From the Pastor's Desk

September 17th

A Novena is an ancient form of Christian prayer.
For nine consecutive days or weeks, a specific prayer is raised up to God. 
There are complete versions of this novena to St. Michael’s near the entrances of the church.

 

Oh most Noble Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies valorous warrior of Almighty God,
and zealous lover of His glory,
terror of the rebellious angels,
and love and delight of all the just ones,
my beloved Archangel Saint Michael,
desiring to be numbered among your devoted servants,
I, today offer and consecrate myself to you,
and place myself, my family,
and all I possess under
your most powerful protection. 

I ask you not to look at how little,
I, as your servant have to offer,
but to gaze, rather, with favorable eye,
at the heartfelt affection
with which this offering is made,
and remember that if from this day onward
I am under your patronage,
you must during all my life assist me,
and procure for me the pardon of my sins,
the grace to love with all my heart
my God, my dear Savior Jesus
and my Sweet Mother Mary,
and obtain for me all the help necessary
to arrive to my crown of glory.

Defend me from my spiritual enemies,
particularly in the last moments of my life.

Come then, oh Glorious Prince, and support me in my last struggle,
and with your powerful weapon,
cast far from me into the infernal abysses
that liar and proud angel that you have already beaten in the celestial battle.

 Saint Michael, defend us in our daily battle so that we may not perish in the last Judgment.

 

Amen.

     “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)  

     “In the sacred Host, He is present, the true treasure, always waiting for us. Only by adoring this presence do we learn how to receive Him properly.” (Pope Benedict XVI)  

     For thousands of years, people have been visiting important religious sites. If we ask, why should this practice be important? The answer is important to our spiritual growth. A Shrine is officially defined as a holy or sacred place, which is dedicated to a specific martyr, saint, Our Blessed Mother, or similar figure of awe and respect, at which they are venerated. A Shrine gives us another place to truly learn about our God, Our Blessed Mother, and many of the saints, each one honoring and focusing on a story, a history and giving us better understanding our faith.       Those who visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation say that their visit is both a spiritual and physical journey. Coming physically to Our Lady’s Shrine, we respond to the invitation she gave to St. Catherine of Sienna, “Come to the altar and pray, and great graces will be shed upon you.” This practice can bring us a great sense of peace, reflection and even accomplishment.

        In the Gospel Lesson today, Jesus and the Apostles are in the area of Caesarea Philippi. This was a Greek settlement in northern Galilee. Near the city was a pagan shrine to the god Pan, who was the god of fertility, the wild, and helper of those seeking good fortune. The area contained lush vegetation and fresh water springs. It was an ideal location for people to rest. As the Apostles watched people relaxing and visiting the shrine, theological discussion arose.            
     Jesus asked, “Who do people say that I am?” St. Matthew remembers everyone voicing possibilities, “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” But, St. Peter has a moment of clarity and responds, “You are the Christ! The Son of the Living God!” The evangelist wants us to understand that faith comes before understanding. After we have faith, we can then say, “I believe,” then we ask, “What are the reasons for my belief?” Insight does not bring about faith; it is the result of faith.            

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