Novena to St. Rocco


St. Rocco is the patron saint of plague and pestilence, having survived one himself and receiving a reputation as a heavenly aid in the time of these awful tragedies. I found the following novena prayer from Catholic Doors and invite you to pray it with me for the next 9 days, that the world will find safety from the swine flu. If you need to use this novena for any other reason, please do.

O Blessed San Roque,
Patron of the sick,
Have pity on those
Who lie upon a bed of suffering.

Your power was so great
When you were in this world,
That by the sign of the Cross,
Many were healed of their diseases.
Now that you are in heaven,
Your power is not less.
Offer, then, to God
Our sighs and tears
And obtain for us that health we seek
Through Christ our Lord.


(Repeat the following 3 times)

San Roque, pray for us,
That we may be preserved
From all diseases of body and soul.

For more on St. Rocco, visit the St. Rocco Society, which is where I found the image.

Novena to St. Jude in Financial Woes

The economic news just keeps getting worse and worse every day and, frankly, it looks like we are headed right into a deep recession or, God help us, a depression.  Lots and lots of folks are going to suffer if things keep up.  For many, this will be a time of hunger, joblessness, loss of self-esteem, complete lack of health care, and, yes, people could well die.

I know the causes of this present crisis are many and that much of the blame must be laid at the feet of those of us who were greedy or irresponsible.

However, regardless of why, God is a God of mercy and pardon, and, no matter who is to blame, the innocent and poor should not suffer.  To this end, I am beginning a novena starting tomorrow (Oct. 10th) to St. Jude and am asking that others join me in fervent prayer.  I found the following prayer in several Catholic resources and books and will be using it; do join me.

First, make the Sign of the Cross and say:

+O God, come to my assistance!  O Lord, make haste to help me.  Glory be…Amen.

Saint Jude, assist us in our present financial worry.  Since these difficult financial circumstances have come into our lives, we are in dire want and economic embarrassment, being unable to meet our honest debts.  Saint Jude, you know only too well, we are not asking for wealth, if the possession of it is not in accordance with the holy will of God.  We beg you only for that immediate assistance which will enable us to meet and satisfy our pressing obligations.  We plead with you, dear Jude, to obtain for us the financial assistance we so urgently need in our present troubles.

Lord Jesus Christ, at the intercession of St. Jude, have mercy upon us and grant our request as is best for our lives, spiritual and material, for You are good and love mankind.

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory be…Amen.


Christians Not Immune to Ruts

A lot of Christians follow a specific pattern when they either convert into the faith or are born into it but make it their own. They embrace their faith with great enthusiasm, continue along that path for awhile, then they get bored.

Once they get in a rut there are a couple of possible outcomes. The first is that the person overcomes the rut and tries to make the faith more fresh and meaningful. Or, they find their faith so boring and meaningless that they give up and move onto other things, or nothing.

We often fall into the trap of thinking that being Christian and having the Holy Spirit somehow makes us immune to ruts. I’ve heard it probably hundreds of times from new Christians or those who made some sort of intentional re-dedication. They swear that they’re never going to lose the fire. Until, that is they do.

Being in a rut is normal. We get into ruts with jobs, families, friends, and even lives. There’s no reason why our faith, which is earthly too, should be any different. They key lies in getting over the rut.

Once we get in a spiritual rut, I recommend finding a way to break out and become spiritually fresh again. Read a good Christian book, try a new prayer practice, visit a new parish for a couple of weeks. Or take up a new daily practice like the rosary or an early morning mass.

Perhaps the best solution is to recognize that being enthusiastic all the time is unrealistic. We’re going to have ups and downs in our faith, especially when it comes to be being bored. We just have to learn to accept that the mundane is a part of spiritual life and growth.

So, don’t get too worked up about that rut. Christians aren’t immune to them.

The Liturgical Busy Season

Well, summer is officially over, which also means so is the vacation from Church. I’m not advocating such a position, of course, just noting that ecclesial matters tend to slow down in the summer as does attendance.

At my parish, the schedule changes, the choir takes a break, and mass has a more laid back feel. I don’t think we help matters by calling most of the summer Sundays ordinary time, even if it has nothing to do with being “ordinary.”

As we say goodbye to the heat, picnics, and ice cream, it’s time to welcome the liturgical busy season. In the coming months we have a lot to do liturgically. Of course, there’s All Saints Day, All Soul’s, Thanksgiving, Advent, Immaculate Conception, and we can’t forget Christmas.

And, at least at my parish, there seems to be a greater level of seriousness and solemnity, as well as attendance, that comes with the end of summer. Of course, I still hope we can keep the ice cream.

Christmas in July

With July almost here, the thoughts of retailers turn to Christmas. This, of course, bugs me to no end. When I was younger you wouldn’t even get Christmas stuff out until Thanksgiving. Then it was pushed back to Halloween. Now, there’s no need for a Christmas in July type sale because some stores have Christmas stuff out in July! We’ve turned a feast day and holy day of obligation (Christmas) into a giant sale that starts in July. I guess it gives the Church a few more months to start explaining the tenuous Santa Jesus connection.

Online Prayer Book Shaping Up

The ChurchYear.Net Online Prayer Book is shaping up, with many new original and classic prayers being added regularly. Our attempt is to provide a large collection of online prayers for a variety of uses. A few prayers already up include Prayer for Graduation, Ave Maria, and a Christmas Dinner Prayer.

Also on ChurchYear.Net Basic

Need a prayer to start the day? Check out A Prayer for the Day. This is a great way to focus your day on what matters. We also have information up for next year’s Easter, a simple page about the date of Easter, for Easter 2012.

Introducing ChurchYear.Net Basic

Our sister site, ChurchYear.Net has become one of the foremost sites for church year related information. We offer a lot of material that is comprehensive and academic. In an effort to also provide simpler material, we are introducing ChurchYear.Net Basic. So far we have the following pages and prayers. We have information about Easter Eggs (and the Christian legend behind them), the Christmas Tree (yes, it too has a Christian legendary background), and information about what a fast day is, as well as a feast day. While it may seem unnecessary, we can’t assume everybody knows even our most basic terms (as I often find in class). We also have a Prayer for School Bus Drivers, a Palm Sunday Prayer, a Good Friday Prayer, and also a Holy Thursday Prayer. Check them out!