Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From Jan 30, 2011 Bulletin)


Our Gospel today points to the realities that cause
happiness. It is strange for us to consider poverty
and persecution as things we would call ‘blessed’,
but the Lord knows us through and through, knowing
especially that we need faith in the face of difficulties.
Trials beset all of us. They are a necessary,
though painful reality of the human condition. We
are forced, however, when tried by challenging circumstances in our
lives, to turn to God in a new and more profound way.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit…” This first beatitude is a gateway for
the others because it gives the basic disposition necessary for openness
to God. Our greatest poverty is a spiritual one. St. Francis and Bl. Teresa
of Calcutta lived with practically nothing, yet had great happiness because
their spirits were open to God. I’ve met millionaires who were
lonely, sad and restless. How do we find this poverty of spirit that gives

“The truth will set you free.” To be honest with one’s self and with
God brings a great liberation. Honesty admits my inadequacies. St.
Thérèse of Lisieux considered “…that the best thing that God could have
done in her soul was ‘to have shown her her smallness, her powerlessness.’
” This truth cries out to God who is all-sufficient for every need. If
we call on the name of Jesus in these crucial moments, He reminds us
that “all things are possible with God.” This truth allows us to be poor
and unafraid, knowing that Jesus will not leave us orphans, He will be
with us, blessing us and preparing us for eternal happiness.


Christian life includes spiritual warfare with the enemies of our salvation.
St. Patrick wrote a beautiful prayer called the “Breastplate of St. Patrick”,
found in several forms, one of which I include here:

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

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