- St. Michael the Archangel Story
- History of St. Michael the Archangel Prayer
- St. Michael the Archangel Prayers
- St. Michael the Archangel Apparitions
- The Chaplet of St. Michael Archangel
- Novena to St Micheal the Archangel
- Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »
What's this Vocation Thing Anyway?
by Mary Lovee Klipp
Test your vocation know-how by taking the quiz…
1. True or False: Only priests, nuns and those chanting monk guys have vocations.
2. The definition of a vocation is:
a. a specific ministry each of us is called to do by God-either as a priest or religious, a married or a single person
b. a very long trip
c. the calling by God to be a priest or religious
3. How do you know if a particular vocation is right for you?
a. just if you feel God is calling you to that ministry
b. if you are a holy and devout person
c. the desire and ability to do it and proper motivation
4. True or False: Every Christian has a vocation of holiness.
5. Those called to the religious or priestly life:
a. are automatically zapped by God into saintly people
b. know right away that religious life is what they want to do
c. often must do a lot of thinking and praying before they discover their vocation
6. True or False: Having a religious vocation is better than being married or single.
Here's where it all comes down, here's where it all ends, where the truth of your future is, look no farther (ok, I'm going a little too far). Now tally up your score, then check which category you fit in.Answers:
2. A ,
6. False 1-2 Vocation Deficient
Vocations include more than just becoming a nun or priest. For more information check out these Bible verses: Gen. 12:1-4; Ex. 3:1-10; 1 Sam3:1-18; Acts 9:15; Matt. 9:9; 1 Corinthians 12:4-5. 3-4 Vocation Genius
Congrats!!! You've got a healthy knowledge of vocations. To fine-tune the facts, check out the Bible references above. 5-6 Vocation Ordinaire
You rock! You realize that each Christian has a vocation, whether to the priestly, religious or lay life. Each is equally important and necessary to the life of the Church. Good job! What is God trying to tell me?
Dear Brother Augustine,
I read your story (in the March '97 issue of YOU! Magazine). I am thinking about entering the priesthood and a lot of what you said and experienced kind of related to me.
I don't know any other young people who are entering the religious life. I have a spiritual director, but I still feel a bit too young. I suppose I won't really find a lot of guys my age who would be considering the priesthood as a vocation. I'm only 19! How old were you when you entered the monastery?
You talked about the inner peace you had while you were in the monastery. I can relate to that.
Last year, I attended a youth evangelization camp, and ever since the camp, I've felt changed.A LOT! Sometimes it overwhelms me. My life seems to be yearning for something more than a woman or money can ever give. Right this moment, I feel all I need is God and His love.
This desire to serve is so special that sometimes I cry and beg God to call me now, no more tests! I also realized that marriage and relationships can limit the way I want to serve Him. I guess you can relate to this, too, since you had a girlfriend prior to your entrance into the monastery. How did you deal with that, especially promising to remain celibate? Even with my doubts, being close to the Lord is all I want! And, I love those robes!
I've visited a monastery here in British Columbia. It's very quiet there, but I love it. The peace just penetrates through me. Right now, I feel becoming a priest or monk is really for me. God bless! You're in my prayers! --Teo Ugabar
Thanks for the letter! It's greatly encouraging to hear that other "younger" folks are also thinking about the religious life. No, you (and I) are not the only ones. I was amazed at the response to the March '97 article. Many young men and women seem to be on their way…
Sounds to me like you actually may have a vocation to the contemplative life. I was struck by the number of times you repeated the phrase "searching for God" which happens to be a Benedictine motto. St. Benedict said, "Above all other things, the monk must be a man who seeks God."
Not all monks are completely cloistered. The ones near you sound a bit isolated (perhaps they are Trappists or Cistercians) but we, for example, run a school and two parishes.
I understand your enthusiasm and take courage from it. Pray like crazy! You're right about the robes, too! The robes - more properly called "the habit" - are pretty nice fringe benefits. But, I think it has some practical value as well. I almost never take mine off because I've noticed that I behave differently when I'm not in it. I just don't have the strength to NOT dress the part.
Concerning celibacy… I'm still learning how to deal with it, I'm afraid. It involves a lot of pain (but then, so does marriage.) Mother Teresa said, "Love, to be true, must hurt." She's got a point. In the meantime, we pray… Keep up the good fight. And please keep me in your prayers.
by Brother Augustine
The mind cries out, explains, demonstrates, protests; but inside me a voice rises and shouts, "Be quiet mind; let us hear the heart!" Nikos Kazantazkis.
I was going to write a story about how I finally decided to become a monk, but the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that I never really did decide. It was decided for me by God.
But my friends keep asking me, "How did you ever decide to do this?" So last week, I went looking through my old diaries to see if there were hints of a vocation hidden in my thoughts. I was surprised by what I found.
GALVESTON, TEXAS 1990
What will I do with my life? I want to BE something! I have all this energy. I've prayed to find my place, I've searched for it, but I can't find what I'm looking for. I have this feeling and I don't know what to do with it. Sometimes I try to channel it into my studies, but as soon as I sit down with a book, I lose it.
ROME, ITALY 1992
Today I met some Benedictine monks. I was very impressed. I remember this girl just stared at them as they walked down the street. The policemen on their motorcycles looked downright silly next to them. I still sometimes feel like I would like to become a priest. I would love to belong to the Church in that way. I would love to wear those robes! They say Vespers at 7:15. Perhaps I'll go.
May 19 I just got a job in a monastery! I can't believe it. It's such a quiet place. I must remember to be quiet. That will be hard for me - a good thing, though... I think. I wonder if I'll like it. This is such a foreign experience.
May 20 The monks keep asking me what brought me here, well, I just don't know. Perhaps it was God... These guys are cool, but I could never be a monk. And yet, living and praying and talking with them makes me so happy.
May 21 The monks wear a long black tunic with a hood and a piece of black cloth hanging down the front and back. I still can't figure out how they go to the bathroom... I could dig being a monk. I think I could dig being a priest too. It's just that I like girls way too much. I mean it.
You know, I've changed a lot in the last few years, but something has happened here in this monastery that has changed me in a profound way. I'm not too sure what it is, but I feel as if a seed has been planted. I am beginning to feel what some people call "inner peace." The funny thing is that it hasn't exactly made me happy. As I learn about myself, I am more aware of what I don't know... the more peace I find within myself, the more I realize the parts of me that are not peaceful.
Is the monastic life really for me?
SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI 1995
Is the monastic life really for me? I have a girlfriend! Things get so complicated. I was at peace no more than three weeks ago. Now what? Why, if I am to be a monk, would God send me a woman I could care about?
A Benedictine! To spend my life in search of God! To wear the black habit! To perform the Eucharist, hear confessions, preach sermons! To vow my life into bonds that free my soul! To live each day in prayer, close to the heart of our Savior, close to his holy presence in the Blessed Sacrament!
Am I to be a priest? Please, God, be more specific in your directions.
I am still in love with my girlfriend... but more confident that the monastery is my calling. As much as I really do care for her, I still see the priesthood as the answer to my question of what to do with the rest of this life.
I have such an awesome decision before me. I have come extremely close to entering this monastery... but I just can't make that final leap. If I knew it was what God wanted, I would certainly trust Him to work things out. But I'm just not sure.
I'm sitting in my room wondering what I just did with my life. I walked into the monastery this morning, found the abbot, and asked him if I could join his community. I'm tired of messing around. Very well. I'm leaving for the monastery. I'm taking a risk. I'm going for it - all out!
Look, I want to do the right thing. Christ will not abandon me if I seek him honestly. On second thought, I like my life the way it is. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I am really happy - or at least I have been. But all of a sudden, I feel so sad. No, I have chosen to begin. I have chosen to stop making circles of my life and to begin the search.
There comes a point where you've got to move from fun to joy. That's what I'm doing now. I'll miss my girlfriend. I will miss dance clubs and parties, but there is a chance that something infinitely bigger and more beautiful is waiting for me. Now I have to empty my heart. Now I have to put my trust - all my trust in Jesus Christ. If I seek him, he will not abandon me.
Am I strong enough for this? No. Is He? Yes. He will not give me a burden I can't carry. The celibacy part is going to be tough. Really tough. And obedience ain't gonna be no piece of cake either.
"Will this be my home for the rest of my life? Oh my God. I'm scared..."
My first night in the monastery. Will this be my home for the rest of my life? Oh my God. I'm scared again. I'm depressed. Can I be bound into this monotonous cycle of living? PRAY-EAT-WORK-PRAY-EAT-WORK-PRAY-EAT-WORK.... I'm tired. And I want a girlfriend.
I hope I have the strength to do this. Lord, give me the strength.
Last night I had a dream. I don't remember the details of it, but I know that in it, I met, or spoke with St. Augustine and decided to name myself after him. When I woke up, I pulled out his autobiography and read the following passage: "So my two wills, one old, the other new, one carnal, the other spiritual, were in conflict with one another, and their discord robbed my soul of all concentration... I was split between them." This is exactly what I've been going through. But St. Augustine gave up everything in the end. Will I?
My first day in the habit. People call me "Brother." The title feels strange. Like I don't deserve it. The habit feels strange. Like I don't fit it. I don't know whether or not I'll stay here more than a year, but I'll try. I am not so happy as I am at peace. Does that make sense?
Tomorrow I begin my novitiate. Does it scare me? It does. But no matter what path I choose it will have pain. Deep, agonizing pain. If I have a girlfriend, it might be jealousy, if I have a wife, it might be boredom or fear for my children. If I am celibate, it may be loneliness. Whichever path I choose, pain is an inevitable consequence. Because I am human.
I can't spend my life running away from suffering. Even God felt pain. Jesus felt pain and loneliness and rejection. Just like me. "He who wishes to follow me must drink from the same cup as I." The cup of loneliness. The cup of emptiness.
I've made it through the first three days of novitiate. So far so good. Only 363 days to go (It's Leap Year!). For once in my life, I have no say in what happens to me. I am no longer in control. For one year, I will shut up, keep my head down, and listen...
From the very last window at the back of the cloister I, a new monk, hear the highway hum. Two hundred cars a minute packed with busy people grind past at unimaginable speeds. Where are they running, and from whom? What is so important to so many people that they must get there so quickly? Beyond that line of trees is the World of which the Wise Man warned me. I am tied to it forever, and yet it is leaving me behind. In a monastery behind a row of trees.
I dreamt about surfing last night. Surfing and having a girlfriend. I can't figure out which I miss more. Still, I suspect I'll stick around when my novitiate is up. I am beginning to really love the silence.
Sometimes I pray that I am not called to be a monk. At moments like this I ask, "Why me? Did I not have enough pain in my life that I had to go and add celibacy to my list of struggles? I'll tell you what: nothing short of God Himself will keep me in this monastery. Fortunately, I think God Himself is keeping me in this monastery. You can consider my presence here proof of His existence. August 8 Lately, my doubts have grown more serious. I told Mom and Dad I wasn't' going to stay. There are other things I would like to do. Go off to L.A. Be a real writer.
Is ambition really such a bad thing? Even after 14 months in a monastery, I still want so many worldly things. My thoughts are all questions these days....
How many days have I wasted away in sin? This monastery seems to have brought out the worst in me. But then, that's sort of the point, isn't it? To flush out the demons so I can meet them head-on.
I have been here over a year and I am still not used to waking up at five a.m. I need something to end this torturous indecision. Faith, perhaps. But since I obviously don't have enough of that, I'll ask for a miracle instead.
August 26 Still no miracle.
The Feast of St. Augustine I had a dream this morning while I was meditating. I dreamt that I was standing in the middle of a small room I was surrounded by vicious, snarling monsters - anthropomorphic and grotesque. They approached me on every side, poised to devour me. But instead of defending myself, I lifted my hands to heaven. And the monsters were whisked away. Weird.
Today, the novices had a talk with Patrick Barry, the abbot of Ampleforth. He warned us against constantly "looking over the wall." "The modern world is such a world of options," he said, "that we find it almost impossible to commit to anything. But doesn't it all boil down to trust? Isn't that the most fundamental thing expected of us? Some day, you will think of changing your mind, but will trust Him instead. Stick to the facts. Forget your imaginings about the future. Picture yourself the blind man before the Pharisees: 'All I know is that I was blind, and now I see.' Stop arguing with God and trust Him."
The Feast of St. Therese of Liseux Over the last week, I have received three roses: a red rose, a white rose, and today, a yellow rose. What can they mean? I have made my decision. I will join the monastery.
A beautiful day. The air is so cool and clean. Our trees are starting to blush. It will be winter, then Christmas, and then I will vow my life to God. I trust Him and I will live for Him. I feel good, It's not the kind of good you feel when you tell a funny joke. It's not the kind of good you feel on a first date. It's not the kind of good you feel when you hit a home run, or catch a clean wave, or ace a test. It's the kind of good that sort of wells up slowly from within so that you hardly realize how good you're feeling. Sort of like how Jeremiah found God not in a thunderstorm or earthquake, but in a gentle breeze.
We had a motivational speaker in our church two nights ago. He asked, "Is there anyone here who is truly happy? Is there anyone here who just cannot imagine being any happier? Of course not." I was a little embarrassed because I had almost raised my hand. I am truly happy. I can't imagine being any happier. As far as I can tell, I am doing God's will. What more could I want? This story is over. The end of my novitiate. The end of my beginning. As my Latin prof used to say, "Now there's a story with a happy middle."
Br. Augustine is currently finishing his studies in Oxford, England!
For more info on the Benedictines write to:
Saint Louis Abbey
500 South Mason Road
St. Louis, MO 63141
YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS
LIVES OF THE SAINTS
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma Read More »
St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day..Read More »
St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin." Read More »
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve. Read More »
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died. Read More »
ST. MARIA GORETTI
St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.Read More »
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY
These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I. Read More »
BLESSED EUGENE III
Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter. Read More »
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.
St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century. Read More »
St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful.. Read More »
ST. JOHN GAULBERT
St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh... Read More »
ST. HENRY II.
St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him. Read More »
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk..Read More »
St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John. Read More »
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg. Read More »
ST. LEO IV.
St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.Read More »
St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts. Read More »
St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia. Read More »
St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra.. Read More »
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.
St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy. Read More »
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.
St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord. Read More »
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.
St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the.. Read More »
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB
St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the.. Read More »
ST. JAMES THE GREATER
St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother.. Read More »
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE
St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.Read More »
St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.Read More »
St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus. Read More »
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy. Read More »
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491. Read More »
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