Week 36 | On the Road to Emmaus w/ Bishop Boyea | Attend daily Mass and pray the prayer of St. Peter Canisius | February 18 to 24

Friday, February 16, 2024

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Peter Canisius became the first Dutchman to join the newly founded Society of Jesus in 1543. The Jesuits quickly found themselves on the frontline of the Church’s attempt to counter the Protestant Reformation which was still sweeping across much of Europe at the time. Despite being founded by a former soldier and organized along military lines, each Jesuit entered battle equipped only with divine truth and love. They hated heresy but loved heretics. Thus, while Canisius preached trenchantly against Calvinism, he rejected the idea of attacks upon its founder, John Calvin, observing: “With words like these, we don't cure patients, we make them incurable.” The American historian, Anne W. Carroll, says this of Peter Canisius:
“By his debates, his writing and his teachings, Peter showed that Catholicism was thoroughly rational, [and] that the Protestant arguments were not convincing. By his efforts, Peter won Bavaria (southern Germany) and the Rhineland (central Germany) back to the Catholic Church. He also won converts in Austria, Hungary, Bohemia and Poland. Poland had become largely Protestant, but thanks to the efforts of Peter and other Jesuits, it returned to the Church and is still Catholic today despite Communist persecution.” 
And what fueled Peter Canisius’ tireless efforts to win back Europe for the Church? It was, of course, his daily reception of the body and blood of Jesus Christ at Holy Mass. Hence, my challenge to you this week is to go to daily Mass throughout the week and pray the following prayer as composed by Peter Canisius. And if you can’t get to daily Mass, pray it wherever you are a spiritual communion. Let us pray: 
See, O merciful God,
what return
I, Your thankless servant,
have made for the innumerable favors
and the wonderful love
You have shown me!
What wrongs I have done,
what good left undone!
Wash away, I beg You,
these faults and stains
with Your precious blood,
most kind Redeemer,
and make up for my poverty
by applying Your merits.
Give me the protection I need,
to amend my life.
I give and surrender myself wholly to You,
and offer You all I possess,
with the prayer,
that You bestow Your grace on me,
so that I may be able to devote and employ
all the thinking power of my mind
and the strength of my body,
in Your holy service,
who are God blessed
forever and ever.

What difference will this prayer make to your life? Let’s find out from two of our fellow pilgrims On the Road to Emmaus. Click on the screen below to watch. Enjoy! 

+ Earl Boyea

Bishop of Lansing