It’s hard to believe but Christmas is past and so is the first month of 2019!

Here we are already in the month of February traditionally known as the month of Love. Looking at my calendar, I realized the next posting date would be Friday, February 9th just five days before Valentine’s Day. With that thought in my mind, I am writing this particular blog in honor and love for Jesus and His Shepherds.

What better way to honor our God this Valentine’s Day than to profess our love for Him in the form of a litany that was composed by Pope Pius VI. I would imagine it’s better than a Hallmark card and we won’t need a postage stamp. We just need a heart filled with love and gratitude to pray to a God who loves us so immeasurably.

He loves us so much that at the Holy Mass, He descends to every altar where His “shepherds” consecrate the bread and wine into the True Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. It’s beyond our imagination, yet we believe and we hungrily go up to the altar to receive Him and to be fed with His own Body and Blood. We pray that we decrease and He increase within us. We couldn’t do that on our own, but only with receiving Him in that small white wafer that contains the God of creation! Then we are capable of all. He gives us His strength, His Heart and His Love. But we need the shepherd to consecrate the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. For that reason, I would also like to honor all “shepherds” in this month of Love.

Our Lady in Medjugorje closes her messages every month with “Pray for your shepherds.” Why? Why does the mother of God ask for us to pray for our shepherds? Since I worked side by side with priests for 13 years, I certainly could list my own “litany” of why they need our prayers!  I sure had a birds eye view of what the pastor and his associates contend with each new day. It’s not about what I saw, it’s about why Our mother is asking for us to pray for our shepherds.

Maybe our little St. Jacinta could help us with this, so I’ll repeat her words from my last blog in the following quote:

“Our Lady also said that we should pray much and that we should make sacrifices of the senses, which please Our Lord so much; that we should love God with our whole heart; that we should respect priests, who are the salt of the earth and serve to direct souls onto the path of Heaven.”

Yes, St. Jacinta, they serve to direct our souls onto the path of Heaven. Their job is certainly to get us there as my spiritual director constantly reminds me. That’s some job description when you think about it.

And so I ask you to think about that and to think about all the priests in your own life at this present moment that are “signposts” for you on your journey home. What would you do without them? If you were not being fed with the Eucharist, what would you do? What would you do if you didn’t have a priest to hear your confession? What would you do without a priest to call to visit your loved one who is dying? Without the priest who will baptize your baby? What would you do without the priest who is just plainly “your friend?”

So in this month of February, why don’t we all surprise our priests with either notes of gratitude, a little gift, or something to show that we appreciate their presence in our lives. That act of kindness and gratitude will be a “prayer” and we will be following our mother’s request each month to pray for our “shepherds” in a special way.

Since I have the freedom here to express my own gratitude, I wish to thank the following priests who have been more than signposts on my own path. They have helped me to walk the walk but they have also picked me up when I stumbled and have been there at every twist and turn of my life thus far.

I Give Thanks and Praise To Our God  For. . .

 

Jesus Christ Good Shepherd

 

Msgr. Michael Barimah-Apau

Fr. James Blount, S.O.L.T.

Fr. Ronel Charelus, S.M.M.

Fr. Joseph S. Costantino, S.J.

Fr. Rony Fabien

Fr. Frank Gaeta

Fr. Marcellus Gorleku

Fr. Brian Ingram

Fr. Nesly Jean-Jacques, S.M.M.

Fr. Ferdinand Kayavil

Fr. Mathew Kottaram

Msgr. Francis Maniscalco

Fr. Gabriel Muteru

Fr. Tony Stanganelli

Fr. John White

Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist (Seminary of the Immaculate Conception)

******************

Fr. Peter Arabia, S.J (deceased)

Fr. James Moyna, O.P. (deceased)

 

Once again I am including a “you-tube” of “The Piano Guys” filmed in the Salt Flats in Utah.

They begin this video explaining about the “founders names” imprinted on the piano and the cello and their gratitude towards these people who made everything happen for them.

I envisioned “priest’s names” being imprinted on the instruments instead of “founders names” that have been “good and faithful servants” in the “Eyes of God” and His loving response back to them for tending His sheep on earth. Watch for His response at the very end of the video!

Enjoy the Piano Guys video, the “Litany of the Love of God” below and also a special Valentine’s picture from me to you at the very end of this blog!

 

monstrance

Litany of the Love of God

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.

Thou Who art Infinite Love, Have mercy on us.

Thou Who didst first love me, Have mercy on us.

Thou Who commandest me to love Thee, Have mercy on us.

 

With all my heart, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

With all my soul, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

With all my mind, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

With all my strength, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Above all possessions and honors, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Above all pleasures and enjoyments, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

More than myself, and everything belonging to me, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

More than all my relatives and friends, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

More than all men and angels, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Above all created things in heaven or on earth, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Only for Thyself, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Because Thou art the sovereign Good, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Because Thou art infinitely worthy of being loved, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Because Thou art infinitely perfect, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Even hadst Thou not promised me heaven, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Even hadst Thou not menaced me with hell, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

Even shouldst Thou try me by want and misfortune, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

In wealth and in poverty, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

In prosperity and in adversity, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

In health and in sickness, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

In life and in death, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

In time and in eternity, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

In union with that love wherewith all the saints and all the angels love Thee in heaven, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

In union with that love wherewith the Blessed Virgin Mary loveth Thee, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

In union with that infinite love wherewith Thou lovest Thyself eternally, 

I Love Thee, O My God 

 

Prayer

My God, Who dost possess in incomprehensible abundance all that is perfect and worthy of love, annihilate in me all guilty, sensual, and undue love for creatures. Kindle in my heart the pure fire of Thy love, so that I may love nothing but Thee or in Thee, until being so entirely consumed by holy love of Thee, I may go to love Thee eternally with the elect in heaven, the country of pure love. Amen.

 

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Rob and me

 

©2019 Anita Guariglia

Featured Image & Good Shepherd image/pexels.com

Monstrance image/Anita Guariglia

Youtube: The Piano Guys – “When Stars and Salt Collide” – Coldplay, “A Sky Full of Stars” Piano/Cello cover