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Begin your new year well by joining Saturday Morning Scripture Study
for The Great Adventure’s “James: Pearls for Wise Living”
beginning January 12, 2019.
During the months of March and April, the focus of the Sunday Scripture Class will be on several psalms of Book One of the Psalter, psalms numbered fifteen through twenty-nine. Book One Psalms are largely individual or communal laments, composed by David during his flights from his enemies, King Saul and his sons. Both authors select Psalm 22, one of the seven words spoken by Christ from the cross and Psalm 23, better known as the Good Shepherd Psalm as very important psalms for all Christians.
PRAYER WARRIORS NEEDED
MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL & BRUNO NIGHT WARRIORS
JOIN FORCES NOW
AND STORM HEAVEN.
TOGETHER WE MUST DO IT.
Michael the Archangel Prayer Warriors (MAPW) are just ordinary Catholics trying to fight an extraordinary enemy (Satan) through prayer, fasting, frequent reception of the Sacraments and all the ordinary and extraordinary holy things done by Christians everywhere, who are attempting to practice their faith. We serve God according to our vocation in life, but prayer and fasting are our main weapons.
1. “Jesus seems to…announce a mysterious law of the world of prayer, namely, that God, by His own decree, has somehow placed His power in the hands of persons who intercede, in such a way that unless they intercede, His power is withheld. This is the great attraction of the prayer of intercession: that as you practice it you get a sense of the tremendous power there is in prayer and having sensed this power, you will never give up prayer.” Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J., Sadhana - A Way to God
This is about prayer, spiritual warfare, and not just talking about prayer,which can be highly narcotizing. We must be about the practice of prayer.
2. Our MAPW are devoted to spending a minimum of one hour each day in solitude and silence in some quiet place immersed in prayer and meditation. The Holy Rosary is the weapon of choice. The practice of praying the Liturgy of the Hours is also highly encouraged as is any Lectio Divina.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes. Ps 37:7 (NIV)
The practice of praying in a place which is quiet and away from the noisy world we live in is most important for our own spiritual health, but has grand implications for the Church which is The Body of Christ and for the world. Mass is not enough!
There are no meetings, dues, or vows. We just take on an obligation with love to spend one hour a day in prayer and to fast on Fridays.
St. Bruno Night Warriors
St. Bruno Night Warriors (SBNW) are Christians who practice the same prayer formulas that our MAPW’s practice in #2, but they pray during the nighttime ours, anytime between the hours of 8:00PM and 4:00AM. These are the hours when fewer Christians are at prayer in our portion of the globe. These are the hours when the greatest evil takes place, and there are fewer people at prayer. So, our Night Warriors fill this gap and continue the prayer relay. With the diminution of the contemplative and cloistered religious orders throughout the Church, you and I are seriously needed to take up the slack.
“Prayer offered up at night possesses a great power, more than the prayer of daytime. There is nothing even Satan fears so much as prayer that is offered during the vigilance at night…” Isaac the Syrian
“The faithful must get used to praying in the night, like Jesus. God carries out His works at night. In the night, all movement is transformed and grows by God’s strength.” Robert Cardinal Sarah
Brothers and sisters, please give this more than just a great deal of thought. Pray about this and make a decision to deepen and strengthen your love life for the Triune God, Mother Mary, all the saints, and for Mother Church. This will benefit the world in which she, the Church, ministers her loving benevolence.
Michael the Archangel Prayer Warrior’s Preamble
And so, the institution of Michael, the Archangel Prayer Warriors came about because so many of the faithful were lacking in spiritual direction particularly with regard to prayer, and there was/is this necessity to intensify the power of prayer against Satan and his minions.
At this time, there are no proposed meetings, although we may sometime decide in the future. We all have enough things to do or already have made commitments toward many other ministries, so we will not waste time in hearings or committees. Since we are about the business of prayer, most of our spiritual encouragement should continue to come from our frequent reception of the sacraments, our daily prayer life, our families, loved ones, close friends, and parishioners who are also prayer warriors. All of these are channels of God's grace.
As an aside, one of the reasons the Hebrew Scriptures mandated the people’s participation in frequent assemblies and the Church has mandated the same thing in our Sunday worship services (Mass) under penalty of serious sin, is because of something we’ve talked about elsewhere. It is called “interpersonal neurobiology”. It is essentially group therapy that occurs just by all of us being together on one place for a particular purpose. This “we are the clay; You are the Potter” imagery that is found in the Hebrew Scriptures has a physiological basis called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity means our brains are rewired and a great healing is taking place slowly as we continue to associate ourselves with other healing sinners. This is a complex subject, and there are some very good lectures on YouTube presented by some fine psychiatrists and other medical people on this subject should you wish to learn more. Start by looking for lectures on depression, but a better place to start might be PTSD. Dr Steven Porges has some lectures on this subject. Mindsight is a book wrtten by psychiatrist Dan Siegle that explains interpersonal neurobiology very well.
A nightly nighttime rendezvous with God in silence can and will become habit forming. The desire to meet the Lord in the silent darkness of the night will grow to the point that you will eventually find yourself carefully arranging your daily schedule so that you retire for the evening rest at the same time each night or as close to it as is possible. You will go about organizing your daytime schedule so that you will not be cheated out of your time with the Lord.
You may find yourself needing less sleep. A number of the saints slept very little, but spent many hours in prayer. Certainly, the time for getting up for the regular night vigil will become easier as you intensify the practice. An alarm clock may not be necessary. Just a word said to your Guardian Angel will suffice. There can be times when remaining awake might be challenging. This becomes much less of a challenge as time progresses. A slight rocking motion of the head or body can help one stay awake. Or you can change to another prayer format or change prayer posture.
As you gain more experience in getting out of bed and going to the place of prayer, you might notice your body’s temperature rising before even getting up, possibly to the point of sweating. This can aid a person in realizing the call to prayer has occurred, just as in the final minutes of prayer, you can become aware that the body is cooling down, as it readies itself for sleep once again. These temperature differentials are measurements are in tenths of a degree and would require a basel body temperature to register these variants.
The nighttime silence is a powerful, silent elixir for the spirit. It might even be intoxicating. It also is a profound weapon against Satan and his ilk.
Prayer At Night
“Prayer offered up at night possesses a great power, more than the prayer of daytime. Therefore all the righteous prayed during the night, while combating the heaviness of the body and the sweetness of sleep and repelling corporeal nature….There is nothing even Satan fears so much as prayer that is offered during the vigilance at night…For this reason the devil smites them with violent warfare, in order to hinder them, if possible from this work [as was the case with Anthony the great, Blessed Paul, Arsenius, and other Desert Fathers]….But those who have resisted his wicked stratagems even a little, who have tasted the gifts of God that are granted during vigil, and who have experienced in themselves the magnitude of God’s help that is always nigh to them, utterly disdain him and all his devices….Which of the solitaries, through possessing all the virtues together, could neglect this work, and not be reckoned to be idle without it? For night vigil is the light of the thinking, and by it the understanding is exalted, the thought is collected, and the mind takes flight and gazes at spiritual things and by prayer is rejuvenated and shines brilliantly".1
When keeping vigil, especially the 3rd watch – midnight to three AM – if you ate your last meal around 6:00PM, you have a head start on a good 14 to 16 hour intermittent fast. If you are fasting on the days prescribed by the Didache, which are Wednesdays and Fridays, and are keeping the third watch, a 24hour fast is well within reach.
If you are concerned about a rapacious appetite while breaking the fast, be assured that it is not an abnormal experience. Scientists have found that most people only eat an additional 20% more calories than they would have had they not fasted. we can learn a great deal about moderation from fasting.
Fasting teaches many things including the ability to tolerate a little suffering in the form of hunger pangs. What a delight to offer these sufferings in union with Christ’s sufferings. These small pains make us aware of the poverty of our existence without God, and certainly more aware of the sufferings of the poor.
All of this should lead us to a simpler lifestyle. It reduces our desire for needless consumption of goods and food. Gospel simplicity is one of the frequent topics of our Blessed Lord. The warnings to the rich should be sufficient.
Peace be with you.
1 From the Ascetical Homilies by Isaac the Syrian, ca 700, Feast Jan. 28. Quoted by Robert Cardinal Sarah in his book, The Power Of Silence Against The Dictatorship Of Noise.
May the All-Powerful, Triune God, continue to bless you, protect you from all evil, and bring you to everlasting life. Amen
Music is integral to the celebration of any liturgical event. Singing unifies and deepens our communal prayer. Singing together, we become one body in Christ.
please contact the Director of Music Ministries: Jefferey A. Hall.
Our parish "Legion of Mary" group is looking for new members. We meet most Saturday mornings @ 9AM. We pray the rosary together and report on our ministry of service. This includes Eucharistic visitations of the sick, aged or homebound parishioners. We hope that You would consider this Vocational Calling. The Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church. For more information contact: Sara Roberts 615-226-0091
THE LEGION OF MARY WAS FOUNDED IN DUBLIN, IRELAND ON 7 SEPTEMBER 1921. IT IS A LAY CATHOLIC ORGANISATION WHOSE MEMBERS ARE GIVING SERVICE TO THE CHURCH ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS IN ALMOST EVERY COUNTRY.
The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active co-operation in Mary’s and the Church’s work.
Saturday Morning Scripture Study: resumes September 22, 2018, with The Great Adventure’s “EPHESIANS: Discover Your Inheritance”, an 8-part study that will illuminate the nature of the Church and our great inheritance as sons/daughters in the family of God. See and save the full-page flyer at any church exit for more information and to register. There is no prior study necessary; all are welcome and can greatly benefit. Registration deadline is Friday, September 14, 2018, for assurance of receiving materials before the first session. Come explore God’s gracious word to us in the letter to the Ephesians! Contact: Debra Head (615-851-1908) or Don Steinhilber (615-265-8375