In the Arms of My Father

Linda Coonen - my father's arms

I don't know much, but I do know that every time I walk into a Catholic Church – anywhere in the world, any time of day or night – it feels like home, like walking into my father's arms. 

My earthly father has been gone over 12 years now, and I miss him every day! When I walk into church, my Heavenly Father welcomes me with the same warm, accepting, pure love that I felt every time my dad hugged me!

Yes, I encounter God  wherever I go.

I am grateful for growing in my spiritual life to the point that not only do I KNOW Jesus is walking beside me every moment, but I actually feel him, and rely on him all day long. Walking into church is coming home to His house.

I thank Him for walking with me each day out in the world.

I take the time to listen to His "stories" of the past, and realizing I was part of that past, because He knew me even before I was conceived in my mother's womb. And I listen to His parables so I may understand His wisdom as I go back out into the world.

He feeds me.

He feeds me not just bread and drink, but of himself. He would never dream of letting me leave His house without being fed. 

Like my earthly father, nothing makes him happier than to have all his children home and sitting around the table eating something he had prepared. He fortifies me for the challenges I will face when I walk out the door. The songs and music I hear are based on His Word, and fills my heart with love and courage.

I stand shoulder to shoulder with people who are striving to grow closer to him, just as I am. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We bask in His love and His promises. When it is time to leave, he touches my forehead, my heart and shoulder to shoulder to say I am His, and He is mine.

He gives me a final thought and blessing to bring His message out into the world. I know He will always be with me and I KNOW where to find him – body and blood, soul and divinity.

Just like my dad sat at the kitchen table waiting for me to come visit, My Father waits for me in the tabernacle.

 

 

Photo by Heather Williams  |  Photo Illustration by John Coonen

Author: Linda Coonen
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Newsflash

How To Pray The Rosary

The purpose of the Rosary is to help keep in memory certain principal events or mysteries in the history of our salvation, and to thank and praise God for them. The Rosary is a powerful prayer to say, to meditate on the lives of Jesus and Mary.

The Rosary as we know it today was shared with the Church in 1214, brought to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners. Seeing that the gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, Saint Dominic withdrew into a forest near Toulouse, where he prayed continuously for three days and three nights.  

Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said, "Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?" 

"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation." 

Our Lady replied, "I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter."

There are twenty mysteries reflected upon in the Rosary, and these are divided into the five JOYFUL MYSTERIES, the five LUMINOUS MYSTERIES, the five SORROWFUL MYSTERIES, and the five GLORIOUS MYSTERIES.

You may also wish to pray the rosary online, with others or by yourself. As suggested by the Pope St. John Paul the Great, the Joyful mysteries are said on Monday and Saturday, the Luminous on Thursday, theSorrowful on Tuesday and Friday, and the Glorious on Wednesday and Sunday (with this exception: Sundays of Christmas season - The Joyful; Sundays of Lent - Sorrowful).


 

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the"Apostles' Creed."
  2. Say the "Our Father."
  3. Say three "Hail Marys."
  4. Say the "Glory be to the Father."
  5. Announce the First Mystery; then say the "Our Father."
  6. Say ten "Hail Marys," while meditating on the Mystery.
  7. Say the "Glory be to the Father."
  8. Announce the Second Mystery; then say the "Our Father." Repeat 6 and 7 and continue with Third, Fourth and Fifth Mysteries in the same manner.

Those who pray the Rosary regularly would do well to be enrolled in the Confraternity to gain extra spiritual benefits for each Rosary they pray.

 

Dominican Manner of Praying the Rosary

After the Rosary:

HAIL, HOLY QUEEN, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

 

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. O GOD, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

After each decade, say the following prayer requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy."

 

Image by Anders Adermark

Divine Mercy

It's Good Friday, and today my wife and I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 PM.  It's the first time I've prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet, so I thought I'd take some time to post an article on it, for some background, along with a reprint of the prayer itself to share with you. The background information on this comes from EWTN and The Divine Mercy website.

Saint Michael The Archangel

Devotion to Michael the Archangel is one of the oldest devotions of the Church; indeed, his roles in God's divine plan date back before the Incarnation. It was St. Michael who led God's army against Lucifer and the other rebellious fallen angels, St. Michael who guards the Catholic Church and her pope, and St. Michael who, at God's commands will reprise his role against the Antichrist in the End Times.

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Vatican: Pope’s Words Not a Personal Attack on Trump

By Cruxnow – ROME: Reacting to widespread media coverage of a perceived war of words on Thursday between Pope Francis and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, a Vatican spokesman on Friday insisted the pope’s comments — that someone who would build a border wall is not Christian — were not a personal attack.

“The pope said what we all know when we follow his teaching and his positions: that we should not build walls, but bridges,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi said to Vatican Radio. “It is not a specific issue, limited to this case,” he said.

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