Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Lorica or Breastplate of St. Patrick - Know the Peace that God Surrounds You and is With You Always

St. Paul tells us how to do battle against evil. He wrote:
Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6: 10-17)
I wrote earlier of St. Patrick, but wanted to add this addition to go deeper into St. Patrick's full Lorica prayer that he used as an armor of God that St. Paul tells us of above.
St. Patrick reminded himself daily how mighty and glorious God was and that he was under his protection. May these words of St. Paul and this incredible prayer of St. Patrick be a breastplate and shield of faith for us - especially in these times of such fear.

May they help us to know we are never alone.
Our God is infinite.
He created us and He is in control.
He pours His strength into us
and is with us as He promised, saying to us:  
"Behold, I AM WITH YOU always unto the end of the ages!" 

Hold fast to your faith.
During this time of social distancing and quarantine, may we take the time to turn off the news and open our Bibles
- to come to a deeper awareness of God's presence in us and around us,
like St. Patrick...

May we fill our minds with the Truth of Scripture ...
beginning with these Scriptures and these prayers of St. Patrick that I offer-
to help us to come to know the peace that surpasses understanding that God has for us:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4: 4-9)
Rest in these words.
Meditate on them.
Think of them again and again and again...
And then pray these words of St. Patrick as well...
The Lorica of St. Patrick
(also called St. Patrick’s “breastplate”):

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

Know of my great love for you and that each of you are in my prayers. I consecrate you all to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Know we are safe and well in their arms. 

© Janet Moore 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 6, 2020

An Evil Spirit of this Kind is Only Driven out by Prayer and Fasting

Help for fasting on this Wednesday of the 1st Week of Lent:

"Prayer is greatly aided by fasting and watching and every kind of bodily chastisement. In this regard each of you must do what you can. Thus, the weaker will not hold back the stronger, and the stronger will not press the weaker. You owe your conscience to God. But to no one else do you owe anything more except that you love one another."
— St. Augustine

© Janet Moore 2020. All Rights Reserved.

How Can Praying and Fasting Become a Joy?

Help for fasting this Friday of the 1st Week of Lent:

On January 25, 2001, Our Lady the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje gave us the following message:
"Dear children! Today I call you to renew prayer and fasting with even greater enthusiasm until prayer becomes a joy for you. Little children, the one who prays is not afraid of the future and the one who fasts is not afraid of evil. Once again, I repeat to you: only through prayer and fasting also wars can be stopped – wars of your unbelief and fear for the future. I am with you and am teaching you little children: your peace and hope are in God. That is why draw closer to God and put Him in the first place in your life. Thank you for having responded to my call."
Actually, this message is one of the themes that Our Blessed Mother has repeated again and again throughout her time with us these past nearly 40 years in Medjugorje. Why?

When we read these words, can we not agree and recognize and even ask ourselves:
Are we not living in the midst of a great battle?
Can we see the great battle for souls that is taking place in our time?
Not only externally, but internally - within us?

So often we read things only once, but when we read something again and again -it enables us to ponder it and truly take it to heart.
So let's reread this message:
"renew prayer and fasting with even greater enthusiasm until prayer becomes a joy for you."
It is a beautiful message:  
"Little children, the one who prays is not afraid of the future and the one who fasts is not afraid of evil."
Mary tells us that prayer and fasting is the antidote for fear and unbelief - the evils that most torment our souls:
 "Once again, I repeat to you: only through prayer and fasting also wars can be stopped – wars of your unbelief and fear for the future"
Our Blessed Mother comes to bring us peace: 
"I am with you and am teaching you little children: your peace and hope are in God."
Each Wednesday and Friday, especially, Our Lady calls us to go deeper into prayer with the aid of fasting. When we fast it helps us realize ever more fully how much God loves us and longs to take care of us.
Why else would He be sending His Mother to us daily for so long?:
 "That is why draw closer to God and put Him in the first place in your life."
When we put prayer first place in our lives, then our prayer truly becomes an encounter with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit -
and thus, it becomes a joy - for we are encountering the ever-living God!!!

How wondrous it is that we can reach out in prayer and be in communion with the God?!
Who not only created all the heavens and the earth -
all that is seen and unseen in the universe
Who not only created everything around me, but each of us as well!
He fore-ordained each of us -
He knit us in our mother's wombs!
He knows when we sit and stand
He knows every thought before we think it...
And has numbered ever hair on our head!
His intimate and intricate care that He took in forming each of us
And then sustaining us...
Never ceasing to breathe His life in us
with each breath we take
Never ceasing to cause our heart to beat at each moment
out of pure unadulterated love!
What wondrous love is this?!

It is this God Whom we encounter in prayer and fasting!
It is this God Who not only created and fashioned every part of us
so each of us can reflect His glory in a unique and utterly irrepeatable way
But Who also became one of us
a man like us in all things but sin
to redeem us
to carry our burdens
to take on the guilt and shame and death that our sins deserved
to save us and make us whole!
To transform us and make us new
through the power of His Life, Death and Resurrection!
Contemplate and ponder these things!

a CHILD OF GOD destined for incomparable bliss in Him
Not only in heaven for all eternity
in prayer,
for we ENCOUNTER HIM and COMMUNE with Him and know Him in prayer
with the help of fasting (which helps us to rid ourselves of the selfishness, self-absorption and sin that torments us and steals away our peace that keeps us from being able to pray)
We are enabled to come to KNOW GOD more and more fully
And realize His Presence shines LIGHT in our darkness
Even now, the more we know Him (through prayer and fasting)
the more we are able to seek and find Him
He, Who would never leave us or forsake us
and we receive Him ever more fully through
HIS WORDS that are living and effective and touch us to the core of our being
HIS BODY AND BLOOD that feed and nourish us on our daily journey
especially of RECONCILIATION in which we receive His Love and Mercy
In all these ways through our prayer we come to truly know He is With Us Always
He has not left us orphans
So HIS LIFE begins to fill us ever more fully until
HIS JOY permeates and transforms us
even in the midst of great suffering
HIS HOPE abides in us even in the midst of deep mourning
HIS GRACE is with us even in the darkest turmoil
FAITH IN HIM even in the midst of war - this great battle for our souls-
for HIS LOVE casts out all fear
and we are made ever more Holy
ever more like Him
because we are ever more in united with Him
and begin to see Him as He is.

This is why Our Blessed Mother ceaselessly asks us to pray and fast.
This is why she is present,
for we are weak...
we are frail and we need her help
to begin again and again and again
we need to be reminded to pray ever more ceaselessly
until prayer becomes a joy for us
until it becomes NEW LIFE IN CHRIST for us.

O, Immaculate Mother, thank you for your presence among us!
Thank you for your tireless messages calling us to pray and fast...
Thank you for your ceaseless love and prayers that lead us ever deeper into God's love and mercy.
May we receive and enter more deeply into God's love in this time of grace by responding to your call. We ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

© Janet Moore 2020. All Rights Reserved.