St. John's Adoration Chapel

St. John's Adoration Chapel
"Do Not Fear: I am with you. From here I will cast light Be sorry for sin."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Examen...


This was in the footnotes of My 33 Days to Morning Glory for the 19th day of Marian Consecration.  I thought it was amazing and helpful and wanted to share.  My thanks to oppositeman, who posted it on the Catholic Answers forum, allowing me to cut and paste.

Written by Father Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, director of the Association of Marian Helpers, the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.

The examination of conscience (also called “examen”) should be made sometime toward the end of the day. Most people make it shortly before going to bed. It’s basically a mental review of the previous 16 hours or so of consciousness.

To make the examen, first, we should put ourselves in the presence of God. In other words, we should begin with the attitude that the examen is a time of prayer, not just a mental exercise. Devoutly making the Sign of the Cross may be enough to do this.

Next, we just have to remember one word: baker, B-A-K-E-R, baker. Actually, we also have to remember what each letter of this word stands for.

B stands for"blessings". According to St.Ignatius, this is the most important of the five points. Here we simply review our day, survey the many blessings God has given us throughout it, and then praise and thank Him for these blessings. For instance, maybe we had a great conversation with someone at lunch. During the examen, we might want to reflect on that gift on that gift and praise and thank God for it. Of course, we don’t have to go through every single blessing of the day. That would take way too much time. The key is to let one’s heart roam about and settle on the particular peaks of joy and blessing of the day, what Ignatius calls “consolation”. One more thing: We shouldn’t forget to thank God for the crosses of the day, which are also blessings.

A stands for “Ask”. Although we already placed ourselves in the presence of God when we began the examen, here we need to ask for a special grace from the Holy Spirit, the grace to recognize our sins. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we’ll remain blind to our sinfulness. Thus, when we get to this second point, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us recognize our sinfulness, which brings us to the next point.

K stands for “Kill”. Why “kill”? Because it was our sins that killed and crucified Jesus. During this third point, we look at our sinfulness (weaknesses and attachments, too). So, again, we gaze across the conscious hours of our day. This time, however, we look not for peaks but valleys, what Ignatius calls “desolation”. In other words, we pay attention to those times during our day when our hearts dropped. Why might they have dropped? Maybe because of someone else’s sin. Maybe someone said something unkind to us. Fine. Did we forgive them? If so, good. If not, well, the examen is a good time to deal with it.

Now, let’s keep looking. Here’s another time our hearts dropped. It was this afternoon at work, standing by the water cooler. Hmmm. Why did our hearts drop then? Ah, yes (thanks, Holy Spirit), that’s when we struck Bob with a verbal barb. Let’s see, anything else? Yes, there’s another heart dropper. We didn’t accept the traffic jam on our way home as a small sharing in the Cross. We should have been more peaceful about it and offered it up as a prayer for others.

Okay, so after remembering all those heart-dropping moments, we may feel pretty down. Such a feeling may make us want to run away from Jesus. Let’s not. When the weight of our sinfulness drags us down, that’s the best time to go to Jesus, sinfulness and all - which brings us to the next point.

E stands for “embrace”. This is to allow Jesus to embrace us, sinners that we are, with the rays of His merciful love. While praying over this point, it may be helpful to think of the image of Divine Mercy. I like to imagine the rays of this image embracing me with forgiveness. I also like to remember Jesus’ words that it rests His Heart to forgive and that when I go to Him with my sinfulness, I give Him the joy of being my Savior. I believe that at this point of the examen, we greatly console Jesus when we simply let Him embrace us with His merciful love - and of course, we, too, are consoled. I recommend spending some time lingering on this point (in the embrace) before moving on to the next.

R stands for “Resolution”. During this last point of the examen, we take what we’ve learned from the previous points and look ahead to the next day, ready to make resolutions. For instance, having recognized during “K” that we stuck Bob with a verbal barb at the office today, we might resolve that tomorrow morning we’ll make it up to him by going to his cubicle, slapping him on the back, and congratulating him on how his football team did earlier this evening. Also, having remembered that we were impatient during the traffic jam today, we can resolve to bite our tongues if the sea of brake lights appears again tomorrow. Finally, because during “B” we realized that God was speaking to us during our lunchtime conversation with Sally, giving light on a certain problem, we can resolve to act on that light by looking up the online article she recommended. (I think we get the idea.)

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Consecration to the Holy Angels


Today, while learning about St. Raphael,  I learned a little about the nine choirs of angels, with some special emphasis on the importance of our Guardian Angel and of consecrating ourselves to this, the most special and important friend given us by God.  If you feel called, you might consider making the consecration to the Holy Angels in general, and to your Guardian angel in particular.  I have provided an approved Consecration below. :) 

God bless...

The Consecration to the Holy Angels

O Holy Angels of God, here, in the presence of the Triune God and in the love of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer, I, N.N., poor sinner, want to make a covenant with you, who are his servants, so that in union with you, I might work with humility and fortitude for the glory of God and the coming of his Kingdom. Therefore, I implore you to assist me, especially - in the adoration of God and of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, - in the contemplation of the word and the salvific works of God, -in the imitation of Christ and in the love of his Cross in a spirit of expiation, - in the faithful fulfillment of my mission within the Church, serving humbly after the example of Mary, my heavenly Mother, your Queen. And you, my good guardian angel, who continually behold the face of our Father in heaven, God entrusted me to you from the very beginning of my life. I thank you with all my heart for your loving care. I commit myself to you and promise you my love and fidelity. I beg you: protect me against my own weakness and against the attacks of the wicked spirits; enlighten my mind and my heart so that I may always know and accomplish the will of God; and lead me to union with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith approved this Consecration prayer on May 31, 2000 for use in Opus Angelorum.© 2000 Congregazione dei Canonici Regolari della Santa Croce – Roma

~Found on the EWTN website.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

We Rejoice in Our Sufferings...









More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (Rom 5: 3-5”

Our trust in God, our Father, is put to the test in times of hardship and suffering. It is also in such times that God’s love for us is proven again and again. Such trials are necessary for our interior spiritual growth. (CCC368, 2734, 2847)”

~From the Didache Bible p. 1516, Book of Romans 5: 3-5 and commentary.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

A Little Sunday Morning Reflection




A Little Sunday Morning Reflection
© Marlicia Fernandez  8-25-19


It has been a stressful and frustrating summer. Circumstances and people conspired to make it so, from the middle of May, through the middle of August.  Without minimizing what was going on at that time, I’m sure there were ways I could have eased the challenges that came up for myself and for others.  Hindsight really is 20-20.

Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry…

The first thing I could have done was to deepen my prayer life.  This appears to be obvious, but it is also superficial. How many times have I confused deepening my prayer life with adding more prayers and spiritual readings instead of taking my time and really giving myself and my challenges over to God?  I’ve been told over and over again that it isn’t the number of prayers said, but the quality of the prayers offered and my internal disposition.

My internal disposition. That’s tricky. Do I really want God to answer my prayers the way He knows is best, or do I want to direct Him to act the way I think He should?  More often than not, it’s the latter and instead of gaining comfort, peace and strength, I add anxiety to the mix.  Often I’m afraid of how God will respond and what He will require of me, instead of trusting that He always desires what is best for me and will give me the strength to work through whatever He allows to occur.  What if I have to give up such-and-such, or do X-Y-Z?  That’s scary. So my prayers are superficial. I am holding back and my lack of trust ties His hands, so to speak.

Do I doubt God’s great love for me? Not at all.  So why is it so hard to pray with total abandonment to His most Holy and Divine Will…to “Let Go and Let God”? I want to keep hold of the end of the string, just in case. 

I had thought I’d gotten past this stage, but apparently not.  Point one to work on—be sincere (and humble) in prayer.

Abandonment to Divine Providence…

This makes it sound like the summer been full of major difficulties, and while there were some rather frightening and frustrating aspects to our experiences, we were blessed in that they were not worse.  Granted, we still have a circuitous road to follow, but some of the challenges have resolved and that is a blessing.  It would have been a great deal easier to weather the circumstances if I could “roll with the punches” more.  It seemed like every time I thought I was abandoning myself to God’s will, even going so far as to verbalize that abandonment to Him, something would come up and I’d realize that wasn’t really the case.  Acceptance was easy as long as it didn’t put me out too much. 

Another point to work on.  Let God take control.  He’s already in charge. Things will go a lot smoother and easier if I don’t fight Him—and I’ll be surprised at how well everything works out. 

Engage in the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy…

It is said that misery loves company. Maybe, but I think only if the saying is turned on its head. Misery only loves company when that company sets out to help ease the suffering it sees.  It’s hard to be miserable when focus is on someone else who needs prayers or material assistance more than I do.  I wish I had practiced more of this during the summer. Taking myself out of myself can help push my own concerns into the background and make me realize how truly blessed I am.

Practice and Attitude of Gratitude…

A writer friend of mine used to say this all the time and it is so important.  Whatever the trials and challenges I have, there are always others who have greater trials and challenges.  I should be grateful for the difficulties that God shunts away from me, and pray for those who suffer more greatly than I. I should be grateful for the challenges and trials God allows because they are for my benefit. I may not know how, or want to believe it at the time, but if I look closely I will most likely see that any given cross is tailored to a specific defect in my character…this cross to foster humility, that one to foster charity, etc.  They are painful to be sure, but necessary and He will help me with them if I turn to Him sincerely. I should be grateful for this gift. 

I definitely need to work on that aspect of gratitude.

It is easier to remember to be grateful for all the good things God has given me, but even then I sometimes forget. There is sooo much to be thankful for, everything, in fact. If I take the time to give thanks for the many gifts I have received, I will discover that the good outweighs the bad and my circumstances aren’t quite as difficult as I first thought.  I might not be able to handle them on my own, but that’s okay.  By myself I know I can do nothing, but with God I can do everything.

Now, if only I can remember that.  Jesus, my Divine Master, help me to remember that.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Family is the Basis of the Lord's Plan..




St. Charbel Makhlouf

The family is the basis of the Lord’s plan; and all forces of evil are focusing all their evil on destroying the family because they know that by destroying the family, the foundations of the plan of God will be shaken. The war of the Evil One against the Lord is his war against the family, and the war of the Evil One against the family is the core of his war against the Lord. Because the family is the image of God, from the beginning of the creation of this universe, The Evil one is focusing on destroying the family, the foundation of God’s plan. 

Thank you, fellow HFI-er, Randall for sharing this.