13 May 2018

Go and proclaim! NO EXCUSES!!!

The Ascension of the Lord
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP

The Lord's ascension into heaven reveals a truth about his resurrection from the dead. His resurrection reveals a truth about his passion – his trial and torture. His passion tells us something about his life and ministry among us. And his life and ministry tells us a great deal about how and why the Son took on human flesh to become one of us. Therefore, the Lord's ascension reveals a truth not only about who and what Christ is and was, it also reveals a truth about who and what you and I are right now. . .and can be one day. But before we can think too much about where we might be going with Christ sometime in the distant future, we need to think clearly and carefully about what we are doing right now to live out his final charge to us. Right before he is taken up into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, he says to his disciples and to us, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” That's our job description as followers of Christ. Go and proclaim the Good News. In word and deed, in everything we say and do, proclaim God's freely offered mercy to sinners. Are you doing this? Are you witnessing to the power of God's mercy?

If not, why not? There are thousands of reasons and twice as many excuses for not doing what the Lord has commanded us to do. I'm busy. I'm not smart enough. It's embarrassing. People will think I'm a religious nut. Is that the priests' job? Like I said, lots of reasons and excuses. Unfortunately, Jesus didn't say, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. . .unless you find it embarrassing, inconvenient, or frightening.” He said, “Go and proclaim.” And then he ascended into heaven. No time for arguments or appeals. But if you will remember I said earlier on that Christ's ascension reveals a truth about who and what you and I are and will be. When Christ ascended into heaven, he took us with him. Or rather, he made it possible for us to follow. Not only did he make it possible for us to follow him, his ascension made it possible for him to be with us always. After he left them, Scripture says, “. . .they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them. . .” He ascended so that he could be available for us everywhere and at all times, even here and now. So, our reasons and excuses for not bearing witness are weak in light of the fact that Christ is working right beside us, even when we're not doing much at all. 
If you need further prompting to get busy in the business of bearing witness, here's what Paul writes to his fellow Christians, “I. . .urge you to live in a manner worthy of the calling you have received. . .” The calling you have received. Not just the calling that you have been given. BUT the calling that you heard and took on and vowed to carried out. If you are what you eat in this life, then you will be what you honor now in the next life. Again, honoring our vow to bear witness to God's mercy is not a burden. Christ is always here beside us. His ascension guarantees his enduring presence and on-going help. He gives us everything we need to do the job we agreed to do. We just need the courage to receive his help and get to work. We have the Church, the sacraments, the Living Word; we have one another, brothers and sisters in the Spirit, and we have the promise of Christ Jesus himself. There is nothing to fear. Nothing to be embarrassed about. And nothing at all to lose. You are teachers and preachers of the Good News. “Go [therefore] into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”

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Holy Name Litany

[NB. Re-posting this by request. . .this is the litany that prompted me to compose two books of litanies, novenas, and an alternative rosary. The books are: Treasuries Holy and Mystical and Treasuries Old and New. They also printed the alternative rosary in pamphlet form: Beatitudes and Beads.

A modified version of the Holy Name Litany. I’ve abbreviated the litany itself, added a few modified traditional prayers, changed the pronouns for individual prayer, and cleaned up the theology a bit. I always find litanies to be a bit “messy” in that they seem to be a bit scattered in their exclamations. For example, rather than starting with the creation of the universe and moving to the resurrection, they often mix up the historical elements with merely pious elements and throw in some affective adjectives. . .why not use the litany for catechesis and start at the beginning?

Holy Name Devotion (for individual use)

Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus among the stars of heaven! Amen.
Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus among the creatures of the earth! Amen.
Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus always and forever! Amen.


Prayer of Saint John Vianney

I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life.
I love You, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally.
My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.

The Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me!
Body of Christ, save me!
Blood of Christ, inebriate me!
Water from Christ's side, wash me!
Passion of Christ, strengthen me!
O good Jesus, hear me:
Within Your wounds hide me.
Do not let me be separated from You.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me
And urge me to come to you
That I may praise you with your saints
Forever and ever. Amen.


Litany of the Holy Name

Jesus, splendor of the Blessed Trinity, brightness of eternal light,
Jesus, Word Made Flesh, Father of the world to come, mighty God,
Jesus, star of justice, Son of Blessed Mary, joy of the Angels,
Jesus, God of peace, author of life, good Shepherd.
Jesus, most powerful, most kind, most admirable,
Jesus, most patient, most obedient, meek and humble of heart,
Jesus, lover of chastity, lover of us all, model of virtue,
Jesus, zealous lover of souls, our refuge, father of the poor,
Jesus, treasure of the faithful, home for sinners,
Jesus, true light, eternal wisdom, ineffable beauty.
Jesus, infinite goodness, our truth, our way and our life,
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, Master of the Apostles,
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists, strength of the Martyrs,
Jesus, light of Confessors, purity of Virgins, crown of the Saints,
Jesus, priest, prophet, and preacher,
Jesus, abandoned, betrayed, and beaten,
Jesus, crucified on the cross,
Jesus, resurrected from the tomb,
Jesus, ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father,
Jesus, I AM HE WHO IS!

From your wrath, you spare me.
From the traps of the devil and his dark angels, protect me.
From the spirits of anger, greed, avarice, pride, envy, sloth, and lust, protect me.
From sin and everlasting death, protect me.
From the neglect of your inspirations, protect me.

By the mystery of your Incarnation, you show me my purpose.
By Your Birth, you make me a son of the Father.
By Your Nativity, you teach me to have the faith of a child.
By Your most divine Life, you make me a your disciple and prophet .
By Your most Holy Eucharist, you share with me your Body and Blood.
By Your agony and passion, you teach me how to suffer well.
By Your cross and dereliction, you make me a priest and a sacrifice.
By Your death and burial, you show me that I too will die.
By your Crucifixion, you teach me to die for my friends.
By Your Resurrection, you give me eternal life with you.
By Your Ascension, you bring me to your Throne.
By Your joys, you give me your joy and your peace.
By Your glory, you share with me your divine nature.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, bring me your peace.

O Lord Jesus Christ, you have said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you." Give to me, I beg you, the gift of your divine love, that I may ever love you with my whole heart, in word and deed, and never cease praising you.

The Holy Name Prayer

O Merciful Jesus, in your infancy you began your ministry as prophet and priest. You became my Savior by shedding your Precious Blood for me, and assuming for us all that Name which is above all names; I thank you for these revelations of your infinite love. I venerate your sacred Name with Gabriel, the angel who first announced your Name, Emmanuel, to the earth, and unite my affections to the tender love which the name “Jesus” has inflamed in the hearts of your Saints.

Animated with a firm faith in your unerring word, and strengthened with confidence in your mercy, I now humbly remind you of the promise you made, that where two or three assemble in your Name, you yourself would be in the midst of them. Jesus, come to me and the company of your saints and angels, for it is in your sacred Name that I am here; come into my heart, that I may be ruled by your holy spirit; in your mercy give to me, through your adorable Name, which is the joy of Heaven, the terror of Hell, the consolation of the suffering, and the solid ground of my unshakable confidence, all my holy needs.

Blessed Mother of our Redeemer! You suffer with your Son as he sheds his sacred blood and assumes for me the Name of Jesus, obtain for me, through his adorable Name, all my holy needs and the needs of those for whom I pray.

Pray, Blessed Mother, that your son's passionate love may imprint his sacred Name on my heart, that his Name may always be in my mind and always on my lips; that his Name may defend me from despair and be my refuge from all the temptations and trials of this life; and in the hour of my death, may his Name be my consolation and support. Amen.

(Best used before the Blessed Sacrament)

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