Monday, October 15, 2012

Set Us Free

Set Us Free

October 15, 2012
Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1

"This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.  Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation."  Luke 11:29b-30


Lord, you know better than I myself that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.  Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.  Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all; but Thou knowest, Lord, that I  want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;
give me wings to get to the point.  Seal my lips on my aches and pains; they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is  becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.  Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.  Give  me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people; and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.
- – - prayer by St. Teresa of Avila


To what are you enslaved?  Although we are past the day when people were enslaved to other people,  external forces can still exert control over your life.
Sometimes we can be slaves to money and material possessions.  Some people have been imprisoned by society. Some are victims of the grip that alcohol, drugs and other substances have on their physical bodies and relationships.  Others are trapped in personal situations in which another dominates their emotional life.
Are you able to see the signs of your addiction?  How can you break free?


Some people are physically imprison, incarcerated like St. Paul was held in chains by the Romans.  They may be there based upon their own deeds or misdeeds until society judges that they can return to freedom.
The corporal works of mercy ask us to visit the imprisoned and there is a ministry called Kairos.  It is modeled after Cursillo and brings the Good News into prisons in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The mission of the Kairos Prison Ministry is to bring Christ's love and forgiveness to all incarcerated individuals, their families and those who work with them, and to assist in the transition of becoming a productive citizen. To learn more at or
There are many ways to help.  One unique aspect of Kairos is that when there is a weekend program, the team brings a bag of cookies for every prisoner in the facility (not just those attending the weekend program). 
The next four-day weekend retreat is scheduled for the 7 - 11 November 2012.  How can YOU help? Bake cookies! Cookies baked with prayer, are a significant tool used during a Kairos Weekend.  They are used to soften hardened and callused hearts to allow Jesus to come in through the power of the Holy Spirit.  They are a highlight on the retreat where men are introduced to the Lord -- many times for the first time in their life. They are an inducement for the prisoners to come to the retreat and it works.  But we need a whole lot of cookies: each team member has been asked to bring 100 dozen to meet the needs of the weekend needs. 
Consider what imprisons you.  Pray for your freedom as you bake a few dozen cookies for an upcoming Kairos weekend. 
Please bring homemade cookies on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, November 3 & 4 to St. Mary of Sorrows in Fairfax and place them in the marked box in the foyer of the Parish Center. 
Directions on what cookies are allowed and how to package them are here: COOKIE RECEIPE/INSTRUCTIONS. Those of you with kids and grand kids in either Confirmation or high school Civics, this is a easy way for them to get those needed service hours--a win-win!
The second and most important way YOU can help is prayer.  We strive to have people on the outside praying continuously for us during the 4 days we are in the prison. To ensure that happens, we ask that people sign up for 1/2 hour sessions on the the Knights of Columbus St Mary of Sorrows Council 8600 website ( by October 20th.

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