Today is a traditional day to go to confession if you can.
Sirach, Chapter 43, Verse 33
It is the LORD who has made all things; to those who fear him he gives wisdom.
The greatest wisdom is to do the will of God.
The Shema Yisrael which is the same prayer the Christ most likely prayed every morning Himself is still prayed by pious Jews today.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength.
To be wise is to not take ourselves too seriously and to have the ability to laugh at ourselves and to see the humor in our foibles. Humor is a gift from God.
I know our Lord does have a sense of humor which at times He has revealed to me. Life at times can be challenging and as every married man knows life with your spouse is even on good days challenging. One day was particularly perplexing and in a prayer to Our Lord I said, “Lord why is it that you have strapped me to the meanest, most cantankerous, nasty person on earth.” To which He responded, “Funny that’s the same thing she says about you.”
Humor is God’s gift to us so that we do not take ourselves too seriously and it often helps us to make good judgments.
John McCain in his book “Character is Destiny” expresses the value humor in leaders and portraits for us the life of Mark Twain as the person who used humor most effectively to change the world.
John says of Mark Twain:
He became the most famous person in the world, and he helped Americans live up to their promise by making us laugh at ourselves. One of the greatest American novels was published in 1885, by Mark Twain, after seven years of intermittent writing. Its title is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. There had never been one as good before, and there has never been another as good since, or more American. Until he was twenty-seven years old, the man who wrote it had been known as Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Thereafter, he was Mark Twain. Rebellion was Twain’s salvation. His writings rebelled against social injustice, against the weaknesses of human nature, against life’s cruelest misfortune; against the heart’s own crimes. When confronted with the choice between what others thought was wrong but conscience insisted was right, “All right, then, I’ll go to hell,” was the rebel’s answer. Twain led no great protest movement, enlisted in no underground army, ran for no office, and joined no political party. He was, as has often been remarked, a “great noticer” of people, places, and things, and he told their stories, or variations of them. He told them with as much humor as he was capable of conceiving—humor that was, as it turned out, more entertaining and more meaningful than that of anyone before or since. He was the funniest man alive, and he made good use of the talent. “The human race has only one effective weapon,” he argued, “and that is laughter.” He was an American, a fact he was grateful for and proud of, but never conceited about. Human nature is flawed, wherever it resides, and he felt its flaws keenly in others and in himself. He knew his country was building a civilization better than the celebrated civilizations of the past, but that some aspects of human nature could never be changed. Human beings are apt to do as much bad as good. But Twain knew something else. They were apt to be funny as well, awfully funny. I think it could be fairly said of Sam Clemens, and the alter ego that was his great achievement, that he didn’t like people generally, but loved them well enough individually. And they loved him back. “An American loves his family,” Thomas Edison once observed. “If he has any love left over for some other person he generally selects Mark Twain.” Whether he even knew it or not, he was as a speaker and writer as instructive as he was entertaining. He helped Americans see the strengths and the foibles of our own peculiar, promising, but imperfect nature. He helped us see it because he recognized in himself those very same flaws and strengths. He helped encourage in us an honesty about the injustices we had committed or allowed to exist, and a desire to repair them. He made being human seem both a trial and a privilege, and a very funny joke. “God created man,” he said, “because he was disappointed in the monkey.” His admittedly dark view of human nature would have caused many others to shout denunciations at the world. Twain laughed at it, and made the world laugh back. “I have had a ‘call’ to literature, of a low order—i.e. humorous,” he wrote his brother Orion. “It is nothing to be proud, but it is my strongest suit.” As he often treated any personal fact, Twain exaggerated his own modesty. He knew humor to be life’s most necessary tonic, and employed to take the sting out of human folly and misfortune, “to blur the craggy outlines, and make the thorns less sharp and the cruelties less malignant.” He encouraged us to rebel against injustice and cruelty and falsehood, even when they were our own creations. “I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices,” he once assured an audience. “All I need to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.”
NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE
DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER
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.
Psalm 51, 18-21.
For in sacrifice you take no delight, burnt offering from me you would refuse, my sacrifice a contrite spirit. A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn. In your goodness, show favor to Zion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice, holocausts offered on your altar.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.
Prayer to the Holy Trinity
Most Holy Trinity, Godhead indivisible, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our first beginning and our last end. Since you have made us after your own image and likeness, grant that all the thoughts of our minds, all the words of our tongues, all the affections of our hearts and all our actions may be always conformed to your most Holy Will, so that after having seen you here on earth in appearances and in a dark manner by the means of faith, we may come at last to contemplate you face to face, in the perfect possession of you forever in paradise. Amen.
Pray one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
To The Holy Face Of Jesus
O Lord Jesus, we believe most firmly in Thee, we love Thee. Thou art the Eternal Son of God and the Son Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thou art the Lord and Absolute Ruler of all creation. We acknowledge Thee, therefore, as the Universal Sovereign of all creatures. Thou art the Lord and Supreme Ruler of all mankind, and we, in acknowledging this, Thy dominion, consecrate ourselves to Thee now and forever. Loving Jesus, we place our family under the protection of Thy Holy Face, and of Thy Virgin Mother, Mary most sorrowful. We promise to be faithful to Thee for the rest of our lives and to observe with fidelity Thy Holy Commandments. We will never deny before men, Thee and Thy Divine rights over us and all mankind. Grant us the grace to never sin again; nevertheless, should we fail, O Divine Savior, have mercy on us and restore us to Thy grace. Radiate Thy Divine Countenance upon us and bless us now and forever. Embrace us at the hour of death in Thy Kingdom for all eternity, through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, of all thy Saints who behold Thee in Heaven, and the just who glorify Thee on earth, O Jesus, be mindful of us forever and never forsake us; protect our family. O Mother of Sorrows, by the eternal glory which thou dost enjoy in Heaven, through the merits of thy bitter anguish in the Sacred Passion of thy Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for us the grace that the Precious Blood shed by Jesus for the redemption of our souls, be not shed for us in vain. We love thee, O Mary. Embrace us and bless us, O Mother. Protect us in life and in death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
 McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York
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