Is a Mass offered for one who is still living more powerful than a Mass celebrated for that person after he or she has died? I often wondered about that, so I wrote to Father Edward McNamara, a noted Professor of Liturgy, at the Regina Apostolorum University in Rome. This is how he responded to my inquiry.
It’s fairly common knowledge that Saint Anthony of Padua (1195 – 1231 A.D.) has a reputation as finder of lost articles. Car keys, eyeglasses, and any number of items we consider indispensable, seeming to have disappeared, are catalysts for prayer to the gentle Franciscan and popular saint whose feast we celebrate on June 13th.
From time to time, the Church decides on a new entry into the Roman Calendar to be celebrated by the faithful. This was the case in recent times with the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, celebrated this year on June 6th.
“During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth” (Lk 1:39).
by Msgr. Stephen Rossetti
It is no secret that the U.S. Capitol building was dedicated in a masonic ceremony by our first president, George Washington. One can see today the stone in the Capitol building commemorating this event. It reads: “Laid Masonically Sept 17, 1932 in Commemoration of the Laying of the Original Corner Stone by George Washington.”
The U.S. Capitol building formerly housed the Supreme Court which is now located across the street. Many of America’s most important civic leaders have been freemasons including fourteen U.S. presidents and five Chief Justices of the Supreme Court.
For individuals with a family history of freemasonry, our team has been a bit surprised at the extent of spiritual problems they experience as a result. These individuals not uncommonly have a repeating generational history of similar dysfunctions. For some, it is the presence of a spirit of death. These families may have an abnormal generational history of suicides, homicides, early deaths, miscarriages and/or abortions.
The experience of exorcists is that individuals can be negatively affected by a generational history of freemasonry. But how about a nation? Our nation’s leadership has been strongly influenced by this organization, which has been condemned by at least eight Popes. As recent as 1983, the Holy See has said that the principles of Masonic organizations remain “irreconcilable” with the teachings of the Church and membership is forbidden. Could it be that we, as a nation, are tainted by such a history? Since Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973, there have been many millions of abortions.
In response to the leaked Supreme Court document likely overturning Roe vs. Wade, some are advocating a “summer of rage” and others are targeting the Catholic Church. From an exorcist’s perspective, these attitudes are reminiscent of the Evil One.
On our website, www.catholicexorcism.org, there are prayers for individuals to break Masonic curses. There is now a video for lifting Masonic curses on our website including a priest ratifying the prayer at the end. But how about for a nation? I plan to pray these prayers to lift these curses from our nation. Perhaps other priests will do so as well.
In the wake of all that is taking place, our response must be fully Christian. In response to rage, we offer peace. In response to persecution, we forgive. In response to death, we promote love, reconciliation and unity, which are constitutive of a culture of life.
This blog is posted with the kind permission of catholicexorcist.org.
Each time we attend Mass, at the outset of the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest-celebrant enjoins us to lift up our hearts, and we respond, “We lift them up to the Lord!” Our intention is to unite and raise our hearts as a congregation preparing to celebrate the memorial of Christ’s sacrifice.
What about all those private times in our lives, however, when – if we can manage to lift up our hearts at all at that point in the Mass – we surely can’t lift them very high?
Sometimes we feel unbearably sad and burdened. Bad things really do happen at times, no matter how good we try to be. Sorrow, grief, worry, and anxiety are universal aspects of the human condition. They have no respect for age, gender, or any of the other categories by which we human beings classify ourselves. If we are human, we will weep, worry, and hurt.
The good news is that the human condition also allows for us to share our burdens with one another. A sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on, a kind hand to hold – these have the power to bind us together as a community of concern helping each other through the tough times.
What if it is impossible, though, to reach out to others for advice and support in a time of sorrow or personal struggle? A person may be extremely private by nature and would find it prohibitively distasteful to confide in another. The deeply personal nature of the concern may not lend itself to discussion, even with the most trusted confidante. In some cases, a person’s reputation may be at stake. There even may be times when baring the soul could jeopardize oneself or another physically, spiritually, or otherwise.
Whatever the reason, bearing a burden on our own can make us feel terribly alone and isolated. Things may work themselves out in time, it’s true, but a particularly thorny problem can hold a person long-term on a lonely road.
When we feel we have no one to turn to, we can try one or more of the following:
~Keep a journal
Even for people who have never kept a diary or written on a regular basis, setting down one’s thoughts on paper is a way of releasing them safely and confidentially. We needn’t ever read back over what we write, but if we do, we may be surprised at the perspective we can gain, in even just a few days’ time. Also, it is helpful to be able to do something, even as ordinary as writing, for a small measure of control over a situation that otherwise may be out of our hands.
~Research the Church’s position on the matter causing concern
Our Church is always there to guide us, even through the murkiest of waters. There is no aspect of life outside the realm of her concern. We need not wander aimlessly, left to our own devices. Today, the Internet makes it easy to research the Church’s teaching on any given subject. It can be comforting to know that there is a solid foundation of authority and principle underlying her position. The insights gained can be a source of wisdom, right thinking, and clear judgment.
~Go to Confession
Confession is greatly underutilized today, but frequent reception of the sacrament can have powerful effects besides absolution from sin. Confessors can provide counsel of a practical as well as a spiritual nature, with the assurance of confidentiality. Also, we shouldn’t forget the sanctifying and actual graces that result from the sacrament – exactly what we need when struggling under a burden which we believe we must shoulder alone. The fact is that we are not alone. Jesus is waiting there, in the confessional, to strengthen us with His grace in times of trouble through the ministration of His priest.
~Don’t hesitate to ask for prayer support
Prayers can be solicited without going into detail about the nature of the problem – we simply request prayer for a special intention. Most people would be willing to intercede on our behalf if we only ask, and we should remember not to limit prayer requests to adults. God hears the prayers of children with an especially loving, attentive ear, and little ones respond generously to a sincere request for prayer.
~Pray, pray, pray
God has heard it all. No matter how difficult, distasteful, hurtful, or even shocking our particular burden may be, it will not be news to Him. No one knows the human heart better than its Creator; we do well to remember that we can open that heart to Him freely. The Lord will always listen and understand. His is the most sympathetic ear, the strongest shoulder, the kindest hand. He will walk the journey with us if we only ask.
A time of personal trial can become not only more bearable but also filled with grace, pulling us ever closer to Our Lord. During those times when we feel most alone, our private sorrows need not be kept totally to ourselves. Then, even when our hearts are heavily burdened, we will be able to respond with great confidence born of faith, “We lift them up to the Lord!”
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“Am I not here who am your Mother?”
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe falls on December 12th, and its renowned image depicts Our Lady during her pregnancy. Thus it lends itself beautifully to the sense of expectation we typically experience during Advent.
Sometimes it seems that life in this age of technology is nothing but one announcement after another. At times, the text message, cell phone call, or email announces happy news — the arrival of a long-awaited new baby in the family, for example. At other times, the announcement might elicit a shudder or groan — as in much of the daily news blasted at us via…just insert your preferred form of media. We need only consider the current tense state of world affairs to bring home that point.
Although each year it falls during Lent, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19th affords us an opportunity to celebrate. We remember the humble man chosen by God to fulfill two
extraordinary life roles: husband to Mary, the Mother of God; and foster father to her Son,
Jesus Christ. By reason of his exemplary fulfillment of these while here on earth, from heaven
Saint Joseph assumes a third role, ongoing and continuing: patron for the faithful seeking his
The liturgical season of Lent is upon us, with its many familiar symbolic associations: ashes, the Cross, penance, prayer, fasting, almsgiving. These and others are our annual companions as we travel the traditional 40-day journey that leads to Calvary and beyond.