Wednesday, March 8, 2017 Ember Day

Deuteronomy, Chapter 17, Verse 12-13
12Anyone who acts presumptuously and does not obey the priest, who officiates there in the ministry of the LORD, your God, or the judge, shall die. Thus shall you purge the evil from Israel. 13And all the people, on hearing of it, shall fear, and will never again act presumptuously.

Do not be cheeky with God!

The definition of Presumption is:

  1. An act or instance of taking something to be true or adopting a particular attitude toward something, especially at the start of a chain of argument or action.
  2. Behavior perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate. "he lifted her off the ground and she was enraged at his presumption"

synonyms:brazenness, audacity, boldness, audaciousness, temerity, arrogance,presumptuousness, forwardness; cockiness, insolence, impudence,bumptiousness, impertinence, effrontery, cheek, cheekiness; rudeness, impoliteness, disrespect, familiarity;  informal nerve, chutzpah, sass, sassiness;  archaic assumption "he apologized for his presumption"

What are the ember-days?

Days instituted to thank God, each season of the year, for the benefits received during that season, and to remind the faithful, each quarter of the year, of the duty of penance; also to pray to God for deserving priests, for on those days the ordination of priests usually takes place. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions)

  • The Ember Days are four series of Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays which correspond to the natural seasons of the year. Autumn brings the September, or Michaelmas, Embertide; winter, the Advent Embertide; Spring, the Lenten Embertide; and in summer, the Whit Embertide (named after Whitsunday, the Feast of Pentecost).
  • The English title for these days, "Ember," is derived from their Latin name: Quatuor Temporum, meaning the "Four Times" or "Four Seasons."
·         The Embertides are periods of prayer and fasting, with each day having its own special Mass.

·         Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday were days of particularly devotion in the early church: Wednesday, as recalling the betrayal of our Lord, and Friday in memory of His Passion, Saturday was later added to these days of prayer and penance as a continuation of Friday, and as far back as the second century they were set apart as Stational days, that is as days of special religious service and fasting.
·         The Ember Days, although the occasion of their institution is uncertain, are a reminder of these ancient days of devotion. Their purpose is to thank God for the fruits of the earth and other gifts of nature, to teach moderation in their use, and to assist the needy. From the time of Pope Gelasius in the fifth century it has been allowed to confer the diaconate and priesthood on the Saturdays of Ember weeks.



Ember Day Prayers[1]

Prayer:
Antiphon: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He hath done for thee.
V. Lord, Thou has been our refuge.
R. From generation to generation.
Let us Pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that as year by year we devoutly keep these holy observances, we may be pleasing to Thee both in body and soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Honor of Christ's Betrayal and Passion
O God, Who for the world's Redemption was pleased to be born, circumcised, rejected by the Jews, betrayed by the kiss of traitor Judas, bound with chains, led like an innocent lamb to sacrifice, and shamefully presented before Annas, Caiphas, Pilate, and Herod, accused by false witnesses, beaten with whips, buffeted, insulted, spat upon, crowned with thorns, smitten with a reed, blindfolded, stripped of Thy garments, fastened with nails to the cross and lifted up on high, reputed among thieves, made to drink gall and vinegar and wounded by a lance; oh, by these most sacred sufferings, which, unworthy as I am, I thus commemorate, and by Thy holy cross and death, deliver me, Lord, from the pains of hell, and deign to lead me where Thou didst lead me where Thou didst lead the penitent thief, who was crucified by Thy side. Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc. five times.

Prayer for God's Blessing on our Labors
O Lord, graciously look down upon Thy servants and upon the work of their hands, and do Thou, Who givest food to every creature, bless and preserve the fruits of the earth, that the needy may be filled with good things and that all may praise the glory of Thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Vocations to the Priesthood
Antiphon. Why stand ye all the day idle, go ye into my vineyard.
V. Ask the Lord of the harvest.
R. That He send laborers into His vineyard.
Let us Pray God, who willest not the death of the sinner, but rather that he be converted and live; grant, by the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin and of all saints, laborers for Thy Church, fellow laborers with Christ, to spend and consume themselves for souls. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer Source: Blessed Be God: A Complete Catholic Prayer Book by Charles J. Callan, OP, S.T.M, P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1961



Preparing for Battle[1] Know Your Weapons


The weapon of fasting

·         When God’s people fast, the power of their prayers is increased, especially when they are engaged in spiritual warfare.
·         In response to Daniel’s fasting and prayer, God had sent the Archangel Michael to battle a demonic power (called “the prince of the kingdom of Persia”)
·         If prayer is a spiritual weapon, fasting is the spiritual whetstone on which it is sharpened.

International Women's Day[2]

International Women’s Day celebrates women’s achievements throughout the world.  Its purpose is to promote women’s equality, encourage support for repressed women and promote appreciation toward women everywhere.  Many organizations, including the United Nations, use this day to also celebrate extraordinary achievements of ordinary women. International Women's Day was initially promoted by the Socialist Party of America.  In 1909, it designated this day in remembrance of a major strike by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union.  The holiday is now recognized internationally and is an Official National Holiday for many countries, including: China, Russia and Ukraine.  It is observed annually on March 8th.

International Women's Day Facts & Quotes

·         In 2016, the theme for International Women's Day as promoted by the United Nations was Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.
·         On the eve of World War I, women across Europe and Russia celebrated the holiday by protesting the war and campaigning for peace.
·         On this day, the US Dept. of State and the First Lady award the International Women of Courage Awards.  Ten women, are given the award - who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk
·         I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them.  I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life, grandmothers, teachers, aunts, cousins, neighbors, who taught me about quiet strength and dignity. -Michelle Obama
·         There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable. -  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

International Women's Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Organize a sporting event for women.  Numerous studies have shown many benefits for women that play sports.  A recent study by the EY Women Athletes Business Network even found that women that play sports were more likely to excel in business.
·         If you're a woman, try learning a task that is typically done by men.  Such a chore may be: changing the oil on your car, computer programming, mowing the lawn, painting, and any home improvement project.
·         If you’re a man, show appreciation by performing a chore for your special lady that is typically done by her.   This may include cooking, cleaning, child care or anything that the special woman in your life does.
·         Watch a movie that portrays strong empowered women.  Our favorites:  Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Elizabeth (1998), Erin Brockovich (2000), The Help (2011), A League of Their Own (1992), Mulan (1998), My Fair Lady (1964), Norma Rae (1979), Volver (2006).

The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine "genius" which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness.
-John Paul II, Apostolic Letter

Daily Devotions/Prayers
 
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood


Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance
  • Wilful murder
  • Sodomy
  • Oppression of the poor
  • Cheating laborers of their just wages


[1]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

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