Friday, November 30, 2012

Divine Mercy Chaplet





1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy,
Sister tells us:


"I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it.
Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross
and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to
look through Our Lord's wounds and I understood that God blessed
the earth for the sake of Jesus."


Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:
"I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike
the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just
punishment...."


The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on
ordinary rosary beads:


"First say one 'Our Father', 'Hail Mary', and 'I believe'. Then on
the large beads say the following words:

'Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement
for our sins and those of the whole world.'


On the smaller beads you are to say the following words:
'For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the
whole world.'


In conclusion you are to say these words three times:
'Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us
and on the whole world'.


Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:
"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who
says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests
will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will
receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to
know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy...."


"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior".





Divine Mercy Images

Image at the Chapel of Divine Mercy.
Painted by Robert Skemp and was given to Pope JPII to give to a Divine Mercy Shrine.
Apostles Image, Pope John Paul II likes this one the best. 
Original and restored Vilinius image.

Divine Mercy Promises


Our Lord said the following to St. Faustina:

"Paint the image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world." (Diary, 47)

"I promise that the soul that shall venerate this image will not perish." (Diary, 48)

"Jesus looked at me and said, Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity." (Diary, 965)

"My image already is in your soul. I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy." (Diary, 49)

"I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: 'Jesus, I trust in You'" (Diary, 327)

"I desire that the image be publicly honored." (Diary, 414)

"By means of this image, I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it." (Diary, 570)

Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal



O Virgin Mother of God,
Mary Immaculate,
we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you
under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
May this Medal be for each one of us
a sure sign of your affection for us
and a constant reminder of our duties towards you.
Ever while wearing it,
may we be blessed by your loving protection
and preserved in the grace of your Son.
O most powerful Virgin,
Mother of our Saviour,
keep us close to you every moment of our lives.
Obtain for us,
your children,
the grace of a happy death;
so that, in union with you,
we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever.

Amen. 

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus



O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for me is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Your alter (in Your presence) eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Your loving Heart is everywhere subject.


Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Your pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying for from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow You, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Your Law. We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against You; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against You and Your Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Your Vicar on earth and Your priest are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Your Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which You have founded. Would, O divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Your divine honor, the satisfaction You once made to Your eternal Father on the cross and which You continue to renews daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Your Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Your grace, for all neglect of Your great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent other from offending You and to bring as many as possible to follow You.


O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowing gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to You, so that we may one day come to that happy home, where You with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, God, world without end. Amen.

O Come, O come, Emmanuel


O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.


Refrain

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.


Refrain

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.


Refrain

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


Refrain

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


Refrain

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


Refrain

O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


Refrain

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.


Refrain

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

St. Charbel Movie



After some searching on the internet I finally found a wonderfully put together movie of St. Charbel's life. It basically begins with St. Charbel being placed onto his mat by his fellow hermits after he suffered a sudden attack of illness during the consecration in the mass. Throughout the movie he is having flashbacks of his life and the movie starts out as him as a kid and his life all the way up until his death. I began reading the book and was greatly inspired but seeing in film was amazing. He had such devotion to Our Lady and he was very fond of praying, fasting and mortification. The only problem with the movie was some of the unrealistic actors by side characters, it kinda took away from the seriousness of the movie but I was impressed none the less. I hope that you enjoy this movie as much as I did, it runs about 100 minutes so make some to in your day to learn about one amazing saint who has been credited to thousands of healing's and miracles by his intercession.

Oh St. Charbel, Pray for us.

Glory to God in the highest.

Nicholas


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope all of you are have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Today is a wonderful day to be with family and friends and especially to praise the Lord. What are you thankful for? I hope you all have a wonderful day cooking and spending time with your family.

Things I am thankful for:

My family
My friends
All the blessings God has bestowed upon me
For my God given talents
For Gods Love
For my health


God Bless you all! :)

Christ peace,

Nicholas

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Presentation of Mary





Today we celebrate the Presentation of Mary, a feast day commemorating the day that Anna and Joachim offered Mary to God in the Temple when she was just three years old. This feast can be traced back to Jerusalem in the sixth century, where a church was built there in honor of this mystery that we celebrate today. At the time the Eastern Church was more interested in the feast, but it does appear in the West in the 11th century. Although the feast actually disappeared from the calendar, it finally became a feast of the universal church in the 16th century. Along with Mary's birth we read of her presentation in the temple only in apocryphal literature, which is literature that did not make it into the bible. It is recognized in the unhistorical account, the Protoevangelium  of James, which tells us that Anna and Joachim offered Mary to God in the Temple as a young child of three years old. 


The presentation of Mary was to carry out the promise that Anna made to God when she was still childless. Although this cannot be proven with historical evidence, Mary's presentation has an important theological purpose which emphasizes that the holiness conferred on Mary from the beginning of her life on earth continued through her early childhood and into her later years of her life. This feast continues the impact of the feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the birth of Mary. 


"Hail, holy throne of God, divine sanctuary, house of glory, jewel most fair, chosen treasure house, and mercy seat for the whole world, heaven showing forth the glory of God. Purest Virgin, worthy of all praise, sanctuary dedicated to God and raised above all human condition, virgin soil, unplowed field, flourishing vine, fountain pouring out waters, virgin bearing a child, mother without knowing man, hidden treasure of innocence, ornament of sanctity, by your most acceptable prayers, strong with the authority of motherhood, to our Lord and God, Creator of all, your Son who was born of you without a father, steer the ship of the Church and bring it to a quiet harbor" (adapted from a homily by St. Germanus on the Presentation of the Mother of God).

O Holy Mother of God, Pray for us!



Monday, November 19, 2012

Canticle of Mary


My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior; for he has looked upon His servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed. God who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is His name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him. He has shown might with His arm; He has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry He has given every good thing, while the rich He has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of His mercy; Even as He promised our fathers, promised Abraham and His descendants forever. 
Amen.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Makhlouta, a Faith Centered Meal



During the time of St. Charbel he and his fellow hermits ate a soup called Makhlouta, which was their only meal of the day which was eaten in the afternoon. This dish contains lentils, chick peas, cracked wheat and other grains, thus creating a very filling soup. This meal is a Lebanese dish and is loved by Lebanese people and people from all over the world. To be completely honest this soup doesn't have any spice so don't expect scrumptious flavor but it is a wonderful way to experience how hermits ate and how much they truly gave up for their love of God. St. Charbel was not interested in the taste of food, he ate to survive, not for pleasure, keep this is mind "Eat to fill your stomach not for pleasure."

I personally loved this soup and it helped me understand the lives of the hermits and much they gave up for their love for God. 

Here is a quote from a book written about St. Charbel:

Fr. Semaan Abi-Beshara witnessed: Once, I sat down at lunch with Fr. Sharbel and his companion Fr. Makarios, the food was consisted of potatoes stew. I saw Fr. Sharbel took the burnt bread, and the crumbs, put them carefully in his wooden bowl. I took pity on him and moved to tears, then I said to myself; while this hermit undergoes arduous austerities, we the monks choose the tasty dishes and comfortable beds.


Ingredients:  


  • 1/2 cup of Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup of Pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup of wheat grains *
  • 1/4 cup of lentils
  • 1/4 cup of rice
  • 1/4 cup of Burghul (cracked wheat)
  • 1 large potato head cut in small pieces
  • 2 large onions finely minced
  • 3 table spoons of Coconut Oil (or other oils) for frying **
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
How to make:

First thing you need to do is soak the wheat in a container of water overnight, make sure to have a lot of water in the containers because the grain tends to soak up a lot and may double or triple in size. Before you start cooking the following day make sure to empty and rinse the wheat.

When you are ready to start cooking this meal add the wheat to a large cooking pot with 12 cups of water, let it boil for 20 minutes then add the garbanzo beans and once more let them biol for 20 more minutes. Next add the pinto beans and let boil for 20 minutes. The grains/beans are cooked when they are not crunchy and you can smash them in your fingers. 

While the beans are boiling, mince the onions and fry them in 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil for 20-30 minutes until they are brown but not burnt. Begin to peel the potato and then chop them into small cubes of about a 1/2 inch. Rinse the rice and lentils then strain them to get rid of the extra water. After the pinto beans have boiled for 20 minutes add the rice, lentils, onions, chopped potatoes, olive oil and the salt. Make sure to mix it all together and let it simmer for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally. 

I hope you enjoy this meal eaten by the hermits of Lebanon and make sure to remember to eat not for pleasure but to fill your stomachs. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Make time for Jesus!




You can find time to play video games, watch TV or play with your friends, but do you have time for Jesus? Make time for Him, because he is more important than any worldly possession  Spend time with him each day in prayer and reading the Gospels.

"Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:3

The Healing of Nohad El Chamy by St. Charbel


Note: The following material was written by the person who was healed.
My name is Nohad, spouse of Semaan el-Chamy, from Mezarib, Jbeil. I am 55 years old. I have 12 children (7 sons and 5 daughters). On the evening of the 9th of January 1993, I suffered from a left hemiplegia, affecting my leg, my arm and my mouth. Thus, I entered Saint Maritime Hospital in Jbeil.
Dr. Joseph Chamy, a cardiologist, received me and referred me to the Intensive Care Unit and to Dr. Antoine Nachakian and Dr. Majid Chamy, my family doctor. After many consultations, X-rays and medical tests, they deduced that the hemiplegia was due to the obstruction of 80% of the left-brain arteries and 70% of the right ones. “In this case, no treatment can cure you. Nevertheless, we still have the possibility to perform later a surgery and replace the obstructed arteries by plastic ones," said the doctor. They advised me to go home and come back to Hotel Dieu Hospital within three months for new X-rays.
So, my eldest son, Saad, went to Annaya and brought me consecrated oil and soil from Saint Charbel's tomb. When my daughter applied them on my body, I felt tingles in my hand and my foot. I left the hospital after staying there for 9 days.

At home, I couldn’t leave my bed. My husband had to help me go to the bathroom, and my children had to give me food and water through a straw. This is how I spent the next three days after leaving the hospital. While I was sleeping, I saw myself going up the stairs of the hermitage in Annaya and attending the mass in the presence of monks. During this mass, Saint Charbel was giving me the communion.
Between the fourth night at home, Thursday January 22nd, 1933, and early Friday morning, I was suffering from an awful headache and a pain in my right side. I started praying to the Holy Virgin and Saint Charbel, saying, "What have I done? Why have you done this to me? What sin have I committed to deserve all this? I have raised twelve children with lots of suffering, prayers and perseverance. I am not imposing my will on you, but if you are willing, you can heal me, or else take my soul. What ever you decide to do pleases me."

My husband and children left me to get some rest. At 11pm, I had a dream: I saw a blinding light filling my room, and two monks approaching my bed; one of them placed his hand on my neck and said, "I am here to operate on you." I turned around but couldn't see his face for a blinding light was coming out of his body and eyes. I said, "Father, why do you want to perform an operation? They didn’t say I require one." He replied, "Yes you do. I am Father Charbel and come to perform it." I turned too looked at the Virgin Mary's statuette near my bed and said, "Virgin Mary, please intercede on my behalf. How are these monks going to perform a surgery and stitch the incision without an anesthetic?" I was staring at the statuette, which took a place between the two monks. At that moment, I felt an awful pain while Saint Charbel was rubbing my neck. When he finished the surgery, the other monk approached me holding a pillow, helped me to sit up straight, put the pillow behind my back and gave me the cup of water which was beside me, that after taking away the straw. He put his hand under my head and told me, "Drink this water". I said, "Father, I cannot drink without a straw." He replied, "We have performed the surgery and now you have to drink and walk, too."

At that moment I woke up and realized that the water was going down my throat normally and I was sitting the way the monk made me sit. I looked at the statuette and noted that it was back in its original place on the table. Then, I felt a pain in my neck and unconsciously I touched it and realized that I could use my disabled arm, and that I can move my leg under the blanket. I got ot of bed, and without being fully conscious, I knelt before the Virgin’s statuette and Saint Charbel’s portrait to thank them. Then, I went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and saw two incisions in my neck; one on the left and the other on the right, each of approximately 12 cm. It was two o’clock in the morning when I went to my husband’s room, which was near mine, and switched the light on. My husband looked at me and said loudly, “How did you come here all by yourself? You might fall, and this would lead to another catastrophe!” I moved my hand and said, “Don’t worry. Saint Charbel operated on me. I can walk…”
The following day, in the morning, I went to the hermitage with my son and my husband to show my gratitude to Saint Charbel for his miraculous deed. When I came back home, all my friends and relatives, who used to visit me when I was disabled, were very surprised to see me able-bodied. News spread very quickly prompting visitors to come from Lebanon and abroad. A week later, upon the request of the priest of our Parish in Halat, Father Abdo Yaacoub, and of Doctor Majid Chami, I agreed to stay at my son’s house for a couple of days to get some rest. During the night, Saint Charbel came to me and said, “Don’t leave the people. Keep on your faith. I incised you through divine intervention so that people can see you. A lot of them have strayed from the Church. They are neglecting both to pray and respect the saints. You can’t do anything for the people. Those who want anything from me, I am Father Charbel, and I am always at the hermitage. I want you to visit the hermitage every 22nd day of the month, and attend the mass for the rest of your life.”
The following day, I woke up in the morning to find three stitches on the right side of my neck and two others on the left side. Doctor Majid Chamy took out two of them.
I started organizing a procession every Thursday (day of the miracle) at my house, in Halat. While I was in my village on the 15th of August, 1993, Saint Charbel came to me in my dreams and said, “Nouhad, I ask you to recite the Rosary in a gathering on the first Saturday of each month at your house.”
As usual, I woke up in the morning, took the incense to the small altar, lit the candle and started praying. I looked at the portrait of Saint Charbel to discover that it was secreting oil and still is to this day. On the 6th of November while we were reciting the Rosary in a gathering, as Saint Charbel asked me to, with a large number of visitors in my house, the portrait of Saint Maron started secreting oil and still does to this day.
On the 2nd of September, Saint Rita appeared to me in my dream in which I was praying in front of the shrine of the Virgin Mary next to my house in the village. She placed her hand on my shoulder, kissed my forehead, and said to me, “God bless you for your faith.” I turned around to tell her what had happened to me, but she interrupted, “I know. Saint Charbel has operated on you. The monk who gave you water to drink was Saint Maroun.”

The Healing of Eskandar Obeid by St. Charbel


Copyright Image

Eskandar Obeid was an ironmonger from Baabdat who lost the sight in one of his eyes due to an impact that happened in 1937. He was treated by a Doctor named Naghrabieh but the treatment went without success. The doctor then suggested that the eye should be removed to prevent the sound eye from getting affected. Another Doctor named Salhab referred him to some of the best specialists in Beirut, but these specialists also suggested that his eye should be removed. His condition persisted until the appearance of St. Charbel's miracles in 1950 started to happen. Eskandar waited for a sign to visit st. Charbel's tomb and during the time he waited he never stopped praying and receiving Holy Communion until one night St. Charbel appeared in his dream and told him to go to the monastery. 

He spent his day praying in the St. Maron's monastery and finally went to sleep near the tomb. But he started to feel pain in his eye (which was a sign of healing) and it kept getting worse and worse until the pain persisted until it got to an unbearable state. He decided to sleep and during his slumber he found himself near the St. Mousa's church door unloading a truck. In his second dream he was poked in the eye with an iron rod by a truck driver. He woke up terrified. In another dream he found himself next to a monk who was applying some detergent to his eye while saying, "You'll feel agonizing pain, but you'll be cured." The monk disappeared and Eskandar looked and saw, "Charbel, the Slave of God," written on the floor.  He gasped and woke up to cover his sound eye with a handkerchief. He clearly saw the displayed St. Charbel's photo with his previously dysfunctional eye. He and his wife began to shout with immense joy and their neighbors hurried to the scene and started chanting and signing hymns. 



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Healing of Sister Mary Abel Kamary by St. Charbel




In 1929 Sister Mary Abel Kamary from Hammana entered into a convent to devote her life to God. She was blessed with good health until 1936 when she was overcome with a severe pain in her stomach, this affliction caused her to vomit whatever she ate. She was treated by many specialists but it was in vain, they determined that the pain was due to an ulcer in her stomach. X-Rays showed that the pancreas, gall bladder and her kidney were stuck together as if they were in one lump. This hindered them from functioning, so she was operated on two times which lasted for four hours but to the operation was to no avail. She suffered this pain for 14 years and her body became so thin that she threw up whatever she ate, which caused excruciating and acute pain in her bones.

This horrible crises followed with: paralysis in her right arm, the need of a cane to walk and the decaying of her teeth; her death was inevitably near. She was then informed of the Miracles performed by Fr. Charbel and with this she went to ask for his intercession. As a result he appeared to her in a dream, in the dream he raised his arm and blessed her. With this she set off from Bikfaya to Annaya in the company of some nuns. When she arrived at the monastery she was in a hopeless state, she was then taken down to Fr. Charbel's grave where when she touched the grave tile she felt a current in her back. She remained praying near the coffin and suddenly she saw the name of St. Charbel carved on the tile which was wreathed with drops of glistening sweat. She wiped it up with her scarf and then rubbed it on the afflicted area. She then got up and walked which raised shouts of joy for her recovery.



How to pray the chaplet of St. Charbel




On the first white bead after the medal say the “Father of Truth” prayer. 

On each black bead recite an “Our Father”.

On the first three red beads say the “Hail Mary” in honor of Saint Charbel’s fidelity to the vow of poverty.

On the second set of red beads say the “Hail Mary” in honor of Saint Charbel’s fidelity to the vow of chastity.

On the third set of red beads say the “Hail Mary” in honor of Saint Charbel’s fidelity to the vow of obedience.

On the three white beads say the “Hail Mary” in honor of Saint Charbel’s love for the Eucharist.

On the three blue beads say the “Hail Mary” in honor of Saint Charbel’s devotion to Our Blessed Mother. Conclude with the prayer to obtain graces on the medal.


Father of Truth Prayer
Father of Truth, behold Your Son, a sacrifice pleasing to You. Accept this offering of Him who died for me; behold His blood shed on Golgotha for my salvation. It pleads for me. For His sake, accept my offering. Many are my sins, but greater is Your mercy. When placed on a scale, Your mercy prevails over the weight of the mountains known only to You. Consider the sin and consider the atonement; the atonement is greater and exceeds the sin. Your beloved Son sustained the nails and the lance because of my sins so in His sufferings You are satisfied and I live.

Prayer to Obtain Graces
Lord, infinitely holy and glorified in Your saints, You have inspired Charbel, the saint monk, to lead the perfect life of a hermit. We thank You for granting him the blessing and the strength to detach himself from the world so that the heroism of the monastic virtues of poverty, chastity, and obedience might triumph in his hermitage. We beseech You to grant us the grace of loving and serving You, following his example. Almighty God, who have manifested the power of Saint Charbel’s intercession through his countless miracles and favors, grant us this grace (here mention your intention) which we request from You through his intercession. Amen.

Cheating




Do you see cheating as a wrong thing to do? Or do you think of it as just getting a little help? It is actually stealing. It is a sin. You must confess your sin and perhaps to the people you have cheated or stolen from. 

"Thou shalt not steal." Exodus 20:15

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

St. Charbel's life in stages




08-05-1828    : His birth date in Bekaa Kafra 
16-05-1828    : His baptism 
1851-1852     : First year of noviciate in Maifouk 
1852-1853     : Second year of noviciate in Annaya 
01-11-1853    : His first vows in Annaya 
1853-1859     : His theological studies in Kfifan 
23-07-1859    : His priestly ordination  
1859-1875     : His life at the Annaya monastery 
15-02-1875    : His entering the hermitage 
24-12- 1898   : His death 
15-04-1899    : The changing of the tomb 
24-07-1927    : The corpse was transferred to a third grave 
25-02-1950    : The grave was opened and the body was exposed to visitors. 
                      A distinguished year full of miracles around his grave.
05-12- 1965   : His Beatification in Vatican 
09-10-1977    : His Canonization in Vatican.


Interesting thing, I just noticed that my baptism was in the same month and only 3 days later than his was!

Monday, November 12, 2012

St. Charbel





St. Charbel's Life
Youssef Antoun Makhlouf was born on May 8, 1828 in Bkaakafra, Lebanon to Antoun Zaarour Makhlour and Brigiita Chidiac who were both Maronite Catholics. He was grown up on Christian beliefs which made him infatuated with prayers even since he was a young boy. During his life he felt a calling to live as a hermit and a monk, following the path set by his uncles who were hermits living in solitary in the hermitage of Saint Antonius of Kozhayah. He studied the principals of Arabic and Syriac in the school in his village, during his studies he was know to be very pious and he was even called  the "Saint" by his village members. With his small herd he used to go the the prairies and would go to a grotto where he would kneel in front of the Virgin Mary Icon and pray. This grotto later ended up being a chapel for prayer and a pilgrimage for believers. 


One early day in 1851, Youssef left his parents and his village and headed to the Lady of Mayfouk monastery which the intentions of becoming a monk. After his first preparatory year he went to St. Maroun's monastery-Annaya, where he joined the Corps of the Lebanese Maronite Order, choosing the name Charbel, a martyr of the 2nd century in the Antioch Church. In 1853 he revealed his monastic vows in the same monastery and was informed of the obligations of the three vows that he would have to live by, which were obedience, chastity and poverty. He continued his theological studies in the Monastery of St. Kouberyanous and Justina, Kififan-Batroun, under the care of his teacher St. Nehemtallah Kassab Elhardiny. On July 23, 1859 Brother Charbel Makhlouf was ordained a priest in Bkerky.
From then on Fr. Charbel lived in St. Maroun's Monastery-Annaya for 16 years where he was ruthless on himself by living strict austerity and mortification. He denounced all worldly materials and was devoted to serve his Lord and was determined for the salvation of his soul. In 1875 God inspired Father Charbel to live in the hermitage in St. Peter and Paul, and one night he received a sign from heaven visualized by the miracle of the lamp. One night he asked the servant to fill the lamp with oil but instead of filling it with oil it was filled with water, but when he lit it the lamp gave light ordinarily as if it had been filled with oil. This miracle opened the sequence of St. Charbel's miracles and the day approached that he would be destined for him to go to his desired secluded home to live as a hermit. 

On Feb. 15, 1875 Father Charbel moved to live as a hermit where he lived spending time in silence, prayer, worship and manual labor in the fields. He followed the path of the life of the Saints hermit father, kneeling on a dish of canes in front of the Eucharist, whispering to it and being inebriated by it throughout the nights. He spent 23 years as a hermit, dedicating himself to the service of his lord and apply the rules of hermits with precision and faithfulness. 

While celebrating mass on December 16, 1898 he was struck by hemiplegia, and thus began the duel with his illness which remained for 8 days. During this period he went through terrible pains of struggle with death calmly and silently in spite of the severity of his aches. In his struggle he continued to say the prayers which he was unable to completed in the mass and would repeat the names of Jesus, Mary, St. Joseph, Peter and Paul. On December 24th, 1898 on Christmas Eve his spirit was lifted and united with his Lord which he so longed to please and serve. He was buried in the burial area of St. Maroun's Monastery in Annaya. 


Miracles after St. Charbel's death.

After he had died and was buried, spiritual lights radiated from his tomb and his corpse was perspiring sweat and blood. His body was transferred into a special coffin and with permission of the Maronite patriarchate, he was placed in a new tomb inside the monastery. During this time Pilgrims flocked to where he was buried begging of his intercession, God blessed many of these people by healing them and endowing them by other spiritual blessings. IN 1925 a petition was raised to canonize him and declare his sanctity before Pope Bios Xi, by father superior Ighnatious Dagher Tannoury and his Vicar father Martinous Tarabay. The plea was accepted as well by father Nehemtallah Kassab Elhardidni and Sister Rafca Elrayess in the year 1927. IN 1950 his graved was opened and Certified Doctors verified the wholeness of the corpse and wrote a special medical report and placed it in a box in his coffin. Suddenly healing's by the intercession of this great saint increased dramatically and tens of thousands of pilgrims flocked to the Annaya monastery imploring the intercession of St. Charbel. 

His miracles surpassed the borders of Lebabon and letters and reports kept in the St. Maroun's Monastery in Annaya are evidence on his widespread sanctity all over the world. This unusual phenomenon triggered a comeback to good morals and a return to faith and revival of virtues in the souls of people. Healing by his intercession exceeds over tens of thousands, excluding the healings worldwide to all colors, religions and sects. Some of the healings were physical but the most important was the spiritual healing of how many repentant sinners returned to God by his intercession. 

Oh St. Charbel, Pray for us!

Christ has no body but yours!

What is Jesus calling you to do for him? Do you think he wants you to perform more acts of charity and kindness? Does he want you to help out the sick and the elderly? What can you do to answer his call? 


Try a doing a guided meditation at home to seek what Jesus wants you to do and how you can improve your spiritual because you life needs to be centered on Jesus Christ. 


Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


-- St. Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

Prayer for Vocations



Hail Mary, full of grace;
all generations call you blessed.
Hail Mother of God; when asked by the angel
to bear the Son of the Most High,
filled with faith, you responded:
"Let it be done unto me."

Holy Mother of Jesus, at the wedding feast at Cana,
you prompted your Son to perform his first sign.

Be with us as we discern our life's work
and guide us in the way we are called to follow
in the footsteps of your Son.

Holy Mother of the Savior, at the foot of the cross
you mourned the death of your only Son.

Bless and embrace the loving parents of all priests,
deacons, brothers and sisters.

Holy Mother of the Good Shepherd,
turn your motherly care to this nation.

Intercede for us to the Lord of the harvest
to send more laborers to the harvest
in this land dedicated to your honor.

Queen of Peace, Mirror of Justice, Health of the Sick,
inspire vocations in our time.

Let the word of your Son be made flesh anew
in the lives of persons anxious to proclaim
the good news of everlasting life.
Amen.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our Lady of Mantra

The icon found in the cave.


Our Lady of Mantra or also know as Our Lady of the Awaiting is a holy Christian site and a Marian shrine in the village of Maghdouche in Lebanon. It is believed that as Jesus preached in Sidon Mary rested in this cave awaiting his safe return. The Shrine at this location consists of a tower crowned with a statue of the Virgin and Child, a cathedral, a cemetery and the sacred cave.

Since the early Christian era the inhabitants of Magdhdouche have venerated this sacred cave. Saint Helena requested that the Bishop of Tyre to consecrate a little chapel in the cave, she sent the people of Magdhdouche an icon of the Mother and Child and some altar furnishings. It is believed by historias that Saint Helena asked the people to name the chapel and they named it "Our Lady of Mantra" or "Our Lady of the Awaiting."

During the Arab conquest the cave was sealed with rocks, vines and plants to help keep this sacred cave safe from the Arab rulers at the time. It was untouched for more than 1,000 years and it took the men of Magdhdouche hundreds of years trying to find the entrance of the cave. But it wasn't until one of the sheep of a boy sheepherder fell into a well like opening. Determined to recover his sheep from the hole he used a vine and climbed down to get his the sheep, but the vine broke and he was left in the dark cave. As soon as his eyes adjusted to the darkness of the cave he saw the golden icon of the Mother Mary and Jesus, he climbed out and ran to the village to tell of his discovery. This discovery made by the young boy was on September 8, 1721.

The cave is now a major pilgrimage site in Lebanon and is opened to the public for prayer and for contemplation.

Our Lady of Mantra, Pray for us!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary



0 Virgin Mary, most powerful Mother of Mercy, Queen of Heaven and earth, in accordance with your wish made known at Fatima, I consecrate myself today to your Immaculate Heart. To you I entrust all that I have, all that I am. Reign over me, dearest Mother, that I may be yours in prosperity, in adversity, in joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness, in life and in death.
Most compassionate Heart of Mary, Queen of Virgins, watch over my mind and heart and preserve me from the deluge of impurity which you lamented so sorrowfully at Fatima. I want to be pure like you. I want to atone for the many crimes committed against Jesus and you. I want to call down upon this country and the whole world the peace of God in justice and charity.
Mindful of this consecration, I now promise to strive to imitate you by the practice of the Christian virtues without regard for human respect. I resolve to receive Holy Communion on the first Saturday of every month when possible, and to offer daily five decades of the Rosary, with all my sacrifices in the spirit of penance and reparation. Amen.

Another 4 years...

Well well...it seems that our current administration has won the election...although very disappointing hopefully he might do something good this time, but who knows it could get worse. I hope that our country doesn't hit rock bottom and maybe something good will come from our president. Let us pray that our country doesn't get destroyed and that our religious freedom will be respected. 



But on another note let us focus on something happy!

Inspirational illustration of Psalm 11:7


Can you think of any greater promise for those who seek to be righteous and just? We will see God face to face! Incredible. What a blessing! What a future! What an incredible Father! (cf. 1 John 3:1-3)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Don't forget to vote!




Don't forget to vote today! I hope this picture above will help focus your mind on who is the right candidate for our country. Let me just ask you a question, would you rather have another 4 years of our current administration or would you rather have someone who is going to get our economy back in shape and bring back the America we know. We don't need a puppet, we need someone who will stick up for the values of our country and will help our allies in their time of need. 

I can tell you, if Romney was in office during the attack on our Consulate in Benghazi, he wouldn't have just gone to bed, he would have stuck up for them and protected them and would probably have saved four innocent people from death. We need to get back to the America that our founders intended it to be, so go out and have your voice heard and vote for the right person! :)

God Bless,

Nicholas

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meaning of the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help



Frightened by the vision of two angels showing Him the instruments of the Passion, the child Jesus has run to His Mother, almost losing, in His haste, one of His sandals. Mary holds Him in Her arms reassuringly and lovingly. Notice Her eyes. They look not at Jesus, but at us. Is this not a touch of genius? How better to express Our Lady's plea to us to avoid sin and love Her Son?

Jesus' little hands are pressed into Mary's as a reminder to us that, just as on earth, He placed Himself entirely in Her hands for protection, so now in Heaven He has given into Her hands all graces, to distribute to those who ask Her.

This is the principal message of the icon.





The Star on Our Lady's veil:She is the Star of the Sea . . . who brought the light of Jesus the Christ to the darkened world . . . the star that leads us to the safe port of Heaven.
Greek Initials for “Mother of God.”
Golden Crown, placed on the original picture by order of the Holy See in 1867. It is a token of the many miracles wrought by Our Lady invoked under the title of “Perpetual Help.”
Greek Initial for “St. Michael the Archangel.” He is depicted holding the lance and gall-sop of Jesus’ Passion.
St. Michael the Archangel.
Greek Initial for “St. Gabriel the Archangel.” He holds the cross and the nails.
St. Gabriel the Archangel.
Mary’s Eyes are larger for all our troubles. They are turned toward us always.
Mary’s Mouth is small for silent recollection. She speaks little.
Red Tunic, the color worn by virgins in Palestine, at the time of Jesus.
Dark Blue Mantle, the color worn by mothers in Palestine, at the time of Jesus. Mary is both Virgin and Mother.
Greek Initials for “Jesus the Christ.”
Jesus’ Hands, turned palms down into His Mother’s indicate that Graces of Redemption are in Her keeping.
Mary’s Left Hand, supporting Jesus possessively:  She is His Mother.  It is a comforting hand for everyone who calls on Her.
Falling Sandal - Perhaps, the symbol of a soul clinging to Jesus by one last thread —devotion to Mary.
The Entire Background is gold, symbolic of Heaven, where Jesus and Mary are now enthroned. The gold also shines through their clothing, showing the heavenly joy They can bring to tired human hearts.