Angels

Lent 35 ~ Water for the Rocks

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Prayer to St. Raphael, Archangel

Glorious archangel, St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of travelers by land and sea, consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners, I entreat thee to help me in all my needs and in all the trials of this life, as you did once assist the young Tobias in his journeying. And since thou art the “physician of God,” I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities and my body of the ills that afflict it, if this favor is for my greater good. I ask, especially, for angelic purity, that I may be made fit to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost.

          There’s a prayer generator I access every day after I’ve done my Bible Readings for the day. It’s an avenue God often uses to get my scattered attention – and He did again, today. Over two days, I drew prayers to be prayed to the Archangel Raphael; the one I drew today, gave me pause.

          Today, an unexpected skirmish with a family member upset me. Unexpected as it was, it was just one of many I’ve had with this person and I was so tired of it all. I flew straight to God’s heart and I vented mightily there. But by late evening, the annoyance was still stinging and I conceded that something more was needed.

          Emerging from the cave and standing on the ridge, I called out for all my saint-friends, calling each one by name. I had a feeling that I was missing some humility but I wanted to be completely truthful as well. So, I expressed my frustration to them, holding nothing back. I told the Communion of Saints, including the Archangels, that I felt like giving up on this family member; but I ended by quietly asking that I be shown my sin as well in this tug-of-war, in case it was I who was in the wrong.

          There was no denying that all I wanted was to turn away and stop caring even as I knew that giving up on this person and walking away was not God’s way. Yet, wounds in a heart can be like rocks strewn across the path of an already tattered and mottled human will, making it a struggle to love, to forgive and to persevere.  

Blood and Water that gushed out from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for me,

I trust in Thee.

          Still, as afternoon rains began to press their silver~pearls into a waiting earth, my heart slowly fell into peace in the ensuing hours. Busy once more with work and studies, the morning’s squabble retreated quietly to the sidelines of my consciousness.

Until I drew St Raphael and realised that it was the second time since yesterday.

And spied the words my heart had missed before,

consoler of the unfortunate and refuge of sinners,

in all the trials of this life, 

physician of God,

I humbly pray thee to heal my soul of its many infirmities 

                  

          Even as God saw my hurt, He also saw my need for healing.

          And so He sent His Angel with Water from His Sacred Side, to break and dislodge the rocks within my heart.

Angel to the Heart of Heaven

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          I awakened after an unusually long night’s sleep, to a quiet and misty Saturday morning. A Saturday of freedom. For the first time in long weeks, I finally had Saturday to be at home and not on the road, travelling to the city.

          At my altar to say my daily prayers, I remembered that Saturdays for me were for Our Lady. So, after I prayed my customary prayer to Jesus, I seal my heart in Yours, I added on another line, I seal my heart in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

          The moment I said that, an image came to mind. An image of my husband and I driving in the city on Friday yesterday. If I am alone in the city on a Friday, with a quick call to my parish priest for permission, I always get to spend an hour in church. If my husband is with me, we still stop by at church but for a shorter time because my husband always has errands to run.

          Yesterday however, he had this one thing to be done and we felt it would take ages. Hence, we didn’t go to church. I didn’t feel any regret because our Friday trip to the city had come after a very tiring week for us both, and I wanted us to just settle our business there and get home. Furthermore, I didn’t even think of making a flying visit to church because my husband had a long drive ahead of him for outstation work on Sunday and I wanted us to get back to our town as quickly as possible so that he could get sufficient rest before his trip.

          But, this morning, after the prayer, I seal my heart in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I suddenly wondered if I should have made more of an effort to be with Jesus in church yesterday, even for mere minutes.

          After my daily Readings, stopping by at my prayer nook for the saint quote of the day, I learned how important it was to God that I stepped into church when I could, even for the briefest of visits. Today’s quote was from a saint dear to me, and she got straight to the point.

          When you pass before a chapel and do not have time to stop for a while, tell your Guardian Angel to carry out your errand to Our Lord in the tabernacle. He will accomplish it and then still have time to catch up with you.   ~   St. Bernadette Soubirous

          I didn’t sense any sting of admonition; instead, I felt a gentle hand showing the path I should have taken but didn’t think of.

          Heaven had more to tell me. Touched by the quote, I went to add it to my collection of quotes. On my way there, I came across another file – Guardian Angel to Mass. I hadn’t the faintest idea what that was, so I opened it. It turned out to be a prayer I had typed up for the children at the beginning of the stay-home order. A prayer to be said because we could not longer attend Mass.

Prayer to one’s Guardian Angel when unable to attend Mass

O Holy Angel at my side
go to the church for me,
kneel at my place at Holy Mass,
where I desire to be,
At offertory in my stead,
take all I am and own
and place it as a sacrifice
upon the altar Throne.
At Holy Consecration’s bell
adore with Seraph’s love,
My Jesus hidden in the Host,
come down from heaven above.
And when the priest Communion takes
O bring my Lord to me,
that His sweet Heart may rest on mine
And I His temple be.

 

          Heaven’s rebuke would have been hard enough to bear, but this soft breath of Love sent instead, through the first thoughts at the altar this morning, through the quote and finally through that prayer, made me wish that I had put God first before any errand.

          Still, the gentle sweetness of Mother Mary that opened the eyes of my heart told me that Heaven understood that we couldn’t stop by at church yesterday – but there was a remedy for that for all time:

God had given us someone who could go in our stead.

          Someone who could and would carry our hearts, our burdens, our joys, to the feet of The Most High. For every tear, every sweetness we bequeath our waiting Jesus in silent churches the world over, we have an angel who will willingly and joyfully bear all to the Heart of Heaven.

          With a smile in my heart, I began to pack. Into an old and worn little basket went my offerings of sunshine and a few clouds. The sweetness and the difficult, the unexpected and the funny. The little rose~blooms God had hidden in my work days this week. The morning dream of hope of a superior who has brought us so much suffering. The prayers I should have said but didn’t. The stumbling that comes when you don’t pray enough and don’t trust enough.

          Into the basket woven from years of joy and tears, each one went. Done, I pressed it into my faithful, ever waiting heart’s love.

          Take my offering, I told my Angel.

          Take it to the Heart of Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 32 ~ There was a Fourth

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Prayer to St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Most Holy Trinity, I thank Thee for having formed the hosts of Thy ministers in Heaven so marvelously, and for having adorned their leader so magnificently. Be Thou adored and loved in the beauty and grandeur of Thy ministers: be Thou praised in their jubilant songs of praise and thanksgiving, through all eternity. Amen

O holy princes of Heaven, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, I praise you for the love with which the Most High has loved you and placed you so near to His own throne. Be mindful of our necessities, and at the head of the Holy Angels, do battle for the Church of God upon earth, that Satan may be forced to yield ever more, and the Kingdom of light and grace, virtue and the holy love of God, may flourish in splendor, and its beauty be acknowledged by all. Amen.

         

           …do battle for the Church of God upon earth. Battle. Weapons. Swords?

Four Crosses in the sky

Four swords

belonging to

St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael

And a fourth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 24 ~ When We Can’t

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Prayer to one’s Guardian Angel when unable to assist at Mass

O Holy Angel at my side
go to the church for me,
kneel at my place at Holy Mass,
where I desire to be,
At offertory in my stead,
take all I am and own
and place it as a sacrifice
upon the altar Throne.
At Holy Consecration’s bell
adore with Seraph’s love,
My Jesus hidden in the Host,
come down from heaven above.
And when the priest Communion takes
O bring my Lord to me,
that His sweet Heart may rest on mine
And I His temple be!

 

 

 

Cross of Light

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          On this delightful day of simple joys, I asked God once more for His sign for me. All through the chimes of hours since the break of Christmas dawn, through Christmas Day Mass, and Christmas visits, I waited in peaceful expectation of His answer. Towards evening, home again, tired yet happy, I gaze up at a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary above my front door, on the eastern side of the house. Last year, on Christmas Day too, during sunset, I witnessed something impossible in the Heart of Jesus, which I never saw before or after that day.

The sun setting in the west on Christmas Day last year had shone through the Heart – but from behind it.

At that moment, I felt Jesus was reminding me about the Illumination of Conscience.

          Today is Christmas once more. A whole year has gone past. Like a playback, I’m in my living room once more, listening to the tangerine~pinked winds sing the last song of the day. It is sunset again as the sun prepares for grateful slumber. My thoughts return to the miraculously illumined Heart of last year.

          Suddenly comes a prayer I’ve never seen, bringing to light a secret hope of a reunion.

Prayer to St. Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings

O Raphael, lead us towards those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us! Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings, lead us by the hand towards those we are looking for! May all our movements, all their movements, be guided by your Light and transfigured by your Joy. Angel Guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whose unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze.

          Is it a sign or a mere coincidence? Is it a trick? I look at out at the trees bathed in the last rays of the setting sun to clear my head.

          At that very moment, the rays of the Christmas sun pierce the trees in a bright, unmistakable Cross of Light.

          And I have my answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cock is About to Crow

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          Rising early yesterday to travel to the city, heaven touched my eyes briefly.

Pray to St. Gabriel

          There are 3 of them on my heart, so with no further instructions forthcoming, I prayed to all 3 saints. And then, the mists rose, and my heart could discern no more.

          The day went well but as the night veils uncurled, the winds began to lift the sands. The twilight hours were soon filled with piercings over the state of our nation. A missing child found dead. Bumbling police. A leader bent on destroying the nation. Elected representatives with their moral compasses askew. 

          A succession of crises, one worse than the other.

          We gathered as a family and talked about the issues that had come up, at the heart of each was the right to life. We were emotional, we were charged up. Still, we reminded  one another to fight the fight each is called to. And then we prayed.

          Though tired from travelling, my sleep at night was not as restful as hoped for. Awakening in the middle of the night, I pressed the air for hope.

          No new hope did the night yield me. All the problems of our troubled land strained towards me. So, I gathered what I had and reached for the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

          When I awakened later, soft sunrise, like old gold, greeted me in the new hours of the day. The winds, infinitely gentle, tread softly as they descended among trees silent and firm in their wisdom. A new gentleness had settled upon our land, like a soft blanket placed upon our sore hearts by a loving Mother.

          As I tiptoed among the lightening hours, my heart rejoiced quietly at this change, even as I pondered and wondered. Something… something

As if night has passed.

          Then, Gabriel laid out for me this prayer by St. Ambrose, one I’ve never before seen.

MAKER of all, eternal King,

who day and night about does bring:

who weary mortals to relieve,

does in their times the seasons give.

 Now the shrill cock proclaims the day,

and calls the sun’s awakening ray,

the wandering pilgrim’ guiding light,

that marks the watches night by night.

Roused at the note, the morning star

heaven’s dusky veil uplifts afar:

night’s vagrant bands no longer roam,

but from their dark ways hie them home.

 The encouraged sailor’s fears are o’er,

the foaming billows rage no more:

Lo! e’en the very Church’s Rock

melts at the crowing of the cock.

 O let us then like men arise;

the cock rebukes our slumbering eyes,

bestirs who still in sleep would lie,

and shames who would their Lord deny.

New hope his clarion note awakes,

sickness the feeble frame forsakes,

the robber sheathes his lawless sword,

faith to fallen is restored.

 

          My breath caught at the words,

Now the shrill cock proclaims the day

The encouraged sailor’s fears are o’er

New hope his clarion note awakes

          Memory returned me to the words of God 4 months before, God will help it at the break of dawn.   ~   Psalm 46: 6.

          The seas are in a fury now, tempest after tempest roiling the waters. We row on, fighting ourselves, fighting for others, fighting the ever towering waves. It seems as if the night of oppression refuses to die, that dawn will not come soon enough.

          But the angel descends  today to sound the call of new hope.

Now the shrill cock proclaims the day

The encouraged sailor’s fears are o’er.

          Beloved Gabriel come to rise our spirits,

Dawn is about to break.

 

Discover St. Paul

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          In early February, I came across a Word for the Year as well as a Saint generator. I did use the Saint generator a couple of years before and it gave me St. John Cantius, a saint I had never heard of. I wasn’t much impressed, to be honest. I mean I was expecting one of the greats – St. Padre Pio, maybe. Or St. Faustina. St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, that ilk.

          Anyway, St. John Cantius wasn’t interested in being a great in my eyes. He had business with me and he set about it briskly. He spoke to me about my tendency to anger. It was a firm rap on my knuckles and I sat up all the straighter for it. I gained an important lesson in anger management as well as a timely humbling to never roll my eyes at another saint.

          This year, right from the gentle opening of New Year buds, seeking the Word for the Year has been crossing the eyes of my heart rather often. I put it down to a trend and refused to succumb to it. Nevertheless, a silent singer continued to hum its ditty with  the budding and folding of every week. Yesterday, a week into February, on a lazy night, with none of the spiritual tugs that confirm an urge, I thought I’d try it, no harm done.

My word was, Discover

My saint was St. Paul the Apostle

          Sheesh, I thought. St. Paul, a no nonsense saint. Not a saint that endeared to me – an inveterate, incorrigible tumble-r-off faith wagons. And ‘discover’? I was looking for a quiet month, not another round of climbing and hauling myself up rocks.

          I decided to back out the door stealthily. I went to bed.

          Awakening to a golden, merry day with silver~bell bird hymns woven through dappled hollows, carried along by jolly green breezes, I saw that 2 steps had become one.

Discover St. Paul

          A good night’s sleep, a still, quiet house and the greensilver song of breezes muted out every objection. With it came a memory, of a time more than a year ago, when I was down and bruised. St. Paul had come to me then, a Paul so different to what I had known him to be. A gentle, fatherly St. Paul. He had come to where I was lying weary on the ground, clucking in concern like a brown red hen. He had bent down and gently lifted me to my feet. He dusted my clothes, wiped away my tears.

          And then, opened my ears a while to the words of a heavenly assembly.

          That day, for the 2nd time in a long while, I heard what those on the other side of life thought of me. The kindness and charity of those secret thoughts contrasted negatively with my own self-evaluation as well as that of the people around me; the sliver of heavenly conversation that St. Paul allowed to fall upon my ears gave me the strength to return to my journey. Even after that, I continued to make missteps, I continued to fall. But like a light from behind, the words of heaven’s assembly of saints buoyed me on.

          This morning, a day baptized by happy sunshine and mirthful baby breezes, I remembered once more the Paul who had come to me and helped me up. Then, I remembered too his first words to me 12 years ago,

I am returning him to you

          Word Generator or a Saint Generator, when the time is right, becomes a heavenly chest, to be opened by our Guardian Angel, releasing to us the lights we need, Word or Saint, for the times we are in.

          And so it is for me. My Angel has sealed my heart once more to St. Paul’s, to allow the Word of the Hebrews to light my way ahead.

 

 

 

My Angel Heard Me

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          My angel was beside me today and he heard me for sure.

          There’s this beautiful site I discovered a few years ago after prayer to find an online Adoration chapel. Since I live far away from a church and certainly no chapel close by for Adoration, my best recourse was an online adoration site. I visited a few but nothing caught my heart till I found the Divine Mercy Chapel in Poland that offers a 24-hour transmission. This famed chapel houses the original, miraculous painting of the Divine Mercy. From thousands of miles away, before it I’ve knelt countless times, in seeking and in rest, in calm and in tears, in times of anger and in times of fear.

          Each time, my prayers have been answered.

          A visit here became part of my daily morning prayers. I felt the difference on the days I didn’t stop by.

          But there was something more that I sought. I wanted a chapel close to my place of work. Early in my working life, I had worked at a place tucked away from the bustling street, situated practically on church grounds because that St. Francis Xavier church was a mere one-minute trot away. I was going through heartbreak at that time, and the little church, with its green and sedate pre-War cemetery beside it, was where I went to bury my tears. I guess I first learned about Adoration there – without actually knowing anything about it. 

          Now, decades later, I sought this same stillness for my work hours. I sought a church-by-my-heart to escape the relentless, unending sprawler’s revelry that has taken over my office. I wanted the quiet hush of the presence of the True God, a place to get my breath back every time the tenets my colleagues adhere to choke the life out of me.

          Not being tech savvy by a long mile, the obvious didn’t occur to me. Until this morning. I had just read about a priest having so close a relationship with his guardian angel that he conversed with him as he would a close friend, obeying every prompt in faith. Aspiring to this same relationship, I was led to pray the Angel of God prayer,

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day,
be at my side
to light and guard,
to rule and guide.

          After this rose the old wish for a chapel. It was then that the light fell upon me. To load and bookmark the live-streamed Divine Mercy Chapel site on my phone home screen. So every time life got too much, every time I felt myself veering towards prohibited roads, on this First Saturday of the Rosary Month, I finally have a chapel a mere touch away.

          The Angel’s answer to my prayer. His way of saying,

Indeed beside you I am, 

to light and guard,

to rule and guide.