My Anniversary… belated.

Ugh, this is like a bad joke about husbands forgetting their wedding anniversary! I’m usually so good (exacting, even!) at remembering dates. Yet, without fail, I always remember the “anniversary” of my reconciliation to the Catholic Church a few days AFTER the fact. It’s such an important anniversary, and I could kick myself for failing to remember even a few days before! Somehow I am going to make myself a reminder for next year.

Anyway…

As of July 1, 2010, I have officially been reconciled (and a fully practicing Catholic) for 8 years! Deo gratias!

I try to keep track of my anniversary so that I can not only remember and give thanks to God for the grace He has given me; but also to give myself a little hope. I have come a long, long way. If ever I look back and discover my faith hasn’t grown, I’ll know I’m headed in the wrong direction.

One thing I can witness to as being true: you ask God for grace and He will give it to you, without fail. Give Him the smallest opening, and the Holy Spirit will flood your soul.

“Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”

Matthew 7:7-8

I have come a very long way in 8 years. I am intensely grateful for the grace that God has given me, and I pray that He will continue to bless me and keep me open to His will and Divine Providence.

In thanksgiving, please pray for the priest who heard my Confession that day 8 years ago.

O Jesus, Eternal High Priest, live in [Fr. E], act in him, speak in and through him.
Think Your thoughts in his mind, love through his heart.
Give him Your own dispositions and feelings. Teach, lead and guide him always.
Correct, enlighten and expand his thoughts and behavior.
Possess his soul; take over his entire personality and life.
Replace him with Yourself.
Incline him to constant adoration and thanksgiving; pray in and through him.
Let him live in You and keep him in this intimate union always.
O Mary, Immaculate Conception, Mother of Jesus and Mother of priests, pray and intercede for [Fr. E]. Amen.

For what it’s worth, I updated the “About” section to include my (not so sensational) “conversion story”. Or at least the beginning of it. Enjoy.

Prayer for Priests to be said by the Laity

O Jesus, eternal High Priest, Good Shepherd, Font of life, who by a special favor of Thy most tender Heart, hast given to our priests in order to accomplish in us those holy ideals with which Thy grace inspires our hearts. Let Thy Mercy, we beseech Thee, come to the aid of our priests. Grant them O Jesus, lively faith in their works, unshakeable hope in their trials, and fervent charity in their intentions.

May Thy Word, radiant with eternal wisdom, become through continual meditation the never failing nourishment of their interior life.
May the examples of Thy life and passion, be renewed in their conduct and sufferings for our instruction and as a light and consolation in our sorrows.

Grant O Lord, that our priests, free from all earthly attachments and solicitous for Thy glory alone may preserve to their last breath in the fulfillment of duty and in the purity of conscience. And when in death they deliver into Thy hands a task well done may they have in Thee Lord Jesus their Master on earth, the eternal reward of the crown of justice in the glory of the saints.

Amen.

Year of the Priest

Without the Sacrament of Holy Orders, we would not have the Lord. Who put Him there in that tabernacle? The priest. Who welcomed your soul at the beginning of your life? The priest. Who feeds your soul and gives it strength for its journey? The priest. Who will prepare it to appear before God, bathing it one last time in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest, always the priest. And if this soul should happen to die [as a result of sin], who will raise it up, who will restore its calm and peace? Again, the priest. … After God, the priest is everything! … Only in heaven will he fully realise what he is” ~ St. John Mary Vianney, quoted in Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter to Clergy for the “Year of the Priest”

Starting Friday (6/19), Pope Benedict XVI will declare a “Year of the Priest” for the Church under the patronage of the Curé of Ars (St. John Vianney).

In addition to praying fervently for our priests, I hope to get in some good reading on the priesthood. Here are my (intended) reads so far:
Theology of the Priesthood by Fr. Jean Galot
The Curé of Ars Today by Fr. George William Rutler
The Curé of Ars by Father Bartholomew O’Brien
The Sermons of the Curé of Ars by St. John Vianney
Ad Catholici Sacerdotii by Pope Pius XI (encyclical letter)
Christ, the Life of the Priest by Blessed Columba Marmion
The Priest is Not His Own by Fulton J Sheen
The Priest in Union With Christ by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange