Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Praying

Prayers...Praying..both make up a huge part of my day.  It comes in many forms, prayer does; in silence; in spontaneity; in repetition; adoration; thanksgiving; penance, and petition.

I cannot imagine my life without it.  I'd be so empty. 

My favorite prayer is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  I was introduced to this beautiful, hope-filled prayer through Paul, a dear friend.   

My dad was a very spiritual man, a quiet spirituality filled him.  Even at death.  He was blessed with a happy death.  Unexpected as it was, sudden as it was, "unfair" as it was, he was blessed

Dad's name was Joseph, and he had such a strong bond with St. Joseph, the foster father of our Lord.  Dad  was given the gift to die at home, with dignity and grace, with all  nine children and his beloved wife at his side throughout his remaining days...it was a happy death.


One of his wishes was to see us all go to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.  And because of our love and respect for Dad, we all went...that very moment. 

My eyes fill with tears as I recount that day...

It took one phone call to a priest and he opened up his office doors for each of us...one at a time we went in...one at a time we came out...filled with peace and hope and trust in Jesus.

We all stood in the crisp, autumn afternoon, with the sun rays filtering down through the billowy clouds.  The red and yellow leaves were swirling all around our feet as we waited in line, like school kids,  in our own personal silence.  We looked so sad, scared, and forlorn.  But oh! so determined because Dad knew how important that was for each of us.

And as God gave His only Son to us out of an act of love....Dad gave us this last gift of love, to always trust in Jesus' love and mercy and forgiveness.

It was that night that  Paul had introduced me to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, over the phone as I recounted the day's events.. that "miraculous" moment. 

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is that of trust and hope...for the dying..for the sinful...for all of us...those who exult themselves and those who deem themselves too lowly and all those who fall between the two. 

Jesus' love and forgiveness is for all.

In the past couple of days, my friend Trisha has been trying to get the word out of a new ministry she is involved in:
http://www.stgabriel.org/index.cfm?load=page&page=390

I wanted to share it here, for her, for you all.  Thank you, Trisha, for this ministry you are working so hard with.




7 comments:

  1. Our boys are involved with KEPHA, a catholic father-son organization, where every boy and dad commit to praying either the rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet every day (kepharocks.org). Without this commitment, it was much easier for us to forget to pray our family evening prayers. Now, right before bedtimes, we set aside 30 minutes to do our family nighttime prayers, ending with Compline. It's a perfect way to end the day!

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  2. Stephanie ReisingerMay 19, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    I find that visual reminders help us a lot. I will leave a religious statue in the middle of the table or a rosary. We will tape a prayer card on the door to the freezer. Thank you Lord for Blue Bell ice cream in the middle of the summer. Leaving a religious story book or biography laying in the living room increases the chances it will be picked up for a quick read on a hot afternoon. Since my kids still have summer chores, I think I may have the kids take turns being responsible for the daily prayers and put it on their chore lists. I'm sure they would love the chance to be "in charge" for a change.

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  3. Kathi B, java queenMay 19, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    I'm with you on what happens when routine flies out the window; I realized this evening, reading your blog at 11:30 p.m. that I had not said ANY prayers today outside of meals & passing a graveyard!!! YIKES! So I stopped & prayed before reading on. I even bypassed my morning offering b/c I was hurried out of bed this a.m.

    We maintain going to Friday daily Masses & add Weds. a.m. as well in the summer -- with either donuts or Einstein's guaranteed afterwards and sometimes even breakfast out.

    Our "kid of the day" is responsible for setting the timer on the oven to 12 p.m. at breakfast time so we remember our noon time Angelus.

    As a family, we try to have a daily 9 p.m. prayer time. We do a variety of things - a rosary, the DM chaplet, Litany of the Sacred Heart, etc. My husband heads this up.

    Our kids (even the 4-year-old now) are "religious" about making sure we say a "May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace" each time we pass a particular (small) graveyard in Plano several times/week.

    We try to remember to say the sign of the cross whenever we drive by a Catholic church as acknowledgment of the Blessed Sacrament inside.

    If we are going to be in the car for at least 20 minutes, then we say a rosary. I would like to get more in the habit of saying a DM chaplet if we're going to be in the car for 5 minutes -- the grand total time it takes to say that lovely prayer. Each child in the car takes turns leading a decade.

    I'm such a creature of habit that I have to make my prayer that way too, lest it just get brushed to the side with everything else I've put to the side for summer.

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  4. Daily Mass and daily rosary keep us grounded. We began daily Mass a couple of years ago and it is such a blessing. I was really worried about it being hard for the kids, but they rarely complain. That is a big deal b/c they have no problem complaining about other things! Starting last fall we even began going to the "early" Mass (6:30 AM) on most weekdays. They handled it with grace that could only come from God. We're back to the 8:30 Mass now since school is winding down and we love it.

    I like Kathi's idea of setting the time in the AM for the Angelus, then the timer on my watch, which only has one alarm, can be reserved for 3:00 and the DM Chaplet.

    Thank you for posting the story about your father's last days. I didn't cry when I read it the first time, but when I read it to Rob - I did cry. What a wonderful example of a loving father. We all want to be the best parents and help our children make it to heaven and I think your father was amazing! I know you miss him. May I post a link to your blog on my Facebook? I think others would benefit from reading this particular story.

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  5. I have the summer problem, too, Patty. This is good to hear suggestions for how to not fall away this time around.
    And now I feel like a really, really crappy Catholic after reading all these.

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  6. Great ideas, Ladies. Many helpful tips here!
    ~Patty

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  7. Patty-this is such a beautiful story about your Dad. How awesome that all nine of you were able to be with him. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is my dh's favorite prayer. Our school name is Divine Mercy Academy :) oh and I have some of that lotion in my bathroom!

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