holy_fam.jpg  Family life will be the focus of an extraordinary general session of the Synod of Bishops that will meet at the Vatican between 5-19 October 2014. Around 150 Synod fathers will take part in the meeting to discuss the “pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.” It is expected to last two weeks.

Pope Francis has asked that the Church sets aside a Day of Prayer on Sunday 28 September to pray for this important international meeting.

You can also look back on the last Synod of Bishops meeting on the family held in 1980 that resulted in the document Familiaris Consortio.

114I found this prayer to St Dismas today and would like to share it with all of you. St Dismas was the thief crucified with Our Lord Jesus. He saw how Our Lord Jesus suffered so patiently while He hung on the Cross and he repented of his sins before he died.

This is the prayer that Pope Benedict’s family prayed every day as a
family! This is the good thief who repented.

Prayer to Saint Dismas

Glorious Saint Dismas, you alone of all the great Penitent Saints were
directly canonized by Christ Himself; you were assured of a place in
Heaven with Him “this day” because of the sincere confession of your
sins to Him in the tribunal of Calvary and your true sorrow for them
as you hung beside Him in that open confessional; you who by the
direct sword thrust of your love and repentance did open the Heart of
Jesus in mercy and forgiveness even before the centurion’s spear tore
it asunder; you whose face was closer to that of Jesus in His last
agony, to offer Him a word of comfort, closer even than that of His
Beloved Mother, Mary; you who knew so well how to pray, teach me the
words to say to Him to gain pardon and the grace of perseverance; and
you who are so close to Him now in Heaven, as you were during His last
moments on earth, pray to Him for me that I shall never again desert
Him, but that at the close of my life I may hear from Him the words He
addressed to you: “This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise.”

Background of St Dismas:
All that is known of Dismas is that he is the Good Thief crucified with Christ on Calvary. The other thief is known as Gestas. A completely unsubstantiated myth from the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy that enjoyed great popularity in the West during the Middle Ages had two thieves who held up the Holy Family on the way to Egypt. Dismas bought off Gestas with forty drachmas to leave them unmolested, whereupon the Infant predicted that they would be crucified with Him in Jerusalem, and that Dismas would accompany Him to Paradise. His feast day is March 25th.


Peace begins with a smile! – Quote by Blessed Mother Teresa

We sure need to spread this quote around the world today! Its so simple, it doesn’t cost much, no effort involved, no words, just a smile to show people that its alright, all is well, all will be well, God is in control! Make someone else find that peace in their heart by that smile. Smiling doesn’t only mean you are happy but it can also mean that your heart is full of joy – joy which comes from God alone. Joy can be attained by having a personal relationship with the Lord, a daily communion of prayer with God. Jesus left us 2 Commandments ‘Love your God with your whole heart, mind and soul and love your neighbour as yourself’. Reading the Scriptures or Lives of Saints one is filled with awe and love for Our Heavenly Father. Try and find that peace!




In the world today, there is so much unrest, disquiet, wars, terrorism, disease. Families are looking for hope. Our Holy Father Pope Francis offers us hope for the future of families, giving advice to engaged couples before they embark on a commitment of married life together.
“It was definitely a unique experience. With more than 12,000 engaged couples,
Pope Francis gave them all some advice on what it takes to make a marriage work.
First, using some symbolism, he said couples must be willing to become jewelers.
“Marriage is also a daily job. We could even say it’s like craftsmanship. In a way it’s like being a goldsmith, because a husband makes his wife more of a woman, and she in turn should make her husband a better man. Growing together in their humanity, as man and woman.”
But unlike any other job, marriage is a life long commitment. But this shouldn’t scare couples, said the Pope. It’s something they work on together, day by day.
“Love is something that comes about. It’s a reality that grows. As an example, we could even say that it’s like building a home. You build a home together, not alone!”
He then added you can’t base a marriage on just feelings. Rather it must be based on something concrete.
“You can’t base a marriage on feelings that come and go. Bur rather on the rock of true love, the love that comes from God.”
A good marriage, he said, isn’t just a marriage that lasts. It’s also about quality.
“It’s not just about having a marriage that lasts. The quality of the marriage is also important.”
You can’t forget to pray. The Pope the couples some advice, based on the ‘Our Father’ prayer.
“When we pray the ‘Our Father’ we say: Give us this day our daily Bread. When it comes to marriage, we can say: Give us this day, our daily love.”
Being in love means saying three phrases more often than not. They are: May I?  thank you and I’m sorry.”
“May I? This is the polite way of joining  someone’s life, with respect and attention. Do we know how to say thank you? As engaged couples and soon as a married couple, it’s important to acknowledge that your spouse is a gift from God. When you receive a gift from God, you say Thank You.’”
But the Pope also gave a warning: Nobody is perfect. So the key to happiness, he said, is forgiveness.
“We all know there is no such thing as the perfect family or a perfect husband or wife. I won’t even mention a perfect mother in law…It’s us who do exist, sinners. Jesus knows us well and He tells us a secret: Never let the day end, without apologizing.”
Part of talking about marriage, is planning the wedding itself. The Pope gave some advice about making the day unforgettable.
“Make sure it’s an authentic celebration, because marriage is a celebration. It’s a Christian celebration, not a worldly one. Imagine having a party sipping some tea? No way, without wine there’s no party.”
So his tips include, love, patience, understanding and prayer. Once you say ‘I do’ said the Pope, you can’t cross your arms and wait.  Because marriage is work…. and a life long commitment.

St Augustine

Today is the feast of St Augustine. 

Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new,
belatedly I loved thee.
For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made.
Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee.
These things kept me far from thee; even though they were not at all unless they were in thee.
Thou didst call and cry aloud, and didst force open my deafness.
Thou didst gleam and shine, and didst chase away my blindness.
Thou didst breathe fragrant odors and I drew in my breath; and now I pant for thee.
I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst.
Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace.”

― Augustine of Hippo ‘Confessions’


This famous son of St. Monica was born in Africa and spent many years of his life in wicked living and in false beliefs. Though he was one of the most intelligent men who ever lived and though he had been brought up a Christian, his sins of impurity and his pridedarkened his mind so much, that he could not see or understand the Divine Truthanymore. Through the prayers of his holy mother and the marvelous preaching of St. Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian then, because he thought he could never live a pure life. One day, however, he heard about two men who had suddenly been converted on reading the life of St. Antony, and he felt terrible ashamed of himself. “What are we doing?” he cried to his friend Alipius. “Unlearned people are taking Heaven by force, while we, with all our knowledge, are so cowardly that we keep rolling around in the mud of our sins!”

Full of bitter sorrow, Augustine flung himself out into the garden and cried out to God, “How long more, O Lord? Why does not this hour put an end to my sins?” Just then he heard a child singing, “Take up and read!” Thinking that God intended him to hear those words, he picked up the book of the Letters of St. Paul, and read the first passage his gaze fell on. It was just what Augustine needed, for in it, St. Paul says to put away all impurity and to live in imitation of Jesus. That did it! From then on, Augustine began a new life.

He was baptized, became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, Founder of religious priests, and one of the greatest saints that ever lived. He became very devout and charitable, too. On the wall of his room he had the following sentence written in large letters: “Here we do not speak evil of anyone.” St. Augustine overcame strong heresies, practiced great poverty and supported the poor, preached very often and prayed with great fervor right up until his death. “Too late have I loved You!” he once cried to God, but with his holy life he certainly made up for the sins he committed before his conversion. Hisfeast day is August 28th.



1. Desire to pray.

2. Conviction as to the importance of prayer

3. Texts for Prayer.  

4. What texts to pray with? 

5. Prayer Method.  

6. Readings on Prayer

7. Retreats.

8.  Persevere in the Struggle.  

9. Get a little help from your friends.  

10. The Holy Spirit: The Interior Master



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