Psalm 13

Today has been a good day, but a long one. I am reflecting on Psalm 13, a prayer in Time of Illness.

How long, Lord? Will you utterly forget me?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I carry sorrow In my soul, grief in my heart day after day?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look upon me, answer me, Lord, my God!

Give light to my eyes lest I sleep in death,

Lest my enemy say ‘I have prevailed, ”

lest my foes rejoice at my downfall.

I trust in your faithfulness.

Grant my heart joy in your help,

That I may sing of the Lord, “How good our God has been to me!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Church for Families

I’ve been asked about good places for family pilgrimages in the Raleigh area. I live by St. Francis of Assisi Church, so I love to make regular trips with my children with snacks and bicycles to the Blessed Sacrament chapel. After that, we play on the playground or wander through the grounds, discovering flowers here, and statues there. I think St Francis is particularly child friendly because it is so big. There is always a peaceful place to sit, and if it begins to rain, there are many cozy rooms in which to color. The main sanctuary’s altar has a relic of St.Francis in it, which can be reverenced with a bow, or by kissing the altar. There are two gothic style statues in the sanctuary, one of Our Lady and Baby Jesus, and another of St. Francis, both with candles. The prayer intention book is there to sign. Also, there is the Stations of the Cross, with the usual indulgences applied. And there is something really special. The parish has a Portiuncula of its own! That’s right, a replica of the little church St. Francis restored when he was a hermit, and in which he heard the voice of Christ asking him to rebuild his Church. There is a plenary indulgence for visiting a Portiuncula.

To obtain the Portiuncula plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, or a Franciscan sanctuary, or one’s parish church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels. Then perform the work of reciting the Creed and Our Father and pray for the Pope’s designated intentions. You should be free, at least intentionally, of attachment to venial and mortal sin, and truly repentant. Make your sacramental confession 8 days before or after. Participate at assist at Mass and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after.

 

A Beautiful Life

When I think of my time spent going to Mass, I think of beauty. The entrance hymns, the procession of the cross, the vestments of the priest celebrant, the flowers to decorate the altar, all of these things combine in a beautiful way. Then the grandeur of the readings, telling the history of our salvation, and the homily, in which Christ himself speaks to us. The offering of the Sacrifice begins, which will end in our wedding feast of the Lamb. I saw a holy people, shining under a golden seal, an ancient epitaph exults. The snow white wedding garments enable every soul. Then, like living stones, we are lifted up into an unseen temple in plain sight, in which the Holy Spirit prays.