Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pray for the Dead!

All Saints Day and All Souls Day are upon us and it is good to think about the many graces that are available for those who have gone before us and are undergoing their spiritual purification in purgatory. They may be our loved ones, members of our community, or souls we don't know from all places of the world and history. To pray for them is to help them in their journey to Heaven. And once they attain their heavenly reward, they'll be praying for us before the Throne of God! So let us take up this great act of charity for souls in helping them along their way.

A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who fulfill the following conditions:
               Visit a Church on November 2, All Souls' Day
               Offer an Our Father and Hail Mary for the Pope's Intentions
               Offer an Our Father and the Creed for the Faithful Departed
               Make a good confession within a week and be free from all attachment to sin
               Receive Holy Communion that day (or ASAP following if unable that day)

A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is also granted to the faithful who fulfill the following conditions:
               on any and each day from November 1 to 8, devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally, for the departed (the 'Eternal rest grant unto them...' suffices)
               Offer an Our Father and Hail Mary for the Pope's Intentions
               Make a good confession within a week and be free from all attachment to sin
               Receive Holy Communion that day (or ASAP following if unable that day)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

HWP: Souls in Purgatory

This coming Saturday is All Souls Day and is one of the only days each year that a priest by the law is permitted to 'trinate' (celebrate three Masses in a day). The permission of the law in that case emphasizes the great importance of praying for the souls who are enduring purgatory and longing to be pure enough to enter into the Heavenly Banquet. Below is a prayer we can offer for the holy souls - especially the one with the greatest merit in the Lord's eyes (and keep a look out for the upcoming Indulgences available for November 1-8!)

Let us pray. O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in the streets of Jerusalem whilst He carried on His sacred shoulders the heavy burden of the Cross, deliver the souls in purgatory and especially that one which is richest in merits in Thy sight, so that, having soon attained the high place in glory to which it is destined, it may praise Thee triumphantly and bless Thee for ever. Amen. 
Our Father... Hail Mary... Eternal rest...

(Find specific prayers for the dead for each day of the week HERE.)

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Little Help

My cousin and his wife are planning to adopt a child into their family. The cost of adopting a child is extremely high and to help defray some of that cost they are having an 'American Doll Giveaway' to raise funds for the beginning of the process. The entries are 1 for $10 or 3 for $25. There is also a site to donate directly without entering the giveaway. Please consider helping them out. Being adopted myself, I cannot say enough about the gift that adoption can be both to the child and to their family.

Jesus, mercy!

Readings for Sunday, October 27/ 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time:
Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
Psalm 34:2-3, 17-19, 23
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Luke 8:9-14

Last week the Gospel passages spoke to us of the need for persistence in our prayer, citing the example of the judge who gave in to a persistent woman’s plea for justice regardless of the fact that he didn’t care for her. At the end of that passage the Lord asks an odd question: When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith? To the hearers of that question – both in His own day and in ours – who would be quick to answer ‘Yes!’ He directs the story we heard just now to emphasize the need for humility in prayer even more than persistence.

The story Jesus tells us is one that would have shocked many in the culture, as is often the case. The Pharisee was a Jewish religious leader whose external actions all exceed the minimum requirement. Rather than fasting just once a year he does so twice a week. And rather than tithing only on his portion of crops produces, he tithes on his whole income. These things are good and holy things to do and ought to be imitated, but the problem is that there was nothing behind the actions. We see that by the so-called prayer he offers to himself, wherein he expresses his gratitude that he’s not like all those other people – those horrible sinners! -  but instead is so pious and in God’s grace. His pride keeps him from turning to the Lord at all because He didn’t see a need for God in his life. Shockingly, it is the tax collector who is found righteous. Tax collectors were those people who essentially worked for the enemy, the Roman Emperor, and oppressed the people of Israel; they were the lowest of the low. And yet it was this one who is justified by the Lord because he goes before God and keeps his eyes down, beats his breast, and humbly acknowledges his sinfulness and absolute need for God.

It’s about humility. The simple fact is that we can do all the right things – we can attend Mass every Sunday, tithe regularly, say all the right prayers and be on a whole slew of committees and groups - and if we don’t have humility we may still go to Hell.  The reason is that humility keeps us turning back to the Lord recognizing our need for His grace to keep us alive and for His mercy to cleanse us of our faults. If we lack humility we can tend to think our gifts come from ourselves rather than a Divine gift-giver, that we are better than others because of our external actions, and ultimately that we deserve Heaven because of all the things we’ve done. We must be people of great humility. In various places throughout the scriptures we are challenged with the teaching, ‘name one things you have that you were not given!’ to remind us that we are poor sinners in need of the Lord.

There are a variety of ways to help us grow in this humility of heart, in imitation of the Lord Jesus who humbled Himself to take on our flesh. The first and most important way is to go to the Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation regularly. If we go month after month before the Lord and are forced to verbally confess the sins that we have committed, we quickly begin to realize how much we are in need of His grace to help us become the saints we are called to be. We must go to Confession and do so regularly – at least every 2-3 months – to really experience this growth in humility. We can also emphasize in our personal prayer the many gifts that God has bestowed upon His people. We can look at the gifts of others and see the ways that others may be better at certain things than us to help keep us mindful that we are not superior to anyone in the big picture. I also find it helpful to pause at the end of each day or week and reflect back to find the places where God’s hand was at work and we experienced His help and gifts in a particular way. There is a litany of humility to reorient ourselves to keep us free from pride and to encourage us in lowliness. There is also a particular prayer that can be prayed and we find its roots in our Gospel story on the lips of the tax collector.

**Holding up a string of beads** This is what is often known as a Chotki or Jesus Beads. It is an Eastern Catholic prayer that invites us to draw closer to the Lord in humility of heart and to implore His Divine Mercy. The prayer is simple. There are 100 beads on this string and on each of them you pray the ‘Jesus Prayer’. This comes in a variety of forms, taking their lead from the Gospel passage. You can say, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of David, have mercy on me, a poor sinner.” Or “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Or even more simply, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on my.” Or as you draw more deeply into the Heart of Jesus only two words come forth: “Jesus, mercy.”

**For a good book suggestion on the topic, check out 'Humility of Heart' by Fr. Cajetan de Bergamo HERE.**

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

HWP: Respect for Life

I would be remiss if I didn't include in this 'Respect Life Month' a prayer for greater respect for life! So.... I bring today the prayer by Blessed John Paul II from the closing of his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life):
O Mary, bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life:
Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers
of babies to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely,
in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

They're ALIVE!!!

Readings for Sunday, October 20/ 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time:
Exodus 17:8-13
Psalm 121:1-8
2 Timothy 3:14-14:2
Luke 18:1-8

I don’t know about y’all but I love the Old Testament, especially because every so often it will have one of these gems of a story that we hear this evening, where Joshua and the people of Israel fight against Amalek and his army and th outcome is determined not by might or strategy but by whether Moses hands were up… or down. Yep! So the story goes! The reality is that when God first began to reveal Himself to the people of Israel they were in need of many physical signs and manifestations of His presence and guidance. God used that foundation to speak later of the deeper meaning of the physical signs that would lead His people to a more spiritual approach to life in the Lord. In the end it wasn’t really the placement of Moses’ hands that was all that important so much as the meaning of his hands being raised up in the first place. To have your hands lifted up in the air was a sign of prayer before God. We see it today in the liturgy when the priest extends his hands in prayer at various times throughout the Mass, especially in the Eucharistic Prayer, as well as in many more charismatic communities. Also, consider that Aaron and Hur were on either side holding up his hands and we can easily conceive that Moses was actually holding his arms out, foreshadowing Christ crucified who would win us the ultimate victory. The point of the story is to remind us that to the extent that we are people of prayer and conform ourselves to Christ crucified we will be victorious in our battles. And to the extent that we are not people of prayer and flee from imitating Christ crucified we will experience defeat.

This emphasis on prayer is what St. Luke drives home as a preface to Jesus’ story, as he writes of “the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” It wasn’t that it was highly advisable that the disciples prayer, or that they should do so when they get a free moment and don’t have anything better to do. It is an absolute necessity to pray and to persist in prayer. Our God desires to pour out His blessings on us but we must do our part in seeking them out. We must be people of prayer.

The story from Exodus isn’t just a story of a battle that took place some 3000+ years ago. It’s story of every single one of us gathered here in this church today. That people once bound in slavery had received the promise of a land flowing with milk and honey, symbolically of place of life, prosperity and joy. To arrive at that place, however, they had to battle many nations who sought to keep the Israelites from entering the land. Our story is the same except that rather than freedom from physical slavery we fight to be freed from the bonds of slavery to sin. And the battles that we are called to fight, St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12, are not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. We are fighting against our sinful flesh, against the world that tempts us, and against the devil who always seeks to deprive us of peace. And the land that we long to attain is not an earthly place but our heavenly homeland where all the angels and saints await us. It is for us to be willing to hold up our hands and gain the victory.

On this topic of prayer, Blessed John Paul II said this in a 1979 address to youth: “We must…pray because we are frail and guilty. It must be humbly and realistically recognized that we are poor creatures, confused in ideas, tempted by evil, frail and weak, in continual need of inner strength and consolation. Prayer gives the strength for great ideas, to maintain faith, charity, purity, and generosity. Prayer gives the courage to turn from indifference and guilt if unfortunately we have yielded to temptation and weakness. Prayer gives light to see and consider the events of one’s own life and of history in the salvific perspective of God and eternity. Therefore, do not stop praying! Let not a day pass without having prayed a little! Prayer is a duty, but it is also a great joy, because it is a dialogue with God through Jesus Christ! Every Sunday, Holy Mass: if it is possible for you sometimes during the week. Every day, morning and evening prayers, and at the most suitable moments!”

These words of this soon-to-be saint recall that need for us to come weekly for Mass but also to come before the Lord daily in prayer. The great thing about our Catholic faith is that we have so many diverse ways to pray and there are enough rote prayers written by saints and sinners throughout the centuries that you could write them all on sheets and paper and they’d stack up clear from the floor to the roof of the church and probably higher. But the bad things is that we have so many diverse ways to pray and different prayers we could pray that it easily becomes a problem because we don’t know where to start!

While there are many great ways to pray, there is one privileged place to start with our prayer and that is Sacred Scripture. Our second reading called to mind the fact that “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The key word in there is ‘inspired’ because that means that God breathed His Spirit into the text. It’s not just words like every other book in the world, but is a book that is alive and speaks to us if we are willing to take the time to listen. And one way that the Church has offered pray with the Scriptures throughout the centuries is what is known as Lectio Divina, or divine reading. Some of you may have heard of it and some of you may be doing it already without realizing it.

The method of Lectio Divina is simple and composed of four basic steps. First is to read. Pick a selection from the Bible and read through it a couple of times. Usually a word or phrase will stick out if we’re attentive. The second step is meditating on the text. Ask questions about why things are the way they are, what details might be pointing to, what does this have to do with the bigger picture. And spend some time putting yourself into the shoes of the people in the story – consider what it might be like to be the Apostles hearing Jesus teach, or a Pharisee receiving a sharp rebuke, or the Blessed Mother watching your son in His ministry. As we really begin to interact with the text and place ourselves in the scene, the Lord will usually begin to raise questions in our own hearts that are in need of answering. That leads us to the third step of prayer. We take the things we’ve reflected upon and the things the Lord ahs brought up and we bring them to Him in prayer and ask how we can be changed and transformed by what we’ve read. And lastly we sit in contemplation, which is simply to rest in God’s presence not necessarily doing anything for ourselves but letting God give the grace we need to put into action the things we’ve prayed about.

You can do that with any Bible, but sometimes the text isn’t so clear. To help with that I recommend a book entitled ‘The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer” by Fr. John Bartunek (HERE on Amazon; it's also available for iPhone). It is a tool that is worth its weight in gold, and I don’t say that lightly. This book has the power to change and transform our lives by transforming our prayer and I speak from personal experience as I’ve been using it for the past year myself. The first 60 pages or so are a primer on prayer that addresses all of our questions on prayer such as ‘How do I pray?’, ‘What is prayer supposed to be like?’, ‘Am I praying well?’ and ‘I feel stuck in my prayer, how can I get better?’ These and other questions he addresses in a straightforward fashion. Then the next 950 pages or so are used to break open the Gospels. He takes the four Gospel and splices them into sections like we have at Mass and for each section for the entirety of the Gospels he has three separate reflections that help to draw us deeper into the mystery of the Scriptures and to encounter Christ. If we make the time to pray, especially with this book, we will indeed be found possessing that faith the Lord longs to find upon His return. So let us today as God’s grace to keep us strong in our faith, that we might indeed be always lifting up our hands to the Lord in prayer.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bringing Salvation

The Healing of Naaman
Readings for Sunday, October 13/ 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time:
2 Kings 5:14-17
Psalm 98:1-4
2 Timothy 2:8-13
Luke 17:11-19

As we find ourselves in the thick of college football season, I am continually struck by the intense animosity and sometimes outright hatred that fans can have for other teams, especially major rivals from their conference. The constant back and forth that can go on between them is almost reminiscent of the fued that we find in the Scriptures between the Jewish people and the Samaritans, non-Jewish people in the area of Israel. These two people had a longstanding and deep-seated hatred of one another and did their best not to have to interact with each other in any real sense since each saw the other as inferior to themselves. That powerful wedge between these two people is the background that we have to be attentive to as we approach the readings today.

In the Second Book of Kings we hear the story of Naaman, a Samaritan, being cleansed from his leprosy through the advice of Elisha the Jewish prophet. The fact that these two were talking with one another is something that would have shocked and even angered many people of their day. But they put aside all the expectations, social stigma, and their own biases in order to come to experience something more profound. Naaman humbles himself to approach the Elisha, which shows the extent to which he desired to be freed from the leprosy. In turn we see Elisha humble himself and receive the leprous Samaritan, which would have been doubly cast aside from the Jewish people. And when the two of them set aside those things that often separate them, we see that miracles happen. First, Naaman is cleansed. But note also that this cleansing is a spiritual one too, as he walks away recognizing that it was the God of Israel who was responsible for it. He has a conversion experience, which is why he makes the odd request to have two mule-loads of dirt. Often people thought that gods were territorial – a god was powerful over a certain place – so to take two loads of dirt was to bring a piece of Israel with him to his homeland, that the Lord whom he had encountered might be with him and continue to be worshipped by him even in his own land. All because they were willing to humble themselves and take a chance.

That story also foreshadows the story we hear of Jesus from Luke’s Gospel, this time with ten lepers being cleansed by the Lord. The leper who is nameless, a significant point which Luke places for us to be able to insert ourselves into the story, returns to Jesus alone rather than accompanied by the other nine after their healing. And from the words of Jesus it seems that this leper might have been the only one of the group that was not Jewish – he was a Samaritan. And yet he returns to the Lord and professes faith because he recognizes the miracle done and the One who had accomplished it, much like Naaman in the first reading. For this return the Lord speaks those blessed words to him, “Stand up and go. Your faith has saved you.” It wasn’t just faith that they would be healed that saved him – all ten had that faith, else they wouldn’t have gone to the priests as commanded – but rather the faith that led him to recognize the giver of the gift and return. Here too we encounter a person not of the Jewish faith encountering the God of Israel and experiencing a conversion of heart.

The actual chains from St. Paul's imprisonment in Rome
In his Second Letter to Timothy we heard St. Paul encourage him “Remember Jesus Christ…” This word from St. Paul is spoken to his brother to remind him of why we do what we do as Christians. It is not for our glory or pleasure, but the glory of God – Remember Jesus Christ. When things get difficult it is for us to be mindful of Christ Jesus, what He has done for us, and what we are called to do for Him. As Christians, and especially each of you as laity in the Church, the mission is to continue the work begun by the Lord. St. Paul writes, “I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus.” He literally endured his imprisonment and sufferings in that time knowing that something good would come from it, and that something was that others would come to know salvation in Christ.

So the question remains for us: who are ‘the chosen ones’ of our own day? Like Naaman and the unnamed leper in the Gospel, there are many who are simply waiting to come into contact with the True God. That fact is clear by the empty seats in the church each weekend. Our community is large enough that we should be a full church each Mass, and yet we are not. There are souls in our community – friends, family, school mates, co-workers, neighbors - who are in need of an invitation to draw near to God, to encounter Him for themselves, and to find healing in whatever may ail them. What keeps us from reaching out to them? Naaman, Elisha, and others showed us that when we set aside everything in hopes for a miracle, sometimes they happen. So who are the chosen ones the Lord desires us to reach out to and help bring to salvation? And are we willing to bear all things that they might find it?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

HWP: Prayer for Priests

This week I am with my brother priests on our annual diocesan retreat. Don't worry - I'm writing this and scheduling it for publication on Wednesday. While on retreat we priests are blessed with the opportunity to enjoy one another's company, share about our ministry experiences, and hear insightful reflections. But more important than all of those things, we get to have a special time set aside to encounter the Lord. Each priest comes to the retreat bearing on his heart the intentions of many family, friends, parishioners, and others to lift up to the Lord. Speaking for myself, I have also become increasingly aware of my need for the prayers of others as well during this time and throughout the year. So with that in mind, our Half-Way Prayer this week comes from the Little Flower, whose feast we celebrated just a week ago:

A Prayer for Priests
by St. Therese of Lisieux

O Jesus, eternal Priest,
keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may touch them.

Keep unstained their anointed hands,
which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

Keep unsullied their lips,
daily purpled with your Precious Blood.

Keep pure and unearthly their hearts,
sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.

Let Your holy love surround them and
shield them from the world's contagion.

Bless their labors with abundant fruit and
may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here 
and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown. Amen.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Respect Life

*A stripped down version this week, as I'm trying to get out the door to make it to our annual diocesan priestly retreat. Please pray for us!*

Readings for Sunday, October 6/ 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time:
Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
Luke 17:5-10

In recent weeks the scriptures, especially the Gospels, have been speaking to us of the poor and our need to go outside of our comfort zones to serve them and, in serving them, to serve the Lord. As we gather on this first Sunday in October, we recall that October is Respect Life Month, a month in which we are called to be mindful of the dignity of every human person and to continue to work in our hearts and in our world for greater respect for all human life.

Often these days we hear of the need to care for animals and to protect the environment, and rightly so since the Lord placed all of these things under our care to protect and preserve. But while we have an obligation to preserve the gift of creation, we have an even greater obligation to fight for true respect to be shown to every human person. It is not an optional thing in the Christian life, but rather is the foundation upon which so much of our moral teaches rests. If we look at the beginning of the Book of Genesis we see the story of the creation of the universe. We hear how the light is separated from dark, sky and earth, the animals and plants are created and then finally man and woman. The fact that man and woman are last in the lineup of creation emphasizes that humanity is the crown of creation, the culmination and high point because unlike anything else that God created, we are made in His own image and likeness. We are unique among all of creation. Interestingly enough, if you read the second chapter of Genesis, it gives another account of creation. In this account Adam is created first and then the animals and such are given to him and lastly woman comes to complete him. In that story we see that all things are entrusted to man’s care and that while all things must be cherished, the most valuable thing of all is the woman, another person whom Adam knows as different from all other creatures. We are unique, created in God’s image and for that reason we must be respected. All of us.

It can be easy to try to limit our respect for others sometimes. I’ve heard often and said myself the familiar phrase “you have to earn my respect.” While that can fly in the working world, that is not something that should be in our hearts as we interact with other people. We have an obligation to love and respect others not because of what they have done or not done, any attributes or accolades, or whether we get along with them or not, but simply because they were created by God and loved the same as we are. This can be difficult because sometimes people do things or we perceive something that makes us lose some respect for them. Sometimes we’ve been hurt by someone or we have some aversion to a person or group. It is for us to comply with God’s grace to find healing and renewal in that place of our hearts and to do all that we can to show respect and love.

Yesterday there was an article in the paper about an inmate who spent some forty years in solitary confinement and died only two days after his release from prison. I’m not making any political points, I don’t know all the facts of the cases and I’m not making any judgments one way or the other. All I know is that when I read that there was sorrow in my heart for him because he didn’t get to experience the freedom he was created for, even if it might have been by his own choosing. That’s what God desires of us – to be able to look at others and despite whatever good or wrong they have done, to see in them still the image of God and to honor them as such.

When I was thinking about this in regards to my own life I realized how easy it is to talk pie in the sky theology around respect for others and knew that I needed to have concrete things to put into practice. As I was praying, three things came to me. A few years ago there was a movie released call ‘Eat Pray Love’ which you’ve likely seen or heard of. While I love to eat as much as anyone else, for our purposes today I want to take out the word ‘eat’ and insert the word ‘think.’ Think Pray Love.

The first concrete thing we can do to grow in respect for others is to think. Think about God’s love for you. Think about how many blessings God has given you in this life, each of them a sign of His love and your goodness in His sight. Think about how when in times of temptation or trial the Lord walked with you to give you strength and to guide you along the right path. Think about the times when you were lost in your sin and the Lord was there even then to persist in His love and to bring you back to Himself. There is nothing that we can do to change God’s love for us and when we realize that and take that knowledge into our hearts, we are able to recognize that it’s true not only for ourselves but for everyone else as well. God loves all of us the same and regardless of what happens in this life that love is always present. We are invited to love in the same way.

The second thing we can do is pray. Mother Teresa was a blessed woman who was able to have such an incredible impact upon the world and saw the face of Christ in the poor everywhere she went. The reason that she was able to see Christ in the poor was because she already knew the face of Christ in prayer. Each day she spent an hour in the convent chapel in communion with the Lord, drawing closer to Him and because she knew His face in prayer she was able to walk out in the streets and see Him without having to try; she knew His face and Knew voice. If we immerse ourselves in prayer each day and become friends with Christ, we will not have to struggle to see Christ in others – especially those we might not respect so much right now – because we will know Him already in every face we meet.

The last thing is to love. This is the most important piece of the puzzle because if we respect others in our hearts and keep close to God in prayer but have no sign of love for others, we are lost. It is for us to show the love that we know God has for others. One concrete thing is to think of one person or group of persons that we might not show respect like they deserve and to work intentionally to show them greater respect. When we do this it changes not only our hearts as we become more like Christ, but it also has the power to change the hearts of others. Too often we undervalue ourselves and think less of ourselves than we actually are, but an act of kindness shown renews within us the awareness of God’s infinite love for us and the fact that we were created ‘good’ in the eyes of God.

As we continue in this celebration of the Holy Mass, let us ask the Lord’s grace to come into our hearts and to transform us to help us love and He loves, and to see others as He sees them – as cherished men and women, all created in the image of our Father. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

HWP: Guardian Angels

Today is the feast of the Guardian Angels, those great celestial beings who are constantly keeping watch over us as they simultaneously behold the face of God. Their existence is but one more proof of God's infinite love for each one of us. As we celebrate them today, we have also the opportunity to thank them for their loving care for us and their perpetual presence. Let us also invoke their guidance, mindful that they desire our good and eternal glory in God:

Prayer to One's Guardian Angel
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,
rule and guide.