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December 11th, 2010

Prayers For Courage

Prayers For Courage

Almighty God,
who gives strength to the weak and upholds those who might fall,
give me courage to do what is right, for those that trust in you have no need to fear.

Make be brave to face any danger which may now threaten me.

Give me the help that you have promised to those who ask it,
that I may overcome my fears and go bravely forward.

Fill me with courage,
that nothing which is my duty to do,
may be too hard for me.

Let me put my trust in your power and goodness.

Thank you my Lord,
Amen

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Dear God, give me courage,
for perhaps I lack it more than anything else.

I need courage before men against their threats
and against their seductions.

I need courage to bear unkindness,
mockery, contradiction.

I need courage to fight against the devil,
against terrors and troubles, temptations,
attractions, darkness and false lights,
against tears, depression, and above all fear.

I need Your help, dear God.

Strengthen me with Your love and Your grace.

Console me with Your blessed Presence
and grant me the courage to persevere
until I am with You forever in heaven.
Amen.

November 11th, 2010

Mission Of The Catholic Church

Mission of The Catholic Church

What are the greatest needs of the Catholic Church today?

Do not think that our answer is simplistic or superstitious and unreal: one of the greatest needs today is the defense from that evil that we call the devil (Pope Paul VI, November 1972).

Delivering the world from demonic powers has always been the mission of the Catholic Church.

In the ministry of Jesus, exorcism of people who were possessed and tormented by evil spirits was of prime importance. It demonstrated the power that Jesus Christ commanded, as did the other miracles He performed; but more importantly it showed that He had unopposed authority even over the demonic spiritual powers who openly defied the rule of God. With a mere word from Christ, the demons were routed, as in Matthew 9:33, 11:18, 15:22, and 17:18. The ministry of exorcism was critically important in establishing Jesus’ authority as the true Lord of all creation.

“Whoever denies Satan also denies sin, and he who does not believe in demons does not believe the Holy Scriptures” (Pope John Paul II). One of the assaults on the Christian faith has been the denial that the demons exist. This was at first proposed to free men from the fear of “darkness and old night,” and to proclaim that the good God existed unopposed by any demonic power.

‘It is a well-known fact that where religion regresses, superstition progresses.’ A deep aversion for the love of the Sacred Scriptures and Holy Sacraments are the signs of living under the shadow of Satan. They practice abortions, having illegitimate children, witchcraft, Ouija board, tarot cards, crystals, palm reading, numerology, past life regression, psychic powers, channeling divination and séances are everywhere; yoga, zen, reiki, fengshui (vaastu), transcendental meditation, these are “ancient satanic wisdoms.”

In recent years, while the world has strayed far from the Old and New Testaments and its cosmic battle between God and Satan, true demonic activity, which had been largely banished in Christian societies, has been slowly resurfacing. Occult preoccupations and practices are reintroduced under the aegis of the “New Age movement,” and with them an increasing number of cases of demonic possession.

It had become so serious a problem that Pope John Paul II had spoken openly of the problem and of the need to formally train exorcists priests for dioceses around the world. The actual Rite of Exorcism is not very dramatic and will disappoint those who were expecting projectile pea soup, rotating heads, extreme physical manifestations, and verbal duels between the exorcist and the demon. The exorcist reads prayers and Scriptures from the approved ritual in the presence of the possessed.

It is an exercise of the Church’s authority and so it is necessary that the ritual be performed only with the local bishop’s permission, using the precise form prescribed by the Church. Standing on one’s own against Satan is foolhardy and dangerous.

There are some Catholic religious institutions in India and abroad which conduct retreats of various kinds, increase our spiritual knowledge to come closer to Christ; but many of the participants that make these retreats come with traces of occult in them or they are possessed, with the hope of getting free from these evil bondages, they return home worse than before since these centers do not have the Exorcism Ministries. Here the teachings on Precious Blood of Jesus is of utmost importance since “Through His Blood, we gain our freedom the forgiveness of our sins” (Eph. 1:7) “How much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can purify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God” (Heb.9:14).

We are witnessing the fulfillment of the words in the Sacred Scriptures concerning King Ahaziah. While he was gravely ill, he sent messengers to consult Beelzeebul (prince of demons), God of Ekron, to find out his future. The great prophet Elijah of action and not diction intercepted these messengers and asked them, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Beelzebul?” (2 Kings 1;1-4).

The traditional prayers for exorcism were in Latin. A new Rite of Exorcism was developed after Vatican II and has undergone several revisions. The new rite can be performed in the vernacular and has several alternative parts. At the present time, exorcists in Italy have been using both the old and the new rites, judging for themselves which one would be most appropriate in particular cases. It is interesting to note that in certain circumstances the Blessed Virgin Mary must be called on to intercede. The demons respond to her name with fear and loathing.

Demonic possession is still a major front in the war for souls between God and Satan. The Rite is thoroughly orthodox and conforms to Catholic teaching. It is both interesting and informative, and it stands to help people understand the very real demonic problems in our world as the Catholic Church understands them.

The devil never ceases his activity, while the Lord’s servants sleep, as the parable of the wheat and the darnel tells us. Everyone knows that the priestly ministry includes risks and discomforts for the priest, even when he does not exorcise. St. Peter would say, “Rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed” (1 Pet. 4;13). The welfare of souls is worthy of every sacrifice.

Delivering the world from demonic powers has always been the mission of the Catholic Church – a mission never more important than today.

– – – written by Captain Mervin John Lobo

October 28th, 2010

Secrets Of A Peaceful Mind

Secrets Of A Peaceful Mind

Secrets Of A Peaceful Mind

Do not drag others into our shoes
Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others’ affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction. God has created each one of us in a unique way. No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way.

Forgive and forget
We often develop ill feelings inside our heart for the person who insults us or harms us. We nurture grievances. This in turn results in loss of sleep, development of stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure. This insult or injury was done once, but nourishing of grievance goes on forever by constantly remembering it. Get over this bad habit. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forgive, Forget, and march on. Love flourishes in giving and forgiving.

Change yourself, not change others
If you try to change the environment single-handedly, the chances are you will fail. Instead, change yourself to suit your environment. As you do this, even the environment, which has been unfriendly to you, will mysteriously change and seem congenial and harmonious.

Endure what cannot be cured by you
This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations, and accidents that are beyond our control. If we cannot control them or change them, we must learn to put up with these things. We must learn to endure them cheerfully. Believe in yourself and you will gain in terms of patience, inner strength and will power.

Do not bite off more that what you can chew
This maxim needs to be remembered constantly. We often tend to take more responsibilities than we are capable of carrying out. This is done to satisfy our ego. Know your limitations. Why take on additional loads that may create more worries? You cannot gain peace of mind by expanding your external activities. Reduce your material engagements and spend time in prayer, introspection and meditation. This will reduce those thoughts in your mind that make you restless. Uncluttered mind will produce greater peace of mind.

Never leave the mind vacant
An empty mind is the devil’s workshop. All evil actions start in the vacant mind. Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something worthwhile. Actively follow a hobby. Do something that holds your interest. You must decide what you value more: money or peace of mind. Your hobby, like social work or religious work, may not always earn you more money, but you will have a sense of fulfillment and achievement. Even when you are resting physically, occupy yourself in healthy reading or mental chanting of God’s name.

Do not waste time worrying over the past
You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all future happenings. Value your time and do the things that need to be done. It does not matter if you fail the first time. You can learn from your mistakes and succeed the next time. Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing. Learn from your mistakes, but do not brood over the past.

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