Tag Archives: prayer

UPDATE Pray for Father Kauffmann

UPDATE from Saint Bede: “Please know that Father Kauffmann passed quietly and peacefully as he entered eternal life.”
I will pass along information as received. There will probably be Masses at Saint Bede in Williamsburg and at Saint Benedict in Richmond.
Thank you for your prayers.

Hello, Jane Dudley, the blog editor here, passing along a message from Saint Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg. Father Kauffmann is gravely ill. Please pray. Thank you.


It is with a very heavy heart, Monsignor Keeney informs us that our very own Father James Kauffmann has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is not expected to live throughout the day. Father returned from his trip to Italy Saturday night and was immediately taken to the hospital where he was admitted. Although Father has been with us just short of a year, he has deeply touch the lives of our staff and parishioners and we are grateful for the joy, compassion and vitality he brought to his ministry. Please pray for Father Kauffmann. May he be granted a peaceful transition as he enters the Lord’s kingdom.
Also, please remember to keep Father Kauffmann’s family and friends in your prayers.

Lord, It Is For You That I Wait

A priest, in Addis Ababa.

The 7 Penitential Psalms set forth the meaning of the season of Lent which invites us to ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Psalm 38

A psalm of David. For remembrance.

LORD, do not punish me in your anger;
in your wrath do not chastise me!

Your arrows have sunk deep in me;
your hand has come down upon me.

There is no wholesomeness in my flesh because of your anger;
there is no health in my bones because of my sin.

My iniquities overwhelm me,
a burden too heavy for me.

Foul and festering are my sores
because of my folly.

I am stooped and deeply bowed;
every day I go about mourning.

My loins burn with fever;
there is no wholesomeness in my flesh.

I am numb and utterly crushed;
I wail with anguish of heart.

My Lord, my deepest yearning is before you;
my groaning is not hidden from you.

My heart shudders, my strength forsakes me;
the very light of my eyes has failed.

Friends and companions shun my disease;
my neighbors stand far off.

Those who seek my life lay snares for me;
they seek my misfortune, they speak of ruin;
they plot treachery every day.

But I am like the deaf, hearing nothing,
like the mute, I do not open my mouth,

I am even like someone who does not hear,
who has no answer ready.

LORD, it is for you that I wait;
O Lord, my God, you respond.

For I have said that they would gloat over me,
exult over me if I stumble.

I am very near to falling;
my wounds are with me always.

I acknowledge my guilt
and grieve over my sin.

My enemies live and grow strong,
those who hate me grow numerous fraudulently,

Repaying me evil for good,
accusing me for pursuing good.

Do not forsake me, O LORD;
my God, be not far from me!

Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my salvation!

Ps 37, Domine Ne in Furore, A. Gabrieli

The LORD Looked Down from the Holy Heights

In Ethiopia, a woman prays.

In Ethiopia, a woman prays at an outdoor shrine.

The 7 Penitential Psalms set forth the meaning of the season of Lent which invites us to ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Psalm 102

The prayer of one afflicted and wasting away whose anguish is poured out before the LORD.

LORD, hear my prayer; let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress.
Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.
For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn away as in a furnace.
My heart is withered, dried up like grass, too wasted to eat my food.
From my loud groaning I become just skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and moan, like a lone sparrow on the roof.
All day long my enemies taunt me; in their rage, they make my name a curse.
I eat ashes like bread, mingle my drink with tears.
Because of your furious wrath, you lifted me up just to cast me down.
My days are like a lengthening shadow; I wither like the grass.

But you, LORD, are enthroned forever; your renown is for all generations.
You will again show mercy to Zion; now is the time for pity;
the appointed time has come.
Its stones are dear to your servants; its dust moves them to pity.
The nations shall fear your name, LORD, all the kings of the earth, your glory,
Once the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in glory,
Heeding the plea of the lowly, not scorning their prayer.
Let this be written for the next generation, for a people not yet born,
that they may praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from the holy heights, viewed the earth from heaven,
To attend to the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die.”
Then the LORD’s name will be declared on Zion, his praise in Jerusalem,
When peoples and kingdoms gather to serve the LORD.

He has shattered my strength in mid-course, has cut short my days.
I plead, O my God, do not take me in the midst of my days.
Your years last through all generations.
Of old you laid the earth’s foundations; the heavens are the work of your hands.
They perish, but you remain; they all wear out like a garment;
Like clothing you change them and they are changed,
but you are the same, your years have no end.
May the children of your servants live on;
may their descendants live in your presence.

Psalm 102 in a setting by Alexander Archangelsk (1846-1924).

Sunday Afterwords: Lenten Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian

Saint Ephrem the Syrian.

Saint Ephrem the Syrian.

During the Lenten season we are called to intensify our life of prayer. I would like to share with you the prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian which has been part of my Lenten devotion for 36 years. St Ephrem was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict the 15th and his feast day is June 9. This prayer of Saint Ephrem is a vital part of the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox liturgies.

Lenten Prayer of Saint Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.


Listen to this evocative and plaintive chant from the soul of a monk who wants to return to his homeland from which he has been exiled due to war and violence.

United in Prayer: Sept. 29 in Richmond

Save the Date: Tuesday, September 29 at the Cathedral in Richmond, an ecumenical prayer service for all those suffering for their faith. All are invited. The Diocese writes:

Recently, many people have been persecuted for their faith in various parts of the world. The Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s Office of Social Ministries in partnership with Richmond’s Coptic Orthodox church decided to come together and organize an ecumenical prayer service to stand in solidarity for all those who are suffering for their faith. We would like to invite you to join us  on Tuesday September 29th, 2015 at the Cathedral of Sacred Heart in Richmond Virginia at 7 p.m with a light reception to follow. With this event being the first of its kind, many Christian communities have responded and will be joining us.

Where God Weeps is a good place to read more about the reality of the suffering and persecuted Church.

Facing East in Prayer

Rom21-052920 When I arrived in Sinaia, the falling snow was an unexpected touch. The fresh snow drifting down so gently covered the southern range of the Carpathian mountains.

This monastery was built by King Carol I in the late 19th century


The Virgin is enthroned in the apse.

Gazing heavenward

This is where the cantors chant the liturgy.

Although there is a new church, the monastic church was founded by Mihail Cantacuzino in the late 17th century after he returned from a pilgrimage to mount Sinai, hence the name, Sinaia.

This is the porch with the traditional Last Judgement.

The icon screen

Gazing Heavenward

Gazing Heavenward

The eyes of the Virgin Mary under whose protection I have placed myself as I travel, search deeply into the soul of those who enter the temple of her Son. This will be the final image of the Virgin I will see on my journey into the artistic heritage of the Romanian people, rooted in the Christian faith. This image will remain in my mind as I begin my journey to central Asia to journey a little bit on the Silk Road on which so much cultural interaction occurred.

The church in Bucharest that evoked a powerful spiritual emotion within me was the Stavropoleos.  The monastic church which today is the heart of the life of prayer of the sisters who live there makes me realize how important prayer is at the heart of the city.  I would like to share with you what I found striking.

   Icon screens always appeal to me because they speak of the mystery of the Mass.

My eye always turns to the all-powerful Christ because it reminds me I must stand before him and render an account of my life.

The icon of the Virgin draws me to prayer. The greatest impression on me has been the very careful way in which people make the sign of the cross three times and then venerate the icons. I have seen people bless themselves three times as they walk in front of the church. I have even begun to do that! The sign of the cross is so ancient and the people of the cross should take deep spiritual consolation in that through the cross joy has come into the world. The greatest gift I have been given through the public piety of the Romanian people is a renewed sense of the beauty of the sign of the cross.


 The roadside shrines dedicated to the cross abound and not just a cross but a cross with the image of Our Lord.

And people even place the cross on the apex of the roofs of their home. The cross is the sign of the victory of truth.