Spare a Prayer

…for our fellow Christians in and near Iraq. Remember them in a Rosary today? A few recent news items:
Great header photograph as well. I wonder if she is praying for us to help her.

“Anglican bishop reportedly told: ‘There is no way that Christians will be supported because of their religious affiliation,” the State Department said.’

Mosul churches now mosques:

Father Dan Zehnle frequently updates lists of news items on ISIS and Boko Haram. Look on the right side of his blog. Here is a good recent homily from him:

Lent Begins

“Woe to me if I should prove myself but a halfhearted soldier in the service of my thorn-crowned Captain.”

And, last night on Twitter:

‏@BradBradsweet wrote:

I’ll be praying for all in my Twitter Parish during Lent /
Je prierai pour tous dans ma paroisse «Twitter» pendant ce temps de Carême

I replied:

Thank you! And let us all pray for priests and bishops. Lent is a battle and you guys are officers and on the front lines.

Pray much for priests and bishops!

UPDATE: Here’s an excellent article on Lent by Deacon Keith Fournier.

Pray Much

Our Lady of Pompeii, from  the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

Our Lady of Pompeii, from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

Here is the story of Our Lady of Pompeii.

Medal of St. Benedict

Medal of St. Benedict




























This is one side of the medal of St. Benedict.

We need sacramentals! Here are two good articles: Sacramentals, from New Advent and The Value Of Sacramentals from Catholic Culture.

(And that makes 7 posts in 7 days)!

Saint Scholastica Statue


This is a statue of Saint Scholastica, sister, perhaps twin sister, of Saint Benedict. The statue is in a side altar of Saint Benedict Catholic Church, Richmond, Virginia, whose priest has now joined the blogosphere!

We don’t know a lot about Saint Scholastica, but this story about her is wonderful. Click through, choose Office of Readings, scroll to the Second Reading, and read it all, and then the beautiful Responsory.

From the books of Dialogues by Saint Gregory the Great, pope

‘When she heard her brother refuse her request, the holy woman joined her hands on the table, laid her head on them and began to pray. As she raised her head from the table, there were such brilliant flashes of lightning, such great peals of thunder and such a heavy downpour of rain that neither Benedict nor his brethren could stir across the threshold of the place where they had been seated. Sadly he began to complain: “May God forgive you, sister. What have you done?” “Well,” she answered, “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery.”


When the saintly nun begged the Lord that her brother might not leave her,
– she received more than her brother did from the Lord of her heart because she loved him so much.

How good, how delightful it is for brothers and sisters to live in unity.
– She received more than her brother did from the Lord of her heart because she loved him so much. ‘

Augustine on Prayer

The Office of Readings the last few days has had excerpts from Augustine’s letter to Proba, “a Devoted Handmaid of God.” Today’s appears to be from Chapter 14, ttp:// . Here’s a Wikipedia entry about her: It is wonderful that we have some letters of Augustine to this Christian lady.

All of Chapter 14 of the letter is excellent. This paragraph follows what is excerpted in today’s reading:

But whoever desires from the Lord that “one thing,” and seeks after it, asks in certainty and in confidence, and has no fear lest when obtained it be injurious to him, seeing that, without it, anything else which he may have obtained by asking in a right way is of no advantage to him. The thing referred to is the one true and only happy life, in which, immortal and incorruptible in body and spirit, we may contemplate the joy of the Lord for ever. All other things are desired, and are without impropriety prayed for, with a view to this one thing. For whosoever has it shall have all that he wishes, and cannot possibly wish to have anything along with it which would be unbecoming.

For in it is the fountain of life, which we must now thirst for in prayer so long as we live in hope, not yet seeing that which we hope for, trusting under the shadow of His wings before whom are all our desires, that we may be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of His house, and made to drink of the river of His pleasures; because with Him is the fountain of life, and in His light we shall see light, when our desire shall be satisfied with good things, and when there shall be nothing beyond to be sought after with groaning, but all things shall be possessed by us with rejoicing.

At the same time, because this blessing is nothing else than the “peace which passes all understanding,” [Philippians 4:7] even when we are asking it in our prayers, we know not what to pray for as we ought. For inasmuch as we cannot present it to our minds as it really is, we do not know it, but whatever image of it may be presented to our minds we reject, disown, and condemn; we know it is not what we are seeking, although we do not yet know enough to be able to define what we seek.