Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dear Readers and Especially Diane

Prince Caspian has been found and read! I am now ready to make the great sacrifice of attending Prince Caspian a second time. Nothing is too much for the sake of my beloved readers. So tomorrow, during the matinée hour, I will drag myself to the theater, force myself to eat popcorn and wash it down with a large soda. All for the sake of my dear readers! And then I will try to have a professional review hot off the press by sometime Thursday. No promises though. I might need a day or two to recover from stuffing myself with the vast quantities of junk food that must be imbibed whilst watching a movie at the theater.

For those who have never been treated to any of my reviews but would like to have a taste of the kind of review that I strive for - click here.
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Virtuous Tuesday...

... Okay this post is not about living a virtue within the context of the family life. However - it is about a very important requirement if one wishes to live the virtues within their family life.

The following two articles are from seatlepi.com. The first is from Sister Patricia Proctor and her most recent book 101 Inspirational Stories of of the Power Prayer. The following is a comment from a reader of seatlepi.com. They both show the power of the Holy Spirit and are great inspirations for developing a relationship with Him.


Do Not Forget the Holy Spirit

Binghamton, New York

In my late twenties and early thirties, I taught part time at a nearby university. My classes were in the late afternoon when my husband could care for our four young children. While I was confident about their care, I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable about spending so much time in a chaotic, secular environment that was both mentally and emotionally demanding. Despite praying before leaving the car to walk across campus, I was not able to preserve a sense of peace and found it difficult to even remember God once my foot touched the campus pavement.

One Saturday, early in the fall semester, I went to the local church where I knew a priest would be available for spiritual direction. After waiting in line, I walked into the room where Father Grace was sitting at a table. He gestured for me to sit across from him and I began to share my concerns. I told him how saddened I was that I wasn't able to remember our Lord during my working hours, how discouraging it was to feel so alone while walking across the big campus and teaching, and how even the briefest thought of God was immediately whisked away the moment a student caught my eye or stopped to chat. I knew that my students suffered from the lack of a faith-filled professor and my own children suffered because of the lack of peace that I brought home with me.

Father Grace listened patiently and then offered some advice that dramatically changed my life. He told me to select a prayer to the Holy Spirit, memorize it, and say it daily. He said that people often forget the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. He believed that they didn't know Him and usually didn't honor Him in their prayers or their lives. The prayer itself didn't matter, he said, but rather that my honoring the Holy Spirit with love and devotion each morning was what was important.

I went home, selected a prayer and set about memorizing it. Monday morning rolled around, and while saying my morning prayers, I added

the new prayer to the Holy Spirit. Later in the day, I parked my car in the campus parking lot, turned off the motor and closed my eyes to concentrate on praying to the Holy Spirit. At that moment, I had a strong sense of the presence of God. I knew that sometimes God gave that grace to encourage people, but I was surprised that the sense did not leave me while walking across campus, teaching, chatting with students, or returning to my car. How easy it was to teach and counsel students when I was strengthened by the magnificent presence of God. I continued to pray to the Holy Spirit daily. During the rest of that year, I had a strong sense of the presence of God whenever I went on campus. The presence was so strong that I was able to effortlessly think deeply about God while at the same time performing my duties as a professor. I was also able to maintain a sense of peace at home with my children, and I know I served as a better witness to others, particularly when students would approach me after class to question me about my religion, as they often did.

While there was nothing earth shaking about my prayer experience, it was soul shaking. My faith in God and the truths taught by the Catholic Church were strengthened. My prayer life became deeper as did my love for reading the Bible and the lives of the saints. I also developed a deep love for my vocation as wife and mother and now stay home to care for our children full time.

While I still have to work at keeping myself in the presence of God, I am grateful for the gift given to me by the Holy Spirit, and I pray that others too may honor Him in their lives.
Anonymous Binghamton, New York

Posted by Sister Patricia Sister Patricia at May 26, 2008 8:34 p.m.

(Second Article)

Posted by unregistered user at 5/27/08 6:49 a.m.

This reminded me of something that happened to me. My father spoke several languages and as little as I was, I could sense from people's reactions that this was something special and to be desired. So when I heard in grammar school, that when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles they could speak to each one in their own language, Well hey! that's the One to pray to! How easy is that? :o) Obviously, it wasn't quite that easy, but it left me with a lifelong habit of always calling upon the Holy Spirit in every difficult situation: talking to professors in college about late papers, or the IRS about suspending fines, or Immigration about my Dad, or Drs. about treatment for my Mom. In every instance people would bend backwards to help me. Anyway, at one point I was substituting in secondary level and was asked to take over a teacher's classes full time as the poor dear had totally lost control of the students, some two weeeks before the first semester ended. I agreed and it was a daily battle but each day new ground was won, inch by inch. Then one day as I was standing just outside the door waiting for students to come into class, I overheard one young man inside my classroom saying over and over "you're a retard" to someone. I glanced in and saw that the speaker was "Juan", a very handsome and self confident young man. He was bullying "Pedro", a sweet Guamanian who I had sitting at the rear of the class while we awaited his transfer out of the class. We were waiting for "Pedro"'s father to come back from maneuvers as he was the only one in the family who spoke English and could give us an O.k. to transfer Pedro to a class where he could do better as he was so far behind in mine that there was no way he could catch up. Poor Pedro lacked in looks as compared to Juan and it broke my heart to see his pained look every time Juan hurled a "you're a retard" at him. But what could I do? I told myself: there's nothing you can do, you can't order children to like each other and if you interfere, you can stop him from saying it inside your classroom but it will pick up intensity the minute the bell rings. So I did the only thing I knew to do: Pray to the Holy Spirit to help. A few minutes after roll call, I went to the board to write something and as my back was turned to the class Pedro's anguished voice broke the silence:"Miss T.! look at Juan!!! He's making all sorts of of of of RETARDED(voice breaking)FACES at me!" I froze, unwilling to face the class and the situation. In a nanosecond, I thought: if I scold, Juan, he's going to shrug it off and probably claim innocence and that's neither going to stop the behavior, nor ease the heartache. While I was still thinking this, with my back still to the class, I heard my voice saying in an irritated, mock scolding tone: "Listen here Pedro! You KNOW Juan can't help the way he looks, so stop picking on him!" The whole class erupted in laughter, it was so incongruous to say that about the handsomest boy in class. I turned to look at Juan and he was giving me a good natured smile, like saying: o.k. you got me good. Then I turned to look at "Pedro" and he was laughing uncontrollably, pointing at Juan and with tears rolling down his cheeks, a total emotional release of the pain. The victim had been vindicated because the aggressor had now become the victim. Now there was no way Juan could ever hurl a 'you're a retard', inside or outside my class, without bringing to mind that he himself had been laughed at. I don't think I could've made it through life without the "Memorare" and the Holy Spirit. And I found out it was true what I learned in grammar school: the Holy Spirit does allow you to speak to each one in their own language: the language of their heart. Tonie T.


If you, like me, feel inspired to develop more of a relationship with the Holy Spirit after reading the above stories here are two prayers below to start with.

A Spirit to Know You

St. Benedict of Nursia
ca. 480-547

Gracious and Holy Father,
Please give me:
intellect to understand you,
reason to discern you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
a spirit to know you,
a heart to meditate upon you,
ears to hear you,
eyes to to see you,
a tongue to proclaim you,
a way of life pleasing to you,
patience to wait for you
and perseverance to look for you.

Grant me a perfect end,
your holy presence,
a blessed resurrection
and life everlasting.


Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit,
Divine Consoler,
I adore You as my true God,
with God the Father and God the Son.
I adore You and unite myself to the adoration
You receive from the angels and saints.

I give You my heart
and I offer my ardent thanksgiving
for all the grace which You never cease to bestow on me.

O Giver of all supernatural gifts,
who filled the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of God, with such immense favors,
I beg You to visit me with Your grace
and Your love and to grant me the gift of holy fear,
so that it may act on me as a check to prevent me
from falling back into my past sins,
for which I beg pardon.

Grant me the gift of piety,
so that I may serve You for the future with increased fervor,
follow with more promptness Your holy inspirations,
and observe your divine precepts with greater

Grant me the gift of knowledge,
so that I may know the things of God and,
enlightened by Your holy teaching, may walk,
without deviation, in the path of eternal

Grant me the gift of fortitude,
so that I may overcome courageously all the assaults of the devil,
and all the dangers of this world which threaten the salvation of my soul.

Grant me the gift of counsel,
so that I may choose what is more conducive to my
spiritual advancement
and may discover the wiles and snares of the tempter
Grant me the gift of understanding,
so that I may apprehend the divine
and by contemplation of heavenly things detach my thoughts
and affections from the vain things of this miserable

Grant me the gift of wisdom,
so that I may rightly direct all my actions,
referring them to God as my last end;
so that, having loved Him and served Him in this life,
I may have the happiness of possessing Him eternally in the next.

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