Deuteronomy, Chapter 5, Verse 4-6
4 Face to face, the LORD spoke with you on the mountain from the midst of the fire, 5 while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to announce to you these words of the LORD, since you were afraid of the fire and would not go up the mountain: 6 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Today reflect on how our labor can be slavery or it can be a joy. In the end you are responsible for your own happiness. The fire on the mountain was not an impediment to the Israel people coming to God; it was their excuse. The secret of success is finding out our vocation from God and following it. When we follow God’s guidance to the do the work he has intended for us, we are like the tree that Moses saw that brought him into the service of the Lord. We will burn but not be consumed! Then, when others see our work and wonder at our joy in slavery to the Lord they too will come to know that “His burden is light.” (Mt. 11-30)
Many years ago, I also, like the people of Israel was afraid of the fire; and refused to go up on the mountain. Yes, I was called to the priesthood. I was afraid of the fire. I made all the excuses: I am not worthy, I want a wife; I want children. I turned away and the life I thought would be a joy was unsatisfying. Yet, the Lord did not abandon me; He has never chided me; no only I have chided myself. He has made good out of all I have shattered with my selfishness. This is the challenge of the cross that when we fall, and we will fall; that we pick the cross up again and drink the cup the Lord has given us to the dregs. How committed are you to discovering and following Jesus?
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. (Jn: 10:27)
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.
Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may revive. From my sins turn away your Face, and blot out all my guilt.
Holy Face of Jesus, Sacred Countenance of’ God, how great is your patience with humankind, how infinite your forgiveness. We are sinners, yet you love us. This gives us courage. For the glory of your Holy Face and of the Blessed Trinity, hear and answer us. 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 Saint Joseph
Dear Saint Joseph! Adopt us as thy children, take charge of our salvation; watch over us day and night; preserve us from occasions of sin; obtain for us purity of body and soul, and the spirit of prayer, through thy intercession with Jesus, grant us a spirit of sacrifice, of humility and self-denial; obtain for us a burning love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet, tender love for Mary, our Mother.
Saint Joseph, be with us in life, be with us in death and obtain for us a favorable judgment from Jesus, our merciful Savior. 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)
It might sound odd that during the period of "Carnival" there occurs some of the most decadent feasting of the liturgical year. There is, however, a pious (if not somewhat convoluted) logic behind this consumption. Because not only meat but lacticinia (dairy products) were originally prohibited during Lent, Christians knew that they had to eat these foods before Ash Wednesday or they would spoil. The last days before Lent were thus spent in eating copious amounts of fat dishes. From this necessity comes England's famous Shrove Tuesday Pancakes and northern England's Collop Monday (a collop is made of sliced meat and eggs fried in butter). This also gave rise to the most famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Christian party of all: Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday," is the French celebration of the final day before Lent. In this country it is associated mostly with the Cajun and Creole cuisine of New Orleans, two culinary traditions that provide a myriad of spicy, delicious dishes. One of the more interesting customs of the New Orleans Mardi Gras is the baking of a King's Cake, in which is placed a small doll of the Infant Jesus. The person whose piece of cake has the doll must provide the cake for next year's party.