Tag Archives: prayer

Join in the Power of Prayer with the World

Certain evil spirits can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.” ~ Mark 9:29

cid_C7BD3925-9C9E-448F-8003-827622B26FB2Tomorrow starts the 23rd International Week of Prayer and Fasting, October 16 to October 24th. In this time of global crisis, it is more important than ever to take our stand as Catholics to fight against the power of Satan in the world.

He does not just float around in our environment waiting to cause turmoil.

He gains success by entering our consciousness when we make even the slightest turn away from God. He is cunning, making us believe that his ideas are our ideas and that they are the correct way to proceed with whatever we are considering. His most powerful weapon is knocking us off track in small ways that we perceive to be “okay”.

Such “okay” decisions as gossiping, little white lies to insure our looking good, ignoring tasks that need our responsible hand, judging others unfairly, improper handling of our finances that ignore the needs of the future and of the needy…this list is endless. You know best your own weak spots.

The way to fend off this insidious power of Satan? As the verse from Mark states, prayer and fasting. And in our Catholic faith we have another weapon. Frequent reception of the  sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist at Mass.

Fasting puts us in a state of grace by its use of our hunger to remind us to turn to God. It is our-lady-of-all-nationsa way of redemptive suffering for our soul and the souls of the world. Imagine joining with thousands of others in the next week in fasting and prayer. Especially the prayer of the Rosary. Our Lady has told us many times that she will honor this special prayer by bringing peace to our world.

Consider what you can do this week to join a real Army for peace. Daily Mass? The Rosary? Fasting from one meal a day? A show of mercy and kindness each day? An act of reconciliation with a loved one?…Ask our Lord in prayer and then, listen. He will show you the way you can be most powerful.

May our Lord and his Blessed Mother be with you. Amen.

 

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

Be still and know I am God

Today is day three of a vacation with my husband, Gary, in the Poconos. There is snow on the ground, the air is crisp, and there is a natural stillness and quiet brought by the blanket that has been spread over the hills.

We are happy here at the Crescent Lodge and Country Inn. Right now we are sitting in the dining room with an incredible view and a yummy breakfast prepared by Harry who has worked here for 26 years. On our first night, Jill, got us settled into Devonshire, our own private little getaway with a fireplace, jacuzzi, and a canopy bed…a little piece of heaven and peacefulness…

snowflakeSo, why is it a constant effort to turn off the chatter in my brain? I have looked at every Poconos brochure in the lobby, researching what to do, where to eat, how to have fun. All the while, craving the peace and quiet to do just what I want…to settle in by that fire and read my book for as long as I want. Yesterday God intervened as the Northeaster approached and we had snow all day. I thought to myself, yes, if I could design my own Heaven, this would be it, a book, a cup of tea, a fire, snow blowing outside and my husband to cuddle up with.

BUT, today the weather is clear and the mind chatter is back…so my vacation goal is to learn to live with the chatter as a part of my natural drive and creativity and how to tame it when it is time for relaxation. I am accepting my humanness and examining the good in it, while loving the fact that I can relax with morning and evening prayer, do a little journalling, read some Scripture and spiritual reading and gaze at the gift of my husband for 7 days before reentering the world…hopefully, recharged to serve Him more energetically and creatively. (Oh, yes, I must admit I am going to catch up on Season 4 of Downton Abbey !!)

As for worries about distraction and brain chatter, here is a snippet of the December 10, 2014, post from Word on Fire  ‘St. Thomas explains that our merit rests primarily on our original intention in praying. It isn’t broken by accidental distraction, which no human being can avoid, but only by intentional and willing distraction. This also should give us some relief. We need not worry too much about distractions, as long as we don’t encourage them. We realize something of what the Psalmist says, namely, that God “pours gifts on His beloved while they slumber” (Ps 127:2)’

Thank you St. Thomas Aquinas! Now back to my vacation…may you all be blessed today!

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

Sharing About…when prayer is hard

image016Some of you may know my husband Gary, a deacon at our parish, also has a blog. When I saw it this morning my first thought was, “Hey that was going to by my topic!”…After reading it and seeing his choice of accompanying picture I knew he was sensing my own recent difficulties…I couldn’t have said it better, so here is the link!  Enjoy your day. And know that even  when prayer is hard for us, God is still there in the very same loving and compassionate way as when prayer seems easier!

http://deacongarydumer.com/2014/02/03/how-do-we-pray/

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

A Soul Swept Clean and Protected

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone,
it roams through arid regions searching for rest
but, finding none, it says,
‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’
But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.
Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits
more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,
and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”
Luke 11:15-26

swept-clean

Many people, myself included, find that on the spiritual journey, as they move closer to God, more issues, events, and people seem to arrive to pull them away.
I think what really happens is that we are looking through a clearer window when we are at this point in our journey.

We become almost excruciatingly aware of all of the temptations and distractions that were there before our hearts were so enraptured with God and so, need even heavier armor to fight the evil spirit and his seven warriors away. The armor of “unceasing prayer and praise” for all that is in our life. Only with this protection and clinging to the loving relationship God has for us can we fight off the relentless return of our addictive human nature.

Be aware and may God be with you closely as you call out in praise in each moment of your day.

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!