Remembering what Memorial Day is all about

Today here in the United States of America, we commemorate Memorial Day – the day we remember all those who gave their lives defending our freedom while serving in our armed forces. In the FoxNews article, SEAL who shot bin Laden: Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day, the author says,

Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid. Memorial Day is a time to honor the lives of those who would rather die than take a knee when our national anthem is played. But they will fight and die for the rights of those who kneel.

For me, today is a little more real than in years past since I have gotten to know some real good men and women at my parish who have served in our military. I have also started to support a company, while drinking coffee, that was founded by a veteran and employs many veterans. This company is known as Black Rifle Coffee Company. If you drink coffee and want to support our veterans, I would encourage you to check out this growing company. The video below is produced by them, and titled – Never Forgotten.

Ever since writing an article back on this day in 2013, every time I see a military veteran (usually wearing a hat or shirt saying when or where they served) or a current active service member of any branch of the military, I go up to them, shake their hand, and say Thank you for serving our country. At first this was hard to do, but I once I did it a few times, it became easier. I think we all need to do this for those who have served or currently serve in the armed forces. We have the freedoms we do because brave men and women decided to put their lives on the line and defend this country. This day and everyday, let us pray for all of the military men and women who have died defending our country.

As we watch the military movies that are playing on television today, grilling burgers and dogs, drinking a beer, and enjoying this day off, just remember Why you have this day off and to offer up a prayer to those who have fallen and have died for us. Today is only possibly through the service and actions of our fellow citizens who have chosen to serve, fight, and defend our country.

If you are looking for specific military prayers, you will find them on this website. Ask for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joan of Arc, and St. George – the Patron Saints of Military Personnel.

And, make sure you watch this short video from Black Rifle Coffee Company

Giving Thanks to the Police Officers that Serve our Communities

With the events that we as a country are enduring today with the news coming out of Dallas, Texas with police officers being targeted by cowardly and evil individuals who sought to harm them, I personally want to thank the men and women of our local police departments who serve our communities.

I have three cousins that are Phoenix Police Officers and I know many police officers at my parish from the departments of Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, Pinal County, and other local municipals. We also have quite a few retired cops as well. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by where I don’t think about the safety of our officers, especially when I see horrific news such as what we are witnessing today.

Please pray for the safety of all police officers, the families of those in Dallas that lost a loved one, and pray that the racial divide that has been promoted by our current leaders will come to an end. If our leaders words were stronger than what they have been, I believe some of this violence would have been extinguished.

TX_-_Dallas_Police

How often do you say thank you to the men and women in uniform? 

We need to give thanks for the work these brave men and women do on our streets everyday. To assist you in your prayers, here are some prayers for police officers. The Patron Saint for police officers in general is St. Michael the Archangel and local/municipal police offers it is St. Sebastian.

Let us pray…

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we give you praise and thanksgiving for all the police officers in our communities and around the world who bravely serve to protect us from evil and harm. Be with them this day and protect them always as they continue their diligence on the streets. We ask Our Blessed Mother to always be their Mother ready to protect them. For those who have given their lives, we ask that their families are healed and protected from more harm. Amen.

St. Michael the Archangel…Pray for Us. 

St. Sebastian…Pray for Us. 

Giving Thanks and Praying on Memorial Day

When the thoughts of Memorial Day come to mind in recent years, it’s the clip from the great World War II film – Saving Private Ryan, that comes to mind for me. Even now, it gives me a heavy heart (see below). And although it’s just a film, it portrays a little bit of what our soldiers have endured for our country and our way of life.

Today and everyday from here on out, when you see a military veteran or a current active service member, go up to them, shake their hand, and say THANK YOU. They have put their lives on the front lines and continue to do so today, in order that we may live in freedom. Let us pray this day as well as for all of the military men and women who have died defending our country. We must always give thanks to our military men and women.

American-Flag

As you watch the military movies that are playing on television today, grilling burgers and dogs, drinking a beer, and enjoying this day off, just remember Why you have this day off and to offer up a prayer to those who have fallen and have died for us. Today is a good day, but it was only possibly through the service and actions of our fellow citizens who have chosen to serve and defend our country.

If you are looking for military prayers, you will find them on this website. Ask for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joan of Arc, and St. George – the Patron Saints of Military Personnel.

Make sure you watch this clip too!

Giving Thanks to the Police Officers that Serve our Communities

With the events that we as a country have endured in the past year with our police officers being targeted by morons, and now being asked to leave restaurants because they are carrying their service pistols, I personally want to thank the men and women who serve our communities and protect us from people intending to do harm. I have three cousins that are Phoenix Police Officers, one who is a retired police officer, and my parish serves countless police officers from Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and other local municipals. We also have quite a few retired cops as well. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by where I don’t think about the safety of our officers, especially when I see patrol cars.

Although this Tweet is a couple of years old, I still think it is fitting and should be followed – “Anywhere. And if anybody sees Police, EMT, or Fire personnel they better drink for free tonight.” When I am out at a restaurant, I will often go up to police officers and thank them for their service to the community. Recently, I did this very thing when I saw six Maricopa County Deputies having dinner together.

How often do you say thank you to the men and women in uniform? 

New_York_Police_Department-wiki

We need to give thanks for the work these brave men and women do on our streets everyday. We also need to pray for those individuals who have lost their lives in the line of duty and offer up prayers for their families as they grieve. To assist you in your prayers, here are some prayers for police officers. The Patron Saint for police officers in general is St. Michael the Archangel and local/municipal police offers it is St. Sebastian.

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we give you praise and thanksgiving for all the police officers in our communities and around the world who bravely serve to protect us from harm. Be with them tonight and protect them always as they continue their diligence on the streets. We ask Our Blessed Mother to always be their Mother ready to protect them. For those who have given their lives, we ask that their families are healed and protected from more harm. Amen.

Update: This blog post is now dedicated to my cousin, Ronald Warner, Sr., who died on Thursday, October 15, 2015 due to an unexpected heart attack. Please pray for the repose of his soul. Pray that his family and our extended family will have the grace and strength to endure these sufferings. 

Prayers to the Archangels – Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

Since today is the Feast of the Archangels – St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and the St. Raphael, I wanted to provide you with some prayers asking for their intercession. Although praying to all three is important, in our time and in all times of evil, we should invoke the powerful intercession of St. Michael. In my research for this blog post, I found numerous prayers, novenas, and Mass parts for each of the three archangels. Here is one prayer for each of them.

The Archangels

Want to know more about the Archangels? Check out my blog post “The Feast of the Archangels.”

Prayer to St. Michael to Protect the Church and her Members

O Glorious St. Michael, guardian and defender of the Church of Jesus Christ, come to the assistance of this Church, against which the powers of hell are unchained, guard with especial care her august head, and obtain that for him and for us the hour of triumph may speedily arrive. O glorious Archangel St. Michael, watch over us during life, defend us against the assaults of the demon, assist us especially at the hour of death; obtain for us a favorable judgment, and the happiness of beholding God face to face for endless ages. Amen.

Prayer to St. Gabriel the Archangel

O Blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, do thou intercede for us at the throne of divine Mercy in our present necessities, that as you did announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through your prayers and patronage in heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.

Prayer to St. Raphael the Archangel

O glorious Archangel, St. Raphael, great Prince of the heavenly court, illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace, guide of those who journey by land or sea, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners: I beg you to assist me in all my needs and in all the suffering of this life, as once you did help the young Tobias on his travels. And because you are the “Medicine of God,” I humbly pray to you to heal the many infirmities of my soul, and the ills which afflict my body, it if be for my greater good. I especially ask of you an angelic purity, which may fit me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Source:

St. Michael and the AngelsA Month with St. Michael and the Holy Angels. Compiled from Approved Sources. Tan Books and Publishing. 1983.

Giving Thanks and Praying on Memorial Day

When the thoughts of Memorial Day or Veteran’s day come to mind in recent years, it’s the clip from the great World War II film – Saving Private Ryan, that comes to mind. Even watching it now gives me a heavy heart (see below).

Today and everyday from here on out, when you see a military veteran or a current active service member, go up to them, shake their hand, and say THANK YOU. They have put their lives on the front lines and continue to do so today, in order that we may live in freedom.

We must always give thanks and pray for our military men and women. Military life is hard and can make a lasting impression on one’s mind. As you watch the military movies that are playing on television or attending a parade to honor our veterans today, offer up a prayer to those who are with us presently, but also offer up a prayer to those who have fallen and have died for us. For military prayers, see this website. Ask for the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joan of Arc, and St. George – the Patron Saints of Military Personnel.

Here are some friends of mine that are active military personnel – Mark Bristol, Greg Johnson, Ricky Schumann, John Yorio, and Michael Quigley – Thank You gentlemen for your service and duty to our country.

Marching Military Branches

Giving Thanks to Police Officers, Firefighters, and Military Personnel

With the recent events that we as a country have endured this week, both in Boston and in West, Texas, I think it’s only appropriate that we GIVE A BIG THANKS to the police officers, firefighters, and military personnel that assisted in these tragic events. In both cases, first responders lost their lives protecting these communities from further harm.

Even though I am in Phoenix, I give my heartfelt appreciation to those individuals who risked their lives on the front lines this week. You are signs of hope in times of despair. I know full well what is to have cops in the family since three of my cousins are Phoenix City Police Officers and another is a retired police officer. I also know quite a few firefighters and have friends and former students in the military/veterans.

I just saw a great Tweet from a new follower of mine on Twitter: “Anywhere. And if anybody sees Police, EMT, or Fire personnel they better drink for free tonight.” Seeing that tweet inspired me to respond with the following tweet and to write this blog post. “We thank the service men and women who serve our country when we see them. Starting thanking the cops too! #Thx4ProtectingAndServing”  – Thanks Michael Kieloch!

We need to give thanks for the work these brave men and women do on our streets everyday. We also need to pray for those individuals who were lost their lives this week and offer up prayers for their families as they grieve during this time. To assist you in your prayers, here are some prayers for police officers, firefighters, and military personnel.

police, fire, and military

As Catholics, we ask for the intercession of the saints to pray for us since they are in the Heavenly Kingdom before the throne of God. It’s not the saints that are doing the actual healing when first responders are in danger, but it’s God. All the saints do is pray, as we pray for each other here on Earth. The Patron Saint for police officers in general is St. Michael the Archangel, for local/municipal police offers it is St. Sebastian, for firefighters is St. Florian and St. John of God, and for military personnel it’s St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joan of Arc, and St. George.

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we give you praise and thanksgiving for all the first responders and military personnel in our communities around the world who bravely serve to protect us from harm. Be with them tonight and protect them always as they continue their diligence on the streets and battlefields. We ask Our Blessed Mother to always be their Mother ready to protect them. For those who have given their lives, we ask that their families are healed and protected from more harm. Amen.