Storms are forecasted for our area later on today, and so I thought I might post a few traditional prayers and practices surrounding the expectation of inclement weather.
The Rogation Days remind us that dangerous weather and other natural disasters are afflictions due to the Fall and to the sins of mankind. Only a few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought too deeply about praying for bad weather to be averted; that we would be kept safe, yes . . . but the more I discover the traditions of the Faith, the more amazed I am at the strength and specificity of the prayers I find, including those in regards to storms. Especially since my family is hoping to go out tonight for a celebration of the feast of good St. Joseph, we have been making recourse to the following prayers:
O Lord, hear us who cry to Thee, and grant fine weather to Thy suppliants, that we who are justly afflicted for our sins, may by the exercise of Thy bounty experience Thy clemency. Through our Lord.
Almighty God, we beseech Thy clemency, be pleased to check these heavy rains and show to us a cheerful sky. Through our Lord.
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Prayers to Avert Storms
We beseech Thee, O Lord, that all spiritual wickedness may be driven away from Thy house, and that the fury of the storms may pass away. Through our Lord.
Almighty, everlasting God, Who by chastising healest and by forgiving dost preserve, grant that we who humbly pray to Thee, may rejoice in the peace and consolation which we desire and ever enjoy the gift of Thy mercy. Through our Lord.
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There is also a pious custom of keeping blessed bread in one’s freezer, and throwing a morsel of it outside when there is bad weather. It would seem equally appropriate to sprinkle a little holy water outside in the same event.
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St. Barbara is invoked as the patroness against storms, especially lightning storms. In imitation of the Rogation Days, the entire Litany of Saints could also be prayed.
I am an energetic person by nature, a happy person by temperament (and God’s grace!) . . . but sometimes (like today), I am just tired. Tired and grouchy-feeling. How tempting it is to be discouraged by these feelings of tiredness and grouchiness, to be frustrated when I give into them and consequently don’t have that same I’m-so-happy-to-be-around-my-family shine as I usually do.
What am I doing?! I groan inwardly. I just went to Mass this morning!
And I did. In a little chapel with Lena and three friends and a marvelous priest. Everything was soft and still. Hoc est enim Corpus Meum. What a gift. For a little while now, I’ve been praying hard for the eventual gift of daily Latin Mass nearby, that I can attend every morning. But for now, once a week has been amazing!
I drove Lena and myself home through a light drizzle, the two of us chattering happily. I came in and had my fasting breakfast. I went upstairs and took a shower. And . . . I came out tired.
I’m sure it has something to do with being human. With early mornings, less food, family members being gone, teaching a classroom of girls, running up and down our lane until I can’t breathe (i.e., training for a 5K) and, because of my lack of virtue, so often failing to accept these feelings of tiredness and grumpiness as Crosses, and to embrace them with a joy that radiates to where no one can tell that I’m feeling grumpy at all. I’m working on the joy. Do you know how it is when the smallest acts of simple decent human kindness seem almost impossible to achieve? (I know . . . it’s the signal that I need a nap 😉 I think I will lie down shortly . . . )
My youngest sister has a cold. Lemon and melaleuca are being diffused in the living room. I gave her a mini-concert and played on the guitar, singing songs I’d written, for half an hour earlier. Things are gray outside. Lena is leaving on Friday. A whole week without her is a strange prospect; quite possibly a very light foretaste of the future in which she might be in her house at Ephesus and I’m in my house surrounded by a future beautiful brood of children. Does God intend for the majority of our earthly sisterhood, our close earthly companionship that has been particularly close ever since our early teen years, to be spent apart, joined together by letters and prayers, but by only the barest human contact?
Of course, the thought brings both spiritual joy and human tears. Joy for vocation and for becoming saints. This is what Lena and I want more than anything! But tears for the little daily things that will pass away and leave a void capable of being filled only by God; the countless conversations, the little jokes, the giggles, the hugs, the knowing of what the other is thinking and feeling in a way only sisters can, the shared daily prayers and devotions, Mass together, two white mantillas side-by-side. To some degree, it would still pass away even if we were both married . . . but not as radically as this. The little things will pass for a time, but the love will remain. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. And I am already rejoicing with excitement and gratitude at what God may have in store for my dear sister, and for me, and for our sisterhood.
This Lent has been unlike any other. The fasting is a great challenge; not just the absence of food, but using the absence of food to gain mastery over oneself and grow in virtue. That is the hardest part. It has been exactly two weeks now since Lent began. Three weeks to corrupt a vice, three weeks to instill a virtue. At this rate, I’m 2/3 of the way through corrupting the vice of intemperance . . . and then, after another week or so, I’ll begin to instill the virtue of fasting.
Fr. Ripperger’s talks at Sensus Traditionis have been one of my mainstays. It is unspeakably consoling to receive truth and guidance in the form of masculine, priestly, fatherly direction. I can’t seem to get enough. I also just finished his “The Spirituality of the Ancient Liturgy” from Latin Mass Magazine, and this paragraph struck me particularly (no wonder, after having just attended Mass!):
The ancient ritual also gives one a taste of heaven, so to speak. Since the altar marks the dividing line between the profane and sacred, between the heavenly and the earthly, and the priest ascends to the altar to offer Sacrifice, the traditional rite leaves one with a sense of being drawn into heaven with the priest. This feature naturally draws us into prayer and gives the sense of the transcendent and supernatural that are key in the spiritual life. The numerous references to the saints foster devotion rather than minimizing it. The Latin provides a sense of mystery. The beauty of the ritual, the surroundings that naturally flow from the ritual itself (such as the churches that are designed for the ritual), the chant – all of these things lead to contemplation, the seeking after that which is above.
Life is beautiful, because God is Supreme Beauty and He provides so many channels of grace for us through the Sacraments, through prayer, through pursuing the virtues. We can all be saints if only we continuously trust and try. Perhaps the tired days are the most beautiful days of all; or they can be, if only I ask for His grace and participate in it with joy 😉 Always and everywhere, Deo Gratias!
I wanted to share the Facebook page that is providing updates on Baby Isaac, and which also gives an opportunity to donate to the family. As of now, the seizures have subsided . . . let us continue to pray, and not hesitate to ask others for their prayers as well!
Thank you so much to all who have been praying! Little baby Isaac is still fighting, but according to the last update we have received, he is undergoing seizures that are difficult to control. Let’s continue to fervently and confidently ask Our Lady and all the saints to intercede for his complete healing. May God reward you!
Another Monday, already here! Happy feast of Ss. Vincent and Anastasius, Martyrs!
I am typing to some cheery Frank Sinatra at the moment 🙂 But to elaborate on the post title: I termed this a “back to work” edition because I’m, well, getting back to work (or trying to). Back to the heroic minute, back to a pretty rigorous schedule in which I am committing to not wasting my time and to reclaiming a diligence and perseverance of spirit.
Tutoring is only a small sliver of this “work,” actually. Tomorrow’s class is all prepared for 🙂 Really, what I’m referring to is a lot of writing I could be doing (more off Benedic than on it), that I’ve been shying away from for months . . . but yesterday I took the time to examine my current state of life and found more areas for work than I’d been conscious of.
Employing my time, submitting myself to a schedule, endeavoring to exercise a talent, to create things reflective of truth and beauty, especially when I don’t feel it (the plague of all artists, I suppose)–that concretely builds virtues of diligence, industry and perseverance, and pleases God. And anything else is possibly wasteful, with where I am in life.
So yesterday, after Mass and potluck, I came home, did a huge load of dishes (that will be explained in a moment), then went out onto the back deck (finally, there were temperatures not so oppressively freezing!), and wrote both a journal entry and a reasonable daily schedule. Every day from 6am -3:30pm now has constructive slots of work, study and prayer. Tuesdays are my only “off” day, in general, due to tutoring. The Dash is back to classes today and Our Lord mercifully used that to galvanize my soul towards more concrete work, as well, at home 😉
Today, so far, has been a blessing!
Lena wrote about today far more eloquently than I could. So I’m simply going the Prayer of St. Augustine I prayed this morning, one that seemed all too appropriate in contemplating the tragedy of abortion:
Lord, before Thine eyes we bring our sins, and with them we compare the stripes which we have received. When we think of the evil we have done, little is that which we suffer, great that which we deserve.
Heaviest are our offences, lightest our burden.
We are afflicted by the punishment of our sin, yet we avoid not the obstinate desire of sinning.
The weakness of our flesh faints under Thy scourges, yet is not our iniquity changed.
The sick soul is sore tormented, yet is not the neck bent.
In pain our life sighs heavily; yet are its deeds in no wise amended.
If Thou waitest for us, we are not corrected; if Thou takest vengeance, we bear it not.
When we are corrected, we confess our shortcomings; after Thou hast visited us, we forget that which we bewailed.
If Thou stretchest forth Thy hand, we promise what we will do; if Thou delayest to draw Thy sword, we perform not our promises.
If Thou strikest us, we cry unto Thee to spare; if Thou sparest, we provoke Thee again to strike.
Lord, hear the confession of Thy guilty people; for we know well that unless Thou shouldest pardon, Thou dost righteously consume us.
Almighty Father, grant us that which though we pray we do not deserve to obtain; Thou who didst create men of nothing, that they might pray to Thee. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Oh, yes! The huge load of dishes. Due to a damaged pipe, we were without water over the weekend, but fortunately all was restored yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, we couldn’t wash dishes, couldn’t wash clothes . . . I sighed very deep sighs of satisfaction yesterday afternoon as I helped the kitchen regain its former shine. But hey, it wasn’t all bad. Paper plates, water bottles, and we had jugs of water to help the toilets flush. Lena even managed to back molasses cookies on Saturday evening, and white bean turkey chili (for Sunday potluck), when we had The Dash over and watched the VHS of my parents’ wedding day!
For us kids, it was the first time and to say we enjoyed it is the understatement of the century 😉 They were adorable and many moments of the day were equally touching and hilarious!
Lately, I’ve been reading and contemplating the topic of modesty and feminine dress over at The Catholic Lady. An enjoyable and thought-provoking collection of posts and photos! I love the idea of photo-documenting modest outfits you wear . . . I’m going to try and do it on an irregular basis . . .
For a bit of news, I’ve just put up the beginnings to my “Daily Dedications” section, and posted several prayers and devotions for Monday, to the Holy Ghost! I hope to build up the rest over the next few days . . . for now, check it out here.
Sushi! I tried my first-ever sushi last Friday. California rolls, and also salmon. Amazing. 21.5 years of waiting, and it did not disappoint. Worthy of documentation . . . The Dash’s lovely sister got it on video, but as I stuffed the slightly over-large roll in my mouth all in one bite (using chopsticks, I proudly add), I’m not sure how pretty it looked, especially as I tried to chew the enormous amount of food and began dying with laughter, along with everyone else.
I was blessed with several hours’ worth of Eucharistic Adoration over the past week and a half. Much of it was with The Dash. During one such Holy Hour last Monday, I had given him my little book about St. Raphael to read, and towards the end of our time there, he (silently) led me in the Litany of St. Raphael, guiding me with his finger.
To have daily prayed the “Angel of Happy Meetings” prayer for what seemed like such a long time last year . . .
Dear St. Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings, lead me by the hand towards those I am waiting for, and those who are waiting for me. May all my movements, all their movements be guided by thy light and transfigured by thy joy. Angel guide of Tobias, lay the request I now address to thee at the feet of Him on Whose unveiled Face thou art privileged to gaze. (Mention your request.) Lonely and weary, deeply grieved by the separation and sorrows of earth, I feel the need of calling out to thee and of pleading for the protection of thy wings so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy.
Remember the weak, thou who art strong, whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God. Amen.
. . . and to then be praying in front of the Eucharist, and watch The Dash’s hand underline the words, “St. Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings, pray for us,” was a moment beyond words–a moment for me to be overawed at the goodness of God as showered upon me through the intercession of this holy Archangel.
The Angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear Him, and shall deliver them: O taste and see that the Lord is sweet!
-Offertory from the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost