.   He leads a meditation during a prayer service with priests, on the letter “Spiritual Formation in the Seminaries”  which calls for spiritual silence to be at the core of seminary formation.  Priests are called to be teachers of prayer and directors of spirituality.  Why silence is so vitally important and what are the blocks  to prevent it…the cynicism that reacts to the ideal. The role of discernment and diminishing interference.  If priests have trouble with this, imagine the challenge for the laity.

Deacon Keating is the Director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University.

Click here for more Deacon James Keating

 

St. Vincent de Paul – “a great hero of charity”

The French priest St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) organized works of charity, founded hospitals, and started two Roman Catholic religious orders.

Vincent de Paul was born into a peasant family on April 24, 1581, in the village of Pouy in southwestern France.  He became a priest at the age of 19, and would go on to found hospitals, charitable organizations and many other ministries and works that would serve the needs of the poor.  With Louise de Marillac, a talented and sensitive friend, he started the first religious group of women dedicated entirely to works of charity outside the cloister, a group called the Daughters of Charity.

Vincent was a man of action rather than of theory. The religious spirit he communicated was simple, practical and straightforward. He looked to Christ as his leader and tried to translate the Gospel message into concrete results. He died on Sept. 27, 1660, and was canonized a saint in the Roman Catholic Church in 1737.

Words of Wisdom

from St. Vincent de Paul

“No matter what others say or do, even if the wicked succeed, do not be troubled: commit everything to God and put your trust in him.”

“The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it.”

“But do you know what it is to labor in charity? It is to labor in God, for God is charity, and it is to labor for God purely and entirely; it is to do so in the grace of God.”

A “Great Hero of Charity”

As reported by Zenit, the Holy Father spoke of St. Vincent de Paul:
The Pope reflected on the Gospel reading from today’s Mass, which recounts the story of the rich man suffering torment, and the poor man Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham.

The message of the parable, the Holy Father said, “points out that while we are in this world we must listen to the Lord who speaks to us through the Scriptures and live according to his will, because, after death, it will be too late to make amends.”

“So,” he explained, “this parable tells us two things: The first is that [God] loves the poor and lifts them up from their humiliation; the second is that our eternal destiny is

 conditioned by our attitude; it is up to us to follow the road to life that God has shown us, and this is the road of love, not understood as sentiment but as service to others in the charity of Christ.”

The Bishop of Rome called it a “happy coincidence” that Monday marks the feast of one of the Church’s great heroes of charity, St. Vincent de Paul, patron of Catholic charitable organizations.

“In the France of the 1600s, he touched with his own hand the great contrast between the richest and the poorest,” the Pope said. “[…] Driven by the love of Christ, Vincent de Paul knew how to organize stable forms of service to marginalized persons.”

In fact, the saint founded the first women’s congregation to live their consecration “‘in the world,’ in the midst of the people, with the sick and the needy,” he noted.

The Pontiff added, “Dear friends, only Love with a capital ‘L’ makes for true happiness!” Zenit

Blessed Herman the Cripple – author of one of the most heartbreakenly beautiful prayers of all time – Discerning Hearts

Everytime we pray the rosary, we pray with Blessed Herman the Cripple.  He’s the author of one of the most heartbreakenly beautiful prayers of all time….the Salve Regina.

Blessed Herman (1013-1054) was born with many medical problems: cleft palate, cerebral palsy, and spina bifida. During his lifetime he was known as Blessed Herman the Cripple. Father Robert F. McNamara on his website, Saints Alive, calls him Blessed Herman the Disabled.

He was a remarkable man. Despite his daunting physical limitations he studied and wrote on astronomy, theology, math, history, poetry, Arabic, Greek, and Latin. He also built musical and astronomical equipment. He was considered a genius in his time. He wrote prayers and hymns – the most notable being the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen).

Father McNamara in his article on Blessed Herman the Disabled comments on the great meaning of Herman’s life with this closing insight:

“In his own day, the heroic cripple who achieved learning and holiness was called ‘The Wonder of His Age’.

In our day, many voices say that people with disabilities should be phased out of existence. Which were the Dark Ages, then or now!”

Let us pray with Blessed Herman, and ask him to help us to receive the graces for the virtues we lack…humility, patience, kindness,  and all the others which allow the love of Christ to shine in the world through us.

Prayers        

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The Hail Holy Queen (The Salve Regina)

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs; mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show to us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O Clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us O Holy Mother of God…That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.  Amen. – Blessed Herman

The poem below is from Father Benedict J Groeschel’s book,
Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones.

Herman The Cripple
by
William Hart Hurlbut, M.D.

I am least among the low,
I am weak and I am slow;
I can neither walk nor stand,
Nor hold a spoon in my own hand.

Like a body bound in chain,
I am on a rack of pain,
But He is God who made me so,
that His mercy I should know.

Brothers do not weep for me!
Christ, the Lord, has set me free.
All my sorrows he will bless;
Pain is not unhappiness.

From my window I look down
To the streets of yonder town,
Where the people come and go,
Reap the harvest that they sow.

Like a field of wheat and tares,
Some are lost in worldly cares;
There are hearts as black as coal,
There are cripples of the soul.

Brothers do not weep for me!
In his mercy I am free.
I can neither sow nor spin,
Yet, I am fed and clothed in Him.

I have been the donkey’s tail,
Slower than a slug or snail;
You my brothers have been kind,
Never let me lag behind.

I have been most rich in friends,
You have been my feet and hands;
All the good that I could do,
I have done because of you.

Oh my brothers, can’t you see?
You have been as Christ for me.
And in my need I know I, too,
Have become as Christ for you!

I have lived for forty years
In this wilderness of tears;
But these trials can’t compare
With the glory we will share.

I have had a voice to sing,
To rejoice in everything;
Now Love’s sweet eternal song
Breaks the darkness with the dawn.

Brother’s do not weep for me!
Christ, the Lord, has set me free.
Oh my friends, remember this:
Pain is not unhappiness.

St. Matthew, the tax collector, the apostle, the martyr for Christ….

St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel.Son of Alphaeus, he lived at Capenaum on Lake Genesareth. He was a Roman tax collector, a position equated with collaboration with the enemy by those from whom he collected taxes. Jesus’ contemporaries were surprised to see the Christ with a traitor, but Jesus explained that he had come “not to call the just, but sinners.” Matthew’s Gospel is given pride of place in the canon of the New Testament, and was written to convince Jewish readers that their anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus. He preached among the Jews for 15 years; his audiences may have included the Jewish enclave in Ethiopia, and places in the East.

Listen to none other than Mark Hart the Bible Geek about the great work of St. Matthew…of course, the Gospel according to St. Matthew

Personal note, my favorite Matthew passage (from Chapter 25): “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.‘ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”