Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catholic birthday / Christmas gifts - a spiritual bouquet

The Spiritual Bouquet. A great idea for gift giving.

Recently I racked my brain for a gift idea for a couple who I believe needs nothing. My wife and I gave it so much thought: Wine; books; clothes; functional crockery; paintings; or electronics. We could not agree on what would be a good gift for this couple. We did agreed that it should be something special.

After praying about it, an idea came to give the gift of a spiritual bouquet in the form of Masses being offered. Such a gift is not for the physical world but the spiritual. Prayers for oneself, our special intentions or that of others are so important. Prayers offered in the Mass, by a holy man is even more effective. The Bible talks about offering prayers:

Job 42:10 - And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

1 Timothy 2:1 - First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

Philippians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

James 5:16 - Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

John 14:13 - Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

The Church tells us to offer Masses and the effectiveness of this act to lessen our time in purgatory and help us in our requests to God - remembering that the Mass is offered To the father, Through the Son, With the Spirit, asking the Angels, Saints and Virgin to pray for us:

"In the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the Church prays that God, the Father of mercies, will grant His children the fullness of the Holy Spirit so that they may become one body and one spirit in Christ. In raising this prayer to the Father of lights, from whom comes every good endowment and every perfect gift, the Church believes that she will be heard, for she prays in union with Christ her Head and Spouse, who takes up this plea of His Bride and joins it to His own redemptive sacrifice" JPII

"The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death." Pope Benedict XV

“A single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after your death. The merit of the Masses we have offered for ourselves during life will obtain for us a higher degree of glory in Heaven.” – Saint Anselm (Doctor of the Church)

Lastly, the giving of a gift of a Mass, is good financial move. For every Mass offered a donation must be made to the church. Many churches have a suggested donation figure. More masses offered would mean more money in the coffers of the church to maintain the good works that are done by the church... for the upkeep of the buildings, parish and laypersons who labour in the "vineyard". God knows money is always needed for these and other works.

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