by Fr Richard Heilman | July 31, 2020 12:05 am
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from You, the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of Your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord
To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception … pray for us
St. Joseph … pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel … pray for us
(the patron of your parish) … pray for us
(your confirmation saint) … pray for us
“Freedom from Wrath” by Fr. Bill Peckman
In the medieval classic, The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Dante places the wrathful in the 5th circle of Hell. The wrathful spend eternity forever fighting each other on the surface of the River Styx while the sullen and resentful gurgle beneath the surface of the river. These are fitting punishments for the wrathful. For the warlike wrathful (those who actively engage in harm to those who harmed them) it is fitting that they spend eternity forever inflicting the eternal cycle that revenge begets. It is appropriate as well that the embittered and resentful drown in a river of their passive-aggressiveness and resentment. In either case, wrath is unable to produce any positive in a person’s life.
As a connoisseur of social media, on more than one occasion I have seen memes saying that moments of righteous indignation are okay because Jesus toppled tables of money-changers and livestock sellers in the temple as if what we are witnessing is a divine temper tantrum. Is Jesus really indulging in a deadly sin? No. More on that in a bit.
Wrath has become quite dominant in our culture right now. Real and perceived injustices are both met with a carte blanche to seek retribution through violent means so as to punish real perpetrators or even innocent bystanders in a wave of violence that can only beget a backlash that perpetuates more violence. For the wrathful, any slight, real or perceived, is just grounds for violent retribution of the despoiling of reputation through gossip, detraction, and calumny. The devil himself is full of wrath. His anger with God at creating humanity and seeing that as a slight against him and the other fallen angels has become cause for him to wage an eternal battle with not just God but with His creation. All temptation in generated by the devil’s eternal resentment and rebellion against God. The devil in his pride loves nothing more than for us to engage in his same behavior of wrath. Misery loves company.
Jesus places a premium on mercy and forgiveness in the Gospels…even from the Cross. He tells us, “But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: Then you will prove yourselves sons of your heavenly Father” (Matt 5:44-45). Similar lines are repeated in the Gospels multiple times. What then of flipping tables? We are told Jesus is full of zeal and not wrath. These things did not belong in the temple area. His expulsion of these things was not a divine hissy fit, but a sign that He came to restore what was needed and cast out what was not. He is not avenging Himself on these sellers; He is exorcising from the Temple what is foreign to it.
The antidote for wrath is, as we see above, mercy and forgiveness. There are two things to understand in this. First, to forgive means to no longer hold against (as in a loan) a person their debt/trespass/sin for future reference. It does not mean to condone or rationalize evil done to you. Mercy is to render to another person what is needed, whether they deserve it or not. In many homilies, I have referred to mercy and forgiveness and the ultimate acts of self-preservation. Wrath can ruin us on every level of our being. Mercy frees us from such a cross of iron.
It is highly important that we do. Our eternal life in heaven hinges on our ability to forgive. In the Our Father we pray, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us!” In other words: God forgive me as I forgive others. That little prayer tucked into the Our Father can either be a blessing or an eternal curse depending upon our ability to forgive and our ability to stem wrath in our lives. After giving us the Our Father, Jesus warns us, “For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences” (Matthew 6:14-15). We entertain wrath and revenge at our own peril. We run the risk of the wicked servant in Matthew 18:23-35 who, because he was unwilling to forgive the much lesser debt of a fellow servant after he himself had a huge debt forgiven by the master, was now thrown into prison. It ends with the rather ominous “So my Father will do you to you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Wrath can have no hold in the life of a follower of Christ.
Prayer of Reparation
My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to wrath and vengeance against those who have harmed us.
We have engaged in active revenge or in the passive-aggressiveness of gossip.
We have been too self-involved to notice the damage our sins have wreaked on our neighbor and broken faith with You.
We have expected You to turn a blind eye to our wrath and forgive us without condition.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our wrath and lack of mercy and forgiveness.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
Prayer of Exorcism
Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to wrath.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of wrath have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ graciously hear us
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.
Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.
To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of “Let Freedom Ring,” go HERE.
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