Wednesday, January 28, 2015

St. Thomas Aquinas: Prayers Before and After Communion

I recently stumbled upon these two prayers of St. Thomas Aquinas to be said before and after receiving Holy Communion. As with much of the Angelic Doctor's writings, his words have the ability to stir one's heart to more fully experience the depths of the mysteries he is writing about.  What a gift to the church he was and continues to be.

Prayer Before Communion

Almighty and Eternal God, behold I come to the sacrament of Your only-begotten Son, 
our Lord Jesus Christ. As one sick I come to the Physician of life; unclean, to the Fountain of mercy; blind, to the Light of eternal splendor; poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore, I beg of You, through Your infinite mercy and generosity, heal my weakness, wash my uncleanness, give light to my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness. May I thus receive the Bread of Angels, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, with such reverence and humility, contrition and devotion, purity and faith, purpose and intention, as shall aid my soul’s salvation.

Grant, I beg of You, that I may receive not only the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord, but also its full grace and power. Give me the grace, most merciful God, to receive the Body of your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, in such a manner that I may deserve to be intimately united with His mystical Body and to be numbered among His members. Most loving Father, grant that I may behold for all eternity face to face Your beloved Son, whom now, on my pilgrimage, I am about to receive under the sacramental veil, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.




Prayer After Communion

I thank You, Lord, Almighty Father, Everlasting God, for having been pleased, through no merit of mine, but of Your great mercy alone, to feed me, a sinner, and Your unworthy servant, with the precious Body and Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this Holy Communion may not be for my judgment and condemnation, but for my pardon and salvation. Let this Holy Communion be to me an armor of faith and a shield of good will, a cleansing of all vices, and a rooting out of all evil desires. May it increase love and patience, humility and obedience, and all virtues. May it be a firm defense against the evil designs of all my visible and invisible enemies, a perfect quieting of all the desires of soul and body. May this Holy Communion bring about a perfect union with You, the one true God, and at last enable me to reach eternal bliss when You will call me. I pray that You bring me, a sinner, to the indescribable Feast where You, with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, are to Your saints true light, full blessedness, everlasting joy, and perfect happiness. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Can We Cana? Experiences from 18+ Years of Marriage

So grateful today to Karee Santos over at Can We Cana? for her series on marriage which focuses on the experiences of real couples living out the very real ups and downs that occur in marriage.

My husband and I are blessed to have the opportunity to share some of our experiences over 18+ years of marriage. Head on over there to read our story entitled "Good Kissin' Don't Last, Good Cookin' Do: 10 Years and Then Some

As couples we need to be there to support and encourage each other in the "trenches" of marriage and family life. Pope Francis spoke these challenging about marriage to the World Youth Day Volunteers:
"Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion. Is it out of fashion? In a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘for ever’, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love."
The world's values pose a grave threat to Catholic marriages. Let us together beg the Holy Family of Nazareth for the grace to live out marriages that bear a credible witness to the world of the beauty of this sacrament.

Monday, January 5, 2015

January Daybook: A Snapshot Into My Life

Outside My Window...a clear, cold January morning - happy to see the sun shining after a gloomy weekend and much relieved to have dodged the fluffy white stuff so far this winter.
 
I am thankful...For a wonderful Christmas vacation and the fact that as a homeschooling family, our first day back to school in January does not involve venturing out into the cold first thing in the morning.

I am thinking...about how often and how much I can realistically blog while writing two mega papers for a Church History class I am taking. I do so love the blog but think I may need to cut back on it for a few months till this is all completed..

I am reading... Saint Thomas Aquinas For Children and the Childlike by Raissa Maritain with the kids and Practical Theology: Spiritual Direction from St. Thomas Aquinas by Peter Kreeft for myself. Sensing a theme here?  The Angelic Doctor's feast day is January 28 and as a graduate student in theology and a homeschooling I call upon his intercession often.  Did you know he is the patron saint of students and schools? I was so excited when I learned about Peter Kreft's new book and pre-ordered it months ago. Then I stumbled upon Raissa Maritain's book about Aquinas for children and ordered it to read-aloud with the kids during the month of January. Raissa Maritain is the wife of the esteemed philosopher Jacques Maritain, and is a philosopher in her own right. The book covers Aquinas' philosophy at a level appropriate for older-elementary students.

I am praying...for our Bishop who had a portion of his leg, ankle and foot amputated last week due to complications from Diabetes. Please keep Bishop O'Connell in your prayers for a complete healing and please pray for all those who suffer from diabetes.

From the kitchen...Today is the first day of a 28 day detox program that I am participating in with a few friends. Let's see: no caffeine, no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no alchohol...YOWZA.  This is going to be hard, hard hard....especially the caffeine. However, after a December -bender of rich foods, cookies, cookies and more cookies and free-flowing wine I think my body needs this. 

I am wearing...these awesome boots  - which came in a wide-calf option, were available through Amazon prime and did not break the bank- can we say win.win.win....

I am looking forward to...speaking at a local Theology on Tap evening tomorrow night. My talk will be on spiritual resolutions for the New Year - please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide the words that I speak and please pray for all those who will attend that they will hear the words that the Lord wishes them to hear.

A few plans for the rest of the month....not many....I love the fact that January usually brings a theme of hibernation to it and am looking forward to some cozy days at home catching up on homeschooling and my own school work.

A favorite quote for today....My family and I visited the National Shrine of Padre Pio this past week and our pilgrimage has led us to a deeper closeness to this awesome saint. He was such a gift to all those he ministered to and his words continue to be a blessing to the church!



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