Thursday, September 20, 2018

Carmelite Invocation

Come Holy Spirit with Thy seven-fold gifts and anoint us with Thy divine light, wisdom and power. Come Lord Jesus Christ and anoint us with Thy Precious Blood, freeing us from every snare and stronghold of the principalities and powers of darkness. O Mother of God, glorious and Immaculate and ever Virgin Mary, come and crush the head of the ancient serpent. O great father St. Joseph, terror of demons, come and annihilate the enemies of our souls. St. Michael, great prince and commander of the heavenly army, strike down the insidious foes who seek to destroy us. Come glorious band of Apostles, come great patriarchs and prophets; come white robed army of Martyrs, come pure and noble throng of virgins. Come to our aid Holy Mother St. Teresa, our Holy Father St. John of the Cross, St. Elijah, St. Elisha, St. John the Baptist, St. Therese, all you Saints of Carmel, St. Pio, St. Isaac Jogues and companions, St. Faustina, St. Benedict, St. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Clare, our Guardian Angels, Archangels, and all you Holy Angels and Saints, come repulse the attacks and deceits of our wicked enemies; render them impotent and helpless. Let God arise; let his enemies be scattered and all those who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so are they driven away; as wax melts before the fire, so the wicked perish at the presence of God.

St. John Paul: World Day of the Sick 1998

Dear people who are ill, a special place is reserved for you in the Church community. The condition of suffering in which you live and the wish to recover health make you particularly sensitive to the value of hope. To the intercession of Mary I entrust your aspiration to bodily and spiritual well-being, and I exhort you to enlighten and elevate it with the theological virtue of hope, a gift of Christ.

It will help you to give a new meaning to suffering, transforming it into a way of salvation, an occasion for evangelization and redemption. Indeed, "suffering can also have a positive meaning for man and for society itself, called as it is to become a form of sharing in the salvific suffering of Christ and in his joy as the risen one and, therefore, a power for sanctification and the upbuilding of the Church" (Christifideles Laici, 54; cf. Encyclical Salvifici Doloris, 23). Your experience of pain, modeled on Christ's and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, will proclaim the victorious power of the Resurrection.

- Pope St. John Paul the Great


St. John Paul: Suffering Is A Cause For Joy, Not Sorrow

The Pope wished to come among you to tell you that Christ, who is always close to those who suffer, calls you to him. Even more: to tell you that you are called to be “other Christs” and to take part in his mission of redemption. And what is holiness if not to imitate Christ, and identify with him? Those who approach suffering with a purely human vision cannot understand its meaning and can easily fall into despair; at most they may reach a point of accepting it with a melancholy resignation to the inevitable. We Christians, on the other hand, instructed in faith, know that suffering – if we offer it to God – can transform us into an instrument of salvation and put us on a pathway to sanctity, which leads us to Heaven. For a Christian, suffering is a cause not for sorrow but for joy: the joy of knowing that on the Cross of Christ every one of our sufferings has a redeeming value.

Today, too, the Lord calls us saying “Come unto me, who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Therefore, turn your gaze to him, in the sure hope that he will give you relief, that in him you will find consolation. Do not be afraid to show him your sufferings, and sometimes even your solitude; offer him this together with your your daily crosses, large and small, and so – even if they frequently seem to you unbearable – they will not weigh you down, because it is Christ himself who will carry them for you: “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” Following Christ on this path, you will feel the inner joy of doing God's will. It is a joy that is compatible with sorrow because it is the joy of the children of God, who know they are called to follow more nearly on the road to Golgotha.

- Pope St. John Paul the Great