Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati Novena, Day Three

Day Three
Jesus says: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “With violence you sow hatred, and you harvest its bad fruits. With charity, you sow peace among men – not the peace that the world gives, but the true peace that only faith in Jesus Christ can give us in common brotherhood.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, guide me in claiming my rightful inheritance as a child of God and heir of His kingdom. Show me, by your own example, how to be slow to anger, and gentle in my dealings with others. Help me to show forth the peace of Christ by speaking words of peace, and by living a life of peace.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is meek and humble of heart, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)

Litany of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (for private devotion)
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

God our Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
All the angels and saints, pray for us.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, pray for us.
Loving son and brother, pray for us.
Support of family life, pray for us.
Friend of the friendless, pray for us.
Most Christian of companions, pray for us.
Leader of youth, pray for us.
Helper of those in need, pray for us.
Teacher of charity, pray for us.
Patron of the poor, pray for us.
Comfort of the sick, pray for us.
Athlete for God’s kingdom, pray for us.
Conqueror of life’s mountains, pray for us.
Defender of truth and virtue, pray for us.
Opponent of every injustice, pray for us.
Patriotic citizen of the nation, pray for us.
Loyal son of the Church, pray for us.
Devoted child of the Madonna, pray for us.
Ardent adorer of the Eucharist, pray for us.
Fervent student of the Scriptures, pray for us.
Dedicated follower of St. Dominic, pray for us.
Apostle of prayer and fasting, pray for us.
Guide to a deep love for Jesus, pray for us.
Diligent in work and study, pray for us.
Joyful in all of life’s circumstances, pray for us.
Strong in safeguarding chastity, pray for us.
Silent in pain and suffering, pray for us.
Faithful to the promises of Baptism, pray for us.
Model of humility, pray for us.
Example of detachment, pray for us.
Mirror of obedience, pray for us.
Man of the Beatitudes, pray for us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Prayer
Let us pray: Father, You gave to the young Pier Giorgio Frassati the joy of meeting Christ and of living his faith in service of the poor and the sick. Through his intercession, may we, too, walk the path of the Beatitudes and follow the example of his generosity, spreading the spirit of the Gospel in society. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati Novena, Day Two

Day Two
Jesus says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “Our life, in order to be Christian, has to be a continual renunciation, a continual sacrifice. But this is not difficult, if one thinks what these few years passed in suffering are, compared with eternal happiness where joy will have no measure or end, and where we shall
have unimaginable peace.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me that I must be able to mourn if I will be able to rejoice. Show me how to face my sorrow, and not avoid it or pretend that it does not exist. Help me to enter into any present sorrow, so that my soul can empty itself and be filled with God’s peace.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is our Consoler, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)

Litany of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (for private devotion)
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

God our Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
All the angels and saints, pray for us.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, pray for us.
Loving son and brother, pray for us.
Support of family life, pray for us.
Friend of the friendless, pray for us.
Most Christian of companions, pray for us.
Leader of youth, pray for us.
Helper of those in need, pray for us.
Teacher of charity, pray for us.
Patron of the poor, pray for us.
Comfort of the sick, pray for us.
Athlete for God’s kingdom, pray for us.
Conqueror of life’s mountains, pray for us.
Defender of truth and virtue, pray for us.
Opponent of every injustice, pray for us.
Patriotic citizen of the nation, pray for us.
Loyal son of the Church, pray for us.
Devoted child of the Madonna, pray for us.
Ardent adorer of the Eucharist, pray for us.
Fervent student of the Scriptures, pray for us.
Dedicated follower of St. Dominic, pray for us.
Apostle of prayer and fasting, pray for us.
Guide to a deep love for Jesus, pray for us.
Diligent in work and study, pray for us.
Joyful in all of life’s circumstances, pray for us.
Strong in safeguarding chastity, pray for us.
Silent in pain and suffering, pray for us.
Faithful to the promises of Baptism, pray for us.
Model of humility, pray for us.
Example of detachment, pray for us.
Mirror of obedience, pray for us.
Man of the Beatitudes, pray for us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Prayer
Let us pray: Father, You gave to the young Pier Giorgio Frassati the joy of meeting Christ and of living his faith in service of the poor and the sick. Through his intercession, may we, too, walk the path of the Beatitudes and follow the example of his generosity, spreading the spirit of the Gospel in society. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati Novena, Day One

Day One
Jesus says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Pier Giorgio responds: “The faith given to me in Baptism surely suggests to me that of yourself you will do nothing; but if you have God as the center of all your actions, then you will reach the goal.”

We pray: Blessed Pier Giorgio, teach me true poverty of spirit. Help me understand that God cares for me; and that He asks me, in return, to care for others, especially those in need. Guide me to make choices in my life which will show a preference for service of God and neighbor, rather than accumulating financial wealth and social advantage for myself. Give me a special love for the poor and the sick.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, I ask for your intercession in obtaining from God, Who is the Lover of the poor, all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I confidently turn to you for help in my present need: (mention your request.)

Litany of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (for private devotion)
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

God our Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
All the angels and saints, pray for us.

Blessed Pier Giorgio, pray for us.
Loving son and brother, pray for us.
Support of family life, pray for us.
Friend of the friendless, pray for us.
Most Christian of companions, pray for us.
Leader of youth, pray for us.
Helper of those in need, pray for us.
Teacher of charity, pray for us.
Patron of the poor, pray for us.
Comfort of the sick, pray for us.
Athlete for God’s kingdom, pray for us.
Conqueror of life’s mountains, pray for us.
Defender of truth and virtue, pray for us.
Opponent of every injustice, pray for us.
Patriotic citizen of the nation, pray for us.
Loyal son of the Church, pray for us.
Devoted child of the Madonna, pray for us.
Ardent adorer of the Eucharist, pray for us.
Fervent student of the Scriptures, pray for us.
Dedicated follower of St. Dominic, pray for us.
Apostle of prayer and fasting, pray for us.
Guide to a deep love for Jesus, pray for us.
Diligent in work and study, pray for us.
Joyful in all of life’s circumstances, pray for us.
Strong in safeguarding chastity, pray for us.
Silent in pain and suffering, pray for us.
Faithful to the promises of Baptism, pray for us.
Model of humility, pray for us.
Example of detachment, pray for us.
Mirror of obedience, pray for us.
Man of the Beatitudes, pray for us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Prayer
Let us pray: Father, You gave to the young Pier Giorgio Frassati the joy of meeting Christ and of living his faith in service of the poor and the sick. Through his intercession, may we, too, walk the path of the Beatitudes and follow the example of his generosity, spreading the spirit of the Gospel in
society. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Odds and Ends: Fatigue and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

Wow, I was not expecting the feedback I received from the last blog post. Holy smokes (minus "Habemus Papam"), y'all! Not only did I get way more comments than I'm used to on the actual post, but the number of tweets and retweets and private messages surprised me. It looks like it's a widespread problem for many people... and that's incredibly sad to realize. I know people either love or hate The Benedict Option (which I read several weeks ago) but it makes you think about how much different things would be if we all lived in a community that was supportive and spiritually nurturing. Perhaps maybe then so many people -- especially young adults -- wouldn't fall away? *shrugs*

I've apparently (and unintentionally) boarded the struggle bus once again in the past couple of days, making prayer hard for me. I also didn't go to Mass last weekend (the first weekend that I've missed since last month) but not because I didn't want to. I passed out on Saturday from a tremendous fatigue that I've yet to shake off. Then, on Sunday, I had the extreme fatigue (which made me sleep through the alarms in the morning) followed by terrible palpitations and anxiety attacks. No explanation for them; I couldn't figure out a trigger for the anxiety or the fatigue. I'm hoping to go to confession and Mass tonight since Mom works most Sundays and gets home physically done for (she's on her feet all 8 hours). Fingers crossed that the weather (unbearable heat makes me physically sick and not even the car's a/c helps sometimes) and everything else cooperates with me.

The good thing is the Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati novena begins tomorrow. I know I've spoken quite a bit about him in the last couple of posts (and throughout the years, for those who've been following the blog for a while now) and I will continue to do so because he seems to be the one who is consistently interceding for me when I find myself in a spiritual rut/dryness. It's returned in the past two days (the spiritual dryness) but I hope to remedy that with a trip to the confessional and Mass today God willing). I will be scheduling the daily novena prayers for 8 a.m. PST. Each day has different prayers so keep an eye out for them. I've also found that posting the novena prayers on this blog helps those who are normally prone to forget about doing a novena every day. If I post something else between June 25 and July 9th, I will try to do it in the evenings so that the posts are spread out.

Also, a letter to Pope Francis has been written in order to appeal that he canonizes Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati next year at the "Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment" synod. You can watch a video made by Bl. PGF's niece (daughter of his only sister), learn more about the letter or even sign the petition at this website. You don't have to be a "youth" to sign the letter; there's no age restriction. If you've previously done a novena to ask for his intercession and he has answered it, you can also add it to the petition. I'm definitely filling it out. The first time he interceded for me, I was able to graduate with a $2k loan instead of a $80k loan at my alma mater; a massive difference between those two numbers. The last couple of times I've blogged about it (in recent weeks) so you all know the big way he's coming through for me in the past month or so.

And that's it for this "odds and ends" post. I'm going to try to go to confession and Mass and pray that the fatigue (and the lightheadedness that accompanies it) will not make things harder for me, especially in this heat. I really shouldn't be driving right now but I know we won't make it to Mass tomorrow so... we're going to try. Prayers appreciated.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Why Can't I Find My Place in the Church?

I briefly mention this topic in the last post because it's been a major stumbling block on my quest to attend Mass more often to keep myself from becoming apathetic towards the Church. Again, I'm going to add the disclaimer that I may mention people (not by name, of course) but I'm not blaming them.

Since last year, I've been trying to attend more Latin Masses because it's where I feel more connected to God and more at peace. I'm fairly positive that if I counted, I'll see that I've been to more Extraordinary Form Masses than Ordinary Form Masses in the past year. I've been veiling (or, at the very least, keeping my head covered with berets and hats) for years. In fact, the last gift my father gave me (not counting the ultimate gift of his return to the Church the day before my 24th birthday) was a veil from Mexico... 8 years ago. I obviously started veiling before that so, you know, I'm not new at this. lol.

I love the reverence of the Latin Mass. I love that we all seem to be more focused on the Holy Sacrifice than in Ordinary Form Masses. I know some people's spiritual lives thrive more with the inclusion of the entire community during OF Masses (i.e. holding hands during the Lord's Prayer and the sign of peace) but it's not for me. I wasn't a fan even when I was a little girl. You can even ask my mom and she'll confirm it for you. I don't like how it seems to disrupt the focus (and purpose) of the Mass and it makes it easier for people to get distracted for the rest of the Mass. I've always loved focusing on what the priest was doing; on how he was celebrating Mass and feeling that I was a part of something greater than myself. This also started way before I even did my First Communion when I was 8. I love the significance of veiling and, on a more practical level, I love that the veil literally blocks all distractions within my peripheral vision and it helps me keep my eyes on the altar.

Latin Mass is the answer to my prayers... except that I still get lost during the Mass. lol. I have yet to buy myself a missal because they're expensive and I have a lot of expenses every week. L.A. is an expensive city to live in and we mostly live paycheck to paycheck so I have to save up for things that are not immediate necessities. I'm guessing that my being fluent in Spanish makes it a little easier to follow along but I still get hopelessly lost at times. Don't get me started on how I botch up Latin because my brain automatically switches to the Spanish pronunciation of letters and words. lol. I'm still getting used to it and I think I simply need to attend more Masses (and have a really, really patient person explain things to me) before I'm completely comfortable going to them.

Now, I'm not saying Ordinary Form Masses are terrible. It's what I grew up attending. I was baptized, made my First Communion, and was confirmed (in that order) in OF Masses. It's familiar and I can follow along because it's in a language I understand (for both English and Spanish Masses). I know many wonderful, holy priests who don't do Extraordinary Form Masses and their homilies are top notch. Still, overall, most OF Masses are not my cup of tea. I've been to some solemn OF Masses but there are always elements of this form that I'm not thrilled with. As I've mentioned, I'm not a fan of the hand-holding or the sign of peace. The music is... well, also not my cup of tea. I'm really sorry, music ministers, but once the guitar, bass, and/or drums get introduced, my focus and concentration are gone because it makes me feel like I'm at a concert or show rather than a Mass. Again, this is just what it seems to me. I know it helps other people but it distracts me more than it helps me personally. Don't even get me started on when they start projecting things on the sides of the altar or the clapping people do during Mass. To quote my beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, "Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment."

During my struggle with spiritual dryness/spiritual attacks, I noticed that I felt like I couldn't (and still can't) find "my place" with the Church... including with Masses. As you could probably deduce from this post, I prefer Latin Masses. However, not being able to follow doesn't help and sometimes I get really self-conscious asking someone for help because, well, I've had a bad experience with people who attend Latin Masses. I've gotten the "ugh, what a stupid question" vibe when questions do get asked and, let's be real, no one wants to feel like a total dunce. I've also gotten the "ugh, you're doing it wrong" vibe when I try to figure things out. Not everyone is like this, of course. I've met some really lovely people within the local Latin Mass community but I've yet to really get to know them well so I don't feel part of it. I obviously feel a greater sense of community at OF Masses. Not counting the judgmental looks when I've received when veiling, people tend to be more welcoming and, in my experience, are easier to get to know. That's one of the things I miss most of our former parish; knowing the people and being able to talk to them before and after Mass. I don't go to Mass to socialize, obviously, but it would be nice to know some of the people and know that you're surrounded by like-minded folks.

I love veiling and the Latin Mass - *gasp* too traditional! I prefer wearing skirts and dresses but I still like the comfort and, as someone who is active and grew up playing sports, like the coverage pants and shorts provide - *gasp* what an immodesty! Some people assume that I'm single because, like many of my Millennial peers, I like my independence and am too career oriented - *gasp* too modern! When they find out I'd prefer to be a stay-at-home mom and homeschool my future kids - *gasp* too traditional and anti-feminist to boot! I'm still single not because I want to be but because it seems to be God's will for me at the moment. It's not get started on my taste in music and films because it gets worse; I'm either too traditional/too much of a prude or too modern/liberal for that, too!

My point in all of this is that, despite the advantages and disadvantages of both, I feel like I haven't found my place in the Church. When you add the fact that I'm a single 32-year-old young woman with zero prospects (despite feeling calling to marriage) and that there seems to be no solid support system for us over-25 singles within either community, I feel like I'm on the outskirts of the Church. Why isn't there something for us singles who are in this stage of life because it's clearly not our time yet and not because we've actively chosen it? It would help us to have some sort of support.

I can't win, even though I really don't want to "win" anything. My goal is to get to heaven and help those God have placed in my life do the same thing. As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm very much a people person and feeling like I can't find a community to which I belong makes me feel dejected and, in turn, it makes it harder for me to nourish my spiritual life. Yes, I'm still very much an introvert but I'm also a social being (hence my saying that I'm a social introvert; it's an actual thing if you want to Google it if you don't believe me). I guess I just need to find that happy medium -- preferably a community that likes attending Latin Masses but won't judge me for occasionally wearing pants and shorts, liking the things I do, and that would be to pray for me (and other over-25 singles) as I wait for the next phase of my life to begin. Does such a community exist?

This post was just scratching the surface. There are so many layers that I didn't get into because we would be here all day. Again, I'm not blaming people for my feeling like I'm on the fringes of the Church and like I can't find a solid community in which I can feel like I belong. It's just my own thing that I have to work through this summer. It hasn't helped that I've spent the last 5 years (or longer if you count the years in which my anxiety was so bad that I couldn't leave the house) sick and that it's made it harder for me to try to socialize or get to Masses that don't make me cringe. We also don't live in a great neighborhood so I try to be home before it gets too dark and most of the socializing events happen late, especially after the 7 p.m. Latin Mass on Sundays. If there was a Latin Mass that both Mom and I could attend on Sundays that wasn't so late, it would be easier and perhaps I could find more likeminded people. Before you locals suggest it, no, we can't make it to the 10 a.m. Mass at St. Felipe or the noon Mass at St. Therese because Mom works on Sundays until after both Masses are over and all other Masses are too far for me to drive (I don't ever drive on the freeways).

If you're feeling particularly charitable today, please feel free to donate to the FSSP LA building fund so that they can get their parish quicker and more Latin Masses can be offered throughout the day. People like me, with limited transportation and other options, that love Latin Masses would appreciate it. The priests are fantastic and I have a feeling they'll help establish a great community that is very much needed in L.A.

Alright, that's it for now. It's already 97 degrees at 25 minutes to 1 p.m. and my hands and feet are already suffering from being in hottest part of our apartment (my home office is west-facing with no shade from anything). I hope those of you who will be in cities/towns over 85 degrees stay cool!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D