Pastoral Sharings – Prayers




Fr. Michael Phillippino
27th Sunday In Ordinary Time
October 7, 2012

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Last week many of you asked me for a copy of the prayer I read in my homily, so I include it here for you. It is from the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, Benefit of Healing Ministry; 191 Joralemon St., Brooklyn, New York 11201. The full prayer reads:
Lord Jesus, please open the doors within and outside of me that you want
open. Take from me any negative thoughts, feelings, or desires that stand in
the way of my becoming the person that you have called me to be. Please fill
me with your light, truth, and love. If there are any open doors within or
outside of me that need to be closed, I ask for the grace to recognize these areas
and repent. Place my inner eye on You and our Father’s glory. Purify me of
any psychic thoughts, desires, feelings or negative prayer that are sent to me,
confusing my heart. Stand me on the rock of your fidelity and perfect will.

Another prayer that I wanted to share with you the week before last, but could not find, is the prayer that Blessed Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI prayed before each session of the Second Vatican Council. I include it here in the hope that you will include it in your daily prayers for this “Year of Faith.”
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. R: And kindle
them in the fire of your love.
Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created. R: And You will
renew the face of the earth.
We stand before you, Holy Spirit, conscious of our sinfulness but aware
that we gather in Your name. Come to us, remain with us, and enlighten our
hearts. Give us light and strength to know Your will, to make it our own,
and to live it in our lives. Guide us by Your wisdom, support us by Your
power, for You are God, sharing the glory of Father and Son. You desire
justice for all: enable us to uphold the rights of others; do not allow us to be
misled by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favor. Unite us to Yourself in the
bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true. As we gather in Your
name may we temper justice with love, so that all our decisions may be
pleasing to You, and earn the reward promised to good and faithful servants.
You live and reign with the Father and the Son, one God, forever and ever.

God bless you,
Father Michael Phillippino

Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
October 7, 2012

The Miracle of Marriage – A Reflection on the Gospel for the 27th Sunday of the Year
Today’s first reading and Gospel speak to us of the miracle of marriage. If your marriage is even reasonably working, it is a miracle! We live in an age that is poisonous to marriage. Many people look for marriage to be ideal, and if there is any ordeal, they want a new deal. Our culture says if it doesn’t work out, bail out. Thus, successful marriages today are a miracle. Likewise, marriages are also a miracle since they are ultimately, a work of God.
Today’s readings bring before us, some fundamental teachings on marriage. Lets look at the Gospel, in five stages.

God Loves Marriage and Children: The 27th Week of Ordinary Time
The Readings for this Sunday provide the homilist with an ideal opportunity to teach Christian doctrine concerning marriage and children. The opportunity is timely, too, as one of our political parties has taken an official stand supporting “same-sex marriage,” an arrangement that is not intrinsically related to the birth and rearing of children, does not provide the same benefit to society as true marriage, and can never be as optimal for the well-being of children as to be raised by their own biological father and mother. In the midst of the confusion about the very nature of marriage and its purpose, these Readings shed the light of God’s revelation on how we should live this most intimate aspect of our lives.

27th Sunday: Two Become One
The readings for this Sunday point us to a consideration of the sacrament of matrimony. This is the sacrament so many of you live. I can provide the theological, spiritual basis of the sacrament, but only those of you who are married can provide the reality of the sacrament in your marriages.

I want to be poetic with you today and take a close look at that beautiful first reading from Genesis. As simplistic and perhaps even childlike that the stories in Genesis might appear, they are, in fact, deep meditations on the great questions of humanity: the origins of the universe and humankind, life, evil, and death. They were set in Genesis by inspired sages who believed profoundly in the hand of God. Everything happened because the Creator so willed it. Nothing is the result of chance or accident.

Marriage and Family: All You Need is Love
Is annulment just a Catholic Divorce? This article explains the unpopular Roman Catholic position on marital intimacy, divorce, remarriage, and the meaning of a decree of nullity.

The Beatles wrote a song that was the sensation of 1967, “All you need is love.” This the same point made a few years earlier by an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church.

Gadium et Spes 24, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, says this: God is Trinity, a communion of persons who pour themselves out in love to one another from all eternity. If we human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, then we are clearly designed for love. In fact, we really can’t find ourselves without giving ourselves in love sincerely and completely.

‘We Are Instruments in the Hands of the Lord’
This homily was given by Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services at the 60th annual “Red Mass” in Washington on Sept. 30. Each year, the Mass is held the day before the Supreme Court’s new term begins to ask God’s guidance upon justices, judges, attorneys and senior government officials. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, was the principal celebrant at the Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

God’s Love: Reason for Hope
In view of all the difficulties we face, both in our personal lives and in the world, sustaining our hope is truly a challenge. When we learn of the wars, the divisions, the suffering of people around the world, our hope for unity and peace among peoples and nations is severely challenged.
Hope is not fostered by a natural reading of history. That reading of history suggests things will never change permanently for the better. That reading of history provides no model of people living together in mutual respect and universal love. In fact, we see just the opposite. The human appetite for violence is enormous. A cynic would say history shows that people love killing each other. Almost 3000 years ago, Homer wrote in the Iliad: “Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war.” One need look no further than the last century for ample evidence in support of that view.

Seven Practical Steps to Draw Closer to Jesus
We live in difficult times as Catholics. Quite possibly it has always been this way. The culture sends messages to us that are very harmful to our spiritual life. If we have become blind to this truth, it is likely that we are pursuing success as defined by the secular world instead of pursuing the holiness God has called us to live.

The Door of Faith
The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. (Pope Benedict XVI, “Porta Fidei”)
Usually, walking through a door isn’t a big deal. When I’m home, for example, I move through the doors of my house – living room, office, kitchen, den and chapel – frequently, without giving it a second thought. While at work I pass through the doors of my office, adjacent offices and conference rooms a dozen times a day.

Sometimes, though, passing through a door can be a really big deal, a memorable life-changing experience.

Everyone Loves a Baby
I brought my godson, a four month old baby, to my daughter’s volleyball game.
Bringing a baby anywhere is like being a bodyguard/spokesperson for a moody celebrity. You have to clean up their messes. People want to come up to them, touch them, and just look at them. But the celebrity doesn’t talk to riff raff. All questions are handled by the spokesperson/bodyguard.
The baby has done nothing to gain celebrity status and he drools. So in many ways he’s exactly like an actual celebrity.

Can my guardian angel read my mind?
For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways (Psalm 90:11)

“From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.’ Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.” (CCC 336)

The Angels Were Not Invented by Hallmark Cards and Gifts
Okay! Let’s get a few things straightened out about the Angels. First, the angels existed long before Hallmark Cards and Gifts. I know you think they invented them because their stores are filled with chubby, ceramic, baby-faced angels, however, God created the angels long before he created the person who invented Hallmark Cards and Gifts. Look – I like Hallmark too, but they did not create the angels.

One of the Most Beautiful Stories I Know . .
There are many gems in the writings of the Church Fathers. Some are valuable because of their insight into faith, others are valuable because they fill in things not mentioned in the Bible, and some are valuable because of their spiritual beauty.
Here is one about the Apostle John, who is sometimes called the Apostle of Love. This story alone would earn him that nickname.

5 Tips That Will Change the Way You Think About Confession
There are endless resources online about confession that you can find with a simple search. So because of this, I don’t need to write about the doctrine.
What I want to do, however, is to encourage you to go if you haven’t been in the last year.
October is a great month to go back to confession. School has started, the colors are changing, and the crazy rush of the Holidays are only weeks away. If there’s ever a great time to go, it’s now.

Fulton Sheen’s Secret toEvangelization
Who was the greatest Catholic evangelist of the twentieth century? To me it’s no contest: Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. Some might argue for Pope John Paul II, who had a bigger impact on the world. Others might claim Mother Teresa, whose smile and sari were certainly more recognizable. But in terms of evangelization, I don’t think anyone drew more people into the Church than Sheen.

Why It’s Important that We Call Priests “Father”
Some Christians, based upon Matthew 23:9, are opposed to the practice of calling priests “fathers.” They’re mistaken in this opposition, and risk doing a disservice to God out of their misreading of this text. Now, we already know that the practice of referring to spiritual fathers as “father” is in found throughout the New Testament (e.g., Luke 16:24; Luke 16:30; James 2:21; Acts 4:25; Romans 9:10; 1 Cor. 4:15; cf. Romans 4:11-18), and that taking Matthew 23:9 literally would forbid virtually every manner of referring to spiritual leaders (including “reverend,” “pastor,” “doctor,” etc.) as well as acknowledging one’s biological father as such (which would be a problem for the more than 400 times that the New Testament uses the term “father”).

Do You Know the Four Properties of a Glorified Resurrected Human Body?
Sacred Scripture and Catholic theology teaches that our glorified resurrected bodies will experience four properties as an outflow of the beatified soul enjoying the vision of God’s essence:

Childless by choice – a decision you may live to regret
Hot yoga and shopping trips to New York won’t sustain you when you’re eighty-plus and lying in a resthome.

When it comes to major life decisions, who in his right mind wouldn’t choose what sounded like more fun and less work? This, according to one observer, is the rationale behind a new trend in Canada: childlessness. Says Joe O’Connor in a recent National Post op-ed:
Imagine a scenario where, on a Friday night, after running around like a beheaded chicken at work all week you get home, smooch the person you love, grab a glass of wine and enjoy the silence, the blissful quietude of being a committed and adoring couple — without kids.

From Atheism to Catechism
Imagine society’s collective shock if Hillary Clinton were to join the National Rifle Association, if members of the Westboro Baptist Church were discovered frolicking at a gay bar or if Quentin Tarantino were to announce plans to make a Justin Bieber documentary.
Josh Horn’s friends were hit with a shock wave of that magnitude when Horn, then an ardent atheist, announced his resignation as president of the Secular Free Thought Society, an ASU club known for its skepticism of religion. Horn had committed the ultimate taboo and sealed his self-imposed excommunication with one act: he decided to become a Catholic.

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