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Thursday, September 16, 2021

  DAY 33 - MARY, MORNING STAR, PRAY FOR US UNITY IN TRUTH Devil's Tactic #2 - Divide and Conquer  The second modern tactic of the devil ...

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Time To Harden The Target - Let's Roll!

Friday, September 17, 2021

 


Ember Friday

ST. HILDEGARDE-CONSTITUTION DAY

 

Psalm 49, Verse 6-7

6 Why should I FEAR in evil days, with the iniquity of my assailants surrounding me, 7 of those who trust in their wealth and boast of their abundant riches?

 

Trust in Christ our savior and live the virtues of our Lady: humility, generosity, chastity, patience, temperance and love of fellow man. Do not put your faith in coin for the bankruptcy of our cultural heart is that we allow the innocent to be killed in this nation. God cries over the sacrifices of future unborn children for the dreams of the mother. No amount of future happiness or gain in independence is worth the life of an innocent. Know that life is greater than liberty and liberty is greater than wealth.

 

Beloved: Teach and urge these things. Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain. Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it. If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that. Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains. But you, man of God, avoid all this. Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses. (Tm. 6:2-12)

 

If we truly wish to build back better; we ourselves must grow in holiness and then in turn our families will build holy communities and holy communities will build a Holy Nation.

Ember Days[1] The profound importance of total conversion. 

Before the revision of the Catholic Church's liturgical calendar in 1969 (coinciding with the adoption of the Mass of Paul VI), the Church celebrated Ember Days four times each year. They were tied to the changing of the seasons, but also to the liturgical cycles of the Church. The spring Ember Days were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the First Sunday of Lent; the summer Ember Days were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Pentecost; the fall Ember Days were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the third Sunday in September (not, as is often said, after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross); and the winter Ember Days were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of Saint Lucy (December 13).

·         The Roman Origin of Ember Days: It's common to claim that the dates of important Christian feasts (such as Christmas) were set to compete with or replace certain pagan festivals, even though the best scholarship indicates otherwise. In the case of the Ember Days, however, it's true. As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes: The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class. At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding.

·         Keep the Best; Discard the Rest: The Ember Days are a perfect example of how the Church (in the words of the Catholic Encyclopedia) "has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose." The adoption of the Ember Days wasn't an attempt to displace Roman paganism so much as it was a way to avoid disrupting the lives of Roman converts to Christianity. The pagan practice, though directed at false gods, was praiseworthy; all that was necessary was to transfer the supplications to the true God of Christianity.

·         An Ancient Practice: The adoption of Ember Days by Christians happened so early that Pope Leo the Great (440-61) considered the Ember Days (with the exception of the one in the spring) to have been instituted by the Apostles. By the time of Pope Gelasius II (492-96), the fourth set of Ember Days had been instituted. Originally celebrated only by the Church in Rome, they spread throughout the West (but not the East), starting in the fifth century.

·         The Origin of the Word: The origin of the word "ember" in "Ember Days" is not obvious, not even to those who know Latin. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "Ember" is a corruption (or we might say, a contraction) of the Latin phrase Quatuor Tempora, which simply means "four times," since the Ember Days are celebrated four times per year.

·         Optional Today: With the revision of the liturgical calendar in 1969, the Vatican left the celebration of Ember Days up to the discretion of each national conference of bishops. They're still commonly celebrated in Europe, particularly in rural areas. In the United States, the bishops' conference has decided not to celebrate them, but individual Catholics can, and many traditional Catholics still do, because it's a nice way to focus our minds on the changing of the liturgical seasons and the seasons of the year. The Ember Days that fall during Lent and Advent are especially useful to remind children of the reasons for those seasons.

·         Marked by Fasting and Abstinence: The Ember Days are celebrated with fasting (no food between meals) and half-abstinence, meaning that meat is allowed at one meal per day. (If you observe the traditional Friday abstinence from meat, then you would observe complete abstinence on an Ember Friday.) As always, such fasting and abstinence has a greater purpose. As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, through these activities, and through prayer, we use the Ember Days to "thank God for the gifts of nature, teach men to make use of them in moderation, and assist the needy."

St. Hildegarde[2]



Called the "Sibyl of the Rhine," Hildegard of Bingen became the most famous mystic and prophet of her time. Her writings and music are still found in all major bookstores, and no woman saint is more popular in her native Germany. When she was eight, she was placed in a convent, where she later became abbess. She was a biblical exegete, visionary, preacher, composer, and herbalist, who corresponded with the major royalty and church leaders of her day, including four popes. Her greatest vision came when she was forty-two, which is recorded in her famous Scrivias, or Know the Ways of the Lord, a treatise whose magnificence rivals William Blake's visionary work. Hildegard's spiritual writings found approval during her lifetime, and her lectures on the spiritual life drew crowds from all over Europe. She wrote prolifically, on topics as varied as history and drama, politics and liturgical poetry. Her monastery joyfully sang the praises she wrote. During the last year of her life, when she was eighty-one, she entered into a conflict with ecclesiastical authorities because she allowed a young man who had been excommunicated to be buried in her abbey cemetery, and her convent was placed under interdict. It is probably that, for this reason, Hildegard was never formally canonized, although she is found in all major saints' books and her cult was approved locally because of so many miracles reported at her tomb.

— Excerpted from Women Saints, Madonna Sophia Compton

 

Things to Do:

·         Learn more about St. Hildegarde.

·         Visit Hildegard's Medieval Garden

·         St. Hildegard was a composer, visit this page to read more.

·         Read St. Hildegard of Bingen: A Visionary for All Time 

Constitution Day[3]


Constitution Day commemorates the adoption of the United States Constitution and celebrates the citizens of the United States.  The Constitution was written because the existing charter of government, known as the Articles of Confederation, had resulted in creating a weak and ineffective central government.  The Constitution defines the supreme law of the United States, with each article of the constitution pertaining to aspects such as the congress, president, judicial system, interrelationship between the state and federal government and process of amendments to the Constitution. James Madison, Oliver Ellsworth, Nathaniel Gorham, Alexander Hamilton, William Johnson, Rufus King, Gouverneur Morris, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington wrote the Constitution.  Constitution Day originally began in 1939 with the suggestion of a holiday to celebrate American Citizenship. President Harry Truman then declared that the third Sunday of May become I am American Day. A decade later, 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower changed the date to coincide with the signing of the Constitution and renamed it Citizenship Day. Constitution or Citizenship Day is observed annually on September 17th, the same day as the US Constitution was signed in 1787.

 

Constitution Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         To learn more about judicial system, read the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution is only a few pages in length and well-organized.

·         Visit the National Museum of American History to view displays about the heritage of the United States. Displays include those related to the political, social, cultural, scientific and military history of the United States, including the Constitution. The museum is located in Washington D.C.

·         The United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and accepted at the floors of Independence Hall, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Visit Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

·         Visit the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It offers a range of activities for kids and adults, videos and educational material about the U.S. Constitution.

·         Watch documentaries relating to the United States Constitution including Constitution USA with Peter Sagal (2013), The Constitution Project (The Documentary Group, 2014), and The United States Constitution (2007).

Fitness Friday

 

In the movie “Christmas.” we witnessed the day “Ralphie” pronounced the big F word and as a result his mother in loving correction immediately inserted a bar of soap in “Ralphie’s” nasty mouth. Today let us look at our own nasty mouths. Caring for our teeth may improve your fitness more than we realize.

 

Clean Mouth-Ralphie![4]

Taking care of your teeth is important for all ages, but it’s especially important for older adults who may be at greater risk of oral health problems. Adults 65 and older are at an increased risk for oral cancer, gum disease and cavities. Luckily, it’s never too late to start taking better care of your teeth. With proper care, you can maintain — or even improve — your oral health as you age. Here are six things that help improve senior oral hygiene.

·         Cut Out Bad Habits-There are dozens of reasons to quit smoking or chewing tobacco, and the health of your entire mouth is no exception. If you’re currently using tobacco products, talk to your doctor about healthy methods for quitting. And as you likely remember from childhood, sugary foods like candy and soda can increase your risk for cavities. Committing to healthy eating isn’t just good for your heart and waistline — it’s great for your teeth, too.

·         Increase Your Fluoride Intake-Many municipalities have fluoride added to their drinking water, but you can also incorporate a fluoride toothpaste or fluoride rinse into your daily care routine, too. If necessary, you can even talk to your dentist about regular fluoride treatments.

·         Be Diligent About Your Teeth Cleaning Routine-It isn’t enough to simply brush your teeth twice a day, every day. Additionally, you should floss at least once per day and consider rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Make sure to replace your toothbrush or brush head every three months.

·         If You Have Dentures, Clean Them Daily-Denture-wearers may have a different routine, but good oral hygiene is still a priority. Follow your dentist’s instructions for keeping your dentures clean so the rest of your mouth also stays clean and healthy.

·         Keep Your Mouth Hydrated-If you’re prescribed a medication that causes dry mouth, make sure you’re taking extra steps to keep your mouth hydrated. Drink lots of water and switch to sugar-free gum, if you’re a gum chewer. (Bonus: Sugar-free gum is better for your teeth, too!)

·         Go to the Dentist-regular checkups with your primary care physician, going to the dentist is the single best thing you can do for your oral health. Not only can your dentist give your teeth a good cleaning, but they’ll also be able to identify oral health problems before they progress and give you tips for taking care of your teeth. While the minimum recommendation is once per year, many older adults prefer to see their dentist every six months just to make sure everything is going well.

35 Promises of God[5] cont.

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.” Ex 14:14

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Individuals with Mental Illness


·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary



Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Thursday, September 16, 2021

 

DAY 33 - MARY, MORNING STAR, PRAY FOR US

UNITY IN TRUTH

Devil's Tactic #2 - Divide and Conquer 
The second modern tactic of the devil is actually the very ancient military strategy of "divide and conquer." This strategy is defined as one that separates a force that would be stronger if united. As we said, the devil is roaming around like a lion that sizes up the herd to find the easiest target. He is also watching to see who is separated from the herd. Large, coordinated forces are difficult to defeat. If the enemy can separate us into small units or individuals, he can more easily defeat each one.

"Strike the shepherd and the sheep scatter" (Zec 13:7). There's no doubt that the devil has focused his assault on the religious leaders of our day. While these leaders may have had noble intentions of charity and pastoral sensitivity, the results have been devastating. Decades of lenient, non-confrontational leadership have left the faithful feeble and prone to be "conformed to the pattern of this world" (Rom 12:2). St. Augustine once said, "Charity is no substitute for justice withheld."

The unfortunate laxity of discipline has permitted confusion and strife where there should be clarity and harmony, an authentic unity based on the truth. As a result, the modern trend among those who believe and teach falsehoods that directly contradict the Church's teaching is to consider these pockets of dissent as merely "differing tribes" within the Catholic Church. In this deceptive tribal system, those who believe in and teach all that the Church teaches are then considered extreme among these tribes.

Right or wrong, religious leadership seemed to calculate that it is better to refrain from "charged issues" for fear of offending some or even losing members. However, St. Peter Canisius cautioned: "Better that only a few Catholics should be left, staunch and sincere in their religion, than that they should, remaining many, desire as it were to be in collusion with the Church's enemies and in conformity with the open foes of our faith." (Excerpt from my book, Church Militant Field Manual).
PRAY A ROSARY
Choose either:
  1. Rosary of the Day: Luminous Mysteries
  2. Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Glorious Mysteries
PRAYERS FOR TRADITIONAL 54 DAY NOVENA

THE GLORIOUS 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, full-blown white roses, tinged with the red of the passion, to remind thee of thy glories, fruits of the sufferings of thy Son and thee, each rose 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 full blown white roses, tinged with the red of the passion, to remind thee of thy glories, fruits of the sufferings of thy Son and thee, each rose 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.

For each of the following Mysteries, say: Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

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

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of faith and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

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

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of hope and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

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

The Assumption of Mary - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of union with Christ and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Coronation of the Blessed Mother - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these full-blown roses with a petition for the virtue of union with thee 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 of and Provision for the Church, the Family and our Nation. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

 
All of the daily Novena Prayers and Reflections are found in this book: 54 Day Basic Training in Holiness 
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.
"One day through the Rosary and the Scapular, I will save the world."  The Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Dominic  www.ConfraternityCommunity.com



Job, Chapter 4, Verse 13-14

13 In my thoughts during visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on mortals, 14 FEAR came upon me, and shuddering, that terrified me to the bone. 

Job complained of his symptoms of insomnia[1]: 

nights of misery . . . When I lie down, I think, when shall I rise? Night drags on and I am sated with tossing’s till morning twilight (7:3-4). 

Job also complains, by night my bones feel gnawed; my sinews never rest (30:17).20 

Another translation is, . . . my arteries pulsate so strongly that I cannot sleep. 21 

This may have been a reference to pain or some other illness causing insomnia. These are typical complaints of many people with insomnia; spending the night worrying about not being able to sleep, about when they will need to wake up and tossing and turning all night long. 

There are other references in other books of the Bible to illness causing sleeplessness: Only from daybreak to nightfall was I kept whole, then it was as though a lion were breaking all my bones; I cried out until morning. . . I piped like a swift or a swallow, I moaned like a dove, as my eyes, all worn, looked to heaven: 'My Lord, I am in straits; Be my surety!' What can I say? He promised me and He it is who has wrought it. All my sleep had fled because of the bitterness of my soul (Isa. 38:12-15). For my days have vanished like smoke and my bones are charred like a hearth. My body is stricken and withered like grass; too wasted to eat my food; on account of my vehement groaning my bones show through my skin. I am like a great owl in the wilderness, an owl among the ruins. I lie awake; I am like a lone bird upon a roof (Ps. 102:4-8).

TREATMENT OF INSOMNIA 

Physical activity is suggested as a cure for insomnia in the Bible. In Ecclesiastes we are told A worker’s sleep is sweet, whether he has much or little to eat; but the rich man's abundance doesn't let him sleep (5:11). There are several interpretations of this passage. One is that the rich man worries about losing his riches, and thus also loses sleep. Another is that sleep is a blessing set upon the laborer by God, thus, to soften his difficult life. Today's research supplies yet another explanation. Studies have shown that increased exercise or physical activity improves sleep. The laboring man who is physically active will likely sleep better than the rich man who spends his time counting his money. Nightmares also hound some of the figures in the Bible. Job, for example, not only has difficulty sleeping because of pain, but also suffers from nightmares: "When I think, 'My bed will comfort me, my couch will share my sorrow,' you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions". 

Excessive daytime sleepiness, as we know today, is often a sign of not getting sufficient sleep at night. The Book of Proverbs rails against excessive sleep or sleeping too much as being synonymous with laziness and sloth. Allusions include: How long will you lie there, lazybones; When will you wake from your sleep? A bit more sleep, a bit more slumber, a bit more hugging yourself in bed, and poverty will come calling upon you. . . (6:9-11, echoed in 24:33-34); Laziness induces sleep (19:15). Do not love sleep lest you be impoverished (20:13). And if one becomes obligated to another, give your eyes no sleep, your pupils no slumber (6:4) until your obligation is fulfilled. When people are so drowsy that it becomes difficult to function, their ability to work is affected and quality of life is reduced, as it says in Proverbs, Drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags (23:21). These same allusions have been applied to patients today with undiagnosed sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy, where the patient often does want to sleep all day and is often accused of being lazy. It is unknown how common narcolepsy or sleep apnea were thousands of years ago, but there is no reason to believe that they were any less common then than they are today. 

SLEEP HYGIENE 

Treatments of all sleep disorders are likely to include teaching the patient good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene rules advise how long to sleep and how to best optimize sleep.26 The early sources refer to some of the same sleep hygiene rules that are recommended today, including not spending too much time in bed, getting up at the same time every day, keeping the environment comfortable (not too hot and not too cold) and dark, avoiding alcohol and limiting, if not avoiding, naps.27 

CONCLUSION 

Although we think we have discovered many new features about proper sleep and sleep disorders, many of our scientific ideas were already documented in the Bible. Some of our modern scientific knowledge about sleep is not new and existed even in biblical times. Although the rabbis may not have fully understood sleep, they left enough clues and interpretations that agree with what science verified thousands of years later. This wisdom is also mentioned in the Bible: What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9). 

Five Rules for Sleep[2] 

  1.     Stick to a sleep schedule. Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours.
  2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don't go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime.      
  3. Create a restful environment. Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep.
  4. Limit daytime naps. Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. ...
  5. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can promote better sleep. Avoid being active too close to bedtime, however. 

35 Promises of God[3] cont.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
-Ex 20:12

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: For the Poor and Suffering

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.


·         Iceman’s Total Consecration to Mary-Day 6



·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Cultivate intelligent foresight in yourself

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         "Faith cannot save without virtue"

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary



Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

 

DAY 32 - MARY, GATE OF HEAVEN, PRAY FOR US

STATE OF GRACE 
Devil's Tactic #1 - Cut us off from our supply lines

The first major strategy from the father of lies is actually as old as the Garden of Eden itself. It is simply to convince us we do not need God (Gen. 3:5-6), nor do we need his strength and his power (Eph. 6:10).

In modern times, we have witnessed this in the effective campaign of militant secularists who have sought to de-mythologize our faith, a flat out rejection of the supernatural power of God. Once the devil has us convinced that we can challenge him under our own natural power, or simply deny that he even exists, he's cut us off from the only real power capable of defeating him: God's supernatural grace.

More and more common is the modern "secularized" version of religion that sees it reduced to a kind of psychotherapy for self-actualization. Some seminaries seem to focus on training therapeutic practitioners rather than theologians. In other words, instead of seeing Jesus as God with us - a real and ever-present source of supernatural love and grace - he is reduced to a historic figure we simply emulate as a model in our efforts at self-actualization.

Sadly, this secular version of religion has become so prevalent that most people's eyes begin to glaze over at the mere mention of God's supernatural grace as a necessary source of power in our lives. St. Peter warns us to be fortes in fide, strong in faith, because the devil prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Pt 5:8-9). Lions size up a herd to find the weakest and easiest target. Once we are detached from God and his supernatural grace, we are powerless to defend ourselves from the tactics of the devil.

Our ancestors and all of the saints knew all about this supernatural power and strength and that being in a state of grace was the armor of God that was to be treasured and protected at all cost. Like the scriptural images for the kingdom of God, this Divine Life in God (state of grace) is the "hidden treasure" and the "pearl of great price" (Mt 13:44-46). (excerpt from my book, Church Militant Field Manual).

PRAY A ROSARY

Choose either:
  1. Rosary of the Day: Glorious Mysteries
  2. Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Sorrowful Mysteries
PRAYERS FOR TRADITIONAL 54 DAY NOVENA

THE SORROWFUL 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, blood red roses to remind thee of the passion of thy divine Son, with Whom thou didst so fully partake of its bitterness, each rose 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 blood red roses to remind thee of the passion of thy divine Son, with Whom thou didst so fully partake of its bitterness each rose recalling to thee a holy mystery; each ten 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 Agony in the Garden - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these blood red roses with a petition for the virtue of resignation to the will of God and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Scourging at the Pillar - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these blood red roses with a petition for the virtue of mortification and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Crowning with Thorns - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these blood red roses with a petition for the virtue of humility and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Carrying of the Cross - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these blood red roses with a petition for the virtue of patience in adversity and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

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

Concluding Prayer: I bind these blood red roses with a petition for the virtue of love of our enemies 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 of and Provision for the Church, the Family and our Nation. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

 
All of the daily Novena Prayers and Reflections are found in this book: 54 Day Basic Training in Holiness 

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.

"One day through the Rosary and the Scapular, I will save the world."  The Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Dominic  www.ConfraternityCommunity.com




Ember Wednesday

OUR LADY OF SORROWS-YOM KIPPUR at sundown


Job, Chapter 3, Verse 25

For what I feared overtakes me; what I dreaded comes upon me.

 

Job is not just experiencing self-fulfilling prophecy here; he is under a real attack. In chapter two of Job, we see[1]:

·         God bragging about Job, and Satan, once again, doesn't buy it.

·         God gives Satan permission to hurt Job physically, something he wouldn't let him do last time. Just don't kill him.

·         Satan's method of choice? Give Job sores from his tippy toes to his noggin. 

·         Job's wife apparently doesn't find this attractive, because she suggests that he curse God and die. But Job refuses to be disloyal.

·         Job's buddies Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad come to visit and chill with him while he rolls around in ash and sackcloth. This is all standard procedure, don't worry.

·         Then in this chapter Job cries out that he is in pain, and rues the day he was born—poetically, of course.

Ember Days?[2] 

The term “Ember Days” is derived from the Latin term Quatuor Tempora, which literally means “four times.” There are four sets of Ember Days each calendar year: three days each – Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Ember Days fall at the start of a new season and they are ordered as days of fast and abstinence. The significance of the days of the week are that Wednesday was the day Christ was betrayed, Friday was the day He was crucified, and Saturday was the day He was entombed. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the purpose of Ember Days, “besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.” 

Fall Ember Days[3] 

Football games and pumpkin spice beverages and foods return; Autumn is upon us. Sadly, that is what the fall season means to so many people. We have lost contact the actual natural signs of the seasons of the year and turn to manmade expressions as signals for the change of seasons. But a pumpkin spice latte and football game aren’t true signals of the season change, because the specially flavored latte tends to return earlier each year, and added pre-season games blur the true end of summer and beginning of Fall. Once again, I turn to the Church’s Ember Days as an aid to looking at nature and the change of seasons and recognizing them all as a gift from God. Ember Days are a quarterly observance the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of one week of each season that “the Church is accustomed to entreat the Lord for the various needs of humanity, especially for the fruits of the earth and for human labor, and to give thanks to him publicly.” (Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 45). 

In addition, the Church provides us two seasons of preparation, Advent and Lent. Both seasons are a time for change of heart and renewal. But naturally the change of seasons seems to tug and encourage us for renewal and change (spring and fall cleaning, anyone?). Although not required, the traditional fasting and abstaining of these days are an external expression of turning our hearts and focusing back to God. Practicing Ember Days is not intended to be a backward-looking movement or living in the past. Ember Days are still a part of the Church’s tradition. There is an unbroken continuum within the Church’s Liturgy. Ember Days may look a bit different than pre-Vatican II (but even before 1962 Maria von Trapp was bemoaning how they were different and disappearing in her contemporary 1955 America), but the Ember Days are still a part of the Church’s living tradition. Ember Days are part of the agrarian heritage of our Faith. The Church recognizes our dependency on God for His gifts of nature. The Liturgy has reflected this connection with nature and God. Before man become so civilized, weather, crops, farm animals and the change of seasons were a part of daily life for everyone. Not everyone lived in rural locations, but there was a recognition of that connection of the land to our life. The agrarian connection also recognized that while man could work the land, he can never control the elements. 

Returning to our agricultural roots brings true humility in remembering man’s role on earth as being completely beholden to God. The gift of nature is from God, and man is not and can never be in control of it. While Liturgy always has the balance of the four forms of prayer: adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication, our personal prayers tend to lean heavily on the petition form. The Ember Days were a time dedicated to continuing that petition to help us with our needs, especially with harvests, but also stressing on giving gratitude to God for His generous gifts. 

The September Ember Days were one of the first Ember Days established, and they are the most prominent of the quarterly days. The Ember Days in September are outside the main liturgical seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter) and are closest to the Fall Equinox. The Church recognized the pattern of change of seasons and bringing in the harvest man needs to give thanks and renew our hearts. The public practice of Ember Days within the diocese or parish is dependent on the local Ordinary, so there are many locations that do not observe Ember Days at all. But that doesn’t mean that Ember Days can’t be observed in small ways in our domestic churches. There are prayers, food, decorations and activities that can easily be incorporated by your family. Even if no extra external activities or food are added, the Ember Days can be a simple three-day exercise of remembering to look with wonder at our gifts of nature from God, see the connections in our life, and to use this time to turn our hearts in praise and thanksgiving. 

Michaelmas Embertide[4] 

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 14 September, are known as "Michaelmas Embertide," and they come near the beginning of Autumn (September, October, November). The Lessons focus on the Old Covenant's Day of Atonement and the fast of the seventh month, but start off with this prophecy from Amos 9:13-15:

 

Behold the days come, when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed, and the mountains shall dop sweetness, and every hill shall be tilled. And I will bring back the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the abandoned cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine of them; and shall make gardens and eat the fruits of them; and I will plant them upon their land: and I will no more pluck them out of their land which I have given them; saith the Lord thy God. 

Like all Embertides but Whit Embertide, the Lessons end with the story of the three boys in the fiery furnace, as told by Daniel.

The Gospel readings recount how Jesus exorcised demons from a possessed boy and tells the disciples about fasting to cast out unclean spirits (Matthew 9:16-28), forgave Mary Magdalen (Luke 7:36-50), and healed the woman on the sabbath after telling the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6-17). 

Our Lady of Sorrows

 


We must follow the example of Our Lady of Sorrows and bring our savior to others and undergo the joys with the sorrows. Today would be a good day to contemplate the seven sorrows of our Lady and to pray and honor her for she is our mother too.

This feast is dedicated to the spiritual martyrdom of Mary, Mother of God, and her compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son, Jesus. In her suffering as co-redeemer, she reminds us of the tremendous evil of sin and shows us the way of true repentance. May the numerous tears of the Mother of God be conducive to our salvation; with which tears Thou, O God, art able to wash away the sins of the whole world.

As Mary stood at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus hung, the sword of sorrow Simeon had foretold pierced her soul. Below are the seven sorrows of Mary:

  1. The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
  2. The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
  3. Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
  4. Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
  5. Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
  6. The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
  7. The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)

Pope Pius VII[5] approved another series of prayers in honor of the Seven Sorrows for daily meditation in 1815:

 

O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

1.      I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. Hail Mary…

2.      I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety. Hail Mary…

3.      I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the loss of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge. Hail Mary…

4.      I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. Hail Mary…

5.      I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel. Hail Mary…

6.      I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. Hail Mary…

7.      I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom. Hail Mary…

Let Us Pray: 

Let intercession be made for us, we beseech You, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Your mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Your bitter Passion. Through You, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end. Amen. 

Daily meditate upon the Seven Sorrows. Please the Sacred Heart of the Redeemer by pondering the Sorrowful Heart of the Co-redemptrix. Receive the remarkably generous graces which come from uniting our hearts each day to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of the Mother.

St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), Our Lady directly revealed the amazing graces granted by her Son for all those who daily and pray seven Hail Mary’s while meditating on her seven dolors and tears:

1. “I will grant peace to their families.”

2. “They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries.”

3. “I will console them in their pains, and I will accompany them in their work.”

4. “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.”

5. “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”

6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death—they will see the face of their mother.”

7. “I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven, and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.”[6]

Things to Do[7]

Teach your children the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Read more about this devotion. September is traditionally dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows.

·         Present different art pieces of Our Lady of Sorrows, or illustration of one of her sorrows, for meditation and discussion. There are so many different pieces from all different eras, countries and mediums. Search words for art titles would be Lamentation, Deposition, Pieta, Dolorosa, Sorrows, etc. Some samples:

o   The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin by Albrecht Durer

o   Michelangelo's Pieta

o   Pieta by Giovanni Bellini

o   Vincent Van Gogh's Pieta

o   Titian's Mater Dolorosa

o   Different artists on the Presentation in the Temple

o   Various artists on the Flight into Egypt

·         Discuss why Mary is called the Queen of Martyrs.

·         Make a heart-shaped cake for dessert, decorated with the swords piercing the heart.

·         Think of ways to make reparation to Mary for the sins committed against Our Lord.

·         Pray the short prayer or ejaculation, Holy Mother, imprint deeply upon my heart the wounds of the Crucified.

·         Read or sing the Stabat Mater, perhaps incorporating it with the Stations of the Cross.

·         In Italy, the title of Our Lady of Sorrows is Maria Santissima Addolorata. This devotion began in the 1200s. She is the patron of many Italian cities. In southern Italy there is La Festa della Madonna dei Sette Dolori (the festival of the Seven Sorrows of the Madonna), instituted in 1423, also called Madonna dell’Addolorata Festival. The food connected to this festival is cuccia salata, wheat berries cooked in meat broth and layered with goat or pork.

·         I will be hiking and praying using my reflections in my book Divine Mercy Hikes.

Yom Kippur[8]

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the last day to atone our sins of the Ten Days of Repentance, which start on the New Year (Rosh Hashanah). This is a fast mentioned in the Bible and the punishment mentioned for not keeping this fast is excommunication. Jews seek to 'purify their souls' on this day, by abstaining from common pleasures.  Yom Kippur is celebrated by most all Jewish denominations.  It is a fast day from the eve until the next day nightfall (twenty-five hours).  No food or drink is permissible.  It is a day on which Jews 'afflict the soul', which includes wearing only non-leather shoes, not combing one's hair and no marital relations. For many Orthodox Jews, most of Yom Kippur is spent in prayer in the Synagogue.  Five prayer services are held (as opposed to the normal three daily prayers).

Yom Kippur Facts

·         It is customary to eat a festive meal on the Eve of Yom Kippur with round challah bread, a meat meal and sustaining foods. One is not allowed to risk one's life and thus anyone in danger of life from fasting, including the young and sick are not allowed to fast. Yom Kippur is the only Jewish fast observed on a Sabbath, due to its importance.

·         It is customary to wear white on the holiday, which symbolizes purity and calls to mind the promise that our sins shall be made as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). Some people wear a Kittel, the white robe in which the dead are buried.

·         Yom Kippur Liturgy in Orthodox and most Traditional communities include Kol Nidre prayer in which Jews annul all their vows and Avinu Malkeinu, 'Our father our King'.

·         The last of the Orthodox and traditional five Synagogue services for Yom Kippur is the Neilah service (final 'closing of the gates').  It is considered particularly heart-rendering and people often cry during the service.  At the end of the service, a Shofar (ram's horn) is blown and the end of the day is pronounced.

·         Jews ask the Lord to be considered both as a child and as a servant.  They request from God that as a father of a child, God have mercy as a father does over his child.

Rest[9]

On Yom Kippur, I’ll skip my physical workout for a spiritual one instead. In fact, Yom Kippur is all about getting beyond our physical selves, so we can focus solely on doing the difficult, sacred work the High Holidays demand of us, free from the distractions of our bodies and their needs. “When we refrain from indulging our physical appetites for a limited period, in order to devote ourselves for a time more exclusively to demands that rank higher in our hierarchy of values, we are not denying the physical appetites their just place in life; we are simply recognizing the need of putting them in their place.” Although many Jews expect to fast on Yom Kippur, to help ensure we devote ourselves to a most accurate cheshbon hanefesh (accounting of the soul), it is customary to refrain from five specific activities related to our bodies throughout the holiest day of the Jewish year:

1.      Eating and drinking: The majority of our lives take place in our physical selves, which require sustenance to function optimally. In an effort to get beyond our corporeal body on this day, we forego food and drink. Of course, you should only do what your body can manage in a healthy way. Those who are sick, pregnant, elderly, or otherwise unable to fast should not do so or should do so only in a modified way.

2.      Wearing leather: In an earlier era, leather shoes often were among our most comfortable. If we’re focused on our personal comfort, we can’t also be fully attentive to our spiritual selves. For this reason, you may notice clergy or other worshippers sporting canvas sneakers in lieu of leather shoes on Yom Kippur.

3.      Bathing and shaving: Because we are engaging with our souls on this day, cleaning and grooming our bodies can take a backseat on Yom Kippur.

4.      Anointing ourselves with oil, cream, cologne, perfume, or other balms and salves for physical pleasure diverts our attention from the spiritual reckoning for which Yom Kippur is intended. Thus, using lotions and the like also is an activity from which we abstain on this sacred day.

5.      Sexual relations: For all the reasons noted above, refraining from sexual relations on Yom Kippur turns our attention away from our bodies, centering it instead on our actions and misdeeds of the past year.

By abstaining from these activities for the day, we set ourselves up to truly examine our innermost, intimate beings in a most meaningful way, giving ourselves an opportunity to explore what we can do differently in the coming year to tip the balance toward good. When the sun sets on the Sabbath of Sabbaths, we slowly ease back into our physical selves – returned, revived, refreshed. Mishkan HaNefesh, the new Reform machzor (High Holiday prayer book), eloquently petitions:

May this long day of fasting and self-denial
inspire acts of creativity, generosity, and joy.
May we go from strength to strength.

Yes, throughout the coming year and beyond, may it be our bodies that feed the hungry, comfort the bereaved, clothe the naked, and bring justice and humanity to the places they are needed most. 

35 Promises of God[10] cont.

“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness.

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.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

·         The Year of St. Joseph

 

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Families of St. Joseph’s Porters.

·         Iceman’s Total Consecration to Mary-Day 5


·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 20

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

 


[1]http://www.shmoop.com/book-of-job/chapter-2-summary.html

[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/blog/index.cfm?id=218#

[4] https://www.fisheaters.com/customstimeafterpentecost8.html

[6]http://www.motherofallpeoples.com/2010/09/the-promises-of-the-seen-sorrows/

[8] http://www.wincalendar.com/Yom-Kippur