weakness, and comfort him with the promise of life
everlasting, given in the resurrection of Your
all Your saints in the eternal habitations;
I don't know exactly how to feel tonight.
My younger brother is getting much worse.
His 44th birthday was Monday, and he was barely concious of it.
He is sinking lower each day.
My poor sister-in-law has finally accepted what is happening before her eyes.
Her heart is simpy shattered.
My parents just can't understand why God has not answered their begging to take them instead of their youngest child.
Tomorrow, I have to start making funeral arraingments. No one else can, the duty has fallen to me. My brother probably has between 2 weeks and a month left in this world, but soon he will leave us all.
There is no why - there just is.
We sinners beseech You to hear us, Lord Christ: That it may
please You to deliver the soul of Your servant from the power of evil, and from eternal death,
We beseech You to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please You mercifully to pardon all his sins,
We beseech You to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please you to grant him a place of refreshment
and everlasting blessedness,
We beseech You to hear us, good Lord
That it may please You to give him joy and gladness in Your
kingdom, with Your saints in light,
We beseech you to hear us, good Lord.
Jesus, Lamb of God:
Have mercy on him.
Jesus, Bearer of our sins:
Have mercy on him.
Jesus, Redeemer of the world:
Give him your peace.
I got this meme from ePiscoSours, a blog I read from time to time. http://www.episcosours.com/
Is there a particular time or place that you consider using your rosary? It is amazing how often you can find little spaces to pray your beads when you have it with you.
Where do you use it? Waiting for people, walking down hallways, sitting in traffic, there are lots of times in your day that you can turn to God. Also at home in the quiet.
What does the rosary look like? Black Hematite with a St. Jude medal for my brother, and a green jade one with a celtic Crucifix at home.
Who gave the rosary to you, or did you choose it? I chose them both.
Is this your favorite rosary; if so, why? Right now the St. Jude one is my favorite because whenver I touch it in my pocket, I remember to say a prayer for my brother.
What does using a rosary mean to you? It is a physical connection with God, family and my community of friends. As the beads slip through my fingers, I remember each of them with prayer. I am not sure that would happen in the same way without the physical touch.
Today is March 23rd, 2006: the feast of St. Gregory the Illuminator, called the Apostle to Armenia.
People often forget that the ancient kingdom of Armenia was the first country to become officially Christian. This was before Constantine changed history forever by becoming the first Christian Roman Emperor.
Armenia was a small kingdom between the powerful empires of Rome and Persia (Parthia), and both of them fought wars to control it. Gregory was born there about 257. When he was still an infant, his father assassinated the King of Parthia, and friends of the family carried Gregory away for protection to Caesarea in Cappadocia. His education in Caesarea was provided by a Christian nobleman named Euthalius. When Gregory grew up , his thoughts returned to his native land, and he wanted to introduce the Christian teaching there.
About 280 he returned to Armenia, where he was at first treated severely by King Tiridates. However, Gregory's preaching and the example of his life eventually converted the King, and with him spread the Christian faith throughout the country. Tiridates became so much a Christian that he made Christianity the national faith and a majority of his people converted to the Christian faith. So complete was this conversion, that we know very little of the original Armenian pagan religion.
About 300, Gregory returned to Caesarea to be ordained. Leontius of Caesarea made him bishop of the Armenians. Gregory set up other bishops throughout the land, along with schools, monasteries and convents. In 318 Gregory appointed his son Aristaces to be his successor as Patriarch of Armenia. About 331 he withdrew to a cave in the mountain Sebuh in the province of Daranalia in Upper Armenia, and there he died a few years later, unattended and alone but for God.
Armenian Christians to this day remember him with honor and gratitude.
Micah Jackson Of St. Jerome's Chapel podcast asks this question of us, concerning St. Gregory:
"I doubt that Gregory thought that we’d be talking about his achievement nearly 1700 years later. But it’s important to remember that we can never know what use God will make of our lives. Ask yourself, if people 1700 years from now were to recount the events of your life, would you be proud? Would God be happy with what you accomplished?"
Now that is a sobering thought.
Almighty God, Whose will it is to be glorified in Your saints, and who raised up Your servant Gregory the Illuminator to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth Your praise, Who called us out of darkness into Your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
In modern culture so many people look at the American Church and see nothing of the kind, Carpenter of Nazareth. They are full of doubts and don't know where to turn. Thomas was able to turn to the Lord Himself. He wasn't castigated for his doubts, Jesus simply showed him the Scars on His body. Maybe we can show others the way to Christ if we share our scars a bit, too. This painting really speaks to me how Jesus would react to our modern doubts.
John Granville Gregory
Gregory emulates the style of Caravaggio,using contemporary and realistic figures to show the story of Thomas encountering the Risen Christ.
From Fr. James B. Simpson and George H. Eatman's A Treasury of Anglican Art (New York: Rizzoli, 2002). Courtesy of Mr. Eatman.
To many Protestants the poetry and wonderful stories of the Apocrypha are unknown. In this season of Lent the Catholic Churches use this song pretty often during the Daily Office. I thought it appropriate to share. Let me know if it speaks to your heart.
Canticle 14 - Prayer of Manasseh 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15
O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners,*
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.
Today we remember the man who many only think of once a year, with cute shamrocks, leprechauns and green beer, but I think he was so much more than that!
Patrick was born some where around 390 in south western Britain, possibly between the Severn and the Clyde rivers. We know that his Grandfather was a priest, and his family were citizens of the Roman Empire, which in those days was very important. As a young man, he says that he cared little for God or His ways. But then, when he was around 16, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. This was a horrible and brutal experience, one that I can only imagine. It is particularly hard to understand how he went from a civilized Roman Province, to a wild barbarian land, with no laws or protections. We simply don't really have anything to compare our lives today with what happened to him, but in his despair, as often we humans do, he turned to God for help. And just as often, God hears us in our weakness, and Patrick escaped after about six years. He made his way to a port, and some how persuaded some sailors to take him back to the British coast, where he made his way home to his family.
Patrick returned to his family a changed man, and began reading the Bible and started preparing for the Priesthood. The Sprit moved in his heart, and he could not forget the people he was enslaved by. Patrick chose to NOT take the way of anger, hatred and revenge on his captors, and by forgiving those who had so cruelly sinned against him, Patrick changed the history of the world. He was eventually ordained a Priest by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, under whom he had studied for some years.
Shortly after 433 or so, Patrick was ordained a Bishop and made his vocation to be missionary to the Irish people.
Patrick began preaching the Gospel all over Ireland, and started the conversion of the Irish people. He was many times in danger, among people who were pretty much savages, and often times not only not welcoming, but down right dangerous. Nonetheless, Patrick and those who followed him began building churches, and preached throughout the country. They often converted Kings and their families, helping entire kingdoms to see the Light of Christ.
That is how Patrick changed the world, because a soon the Roman Empire fell in the West, and learning and knowledge were snuffed out. That is all but in Ireland, where the newly illiterate Monks carefully recorded and transmitted what information they could throughout the dark ages. If not for the Irish Monks, the Western world would have lost a great deal of its knowledge and literary heritage.
After about 40 years of preaching, teaching, and building Patrick wrote of his love for God in in his life Confession. Then, after years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died on March 17, 461.
He died where he had built his first Church, the town of Saul.
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God is an inspiration to me, and I am glad that our Parish should have such an example as our Patron. Patrick did not fear anything, not even his own death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.
So, why the Shamrock? The Celtic people were much closer to nature than their Roman counterparts back in the Empire, so Patrick used a simple shamrock to explain how the Trinity can be Three and One. Ever since, we associate the shamrock with him and the Irish people.
Almighty God, Who in Your providence chose Your servant Patrick to be the Apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of You: Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.
March 16th 7 pm – 8:30 pm
Malcolm Deisenroth PAC
Monte Cassino School,
2206 S. Lewis Ave.
Tulsa Peace fellowship has as their keynote speaker, Fr. Dear, S.J. Fr. John is a former Executive Director of the Fellowship for Reconciliation and a coordinator of the Red Cross Chaplain Program at ground zero after the attacks on 9/11.
A peace and nuclear non-proliferation activist, Fr. Dear has been arrested over 75 times for nonviolent acts of civil disobedience. He is the author of more than 20 books including “Living Peace” and “Mohandas Gandhi: Essential Writings.” This interfaith celebration is free and open to the public.
A reception and book signing will follow.
You can view Fr. John's information here
Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the peoples and nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Annual United in Prayer Day will be held at:
St. Joseph Monastery
21st & Lewis
Saturday, March l8
9:00am to 1:00pm
(Optional meal afterwards at a local restaurant)
This year our local chapter will participate in the Contemplative Outreach Intensive Day of Prayer around the globe that celebrates our worldwide network united in a single bond of Centering Prayer here in the United States and as many as 30 other countries.
The schedule allows for two 20-minute periods of centering prayer, Fr. Thomas' Living the Contemplative Life presentation and accompanying homily, with built-in discussion time.
Donation accepted yet not required.
All are welcome.
Gregory was born around 540. He was the son of a politically influential and very wealthy family. In about 573, by appointment of the Eastern Emperor, he became Prefect of Rome. By this late period of history, this important post had lost of much of its old magnificence, and its responsibilities were reduced. However it was still the highest civil authority in the city, and a great honor. It is pretty amazing that Gregory decided to abandon everything and become a monk. His inward struggle finally resolved only after long periods of prayer. Once he had made his decision, he set aside the silken robes and jewels he was used to, put on a rough robe, converted his estates to monasteries, and even his mansion on the Caelian Hill in Rome itself. Who of us would have such counter-cultural devotion? Surely not SUV driving Americans in our gated communities. ;)
In 579 he was made Papal ambassador to the Patriarch of Constantinople, where he stayed for about six years. Gregory found the worldly atmosphere of the brilliant Byzantine Court, very unattractive, and to counteract its dangerous influence he followed the monastic life so far as circumstances permitted. Shortly after his return home, the Pope died of the plague, and in 590 Gregory was elected Pope.
Like Leo before him, he became practical governor of central Italy, because the job needed to be done and there was no one else to do it. When the Lombards invaded, he organized the defense of Rome against them, and the eventual signing of a treaty with them. When there was a shortage of food, he organized the importation and distribution of grain from Sicily.
It is hard to over state his influence on the Church. He regularized the church’s rites, and arranged the church’s music as well. Gregorian (plain chant) chant is named for him. The schedule of Scripture readings for the various Sundays of the year, and the accompanying prayers (many of them written by him), in use throughout most of Western Christendom has been in effect for over thirteen centuries!
We in the Anglican Communion remember him also for sending a party of missionaries headed by Augustine of Canterbury (not to be confused with the more famous Augustine of Hippo) to preach the Gospel to the pagan Anglo-Saxon tribes lived in England and, who had conquered or displaced the Celtic Christians previously living there. Gregory took an active interest in their work, writing numerous letters both to Augustine and his monks and to their English converts. To this day the See of Canterbury is the Senior Bishopric of all the Anglican Churches.
Gregory was the first of the Bishops of Rome to use the title, “servant of the servants of God” (servi servorum Dei). This is a direct reference to the Gospel of Mark, where Jesus tells us “whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be the slave of all.” (Mark 19:42-45) This is a vital Gospel realization, because no matter how much you have been blessed with wealth and power, God calls you to use that wealth and power in the service of those who have less, who are just as much God’s children as you yourself. Something we must never lose sight of.
The last years of Gregory's life were filled with every kind of suffering. His naturally serious mind, was filled with despondent forebodings, and his continued bodily pains were increased and intensified. Modern people understand the connection with bodily ill health and depression. Gregory's "sole consolation was the hope that death would come quickly". He died on 12 March, 604, and on the same day his body was laid to rest in front of the sacristy in the portico of St. Peter's Basilica.
Almighty and merciful God, Who raised up Gregory of Rome to be a servant of the servants of God, and inspired him to send missionaries to preach the Gospel to the English people: Preserve in Your Church the catholic and apostolic faith they taught, that Your people, being fruitful in every good work, may receive the crown of glory that never fades away; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.