On Barb’s Bookshelf: St. Faustina Prayer Books

Barb's Book shelf blog title

Susan Tassone’s “St. Faustina Prayer Book” series focuses the power of intercessory prayer on two great needs: the Holy Souls in Purgatory and the conversion of sinners.

The St. Faustina Prayer Book for the Conversion of Sinners and The Saint Faustina Prayer Book for the Holy Souls in Purgatory contain more than prayers. You’ll also find essays on conversion, sin, penance, Purgatory and the spirituality of St. Faustina Kowalska. Organized by theme, the books lead the reader through learning and devotions.

Tassone explains the spirituality of St. Faustina in The Saint Faustina Prayer Book for the Holy Souls in Purgatory:

The essence of Divine Mercy is twofold. First, to totally trust in Christ’s mercy. And second, to show mercy to others, acting as a vessel of God’s mercy. (24-25)

Peppered with prayers from the saints, Bible quotes and instructions on Catholic teachings such as fasting and the spiritual works of mercy, Tassone’s books are not necessarily designed to be read straight through. I recommend using colorful flags to mark your favorite spots or hold your place in a novena. There are prayers you’ll find yourself returning to again and again. If you’re new to the Divine Mercy Chaplet, you’ll find instructions for this beautiful prayer practice in both books.

Tassone observes in the Introduction to The Saint Faustina Prayer Book for the Conversion of Sinners,

Time and again, you sin. Time and again, I sin. Time and again, Jesus calls each of us to turn, to return, to our Heavenly Father and do His will. (19)

Whenever you have a few minutes, you can read one of the short essays in these books and then conclude with one of the many prayers. These small-format books fit easily in a handbag or briefcase and are perfect to take to Adoration.


Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz
This post contains Amazon affiliate links; your purchase through these links helps support this blog. Thank you! I was given free review copies of these books, but no other compensation. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

Advertisements

#WorthRevisit: Take the Kids to Say “Hi” to God

I’m thinking back to a time when I was in grade school, and my dad would take us into an empty church on a Saturday afternoon. In those days, churches were open during the day, and anyone could just go in and pray for a few minutes. If you have the opportunity to bring your children to a church or Adoration chapel–not just for Mass, but for a visit–definitely do so. It will leave an impression.

When I was around 10 or so, my dad would take us kids to a church in a neighboring town while Mom was at some meeting or other. Dad would have some time to kill, and we’d walk around the neighborhood, visit a park, and at some point wind up in the church.

One of us would ask him, “Are we here for church?”

“No, let’s just say hi to God.”

That was an amazing idea. You can go into a church, and just visit. You can just let God know you’re there, say a prayer, light a candle. Dad would let us walk around a little, look at the statues, kneel down for a moment by the tabernacle.

The church would be quiet. Most of the lights would be out, but it wasn’t a spooky darkness. It was kind of comfortable, actually, kind of the way you feel at night when it’s dark, and you’re nice and warm and sleepy, and you know you’re safe. After all, even if the church is nearly dark, and nearly empty, it is still full–because God is there, just waiting for you to come in and say hi.

(March 2006)

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS

Tech Talk: Prayer and Social Media

I’ve been a regular at Eucharistic Adoration for just over two years, and it’s taken me this long to find a way to use the time as a prayer intercessor for others.

For too long, I’d gone to the Adoration Chapel with an agenda and a tote bag: a spiritual book (or three) to read, a rosary, a journal, and my iPad so I could pray Liturgy of the Hours. It was getting to the point where Adoration was another task to check off my list, a quiet hour to read a book I’d promised to review. Check, check, check.

Checking off tasks is not what Adoration is supposed to be about.

I’d been noticing for a while that my friend Allison Gingras would share on Facebook that she was heading to Adoration, and offer to pray for any special intentions people posted. I knew she wouldn’t mind if I adopted her idea, so I created a graphic with a photo from our Adoration Chapel and shared it on Facebook for the first time in late February.

adoration-today

The response was tremendous. Over 40 likes. Over 35 comments. And a whole host of messages with private intentions. And I wasn’t just hearing from Catholics. I filled 2 index cards, both sides, with intentions posted in under 3 hours.

People are hungry for that intercessory prayer. People carry secret burdens and don’t always know how to ask for help, or even prayer over their situation. It’s a comfort to know that someone else is holding them up in prayer.

I took those two index cards and my rosary to the chapel. I always pray the Franciscan Crown rosary, and it’s a good thing it has 7 decades, because at one bead per intention I needed all those prayers to cover my list, plus my family and one general prayer for any late-breaking intentions (I wasn’t checking Facebook in the chapel.)

Later that day I got an email from one of the deacons at our parish, who’s my friend on Facebook. He wanted to let me know that he and his wife were going to begin inviting their Facebook friends to share intentions, to be prayed for during their Adoration hour.

He also said that this is a great way to evangelize. I hadn’t thought about that, but it’s true. Originally I’d hesitated to mention on Facebook that I was going to Adoration–but this has shown me that it’s something needed and appreciated.

I created a rosary prayer intentions printable to use each week to list intentions: my own, as well as those of my friends on Facebook. It’s also a Franciscan Crown Rosary tutorial. Download this printable and set it up for your “intentional rosary.”

Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz

#WorthRevisit: Chapel Rosary

Wrapping up the Month of the Rosary with a look back at May of this year, when I borrowed a rosary at the Adoration Chapel.

I was running a minute or two late for my Holy Hour yesterday, and as I approached the church driveway I realized I’d left my pocket rosary behind when I changed my clothes.

Worse, I’d tossed my wallet into my “Adoration tote” along with my journal, earbuds and a spiritual book or three–so I didn’t have the rosary I keep in my handbag.

I can count on my fingers in a pinch; after all, God gave me ten of them, but our Adoration chapel has a few rosaries on a hook near the entrance. I decided to use one of those to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Red rosary breviary C
Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

Using a chapel rosary (or any rosary belonging to someone else) brings to mind a unique connection that is made through prayer.

What other hands had held that rosary, fingering the beads, counting off prayer intentions, wiping away tears?

What other hearts had prayed the prayers, there in the chapel, laying bare their most secret and fervent desires of the soul?

Was the last person to lift this rosary off that hook a stranger? A friend? A neighbor? My husband?

So many prayers have been prayed on this rosary, in this chapel.

I prayed one extra Memorare for those who have prayed here before me, for those who pray here with me, and for those who will pray here after me.

We are all connected, united, brought together by our prayers on a single string of beads.

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

The Chapel Rosary

I was running a minute or two late for my Holy Hour yesterday, and as I approached the church driveway I realized I’d left my pocket rosary behind when I changed my clothes.

Worse, I’d tossed my wallet into my “Adoration tote” along with my journal, earbuds and a spiritual book or three–so I didn’t have the rosary I keep in my handbag.

I can count on my fingers in a pinch; after all, God gave me ten of them, but our Adoration chapel has a few rosaries on a hook near the entrance. I decided to use one of those to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Using a chapel rosary (or any rosary belonging to someone else) brings to mind a unique connection that is made through prayer.

What other hands had held that rosary, fingering the beads, counting off prayer intentions, wiping away tears?

What other hearts had prayed the prayers, there in the chapel, laying bare their most secret and fervent desires of the soul?

Was the last person to lift this rosary off that hook a stranger? A friend? A neighbor? My husband?

So many prayers have been prayed on this rosary, in this chapel.

I prayed one extra Memorare for those who have prayed here before me, for those who pray here with me, and for those who will pray here after me.

We are all connected, united, brought together by our prayers on a single string of beads.

Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

#WorthRevisit: Church – Not Just for Sundays

We are blessed to have Perpetual Adoration in our parish. People can stop in for a short visit or spend a holy hour.

When I was growing up, we didn’t know about Adoration Chapels–if they had them. Of course, at that time, churches were open (at least during the day) so people could go in and pay a visit. And we did, as I recall in this post from 10 years ago:

Sometimes my dad would take us kids to a church in a neighboring town while Mom was at some meeting or other. Dad would have some time to kill, and we’d walk around the neighborhood, visit a park, and at some point wind up in the church.

One of us would ask him, “Are we here for church?”

“No, let’s just say hi to God.”

That was an amazing idea. You can go into a church, and just visit. You can just let God know you’re there, say a prayer, light a candle. Dad would let us walk around a little, look at the statues, kneel down for a moment by the tabernacle.

The church would be quiet. Most of the lights would be out, but it wasn’t a spooky darkness. It was kind of comfortable, actually, kind of the way you feel at night when it’s dark, and you’re nice and warm and sleepy, and you know you’re safe. After all, even if the church is nearly dark, and nearly empty, it is still full–because God is there, just waiting for you to come in and say hi.

 

 

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

When a prayer becomes a stumbling block

2015-09-17 12.08.55

In our parish’s Perpetual Adoration Chapel there are some prayer booklets. Adorers are asked to begin their Holy Hour with these prayers so that there is a continuous unity of prayer flowing through the chapel. The booklet is several typed pages and contains prayers such as the Divine Praises, a prayer for priests, a specific prayer for each priest who has served our parish during its history, prayers for deceased Adorers, and so on. It takes only a few minutes to pray these prayers and then your time in the Chapel is your own, to pray or meditate as you wish.

The language in some of these prayers is more flowery than my no-nonsense nature normally goes for, but that’s no big deal. For me, the problem comes in the words of the Prayer for the Holy Father (specifically the words I include here in bold):

Lord God, we thank you for the gift of Francis as Pope for our times. You have called him to this office at a very critical time in salvation history. We ask through the intercession of the Blessed Mother that you shower him with the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit in full measure. Strengthen, protect, console and guide him in his efforts to defend the truths of the Catholic Faith against her enemies. May he always be the Sovereign Pontiff you are calling him to be, and may he work unceasingly to foster the restoration of the Church to her former glory.

We pledge our complete fidelity to our Holy Father when he proclaims the traditional teachings of Holy Mother Church. Grant us an unwavering faith that will persevere until the end in the midst of whatever darkness or persecution may befall us. We offer this prayer from the safe and secure refuge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen.

To me, this prayer reads like someone has an axe to grind. Is there a claim in it that the Holy Father is not always proclaiming the “traditional teachings” of the Church?

As to “former glory,” that’s extremely subjective. What qualifies as “glory”? Hasn’t the Church nearly always undergone times of persecution, scandal, mismanagement and lukewarm faith? What is this “glory”? Should we seek glory in this world–even for the Church?

I feel like this prayer is a veiled criticism of the Pope and a wish for a throwback to some unspecified time in history that, in this prayer-writer’s nostalgic view, is somehow superior to our own.

So I’ve stopped using that prayer booklet. Instead, I begin my Holy Hour with the Divine Praises and the Angelus (since my hour begins at noon–it’s Angelus time!)

What do you think of this prayer? Am I reading too much into it?

Small Success: Shoes, Schedules and Chocolate

ThuSmall Success dark blue outline 800x800rsdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

1. For work, I’ve gotten a lot done and prescheduled and I have a plan to continue to get ahead in advance of the Catholic Writers Guild conference, coming up in less than 2 weeks. That’s a WIN for productivity.

2. I made a run to the shoe store this morning, not for retail therapy (my usual reason for buying shoes) but because tendonitis in both feet is flaring up again and I didn’t have any shoes in the house that I could wear without pain. More than that, I was worried that I’d have to show up at the CWG Conference (and meet lots of people of influence) dressed like Melanie Griffiths in the opening scenes of Working Girl: business attire and running shoes. earth origins sadieI found something I like that can be worn with dress pants and that give my feet the support they need: Earth Origins Sadie. I feel like I can stand up in these shoes all day long. They’re not formal, but they’ll be fine with black or gray trousers and a nice blouse–and that’s exactly what I needed.

I also need to bite the bullet and get rid of all the shoes that hurt when I wear them, because clearly I cannot wear them anymore.

3. I baked a decadent dessert for tonight’s folk group practice. CMP browniesWe’re celebrating the 45th wedding anniversary of two of our group’s founding members. So here’s your sneak peek at CMP Brownies (chocolate, marshmallow, peanut). I’ll be writing up the recipe later for Cook and Count.

4. I managed to semi-reschedule my Adoration hour to accommodate The Kid’s camp pickup time (which is not flexible.) I’m blessed to share my hour with a retired couple, so I made sure they’d be there, and then started my hour early so I could leave early and make it to pickup. Usually I hate, hate, hate both rescheduling things and asking for accommodations, but I survived the experience.

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

Note: that link for the shoes is an Amazon affiliate link, which means if you follow that link and purchase something from Amazon, I’ll get a little kickback that can be applied to one of the gazillion books on my wish list. Or more shoes.

Small Success: Just Add Grace

Small-Success-Thursday-400pxThursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

I said YES to grace this week. I was thinking, Tuesday morning, that I really need to make a way to get to Adoration. We have Perpetual Adoration in our parish–and I’ve been ignoring the opportunity. On my way out of Mass Tuesday, the lady who organizes the schedule for Adoration approached me and asked if I could take over an hour for someone who is ailing and unable to attend anymore. I think it took a whole 2 hours, if that, from the time I originally had the thought of Adoration in my head to the time Pat spoke to me in the church foyer. I start today.

I learned a new song this week. Our folk group is preparing to teach Matt Maher’s “Your Grace is Enough” to the assembly at Mass before the end of Lent. It’s a perfect song to meditate on during Lent (or any time, really.) And I figured out how to download the MP3 to my phone so I can have it with me everywhere. Give it a listen:

And in more practical matters, I came in under budget this week at the supermarket. By shopping the sales and using coupons, I saved $105.44 on my order, paying only $116.78. AND because I bought some stuff in the Dollar Days sale, I walked out of there with $7 in coupons off my next shopping order AND a coupon for a free reusable shopping bag. (WIN!) I buy supermarket gift cards through Little Brother’s school (we get a tuition kickback for that) and it does help me to stay on budget. Since I buy the gift cards every 2 weeks, I’m under budget about $16 for the 2-week period. Just in time for Middle Sister to come home for Spring Break and stock up on laundry detergent, Gatorade, granola bars and other staples of dormitory life.

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

© 2015 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.