7 Quick Takes: Saints, Feasts, Books, and Prayer
1. August 4th is the feast of St. John Mary Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests.
He is such a special saint and a dear friend to me that one post hardly seems enough to describe the many virtues of this holy man. He was a gentle, charitable, humble, faithful and obedient French country priest.
John Vianney was born May 8, 1786 in the village of Dardilly in France. The son of a poor farmer, he worked as a shepherd on the farm in his youth and taught other children their prayers and catechism. He did not receive any formal education until he was 20 years old.
While a student he was called for military service, and became a delinquent military recruit due to illness, and hid to escape Napoleon’s police. As a seminarian, he had difficulty learning Latin, and twice failed the examinations required before ordination. He was finally ordained at the age of 30, but was thought to be so incompetent that he was placed under the direction of Fr. Balley, a holy priest in a neighboring village, for further training. Read more.
2. This weekend I am looking forward to attending the Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita, KS. There will be amazing speakers there. I will also be there, promoting my new book, Fatima: The Apparition That Changed the World.
3. I recently read an amazing book, Praying the Angelus by Jared Dees. You can read my review here.
4. This coming Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them to a high mountain apart, where He was transfigured before their very eyes. His face shone like the sun and his garments became white as snow. His light was a blinding light stronger than sunlight that was difficult to look at — so bright they had to shield their eyes from it. This dazzling brightness which emanated from His whole Body was produced by an interior shining of His Divinity.
This “mystical” event seems a far cry from what we experience in our everyday lives, yet we, too, can catch a glimpse of His dazzling brightness and expose ourselves to His tranforming light.
Pope St. John Paul II tells us “the primary way to reach this penetrating vision of every human event… is to listen to the ‘prophetic word’, which is ‘as … a lamp shining in a dark place’ (2 Pt 1:19). Comforted by this light, we will be able to persevere confidently, waiting until ‘the day dawns’ and “the morning star rises” to bring lasting joy and peace to our heart. “
5. August is the month devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Here is a beautiful prayer for this month:
Immaculate Heart of Mary, my Mother, I come to you in childlike prayer. I earnestly desire that all the people of the world may be brought back to the humble knowledge and love of the Sacred Heart of your dear Son. I pray, dear Mother of my God, that the wonderful beauty and purity of your own Immaculate Heart may so win our souls that we may detest all sin and dedicate our lives to the honor and glory of the God who created us.
You revealed the secrets of your own sad heart at Fatima and begged for penance, prayer, and conversion of the world to God. What more can I do than unite my heart to yours in this great yearning? What can I add but the fervent prayer that all the world may listen to your pleading?
I give my heart to you, my heavenly Queen, and in confidence I leave to you what is best for me in answer to my prayer for love and reparation.
Immaculate Heart of the Mother of my God, I implore through your powerful intercession, the conversion of the hearts of men, complete victory over sin, and the return of the peace which you have promised. Amen.
6. I will leave you with this helpful video on prayer by Fr. Mike Schmitz:
Have a blessed weekend!
For more Quick Takes, please visit Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.