So, let me start with music. Music is always good, especially for the soul. I heard this song the other day, and felt it the perfect lenten anthem. When you click on the link, you will have to click on the player to hear the song. If you look below that, the lyrics will be there, so read along. I LOVE Jesse Manibusan (have had the great pleasure of meeting him a couple of times) and although Sarah Hart is new to me, she isn't new to the music scene. I suspect we will be hearing lots more from her. Love this song!
"More Beautiful" by Sarah Hart & Jesse Manibusan
I'm still glued to the news and learning more every day for the people of Japan. Hopefully you've seen by now the many options to donate money to help them out. It just seems as if we are so far away......and it's hard to think that we can help in any way. But we can! I found this litany to pray, to help the people of Japan.
Litany for Japan: http://catholiclane.com/litany-for-japan/
Are you curious about what a litany is? I tried to describe them, but found this, and think it describes it much better, so here goes:
What are Litanies?If you have ever talked about someone you really look up to, and you listed all their good qualities, you have experienced the basic idea behind litanies. When you're describing someone you love and admire, you want to say all the wonderful things you can think of about that person.
When you pray a Catholic litany, you're telling God, or Mary, or the saints (depending on whom the litany is addressed to), "You're so wonderful! You're so holy! You did so many great things, and I want to be like you. Help me to get to heaven."
How is a litany constructed?"The word ‘litany’ comes from the Latin ‘litania’, ‘letania.’ It stood for a form of responsory prayer which involved a number of invocations or petitions grouped around one main subject or sacred theme." (A Prayerbook of Favorite Litanies by Fr. Albert J. Hebert, S.J., published by TAN Books. Used with permission.)
The Beginning: Litanies usually follow the same pattern. They start with the "Kyrie eleison," whether in Latin or English, ("Lord have mercy on us"), which we say at every Mass. Then we ask each Person of the Blessed Trinity for mercy. ("God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us, etc.)
The Invocations: Next comes the main body of the litany: the invocations. Each invocation praises the one to whom the litany is addressed by describing a different way that makes the person admirable. As an example, if you were writing a litany of a famous sports hero, you could include things like, "Honor of the team," "Joy of the coach," "Perfect goalie," "Scorer of victories," etc.
The Response: Each invocation is answered with a response, such as "pray for us." The response remains the same for most or all of the litany. This is what makes the litany a "responsory prayer," in the same class as the "Prayers of the Faithful" and the Psalm at Holy Mass.
As you read through various litanies, notice the difference in the responses, depending on whom the litany is said to. The response for litanies to God is usually, "Have mercy on us," while litanies to the saints or to Our Lady have "pray for us" as the response.
The Petitions: Often, in a more solemn litany, or in litanies to God, there are a set of petitions after the regular invocations. Sometimes these petitions ask for various graces, and are answered with a response "We beseech Thee, hear us;" other times, they ask God to protect us from various spiritual and physical evils (sin, war, etc.). (see the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus or the Litany of the Saints as examples of petitions used in a litany.)
The Closing: After the invocations (and petitions), is a set of three invocations to the Lamb of God. Usually this is followed by a versicle (marked "V."), said by the leader, and a response (marked "R."), said by the people. (The versicle-and-response can also be found in different sections of longer litanies, such as the Litany of the Saints.) The last item is always a short prayer.
In fact, you can listen to the song while praying the litany :)
I hope your lent is going well. If you find yourself slipping on your lenten promises, just remind yourself that it wasn't always easy for Jesus, either. And we are no better than Him! Get back on and continue the ride -- bumpy though it may be!
Have a great day! :)