All posts filed under: Spirituality

Rule of Life, Quarantine Edition

For the past couple of years, it’s become something of an annual tradition for me to share about my ongoing efforts to craft and keep a rule of life. Since our lives are always changing, it makes sense that this is something that gets adapted as we face different transitions and obstacles to overcome. If you would be interested in looking at past years, you can find them here (2019, 2018) as well as my initial post on how to create a rule of life (here). Today, I wanted to share about how that’s been going so far in 2020, which has definitely been impacted by recent events. Mornings I begin my mornings “in the usual way” (as Fr. Timothy Gallagher might say), with a prayer of gratitude in my own words, thanking God for the present day and all that is to be in it, good and bad, and ask for His help, that by my actions, He might be glorified, and my soul further sanctified. This transitions into my morning offering prayer (the …

Keeping a Prayer Journal

In the times past that I’ve had the most self-discipline when it came to an active prayer life, if I’m honest, it was because I kept a prayer journal. My cheap spiral-bound notebooks (lay-flat binding is a ‘must-have’ feature for me) became a home for daily check-ins as I recorded whether I’d remembered to prayed, what Bible passages I’d read, and record a few paragraphs, sometimes pages even, of conversations with God. Creating a structured system, in effect, helped me during those periods to establish a rhythm of daily life and the focus to know WHAT I was going to do, and WHEN I was going to do it. Sitting in my chair, I had my journal and a pen, the Bible (in whatever translation I was presently reading), and a few spiritual books — books of prayer, books on the lives of the saints, devotionals, a catechism. Lest you get the wrong idea, I am not saying that it’s a clinical habit, boiled down to a list of checked boxes. Far from it. But …

The Divine Mercy Novena

In 2020, I participated in my first novena — the Divine Mercy novena. Today was the final day. A novena, for the unfamiliar, is a nine-day period leading up to a feast day in the Catholic Church, in which you say the same prayer (or set of prayers) for various intentions. In the Catholic Church, Divine Mercy Sunday falls on the Sunday immediately after Easter, so the novena begins on Good Friday each year, and concludes on the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday. The feast finds its origins in the life and writings of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), who purported to have conversations with Jesus, and her life’s mission was basically the propagation of this devotion to the Divine Mercy. St. Faustina had a vision of Jesus with blood and water flowing from his heart and a painting was commissioned that is still venerated. I’ve blogged before about the chaplet of Divine Mercy (here), so if you’re interested in specifics, definitely check that link out. What I’d like to share for a few minutes …

Perfumed Mystery

Perhaps I should have shared this as soon as it happened, but, recently I attended mass (not today) and when I received the host in my palm, I noticed a perfume that seemed to be coming from the Eucharist. There was a gentleman behind me in line and in front, and I received it from our priest, not a female Eucharistic minister. It should be noting that neither was I wearing perfume that day. So, I’m confident it wasn’t coming from someone in the queue. This is not the first time I’ve encountered sights or sounds or smells unusual in a church service (Catholic or Protestant), but I thought it worth remarking upon. It was a pleasant, floral fragrance. Edited: WordPress tells me this is my 500th post on this site. What a beautiful coincidence!

Nightmares

I woke up to nightmares and because I spent last night (pre-bedtime) spending time with the BVM, I knew exactly what to say to those demonic influences… “In the name of Jesus Christ, I bind the spirit of [name of spirit] and send you to the foot of the Cross to be judged by Our Lord.” I repeated this as many times as necessary. One spirit, whom I could not name, lingered, and I gave it a withering reminder: “I am a child of the Most High God. I have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. I walk in a state of grace. You have no power here save what the Father gives for correction because He loves me and desires me to be closer to Him. I am beloved by my Mother, and she has already crushed your head so that I may walk securely.” Did you know? Demons don’t like being reminded about Mary. They hate her. The Rosary has been compared to a rope that when you pray it, you …