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Monday, February 1, 2015 Novena to the Holy Face

Sirach, Chapter 29, Verse 7
Many refuse to lend, not out of meanness, but from fear of being cheated needlessly.

The lending of money was part of the cycle of life for a righteous Jew and then as today a good person was afraid of being cheated by someone holding a sign up that says: “Why lie I still get high” “Help” “God Bless”.

Lending and Love: A Jewish Approach to Loans[1]


Tracee Rosen suggests that the Torah provides a system of social engineering in its complex laws of land management and interest-free loans. Every seven years the land was to lie fallow and debts were cancelled. In the meantime it was forbidden for Jews to charge one another interest when lending money. Tracee Rosen writes, “Both are social engineering policies designed to forestall widening the chasm between the haves and the have-nots in society. Helping the poor become more self-sufficient through these two policies also meant a reduction in the number of Jews who would be required to sell themselves into indentured servitude to repay their debts.” That said we confront a variety of complex problems in the practical application of these laws both in ancient and modern times. While borrowing was the last resort in an agrarian society lending and borrowing of money took on commercial significance in a society that was built upon business and the exchange of capital rather than agriculture. The sages came up with ingenious strategies for circumventing the prohibition against lending money with interest while trying to maintain the spirit if not the letter of the law. At the heart of these practices was a deep belief that property is not ours unconditionally and that we have a responsibility to share our resources with others. From the perspective of the Bible and the sages lending money to fellow Israelites in times of difficult economic straits was an “act of righteousness and kindness.” And yet to loan funds without some type of system of interest became untenable over time. The sages wondered how to balance righteousness with a stable economy.

We are left to wonder whether these ingenious strategies circumvent the law or capture the spirit of the law. If we are but stewards of God’s wealth we must ask ourselves what our responsibilities are to others.

Halakhah L’ma-aseh

1.      The key to understanding these texts from the Torah properly is that they all suppose the act of lending money to fellow Israelites in times of difficult economic straits to be an act of righteousness and kindness. And indeed, we are commanded multiple times in the Torah to behave righteously toward strangers, poor people, orphans and widows. The Observant Life, pp.556

2.      Giving gifts of charity, of course, is one way to help the poor and powerless. But the Torah seems to recognize at least tacitly, that almost all people will be capable of lending far greater sums of money than they will be able to give away outright as charitable gifts.-The Observant Life, pp. 557

3.      It is crucial to remember that the biblical view of lending is rooted in the assumption that loans function primarily in society as a means for the wealthy to assist people in dire economic circumstances.-The Observant Life, pp. 558

4.      In our day, there are special societies that exist to facilitate lending money to Jews as an act of charity, but the reality in our world is that most loans are sought from banks or other lending institutions as commercial enterprises rather than acts of charity. The Observant Life, pp. 560

5.      The prohibition against taking interest from another Jew was taken so seriously that the Talmud actually rules that participating in such a loan represents a transgression not only for the lender and the borrower, but also for the guarantor, the witnesses and even the scribe...nonetheless, as the financial realities of the medieval period changed, some sort of device was required whereby merchants and business people could borrow money in order to finance their business...referred to as torat iska (business law), the document restructures what we would normally understand as a loan into a kind of business partnership. The Observant Life, pp. 560

6.      At the deepest level, these laws are a powerful translation of the dogmatic notion that everything we own ultimately belongs to God from the realm of pious ideas into the world of real people and their very real needs, Being willing to release a loan, therefore, is a kind of tacit acknowledgement that all wealth is on loan from the Creator anyway!-The Observant Life, pp. 564

7.      In general, the Jewish attitude toward individual wealth can be summed up by these words from the first verse of the twenty fourth psalm: "The earth is the Eternal's and all it contains." And indeed, from the Jewish perspective, we are merely the conservators and stewards of the wealth that ultimately belongs to God.-The Observant Life, pp.

In a deeper sense we all have a debt to God which we cannot pay; Christ came as man and God and paid the debt in full.

To prepare ourselves for union with God; I recommend we start a Novena to the Holy Face of Christ. I try to do this yearly in preparation for lent.

The Novena will end on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is the day that Judas went to the Sanhedrin to betray Christ.

NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE

[2]The Golden Arrow
(as dictated by Our Lord to Sister Marie of St. Peter)
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth by all the creatures of God and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.  Amen. Eternal Father, I offer Thee the adorable Face of Thy Beloved Son for the honor and glory of Thy Name, for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of the dying. Amen.

1.      All those who honor My Face in a spirit of reparation will by so doing perform the office of the pious Veronica. According to the care they take in making reparation to My Face, disfigured by blasphemers, so will I take care of their souls which have been disfigured by sin. My Face is the seal of the Divinity, which has the virtue of reproducing in souls the image of God.
2.      Those who by words, prayers or writing defend My cause in this Work of Reparation I will defend before My Father, and will give them My Kingdom.
3.      By offering My Face to My Eternal Father, nothing will be refused, and the conversion of many sinners will be obtained.
4.      By My Holy Face, they will work wonders, appease the anger of God, and draw down mercy on sinners.
5.      As in a kingdom they can procure all that is desired with a coin stamped with the King's effigy, so in the Kingdom of Heaven they will obtain all they desire with the precious coin of My Holy Face.
6.      Those who on earth contemplate the wounds of My Face shall in Heaven behold it radiant with glory.
7.      They will receive in their souls a bright and constant irradiation of My Divinity, that by their likeness to My Face they shall shine with particular splendor in Heaven.
8.      I will defend them, I will preserve them and I assure them of Final Perseverance.[3]

Novena in Honor of
the Most Holy Face of Jesus

"I firmly wish that my face reflecting the intimate pains of my soul, the suffering and love of my heart, be more honored! Whoever gazes upon me already consoles me." (Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Pierina)
 DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER

 O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Start novena)
"All those who, attracted by my love, and venerating my countenance, shall receive, by virtue of my humanity, a brilliant and vivid impression of my divinity. This splendor shall enlighten the depths of their souls, so that in eternal glory the celestial court shall marvel at the marked likeness of their features with my divine countenance." (Our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Gertrude)
First Day
(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer)
Psalm 51, 3-4.
Have mercy on me, O God in your goodness, in your great tenderness wipe away my faults; wash me clean of my guilt, purify me from my sin.

O most Holy Face of Jesus, look with tenderness on us who are sinners. You are a merciful God, full of love and compassion. Keep us pure of heart, so that we may see Thee always. Mary, our Mother, intercede for us; Saint Joseph, pray for us. 

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.

Prayer to Our Almighty Father

Almighty Father, come into our hearts, and so fill us with your love that forsaking all evil desires, we may embrace you, our only good. Show us, O Lord our God, what you are to us. Say to our souls, I am your salvation, speak so that we may hear. Our hearts are before you; open our ears; let us hasten after your voice. Hide not your Face from us, we beseech you, O Lord. Open our hearts so that you may enter in. Repair the ruined mansions, that you may dwell therein. Hear us, O Heavenly Father, for the sake of your only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever Amen. (St. Augustine)

Pray one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be,
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)[4]





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