LEAVES Website for November-December 2020 Issue

Excerpted from “Leaflets” column:

       The Church remembers the holy souls specifically on Nov. 2 and then throughout the entire month of November. The year 2020 has been a sad year for many who have lost loved ones through sickness and disease. As we call to mind our own dearly departed, let us also pray for God’s comfort and peace for all those who mourn.

Those who are in purgatory are blessed. While they yearn to be in the presence of the Lord, they know that ultimately they will reach that goal. As they endure their wait with a burning desire, we here and now are able to assist them with our prayers and sacrifices.

Of particular power is the act of celebrating Mass for our departed loved ones. In the “Prayer after Communion” from All Souls’ Day, we pray:

“Grant we pray, O Lord, that your departed servants for whom we have celebrated this paschal Sacrament, may pass over to a dwelling place of light and peace. Through Christ our Lord.”

We might use this prayer whenever we attend Mass during November or whenever we celebrate Mass on behalf of those who have gone before us. Although those poor souls in purgatory can no longer help themselves, we still are able to assist them. The efficacy of our prayers and Masses certainly exceeds any other gift we might give them.

       Nov. 29 is the first Sunday of Advent this year. This beautiful liturgical season should not be overlooked. Some become so overwhelmed by preparations for Christmas that they lose sight of its true meaning. While gifts and cookies are fine, preparing for the birth of Our Lord should be our foremost focus.

During Advent, partaking of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is an ideal way to get ready for Christmas. Also, we might consider reconciling with someone with whom we have had a disagreement. Just as we experience the forgiveness of the Lord, let us extend a merciful heart to others.

We generally remember to express gratitude on Thanksgiving, but we ought to do so each and every day. Advent can be a time to make this part of your daily routine. Each morning or night, reflect on your day, your family, your life, your Faith. Offer thanks for both the mundane and the marvelous.

Withdraw for even a brief moment each day from the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations and sit in silence, listening for the Lord. So often we bombard the Lord with petitions when we would do well to wait for Him to speak the words we most need to hear.

There are many thought-provoking religious songs, books and movies that are appropriate for Advent. Enjoy them with your family. Listen to Handel’s “Messiah” or Christmas carols. Read the Gift of the Magi or A Christmas Carol. Watch the “Jesus of Nazareth” or “Mary of Nazareth” movies, or others.

This Advent, begin the practice of reading Scripture daily. Starting Dec. 1, read one chapter of the Gospel of Luke each day. There are 24 chapters, so on Christmas Eve you will have read about the entire life of Jesus, who is the reason we celebrate Christmas.

No matter how you decide to celebrate Advent, be sure to add special prayers, for yourself, for family, for friends, for your community, for your country and for the world. Let this be a time of spiritual enrichment for you and your family.

Excerpted from “Our Family Album”

Giving Too Much

Driving toward town, I ran through everything I had to do. My schedule was jam-packed. I sighed, pulled into a gas station and walked to the self-serve pumps. “Hey mister, you got any extra cash?” My hand froze on the pump.

I turned slowly to face a tall, shadowy figure in a hooded sweatshirt. Frantically I scanned the gas station for other customers. I was alone outside. “Well, you see …” he drawled. While he gathered his thoughts, probably trying to figure out how best to scare me into giving him all I had, I noted that he was in his 20s, with hair down to his shoulders. Not much of a description for the police to go on, I thought.

“See that motel across the street?” he finally said. “My wife and baby and I have been staying there for a week and the manager wants us to settle our bill. Everything we own is in that room, but we can’t get back in until we pay him.” Sure, I thought, start out with a sob story and if I don’t hand over my wallet you get violent. A young woman stepped from behind the pumps with worry in her eyes. In her arms she held a baby swaddled in a blanket.

“Mister,” she said, “We’d like to sell you this watch so we can get our stuff back.” I stared at the woman. Her problem was somehow familiar to me. The woman held her baby close to shield him from the cold. “We won’t accept handouts,” the young man said, “Just an even trade.” He held out the watch and stood protectively in front of his family, a trace of pride in his eyes, in spite of his situation. “It would help us pay our bill.”

Suddenly I knew why this scene seemed familiar. I’ll bet Joseph looked just like that when he bargained with the innkeeper. And Mary was tired and worried, trusting her husband to find shelter.

I opened my wallet and took out the only cash I had – $10.00. A fair price for the watch, we agreed.

“Thanks, mister,” the young mother said, “Merry Christmas!” The family walked off together and I prayed the stubborn innkeeper would be satisfied.

For me, from then on, Joseph would always be dressed in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt – Douglas Rose.

Prayers for
Reconciliation Requested

Thank you for a wonderful platform to ask for prayers and to pray for others who are in difficult situations. I am so happy to be a new member of the LEAVES family! I am currently incarcerated and, while working as a clerk in the Catholic chapel, I found a copy of LEAVES and immediately asked to be added to the mailing list.

I believe in the power of prayer and you all are in mine. I ask for your prayers for reconciliation between my two teenaged children and me, as they haven’t reached out to me in three years. Also, please pray that they keep the strong Catholic Faith that they grew up with, and that despite the bad choices that I’ve made, they will continue to make good ones.

Thank you and God bless you all – A.V.

Tony, Tony, Turn Around

I have enjoyed LEAVES for many years, praying for the requests as I read them. I have been thinking of sending a donation for some time and got such a chuckle out of this issue with all the St. Anthony bits that I had to send the donation and tell you how I heard of how to speak to St. Anthony from a young, 16-year-old girl. I was in my 30s.

I had lost something and was mooning over the loss. The young girl’s response was to say: “Tony, Tony, turn around. Let’s what’s lost soon be found.” I was startled at the poetry of it. I found the article and have used the verse ever since with luck as the other writers have said. Give him time. St. Anthony always comes through.

I truly enjoy every page of the leaflet, so please keep it coming. I am now 89 years old – Rita R.

Grateful for Many Miracles

I give thanks to God for the many miracles I have received in my life. My two youngest children were saved when near death as young children. Four years ago I was healed from a severe allergic condition which kept me in almost total isolation for a year and a half.

We thought our daughter would never make her First Holy Communion due to extreme allergies to both wheat and grapes. Last year at the age of 13, after much prayer, she was able to receive the Precious Blood.

I have not written to LEAVES before, though I read it and pray for all the intentions. Today, I felt inspired to write. Please pray for healing for my husband, our six children and me. We all have various needs. Some of us have a very limited ability to tolerate food, some have structural problems and others have various other immune, inflammatory and circulatory problems. We would also appreciate prayers that we know and do God will in our lives.

Thank you and God bless you abundantly – R.M.S.

Excerpted from Blessed Engelmar Testimonies:

A Life of
Blessed Engelmar

There is now available a booklet of the life of Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig, C.M.M. You may receive a free copy of it by sending a stamped (postage for one ounce), self-addressed envelope to us at: LEAVES, P.O. Box 87, Dearborn, MI 48121-0087.

My thanksgiving for many favors received through the intercession of Fr. Engelmar. Blessings – Pauline S.

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My donation is given in thanksgiving for prayers answered by the Holy Family, Ss. Joseph, Jude and many more saints, Bl. Engelmar, but most of all, by God the Father and His Son Jesus.

Our son and our daughter both lived out of town, and my husband and I have no other family in town. His health is not good and we are both in our 70s. Our son lived in Memphis and was about to move to St. Louis, having sold his house there.

I have been praying for quite a while for one of our children to live here (Louisville) to give us moral support, etc. At the very last minute our son decided to move here instead! He is now here in town. Praise be to God! I am a third generation LEAVES recipient and love your little magazine. Thank you so very much — M.A.

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I would like to thank St. Joseph the Worker, St. Jude and Bl. Engelmar for assisting my grandson to secure an HVAC apprenticeship with a good firm — R.G.R.

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Please use enclosed check to help defray the cost of LEAVES and in thanksgiving for special help from Bl. Engelmar — J.A.D.

Novena in Honor of
Abbot Francis Pfanner

Abbot Francis Pfanner founded Mariannhill Monastery, and 100 years ago its monks became the Congregation of Missionaries of Mariannhill. He was not only a great missionary, but also a holy man. The cause for his beatification has begun. We have available a novena in his honor and will send you a free copy of it when you send a stamped (postage for one ounce), self-addressed envelope to us at: LEAVES, P.O. Box 87, Dearborn, MI 48121-0087.

Thanksgiving Day
Table Blessing

Lord, we thank you
for the goodness of our people
and for the spirit of justice
that fills this nation.
We thank you for the beauty and fullness of the land
and the challenge of the cities.
We thank you for our work and our rest,
for one another, and for our homes.
We thank you, Lord:
[Offer individual
prayers of thanksgiving.]
For all that we have spoken
and for all that we keep in our hearts,
accept our thanksgiving on this day.

Keep us ever mindful of those who lack the necessities of life and make us generous in sharing all that we have.

We pray and give thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[All make the Sign of the Cross as the leader concludes:]

May God bless the food and friendship that we share, and fill our hearts with gratitude and generous love. Amen.
[Adapted from “Extended Thanksgiving Table Blessing” in Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers, © 2007, USCCB.]

By Liz Duplaga

Resting of the spirit,
Gentleness, time suspended,
Stillness of the heart,
Between heaven and earth.
His eyes are upon me;
Mercy, understanding,
Love unite us both.

By Sr. Marcella LaKoske, OP

The angels were still singing
while the Baby slept,
but the shepherds had long departed.
Joseph, concerned, had the floor well swept.

and Mary lovingly watched her Child.
She kissed each tiny finger
and pondered all that happened,
wondering how long they could linger.

in Bethlehem with insight so clear.
She knew God would reveal
the time and the place,
so she did not fear.

She pictured her Son
doing the will of the One
who held the universe in His hand.

Love had descended to help mankind,
and she knew there’d be work to do.
Those hands she had kissed would
     raise the dead,
     heal the sick,
     bless the children,
     embrace the world,
     rescue the apostles,
     forgive the sinners,
     comfort the lonely,
     feed the hungry,
     serve the disciples … and then?

She didn’t know that nails
would pierce those beautiful hands.
She held Him close and prayed,
“Thy will be done.” Amen.

The Coming of
The Wise Men

By Margaret Peterson

Though lying on a bed of hay,
His birth had been foretold.
The stars proclaimed it in the sky
In beauty manifold.

Wise men had been searching long
With love and diligence.
Now their search was over;
They arrived in elegance.

His parents saw a Baby,
But the wise men saw a King
Clad in softest swaddling clothes,
Yet Lord of everything.

We need no stately camel,
Only bended knee
To welcome Christ into our heart
To love Him endlessly.

Mary’s Child
© By Linda Frandsen

Blessed Mother, Mary most holy, when yes you did say
to the angel that day.
The spirit of God came upon you and you conceived
Brought forth a Son whom you joyfully received.

Jesus was to be His name, the greatest name
in all the earth.
Over the mountains, across the sea, throughout the land
the people proclaimed His holy birth.

Jesus grew and became a man, bringing His goodness and mercy
according to God’s plan.
Teaching and healing, traveling far and wide.
Miracles He performed with much feeling
His love would abide.

O sweet Mary, Virgin pure and fair
All the trials you had to bear
When your precious Son died upon the Cross
You endured with strength and courage your greatest loss.

Now in heaven above you reign
Free from sorrow and from pain
And just as it had first begun
You now are one with Christ thy Son.