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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

FEAST OF OUR HOLY GUARDIAN ANGELS Psalm 91, verse 5-6 5 You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies ...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday, February 14, First Sunday of Lent/Valentines Day

Isaiah, Chapter 8, verse 5-7
The Choice: The Lord or Assyria. 5Again the LORD spoke to me: 6Because this people* has rejected the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, And melts with fear at the display of Rezin and Remaliah’s son, 7Therefore the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, great and mighty, the king of Assyria and all his glory.

Isaiah here is admonishing the people that if they give in to fear and seek the aid of neighboring kings they are making a choice. The Lord or Assyria. Isaiah encouraged them to have courage and trust in God rather than men. The people repeated the same error as in the time of Moses for they lacked courage failing to trust in God and while Moses was on Mount Ararat receiving the Ten Commandments the people made a graven image to protect them.  Ultimately King Ahaz and Israel lacked courage and sought the aid of the strong warrior nation of Assyria which resulted in their ultimate failure.

We must learn from this verse to put our trust solely in God and mark our actions and thoughts with total confidence in the power of God.

Isaiah in the previous chapter had strived to get King Ahaz to make an act of faith in God's power: "Ask a sign of the Lord your God."  However, the king refused; for he preferred to seek salvation in human aid, the prophet made this prediction: "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel"[1](Is 7:13-14). Courage requires us to have the vision of Christ for:  “For where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18).

First Sunday of Lent.[2] The model for our fasting for Lent is Christ in the desert, and the kinds of temptations we can expect to encounter.

Our Savior was led by the Holy Ghost into the desert there to prepare by fasting forty days and nights for His holy ministry. Here the tempter approaches and seeks to betray Him. After He had overcome the Evil One angels came and ministered to Him: by which we learn that they who overcome temptations enjoy the consolation and assistance of the angels. This should encourage us to combat joyfully to the end.

What is temptation?
Temptation is an inducement to transgress the commandments of God. Temptation comes from our own concupiscence (James i. 14); for the flesh lusteth against the spirit; (Gal. v.17.)

How does the devil tempt us?
He moves the natural concupiscence to such sins as he sees men particularly inclined to, and then deceives and confuses the man’s mind, that he may not see clearly either the temporal loss, or the dishonor and danger of sin. He can, however, do nothing but what God permits. St. Augustine therefore compares him to a chained dog that can hurt only those who put themselves within his reach.

Does God also tempt us?
St. James says (i. 13), Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God; for God is not a tempter of evils, and He tempteth no man. But He allows us to be tempted, sending us manifold trials.

Does God permit us to be tempted beyond our strength?
No; for He combats with us, and gives you always as much strength as is required to conquer temptations, and even to gain advantage from them (i. Cor. x. 13).

When do we consent to temptation?
When we decide of our own free will to do the evil proposed; as long as we resist, however little, we do not consent.

What are the best means to overcome temptation?
1. Humility and prayer. 2. The consideration of the suffering which follows sin, and of the happiness which awaits those who resist temptation. 3. Invoking the aid of the Blessed Virgin, our guardian angel, and all the saints. 4. Praying devoutly, Lead us not into temptation, and calling on the holy name of Jesus.

Guardian Angels[3] Our lives always are better if we work with God rather than against him. To this end God has assigned an angel to protect churches and persons for indeed we are the true temples of God. We should be particularly attentive to our own guardian angels, since they are specifically assigned to our care. Our guardian angels want to help us cooperate with the will of God, and they want to keep us from sin. They help us to comfort others-and they want to keep us safe and from causing harm to others. They are our best friend in that they always want what’s best for us even if it does not coincide with the things we desire the most and they will undoubtedly help us, especially when we ask them. Learn to ask for what you need. Our angel helps us to answer Gods call for holiness. As we are the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit our angel is charged with protecting our temples and keeping us pure for the presence of God. We must learn to speak to the angels.

No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent. For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go. With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You can tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.(Ps.91:10-13)

Today is Valentine’s Day by his love you can see we truly are His Valentine. The idea of Valentine's Day seems to have originated during the Middle Ages, somewhere around the 14th or 15th century.  The holiday is named after a Saint Valentine who was martyred.  Chaucer, a famous poet, wrote about "Seynt Valentyne's day" in his famous Parliament of Foules.  Other historians attribute the holiday as a celebration of the life of Saint Valentine who lived in Constantinople 150 years after Constantine turned the city in a Christian one.  There was a pagan celebration on February 15th where lots of unmarried men chose a bride and were married on this day.  Married men didn't want to go to war, so Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry.  Valentine ignored the decree and was executed on February 14, in the year A.D. 270.

Today is also International Condom Day in which our secular brothers and sisters seek to promote the use of condoms as a means of preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STI's) rather than the moderation of the passions.  It is an informal observance celebrated in conjunction with Valentine's Day.  The holiday is also promoted by the AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV thru safe sex practices.[4]

The modern secular man or woman thinks the word protection means the use of a condom but for over a millennia the faithful have always sought the guidance, assistance and protection of angels rather than a rubber tube. 

Please pray for my daughter Claire who's birthday is today.




[1] Pope John Paul II's General Audience on January 31, 1996, Vatican Press, February 7, 1996.
[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[3] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 5. Guardian Angels

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