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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

OCTOBER Trees declare their own sermon in brief autumn's painted landscape. We note their size and type and variety and beaut...

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

 

HOT MULLED CIDER DAY

 

Philippians, Chapter 2, Verse 12

So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with FEAR and trembling.


 

Be good even when no one is watching is the old man’s advice. We who are chosen by the Lord are the light bearers showing the way to the will of God in a dark world. The world is a turbulent place fraught with evil beyond imagining. We must be wise as parents of children who build a home with both a prayer room and a storm cellar for the times when a tornado might come. Our church is such a home both a prayer room and storm cellar against the world.

 

Hot Mulled Cider Day[1]


 

The winter will be short, the summer long, the autumn amber-hued, sunny and hot, Tasting of cider and of scuppernong; All seasons sweet, but autumn best of all. The squirrels in their silver fur will fall Like falling leaves, like fruit, before your shot. Elinor Wylie

 

The chilly seasons welcome a delicious drink called hot mulled cider, a traditional drink made from heated apple cider with various spices added, including citrus orange, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. It is a perfect drink on chilly days whether you are home alone by your fireplace reading a book, or having a party serving this drink with your friends. The history of hot mulled cider is bears remarkable similarities to the old pagan tradition called Wassailing. The word wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase waes hael, which means good health. The wassail was a drink made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. It was served from huge, 10-gallon bowls, often made of silver or pewter. This originally came from a story about a young beautiful maiden presenting the drink to Prince Vortigen, saying the words waes hael in a toast. The term wassailing refers to the act of the bowl being carried into the room with great splendor, a traditional carol about wassailing and then the beverage was served. Nowadays, hot mulled cider is generally referred to non-alcoholic, fermented apple juice. Hard cider would be the alcoholic version of apple cider. This drink can be served during the fall and winter seasons, and it is similar to Mulled wine, which is essentially hot, sweetened red wine made aromatic with the addition of citrus fruits and warming spices such as cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. However, people these days have been gravitating towards mulled apple cider as a drink that anyone can have.


How to celebrate Hot Mulled Cider Day

 

One of the best ways to celebrate this holiday is to find a recipe and make mulled cider yourself! Its a very easy and simple drink with a lot of flavor. In a large pot, add brown sugar to apple cider over medium heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Then add other ingredients such as nutmeg, allspice, orange juice, and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. When serving, strain out the spices, pour into a mug, and enjoy! Add a cinnamon stick to your mug if youd like or make it fancy and add rum into your mixture.

 35 Promises of God[2] cont.

“Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”-Deut 31:6

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

·         Do Day 6 of the Consecration to St. Joseph.


 

Daily Devotions

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary

 

OCTOBER



Trees declare their own sermon in brief autumn's painted landscape. We note their size and type and variety and beauty. Trees serve as symbols of the gift-giving aspects of our lives. Trees provide fruit, wood, climatic modification, wind and sun protection, prevention of soil erosion, and a host of other benefits. This is the time to plant trees and to prepare them for winter. Should we not give more attention to how our lives can bear fruit in Christ and in the protection of our forests?

 

Overview of October[3]

 

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. October falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. During October, as in all of Ordinary Time (formerly known as Time After Pentecost), the Liturgy does not focus on one particular mystery of Christ but views the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. We follow the life of Christ through the Gospels and focus on the teachings and parables of Jesus and what it means for each of us to be a follower of Christ.

 

Autumn Festivities

 

October usually is an enjoyable time of the year in the United States. The autumn season manifests itself with wonderful fall foliage in many parts of the country. The temperatures are cooler, inviting people outdoors for nature walks, apple or pumpkin picking. School routines are more established and football season is in full swing. The celebrations of the Church for the month of October are also wonderful and unique. The feasts of some of the most popular saints of the universal Church are celebrated during this month: St. Therese the Little Flower (France), St. Francis of Assisi (Italy) and St. Teresa of Avila (Spain). These saints come from different countries, and in honoring these saints we can include cultural dishes or activities from each country to make the feast day even more special. Read more about the lives of these saints. Perhaps the family can pick one virtue that each saint practiced well and try to implement it.

 

The feasts in October also include two of the most popular, time-honored devotions of Catholics, the devotion to the Holy Rosary (October 7) and the Guardian Angels (October 2). In October 2002 our Holy Father John Paul II wrote the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (the Rosary of the Virgin Mary)." This letter introduced five new mysteries, called the Luminous or Mysteries of Light, which are (1) Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan, (2) Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, (3) Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with the call to conversion, (4) the Transfiguration, and (5) the Institution of the Eucharist. Try to make a more concerted effort to pray the Rosary together as a family during the month of October, read the Apostolic Letter to understand the beauty of this devotion more deeply, and pray the new Luminous mysteries. October 16 is known as "Pope Day" on which we celebrate the gift of the papacy and our current pope.

 

Every person has a guardian angel assigned to them, and October 2 the Church celebrates the role of these Guardian Angels. We should show devout gratitude to God for placing these angels at our service. Having a guardian should give us confidence during all of life's difficulties. Every Catholic should know the Angele Dei (Angel of God) prayer and pray it often. The Directory on Popular Piety suggests that families pray it at morning and evening prayers or after the Angelus.

 

All Hallows' Eve or Halloween heralds the month of November with emphasis on the Communion of Saints, especially the Church Suffering (the Poor Souls in Purgatory) and the second coming of Christ or parousia. This last day of October on the secular calendar is second only to Christmas in commercial preparations. The secular festivities center on ghouls, witches and devils, but the Christian counterpart focus on the communion of saints. As Christians living a "Catholic Culture", we should try to explore the Christian roots of the Halloween festivities.


 

October: Respect Life Month

We mark the month of October as Respect Life Month. Looking back over the last year, there's been a lot of uncertainty, suffering, and heartache. Between tragedies that occur in the public eye and trials that take place in our personal lives, there's no shortage of reasons we cry out to God. At such times, we may feel alone and unequipped to handle the circumstances. But we have an anchor of hope to cling to. With words that echo through thousands of years into the corners of our hearts, God says to us, "Do not fear: I am with you" (Isaiah 41:10). God isn't a detached, distant observer to our pain; the Eternal Son became man and Himself experienced immense suffering—for you and for me. His wounds indicate the very essence of our identity and worth: we are loved by God. There are times we may doubt the value of our own lives or falter at the thought of welcoming and embracing the life of another. But reflecting on the healed wounds of the Risen Christ, we can see that even our most difficult trials can be the place where God manifests his victory. He makes all things beautiful. He makes all things new. He is the God of redemption. That's powerful. That's something to hold onto. And, He is always with us. Jesus promised this when he gave the disciples the same mission, he gives to each of us: Go. As followers of Jesus Christ, we know that our identity and our mission are two sides of the same coin; like the apostles, we are called to be missionary disciples. We are not only invited to follow and take refuge in God, our stronghold, but we are also commissioned to reach out to one another, especially to the weak and vulnerable. Building a culture of life isn't something we just do one month of the year, or with one event or initiative—it's essential to who we are. It happens through our daily actions, how we treat one another, and how we live our lives. How do we respond when our aging parents are in failing health? Do they know how much we love them and cherish each day given? Do we ensure they know they are never a burden to us? In our own challenging times, do we ask for support? When others offer a helping hand, do we receive it? When our friend becomes pregnant in difficult circumstances, do we show compassion that tangibly supports her and helps her welcome the life of her new little one? Sometimes, we may not be sure exactly what to do, but let's not allow the fear of doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing keep us from living out our missionary call. We don't need to have everything figured out all at once. Let's remember the guidance of Our Blessed Mother, the first disciple: "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5). https://www.usccb.org/prolife


Monday, September 28, 2020

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

DAY 46 - MARY, QUEEN ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN, PRAY FOR US

BORDER WALKERS 
Priest: 
Bishop. Robert Barron says, "A priest prays for others, intercedes, and performs sacrifices. Priests are border walkers. They walk the border between heaven and earth. They are mediators as friends of God and friends of the human race. They bring divinity and humanity together. It means you must be a person of prayer - intercessory prayer - prayer on behalf of others. It pleases God to channel his providential care precisely through us and through the instrumentality of our prayer."

Recall the last line of the Warrior Ethos: "I will never leave a fallen comrade." Consider the recent Medal of Honor recipients who reportedly ran through a hail of bullets to rescue their comrades from the clutches of the enemy. It is very similar in the spiritual realm. When our loved ones are "dead in sin," they are not only separated from God, but they lose their desire to seek God. Some become so far removed from God that they find repulsive all things spiritual. So, prayer, Holy Mass, spiritual reading, etc. all become boring and, to some, even detestable when they are dead inside: no Divine Life. They are, quite literally, caught behind enemy lines (imprisoned in their worldliness) with no way out unless some campaign of search and rescue is launched. Does our love, care, and concerns for them extend to their eternal salvation? Remember the Warrior Ethos: "I will never leave a fallen comrade!"

St. John Vianney understood this critical need to call out to God in prayer on behalf of those caught in the clutches of the enemy and unable to save themselves:

"I can't stop praying for poor sinners who are on the road to hell. If they come to die in that state, they will be lost for all eternity. What a pity! We have to pray for sinners! Praying for sinners is the most beautiful and useful of prayers because the just are on the way to heaven, the souls of purgatory are sure to enter there, but the poor sinners will be lost forever. All devotions are good but there is no better one than such prayer for sinners." (Excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual).
PRAY A ROSARY
Choose either:
  1. Rosary of the Day: Sorrowful Mysteries
  2. Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Joyful Mysteries
PRAYERS FOR TRADITIONAL 54 DAY NOVENA

THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY

Prayer before the recitation: Sign of the cross. Hail Mary.

In petition (first 27 days): Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I humbly kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses, snow white buds to remind thee of thy joys, each bud recalling to thee a holy mystery, each 10 bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, dispenser of God's graces, and Mother of all who invoke thee, thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my petition; from thy bounty thou wilt give me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly seek. I despair of nothing that I ask of thee. Show thyself my Mother!

In thanksgiving (last 27 days): Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I gratefully kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses snow white buds to remind thee of thy joys, each bud recalling to thee a holy mystery; each 10 bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, Dispenser of God's graces. and Mother of all who invoke thee! thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my thanksgiving; from thy bounty thou hast given me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly sought. I despaired not of what I asked of thee, and thou hast truly shown thyself my Mother.

Say: The Apostles' Creed, Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

The Annunciation - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of humility and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Visitation - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of charity and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Nativity - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of detachment from the world and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Presentation - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of purity and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of obedience to the will of God and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

Say: The Hail Holy Queen.

Spiritual Communion: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

In petition (first 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this spiritual communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow. O my Mother! Look with favor upon my gift, and in thy love obtain for me (specify request, see below). Hail Mary ...

In thanksgiving (last 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this Spiritual Communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow in thanksgiving for (specify request, see below) which thou in thy love hast obtained for me. Hail, Mary, etc.

PETITION: For the protection and provision for the USA and the world. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

Act of Consecration to St. Michael

O St. Michael the Archangel, most Noble Prince of the Angelic Hierarchies, valorous warrior of Almighty God, and zealous lover of His Glory, terror of the rebellious angels, and love and delight of all the just, desiring to be numbered among thy devoted servants, I, today offer and consecrate myself to thee, and place myself, my family and all I possess under thy most powerful protection.

I entreat thee not to look at how little, I, as thy servant have to offer, being only a wretched sinner, but rather gaze, with favorable eye, at the heartfelt affection with which this offering is made. Remember that, if from this day onward, I am under thy patronage, thou must assist me during all my life and procure for me the pardon of my many sins, and the grace to love God, my dear Savior Jesus, and my Sweet Mother Mary with all my heart. Obtain for me the help necessary to arrive at my crown of glory.
Defend me always from my spiritual enemies, particularly in the last moments of my life.

Come then, O Glorious Prince. Succor me in my last struggle. With thy powerful weapon cast far from me and into the infernal abyss that prevaricator and proud angel that thou prostrated in the celestial battle.

Saint Michael, defend us in our daily battles so that we may not perish in the Last Judgment.
Amen.

(An indulgence of two-hundred days is granted to everyone who devoutly says this prayer once a day, praying for the needs of the holy Church and the Supreme Pontiff.)


All of the daily Novena Prayers and Reflections are also posted at usgraceforce.com

Spanish language Novena prayers and reflections are available at https://rosarycoasttocoast.com/nfon-espanol/.

Those who would like to pray with others via The Telephone Rosary, call 1-951-799-9866 daily at 6 pm Eastern.

 Introduction to Philippians[1]

Philippi, in northeastern Greece, was a city of some importance in the Roman province of Macedonia. Lying on the great road from the Adriatic coast to Byzantium, the Via Egnatia, and in the midst of rich agricultural plains near the gold deposits of Mt. Pangaeus, it was in Paul’s day a Roman town, with a Greek-Macedonian population and a small group of Jews. Originally founded in the sixth century B.C. as Krenides by the Thracians, the town was taken over after 360 B.C. by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, and was renamed for himself, “Philip’s City.” The area became Roman in the second century B.C.

On the plains near Philippi in October 42 B.C., Antony and Octavian decisively defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius, the slayers of Julius Caesar. Octavian (Augustus) later made Philippi a Roman colony and settled many veterans of the Roman armies there. Paul established at Philippi the first Christian community in Europe. He came to Philippi, via its harbor town of Neapolis (modern Kavalla), on his second missionary journey, probably in A.D. 49 or 50, accompanied by Silas and Timothy and Luke, if he is to be included in the “we”.

The Acts account tells of the conversion of a businesswoman, Lydia; the exorcism of a slave girl; and, after an earthquake, while Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi, the faith and baptism of a jailer and his family. None of these persons, however, is directly mentioned in Philippians. Acts 16 concludes its account by describing how Paul (and Silas), asked by the magistrates to leave Philippi, went on to Thessalonica, where several times his loyal Philippians continued to support him with financial aid. Later, Paul may have passed through Philippi on his way from Ephesus to Greece, and he definitely stopped there on his fateful trip to Jerusalem.

Paul’s letter to the Christians at Philippi was written while he was in a prison somewhere, indeed in danger of death. Although under guard for preaching Christ, Paul rejoices at the continuing progress of the gospel and expresses gratitude for the Philippians’ renewed concern and help in an expression of thanks. Much of the letter is devoted to instruction about unity and humility within the Christian community at Philippi and exhortations to growth, joy, and peace in their life together. Paul warns against false teachers who threaten to impose on the Philippians the burdens of the Mosaic law, including circumcision. This beautiful letter is rich in insights into Paul’s theology and his apostolic love and concern for the gospel and his converts. In Philippians, Paul reveals his human sensitivity and tenderness, his enthusiasm for Christ as the key to life and death, and his deep feeling for those in Christ who dwell in Philippi. With them he shares his hopes and convictions, his anxieties and fears, revealing the total confidence in Christ that constitutes faith. The letter incorporates a hymn about the salvation that God has brought about through Christ, applied by Paul to the relations of Christians with one another. Philippians has been termed “the letter of joy”. It is the rejoicing of faith, based on true understanding of Christ’s unique role in the salvation of all who profess his lordship.

 

SEPTEMBER 29

FEAST OF SAINT MICHAEL


 

Philippians, Chapter 1, Verse 12-14

12 I want you to know, brothers, that my situation has turned out rather to advance the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment has become well known in Christ throughout the whole praetorium and to all the rest, 14 and so that the majority of the brothers, having taken encouragement in the Lord from my imprisonment, dare more than ever to proclaim the word FEARLESSLY.

 

Christ is preached fearlessly by those who have known Him. You cannot preach Christ unless you know Him. Paul was always a warrior and as such he sought as Saul, before he met Christ, to kill any who got in the way of his purpose and then when Saul met Christ and became Paul; he discovered to live is Christ. To the warrior his purpose is to serve his king.

 

The power of Purpose[2]

 

Paul was a leader who never drifted from his mission. George Washington Carver wrote: “No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.” Paul’s purpose kept him in the battle even in prison. Consider the following:

 

1.      A purpose will motivate you.

2.      A purpose will keep your priorities straight.

3.      A purpose will develop your potential.

4.      A purpose will give you power to live in the present.

5.      A purpose will help you evaluate your progress.

 

Feast of Saint Michael[3]


 

SAINT MICHAEL is the prince of the heavenly armies, who first contended against the proud Lucifer. The holy Church honors him as a particular defender, and the faithful call upon him in all dangers of soul and body, but they particularly implore his intercession at the hour of death, in order that, after having, according to his example, courageously fought against Satan, they may receive the crown of victory, and that their souls may by him be brought before the throne of God. Let us also venerate him, and, full of confidence, cry out with the holy Church, “Holy archangel Michael, protect us in battle that we may not perish in the tremendous judgment.”

Prayer.

O God, Who with wonderful order dost direct the ministry of angels and of men, mercifully grant that our life on earth may be protected by those who ever minister before Thee in heaven. Amen.

EPISTLE. Apocalypse i. 1-5.

In those days God made known the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever He hath seen. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy: and keepeth those things which are written in it. For the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia : Grace be unto you and peace from Him that is, and that was, and that is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, Who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins, in His own blood. This epistle is read to-day because St. Michael so bravely contended against the sedition of Satan, and, after gaining the victory, drove him and his adherents from heaven.

GOSPEL. Matt, xviii. 1-10.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest Thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Wo to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless, wo to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

 

Great prince of heaven, St. Michael, to thy protection I commend my soul and body, and, by the glory which thou possesses in heaven, I beseech thee that thou wouldst ever assist me, particularly at the close of my life; that thou wouldst strengthen my faint-heartedness, and obtain for me from God the remission of my sins, and an entire submission to His holy will, that my soul may depart full of comfort. Then receive it, and bring it, under the guidance of the holy angels, before the face of God, to enjoy the contemplation of Him for all eternity. Amen.

 

St. Michael, Champion of the Church[4]

 

The Church of God has always considered Saint Michael as its special protector. The archangel himself has acknowledged this to Constantine after the completion of a church in his honor saying, “I am Michael, the chief of the angelic legions of the Lord of hosts, the protector of the Christian religion, who whilst thou wast battling against godless tyrants, placed the weapons in thy hands.” Assuredly, St. Michael will not fail to come to the aid of our Holy Church. His assistance shall be forth coming in these troubled times when legions of evil are visible throughout the world exciting the minds of men. We behold their activities in the events of the media and the world-wide propaganda against morality and religion everywhere. Yet, despite this we are beneath his mighty leadership and with the aid of his own unvanquishable legions we shall not fail.

Michaelmas (September 29th) [5]

The anniversary of the dedication of St. Michael the Archangel's basilica outside of Rome by Pope Boniface II in 530 A.D. affords the Church the opportunity to honor one of its most significant saints. Tradition holds that Michael is the heavenly spirit who cast Satan and his minions into Hell after their revolt from God. As the "Governor of Heaven" (Praepositus Paradisi), he is ranked only below the Mother of God in the Confiteor. The Roman church also identifies him as the angel whom St. John saw in heaven standing near the altar of God and offering the prayers of the saints like an odor of sweetness (see the offertory blessing of incense at a High Mass). He is also singled out in the Requiem Mass as the banner-bearer who leads the departed to purgatory and heaven (see offertory prayers). Finally, Michael's victory over the devil's army renders him not only the patron saint of souls, but of Christian soldiers. All of this leads to the conclusion that Michael is one of our most potent allies and helps us see why the Roman rite has traditionally venerated him with such affection and respect.

Consequently, Michaelmas (pronounced "mikk-el-mes") was one of the great public holidays and religious feasts of early and medieval Europe. Saint Michael's parades, Michael's fairs, Michael's Plays, etc. would in many places constitute the climax of autumn harvest celebrations. Michaelmas also coincided with the "quarter days" in Northern Europe, one of the four times in the year when free men would sit in court, make laws, and pay rents.

Things to do:[6]

·         This is a good feast to learn more about the angels. Children especially are fascinated by these celestial beings. The best place to start is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 328-336 to see the teachings of the Church on angels. John Paul II also did a Catechesis on the Angels during his General Audiences from July 9 to August 20, 1986.

·         Find the passages in the Bible about angels, in particular the passages about Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

·         Read the section on angels in the Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy. The document examines the doctrine and devotions of the angels. Devotion to angels is good, but also can have deviations.

Devotion to the Holy Angels gives rise to a certain form of the Christian life which is characterized by:

·         devout gratitude to God for having placed these heavenly spirits of great sanctity and dignity at the service of man.

·         an attitude of devotion deriving from the knowledge of living constantly in the presence of the Holy Angels of God — serenity and confidence in facing difficult situations, since the Lord guides and protects the faithful in the way of justice through the ministry of His Holy Angels. Among the prayers to the Guardian Angels the Angele Dei is especially popular, and is often recited by families at morning and evening prayers, or at the recitation of the Angelus.

217. Popular devotion to the Holy Angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:

·         when, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and daemons, in which man is left at the mercy of superior forces and over which he is helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;

·         when the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the devil and all success to the Guardian Angels. The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.

·         Also read All About the Angels.

·         Memorize the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Although no longer formally recited after Mass, our Holy Father John Paul II has encouraged us to recite this prayer daily. Read about this prayer. Here is the Regina Caeli message from April 24, 1994 during which the pope encouraged this prayer.

·         In honor of St. Gabriel, Learn the Angelus and recite it daily. Traditionally, the prayer is prayed at the 6:00 and 12:00 hours (am and pm). There is a partial indulgence attached to those who pray this prayer.

·         Read the Book of Tobit for the story of St. Raphael helping Tobit and Tobias.

·         Make some recipes related to Michaelmas. Of special mention is the St. Michael Bannock from Scotland, roast goose and stuffing from Britain, waffles from France, and roast duck from Germany or France, gnocchi from Italy. Blackberries, apples and carrots also play a large role on this feast in various countries. Other ideas: make an angel food cake, devil's food cake or angel hair pasta. Decorate with white, symbolizing the angels, or use other symbolic colors (see above). Non-dessert items: deviled eggs, deviled meats, etc.

·         Try to find the Michaelmas daisy, a purple aster, to use for decoration. It also comes in other colors, including white, but purple is the most popular. It usually blooms in late summer until October. The official name is Aster novi-belgii, but is also known as New York aster. If you find plants or seeds to plan for next year's garden. This site has photos and gardening information for the Michaelmas daisy.

·         Folklore in the British Isles suggests that Michaelmas day is the last day that blackberries can be picked. It is said that when St. Michael expelled Lucifer, the devil, from heaven, he fell from the skies and landed in a prickly blackberry bush. Satan cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, and stamped and spat on them, so that they would be unfit for eating. A traditional Irish proverb says:
On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on the blackberries.

If you have access to blackberries, make this the last picking and eating. Perhaps make a blackberry pie? See Michaelmas Pie for a great recipe.

35 Promises of God[7] cont.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39

Daily Devotions/Practices

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·         Pray Day 4 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

·         Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Pray for our nation.

·         Rosary.

                                            


[2] John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[4] St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.

[6]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2018-09-29