Friday, July 31, 2009

Horror of Sin : The Curé of Ars

I posted the novena prayer for today yesterday. Somehow got the days mixed up, but I learned something in the process. Yesterday I pondered whether it was a blessing or a burden to be gifted with the charism of reading souls, for knowledge of the sins of others could be deeply unsettling without the right perspective.

Well, had I not bucked the novena's order I would have had the answer to that very question. Though he was horrified by sin, St. John Vianney was 'so sympathetic ' to our fallen natures and 'so ready to welcome the sinner'.
To see the situation with such loving clarity, to possess the ability to both admonish and love the sinner, can be nothing but the extraordinary grace of our all good, all powerful and unfathomably loving God.


Saint John Mary Baptist Vianney, you were so adamant against sin, yet so sympathetic and so ready to welcome the sinner. I come to you today as if you were still alive, as if I were kneeling at your feet and you could hear me. Bend towards me, listen to the repentant confidence for the weaknesses and miserable deeds of mine. Priest of the Lord, inexhaustible Confessor, obtain for me the horror for sin. You wanted us First to avoid the occasion of sin. I want to take your advice and make the resolution to break bad habits and to avoid the dangerous occasions of sin. Help me today to examine my conscience.Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for... (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Curé of Ars Novena : Confession

St. John Vianney possessed many spiritual gifts, though none as widely reported on as his ability to read the consciences of those who came to him for the sacrament of reconciliation. I can't decide if that makes the role of confessor easier or more difficult, for it could very easily be overwhelming to know so much about the sins of so many. However, because this knowledge was viewed through the eyes of Love, the humble Curé undoubtedly bore any burden cheerfully, thanking God for the grace of helping save souls in peril.


O Holy Priest of Ars, you knew how important was a good confession for the Christian life. It was to procure the happy fruits of millions of souls that you agreed to be in an uncomfortable confessional, which was like a prison, up to 15 to 16 hours on certain days. I will try to develop the habit of frequent confession, to prepare properly each time and to have always regret for my sins, so that the grace of final perseverance but also the sanctification of my soul will be assured. Ask this grace for me.Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

St. John Vianney Novena, Day Three

Today we petition the humble Curé to intercede for us, asking God to hear our own petitions but not before requesting the all important grace of true love of neighbor.

What a different place the world would be if everyone asked for - and accepted - this beautiful grace.


Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney because of your love of God you showed great charity towards your neighbor. You could not preach on the Love of God without burning tears of love. During your last years, it seemed as though you could not talk about any thing else or live for anything else. Thus you sacrificed yourself to your neighbor by consoling, absolving and sanctifying them to the limits of your strength. Your charity inspires me to greater love of God, a love which is shown more by acts then by words. Help me to love my neighbor generously as Christ loves them.Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Curé of Ars: The Importance of Fasting

Today is Day 2 of a powerful novena asking the intercession of St. John Vianney, whose feast is celebrated August 4th.

If you are seeking a miracle, see no way out of a situation, or are on the verge of giving in to the temptation of despair - please do not lose hope! If your health permits, you may wish to consider offering a fast along with the prayers of this novena.

Here is what the holy, humble Curé himself said about the efficacy of fasting:

Regarding mortification, he once said, “My friend, the devil is not greatly afraid of the discipline and other instruments of penance. That which beats him is the curtailment of one’s food, drink and sleep. There is nothing the devil fears more, consequently, nothing is more pleasing to God. Oh! How often have I experienced it! Whilst I was alone – and I was alone during eight or nine years, and therefore quite free to yield to my attraction – it happened at times that I refrained from food for entire days. On those occasions I obtained, both for myself and for others, whatsoever I asked of Almighty God.”



Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney, what confidence the people had in your prayers! You could not leave your old rectory or your humble church without being surrounded by imploring souls, who appealed to you as they would have appealed to Jesus Himself during His earthly life. And you, O good Saint, gave them hope by your words, which were full of love for God. You, who had always counted entirely on the heart of God, obtain for me a deep filial trust in His Providence. As the hope of divine goods fills my heart, give me courage and help me to always obey the Commandments of God. Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
with appreciation to

Monday, July 27, 2009

Novena to St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars

Today the faithful begin a novena to St. John Vianney, or the Curé of Ars as he is also known.

This extraordinarily holy saint was gifted with the charism of reading souls, and it was not unusual for him to spend 13-16 hours each day in the confessional. It is reported that he gave so much of himself serving the Lord that he only slept 2 hours a night. Many cures were attributed to his intercession, and he was frequently attacked by the devil. In one such attack, it was revealed to him that if there were three men as holy as he on Earth, Satan's kingdom would be broken.

St. John Vianney is the patron saint of priests and it is wonderful to be able to ask for his powerful intercession during this, the Year of the Priest . Please consider adding a special priest to your intentions for this novena.

Novena to St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars


Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney you were born of a deeply religious mother; from her you received the Holy Faith; you learned to love God and to pray. At a young age, you were seen kneeling in the front of the statue of Mary. Your soul was supernaturally carried towards the things on High. Despite the high cost, you answered your vocation!

Against many obstacles and contradictions, you had to fight and suffer to become the perfect priest which you were. But your deep spirit of faith supported you in all these battles. 0 Great Saint you know the desire of my soul; I would like to serve God better; from Him I have received so many good things. For this, obtain for me more courage and especially the depth of faith.

Many of my thoughts, words, and actions are useless for my sanctification and for my salvation, because this supernatural spirit does not stir up my life. Help me to be better in the future.

Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Saturday, July 25, 2009

St. Joseph's Humble Heart

FOR YOUR DISCERNMENT: this story contains private revelation

A few weeks ago I was at an event held in a Catholic church, waiting for an unrelated business meeting with one of the speakers. I was standing at the back of the room taking everything in when a gentleman approached me.

“I met Padre Pio,” he said by way of introduction.

“You did?” I asked.

“Yes. I was eight years old, visiting Italy with my family. I went into his confessional.” He nodded encouragingly and said. “Padre Pio only said one word to me.”

“What was that? “ I inquired.

“He came out of the confessional, took my hands and said 'Bella', then walked away. Another priest came over and explained that Padre Pio didn’t hear confessions in English.”

“Wow,” I said, smiling. “I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone who personally met Padre Pio. What a wonderful blessing for you.”

He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a holy card protected by plastic. Suspended between the card and the plastic was a small amount of hair.

He said “This is from Padre Pio’s beard.”

At this point I really didn’t know what to make of everything. His story seemed perfectly plausible, even delightful, until this point. Maybe because the hair suspended in the plastic case closely resembled the man’s own beard, I became suspicious.

I said “Wow, that’s great” and then excused myself to go get a drink while I waited for my meeting.

I returned to the room a little while later and the man again approached. He said “Jesus appeared to me in a dream.”

I said a half-hearted “Wow.” followed by another “That’s great.” and began plotting my exit.

He said “Do you want to know what Jesus said?

“Sure,” I sighed.

“He appeared as the Sacred Heart, and told me ‘You know to honor my Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of my mother’. Then He asked me ‘ But what about the heart of Saint Joseph?' ”

At this point the rest of the room faded away and I was aware only of the very loud beating of my heart. I have no idea why, but everything in my being was telling me to pay attention to this man from whom only moments earlier I had been trying to escape. Keep in mind that I was there on non-Catholic business, waiting for a meeting with another man who just happened to be speaking at this church, and this stranger had approached me without solicitation.

Two bits of information before I proceed. First, I have a very big devotion to St. Joseph, and I devour everything that I can get my hands on about his life. I love how he loved Our Lady and I love how he loved Our Lord. Secondly, I am incredibly wary of private revelation, so I submit what the man said next for your discernment.

The man continued “Jesus showed me an image and said ‘Behold the Humble Heart of St. Joseph’”.

Again, private revelation is a very sticky wicket, and even many saints were fooled by their own imaginations and the Enemy. That being said, it does make sense to my lay Catholic-self (with not an ounce of ecclesiastical authority) that St. Joseph’s holy, loving and obedient heart could absolutely be called The Humble Heart. It also would not surprise me that Our Lord would wish the world to honor The Humble Heart of his beloved foster father.

The man explained that he asked someone to draw a picture of the image Jesus had shown him. He promised to mail it to me, but I have yet to receive it. If he does send it to me, I will post it here.

The man continued. “A few years later Padre Pio appeared to me in a dream and said Jesus revealed to you the Humble Heart of St. Joseph. Why haven’t you done anything with this information? "

The man was visibly frustrated. “I don’t know what I can do. I’ve told people, but don’t know what else I can do.”

So, here his story for your discernment.

Good night and God Bless.

PS Anyone wishing to make a pilgrimage or submit prayers to the National Shrine of St. Joseph (located in Green Bay, WI) can find information here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Socialism and the Church

In light of the looming threat of socialized medicine in the United States, I am resposting this item from the archives. I highly recommend ordering this particular DVD from was one of the most informative and eye opening interviews I've ever seen.

(PS While you're waiting for your DVD to arrive, here's a hint on the Church's position...socialism has been the cornerstone of every evil regime in history.)

Socialism and the Church

Lots of talk about socialism these days. Wonder where the Church stands on it?
Father John Corapi to the rescue. He's researched the church's position on socialism, distilled it and explains it in an easy-to-understand manner the White House hopes you'll never have a chance to hear.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Rosary Stops Ted Bundy

Spirit Daily today links to InGod'sCompany2 blog with an amazing post - this story is a must read. The power of the rosary never ceases to amaze me. Please pray it today and every day.

The Killer and the Rosary

"... To understand that Our Lady needs us, it helps to begin with the awareness that we also need her and that her help never fails those who pray to her with a sincere heart. This American Monsignor is a good witness of that.

On May 14, 2009, Mgr. William Kerr, a leading human rights figure, died. Mgr. Kerr often spoke of his very first hospital assignment, where he ministered to a young burn victim dying from his injuries. Later, he recalled, he would be called upon to perform even more ghastly duties.

In 1978, the police called Msgr. Kerr in the middle of the night to accompany them to a sorority house in Tallahassee. When he arrived he was told that all but one of the girls in the house were dead or near death, killed by the infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy. After administering last rites to one of the college girls who was dying, the police on the scene asked Fr. Kerr to speak with a girl who had survived the massacre unscathed. They had a very specific question: Why did Bundy stop right inside the door to her room, drop his weapon, and leave without touching her?

The young woman refused to speak to anyone except a priest. When Fr. Kerr approached the near-catatonic girl, she told him that her mother had made her promise, before going off to college for the first time, that she would pray the Rosary every night before bed for protection. Even if she fell asleep praying the Rosary, which she had that night. When Bundy came into her room to murder her as he had the other girls, the beads were still clutched in her hands.

Ironically, Bundy later sought out Msgr. Kerr as a spiritual counselor while he waited on death row. Over the course of their sessions, Bundy explained to Mgr. Kerr that when he entered the girl’s room, he just wasn’t able to continue with his spree, he dropped his weapon, and he fled.

Such is the power of our Mother’s protective mantle. Such also is the wisdom of a mom, who managed to give her daughter the most efficient, powerful weapon - the rosary, which later saved her life. "

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Succor

I came across this prayer today and thought it was really special. Our Lady of Perpetual Succor is also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Prayer Found Under Christ's Sepulchre, 1503 AD

O God Almighty, who suffered death upon the cross, particularly for my sins, be with me.
Holy Cross of Jesus - have pity on me.

Holy Cross of Jesus - be my protector.

Holy Cross of Jesus - take away all bitter pains.

Holy Cross of Jesus - take away all evil.

Holy Cross of Jesus - let me walk in the way of salvation.
Preserve me from any temporal accidents, take away any danger of sudden death. I always adore the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ: Jesus of Nazareth crucified, have pity on me; make the spirit of evil leave me for all times. O Mother of Perpetual Succour. I come before Thy Sacred picture and with a child-like conscience invoke thine aid. Show Thyself a Mother to me now. Have pity of me. O, dearest Mother of Perpetual Succour, for the love Thou bearest to Jesus and in honor of His Sacred Wounds, help me in this my necessity.
( mention your intention here)
O Loving Mother, I leave is all to thee in the Name of the Father. I leave all to Thee in the Name of the Son. I leave all to Thee in the Name of the Holy Spirit.
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, pray for us.Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, pray for us.Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, pray for us.


Monday, July 6, 2009

School of Thought

Could someone please explain to me why this is a good idea?


Michael Jackson Fans Commiting Suicide

Please add this intention to your prayers. I am stunned and saddened by this news:

Yahoo News UK is reporting that at least a dozen Michael Jackson fans have committed suicide in the wake of the pop star's death.

According to Gary Taylor, president and owner of, 12 distraught fans of the 'King of Pop' have taken their own lives, apparently unable to cope with the loss of their hero.

Taylor said the singer's death had left his fans on the forum "in a surreal place"...They can't accept it, they feel in some sort of different reality"

Taylor continued "It is a serious situation that these people are going through but Michael Jackson would never want this. He would want them to live."

The article also states that the Reverend Jesse Jackson, a friend of the singer, recorded a YouTube video asking Jackson fans not to "self destruct" over the loss of the singer.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wasting the Precious Gift of Time

I meant to post several items today - really good, interesting things about St. Joseph. "Oh good, HappytoBeCatholic." you might say. "I love St. Joseph, and can't wait to read this entry. But could you help me...I'm having a little trouble finding any current posts about him."
Of course it is not you, it is me. Tonight HappytoBeCatholic is guilty of of squandering one of God's most precious gifts - the gift of time.
Of course I did have work and family matters to attend to throughout much of the day. But for the last hour I have been reading Internet gossip sites. I mean, really - is there a bigger waste of time?
I will have to stand before the Lord some day and account for each of those lost minutes. I will have to say that I chose to use God's precious gift of time reading about people who I do not know, knowing full well that their business is none of my business, even though they are celebrities of one manner or another. And the information was often mean-spirited or unverified, and very possibly untrue.

Gossip is a sin. Of course I know that, and I still did it anyway.


So...a special prayer found in TAN Books The Seven Capital Sins, applies.

My Resolution for Today

I resolve this day:

To do all in my power to resist evil and to do good.

To fulfill all the responsibilities of my state in life faithfully.

To observe kindness and honesty in all contacts with my fellowmen.

To preserve complete purity of soul.

If I should be tempted to evil, I will repeat in my heart the words, “Do what is right; Be right; Be cheerful!”

That I may be able to keep this resolution, I ask the help of God, my Creator.

I am still mad at myself but I felt a little better when I saw this description of the The Seven Capital Sins on Tan's website:

Everyone, unfortunately, will see himself described in the pages of this little book, since all our sins are traceable to these seven roots: Pride, Covetousness (Avarice), Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy and Sloth. The Seven Capital Sins explains the true nature, degrees, acts and family relationships (or connecting links) among these seven vices, and it gives the remedies and safeguards against them.