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Prayer Intentions

Prayer Intentions

Due to the ongoing health crisis, we’ve moved our Book of Intentions entirely online. If you would like for us to add something to it, please fill out the form here:

Our prayer intention candles have been moved to the Narthex and candles may now be lit directly by parishioners. However, if you prefer to send your prayer request to us, we are happy to light a candle for you. For your donation of $3.00, we will physically light one of the candles in the Narthex for your intention.

We hope that making prayer candle intentions available in person and online, will help to further illuminate your prayer life. We are grateful for your donation.

Please indicate your intention in the “In honor of” field. If more of an explanation is needed, please include that information in the Comments section.

We are creating a list of prayer candle intentions for our online bulletin.  With your permission, your intention could also be added to this list to allow others to join in your prayer.

To request a prayer intention and make your donation, please go to:
www.smip.org/candles

Sleeping St. Joseph Statues Available

During this Year of Saint Joseph, Pope Francis has popularized a devotion that has been his for more than forty years. He has a small statue of Saint Joseph sleeping, placed on top of papers on his desk. The papers beneath the statue are prayers that he asks Saint Joseph to take to God.

The reason for this devotion is that, in Sacred Scripture, we see Saint Joseph getting messages from angels in his dreams. The first of these, quoted above, encouraged him not to break off his relationship with Mary, but instead to take her into his home. Another one urged him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to avoid the machinations of Herod, and later, one advising him it was safe to return to Nazareth.

So the thought is that Saint Joseph’s relationship with God is powerful enough that, especially during his resting, he is able to intercede for those he loves, including us, in his dreams. Pope Francis once explained, “I really like Saint Joseph because he is a man of strength and silence. In my office, I have an image of a sleeping Saint Joseph, and while he sleeps he takes care of the Church. When I have a problem or am faced with a difficulty, I will write it on a piece of paper and I will place it underneath Saint Joseph, so that he may dream on it. That means: for him to pray for that problem.”

Here is the prayer that he prays to the sleeping Saint Joseph:

“O Glorious Saint Joseph, you who have power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress. Take this important and difficult affair under your particular protection, that it may end happily. O dear Saint Joseph, all our confidence is in you. Let it not be said that we would invoke you in vain; and since you art so powerful with Jesus and Mary, show that your goodness equals your power. Saint Joseph, to whom God entrusted the care of the holiest family that has ever been, grant what we ask of you, our father and protector, and let the grace be brought to us to live and die in the love of Jesus and Mary. Saint Joseph, pray for us who have recourse to you.”

If you wish to begin this devotion in your life or the life of your family, you can purchase one of these statues of Sleeping Saint Joseph from our parish office. Each statue is blessed and available for $25.

Nourish

Do you care for a loved one? An ill spouse, an aging parent, or a child with disabilities?

We invite you to connect with other caregivers. Nourish for Caregivers supports the practical, emotional, and spiritual needs of all who offer care for others during this time of uncertainty and anxiety.

Monthly meetings will be held via Zoom at 7:00pm on the third Thursday of the month.

For more information and to obtain the Zoom link, please contact:

Deacon Mike Perkins
mperkins@smip.org
815-436-2651 x480

-OR-

Pat Mander, R.N., Pastoral Minister
pmander@smip.org
815-436-2651 x893

Hopelessness

Scripture

Matthew 8:23-27

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Reflection

A few weeks ago as the Coronavirus swept through Italy, Pope Francis led a prayer service in the rain in the darkness of night in the middle of St. Peter’s Square. It was an eerie picture seeing a lone figure praying in this huge square that is typically filled with thousands of people. For me, in a way it was a modern re-telling of the story from Matthew’s Gospel quoted above.

It seems that in our world today, many become overwhelmed and begin to feel hopeless. It appears that things will never return to normal. All of the things that we cling to in order to receive hope we have found to be empty. Our lives have been turned upside down. Some have lost jobs, we worry about having enough money to pay the rent/mortgage, or to buy groceries to feed our families.

What is hope? Hope is placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. (CCC 1817). This is key – hope comes from NOT relying on my own strength but one the strength of the Holy Spirit. Our hope is  based in part on the assurance of all the times God had proved faithful to his promises throughout history. How can we find hope when we feel hopeless?  Here are 3 suggestions I found that have helped me.

  1. Know the reason for our Hope! God!
    God is both the reason for and the source of our hope.  He provides the strength for us to be able to find hope in all circumstances through the many graces he has bestowed on us. On a mission trip to Jamaica where we built a little blue 14×16 house for a family when we went to hand over the keys to this family the husband/father told us that this house was a symbol of God’s Grace. He didn’t earn it, he could not have paid for it, but it was a gift. A gift freely given to his family.
  2. Read the Bible, as well as the teachings of the Catholic Church and writings of the Saints.
    Reading and re-reading the stories of those who have gone before us will give us the inspiration to place our hope in God.  A few weeks ago I was reading the book of Lamentations and was struck by how the Israelites saw in the dawning of a new day a renewal of the promises that the Log God had made to them.  Knowing that the God of today is the same God of yesterday and of the future, we can be confident that He will provide for us in the same way that He has provided for all men and women who have gone before us and placed their trust in Him.
  3. Prayer. Pray without ceasing!
    Prayer takes us out of ourselves and places us in the hands of the Lord. We learn from the Psalmist that we need to verbalize our feelings and emotions to God. Some prayer or maybe even just whisper the words, ‘Jesus, I trust in you!’ is all that is needed to remember “He is the source of our hope.” Prayer is a way to acknowledge that what is happening is bigger than me and I can’t but together with the Lord we can.

    G. K. Chesterton’s great bit of wisdom: “Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all.”

Song

Prayer

My Lord, I bring my burdens to You, knowing You will take care of me. You will not permit me to slip and fall. I trust You to save me out of this hopeless predicament.

O God, have mercy on me, for I feel like I’m being hounded all day long. But I will put my trust in You. I praise You for Your promises of deliverance. I trust in You, so why should I be afraid? Thank You for carrying my burdens.

Amen.

SMIP Sacramental Reopening Volunteer Form

As we continue to offer live in-person Masses our parish, we will need help from some very special people in a variety of roles, all of which will need to be trained on the procedures we will need to follow to allow us to keep everyone safe and eventually fully reopen. If you are 16 or older and would like to volunteer, please follow this link and fill out the form:

https://smip.org/volunteer-form

Confused

Scripture

1 Corinthian 14:33

“For God is a God not of disorder but of peace.”

Reflection

The alarm goes off

You greet God and thank him for the glorious gift of life He has given to you again today and then you remember……another day of quarantine.

Do you want to start your day with a bombardment of news telling you all that is wrong with the world?  Maybe you choose not to listen today, but then you wonder, what have I missed?  Is something important happening, has there been a new development that I am missing?  Are they telling me the truth?  This channel is telling me this, while this medical expert is telling me the complete opposite to be true.  Who do you believe, who can you trust?

Amidst all this confusion we are blessed to have THE constant; God.  He never leaves us.  He didn’t leave Adam when he was uncertain who to believe.  He didn’t leave Moses when he wrestled with his new found ‘freedom’ in the desert. And He didn’t leave Peter when he ached to choose a side. And he won’t leave us now.  Our confusion is not because of God—but rather it is assuaged through of Him.

Revel in the peace He offers to us.

Song

Prayer

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you

Loving God, you care for me. You care for others. People and things on earth sometimes let me down. When this happens, I offer all my cares and wishes to You. You are the one who is worthy of care and praise. Take care of me and help me take care of others.

Amen

Amazed

Scripture

Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth!”

Reflection

During this time in history the feeling that is a constant in my life is Amazement!  Amazement on how people of Faith deal with the adverse events and situations.

Through our hardships (regardless of the current Pandemic) in our life, we could experience a job loss, finances, sickness, loss of a loved one, relationship with a troubled child, or even divorce. But whatever the challenge is, we can have the determination to see things through as we find our strength in God.  It is in the difficult times that our faith is tested and remind us in the words of 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”

In fact, we can move from feeling like a victim of our circumstances to find purpose through our faith. I have found the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8: 35, 37 to be very encouraging in times of adversity:  “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Allow these verses to resonate in your heart, and know that no matter how bad the situation we are facing, we can experience God’s love, and nothing can separate us from it. We should not fret through this difficult time, but instead we should stand tall and know this too shall pass!

Let us look at this current Pandemic as a journey to have us reflect and assess how best to get out of your comfort zone to allow the Lord to speak to our heart, and change us as we share our true Faith with those around us.  Think of it as the Lord’s Reset Button 😉!

Song

Prayer

These words come from the living experience of the presence of Jesus in the prayer life of Fr Dolindo and you are invited to make them your own as you pray the Novena.

Day 1
Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying? Leave the care of your affairs to me and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 2
Surrender to me does not mean to fret, to be upset, or to lose hope, nor does it mean offering to me a worried prayer asking me to follow you and change your worry into prayer. It is against this surrender, deeply against it, to worry, to be nervous and to desire to think about the consequences of anything. It is like the confusion that children feel when they ask their mother to see to their needs, and then try to take care of those needs for themselves so that their childlike efforts get in their mother’s way. Surrender means to placidly close the eyes of the soul, to turn away from thoughts of tribulation and to put yourself in my care, so that only I act, saying “You take care of it”.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 3
How many things I do when the soul, in so much spiritual and material need, turns to me, looks at me and says to me; “You take care of it”, then closes it’s eyes and rests. In pain you pray for me to act, but that I act in the way you want. You do not turn to me, instead, you want me to adapt your ideas. You are not sick people who ask the doctor to cure you, but rather sick people who tell the doctor how to. So do not act this way, but pray as I taught you in the our Father: “Hallowed be thy Name”, that is, be glorified in my need. “Thy kingdom come”, that is, let all that is in us and in the world be in accord with your kingdom. “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”, that is, in our need, decide as you see fit for our temporal and eternal life. If you say to me truly: “Thy will be done”, which is the same as saying: “You take care of it”, I will intervene with all my omnipotence, and I will resolve the most difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Stress

Scripture

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Reflection

I’ve always felt the stress of trying to meet all of my responsibilities.  With a family and a full-time job, there is never enough time to give the proper attention to all of the things and people that matter.  I’ve fallen short with my husband and children and I’ve fallen short with my prayer life. 

During this pandemic’s stay-at-home order, I’ve had the joy of spending more time with my boys.  Our normal crazy pace has often made life feel very stressful.  I’ve always struggled with balancing work and home life, and home life usually loses out.  So, now we have this chance to slow things down a bit, which is great.  Unfortunately, I do still feel stress.  I think that all of us are feeling it now, in one way or another.

I struggle to balance the requirements of my job (which I am grateful to still have) with assisting my boys through their school day.  Anyone helping with home school can understand that challenge.  I hate to tell them, “not now” or “be quiet”.  It’s what I’ve been telling them all their lives. 

Of course, there’s the stress of cooking three meals a day and being in a constant state of cleaning up.  Our finances are strained, as well, and let’s not forget that every time I leave the house to go grocery shopping, I’m praying that I don’t contract the virus. 

I feel most of the time that I have no right to feel anything but grateful.  The people on the front lines of this pandemic are sacrificing so much.  The people who have lost a loved one are suffering so much.  I’m just mostly dealing with regular life issues.  Sometimes, though, I feel that stress so strongly that it manifests physical symptoms.  That’s when I absolutely need to breathe and pray. Of course, I always breathe, but there’s something about closing my eyes and breathing deeply that help calm me.  I can feel the Holy Spirit with me in those moments.  I’ve found that when I take the time and truly have faith in what I’m praying, God answers with peace for my soul. 

Song

Prayer

Dear Lord,
I give you my stress and worries.  Please instill in me your peace. Amen

Anxiousness

Scripture

Matthew  11: 28-30

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Reflection

In these uncertain times we can become so anxious.  Anxious about what was, Anxious about what is, Anxious about what is to come. We can hopelessly become lost in it.  Our burdens become so heavy.  Our usual respite; the mass, the sacraments, adoration and fellowship have been disrupted and the noise of the media, our lawmakers, “new” social norms are exhausting.  Our peace….lost.  Our minds race, and race, and race, and race and race……and we wonder; What will become of us?

In Sister Kathryn J Hermes Book Reclaim Regret, she talks about letting go of the past and not getting caught up in the future, but focusing on what is going on right here…. right now. What is going on, here in this very moment, and how can I savor it……it is the only thing I can have an impact on…right now….. 

I am sitting here, I am typing this reflection, Jesus is with me, the Spirit moving me, guiding me as I type.

Focusing on “right now”  a single moment, gives me the opportunity to savor it, make it count.

I am not alone in each moment…..

The fact is…. He is always with me……reaching down to my littleness……wrapping his arms around me and lifting me to him…. in this moment…I close my eyes…focus on this moment…..savor it…. Right here….right now….rest in his love, his kindness, and his mercy………gone is my anxious heart.

Song

Prayer

Jesus, help me,
Jesus, be near me,
Jesus, strengthen me
Jesus, give me rest
Jesus, love me