Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Holy Sonnet



The following is a beautiful poem written the man pictured above, John Donne. He lived in England from 1572 – 1631. He was a poet in the Jacobean style. I am a poor alto among other much better altos in my church choir. Tonight I returned from practice where we sang a beautiful and powerful song setting this sonnet to music:


At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow

Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise

From death, you numberless infinities

Of souls, and to your scatter'd bodies go;

All whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow,

All whom war, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,

Despair, law, chance hath slain, and you whose eyes

Shall behold God and never taste death's woe.

But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space,

For if above all these my sins abound,

'Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace

When we are there; here on this lowly ground

Teach me how to repent; for that's as good

As if thou'hadst seal'd my pardon with thy blood.

~Holy Sonnet VII


One can picture the general resurrection in this verse - O what a day that will be!


Going out of town


I will be leaving for a 10 day out of town business trip tomorrow. This business trip will take me to Nashville. I've been there once before years ago and its an interesting city! Won't see much of the sights, but will be in classes most every day. I do hope to get in a little night life in the evenings! Pray I return safely and may Mary keep you always in her prayers!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Would like your input...


I know this blog is not about politics, it is rather about Catholicism and more specifically Catholic devotion, but....

As an ardent Catholic, I vote based on the candidate's voting record/views on the sanctity of life - the human right that all others are subject to. I have therefore voted overwhelmingly for Republican candidates for this very reason. I have been very disappointed with the "all talk and no do" of the Republicans, also they seem to have embraced neo-conservatism and have abandonned the people on many of the traditional social conservative issues.

I recently heard the Constitution party candidate for President speak on NPR and I was very impressed. I am seriously thinking of voting for this party but do not want to actly rashly. Does anyone know anything about this party? Any members out there who read my humble blog? Please give me some advice!

Go here to read more about the Constitution Party.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Challenge for the World


Do you think there are ANY circumstances in which abortion is acceptable?? If you answer yes to this question - go HERE, watch the video and then tell me you still think this way.

The world will not reject abortion until the world SEES abortion.

This video can be viewed in either english or spanish.

Our Lady of Fatima, please pray for those considering
abortion and turns their hearts toward mercy!
Amen!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

St. Agnes of Rome ~ My Daughter's Paton Saint


My 17 year old daughter was confirmed the day before yesterday and she chose St. Agnes as her patron saint. Her father and I are very pleased with this choice. When she was about 9 years old, I used to read the children each night after bedtime prayers and story from a children's book of saints. I hope I never forget the way her face lit up when I read the story of St. Agnes. "Mommy, can she be MY patron saint?" She has had a devotion to her ever since, along with Sts. Michael, Sebastian and Lucy. The bishop asked her how she plans to emulate the virtues of St. Agnes and she replied "I will remain pure and chaste like her." Isn't that beautiful!? May the Lord be praised! Here are some more beautiful images of this powerful saint and her brief life story...



St Agnes Virgin Martyr

Holy Agnes was martyred on 21st January c305 AD in the Piazza Navona in Rome, at the tender age of twelve or thirteen. The son of the Governor of Rome proposed marriage, but Agnes preferred virginity. Her refusal to accept his hand, sent the Governor into a rage, and he threatened to expose Agnes’s parents as Christians, and so face certain death. He tried to persuade Agnes to change her mind by making her walk naked through the city, but her hair miraculously grew to cover her body and save her nakedness. This could not change her mind, so Agnes was burned at the stake, but the flames refused to touch her. She was sent to the lions, who made no attack on her. The son of the Governor goaded the lions who then attacked and killed him. The Father, distraught at his son’s death, pleaded with Agnes to pray for him, and at her intercession he was restored to health. Undeterred, the Governor had Agnes beheaded. Her body was buried in the Catacombs outside the city. On the octave day, she appeared in a vision, full of assurance of her well-being.

Her preference of death, rather than any violation to her young sacred body won her much renown in the early Church, most especially in Europe.

Her severed head is in the Church of Sant’ Agnese in Agone in the Piazza Navona. Her body is in the Basilica of Sant’ Agnese fuori le Mura (St Agnes outside the Walls) on the Via Nomentana.

Because of the resemblance of her name, Agnes to agnus (latin for lamb) she is often represented in Art carrying a lamb. And, on her feast day in the Basilica of St Agnes the Holy Father blesses lambs, from which the sisters of St Agnes’ convent make the Sacred Pallia, worn by Archbishops. Once the Pallia are made, they rest above the tomb of St Peter in the Vatican, from where new Archbishops receive them from the Holy Father.

We celebrate with her and all the saints, their victory over death and suffering through Jesus. We also pray and hope that we will be amongst their number and remain loyal to the faith which she professed, live and died by.

Holy Agnes, pray for us and for my daughter until she stand beside you in heaven!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stay Awake!

Robert Sargent Austin (1895 - 1973)
"Woman Praying" 1927-1928
"My son, when you come to serve the LORD, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity. Cling to him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great. Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient; For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation. Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him." Sirach 2:2-6
In these difficult and frightening times, we must keep our eyes always on the Lord and frequently lift our eyes to our Blessed Mother for help. Pray, offer sacrifices no matter how small....watch, pray and stay awake! Do not fall into asleep in the spirit (in other words, stay in a state of grace!) Go often to confession, communion and pray as much as you can. All will be well!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Catholic England V - St. Edmund, Martyr


Martyrdom of St. Edmund, Pickering, N.Yorkshire
"This very fine (and, like all those at Pickering, very large) painting was made, like all those in the church, sometime between 1461 and 1483, and in its less exalted way it is, I think, as much on the cusp between ‘Medieval’ and ‘Renaissance’ as, say, Gentile da Fabriano’s Adoration of the Magi altarpiece of 1423. Edmund, crowned and already with a halo, is bound to a tree with a bubble-like cloud of flourishing leaves showing above his head. He is pierced with many murderous-looking arrows fired by the four archers who surround him. Their garments, including the deeply fashionable very short tunic, are more appropriate for swaggering young men of the town than military archers, whether English, Danish or for that matter Roman, since the influence here from paintings of the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian is surely undeniable. The two archers in the foreground in particular look thoroughly Italianate in their elegantly articulated and posed bodies - the one on the left apparently restringing his bow, the one on the right looking thoughtfully at Edmund."

"Entirely medieval in spirit though are the inscriptions at the top of the scene. Around Edmund’s head, angelic hands (the one at the left clearer) hold a continuous scroll. Only the word ‘Edmund’ to the left of the tree’s foliage is readable, but the rest of the sentence probably identified him fully as martyred King of the East Angles. The second scroll on the right, curving around the head, shoulders and elbow of the upper right-hand archer, reads ‘Heven bly├č to his mede, hym s[h]all have for hys gud de[de]...’. "

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Catholic England IV - St. Edmund, Martyr


Now this portion of the life of St. Edmund is considered a legend and is in fact not even mentioned in the Catholic Encyclopedia. This is a nice story, which may or may not be true. All things are possible for the Lord who commands everything in His creation! These are the things among which will not be revealed until the end of times when all things will be made known. It is a nice story and I can imagine in medieval times it being elaborated upon with each generation's telling, but how many were indeed edified by it?

Abbo of Fleury's life of St. Edmund continues the narration of Edmund's martyrdom by decapitation as follows:

"His severed head was thrown into the wood. Day and night as Edmund's followers went seeking, calling out "Where are you, friend?" the head would answer, "Here, here, here," until at last, "a great wonder", they found Edmund's head in the possession of a grey wolf, clasped between its paws. "They were astonished at the wolf's guardianship". The wolf, sent by God to protect the head from the animals of the forest, was starving but did not eat the head for all the days it was lost. After recovering the head the villagers marched back to the kingdom, praising God and the wolf that served him. The wolf walked beside them as if tame all the way to the town, after which it turned around and vanished into the forest."



After giving the head and body a speedy burial, the kingdom rebuilt itself for several years before finally erecting a church worthy of Edmund's burial. Legend told that upon exhumation of the body, a miracle was discovered. All the arrow wounds upon Edmund's corpse were healed and his head reattached to his body. The only evidence of his previous decapitation was a thin, red line around his neck. Despite being buried for many years in a flimsy coffin, his skin was soft and fresh as if he were merely sleeping the entire time.

In Percy Dearmer's The Little Lives of the Saints, we are told of Edmund's posthumous revenge on the Danes:

“...the last heathen Danish king, Sweyen (the father of Canute), tried to destroy (Bury St Edmunds). He laid siege to it, and demanded all the treasure of the church, else he threatened to destroy the church and kill all the clergy; and this he said with many taunting words about the saint who lay buried there. But as he was sitting on his war–horse, waiting to attack the town, he saw in the sky St Edmund coming towards him, a crown on his head and a long bright lance in his hand. 'Help, friends!' he cried. 'Edmund is coming to kill me!' Then he fell down, and died in convulsions.


Sweyn's son, King Canute, converted to Christianity and rebuilt the abbey at Bury St Edmunds. In 1020, he made a pilgrimage there and offered his own crown upon the shrine as atonement for the sins of his forefathers.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Catholic England III - St. Edmund, Martyr


This is by far my favorite image of St. Edmund martyr from the famous "Wilton Diptych" This post will focus on this beautiful and moving piece of art. If you are a total nerd like me who loves the Catholic church and her saints, medieval English history and art - this post is for you! :)

From Wikipedia: "The Wilton Diptych (c.1395-1399) is a small portable altarpiece of two panels. It is an extremely rare survival within England of late Medieval religious painting.
The diptych was painted for King
Richard II of England who is depicted kneeling before the Virgin and Child in what is known as a "votive portrait".
The painting is considered an outstanding example of the
International Gothic style and possibly of English art. It belongs to the National Collection and is currently housed in the National Gallery, London."


Here is entire left side of the diptych:

"... the kneeling King Richard II is presented by the Saints John the Baptist, Edward the Confessor and Edmund the Martyr. In the right hand panel the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child in her arms is surrounded by eleven angels, against a golden background and field of delicately coloured flowers."


Interpretation: The identity of the kneeling king is known because the angels surrounding the Virgin are wearing the livery of Richard II, the White Hart, which also appears in the brocade of the left panel and the outside of the diptych. As Richard kneels, the Christ Child reaches towards him in benediction and also reaches towards the pennant held by an angel, and significantly placed between them. This pennant is the symbol of Richard's kingship and of the Kingdom of England as a whole, It bears the Cross of St. George, the symbol of England and furthermore surmounting the staff is an orb on which is tiny map of England.

All three saints who present the kneeling Richard to the Virgin and Child are believed to have been venerated by the king, as each has his own chapel in Westminster Abbey. Each saint holds the symbollic attribute by which they are recognised in art. Edmund the Martyr, who stands to the left, holds the arrow which killed him in 869, while Edward the Confessor, at the centre, holds the ring he gave to a pilgrim who transpired to be the disguised John the Evangelist. John the Baptist (right) holds his symbol, the Lamb of God.


The image on the left makes reference to King Richard's birth on 6th January. This is the feast day that Christians celebrate Epiphany, when Christ was adored by three kings and also the baptism of the adult Christ with John the Baptist shown touching Richard's shoulder.
John the Baptist was Richard's Patron Saint, and Saint Edward and Saint Edmund had both been English kings. Richard had a special devotion to Edmund, who with St. George is one of the patron saints of England.
The painting is indicative of both Richard's belief in his divine right to rule and his genuine Christian devotion. It also importantly symbolises (in the form of the Pennant), Richard II giving his kingdom into the hands of the Holy Virgin, thereby continuing a long tradition by which England was known as "Our Lady's Dowry" and was thought to be specially under her protection
(source)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Catholic England II - St. Edmund, Martyr



The Story of the martyrdom of King. St. Edmund:

In the year 869, the Danes who had wintered at York, marched through Mercia into East Anglia and took up their quarters at Thetford. Edmund engaged them fiercely in battle, but the Danes under their leaders Ubbe Ragnarsson and Ivar the Boneless had the victory.

According to Abbo of Fleury, Edmund's earliest biographer, the story came to Abbo by way of St Dunstan, who heard it from the lips of Edmund's own sword-bearer. In Abbo of Fleury's version of events Edmund refused to meet the Danes in battle himself, preferring to die a martyr's death, with conscious parallels to the Passion of Christ:

"King Edmund stood within his hall of the mindful Healer with Hinguar (Ivar), who then came, and discarded his weapons. He willed to imitate Christ's example, which forbade Peter to fight against the fierce Jews with weapons. Lo! to the dishonorable man Edmund then submitted and was scoffed at and beaten by cudgels. Thus the heathens led the faithful king to a tree firmly rooted in Earth, tightened him thereto with sturdy bonds, and again scourged him for a long time with straps. He always called between the blows with belief in truth to Christ the Saviour."

"The heathens then became brutally angry because of his beliefs, because he called Christ to himself to help. They shot then with missiles, as if to amuse themselves, until he was all covered with their missiles as with bristles of a hedgehog, just as Sebastian was. Then Hinguar, the dishonorable viking, saw that the noble king did not desire to renounce Christ, and with resolute faith always called to him; Hinguar then commanded to behead the king and the heathens thus did. While this was happening, Edmund called to Christ still. Then the heathens dragged the holy man to slaughter, and with a stroke struck the head from him. His soul set forth, blessed, to Christ."

The king's body was ultimately interred at Beadoriceworth, the modern Bury St Edmunds. The shrine of Edmund soon became one of the most famous and wealthy pilgrimage locations in England and the reputation of the saint became universal.

(photo credit)

Shrine of St. Edmund prior to its desecration and destruction during the wicked and misguided Catholic persecution of Henry VIII in the 1500's.

The date of Edmund's canonization is unknown, although Hermann's Life of Edmund, written in the late eleventh century, states that it happened in the reign of Athelstan (924–939). Edmund's popularity among the English nobility was lasting. It is known that his banner was borne in the Irish expedition of the Anglo-Normans and also when Caerlaverock Castle was taken in 1300. A banner with Edmund's crest was also carried at the battle of Agincourt. Churches dedicated to his memory are found all over England, including St Edmund the King and Martyr in London. There are a number of colleges named after St Edmund. His shrine at Bury St Edmunds was destroyed in 1539, during the English Reformation. His feast day is 20 November.



This is an image of what remains today of the Shrine of St. Edmund. Here is the caption to this photo (photo credit):
The Abbey of St Edmund at Bury
"The remains of the once great Abbey of St Edmund at Bury, ruined following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, provide a striking contrast to the glories of Ely, which escaped destruction because it had become an episcopal cathedral in 1109. Today at Bury, bare, partly built-over ruins - mostly rubble cores from once great walls and supporting pillars - are all that is left of what was one of the richest Abbeys in England. Originally founded circa 633 by the first East Anglian martyr-king, Sigeberht (Liber Eliensis, I, 1), it later became the burial-place and shrine of the last East Anglian martyr-king, Edmund, one of the patron saints of England."

Next posts will be about the famous Wilton image and the fascinating "Legend of St. Edmund"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Catholic England I - St. Edmund, Martyr

Here is a medieval drawing of St. Edmund. Edmund was king of East Anglia before England was united as one sovereign country. At the time, the British isle was subject to frequent and devastating raids by Vikings from Scandinavia. Usually the British people would pay tribute, or rather simply pay the Vikings off to avoid being pillaged. Edmund died a martyr. Imagine, a King of England dying for his Catholic faith.


St. Edmund, Martyr ~ Icon. You can see here the instruments of his martyrdom, the arrows. Also you see a wolf cradling a severed head. See next post for this story.
King of East Anglia, born about 840; died at Hoxne, Suffolk, 20 November, 870. The earliest and most reliable accounts represent St. Edmund as descended from the Wuffling line of preceding kings of East Anglia. Though only about fifteen years old when crowned on Christmas Day 855 by Bishop Humbert of Elmham. Edmund showed himself a model ruler from the first, anxious to treat all with equal justice, and closing his ears to flatterers and untrustworthy informers. In his eagerness for prayer he retired for a year to his royal tower at Hunstanton and learned the whole Psalter by heart, in order that he might afterwards recite it regularly. In 870 he bravely repulsed the two Danish chiefs Hinguar and Hubba who had invaded his dominions. They soon returned with overwhelming numbers, and pressed terms upon him which as a Christian he felt bound to refuse. In his desire to avert a fruitless massacre, he disbanded his troops and himself retired towards Framlingham; on the way he fell into the hands of the invaders. Having loaded him with chains, his captors conducted him to Hinguar, whose impious demands he again regjected, declaring his religion dearer to him than his life. His martyrdom took place in 870 at Hoxne in Suffolk.
After beating him with cudgels, the Danes tied him to a tree, and cruelly tore his flesh with whips. Throughout these tortures Edmund continued to call upon the name of Jesus, until at last, exasperated by his constancy, his enemies began to discharge arrows at him. This cruel sport was continued until his body had the appearance of a porcupine, when Hinguar commanded his head to be struck off. From his first burial-place at Hoxne his relics were removed in the tenth century to Beodricsworth, since called St. Edmundsbury, where arose the famous abbey of that name. His feast is observed 20 November, and he is represented in Christian art with sword and arrow, the instruments of his torture.

St. Edmund's ~ Coat of Arms

St. Edmund -Ora Pro Nobis!

(Source)

Save Us From the Fires of Hell VIII

I originally posted this last year, I am very reluctant to write about myself, but in reading this again, I pray you may find this helpful. May Mary's prayers go with you always.
Fear of Hell is a Good Thing
Today it is common to hear messages assuaging our consciences. We often hear words such as these spoken: "God is love, He loves us as we are, what is there to fear?" Or "God loves me unconditionally, I'm certain He'll understand, He would never throw me/us/etc. into hell. Besides, is there really such a place?" Well, certainly you've heard similar things. I myself used to believe such nonsense. Years ago during my conversion, through the intercession of the Blessed Mother I came to know something of the nature of my soul and that I was most certainly on the path of perdition. Words cannot describe the dread and certainty of my own damnation, this drove me into the confessional. At that very confession, the priest told me the Mother of God had obtained this grace for me. I am quite sure Jesus was speaking to me through this holy priest - who became the physician of my soul for years. I was shocked to read some time later in the Diary of St. Faustina of Divine Mercy fame, Jesus tell her He is the one who hears the confession, it is He who speaks through the priest "The lips are his but the words are Mine." I have experienced this sort of phenomena several times since that day. I strive to the best of my wretched ability to confess my sins as to the Lord Himself. It is He who sits behind the screen, it is He who pronounces the words of absolution, it is He who imparts the blessing.
I normally do not speak of myself, but rather have chosen to stay in this blog's background and let the postings speak. I do not wish to showcase myself, but hope to showcase devotion to our Lady of Sorrows. For some reason I felt powerfully moved to write some about my own experiences today. I have been posting about hell the last several days because the reality of hell was the major factor in my turning to God. My conversion, like many others I've read about, started with a fear of hell. This fear led me to confess my sins with tears and sorrow. This imperfect contrition was enough for the Lord to move in with His merciful grace, which He poured into my wicked soul. He took my weak and shakey hand in His and led me into the amendment of my life. After He planted in my soul certain knowledge, faith and a great love for His mother, He placed me in a crucible of suffering which purged most of the unnecessary things from my life. This suffering was one of the greatest gifts the God of Creation bestowed upon me. I was plunged into isolation, poverty, overworked and overwhelmed with small children and full time school...all but one of my friends abandonned me. I walked around every day for months, as I recall, feeling as if I was on fire. The spiritual suffering was so great it seemed like my poor soul would break. To this day I can name no "cause" for this suffering, I only know it was there. I believe God was allowing me some form of spiritual or moral suffering because my wicked soul needed it. The only time I had some relief was in praying the rosary, which I would do several times a day. At one point, I would every afternoon sit at my table, make rosaries while praying the rosary, while watching the rosary on EWTN - like some kind of Catholic Trifecta. Had anyone known what I was doing they'd think I was losing my mind, and I guess I was.
One of the fruits of this agony was my senses were turned off to the world in all except that which was absolutely necessary - turning my soul wholly and completely to God. I was glad when friends stopped calling, I could pray more - so totally unlike me. I fasted for weeks on end, far too much it turns out but it seemed the only way to "combat" this suffering.
Oddly enough, dwelling in my soul right beside this horrific suffering was a joy and a peace that cannot be described. The one did not diminish the other at all, but this co-habitation allowed me to live and function. I remember one day at work, I had a moment alone in the operating room (working at the time as an OR nurse) where I was seized by a spiritual pain so acute I was nearly doubled over. I was dressed in sterile garb, what we called "scrubbed in", I could barely move without contaminating so I grasped my hands to my chest, bent my head and spiritually embraced the pain overtaking me. With my whole soul I raised myself to God, clasping the cross as if my very existence depended upon it, offering myself to He Who Is without holding a thing back. As the pain surged and threatened to desolate me, the joy also surged. How odd that such exquisite suffering can coincide with such exquisite joy and peace in one soul - at the same time. I marvel at it now as I write it down for the first time.
Ok, so why talk about all this? As I stated earlier - this life saving conversion was initiated by the fear of hell. Twas not the love of God, nor was it spontaneous love of neighbor, love of virtue, nor disgust with myself. No! I loved my sins! I had effectively murdered my conscience with sin and felt only a mild, transient jab of guilt on very rare occasions - easily dismissed. It was suffering that caused me to turn to the rosary, it was Mary's response - her obtaining for me the certainty of my own damnation that turned me to the sacraments of the church - which healed me. We ought to fear hell and think often of its pains. If we do not fear hell, then surely we are in mortal danger. The only true tragedy which exists in all of God's creation is the loss of a soul as it plunges headlong into hell.
Quote
"Jesus permits the spiritual combat as a purification, not as a punishment. The trial is not unto death but unto salvation. The Mother of Sorrows is my confidante, my teacher, my counselor, and my powerful advocate." ~St. Padre Pio Amen+

Save Us From the Fires of Hell VII



On the Company of Hell
(Source: The Last Four Things by Fr. Martin von Cochem. TAN Books)

We know the fate of those who are unfortunate enough to die in a state of mortal sin is hellfire. What of the torments that accompany the fire? The saints can tell us much of the plethora of sufferings that await the damned.

St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that the sins of each one will be fully known to all other inhabitants of hell. Our sins will be fully visible in our bodies - we can imagine how horrible this would be. Can you think of what things would be more painful in this life than to live in open shame? That all around you, everyone knew of all your "hidden" sins and shameful acts?

The evil one will brand each reprobate with a mark of shame on each portion of thier body with which they sinned. This is in order that all shameful deeds may be known to all. This is the everlasting disgrace which God foretells of through His prophet: "I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame which shall never be forgotten." (Jer. xxiii 40) No effort will erase the mark, nothing may be used with which to cover it. According to St. Ephrem: "This shame and infamy will be more insupportable than the hell-fire itself, because it will keep constantly before thier remembrance the sins whereby they defiled themselves on earth."

Dionysius the Carthusian writes about a mystical transportation which occured to his fellow religious. The monks pressed thier fellow for a detailed account of what he'd seen. This was dutifully recorded and ought to serve us well as a reminder of our need to avoid mortal sin: "I was conducted by my guide a long way until we came to a region of gloom and horror, where were a countless multitude of men and women, all suffering terrible torments. These were the persons who had sinned with thier bodies; they were plagued by huge fiery monsters, who sprang upon them, and, despite thier resistance, clasped them and hugged them with thier paws until they shrieked with pain. Amongst those who were tormented in this manner I saw a man whom I knew very well, and who had been much esteemed and respected in the world. Seeing me he cried aloud in piteous tones "Alas, alas! Woe is me that I sinned as I did in my lifetime, for now the pain I endure grows greater every day! But the worse of all , what I feel most acutely, is the shame and disgrace to which my sins expose me, for all know them, and all despise me and mock me on account of them."

Think a moment, would you rather not become ill with a terrible illness than become the object of public scorn, shame and ridicule? Would you rather not carry in your body a terrible suffering than be openly mocked and treated with derision on account of your sins?

Just as hell is only one mortal sin away, so is grace only one confession away. Do not delay one more day. If you are embarassed to confess some secret sin - confess it anyway! Do it and be healed by Jesus - ask for the grace and strength to not commit it again. Any brief moment of embarassment in confessing such a thing behind a screen is nothing compared with multitudes knowing every shame you've committed and mocking you for all eternity without respite! Go to a priest and be healed and delivered from such a fate!

"Death but not sin" ~St. Dominic Savio

Prayer of Reparation
O sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thy altar eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.
Amen+