Let us follow in his footsteps, driving out vice by virtue, pride by humility, impatience by patience, injustice by justice, impurity by perfect chastity and continence, ,vainglory by God’s honor and glory—so that whatever we do and accomplish may be for the gory, praise, honor and spread of our Jesus’ name. Saint Catherine of Siena, 1375
Form Your Own Prayer Group
In 1992, I when I heard of a men’s prayer group in Chicago which had been meeting weekly at 7:30 AM, I thought no-way would I do that. Then I realized four of us fellows were regularly meeting at 7:30 for our Friday tennis game. As two in the group had serious health problems and the third was facing a career crisis, I suggested we form a prayer group to pray for one another.
They agree to give it a try, and each was to check with his priest or minister to get ideas how to do this (two of us were Catholic, one Episcopalian and the other Methodist). When we next met, as we had received no advice from the religious, we decided to fly by the seat of our pants.
Our procedure was to start by holding hands and saying the Lord’s Prayer. Then we read Jesus’ statement that if two or more are gathered in his name, he is there also, followed by one of the brief spiritual messages we began accumulating. Next, we went over the list of people on our Special Intentions List for whom we were praying, and each member reported on the condition of the persons he was responsible for. We then held hands, closed our eyes and prayed for those on the list. After that, we read a chapter from the New Testament, beginning with Matthew. As each had different Bibles, this was interesting because if one was puzzled by a passage, the others would read their version and we would discuss. We would end by joining hands and praying again for everyone on our Special Intentions List.
Now, eighteen years later, we are still meeting with the same format; however, now we meet monthly because one member has moved to the beach and has a three-hour drive to meet. We have five members, as two of the original group have died and three new ones added. Currently, we have 49 on our Special Intentions List and 814 on the Deo Gratias List (for whom we also still pray) of those who have experienced healing or have graduated to the Higher Life.
The requirement for adding someone to the Special Intentions List is that this person receives a letter from the group, telling of being in our prayers and asking him or her to pray for the others listed. We also have several friends, whom we call correspondents, who often give names of those we are to pray for.
Now let me know how this grabs you. Why don’t you consider forming your own Prayer Group? Let me know if I can help.
I’ve become very suspicious of certainty. First comes understanding the value of doubt. For me, that’s how we get through the world
William Kentridge, South African artist and film producer
God arranges the events that touch us, which are independent of our will, and which unfold themselves in time. He acts also upon our will, because he is more intimate with us than we ourselves, and because is the author of our free will.
Raissa Maritain, who died in 1960 and was the Russian wife of philosopher Jacqus Maritain
And what are a few of your favorite sayings? firstname.lastname@example.org
- I found it ironic that in the January issue of The Catholic World Report the State of Israel has a full page encouraging Catholic to visit “where the miracles of Jesus happened!” Then on page 10 is this account of Israel’s new restrictions on visiting priests: The government of Israel is restricting visas for Catholic priests, forcing clerics to renew their visas every year and refusing visas from African and Asian countries. The new restrictions on priests point toward the likelihood of greater tension between the Church and the Israeli government.
(My comment: Hey, Israel, you are pleading for our tourist dollars while you kick us in the ass. What gives?)
- In Lima, Peru, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipiani is attempting to restore a sense of reverence for the Eucharist by requiring one to kneel before receiving Communion. (My comment: We in North American do the opposite—we lessen a sense of reverence for the Eucharist by adding distractions, like Communion hymns, announcements, etc. Dear Lord, will we ever learn?!)
- Last night as my wife, Eva, and I were walking in the bitter cold toward a restaurant in Bethesda, MD, we saw on the sidewalk an attractive couple in their mid-twenties, selling cupcakes for the Clinton Haiti fund. When I gave a contribution, the young man assured me every penny would go to Haiti.
- Tuesday was a special occasion when I took my blind friend, Paul Rice, for our usual monthly lunch. We hadn’t met since September because Paul, who is also partially deaf, a widower and scrapping through on his Social Security and small pension in a cheap retirement facility, has spent the past three months in hospitals, nursing homes and rehab centers. During the meal, Paul (a good Baptist) said, “2009 was one of the best years of my life. God was so good to me because he let me survive my quadruple heart operation, control my diabetes and curb my gout and intestinal problems. I am so blessed!”
(And what joyful experience do you want to share?)
Examples from martyrs
On November 29, 1791, when the Jacobin judge told priest Blessed Jean Gallot that, to be faithful to the new French Republic, he must not profess any religion. He replied, “I shall always be a Catholic.” Two months later, he was beheaded with thirteen fellow priests.
(Today, if someone asked you if you are a Joyful Catholic, how would you answer?)
The winner of a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, who clocked in at 10:32AM on January 26, is Jose Gonzales in Albuquerque.
1. After the tax collector, Levi, son of Alphaeus, became a disciple, his name was Matthew
2. In 313 Constantine, Emperor Rome legalized Christianity.
3. The Swiss Guards been serving the Popes for over 500 years
Regarding your last issue, if I work up thinking I died last night, I would be so depressed I would go back to sleep.
Edward Higgens, Alton, IL
In regard to your article I died last night, I had rather think that each day is the first day in the rest of my life.
Irene Burnstein, Baton Rouge
(My comment – You can’t win’em all. But still let me hear from you via email@example.com)
Other recommended Catholic Blogs
The Deacon’s Desk (article about a deacon’s rescue in Haiti)
The Archdiocese of Denver(article by George Weigel, complaining
about the “Johnny-One-Note” pro-life Catholics)
(outside the village of New Cuyana)
ft. above sea level 2150
(in a hallway)
If you need help
(1) press red button
My favorite religious priest, layperson or organization
The special honoree this week is 7-year-old Jonathan Slack of Orland Park, Ill. Before the Christmas holidays he saw a destitute woman on a street in Chicago and was moved to tears. He wrote a letter to those in his neighborhood, requesting help for the homeless. Ten days later, he received four truckloads of good and toys which he delivered to the Su Casa Catholic Worker Homeless Center in Chicago.
And let me know about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is making a difference. Share this with our many Joyful Catholic members.
Special Intentions List
As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name.
Juanita Caldwell, David Abbey, Amie Ellis, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Gerry Paradiso, Nick DeCarlo, Tom Medved, Bob Haines, Eileen Grotsky,
Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb,
Violeta Zepeda, Rev. Joseph Healy, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Joe Berger, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards, Mary Darwish, Lizzy Balchin
As you note, because of miraculous healings, several names have been added to our Deo Gratias list.