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Sixteen Sunday af. Pentecost ( 26 th S. Ord. Time) FEAST OF SAINT MICHAEL- ROSH HASHANAH begins at sundown 2 Maccabees, Chapte...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

WELCOME TO SEPTEMBER

The church traditionally honors angels during the month of September. Paul in Colossians states of Christ, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.” “St. Michael and the Angels” is a beautiful and inspiring book telling all about the angels. Filled with stories from the lives and writings of the saints, it tells of the role which the good angels play in the divine economy of saving souls. Led by St. Michael, the Prince of the heavenly host, the angels act as our guardians, serve as messengers from God to us and from us to God, surround the altar during Mass, and bear the graces of the Mass like incense to the altar of God on high. Here is explained the relationship of the angels to the Blessed Virgin Mary and how, if she is to send them to our aid, we must request her to do so. Included too is the prayer to our guardian angel asking him to go in our place to attend Mass when we cannot, plus the way the good angels protect us against the evil spirits. The book also discusses in detail the pre-eminent role of St. Michael as "Champion of the Church," "Defender of Christians," "Guardian of Purgatory," and "Helper of the Sick and Dying." Finally are included prayers to the angels and a litany to our Guardian Angel, to St. Michael, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel. In all, St. Michael and the Angels is a treasure trove of information and inspiration about the holy angels-our silent partners in the way of salvation.

It is also a good practice to ask for angelic help throughout our day. There are nine choirs of angels and three hierarchies three within three.  Remember to ask their assistance about every two hours throughout your day


Upon rising (7 am) address the first choir of angels, the Seraphim. Their chief characteristic is great and ardent love. They were made for one thing alone-----to love the God of Love. Without ceasing they honor, praise, and love the most Blessed Trinity-----they can do nothing else-----this is their happiness. Practice upon rising to try to become a Seraph of love: let this be your habitual disposition. Love and do what God wills. Ask this great gift feverently. Aspiration: "Oh! Blessed Seraphim! Make us love." Say the Shema Yisrael.

At the second hour (9 am) of the day address the second choir is the Cherubim who continually are employed in contemplating the beauty and perfections of God and will share with us their admirable wisdom, if we ask them, and show ourselves in earnest, by the practice of supplication and prayer. Cherubim are full of zeal for the glory of God and stand ready at all times to defend His honor. Cherubim should be invoked when one is troubled with doubts against faith those who experience temptations against holy purity.  Practice: Spend time before praying in great silence and recollection; endeavor to "know God, and Him Whom He has sent, Jesus Christ." Aspiration: "Blessed Cherubim! Teach us to pray."

At the fourth hour (11 am) of the day address the third choir is the choir of Thrones. They are called Angels of Peace; calm, tranquility, and stability. Ask them for that peace of soul which is the fruit of a good conscience. Invoke their aid for such as are prone to hatred, passion and impatience; and after their example, practice being meek, calm, and peaceful with all. Practice: Dispose yourself to great sweetness and patience. Aspiration: "O Holy Thrones! Obtain that Divine peace, which surpasses all understanding, may keep our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ, Our Lord."

At the sixth hour (1 pm) of the day address the fourth choir of angels which is the choir of Dominations.  They are consumed by their yearning for the interests of God: their principal office is to manifest His will. We should also beg of God to manifest His will to us by these Blessed "Intelligences" and then take care to fulfill it scrupulously, as being the shortest way to perfection and sanctity. We should ask these Angels to help us to spread God's kingdom upon earth, for the conversion of heretics and infidels, and for the return of lukewarm and fallen away Catholics to the practice of the faith. Practice: Give practical proof of your zeal for the glory of God; do something for His reign in souls, as instructing the ignorant. Aspiration: "Holy Dominations! Animate us with thy zeal."

At the eighth hour (3 pm) of the day address the fifth choir of angels which is the choir of Principalities. The Principalities watch over Empires, Provinces, and Dioceses. Purity of intention is the virtue ascribed to them, for in their high functions they never seek but the honor and interest of God alone. Let us imitate them. It is the intention which stamps the action with merit or demerit. Practice: In all you do and say, seek the greater glory of God.  Aspiration: "O Holy Spirits! May we, like thee, seek God, for God alone." Now would be a good time to also pray a divine mercy prayer

At the 10th hour (5 pm) of the day address the sixth choir of angels the Powers. These Angels have unlimited mastery over the wicked Spirits; they are endowed with great intelligence and are able to discover their schemes and plans for our destruction. Their power is so incredible that one alone of them would be able to destroy the entire infernal host. It is well to invoke them in temptation: but to merit their assistance we must take care to avoid the occasions of sin. Practice: Resist the attacks of vice and passion; frequently make acts of diffidence in self and confidence in God; combat your evil inclinations. Aspiration: "Lord! Send Thy Angels to assist us."

At the 12th hour (7 pm) of the day address the seventh choir of angels the Virtues. Energy and strength are attributed to the Virtues. They have dominion over the elements; all nature is subjected to their control. Hence they can raise or appease the tempest. We may profitably invoke them in unforeseen accidents, sickness, etc. We may also have recourse to them for that strength necessary to lead a penitential life, and root out the inclinations of depraved nature. All persons inclined to the contemplative life should call on this choir of Angels for help, for good thoughts alone do not make holy, one needs also strength to persevere and to accomplish this great task. Practice:  (After work) Visit the Blessed Sacrament to obtain grace to overcome your evil dispositions.  Aspiration: "Holy Virtues! Strengthen and fortify us."

 At the 14th hour (9 pm) of the day address the eighth choir of angels the Archangels. The Archangels are distinguished from the Angels by the greater importance of their functions: the Guardians of those invested with authority in the Church and State and are remarkable for their love and care of men. Let us imitate them, doing our neighbor all the good we can and invoking in his behalf these Blessed Spirits. Members of this choir are the holy spirits who stand before the throne of God, ever ready to announce His commands. St. Michael is the warrior leader of God’s angels. St. Gabriel is the special messenger of The Holy Spirit. St. Raphael is the angel of Joy. Practice-----Two Acts of Charity, with great affection. Aspiration: "Holy Archangels! Pray for us, and for our priests." 

At the 16th hour (11 pm) of the day address the Ninth choir of the angels. They are charged with the execution of the Divine ordinances, and are appointed the Guardians of men. Humility is the virtue particularly ascribed to them-----for though the least among the Choirs, yet they see their celestial companions without desiring their greater, more excellent endowments. The Guardian Angels exercise continual watchfulness over the souls committed to their care. Their number is exceedingly great, and it is not necessary when an Angel has accompanied his charge into Heaven, that he be again assigned to a soul in any future generation. Our Guardian, who is our companion in life, will also be forever at our side in Heaven. The joy of these Angels is immeasurably increased when souls entrusted to their care enter Heaven. The Guardian Angels of the lost souls are not deprived of their share of joy. God in His justice increases also theirs with the others, and then assigns them to the special guard of the Queen of Angels, where they with great joy praise the Infinite Justice of God. Let us, like the humble Guardian Angels, love the lowest place, especially when placed therein by Divine Providence, and to behold with joy the preference given to others. Practice: Three Acts of Humility, interior and exterior. Aspiration: "Who is like God!"

Information was obtained from: http://www.catholictradition.org/Angels/angels.htm


SEPTEMBER 1
FIRST FRIDAY
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”-Proverbs 3:5-6
Psalm 27, verse 1:
1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?

This verse is and should be our declaration of faith.  Let us commit it to memorization and repeat it to ourselves daily or when fear and doubt rears its ugly head within our depths.  Doing this will help us trust the Lord and develop a true relationship of love with the Trinity through prayer.  God will become our sanctuary and we will be able to put away our fears and rest in the arms of God.
We will no longer have to pretend that we are not afraid for we will trust the Lord with our whole being offering our lives, families, time and treasure with total peace.  We will be able to sleep and awaken easily.  The old Navajo adage will no longer apply to us; you cannot wake a person who is pretending to be asleep; due to our faith in God.

Through our reliance in Him we will be able to say with King David, “I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13-14).

First Friday[1]

The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus . . . which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins."

To those who show him love and who make reparation for sins, however, our Lord made a great pledge: "I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor, or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life."

 To gain this grace, we must:

·         Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays.
·         Have the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching final perseverance.
·         Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offenses against the Blessed Sacrament.

Considerations

The fullness of God is revealed and given to us in Christ, in the love of Christ, in Christ's heart. For it is the heart of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Were one to lose sight of this great plan of God-the overflow of love in the world through the Incarnation, the Redemption and Pentecost-he could not understand the refinement with which our Lord deals with us. So, when we talk about the heart of Jesus, we stress the certainty of God's love and the truth of his commitment to us. When we recommend devotion to the Sacred Heart, we are recommending that we should give our whole selves to Jesus, to the whole Jesus-our souls, our feelings and thoughts, our words and actions, our joys. That is what true devotion to the heart of Jesus means. It is knowing God and ourselves. It is looking at Jesus and turning to him, letting him encourage and teach and guide us. The only difficulty that could beset this devotion would be our own failure to understand the reality of an incarnate God. But note that God does not say: "In exchange for your own heart, I will give you a will of pure spirit." No, he gives us a heart, a human heart, like Christ's. I don't have one heart for loving God and another for loving people. I love Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit and our Lady with the same heart with which I love my parents and my friends. I shall never tire of repeating this. We must be very human, for otherwise we cannot be divine. . . .

If we don't learn from Jesus, we will never love. If, like some people, we were to think that to keep a clean heart, a heart worthy of God, means "not mixing it up, not contaminating it" with human affection, we would become insensitive to other people's pain and sorrow. We would be capable of only an "official charity," something dry and soulless. But ours would not be the true charity of Jesus Christ, which involves affection and human warmth. In saying this, I am not supporting the mistaken theories-pitiful excuses-that misdirect hearts away from God and lead them into occasions of sin and perdition. . . .

But I have still a further consideration to put before you. We have to fight vigorously to do good, precisely because it is difficult for us to resolve seriously to be just, and there is a long way to go before human relations are inspired by love and not hatred or indifference. We should also be aware that, even if we achieve a reasonable distribution of wealth and a harmonious organization of society, there will still be the suffering of illness, of misunderstanding, of loneliness, of the death of loved ones, of the experience of our own limitations.

Faced with the weight of all this, a Christian can find only one genuine answer, a definitive answer: Christ on the cross, a God who suffers and dies, a God who gives us his heart opened by a lance for the love of us all. Our Lord abominates injustice and condemns those who commit it. But he respects the freedom of each individual. He permits injustice to happen because, as a result of original sin, it is part and parcel of the human condition. Yet his heart is full of love for men. Our suffering, our sadness, our anguish, our hunger and thirst for justice . . . he took all these tortures on himself by means of the cross. . . . 

Suffering is part of God's plans. This is the truth, however difficult it may be for us to understand it. It was difficult for Jesus Christ the man to undergo his passion: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." In this tension of pleading and acceptance of the Father's will, Jesus goes calmly to his death, pardoning those who crucify him.

This supernatural acceptance of suffering was, precisely, the greatest of all conquests. By dying on the cross, Jesus overcame death. God brings life from death. The attitude of a child of God is not one of resignation to a possibly tragic fate; it is the sense of achievement of someone who has a foretaste of victory. In the name of this victorious love of Christ, we Christians should go out into the world to be sowers of peace and joy through everything we say and do. We have to fight-a fight of peace-against evil, against injustice, against sin. Thus do we serve notice that the present condition of mankind is not definitive. Only the love of God, shown in the heart of Christ, will attain our glorious spiritual triumph.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1675, within the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi, our Lord appeared to her and said: "Behold this heart which, not withstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service."

The great promise of the Sacred Heart is most consoling: the grace of final perseverance and the joy of having Jesus' heart as our sure refuge and Infinite Ocean of mercy in our last hour.

Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the heart of your well-beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction which he offers to you in the name of all sinners; and grant them pardon when they seek your mercy. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.

1. Love is revealed to us in the Incarnation, the redemptive journey which Jesus Christ made on our earth, culminating in the supreme sacrifice of the cross. And on the cross it showed itself through a new sign: "One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water." This water and blood of Jesus speak to us of a self-sacrifice brought to the last extreme: "It is finished"-everything is achieved, for the sake of love. . . .

2. Let us realize all the richness hidden in the words "the Sacred Heart of Jesus." When we speak of a person's heart, we refer not just to his sentiments, but to the whole person in his loving dealings with others. In order to help us understand divine things, Scripture uses the expression "heart" in its full human meaning, as the summary and source, expression and ultimate basis, of one's thoughts, words and actions. One is worth what one's heart is worth. . . .

3. Jesus on the cross, with his heart overflowing with love for us, is such an eloquent commentary on the value of people and things that words only get in the way. Men, their happiness and their lives, are so important that the very Son of God gave himself to redeem and cleanse and raise them up. "Who will not love this heart so wounded?" a contemplative asks in this connection. "Who will not return love for love? Who will not embrace a heart so pure? We, who are made of flesh, will repay love with love. We will embrace our wounded One, whose hands and feet ungodly men have nailed; we will cling to his side and to his heart. Let us pray that we be worthy of linking our heart with his love and of wounding it with a lance, for it is still hard and impenitent. . . ."

Fitness Friday-Sleep[2]

Make a good confession today or tomorrow and rest in the arms of the angels.

Sleep. Something we all need more of, but never seem to get. (If only we had more timeright?) Today we’re going to cover how you can. First stop and think!

Sleep is important, and you should get more of it!

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)

Before we cover why sleep is important, let’s talk about what happens when you don’t get enough For example: If you manage to only get four hours of sleep, a sleep deprived body can actually act similarly to an intoxicated body.

Getting less sleep than average regularly? This is correlated with increased bodyfat percentage, more issues with insulin sensitivity, and even a disproportionate decrease in lean muscle mass when eating a caloric deficit. We all know missing sleep can make us grouchy, miserable, unfocused, and unproductive. I know I’m going to have a crappy day in the gym when I don’t get enough sleep the night before. I know not sleeping enough AFTER a workout day can further hinder the muscle building process.

So, what else happens when you don’t get enough sleep? “One study found that skipped sleep led to a shrinking brain. The heart and kidneys also take a beating as does your blood pressure. You, in fact, put yourself at continually increased risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases, including obesity and diabetes.

What is the logical extension of this pattern? Numerous studies link partial sleep deprivation/disruption and increased mortality risk!”

Conversely, let’s talk about the awesomeness that is sleep.  Here are the benefits associated with getting enough shut eye:

·         Sleep will enhance your memory performance and creative problem solving skills.  You know, those things that make you smart.
·         Sleep can boost your athletic performance.  And we all know appearance is a consequence of fitness.
·         Sleep triggers the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a huge role in muscle and cellular regeneration.
·         Sleep cuts your risk for the common cold and other basic illnesses.  Less sick days at work = more productivity, more awesome, more leveling up.
·         Sleep makes you more resilient to daily stress..aka more willpower!

Moral of the story: Sleep is awesome.  Yes, some adults can function perfectly on only five hours of sleep, while others need 9-10 hours of sleep to thrive. Most people will fall in that 7-9 range for sleeping needs. So let’s get to the root of the problem for most: “I know I need to sleep more, but my day is too busy and I just can’t get to bed sooner or wake up earlier.” First and foremost, you’re not alone. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of all working Americans get six hours or fewer of sleep a night.

Does any of this sound like you? I am always freaking tired, and I need five cups of coffee to get through the day. Even on days when I get enough sleep, I wake up groggy. I get to ‘bed’ but I toss and turn and it takes me forever to fall asleep. I hit snooze half a dozen times before miserably crawling out of bed.

A perfect night of sleep

Let’s imagine a perfect night:  
·         You go to bed at a time that you’re happy with.  
·         You’re not stressed out because you didn’t just watch The Walking Dead.
·         You’re reading a good book in bed that’s putting you closer to sleep rather than checking your smart phone or screwing around on the internet.  
·         You sleep uninterrupted  through the night
·         . You have good dreams.
·          When you wake up, either naturally or with an alarm…you immediately get out of bed, without a single snooze, and you feel damn good.  
·         You then crush your morning routine and dominate your day.

If you’re looking at your screen and laughing right now, you’re not alone.  I’d guess this is a pipe dream for a huge majority of our society because they’re not sure how sleep actually works, and thus have NOT made sleep a priority.

It’s time to start looking at sleep as one of your most important tasks.

How to get better sleep

We have a circadian rhythm (a daily biological clock) that ebbs and flows throughout the day. Our body uses outside stimuli and our own activity to produce certain hormones at certain times to make our body more prepared for the required functions at that time (alertness vs restfulness).

·         When the sun rose, our bodies are signaled “the day has begun! Get cracking!” We reduce the hormones that make us sleepy, and produce more hormones that allow us to do the things that need to get done.
·         As the sun went down, our body starts to produce more melatonin, which produces that sleepy feeling and encourages us to rest/recover.  Our only option for light back then was a candle or campfire. If that went out, we’d have moonlight and nothing else.
·         While sleeping, our bodies knew to cut back on urine production, decrease body temperature, decrease heart rate, and muscle activity.  Our brains are still highly active during our sleeping.

Unfortunately, these days, our bodies aren’t tied to the rise and fall of that giant ball of gas above us. Instead, we use electricity, alarm clocks, computer screens, smart phone screens, and all other sorts of outside stimuli to adjust our natural sleeping schedule. This means that our bodies often have no effin’ clue what time it is!

Here’s how we can get back to our roots:

Trying to get to bed sooner or fall asleep sooner? Limit your exposure to the blue glow of your computer screens, TV screens, and phones later in the evening.  Our bodies look at blue light and think “Sun is up! Sky is blue! Energy! WEEE!” Conversely, lights with a red/orange hue are more reminiscent of a campfire or candle.  
·         If you are somebody who has to spend time on your computer at night, consider installing a program like F.lux – it syncs with the sunrise and sunset in your time zone, gradually shifting your screens hue from Blue and bright to red and dim.  I’ve been using the app for over a week now and have quickly adjusted to it.
·         Purchase old-man blue blocker glasses which limits the colors your eyes are exposed to after the sun has gone.
·         Consider purchasing red light bulbs to install in your bedroom.
·         Consider getting black-out curtains for your bedroom windows, especially if you live in a city.
·         No TV in bed.  This might be incredibly difficult for you if you’ve been falling asleep to TV for years.  Instead of falling asleep with the blue glow of a TV at the foot of your bed, read a book – real books or read on a Kindle, no iPads! trust me, it will put you right to sleep.
·         Buy the right TYPE of Mattress for you
·         Have allergies? Try a hypoallergenic pillowcase!  Your allergies could be affecting you while you sleep, and having the proper pillowcase can make a world of a difference.

How to get more sleep

So we’ve covered how to get BETTER sleep, what if you also need to get more of it? In order to start getting more sleep, sleep must become more of a priority. If you constantly stay up too late because things need to get done, evaluate how your time is spent after work. Seriously, think about it!

Are you doing the important tasks first?

Are you watching late night shows long after they’ve become enjoyable, simply because your DVR records them?

Are you checking your smart phone while in bed, watching Vine videos, or using your laptop to watch more shows you don’t really care about on Netflix?

Here are the best practical tips for giving you the greatest chance at getting into bed earlier:

·         Don’t drink caffeine after lunch if possible.  Caffeine can have an effect up to 6 hours after consumption.  We love caffeine for many reasons (in moderation); however, you want to make sure its not consumed too late or your body will revolt.

·         Turn off the electronics sooner.  I have to enforce a “laptops closed by 11PM” or a “TV off after 10PM” rule on many nights or I never get to bed. I get lost in internetland far too easily.  Putting in actual barriers really helps.  If you find yourself checking Facebook and Twitter and other sites incessantly, BLOCK YOURSELF from those sites after a certain time.
·         Stop watching crap TV shows! DVRs can be helpful, but it’s so easy to record shows without second thought…and then we end up spending WAY too much time watching TV.  
·         Shift things by 15 minutes every week. If you want to get to bed sooner, don’t just try to get to bed an hour earlier than normal. You’ll probably lie in bed for that whole hour wondering why you can’t fall asleep, stressing yourself out and making things worse. I shifted my pattern by waking up 15 minutes earlier and getting to bed 15 minutes sooner. Then I repeated that process over a series of weeks. Eventually, you can shift your bedtime by an hour or two, but do it gradually!

How to wake up better

Is there any more annoying sound in the world than the “beep beep beep” of an alarm clock?  So here you are, dreaming about riding a dragon with Daenerys Targaryen, doing improv with Liam Neeson, and playing poker with Iron Man and Spock…and that damn alarm clock wakes you up.  You are now incredibly groggy and miserable.

Here’s what’s happening: Remember earlier how we talked about different sleep cycles?  Depending on which cycle you were woken up during, your body can struggle to move from “asleep” to “wide awake.” Wake up in the right phase and you can feel energized and ready to go. Wake up in the wrong phase and you will feel lethargic and sleepy. Because we’re often waking up at times when we’re not ready to wake up, we need to use technology to our advantage.

This is why snoozing is a horrible idea!

Instead of snoozing, set your alarm for 30 minutes later and SKIP snoozing entirely.  If this is an issue for you, put your alarm across the room so you need to physically get out of bed to turn it off! 
I’ve been using the Sleep Cycle App to wake up and it’s been really interesting. You simply put the time in which you want to wake up, put your phone on your bed, and it will wake you up slowly and quietly in at the best point in a 30 minute window. Because it also tracks your sleep incredibly accurately, it’s probably the best 99 cents I’ve ever spent on an app. Try a dawn-simulator alarm clock.  Rather than waking yourself up in the pitch black with a disgusting beeping noise, why not gradually rise as if there was a natural sunrise in your room?

Still feeling groggy? Go for a walk first thing; a mile every morning, if you can.   Walking outside and seeing that blue sky can trigger your body to release the hormones that encourage you to feel more awake and alive.

What about naps?

Although generally not part of a day here in the states, we’re actually programmed to desire a quick nap in the early afternoon. In other countries, naps are more socially acceptable (Siesta?  Si, por favor!).  If you feel bad that you get tired in the early afternoon, it’s not because you’re lazy. It’s because you’re naturally wired for naptime.  Now, you might still be lazy, but it’s not related to your nap schedule.

What about second sleep? Biphasic Sleep is sleeping in two distinct periods. We’re gonna go back in the day again: during winter months, night time could last 12-14 hours. With our bodies production of melatonin (the “sleepy time” hormone) kicking into high gear when that sun drops, people had nothing else to do (no TV, PS4, or iPads)and  would fall asleep  early. Then they would wake up for an hour or two in the middle of the night to read, pray, or think, and then fall back asleep for another 4-5 hours before waking up for the day.

If you’ve ever gone to bed at a normal hour, and then woke up in the middle of the night without being able to fall back asleep for an hour or so, you know what I’m talking about. Here’s the thing: this is actually quite natural! Rather than freaking the heck out and lying in bed wondering why you can’t fall asleep…consider it something that is more common than our current sleep schedule. Don’t be afraid to turn on the light and read a book or use the time for meditation until you can fall back asleep. This one ‘mental shift’ alone can keep your stress levels down and let you get back to sleep faster and provide you with BETTER sleep.

September Devotion: Our Lady of Sorrows[1]

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to her feast day on September 15, the month of September has traditionally been set aside to honor Our Lady of Sorrows. All the sorrows of Mary (the prophecy of Simeon, the three days' loss, etc.) are merged in the supreme suffering at the Passion. In the Passion, Mary suffered a martyrdom of the heart because of Our Lord's torments and the greatness of her love for Him. "She it was," says Pope Pius XII, "who immune from all sin, personal or inherited, and ever more closely united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love. As a new Eve, she made this offering for all the children of Adam contaminated through his unhappy fall. Thus she, who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh, became by a new title of sorrow and glory the spiritual mother of all His members."

Daily Prayers for September

At Morning

O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen. --Saint Bonaventure

At Noon

Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace, and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.

At 3PM

Most holy Virgin. and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never-ending joy at His triumph; obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

At Twilight

O most holy and afflicted Virgin! Queen of Martyrs! thou who didst stand motionless beneath the Cross, witnessing the agony of thy expiring Son--through the unceasing sufferings of thy life of sorrow, and the bliss which now more than amply repays thee for thy past trials, look down with a mother's tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before thee to venerate thy dolors, and place my requests, with filial confidence, in the sanctuary of thy wounded heart; present them, I beseech thee, on my behalf, to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred death and passion, together with thy sufferings at the foot of the cross, and through the united efficacy of both obtain the grant of my present petition. To whom shall I resort in my wants and miseries if not to thee, O Mother of Mercy, who, having so deeply drunk of the chalice of thy Son, canst compassionate the woes of those who still sigh in the land of exile? Offer for me to my Savior one drop of the Blood which flowed from His sacred veins, one of the tears which trickled from His divine eyes, one of the sighs which rent His adorable Heart. O refuge of the universe and hope of the whole world, do not reject my humble prayer, but graciously obtain the grant of my petition.

At Slumber

Mary most sorrowful, Mother of Christians, pray for us. Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us.



Daily Devotions/Prayers
·                 Drops of Christ’s Blood
·                 Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
·                 National 54 day Rosary day 18




[2]https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/are-you-making-these-mistakes-with-your-sleep/

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