Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Trust

Several months ago I asked one of my children why the Children's Rosary is important.  He responded, "because it shows God we trust in Him".  This was an answer I had not expected but upon reflection indeed it was true.  To spend time in prayer is a way of showing Our Lord we trust in Him and believe He is listening to our prayers.  As we approach Divine Mercy Sunday, it seemed a perfect time to refect on a little portion of the Diary of St. Faustina in which Our Lord explains to St. Faustina how pleasing is a soul who trusts in Him.


"I seek and desire souls like yours, but they are few. Your great trust in Me forces Me to continuously grant you graces. You have great and incomprehensible rights over My Heart, for you are a daughter of complete trust. You would not have been able to bear the magnitude of the love which I have for you if I had revealed it to you fully here on earth. I often give you a glimpse of it, but know that this is only an exceptional grace from Me. My love and mercy knows no bounds." (Diary of St. Faustina #718)


The Children's Rosary at Holy Redeemer Parish in Menominee, Michigan will be meeting today at 5PM Central Time. Please consider joining the children in prayer.  The children always pray for those unifying prayers with them.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"The Greater the Sinner, the Greater the Right He Has to My Mercy."

As Divine Mercy Sunday approaches this Sunday it is beautiful to contemplate the words Our Lord shared to St. Faustina about His Mercy:


"I perform works of mercy in every soul. The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy. My mercy is confirmed in every work of My hands. He who trusts in My mercy will not perish, for all his affairs are mine, and his enemies will be shattered at the base of My footstool" (Diary of St. Faustina #723).


These words are such a comfort for us who stumble so often and feel discouraged.  For my own part, when I have found myself offending Our Lord through sin there is a natural tendency to shrink and look away from Him. To draw away and want to put asside prayer.  Yet Our Lord's words to St. Faustina, "the Greater the Sinner, the Greater the Right He Has to My Mercy" well up and then there is a renewed hope and a conviction to not look away but rather begin a new with more resolve.  Yes, at such low moments there is a knowledge that to doubt Our Lord's Mercy would offend Him more and thus to take up ones Rosary and pray looking to Heaven, appealing to Our Lord's Mercy, seems the most pleasing course.

Today we are blessed to have at least three Children's Rosary groups meeting. Please consider joining us today for the Rosary.  The children always pray for those unifying prayers with them.

April 21st
Children's Rosary at Holy Trinity Academy in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania 12:20 PM ET
Children's Rosary at Holy Family Church in Gladstone, Michigan 4:30 PM ET.
Children's Rosary at St. John the Evangelist Church in Mahopac, New York 4:30 PM held in front of the Blessed Sacrament.




Saturday, April 19, 2014

God's Grace

"God's grace is always greater than the prayer which sought it. The Lord always grants more than what He has been asked," adding, "you ask Him to remember you, and He brings you into his Kingdom!" -Pope Francis (November 24th 2013 homily)


Friday, April 18, 2014

Divine Mercy Novena Begins Today!

Good Friday is the day that Jesus asked Saint Faustina that a 9 day novena to the Divine Mercy be initiatied.  He gave her a different group of souls to pray for each day.  Along with those intentions the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is said as well.  The novena leads up to Divine Mercy Sunday instituted by Pope John Paul II. I am attaching a link to the Divine Mercy Novena and how to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. 

Jesus's Request to Saint Faustina:


"I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fount of My Mercy, that they may draw there from strength and refreshment and whatever graces they need in the hardships of life, and especially at the hour of death.
On each day, you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls, and you will immerse them in this ocean of My Mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the house of My Father. You will do this in this life and in the next. I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My Mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls." (Diary 1209)

The Diary of St. Faustina is such a treasure of beautiful ways Jesus calls us to come to the fountain of His mercy.  I am including a few of my favorite excerpts:  

"In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy." (Diary 1588)

"Let souls who are striving for perfection particularly adore My mercy, because the abundance of graces which I grant them flows from My mercy. I desire that these souls distinguish themselves by boundless trust in My mercy. I myself will attend to the sanctification of such souls. I will provide them with everything they will need to attain sanctity." (Diary 1578)

"Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy." (Jesus to souls striving for perfection and holiness -Diary 1488)

"I desire that priests proclaim this great mercy of Mine towards souls of sinners. Let the sinner not be afraid to approach Me. The flames of mercy are burning Me - clamoring to be spent; I want to pour them out upon these souls." (Diary 50)

This one seemed especially fitting for today, being Good Friday:
Jesus tells us:
“there is no way to heaven except the way of the cross. I followed it first. You must learn that it is the shortest way.... I am giving you a share in those sufferings because of My special love for you and in view of the high degree of holiness I am intending for you in Heaven. A suffering soul is closer to My heart.” (Words spoken by Jesus to St. Faustina diary 1487)

Leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday, it is my hope to include more reflections and quotes from the Diary of St. Faustina here on this blog.

Thank you all and may Our Lord cover you with His Divine Mercy. Amen.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind"


Dear Friends,

Yesterday concluded our Novena of Masses.  Two Masses said daily for 9 days for the fulfillment of Our Lady’s plans for the Children’s Rosary and then two Masses said daily for 9 days in thanksgiving.  With so many Masses and prayers going up it is truly a blessed way to enter holy week.  This beautiful novena of Masses and prayers happened through the generosity of many people.  May I humbly say, thank you for making such a gift to Our Lady and her Son possible. 

Reflecting over these 18 days it has been an interesting journey.  In the first few days there were a string of signal graces and pieces of good news.  I remember remarking to one member of the Children’s Rosary that everything seemed to get easier.  Impedances removed and the feeling of wonderful grace flowing.  

Something interesting happened after a few days, periods of intense struggle began.  Those who read of the trip to the Divine Mercy Conference have some sense of one particular struggle with a rather long day of travel including a bus ride with little Asher who had a terrible stomach flu. An illness that lasted almost a full week. For my own part there were times of complete physical exhaustion, spiritual questioning and disappointment.  A feeling that certain branches were being deeply pruned.  Last Friday at Mass there was a reading that seemed to speak to these experiences, "Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous and probe the heart and mind"  (Jeremiah 20:12). Indeed it would seem that the Lord was probing the heart and testing.  With so many Masses going up and our prayers for Our Lady’s Plans to be fulfilled in us there was a green light for Our Lord to set to work and continue to mold us and fashion us according to His Will.  Psalm 23 was a true consolation "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me." Yes, indeed despite such trials there is a sense that we are never left alone.  Our Lady in a special way also supporting us and reassuring us. 

I share these inner feelings as I suspect others may have experienced something similar.  Several have written asking for extra prayers due to family struggles and spiritual struggles in their faith.  Please do not think you are being punished.  Our conversion is life long and we may expect such suffering as we follow Our Lord, for He is the most beautiful example of suffering done with love. 

As you might be thinking right now that such a novena of Masses has brought down a great deal of suffering alone, may I share with you some tender stories that warm the heart and assure us that Our Lord cherishes the prayers of these little ones and the Masses we offered to Him.  For the Sacrifice of the Mass was the gift He gave to us out of Love today.

May I share with you that during this novena of Masses many new people reached out and began Children’s Rosary groups.  Two moms contacted us from Michigan.  Each had been meeting for some time praying the Rosary with children.  They wanted to join our prayer movement.  One group meeting weekly on Tuesday evenings at 5PM and the other meeting weekly on Mondays at 4:30 PM.  We also have an existing Children’s Rosary group which meets on Mondays at 4:30 PM in Mahopac, NY which now means there will be two groups able to unify prayers together.  More beautiful ways that Our Lady is helping us to create a web of children’s prayers unified across the world. New groups also began in South Carolina and word that a new group will be meeting the first weekend in May at the Parish of St. Joachim in Madera, California.  In total we now have reached approximately 60 Children’s Rosary groups...one for each bead of the Rosary!  A wonderful image to contemplate.  

May I share one more blessed gift.  Several months ago I received a note from a women named Bette whose niece was very sick.  She had a clot in her lung and was early in her pregnancy.   Quickly both mom and baby were put on our intention list that went out to our groups for the children to pray over.  Day by day mom pushed through with her little baby.  Then word came that there were severe developmental problems with the baby detected on ultrasound.  The doctors said the following two weeks would be important in the survival of the baby. Such news was a hard blow for the family.  Yet Bette wrote that in prayer she felt called to ask for the prayers of the Children’s Rosary.  After many rosaries lifting up these intentions word recently came:  A MRI did not show the extreme problems the doctors had thought. Such news was a blessing which one cannot begin to measure.  While Bette is quick to say that both mom and baby still are in constant need of prayers things are looking much brighter.  This family has truly embraced the Children’s Rosary and may I share offered many prayers of thanksgiving and sent several beautiful Mass cards.  One indicated that the Children’s Rosary Apostolate would share in the Masses, prayers and good works of the Servants of Mary including a daily Mass celebrated at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.  An other card indicated a Perpetual Mass enrollment in the Golden Heart of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

As we join Our Lord tonight for His sharing of the Holy Eucharist and then accompany Him to the Garden, there is a feeling that such struggle allows us to have that naked, raw heart that allows us to better understand the suffering Our Lord undertook for us.  

Thank you all for being a part of the Children’s Rosary.  Thank you for your prayers and sacrifices.  Despite our flaws there is a feeling that Our Lord and Our Lady are happy with our efforts.

Your Grateful Friend in Christ,
Blythe

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Working Together to Help Our Families

The Month of May is often called Mary's Month.  In anticipation of May the Children's Rosary is teaming up with Holy Cross Family Ministries to reach out to families in parishes where Children's Rosary prayer groups exist.  Many Children's Rosary groups will be handing out Rosaries at the end of Masses during the Month of May.  

Servant of God
Fr. Patrick Peyton
Holy Cross Family Ministries has generously offered to donate those rosaries that the children will be handing out.  The goal of Holy Cross Family Ministries is to strengthen families around the world.  This goal is shared by the Children's Rosary and thus our collaboration on this effort is both natural and seamless.  Servant of God, Fr. Patrick Peyton, founded Holy Cross Family Ministries in the 1940s.  His timeless words "the Family that Prays together Stays Together" is as important today as the first time he uttered the phrase.

It is not too late to order Rosaries through Holy Cross Family Ministries for May.  To order Rosaries please click HERE. Rosaries are free although they do ask for shipping costs.  As part of this collaboration, between the Children's Rosary and Holy Cross Family Ministries, we ask that all those placing orders also send an email to Susan Wallace letting her know you are part of the Children's Rosary. Her email is swallace@hcfm.org

Through the Rosary our families will be strengthened in virtue and holiness. Pope Francis recommends the Rosary as  "Spiritual Medicine" which is "good for the heart".  

In a special way we turn to Our Mother in the prayer she taught us, the Holy Rosary,  and ask her motherly guidance and help in our families.

Monday, April 14, 2014

¿Cómo hacer una cruz de palma?

Déjenme empezar diciendo que no tomo ningún crédito por lo presentado a continuación. Este método de hacer cruces con palmas fue creado completamente por mi hijo de 9 años en la misa de hoy. Mi primera mirada a esta maravillosa artesanía hecha por sus manos fue cuando estaba haciendo mi lectura desde el altar para el saludo de la paz, y él desde su silla estaba sacudiendo una cruz hecha con las palmas. Sus habilidades fueron respaldadas además por los miembros del Rosario de Niños quienes pidieron una de sus cruces al final del Rosario de Niños. Esta tarde Kostin bajó de su habitación con una enorme sonrisa en su rostro y con un montón de cruces. Colocó una junto a la estatua de la Virgen en nuestra sala de sol en donde decimos la oración familiar. La otra amablemente me la dio a mi, y las otras decoraron su habitación. Kostin también mencionó cuando estaba repartiendo sus tesoros que había guardado varias palmas para los dos niños de 7 y 9 años que viven al lado, y quienes también eran capaces de hacer cruces. Al ver tantas cruces surgió la idea de que tal vez otros querrían hacer una cruz. Bueno, suficiente con la historia y ahora vamos a hacer la cruz.


MATERIALES
2 palmas
Tijeras

PASOS
1. Tome la palma y rompa una franja delgada longitudinalmente de uno de los lados. Haga este paso nuevamente con la otra palma. Ahora ya tiene las "cuerdas", las cuales serán usadas mas adelante para atar la cruz.
2. Tome cada una de sus dos cruces y doblelas en forma de V.
3. Una vez las haya doblado, tome una palma y deslicela a través de la V de la otra palma. Ahora debe verse como una cruz.
4. Ahora tome la "cuerda" que hizo con la palma y pásela debajo de la cruz y haga un nudo simple en el centro.
5. Voltee la cruz y ate de nuevo con la misma cuerda.
6. Ahora puede hacer un doble nudo. Por favor aplique fuerza mientras hace el nudo y sosténgalo por un minuto. De esta manera la palma mantendrá la "memoria" de la posición deseada.
7. Corte las puntas dejando sólo media pulgada en la cola así ésta no se deslizará.


La variación opcional no fue fotografiada. Si el extremo del brazo de la cruz es demasiado largo o tiene un aspecto tosco, se puede doblar el brazo y meterlo en el lado donde se hizo el nudo. Esto da un aspecto más refinado.

Kostin sugirió que las piezas extras de palma fueran dadas a la iglesia y así fueran quemadas el próximo año durante miércoles de ceniza. A menudo se recogen en canastas el fin de semana anterior al Domingo de Ramos. (Kostin también mencionó que le gustaría quemar algunos de sus materiales adicionales para su cumpleaños en nuestra chimenea. Lo cual es aceptable puesto que son elementos benditos los cuales deben enterrarse o quemarse para salir de ellos).

Gracias por unirse a nosotros y que Dios los bendiga abundantemente. Amén.

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Rosariodeninos.org