O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this my necessity. There are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein that you are my Mother.
Over 326,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons (326 million trillion gallons) exist on our planet. My mind is still amazed that numbers go way up to a trillion, let alone million upon millions of trillion!! Words simply cannot do justice to the size and sheer amount of water that is present on our globe. I found these pictures that best capture my own sense of minuteness in the grand scheme of the universe. Let us reflect on these images for a few moments to consider our dependence on something greater in this mysterious and vast universe.
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
According to the dictionary, the word mercy is defined as “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm”. St. Maria Faustina is the champion and first great channel of God in the 20th century to remind the modern world that God’s mercy overcomes all sin.
The Holy Spirit inspired the Polish sister to write down these words in paragraph 1142 of her Diary, “My daughter, be diligent in writing down every sentence I tell you concerning My mercy, because this is meant for a great number of souls who will profit from it.” Throughout the history of the Catholic Church both the judgment and mercy of God has been taught. However, in the centuries leading up to the time and life of St. Maria Faustina a pendulum swing focused on the omnipotence of God. People viewed our Creator primarily as a Judge. God utilized a simple and humble Catholic woman to be the impetus to renew the teaching of God’s mercy!
We live in an age where surveillance technology is improving its efficiency on a day to day basis. More and more movies deal with the issue of utilizing governments monitoring its citizens under the pretense of national security. Needless to say, being watched over and guided does not necessarily have the most positive connotation in the 21st century.
Instead of viewing such observation and guidance as a bad and thing to be avoided, St. Maria Faustina’s mantra- and really is the message of the universal Church—is Jesus I Trust in You! To be guided is not always a terrible thing. Through the intercession and life of Sister Faustina, other amazing saints arose during the murderous 20th century—Maximilian Kolbe and Pope John Paul II to name just a couple. Both of these men were influenced by the Polish nun. She acted as a sentinel, a beacon of hope, to usher Christ into the 3rd millennium.
Uplifted my Marriage
My wife officially joined the Catholic Church as a convert from Lutheranism during her junior year of college. She selected Sr. Faustina as her confirmation saint and patron saint of her conversion to the faith. Along with providing the world with the wonderful vision—later captured by artist—of the Divine Mercy Icon, the Polish saint taught the world the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It was this prayer that gave my wife spiritual sustenance during a low point in her life.
As the years of my marriage accumulate, I have developed a great love and closeness to Maria Faustina as well. In fact, she is my honorary confirmation saint [I never actually officially selected a confirmation saint as my role model in high school!]. I also love the Eucharistic references in the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Through its repetition, this short [IT IS QUITE BRIEF AND GREAT FOR PARENTS OF YOUNG KIDS PINCHED FOR TIME!] prayer unites me to Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. Another effect of this prayer is my marriage is strengthened and I enjoy conversations about the Polish nun’s life with my wife.
I will end my thoughts on St. Maria Faustina with part of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy [the section prayed on the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” beads of the Rosary. I challenge you to find one person in your life that is not aware of this prayer and teach it to them. Your communication with God through this form of prayer will bring great joy and peace.
How to Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Say on “Our Father” bead:
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
Say on each “Hail Mary” bead:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
I wanted to share with you something awesome–I was just interviewed for my first ever appearance on a podcast. The topic was on empathy and the importance in the workplace and in evangelization. To see the blog post that inspired this collaboration check out the link in the Related Link section 👇
The Catholic Servant Podcast will air my interview on August 13th. More details to follow in the upcoming weeks.
I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity. I was initially nervous, but I am glad I pushed through my anxiety. I challenge to try something new this upcoming week.
💡Reach out to a fellow blogger, talk with your neighbor across the street, volunteer at a local charity, or anything else that could positively contribute to society and your personal/professional development.
Thank you for your continued support of The Simple Catholic!
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my oldest son was diagnosed with being on the autism spectrum a couple years ago. This journey toward an answer to helping our son has been filled with both joys and struggles. One of the fruits of this process is my wife has discovered her calling as a special education teacher. Another benefit of her knowledge is that it helps my cousin who is experiencing similar trials as my son. Recently, my mom was doing research on saints who assist with people on the autism spectrum. She came across St. Thorlak who is currently being considered as a patron saint for people with autism spectrum disorder.
Born in 1133 A.D. Thorlak received the sacrament of Holy Orders at a young age. He was ordained a deacon at age 15 and became a priest when he was 18 years old! Eventually founding a monastery based on the rule of St. Augustine, Thorlak lived a monastic way of life for a several years. Thorlak was ordained a bishop of the Icelandic diocese of Skalholt. He continued to carry out the reforms instituted by Pope Gregory VII. St. Thorlak die in 1193 at the age of 60.
Relatively little information is known about Thorlak compared to other Catholic saints, such as Augustine, John Paul II, Teresa of Avila, Joan of Arc, etc. Despite this, my review of the website that is championing his cause for patron sainthood provides some insight as to how Thorlak could be a relieving guide in both my son’s life and our family in general.
Rigidity in manner
Being unbending in his moral expectations, St. Thorlak demonstrates a parallel to children with autism that commonly sees the world in terms of black/white dichotomy. My son for example, is a “rules kid” and will follow our household law to the letter.
Failure to Initiate or Reply to Social Interactions
According to http://mission-of-saint-thorlak.weebly.com/patron-of-asd.html, the Icelandic saint said little during the discernment process for him to become bishop. St. Thorlak displayed reticence in social situations as well. Many times children with autism spectrum disorder are non-verbal when it comes to communication.
Although a lot of Catholic tradition relies on daily routine, St. Thorlak adhered to a strict routine of fasting and prayer—especially in his time of founding and living in the monastic community. Similarly, my son thrives on a strict and regular routine.
To be clear asking saints for help is not an easy solution to daily turmoil that medicine or therapy fails to soothe. Rather, I look to saints for guidance and relief for my personal trials or family strife. In regards to St. Thorlak, I believe based on the information I learned about his life that he would be a great role model for my son to look to when it comes to the challenges a child with autism faces on a daily basis. I found this concise prayer [see below] that I printed off and taped to my car dashboard to prayer on my morning commute to work. I am grateful for the witness of St. Thorlak and I hope his life gives insight, joy, and relief to individuals and families of those with autism spectrum disorder!
The timing of Cardinal Newman’s canonization is definitely providential. God is reminding us, and hopeful more Catholics will learn, of the wonderful, keen, and common sense approach to holiness of the English priest.
I am excited for his official sainthood. I hope you are as well. Please check out a sermon or writing of John Henry Newman this summer. I guarantee your fervor for the faith will ignite 🔥 🔥!
Check out more content on Cardinal Newman from my latest article for EpicPew at the link 👇
Helen Keller wrote, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” As a recent Linked user and creative individual, teamwork and content creation has been on the forefront of my mind. My recent post 3 Reasons Why Containing Creativity is Impossible, mentions a bit on the importance of working together with others on a creative project. I wrote, “Whenever I feel my creativity spirit drying up I look to the creative individuals to reignite my creativity.”
Creativity cannot happen in a vacuum. Creating something involves a community. Children are born from the union of mother and father. Houses are built with many individuals. Book projects involve the collaboration of the author, proofreaders, editors, publicists, and marketing teams. This post will focus on three distinct ways creativity and collaboration must be partners.
Humans are Social Creatures
According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, “Man is by nature a social animal.” Even further back in history, the Bible recognized the importance of communion. God created Eve to be a partner for Adam. Since the inception of humanity, people need others for help and support.
The dictionary defines creativity as “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” Every major advancement in human history occurred via the creative endeavor. Such endeavors rarely occur in isolation. A creative idea ultimately serves not only the originator, but the betterment of society as a whole.
Creativity Gets Multiplied Never Divided
Tennis legend Althea Gibson stated, “No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.” Creativity never loses momentum. Collaborating on an idea or invention does not reduce creativity. Collaboration enhances creativity. More minds working together multiplies creativity.
Seeing collaboration occur professionally on LinkedIn or in the domestic setting of the family unit is exciting. Henry Ford spoke of working together in this way, “”Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” The interactions between entrepreneurs and family members displays the multiplication of creativity. For instance, my oldest son just got into Pokémon (the inner geek in me is so proud!) “Avila can be the ground Pokémon and we can be the Pokémon Masters!” declared my older two kids as they plotted their latest fictional safari. Seeing the joy glint from their eyes truly warms my heart. Sibling success— for the moment!
Marketplace of Ideas
The late innovator and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs declared, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” In a sense, great ideas are found instead of created. When asked about his legendary fiction world of Middle Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien shrugged off the idea of him being this creative genius. He merely “discovered” a world waiting to be found.
Collaboration and creativity create a marketplace of ideas. The information boom developed since the inception of the internet as not only made information more accessible to more people, but also allows more people to interact. Sharing information on social media is not only good, but essential moving forward. According to Bertrand Russell, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” The age of ruthless competition is over. Collaboration connects humanity. Collaboration leads to more minds reflecting on the major issues we face as a human race. Creativity flows in that marketplace of ideas.
Start Collaborating Now!
Never be afraid to ask for help to jump-start your creativity. Creativity does not exist in a singular mind. Every creative endeavor requires the close partnership of collaboration. The social aspect of humanity, multiplication of imagination, and great opportunity to participate in the marketplace of ideas show the necessity for cooperation in the modern world and creating content.
I am blessed to live in this information and collaborative time in human history. I challenge you to reach out to someone this month and collaborate on a project: a blog post, an article, podcast, or video. Share your past collaborative endeavors in the comments. I would love you hear about the fruits and creativity born from your collaborations!