Friday, March 17, 2023

St. Patrick's Breastplate

From New Advent, the following is a literal translation from the old Irish text.


I bind to myself today:
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
I bind to myself today:
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.
I bind to myself today:
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I bind to myself today:
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.
I bind to myself today:
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.
I invoke today all these virtues:
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.
Christ, protect me today:
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today:
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Originally posted 3/17/2006.
Re-posted 3/17/2009.
Re-posted 3/17/2010.
Re-posted 3/17/2011.
Re-posted 3/17/2012.
Re-posted 3/17/2013.
Re-posted 3/17/2014.
Re-posted 3/17/2015.
Re-posted 3/17/2016.
Re-posted 3/17/2017.
Re-posted 3/17/2018.
Re-posted 3/17/2019.
Re-posted 3/17/2020.
Re-posted 3/17/2021.
Re-posted 3/17/2022.

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

In Memory Of...

Helen Marie (Sheely) Rolling
Born: March 1, 1939
Died: March 8, 2020
Requiescat In Pace.


Originally posted 3/8/2021.
Re-posted 3/8/2022.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Change Of Venue

One of my two jobs is as a school zone crossing guard for a local police department. Since August, 2017 I have taken my post dutifully at a specific location. Yesterday, it all changed.

Due to a resignation, a different location became available two weeks ago. It was actually one I thought I would be working the start of the 2019-2020 school year, but the supervisor at that time changed her mind. Last week, I expressed my interest in transferring; that request was granted. Last Thursday, as was a custom I started (at Hallowe'en, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, and the last day of the year), I passed out miniature candy bars to those students who used the crosswalk along with a note letting them know I would be leaving.

It was somewhat a tough decision. While the wage I receive is just, that location has some rewards I greatly enjoyed. It had great psychic pay.

It is a great spot to spot wildlife.  There is a ravine about 100 yards north which does its best to add color during the fall. It is also another crossing spot--for deer. (I have jokingly said I should get addition compensation for "helping" them.)  I have seen a coyote cross the road there. One or two red-tailed hawks patrol the skies above on occasion; I also might have seen a peregrine falcon perching on a light pole one time. Just to the west of of the street is an enclosed reservoir used for an area-wide irrigation system; it hosts Canadian geese and mallard ducks in the spring and makes for a great nesting ground at times. A pair of jays make their home there. I also have photos of two unusual but beautiful insects which investigated me.

And then there was a long distance encounter with a cougar in December, 2017 during my morning shift. It was sitting on the other side of the reservoir facing west; when it rose and gave me a side view, I will swear to this day it was a pregnant female. And just as stealthily as it came, it left. (I think it might have been the one which was captured and relocated a couple of years later, as I was just arriving that morning to see that process begin.)

The street is also a great place for exercise. While it is technically a two-lane street, it is wide enough to host a parking lane and a bicycle lane on both sides. Plenty of walkers and runners come by frequently; the occasional cyclist as well. Some of those walkers also had a dog or two with them; I saw a variety of breeds pass by. A blind runner and her guide were also using it for their training, although I haven't seen them much post-COVID 19.

But the best thing there were not things; they were the elementary students I escorted morning and afternoon. For almost six years I saw them grow before my eyes. Their behavior was exemplary; it was a rare moment when I had to gently but firmly remind them of a rule. I hope their futures are bright.

But now, it will be something completely different. While it a route for that elementary school, my new assignment is the final street crossing from the east for a junior high school. I will be dealing with "Tweens" instead. Add to the mix the road is actually one of the city's main four-lane arteries, with more traffic with which to contend and just two blocks away from the senior high school campus, I will have more of a challenge every shift. And with more time spent there, I will have the maximum hours at this job.

I will miss the old crossing.

But I was ready to take this on.

St. Christopher and my guardian angel, your help is needed even more.

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

March 2023 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:
For victims of abuse. We pray for those who have suffered harm from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.
(UPDATE--3/5/2023) A reflection for this intention is found here.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Another "Acceptable Time"

"Again we keep this solemn fast."

The time for "sackcloth and ashes" has arrived.

Lent makes its annual visit.

The Church once more invites the People of God to prepare for Easter. It is such a familiar routine, but how can we make it more than routine? How can we go beyond the three pillars of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving? How do we accompany our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on His way to Jerusalem this time? How can we deepen our relationship with God? How can we become holier? How can we use these next forty days for our spiritual benefit?

We are always called to die to self. The liturgical calendar grants us this time of grace and favor to bring this introspection of the soul to the forefront. It is this time of purple vestments, more somber liturgies, and greater opportunities for reflection where we can make a more focused effort to be perfected.

"Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2b)

We hear the call from Hosea.

We listen for the stirrings of the Holy Spirit.

We now continue to secure our salvation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

God's Valentine's Day Card

"For God so loVed the world,
         that He gAve
             His onL
                       That whosoever
        believeth In Him
           should Not perish,
        but have Everlasting life."

                John 3:16


Originally published 2/14/2006.

THE Greatest Love Affair

An acquaintance sent this to me a few years ago. It gets to the heart of St. Augustine's statement that our restlessness is quieted only in God. It is a reminder of Who our First Love is and should be. It is the cornerstone of seeking the Kingdom of God by seeking the King. Edited for form; the content is everlasting:
Everyone longs to give himself completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. 
But God, to the Christian, says, "No, not until you are satisfied with living for Me and being loved by Me alone and having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone. 
"I love you my child; and until you discover that only in Me is your satisfaction, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. 
"I want you to stop planning and stop wanting, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan ever existing--one that you cannot even imagine. 
"I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you--just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things--keep experiencing that satisfaction in Me, knowing that I AM--keep learning and listening to the things that I tell you. 
"You must wait. Do not be anxious. Do not worry. Do not look around at the things others have gained for themselves or that I have given them. Do not look at the things you want. Just keep looking at Me or you will miss what I want to show you. 
"And then, when you are ready, I will surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you would ever dream of. You see, until you are ready (and even at this minute I desire to have you both ready at the same time), until you are both satisfied with Me and the life that I have prepared for you, you will not be able to experience the love that exemplifies our relationship with Me--and this is perfect love. 
"And, dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me and to enjoy the everlasting union of beauty and love. 
"I AM GOD. Believe and be satisfied."
St. Anthony
Then, every day will be Valentine's Day.


Originally posted 2/14/2007.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

February 2023 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:
For parishes. We pray that parishes, placing communion at the centre, may increasingly become communities of faith, fraternity and welcome towards those most in need.  
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

(Victory) Marches For Life

Fifty years ago today the United States was digesting rulings by the Supreme Court regarding two cases:  Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. These decision at the time allowed abortions to be performed anytime during pregnancy for almost any "reason". It was from those decisions the March For Life came into being. And for the next five decades, this became an annual event, spawning other similar marches around the country and the world.

This year, however, the golden anniversaries of these two events have taken on a different meaning.

These cases were the cornerstones of the abortion rights movement. On June 24, 2022, that foundation was destroyed with the ruling in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The Supreme Court, by a 6-3 margin, overturned the decision of Roe as well as Planned Parenthood v. Casey and indirectly severely weakened the influence of Doe. It returned the right to create laws about this issue back to the people and their representatives at whatever level of governance. And after almost seven months, the issue has become even more contentious that it had in the past half-century.

Meanwhile, the various marches for life this year have become part victory celebration, part reminder the ultimate goal has not yet been attained, and part rejuvenation for the fights that are coming. With the vast majority of these events taking place the past two days, there was cause for "officially" rejoicing in the outcome of last summer. The hard work of countless people and organizations should be recognized and congratulated. And there should be a Deo Gratias for prayers answered favorably.

But, this is far, far, far from over. In fact, this battle in the culture war has just intensified. The abortion issue will still be the front line on the assault on the dignity and even the very essence of the human person we are experiencing today. Efforts to change hearts and minds must be redoubled.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis.

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Every Knee Should Bend

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 
Phil. 2:6-11
In my 2016 Christmas Eve Reflection, using this passage as a focal point for a phrase, I had wondered if people have forgotten that Jesus is God. With at least 70% of the faithful not believing in the Real Presence (depending on the poll you have seen), it is no wonder why one may see such casual, if not irreverent behavior, during Communion. Many people, using lex orandi, lex credendi as a starting point, question the posture of standing and receiving the Sacred Host on the hand versus kneeling and receiving on the tongue, saying this contributes to the lack of reverence.

I made mention I genuflect as I pass by the Tabernacle outside of Mass, praying the "Jesus Prayer" as I pause there. I also bow my head at the mention of the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and during the recitation of the Gloria Patri, as is/was customary. I do that to remind me of the very thing I decry, to give witness to the fact that He is here among us.

Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. You may not see it on your calendar, as it was seemingly removed and then restored. In keeping with a positive take on the 2nd. Commandment, there are two prayers you can use to honor "the name which is above every name."


The first is one of the six officially approved litanies of the Church. The Litany of the Holy Name invokes titles associated with Jesus. A partial indulgence is gained for its recitation.

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Spirit,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, Son of the living God,
R. Have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, [etc.]
Jesus, brightness of eternal light.
Jesus, King of glory.
Jesus, sun of justice.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus, most amiable.
Jesus, most admirable.
Jesus, the mighty God.
Jesus, Father of the world to come.
Jesus, angel of great counsel.
Jesus, most powerful.
Jesus, most patient.
Jesus, most obedient.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, lover of chastity.
Jesus, lover of us.
Jesus, God of peace.
Jesus, author of life.
Jesus, example of virtues.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
Jesus, our God.
Jesus, our refuge.
Jesus, father of the poor.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful.
Jesus, good Shepherd.
Jesus, true light.
Jesus, eternal wisdom.
Jesus, infinite goodness.
Jesus, our way and our life.
Jesus, joy of Angels.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles.
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs.
Jesus, light of Confessors.
Jesus, purity of Virgins.
Jesus, crown of Saints.

V. Be merciful, R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Be merciful, R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. From all evil, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Your wrath, [etc.]
From the snares of the devil.
From the spirit of fornication.
From everlasting death.
From the neglect of Your inspirations.
By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation.
By Your Nativity.
By Your Infancy.
By Your most divine Life.
By Your labors.
By Your agony and passion.
By Your cross and dereliction.
By Your sufferings.
By Your death and burial.
By Your Resurrection.
By Your Ascension.
By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist.
By Your joys.
By Your glory.

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us, O Jesus.
V. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, You have said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you." Grant, we beg of You, to us who ask it, the gift of Your most divine love, that we may ever love You with our whole heart, in word and deed, and never cease praising You.

Give us, O Lord, as much a lasting fear as a lasting love of Your Holy Name, for You, who live and are King for ever and ever, never fail to govern those whom You have solidly established in Your love.
R. Amen.


The other is a very familiar prayer at the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Divine Praises are recited as the Sacred Host is being returned to the tabernacle. It can also be used to make reparations for blasphemy and profane language.

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the Name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.


Perhaps one or both of these can be your New Year's resolution in terms of the spiritual life.


Originally posted 1/3/2017.
Re-posted 1/3/2018.
Re-posted 1/3/2019.
Re-posted 1/3/2020.
Re-posted 1/3/2022.

January 2023 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:
For Educators. We pray that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than competition and helping the youngest and most vulnerable above all.
(UPDATE: 1/4/2022) A reflection for this intention is found here.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Hail, Theotokis!

Fish Eaters presents the Akathis Hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Originally posted 1/1/2011.
Re-posted 1/1/2014.
Re-posted 1/1/2015.
Re-posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.
Re-posted 1/1/2022.

Another New Year's Indulgence

For those of you who were unable to gain the indulgence from singing "Te Deum" last night, fear not.

You have another opportunity today.

Singing the hymn "Veni, Creator Spiritus", as it does on Pentecost Sunday, also carries with it a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions.

You will find the words and a familiar translation here.


Originally posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.
Re-posted 1/1/2022.

Perpetual Resolution


Originally posted 1/1/2007.
Re-posted 1/1/2013.
Re-posted 1/1/2014.
Re-posted 1/1/2015.
Re-posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.
Re-posted 1/1/2022.