Archive for September, 2012


“… To think my greatest enemies my best friends,
for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good
with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred. …”

If we really took to heart this prayer (given in its entirety below) — particularly this fragment of it — it could change our lives; it could help to keep us off of the endless (futile?) quest to drug — perhaps even to heal — the wounds life inevitably inflicts on us and brings to mind, and onto our real journey Home.

Of course, St. Thomas (the long-imprisoned-and-finally-martyred true friend of Henry VIII) was referring to the patriarch Joseph (Genesis 37, 39-45), not St. Joseph the foster-father of Jesus. What does he mean? Perhaps, he means that if we were always to live surrounded by comfort and the support of family and friends, earthly as we are, we would feel no need of seeking what truly matters — the Kingdom of God — or union with Him and its attendant guidance, consolation, etc. We would have little reason to long for our true Home in Heaven and every reason to want to stay here below as long as we can. We then might not reach Home at all at the end of our days! St. Thomas’ prayer is not a natural way of thinking at all; it is supernatural!

I also think that you can tell a lot about a person by his prayers. Here, we see that St. Thomas More was grounded in the ultimate reality — God — and that he was a humble, courageous man:

Give me Thy grace, good Lord
to set the world at nought;

To set my mind fast upon Thee,
and not to hang upon the blast of men’s mouths;

To be content to be solitary,
not to long for worldly company;

Little by little utterly to cast off the world,
and rid my mind of all the business thereof;

Not to long to hear of any worldly things,
but that the hearing of worldly phantasies may be to me unpleasant;

Gladly to be thinking of thee,
piteously to call for thy help;

To lean unto the comfort of thee,
busily to labor to love You;

To know my own vileness and wretchedness,
to be humble and meeken myself under the mighty hand of God;

To bewail my sins passed,
for the purging of them patiently to suffer adversity;

Gladly to bear my purgatory here,
to be joyful of tribulations;

To walk the narrow way that leads to life,
to bear the cross with Christ;

To have the last thing in remembrance,
to have ever before my eye my death that is ever at hand;

To make death no stranger to me,
to foresee and consider the everlasting fire of hell;

To pray for pardon before the Judge come,
to have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me;

For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks,
to buy the time again that I before have lost;

To abstain from vain conversations,
to eschew light foolish mirth and gladness;

Recreations not necessary to cut off,
of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss as nothing
for the winning of Christ;

To think my greatest enemies my best friends,
for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good
with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

Give me the grace so to spend my life,
that when the day of my death shall come,

though I may feel pain in my body,
I may feel comfort in soul;

and with faithful hope in thy mercy,
in due love towards thee
and charity towards the world,

I may, through thy grace,
part hence into thy glory.
Amen.

St. Thomas More, pray for us.

P.S. I originally came across this prayer in a gem of a prayerbook: Fr. Hardon’s Catholic Prayer Book. Hardon, of course, was a Jesuit. His book also includes some maxims of St. Ignatius (the founder of the Jesuits), one of which is:

If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings. The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior used to finish His sacrifice. All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ.

P.P.S. I’ve been on quite a prayerbook kick lately. Here’s another excellent one, available for free online (as are several of Fr. Lasance’s books): With God.

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Hi, friends. You’re invited to consider joining our Catholic ladies’ Scripture/book study group that is ideal for stay-at-home moms and anyone else who finds it hard to get to local church-based study groups – a phone-chat study group!

As a SAHM living with my husband and six small children in an outlying area, I’ve wanted to do something like this for awhile, and I’ve now found the ideal technology and book to begin it. The technology is the free Skype group-call feature, and the book is “Walking with God: A Journey Through the Bible.” We will try to keep on schedule to finish our first book immediately before Thanksgiving, and then go on holiday hiatus until approximately January 8, 2013.

For the present, I’ve named the group “Our Lady’s WiFiS” (Women inquiring Faithfully into Scripture), under the patronage of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (St. Edith Stein, the intellectual, Jewish convert, and Carmelite nun murdered by the Nazis).

The tech

If you would like to join the discussion, simply tell me your Skype name and I’ll add you to the group call!

The book

I recently reviewed “Walking with God” on my blog. Please read my review for details about this excellent opportunity to read what is basically an inexpensive short-course in the narrative of the Scriptures, a narrative that we know in bits-and-pieces from Mass and other studies, but is here presented systematically.

You can order the book less expensively on Amazon.

In addition, I have and will be using the chart and journal that I mention in my review to help with a weekly content summary and to generate discussion questions.

Join the group call!

If you’d like to be added, please let me know as early as possible, and if you are having problems with the group call, please send me an SOS on Facebook or at weareacatholicfamily@live.com .

Here are some details, subject to tweaking as we see what works and what doesn’t:

Weekly Discussion Plan

All times are Pacific; come and go as you’d like.

7:00 p.m.: Group call and greet
7:10 p.m.: Opening prayer
7:15-8:20: Discussion
8:20: Wrap-up
8:25: Closing prayer
8:30: Hang-up

Study Schedule

All chats will be open on Tuesday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m. Pacific time.

2 October 2012: Ch. 5 (“Conquest and Judges”)
9 October 2012: Ch. 6 (“Royal Kingdom”)

16 October 2012: Ch. 7 (“Divided Kingdom”)

23 October 2012: Ch. 8 (“Exile”)
30 October 2012: Ch. 9 (“Return”)
6 November 2012: Ch. 10 (“Maccabean Revolt”) and nominations for next book

13 November 2012: Ch. 11 (“Messianic Fulfillment”) and discussion of nominations for next book
20 November 2012: Ch. 12 (“The Church”), Book Wrap-Up, and selection of next book

Feel free to share the invitation!

The odds are pretty good that I’ve forgotten to send this to someone, even though I’ve scoured my e-mail address book and Facebook friends list, so if you think of any other Catholic ladies you’d like to invite, please feel free to share this with them, too. The more the merrier.

And, God bless us everyone! 🙂 Kristen

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