Night Glooms

Sable-clad, the dread silent night arrived,
Quiet as the full-sated, homing herd;
Dusk crept in gloom cover and cast a pall
O’er faded chimes and dead footfalls in hall.

Heavens loomed in ebon splendor, arching
Above my gloomy bower; lonely and parching
I lay waiting, waiting for slumber’s balm,
On sagging springs, my wayward thoughts to calm.

Solos and pairs paced the squandrons combined,
Unruly hordes, soul’s dark companions, to bind
Fetters on dreams; and hooded thoughts collage
My lone nights and enthrall my peace in cage.

Gentle Paraclete, whisper and dispel
My gloom as day brightens in morning’s spell!

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

On September 19, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI read aloud the proclamation decreeing Cardinal John Henry Newman as “Blessed”, thus beatifying him. The Pope was celebrating Mass in Birmingham during the four day Papal visit to England.  In 1991, Newman was already proclaimed “Venerable” after a thorough examination of his life and work by the Sacred Congregation for the Cause of Saints.  The Pope presented Newman’s vision of “the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society” as a model for today.

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Growing up as a Catholic, the angels were never far from my thoughts.  The belief in one’s own Guardian Angel is always comforting.  How many of us do not know the Guardian Angel Prayer?

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day, be at my side,
To Light and to Guard, to Rule and to Guide. Amen.

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The Perfect Prayer

“Our Father” is a prayer that transcends time and answers all the exigencies of our existence.  The structure of the prayer is perfect.  The first part is an expression of a desire to partake in the Glory of God, which is seen as the ultimate end of existence.  The second consists of  a plea for divine help in obtaining what is needed for sustenance and the removal of all obstacles such as sin, temptation, and temporal evils from the  path directed to reach the sublime goal of beatitude. This perfect prayer is not filled with demands and requests. In the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Eucharist, immediately after the Consecration and before the breaking up of the Species, the celebrant invokes Our Lord’s Prayer.  All across the globe, palms are held up in supplication and the most memorable of all prayers ascends in heartfelt renditions in a multitude of languages.

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